I can’t believe I only just found out about this one. In a rare flash of insight and self-reflection, Msgr. Charles Pope wrote an article for the National Catholic Register about how the numbers for Latin Mass participation seem to have stagnated and how Latin Mass communities need to actively evangelize to increase their numbers and their clout.
It seems that a ceiling has been hit. The Traditional Latin Mass appeals to a certain niche group of Catholics, but the number in that group appears to have reached its maximum.
Some traditional Catholics I speak to say, “If only the archdiocese would promote us more,” or “If only the bishop would celebrate it at all or more frequently.” Perhaps, but many other niche groups in the archdiocese say the same thing about their particular interest.
At the end of the day, for any particular movement, prayer form, organization, or even liturgy, the job of promoting it must belong to those who love it most. Shepherds don’t have sheep; sheep have sheep.
And once again we are back to the fundamental point: numbers matter. Groups that seek respect, recognition, and promotion in the highest places need to remember that numbers do matter; it’s just the way life works. If we who love the Traditional Latin Mass want to be near the top of the bishop’s priority list, we’re going to have to be more than one-half of one percent of Catholics in the pews
You may be aware of the recent scandal in which Wheaton College, supposedly the “evangelical Harvard,” fired a black female professor (the only one on the entire campus) for stating that Christians and Muslims worship the same god:
This post is not about this incident, which has been discussed in great detail elsewhere. Rather, I’m going to write about whether Catholics and Protestants worship the same god.
There’s an old movie of the “so bad it’s good” variety called The Thing With Two Heads (1972) that could be interpreted as a bizarro world allegory about American race relations. In this film, a rich, racist white man is dying of cancer and demands to have his head transplanted onto a healthy body. The doctors oblige, but the only body available is that of a wrongfully accused black death row convict. Hilarity ensues, and we have the perfect analogy of race in America: a two heads on a single body, constantly beating itself up:
Of course, race in America is more than black and white, so maybe a better analogy might be a hydra with self-destructive tendencies. Nonetheless, the thing with two heads is a good way of thinking of race in the South, which is still largely a black and white affair.
Well, it’s time for MLK Day again, and our friends at the League of the South (known as LoSers on this blog) what to know why we can’t go back to the “good old days” when this weekend was used to commemorate Robert E. Lee’s birthday:
If you celebrate Martin Luther (Michael) King, Jr. Day instead of Lee-Jackson Day, then you are a moral idiot. King was a philanderer, a plagiarist, and a Communist sympathizer (if not an outright Communist). Both Lee and Jackson were both fine, upstanding examples of Christian manhood.
There are a lot of things I could say about this passage, but I’ll leave it to Frederick Douglass to explain, as he had a very intimate knowledge of the behavior of these paragons of “Christian manhood”:
In 1848, a wave of democratic revolutions swept across more than fifty nations in Europe and parts of Latin America. Ideas such as nationalism, socialism, and liberalism, as well as growing labor militancy meant that the status quo of royal absolutism was no longer tenable for many Europeans who were restless for social and political change. To make a long story short, the revolutions failed for the most part, leading to the re-entrenchment of reactionary politics across Europe. However, the desire for a definitive end to feudalism and the establishment of liberal democratic nation-states did not end with the defeat of the revolutions of 1848, although it would be almost a century before this dream was realized for most of Western Europe. During this interim period, the Continent experienced numerous uprisings and skirmishes, two world wars, a detour into fascism, the Holocaust, and the largest refugee crisis in human history. The nations of Eastern Europe that had fallen behind the Iron Curtain would have to wait longer for their liberal democratic moment, although it is still very much up for debate whether the post-Soviet period has yielded real liberal democracy for the former Warsaw pact countries.
Today, I read a book review of a monograph entitled The English and their History by Robert Tombs that was written by Peter Hitchens, the Tory brother of the late Christopher:
I have no opinion on the book in question, which I have not read yet. What peaked my interest was Hitchens’ dismal impression of modern England, which he seems to believe is little better than the Soviet Union, circa 1990.
I often link to various reports done by the Pew Research Center about religion, because it’s a good place to get statistics about the state of belief in the United States and across the world. Yet, the questions that tend to be asked in the Pew studies tend to be those that are easily quantifiable or have easy yes/no answers: how often do you attend religious services, do you approve of same-sex marriage, how often do you read the Bible, etc. As useful as these questions can be in assessing the role religion plays in modern life, they don’t give us much of a picture as to how religion actually functions in most people’s lives.