Perhaps you are not familiar with the liturgical clothing item called an amice. If not, here is a definition, courtesy of Wikipedia: The amice consists of a white cloth connected to two long ribbon-like attachments, by which it is fastened around the shoulders of the priest. Before the liturgical reforms of 1972, its use was mandatory for all Roman Catholic Masses, but it is only required today if the alb does not cover the priest's ordinary clothing. Many priests choose to wear the amice for reasons of tradition or to prevent damage to their other vestments due to perspiration.
For the more visually inclined, here is an example:
I have never seen a Catholic priest wear an amice. I had assumed that it was basically a completely archaic item, joining such exotica as the fiddleback chausable.
Why am I bringing this up? Two Sundays ago, the rector at the Episcopal Church I attend began a sermon series on the liturgical vestments and their meaning. As part of that, he showed of…
We are coming to the point where no one really doubts that there is a serious divide in the Christian world, a divide that appears to be getting wider as time goes on. But I feel like people are struggling to give a name to this divide, and I would like to take a crack at providing some framework for talking about this divide.
On one side, you have a group of people who understand Christianity fundamentally and primarily as a way of life. Under this view, we have been given by God a model of how to live our lives, a model that reflects the "best life" we and those around us can have, and our job is to go out and try as best we can to do that. This model, above anything else, is to be found in the life and actions of Jesus of Nazareth as set forth in the canonical Gospels, and then secondarily in other parts of the Bible, and tertiarily in the lives of other Christian witnesses.
Under this view, the ultimate measure of whether and to what extent one is a Christian can be…
"What I care about is the theory," said the English priest who confessed his hatred of Francis. "In my parish there are lots of divorced and remarried couples, but many of them, if they heard the first spouse had died, would rush to get a church wedding. I know lots of homosexuals who are doing all sorts of things that are wrong, but they know they should not be. We're all sinners. But we've got to maintain the intellectual integrity of the Catholic faith."
For those who are not deeply immersed in the world of conservative Catholicism, that quote surely comes across as word salad and …