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Pray Novenas for Father Rodriguez! November 20, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, manhood, martyrdom, Novenas, persecution, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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As most readers will know, Father Rodriguez is currently on sabbatical.  When placed on sabbatical, he asked that prayers be offered for his discernment and the future of his apostolate.  It was also announced that an effort at mass, joint Novenas would be made to that end.  The Novenas were just announced.  I give text of the announcement below, along with the prayers.  Please do pray for Father Rodriguez and the many afflicted souls formerly of his care in El Paso in this most trying time:

MANY THANKS to all who have been praying for Fr. Rodríguez. We have received many messages of encouragement, support and prayer.

- Tomorrow we will begin praying a continuous novena for Fr. Rodríguez, which will last until 10 May 2015. The current novena should always be at the PRAYER / CURRENT NOVENA tab from the website homepage (www.svfonline.org). It will also be accessible through the website’s calendar: http://svfonline.org/el-paso-

- Our first novena, appropriately enough given Father’s fervent Marian Devotion will be to Our Lady. This particular novena is to Our Lady of Remedy. We will pray it from Nov 21 – Nov 29. It is attached in .pdf format.—–>>>>Novena Our Lady Good Remedy

- The second novena will be the traditional Christmas Novena prayed for twenty-five days from the Feast of St. Andrew to Christmas Eve (Nov 30-Dec 24). It is also attached in .pdf format.—–>>>>Novena Christmas 2014 [You should be praying this Novena anyways!]

- Following the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (which is Father’s ordination anniversary), we will also begin to pray a 54 Day Rosary Novena. As soon as I have those files prepared in .pdf format, I will email them out as well.

———End Quote———

Thanks to St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation for sending this information out.  SVF also noted this sad development in Trier, Germany, which mirrors situations in El Paso, New York, and elsewhere:

The bishop of Trier in Germany has removed the parish priest of Beckingen from his parish, ostensibly for the reason provided in canon 1741 of the current Code of Canon Law, “a manner of acting which brings grave detriment or disturbance to ecclesiastical communion.” Wherein exactly the disturbance of communion consists is difficult to tell…….

……..What exactly “the obscure complaints” are remains unclear. Rorate Caeli interviewed one of the parishioners, who said that the complaints had to do with the pastor’s “too strict application of the diocesan guidelines on funerals,” and his practice of occasionally celebrating Mass ad orientem and of wearing the biretta on feast days.

Maybe the good father could find a place in Lincoln.

Cardinal O’Malley’s troublesome 60 Minutes interview November 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the return.
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Cardinal Sean, as he likes to be called, was interviewed by the progressive political organization “60 Minutes” recently and the interview was broadcast Sunday night.  I know my opinion regarding Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO diverges from some readers but I was pretty disgusted to see him thrown under the bus by Cardinal O’Malley Sean. I could not tell who to be more incensed by, the interviewer for constantly asking questions with a decisively left-wing slant, or Cardinal O’Malley Sean for willingly playing her game and failing to give a vigorous defense of the Church and his brother bishop, who to my mind was very much railroaded by a highly antagonistic political-media establishment that was seriously peeved by Bishop Finn’s orthodoxy.  Suffice it to say, it is quite ludicrous to pick on him for a comparatively very minor crime when men like Cardinals Mahony Roger and Daneels Gottfried are still in full public ministry (yes Mahony is “retired” but he is very far from inactive in LA and still exercises great influence there) even though their cover-ups were orders of magnitude worse and in the case of Daneels still ongoing.  I guess the red hat does have its privileges, provided one is of the correct ideological orientation?

By the way, I’m not going to give CBS a bunch of clicks, if you want to watch the whole interview (I recommend not having eaten for at least an hour or two before doing so) find it yo dang self, but this preview below contains some of the more egregious elements:

Did you like how she spun the Vatican investigation of women’s religious in the US?  Poor persecuted sweet little leftist sisters!  No, the investigation had nothing to do with repeated statements from LCWR leadership that they were “post-Catholic” and even “beyond Jesus,” it had nothing to do with the fact that virtually every single one of their orders, which they inherited in full fruit of vibrancy, will be gone within 10 or 20 years due to absolute lack of vocations, it has nothing to do with all the moral and theological error they promote and instill in vulnerable minds, no, it was all about the fact that they did not oppose abortion enough (quite the contrary, they support it, and with vigor!).  What a travesty of a presentation.  Unfortunately, Cardinal O’Malley gave a very poor response, even calling the apostolic investigation of these dying, anti-Catholic religious (are they still really Catholic religious?) a “disaster.”  What a way to treat the man who made him Cardinal and gave him such a platform. See how quickly these will o’ the wisp bishops will turn when the wind blows a different direction!

I will say that the newsreader’s attempts to spin the opposition to sodomite boy abuse in the Church as an invention of Pope Francis are simply disgusting.  Repeatedly in the narration of the interview, the left-wing newsreader tries to make this false portrayal, but then I ask: who rehabilitated and returned to power the exceedingly corrupt Cardinal Sodano, a man heavily on the payroll of the disgraced Father Maciel and who had been sacked by Pope Benedict?  In fact, who has returned many such individuals to positions of power and authority?  Who invited the aforementioned Cardinal Daneels to help preside over the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, of all things!, even though Cardinal Daneels is still actively involved in the cover-up of his own crimes and those of several of his proteges?  But the newsreader can get away with such injustices because 99 1/2% of all Catholics, let alone those outside the Church, have no idea of the truth of such matters.  In truth, no Pope to date has done more to combat the clergy boy rape scandal and the cover-ups by bishops than Pope Benedict.  While some bishops are under investigation now, given how some others (like Daneels) are given important new sinecures and all those under investigation are of a more orthodox bent, the “crackdown” appears to many to look more like an ideological witch-hunt than a real attempt to curb priest sex abuse of minors.

There was of course also an obligatory segment on the USCCB’s stand regarding unconstrained immigration from predominately Hispanic countries.  Only visible on the CBS site, you can witness Cardinal Sean distribute the Blessed Sacrament through a border fence in Nogales, Arizona with great showmanship.

I should say in Cardinal O’Malley’s defense who knows how 60 Minutes butchered his quotes?  They are notorious for doing so and have faced a number of lawsuits in the past for dramatically misrepresenting the statements of those they interview.  I couldn’t even watch the whole thing, it literally did turn my stomach.

I’m sorry to pick on this name calling thing but even if you don’t have enough respect for yourself to be called Cardinal O’Malley, preferring instead to approach the many sheep of his flock like a kindergarten teacher, one would like to think that the office would demand avoiding such cheap and false demonstrations of approachability.  In truth much of the present leadership of the Church is very far from kind, warm, and approachable and are some of the worst clericalists the Church has been afflicted with.

It saddens me, but given the name dropping of Bishop Finn  in the interview I am sure he is finished in Kansas City. Apparently there is a new standard in the Church, more orthodox bishops are liable to be sacked over even relatively small failings, while progressive bishops can continue getting away with what they have always gotten away with.  It helps to have friends in high places.


Quick weekend thought to discuss November 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism.
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I am out of time for the day, work got in the way, but the ruminating on the situation regarding Fr. Rodriguez (and he is not alone), and also the terrible persecution being inflicted on the Franciscans of the Immaculate has caused a question to arise in my mind.  That question is this: there appears to me to be a paradigm growing regarding Summorum Pontificum/Universae Ecclesiae and the TLM, that while it may be permitted by bishops/powers that be/Pope for a priest “raised,” if you will, in the Novus Ordo environment, to offer the TLM on occasion, it most certainly will not be permitted for such priests to offer the TLM exclusively.

That was the nub of the issue with the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the sense by some within and without that sadly afflicted order that many, perhaps most members were “drifting” towards the continuous and exclusive traditional practice of the Faith as represented by offering exclusively the Traditional Mass, praying the Traditional Breviary, looking to Councils prior to VII for enlightenment, etc., etc.  And I can say that is the core of the difficulties Father Rodriguez is experiencing right now, too.

This seems to be to be a growing trend.  As I said, Fr. Rodriguez is not the first priest who has felt called to embrace the Traditional practice of the Faith even though he was ordained and initially was a non-traditional or, if you forgive the clumsy phrase, was a “Novus Ordo priest,” and who has subsequently experienced great difficulties due to that embrace. Fr. Peter Carota experienced similar difficulties.  There are others as well.

Discuss.  Sorry, I may flesh this out more if I get the time, but I must depart for Mass.


Model for true ecumenism – Saint Josephat November 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, manhood, martyrdom, persecution, Saints, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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In the traditional liturgical calendar, today is the feast of the great Saint Josaphat, the man who understood true ecumenism as union with the Catholic Faith and saw to it that countless numbers of souls were returned to Her bosom.  I write his biography as contained in the Roman Martyrology, I wish I had more time:

Josaphat Kuncewicz was born of noble Catholic parents at Vladimir in Volhynia.  When a child, as he was listening to his mother telling him about the Passion of Christ, a dart issued from the image of Jesus crucified and sounded him in the heart.  Set on fire with the love of God, he began to devote himself with such zeal to prayer and other works of piety, that he was the admiration and the model of his older companions.  At the age of twenty he became a monk under the Rule of Saint Basil, and made wonderful progress in evangelical perfection.  He went barefoot even in the severe winter of that country; he never ate meat, drank wine only when obliged by obedience, and wore a rough hair-shirt until his death. The flower of his chastity, which he had vowed in early youth to the Virgin Mother of God  he preserved unspotted. He soon became so renowned for virtue and learning, that in spite of his youth he was made superior of the monastery of Byten; soon afterwards he became archimandrite of Vilna; and lastly, much against his will, but to the great joy of Catholics, he was chosen archbishop of Polotsk.

In this dignity he relaxed nothing of his former manner of life; and had nothing so much at heart as the divine service and the salvation of the sheep entrusted to him.  He energetically defended Catholic faith and unity, and labored to the utmost of his power to bring back schismatics and heretics to communion with he See of blessed Peter.  The Sovereign Pontiff and the plenitude of his power he never ceased to defend, both by preaching and by writings full of piety and learning, against he most shameless calumnies and errors of the wicked.  He vindicated episcopal rights, and restored ecclesiastical possessions which had been seized by laymen.  Incredible was the number of heretics he won back to the bosom of mother Church; and the words of the Popes bear witness how greatly he promoted the union of the Greek and Latin churches. His revenues were entirely expended in restoring the beauty of God’s house, in building dwellings for consecrated virgins, and in other pious works. So bountiful was he to the poor, that, on one occasion, having nothing wherewith to supply the needs of a certain widow, he ordered his Omophorion, or episcopal pallium, to be pawned. [How many bishops today possess such charity?  Heck, any of us?  Would I pawn my most sacred possession to help someone in need?]

The great progress made by the Catholic Faith so stirred up the hatred of wicked men against the soldier of Christ, that they determined to put him to death.  he knew what was threatening him; and foretold it when preaching to the people. As he was making his pastoral visitation at Vitebsk, the murderers broke into his house, striking and wounding all whom they found. Josaphat meekly went to meet them, and accosted them kindly, saying: “My little children, why do you strike my servants? If you have any complaint against me, here I am.”  Hereupon they rushed on him, overwhelmed him with blows, pierced him with their spears, and at length dispatched him with an axe and threw his body into the river. This took place on the twelfth of November, 1623, in the forty-third year of his age.  His body, surrounded with a miraculous light, was rescued from the waters.  The martyr’s blood won a blessing first of all for his murderers; for, being condemned to death, they nearly all abjured their schism and repented of their crime.  As the death of this great bishop was followed by many miracles, Pope Urban VIII granted him the honors of beatification.  On the third of the Kalends of July, 1867, when celebrating the centenary of the princes of the apostles, Pius IX in the Vatican basilica, in the presence of the College of Cardinals, and of about five hundred patriarchs, metropolitans, and bishops of every rite, assembled from all parts of the world, solemnly enrolled among the Saints this great defender of the Church’s unity, who was the first Oriental to be thus honored. Pope Leo XIII extended his Mass and Office to the universal Church.

———End Quote——–

The sad tale is that Saint Josaphat’s enormously successful efforts to bring Ruthenian Orthodox into the Church, which by the time of his death had resulted in many hundreds of thousands returning to unity, were later squandered by political machinations and a substantial share fell back to Orthodoxy.  As Dom Prosper Gueranger notes, this repression of the “uniate” Greek Catholics by Polish Latin Catholics hastened – or may have directly caused – the later collapse of the Polish-Lithuanian Empire and the subjugation of all its territories to Orthodox Russia and protestant Prussia.  Oh how short sighted men are!  Such a glorious reunion, purchased at the price of a martyr’s blood, wasted due to worldly ambitions and short sighted prejudice.

Thankfully several million did remain in union with the See of Peter and they persist today, greatly increased, as Greek Catholics in western Ukraine, parts of Romania and Poland, and scattered about in other locales.  Saint Josaphat was a model of true ecumenism, not the false variety bandied about today, and should be a model for all future efforts are union with schismatic Churches.


Priest: Demoting Burke could turn out to be Pope Francis’ biggest blunder November 13, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, martyrdom, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, the return.
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I have seen good Father Ray Blake bend over backwards to try to find a happy reason for Cardinal Burke’s demotion, opining that perhaps the Pope was actually interested to see Cardinal Burke given more time to promote concern for true family life and the Traditional Mass and so gave him a position with the time and resources (the Order of Malta being very, very rich) to do just that.

Below, in a contrary viewpoint, Fr. Benedict Keily of the Diocese of Burlington, VT presents the matter in a different way, feeling that the demotion was a deliberate attempt to reduce Cardinal Burke’s influence in all respects, but that the Pope may have blundered in so doing.  If you are familiar with Fr. Blake’s argument, see which you agree with more:

Despite the image of Francis as a man of dialogue and compromise, he is regarded in Rome as the most authoritarian pope in decades. He is also a man known to settle scores. Immediately after his election as pope, he swiftly moved an Argentinian bishop known to have been his chief opponent when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires — another “downward” promotion — transferring him to an obscure position in the Vatican bureaucracy. In the space of just over two years, Pope Bergoglio has been removing, or not reappointing, many of the key men put in place by his predecessor, Benedict XVI……..

……In today’s Vatican, the courtiers have the upper hand. It is as a patriot, a man discontented with yet loving his Church, that Burke in his new position will enjoy a freedom that until now he did not have. He will be able to travel and to celebrate the ancient Mass all over the world. He can lecture, preach, and write. And the Knights of Malta are not, as left-leaning devotees of liberation theology might believe, relics from a Dan Brown novel. Not only are their ranks filled with members of the aristocracy from every nation on earth but, far more significantly, the newer members are often wealthy and influential figures in industry, politics, and the media. The Knights — and Dames — of Malta run hospitals and charitable organizations throughout the world. Their annual pilgrimage with the sick and handicapped to Lourdes is one of the largest the shrine sees. The men and women admitted to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a state that issues passports, are devout Catholics, who both love their faith and act with generosity and commitment. It is this highly influential arm of the Church that Cardinal Burke has been “demoted” to lead.

What does this apparently inter-ecclesiastical dispute matter to the wider world? In the first place, it shows how the only large global institution that represents what might be called the traditional view of the family and society is divided, and that division is clearly bad for those who care about the future of the family and civil society. On a more positive note: This could mark the last rally of a certain Sixties mentality in rapid decline. Unless they are weathervanes tilting with the wind of ambition, the priests and bishops ordained since Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict have nothing in common with the bell-bottomed theology that, at least for a season, has been revived in Rome. [And I think this is generally true, and I do think the radical progressive generation is slowly dying out, but how long can they continue to dominate events is anyone’s guess.  I fear it may be a lot longer than we might hope, for the progressive faction has shown itself a master of political maneuvering and the ability to dominate events with a relative few.  However, that hope remains, because there are essentially no replacements in the “pipeline” for that generation of progressives, their ideology having proven barren of vocations by decades of experience. Which has made me wonder, just what are these radical modernists of the Kasper Kabal gaming at?  OK, say they do implement their radical agenda, in a few years they will all be gone and who will replace them to carry it out?  Or is it just they are so blinded ideologically that they have to continue regardless of the long-term fruitlessness of their efforts, or do they secretly hate the Church and just desire to wound Her one more time?  I will admit to being stumped, what fires a man in his 80s to make this great push so late in life?  Is it pride, is it a final “victory” to prove that one was right all along?  Cardinal Bea, the architect of “ecumenism” and, some might say, the more egregiously indifferentist statements of VII, was the same way, he was practically given up for dead on the Council’s eve and suddenly became a fireball of energy for its 4 year duration, then died just a couple of years after.  He was well into his 80s at the time.  Very strange.]

There is one possible final irony. Some have speculated that Pope Francis, who turns 78 next month, will follow the example of his predecessor and eventually step down from the Petrine office, perhaps at age 80. In any case, Raymond Burke will likely be a significant figure at the conclave to elect his successor, and already some observers are predicting that the courtiers’ foe will end up as the next king……

Meh. I won’t hold my breath  Fr. Keily links to Taylor Marshall’s post of a year and a half ago, promoting the pious hope that Cardinal Burke might be elected pope.  Didn’t happen then and it is in some ways even less likely to happen now.  There are so many variable it is very difficult to predict who might be the next Pontiff but given Francis’ predilections towards enormous change, who knows what the college of cardinals might look like in even 2 or 3 years.

Of the two views, whether Pope Francis is giving Cardinal Burke free reign and more time to be a champion of the family and traditional piety, or if he was shoved aside and given an embarrassing position almost as an insult, my cynical nature tends to make me side more with the latter.

But who am I to judge?

Sorry, but like it or not, this pontificate will be defined by that tagline for decades.  It was just so exactly what the media and the world want to hear, it will never be forgotten.

Shoot I see Rorate beat me to the punch on this. I didn’t read a single blog yesterday.

I guess that is good I am generating my own material?

Pope Francis: “God does not love some Christians” November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, SOD, the return.
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Some readers may recall that I used to be on radio, both broadcast and internet.  I loved doing radio but I was cognizant of the danger that it is so easy to misspeak and really step in it, so to say.  I enjoyed broadcast much more because that was a group format, there were regular commercial breaks, and so I had to fill maybe 10 minutes of content versus an hour or more.  I found internet radio a lot less fun because it was just me yelling at my computer screen for an hour.  And it just sat there……….and took it.  You have no idea how annoying that is.

I bring all this up (and add a bit of levity) because I understand how easy it is to say things one really doesn’t mean when speaking extemporaneously.  For a very significant period of the Church’s history (as in, the vast majority), given both the critical nature of their office and the import of their words, popes only spoke in very carefully scripted and reviewed manners.  Many popes even of the 20th century recognized the danger in speaking “off the cuff.”  Thus it is that I hope and pray Pope Francis just had a bit of a verbal blunder when he stated the following, as reported by the Vatican News Service and commented on (and what good commentary it is) by Bones:

A fascinating theological exegesis emerges from a recent Pope Francis homily on light, dark and grey Christians and that is that God does not love everyone. There are light Christians, dark Christians and the grey Christians and ‘God does not love these’. This is a controversial thing to say, for any Christian. Does God love the lukewarm, grey, mediocre Christian? Can God’s love be earned?  [and yet who makes allegations of Pelagianism!] Who is worthy of God’s love? Does God love the ‘good Christian’, let us say the Franciscan ideal, but loathe, or not love the ‘bad or lukewarm Christian’…. 

…..Recently we have heard more about Pagan Christians. “They” or “them” is a nearly daily refrain of the Pope followed by a swift, sharp criticism towards someone, some ‘kind’ of Christian. Do we only find out who they are when they have been demoted or moved elsewhere?  [Ouch, but true….] Are papal homilies really opportunities for Francis to elaborate on the Lectionary reading of the day or are they an opportunity for him to take aim at his theological or ideological opponents and issue a public denunciation?  [More like a political speech than a sermon.  One might fairly wonder if these are not public signals to those very political hangers-on of this pontificate to take their next action?]

How far does the demonisation of, in Francis’s opinion, ‘the pharisees’, the ‘pagan Christians’, the ‘grey and lukewarm’ Christians, the ‘enemies of the Cross of Christ’ in the Catholic Church extend? Of course, for more denunciations you can read the not-often-updated-because-I can’t-keep-up with-the-insults Pope Francis Little Book of Insults. 

Of course, we should all search our consciences for those times that we sin against Christ and by our sinfulness and selfishness fail to live up to the name of Christian. Yet, I cannot help feeling that there is a particular kind of Catholic (If you are Jewish, Muslim, Evangelical, Protestant, Hindu, atheist or consider yourself a genuine Pagan, [Or an active sodomite, adulterer, lecher, etc] don’t worry, Francis gives you a pass…) Francis has in mind, and its not necessarily the people I would usually associate with those who, for example, hate Christ and His Church. [Who, again, seem to get a pass.  Or a hearty endorsement]

I have always thought that despite the many, terrible sins that I have committed, the sins I commit and the vices I unfortunately have, despite my lukewarmness in so many ways, my lack of charity and zeal for souls, my indifference to others, that God loves me still. And I have not just considered this a truth to apply to myself, but indeed to all I know, be they Catholic, of other denominations or complete atheists and/or pagans. [Or even enemies of the Church and truly evil men. God may hate sin and allow men to damn themselves, but God created and sustains every one of us, every millisecond of our existence, in the perfect love only He can have]

And if for a moment (and of course, I do actually have those moments) I truly considered that God does not love X, Y or Z, or ‘that type’ of person, I would, I have always thought, cease to be a Christian……

……So when the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Catholic Church says of certain Christians, that ‘God does not love these’, that is a serious thing to say indeed and one that needs surely some kind of clarification. The idea that Francis might say that God has withdrawn Himself entirely from people who Pope Francis, or Jorge Bergoglio, the man, takes exception to is to say, ‘I know who God loves and who God loathes’, thereby sharing in God’s own thoughts. It is also to say that God loves the man Jorge Bergoglio very much but detests certain Christians. Who could these people be? Who does God not love? 

……..The logic of Pope Francis, however, if God does not love ‘some’, ‘certain people’, might lead you to conclude that he [Pope Francis] doesn’t……..

———–End Quote———–

And given how Pope Francis has engaged in more recorded public insults of people of all stripes, but especially of Catholics themselves (when he seems to have unreserved admiration and even adulation for others, like evangelical protestants) than probably all other popes in the past 2000 years put together, I would say this is all of a piece and the explanation fits rather well.  I pray it is not true, but as Bones concludes, my heart wants it not to be so, but my head says it is.

So then what we would really have is a blind ideologue, very much lacking in self-awareness, who constantly misrepresents the beliefs and devotions of those he perceives as his ideological opponents while also engaging in heavy doses of psychological projection (Pelagianism, anyone?).  I may have crossed my own line regarding making value judgments about the state of the pope’s soul but this is not some minor verbal faux pas, this is the kind of statement simply unthinkable for a Catholic pontiff – heck, even an Anglican “bishop”! – to make.  It’s been over a day since this statement has been made and no clarification or retraction has been made, to my knowledge.

The logic of the argument is that if Pope Bergoglio doesn’t love certain Christians, than God doesn’t, either.  I have a hard time not seeing even more logical inconsistency in the pope’s statements, because he again castigates the “lukewarm” Christian, but who then did he just marry in Saint Peter’s a month or so ago?  Most of those people were public adulterers……are those not “lukewarm” Christians, or even dark ones, to quote the Pope, leading “a life of sin, a life distant from the Lord?”  And yet they are fit to receive Holy Matrimony without Confession or contrition and to receive the Blessed Sacrament, as well?

Or is it that he simply does not believe divorce/adultery a real sin, and no impediment to receiving the Blessed Sacrament, in spite of the words of Our Blessed Lord and Saint Paul?  But he did associate use of vulgar language with being a “dark” Christian, so how could that be a serious sin and not adultery? The Pope concluded:

we hear so many, some nice, well-articulated, but empty, without meaning

We sure do, don’t we?

I keep trying to be charitable, but I have to say, Bones’ explanation makes as much or more sense to me than any others, in concert with all the other information we have on this most unique of pontificates.


Photos of Father Rodriguez’ last Mass in Shafter November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, martyrdom, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return.
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Thank you to JMJHF Productions for posting these photos of Father Rodriguez’ last Mass in Shafter.  I will post a few below, you can see many more here.






I had no idea Shafter was so pretty. Does that creek always run like that?  I suspect they’ve had more rain than usual?  It is not well known that the 1971 film The Andromeda Strain filmed some extensive and critical scenes in Shafter. Sacred Heart parish actually figured pretty prominently in many of those scenes. The entire movie used to be on Youtube but it’s been taken down.  Anyway, Shafter sure didn’t look so green and beautiful when they filmed those scenes in early 1971.  The town was practically a ghost town then, as I think it remains today, but a few people still live around there.  I guess there is a mine nearby that may be reopening and that may bring more people back to the area.  Souls came from both near and far to assist at Father’s Masses in Shafter and to receive his spiritual care.

Father Rodriguez’ assignment to first Santa Teresa parish in Presidio – but with regular “duty” at Sacred Heart in Shafter – and then finally at Sacred Heart itself was really a miracle in some respects. Shafter certainly was.  There was a beautiful little church preserved from the ravages of post-conciliar wreckovation and, after some cleaning, ready to go for the offering of the traditional Mass and the traditional practice of the Faith.  I am sorry I never made it out there.  I really wanted to go last Christmas but we had just moved and my wife wasn’t up to it.  I considered it for this Christmas but we opted for Clear Creek instead.  Now I shall never have the opportunity, or, at least, it is exceedingly unlikely.


Take the quiz! Modernist church or communist building?! November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, fun, General Catholic, horror, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the return.
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I scored 8/10.  You simply must take this fun if depressingly revealing quiz at ChurchPop, which site I know nothing about but I love the quiz!  A few samples:



Some of the buildings in the quiz are not Catholic, but some are.  I think I’m giving you a cheat.

And those Catholic churches in the quiz are hardly rare examples:

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It is absolutely NO accident that Stalinist brutalism, resplendent (if that is the right word) of modernist errors and almost always iconoclastic with regard to traditional Church art, was for quite some time the dominant form of architecture in the Church, and elements remain in almost every church built even today.  We know that the modernists have tried to foist a new religion on the Church in the post-conciliar period, well, nothing better represents the aspirations and core principles of a people better than its architecture.  All of these structures are to my mind completely obscene and undermine, in a most underhanded but destructive manner, proper instillation of Lex Orandi Lex Credendi Lex Vivendi.

In many ways (or all?), these structures are overt attacks on traditional Catholic piety.  You could even say they are a form of persecution. They speak of a different religion from that which was handed onto the mid-20th century.  They also speak to me of dominant left-wing influence in the Church.  The similarities between communist architectural grotesqueries and many churches built since the 1940s are too many to be coincidental.  Ever been to Eastern Europe?  You will know what I mean in a heartbeat.

Thankfully, aside from some disastrous cathedrals, few Catholic churches built in the US today are this obviously representative of a competing, hostile religion.  But that hardly indicates they are adequate or ideal.

It is not sinful to point out the crisis in the Church November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, sanctity, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The estimable Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a very good post examining yet another false claim – one might even say calumny – directed against those faithful/traditional/orthodox/whatever Catholics who point out and lament the ongoing crisis in the Church.  This false claim states that describing the crisis in the Faith breeches the unity of the Church and results in the sins of discord and contention.  Claims are made back to Aquinas in support of these accusations of sin, and not just sin, but even mortal sin!  I always enjoy when someone from 1000 miles away and over an ephemeral “connection” like the internet can judge the state of my soul, don’t you?

Irrespective, Boniface points out that whoever has been pointing to Aquinas failed to read the whole way, and failed to make critical distinctions which completely alter moral judgment of the matter (I add emphasis and comments):

Recently, I heard a new take on the “traditionalist Catholic bloggers cause disunity” assertion. The argument relied upon St. Thomas Aquinas’ definitions of the sins of discord and contention. Let me phrase the argument in the context in which I heard it:

Catholics should be unified. Unity is one of the hallmarks of Catholicism. Catholic bloggers who frequently write about things wrong in the Church can damage the unity Catholics are supposed to have (because posts about scandals, heresy, etc. can damage the faith of other Catholics, lead to a loss of hope, and be done without charity). It can create a climate of bickering and dissension within the Church. This is bad.

And not only bad, but sinful, perhaps mortally so. Here were invoked the sins of discord and contention as defined by St. Thomas in the Summa. Discord was defined as obstinately clinging to your own way of thinking. [and is most frequently associated with holding obviously heretical views (even after correction, or especially so), and not as much with regard to vague matters of discipline] Contention was defined as putting such discord into speech or writing.

I don’t want to retread a lot of old ground, but let’s at least look at whether Aquinas’ definitions are being used correctly. In the Summa II-II, Q. 37, Aquinas deals with the question of discord and whether it is a sin.  Discord is defined as a disunion of wills (Q. 37 art. 2). Unity of wills can be destroyed by discord two ways – directly or accidentally. Hence Aquinas distinguishes between active and passive discord, the first consisting in actively willing to cause discord, the latter in which discord happens in a way accidental to the intention of the agent. In other words, to cause discord for the sake of creating discord – as when family members create discord by gossiping simply because they relish drama – is certain sinful. This is active discord. [Certainly sinful, but difficult to prove, for one has to know the motivation behind the person who is committing the act, which is very difficult to do especially over the internet]
But passive discord occurs when human disagreement arises from two people disagreeing about the best way to attain a certain good. The object of such discord is not discord as such, but a certain good about which the parties disagree. One co-worker at the office wants pepperoni on the pizza for lunch, the other wants pineapple and ham, and they have a disagreement. Yes, there is discord in the office, but it is of an accidental nature. Aquinas states:
“Hence when several intend a good pertaining to God’s honor, or our neighbor’s profit, while one deems a certain thing good, and another thinks contrariwise, the discord is in this case accidentally contrary to the Divine good or that of our neighbor. Such like discord is neither sinful nor against charity…” (Q. 37 art. 1)
Passive discord is thus not really discord in the fullest sense, since it is not so much a disunion of wills as much as a disunion of opinions. And there is no mandate for unanimity of opinions. Again, Aquinas:

“concord…is an effect of charity, a union of wills, not of opinions.” (ibid)

We all want the good of the Church. We all want to bring souls to Jesus Christ. Our disagreement is on the prudence of what is going on in the Church today. Catholic bloggers – speaking for myself at least – do not will disunity or discord and do not blog in order to create it. When disagreements arise, then discord arises accidentally because we are all of different opinion on these matters. But as Aquinas states, this sort of discord is not sinful nor against charity. [And that is certainly my intent, as well, anything I do on this blog is done for the good of souls to the greatest extent I can manage with my frail faculties]
Another sin was mentioned – contention or contentiousness. This was defined as putting our discordant opinions into speech or writing. St. Thomas takes up contention in II-II Q. 38. Again, he agrees that contention is a sin, and that is principally consists in tending against someone or something in speech or writing. 
“To contend is to tend against some one. Wherefore just as discord denotes a contrariety of wills, so contention signifies contrariety of speech.” (Q. 38 art. 1)
He says such contentiousness is mortally sinful. Is this the end of the story? Should all traditional blogs finally shut down under the weight of the argument that we can never express our misgivings in writing? Hardly. Aquinas goes on:
“Now contrariety of speech may be looked at in two ways: first with regard to the intention of the contentious party, secondly, with regard to the manner of contending. As to the intention, we must consider whether he contends against the truth, and then he is to be blamed, or against falsehood, and then he should be praised.” (ibid)
Contention cannot be understood in isolation from what is being contended against. If it is falsehood against which one is contending, it is not sinful; on the contrary, it is praiseworthy. Clearly in the case of Catholic bloggers, we contend not against truth but against error and cannot be charged with the sin of contentiousness. [I certainly like to think so. That has always been  my intent, not to point out error in order to be a gossip or hurt some individual but to, pray God, dissuade any souls who read my junk into avoiding the error that is pointed out.  There can certainly be a great deal of disagreement over whether revealing this error or castigating that priest/bishop is prudent, but differences of prudential opinion are generally not matters of sin among people of good will]
In the case of both discord and contention, Thomas notes that even if we do not sin in intention or content of our words or writings, we may sin in the manner or mode in which they are delivered; i..e, if our mode of delivery lacks charity. Agreed. I have always agreed to this, as do almost all Catholic bloggers I know. Of course, we have different opinions on what is charitable and where the line is. But we all agree that our opinions must be expressed in an attitude of charity, and that this charity is due even to those we find ourselves in vehement disagreement with[And I will be the first to admit that there have probably been times when I have allowed myself to become exasperated and have, if not failed in charity, at least not been as charitable as I could be.  And that is why we have this glorious Sacrament called Confession, not because sin is something to be toyed with or, God forbid, reveled in, but because we are all human and all make mistakes.  The effort is to try to make those failures more and more rare.]

So, like other variants of the “you bloggers should just knock it off because you are wounding unity” argument, this one from Thomas’ definitions of discord and contention fails as well. It fails because it does not allow for Aquinas’ distinctions between active and passive discord or whether the blogger contends for truth or falsehood. The failure to make necessary distinctions is a common modern pitfall.

———–End Quote————-

Absolutely.  I could not agree more.  Please go by Boniface’s site and read the rest of this very edifying post.

Look, folks, times of trial tend to make for disunity.  They tend to magnify what would be in normal times very small differences of opinion into what seem like mighty gulfs when faithful souls are under duress.  To some degree this can be good and clarifying, but it can also be very painful and even destructive. It all depends on how we react to the differences that arise.

Of late there have been many accusations tossed about regarding “traditional” blogs, whatever that means to you or the next person.  Some people might find CatholicCulture a wacked out traddy blog, while another might find Catholic Family News too “liberal.”  I’m not here to discuss the various merits of this news outlet or that blog, but instead to point out that so much of this is profoundly personal and subjective.  I should probably be the last one to say this, because I favor Church-related matters to be as clear-cut and neatly defined as possible, but there is a lot of room for disagreement among faithful souls and that disagreement does not need to make us deadly enemies.

I have observed a tendency among those drawn to the traditional practice of the Faith……and this includes even very well formed priests………..to so crave precise formulations and clear cut guidelines that they have a tendency to make the prudential into the dogmatic.  They may find some Saint to quote to bolster their position that matter X is really a grave matter and you have to hold opinion Y, but statements of individual Saints, even great Saints I love like Aquinas and Liguori, are not dogmatic. They just aren’t, no individual Saint is endowed with that kind of infallibility, even if they can, of course, repeat dogmatic beliefs left and right.  I love Saint Alphonsus but he makes some claims that are not dogmatic, such as his claim that devotion to the Blessed Mother is morally necessary for salvation. I dearly love the writings of Saint Alphonsus and I think a very strong argument can be built on this claim (and I share it), but that doesn’t make his claim dogmatic!  As great as Liguori, or even some individual pope, is, it doesn’t mean that if someone holds a different opinion they are a sinner or somehow outside full communion.

I get the desire to be able to categorize every behavior we don’t approve of as a sin, but that’s just not always the case.  It sure is a powerful argument and sort of the ultimate trump card in Catholic circles, to call someone out as a sinner, but I fear it is probably unproductive and perhaps a bit spiritually dangerous to the accuser.  And I understand that, for some, this tendency to make the prudential into the dogmatic may be a natural reaction to the chaos of modernism which surrounds us, but it remains a fallacy to do so.

This is not an “let us all get along” post.  We do need very strong and effective critiques of the modernist cabal running the show in the Church.  Ignoring them and pretending everything is just wonderful plays into their hands.  We may even have to point out problematic statements or actions from the pope.  So perhaps it would be better for those critiquing conservative/faithful/orthodox/traditional blogs to direct their fire at the modernists actually driving the Church into the ground rather than engage in the age-old past time of shooting the messenger. Sure, the latter is safer and easier, but it won’t stop souls from falling into hell like snowflakes.



Father Michael Rodriguez put on sabbatical November 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, manhood, martyrdom, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I have to be very careful what I say, so bear with me.  As of  yesterday Monday Nov. 10 2014, Father Michael Rodriguez is no longer in active public ministry.  He is on sabbatical.  Sunday was his last Mass in Shafter.  The several dozen souls in the desolate expanses of far West Texas who had prayed so fervently for so many years that they would finally have a good and holy traditional priest sent to them after many decades of being without one (within hundreds of miles) have been left spiritually fatherless again.  As to how this sabbatical came about, I don’t think this is something Father asked for.  Here is the information I have on the matter (I add some emphasis and comments):

As of yesterday, November 10, 2014, Fr. Michael Rodríguez, is no longer the Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Shafter, TX.  He has been given a six-month sabbatical in order to discern God’s Will for the future. Fr. Rodríguez remains a priest in good-standing of the Diocese of El Paso. He will most likely be looking at options for priestly ministry beyond the Diocese of El Paso. Fr. Rodríguez has been offering the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for the past three years, and this has led to increasing difficulties for him with the local hierarchy. Fr. Rodríguez asks for your prayers, and he especially asks you to pray for the small group of faithful (about 50) of the Presidio-Shafter area who are heartbroken over the loss of the Traditional Latin Mass and parish life based on the Traditional Latin Mass. [Once one becomes accustomed to the great Traditional Latin Mass and the whole traditional practice of the Faith, it is impossible to go back to what is offered in the vast majority of parishes today.  This extends to an entire parish life that existed throughout the world as recently as 50 years ago but is now available only in precious, scattered pockets.  Shafter was one of those. No more.  I do not know how I would react should the TLM suddenly be revoked/removed from Dallas]

Admittedly, Fr. Rodríguez is in a very difficult situation. On the one hand, he intends to do his best to be obedient to his bishop. On the other hand, Fr. Rodríguez is convinced that God is calling him – through the Church – to dedicate his priesthood and all his energy and strength to promote the Church’s greatest treasures: her timeless liturgy and doctrine. Both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have acknowledged that the Church is suffering through a terrible crisis of Faith in the post-Vatican II era, and Fr. Rodríguez, as a loyal priest and son of the Church, cannot stand idly by in the face of such widespread disparagement and abandonment of the Catholic Faith.

In making any decisions for the future, Fr. Rodríguez is begging God to purify his motives, so that he may act, first and foremost, out of love and fidelity to Jesus Christ and His holy Church, and for the salvation of souls. As a loyal son of Holy Mother Church, Fr. Rodríguez is 100% committed to following, teaching, promoting, and defending her Traditional Mass (holy liturgy) and her unchangeable truths (holy doctrine), e.g. the sacredness of marriage, the indissolubility of marriage, the grave sin and intrinsic evil of homosexual acts. 

In closing, Fr. Rodríguez asks that efforts be redoubled to pray for the Holy Father so that he will consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.  May the reign of Christ the King come through the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of His Mother!  

In a few days a number of us will begin a continuous series of nine-day novenas imploring the intercession of Our Lady and the saints on Fr. Rodríguez’s behalf. I will email more information on that in a few days. Moreover, we will pray a 54-Day Rosary Novena on his behalf from Dec 10 – Feb 1, that is between the Marian feasts of the Immaculate Conception and the Purification of Our Lady, (also the feast of Our Lady of Good Success). We invite all to join us in offering these prayers. Thank you very much for your prayers and support.

————End Quote————

Please pray for Father Rodriguez.  He is in a very difficult position.  It may become more difficult.  He will need immense spiritual support.  I pray for him daily.  Please, in your charity, try to keep him in your prayers, as well.  Also pray for Bishop Seitz, who certainly has a great deal to say in this process, that he may have a great generosity for the kind of ministry Fr. Rodriguez offers and for the souls who crave it.

In addition, I will try to post reminders when these Novenas are distributed and scheduled to begin.

In light of this sad news, I re-post below JMJHF Productions latest video of Father’s Mass from Trinity Sunday:

The glory seen below in Shafter will be no more.


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