Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

E-mail me

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Today is the feast of St. Monica, and tomorrow, that of St. Augustine. Re-read The Confessions, especially Books 8 and 9.

More about pizza

A reader who also misses Connecticut, commenting on this post, writes thus to both me and Elinor:

I knew there was a reason I enjoyed your blogs - was it the opera, the hope for Austen, the puns? Now I have realised, it is the glimpse of New Haven (I used to live in Guilford). Now if only I could get a Pepe's clam pie...........)

Sally's and Pepe's are the originals, but there's darn good "white pizza" at Bimonte's in Hamden too. On campus, my favorite was and is Yorkside.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003
U.S.-Saudi Anti-Terror Operation Planned (

Saudi Arabia and the United States have for the first time agreed to set up a joint task force that will station U.S. law enforcement officials in the desert kingdom to target individuals suspected of funneling millions of dollars to al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, officials from both countries said yesterday.

Oh, so the royal family is turning itself in?

Monday, August 25, 2003
At our university-wide faculty meeting

Mordac, Preventer of Information Services: The larger classrooms are now wi-fi-enabled, so your students can surf the Web during your class.

Colleague sitting behind me: Well zippity-doo-dah.

Sunday, August 24, 2003
I have a book on my upstairs shelf called Christian Self-Mastery,* but I had forgotten all about it until yesterday, when I did some cleaning. It had been hidden by a pile of catalogues.

As they say in Doonesbury, bravo for life's little ironies.

*The author is Maturin, not the bizarre concatenation of subtitles listed by Amazon as the author.

Friday, August 22, 2003
Feast of the Queenship of Mary...

...and Happy Birthday To Eve!

Thursday, August 21, 2003
What if Blondie had written The Three Little Kittens?

Once I had a glove
And it was divine
Soon found out
I couldn't find mine
Seemed like the real thing
Only to find
Mucho bare hands
And not much pie.

(There. You finish it if you want to.)

Dignity and PFLAG activists try to crash Courage Mass in Minneapolis

...because of their passionate devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, of course. I wasn't there, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune appears to have done an excellent job reporting on this. Some excerpts and comments:

"Their needs are more important than our children?" responded Mary Lynn Murphy, representing Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), who has a son and several relatives who are gay. "We're not here about their children. They're here about ours."

I'm hearing that "their children/our children" line a lot. They're probably teaching it at workshops. Anybody else heard it recently?

Dennis McGrath, spokesman for Archbishop Harry Flynn, told protesters that he shared Flynn's concern that protesters would use the mass to disrupt the conference.

"Not the archbishop, nobody, allows the eucharist to be used as a vehicle for protest," McGrath said.

Whoa -- finally, someone on the Church's side who's just as good at soundbites as the other side! Give that man a raise. And bravo to Archbishop Flynn.

Afterward, Jane McDonald of Minneapolis reflected on the exchange.

"They tried to strip us of our Catholicism," she said...

You did that to yourself, honeybun, if anyone did.

...adding that she believes barring Dignity members from the chapel was an abuse of power by the archdiocese and the university and something Jesus would not do.

Of course not -- He loved sacrilege. That's why He gave medals to the guys who were buying and selling in the Temple. And it's why He made sure Caiaphas and Pilate were at the Last Supper.

Why does she stay in the church?

"Because I would be losing my own flesh and blood and bones," she said. "I was born Irish Catholic. It's my birthright."

Ah, the faith-as-ethnicity thing -- like with the Italian lady in Providence RI a few years back who, when the Bishop informed her that she was excommunicated (in response to her inquiry on that subject), called a press conference and said, "He can't say I'm not Catholic any more than he can say I'm not Italian."

Look, ma'am, there's a book you should read, called the New Testament. It's got a chapter in it, called Romans, that has a lot to say about this notion that a relationship with God is something you can be born into, just like you can be born into a tribe. Christianity was, from the get-go, in part an organized revolt against exactly that theory of salvation. Funny how it never quite goes away.

St. Paul knew us better than we know ourselves.

(Thanks to Catholic World News for the tip.)

Today is the feast of St. Pius X

This is my favorite photograph of St. Pius. I read somewhere that
the sad look comes from the fact that he had gotten the news that
morning that his sister had died. His staff wanted him to take the
rest of the day off, but he didn't want to disappoint the photographer;
appointments for papal portraits don't come every day to your basic
working shutterbug.

Here is what the Holy Father said about St. Pius a few days ago, on the 100th anniversary of his election:

My predecessor St. Pius X was elected 100 years ago on Aug. 4, 1903. Giuseppe Sarto was born in Riese, a small town in the pre-Alps Veneto region which had remained deeply Christian, and he spent all his life in the Veneto until his election as Pope. I greet with affection the large group of pilgrims from Treviso who, accompanied by their bishop, have come to pay homage to their illustrious fellow countryman.

Your presence, dear brothers and sisters, gives me the opportunity to speak about the important role of this Successor of Peter in the history of the Church and of humanity at the beginning of the 20th century. In raising him to the honors of the altar on May 29, 1954, a Marian year, Pius XII described him as an "invincible champion of the Church and a providential saint of our times," whose work "looked like the struggle of a giant defending a priceless treasure, the inner unity of the Church in the deepest of her foundations: the faith" (Acta Apostolicae Sedis XLVI [1954], 308).

May this holy Pontiff, who left us an example of total fidelity to Christ and passionate love for his Church, continue to watch over this Church.

Via Zenit.

Monday, August 18, 2003
James's The Bostonians and Wagner's Lohengrin

Henry James's The Bostonians is about feminism and other leftist, do-good, "new ideas" movements congregating (apt term, really) in Boston, ca. 1880. Beautiful young Verena, daughter of a decidedly dodgy "mesmeric healer", has a gift for orating about ideas she doesn't understand, ideas she has apparently picked up from her parents' progressive connections, socially lowly as these may be.

But the feminist ideas that Verena spouts are music to the ears of Olive Chancellor, a Beacon Hill denizen with plenty of money, plenty of anti-male rage, and almost certainly a lesbian. When Olive first meets Verena, she is in the company of a southern cousin, Basil Ransom, who has dropped in out of politeness. Olive swiftly proposes to take Verena under her wing and foster her career -- why, she'll even let Verena live with her. In fact she insists on it. Verena's parents are delighted to have their food bill cut by a third, so they consent. (BTW, there is no hint of overt sexual liaison between Olive and Verena at any time.)

Meanwhile, Basil and Olive have taken an instant hatred to each other, based on differences regional, sexual, and ideological. And Basil, too, has noticed Verena. The rest of the novel unfolds as a struggle between Olive and Basil over Verena -- her to keep this flaming-redheaded prophetess, him to take her and marry her.

I won't reveal the end or go over the other characters (Olive's older sister, Mrs. Luna, is a piece of work). But I was intrigued that during a lecture tour in New York (where Basil lives), Verena is taken to the opera by yet another suitor. The opera is Wagner's Lohengrin (which happens to have been premiered on this date in 1850). James refers to it several times.

Now, why Lohengrin? One can react to James's characters in various ways -- I suppose a political novel where this is not the case is an aesthetic failure -- but for myself, I despise Olive Chancellor. Most of her lefty associates have redeeming features; I find none in Olive. Whereas Basil -- oh, man! Cool, self-assured, right-wing but not pro-slavery, a lawyer who would rather write expositions of his political philosophy -- dude! Did I mention southern? He comes from Mississippi, and James often calls him "the Mississippian."

But once again, why Lohengrin? Well, in this opera, there's this young Christian noblewoman, Elsa, during the Carolingian era, who is at risk of falling into a devilish trap set for her by the pagan princess Ortrud, a Frisian (they being the last Germanic nation to convert). At her moment of greatest danger, a stranger arrives from far away to save her -- Lohengrin, a knight of the Grail.

The parallels between Lohengrin and The Bostonians taper off after that, but they are enough to get my coincidence-I-think-not juices running. The girl needing rescue by a man from far away, see? Oh, and the names "Olive"/"Ortrud"?

Margaret Harshaw as Ortrud at the Met, ca 1953

Astrid Varnay, a leading Ortrud at Bayreuth from the early 50s to the early 60s.
At the Met, Varnay and Harshaw often alternated the leading female roles in
two other Wagner operas, Tannhaeuser and Die Walkuere.
They never did this in Lohengrin, however.

Oh, and did I menion Basil's last name -- Ransom, as in, rescue?

Coming up soon: a post on recordings of Lohengrin.

I thought they covered this in freshman orientation, but...

The U. of Michigan -- yes, they of the "soft variable" quotas -- offers a course called "How to Be Gay." Another "your tax dollars at work" scandal, or just another general argument against taxpayer-funded education of any kind?

The Independent Gay Forum, a "moderate" group as these things go, takes the latter view. Well, far be it from me to disparage any argument against taxpayer-funded education. But let's think this out a bit more.

Imagine a course at a public university that aims to teach students about -- oh, I don't know -- the Catholic Church. And to keep the hypo simple, we'll assume the course is more or less fair, with "fair"defined by me. Now let's make the title "How to be Catholic." Still OK at a state-actor university?

The second half to the "How to Be Gay" course title is "Male Homosexuality and Initiation." Suppose the full title of our hypothetical course were "How to be Catholic: Orthodox Catholicism and Conversion." Still cool? Federal and state dollars?

In case the religion factor is beclouding this hypo, let's make the course "How to Be Right Wing: Conservatism and That First Subscription to NR". That ought to split the IGF from its gay allies.

As someone (was it Solon?) explained to Croesus, you can't tell how happy a man is until his life is over.

Sunday, August 17, 2003
Pray for the Holy Father

He's resting at Castel Gandolfo, but it's hot there too. Yesterday he spoke about Europe's loss of values. (BTW, is there a Polish philologist out there who can tell us about the word that Vatican translators keep rendering as "values"? I'd be surprised if the term the Pope has in mind has the Nietzschean overtones that the word "values" does.)

Alternative to both "gay marriage" and gay-specific civil unions

Delaware legal blogger Larry Sullivan -- DeLawOffice -- says here that same-sex couples can and do use Delaware LLCs (limited liability corporations) to achieve most of the stated goals of "gay marriage."

Saturday, August 16, 2003
Croatia's human panda

Did pizza begin with a 4th century heresy?

Also from The Curt Jester (see post immediately below):

"...a group called the Artotyritae....their most peculiar doctrine--their variant of the Eucharist--was a sacrament in bread and cheese."

CJ is very funny on this. "I am the brie of life", indeed! Just what those I-am-God hymns deserve.

BTW, pizza actually originated in the Italian-American neighborhoods of New Haven, Connecticut.

ROTFL! -- Congregation for Pissing off Church Pundits, by The Curt Jester. I especially loved the part about St. Josemaria, natch.

Friday, August 15, 2003
Blessed Mother jeopardy

A. "John will be home in time for dinner."

Q. What is the Unfounded Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

My biblical Assumption post from last year

This was fairly well received (which means, Eve linked to it!), so I'm reposting it here:

The Gospel for the Mass during the day (the vigil uses Luke 11:27-28) is Luke 1:39-56, i.e., the Visitation. What makes this the perfect Gospel text for the Assumption are the parallels between this passage and II Samuel 6 (II Kings 6, if you're using the Vulgate or Douay), where the Ark of the Covenant is brought (not without perils) into Jerusalem.

II Samuel 6:3 -- the Ark is brought into a house that is "on the hill."
Luke 1:39 -- "In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country"

II Samuel 6:9 -- David exclaims: "How can the ark of the Lord come to me?"
Luke 1:43 -- Elizabeth exclaims: "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

II Samuel 6:11 -- "And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months...."
Luke 1:56 -- "And Mary remained with her about three months...."

All right, so these links support the identification of Our Lady with the Ark of the Covenant. Does that have anything to do with the Assumption?

Yes, and the link is made by the this morning's first reading, Apocalypse 11:19 to 12:6. Verse 19 happens to be the last verse of chapter 11, so what the Church is doing here is inviting us to "read past" the chapter divisions, which are post-biblical anyway and not necessarily inspired. Read this passage as if it were all within one chapter, and you'll immediately see how clearly John links the vision of the Ark to the Woman Clothed With the Sun.

John announces that he saw the Temple in Heaven (not the one on earth: that's been destroyed) and within it, the long-lost Ark. What's that -- the Ark? The Ark? Can we hear more about this? Yes: "...a woman clothed with the sun..."!

Happy Feast of the Assumption

Rabbi Lapin: Passover is about serving God, not about liberating self

I know Passover was four months ago, but sometimes I'm slow to find these things. Rabbi Lapin wrote last April:

Moses never said "Let my people go." What he actually said was "Let my people go so that they may worship me in the desert." God did not free the Jews from being servants; he just freed them from being servants to Egypt. Henceforth they were to be servants to Him....

I have been invited to Passover seders celebrating Cuban liberation, homosexual liberation, free speech, sexual liberation, the war on poverty, animal rights and several others you'd never believe. I have a remarkable collection of seder liturgies or Haggadoth at home, to prove it. The common theme of all these up to date Passover ceremonies is the abolition of tradition. How disappointed the organizers of these bizarre seders would be to discover that Passover celebrates accepting God's authority rather than rejecting it.

Follow-up on Gregg Whiteside

According to my sources, Musical America (subscription required to view story) is now reporting that, contrary to what I hinted at yesterday, Mr. Whiteside's instant-firing remark was one "construed by a passerby as anti-Semitic."

Thursday, August 14, 2003
Long-time announcer at NY Times classical radio station fired on the spot for off-air "remark"

The New York Post reports (full story here):

August 14, 2003 -- RADIO announcer Gregg Whiteside, the voice of The New York Times-owned classical station WQXR, was fired this week in another political-correctness flap at the Gray Lady.

The station canned Whiteside - whose voice was synonymous with classical music in New York for 25 years - without notice or severance.

The station said the firing was "because of inappropriate comments which he admitted making."

Neither Whiteside nor the station would say exactly what those comments were.

Hmmm, now that's a poser. Let's see, let's see. New York Times... classical music... it'll come to me any minute now... won't say what the comments were... hmm, hmm... it was a private remark overheard (see full story), not something shouted to the whole staff, so it must have been awfully sensitive... hmm, hmm....

The Post continues:

"They've destroyed an innocent man," an emotional Whiteside told The Post yesterday. "I gave my life to that place. This wasn't a job for me - it was a way of life."

Nope, just can't figure it out. But if Mr. Whiteside needs some extra hands on deck in his employment discrimination suit, pro bono, tell him about me.

EDITED TO ADD: The folks in opera-land are all taking this guy's side, at least so far. God bless them!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Purple state

Rich Lowry says here in last Sunday's Washington Post:

If you know whom Samantha bedded (and how) on "Sex & the City" last Sunday, you are blue-state. If you debate when to take your first buck in deer-hunting season, you are red-state.

Dang -- I don't know either of these. But if you want a critical discography of most of the major operas, or a thumbnail history of the American conservative movement, I've got you covered.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
The Chickpea Eater comments on several important books, including The Secret History.

Schadenfreude time: United Way

For all of you who've been hounded at your workplaces into giving money to Planned Parenthood via the United Way, with all those perishing team captains and thermometer charts, rejoice -- the team captains may have to shut their gobs and stuff their charts for a while: Audit Excoriates United Way Leadership (

Say, do you think anyone will go to jail?

Monday, August 11, 2003
A belated addition to the celebration of the feast of St. Dominic: Top Ten Reasons to Join the Dominican Order, by John at Disputations, discovered via Kathy at GospelMinefield.

I'll alert the media.

(Via The Rat.)

Sunday, August 10, 2003
Conversation chez Cacciaguida: high-end hotels

The one time I stayed at [expensive hotel], the loo backed up.

Cacciaguida: You should have called Cardinal de Lubac.

Elinor: He eez zo ty-aird of zat zhoke!

Friday, August 08, 2003
I've just passed the 20,000 mark on Sitemeter! Whoo-hoo, and thanks to all you readers!

It's the feast of St. Dominic. Light some fireworks under a heretic! ;)

In the pipeline

Not much blogosity this week, because I've been catching up on tenure-related work, summer-term grading, fall-term planning, and other things.

In preparation: What Wagner's Lohengrin has to do with James's The Bostonians; what Joyce's "Grace" (from Dubliners) has to do with lay apostolate and sanctification of work.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Those Episcopalians

You've read the headlines. Oh, and don't miss this (or do, and maybe you'll keep your lunch down). (Via Zorak.)

You know, it's not necessarily going to be the High Churchmen who man the resistance. As this Daily Torygraph article shows, opposition may come largely from the evangelicals within Anglicanism, folks we usually call "low church".

Some of the Episcopalian "conservatives" are talking about forming a break-away "continuing Anglican" church. Oh great -- they've only been trying that for about 27 years, ever since the Episcopalians started "ordaining" women (yeah, just like they "ordain" men) and tossed out the old Book of Common Prayer. There are dozens of such "dioceses" now, with about eight members each. I actually belonged to one for a while, before I joined the Church. Dude I know who's queerer'n a $4 bill goes to one of them. Cousin Jasper was right.

The Curt Jester offers us Doctrine-o-Matic. Try it -- it sure seems to have worked for the early Caliphs (see immediately below)! And who knows what it could do for the Episcopalians -- perhaps this.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Is the Koran actually a Syriac-Christian text, later twisted in the service of Arab expansionism?

This is not a joke: it's the conclusion of the first scholar ever to subject the Koran to modern philological analysis without first buying into traditional Muslim exegisis. This scholar is known as Christoph Luxenberg -- a pseudonym, for obvious reasons, but the scholarly world of near-eastern linguistics is taking him seriously.

The book is called Die syro-aramaeische Lesart des Koran; Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Qur’ānsprache -- roughly, "The Syro-Aramaic Literary Background of the Koran: an Attempt at Unlocking the Koranic Language." It has not yet appeared in English.

First, read The Cranky Professor's post on this.

Next, some links provided by Cranky:

MSNBC: Challenging the Qu'ran:

"Luxenberg, a professor of Semitic languages at one of Germany’s leading universities, has chosen to remain anonymous because he fears a fatwa by enraged Islamic extremists....

"Luxenberg’s chief hypothesis is that the original language of the Qur’an was not Arabic but something closer to Aramaic. He says the copy of the Qur’an used today is a mistranscription of the original text from Muhammad’s time, which according to Islamic tradition was destroyed by the third caliph, Osman, in the seventh century. But Arabic did not turn up as a written language until 150 years after Muhammad’s death, and most learned Arabs at that time spoke a version of Aramaic....

"Sura 33 calls Muhammad the “seal of the prophets,” taken to mean the final and ultimate prophet of God. But an Aramaic reading, says Luxenberg, turns Muhammad into a “witness of the prophets”—i.e., someone who bears witness to the established Judeo-Christian texts. The Qur’an, in Arabic, talks about the “revelation” of Allah, but in Aramaic that term turns into “teaching” of the ancient Scriptures. The original Qur’an, Luxenberg contends, was in fact a Christian liturgical document—before an expanding Arab empire turned Muhammad’s teachings into the basis for its new religion long after the Prophet’s death."

And the nugget that MSNBC, understandably, put in the lede graf (as we ex-newspapermen say): "Christoph Luxenberg says that what are described as “houris” with “swelling breasts” refer to nothing more than “white raisins” and “juicy fruits.”

And a review in Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies (emphasis mine):

"This work demonstrates to all exegetes of the Qur'an the power of the scientific method of philology and its value in producing a clearer text of the Qur'an. Scholars of the first rank will now be forced to question the assumption that, from a philological perspective, the Islamic tradition is mostly reliable, as though it were immune to the human error that pervades the transmission of every written artifact. If biblical scholarship is any indication, the future of Qur’ânic studies is more or less decided by this work....

"At the time of Muhammad, Arabic was not a written language. Syro-Aramaic or Syriac was the language of written communication in the Near East from the second to the seventh centuries A.D. Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, was the language of Edessa, a city-state in upper Mesopotamia. While Edessa ceased to be a political entity, its language became the vehicle of Christianity and culture, spreading throughout Asia as far as Malabar and eastern China. Until the rise of the Qur’ân, Syriac was the medium of wider communication and cultural dissemination for Arameans, Arabs, and to a lesser extent Persians. It produced the richest literary expression in the Near East from the fourth century (Aphrahat and Ephraem) until it was replaced by Arabic in the seventh and eighth centuries.....

"Western commentators have followed Islamic tradition rather than used the reference tools and techniques of philological investigation. Luxenberg gives a brief description of the findings from important works on Qur’ânic philology in the West. Scholars have been increasingly aware of the presence in the Qur’ân of foreign terms and references to foreign historical events and that Aramaic dialects contributed most of these. However, because Western scholars maintained the technically outdated and unscientific approach of Islamic exegesis, the significance of these findings has had to wait until the present study."

On the reconstructed Koran and the Eucharist, the review says: "The analysis of all nineteen verses of sura 96 spans twenty-two pages. Among the many solutions provided in this section is that the particle ’a which has stumped the commentators and the grammarians is really two different words: the Syriac word ’aw “or” and the Syriac ’ēn “if, when.” Omitting here the details of the argument, this sura is to be read as a call to participate in liturgical prayer and has the “character of a Christian-Syriac prooemium, which in the later tradition was replaced by the fatiha (from Syriac ptāxā, ’opening’).” This is not just any liturgy, but the Divine Liturgy, the eucharistic commemoration, as Luxenberg reconstructs verses 17-19: “Should he [i.e., the Slanderer] wish to call his idols, he will (thereby) call a [god who] passes away! You should not at all listen to him, (rather) perform (your) liturgy and receive the Eucharist (wa-isjid wa iqtabar)” (p. 296). This is noteworthy, as this is the oldest sura according to Islamic tradition, and reveals its Christian-Syriac roots."

Oh, and about those virgins/raisins: "Ephraem uses the term gupnā, “vine,” grammatically feminine, with which hūr agrees and from this Andrae concluded that it was a metaphor for “the virgins of paradise” in the Qur’ān. In suras 44:54 and 52:20, Luxenberg argues that instead of the singular cīn the plural cuyun should be read, referring to the grapes on the vine. Elsewhere the Qur’ān compares the grapes to “pearls,” and so they must be white grapes, which is not apparent from the text at first glance. Luxenberg then offers two variants of this expression. The first reading renders the phrase “white, crystal (clear grapes),” the second, and the one Luxenberg adopts, is “white (grapes), (like) jewels (of crystal).” The restored verse then reads “We will let them (the blessed in Paradise) be refreshed with white (grapes), (like) jewels (of crystal).” "

In conclusion: "It is hoped that an English translation of this work will soon appear. Despite the sober revolution this book will no doubt create, one should not be naïve to think that all Islamicists in the West will immediately take up and respond to the scholarly challenges posed by any work of this kind. However, just as Christianity faced the challenges of nineteenth and twentieth century biblical and liturgical scholarship, so too will serious scholars of Islam, both East and West, benefit from the discipline Luxenberg has launched."

Mother. Of. God. -- I mean, Our Lady of Lepanto, pray for us.

Bizarre twist in gay Episcopal bishop story

Long-time readers might expect me to snigger a bit. Nope. As a veteran of the campaign to confirm Justice Thomas (a very minor foot-soldier, but I was there), I take last-minute sexual harassment allegations with a huge grain of salt. I believed from the start, and believe now, that the Anita Hill accusation was a slander ginned up by the Left after nothing else had worked; my working assumption (subject to rebuttal, of course) has to be that the present allegation against Robinson is a similar thing from the Episcopalian "right."

The story may check out. But in the meantime, Robinson's supporters are in bounds if they do what Thomas's supporters did: investigate the accuser's background thoroughly, and make hay out of anygthing creepy that they find.

Then, let the Episcopalian "right" beat Robinson fairly. Or let him win, and let's see a schism, with lots of new Catholics....

Monday, August 04, 2003

Today is the feast of St. Jean Vianney, the Curé of Ars. Pray for parish priests.

Sunday, August 03, 2003
Conversation chez Cacciaguida

Scene: C. is on the phone with his Jewish dad, who is telling him about the Newark picketing described in the post immediately below.

Cacciaguida: I hadn't heard that, but I can tell you that some people have an irrational reaction to Latin, like they were rapped on the knuckles by a nun or something, and --

Cacciagranddaddy: Well I was rapped on the knuckles by a cantor, but that didn't give me an aversion to Hebrew. These guys need to --

Both together: GET O-O-O-OVER IT!!

Through Your goodness we have this whine to offer....

In Newark, a new pastor is introducing some Latin phrases into the Mass. Apparently in Newark, which passed the 70s and 80s under one of the most liberal members of the hierarchy, this is the kind of thing that leads to parishioner picketing.

Note the dude who calls Fr. Perricone's actions a "dictatorship." Yeah, like when Fr. Bob came in back in '71 and turned the whole place upside down, he took a vote first, right?

NY Times coverage may be improving, I'm forced to concede. Note how they included the fact that the picketers had, as Hobson would say, "alerted the media." This informs the reader that this is essentially manufactured news. Usually, liberal protests are portrayed as spontaneous, and the media portray themselves as independently discovering such protests in order to Bring You The Facts.

Saturday, August 02, 2003
New York Newsday columnist Liz Smith knows all about the horrors of Catholicism: she's read up on it in bestselling thrillers, and now she's seen a movie about it. Here. So there.

But for some cheer-up from down under, read here about how "Catholic bishops will confront the Sydney Archbishop, George Pell, tomorrow over the appointment of two new bishops which some fear is part of a Vatican campaign to purge the Sydney archdiocese of its liberal streak."

New bishops for Brooklyn, NY; Houma-Thibodaux, LA; and Charlotte, NC. Via Zenit.

Sounds like good news all around. New Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas diMarzio, Bishop of Camden NJ since 1999, sounds like a tough-talking urbanite.

New Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas diMarzio

FWIW, I've heard that Camden has an all-Tridentine parish, with the Bishop's blessing.

And speaking of the things Tridentine, it appears that the Holy See, as part of its project of making the Vatican Library available on-line, has been quietly uploading missals from the 16th century. And you thought nothing ever gets done in Rome!

Friday, August 01, 2003
Moritaka, in the comment boxes of this post at at Matrix Essays, says:

Since the machines are "virtual", and Zion is "virtual" [most commentators agree it isn't, but whatever - ed.], then that must mean that they are both part of some strange controlling MASTER SIMULATION, one that we will call MOVIE, under the despotic control of a godlike entity known as THE DIRECTOR, created for the purpose of enslaving the minds of GEEKS-LIKE-US and harvesting their bodies for CA$H!

Conversation at Cacciaguida's Office

Cacciadelia (age 8):
Daddy, I'm just wondering, when are we going home?

Cacciaguida: Just a few minutes, baby.

Cacciadelia: 'Cause I have a little more work to do.

LGF says here: Even as a Muslim Youth Camp is granted a lease on federal land in Iowa, a judge in San Diego rules that the Boy Scouts cannot lease land in Balboa Park—because it would violate the separation of church and state! The Muslim youth camp will include a prayer tower, for Pete’s sake.