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Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions

Saint Sylvester I, pope and confessor
Seventh day in the Octave of the Nativity


One thing I need to do next year is get back into doing this. Since my surgery, I've been slacking off all year and that needs to change. So my resolution is to do at least one news post per day (and maybe skip weekends). We'll see.

Louis E. and I have been discussing the College of Cardinals in the previous post. Check it out if you have any thoughts on the subject. Chime in.

I suppose that's about it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Calendar

I once made this cool chart. It plotted the days of the week that Christmas could fall on and then the succeeding Sundays because I was interested in seeing if it was at all possible for there ever to be a Second Sunday of Christmas since the calendar jumps through so many hoops this time of year thanks to Epiphany's move to a Sunday. I carried it out for all seven days I think and came to the conclusion that it was impossible and that the Second Sunday of Christmas has been banished forever and ever (at least in the US).

In any case, I just thought of that. I was going to post on how today is the sixth day of the Octave of Christmas and how it strikes me as odd every year that it is the only day that is a feria, but that's not really interesting in and of itself.

I was going to wait until tomorrow to pronounce who I think is the most important player this last year, but we might as well cut to the chase:

Benedict XVI

Pretty obvious, huh? After all, he did issue the MP, he wrote an encyclical. Didn't he come out with Jesus of Nazareth too this year? Honorable mention goes to the good Archbiship Ranjith of CDW just because he's been at the fore in defending the Holy Father's work this year.

We all know what is the major story of the year (Summorum Pontificum), but what is important but largely overlooked, even at the time it was issued, is the Apostolic Letter in the form of a Motu Proprio with which Pope Benedict XVI reinstates the traditional norms for the majority required to elect the Supreme Pontiff. The two-thirds majority was something that came out of the history of the Church and as it stood, if John Paul II's reform had been in place at the time of his election, he probably wouldn't have been elected. Two-thirds requires consensus and Benedict XVI rightly restored the equilibrium of the papal election process. Of course, he added a few tweaks of this own, but they can be forgiven. Of course, it would be nice if the 'general acclamation' method was reinstated as well, but we will go on hoping all the same.

That about sums up the Year of Our Lord 2007. See you next year. Have a nice rest of the Octave and God bless.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

If only I had the patience...

I'd have a cool banner and posts with embedded video.

Of course, I hate video because most web videos are not closed captioned for the hearing impaired, namely me. :)

The 29th

As part of the class, we had to memorize the prologue, either for recitation or copying down. Middle English is hard.

Here bygynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury.

1 Whan that Aprille, with hise shoures soote,
2 The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
3 And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
4 Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
5 Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
6 Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
7 The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
8 Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
9 And smale foweles maken melodye,
10 That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
11 So priketh hem Nature in hir corages-
12 Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
13 And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
14 To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
15 And specially, from every shires ende
16 Of Engelond, to Caunturbury they wende,
17 The hooly blisful martir for the seke
18 That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.

For the edification of ye humble souls, here is a blog that deals with all things ecclesiastical in England. The journalist, good Mister Thompson, is reported to be resented by certain parties due to his journalistic efforts. Enjoy.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

The time of expectation draws now to an end as Christmas arrives and Christ increases with each passing (and longer) day.

As a little boy with a blanket reminded us:

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

As another little boy said, I say unto all of you:

God bless Us, Every One!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Alexy II is for Putin

From Interfax-Religion:

Moscow, December 13, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia supports First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's proposal to Vladimir Putin that he become prime minister upon the expiration of his presidential term, if Medvedev is elected president.

"If there is such a combination of a new president and Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], provided that he gives his consent, I think this would be a great blessing for Russia," Alexy said on NTV on Thursday.
[...]

"However, having known Vladimir Vladimirovich for years, I can acknowledge that ambition and pride have never prevailed in his activities," he said.

The patriarch praised "Vladimir Vladimirovich's selfless devotion to our homeland, his love for our homeland and huge efforts that he has made for the benefit of our homeland, its might, and its development for the good of our people."

It's such a simple word, so easy to say... tsar...

Although it would probably make a lot of Russians living outside the Motherland angry, especially the Romanov remnant, I would certainly before Putin being declared the tsar, if only because it would immediately clarify things. We all know he's going to manipulate things to stick around. Why not just go all the way and be done with it?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fidelity

From RORATE CAELI:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Castrillon is the first Cardinal deacon; hence, it is before him that the oath must be taken. No connection with ED [Ecclesia Dei].
14 December, 2007 13:47

That was posted in reply to a discussion at RORATE about news regarding the bishop-elect of Savona-Noli swearing "an oath of fidelity to the Church before the Vatican Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", in the hands of the Eminent Cardinal Dario Hoyos Castrillon [sic]." Some were of the opinion that it was motivated by the diocesan administrator's previous banning of the Mass of Blessed John XXIII.

The explanation itself is not news, but I found the mention of this tradition to be an interesting one. In fact, I think I will inaugurate a new label in honor of little snippets like this: traditions.

Monday, December 03, 2007

North vs. South

Interfax Religion:

Meanwhile, the Constantinople Patriarchate had interpreted canonical rulings to state that ‘it had an exclusive right to convene all-Orthodox sessions’, Fr. Vsevolod reminded. However, ‘mechanisms of inter-Orthodox consultations had not been functioning for several decades’, he underlined.

‘Those, who spoke of their exceptional right to call all-Orthodox sessions, have actually blocked this process when it came down to an attempt to clear up the rights of equally significant local Churches’, the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate said.

According to him, the developing crisis in inter-Orthodox relations which are currently in the degree of ‘a grave and chronicle decease fraught with lethal risk’ results in appearance of parallel dioceses ‘not only in diaspora, but also on the canonical territories of certain Churches’.

AsiaNews:

In this regards and referring to the decision by the Moscow Patriarchate to abandon the Ravenna working session, an Orthodox member of the joint commission on condition of anonymity spoke to AsiaNews about the problems that may be created by the Russians non participation. He explained that the Russian Church has entered a phase of post communist transition and that an internal battle for succession has begun. All external statements are subject to internal use to further different positions. In his view, there is a need for caution, and optimism, because no-one [within the Russian Orthodox Church] will dare go against the dynamics of history. Moreover the decision to withdraw from Ravenna was not shared by many Russian prelates.

The East fascinates me to no end. The Latin Church has its divisions, but in the end, there is the Pope and he is Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. If you accept it, then that's that and if you don't, you're out. In the East though, with its co-equal (for the most part) churches, this ongoing conflict between Moscow and Constantinople being fought on many fronts is interesting to watch as it plays out. You have agents of Constantinople in Ukraine doing what they can to help along an independent Kiev patriarchate. You have the Russians walking out of Ravenna and rumors of power struggles. With that kind of dynamic, the Latin Church's ongoing struggles over liturgy and a return to orthodoxy seem eminently solvable. After all, you're either with the Pope or you're against him.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's Advent

Little Lent and all that.

And it had an appropriate beginning of sorts as we had our first ice storm. It came down in pretty copious amounts as I found out when we took out the trash last night. A good inch of that hard, semi-frozen sleet/slush on the ground. I haven't looked to see if any of it has melted this morning, though the National Weather Service said it was supposed to climb back above freezing later last night.

While I was off doing other things, we've had new cardinals and an encyclical. Most of the first paragraph of "Spe salvi" is now quoted at the top of this blog. I am only through to 16 myself, so I still have a ways to go, but so far it has been fascinating. I need to pick up a physical copy to sit next to my copy of "Deus caritas est".

I don't think I've read it anywhere else, but it seems interesting in itself that both encyclicals of Benedict XVI have been signed and released in the same period of the year. Taking both together, it's sort of a reverse look at the liturgical year with "Spe salvi" leading us into Advent and our hope for the coming of our Savior and then "Deus caritas est" on Christmas itself telling us about who He is and what He has brought us.

You read it here first: encyclical #3 will have something to do with Pentecost.