Sunday, January 30, 2011

Protestant Jesus on Glass

Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
 Now with iconography, and an historical sense and memory conducive, for grounding, one can walk into a building and recognise and identify items, which, those familiar with the building do not ken. Without being told, nor having access to a written account, a narrative can be sleuthed and pieced together in moments [writing it up may take hours]. With access to some resources a fuller, and confirmed, account can be presented.

Brooklyn Methodist recently closed. An anglican group continues to use their chapel for Sunday services. Under a glass cupola dome the methodists had held services from 1911, the congregation from 1818 [read cornerstones]. They have many opalescent windows about the building. They have painted glass with scenes in the worship area; three large windows, two interrupted by seating. A medallion on top, and two on bottom portray Jesus.

William H. Hunt painted The Light of the World (1853–54). The original is at Keble College, Oxford. A larger and greater seen version went to the anglican cathedral, St. Paul's, in London, after touring the world and continued to be popular. Hunt had read a sad sonnet by the dissolute priest Lope de Vega, To-morrow, that is about the man behind the door and based on Apocalypse iii. 20.

Warner Sallman *1892, †1968, was a Chicago artist, who in the 1920s drew for protestant periodicals. In the 1940s he painted, in oils, the most reproduced paintings of Christ in the United States. The portrait oblique in sepia brown and yellow hues that the Salvation Army distributed as a wallet 'snapshot' is the prime protestant icon of Jesus in America. To the left is another of his popular paintings, his Jesus at the Door. Now in anglican England, and in lutheran Germany this was a popular scene. The part of waspish America which could appreciate and accept visual arts looked to wilhelmine Germany, and victorian England as exemplars. The far wider,deeper and ancient catholic well was less drawn from.

Heinrich Hofmann painted in 1890, a much reproduced Christ in Gethsemane. This is the second protestant icon of Jesus. The original was bought by John D. Rockefeller for his Riverside Church in New York City. Rockefeller had been a Cleveland boy. Brooklyn Methodist has a glass version also. A catholic Gethsemane usually has an Angel holding a cup, and often the three sleeping apostles. Hofmann's, and the glassy one in Old Brooklyn, has Jesus kneeling with fingers folded on top of a rock.

The third Christ they have glased is Jesus the Friend of Children. This is the most 'catholic' of the three, a very similar one is in Saint Emeric's on W.22nd.
At the bottom of the medallion, it reads "in memory of Seymour Trowbridge & Wife". Whoever Trowbridge was, at one time he was someone important to someone. The church is on Archwood, which is just south of Interstate 71. Just north of the interstate is Trowbridge. Trowbridge is an english name, but not well known, and it is not a realty planner name (Maple, Maplewood, Mapledale, Fox, Foxwood, Foxpath, Foxtail). It takes an elementary sherlock to see the window dedication is related to the street honoree. Canvass the residents, if one could be found cognisant of the name, he is probably a relative; but even that is doubtful, the population has changed. Seymour Trowbridge was the mayor of Brooklyn Village from 1869 through 1871.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Karma and dharna beg justice

For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. — Galatians vi.8.

Is karma destiny? There is not only one view in the theologies and philosophies from India. Karma is the word for 'action', 'deed' or 'act'. It is the logic of simple physics. There is cause and effect. Actions have karmic effects. We have similar colloquial advice and commentary: "what goes around comes around", "payback is a bitch". The concept is not only tied to the transmigration of the soul, or the conditions of the afterlife.

A realist, not blinded by optimism, sees some consequences tied to some actions; but he does not see a quid pro quo, or an ultimate balance, justice. A moral man, one who might be described as having a fear of God, feels compelled to do right action. Another man, will do what he will without regard to cosmic justice or good karma. Whether he skates, or has things blow up in his face remains to be seen.

Another indian concept is dharna. Dharna is an attempt to gain justice or payment. The form it took was the plaintiff would sit at the entrance of the offender's home, or business, and wait, wait continuously till he got his justice, or died waiting for it. This is a genesis of the peaceful protest that had Gandhi and millions sit on the doorstep of the british empire. "We shall not be moved" is a stand for justice. Occupations of property are attempts to obtain justice. It is an attempt to shame people to do right. Centuries ago, the transgressor or the debtor had a fear, that this implacable soul would haunt his conscience, or being, for all time. The fasting until death at a doorstep was put in play creating a spirit that could not be appealed to--an unforgiving perpetual ghost.

Not everyone is capable of being shamed. In India in 1919, General Dyer had thousands killed in a peaceful demonstration at Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.

Peaceful protest while being stoically gallant, and noble, does not always succeed. Some have no ruth, no mercy, no humanity to appeal to. In other protests people have said, "God is watching". Some still don't care. In the movie, The Fugitive, Harrison Ford yells at Tommy Lee Jones "I'm innocent!". His reply is, "I don't care!".

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cathedral of Tomorrow • WBNX 55

Sometime ago, a friend wanted to go to Cathedral Buffet in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I was up for it.

Rex Humbard was the pentecostalist preacher, who buried Elvis Presley, and in the 1950s was the first national television evangelist. He moved up from Arkansas. Ernest Angley moved up from North Carolina. Both ended up in Akron-Cuyahoga Falls.
Humbard built his Cathedral of Tomorrow and the television station, channel 55. Grace Cathedral was Angley's. Angley was born two years after Humbard. Humbard retired and sold the complex to Angley.

Angley is, now a very elderly, chubby guy with a very apparent wig. It only needs a single face bar to look more like a helmet. Johnny Carson used to imitate him. Angley places his hand on people's foreheads and says an exaggerated, "Jeee-SUS". On both television shows they featured much gospel music, with in-house singers. There is a huge, suspended crown (Tower of London-Margarine style) and pillars.

Neither preacher, in my memory, engaged in crazy politics or anti-catholic vituperation. Maybe they concentrated on the 'end times', but i ignore their ramblings as i do the russelites and the rest. I tend to ignore this speculation (as) entertainment. Their comments on the Last Day, just did not register in my attention. Instead i remember Augustine asking where are the past and future? and dismissing them. Akron does have a nickname of being the capital of West Virginia; so these two boys were far more agreeable than hard shelled baptists, or porch hopping russelites. It was easy to take them with good humour, or ignore them. Humbard died recently, and he is not a topic of consideration in speech.

To the buffet i did go. Now, i remember being told that only catholics had statues. The buffet has a christian wax museum. Well, that is 'cheesy'. With the trouble the Catholic Church has done to itself recently, it is not so comfortably easy poking fun at the protestants. Did not even cross my mind to photo the wax museum. If i got into the studio, i would the crown. Outside, and on one side there is a neon sign of Michigan J. Frog. What if Mary Flannery O'Connnor had been born in Akron, instead of Savannah; perhaps more comic and less grotesque.

"Grace changes us and change is painful." —
Mary Flannery O'Connnor

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lennon vs. Saint Peter's

This story has been picked up nationally. It is rippling out in notice to Sandusky, Columbus, Indianapolis, and beyond. Lennon has made a move. In this matter he had been silent since August.

The phrase "breakaway congregation" and/or
"breakaway church" has been used in the press. This is inaccurate, and it plays to possible defenders of Lennon's actions. The parish has not broken away. They are meeting elsewhere. The use of their physical church has been denied them. They have a current appeal in Rome to rescind the suppression decree. Until Rome says so, no property of the parish can be disposed of. The parish's continued canonical existence is still open. The parish, as an association of Christians, still exists and meets.

No one in the congregation of the Parish of Saint Peter, in Cleveland, has publicly proclaimed any heterodox opinions. Certain defenders of Lennon, who see themselves as arbiters of catholic orthodoxy, have compared them to heretics such as Luther, Swaggart, Calvin, et cetera. These 'hard liners' are wrong, as is their wont.

It is not easy, or possible, to defend the judgment, or many other qualities, of Richard Lennon, other than his authority. Authority has limits, not everyone wishes to see this.

A question of schism, separation by division, is ultimately conceivable. This 'breakaway' appellation is premature. The parish was evicted. Now they meet elsewhere. They have not separated from the Catholic Church. A priest and other Catholics are celebrating the Sacraments. Their ordinary disapproves, and speaks of vague threats. At one time, his spokesman at least, Bob Tayek said the bishop was willing to speak with these Catholics. Apparently, this is his manner of speech.

Further Lennon accuses Fr. Marrone of "scandal" and "corruption". Now the world knows, Lennon knew of real corruption and scandal in Boston. He vouched for a paramount villain. Lennon's use and facility of language has always been questionable. A priest who buggered children, in Lennon's statement was "in good standing and enjoyed the faculties of the Archdiocese of Boston". Lennon may win the definition of terms, and still look ridiculous and odious to the world.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Squirrel Day

Crasher Squirrel visits Matthew Brady

Squirrel on Triskett Avenue, Cleveland
Yesterday, I was out with a camera. As i walked out of the car, i see squirrels. They are photogenic, and often skittish. A telephoto zoom is helpful.

A couple of days before, i was trying to remember what images were lost form my computer over two years. I remembered Crasher Squirrel. The inquisitive rodent intruded on a foto a couple was snapping on their vacation in Banff, Canada.

They submitted to National Geographic and interest exploded. People would remove the squirrel and place him in other photos. Locales and situations surprising: he was in a moon landing; looking appropriate on the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's album; he travelled in time to a federal army camp, and to fit in, wearing a stove pipe hat.

Squirrels have a charismatic, and often, humorous presence. The croats have a children's rhyme with a squirrel with an umbrella in a rainstorm.

To-day i read, that, it is squirrel appreciation day. Ten years ago a wildlife worker designated it such, so as to have people feed the creatures, in the coldest part of winter.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Symbols of life and death

A friend called me last night, and told me, that, I had to go to St. Vladimir's and photograph the ice cross. The Ukrainian Orthodox follow the Julian calendar, and their Christmas is two weeks later. In the Christmas season, Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, and Epiphany are celebrated. Now is the coldest of winter usually. That water, here, is ice. Water is a mineral, and now it is solid. It can be carved like rock. Now they have a man sized eastern cross, in front of the cathedral church on State Road, in Parma for the passing world to see, and possibly consider. Above the triple portals, there is a mosaic of the initial baptism of the Kievan Rus', this also contrasts with the frozen baptismal water of the cross.

As the waters of baptism gives men new life in Christ. It is not unusual for a graveyard to be next to a church. Next to this one there is a memorial to the millions of fellow Ukrainians that were starved to death by Stalin and his cohorts and minions in 1932-33. The monument cites 7 million. It is not known the correct number, the bosheviki were not counting. In the last generation the term 'Holodomor' has been applied to this man made famine, this death or murder by starvation.

In the years that communism has fallen, more recognition has been seen. This year, the fourth Saturday of November was commemorated amongst Ukrainian populations of the world, including Parma, Ohio.

In Cleveland, and certainly elsewhere, the Irish starvation of the 1840s is publicly remembered. Both times of dying were manufactured. Whether it was mass murder or genocide is a semantic argument, and some object to the naked truth of the words. The potato suffered fungus, but foodstuffs from Ireland were exported ship by shipload. It was not a potato famine that killed a million, it was English and British landlords that starved the Irish. The 4 or 6 or 7 or 12 million Ukrainians and others didn't die from poor harvests of wheat. They died from a confiscation of wheat and other foods, and political repression by the communists. As the anglo-american textbooks misdirected the focus of cause for the Irish starving time (an Gorta Mor/the Great Hunger), so did the communists and economic apologists place the foci on the mistakes of collectivisation.
(Голодомор) The Holodomor memorial is shaped as the trident of St. Michael, the symbol of Ukraine.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guest Submission 1 -- “Santo subito”

Santo subito”, or “Sainthood now” was the cry on St Peter’s Square at the April 8, 2005 funeral of the beloved Pope, John Paul II.

The upcoming beatification of the late John Paul II was announced last Friday, January 14, 2011 by the current pope. Benedict XVI in a statement said, cardinals and bishops who served on the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints have approved a miracle credited to John Paul II where a French nun had been cured from a form of Parkinson’s disease. This confirmation of the miracle is the first step to sainthood.

The beatification ceremony will take place in Rome on May 1st and it appears Pope Benedict himself will celebrate the Mass.

John Paul II also known as Karol Wojtyla was perhaps the most revered man of his time. As the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics, he traveled the continents and met with the faithful. He was described by those who knew him as a strong, humble man who listened to his flock.

John Paul felt that the papacy should serve the people and not the other way around. He truly was the servant of the servants of God.

Locally, the memory and the influence of John Paul still are strong, especially in the Polish American parishes. In 1969, as Archbishop of Krakow, the then Karol Wojtyla visited St Casimir, SS Peter and Paul, St Stanislaus, and the Marymount Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

At SS Peter and Paul, the former pastor, Father Ted Marszal pointed out in an interview to the media that in the vestibule of Peter and Paul, a plaque on the wall commemorates Wojtyla’s visit.

At the now closed St Casimir church, which is appealing its closure, many of the weekly prayer vigil attendees still remember his visit. He stayed at St Casimir and celebrated Mass. His words, “Be not afraid” have inspired these parishioners to keep fighting to reopen their church. A vigil attendee, said “John Paul died on the eve of Divine Mercy, a devotion he encouraged...and he had a special relationship to Mary, Our Blessed Mother.”

At Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Lansing Avenue, a local television station dispatched a reporter to the 10:00 AM Sunday Mass to interview people whom had met or personally knew John Paul, either as the Archbishop of Krakow or as Pope, for many of these parishioners were natives of the Krakow Diocese.

Father Andrzej Knapik, Associate Priest at Immaculate Heart and a former member of the adjoining diocese of Tarnow, Poland said he met John Paul in Italy at a papal audience and that in his opinion, “He was a great man, a great Pope, a good priest, warm and open and above all he inspired people”.

Alina Stepien, age 14, studied the life of John Paul in a school project and said “He was a strong willed person who overcame his Parkinson’s disease.” She also observed, “He always had time for young people. He helped them develop spiritually, mentally and even physically for he was an avid sportsman.”

Krystyna Kubis, a native of Kety, Poland, part of the Krakow Diocese, said “When I lived in Poland I saw John Paul at least a dozen times and on some occasions we exchanged greetings. My daughter, Barbara was confirmed by him and I remember him sitting down, talking with the children and laughing with them. He always had a smile; he was very popular with people of all ages.”

Another parishioner, Sylvester Kujawa said “I had been in a few Papal audiences and in his presence (John Paul), you felt he was a man of peace, a man of God. He respected all religions and I think they respected him too.”

The parishioners of Immaculate Heart have a special fondness for John Paul, some knew him but others only knew of him as the Pope of the people. His words still echo today, “Nie Bojcie Sie”, which means “Be not Afraid”.

Across continents, in all societies, the man from the Beskidy Mountains, Wadowice, Poland will be remembered as a citizen of the world. He belongs to all the people.

The people have spoken, “Santo Subito”.

—by Joseph Feckanin

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We Remember...

Parish Souvenirs • Cleveland ·Akron · Lorain

In French: (se) souvenir means to remember, from Latin subvenire to come up, come to mind. Je me souviens is the motto of Quebec, it means "I remember". The english canadienes ask, often mockingly, remember what? This sentence is so simple, and so full. I (we) remember all that has passed, the glories, the hardships, the beauty, those who have gone before us, some that we knew. We have not forgotten, we cannot forget, we will not forget.

Now, to lose a few more readers: Marty Haugen (who never was catholic, but has created much current liturgical music) wrote, We Remember. The last words of the refrain (we remember, we celebrate, we believe) are sung as a moving, musical phrase.

In the last five years church closings have hit northeast Ohio. Holy Ghost Byzantine was one, both Broadway and Brooklyn Methodist were others; but by far the most drastic hits were on the western Catholic parishes. There are 58 less of them, currently.

For most of them, one cannot enter again, or not enter as before. A couple (Mary, Christ the King in Akron) still have Liturgies for school children, a chapel-of-ease. One was sold to a drug rehab organisation (Hedwig, Akron). A couple have new protestant congregations (Holy Cross, Sacred Heart in Elyria). One is to house religious statues as a private museum (Hedwig, Lakewood). St. Ladislaus in Lorain has been sold. Rumor has St. Lawrence sold, but the chancery is not talking to the parishioners or the priests of St. Lawrence. One has been razed and replaced by an office building (St. Jude). One has been razed and rumored to be sold as a parking lot (St. Andrew). The City of Euclid has bought St. Robert's. The Community of St. Malachi had no property.

So what do the people have left? Souvenirs and memories. A new website will include images and documents. Some manner of addition will be created. This has not been worked out, yet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Surprise appearances in churches

Church of the Saviour, United Methodist, in Cleveland Heights is built in french gothic splendour, in limestone and granite. I came across this, after becoming interested in the Cleveland glass artist R(obert) Toland Wright. He was the maker of the great orient window in the church. He died and the other windows were done by other artists. The opposite window, in the west, is the grander. There are 32 medalions in the two tri-lancets of this loft window made by Joseph Reynolds of Boston. The entire window is named Te Deum Laudamus (We praise Thee God). It is interesting, protestants have some tendency to have less in visual arts. This is not universally so. In some denominations there is a continuum, a sliding scale.

Now, the windows are a great study. The oak carving about the sanctuary is even better. The lectern, the pulpit, the chair and a 20 foot baptistery cover. This hood for the water is 20 times the height it needs to be. In oak there is carved octagonally, at the base, seven scenes, that are often depicted in windows. Some feet higher are eight trumpetting angels, and the whole rises like a crocketted cathedral spire.

Well, there are a lot of catholic elements in this church. They balance it by having several windows portraying prominent protestants in history. Savonarola and Huss are there too. Girolamo Savonarola is listed to be in one of the medallions of the grand window. He is listed with Stephen the Deacon, who has a great small window in the stairwell, and Elisabeth of Hungary and Thuringia. They are identified in the church's literature (as is usual there are mistakes) as three martyrs. Perhaps the three are witnesses to charity. The four great latin doctors share another medallion. In another window, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is seen. There are many great elements to focus on. There are people who have attended there for years and have not examined all the beauty. We live in a quick get there, and quick leave there society. I am sure many people would be surprised to see St. Elisabeth in the balcony. In the scene, Stephen is carrying rocks, for he was stoned to death. Elisabeth was a generous woman and an early lay franciscan. Her husband, and his family, did not approve. Miraculously, the bread she was about to deliver, turned to roses. She was married at 14, widowed at 20, and died at 24 in service to the poor.

Now, Savonarola was a dominican, and his portrait was painted by Frà Bartolomeo in 1498. He was an opponent of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI. Some dominicans are promoting his cause for sainthood. In the glass, the figure on the left is not so distinguishable. In the clerestory lancet Savonorola is in a dominican habit, and shaved with a tonsure. The bearded fellow does not have a readily identifiable iconography. Reynolds was the glasier of both.
left medallion: somebody, St. Stephen and St. Elisabeth; right: Girolamo Savonarola

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Toxicity of Tucson Tea

Saturday afternoon, in a Tucson shopping center, a man attempted to assassinate a Congressman and then continued to fire his gun till the bullets were spent. Six people are dead, fourteen others wounded. The man was extremely crazed. It is impossible not to believe, that, the atmosphere and environment he was experiencing did not affect his thought and action.

In 1964, Barry Goldwater was a senator and Republican candidate for president. He was the leader of the conservatives. To-day, he would be the most 'liberal' of Republicans. Arizona is a hot bed for Republican insanity.

Joe Arpaio is the sheriff in neighboring Maricopa County. He bills himself as the "toughest sheriff in America". He is an ego driven, headline hungry individual that shares a local fanatic base with Sarah Palin and the teabaggers.

Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz) has made himself a spokesman (minority whip) for his party, and against the Democracy. He was chief in opposition to the ratification of a nuclear arms treaty with Russia. To-day on television he criticised the Pima County sheriff (Clarence Dupnik) for taking note of the political situation. Kyl has been repeatedly unctuous, mendacious and hypocritical.

Among the incendiary Republican congressmen of Arizona is Trent Franks, and now, the idiot son (Ben), of the idiot vice-president (Quayle) under ghwbushsr. McCain (the other Arizona senator) was responsible for bringing Palin into the national political discussion.

The xenophobe, gun promoter, and none-to-bright Republican governor is Jan Brewer. In bordering Nevada, the crazy Republican candidate, Sharron Angle, who lost to Senator Reid, made statements about "second amendment remedies" amongst many wacko statements. In Arizona, there are holsters sold to accesorise motorcycles. There is a culture of incipient violence in the interior west.

In a stunt, the Republicans had parts of the Constitution read in the House of Representatives. Gabrielle Giffords read the first amendment. A follower of the second amendment shot her in the back(?) of her head a few hours later. He then shot a number of other people. Six are dead now. He was going to put in a new magazine of bullets but was stopped.

Palin had a US map made with 20 cross-haired targets on it. One was on Giffords' district. Palin told her followers (minions) to "reload" and "take aim" at Democrats. Only one other (of the 20) Democratic targets 'survived' the election. The Republican candidate, Jesse Kelly, that opposed Congressman Giffords, had a money raising event where one could "get on target for victory in November help remove Gabrielle Giffords shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly". In January Giffords local office was vandalised immediately after the Health Care vote. Giffords was on record cautioning and complaining of the intemperate and dangerous language being used.

In April 2009, the Homeland Security Department released a memorandum warning of the possibility of right wing extremist violence, especially to people opposed to the federal government. Gingrich said that that writer ought to be fired for his smears. Republican mouthfoamers on radio, and elsewhere, raised a stink about bias and lies.

Fox "News" is an employer of many of these Republicans, including Palin. In their "fair and balanced" manner, as soon as a mourner at a vigil for the victims mentioned Palin, they cut away. The thought that individual had was echoed by Sheriff Dupnik, "I think it's the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business and what we see on TV and how our youngsters are being raised..." That is what Kyl criticised Dupnik for saying. The rule is apparent: Republicans can say anything, no one is to contradict them. Allyson Miller, an organiser of the Pima County Tea Party Patriots said, "I think anytime you start suppressing freedom of speech, I think it's wrong. I live here and I didn't hear anything [in the 2010 campaign] that concerned me in terms of inciting violence."

A sane, humane person with a modicum of discernment can not be a Republican. That party has long been filled with worshippers of Mars, and Mammon, and the grossest of hypocrites; not hypocrites in a small sense, but purposely deceptive hypocrites, whose interests were those of the financial establishment and vile intent. Now, in the last few months they have pumped and encouraged insanity in the guise of the teabaggers. They have clothed themselves as patriots. They have, on the one hand, sounded as comical anarchists, while being tools of the ambitiously greedy and power hungry. They, especially Palin, have used the most incendiary of words. The question was never could some great act of violence ensue, but when and how many. We have seen the first in Tucson. The United States must realise, that, the Republican party is a fascist party. They use the arguments, and methods of fascists; now we have seen the fruits of their behavior inside this country. The killer in this situation, may only be a crazy juvenile, but one that drank from the cups brewed, and poured, and drank in southern Arizona.

I say and write unpleasant things about Republicans. They are all true. Anyone mentioning some equivalency between the parties on language is making a false statement. Some will do so to deceive, others in cowardice, so as not to weather Republican or "conservative" attacks

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What did not happen at St. Patrick's

Sometimes news is that something did not happen. Cleveland Councilman Martin Keane had scheduled a public meeting for to-day at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick's (West Park) social hall [former convent]. A Board of Zoning Appeal hearing had been scheduled for Monday. The Diocese of Cleveland and the pastor of Ascension (now 'Blessed Trinity'), Fr. Doug Koesel, wanted a variance, in order, to establish a 'thrift store' at St. Patrick's.

Save Saint Pat's Committee was planning to demonstrate outside the meeting, and to be present inside. They wanted news outlets to be aware of the zoning appeal, the 'town hall meeting', and their opposition to the proposal. None of these things will happen to-day, or Monday. The Diocese has decided not to request the variance.

The Save St. Pat's Committee had brought two major points of objection to the proposal. One is that under church law, canon law, a parish's patrimony (property) cannot be disposed of while its attempted suppression is under appeal. The other point is, that, the Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People does not allow such activity near children (a school is still operating on St. Patrick's campus).

A, further, third point, is that the building contains a chapel. Now, that chapel is 'sacred space' and had been active at the time of eviction. To have a retail establishment in the same space, is to make it 'profane'. This conversion to 'profane use', so cavalierly, is problematic.

It is not unusual for the chancery to avoid public and media scrutiny. It is unusual for the chancery to abruptly change course. In the these nearly five years of Richard Lennon's episcopal reign, there has been little reticence of the chancery to strictly adhere to canon law, and custom. There is news in this non-event, some still not public.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Holy Trinity Avon 1833>>?

People move, people die, people are born. Buildings come and go, in the US more than some other places; it is a disposable society. Parishes are to be perpetual. Holy Trinity, Avon, is older than the diocese it is in. It began with bavarian immigrants in 1833. They celebrated their first Mass in 1841 with a visiting priest from Cleveland's only parish.

Driving westward (from Cleveland) on Detroit Road, passing from one suburb to another, passing newish developments and buildings, and then a neo-gothic church of local brown gray sandstone, some blackened by age and soot. It can be nothing else. Perhaps, it is not Plato's church [well of course not, it is not greek, but if he was from south Germany. This digression is a reference to the idea of universals, and the existence of prototypical perfect exemplars.] Holy Trinity, Avon is immediately recognisable as 'church' inside and out. The high altar is carved wood with a rood group and crocketted side spires, as fine as any in Cleveland [considering its size].

Holy Trinity is a common name for a catholic church. Its patronage, a triune God, is a chief doctrine of christianity. Shakespeare is buried in Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon. There had been a church there since early in the 8th century, it was confiscated under the anglican takeover, though William remained in heart, and in private a catholic.
supra: old glass, exterior window

These german farmers began their parish and it grew. In 1902 this edifice came [an earlier one burned]. A whirlwind came in 1924 and struck the building. The new stained glass was not installed until the post war boom. Avon is now a suburb with beyond average wealth. That little community is now a large parish, they could not have known that when Andy Jackson was president, and the bishop was in Cincinnati. A resident priest first came the same month Gettysburg was the current event [July 1863].

Thirty years the parish existed and grew without a priest. Farm land is now prestigious suburban sprawl. The social conditions of the next generation, the next century, cannot be known now. Why should Holy Trinity, Avon not survive then?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

St. Lawrence celebrates Epiphany

The parish met to-day, over one hundred strong. The parish showed it is still alive. It was the second Mass they have had at "the NASH", the nearby Slovenian Home, since the Mass of Eviction. Bishop Pevec said Mass. There was not the stated intention to challenge, but even without a statement, their presence constituted a parish in activity, Eucharistic activity.

It is not too much different than what St. Peter's does, they meet every week in new space. St. Emeric has two masses a month at St. Colman's. These displaced parishioners have not access to their property (patrimony). They were ordered to disperse. They are still free to meet, when the spirit is willing. Jesus will be there with them wherever they meet.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.—Isaiah li. 11. NAB

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I don't give reasons. I give orders!

In 134 chapters Herman Melville writes about the quest for the white whale. Ray Bradbury, John Huston and Norman Corwin condensed and reshaped his words for the cinema.

There is a most wonderful little english teacher's joke about the book. The teacher asks, "What is the first line of Moby Dick?". The student answers, "Call me Ishmael.". "Alright, Ishmael, what is the first line of Moby Dick?".

Ishmael is the narrator and sole survivor, yet most are drawn to Captain Ahab and his vengeance quest for the white whale. Monomania is the word. Ahab is mad, in both respects angry and crazy. Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab justifies himself, "I don't give reasons. I give orders!"

Starbuck talks, to Stubb and Flask, in arguing for mutiny, "It is our task in life to kill whales, to furnish oil for the lamps of the world. If we perform that task well and faithfully, we do a service to mankind that pleases Almighty God. Ahab would deny all that. He has taken us from the rich harvest we were reaping to satisfy his lust for vengeance. He is twisting that which is holy into something dark and purposeless. He is a Champion of Darkness. Ahab's red flag challenges the heavens." He reads from a book, "A captain who, from private motives, employs his vessel for another purpose from that intended by the owners, is answerable to the charge of usurpation, and his crew is morally and legally entitled to employ forceful means in wresting his command from him." The answer he gets back is the captain is the law. There will be no action taken to prevent the disaster that Ahab will commit. A fatal surrender to fatalism, a surrender of reason and justice to personal power.

Starbuck is the only one who opposes Ahab, in the novel (cf. chapters 36, 109) and the film; he thinks of shooting or arresting Ahab. He tries to convince others to take the ship home. Starbuck is unsuccessful.

Melville takes care in naming characters. There is a biblical overlay. Achab is the king of Israel that marries Jezabel. He opposes the prophets, especially Elias (Elijah).

And Achab the son of Amri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him.— III Kings xvi. 30.
And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.— I Kings xvi. 30 kjv
Now, Starbuck is a supporter of commerce, of the moneyed interests, that equates work (that creates wealth for others) that supplies a need as worthy of the praise of God. Ahab interferes with the primacy of commerce, and is therefore derelict. Ahab is a crazed tyrant. Starbuck does not oppose him for that essence, but for his blasphemy of capitalism. Ahab is the father of disaster, and should be opposed for it.

What makes Ahab an hero is that he is not a coward, he will act himself. The rest of the crew permits his misrule. Now, this is marvelous fiction. We live in reality. We suffer leaders, really suffer leaders, legitimate or not, whom lead us to disaster. They are unaccountable. They have support from the people they destroy. We see this in the country, at work, in the church and elsewhere.

"I don't give reasons. I give orders!" Ahab is nakedly honest, the usual tyrant of to-day is not so forthright. This sort of 'leader' needs to be opposed.