Old Oligarch's Painted Stoa

Past Posts of Note
Substantative, in chronological order
The Sunday obligation and illness: question, research & my answer

Denial of personhood: Dei Filius & Terri Schiavo

On Modesty 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Differing with Dulles 1 & 2 on pro-abort politicians

Mad About Manuals 1 & 2

Absinthe recherches early, required reading, 2, 3, 4.

First time at an abortuary

The Maundy

TPOTC impact & analysis and more

Contraception reflections 1, 2

Meiwes, propheta, übermensch

Headship Loggerheads 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Matrix: Revolutions

Matrix: Reloaded
1, 2 & 3

Terrorist Attack Preparations, and follow-ups 1 & 2 & 3


Casuistry of Drinking

Review of Auto Focus

Parish Review 1

The Power of Shame

Biblical Hermeneutics

Ayoob on Guns

Against the Ordination of Women

Two Cents on Braveheart


Thematic Meditations

E-mail Me
oldoligarch @yahoo.com

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E-mail Policy
Any e-mail I receive is fair game for publication, with comments, unless you explicitly say so beforehand.

Gabriel Possenti

The WeatherPixie
Weather at Dulles Airport

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I've made up for my lack of recent posts by adding to the liturgical absurdities section, linked on the left. (It will bring you to a geocities page.) At the behest of those who already know the story, I've detailed the atrocious and bizarre incidents of the Engaged Encounter that Zorak and I attended as the primary part of our diocesan marriage preparation. Check it out.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/31/2002 09:19:00 AM | link

Kneeling before Christ and His Excellency Paul Loverde, the Bishop of Arlington, I confessed the Nicene Creed, took the Oath of Fidelity and received from him the mandatum to teach, fulfilling the requirement of Ex Corde Ecclesiae. The text of the ritual follows:

The Profession of Faith
With firm faith I believe and profess everything that is contained in the symbol of faith, namely: [The Nicene Creed].

With firm faith I believe as well everything contained in God's Word, written or handed down in tradition and proposed by the Church -- whether in solemn judgment or in the ordinary and universal Magisterium -- as divinely revealed and calling for faith.

I also firmly accept and hold each and every thing that is proposed by that same Church definitively with regard to teaching concerning faith and morals.

What is more, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic Magisterium, even if they proclaim those teachings in an act not definitive.

The Oath of Fidelity
I, [Old Oligarch ;->], on assuming the office of teacher at [refreshingly orthodox college], promise that I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church whether in the words I speak or in the way I act.

With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the responsibilities by which I am bound in relation to both the universal Church and to the particular church in which I am called to exercise my service according to the requirements of the law.

In carrying out my charge, I shall preserve the Deposit of the Faith in its entirety, hand it on faithfully and make it shine forth. As a result, I shall shun whatsoever teachings are contrary.

I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the whole Church and shall look after the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those which are contained within the Code of Canon Law.

With Christian obedience I shall associate myself with what is expressed by the holy shepherds as authentic doctors and teachers of the Faith, or established by them as the Church's rulers.

May God help me in this way.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/26/2002 06:46:00 AM | link

As a physics-geek-turned-theologian, I share this happy thought I gleaned while reading Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical Letter Providentissimus Deus (18 Nov. 1893) in preparation for my Old Testament course:

"There can never, indeed, be any real discrepancy between the theologian and the physicist, as long as each confines himself within his own lines, and both are careful, as St. Augustine warns us, "not to make rash assertions, or to assert what is not known as known." If dissension should arise between them, here is the rule also laid down by St. Augustine, for the theologian: "Whatever they can really demonstrate to be true of physical nature, we must show to be capable of reconciliation with our Scriptures; and whatever they assert in their treatises which is contrary to these Scriptures of ours, that is to Catholic faith, we must either prove it as well as we can to be entirely false, or at all events we must, without the smallest hesitation, believe it to be so."

I also came across www.godinscience.com, which looks like a one-man apostolate to make people familiar with intelligent responses to basic questions about the inter-relationship of modern science and traditional elements of religious belief. I enjoyed the author's rebuff of the atheist objection to the theistic entropy-and-evolution argument. In fact, I think there's a wider rejoinder to this atheist objection made by Werner Heisenberg in his Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science. If you want to read one book on philosophy and modern physics, this should be it. I think Heisenberg is wildly right-on for most of the book. He has a truly endearing grasp of both ancient Greek and modern continental philosophy which simultaneously impresses the modern reader (because of the depth of Heisenberg's considerations), and depresses him (because most physicists these days have never heard of Immanuel Kant, much less Heraclitus).

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/26/2002 06:22:00 AM | link

The latest quiz: What religious order are you?

what's your order?

Dominican is totally accurate for me. How about you other netizens?

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/24/2002 12:07:00 AM | link

Zorak lives and thrives. She's doing great without her gall bladder, deo gratias. She had the first cheeseburger and chocolate cake in months, just three days after the surgery. I think the surgeon was a little confused by the exoskeleton, but after that, he did fine. My darling wife's wry comment about the surgery (to get my goat intentionally): "Just think, honey, that doctor touched me in places you never can." Yeah, she's back to normal.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/24/2002 12:03:00 AM | link

Say a prayer for my wife, Zorak, who is having her gall bladder removed tomorrow. Hopefully there will be no complications and she will be back to her pod in no time.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/19/2002 11:57:00 PM | link

I continue to be an awful shank about posting. Things have been hitting the fan lately.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/19/2002 11:56:00 PM | link

I've built my past four computers from scratch, I cook from scratch, and I'm always tweaking something or other around the house. I cringe when faced with the prospect of calling another to do something I think I can probably do myself. (Zorak has learned to endure this instinct and its occasionally absurd manifestations, such as homemade antacid pills.)

So naturally I was delighted to read this article which Zorak has blogwatched, on how one small town's struggle with two major ISPs ended in Do-It-Yourself-DSL.

For a more extreme DIY internet project, check out the boys of l0pht Heavy Industries and their decentralized, unregulated, homespun attempt at a totally wireless internet, independent of the existing backbone, at Guerilla.net. And while you're at it, why not view the world's only Webserver powered by rotting potatoes?

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/08/2002 02:32:00 AM | link

Reading OT commentary on Leviticus 10:1-3, I rediscovered the perennial relevance of the Venerable Bede:

"This is not far from being a sign of our unhappy time, in which some who have attained positions as priests and teachers -- merely to mention it is both distressing and sad enough -- are consumed by the fire of heavenly vengeance because they prefer the fire of cupidity to the fire of heavenly love. Their eternal damnation was prefigured by the temporal death of Aaron's sons." -- On the Tabernacle, 3.2.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/08/2002 01:38:00 AM | link

Dormite, transitum est. Old Oligarch is proud to report that Zorak and I have completed our move into our new digs. Eve the Incorrigible Urbanite gave us a send-off befitting those about to pass permanently from this world -- so deep is Vienna in "Darkest Virginia" in her estimation. Will we ever see her again? But how can I keep up with her, jet-setting with her hip New York friends off to London?

Two quick product endorsements:

Beltway Movers. Although not nearly as generous as Cacciaguida, who gave us the help of his back and his van, these guys moved our big furniture on time and under their quotation. I was expecting to get screwed (my default reaction to most DC service industries), but was quite pleasantly surprised.

Cox High Speed Internet. Sweet pipe. Faster than Starpower. (I've gotten casual transfer rates of 130 KBps -- i.e. over one megabit per second, and haven't seriously clocked it on large simultaneous transfers yet.) Extremely easy set-up. No PPPOE, proprietary software, etc. They provide a CD for the ignorant, but it's really just a straight TCP/IP WAN implementation, and enough downstream signal strength for me to split it twice and still get cable modem reception on the line. And they sent an intelligent tech! What more can a guy ask for? Oh, yeah, correct billing. But they're fixing that quite cordially.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 8/08/2002 01:28:00 AM | link


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