Weekly Reading – September 6, 2014

As I noted last week, I will be posting up articles, blog posts, and other such things which caught my eye. This week’s installment is a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short.

  • Cardinal Muller Invites Bishop Fellay to Meet,” Society of St. Pius X U.S. District – Barely a week after the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) caused some minor online buzz with word that one of its priests had recently been allowed to say Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, news broke that Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, has invited the SSPX’s Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, to officially meet with him in Rome. As the Society’s official notice indicates, Mullet’s attitude toward the SSPX has been, well, chilly — a lot chillier than the attitudes of some other leading Church authorities. No doubt the meeting will occasion some of less-hinged traditionalists to start speaking of Fellay “selling out” the Society and making a “secret deal” with Rome. More likely than not little will come of this meeting, though one can hope that it will be an occasion for rapprochement rather than reprimand.
  • Artur Rosman, “The Neo-Conservative Imagination: Part III,” Ethika Politika – The third installment of Rosman’s interview with Patrick Deneen about economic liberalism and its intrusion into Catholic socio-political thought is well worth reading. Though I have noted before my minor quibble with the use of the term “neoconservative” (see here), Deneen’s thoughts are still worth mulling over, especially at a time when liberal distortions of the Catholic Church’s authentic social magisterium appears to be picking up steam.
  • Fr. John Hunwicke, Mutual Enrichment – Instead of directing you to any one post on Fr. Hunwicke’s uniformly excellent web-log, let me encourage you to review the last week’s worth of postings/re-postings on the matter of sacramental intention at Mass and validity. Too often traditional Catholics, rightly scandalized by the poor serving of the Novus Ordo Missae (and its other trouble spots), jump to the conclusion that the Mass they are witnessing may be invalid. When they hear Catholic priests use phrases like “Jesus resurrected in the hearts of the Apostles…” or “The words the individual who authored the Gospel of St. Mark put on the rabbi Jesus’ lips,” they might very well wonder if such a shabby cleric could preside over a valid Eucharist. Hunwicke addresses those concerns with his usual blend of erudition and wry humor. Of course, a Novus Ordo Mass can still be invalid; improper form and matter, sadly, remain real problems, even in the midst of our “New Liturgical Movement.”
  • Derek Thompson, “The Simple Technology That Accidentally Ruined Baseball,” The Atlantic – Traditional Catholics should like baseball. Why? Because it’s traditional. But the traditions of the game, particularly the human element of its officiation, is slowly giving way to technological realities. This year Major League Baseball has witnessed the advent of full-throated instant reply. However, even earlier, baseball umpires started coming under scrutiny via high-tech cameras which track pitches in and out of the rule book-defined zone rather than each ump’s impressionistic zone. The result seems to be more strikes and less offense, especially in the National League. Some say this is making baseball boring, but I disagree. The homer-run era was for casual fans with an offensive fetish; today real fans are witnessing a pitching and defense renaissance. The pendulum is bound to swing the other way eventually; it always does. Already more and more hitters are learning to beat defensive shifts and use base-running skills to compensate for a loss in power performance. Still, this is a cracking good (and informative) read that all baseball fans should take a gander at.