Monday, January 26, 2009

Quick Melbourne Update

My Melbourne friends and acquaintances tell me that sometimes they fear catching up, since I may report all too much of their goings-on and gossip on this blog!

Well, if I were so anodyne that I said nothing, I can't see why I'd bother to write anything, nor why anyone would bother reading whatever I did write... upon beginning this blog, I resolved to write whatsoever I pleased, without regard to human respect (well, maybe not entirely) or literary style; so take it or leave it.

Enough of apology. I'll proceed with a quick posting en passant. To summarize:

I've done a bit of secondhand bookbuying, which has turned up some interesting items; I've met up with friends, gone up-country to Hanging Rock (which I'm told in its rocky fantasia bears some resemblance to Mt Sinai in miniature), and attended liturgies and speeches; and have had a very pleasant time.

In particular, it was good on Sunday morning, having made my customary weekly confession at the Burke Hall chapel, to attend the Divine Liturgy for Sunday in the Octave of the Theophany at the Russian Catholic chapel of St Nicholas, Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy. Since it was the last Sunday of the month, the liturgy was in English (but for some litanies), and the singing, icons, sacrament and ritual lifted me up into the heavenly realm: I'm a Roman Rite person, but find the Byzantine wonderful and powerful. Archpriest Cross preached with deep insight; I particularly liked his opening point, not to leave aside a text of Scripture till one has grasped its ethical content (the tropological sense, I think). More on his sermon later...

Dr Adam Cooper's booklaunch, and Bp Prowse's two speeches, one to launch it, the other previous to open the national colloquium of Catholic bioethicists, were really noteworthy. Again, hopefully I'll say a bit about it when I have more time.

I hear (scary, isn't it, to have been away from the computer for four days and so not to know what's going on) that His Holiness the Pope has quashed the excommunications of the four Lefebvrite bishops, and that - predictably, but rather missing the point of the reason for doing so, that is, to try and persuade the SSPX to be reconciled to the Church - some interested parties among our friends the Jews are annoyed that one of them is a Holocaust denier, striking them not unsurprisingly as being distastefully anti-Semitic, and yet has received this Papal indulgence; as if it's any of their business to comment on this, as this is being undertaken to heal a schism or suchlike rather than to give any credence to eccentric and unpleasant views, although of course they can hardly be delighted at the news from their perspective.

Many thanks to a pious Anglican, who I believe wishes to remain anonymous, for her very generous gift to me of a liturgical manual: may you be rewarded a hundredfold!


Anonymous said...

Joshua said...

While I don't read the National Catholic Reporter, I do (like Fr Z) commend John Allen as a good reporter - and, yes, the SSPX certainly has its anti-Semitic members: these are the people who referred to Fr Daniel Oppenheimer at Econe as "le Jeuf"! One hopes that by seeking to call the SSPX back into Catholic unity, the Pope may be able also to deliver them from their paranoid delusions, and increase their level of prudence and charity.