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Material for the long break: two good sermons December 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, catachesis, contraception, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, paganism, sadness, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I won’t be blogging much for the next two weeks plus – we’re going to Clear Creek for a bit – so I thought I’d leave you with some good sermons.  Both are actually very good.  The first deals with the counter-natural evil of contraception.  You may be thinking you already know all you need to regarding contraception, but I think the approach the priest takes might bring up some points you have not considered.  He relates how Our Lord prophesied during the Way of the Cross that a time would come when women counted themselves blessed to be barren.  He also discusses aspects of the 1965 Griswold vs. Connecticut decision by the Supreme Court which not just legalized, but normalized (in the minds of many) contraception.  Since then, it’s all been downhill on the cultural front.  Is it meaningful that this decision was reached in the same year that the most recent ecumenical council concluded?  At the least, there was certainly something in the cultural water in the 1960s:

Another aspect of Griswold vs. Connecticut is the role played by Catholics – laymen, priests, and prelates – in minimizing Church opposition to both this decision and the general liberalization of contraception and abortion in the 1960s.  Those people have an enormous amount of blood on their hands, and much to answer for.

Another really good sermon, having to do with the beginnings of the Reconquista in Spain (the 774 year long war to liberate Spain from the yoke of islam) and the key role Our Lady played in preserving the Faith on the Iberian peninsula (at least, it seems, until now – Spain is one of the most thoroughly secularized countries in the world.  It is amazing how the Faith has collapsed there since 1975):

What Obi Wan Kenobi had to say about the liturgical reform December 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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This is not the Mass you're looking for

This is not the Mass you’re looking for

Good friend and blog reader SB gave me A Bitter Trial a while back, and I just got around to reading it.  This book relates the correspondence Catholic convert and famous author Evelyn Waugh had with John Cardinal Heenan, primate of England, regarding the liturgical revolution instituted after Vatican II, and how much pain it caused both men.  Waugh, Heenan and others were responsible for the unique “Agatha Christie” exemption, allowing the continued offering of the TLM in England for some years after the Council.

Many know that Alec Guinness, one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, was a Catholic convert, too.  In fact, A Bitter Trial notes that Englishmen were converting to the Church at the rate of 12,000 per year in the 1930s and 40s, but after the post-conciliar changes, the rate of conversions collapsed along with everything else.  Many non-Catholics in the early 20th Century saw the Church for what she was – the last bastion of Truth in a culture that seemed determined to commit suicide.  But that bastion evaporated with the changes of the 1960s.

Guinness was another of this group of English artists less than impressed with the liturgical renewal.  In fact, he thought it stank:

Much water has flowed under the Tiber’s bridges, carrying away splendor and mystery from Rome, since the Pontificate of Pius XII…….the banality and vulgarity of the translations which have ousted the sonorous Latin and little Greek from the Liturgy…….handshaking and embarrassed smiles or smirks have replaced the older courtesies……..

While dismayed by the liturgical revolution, Guinness did hold out hope, provided souls came to worship God and not the pagan idols of modernism:

But so long as the God who is worshiped is the God of all ages, past and to come, and not the Idol of Modernity, so venerated by some of our bishops, priests, and miniskirted nuns

Pretty smart commentary.  Guinness was no fool. And I do him no favors calling him Obi Wan.  He despised the role (but loved the money – he got a percentage).  For me, he will always be Colonel Nicholson, fanatically building a bridge to be used against his own army to show up his Japanese oppressors:

The-Bridge-on-the-River-Kwai

Or Prince Faisal:

tumblr_mk0dwjPEEg1rl06klo1_500

No better combination than Guinness and Lean.  Ever watch Smiley?

Don’t be shocked when it happens: it’s just about certain Communion will be granted to divorced/remarried Catholics December 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, Our Lady, Papa, sadness, scandals, shocking, sickness, Society, SOD.
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That is the point made by Dale Price in this post at Dyspeptic Mutterings.  I am going to take more of the post than I should, because Price covers several items I have not addressed on this blog, most notably Pope Francis’ interview in the radical Argentine journal La Nacion last week.

I have to say, I briefly felt some elation and relief and the seeming “failure” of the progressives at the first half of the Synod to get their radical program enacted.  It has to be said, Pope Francis has indicated in myriad ways his support for this program.  But after some weeks of reflection, I have come to feel that whatever “defeat” was suffered towards the end of the October Synod proceedings was minor, at best, and that the progressive forces will continue driving towards the conclusion they want until they get it.  That brings me to the other item I have not covered on this blog: the “lineamenta” or survey of questions for the bishop’s conferences for the second half of the Synod (have things changed much in a year since the last survey?!?) is much more full of progressive bias and loaded, leading questions than even the previous one.  This lineamenta was produced by the Pope’s hand-picked secretary, and contains like this one below:

38. With regard to the divorced and remarried, pastoral practice concerning the sacraments needs to be further studied, including assessment of the Orthodox practice and taking into account “the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances” (n. 52). What are the prospects in such a case? What is possible? What suggestions can be offered to resolve forms of undue or unnecessary impediments?

Sorry folks from the declaration at the beginning to the way the questions are worded to what is left out, this is an answer begging for a question, or, even more, a diktat to its recipients: get on board, boys, if you want a future in the Church.

Price quotes the following from yet another episode of the Magisterium of left-wing newspaper interviews:

[Q:] In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? This was a pastoral concern: will we allow them to go to Communion?

[A:] Communion alone is no solution. The solution is integration. They have not been excommunicated, true. But they cannot be godfathers to any child being baptized, mass readings are not for divorcees, they cannot give communion, they cannot teach Sunday school, there are about seven things that they cannot do, I have the list over there. Come on! If I disclose any of this it will seem that they have been excommunicated in fact! [I mean, really, they only persist in a manifest state of mortal sin, they have very likely gravely damaged the lives of their children and quite possibly their former spouse, massive divorce is incredibly harmful to society at large, but how can they not be godfathers or EMHCs?  I mean, everybody should be able to casually handle the Lord and Master of the Universe, right?]
Thus, let us open the doors a bit more. Why cant they be godfathers and godmothers? “No, no, no, what testimony will they be giving their godson?” The testimony of a man and a woman saying “my dear, I made a mistake, I was wrong here, but I believe our Lord loves me, I want to follow God, I was not defeated by sin, I want to move on.” [Now, to me, a mistake might be getting drunk one night, or getting into a fight.  Divorce is quite a bit more than just a mistake. But the much more significant problem is this: such people living as concubines with someone not their spouse are in an ongoing state of grave sin and give ongoing scandal. According to the inspired and inerrant word of God in Sacred Scripture, doing such constitutes the gravest sacrilege. Regularizing divorce in this manner goes directly against the Word of God spoken directly by Himself. There is no mention at all of that reality by Kasper or in the text above]
Anything more Christian than that? And what if one of the political crooks among us, corrupt people, are chosen to be somebody´s godfather. If they are properly wedded by the Church, would we accept them? What kind of testimony will they give to their godson? A testimony of corruption? [Ugggh. This is a really weak argument.  It’s special pleading and scapegoating]
Things need to change, our standards need to change.

That’s the point. That’s the entire point, and it represents evidence of a progressive mindset. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, when arguing in favor of some special treatment for themselves, or for some progressive pet social project “hey, come on, it’s the 90s now.  It’s not the 50s anymore!” Or “it’s 2014, not 1920!”

You get the point.  Progressives have an unshakable faith that society must progress, change, and move forward, and that each progressive advance leaves society better than the last.  This is as fundamental a part of progressive belief as their focus on sexual libertinism.  And that is the only real argument put forward by Pope Francis above: times change, society must advance, and this “liberalizing” of Communion for those in a state of grave sin, even public sin, is a required advance for a more “just” (meaning equal, meaning lowest common denominator) treatment of these people.  Tolerance is the highest, and just about only, virtue.

Price closes really well with this:

Those of you who are Anglicans will have seen this movie before: dialogue does not end until the proper result is reached. Then it becomes the Laws of the Medes and Persians, hater. [Dang right. As I showed in the post on Marquette U, once the progressive achieves his goal, further argument becomes illicit and one must simply accept the progressive advance. In that sense, the first half of the Synod was a rousing success, as the progressives got their radical views out in public, with most people now either believing that the Church has “changed its teaching” or that it is at the very least strongly considering doing so.  These people never move backwards. They take what they can, regroup, and attack again]

Given what the Vatican just issued, the most recent interview shows the Pontiff’s mind quite clearly (not that it was particularly opaque before). Throw that in with the papal power-invoking rhetoric in the wildly-overpraised speech he gave at the conclusion of the 2014 Synod (reinforced by more explicit authority to depose), and I think it’s more likely than not that he forces through some variation on the Kasper proposal in 2015.

As do I.  Naturally speaking, I’d say it’s a lead pipe cinch.

But let us pray that may not happen.  Prayer can work great miracles, and perhaps prayer helped galvanize what opposition there was in 2014.  Things are very far from over, yet.  With God, all things are possible.

And as Noah said in response to my previous post, I’m afraid we are going to have to get used to taking up our cross and enduring some difficult trials for the foreseeable future.

 

In this crisis, it may be up to the laity? December 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society, the return.
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Pertinacious Papist has some interesting quotes (some of which may have come from Church Militant TV) about times of extreme crisis, and the preservation of doctrinal integrity falling on the laity.  The quotes below, and then I add a bit of text expressing my concern about relying on the laity for a “solution” to the crisis:

“I was pleased to see that some Catholic journalists and internet bloggers behaved as good soldiers of Christ and drew attention to this clerical agenda of undermining the perennial teaching of Our Lord.”
– Bishop Athanasius Schneider, speaking on the October Synod of Bishops

“It was mainly by the faithful people that Paganism was overthrown … the body of the Episcopate was unfaithful to its commission, while the body of the laity was faithful to its baptism …”- Blessed John Henry Newman, addressing what transpired during the Arian heresy of the 4th century

“Treachery like that of Nestorius is rare in the Church, but it may happen that some pastors keep silence for one reason or another in circumstances when religion itself is at stake. The true children of Holy Church at such times are those who walk by the light of their baptism, not the cowardly souls who, under the specious pretext of submission to the powers that be, delay their opposition to the enemy in the hope of receiving instructions which are neither necessary nor desirable.”
– Abbot Guéranger, commenting on the Nestorian controversy
in the 5th century, in The Liturgical Year, IV, p. 380.

I fear we are in a situation disconcertingly analogous to the Arian heresy, when the vast majority of priests and bishops embraced the heresy of Arius (save for Jerome, Athanasius, and some other great bishops).  However, from what I have read, in that heresy, and some others, either the great Mass of the people remained faithful, or there was at least some geographical redoubt which was spared from the heresy, where orthodox Catholicism was maintained by people and hierarchy alike (I refer here to the protestant revolution).

Having said that, we are faced with a much different problem today.  The vast totality of the hierarchy has seemingly fallen into severe error and even diabolical disorientation/reprobate sense, and probably even a higher percentage of the laity has, as well.  I think it very safe to say that less than 10% of the hierarchy would be regarded as orthodox if magically transmitted back in time 100 years, and probably more like 97-8% of the laity is the exact same way. Similarly, there is no geographical region where orthodox Catholicism is still intact.

And this gets to my greatest concern: how small is the faithful “Remnant?”  Who can be included in that group of still faithful souls? Does it even number a million?  If we exclude neo-Catholics and the SSPX (or, from their point of view, everyone outside the SSPX) and many others, that number must be vanishingly small, well under a million.  How can so few work a conversion on a Church and world so much larger, and so far gone?  Yes, we have (or we pray we have) God on our side, and Gideon with 300 overcame tens of thousands, but that case was basically an enormous miracle of Grace (and even still – 1 million faithful Catholics versus 6 billion lost souls are much longer odds than 300 versus 100,000).

Soooo…….if the natural odds are so enormously against us, do we just focus on prayer and God working that miracle we all long for?  But what about maintaining hope and keeping people’s spirits up? I know from experience that many souls have a profound need to feel we at least have a distant chance of seeing the Church drastically improved in orthodoxy in their lifetimes, or they fall pray to despair.  I have been told as much many times, anyway.

It’s a very difficult question.  Part of me says we should try to work for a big tent of the basically orthodoxish, including many folks we may have very strong disagreements with but who are, by and large, faithful, or at least much more faithful than the great mass of self-styled Catholics today.  But having argued a bit for that last week, I’m already feeling pretty dissatisfied with my argument and see many holes in it.  Neo-Catholics (which term I really don’t like) are a problem.  For one, they often pretend there is no crisis, or that it doesn’t include the hierarchy, or that this pope isn’t someone to be feared.

I don’t know what the answer is.  Michael Voris, God bless him, calls passionately for a “Catholic uprising” but we are so few in number, and seem to be facing massive internal pressure if not outright persecution at present.  I honestly think we will be amazingly fortunate to come through the next 5 or 10 years with the “gains” made under Pope Benedict intact.

I do not mean to sound hopeless. I do not feel hopeless.  I know that if I remain faithful, and cooperate with Grace, I may be saved and spend eternity with God in Heaven, where none of this will matter.  So I do not fret.  But I do think we face a monumental task.

And yes any great improvement in the Church would be God’s Grace working through souls.  But He has to have souls to work through, no?

Discuss, if you feel like it.

Marquette University suspends professor for upholding Catholic Doctrine December 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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Most readers have probably already written Marquette University in Wisconsin (a university in the flamboyantly heterodox and neo-pagan Jesuit “tradition”) off their lists of even remotely reputable Catholic colleges, but if you haven’t yet, you might consider doing so now.  A professor has been suspended for the grave offense of saying it is ludicrous for Marquette to allow a different professor (a radical feminist) to declare topics like sodomite marriage and gerbal worming “out of bounds” for discussion:

Marquette University, the Jesuit school in Milwaukee, has shot itself in the foot again. Weeks ago in a “Theory of Ethics” class, philosophy instructor Cheryl Abbate listed several possible topics of discussion, but said one of them –gay marriage—could not be addressed because any opposition argument would offend homosexual students, and besides society has already agreed that gays can marry. This is a strong pattern for the campus left: topics they want to talk about (e.g., the Keystone pipeline, abolishing fraternities) are discussed endlessly, even in classes where the topics have little or no relevance. But topics they don’twant discussed are banned as “already settled” or as harassment[The left could not operate without the double standards it insists upon.  Leftism is not founded on rational argument, it is founded on naked emotionalism and even more naked use of force.  Thus we don’t have an immigration “debate” in this country, we have a president who acts lawlessly and unconstitutionally by just imposing his will like a banana republic dictator.  He learned well how to operate in the hallowed halls of academia, wherein he spent most of his pre-political career accomplishing precisely nothing]

Did Marquette overrule Abbate and say that gay marriage can certainly be discussed in class?  Or that Catholic doctrine cannot be off limits at a Catholic university? Well, no. Like so many other universities, Marquette passed on the free speech issue and went after a lone professor—John McAdams–who had criticized Marquette’s woeful reaction to Abbate in his blog, “Marquette Warrior.” The next step was very predictable: Marquette suspended McAdams, said he is under investigation and banned him from the campus, without listing any charges against him.[There are no better places than today’s universities to see how leftism operates.  The same lawlessness, double-standards, and hypocrisy that we see rising in politics at the national level, are standard operating procedure at universities and have been for  years.  Fall afoul of one of the leftist apparatchiks at university, and you are finished] Presumably the unannounced charge is harassment, since the letter from Dean Richard Holz to McAdams ended with a sentence saying “I am enclosing with this letter Marquette’s harassment policy….:” McAdams then wrote: “The fact that Holz sends the ‘harassment policy’ suggests that somebody thinks that merely blogging about questionable conduct by a Philosophy instructor constitutes ’harassment.’” He adds that Marquette “has again shown itself to be timid, overtly bureaucratic and lacking any commitment either to its Catholic mission or free expression.” Yes, it has.

No kidding.  Parents – and I speak for myself, as I have children nearing that age – we have a tremendous decision on our hands determining where or under what circumstances our children may matriculate at the collegiate level.  This is not an easy decision – there are a handful of fairly orthodox Catholic colleges (but only one that is overtly traditional), and they are very expensive.  For those of us with multiple kids, private school may not be an option, and those schools don’t exactly offer degree plans that offer a strong likelihood of a quick payback of any college loans.  But state university has it’s own risks.  You’re less likely to see the Catholic Faith attacked and undermined in so many ways subtle and gross as at most Catholic schools, but there will certainly be rampant leftism, anti-religious fervor, perversion, and numerous temptations to sin.

So I don’t know.  I know some parents who have encouraged their kids to live at home and go to local universities.  There are many options in the DFW area, thankfully.  I do sort of like that idea, they can jump through the societal hoop while not having to take the huge step of living on their own in a distant and alien place. I’m not sure that’s been a good idea for a long time, especially colleges consciously forsook their role as overseers for the still very young people in their charge.  I think our kids are onboard with that idea, too.

Did you get the irony of a professor of ethics declaring criticism of perversion out of bounds? These lefties, they certainly love their rhetorical tricks.

Marquette is in Milwaukee, an archdiocese long administered by radical progressives (Weakland), so it is little surprise that the local Jesuit university would have left the Faith long ago.

 

Vatican played a role in aiding talks for US break on Cuba? December 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, self-serving, silliness, Society.
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A commenter left this link to a Yahoo report that the Vatican was involved in the recent “negotiations” (some might term it a surrender, or cave) between the Obamanation Administration and the murderous communist government of Cuba (where the people have chicken maybe once a month as a huge treat) that will greatly relax US restrictions on what the, ahem, Catholic President Kennedy termed “that imprisoned island.”  The report:

The historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuban relations began in spring 2013, when President Barack Obama authorized secret talks with Havana, the same tactic he used to open nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Months of talks in Canada and at the Vatican, involving one of Obama’s closest aides, culminated on Tuesday when Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro spoke by phone for nearly an hour and gave final assent to steps that could end a half-century of enmity and reshape Western Hemisphere relations.

Obama believed that “if there is any U.S. foreign policy that has passed its expiration date, it is the U.S.-Cuba policy,” said a senior Obama administration official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity. [If it’s so great, then why do you only speak on condition of anonymity, and why was all this conducted under cloak of darkness, until it became a fait accompli?  And are there not US laws passed by Congress that govern much of US relations with Cuba?  So is this another exercise in executive lawlessness on the part of Obama?]

The Vatican played a key role in the rapprochement, including facilitating talks on the release of Alan Gross, a former subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development who returned from Cuba on Wednesday after five years’ imprisonment, U.S. officials said.

In early summer 2014, Pope Francis – who is from Argentina – sent separate personal letters to Obama and Castro, urging them to exchange captives and improve relations.

When the pope received the U.S. president in Vatican City in late March, the secret Cuba talks were a central topic of discussion. Cuba “got as much attention as anything else,” the official said.

The first face-to-face talks that eventually led to this week’s deal took place in June 2013 in Canada, which has long maintained relations with Cuba……..

Before you go saying this is all Pope Francis’ doing, Yahoo reports that the negotiations started under Pope Benedict – that is, if he was even aware, which I would assume he was?:

The Vatican got involved as early as March 2012, when a group of U.S. lawmakers went to the papal ambassador’s office in Washington’s posh Embassy Row section and pleaded for help.

Since then, through a Vatican transition from Pope Benedict XVI to Pope Francis, “it has always stayed on the Vatican’s radar,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski, from Gross’ home state of Maryland. “They talk to higher powers. I don’t know if it’s radar or angels, Cherubim, Seraphim – they go for it.”

I don’t have a lot of comment. Whatever the merits of the past US policy towards Cuba, it hasn’t succeeded in toppling the Castro family oligarchy that rules that nation (like most other communist nations, there is no “dictatorship of the proletariat,” there is a ruling nomeklatura who live like kings while the peasants suffer in poverty and filth).  But claims that the US embargo has “impoverished” Cubans are equally false: Cuba has normal trading relations with almost every other nation (including Canada and Western Europe).  The source of Cuba’s poverty – the same poverty that is overtaking Venezuela now, after over a decade of socialist rule – is communism.  Communism simply does not work, and is government enforced robbery (as Pope Leo XIII made so clear).

So what do you think of this?  Will this improve the lot of Cuba’s suffering Catholic majority now? And, for a twist…will this now allow American evangelists to flood Cuba as they have so many other Latin American nations, and with a badly broken Church, woo millions of souls away from the Church Jesus Christ directly founded?

As for me, I generally oppose anything that makes communist rule easier.  We have helped keep over a billion Chinese prisoners of a repressive state by shifting most of our manufacturing base to that country.  25 years of free trade with China haven’t done much to improve that nation’s human rights record or served to  undermine the ruling oligarchy there, either.  So as far as I can tell, this was a move made simply because Cuba is every American leftist’s wet dream of a socialist paradise with “wonderful, free” health care (so wonderful it probably helped speed the demise of Hugo Chavez, may God have mercy on his soul).  And Obama is nothing if not an American leftist.

Saint Vincent of Lerins on unworthy shepherds December 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Grace, Saints, sanctity, SOD, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Many of us wonder: how could it be that God could allow the Church to slip into such crisis?  How could the Church be afflicted with so many unworthy
shepherds?  How could so many souls be allowed to fall into error as a result?  Unfortunately, fallen human nature being what it is,  the Church has often been afflicted with heresy, error, and men in positions of great power and influence in the Church that embrace both.  While today’s crisis might be the greatest the Church has ever endured due to its enormous depth and breadth from top to bottom, from region to region, it is certainly not the first. St. Vincent of Lerins, via FideCogitActio, knew such men.  He also knew why God allowed the Church to be afflicted with such unfaithful and inconstant shepherds:

“How is it … that certain excellent persons, and of position in the Church, are often permitted by God to preach novel doctrines to Catholics? … The reason is clearer than day why Divine Providence sometimes permits certain doctors of the Churches to preach new doctrines— ‘That the Lord your God may try you;’ he says. And assuredly it is a great trial when one whom you believe to be a prophet, a disciple of prophets, a doctor and defender of the truth, whom you have folded to your breast with the utmost veneration and love, … secretly and furtively brings in noxious errors, which you can neither quickly detect, being held by the prestige of former authority, nor lightly think it right to condemn, being prevented by affection for your old master. … [Or even your current “master,” or ecclesiastical superior]

Therefore, as soon as the corruption of each mischievous error begins to break forth, and to defend itself by filching certain passages of Scripture, and expounding them fraudulently and deceitfully, immediately, the opinions of the ancients in the interpretation of the Canon are to be collected, whereby the novelty, and consequently the profaneness, whatever it may be, that arises, may both without any doubt be exposed, and without any tergiversation be condemned. … But whatsoever a teacher holds, other than all, or contrary to all, be he holy and learned, be he a bishop, be he a Confessor, be he a martyr, let that be regarded as a private fancy of his own, and be separated from the authority of common, public, general persuasion, lest, after the sacrilegious custom of heretics and schismatics, rejecting the ancient truth of the universal Creed, we follow, at the utmost peril of our eternal salvation, the newly devised error of one man.” [Or even hundreds or thousands of men]

Great, great advice. We are certainly being tried. And I know many if not all of you are doing your very best to remain faithful and practice this Faith of ours tolerins your utmost during these most difficult times.  Pray that God may keep us faithful and that we may not fall into error.  I certainly pray that for all of you.  As St. Vincent of Lerins says, sometimes errors can be very subtle (and very attractive), and sometimes people we love or have a natural affection towards (or their office) can tempt us to be led astray. Cling fast to the Faith!  It is not easy today, because this crisis has been going on so long we are about two full generations into it.  That means the vast majority of us probably weren’t real well formed in the Faith (at some point) and may have absorbed – willingly or no – some bad ideas that have the potential to ruin us.

Please find the best confessor you can and really scour your life, in comparison to the Doctrine of the Faith and the writings of the Saints, for any errors you may hold.  Through some examination of conscience I called to mind not so much an error, but a sin from my days waaaaaay before being Catholic that I need to confess.

May God strengthen all of us in this time of terrific trial.  May we always remain faithful to His Church and in accord with His will for us in our state of life.

salvation2-lerins

Apostolic investigation of LCWR turns into a sham of a whitewash December 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, religious, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
15 comments

That takes some doing – turning even a whitewash into a sham of one.

A day or two ago, the Vatican released its final report on the status of women’s religious in the US.  It will probably come as no surprise, but with the change in leadership at both the Congregation for Religious and Institutes of Consecrated Life (from the fairly orthodox Cardinal Rode’ to the exceedingly liberal Brazilian Cardinal Braz de Aviz) and in the papacy, what started as a serious investigation oriented towards trying to curb at least the worst excesses of the warped women religious of the LCWR has turned into a shambles and a seeming endorsement of their movement “beyond Christ, beyond the Church” and into frequently perverse sex and wiccan-inspired paganism and new age death.

More comments in line with the report, below:

A sweeping Vatican investigation into Roman Catholic nuns in the U.S. that began amid fears they had become too feminist and secular ended up praising the sisters for their selfless work caring for the poor — a major shift in tone that reflected the social justice mindset of Pope Francis. [Hmmm…..how can one practice “social justice” while embracing abortion, which has denied any justice to 1 to 2 billion babies over the past few decades alone?  In fact, these women religious focus only on a certain kind of progressive “social justice” quite distant from that outlined in Rerum Novarum and other orthodox documents]

The overwhelmingly positive report Tuesday also promised to value their “feminine genius” more, [Oh please……that’s a direct quote of Pope Francis] while gently suggesting ways to serve the church faithfully and survive amid a steep drop in their numbers. [There are more female religious over 90 in the LCWR than there are under 60!  In 15 years, these orders won’t exist!  I guess it was judged expedient that these orders should die] It was cheered by the American sisters themselves, dozens of whom swarmed the Vatican news conference announcing the results in a rare occasion of women outnumbering men at the Vatican. [Which I’m sure sent a thrill up the leg of reporter Nicole Winfield.  You go girl!]

“There is an encouraging and realistic tone in this report,” Sister Sharon Holland [head of LCWR] told reporters. “Challenges are understood, but it is not a document of blame, or of simplistic solutions. [“Simplistic solutions” is leftist code for “Doctrine of the Faith”] One can read the text and feel appreciated and trusted to carry on.” [With the rapid demise of your orders]

The report was most remarkable for what it didn’t say, given the criticism of American religious life that prompted the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI to launch the investigation in 2009.

There was no critique of the nuns, no demands that they shift their focus from social justice to emphasize Catholic teaching on abortion, no condemnation that a feminist, secular mentality had taken hold in their ranks……. [You have to be willfully blind to not see the overwhelming embrace of marxist lesbianism in the ranks of the LCWR leadership, and many rank and file, which just goes to demonstrate that gomorrist behaviors are learned, and not inborn]

…….It was a radically different message than that of another Vatican office that investigated an umbrella group of the sisters’ leaders.

That investigation, conducted by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, resulted in a Vatican takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in 2012. The doctrine office determined that the LCWR, which represents the leaders of 80 percent of U.S. nuns, took positions that undermined church teaching and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”…… [But in the new order, there are no themes incompatible with the “Catholic Faith”……except the Catholic Faith]

…….The report outlined the bleak reality facing American women’s congregations now: The current number of 50,000 U.S. sisters represents a fraction of the 125,000 in the mid-1960s, although that was an atypical spike in U.S. church history.  [It’s actually under 50,000 now, and will drop to a low of under 10,000 within the next 10-20 years. Then the mission of having essentially destroyed female religious life in this country will have been achieved]

The average age of U.S. nuns today is mid-to-late 70s. They are facing dwindling finances to care for their sisters as they age and haven’t had much success in finding new vocations……..

[It appears even the CDF involvement in the LCWR is going to turn out to be a big nothing since the change in Supreme Pontiff…..] Signaling that the change in the Vatican’s tone might also extend to the LCWR crackdown, Holland said she was “working hard and working well” with Vatican-appointed delegates who took over the Leadership Conference and that the process might end sooner than originally expected.

“We’re moving toward resolution of that,” she said [I’m sure you are]

This is immensely sad. I really do pray that some enormous miracle occur and these women be converted, at least on their death beds.  I read somewhere that even had the investigation been taken seriously and not turned into a whitewash, it came 20 years or more too late to save the vast majority of these orders, some with very storied histories and founded by great Saints.  The damage done to the Church in the spiritual realm by the collapse of women’s religious is incalculable.  Holy nuns make holy priests.  It is no surprise that the collapse of both hallowed institutions have gone hand in hand.

There is more than a bit of irony that a Jesuit Pope would preside over the release of such a document, given that it was under the spiritual direction of many radically heterodox Jesuits in the 60s and 70s that most orders of women’s religious embraced radically progressive points of view.  Some of these women are well and truly broken-hearted, and have embraced man-hating feminism and even worse as a sign of their bitterness. As one traditional priest related to me of what he was told by one of these women: “The Jesuits came into our order in 1966 and they took Jesus away.”  Her sadness was palpable, her anger more so.

A final note: for me, when the orthodox Slovenian Cardinal Franc Rode’ left the Congregation for Religious Life and was replaced by the highly radical Joao Braz de Aviz in early 2011, that was the first signal that something was amiss with the Benedictine papacy.  It was well known that Ratzinger had no love for Braz de Aviz and the nomination appeared inexplicable.  Shortly after that, the Vatileaks campaign against Pope Benedict began in earnest.  Obviously there was something enormous going on in the background that led to Braz de Aviz getting this hugely important post (look what he has done to the Franciscans of the Immaculate – that would have never, ever occurred under Rode’, and Fr. Geiger knows it), and that was timed with the start of the Vatileaks campaign.

One day, the story will come out, and many will have much to hang their heads about.  If they are even capable of shame.

 

Father Carota writes post praising SSPX December 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
49 comments

The Society of Saint Pius X has, since their inception, been a very controversial element in the Church.  Lately, in response to papal antics and fear they may inspire souls to embrace the Society (although, some informal surveys on my part indicate this is not happening to any real degree), rhetoric against the Society has really ramped up in certain other segments of traditional Catholics. Some FSSP priests have been more open in their criticism, as have a few other priests and some notable individuals.  These folks argue that the Society is well and truly outside the Church, “protestant” (although to me, they reject no Doctrine but there was a schismatic act, so if anything, they are more like the Orthodox), and one of the worst threats facing Catholics.  The SSPX is even worse than the devil, or at least, a satanic black mass.

I have made no bones that I really like Fr. Peter Carota.  Like Father Rodriguez, he is a diocesan priest who really doesn’t have a dog in the fight (there being a long history between the FSSP and SSPX, much of it quite acrimonious).  Fr. Carota had quite a different take on the SSPX (emphasis in original, I add comments):

 Each one of us traditional Catholics have his own story of how he rediscovered thePRECIOUS BURIED TREASURE of TRUE CATHOLIC WORSHIP OF GOD.  As Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” [Matthew 13:44]. [Indeed.  It is the pearl of great price.]

Thanks to the Society of St. Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict, in 2007 we ignorant Catholics were able to find these GREAT BURIED TREASURES:

  1. The Tridentine Latin Mass,
  2. The other Sacraments in Latin from the 1962 Missal,
  3. The magnificient vestments,
  4. Stone Altars with Altar stones,
  5. Church Architecture that gives glory to God, not man.
  6. Exorcisms and Sacred Blessings.
  7. Inspiring Religious Art.
  8. Gregorian Chant and Scholas.
  9. Dignifiied Sacred Vessels that are worthy of the Body and Blood of Jesus.
  10. Catholicism that pleases God, not man.

[I do think Fr. Carota is right.  Without the Society, there would be no TLM in the Church today. Of course, it is impossible to prove a negative scenario like this, but much evidence indicates without the concerted pressure they exerted over decades, the TLM would have remained pretend abrogated for a very long time, if not forever.  It is little coincidence that TLMs, or entire indult communities/parishes, are stood up in dioceses where the SSPX has a presence. I have said before, that to predict where a Fraternity apostolate will be erected, all one has to do is look to see where the Society has a presence.  It’s almost like clockwork.  There are exceptions, of course, but not too many]

It all began when Pope Benedict wanted to regularize the Society so that they could have canonical status within the Church’s canonical structure.  The Society asked for two things:

  1. The lifting of the Excommunication against the 4 bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre.
  2. That every priest in the Catholic Church would be free to offer the Tridentine Latin Mass according to the Rubrics of the 1962 Missal.

From these meetings, Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication and issued the Motu Proprio; “Summorum Pontificum” that now allows priests to offer the Latin Mass without permission of his bishop. [Sadly those negotiations did not come to full fruition under Pope Benedict.  But they are not over, there are still contacts between the Society and the Vatican.  I pray for their restoration to completely regular canonical status.]

From this day forward, thousands and thousands of Catholics, including bishops and priests, are rediscovering the great buried treasure that the Society of Pope St. Pius X had carefully guarded over these years. [Again, I don’t find this an over-the-top or incorrect statement. Certainly, after 1988, there have been other “guardians” of the TLM, but for a long time, in perhaps the most critical years, there was not much beyond the Society to prevent the TLM from being consigned to the ash heap of history] They did this during the time in the Church when so much of the Sacred was literally destroyed, sold or thrown out by those in the Church who were to be its guardian, not its desecrator.

Each day, more and more Catholics and non-Catholics are continuing to discovering the previous jewels and gold contained in the traditional treasure box.

As you, who read this, already know, once you discover what is contained in the “Treasure Box”, you can never ever go back to the trite and benign way of worshiping God……. [I’m not sure benign is the word I would use.  But I agree with the sentiment.  It is very, very difficult to return to a Novus Ordo environment after one becomes accustomed to the TLM.  Of course, in some very difficult cases, souls have had to make that adjustment for want of any other alternative.]

……..Just read the Acts of the Apostles, the writings of the Apostolic and Church Fathers, the lives of the saints, (especially the martyrs), and you will see at what price these saints paid so that we can quote the Bible and offer the Holy Sacraments.

So why should we now be so cowardly and un-manly as to be afraid of practicing, sharing and protecting the Catholic truth that tradition contains? [Indeed]

Thank God, the Holy Spirit, Pope Benedict and the Society that our eyes have been opened and again given us access to these divine treasures.  Thank God once truth has been discovered, there is no turning back.

———End Quote———

A post that encapsulates many of my own views.  I had a long apologia for my own views appended to the bottom of this post, but I’ll just say that while there are certainly serious problems with the Society and their current status, I am thankful to them for preserving the TLM and aspects of the traditional practice of the Faith during a very dark period.  It is really impossible to say what would have happened with the TLM without the presence of the SSPX during those really dark years from 1970-1988, but I do think the preponderance of the evidence indicates the TLM would be a relic of the past without them.  That is not to excuse certain acts or ongoing problems, but it does reflect a personal debt of gratitude I have.

The SSPX has been a particular target of late, for several reasons. That has caused some painful situations for me, and cost me dear, for my refusal to attack the SSPX any time I mention them. Even still, I feel no desire to do so, while I acknowledge their  difficulties and pray for some miracle with regard to their canonical status and a return to sanity in the Church.  My refusal has angered and/or disappointed some who have been fairly close to me, but I’ll just say it now: I will not attack the SSPX in harsh terms. Not now, not ever.  I will point out difficulties with their status and things like jurisdiction, but I won’t call them protestant, completely outside the Church, or anything else.  I will also point out that there are serious problems everywhere in this diabolically disorientated Church at present, including in the indult communities. My spiritual director believes my position is a reasonable one: it is no sin to talk about groups or events without absolutely castigating them.  And it is no sin to say a kind word about those whose situations are less than ideal.

I thank Fr. Carota for this post.

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Sign a petition to support the establishment of a TLM December 16, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, priests, sadness, secularism, Tradition, Virtue.
7 comments

My wife found a petition from a group of souls in Staten Island desiring the TLM, who feel their reasonable requests to have this Mass offered there have been blocked for various reasons, most having to do with an antipathy from local pastors with that form of the Mass.  This is certainly a situation many Catholics drawn to the traditional Mass and traditional practice of the Faith have experienced.  Staten Island is a long way from Manhattan.  It seems there is at present no TLM on Staten Island.  .

I present this as an act of charity to the group, knowing that some readers would be happy to support those who desire the TLM wherever they may be.  Explanation  of the need for the petition below:

The mass in the Extraordinary Form is being greatly suppressed out here in Staten Island.  As per Summorum Pontificum, written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, all faithful Catholics who wish to worship in this manner have the right to do so. We should not be marginalized or have to travel to attend a Mass we should have closer to our homes. Many priests out here have refused to have this Mass said, despite the fact that it is being requested. Some priests are saying that they do not know how to say the Mass, and need help, but are not reaching out to get that help. Some priests wish to say the Mass, but do not want to upset the parish administrators if they are “against” the Mass. 

And the actual text of the petition that will be presented, I guess, to the Archdiocese of New York:

His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and His Excellency Bishop O’Hara

Your Eminence and Your Excellency,
We the undersigned, practicing Catholics of the Diocese of New York, and supporters of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass from elsewhere, in keeping with Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, respectfully request to have the Mass of Saint John XXIII (also called the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass, the Vetus Ordo, or the Old Mass) offered at the Basilica of St. Peter or at another nearby parish on Staten Island. We request that Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite be offered on Sundays, feast days, and week days. We would also like to request establishment of a personal parish or the appointment of a chaplain for the extraordinary form of the Mass, as permitted under Summorum Pontificum. Our ultimate goal is the celebration of a High Mass (Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis) on all Sundays and holy days, and by our signatures we commit to assisting at such celebrations on a regular basis, should they be offered.

That is a pretty large request.  Not just daily TLM, but a personal parish, which pretty much means the Fraternity or Institute coming in and administering a parish.  They might be better off starting their request for one TLM each Sunday.  I know it is their right to ask for what they are, but given the threat the TLM has been under in Manhattan already, a request like this, asking for the moon, if you will, may not be well received.

I wish them well, however.  I’ll sign the petition.  Thankfully the capitalized the m in Mass in the actual petition, the explanation, originally, did not have it capitalized.

It will be interesting to see if there is any positive response.  If so…….start a petition in your diocese?

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