This is one of those matters that is not entirely clear yet, but given the massive scandals at the IRS and their seeming gleeful willingness to persecute just about any group or person to the right of Vladimir Ulyanov, I would not say this is nothing to worry about because it hasn’t taken shape, yet. The fact that an atheist group is suing the IRS to monitor the content of church sermons for “violations” of their tax-exempt status should give one pause:
The next time your pastor delivers a pro-life sermon or urges the congregation to stand up for pro-life values in the political or public arena, he could be taken to task by the IRS.
Alliance Defending Freedom asked the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday to release all documents related to its recent decision to settle a lawsuit with an atheist group that claims the IRS has adopted new protocols and procedures for the investigation of churches. [You can hear hard drives crashing all over IRS headquarters in DC]
ADF submitted the Freedom of Information Act request after learning of the IRS’s agreement with Freedom From Religion Foundation in a press releasethe group issued on July 17 concerning its lawsuit Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, which accused the agency of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like. [This "foundation" and its leader, Mikey Wienstein, are virulent anti-Christians. You could say he is much, much less worried about other religions than he is about the terrible "violations" of the false doctrine of separation of Church and state by Christians than he is by any other religion. Once again, the sexular paganist hatred (Wienstein is a secular Jew - or is he?) of Christianity manifests itself]
……..According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation press release, “The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations.” [If this diabolical foundation is pleased, you can be sure that is very, very bad news for the Church]
The release mentions the ADF annual “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” event as one that promotes activity by churches that violates the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that activist groups often cite in an attempt to silence churches by threatening their tax-exempt status. The Johnson Amendment authorizes the IRS to regulate sermons and requires churches to give up their constitutionally protected freedom of speech in order to retain their tax-exempt status.
Which raises the question again (I’ve discussed it many times) of just how much muzzling churches are willing to accept in order to maintain that cherished tax-exempt status. Sure, that status on not paying taxes on their income is extremely handy, it effectively increases revenue substantially, but at what cost? In years past, before this country ditched its remaining Christian ethos and (among the power and media elites, anyway) went full bore towards persecution, it made sense, but does it still?
More and more we see how the cozy relationship the Church has enjoyed with the federal government for decades is costing it dearly. HHS Mandates (due to federal funding), tacit or overt control over the direction of many Catholic charities (Catholic Charities and CRS funded over 90% by federal dollars), demands to perform abortions in federally-subsidized “Catholic” hospitals, etc, are all ways the federal government, as its leaders and the culture go more and more into outright anti-Christian bias, tries to control the Church. There has always been a tacit threat that if bishops say “You cannot vote for Obama, because his policies are evil,” they would have their exempt status revoked.
That is the usual claim when millions of scandalized souls ask why Canon 915 has never been enforced against Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, or any of a number of public figures who are brazen in their heresy.
There is no question foregoing tax-exempt status would hurt a great deal. There is no question much good (if it is good – often it is not, or just Alinskyite organizing at a different level) now being done with all the ways the federal government subsidizes the Church would be greatly diminished should that cozy relationship cease. But at some point it may have to, as the influence of progressive hatred of Christianity in government spreads and government adopts more and more anti-Church policies. Some, like me, have argued that point was reached long ago, and the Church in this country made a terrible mistake in ever becoming dependent on the government teat (which was one of the main reasons the USCCB and its predecessors ever came into being, to be a central agency to receive and direct federal funding).
This dependence on federal funding also points back to fundamental understandings of the primary purpose of the Church – is it to be a worldly do good society, or the transcendent and exclusive Body instituted by Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls? Prior to Vatican II, the answer was clearly the latter, but since, the emphasis has been much more on the former. Not that the Church cannot be both. But overemphasis on worldly works has played a role in deranging the Faith from its true purpose.
Thus, by returning to roots and stopping this slide into NGO irrelevance, the Church, through renewed emphasis on Her unique nature and role, would inspire more fervor in souls, which could well result in a net positive gain, monetarily, over the status quo.
But surely that’s just too radical to consider.
The USCCB’s flawed left-wing approach to immigration ignores Leo XIII while overstressing post-conciliar ethos July 31, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, Immigration, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
1 comment so far
I almost said “obsessively promoting post-conciliar ethos.” A really good post by an author I’ve not read before, who explores how the USCCB’s selective reading of the dogmatic Magisterium has led it to promote dangerously flawed and destructive policies with regard to immigration:
The issue, of course, can be defined differently—as a “border crisis that has raised humanitarian concerns,” but the document disparages that definition and, by implication, the US citizens who hold it. It declares: “The US and its regional partners must avoid the simplistic approach of addressing the forced migration by forcing children back through increased border enforcement. This response is akin to sending these children back into a burning building they just fled. Instead the approach must prioritize protection for those who are displaced from their homes, especially children, the most vulnerable.” (This is hardly a responsible consideration of consequences. The bishops ignore the likely effects of failing to enforce the border—encouraging the countries of origin to continue neglecting their social problems, rewarding the lawless “coyotes” for violating US laws, and most important, subjecting the children to deprivation and physical/sexual abuse during their journey and hardship thereafter.) [We also need to understand the huge play on the word "child" going on. 50% of this immigrant flood are males 15-17 yo. Many have prior drug and gang history. These are not innocent 6 year olds with Dora jammies and a teddy bear trying to make it 1500 miles to a desert border crossing.]
The USCCB document devotes considerable space to [almost exclusively post-conciliar] Catholic social teaching, stressing the idea that all people are created in the image and likeness of God and therefore possess an inherent dignity and fundamental human rights. Citing John Paul II, it claims that illegal as well as legal immigrants possess these rights and the illegals’ rights should be balanced against “the rights of nations to control their borders.” Note that the quoted phrasing compares people’s rights with nation’s rights. Is this a fair comparison? Should it not be the rights of certain people (immigrants) versus the rights of other people (citizens)? More about this when I discussRerum Novarum. [It is not a fair comparison and is in fact a deliberate and Orwellian twisting of language, again. People generate sympathy, powerful nations, rarely so. But nations are comprised of......people. And the people of this nation have MORE rights, according to Aquinas, in this nation, than do those trying to immigrate. Just as the people of Honduras have more rights viz a viz the expat Americans who live there.]
Perhaps the most revealing characteristic of the USCCB document is that it speaks almost exclusively about the response of governments and the Catholic Church to the “humanitarian crisis,” but says virtually nothing about the response of American citizens, taxpayers, or even Catholic parishioners. For example, it declares that “the institutional Catholic Church in the United States has played a critical role in the care of unaccompanied children.” That wording is highly misleading. In reality, everything the “institutional Catholic Church” does is financed by citizen’s taxes (awarded in the form of federal grants), by the generosity of Catholic parishioners, or by both. [The vast majority comes from confiscatory taxation, at the end of a government gun] The focus on institutional efforts is therefore an insult to the millions of Americans who actually fund the works of charity and mercy. It is also, in effect if not intent, a subtle denial that legal US residents also possess God-given dignity and rights. [Dang right, and a huge point. And that is why I think so many Americans feel so strongly about this fake "crisis," because they see their rights - as taxpayers and people who have often given a lot for this country - being trampled on in favor of recent immigrants and narrow elite interests, like the incredibly corrupt and self serving US Chamber of Commerce.]
[The author Professor Ruggiero goes on to list elements of Rerum Novarum ignored by US Bishops, then gets back to his arguments.......] By omitting any reference to Rerum Novarum, the USCCB document conveniently ignores a theological argument that challenges the bishops’ argument. [Gee, wonder why they left it out, then? Surely not because they have some self-interest?!? Perish the thought! In fact, how much pre-conciliar Catholicism has been dropped or attacked for that same reason?!]
If we apply Leo’s ideas to the present US immigration crisis, we will conclude that citizens of the United States are also children of God with fundamental rights that should not be abridged, especially not by the State. [As I briefly allude in this post] Those rights include secure borders and protection from unfair taxation to provide entitlements to illegal aliens. [And disease vectors, terrorist risks, open venues for drug smuggling (how much of that could be prevented with a fence?!?), destruction of national unity, escalating gang violence, more drunken violence, higher crime rates, higher prison costs, families broken asunder, divorce, growth in santa muerte......I could go on a long time. The costs of unconstrained immigration are very, very high, and the USCCB ignores almost all of them] Moreover, again following Leo, we will conclude that, though we all have a debt to our less fortunate neighbors, it is a debt in charity rather than justice, and we are answerable to God, rather than to the government, for its fulfillment.
Even if the US bishops lean toward the thinking of Gustavo Gutiérrez, [that is a nice little head snapping point there. I like that] they are surely familiar with Leo XIII’s landmark encyclical, [I would not make that assumption! Most have probably heard of it, but I bet the vast majority have not read any of it. The scandal of atrocious formation has been ongoing for decades and applies to bishops too, now] and they should therefore understand its relevance to the present discussion of illegal immigration. [Maybe they should, but it's inconvenient knowledge, so it goes in the memory hole.] When they dismiss a line of thought consistent with Pope Leo’s insights as a “simplistic approach,” they do Pope Leo, their fellow Catholics, and the Catholic theological tradition a grave disservice. And when they pretend that only their perspective is compatible with Christ’s exhortation to care for those in need, they deepen the offense. [All very true. But once again, maybe most of the bishops really do believe there was a "new pentecost" and a "newchurch" born in 1965, and that anything that came before that is inconvenient, contradictory, or just not "with it" enough, and can be safely ignored and marginalized]
I don’t know a thing about the author – although I like the piece and respect the thinking in it – but I know a lot of people have started wandering through Rerum Novarum, Quas Primas, the Syllabus, Trent, etc, and started wondering…….why have I never heard of this? Why have I never seen this wonderful, clear cut catechesis? And then they come to start wondering, how did we get here? What happened? How on earth can I reconcile 1900 in the Church with 1990? After cutting through the propaganda on the non-dogmatic uber-council, then they really start to wonder!
I don’t know if this professor, a good deal older than I, is on that path, but it’s a doozy!
Some messages for Cardinal Kasper July 29, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking.
A few messages for Cardinal Kasper and his ideological allies, via Fr. Carota and Cardinal Muller. First, Fr. Carota had the following pics, one quoting a great priest and the other a great Saint, along with an emphatic statement in support for the inability of Doctrine to be contradicted:
We need to scream out a thousand million times: CATHOLIC DOCTRINE CAN NOT AND WILL NOT CHANGE. We can further develop our understanding of it, we can further define it, but if it changes, it is no longer Catholic or the immutable Deposit of Faith given to us by Jesus Christ. When people come up with “catholic doctrine” that has changed, it is absolutely no longer Catholic. It is absolutely and nothing more than heresy.
Today, if you even question the changes in Catholic Doctrines, you are automatically persecuted and ostracized by most bishops, priests, religious and people.
All of us have a responsibility to suffer for defending the purity of Catholic truth. TheArians, (Jesus is not equal to God the Father) were the majority of “catholics” for around 200 + years (300 – 500 A.D.). Many “catholics” were Iconoclasts, (condemned painting or sculpturing of Catholic religious art), for hundreds of years too (Late 600′s- Early 800′s). All those who resisted these heresies were exiled, punished, persecuted or put to death.
We might have such a glorious future to look forward to!
The awesome pics:
Next, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Gerhard Muller has given a book length interview in which he once again forcefully restates Catholic Doctrine on marriage, adultery, divorce, reception of the Blessed Sacrament, etc., and really takes apart the Kasperite gambit (as so many have already done). At least Cardinal Muller appears much more orthodox on this topic than he is in some of his Marian theology and especially with regard to liberation theology:
Not even an ecumenical council can change the doctrine of the Church, because its founder, Jesus Christ, has entrusted the faithful custody of his teachings and his doctrine to the apostles and their successors. We have a well-developed and structured doctrine on marriage, based on the word of Jesus, which must be offered in its integrity. The absolute indissolubility of a valid marriage is not a mere doctrine, but rather a divine dogma that has been defined by the Church. In the face of the de facto rupture of a valid marriage, another civil “marriage” is not admissible. If it were, we would be facing a contradiction, because if the previous union, the “first” marriage – or rather, simply the marriage – is really a marriage, another subsequent union is not “marriage.” It is only by a play on words that one can speak of a first and second “marriage.” A second marriage is possible only when the legitimate spouse has died, or when the marriage has been declared invalid, because in these cases the previous bond has been dissolved. If this is not the case, we are in the presence of what is called the “impediment of the bond.”
…..“The image of the field hospital is very beautiful. Nonetheless we cannot manipulate the pope by reducing the whole reality of the Church to this image. The Church in itself is not a hospital: the Church is also the house of the Father.”……
……“A simple ‘adaptation’ of the reality of marriage to the expectations of the world does not bear any fruit, but rather turns out to be counterproductive: the Church cannot respond to the challenges of the modern world with a pragmatic adaptation. In opposing an easy pragmatic adaptation, we are called to choose the prophetic audacity of martyrdom. With this we can bear witness to the Gospel of the holiness of marriage. A lukewarm prophet, through an adjustment to the spirit of the time, would be seeking his own salvation, not the salvation that only God can give.”
There is much more from Cardinal Muller at the link. He goes on to some length refuting this latest attempt to, in effect, destroy the Sacrament of Marriage and blaspheme the Holy Spirit through mass, sacrilegious reception of the Blessed Sacrament. Cardinal Kasper, if he had any, should be ashamed for even bringing this up. His arguments, such as they are, have been completely refuted from Scripture, Tradition, and even the post-conciliar Magisterial statements of Pope Saint John Paul II. It is ludicrous this is even being discussed. Kasper has been strongly opposed by Cardinals Muller, Burke, Collins, Brandmuller, Sebastian, Caffarra, De Paolis, and others. But he has a lot of support from other corners, such as most of the very disordered Germanic episcopate.
But, in spite of all that, this Synod will likely come down to where the pope stands. If he strongly supports the Kasperite gambit, we shall have to pray much to the Holy Ghost.
The lede’s a slight exaggeration – maybe. I don’t know that they’ll be broadcasting Mass from the outrageous former protestant Crystal Cathedral of the Diocese of Orange, CA, but they will make their left coast offices on the campus, which seems a bit of an endorsement to me:
Christ Cathedral will be the site of the first West Coast broadcast studio for the largest religious media network in the world, with construction underway in the iconic Tower of Hope for the Eternal World Television Network.
EWTN, which transmits Catholic programming 24 hours a day available to 230 million-plus homes in 140 countries, has long sought a West Coast presence, and after about a year of discussions, has formed a partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.
The initial lease will last 10 years, said Michael P. Warsaw, the chairman of the board and CEO for the television network. The parties, though, have not yet settled on a price, though it should be “nominal,” said diocese spokesman Ryan Lilyengren.
“This is a great opportunity for us to have access to people and organizations on the West Coast,” Warsaw said. “As we learned about the diocese’s vision, it became evident that (Christ Cathedral) would be a great location.”
Do you think Mother Angelica signed off on this? I doubt it.
Such an interesting choice – an increasingly neo-Catholic network chooses to “Catholicize” the former grounds of a protestant TV ministry. By so doing they seem to give at least tacit support to the use of the wholly inappropriate glass menagerie as a Catholic Cathedral.
I am certain in their minds this made just absolutely perfect sense. Somehow, this really evokes the whole turn the network has made in the past 8 or 10 years to me.
Am I the only one that finds this a very strange, if not a very poor, choice?
I happened to be at a used bookstore yesterday, browsing their huge but pathetic selection of “Catholic” books. The vast majority were either outwardly modernist and heretical, or they were lost in the dominant secular/progressive mentality and essentially useless. I only found a few good books in the “nostalgia” section, books from way before the Council. Nothing by TAN, only one book by Loreto, but it I already had…..it was a bust as book shopping goes (not that I really need books, a reader just gifted me a really nice collection that will keep me occupied for a year or more, but I was out, so I looked).
But I did find one book that sort of piqued my interest. It was from the USCCB’s predecessor, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. It was published in the late 90s. I believe it is still in use. It was a guidance document ostensibly for all dioceses and seminaries to provide basic guidelines and philosophical underpinnings for the formation of priests. It’s called Program of Priestly Formation. While the version I browsed through was from 1999, a 2006 edition is still in use, and the changes between the two are not very significant.
I thought it might be interesting to see what the USCCB had to say regarding what are the most important elements in the formation of priests. I was especially interested in the first section, on the “Foundations of Priestly Formation.”
I wish……I really wish……..I could say that I was blown away by the depth of Catholic sentiment and the communication of a strong understanding of just what Catholic priests do as their highest calling. But it wasn’t really there. There was a lot verbiage on the difference between priests and laity (opposing, I suppose, the strong trend in many seminaries to mute this distinction between the two, and pretend that St. Peter’s mention of a “universal priesthood” made the need for consecrated priests passe’), there was discussion of the need for priests to serve as “teacher” and “leader” of the people of God, there was a lot of focus on administrative duties, etc. But there was one huge thing missing, the thing that makes the Catholic Faith and the Catholic priesthood so utterly vital and necessary.
What was missing was any talk of sacrifice, or the reality of the priest serving as alter Christus during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And yet, this is the very Source and Summit not only of our Faith, through the miracle of Consecration that occurs at every Mass, but also what gives the priesthood its essence and power. And yet it was not mentioned at all in the first chapter, nor could I find any references to it throughout the entire document. I did not read every single word, so there could have been brief mention of this truly amazing, supernatural gift that all priests possess and offer on a continual basis, but I did not find discussion at any substantive length on this vital subject.
That is a most grave omission. I would say it is so grave as to make this formation document gravely deficient, even disordered, possibly deranged. I certainly pray that this subject of the transcendent role priests play in re-presenting the Most Holy Sacrifice of Calvary receives far more attention in seminaries than it did in this document. It was pretty disconcerting to see that this guidance document did not mention the subject at all when describing the role of the priest! I fear that is very revealing, and a potential problem point – among many others – in the formation that most seminarians receive.
Thus it was interesting to me, and quite possibly providential, that I found the video below bandying about traditional sites in the past 24 hours or so. It has already been deconstructed pretty well by others, but I’ll add a little bit below. Certainly, I did not find anything so blatantly erroneous and contrary to the spirit of the Church in the USCCB book. But I think the critical missing elements point to the fact that far too many disgraceful priests like the one below either have a voice in the process of seminary formation, or they have to be at least somehow placated by leaving out the “offensive” reference to Christ, the Sacrifice of the Mass, and all the rest. There is a great deal of evidence that priests like the one below have had a disastrous influence on seminary formation, and the process of approving candidates for ordination, over the past several decades. All in all, the priesthood has been horribly disfigured and weakened as a result:
I want to talk about his opening erroneous claim, that the Gospels were written way, way, waaaaaay after Christ’s Ascension. First of all, St. Matthew’s Gospel was first, period. Msgr. claims that the most recent “scholarship” places the dates for the writings of the Gospels later and later and later. That is, first of all, not true. There is a growing body of belief, even among secular academics, in the “early origin” of the Gospels, closer to the time of Christ and more in line with Catholic Tradition. The “late origin” theory reached its peak about 30 years ago (so did the theory that St.Paul did not write the Letter to the Hebrews).
But even among those that still cling to the “late origin” theory, on what do they base their claims? The number one underlying assumption of these modernist “scholars” is that miracles are impossible and thus must have a “rational” explanation. Thus, Christ prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem means that Gospel had to be written after the actual event, or AD 70. Another foundational error of modernist scholarship is the widely accepted “form” theory of Bultmann, who claimed that writing styles and other factors indicate when a given document was written. But this theory has been exploded by such examples as, for instance, “proving” that Tennyson never wrote “Idylls of the King” (of course he did, it is the “form” theory that is wrong, it is so nebulous that it can be used to “prove” anything).
More substantially than any of the above, however, is that it does not really matter. Those who go nuts over precise dates of Scripture miss the fact that the Catholic Faith existed prior to any of the Gospels being written, and for hundreds of years before the Canon of Sacred Scripture was ever determined (by the Church). We have the infallible knowledge that the Holy Ghost preserved Dogma intact from the Apostles on, in spite of the effects of time and the assaults of too many errors and outright heresies to count. This can be confirmed in many, many instances by reading what the early Church Fathers themselves believed, which, surprise!, happens to correspond to the Doctrine of the Faith. The Bible is wonderful, it is vital, but the Church, contrary to the sects, is more than just the Bible.
As I said, most of the rest has already been taken apart handsomely but I wanted to address the typical modernist droning about the dating of the Bible because it has only one purpose – to undermine the orthodox Faith, which is a terrible, terrible sin against charity. I should also note that this priest comes from the Diocese of Erie, long under the administration of the arch-modernist Bishop Donald Trautman, who is so extreme (thank goodness now retired) that he violently opposed even the very mild improvements to the English translation of the Novus Ordo released in 2011. So it is little surprise this guy is not only a priest “in good standing,” but was even made a Monsignor.
It is terrible to contemplate the damage to souls such men have wrought. One must ask what possible reason could have kept them in a Church they disbelieve and even seem to hate so much, unless it was to try to hurt Her from within.
To say this man needs prayers would be a great understatement. He needs a massive moral miracle, poor lost soul.
Hey, monsignor, every time you look in the mirror, you see the reason why the traditional movement is experiencing explosive growth.
And yet the interreligious crazy train rolls on along. Because……..oh, I don’t even want to bother right now.
I know there have been many reports of the depredations of the lunatic islamists currently ruling large parts of the Fertile Crescent. But here are two you might have missed. First, the muslims seized the 1700 year old Mar Mattai monastery outside Mosul on Sunday (naturally!) this week:
Jihadist militants have taken over a monastery in northern Iraq, one of the country’s best-known Christian landmarks, and expelled its resident monks, a cleric and residents said Monday.
Islamic State (IS) fighters stormed Mar (Saint) Behnam, a 4th century monastery run by the Syriac Catholic church near the predominantly Christian town of Qaraqosh, on Sunday, the sources said.
“You have no place here anymore, you have to leave immediately,” a member of the Syriac clergy quoted the Sunni militants as telling the monastery’s residents.
He said the monks pleaded to be allowed to save some of the monastery’s relics but the fighters refused and ordered them to leave on foot with nothing but their clothes.
Christian residents from the area told AFP the monks walked several miles along a deserted road and were eventually picked up by Kurdish peshmerga fighters who drove them to Qaraqosh.
The Syriac cleric said five monks were expelled from Mar Behnam. Christian families in the area said there may have been up to nine people living at the monastery.
The incident was the latest move by the Islamic State, which last month declared a “caliphate” straddling large swathes of northern Iraq and Syria, to threaten a Christian presence in the region spanning close to two millennia.
That is to say, there were Christians there centuries before mohammad mounted his first goat. Or nine year old, for that matter.
In other news, the raging islamists, driven by Lord knows what kind of massive inferiority complex, blew up Jonah’s tomb this week, after previously ransacking it. And I thought muslims held the Old Testament prophets in esteem? Or is it just blood they worship?
This tomb contained not just the remains of Jonah the great prophet of Nineveh, but also many other priceless works of antiquity. But that does not please crazed Salafist Islam which has been exported around the world by Saudi oil money (and the Saudis and Gulf states basically funded ISIS into being, as well as most of the Syrian “opposition” movements, because this is part of a larger struggle between Persia/Shia and Saudi/Shiite islam). One almost wonders if it’s not time use their oil fields as an open air repository for our nuclear waste.
Just a quick compare and contrast – which great Prophet remained completely chaste and constantly counseled same? Which one counseled peace, benignity, and even suffering enormous insults and barbs without recourse to violence? Ok, now which one not only engaged throughout his adult life in unchaste, promiscuous acts, to the point of taking very young girls as “wives,” treated women like cattle, and counseled same? Which one founded a religion unique among all the non-primitive religions in directing the use of the most extreme violence against all non-believers? Which religion has been spread virtually entirely by that violence? Which one is opposed to reason and not only encourages, but seems to demand ignorance and backwardness?
I also have to ask why if these fighters are so brave and their cause so holy, why do they hide their face?
A little more. In 2003, there were 35,000 Catholics in Mosul. Now there are none. An unintended consequence, to be sure, but one that was foreseeable all the same. That dang war in Iraq unleashed chaos and extremism – just as Pope Saint John Paul II warned – that may never end. And ancient Christian communities are being destroyed as a result.
The muslim goal is that there be no Christians at all in their “sacred” ummah. This nation has done much to help bring that about:
The American Catholic Charities guy isn’t very impressive, but I was edified to see all those Chaldean Catholic women in veils. Such a shame to know that all of that, in northern Iraq, at least, is gone.
I know there are relatively benign and even some good aspects to islam. I know there are millions of relatively good muslims. I guess. But I’m having an increasingly hard time not seeing it as a profoundly erroneous religion that seems predisposed to great evil.
And yet so many leaders in the Church slather completely unjustified attention and accolades on islam. They are almost sycophants at time – good little dhimmis.
Via the estimable Fr. Peter Carota. Pope Leo XIII (can a lay person start a cause of canonization?!?, because I sure think he needs one!), in response to a waking vision he had of the Church suffering mightily under the oppression of satan and internal dissent and strife, instituted not only the well-known prayer to St. Michael the Arcangel (which the good pope caused to be recited after every Mass), but also the following short form of exorcism against satan and his rebellious angels. Fr. Peter Carota prays this every day. In these times when the Church, and so many souls, are under such awful attack from satan and all his minions – human and demonic – perhaps we should consider offering this prayer from time to time, especially when we feel especially tempted or under duress of any form:
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Most glorious Prince of the Celestial Host, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the conflict which we have to sustain against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places (Eph. 6.12). Come to the rescue of men whom God has created to His image and likeness, and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. It is thou whom Holy Church venerates as her guardian and protector; thou whom the Lord has charged to conduct redeemed souls into Heaven. Pray, therefore, the God of Peace to subdue Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive nor do injury to the Church. Present our prayers to the most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us. Seize the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit, that he may no more seduce the nations (Apoc. 20.2-3).
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, [and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry]*, we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of the devil.
*Lay people omit this text
As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish away: as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
V. Behold the Cross of the Lord! Flee, bands of enemies.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Offspring of David has conquered.
V. May Thy mercy descend upon us.
R. As great as our hope in Thee.
(The crosses (+) below indicate a blessing to be given if a priest recites the Exorcism; if a lay person recites it, they indicate the Sign of the Cross to be made by that person.)
We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, Satanic powers, infernal invaders, wicked legions, assemblies, and sects. In the name and by the virtue of Our Lord Jesus Christ +. May you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb +.
Cease by your audacity, cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church, to torment God’s elect, and to sift them as wheat +. This is the command made to you by the Most High God +, with Whom in your haughty insolence you still pretend to be equal +. The God Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Tim. 2.4). God the Father commands you +. God the Son commands you +. God the Holy Ghost commands you +. Christ, the Eternal Word of God made Flesh, commands you +. He Who to save our race, outdone through your malice, humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death (Phil. 2.8). He Who has built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her, because He dwells with Her all days, even to the consummation of the world (Matt. 28.20). The hidden virtue of the Cross requires it of you, as does the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith +. The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you +. She who by Her humility and from the first moment of Her Immaculate Conception crushed your proud head. The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of the other Apostles commands you +. The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you +.
Thus, cursed dragon, and you, wicked legions, we adjure you by the living God +, by the true God +, by the holy God +, by the God Who so loved the world, as to give up His only-begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him may not perish but may have life everlasting (St. John 3.16). Cease deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal perdition. Cease harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Retreat, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man’s salvation. Cede the place to Christ in Whom you have found none of your works. Cede the place to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God. Tremble and flee at the evocation of the Holy and terrible name of Jesus; this Name which causes hell to tremble; this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of Heaven are humbly submissive; this Name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly, repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of Hosts.
Let us pray.
God of Heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of Whose reign there shall be no end. We humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we supplicate Thee to deliver us from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies, and their furious wickedness. Deign, O Lord, to protect us by Thy power and to preserve us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
V. That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty,
R. We beseech Thee to hear us.
V. That Thou would crush down all enemies of Thy Church,
R. We beseech Thee to hear us.
(Holy water is sprinkled in the place where we may be.)
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Texas Governor Rick Perry gave an interview last night in which he outlined some truly calamitous results from absolutely unconstrained illegal immigration over the southern border of the United States. Perry claimed some 3000 murders and 8000 sexual assaults were directly attributable to illegal immigrants – and just since 2008! He also said 203,000 immigrants over that period had been jailed for one crime or another:
This is an absolute catastrophe on so many levels. Catastrophic for the victims, for the moral integrity of the state and nation, and even catastrophic for the perpetrators, who perhaps would not have found themselves in the circumstances to commit such crimes had they remain at home. I don’t know how these figures were arrived at, or how accurate they are (or what they leave out – like how many people have been maimed for life due to the drunken driving that is epidemic among many Hispanic immigrants), but they point to just one “small” problem area with unconstrained immigration.
A local priest related a tale during a sermon some time back. It seemed a young Mexican man had wanted to come to the US. He had even prayed to the Blessed Virgin to help him come here. He tried this for months, but still he was unable to immigrate. Then he tried praying to the demon “santa muerte,” and, what do you know, he made it to the US! But then everything went horribly wrong. He fell into gangs and drugs, committed many terrible crimes, and was sentenced to life in prison – a life ruined and a huge burden on this nation’s taxpayers. He confessed to the priest that he did not know why things had gone so wrong. The priest told him it was not God’s Will that he come to the US, that the Blessed Virgin had been protecting him by keeping him in Mexico, and that the demon lured him here and to ultimate destruction.
How many similar tales are there?!? Perhaps not involving santa muerte, but who knows, it’s very popular in Mexico and Central America.
There is a good post here discussing a proper, non-ideological and unbiased (that is, not self-serving) Catholic approach to immigration, as outlined by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Yes, there is a Christian duty to care for the less fortunate in our midst and even welcome strangers in certain regards, but a nation has a primary duty to safeguard its own citizens, promote the greater good, preserve morals, and prevent fractious spirits or those who refuse to assimilate the nation’s values into its midst. There is also a reasonable limit – a nation does not have to permit itself to be overrun by huge numbers of immigrants in a short period of time, because doing so would pose a threat to the nation’s unity and the security and well-being of the existing citizenry. Reasonable laws can be set, and no, not everyone has a “right” to come to this nation or any other.
All these things are eminently logical and clearly discernible from the natural law and human reason. This ain’t rocket science. And yet such reasonable and sensical policies seem utterly missing from the current debate, and, it must sadly be said, from the leadership (ahem) we’ve seen from our bishops on this matter. Self-serving arguments are rarely convincing, but in this case it is sad to see self-interest cause reason and even what could be considered by many the greatest good, of all involved (citizen and non-citizen alike), to be cast aside. It is also most dismaying to see the leadership of the Church in this country using the manipulative language and blatant emotionalism of the Left in this debate. All of this is very far from the classical or traditional Catholic approach.
Build a fence.
Build a minefield. Keep heavy patrols. Use airborne sensors. Whatever it takes. Israel has managed to cut illegal crossings along its own long border by 99% through fences and patrols. There is no reason this nation cannot do the same. Then we can talk about what to do with those here. Then we can talk about revising the broken immigration system. Then we can set reasonable limits and argue about them like mad, because reasonable people can disagree on such things. But the present disastrous and immoral situation must end, before any other step can be taken.
And there is nothing injurious to Faith and Morals in saying so, in spite of all the rhetoric you hear to the contrary.
1914: The end of Western Civilization July 24, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, history, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
Rorate has linked to a very interesting video from CNS (I’m not sure what has happened, CNS now trots out some very good, even very tradition-friendly material, while CNA has suddenly swung hard left – ultra-ultramontanism?) regarding the effect WWI had on Europe. The claim made by the video by several historians is that WWI ended Western Civilization, and that we have been living in a sort of hedonistic, strange twilight denouement ever since. It’s not a claim I disagree with much.
This got me thinking though…..when did the “beginning of the end occur?” 1789? 1776? Or perhaps, was it 1517? Aye……..you could make a pretty powerful argument that what occurred starting in 1914 was a very predictable result of what occurred in 1517. For protestantism fed rationalism, which fed hostility to religion, and then on to the endarkenment, radical new forms of government sequestering Christianity to an increasingly secondary status, and on and on through the slow decay of decades until finally, inexorably, Europe arrived at 1914. It is a certainty Europe has never recovered from the disasters of the First World War, and probably never will – at least not in its present construction. Europe is one of many entities in the world that appears to desire final death and dissolution (witness the catastrophically low birth rates), to be replaced by something else, and some indeterminate point in the future.
Enough harangues from me, the video, which perhaps m any of you have already seen:
Several points that cross my mind:
- I think Rorate is right that the most significant remaining element of 2500 year old Western Civilization is the TLM, and with the TLM, complete re-birth is possible. There are some other elements remaining, as well, but primarily only observed by a limited few, often regarded as cranks or dismissed as hopelessly out of date. It is interesting to consider whether the death wish towards the TLM that overtook many very influential mid-century Church leaders was part of this general rejection of all things European, Western, traditional, etc. Think also on the cult of PC and the ludicrously exaggerated consideration expressed by Westerners towards “exotic” others – primitive jungle tribes have as valuable a “culture” as the West, or islam as a religion of “peace” equal to the Church, etc.
- It would not necessarily be the greatest argument, but one could argue that it was the Central Powers in WWI who were the main defenders of traditional European culture, rather than the Entente. Austria-Hungary was the most visibly Catholic government in Europe in 1914. All the Central Powers were monarchies. The war, in the minds of the Entente, came down to a struggle between stuffy, hidebound, reactionary monarchies and the new, liberal, “enlightened” (there’s that term, a coup of PR by the philosophes) democracies. The Central Powers of course saw the opposite – they saw themselves as the defenders of traditional European government, societal order, etc., and France and Britain as dangerous, radical nations determined to destroy European civilization. As the war dragged on, Kaiser Wilhelm II would fantasize about having all the prime ministers and other leaders of the Entente powers come and bend the knee before His Imperial Majesty, to prove the ultimate superiority of monarchism and traditional European values. Now, this argument has several fallacies – there was probably no more traditional or authoritarian country in Europe in 1914 than Russia, and she was an Entente power, and there were ardent Catholics fighting for every country involved – but it’s interesting to consider. From the standpoint of lovers of the Church and Western Civilization, there were no real “good guys” in WWI. Everyone lost.
- A final consideration is the fact that there is always something worse that can happen, and leftists/progressives/liberals have a knack for bringing that worse thing about. WWI was a “triumph for democracy” in the victorious nations (it had to be something great, instead of what it was, the ultimate futile and pointless European war), but that “triumph” unleashed the hell of WWII. The Entente Powers really did want to crush profound aspects of European culture and reshape the world according to their own liberal image. That was basically the main argument for the US entering the war – to “make the world safe for democracy.” So all the monarchies of the Central Powers were deliberately crushed, and the same rhetoric and ideals fueled the Russian Revolution. But the governments that rose from the ashes of WWI in Central Europe were either pathetically weak or even more monstrous constructs. Today, progressives seem determined to see Christianity reduced to irrelevance, but what will come in Christianity’s train? Something far worse, we can be assured.
But that makes no difference to us. We shall always remain, as we know that Jesus Christ is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. He did not promise us worldly victory or power. He just promised that if we take up our cross and follow Him, we will have eternal life.
And that, is the point of it all.
After 1300 years, Islam has not been driven from Europe July 23, 2014Posted 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!