Monday, December 31, 2012

The change of the year

Alfred, Lord Tennyson In Memoriam cv, published in 1850.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Does the Pope have a pink bathroom?

(There was a splurge post on Pius xii in this place for a few hours this morning which will be edited and reposted later, in case you are wondering).

As is now known all over the interwebs Pope Benedict xvi has written an op-ed [registration required] for the Financial Times which L'Osservatoro Romano helpfully reproduces.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Testament mss online

Dr. Rod Decker of Baptist Bible Seminary in Pennsylvania posts links to recent additions to online digital images of NT manuscripts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I think they must import them on thumbdrives

When I was at Merton, at the end of every Michaelmas term (October-December), the Chaplain organised a Carol service which was usually well attended. One year I heard one of the Chapel regulars remark sadly that a lot of people came to hear and sing the old favourites – Once in Royal, Silent Night ect – only to be disappointed, because this was an Advent carol service as was appropriate, since this was long before even the Great Antiphons, much less Christmas itself.

Apparently the alma mater is keeping up the practice.
The beginning of Advent is celebrated with a particular solemnity at Merton. For its second recording the college choir explores the musical riches that adorn this most special time in the church’s year, centring on a newly commissioned sequence of Magnificat antiphons from seven leading composers.
Naturally, although I heard about this weeks ago, I did not get round to ordering the thing until this morning and so of course I missed my opportunity to have people coming out here for Christmas to bring the CD with them and save on postage.

The OU shop sells it for £14 ($21.48AUD) whereas Amazon UK charges £9.46 ($14.58AUD), both delivered free in the UK. Amazon UK will also let you download the whole thing for £6.49 ($10.01AUD), will give you the same privilege for $8.99 ($8.53AUD), for £7.99 ($12.32AUD). iTunes in the US offers it for $9.99 ($9.48AUD), in the UK for £7.99 ($12.32AUD) but in Australia for $16.99, i.e. £11.02 and $17.91USD. Of course this is nothing like the grossest example of price gouging on Australian iTunes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Better be on the safe side of Father Christmas

You Better Watch Out—St. Nicholas is Coming to Town

Archbishop Nicholas attended the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea (325), where he allegedly assailed the heretic Arius.
Good thing they remembered to put in that allegedly. St Nicholas is pretty litigious I hear, and apparently the Nicaean Imperial Court will clobber anyone who reports matters sub judice.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, on your Mac

You can get a barebones anniversary list of events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on your Mac. Not immediately obvious how I import it into Calendar.

Slightly more information e.g. what the "cat" command in the terminal means (I know I was dying to know) at The Mac Observer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Keep a close eye on that Kerplakistan situation

It's like a rejected plot from 24.

The family of a Karuan national critically wounded in a drive by shooting weep outside an evacuation centre on the troubled Island Nation of Karu. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Yoke Is Easy, My Burden Light.

From time to time I have been invited to weddings on Sundays – typically in the early afternoon – at which a Nuptial Mass is celebrated. All Catholics are obliged to attend Mass on Sundays but, by a special rule, one can fulfil one's obligation by attending Mass on Saturday evening. The propers of that Mass (readings, changeable prayers etc.) are almost always the same as those of the Sunday, even though it is on Saturday evening. Mutatis mutandis this applies for those Feasts designated "Holy Days of Obligation" ("Days of Precept" in the old terminology) which happen to fall on a weekday. In Australia such occasions are limited to Christmas Day and the Solemnity of the Assumption on August 15th.

I had always assumed that, to fulfil an obligation to hear Mass on a given day, Catholics must hear the Mass of that day. Wedding Masses have their own prayers and readings, therefore a Wedding Mass on a Sunday would not fulfil my Sunday obligation, and so I would still have to attend Mass elsewhere on Sunday morning or Saturday evening. With the children, and dressing for the wedding, and so on, this can be quite tough.

It turns out my assumption is false. Edward Peters (whom I mentioned the other day) explains things.
…a few folks who correctly remind others that there are two attendance obligations coming up seem also to assert that the type of Mass attended determines which attendance obligation can be satisfied thereat, as in, for example, a Mass of Anticipation for the Second of Advent, celebrated at 5 pm next Saturday, can only be applied toward one’s Sunday obligation, not toward Immaculate Conception. That’s an error arising from confusing the canonical obligation on people to attend Mass with the liturgical obligation on priests to celebrate the Mass called for by the rubrics. The people’s canonical obligation to attend Mass is satisfied by their “assisting at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite on the [day required] or in the evening of the preceding day…” (c. 1248 § 2). The law says nothing about what type of Mass is celebrated, only, that it must be a Mass in a Catholic rite.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Scrooge on the second Sunday of Advent

Yes, deep down, if I had the hide, this is probably me.
When someone says “Merry Christmas” even five minutes before sunset on Dec. 24, remind them that “Advent is a season of penance, fasting and prayer, to remind us of the hopeless misery of the human condition that Christ came to rectify—for those who accept Him. But the path is straight, and narrow, and few do travel it.” Then smile and say “But hey, Merry Christmas!”

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mankowsi: Why the Immaculate Conception?

The truth is often at right angles to the common perception. Fr Paul Mankowski sj asks "Why the Immaculate Conception?" in Women for Faith & Family, Vol v.1 (1990).
There is a strain of feminist Mariology which feels repugnance at the dogma of the Immaculate Conception because it views the notion as demeaning to women. Orthodox theologians were so scandalized by the particularly feminine dimension of sinfulness (according to this school) that they found it necessary to cook up the idea of an immaculate conception in order to sanitize the event of the incarnation. I hope I have shown that this way of thinking has got things exactly backwards. In articulating its belief that Mary was free of original sin, the Church is thrusting the Blessed Virgin into the heart of the problematic struggle of temptation and grace; it is the opposite of insulation. It is not some angelic perfection, but her humanity which is vindicated by Pius IX’s definition - her dependence on merits of Jesus Christ, her constant reenactment of the drama of Adam’s choice, a drama which is no less dramatic for its happy ending, a drama which ultimately includes us all, in the vision of the Woman clothed with the sun, crushing the serpent at the worlds’ end.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Newman's hymns updated

Once upon a time on The Daily Telegraph blog of Damian Thompson, called Holy Smoke (now folded into his current blog, same stuff, different name), which was mostly to do with Catholic matters, there was a trolling anti-Catholic commenter called Bosco. Another commenter called Eccles sprang up to poke fun at Bosco. He claimed to be Bosco's dimmer half brother. Together they caused trouble for the moderators. Eccles soon got his own blog.  In one post, Eccles interviews Cardinal Newman and gets him to update some of his works.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not having ears to hear

In a fit of false piety (it's been known before) I decided not to post on the story of the brawl between two retired priests in Perth.

However lay canon lawyer, Edward Peters, discusses the canonical aspects of the case, which seem quite interesting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shakespeare, the horror, the horror

Fun with the consequences of a stocktake, or something:

(Taken at Kinokuniya in Sydney).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

AP, AAP…what's the diff?

Noting clueless use of wire feeds by the Australian media is becoming a hobby of mine. You would at least think that when they use them, the media could at least get the name of the source right. Er…no.