Day 2 started, as always, with Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
Day 2 also started with me being freer than yesterday. My faculty duties are mostly done (except of course for the mingling and answering questions, which is fun). Lot’s of people introduce themselves as long time readers here. You hear many languages. Today I was waiting for a talk to start on Secularism. Two Gentlemen From Lebanon (not a play title) came in and introduced themselves (Maronites), as I heard behind me a conversation in Chinese (Mandarin – I got part of it) and at the end of the row a couple were speaking in Spanish, I think Argentinian. We have any number of African languages around us too. There is a group from Israel, including a couple of rabbis. This is a seriously international gathering. There are priests here from all over the world, many of them on fellowships. It is ecumenical as well. Quite a few of the (great) talks I have heard were by Protestants.
Today an amusing thing happened. One of the presenters made a less than felicitous comment about the post-Constantinian (Catholic obviously) Church in the Middle Ages. As I shifted in my chair, a friend of mine sitting behind me, an Orthodox priest, patted me on the shoulder and said “There there.”
Good food – for over a thousand.
I’ve returned from the post-supper, post-panel, post-mingle activities which were great. I wandered to where I knew I might find some interesting folks and I found them. We had two Israeli rabbis, a Muslim, a couple of priests and assorted laymen (including two of the smart Acton staff I know). The conversation was incredible. I spent a quite a lot of time parked with a strongly conservative rabbit and the muslim talking about… lots of stuff. I asked a lot of questions and got a pretty good education.
This was one of those perfect, a Jew, Muslim and a Priest walk into a bar moments….
Anyway, one of the rabbis, who reminded us that they can’t be with us tomorrow for more of the same, told me about this. We all watched it together on a phone, but here it is. I remember this from when I was pretty young. Transplanting it into this age of screens is… disturbing. This video has something deep for our families to consider. It is from a different tradition. It is from an older tradition. It is from a valid tradition.