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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Retrospective

This is going to be simple.

First, yesterday I received in the mail an envelope with a return address from the nunciature in DC. It contained a nice letter from a monsignor relaying the Holy Father's blessings and wishes for Christmas and a laminated holy card with a picture of the Nativity on one side and some printed-on handwriting in Latin that I couldn't quite make out along with the Pope's signature. A very nice and unexpected return for sending the Pope a Christmas card a few weeks ago.

Second, I can't think of anyone who really stood out this last year more than normal. Our greatest expectations though are for Cardinal Canizares Llovera. 2009 could be a big year at CDW what with a new prefect who is of a mind with the Holy Father and the upcoming clarification letter that could lead to greater authority for CDW to in dealing with recalcitrance to the 1962 Missal as well as solving problems with the calendar that are growing more and more acute.

All in God's good time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The O Antiphons

Father Z's examination of them, always an interesting read each year.

We'll be back for a year-end look soon. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

End Times?

According to the Times of London, the Holy Father doesn't think so.

Besides a lot of the usual from St. Paul, the Pope had this to say:

Pope Benedict commented that "already at that time, the Church, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, increasingly understood that the 'closeness' of God is not a question of space and time, but a question of love: love draws near!" He said Christmas was coming "to remind us of this fundamental truth of our faith, and in front of the Nativity scene we can taste Christian joy, contemplating in the newborn Jesus the face of God, who out of love drew close to us."
[...]


Last year the Pope dismissed recurring "Messianical" predictions of the imminent end the world, saying "history is ongoing, and involves human tragedies and natural calamities." He added, echoing Pope John Paul II, his predecessor, "Do not be afraid".

Arrogance in Action

From Telegraph.co.uk:

Holland scrapping liberal policies on drugs and brothels to clean up image

The Dutch are rethinking their famously liberal polices on legalised brothels, prostitution and soft drugs, such as magic mushrooms and cannabis, amid fears of growing crime and social decline.

This little quote stood out:

"The country is turning more conservative," said historian and author Han van den Horst. "There is a move away from sex, drugs and rock'n'roll towards some pretty bourgeois values."

'Conservative' equals 'bourgeois.' Right, got it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Few Things

Please pray for the soul of my father's uncle, Robert, who passed away and whose funeral Mass is tomorrow morning.

Father Z has a breakdown on the appointment of Cardinal Canizares Llovera and his history with the Holy Father. The quotation from another source also includes a look at upcoming retirements in the Curia.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Patriarch Alexy II Dead

Hat tip to NLM.

AsiaNews:

Moscow (AsiaNews) – The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Aleksij II, has died at the age of 79. The Patriarchate did not give a reason for his death but he had been sick for some time.

Aleksij became Patriarch of all Russia in 1990, the first head of the Church elected without the influence of the Russian government.

He was credited with helping restore the freedom and moral authority of the Russian Orthodox Church after decades of repression under communism, but many priests who had been arrested and sent to the gulag accused him of being a spy for the Soviet secret police (KGB).

He was seen as a supporter of Putin’s New Russia.

In relation to the Catholic Church he always refused to meet Pope John Paul II, pointing the finger at alleged “proselytising” by Russian Catholics.

Catholic-Orthodox ecumenism was substantially held back under his leadership.

Bolding mine. I'm not finding anything in English about how the new patriarch will be elected, but I'll keep looking. The question is if Alexy's successor will be a bit more accommodating or if he'll remain as firm in the Russian Orthodox Church's position as Alexy was vis a vis the Catholic Church. Time will tell, obviously.

RIP

Edit: Just a general search of 'Patriarch Alexy' here for your convenience.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In the Mail

Today I had therapy. I had to leave early to get to an eye appointment that went smoothly with a new doctor (my old ones were a husband and wife that have relocated).

I came home and checked the mail and found a Christmas card from a friend and a pair of letters from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. If you follow Father Z, you may remember them as the nuns who arrived to help clean the old cathedral in Kansas City. After reading about them there and checking out their nice website, I donated a small sum and signed up for their online newsletter.

So today in the first, big envelope was the sisters' new CD with chant, polyphony and other things. I'm sure everything on it sounds great, but I will put it away with my other unopened CDs that I've received. In the other letter was a copy of their print newsletter and a form letter from their prioress thanking me for my support.

If you have an extra funds this Advent and Christmas, send a few dollars their way.

New Blog

Monstrous Regiment of Women
-Twentysomething mother of two.
-Via Father Finigan.

The first post is still on the main page, so it is quite new. Go have a look.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Reality or Doom and Gloom?

China’s six-to-one advantage over the US
By Spengler

America outspends China on defense by a margin of more than six to one, the Pentagon estimates. [1] In another strategic dimension, though, China already holds a six-to-one advantage over the United States. Thirty-six million Chinese children study piano today, compared to only 6 million in the United States.[2] The numbers understate the difference, for musical study in China is more demanding.

It must be a conspiracy. Chinese parents are selling plasma-screen TVs to America, and saving their wages to buy their kids pianos - making American kids stupider and Chinese kids smarter. Watch out, Americans - a generation from now, your kid is going to fetch coffee for a Chinese boss. That is a bit of an exaggeration, of course - some of the bosses will be Indian. Americans really, really don’t have a clue what is coming down the pike. The present shift in intellectual capital in favor of the East has no precedent in world history.

The article goes on, but its basic point is set out in these introductory paragraphs. Spengler spends some time on the proper interpretation of Mozart and his irony and how the Chinese get it and the US and Western Europe doesn't.

My only comment is this: Spengler asserts that thirty-six million Chinese children are learning an instrument while only six million US children are doing the same. But it's important to remember that China's population is at least five times larger than that of the United States and probably more. If you multiply the US population five times to be closer to China's and then look at the comparison of children learning an instrument, it's not quite so dire.

But read all of the article and reach your own conclusions.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I would like to buy an Advent wreath. I am going to try my local Catholic book/knick knack store. We'll see what happens.