Another one for the Byzantine Ambassador: Why do Catholics care?

12 Dec

Reposted old post:

Friggin’ Frangoi: Vatican Synod

18 Oct

I didn’t even know that the divorced were — and officially still are — banned from communion!!!

Then they wonder why people are alienated…

Why do Catholics even care?

Sorry.  I ask this question so much that I risk riding the edges of glibness.  But I receive communion without doing half the things I should before — when I can’t — and nearly always after having done things that I shouldn’t have.  But/and the Orthodox Church never even really tells me what those things are to begin with.  Someone, somewhere may disapprove and more power to them.  I act according to my conscience and am pretty sure most others do as well.  I never go to confession.  And am I supposed to get out of the bed where I’ve spent the night with someone I love more than myself and with every particle of my being — I can’t imagine a more sanctified state to receive the sacrament in, frankly — and drag my ass to church on a Sunday morning and be barred from communion because I’m not married to that person or ’cause I had had a hamburger the day before yesterday?

Why do Catholics care?  Why not continue to practice one’s own way as a massive form of underground, silent, civil disobedience (which is essentially how most Orthodox practice their faith anyway — I mean, who’ll know? *) and watch how in one generation the whole craziness will have faded away.

WHY DO CATHOLICS CONTINUE TO TRY AND MAKE THE CHURCH APPROVE OF THINGS THAT SHOULDN’T BE ITS BUSINESS?!  Don’t they realize the POWER they’re granting the Church by begging and fighting for it to give them its blessing for certain things.  Stop giving it to them.  You’re constantly inviting the Church into your lives as a moral arbiter and not as a means of transcendence and connection to the sacred…communion.  Stop giving them that power.  Take it back.  See what they do.

And, of course, it’s American voices at this last council who were most apprehensive about the new, more liberal language.

VATICAN-superJumboAndrew Medichini/Associated Press (click)


* Yes, well, I guess God will know.  And if you think that’s the shit He cares about, you’re already on the road to damnation because, as per Wilde, stupidity is the only sin.  Don’t even bother.


One more killer — maybe THE one — from Byzantine Ambassador

12 Dec

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Of course the issue is not just to get Frangoi to rethink their Gibbonesque views (or non-views more likely) on the Byzantines, it’s also to get Neo-Greeks themselves to understand them, which might help them, finally, “in a globalised world in which units are reconfiguring around” them, reconstitute the identity project they have been failing tragically at for almost three centuries.

Very cool…

(But, oh, wait, “…kept aloft the lights of antiquity against all the odds…”?  I thought Arabs did that…  Where’s Mehdi Hassan when you need him?)


Worst case scenario for one-state?

11 Dec

The math: 7.5 million Jews, 2 million Arabs in Israel, 3.75 million in West Bank, 2 million in Gaza. That leaves an entity that — if united — already has 250,000 more Arabs than Jews; lets say 50%-50%. What are Israel’s plans for this demographic inconvenience?

The visuals — sometimes you just have to see it — are mind-blowing:


“In the East, Christianity was still a conversation between the great metropolises & not a court of one.”

11 Dec

“…and not a court of one.”  What the Catholic Church still doesn’t get — and it seems like Catholics don’t want to sometimes either.


, in three tweets, practically summarizes half if not more of the “thesis” of this blog.  Mind-blowing.

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Byzantine Ambassador: you are now a culture hero of first order for me

11 Dec

, in three tweets, practically summarizes half if not more of the “thesis” of this blog.  Mind-blowing.

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Palestinians can’t consume and resist at the same time — Raja Shehadeh, NY Times

11 Dec

I though this was espically frustrating:

On the way over, the taxi driver told me that he felt let down by the Palestinian response to the news. I asked him about the call of the Hamas leader, Ismail Haniya, for another intifada. “What intifada, when we are all burdened by loans?” he answered. “Thirty years ago I never thought twice about taking part in every strike that was announced, but now if I don’t make money I will not be able to pay back the bank loan on this car. How then will I survive without it?”

From Spain and Portugal to Greece, to Palestine even, it seems (without drawing facile comparisons): keep them in debt and keep them silent.  Give them something to lose, even if its the chains of credit and they’ll be afraid to do anything but pipe down; it’ll make ’em more docile then an uzi.

And this too…so much for the liberating hopes of social media: watch the revolution — this one will be televized — on your phone and it’ll be just like being there:

I asked around to see if anyone knew the plan for the day. I’m a stranger to social media and thought I could have missed an announcement. Ramzi, a musician I have known for many years, had also come intending to take part in a demonstration. He said he kept obsessively checking Facebook and found nothing.

“There were no mobile phones during the first intifada when I was a boy of 10 in the Amari refugee camp, yet I remember that people knew when to assemble and what to do,” he said.

He noted the scarcity of young participants at the gathering. “Some people,” he said, “feel they can stay home and yet consider that they’re taking part; they think they can have virtual participation.”

Photo: my dentist’s office in Athens :)

7 Dec


And all those Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Jews, Phoenicians, polytheist and Christian Greeks, polytheist and Christian Romans, Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanid Iranians of the entire Irano-Central-Asian plateau, Aryan peoples of the Hindus valley and north India, Christian North Africans, Sicilian Catholics and Greeks, Franks and Normans, Iberian Visigoths, Flemings, Provençals, Occitans, Venetians, Florentines…..all waiting around millenia, the poor savages, for the Light of the Hejaz to shine on them in the darkness.


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