Monday, October 30, 2017

Up Here at Kilkenny's

Worked late tonight.   Hanging out in a quiet booth at Kilkenny's Irish Pub in Tulsa (I'm half Irish-American and half German), drinking a Bud Light and eating bangers and cheddar cheese.   Just finished an Irish Whiskey. 

Lately ponderings.  Need to review how to take Max advantage of obtaining Indulgences during All Souls-tide, if that's a word.  Scroll down to read my post about Indulgences.    I'm thinking on All Souls Day you can gain 3 (!), under the usual conditions as it were, applied to the Poor Souls only

Tomorrow is Halloween.   I can imagine some Catholic mothers 
worried if Trick-or-Treating is a near occasion of sin.   Well this is one of the, as I call it,  trad theological errors, if you ask me.   It's a fine line,  but you CAN do Halloween in a traditional Catholic way, imo.  

One alternative to the psychopathic horror show that is secular Halloween, is the All Saints Day Party. 

And guess what?   We Okie Trads
in the Diocese of Tulsa of Eastern Oklahoma (new name! Btw, I often refer to our Local Church that way), have TWO All Saints Day Parties coming up! 

1.  After next Sunday Mass at MPB, I hear. 

2.  A week later--on a Saturday-- at a SSPP family's house.  (email me if you'd like an invite). 

Happy All Hallows Eve, fella Okie Trads! 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Some Thoughts on Indulgences


After I was given a practically brand spankin' new laptop (Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series, Touchscreen) by a fellow Okie Trad reader of the blog, another reader emailed me offering two laptops.  I declined due to the recent gift but they insisted and sent me the laptops.  Now I have 3 new (to me) laptops!

"Anonymous" asks we pray for the Pour Souls in Purgatory, in light of their contribution, and that I write a blog post about Indulgences.  Cracking my knuckles, I'll see what I can do "Anoynmous."  And THANK YOU again for the two laptops.  Wow and double wow.


Indulgences.  The remittance of temporal punishment due to sin, as a canonical act of mercy by either the pope or the local bishop.  i.e. To reduce Purgatory time. 

And friends, if you haven't ever read what private revelation says about purgatory, (cheapest version: HERE), you might be surprised to learn how real it really is.  The author drives home how horrible it is that you will gladly embrace regular prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to satisfy your sin debt on this side of the River Styx. 

Let's see, you've got your partial indulgence which remits punishment on par with the quality of your devotion when performing the prayer and/or other devotional act.  In fact saying one Hail Mary with complete humility and no holds barred charity for the Almighty can theoretically satisfy the debt for a lifetime of sin.

Priest Dies, Sees Hell,
Purgatory, and Heaven
A Must Watch Folks

And then you've got your plenary indulgence.  That takes care of the whole kit and caboodle. If gained, it remits all temporal punishment due to sin. It ain't as simple though as doing the necessary act.

An example of a plenary indulgence is saying a rosary in a group.  But the kicker is there are a few additional requirements the pope wants us to take care of to get the complete benefit. 

A) Go to confession/communion within 21 days before or after the required act (the previous law stated within one week but was changed in the early 2000s, thanks I think to JP2)

B) Say a prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father (one Our Father and one Hail Mary will suffice).

C) This here is the most challenging part:  "no attachment to venial sin."

That last part, I've observed, often confounds the earnest believer trying to earn the plenary indulgence. 

As an aside, I can imagine some readers being like "Wha Okie Trad?  'Earn?'  We don't 'earn' our salvation!"  To which I would respond, yes we do participate in "earning" our salvation; its not all on God as Martin Luther would have us believe. 

Incidentally, when he objected to indulgences he later admitted he had been ignorant of what the Church teaches on the subject.  Ya'll let me know in the Comm section if any factoid of my presentation is off and I can duly edit it.

                          "Solo Fides, Okie Trad"

Not to worry.  The objection I raised in the last paragraph I heard addressed by a priest once in a conference.  He said the kind of "detachment from venial sin" required to earn the plenary indulgence
is not absolute. 

We don't have to be 100% free of concupiscence, the weakness of the flesh, or sin.  It is a basic kind of detachment.

But that kind of detachment is more a product of moral disposition, or habit of the soul, over time, than mustering all the spiritual strength you can at the time of performing the indulgence act. 

For example, if you are praying a rosary with your family, and at the end offer the indulgence prayers for the pope's intentions, you don't have to grit your teeth, take a deep breath, and drive out all the evil inclinations from your mind in one fell swoop to gain the full, plenary indulgence.  You simply have to be detached from sin. 

But to assure yourself that you are, the habit of detachment from all sin could be cultivated through daily prayer, fasting, and almsgiving--the three forms of penance recommended by the Church since the beginning.

There are all sorts of ways to gain partial indulgences.  Every prayer of the rosary--the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and Creed are all indulgenced prayers.  "Ejaculatory prayers" are a common way to gain indulgences throughout the day. 

That old school term means to vocalize, even with a whisper, short simple prayers such as:

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph I give you my heart and my soul;  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph assist me in my last agony and death;" Jesus, Mary, and Joseph I breathe forth my soul and peace to you."

Here is the official list of approved indulgences:

Enchiridion  (cool name)

And rules or general conditions:

My favorite plenary indulgence is the daily family rosary.  But during the time of All Saints Day and All Souls Day you can earn several indulgences, for the Poor Souls: 

A few other interesting aspects about Indulgences.

If you have had the habit of prayer during your lifetime, get this, you can gain a plenary indulgence at the moment of death!  Or, if you are blessed to have Anointing of the Sick, confession, communion, and the "last rites" at the time of your death (remember we're all doing to die!), the priest will/should give you the Apostolic Blessing which carries with it a plenary indulgence from the pope. 

In either case, if properly received, the departed soul will go straight through the Pearly Gates.  That's a comfort for Catholics reading this whose deceased loved ones received this special grace before death.  I remember my father receiving the Apostolic Blessing before passing on.  But I still have Masses said for him.


Indulgences are a marvelous aspect of the spiritual life, and in fact help give form to the spiritual life.
Just think about it.  Those requirements for indulgences are synonymous with the ordinary means of saving your soul:  prayers, fasting, almsgiving, confession, communion. 

The Saints actually teach that it is a greater act of charity and duty to pray for the dead than spiritual or corporal works of mercy to our fellow man here below.  Yup, that blows my mind too.  But gaining indulgences for them, and us, we participate more fully and intimately in the Communion of the Saints, on the level of the Church Militant (us) praying for and with the Church Suffering (souls in Purgatory).

Did I miss any important aspect of Indulgences?  Let me know in the Comm. Box below.  And thanks again to "Anonymous" for their generous gift of two laptops.  Ya'll please pray for their intentions:  for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.

PS  My next post is a compilation of interesting facts about St. Padre Pio, one of my favorite saints. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Allure and Danger of Eastern Orthodoxy

Re-posted from several weeks ago. 

The Allure and Danger of Eastern Orthodoxy

Preface: this here post is written as a sign of appreciation to OkiePapist, who loaned me a laptop, which right now is saving my right thumb from developing osteoarthritis. I take my Sooner Cowboy hat off to OkiePapist. Thank you kind sir. He chose this topic, which I hope you’ll find fun and thought-provoking.

And as a Resource to Share with Catholics Considering Orthodoxy
I welcome Fall. It is my favorite season. As an outdoors-man, of course there’s the Fall colors, cool evenings that warrant the beloved campfire, and an excuse to switch from coffee to hot chocolate. Well who needs an excuse for hot chocolate? Especially if you spike it.

And there are the Fall events I love to attend. The Fair, Oktoberfest, Halloween hayrides, All Saints Day bonfires, and the Thanksgiving dinner.

But Fall would not be the same without a requisite stop at

St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma in downtown T-town, for the annual Greek Festival. Its the first weekend in October. As in next weekend!

Interestingly, I believe at one time—being then less ecumenical—they called it the Greek Orthodox Festival, which I personally would actually prefer. Less P.C. I think. That is after all what they are celebrating. Yes, their Greek culture. I love their buttery, nutty baklava. But I also do appreciate their Orthodox Faith. Which is basically very close to the Catholic Faith btw, doctrinally speaking, more or less.

Side Note.

As a side note, it is a shame most Catholics haven’t an inkling of knowledge about the Eastern Church, or perhaps that it even exists. As for me myself, I wouldn’t have an inkling either had I not stumbled upon Eastern rites in Tulsa. I remember a trad friend from OKC once got his boxers in a bunch when I brought up going to the Byzantine Mass. He asked if it was valid or Catholic, and didn’t seem to accept my thorough explanation, as if in his mind, only the western, Latin Church has existed these past 2000 years.

Anyway, I like to drop in for an hour or two to listen to the Greek music--think the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding--and take a tour of their church, usually led by one of the bearded, married Fathers, wearing his long, wide, black robe, and large chain and cross, across his chest.

Though I have yet to see one of their bad-ass, cool-looking bishops, with the super-manly beard and the tall, wide, black hat with a kind of black veil going down the shoulders. Which reminds me of the Lithuanian Orthodox priest in Seinfeld, who tried to instruct George. Remember that episode?

               So the tour group settles into the back pew listening to the priest’s talk. Those sentimentally gazing at all the Icons, I imagine to be Catholics from the diocese. The rest look perplexed, who I imagine to be Evangelicals. But I lean forward, mystified by the priest’s talk about Icons.

The Icon. A Metaphor of Eastern Christianity.

According to Orthodox--and Eastern Catholic, btw--Iconography, the Icon is not a mere, pretty symbolic reminder of someone in heaven. Something to sentimentally gaze at. The painted Image is also a “sacramental,” which itself mystically connects us with the person that it represents, by means of us venerating it. Especially kissing it. Yup, kissing it. Saliva and all. Men and women alike.

The symbol calls to mind indirectly the presence of the person in heaven, but get this, not my idea, the image also signifies directly the saint, being literally manifested in a mystical way through that very iconographic image. Yes, it blows my mind too, and it is hard to articulate being a modern Westerner, but the same basic theological principles of sacred images are also in the Latin Church. Its just that the theology of sacred images, especially controversial in the first millenium of Christianity, were more worked out in the East.

The holy Icon is the sacred work of a Church-commissioned artist, who first meditated on the holy person they are trying to manifest on canvass. They are instructed to first meditate on the life of the Saint, or Our Lord.

On the Scriptures, Patristic writings, and theological treatises of Iconography, and the canon laws on sacred images, before meticulously and spiritually transmitting in two-dimensional form the sacred image. The end game is to represent as accurately as possible, historically and theologically, the religious reality of that person, for veneration and imitation.

Eastern Orthodoxy is Alluring.

Eastern Orthodoxy is alluring, especially for certain disenfranchised Catholics who attend the Latin Mass. There does seem to be a trend of certain trads going Orthodox. This article is partly written for them.

I know of one family that were very committed traditional Catholics, of the SSPX-persuasion, who suddenly left their chapel and joined a kind of traditionalist, “Old Calendar” version of a Russian Orthodox Chapel, that just happened to be a few miles from their neighborhood. Maybe this article might reach them.

                                                                               In fact, what they joined was a schism, on top of a schism, on top of more schism. Eastern Orthodoxy has always been divided not as much by liturgical rites and episcopal jurisdictions, as by national-politico-cultural lines and petty disputes about things like liturgical calendars. And when I say “divided” I mean certain “schisms” between Orthodox Churches. Ask an Orthodox, and I think they will say that yes that’s how it’s been since they broke with Rome around 1000 A.D.

This family joined the “true” Orthodox Church because it used the old calendar and did not participate in ecumenism. To them, almost all the mainstream Orthodox Churches are not true Churches. Kind of a sedevacantist version of an Orthodox chapel.

They were considered in schism from the mainstream Russian Orthodox Church, which itself is the subject of separation from a # of other Orthodox Churches. This family is also in schism from the mother of all Orthodox Churches, headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople in Turkey, who is considered the “first among equals” of all Orthodox bishops. It seems to have replaced for the Orthodox the Apostolic tradition of the Church of Rome having pride of place. It is an odd paradox. And not according to the teaching of the Early Church Fathers.

Another short anecdote. Recently a well respected young man converted to traditional Catholicism, but very quickly and suddenly vanished, re-converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, which I hear left people scratching their heads why. Hey guy, if you’re reading, this post is written for you too!
                 Is the Byzantine Chapel still in the Basement at St. Augustine's in north Tulsa?                                                                              I also remember attending the Byzantine Mass in Tulsa, and suddenly one Sunday there were no acolytes to serve the Divine Liturgy. These two brothers--perhaps rightly?-- objected to Latinizations that had still remained despite post-conciliar liturgical reform to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostum. That is basically the Mass (Divine Liturgy) handed down from the Apostles, in Greece, to the Eastern Catholic Church, which is also almost identically used by the Eastern Orthodox. The brothers joined St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox in downtown Tulsa, and I don’t think it was for the baklava. Though cute Greek girls wearing skirts may have drawn them in, I wonder.

I wonder if they wound up novice monks at Mt. Athos in Greece, the spiritual, monastic Mecca for the Eastern Orthodox. It is the Fontgombault of the Eastern Church. It almost seems like a particular phenomenon for tradition-minded Catholic men to join the Orthodox with visions of becoming a Mt. Athos monk. I suspect most end up getting married. After all, there is only so much space in that venerated monastery on the rocky hill overlooking the sea.
                  And this phenomenon has been talked about over and over in the online traditional Catholic forums the last 17 years that I’ve read them. Threads about this aren’t as frequent as they are about the new Mass or Pope Francis. Tbh, those threads make me yawn. 
But they pop up every couple months or so.   Often it is a young Catholic man flirting with Orthodoxy, challenging the supposedly spiritually dry Latin Rite Catholics in the forum on points of doctrine that were already settled by the Early Church Fathers themselves. Hello.

A short perusal of the classic 3 volume set The Early Church Fathers, along the lines of convert Cardinal Newman’s own inquiry about the Papacy, will verify that the original Sacred Tradition of the Church always recognized the Bishop of Rome as having “Pride of Place,” but also Universal Jurisdiction over all bishops. Yup. Universal. Jurisdiction. Those historical facts are as plain as a round Earth, or gravity causing falling objects.

The Context.

I find that any religious conversion has a context, and from what I gather that context is the declining state of the Roman Catholic Church, in particular its practical loss of ecclesial Tradition as a three-dimensional, organic dimension of church life.

The Catholic-converting-to-Orthodoxy is disillusioned and confused, as is everyone else. They yearn for the sacred, the mystical, the timeless. They want a theology, spirituality, and liturgy that transcends ideology. Something that goes above and beyond the more human, naturalistic, and rationalistic mindset that has sometimes taken over parts of the Latin Church. They rightfully are turned off by the dry, Thomistic “manuals,” the short-sighted focus on St. Thomas himself in contrast to his Wisdom, all Scholastic and Patristic writers, and the very quick, drone-like way the traditional Roman rite could sometimes be celebrated in the past. And sometimes still today, to be honest.

The Catholic-converting-to-Orthodoxy is fatigued by church politics, and polemical writings. The Pontifical Magisterium is not what the first thing they tend to think of when they think of the Faith; rather, the Gospel of Jesus Christ pops up on their screen. It is a false dichotomy, but I can understand it. Considering the state of the Latin Church, I sympathize with them.

The Alluuure.

While turning away from a perceived Western rationalism, they turn toward the Allure of the East. Part of that allure is obvious to the Latin Mass Catholic. The Eastern Liturgy is out of this world beautiful, enchanting, and spiritually penetrating. It is stable, without liturgical dancers, incense bowls, or clown Masses. It is basically how St. Paul worshiped with the first Christians in the first churches in Antioch, Greece. They used sacred images, what would become the Eastern chant--which sounds quite haunting, in a good way--and tons of candles.

Listen to some Eastern Christian chant HERE.

It was/is a sacred festival of the senses, culminating in receiving the Eucharist under the appearance of leavened bread, placed on a little spoon, which is dipped into the Precious Blood, and consumed by the worthy believer. I can tell you from my Byzantine rite experience, Holy Communion in that manner is most edifying.

Btw, let’s call Msgr. Brankin and bring it back to Tulsa already! If it was once at the FSSP-shared parish church before, how about support it being offered on occasion at least at Most Precious Blood? I would so be there. Fr. Sherman, the former celebrant of this rite, can only do so much, considering he has now passed on to the hereafter. RIP, Fr. Gary!

“Wisdom be attentive!”

- a common prayer in the Divine Liturgy.

The Danger.

But I think part of the allure of the Christian East, is a hypnotic gravitation to the East itself. To the Oriental, Mystical, and Esoteric, if not also Gnostic. It reminds me of secular Americans turning to the East, that is towards Eastern, Asian religion. And lets face it, if your soul is churning over and over in search of the transcendental, Buddhism, while horribly pagan, is also very mystical, humanly speaking.

John Senior meditated on this drift to the East in his must-read-for-all-trads-who-dare-call-themselves-trads, The Death of Christian Culture (its a must read folks). Modern, western man has fallen into a perpetual state of “Ennui,” or deep, lifeless boredom over existence itself. The Catholic-converting-to-Orthodoxy is probably wrestling with this same sort of Ennui. They want to come alive spiritually. And sometimes they may not find that at some Latin Mass chapels where the main Mass is a Low Mass, or spiritual piety might gravitate to a 1950’s-ism form of externalistic piety. These Catholics on the verge of schism from the Apostolic See, are violently reacting to modernity everywhere they experience it. And I don’t blame them for that internal reaction.

But flip the coin over, and truth be told, the simplistic ideology ingrained into the catechumen to Orthodoxy is this:

1. It is said, the Church of Rome is bad, bad, and bad. And bad. It is a dry well of heresies and worldliness. And this was centuries before Vatican II.

2. It is said, the True spirituality is in the East. Just Eastern liturgy and spirituality, and monks and families. Roman liturgy? The spirituality of St. Theresa of Avila or St. Ignatius of Loyola? Wha? A variety of religious orders with varying degrees of contemplative vs. active emphasis, to meet the varying needs of the Church? Too complex. Keep it simple silly. The Desert Fathers didn’t form Societies of Apostolic Life, man. They just retreated and prayed the psalms, as every good Christian should do. Well, you get the picture.

3. So repudiate the Holy Father, confess your heresy, embrace only the first 7 Ecumenical Councils (forget about the other 16), and shazam, you’re Orthodox.

Yet the divide is a little deeper than that. Yes, there is the bad, false, and ugly in the West; but there is also the good, true, and beautiful. Likewise, yes there is the good, true, and beautiful in the East; but there is also the bad, false and ugly too. That needs to be admitted and looked at.


Where do I begin? If there are sins against the divine Church within the Church itself, as in heresy, then of course there is going to be heresy in the Eastern Church. But what remedied the problem and cut off the dead vines from the tree? When Eastern Christians were/are united to the Church of Rome, the answer to that question is divinely simple and divinely inspired.

The answer is the Christ-instituted Pope. The central authority. The Father who properly orders the Household, while the Mother and children submit and obey. It is a principle of nature and human nature, as the Greek philosophers taught, that for a household to survive and be properly ordered and united, it requires a Final authority to make certain decisions that only one person can make, not two or three or the many. But for certain critical, life-preserving executive decisions which require some kind of formal, God-instituted, central authority, the buck must stop with one man.
                                                                                                   For the Church instituted by Christ, that man is the Pope, the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of the West, the Servant of the Servants of God. He is is the Vicar of Christ whose final word solves very tough doctrinal and disciplinary questions and restores unity. And thank God He gave our Church this source of authority and unity.

But there is no such thing that truly corresponds to what we call Pope, in the Eastern Orthodox Church. There is a Coptic Patriarch who uses the word in his title, but the meaning is very general in the sense of “Father.” “Pope” comes from “Papa” meaning “Father.” He is the Father of Egyptian Orthodox Christians.

But consider this, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, as it is called, there are many unsolved doctrinal conflicts that for 1000 years remaine unsolved and divisive. Artificial birth control--something intrinsically contrary to the natural law design of the procreative act--is allowed in certain circumstances. Well, its not like their parish priest is asking how often parishioners use condoms. Wide use of birth control is tacitly permitted. If you thought Pope Francis was contradictory about the Church’s teachings for the “Communion-for-the-Divorced-and-Remarried-without-Annulment-living-in Adultery” category, look at the Orthodox Church.

Remember, Our Lord ended Old Testament divorce and forbade it. His teaching clearly means “til-death-do-us-part.” About every Orthodox bishop will admit that in theory. But in pastoral practice nearly every Orthodox bishop publicly allows in their parishes a man to divorce his wife and remarry another woman in a state of adultery, and still receive Holy Communion in good standing with the community. Divorce-and-remarriages are in fact allowed. They are allowed up to 3 “marriages.” The 2nd or 3rd aren’t considered sacramental, but they are publicly blessed by the Orthodox Church.

Btw, this is probably what is in store in the future for us Catholics, after the next couple Synods or so.

But what any good Pentecostal will tell you--which trads often are compared to--marriage is for life. A man leaves his wife for another woman, that is what the bible calls adultery. And by allowing this 3 times, and to still receive the Holy Mysteries, objectively that is officially permitting and condoning adultery and Eucharistic sacrilege. Kyrie eleison (use of Greek intended).

Even if I were to be allured by Orthodoxy, those glaring contradictions would stop me in my tracks.

And while Eastern spirituality to a certain depth is refreshingly spiritual, it is because of the nature of autonomous, conflicting, Orthodox Churches, and that whole, fractionated, 1000 year old, ecclesial paradigm (before 1000 A.D. East and West were united under the Apostolic See), that the most bizarre and strangest notions of piety and spiritual practice reveal themselves.

Without one central authority representing Christ on Earth, nutty, pharisaical religious practices, that all religious and non-religuous people dislike, will grow and spread through the mainstream. Just as pietism or quietism or charismaticism represent the nuttiness of Protestantism, so the world of Orthodoxy also has its special monk gurus, hidden secret theology books that the elect are privileged to discover, and extreme forms of asceticism that St. Anthony of the Desert would have thought were whacked out.

This is not my opinion by the way. It is a historical, religious reality in Orthodoxy that any recognized theologian or academic of religion will describe.


So the spirituality of Orthodoxy is not as simple as the Jesus Prayer beads, bearded monks and priests, or the mystical beauty of the Icon. Think gazing up at the admitted beauty of the Taj Mahal in India, the colorfulness of Hindu dress, or the allure of their Bhagavad-Gita sacred text. But then imagine walking down an alley in New Dheli where you can buy any kind of religious, Hindu souvenir, depending on what school of Hindu spirituality you like. I am sorry, but many converts or revertsto Catholicism, from Orthodoxy, report the bizarre spiritual and theological underbelly of it.


Taj Mahal

The new Catholic-to-Orthodoxy converts will find out, given enough time.


I am already being long-winded, so I’ll just enumerate a few ideas.

1. Promote Eastern Catholicism. The Byzantine Liturgy under Rome. Compared to the Latin church, the Eastern Catholic side of the Catholic Church is pretty darn traditional, even with their somewhat watered down, conciliar liturgical reforms, and ethnic enclaves.

2. Reform the Latin Church. Bring back Tradition so religious, believing Catholics will have something to sink their teeth into, and a reason not to leave. Especially the traditional Roman rite. And no matter how millenial or trans-human people today may have become, the primordial need in human nature for the sacred and mystical will kick in. Many young people will fall in love with the traditional Mass. They already are.

3. Use “true ecumenism” to reunite the Orthodox to Rome. Now is the hour. This is the 100th Anniversay of Our Lady at Fatima’s Apparitions, where she wanted a conversion specifically of Russia. It was no coincidence that Russia was and is the largest contingent of Eastern Orthodox. I heard that the famous Fr. Gruner (RIP) Fatima Center is heading to Moscow!!! They want to bring the message of Fatima to the doorsteps of the Kremlin (or whatever the former Soviet Union calls it now).

Well this has been a fun piece, and a pleasure to accommodate OkiePapist’s requests, without whose laptop loan certainly this verbose piece would not have been possible. Thanks again OkiePapist! You d’ man.

Ya’ll let me know what you think of this article, and share.

Oh and who wants to meet Joseph Ostermeir, the Okie Trad? We can meet up at the Greek Festival for some baklava!

The Comm Box is Open!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Hot Tub

Holy Mass.

Reasor's Chicken.

Hot tub before work.

Where I think up my best blog posts.  :)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Boy Scouts Thing in the News

Growing up I was in the Boy Scouts.   Outside of my parents,  Catholic teachers, and Catholic pastors growing up, it was a singular blessing that the BOY Scouts of America helped form me from a boy into a man.   I was a Boy Scout from age 12-18, and in high school I was active in two Scouting affiliate organizations Medical Explorers and Civil Air Patrol.  In college, I was an Assistant Scoutmaster and member of the Scouting affiliate Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity.

So I feel the need to express my thoughts about the most recent change.  You may have heard the recent news about the Boy Scouts.  It is momentarily impossible to support the BOY Scouts because they currently do not exist.  I am unable to support something that does not exist.  Wha, Okie Trad, they don't exist?

Yes.  An organization has a certain essence or definition; if you change any defining aspect, then it ceases to exist; it has morphed into an entirely new, distinct entity.  If you replace a basketball court with a soccer field, or the basketball with a soccerball, or the basketball goal with a soccer goal, then the Game is no longer "Basketball."  It has been substantially altered into a different Game, in this case Soccer.

In the case of the Boy Scouts, part of its nature is that it is reserved for Boys.  The Scout Law, Motto, and Slogan;  the whole Merit Badge and Award system up to Eagle Scout is based on forming Boys into Men, especially men devoted to God, country, and family.   Not Gender-Neutral Robots into Politically-Correct World Citizens.

When you remove the Boys Scouts' distinction as being exclusively (boo hiss, I said the "e" word) for Boys, then you have removed part of the very definition and nature that makes the Boy Scouts of American what it is.   So right now, the BSA does not exist.

But I do continue to support the IDEA of the Boy Scouts, an organization for ya know BOYS, for the purpose of Scouting, to make boys into men, gentlemen, and citizens of the community, state, and nation.

Maybe Trump can take care of this with a couple phone calls.  Withdraw the support of the federal Executive branch and its resources (ie $$$$$), simply because the government cannot support an organization that currently does not exist.  The national BSA leadership might cave. 

In the meantime, how can Troops handle this situation, who wish to be faithful to the BSA mission?   If they are not willing or able to boycott the PC decision of the local Council, they can take a strategy that is very much along the lines of what it means to be a Boy Scout in the first place. 

Form Boy Scouts to be what a Boy Scout is supposed to be:  trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, brave, clean, and reverent, and to do their "duty to God and my country" then I'd bet a non-vital organ any girl and her parents who would consider enrolling in a Troop like that, would instead join, ya know, the Girl Scouts of America (who made a public statement against this latest decision, btw).

Onward and upward. (a Boy Scout slogan, which comes from St. Paul)!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

New Book! By Yours Truely! History of Latin Mass Movement in Eastern Oklahoma!

Do you attend the Latin Mass in Eastern Oklahoma?

Ever wondered how the whole thing got started?

About the different Latin Mass communities?

About the Past, Present, and Future of Traditional Catholicism
in our Local Church?

Look no further.  I bring you, from my laptop to yours, a little, informal, self-published book I recently wrote.   I have not officially published it yet.  Right now, there is no charge. 

People are free to correct me on the factoids and dates I present, challenge assumptions and prognostications, or just ask questions for conversation.

At some point, I would like to get this little book printed, and distributed through every Latin Mass community in Eastern Oklahoma.

Without Further Ado, I, Joseph Ostermeir give you...

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Traditional Catholic Blogosphere as the 21st Century Version of the Catacombs

Deo gracias!  Wunderbar!  Holy moley!  Praise the Living God!  Yes!!  I recently received, from a Reader and Benefactor, "Anonymous," who happens to be a professional, Catholic gentleman and Okie trad, a practically brand-new, very nice Dell Inspiron 15, 7000, 7548 Laptop with a 15.6 inch Touchscreen, that can be used both with Microsoft and as a Chromebook.  Having spent most of the past six months typing my blog posts using my right thumb and my 3 inch smartphone, this is quite the relief.  Our little chromebook got fried, and the wallet was thin.  And my right metacarpophalangeal joint in particular is thankful!

My Metacarpophalangeal Joint
is Thankful!

And thanks again to another generous Okie trad and professional gentleman, "OkiePapist," for lending me his laptop recently!  Look up there in the upper right hand corner, and you can click
the post about it, and please pray for his Mother, for her conversion to the Catholic Faith!

Later, I'll put up a reminder to pray for the intentions of the Anonymous donor of the Dell; but as promised, I am writing a blog post about a topic of his choice.  He emailed me the other day, after I let him know the Dell came in the mail, and suggested the topic.  It is--using Trump's voice--huuuuuge!    Right up my alley, and it fits the majestic vision that came down from heaven as I was sharing a cigar October last year, with a Tulsa Trad.  The thought was to use the Blog as a Voice for Traditional Catholicism/Catholics across Oklahoma.  Here is the 2016  POST describing my grandeous dream. 

Anyonymous' Idea for a Blog Post is....drum roll please 

The Blogosphere/Internet as the
21st Century Version of the

And this here is the idea, fellow trads and Okies:  take the Counter-Revolution, and Traditionalist Remnant Church Online!  As a Safe, Legitimate Refuge from the Modernists that Be within the Hierarchical Structure of the Church.  This is of course already the case, to a certain degree.  We have all sorts of traditional Catholic blogs/forums/online journals,newspapers/etc.   This Online Remnant is already de facto a reality.  You will hear Michael Matt talk about it over at his Remnant online TV program,
with a setting that resembles an underground Catacomb.

Online Remnant Catholic Church
The Internet Catacombs

In Oklahoma, the online Catholic counter-revolution can be found at The Okie Traditionalist blog, The Hirsch Filess blog, The Catholic Gentleman blog, Oremus Traditional Catholic Newspaper website (out of Oklahoma City), The Catholic Manshow Radio Program (out of Tulsa, part of St. Michael's Radio, podcasts saved on websites), Mother Miriam's Daily Podcast/Radio Program, Most Precious Blood Parish FB page/website, etc.

By now, most know that Joseph Ostermeir lays his head down every night on the East side of Oklahoma, so that might be more my focus.  Building up the Traditional Catholic Remnant across the Tulsa Diocese

In Oklahoma, we already have an Online, Remnant Catholic Church, De Facto Network of Traditional Catholics.  My hope is to help facilitate and encourage our Online Okie Local Church.

Outside of Oklahoma, the Online Catholic Underground Church is seen with Michael Voris and the CMTV, Catholic Answers, The Remnant website, Fr. Z's blog, Rorate Coeli blog, New Liturgical Movement blog, Eponymous Flower blog, Vox Cantoris blog, all sorts of great blogs by Trad Priests (Fr. Kirby's Vultus Christi is a great example.).  And then there are the Forums:  I recommend two:  Fish Eaters and Suscipe Domine, which are an invaluable resource of receiving and spreading Catholic news.  The main tradition-minded Catholic newspapers and journals are part of the Traditional Catholic Blogosphere/Online Remnant:  The Remnant, Catholic Family News, Angelus Press, Wanderer--each with their own Conferences which now can be viewed from home via paid Streaming, and EWTN TV/Radio/website.   

Just recently, there is a new Forum for Okie Trads.  Its a Hub for Okie Trads and all Catholic to share news, info, resources, chats, and friendships.  Please register.  Click here: 

A Canonical Underground Church on the Internet:  3 Reasons Why We Can/Must

1.  Canon 212 says that Lay Catholics have the right to make known their opinions and concerns to the Pastors.  But is it not true, that too often our letters to the Chancery or an office in the Vatican go unanswered?  What other means is more effective and long-reaching besides the Online Blogosphere Catacombs  "to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion of matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faifhful?"

2.  Catholics also have canonical rights to establish Catholic entities without the approval of the local ordinary, to share matters pertaining to the Catholic Faith:  blogs, websites, forums, online journals, etc.   These are basically "private associations of the faithful" which share information publicly online.  It is grassroots and word-of-mouth, and in my opinion when you have a Catholic Blogosphere, constantly sharing knowledge and wisdom via Social Media, that is a (using Trump's voice again) huuuuugggeee  Force to be Reckoned With.  

3. The Catholic Church, even the official structures of each Diocese, are going more and more online. It is just a matter of time before so much of our daily life is integrated with a Virtual Reality via the internet, smartphones, laptops, and VR goggles.  The time is ripe to build up an Online Remnant for Traditional Catholics!  As we are witnessing today.

Imagine if God-forbid, your bishop or even the pope himself, should suppress the traditional Mass.  He has the authority to suspend or transfer priests, shut down parishes/convents, or remove traditionalist priestly societies from his diocese.  But he DOES NOT have the authority to dissolve coalitions of traditional Catholics in the flesh or online.   The Online Catacomb Catholics can come together and organize for traditional Catholic Action.

Imagine you learn your progressive or modernist Bishop is about to shut down a Traditional Latin Mass community.  Whispers in the parking lot (to borrow a phrase from Laramie Hirsch), or letters to the chancery just aren't cutting the mustard.  But with the Power of the Blog, and social media, lay Catholics can respectfully organize and voice their concern.  And these kind of stories go viral.

Imagine you want to start up a TLM, but are having a hard tim finding locals interested, or the support of the Local Bishop and/or his Presbyteral Council.  Look no further.  Turn on your electronic device, make sure you have a Wifi connection, in a few keystrokes, and use of a few simple online tools, they Project is underway. 

Think how you can help build up an Online Blogosphere Traditional Catholic Remnant in your own Diocese.  To help build up Tradition!  To help defend it!  One of the beauties of canon law combined with the Internet, is that traditionalist Catholics can in fact legitimately organize a Traditional Movement across their Diocese.

A few tips:  focus criticisms on words and actions, rather than personal attacks of a bishop or priest;  network with other blogs, websites, forums, etc;  highlight the good, true, and beautiful in your diocese, and at the same time respectfully express concern what seems to be bad, false, and ugly.


5  Ideas for the Diocese of Tulsa, Online Traditional Catholic Blogosphere/Catacombs (A Model for other Local Churches):

1.  Bloggers and website owners network via email and Facebook, and have meetups to strategize.

2.  Make known this network.  The Okie Traditionalist Blog and OkieTradCats Forum can be a Hub for the network.

3. Have an outreach to Bishop Konderla and the Powers-that-Be on his Presbyteral Council:  make known to them our Network, our concerns and cares, and ask for assistance.  Offer assistance.

4. Informally network with Bishop Emeritus Slattery (he still has an office at the chancery) and tradition-minded priests (who are or may be interested in the TLM).   Use Fr. Z's Tridentine Latin Mass Society of Madison as a model, how to spread the TLM throughout the Diocese.  To help preserve and increase +Slattery's Works of Traditional Restoration!  And to defend them from being removed.

5.  Have conferences, social events, and informal meetups of traditional Catholics of Eastern Oklahoma from Clear Creek, Sts. Peter and Paul, Most Precious Blood, the former SSPX-Tulsa members, etc.

Peanut: My Backpacking Buddy

It was almost exactly two years ago to the day, that I took with me my backpacking buddy, on a backpacking trip on a loop trail by Greenleaf Lake State Park, southeast of Muskogee. Greencountry, as we call Northeastern Oklahoma.  About an hour or so southeast Tulsa.  "Backpacking buddy" is one of the nickname's I give for my "Man's-Best-Friend" named Peanut, a five-year old, black female Dauchshund, who, true to her breed, loves to tunnel under blankets and chew anything that is chewable.  On our outdoor adventure, she loved  carrying the little fanny pack wrapped around her back contained her dog food and water.  It being Fall again, she and I are beginning to train for that same trip, walking around the neighborhood.

Greenleaf Lake, Oklahoma
Backpacking Trail Loop

Recently, I received a thankful email from a Reader of the blog, named Sarah, a Student Doctor of Veterinary Science from California, who said she and her cousins are regular Readers of the Blog!  What-up from Oklahoma!  She wanted to recommend to other readers and dog lovers a website where, if you have a dog, you can look up photos and info about your dog's breed.  Thanks Dr. Sarah!

I felt horrible back in late April when I took Peanut with me to a doctor's appointment.  I kind of realized at the last minute I had forgot about the appointment (I'm thinking I wasn't too fond of the particular doctor).  Before going into the doctor's building, I had rolled down all the windows enough to let in air, as well as the sunroof, and it being I think in the 70 degrees F, I figured we were okay.  That is until some sort of animal rescue police officer came into the exam room to lecture me about leaving my dog out in the "heat."  For the next hour or so, the argument whether-or-not he was right ping-ponged back and forth in my mind.  I mean, it was still April, nice temps, windows rolled down enough, she had water.  But, in the end, my conscience yielded, and I decided I would not leave her in the car unless the temps were below 70 F.

Maybe Dr. Sarah has some recommendations about this...

And so I am waiting.  Waiting for Fall to keep coming out and showing us he is here.  So that Peanut cannot only be my Backpacking Buddy, but also my Run-Around-Town Buddy.   In the backseat, I have ready a bed, with blanket, food, water, leash, and toys.  So hopefully in a couple weeks or so, she will be running around all over town with me, with her head poked out the window (rolled up enough to be safe!), and her tongue wagging in the wind.

I love that little dog, Peanut. 

Have a great Fall Weekend, Ya'll!!

Saturday Morning Diner Steak 'n Eggs

2 eggs sunny-side up, tomatoes, a sirloin steak medium well, and a diet Coke.

Sitting in a booth at an old-fashioned diner here in T-town
overlooking downtown.

Nice, cool Fall weekend.  Today
swimming, blogging at Panera, wash car, give virtual reality goggles to my nephews, review
political writings prepping for
Coulombe podcast, confession/holy hour, grill chicken, watch The Hobbit.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

PODCAST: Okie Trad Interviews Sir Charles Coulombe!!!

Well not yet.  :)  I just chatted with Charles who has agreed to do a Podcast Interview soon for The Okie Traditionalist, coming to a blog near you!

I'm a newbie Coulombe-fan since about a year ago, when starting to blog I discovered the online presence of this traditional Catholic gentleman, and Jewel of Wisdom.  Oh, and I've never done a podcast before, so this should be fun!

Like many, I am drawn to his exponentially growing, leading expertise on the hot topic of Monarchy, especially here in the US.

To me, he reminds me of a 21st Century, American version of G.K. Chesterton, with a little bit of Fr. Hesse (RIP), the trad priest genius who always gave talks with glass of wine in his hand, and maybe even a dash of Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey from the Christ or Chaos blog (sede, but very informative).  I remember when Dr. Droleskey, his young wife, and little girl would travel around the country in their RV, going from church to church giving talks on Catholicism. 

Sir Charles likewise is a free-spirited, youthful, travelling speaker, right now headed to New England.  He and I will touch base next week to plan this ground-breaking, fantastic, soon-to-go-viral Podcast, from yours-truly here in Oklahoma.

Topics I'm toying with:  What is monarchy?  What is the current state of the Monarchy movement, in the US, and abroad?  The short-term and long-term goals from a Catholic, political perspective?  St. Thomas on monarchy and his ideal of the "mixed polity?"  Can Sir Charles speak to the idea of the "Great Monarch?"
Does he have any political aspirations?  How can we make this blog post go viral?  I'm sure Charles will have plenty of ideas.

So get your tickets, and get ready in a week or so to sit down for an hour of entertaining conversation, pop some popcorn, and afterwards join us in the Comm Box where you can ask Sir Charles more questions!

Okie Trads Gathering Around the E-Radio,
Listening to a Podcast of Sir Charles Coulombe.
Circa 2025 after The Great Chastisement.
Members of the Monarchy Party.
Subjects of King Donald and Queen Melania

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Hirsch Files is Shut Down Again. My Thoughts about Blogging.

Hirsch is reporting he had to shut down his blog again, and it seems also his Facebook page.  Something about a threat.  I for one certainly hope nobody out there in cyberspace is saying or doing anything to threaten Hirsch.  Because while he and I have our disagreements (who doesn't), I would lay down in traffic for the man.  He is as hard-working a man as I've ever met, who is concerned about his progeny, as his latest post suggests.

Hirsch asked me recently to put up a post alerting his readers he was (possibly) shutting down his blog, or trying to figure out what to do with it, considering some perceived threats at that time.  When he re-opened his blog, I had taken down that notice.  From his post:
This is a hobby, and I have other responsibilities in my life that take precedence over the writing. There are people--little ones--who are under my care and protection, and I would rather burn the world down* than see them come to any harm..  

What's Going On?

Within the past week, elements of my blogging life meshed unfavorably with elements of my real life. As a result, it is possible that my writings may be on the radar of
potentially harmful parties. I say "potentially." Perhaps there is no danger....

  • Blogging is indeed unsafe, which is one reason many bloggers use pseudonyms, to protect themselves and their loved ones.  You (myself included) have to take super-extra-premeditated precautions nowadays if you are going to put your opinion about religion and politics out there on cyberspace, unless maybe if you don't care too much what might happen.  Sir Charles Coulombe, for example, seems to be such an online voice, but I'm thinking he doesn't have "little ones" at home under his care. :)
  • At the same time, there does run a necessary risk if you believe that the blogosphere can be used to fight the "culture war" that is in our society, and that has invaded the world. As do I.  It takes a certain amount of gaul and willingness to expose yourself to a reasonable amount of risk.   It irks me when the big bankers only want to invest in businesses with little risk, as if the bottom line is just profit, as in their profit.  While I am not even close to being a business man, I have to ask, where is the fun and adventure in that?  Where is the creative force that built once made this country great, at least materially speaking.  Liberal capitalism is partly to blame for the country's decline.  We must take a degree of calculated risk, abide by our own self-imposed rules, and then sit back and let the chips fall where they may.  To any potential blogger out there, if you discern and take the necessary steps, I think you can really put yourself out there on the internet, and really spark a lot of thought, and activate people outside The Matrix to do Catholic Action.  That at least is my outlook, though I too am at risk.  I know that any Unabomber out there with a super-computer in his basement dwelling, could crack my full identity and target present and future employers, family, friends, etc.  You name it.
  • So my advise for Hirsch or any controversial blogger out there (except maybe the Soccer mom's who like to blog about their Paleo lifestyle, or bloggers like my trad friend Matto who blog about their dreams), is to not say anything online that itself, directly could be grounds for termination, calumny, or God's judgement.  I like the old proverb about how to respond to gossipers "Just let people talk."   If a man is willing to mean what he says, says what he means, and is willing to stand behind it, then he has nothing to fear. Or not much anyway. Me, if I ever "get called into the office" for something I said online, in a blog, Facebook, or otherwise, I will just state the facts, that what I said is outside of work, and am committed to being professional and respectful in my work place regardless of views about religion and politics.   And I'm confident management will laugh it off, and say to get back to work.  If not, then either I did something else to put me on the radar, in which case I can just rectify that situation, or they don't like me and it's an omen to start applying for other jobs.   So I think if the blogger thinks these points through, then they don't have much to fear.  
  • I say "much to fear," because anything worth doing well is going to have a certain degree of risk, that if measured out according to one's circumstances and preferences, should make for some reasonable amount of peace of mind and confidence.
  • That said, if a future HR department should call me into the office, and point to this blog post, then I just want to say "Whatup HR!  It's all good.  No harm, no fowl.  I am perfectly able to work with anyone regardless of religion, politics, gender, or sexual orientation!  Can I have a raise? :)"
  • In all seriousness though, I understand Hirsch's concern.  Myself, being newish to blogging, plan on one day investing in my own computer tower and server, and build The Wall around my blog with the heaviest duty Digital Security. Just for that added layer of peace of mind.  And if a hacker should be able to penetrate it, what will pop up on the screen is a Free Amazon Gift Card, to leave me alone.  :)  And say something funny!
Pax vobiscum!