William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Friday, January 30, 2009

More on Blago

Orrologion posted an interesting question which raised some points I did not cover in my previous post. My answer turned into something long enough that I think it deserves a post of its own as a response. First Orrologion's comment from the preceding thread.
I think the devil is in the details on this one. Do we know, to start with, what the Constitution of the State of IL says on a matter of impeachment? Can impeachment only be done on the basis of a crime, or can other factors be taken into account.

As an example, the Clinton impeachment required both a legal proceeding, undertaken by the House of Representatives and presided over by the Chief Justice AND a ratification by the Senate, which required no legal proceedings being a purely political standard. Clinton was (rightly, to my mind) impeached by according to the legal standard and then that impeachment was not approved by the Senate (rightly, again, to my mind, given the fishing expeditions that led to the perjury). The IL Constitution may not require a legal proceeding, or at least not one that demands a specific and overly high bar if the framers intent was to ensure trust between the executive and the legislature (a constitutional ethic of shared weakness akin to Fr. Stephen Freeman's comments on the 'weakness' of Orthodox ecclesiology).
Orrologion makes some interesting points. The Illinois State Constitution is closely modeled after the Federal Constitution. With respect to impeachment the matter was deliberately left vague by the framers while setting a high bar (2/3 super majority) for removal by the Senate. When asked about what would be grounds for impeachment the then minority leader of the House of Representatives in the early 1970's Gerald Ford famously responded that "the House could impeach the president for a bad haircut. Getting the Senate to convict is a different story."

Most constitutional scholars tend to agree that the power of impeachment is not limited to offenses against the criminal code. And it also needs to be noted that this was NOT a criminal trial with criminal sanctions attached. In that sense this was not a "judicial" proceeding.

But it was a process whereby the legislature effectively cast a veto over the last general election in which the people of Illinois elected Blago as their Governor. Also the framers deliberately did not establish a parliamentary system of government here. So I don't think it would be fair to reduce what we saw to the equivalent of a vote of "no confidence" which typically compels a prime minister to resign.

Clearly it falls somewhere between a criminal proceeding and a simple decision by an employer to terminate an employee suspected if inappropriate behavior. I think that while again conceding, this was not a "judicial" proceeding that it was "juridical." Recall that the Senate convened as a “tribunal” for the purpose of “trying” the Governor. It passed a judgment on the Governor that he had abused the powers of his office and in this case committed acts which could be considered criminal and it removed him from office and barred him for life from holding any office of public trust in Illinois.

Further while the process may not have been laid out in any detail, it was a "constitutional" process by which the Governor was removed. A proceeding which is at once both "juridical" and "constitutional" in nature I believe implies the guarantee of at least a modicum of due process rights. One notes that the in the armed forces commanding officers are empowered under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (Title X U. S. Code ) to impose “Non-Judicial Punishment” on servicemen for minor infractions of military discipline such as overstaying leave or mouthing off to a superior. These often informal proceedings are not criminal (they are not Courts Martial) and the punishments are typically limited to reduction in rank, restriction to quarters, assignment of extra duties and fines which normally can not exceed a half months pay per month for two months. But the courts have also consistently held that while such proceedings are not “judicial” they are still “juridical” in nature and that the accused must still be given a fair hearing and an opportunity to offer a defense.

All that said the State Senate is a part of the legislative branch of the government and is co-equal to the other branches including the judiciary. Thus I am not sure that the former Governor has much recourse. The constitution gives the power of removal to the Senate and outside of the 2/3 majority requirement the rest is left to the Senate to determine. Based on this one could make a narrow though compelling argument that the Senate did not violate any of Blagojevich's rights. That's the legal argument.

But my short essay was more about the question of due process as a basic concept of fairness. In that context I think the Senate trial fails miserably. It was not a trial at all. It was a political firing squad thinly disguised as a trial. When one considers that this is the first time Illinois has ever impeached and removed a Governor from office it becomes even more disturbing. For good or ill (I am strongly disposed to believe the latter) this “trial” is now not only a precedent, it is indeed THE precedent. And I think it is a very unfortunate one.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thoughts on Blago

This is going to be short, as I really don't want to spend much time on this sordid subject. But I think something needs to be said that no one wants to talk about. To no one's surprise today the Illinois State Senate removed God's gift to late night television comedians, otherwise known as Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, from office. The vote was 59-0.

The man was indisputably a clown and almost indisputably guilty of some of the most insane behavior in the history of political crime. Let’s be honest here. If stupidity were a crime he would get the chair. But the bone sticking in my throat is not whether or not he was guilty (he clearly was). Nor whether or not he should have been removed from office (this is a couple years over due). My problem is with a really quaint and to be honest, damned inconvenient phrase composed of two words, "Due Process."

It's the bizarre idea that no matter how obviously guilty a man is, no matter if he shot the sheriff in front of a hundred people in broad daylight and sat on the corpse until he was arrested, he is still entitled to a fair trial before he can be hung. And let us again be frank and honest. Whatever you choose to call what went on in Springfield over the last week; due process and fair trial are not words which can be applied. The descriptive term which I am leaning towards is "kangaroo court."

OK, I will admit it. It really is hard to feel bad when an obvious sleaze ball like Blago gets the legal shaft. And I don't think anyone not in urgent need of anti-psychotic medication could seriously argue that Illinois is not better off without him. But I keep getting pulled back to those damned inconvenient words again, “Due Process.”

The man was hauled (figuratively) in front of a tribunal where the rules established that all evidence received from the lower house (which had just impeached the Governor) was to be accepted at face value and could not be challenged. No matter that the accused was not allowed to question or challenge any of the evidence in the House of Representatives either. Nor was he permitted to summon any witnesses on his behalf to testify or to question his accusers under oath.

No. Whatever we might want to call it; this was not justice. This was a lynching. For the record a lot of people who were lynched were as guilty as sin of the crimes they were strung up for. But it was still a lynching. There was not even a pretense to a fair trial. The outcome was pre-ordained. Stalinist show trials had more drama and suspense.

Call me a wimpy liberal (I self identify as a monarchist with strong libertarian sympathies), but when we stop worrying about due process for the obviously guilty, who will stand up when the not so obviously guilty are getting railroaded? How will we know the difference? Blago is gone and good riddance to be sure. But I gotta admit that the way it was done has left a really bad taste in my mouth. All in all, this was not a great day for American justice. It was a rather depressing one.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Roman Catholic Who Gets It

From a discussion at the New Liturgical Movement:

"There are several other patriarchs out there who would love full communion with Rome, but out of reverence for Moscow have been awaiting for Moscow to lead. The process of dialogue and reunification has for a long time been held up by Moscow."

Roger, this is the line that much of the Catholic media likes to feed us, but unfortunately it isn't true.

I would like to point out that Patriarch Bartholomew, for all of his friendliness to Rome, has always insisted that we Catholics are heterodox. To this very day, many Greek Orthodox dioceses under Constantinople reject the validity of Catholic sacraments. And you can be sure that if ever Bartholomew were to proclaim reunion with Rome, the Athonites and most of his own bishops will rebel against him.

Same with the Patriarchate of Antioch, which, with Constantinople, is considered as the friendliest to Catholicism. When the Melkite Catholics tried to reunite with the Antiochene Orthodox in 1997 the Antiochenes made it clear that there will be no reconciliation unless the Melkites explicitly rejected all the ecumenical Councils not also recognized by the Orthodox Church.

When Daniel of Moldova was elected Romanian Orthodox Patriarch last year, he made clear that there will be no reunion with Rome. And he is almost as friendly to Catholics as Bartholomew.

The Church of Greece continues to be shot through with anti-Catholicism, and Jerusalem doesnt even recognize Catholic baptisms. As for the Slavic Orthodox -- Serbia, Bulgaria, Czech and Slovak Lands, Poland, OCA -- these follow the indications of Moscow.

Perhaps the most telling fact is that, when the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue appealed in 1999 to all the Orthodox Churches to recognize the validity of Catholic BAPTISMS, NOT A SINGLE Orthodox Church responded to the proposal. Not Constantinople, not Antioch, not Alexandria...

There is a saying that the Orthodox tend to overestimate the division between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, while we Catholics tend to underestimate it.



One could fairly quibble (though I do not) about this being a rather broad generalization, but here is a Roman Catholic who seems to grasp something that far too many of his coreligionists (and not a few Orthodox) do not. Yes there is some diversity of opinion in Orthodoxy on a few points. But this is a breath of fresh air compared to the kumbaya crowd who persistently attempt to minimize the differences between Orthodoxy and Rome and tend to get snarky with those of us who periodically attempt to inject some reality into these discussions.

I am very strongly in favor of improving relations with Rome. There are many obvious areas of mutual interest for both confessions. But as I have noted ad infinitum, I am more than a little skeptical about restoration of communion. I think we have grown too far apart for that to happen without, as Owen the Ochlophobist once observed, one or the other (Orthodoxy or the Roman Catholic Church) ceasing to be what it is.

I am going to leave the comments open but I would ask that comments on Carlos' post be left at the original discussion over at NLM (see the link above).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SSPX Silences Williamson

This is turning into a rather busy day for religious news. The latest shoe to drop in the ongoing SSPX saga fell today with the announcement that Bishop Fellay (the superior general of the SSPX) has ordered Bishop Williamson to refrain from any further comments on "historical and political" matters. He also pointedly apologized to the Pope for the embrassment his collegaue has caused. All well and good to be sure, but I can not help but note what was left unsaid. This statement did not condemn Williamson's odious opinions. Rather it condemnes the distraction and embarrsment they have created.

Rorate has the details.

MANY YEARS!!!

To His Holiness Kirill Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia elected today to succeed the newly departed Patriarch Alexeii who reposed suddenly in December. May God grant him many many years!

AXIOS AXIOS AXIOS!!!

Father Z on the SSPX

As most who keep track of these things will know the Pope lifted the excommunications of the four schismatic bishops of the Society of St. Pius X on Saturday. This has caused quite a stir for some of the reasons I mentioned in an earlier post. Now Fr. Z has a really good piece up on the subject which he dissects with his customary sharp insights. It addresses in detail some points I have alluded to before about the connection between Catholic Traditionalists and radical right politics. I strongly recommend it.

Election Day...

It's election day in Russia where the new Patriarch is expected to be elected sometime today. Results will be posted as soon as I get the word. Please keep the Russian Church in your prayers during this very important moment in their history.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Heard you were robbed... Can I bring you a pie?

CARLETON, Neb.
The man entered the intimate Citizens State Bank with a balaclava covering his face and sunglasses shading his eyes. His attire did not seem too out of place, given that workers at the nearby grain elevator are known to wear similar protection against the punishing cold of Nebraska in winter.

Here in Carleton, the standard greeting — “Keeping out of trouble?” — gleans a “Yep” or a “Nope,” both equally reassuring to its population of about 136. But this man stepped up to the counter, with its rack of candy canes and clear view of the silvery vault open in trust, and greeted the teller with: Give me your money.

The salutation received a classic Carleton response, something along the lines of: Are you serious?

The man answered by making sure she saw the pocket of his heavy Carhartt coat, bulging with his hand and maybe something else. Following bank protocol, which says no amount of money is worth a human life, she gave him the cash in her till, all the while taking quiet note of two physical traits. He had fat fingers and a fat nose.

He tucked the money into a zippered pouch and left without availing himself of either a candy cane or one of the complimentary yardsticks jutting from a bucket by the door. As soon as he left, the teller loudly called out words not common in Carleton: We’ve been robbed.

The bank’s president, Michael Van Cleef, came running out of his office, where he had been discussing a farmer’s financial situation with the bank’s loan officer. He looked out the window just in time to see the grimy getaway, in a maroon, dust-caked Grand Am with a spoiler on the back.

The event took all of 55 seconds.

Proper protocol continued. The bank locked down, and someone called 911. Within nine minutes the sheriff’s deputies arrived. Soon came the first of many calls of concern and support, a few of which, a smiling Mr. Van Cleef remembers, went like this: “Hear you’ve been robbed. Can I bring you over a pie?”

In this day of bank bailouts and subprime mortgage debacles, some of us might find Robin Hood charm in a Nebraska bank robbery. Some might whisper the lines to the old Woody Guthrie song romanticizing the violent bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd: “Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.”

But the Citizens State Bank in Carleton has no connection to any of those banking conglomerates with names like AmeriCitiComGroup. It is the only branch of a small, family-owned business that has six employees, three of whom are family and none of whom are accustomed to junkets. It has a few hundred customers and about $11 million in loans out.

Its one-story brick building, built as a bank more than 100 years ago, has remained a local fixture while most buildings in downtown Carleton, such as it is, are bricked up or closed up: the old Weddel’s grocery store; the old post office that partially caved in a few years ago; the old Little Café, where Thelma and Shirley sold fresh pies of apple and cherry.

Just outside the bank, a Cargill grain operation grinds away. Truckloads of soybeans and corn are weighed and dumped with a sound like a sigh into the mammoth grain elevators looming over the empty storefronts. Every few minutes, another long Union Pacific freight train loudly announces itself.

Inside the bank, Mr. Van Cleef, 46, is usually helping local farmers figure out how to finance the fertilizer, chemicals, machinery, fuel and irrigation needed to grow their crops, all while guessing what beans and corn will go for. There is no online banking here. It’s all face-to-face, how are you, Mike, see you later down at TJ’s for a burger.

Read the whole story here. And no I don't know if they accept out of state accounts. They don't have a web site.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Commemoration of the New Martyrs of Russia

Today is the commemoration of the Holy New Martyrs of Russia. Their exact numbers will likely never be known on this side of the veil, but most agree that one million in Russia alone is not an unreasonable figure. The last I read (it was a while ago) the number of those officially investigated and glorified by the Church as martyrs was already in the hundreds of thousands. The murderous regime of the Communists has given that country a new Holy Baptism, one of blood.

My new favorite Bible verse

Psalms 50:9
I will accept no bull from your house...

Hat tip to Bishop Benjamin (OCA Diocese of the West)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More SSPX News: Bishop Williamson opens mouth and inserts...



I remember Bishop Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X from my own days in the SSPX (mea culp mea culpa). Back then he was still Fr.Williamson. My impressions of him were that he was a remarkably well spoken gentleman, congenial with a very British dry wit, and a complete loon. Over the many years since I last saw him (it's probably been over 20 years now) he has continued to pop up in various news reports here and there. And almost without fail he continues to confirm my earlier impressions. Now he is at it again on the eve of the most dramatic step towards regularizing the SSPX that has thus far occurred (he has been deeply opposed to reconciliation with Rome).

In an interview with a European television crew (see above) he repeats his longstanding views that the Holocaust is mostly a myth and that there were no gas chambers. Of course Holocaust denial is one of the pet causes of radicals in the tin foil hat crowd. But it is also a bit more serious than that for a few reasons.

First is that this is a glimpse into the weird subculture of Trad Catholics. Not all by any means, but a large number of them are hard core right wingers. Anti-Semitism may not be an article of faith for the SSPX, but its pretty widespread among both the laity and the clergy. I could fill several pages with anecdotal experiences that send shivers down my spine just thinking about them. But it is sufficient to note that this has been so widely reported that it is not seriously contended except by the society's apologists.

Secondly it demonstrates the grave risks that must attend the lifting of the excommunications from a group that has in no way softened its opposition to the so called hermanuetic of continuity espoused by Pope Benedict. The SSPX is a group that has long seen itself as the last bastion of true Catholicism and their obstinate refusal to tow the Vatican's line has won them many supporters among the fringe. Most remain completely unreconciled to Vatican II and they are likely to see this as a de facto surrender by the Vatican as are many more moderate and liberal Catholics who will wonder what this says about Benedict's views on Vatican II.

And finally it will without doubt further damage the already frayed relations between Rome and the Jewish community who are almost certainly going to be alarmed by the readmission of a hardcore Holocaust denier like Williamson to communion with the Roman Catholic Church. And to be honest I won't blame them. There will be no way to interpret this as anything less than a huge slap in the face. I have been a big fan of B-XVI, but if he does this without first silencing Williamson he will be making a huge mistake that will seriously damage his reputation.

The question which this begs is, have Rome and the SSPX reached an agreement on the serious points of divisions? I have long feared that Pope Benedict, who felt keenly and personally the failure to prevent Archbishop Lefebvre's schism in 1988, would undertake a rush to reconciliation with the SSPX. No doubt reconciliation and the healing of schism is a much to be desired thing. But is this a true reconciliation or a modern false union of Florence?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A little bit of history

Yesterday apparently did not have enough historical firsts for an inauguration. So another one has been added. A short while ago in the Map Room of the White House President (we think) Obama took the oath of office... again. Only this time he and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court managed to get it right. Those who watched the event yesterday will recall that the highest ranking judge in the country (a renowned constitutional scholar) and the former editor of the Harvard Law Review could not seem to remember the words, or at least their correct order. The White House cited "an abundance of caution" in the decision to repeat the oath.

This is the first time a President has retaken the oath after a formal inauguration. Calvin Coolidge took the oath a second time following the death of Warren Harding (Coolidge was Vice-President) in 1923. His father, a public notary in Vermont, had given him the Oath by kerosene lamp after the news of the president's death reached them. Coolidge also cited an abundance of caution.

Immediately after the ceremony President (we are now certain) Obama told reporters that the bad news was there were now 12 more balls to go to.

SSPX Rumors

Several usually reputable sources are buzzing with the rumor that Pope Benedict XVI is preparing to lift the excommunications imposed on the four schismatic bishops of the Society of St. Pius X. Some are suggesting that the decree may have already been signed and its publication is imminent. Rorate has the details.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration in a time of crisis

With two wars and the worst economic crisis since the 1930's confronting the nation, Barack Obama will take the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States tomorrow. Of course it is not the fist time that a president has assumed office in a crisis. With that view in mind I thought I would post some rare newsreel footage of the last time a president took office in comparable circumstances.

For the president and all civil authorities and those serving in the armed forces, let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy!

March 4 1933

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quote of the day

"Four Episcopalians will easily represent at least five different religions."
- Crypto Papist
In response to this news report:
Four Episcopalians and three Jews lead the list of religious figures selected to give sermons, prayers, Scripture readings and blessings at the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral.

The invitation-only service Wednesday morning, to be attended by the new president and vice president plus members of Congress, the Supreme Court and hundreds of foreign diplomats, will be built around themes of "tolerance, unity and understanding," according to a press statement released Friday.

Several groups, including Buddhists, Seventh-day Adventists, the Salvation Army and Mormons, were left out entirely...

Hat tip to T-19

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A little levity

As some of you know from private correspondence it's been a challenging week for me in what is shaping up to be a tough month. A good laugh being always welcome after a rough week, I stumbled on this little clip below and laughed harder than I have in a long time. Is it just my imagination or were there really television shows once upon a time that were both classy and funny? Anyway without further introduction let's all step into the wayback machine and set the dial for 1953. It's time for everyone's favorite guessing game... "What's My Line?"

When Only the Pope Can Absolve

A fascinating article about a Vatican department I never knew existed.

ROME - One of the Vatican's most secrecy shrouded tribunals, which handles confessions of sins so grave only the pope can grant absolution, is giving the faithful a peek into its workings for the first time in its 830-year history.

The Vatican has long lamented that fewer and fewer Catholics are going to confession, the sacrament in which the faithful can receive forgiveness if they sincerely confess their sins to a priest.

To combat the decline, the so-called "tribunal of conscience" invited the public into the frescoed halls of its imposing 16th-century palazzo for a two-day conference that ended Wednesday.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thoughts on scandal mongering

If it is the end goal of Stokoe et al. to renovate the OCA, to make it in the image and likeness of a town hall meeting, and to deny her hierarchs the authority to lead, then what business does the Church have with them? Too long self-professed “experts” have made Orthodoxy an experiment and used the OCA as their laboratory. All the while the house of cards was collapsing. Now the OCA has real leadership and the malcontents can’t cease their invective.
Read the entire post.
Hat tip to Owen the Ochlophobist

On a personal note I think Mark Stokoe rendered an important service by sounding the alarm when the smoke of Satan was filling the Church. He and a few others bravely stood up and spoke truth to power at a time when it was urgently needed. However, I have long suspected that there was an element that was feeding off the endless scandal mongering and enjoying themselves and the attention they were getting.

It has been observed that some people who work in high pressure or dangerous jobs have difficulty adjusting when the time comes to move on to more normal pursuits. While I think having a voice that is independent of the church administration to provide balanced (and yes occasionally critical) reporting is not a bad thing, I wonder if this website is the right voice for that job. The most recent posts there give me serious pause and compel me to ask the question, have Mr. Stokoe and some of his followers become addicted to the thrill of fighting scandal?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Reflections on the current crisis in The Episcopal Church

Over at T-19 a frequently asked question has been posted in the form of an article. Should I stay or should I go? I wrote a reply there but on consideration I think this is not a bad time to repost my thoughts on the situation in TEC from back in 2006. A few of the details have changed but the fundamentals have not. I stand by the substance of the post below as strongly now (perhaps more so) as I did when I wrote it.

Some thoughts on losing a war...

One of the few programs on television I watch religiously is on the Sci Fi channel. It’s called Battlestar Galactica. This is a remake of the campy late 1970’s series of the same name. But while the older series was a cross between space opera and silly comedy the new series is incredibly gritty, well written and blessed with superb acting. It is also dark. When I say dark, I mean midnight black. The motto of this program could be “remember it’s always darkest just before it gets even more hopeless.” Most television programs tend to end on a happy note. If that’s what you’re looking for DO NOT watch this program. Allow me a small example from the pilot miniseries.

(WARNING!!! PLOT SPOILER AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO MAY WANT TO GO OUT AND RENT THE DVD)

The pilot is set in an unknown time and corner of the universe with humans living on twelve planets in a solar system called “The Colonies.” A long time ago we are told in the written prologue, they made a race of machines called Cylons to serve them. But the machines rebelled and there was a war that eventually ended in a draw. The Cylons left and had not been heard from in a generation. Meanwhile The Colonies are seen as an advanced society that is relatively democratic, peaceful and prosperous. Then the Cylons came back.

In the space of roughly 24 hours in their time (about 3 1/2 hrs on DVD) the twelve colonies are annihilated. I mean gone, as in wiped out. Genocide is an often overused term. This program shows what a real genocide might look like. The home worlds are obliterated in a massive surprise attack with nuclear weapons raining down on cities. The Colonial Fleet is also destroyed except for a lone ship called the Galactica, a sort of space age aircraft carrier/battleship.

The Galactica survives the initial massacre by a stroke of luck and retreats to the far corner of the solar system to rearm. While there a handful of civilian space ships arrive lead by the erstwhile Secretary of Education, now President of The Colonies, Laura Rosalyn with perhaps 50,000 survivors left from a civilization of probably tens of billions of people.

There she meets the commanding officer of the Galactica, Bill Adama who quickly makes it clear he has only one interest. He wants to get back into the fight as quickly as possible. A stunned President Rosalyn asks him if he is serious. To which Adama replies with his own question. “What do you suggest we do? Run?” And that’s when Rosalyn gives the money quote that is at the heart of my post.

“Yes. We run. I respectfully suggest it’s the only sane thing to do. We leave and we don’t come back. I am not sure if you realize this, but the war is over. And we lost.”

(SPOILER OVER… SAFE TO RESUME READING)

There are today in the Episcopal Church (TEC) 110 dioceses and a significant number of retired bishops. Of those perhaps a dozen are at least somewhat orthodox (small “o”). Five are in open resistance to their own church, with one (San Joaquin) contemplating secession from TEC. The rest are to varying degree heretics or even apostates. The number of orthodox Christians left in TEC is not known but it’s unlikely that they comprise more than 10% of the clergy in most dioceses. There are exceptions to be sure. But in the big picture they are an extreme and dwindling minority in a denomination which has elected an apostate as its presiding bishop. How many times have we all heard of the few clergy and laymen who courageously soldier on against all odds, dreaming of a restoration?

My question is at what point does one step back and say the cause is lost? The few bishops who have not become formal heretics in TEC must at some point retire or die. Do you think the people running the show will tolerate many more Bishop Schofields? They came very close to taking steps to remove him as Bp of San Joaquin, and may yet do so. How long can one remain in communion with heretical or apostate bishops knowing them to be such? Even if your own bishop is one of the few, he (and by extension you) is in communion with heretics. Leaving is painful. But fighting for a cause that is lost can be more painful. It can warp one’s faith and allow bitterness and anger to intrude itself into the soul. Better to accept this defeat and focus on where to go for spiritual nourishment. For the Protestant minded there is no shortage of denominations available. Pick one.

For the catholic minded, that is to say those seeking The Church and not a denomination there are logically two choices, Orthodoxy or Rome. But wherever you go one thing needs to be said plainly though with love and empathy for the pain of this fact. Staying in TEC is no longer a moral option for an orthodox Christian. There is no longer any reasonable hope of reversing the fortunes of this fight. To believe otherwise is to be willfully blind to the truth. “The war is over. And we lost.”

Matthew 10: 14-15
14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Rearranging the Furniture

Please bear with me as I am in the process of updating the blog and doing a little redecorating. I have streamlines the links in the sidebar and removed a few that had become dormant while adding a couple new sites. Please let me know if you encounter any dead links. As always comments and constructive suggestions are welcome. This may continue for a couple of days.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Memory Eternal: Richard John Neuhaus

Richard John Neuhaus 1936-2009

It is a sad day for our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church. Fr. Neuhaus was a well known theologian and convert to Rome from Lutheranism. He also underwent a long process of conversion from theological and political liberal to outspoken conservative. As the founder and editor of First Things we may assume that his legacy will live on for many yeas. Fr. Neuhaus reposed at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer.

Grant O Lord, thy servant Richard, blessed repose and make his memory to be eternal.

Memory Eternal! Memory Eternal! Memory Eternal!

Post Scriptum: I note that Owen the Ochlophobist has a short obit of his own and he has some interesting things to say. I would encourage a glance. There is some food for thought towards the end.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Merry Christmas...

to all those on the old calendar.

CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!



A glimpse of the Hierarchical Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity in the Cathedral of The Virgin Mary Joy of All Who Sorrow (ROCOR) in San Francisco earlier today.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Metropolitan Jonah's Speech

If you have not heard the remarks of Met. Jonah following his enthronement then run (don't walk) over to Fr. Joseph's Orthodixie and listen to his speech (about 14 mins). I agree with Fr. Joseph that this should be required viewing for all Orthodox Americans.

Please leave any comments on Fr. Joseph's website.