Monday, December 31, 2018

The Rodney Dangerfield of Presidents

President William H. Taft

Western Union Telegram from the Secretary of War to President Taft April 7, 1911...

"Heard you went riding yesterday. stop. How is the horse? stop - Jacob Dickinson"

By odd coincidence, President Taft replaced his War Secretary a few weeks later.

The Psalms and Our Salvation with Father Patrick Reardon

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ukraine plans to seize 8 monasteries from the UOC and transfer them to Constantinople

President Petro Poroshenko has yet to publish the agreement on cooperation that he signed with Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople on November 3, despite the fact that he was required to do so by Ukrainian law more than a month ago already.

Parliamentary Deputies and media representatives have repeatedly called on Poroshenko to publish the agreement.

However, the Ukrainian site Vesti has learned that an addendum to the cooperation includes a list of Ukrainian churches and monasteries that Poroshenko pledged to transfer to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The list includes 12 properties altogether, 8 of which are monasteries of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the primacy of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, which has repeatedly protested Constantinople’s reckless and prideful interference in its own internal affairs.

The official site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has also ran the story.

According to Vesti’s source, the issue of the transfer is under the control of the presidential adviser Rostislav Pavlenko, who “edits the list taking into account the interests and desires of Bartholomew and his Exarchs. To clarify the situation and find out who is hesitating---Andrei Yurash, the head of the Department of Religions and Nationalities of the the Ministry of Culture, was sent to the western provinces.”

The 12 properties to be transferred (in addition to St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Kiev, which was already transferred by resolution of the Verkovna Rada) are:

Read the rest here.

Another tradition down the tubes

The Navy is abolishing the age old punishment of confinement on bread and water. I knew a few guys who got tossed in the brig on B&W for three days. None of them had any complaints. They had in fact screwed up, and the normal alternative would have been getting busted down a grade, fined a half months pay x 2 months (that's at their new pay grade) and restricted to the ship with extra duty for anywhere up to two months.


Reports: Pope Francis to abolish office overseeing Latin Mass

Rorate Caeli has the story.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christ is born!

Wishing all who celebrate the Nativity today, a blessed feast. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Facebook Allowed Netflix, Other Buisneses to See Your Private Messages

For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.

The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times. The records, generated in 2017 by the company’s internal system for tracking partnerships, provide the most complete picture yet of the social network’s data-sharing practices. They also underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.

The exchange was intended to benefit everyone. Pushing for explosive growth, Facebook got more users, lifting its advertising revenue. Partner companies acquired features to make their products more attractive. Facebook users connected with friends across different devices and websites. But Facebook also assumed extraordinary power over the personal information of its 2.2 billion users — control it has wielded with little transparency or outside oversight.

Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

This is outrageous

Rod Dreher has the story. Not only should she be entitled to her job back, she should get back pay, compensation for her legal expenses and punitive damages from the state.

HT: Dr. Tighe

Monday, December 17, 2018

Lincoln is bringing back "suicide" doors

2019 Lincoln Continental

I can't remember the last time I saw a car with rear hinged doors. Now I'm just waiting for the return of running boards and hood ornaments.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Two pieces worth a read

The Special Bishop of Caesar:

While criticism of the close relationship between the Russian Church and state is (with good justification!) common, less attention is paid to the fact that the Patriarchate of Constantinople exists and claims primacy solely due to its relationship with now-extinct civil authorities. But it is only this history that can explain much of Constantinople’s modern-day behavior. There is, to put it bluntly, an emperor-shaped (or, more accurately, a sultan-shaped) hole in Constantinople’s heart that forces Ecumenical Patriarchs to court the support of the most unexpected worldly powers, from Harry Truman in Athenagoras’ day to Petro Poroshenko today. Writing in 1911, the English Roman Catholic scholar Adrian Fortescue sketched the pathos of Constantinople’s role as ‘the special bishop of Caesar’ with equal erudition and acerbity:

Read the rest here.

Roger Scruton: The Fury of the Modernists

It's not what you think it's about. But it's good, as is almost everything I have read by Sir Roger.

Read it here.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position

One of the Vatican’s top legal minds has opened the way for a revision of the Catholic position on Anglican orders by stressing they should not be written off as “invalid.”  
In a recently published book, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, calls into question Pope Leo XIII’s 1896 papal bull that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void.”

“When someone is ordained in the Anglican Church and becomes a parish priest in a community, we cannot say that nothing has happened, that everything is ‘invalid’,” the cardinal says in volume of papers and discussions that took place in Rome as part of the “Malines Conversations,” an ecumenical forum. 

“This about the life of a person and what he has given …these things are so very relevant!” 

For decades Leo XIII’s remarks have proved to be one of the major stumbling blocks in Catholic-Anglican unity efforts, as it seemed to offer very little room for interpretation or revision. 

But the cardinal, whose department is charged with interpreting and revising Church laws, argued the Church today has a  “a very rigid understanding of validity and invalidity” which could be revised on the Anglican ordination question. 

“The question of validity [regarding the non-recognition of Anglican orders, while the Pope would give pectoral crosses, rings or chalices to Anglican clergy], however, is not a matter of law but of doctrine,” he explains in a question and answer format. “We have had, and we still have a very rigid understanding of validity and invalidity: this is valid, and that is not valid. One should be able to say: ‘this is valid in a certain context, and that is valid another context’.”

Read the rest here

Ummm... sorry. They are invalid and we (Orthodox) need to cease accepting their baptisms. The CofE and their North American constituencies are simply pagan. That Rome does not seem to grasp this is alarming further evidence of the crisis in their own communion.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

California Moves to Tax Text Messages

California: WTF!
Texas: Sux 2 b u


I am so glad to be out of that left wing lunatic asylum masquerading as a state.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

[Retracted] Former Exarchate of Western Europe for Parishes of the Russian Tradition, Recently Abolished by Constantinople, to Request Reception by Moscow

[Note: The below linked story has been retracted by the publisher. The letter on which the story was based has been exposed as a deliberate fraud, likely created by an agent provocateur intending to sow discord in an already severely strained situation. See the links in the comment thread for more details. -A/O]

The Archdiocese of the Russian Churches in Western Europe, officially the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe, reportedly intends to ask to be accepted into the Russian Orthodox Church. 

The Archdiocese had been a part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople for decades, though it was suddenly abolished without warning by the Holy Synod of the Constantinople on November 27. The Patriarchate then officially announced that it had revoked the 1999 tomos that gave the care of the Archdiocese to its own Archbishop-Exarch and that the Russian parishes were to be integrated into the dioceses of the Patriarchate of Constantinople already present in their countries. The Archdiocese then announced that it would hold a clergy meeting on December 15 that would set a date for a General Assembly that would formulate a response to Constantinople. 

And today, a Russian translation of a letter sent from the Archdiocesan hierarch Archbishop John (Renneteau) of Chariopoulis to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, received by the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations, has been published on Credo Press, revealing that the Archdiocese intends to petition for canonical recognition by the Russian Orthodox Church. 

Read the rest here.

Instant Karma

So I'm driving along Rt 41 this morning, a two lane highway in each direction. I'm in the right lane northbound doing maybe five over the posted speed limit and another car is pacing me in the left lane. Not a big issue until some guy comes flying up from behind and seeing the left lane blocked, he gets behind me in the right lane.

And when I say behind, I mean the distance separating the pupils on a cross eyed flea.

This is annoying but when he starts flashing his lights and laying on the horn, my temperature starts rising. This goes on for a minute or two and I am just about to tap the breaks to make my irritation with his behavior clear when the guy on my left (coincidentally the passing lane) turns off. At which point the jerk behind me does a fly by while giving me a very rude hand signal.

This is a Christian blog so we will just pretend that there is a loud continuous bleeping sound for the next thirty seconds representing what I was shouting at this obnoxious clown.

Anyways the obnoxious clown is out of sight in less than a minute. He had to be doing upwards of 80 mph.

And then, maybe three or four minutes later, there came the clear evidence of a justly outraged deity. Ahead in the distance I saw the unmistakable flashing blue lights of the Florida State Police. Even before I could get close enough to see who was pulled over, I just knew it was him.

I smiled and waved as I slowly passed by.

Absolutely nothing is going to ruin the remainder of my day.

More Anglican Apostasy

The CofE is planning a sacrilegious parody of baptism for the benefit of the alphabet crowd. Rod Dreher has some good commentary on the subject. The money lines being...

Serious, non-trolling question to traditionalist Anglican readers: how do you stand it? Is there anything that would make you leave? If not, then seriously, what specific practices (if any) do you embrace to allow you to endure this kind of breakdown in the institution? What is the argument for remaining (or remaining in communion with Canterbury as it descends into madness)?

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Happy Birthday

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
(B. December 11, 1918)

Friday, December 07, 2018

Report: Constantinople plans to keep Ukrainian Church under its jurisdiction

Kiev, December 5, Interfax - The statute regarding Ukraine's "unified local church" drawn up by the Constantinople Patriarchate does not actually provide for this church's autocephaly, contrary to Kiev's expectations, the online Ukrainian publication Vesti reported on Tuesday.

According to Vesti, some key provisions of this statute show that there is no reason to expect the autocephaly (independence) of the new church; it will be fully subordinate to Constantinople as a metropolitanate.

One of the key provisions of the statute stipulates that the Ukrainian church will be inseparably linked to the Constantinople Patriarchate and, through it, to all other Churches. This is essentially the current status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is linked to the Orthodox world via the Russian Orthodox Church.

The draft statute says that the Orthodox church in Ukraine will be led by a metropolitan, not a patriarch, Vesti reported.

The Ukrainian church's assembly of bishops would be required to consult the Constantinople Patriarchate on all important matters; the latter would share whatever it saw as essential with the assembly and would not be required explain its decisions, according to Vesti.

What is more, the Ukrainian church would receive chrism used during sacraments only from Constantinople, which is regarded as one of the main indicators of the absence of real autocephaly, it said.

The "unified local church" would also be unable to canonize saints on its own, but would have to submit their names to Constantinople for endorsement.

The draft statute also stipulates that the Constantinople Patriarchate would act as the top appellate institution.

It was reported earlier that the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate had approved a draft statute for a nascent church independent of Moscow at the Synod's meeting on November 27-29.


If this is true (and that is a big "if")... the EP appears to be planning to annex the Ukrainian Church and turn it into a Greek religious colony. Wow. Just wow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Memory Eternal

G H W Bush was an imperfect man who made his share of mistakes. But he was all class and one of the last of the old school (and old money) aristocrats with a strong sense of noblesse oblige. Whatever one may think of his presidency, on balance I think it was pretty good, it's hard to fault the man's character.

In the end I think his last great act of public service was dying when he did. In an era where our politics have become toxic, our president profoundly narcissistic, venal and morally corrupt, Mr. Bush reminds us that selfless public service, honor and common decency are not incompatible. He leaves us with a glimpse of what once was, and can be again.

Far from the despondency expressed by many pundits who saw this as a funeral for all that was good in the Republic, I was left cautiously hopeful. I refuse to believe that Mr. Bush represents the last gasp of a dead world. Rather I see something that we can aspire to. The trick is to look not for demagogues who will tell us whatever they think we want to hear, but rather men of honor and character who will tell us what we need to hear. Men who seek the greater good, standing for something more than self and without trying to enrich themselves and their relations in the process.

To be clear, I am not trying to canonize President Bush. But in a world temporarily disordered by the ascendancy of lesser men, one cannot help but note the contrast and hope that in due course this too will pass.