Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, error, foolishness, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition.
I haven’t visited Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in some time. He has some excellent meditations on the Four Last Ends. This one is on the advantages gained by souls who contemplate their own death on a regular basis. I found this very good, I pray you do, too!
1. Contemplation of death enables us to judge properly and prevents our being imposed upon in all affairs. With nothing we came into this world, and with nothing shall we leave it. Why then should we consume our very lives in the accumulation of riches?
No one is to accompany us out of this world and to our final judgment; why then are we so fond of creatures?
The stench and corruption of the grave in which the pampered body is the prey of the lowest vermin shows us the folly of carnal pleasures…..
2. ……..It is our best instructor through life, laying down but one simple rule, which is the direction of all our acts to one last end. This consideration drives away all the petty troubles which punctuate this life with unfailing regularity; it steadies us on the course and sustains us on the journey.
3. It teaches us to know ourselves, one of the essential points of true wisdom.
4. It teaches us to despise all that this world can offer, and is the solace of all true servants of God.
5. It is like ice, and helps to chill and deaden the fire of concupiscence; it is a bridle which curbs our sensual appetites.
6. It is a continual source of humiliation, a specific remedy against pride and vanity.
7. It is an excellent preservative against sin. “In all thy works be mindful of thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.”(Eccl VII:40).
8. It brings exasperated minds back to peace and reconciliation. Whoever considers seriously that a certain and unavoidable death will one day bring him before the Judge Who shows no mercy but to those who show mercy to others, he will easily be induced to forgive.
9. It is an antidote against the pleasures and vanities of the world…..
10. It teaches us a provident economy with regard to our salvation, by setting before our eyes the transitory character of this life, and the necessity of laying up a treasure of good works while it is in our power to do so.
11. It induces us to embrace penances with a cheerful spirit.
12. It encourages us to persevere in the way of penance with unshakable firmness.
We live in a culture that is absolutely terrified of growing old, being old, etc. 65 year olds want to be like 28 year olds, wearing skinny jeans and partying. I think much of this is due to a great, latent fear of death, a fear so great many people have quite willingly bought into the grave error of universal salvation. So now Catholic funereal Masses are more instant canonizations than they are Requiems imploring prayers for the departed souls. How many souls languish in Purgatory as a result?
If they are that lucky. Given the omnipresence of grave sin, Purgatory might not be nearly so populated as it once was. I pray I’m wrong. But there is much to be said for contemplating death, the extinguishing of this life, and our judgment before the all-powerful Lord. “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of Almighty God.” Indeed, it is. And we would be very well to contemplate all the four last things, to better prepare ourselves for the end that inevitably awaits all of us.
A far better thing it is to know Jesus
Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, persecution, sadness, Saints, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition.
I titled the post in the somewhat provocative way that I did, in light of two recent and very good posts by Fr. Carota on the role Saints played in helping drive the scourge of islam – for that is how it was always seen by Catholics everywhere, at least until very recently – from Europe. Fr. Carota discusses Saint Lawrence Brindisi and the Crusade against islam in Hungary at the beginning of the 17th century in this post. Some excerpts of the role that great Saint played in helping stem the muslim tide in Hungary in 1601:
30 years later, [30 years after the magnificent victory won at Lepanto, in which Our Lady of Victory miraculously led Catholic forces to victory over a much larger Turkish fleet, and which was revealed via a prophecy to Pope St. Pius V hundreds of miles away] Pope Clement VIII asked St. Lawrence of Brindisi, a Capuchin friar, to go to Germany to organize their princes into a crusade against the muslim attacks going on in Hungry. He was very successful and organized the crucial resistance needed to save Europe….[Brief mention of protestant treachery, common in all the later wars against islam, intervenes, I exclude. Sadly, there was also occasional Catholic treachery, as with the case of Louis XVI allying with the Turks against the Holy Roman Empire in 1683]
…..The Battle of Stuhlweissenburg Hungry took place on October 11, 1601. St. Lawrence led the battle on a horse carrying a large cross in front of the troops. Again on October 14th of that same month, these Catholic forces, with St. Lawrence leading, had to fight the muslims in another battle and won.
St. Lawrence, when leading the troops in front into battle, was miraculously saved from all injury and claimed that all the success came from God and Mary. The Catholic troops, numbering 18,000 men, way out numbered by 80,000 muslims. The Turks, after suffering the loss of 30,000 men, withdrew their army behind the Danube. [The muslims dominated the Balkans and Greece for over 3 centuries, from the late 1400s until the mid 1800s]
Whenever the crusades were led by holy people and all those envolved prayed and fasted, they had success. Whenever they were unjust or doing evil sins, they lost.
Great point. Christianity is presently being mauled by islam on so many fronts because the Church is so weak, lacking in piety, and divided right now.
Fr. Carota discusses, very briefly, a long arc of Crusades against islam in Europe from 1456 to the 1700s in this post. He notes how St. Juan de Capistrano led the Crusade against islam in 1456, helping keep the Ottomans out of much of modern Serbia and Hungary through much of the 15th century. Some great art accompanies, which I cheerfully (but gratefully) rip off. Father notes that the “final defeat” of the muslims in Europe did not occur until the Battle of Peterwardin Vojvodina in 1716. This battle did recover Belgrade, but it left much of southeastern Europe in muslim hands.
But good Father Carota, who I respect immensely and who made my week a few days ago (private), misses out on long struggles to overcome Ottoman rule in Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, much of modern Romania, and other locales throughout much of the 18th and 19th centuries. Greece, cradle of so much of Western Civilization, did not become independent – in part -until 1832, and did not recover Macedonia until 1913! In fact, the Balkan wars of 1913 were the culmination of nearly two centuries of efforts by Christians to overthrow muslim rule in southeastern Europe.
However, until this very day, islam still occupies a toehold in southeastern Europe in what is called Eastern Thrace and what was the most glorious city in Christendom for over a millenium (and the bulwark against the encroaching muslim), Constantinople. Greece seized much of East Thrace after WWI, but lost the territory in fighting against the new nation of Turkey.
Ever since the first wild eyed Mohammadans crossed the Strait of Gilbratar and conquered Spain, Islam has been in Europe. Note that many radical muslims still lament, and get extremely angry, whenever they think of the Crusader States in the Holy Land that existed from ~1096-1291. That was an intolerable affront to islam and “proof” of Christian militancy, even if all those lands were Christian for centuries before they were converted by islam’s usual method – the sword. In terms of overall victimhood, since that is such a popular way of viewing things these days, Christians have borne far more attacks, invasions, raids, piracy, and general cruelty from islam than the reverse – by a huge margin.
But today, for the first time ever, Europe is very willingly and happily allowing tens of millions of muslims into the heart of Europe as immigrants. This is being done because Europeans have so contracepted and aborted themselves into near sterility that there aren’t enough Europeans to keep the economies of those states going, absent mass scale immigration from the south. Muammar Gaddafi himself said that in 50 years, islam wouldn’t need to invade or attack Europe, Europe would be predominately muslim! That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. In 50 years, if present trends hold, Europe will be between 35-40% muslim. But of course, these populations are not evenly distributed, and even now, there are places in France, Britain, Germany, and other nations where western women dare not go without wearing the hijab. One might argue that substantial portions of these nations are muslim already.
What will happen when Europe, the heart of Christianity, is nearly half muslim? What is being done to strengthen the Church for this ultimate challenge? Who will man the ramparts? Who will be there to preach Jesus Christ to all these millions of lost souls?
Lord, send us new Saints in the mold of the ones of old! Your Church faces threats unlike any in history! Please help us! Send us new Saint Lawrence Brindisi’s, new Saint Juan Capistrans, to help us! Have mercy on us all! May we become those Saints!
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
So said Fr. Ray Blake on his blog a few days ago, and given the ongoing pogroms against Christians throughout the Mideast, I don’t think this claim was an exercise in hyperbole. Fr. Blake also asks whether world leaders will act any more effectively in this new holocaust than they did during WWII.
Rorate Caeli has done a thorough job of bringing the plight of Christians in the Mideast, and in particular Iraq, to the attention of many faithful Catholics. We are witnessing an event not seen since WWII and its aftermath, at least, the deliberate and premeditated genocide of an entire people from a large area of the world. The crazed islamists in Iraq and Syria have driven virtually all Christians from the area under their control. In Mosul, which has been a seat of Catholicism for 1800 years or more, ALL Christians – save perhaps a literal handful hiding underground – have been driven from the city by the new demonic “caliphate.” And as Rorate has noted, until today, when Le Figaro in France finally broke the silence, the world’s media has indicated by the absolute paucity of coverage that they couldn’t care less about this ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. Because Christians don’t count, apparently, and have no rights or dignity.
Rorate has also noted, and I will second the call, that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has asked all of its apostolates around the world to dedicate the First Friday for August (Aug 1) to a day of prayer and penance for the Christians who are suffering direly in Iraq, Syria, and the entire Levant. The Carmelites will have First Friday as usual August 1, I can think of no better way to participate in this great work of spiritual mercy than by spending a good bit of time during the All Night Adoration at the Carmel. The note from the Fraternity, calling souls to action:
August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates. It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)
This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution. May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes.
I will try to provide more reminders as August 1 draws near. St. Peter in Chains is certainly a most apropos Feast for the current climate facing the Church.
I must take this opportunity one more time to reiterate my strong concerns over the “interfaith dialogue” many in the hierarchy, down to a fair number of priests and laity, constantly trumpet with regard to islam. As the Lebanese woman in the video below notes, certainly there are many peaceful muslims, but the problem is, we far too rarely hear from them, nor do they ever take any observable action to oppose the very large number of radical jihadists. If even 10% of muslims are radical/jihadists, that’s over 100 million radicals. That large a group can not only do a great deal of damage, they can alter the course of civilization, which is just what they’re doing. Sitting blithely back singing kumbayah, holding hands, and allowing Mahomet to be preached from the pulpit of Catholic churches will do nothing to stem radicalism and in fact only encourage them further.
Centuries of experience have demonstrated that islam respects only one thing: strength. They don’t respect dialogue, they don’t respect progressivist guitar strumming dreams of peace (in fact, they loathe nothing more about the West than our decadent progressives), they don’t care about your dreams of peace – they feel a “divine” command to spread their religion by the sword and that is what they’ll do. To the extent that useful idiots and fellow travelers within the Church assist islam by enervating the faithful, spreading confusion regarding the longtime approach the Church took to muslims, and encouraging foolish worldly indifferentist ecumenism, they only serve to aid the radicals in the Mideast, Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. And Catholics in Iraq, Syria, and other places are currently paying a large part of the price for decades of totally unrealistic, ideologically blind “dialogue.”
You may have seen the exchange below, but it is worth sharing:
I said yesterday there were many progressives in the US who would rather wear a burqa that acknowledge Jesus Christ. I wonder how many there are who claim to be Catholic who are the same way?
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return, Tradition.
The good Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a post asking a most pertinent question in the present environment in the Church – are you an ultramontanist? This does not mean you accept the Dogma of papal infallibility. That is not what the ultramontanism run amok in the present context means. I will let Boniface explain:
There is a lot of talk these days about a kind of pervasive Ultramontanism in the Neo-Catholic world; not Ultramontanism in the classical sense, for understood classically, Ultramontanism, like the term “Integralism
“, was just a phrase denoting Catholicism affirming the infallibility of the pope.In current parlance, we are not talking about fidelity to the Holy Father, but rather a kind of crass, undiscriminating Ultramontanism that is best characterized by the embarrassing spectacle of Neo-Catholic apologists
tripping all over themselves to affirm every single prudential decision of the pope as not only good, but the best possible decision
. In the judgment of the modern Ultramontanists, every utterance of the pope, no matter how banal or off the cuff, is treated as a profound insight; every administrative act or symbolic gesture he makes are examples of brilliant leadership; every prudential judgment and non-authoritative teaching treated as infallible truth. [thus the incredible claims that some would accept a papal claim that black is actually white, or 2+2=5]
No matter what they might say, there is a very easy test to see if the person you are talking with actually subscribes to the kind of crass Ultramontanism I have described above. Ask them to:
First, cite one prudential action of the pope which you disagree with. [Kissing the koran]
Second, cite one action or statement of the pope that you agree with, though you admit that good Catholics can be in disagreement about. [Pope Benedict's quoting of the Emperor Michael II Paleologos against the cruelties of islam was actually an act of charity, not a controversial interfaith blunder. But you can believe it was a blunder if you want. Heretic.]
If you or your interlocutor cannot do either of these two things, they are Ultramontanists, no matter what they might say to the contrary.
I think it’s a pretty good test. And I feel very strongly that unchecked ultra-ultramontanism is seriously unbalancing the Church. But it is a favorite pastime of many prominent American Catholics, including most of the top Catholic bloggers. The danger we have seen is when obedience and fealty to the papacy as an institution and understanding of the narrow limits of papal infallibility morphs into ultra-ultramontanism, we tend to see very wild swings in emphasis, and even belief and practice, from one papacy to the next. And that only exacerbates the already existing crisis in the Church, spreads confusion and scandal, and leads more souls to fall away – or at least increases the risk of some falling away.
And the even larger problem is that, in spite of all the canonizations, recent popes have taken a number of prudential actions, and even some actions or more import than mere prudence, that are very difficult to reconcile with Tradition and in fact represent great novelties in the life of the Church. Those novelties have tended entirely in one direction, towards progressivism/modernism/indifferentism. And thus we have the crisis. So it is not a far reach to say that ultra-ultramontanism is playing a big role in precipitating the crisis in the Faith, and preventing effective action to promote the timeless Truth Christ has revealed through His Church in opposition to the crisis.
And then we have TFG. That’s the problem taken to a whole different level.
UPDATE: There is also a reverse corollary, regarding sede vacantism. One could just sort of flip the questions around.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, religious, sadness, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, Virtue.
I saw on VideoSancto that some months ago, Fr. Cassian Folsom OSB of the Benedictines of Norcia gave a retreat at The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, MA. Now, these are the Slaves that are in full regular canonical unity and whose bishop has offered Mass at their chapel (TLM only, ever) several times. But, they are, of course, descended from Fr. Leonard Feeney’s group – in fact, they are one of several offshoots of Feeney’s original group. While there are branches of the original St. Benedict Center who are either still under some ecclesiastical penalty or who have not fully regularized, this group is not one of those. In fact, the Slaves of the ‘official’ St. Benedict Center take part regularly in diocesan events like the 40 Days of Life.
I will post two of the videos from that series of talks at the bottom of the post. But I think it needs to be noted that Fr. Folsom is not a traddy. He’s certainly orthodox, his order is sort of walking the line the Franciscans of the Immaculate trod, having both the Novus Ordo very reverently in Latin, but also the TLM with some regularity (goodness, I pray they are small enough to avoid attention for the duration of this pontificate). But I don’t think Fr. Folsom is an “extremist” on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus or any other matter. He’s a good, orthodox, traditional leaning priest, and his order is the same.
So I take it as kind of an endorsement of the Slaves that Fr. Folsom would preach a retreat there. Under different circumstances, I would not have any surprise at this, but I have noted that many traditional Catholics most definitely retain an animus against this order, even though it has been fully regularized. There seems to be an assumption that if there was some error in the past, it somehow must remain. I have been surprised – shocked might be the better term – at how strongly opinions run against what seem to me very good nuns, brothers, and priests. This is an order that throughout the crisis has never once offered the Novus Ordo. But that does not appear to win them much support. I have seen that even though they do a great deal of good work, a good number of traditional priests, within the Fraternity and elsewhere, strongly counsel young men and women to avoid this order. I really don’t know why that is.
Now, I will admit to some bias. I have had the pleasure of meeting several of the nuns of this order and I like them a great deal. I have never heard any error or extravagant opinion pass their lips. I even tried deliberately to pry on the matter of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, and while they certainly support this Dogma, there was a recognition of the broader understanding of this Dogma that most solid traditionalists hold (baptism by blood and desire). I cannot say I was even close to exhaustive in examining this matter, but there was certainly no obvious error.
So what gives? There are so few traditional orders for women, and yet this one is frequently treated like a pariah. Is there some real evidence of remaining error, or is it just lingering suspicion, or? And if the latter, how is that charitable?
I would appreciate some input on the questions as posed. I do not want a re-hashing of the whole Feeney affair, nor do I want blanket statements that “they’re just bad,” or things to that effect. How are they bad? What do they believe that is wrong? Etc.
I’m sure you guys will help me out, and some – some – heat in the comments will be tolerated so long as it remains on topic.
Video on St. John Cassian and prayer:
Video on Lectio Divina:
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, reading, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
I have read some more in Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism. Feser argues early on in the book that modern secular materialist atheism exists almost exclusively in opposition to traditional religion, and in essence, Catholicism. Catholicism was of course the main opponent of the first secularists of the 17th and 18th centuries, the so-called “enlightenment” thinkers, who sought to curb religious “extremism” through the growth of a competing, agnostic secular state. I think Feser argues quite convincingly that this new sexular paganism of the late 20th and early 21st centuries both acts and sees itself as an essential opposite to Christianity in general, the Church in particular, and all the morality that flows naturally from the right practice of the Faith. What secular leftists fail to admit today is that their philosophy has evolved into a competing and implacably hostile religion of its own. Some very good points below, I hope you appreciate them as I did:
…….the “religious” characteristics of secularism……-its bigotry and its superstition – stem from a third and deeper respect in which secularism can only properly be understood in religious terms, namely that the content of secularism as a philosophy and a sensibility is entirely parasitic on religion. It is not just that secularists happen to reject and oppose religion; it is that there is nothing more to their creed than rejecting and opposing religion. This point might seem obviously true, even banal, but it is not. For secularists often regard themselves as promoting a positive intellectual and moral vision of the world, not merely a critique of religion. They claim to have something new to put in its place. Hence they not only reject faith; they endorse reason and science. They not only reject traditional morality, especially in the area of sex;’ they affirm the value of free choice. They not only reject ecclesiastical authority; they promote democracy and tolerance. And so on. But look more closely and you’ll find that this “positive vision” is really nothing more than a restatement of the negative one. As I have said already……the mainstream Western religious tradition itself very firmly rests on and embraces reason and science [Key point. Reason has repeatedly been used to prove the existence of God, the Christian God. Science can also support an enormous amount of Christian belief. But there must also always been room for Faith. So Christianity cannot be entirely explained/justified by science and reason. But that does not make it any less true.] ……..So what, pray tell, is distinctively “secularist” about reason, science, free choice, toleration, and the like? Nothing at all, as it happens. The fact is that secularists are “for” reason and science only to the extent that they don’t lead to religious conclusions; they celebrate free choice only insofar as one chooses against traditional or religiously oriented morality; and they are for democracy and toleration only to the extent that these might lead to a less religiously oriented social and political order. Again, the animus against religion is not merely a feature of the secularist mindset; it is the only feature. [And this is certainly true of many of the leading lights of secularist thought, both today and historically. Darwin admitted to having quite an agenda behind The Origin of Species.]
…….anyone who reads very deeply in the work of contemporary analytic philosophers will find that one of their main obsessions, perhaps the main obsession, is the project of “naturalizing” this or that phenomenon – the mind, knowledge, ethics, and so forth – or showing, in other words, that it can be entirely accounted for in terms of “natural” properties and processes of the sort compatible with (their conception of) “natural science.” ……..what this ultimately means is just accounting for it [whatever phenomenon is under examination] in terms that make no reference to God, the soul, or any other immaterial reality. Those “tough-minded” secularist philosophers who like to pretend, to themselves and others, that hey are well beyond giving religion any thought whatsoever in their day-to-day work, thus reveal by the substance of that work that they are in fact and at bottom interested in little else. In particular, their mania for “naturalizing” every philosophically problematic phenomenon they can get their hands on evinces a desire to rationalize their atheism, however indirectly…….. [And I think many of us have seen this in the way that modern science and philosophy tries to explain away every single possible aspect of the human psyche, the universe, Creation, etc, in purely naturalistic terms, even to the point of giving truly ludicrous explanation of such, at times. All this is founded on a fundamental error that rejects the understanding of the classical philosophers, who proved the existence of God, for a near-communist/materialist attempt to understand man/Creation/the universe.]
……..when we consider: (a) the fact that secularism is little more than an animus against religion, without any positive content; [I would guess most readers have experienced utterly unreasoning hatred of religion among those who consider themselves "the smart set" (b) the fact that its adherents are often committed to ideas as superstitious and/or mad as any that the most corrupt forms of religion exhibit (ideas which, though not essential to secularism, per se and thus not accepted among all secularists, nevertheless usually tend to follow upon the rejection of religion as as substitute for religion; [Belief in UFOs, "paranormal phenomenon," astrology, bizarre superstitions, conspiracy theories, global warming, are rife on the left. Even more, the adoption of certain acts as pseudo-sacramentals, like veganism or recycling to "save the planet," animal rights activism, etc, all involve certain required beliefs, expiatory acts, "angels" and "demons," etc.] and (c) the fact that they also typically manifest toward religion and religious believers exactly the sort of ignorance, intolerance, and dogmatism they attribute to religion itself; when we add all these factors together, it is surely plausible to regard secularism as something that is…..a religion.
QED, if you ask me!
I guess I’ve been beating this drum a great deal lately, but part of why I am doing so is that occasionally some of these posts break out of the Catholic blogosphere and into the secular world. Or, more frequently, I will reach a fair number of Catholics who have never considered progressivism/secularism as a religion in a to-the-death competition with Christianity.
I do think secularism has evolved into a religion or something essentially indistinguishable from same. And I believe more and more firmly, as the evidence piles up, that the sexular pagan religion we are faced with today will brook no competitors, save, possibly, for islam, of which it is terrified. At present, sexular paganism has a tacit alliance with islam, ordered to further reduce the influence of Christianity, which, I think, confirms that sexular paganism is not so much a positive belief set, but a negative one. It seeks the death of Christianity and would rather wear a burqa than admit of Jesus Christ. And does not this tell us of the demonic element behind this new materialist religion?
I had some blurbs about how this new religion has evolved from the error of the endarkenment philosophes, the error being their idea (or fervent wish) that religion could be reduced to a small, benign and almost inconsequential box. They were wrong, man is an inherently religious beast and government must fundamentally choose which kind of religion it will support – islam, Catholicism, sexular paganism, or what have you. Our government was founded on the latter, and so we are seeing the inevitable result.
Ok, this post is too long, so just pray for Faith and courage to stay strong as the pressure intensifies!
Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
In an incredible move, but not a terribly surprising one considering his track record, Obama late yesterday signed an executive order banning “discrimination” in hiring the adherents of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah from all recipients of federal contracts. This includes many entities of the Church, which now face either seeing their federal contract pulled (which may not be a bad thing), or committing grave sin by employing people who openly reject the Doctrine of the Faith through their actions.
There are many aspects to all this. First, the report, which curiously hasn’t been covered much on the more orthodox blogs, I guess because we just expect this now?
President Obama signed an executive order Monday barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – ignoring the pleas of Christian and other faith leaders to include an exemption for religious organizations.
“Thanks to your passion and advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of your cause, our government – the government of the people, by the people and for the people – will become just a little bit fairer,” the president told a gathering in the White House.
The executive order would prevent Christian and other religious organizations with federal contracts from requiring workers to adhere to the tenets of their religious beliefs. Christianity Today reports the order could impact religious non-profits such as World Vision, World Relief and Catholic Charities.
“If religious organizations cannot require that their employees conduct themselves in ways consistent with the teachings of their faith – then, essentially, those organizations are unable to operate in accordance with their faith,” Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, told me.
…..this administration believes gay rights trump everyone else’s rights – including religious rights.
Indeed. But even more, this administration, and the far left from which it sprang, is so lost in atheistic materialism that they cannot even envision how religion could mean much of anything to anyone. At most, it’s something some do on Sunday for largely [I used the wrong word before, I was trying to convey....] <selfish, preening, egotistical> reasons. We see the endemic hostility of the modern American left to not just religion but even basic decency in this decision.
As I said, there are many aspects to this. It is stunning that Obama would make this move even after his administration just getting pummeled at the Supreme Court this year, with overreaching socialist law after egregious abuse overturned. Obamacare was dealt a potentially shattering blow just today from a federal appeal’s court. He just doesn’t seem to care. He’s going to throw everything he can at the wall and see what sticks, because he is a red diaper doper baby and an openly avowed enemy of Christianity.
And this guy was elected, twice.
On another level, there is the increasing dependence among many organs of the Church on federal funding. Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, CCHD, the whole panoply of alphabet soup agencies – all receive the vast, vast majority of their funding from the federal government. That condition has been most deliberate and has led to all manner of problems. For one, we have seen the many scandals in which CRS is supporting Planned Barrenhood in distributing contreceptives in third world nations, and even has struck some alliances with pro-abort groups. It is a metaphysical certitude that there are at present numerous “LGBT” types at CRS, Catholic Charities, et. al., and that their presence is very open and some very high level people know this.
So all of this has some feeling of a bit of a charade. The Church lost a great deal of its fundamental independence from the government when it decided, in this country at least, to rely on the state as the source of most of the funds for its “charity.” Charity at the point of a government gun has never been a virtue, but decades ago, back when the USCCB was called the National Catholic WELFARE Conference (and deeply aligned with left wing policy prescriptions even then) and Pope Pius XI was deciding whether such a conference should be permitted to exist, the bishops collectively made the decision that it was much easier and much more reliable to obtain funding for “charity” from the government than it was from the pewsitters. But it was during the 60s that most major national-level Catholic organizations, started up in the wake of Vatican II, were founded on the principle of being entirely dependent on government funding (Catholic Charities and CRS are both over 90% dependent on federal funding). He who pays the piper calls the tune, and it was likely only ever a matter of time before something like this, and the HHS mandate, came down the pike.
It’s called unintended consequences. But eminently foreseeable at least for the past two decades. As at least half the population and one major party became irreversibly wedded to the culture of death, the bishop’s stratagem of depending on state funding for many activities became increasingly high risk, and increasingly prone to moral nightmares like this. Which is all to say, if you dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, you may live to regret it:
And I didn’t even mention how aligning the Church with a government that rejects the entire concept of the Social Reign of Christ the King must be disordered! But the bishops didn’t even buy into that in the 1930s, which is why Pius XI sat in judgment of the NCWC.
Unfortunately, after much pleading and promises to change, he decided to let it live. And thus when America emerged as hegemon after WWII, and the influence of the US bishops was at its peak, that entire model of episcopal conferences was unleashed on the Church.
But that would be a whole ‘nuther 1000 word post, so I’ll demure for now.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
Pertinacious Papist has compiled a list of changes that were not formally called for in Vatican II that have been inflicted on the Church nonetheless. It’s a pretty comprehensive list, even if some items are debatable as far as what that most unspecific and bewildering of Councils specified. BTW, this list is actually a compilation of items Michael Voris has brought up of late, so the ultimate credit is due to him.
The list is below. I’ll add a few comments as it goes:
- Communion in the hand [Definitely not supported by VII, and only implemented by Paul VI in a moment of weakness under threat of schism from the Dutch]
- Altar girls [Pope Saint JPII]
- Priests facing the people [Not called for by VII at all. Counter to some other conciliar statements. How it came about was a master-work of nefarious creation of "demand" by subtly changing wording in subsequent non-conciliar documents on the Liturgy. But Bugnini was an expert at subterfuge]
- Gregorian chant insisted upon by V2 [Pride of place, hah]
- Eucharistic ministers [An utter novelty in the history of the Church, but flow naturally from Communion in hand]
- Protestant music in Mass [Shoot Dan Schutte]
- Use of Latin in Mass insisted on by V2 [And a document of the highest doctrinal import by Pope St. John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia]
- Movement of tabernacles from center of altars [Hidden in closets. Diabolical move towards protestantism and totally unjustified]
- Smashing of Catholic art and architecture [ditto]
- Near disavowal of confession [double ditto]
- Near total absence of the promotion of devotional life
- Parish youth ministries neglecting and/or rejecting Catholic doctrine [and pushing watered down "I'm ok you're ok" feel good demi-protestant claptrap]
- Parish adult religious education neglecting Catholic doctrine [or directly attacking it!]
- Destruction of Catholic education in parishes
- Catholics leading the way on gay marriage approval [And how about the many parishes with sodomite friendly ministries?]
- Refusal to enforce Canon 915 – to pro-aborts
- Orthodox seminarians being carefully monitored, or not ordained or delayed [How about the vast majority forced out under great duress]
- “Gay Masses” in many dioceses with the bishops’ knowledge
- CCHD financial support for pro-abortion and pro-contraception groups [VII did call for bishop's conferences, even if several pre-conciliar popes derided the idea, especially as construed in the US. Leo XIII's Testem Benevolentiea Nostrae was an explicit rebuke of the US bishops in 1899]
- CRS giving donations to Obama campaign
- Homosexual or homosexual-friendly clergy
- Enormous resistance to the Traditional Latin Mass by bishops and priests [VII said nothing of abolishing the Mass. It said nothing of creating a totally novel Novus Ordo. Such would never, ever have passed. How many bishops then turned around and dutifully implemented the Novus Ordo, or even more, abrogated the Mass and saw to the destruction of so many churches, is a testament to truly disordered ultramontanism. If there had been harder pushback, none of these developments may have occurred]
- Non-stop emphasis on “earthly” matters like immigration and gun-control
- Failure to preach against contraception
There were two great failures at Vatican II, both, it must be said, carefully construed and insisted upon by the popes who oversaw the Council. The first was the failure to condemn communism, which was the #1 request of the bishops of the Council. That request was that the Council would come out with a statement formally condemning communism, but John XXIII desperately wanted an “ecumenical” council with Orthodox involvement, so he agreed in advance there would be no conciliar condemnation, nor even pointed discussion, of communism.
The second, of course, was contraception. Rather than clearly condemn what had always been sinful, since the time of the first Apostles, the Council hid behind the fig leaf of pending “papal commissions” – commissions which said contraceptive use was A-OK! Even so, at that time, at least, the vast majority of bishops viewed contraception as not just sinful but just plain evil.
Even with the fall of the Former Soviet Union, communism still lurks about. Our own president, I think, would be very happy going down that road. And contraception is the foundation of current-day American life. These are subsidiary errors to godlessness and bad theology, but they are probably two of the most destructive errors afflicting the world today. The Church would be in a much stronger position against those errors had the Council decried them. But that did not suit the dominant progressive purpose.
What else would you add to the list, in addition to the failure to condemn communism? Another error that has come about, but not necessarily from the Council, is mass disbelief in hell within the Church. Universal salvation. Fornication. Catholic pseudo-divorce in abusive annulments. Porn. Priest boy abuse. Disordered ecumenism. Religious indifferentism. Collegiality. Undermining doctrinal authority. Modernism.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, error, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, secularism, Society, the enemy, Tradition.
And like all religions, it has creeds, dogmas, liturgies, expiation, errors, and heresies. Sexular paganism is not a religion to be trifled with, nor is it one that engages in happy, endless dialogue. It is the most aggressively, forcefully expansionist religion the world has seen since islam burst forth in the 7th century, and it brooks no competition. Between the savage rock of militant islam, and the irresistible force of sexular paganism, the Church is meant to be crushed.
The guy below almost gets it, but then falls apart at the end. He does not seem to have the Faith to guide his understanding of events, and thus falls for the propaganda he’s been exposed to since infancy:
From the dawn of the modern age, religious thinkers have warned that, strictly speaking, secular politics is impossible — that without the transcendent foundation of Judeo-Christian monotheism to limit the political sphere, ostensibly secular citizens would begin to invest political ideas and ideologies with transcendent, theological meaning. [I would say it goes back way before the modern age. Christianity is a religion encompassing every aspect of life, but so is every other religion! It is only in the "modern age" that people have bought the fantasy that they could compartmentalize their religion into a little box they open on Sunday. What that has meant in practice is that religion has shrunk as the secular state has grown, until.......]
Put somewhat differently: Human beings will be religious one way or another. Either they will be religious about religious things, or they will be religious about political things. [Exactly. Because we were created that way]
With traditional faith in rapid retreat over the past decade, liberals have begun to grow increasingly religious about their own liberalism, which they are treating as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. [This has been going on much longer than a decade, silly]
[Now the wheels come off....] But liberalism’s leading theoreticians (Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Madison, Tocqueville, Mill) never intended it to serve as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. On the contrary, liberalism was supposed to act as a narrowly political strategy for living peacefully in a world of inexorably clashing comprehensive views of reality and the human good.
The key to the strategy was the promulgation of the pluralistic principle of toleration.
And that is where the endarkenment philosphes, in their arrogance, got things disastrously wrong.
The men above, and others not listed, deliberately wanted to curb “religious extremism” (read: the influence of the Church). They set about creating a “tolerant” state that would do just that. Of course, “extremism” to one is being faithful to another. And the philosphes tended to find any public witness offensive – they were in fact the far left of their time. So the notions they encouraged – government indifferent to religion, trying to greatly curb religious influence on government – in fact created a situation that simply flipped the paradigm in Church-state relations from the Church occasionally having the whip hand to the state always – always – being the dominant power. As time has gone by, as acceptance of the secular liberal state has advanced, Christianity has been forced into retreat. But man being a fundamentally religious creature, instead of religion really going away, the very good and holy religion of Christianity has been replaced by a neo-paganism.
Many traditional Catholics have argued that this result was inevitable. That any nation/culture not founded explicitly as Catholic and with Jesus Christ as its visible head would eventually become a competitor, and even enemy, of the Church. Our secular pagan superstate certainly seems headed irreversibly in that direction, and has for some time. The folly was in ever thinking that right, moral, and just government divorced from Jesus Christ could even be maintained. It cannot.
And so Jefferson, Locke, et. al., are the direct intellectual forebears of today’s sexular pagans. Jefferson laughed at Christianity, generally, and yet he is the true “father” of our government. It seems hard to argue that where we are at today, as a nation, is an aberration. It seems more likely to look back in admiration at how long this nation was able to cling to its Christian heritage in spite of the derangement of its founding.
So, it would seem we are in for a very rough ride. But God overcomes all.
And He will, but in His good time.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, silliness, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
The Centers for Disease Control, who apparently cannot control disease very well, has performed one of the more detailed studies yet as to the number of self-reported “homosexuals” in this country. The number, as so many previous studies have shown, is very low – about 2% claim to be “gay, lesbian, or bisexual,” while a further 1% didn’t answer the question. Almost 97% affirmed their heterosexuality.
However, given that I have much personal experience with individuals who are either now presently involved in perverse relationships but used to be heterosexual, or used to be sodo-oriented but now claim to be “straight,” even this 2% figure is likely fluid for a large number of the respondents. The number of hardcore, “born that way” and “that way for life” sodomites is usually about 1%. So for the sake of the 1%, the 99% are witnessing the destruction of marriage as it has always been known, and general moral and cultural collapse (in which many of the 99% are gleefully participating for their own reasons, but many of those would rather the destruction stop at their preferred sin, like contraception, rather than go away to total social-sexual chaos).
Given the level of coverage issues surrounding same-sex attracted people generate, one would think there would be a lot more of them. And in fact, most people drastically overestimate the number of homosexuals around, precisely for that reason. The article below notes some of the reasons for that. However, given that the author is an atheist, he winds up blaming both left and right for the over-magnification of the “homosexual” issue. I will take his data and a few points and argue differently - the reason this matter has been so powerfully advanced and is receiving so much attention is due to the hard left’s perverse need to destroy the existing culture, and especially Christianity, if they are ever to realize their Huxley-esqe Brave New World of sexular socialist pagan utopia:
Given the prominence of the issue, you would expect homosexuality to be rampant in America. When asked to estimate how many gay people there are, most people guess that it’s on the order of 20% to 25% of the population. But yet another study has been released by the CDC giving a more scientific estimate, and it finds that almost 97 percent of Americans describe themselves as straight — the actual number who describes themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual is 2.3%. So the public’s perception is off by a whole order of magnitude.
It’s almost as if someone has been conspiring to elevate this issue way beyond its actual cultural significance. That is precisely what we find, and both sides are to blame.
For the moderate left……..the culture war over homosexuality is partly an attempt find a new civil rights movement to fight over so they can maintain a manufactured moral high ground.
This explains why they demand, not merely tolerance for homosexuals, but a kind of mandatory obeisance enforced by the state. You don’t want to actively cooperate in gay marriages by, say, making their wedding cakes? Too bad. You will be tolerant, you bastard, or we’ll bash you over the head. [Even more, the hard left desires to destroy, and completely, any entity that could possibly compete with the allegiance to the Leviathan state in the hearts, minds, and souls of men. This aspect was "cooked into" liberalism in its inception way back in the endarkenment and even before]
This also explains a lot of bizarre proposals that can only be described as a form of trolling: deliberate attempts to provoke an outraged reaction. I’m talking about things like demanding as a matter of principle that transsexuals be allowed to use school restrooms that correspond to their artificial gender identity rather than their biological one. If homosexuals are about 2.3% of the population, transsexuals are a much smaller group. Even an analysis that argues that their number is underestimated (if you include many who are not out of the closet) still places the figure two to three orders of magnitude smaller—from about one tenth of one percent to one one-hundredth of a percent of the population. [That's the most valuable data in this fairly erroneous piece. Those so deranged as to be afflicted with gender dysphoria are of such small number that bending over backwards and enduring all kinds of hardship to satisfy their whims is about as ludicrous as it gets. The number of "transgendered" people ranges from the tens to the hundreds of thousands - in a nation of hundreds of millions, it is ridiculous to have to bend over backwards to please them, including further eroding sexual distinctions.]Such cases are so rare that you would think they could be dealt with reasonably in their individual and local contexts.
The author then goes on to say that the “right,” and in particular the loathed and feared “religious right,” is just as much to blame for the overemphasis on this issue as is the hard left, because “homosexuality” is just a means to get the extreme base of each side all excited and ready to donate money. That ignores so much evidence it is laughable, and is the kind of statement that could only be made by an atheist, who pointedly finds absolutely nothing of valuable in religion or religiously-dictated morality and finds it ludicrous that anyone else could, either.
Now, I am not gullible. I know there are especially political elements on the right that constantly stoke fears of the depredations of the other side as a fundraising gimmick. Duly noted. And I’m sure there are times when devout souls like myself get excited and perhaps exaggerate the import of some of the smaller episodes of persecution or decay in morality.
But overall, I am forced by the vast preponderance of the evidence to conclude that the atheist is blind to the impact of the present left-driven attack on the culture and traditional morality because he is himself a part of it. Atheism is as distant from right morality, the very morality that led to Christendom, as is sodomy. And Christendom, after attack and perversion, still informs and provides much of the framework for the modern secular liberal state, which this author uses as one of several surrogate religions. So by pretending that the actions of a mere 2% are of no import, that we should just “live and let live,” entirely misses the point. Tolerance of sodomy poses an existential threat to this culture and the remnant of Christendom because it is an indicator of the utter triumph of the secular, self-pleasing mindset and the advance of a perverse morality so far from the truth it is actually evil. And liberty cannot exist without virtue, and on a mass scale. That is why free societies have been so rare in human history – it’s been as rare as mass virtue.
So, as we see at present, as virtue in a society collapses, so does liberty. This nation is obviously headed hard in the direction of totalitarianism. The left wing party is utterly run amok
. They view that totalitarianism as a good thing, as they intend to be the overseers. To the extent that support for sodomy, abortion, fornication, porn, contraception, divorce on demand, or whatever else moves the ball down the field, they are in favor of it. And yet, somehow the right is equally to blame? Please.
One interesting facet Christopher Ferrara argues in Liberty: The God That Failed
, is that even with our ability to vote and, supposedly, ‘choose’ our leaders, we are actually far, far less free in these United States in the Year of Our Lord 2014 than was the average peasant or burgher under the most “despotic” medieval king. The modern secular state arrogates, through the very act of claiming to be the representative of the people and their will, powers to itself far, far more expansive, invasive, and destructive powers than any preceding form of government ever did. And we see that in its most pristine, crystalline form in the more authoritarian fascist, communist, and socialist states. Orwell’s Eurasia is sort of the apotheosis of all that.
And all that invasive, crippling overreach can be traced back to a simple cause, as Solzhenitsyn noted: “men have forgotten about God.”
That is also, of course, the reason for the triumph of the hard left and all the perversions devastating this culture: men have forgotten about God.
Aye, and even within the Church.