Sunday, September 30, 2012

Catholic Register Editor post Anti-trad article on Facebook

Hello Everyone, 

Wow I actually have the motivation to blog on something! Skimming my blogposts for the usual morning read, I found a new entry by a blogger Vox Cantoris on an editor of the Catholic Register, a diocesan newspaper for the Archdiocese of Toronto. It seems like a case of hypocrisy or being two-faced. I decided to look at this and I'll give a take on it. 

So first, what is the inflammatory posting that started this whole mess? It comes from Michael Swan's Facebook page. He made it public so anyone can view this for now (till he chooses to delete his posting if he wants to cover his tracks). Here's the post:

The item of interest is the Friday posting with the NCR article on Veiling
The text in the posting is as follows: "It's not surprising that traditional Catholics who prefer their nuns in habits and priests in cassocks would want to get in on the dress-up fun. And I understand the power of a nonverbal message sent through clothing. It's why police officers wear uniforms, gang members wear colors and Packer fans wear cheeseheads."

Since there's an NCR article attached, I must see the context of his post. Turns out that this is a paragraph from the NCR article here: The "wonderful" author of the article has lovely gems on the practice of veiling like this:

"... But some of these enthusiastic would-be veil wearers don't seem to see the contradiction in "getting up the courage" to wear a veil as an in-your-face expression of submission and humility. A few even noted how great a veil is for "blocking out distractions" at Mass, as if fellow worshipers are an annoyance during private me-and-God time ....``

``.... Even wedding veils, part of the princess bridal attire that many American girls dream of, have their roots in patriarchy. In an arranged marriage, a husband unveiled his wife to symbolize his taking possession of his wife (from her father), and the veil became a symbol of virginity and purity, as well as submission to her new spouse ....``

``.... Unfortunately, most traditionalists calling for a return to veil wearing believe in complementarity, that women and men's differences complement one another. This justifies separate roles, usually men as leaders and women as followers, thus the emphasis on submission, humility and modesty as virtues for women.``

So, after a full read of the original article, I can only conclude that the author takes a very pessimistic and feminist slant towards veiling, and even mocks valid and POSITIVE reasons for veiling. And not everybody on that site that is commenting is in agreement with her. In fact they are fighting back at the liberalism of that paper. If you read Fr. Z`s blog, you`ll know the NCReporter is also called `the fishwrap` as it stinks with liberal heterodoxy with known liberals on staff as John Allen Jr. and Sr. Joan Chittister (a pantsuit nun) that has been covered extensively by Fr. Z. 

So having sought the original source, I turn my attention to the first to bark on the bandwagon, TH2. While I have left a positive comment on that article as a nice "silver lining," I cannot advocate this blogger as I find him critical to the point of being a nusiance, even for this young Trad. To me, constantly reading TH2's posts will put one in a spirit of anti-charity and a hate of all things Vatican II. I used to be like that and I don't want to go back there. Also I dislike his literary style of his posts, it comes off like a tabloid rag vs. well informed analysis, e.g. Fr. Zuhlsdorf. 

What is most useful in analysis is this paragraph: ".... What is the purpose of doing that - especially that particular quotation - except to send a message of his dislike for the return to reverent liturgy and its concomitants? Why share a link to an article, minus a qualifier, where we find phrases like "veiled patriarchy""get in on the dress-up fun", "enthusiastic would-be veil wearers""an in-your-face expression of submission", unless he agrees. That's fine, and he's certainly free to post whatever preference on FB. Contrarily, I see mantillas at Mass as a most excellent thing. It confers that distinctive Catholic dignity and mystery to a woman. Also, it is symbolic of that extra and special amount of privacy which is the natural right of a woman...." 

TH2 does have a point. If you didn't support that position, or you are trying to uphold a "standard" of sorts, you don't be a hypocrite and post this stuff for anyone and everyone to see. At the very least if Michael Swan wants to lead a "double life", then he should keep his Facebook Private and only his liberal friends will see his stuff online, but at least professionally he can have some sort of decorum and uphold the standards of his Diocesan newspaper. Now, if Michael Swan does not care and it doesn't matter to him what he posts in the paper, than well at least he's being honest about his Church political stance.

Then I look to Vox's posting to see his commentary. He's actually got it right in this occasion. This is the simplest way to say what should be done in this matter:
"I am not going to debate here the merits of a woman veiling. It was up until the new Code of Canon Law necessary, it is now not required. However, should a woman veil herself that is her choice and it is not my business, nor is it Mr. Swan's business to insult any woman for doing so. How you or I express our piety and spirituality within the context of our faith is between the individual and our loving God."

Why do I agree when clearly he isn't the nicest kid on the block in the Catholic Blogosphere (with obvious enemies?) Well here's why: (1) He states the Church's written documentation on it, or rather the change in the Church's laws on this matter. It's always necessary with Church matters to reference the official documents of the Magisterium and Church Law on any matter first. (2) Exactly as said, it is a woman's choice to veil now that it is not mandated by Church law. And it is not right for anyone, clergy or layman, to mock another's validly acceptable and not canonically or liturgically banned practices. To do so is just as harmful as a traditional Catholic calling a Charismatic Catholic a heretic because they approach prayer differently. I am not endorsing Charismatic Catholicism, but hey it is validly accepted in the Church and has not been condemmned by any Pontifical council or the Popes yet, so fine, let it be. My take: If it isn't banned by the Catechism, Canon Law, the Magisterium or the Popes, it's ok to do, though valid enlightened discussion for or against the practice should be allowed. It's a "t"radition, not TRADITION. And if it`s that freaky, only a small subset of the population will love it, most will avoid or hate it. (3) There are bigger things to threaten clergy and laypeople who don't tow the line about, like that pedophile  that Vox was talking about in Ottawa`s St. Joseph who has magically disappeared from their registry. 

Now, look, if you want to write a letter like Vox did, be my guest. However this is not worth my time, in my opinion, to harp over. In addition, Swan posted the article in line with his liberal stance on his personal Facebook page, where Facebook is a public domain. If he did that in the Register, that's a different kettle of fish that possibly Cardinal Collins could step into mediate and readers can blast his ass on. 

My summary two cents: Michael Swan shouldn't be a hypocrite. Either he goes out guns ablazing and makes his stance known in the Register, or he should keep his personal sentiments that are offensive to others of the Catholic community to himself on his Facebook page IN PRIVATE STATUS NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEWING, and be professional as editor in chief of the Catholic Register. In fact, some people have two Facebook profiles attached to their account: One that acts like a professional resume/portfolio/business card etc. that is public and for managers to see as the new trend is for management to scan potential job applicants' social networks; the second is their personal one for friends and family and contains more of their "racier" or "private" photos, videos, posts, etc. Perhaps he should do the same. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quickpost: One of Fr. Z.'s best rants ever, and rightfully deserved.

Hi All.

Just haven't had the motivation or drive to do bigger posts on this blog for a while now. Might re-visit one I started on a week off I had, but not sure if I will.

In the meantime, Fr. Z lays this nugget in this post about the stupid post-Vatican II changes to Holy Days of Obligation. Post is here:

"Paul VI blew it when he changed the obligations for doing penance and abstaining on Fridays.    Sorry, that was a bad move.  Does anyone do penance now? FAIL. Our bishops blew it big time by intermittently repressing Holy Days of Obligation.   Now people don’t go to Mass when the obligation is not repressed.  They got the message: going to Mass isn’t very important after all.  FAIL.  Shortening the Eucharistic Fast to an hour before Communion? Another brilliant outcome, do you think?  Do people now pay attention to fasting at all?  Do they have a sense of participation in the Eucharist as involving sacrifice?  We creatures of body and soul need preparation that is both physical and spiritual, fasting and being in the state of grace. Is there any concept of mortification as salutary among the people of God?  Do lots of people really give deep consideration to what they do when receiving Communion?
Cf. 1 Corinthians 11:27. FAIL."
GO FR. Z! Nuff Said
Also, the commenter in the beginning of the post recommends an attendance sheet or stamp card for attendance. I've seen on the net/blogosphere this as a suggestion for the odd Confirmation/1st communion program. Personally, I'm all for it. However the card must be stamped, with two different stamps/colors, one for the beginning of the Mass up to 5 minutes before the Liturgy, and then another one post liturgy. Yes it won't prevent people who falsify emergencies or "bathroom" visits, but it would get people to stick around. As for who would do it? get more people to become ushers. 
While were at it, I think also that the Church could really help their money problems AND help ensure people do their obligations by doing what many Jewish synagogues do: Charge people for tickets on the high holidays. You don't have a regular membership/obligation? You pay for being a C & E Catholic. 
Now I don't know if one gets their high holiday tickets paid for if you are a regular Saturday-going member of a synagogue, but for the Catholic church I'd throw in the High holiday tickets for free with regular attendance (measured by an at least once a month to weekly donation in the envelopes, or a stamp card if you don't like to donate.). Also the front-most rows should be stauchened or blocked off, and only those with the front row tickets (a.k.a. regular attendees and/or regular weekly donations) allowed to have those seats with an Usher on each side to watch. Any disruptions, police get called or security to haul your all out.  Everyone else is first come first serve with tickets, but tickets must be bought regardless whether you get a seat or not. One final note, if all this enforcement were to take place, any people involved should receive some form of compensation for the sake of people who are just piss-pots. 
Sigh, no one will have the guts to do this though.