Monday, January 31, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
"What was that name again?"
"Edgar Allen Poe."
"There is no such author listed in our files."
"Will you please check?"
She checked. "Oh, yes. There's a red mark on the file card. He was one of the authors in the Great Burning of 2265."
"How ignorant of me."
"That's all right," she said. "Have you heard much of him?"
"He had some interesting barbarian ideas on death," said Lantry.
"Horrible ones," she said, wrinkling her nose. "Ghastly."
"Yes. Ghastly. Abominable, in fact. Good thing he was burned. Unclean. By the way, do you have any of Lovecraft?"
"Is that a sex book?"
"They have little insignias, these coins they pass among each other, which are crusader coins," he continued. "They have insignia that reflect the whole notion that this is a culture war. … Right now, there’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of anti-Muslim feeling in the military community.”"
Nothing in my many years of reading about the Middle Ages had led me to suspect that the pope in the year 1000 was the leading mathematician and astronomer of his day.
Nor was his science just a sidelight. According to a chronicler who knew him, he rose from humble beginnings to the highest office in the Christian Church “on account of his scientific knowledge.”
To my mind, scientific knowledge and medieval Christianity had nothing in common. I was wrong.
... was the first Christian known to teach math using the nine Arabic numerals and zero. He devised an abacus, or counting board, that mimics the algorithms we use today for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. ...
Like a modern scientist, Gerbert questioned authority. He experimented. To learn which of two rules best calculated the area of an equilateral triangle, he cut out square inches of parchment and measured the triangle with them. To learn why organ pipes do not behave acoustically like strings, he built models and devised an equation. ...
Gerbert made sighting tubes to observe the stars and constructed globes on which their positions were recorded relative to lines of celestial longitude and latitude. He (or more likely his best student) wrote a book on the astrolabe, an instrument for telling time and making measurements by the sun or stars. You could even use it to calculate the circumference of the earth, which Gerbert and his peers knew very well was not flat like a disc but round as an apple.
Pope Sergius IV, who had been Gerbert’s papal librarian, wrote his epitaph [posted at St. John Lateran]. It reads, in part: “The emperor, Otto III, to whom he was always faithful and devoted, loved him greatly and offered him this church of Rome. They illuminated their time, emperor and pope, by the brilliance of their wisdom. The century rejoiced.” Upon Gerbert’s death, Sergius said, “the world was darkened and peace disappeared.”
How prophetic those words, written in 1009, now sound. Less than a hundred years later, a pope would launch the first Crusade, and The Scientist Pope would be branded a sorcerer and devil-worshipper for having taught the science that had come into Christian Europe from Islamic Spain.
"The world was darkened." That says a lot, dunnit? One of the great scientists of the tenth century was branded as a sorcerer in the 11th -- and, by the way, the brand stuck; only recently has Sylvester's reputation begun to recover.
In the same way, we have sometimes observed, the Renaissance gets a free pass. Witch-hunting, for example, was not (as some people still imagine) a product of the early medieval era; it began slowly in the 1300s and reached its fever pitch during the 16th and 17th centuries. That is to say, during the Reformation, and among Protestants as much as Papists.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
[T[here is no theology here.... They talk a blue streak without the slightest substantive foundation and with no evidence of any criteria.
[Broadway Pres] will one day be a center of resistance when Riverside Church has long since become a temple of Baal.
“No thinking in the light of the Bible here,” he wrote in his diary during his second visit to Union.
Like any good Lutheran, Bonhoeffer believed that states were necessary to secure conditions of social order. ...... Bonhoeffer’s religious convictions left no place for pluralism. He was anything but a believer in the separation of church and state, or in the need for the state to be neutral between religions, let alone between religion and non-religion. The church should be allied with the state — but it had to be the right church and the right state.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I’m very honest: I am not a liturgist. My colleague Andrew Burnham is a liturgist and he is looking with others around the world at what an Anglican liturgy might be for the Ordinariate. ... But we need something that will be acceptable throughout the world. In England it will be used by some but not certainly by everyone in England — not, at least, for the Eucharistic rite. Some of the priests in the Anglo-Catholic world and who will join the Ordinariate already use the Roman Rite and will continue to do so.
I suppose it will be a very English form of Catholicism. It might have a particular way of getting into the communities that perhaps Catholic priests have not had. ... We have an attitude to the wider community, an attitude to mission that we bring. It's not that the Catholic Church has not wanted to do this, but by nature of its numbers its impossible. It’s very different if you’re ministering to a congregation of 50, 60, 70 or ministering to a congregation like the one where I worshipped recently, where the normal Mass attendance is 1200 on a Sunday.Umm. Wait a second. Did he just say, translated into American, something like, "Our churches will be special because they will be so small"? And because we're all accustomed to small churches? Talk about making a virtue of necessity!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
"There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley said. ''But if you have been adopted in God's family like I have, and like you have if you're a Christian and if you're saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister."Oops. That may not have come out quite right. You're not my brother. You're not my sister. Or, more bluntly, If you don't share my faith, convert.
Bentley added, "Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."
Saturday, January 15, 2011
For doctrinal reasons the Church does not, in any circumstances, allow the ordination of married men as Bishops.
However, the Apostolic Constitution does provide, under certain conditions, for the ordination as Catholic priests of former Anglican married clergy. Today at Westminster Cathedral in London, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, ordained to the Catholic priesthood three former Anglican Bishops: Reverend Andrew Burnham, Reverend Keith Newton, and Reverend John Broadhurst.
Also today Pope Benedict XVI has nominated Reverend Keith Newton as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Together with Reverend Burnham and Reverend Broadhurst, Reverend Newton will oversee the catechetical preparation of the first groups of Anglicans in England and Wales who will be received into the Catholic Church together with their pastors at Easter, and to accompany the clergy preparing for ordination to the Catholic priesthood around Pentecost.
- The numbers. A few dozen priests, or a few hundred? And a few thousand of the faithful, or many more? We have no way to estimate.
- The communities. Will we see whole parishes switching en bloc, or just a slow papalist dribble weakening already-challenged parishes?
- The property. If there are whole communities leaving, will they try to keep their buildings? And will they get away with it? While we rejoice that interchurch relations have, since the 17th century, moved well beyond guns, we expect that lawyers and money may still be involved. We certainly hope so.
Peter the Venerable
Mortis portis fractis, fortis
Fortior vim sustulit;
Et per crucem regem trucem
Lumen clarum tenebrarum
Dum salvare, recreare,
quod creavit, voluit.
Hinc Creator, ne peccator
Cuius morte nove sorte
Vita nobis oritur.
Inde Sata victus gemit,
Unde victor nos redemit;
Illud illi fit letale,
quod est homini vitale,
Qui, dum captat, capitur,
Et, dum mactat, moritur.
Sic decenter, sic potenter,
Rex devincens inferos,
Linquens ima die prima,
Rediit ad superos.
Resurrexit, et revexit
Secum Deus hominem,
Reparando quam creando
Per Auctoris passionem
Primus redit nunc colonus:
Unde laetus fit hic sonus.
The gates of death are broken through,
The strength of hell is tamed,
And by the holy cross anew
Its cruel king is shamed.
A clearer light has spread its ray
Across the land of gloom
When he who made the primal day
Restores it from the tomb.
For so the true Creator died
That sinners might not die.
And so he has been crucified
That we might rise on high.
For Satan then was beaten back
Where he, our Victor stood ;
And that to him was deathly black
Which was our vital good.
For Satan, capturing, is caught,
And as he strikes he dies.
Thus calmly and with mighty thought
The King defeats his lies,
Arising whence he had been brought.
At once, to seek the skies.
Thus God ascended, and returned
Again to visit man ;
For having made him first, he yearned
To carry out his plan.
To that lost realm our Saviour flew,
The earliest pioneer,
To people Paradise anew
And give our souls good cheer.
Lo! the gates of Death are broken
And the strong Man armed is spoiled
Of his armour which he trusted,
By the stronger Arm despoiled.
Vanquished is the prince of hell,
Smitten by the Cross he fell.
Then the purest Light resplendent
Shone those feats of darkness through,
When, to save whom He created,
God willed to create anew.
That the sinner might not perish,
For him the Creator dies,
By whose death our dark lot changing,
Life again for us doth rise.
Satan groaned, defeated then,
When the Victor ransomed men;
Fatal was to him the strife,
Unto man the source of life;
Captured as he seized his prey,
He is slain as he would slay.
This the King all Hell hath vanquished
Gloriously and mightily;
On the first day leaving Hades,
Victor he returns on high.
Thus God brought man back to Heaven,
When he rose from out the grave,
The pure primal light bestowing,
Which creating first he gave.
By the sufferings of his Maker,
To his perfect Paradise
The first dweller thus returneth --
Wherefore these glad songs arise.
- Latin: William A. Merrill, ed., Latin Hymns (1917), p. 46.
- English: Samuel Willoughby Duffield, The Latin Hymn-Writers (NY & London: Funk & Wagnall's, 1899), p. 220.
- English: Orby Shipley, Lyra Messianica (London, Longman, 1864), p. 291; reprinted from [Elizabeth Ann Rundle,] The Voice of Christian Life in Song.