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Two good sermons on the martial arts July 25, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, error, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sadness, scandals, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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I am just about out of time for the day, but hope you will enjoy the sermons below, both related to the martial arts, or Christianity’s more militant side.  The first is a good history of the Battle of Vienna of 1683, that awesome battle in which King Jan Sobieski and his winged hussars stopped islam’s final attempt (until now) to advance into the heart of Europe.  This priest is nothing if not a great story teller (but also very much more)!

The second is not historical, but examines aspects of serving in the military today.  Father starts off with a description of the life the martyr Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, who refused to fight for the immoral Nazi regime.  Sadly, our own country has veered so far into immorality, and the military in particular has been used as a vehicle to advance that immorality, that the proud tradition of military service in the United States is now more morally questionable than ever.  “Wars are punishments for the sins of the worlds.” Father considers just and unjust wars, and the distinction between fighting in them.  Many of the wars the US has fought over the past few decades, with our very troubling defense policy, are highly suspect (if not outright damnable) from a just war standpoint.  Thus, volunteering to serve in the US military is increasingly problematic.

This video may be controversial, I don’t know, but I think the points raised deserve the most serious examination:

You might bear in mind this priest is most well-suited by personal experience to speak on this topic.  I shall leave it at that.

 

“Solution” to immigration “crisis:” Obama directs agencies to go to Central America, bring immigrants here July 25, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Immigration, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
3 comments

This to me is essentially the smoking gun that the Obama Administration has been behind this false crisis all along.  Once again, before anyone hyperventilates, I say this crisis is false because the sudden mass waves of immigration are not a natural phenomenon, but are being created by some artificial pressure – either the promise of amnesty, a covert PR campaign, what have you.

Obama, I think, planned to tilt the electorate decisively in his party’s favor by encouraging (or forcing, if you will), mass waves of immigration.  Or at least, helping to promote a long term electoral advantage.  He also loves a crisis, especially ones he creates.  That frees him to take dramatic, often unconstitutional steps to act in response to the “crisis.”

But the current situation hasn’t been entirely favorable to Obama, as there has been a great deal of negative PR associated with the dangers many immigrants, especially the minors, encounter in trying to get through Mexico to the United States.  There have been lurid stories of mass sex abuse, people murdered, children dying in the desert, etc.  Faced with a bit of a problem, how to deal with this negative PR while still pursuing his goal, Obama has arrived at a solution: why not just send federal agents to these countries, declare the emigre’s “refugees,” and bring them here on nice, safe, taxpayer-funded US transport!  Why, it’s a socialist’s dream come true:

A foolproof plan to ease pressure on the border that’s currently being considered by the White House. Why force kids to make a dangerous trip through Mexico only to end up as illegal immigrants in the United States when we could go to them, grant them legal status, and send them north to America ourselves? It’s so crazy it just. might. work.

Minor footnote: Federal law doesn’t allow refugee status to be granted for fear of street gangs, only for fear of racial/religious/political persecution, but oh well. Legal details never stopped Obama before…..

……..The next step, logically, should be to expand this policy to places like Iraq and Syria where there really are lots of refugees as that term is traditionally understood, but since Iraqis and Syrians lack the sort of massive political constituency in the U.S. that Latino voters represent for Central Americans, I assume they’ll be SOL. Or do I assume too much? The Honduras proposal is really the logical endgame of hard-left support for amnesty: If you want to start absorbing foreign populations, it’s silly and even mean to force them to make difficult journeys north and then play hide and seek with the Border Patrol to earn their prize. Why not go to where they are and start handing out visas and bus tickets? If Obama tries this idea, the pressure on him to expand the number of visas granted annually from 1,750 to many times that number will be instant and intense, precisely because this is a game of mass population absorption, not token gestures to a handful of the local citizens. In fact, this may even be the beginning of a new Orwellian transformation in the terminology used for this subject. First it was “aliens,” then it became “illegal immigrants,” then it became “undocumented immigrants” (or “undocumented Americans” for true Newspeak devotees), and maybe now we’ll see a concerted movement to dub all illegals “refugees,” even if they don’t qualify by law. It’s a short progressive leap from handing out asylum to people fleeing general street violence to fleeing “economic violence” or whatever. Why not them too? Why not everyone?

Indeed, and that has been the double standard (and a rather self-serving one at that) I have noted in the USCCB’s position regarding mass illegal Hispanic immigration.  Why isn’t the USCCB advocating to bring all the truly abused, truly suffering Catholic refugees to the US from Iraq and Syria?  Why are they only focused on Hispanic immigration?  And what of all the non-Catholics around the world suffering under far worse conditions than those prevalent in Central America right now?  Should they not, by the same logic, be receiving the bishop’s unlimited, unquestioning support?

There are two factors at play: Hispanic immigration meets the bishop’s needs for both many new Catholics to replace the hundreds of thousands who fall away from the Church every year (including many recent immigrants themselves), and it also suits the political predispositions of most bishops.  “The democrat party at prayer,” and all that.  This is a win-win as far as they’re concerned, but Arab Catholics from the Mideast, or African animists for that matter, not as much.  While all immigrants tend to vote democrat for at least the first generation or two, Hispanics are by far the most reliable in doing so.  Those from other parts of the world tend to split a little more evenly.  So why take a risk?

At least, that’s the only reason I can think of for the inconsistency in the USCCB’s position.  Or maybe they just haven’t thought that hard about it.

Raging feminist professor who assaulted pro-lifers at UCSB pleads no contest July 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
2 comments

You remember the raging feminist professor who attacked pro-life students from Thomas Aquinas College at UC-Santa Barbara a few months ago?  She pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charges.  So, yay for justice? Money says she gets a slap on the wrist:

The pro-abortion feminist studies professor at University of California Santa Barbara who attacked a young pro-life activist, stole and destroyed her sign, and encouraged a group of students to violence, inciting an angry mob, has plead no contest to criminal charges.

The incident, which took place on March 4, saw two pro-life students Thrin and Joan Short, lead the peaceful pro-life outreach event with 11 friends, most of whom were students from Thomas Aquinas College.

They used signs displaying images of abortion victims to begin conversations with students before a confrontation by Professor of Feminist Studies, Mireille Miller-Young turned violent.  The angry professor interrupted the students’ calm interaction with the activists by grabbing a pro-life sign out of the hands of one of them, carrying the sign off through the campus flanked by her students, and then assaulting Thrin Short while trying to hide from police, who were on their way, the group said.

Police officers later found the remains of the sign, which had been destroyed. UC Santa Barbara police are completing their report to be submitted for prosecution.

Now, Miller-Young has entered a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) to the criminal charges against her, which include grand theft, vandalism, and battery. The plea means that she will be convicted on the three misdemeanor charges. A sentencing hearing has been set for late August, 2014.

This being California, and a really radically left wing college campus (one of the most thoroughly leftist in the country), and she being a radical feminist, I bet the total penalty comes down to 10 hours community service and a fine of less than $100.

Duties at college will count for community service, so the change in her life will be minimal.

The university has been very defensive and has imposed no known sanction against the professor (of a made up subject).  University officials have, for the most part, blamed the pro-lifers for the incident.

Peace and love, after all.  Until you get in our f—in’ way…….

Perry describes moral catastrophe from illegal immigration July 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
12 comments

Texas Governor Rick Perry gave an interview last night in which he outlined some truly calamitous results from absolutely unconstrained illegal immigration over the southern border of the United States.  Perry claimed some 3000 murders and 8000 sexual assaults were directly attributable to illegal immigrants – and just since 2008!  He also said 203,000 immigrants over that period had been jailed for one crime or another:

This is an absolute catastrophe on so many levels. Catastrophic for the victims, for the moral integrity of the state and nation, and even catastrophic for the perpetrators, who perhaps would not have found themselves in the circumstances to commit such crimes had they remain at home.  I don’t know how these figures were arrived at, or how accurate they are (or what they leave out – like how many people have been maimed for life due to the drunken driving that is epidemic among many Hispanic immigrants), but they point to just one “small” problem area with unconstrained immigration.

A local priest related a tale during a sermon some time back. It seemed a young Mexican man had wanted to come to the US.  He had even prayed to the Blessed Virgin to help him come here.  He tried this for months, but still he was unable to immigrate.  Then he tried praying to the demon “santa muerte,” and, what do you know, he made it to the US!  But then everything went horribly wrong.  He fell into gangs and drugs, committed many terrible crimes, and was sentenced to life in prison – a life ruined and a huge burden on this nation’s taxpayers.  He confessed to the priest that he did not know why things had gone so wrong.  The priest told him it was not God’s Will that he come to the US, that the Blessed Virgin had been protecting him by keeping him in Mexico, and that the demon lured him here and to ultimate destruction.

How many similar tales are there?!?  Perhaps not involving santa muerte, but who knows, it’s very popular in Mexico and Central America.

There is a good post here discussing a proper, non-ideological and unbiased (that is, not self-serving) Catholic approach to immigration, as outlined by Saint Thomas Aquinas.  Yes, there is a Christian duty to care for the less fortunate in our midst and even welcome strangers in certain regards, but a nation has a primary duty to safeguard its own citizens, promote the greater good, preserve morals, and prevent fractious spirits or those who refuse to assimilate the nation’s values into its midst.  There is also a reasonable limit – a nation does not have to permit itself to be overrun by huge numbers of immigrants in a short period of time, because doing so would pose a threat to the nation’s unity and the security and well-being of the existing citizenry.  Reasonable laws can be set, and no, not everyone has a “right” to come to this nation or any other.

All these things are eminently logical and clearly discernible from the natural law and human reason.  This ain’t rocket science.  And yet such reasonable and sensical policies seem utterly missing from the current debate, and, it must sadly be said, from the leadership (ahem) we’ve seen from our bishops on this matter.  Self-serving arguments are rarely convincing, but in this case it is sad to see self-interest cause reason and even what could be considered by many the greatest good, of all involved (citizen and non-citizen alike), to be cast aside.  It is also most dismaying to see the leadership of the Church in this country using the manipulative language and blatant emotionalism of the Left in this debate.  All of this is very far from the classical or traditional Catholic approach.

Build a fence.  Build a minefield.  Keep heavy patrols.  Use airborne sensors.  Whatever it takes. Israel has managed to cut illegal crossings along its own long border by 99% through fences and patrols. There is no reason this nation cannot do the same. Then we can talk about what to do with those here. Then we can talk about revising the broken immigration system. Then we can set reasonable limits and argue about them like mad, because reasonable people can disagree on such things.  But the present disastrous and immoral situation must end, before any other step can be taken.

And there is nothing injurious to Faith and Morals in saying so, in spite of all the rhetoric you hear to the contrary.

1914: The end of Western Civilization July 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, history, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
5 comments

Rorate has linked to a very interesting video from CNS (I’m not sure what has happened, CNS now trots out some very good, even very tradition-friendly material, while CNA has suddenly swung hard left – ultra-ultramontanism?) regarding the effect WWI had on Europe.  The claim made by the video by several historians is that WWI ended Western Civilization, and that we have been living in  a sort of hedonistic, strange twilight denouement ever since.  It’s not a claim I disagree with much.

This got me thinking though…..when did the “beginning of the end occur?”  1789?  1776?  Or perhaps, was it 1517?  Aye……..you could make a pretty powerful argument that what occurred starting in 1914 was a very predictable result of what occurred in 1517.  For protestantism fed rationalism, which fed hostility to religion, and then on to the endarkenment, radical new forms of government sequestering Christianity to an increasingly secondary status, and on and on through the slow decay of decades until finally, inexorably, Europe arrived at 1914.  It  is a certainty Europe has never recovered from the disasters of the First World War, and probably never will – at least not in its present construction.  Europe is one of many entities in the world that appears to desire final death and dissolution (witness the catastrophically low birth rates), to be replaced by something else, and some indeterminate point in the future.

Enough harangues from me, the video, which perhaps m any of you have already seen:

 

[]youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfYuOxUWyC0]

Several points that cross my mind:

  • I think Rorate is right that the most significant remaining element of 2500 year old Western Civilization is the TLM, and with the TLM, complete re-birth is possible. There are some other elements remaining, as well, but primarily only observed by a limited few, often regarded as cranks or dismissed as hopelessly out of date.  It is interesting to consider whether the death wish towards the TLM that overtook many very influential mid-century Church leaders was part of this general rejection of all things European, Western, traditional, etc.  Think also on the cult of PC and the ludicrously exaggerated consideration expressed by Westerners towards “exotic” others – primitive jungle tribes have as valuable a “culture” as the West, or islam as a religion of “peace” equal to the Church, etc.
  • It would not necessarily be the greatest argument, but one could argue that it was the Central Powers in WWI who were the main defenders of traditional European culture, rather than the Entente.  Austria-Hungary was the most visibly Catholic government in Europe in 1914.  All the Central Powers were monarchies.  The war, in the minds of the Entente, came down to a struggle between stuffy, hidebound, reactionary monarchies and the new, liberal, “enlightened” (there’s that term, a coup of PR by the philosophes) democracies.  The Central Powers of course saw the opposite – they saw themselves as the defenders of traditional European government, societal order, etc., and France and Britain as dangerous, radical nations determined to destroy European civilization.  As the war dragged on, Kaiser Wilhelm II would fantasize about having all the prime ministers and other leaders of the Entente powers come and bend the knee before His Imperial Majesty, to prove the ultimate superiority of monarchism and traditional European values.  Now, this argument has several fallacies – there was probably no more traditional or authoritarian country in Europe in 1914 than Russia, and she was an Entente power, and there were ardent Catholics fighting for every country involved – but it’s interesting to consider.  From the standpoint of lovers of the Church and Western Civilization, there were no real “good guys” in WWI.  Everyone lost.
  • A final consideration is the fact that there is always something worse that can happen, and leftists/progressives/liberals have a knack for bringing that worse thing about.  WWI was a “triumph for democracy” in the victorious nations (it had to be something great, instead of what it was, the ultimate futile and pointless European war), but that “triumph” unleashed the hell of WWII.  The Entente Powers really did want to crush profound aspects of European culture and reshape the world according to their own liberal image. That was basically the main argument for the US entering the war – to “make the world safe for democracy.”  So all the monarchies of the Central Powers were deliberately crushed, and the same rhetoric and ideals fueled the Russian Revolution.  But the governments that rose from the ashes of WWI in Central Europe were either pathetically weak or even more monstrous constructs.  Today, progressives seem determined to see Christianity reduced to irrelevance, but what will come in Christianity’s train?  Something far worse, we can be assured.

But that makes no difference to us.  We shall always remain, as we know that Jesus Christ is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.  He did not promise us worldly victory or power.  He just promised that if we take up our cross and follow Him, we will have eternal life.

And that, is the point of it all.

 

After 1300 years, Islam has not been driven from Europe July 23, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, persecution, sadness, Saints, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition.
3 comments

I titled the post in the somewhat provocative way that I did, in light of two recent and very good posts by Fr. Carota on the role Saints played in helping drive the scourge of islam – for that is how it was always seen by Catholics everywhere, at least until very recently – from Europe.  Fr. Carota discusses Saint Lawrence Brindisi and the Crusade against islam in Hungary at the beginning of the 17th century in this post.  Some excerpts of the role that great Saint played in helping stem the muslim tide in Hungary in 1601:

30 years later, [30 years after the magnificent victory won at Lepanto, in which Our Lady of Victory miraculously led Catholic forces to victory over a much larger Turkish fleet, and which was revealed via a prophecy to Pope St. Pius V hundreds of miles away]  Pope Clement VIII asked St. Lawrence of Brindisi, a Capuchin friar, to go to Germany to organize their princes into a crusade against the muslim attacks going on in Hungry.  He was very successful and organized the crucial resistance needed to save Europe….[Brief mention of protestant treachery, common in all the later wars against islam, intervenes, I exclude.  Sadly, there was also occasional Catholic treachery, as with the case of Louis XVI allying with the Turks against the Holy Roman Empire in 1683]

…..The Battle of Stuhlweissenburg Hungry took place on October 11, 1601.  St. Lawrence led the battle on a horse carrying a large cross in front of the troops.  Again on October 14th of that same month, these Catholic forces, with St. Lawrence leading, had to fight the muslims in another battle and won.

St. Lawrence, when leading the troops in front into battle, was miraculously saved from all injury and claimed that all the success came from God and Mary.  The Catholic troops, numbering 18,000 men, way out numbered by 80,000 muslims.  The Turks, after suffering the loss of 30,000 men,  withdrew their army behind the Danube. [The muslims dominated the Balkans and Greece for over 3 centuries, from the late 1400s until the mid 1800s]

Whenever the crusades were led by holy people and all those envolved prayed and fasted, they had success.  Whenever they were unjust or doing evil sins, they lost.

Great point.  Christianity is presently being mauled by islam on so many fronts because the Church is so weak, lacking in piety, and divided right now.

Fr. Carota discusses, very briefly, a long arc of Crusades against islam in Europe from 1456 to the 1700s in this post.  He notes how St. Juan de 754px-Battle_of_NandorfehervarCapistrano led the Crusade against islam in 1456, helping keep the Ottomans out of much of modern Serbia and Hungary through much of the 15th century.  Some great art accompanies, which I cheerfully (but gratefully) rip off.  Father notes that the “final defeat” of the muslims in Europe did not occur until the Battle of Peterwardin Vojvodina in 1716.  This battle did recover Belgrade, but it left much of southeastern Europe in muslim hands.

But good Father Carota, who I respect immensely and who made my week a few days ago (private), misses out on long struggles to overcome Ottoman rule in Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, much of modern Romania, and other locales throughout much of the 18th and 19th centuries.  Greece, cradle of so much of Western Civilization, did not become independent – in part -until 1832, and did not recover Macedonia until 1913!   In fact, the Balkan wars of 1913 were the culmination of nearly two centuries of efforts by Christians to overthrow muslim rule in southeastern Europe.

GreekhistoryHowever, until this very day, islam still occupies a toehold in southeastern Europe in what is called Eastern Thrace and what was the most glorious city in Christendom for over a millenium (and the bulwark against the encroaching muslim), Constantinople.  Greece seized much of East Thrace after WWI, but lost the territory in fighting against the new nation of Turkey.

Ever since the first wild eyed Mohammadans crossed the Strait of Gilbratar and conquered Spain, Islam has been in Europe.  Note that many radical muslims still lament, and get extremely angry, whenever they think of the Crusader States in the Holy Land that existed from ~1096-1291.  That was an intolerable affront to islam and “proof” of Christian militancy, even if all those lands were Christian for centuries before they were converted by islam’s usual method – the sword.  In terms of overall victimhood, since that is such a popular way of viewing things Atak_husariithese days, Christians have borne far more attacks, invasions, raids, piracy, and general cruelty from islam than the reverse – by a huge margin.

But today, for the first time ever, Europe is very willingly and happily allowing tens of millions of muslims into the heart of Europe as immigrants.  This is being done because Europeans have so contracepted and aborted themselves into near sterility that there aren’t enough Europeans to keep the economies of those states going, absent mass scale immigration from the south.  Muammar Gaddafi himself said that in 50 years, islam wouldn’t need to invade or attack Europe, Europe would be predominately muslim!  That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.  In 50 years, if present trends hold, Europe will be between 35-40% muslim.  But of course, Stephen-of-Hungary_illumthese populations are not evenly distributed, and even now, there are places in France, Britain, Germany, and other nations where western women dare not go without wearing the hijab.  One might argue that substantial portions of these nations are muslim already.

What will happen when Europe, the heart of Christianity, is nearly half muslim?  What is being done to strengthen the Church for this ultimate challenge?  Who will man the ramparts?  Who will be there to preach Jesus Christ to all these millions of lost souls?

Lord, send us new Saints in the mold of the ones of old!  Your Church faces threats unlike any in history!  Please help us!  Send us new Saint Lawrence Brindisi’s, new Saint Juan Capistrans, to help us!  Have mercy on us all!  May we become those Saints!

“We are at the beginning of a new Christian holocaust…..” July 23, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
9 comments

So said Fr. Ray Blake on his blog a few days ago, and given the ongoing pogroms against Christians throughout the Mideast, I don’t think this claim was an exercise in hyperbole.  Fr. Blake also asks whether world leaders will act any more effectively in this new holocaust than they did during WWII.

Rorate Caeli has done a thorough job of bringing the plight of Christians in the Mideast, and in particular Iraq, to the attention of many faithful Catholics.  We are witnessing an event not seen since WWII and its aftermath, at least, the deliberate and premeditated genocide of an entire people from a large area of the world. The crazed islamists in Iraq and Syria have driven virtually all Christians from the area under their control.  In Mosul, which has been a seat of Catholicism for 1800 years or more, ALL Christians – save perhaps a literal handful hiding underground – have been driven from the city by the new demonic “caliphate.”  And as Rorate has noted, until today, when Le Figaro in France finally broke the silence, the world’s media has indicated by the absolute paucity of coverage that they couldn’t care less about this ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.  Because Christians don’t count, apparently, and have no rights or dignity.

Rorate has also noted, and I will second the call, that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has asked all of its apostolates around the world to dedicate the First Friday for August (Aug 1) to a day of prayer and penance for the Christians who are suffering direly in Iraq, Syria, and the entire Levant.  The Carmelites will have First Friday as usual August 1, I can think of no better way to participate in this great work of spiritual mercy than by spending a good bit of time during the All Night Adoration at the Carmel.   The note from the Fraternity, calling souls to action:

August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates. It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)

This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution. May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes.

I will try to provide more reminders as August 1 draws near.  St. Peter in Chains is certainly a most apropos Feast for the current climate facing the Church.

I must take this opportunity one more time to reiterate my strong concerns over the “interfaith dialogue” many in the hierarchy, down to a fair number of priests and laity, constantly trumpet with regard to islam.  As the Lebanese woman in the video below notes, certainly there are many peaceful muslims, but the problem is, we far too rarely hear from them, nor do they ever take any observable action to oppose the very large number of radical jihadists.  If even 10% of muslims are radical/jihadists, that’s over 100 million radicals.  That large a group can not only do a great deal of damage, they can alter the course of civilization, which is just what they’re doing.  Sitting blithely back singing kumbayah, holding hands, and allowing Mahomet to be preached from the pulpit of Catholic churches will do nothing to stem radicalism and in fact only encourage them further.

Centuries of experience have demonstrated that islam respects only one thing: strength.  They don’t respect dialogue, they don’t respect progressivist guitar strumming dreams of peace (in fact, they loathe nothing more about the West than our decadent progressives), they don’t care about your dreams of peace – they feel a “divine” command to spread their religion by the sword and that is what they’ll do.  To the extent that useful idiots and fellow travelers within the Church assist islam by enervating the faithful, spreading confusion regarding the longtime approach the Church took to muslims, and encouraging foolish worldly indifferentist ecumenism, they only serve to aid the radicals in the Mideast, Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. And Catholics in Iraq, Syria, and other places are currently paying a large part of the price for decades of totally unrealistic, ideologically blind “dialogue.”

You may have seen the exchange below, but it is worth sharing:

 

 

I said yesterday there were many progressives in the US who would rather wear a burqa that acknowledge Jesus Christ.  I wonder how many there are who claim to be Catholic who are the same way?

 

 

 

Are you an Ultramontanist? July 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return, Tradition.
14 comments

The good Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a post asking a most pertinent question in the present environment in the Church – are you an ultramontanist?  This does not mean you accept the Dogma of papal infallibility.  That is not what the ultramontanism run amok in the present context means.  I will let Boniface explain:

There is a lot of talk these days about a kind of pervasive Ultramontanism in the Neo-Catholic world; not Ultramontanism in the classical sense, for understood classically, Ultramontanism, like the term “Integralism“, was just a phrase denoting Catholicism affirming the infallibility of the pope.In current parlance, we are not talking about fidelity to the Holy Father, but rather a kind of crass, undiscriminating Ultramontanism that is best characterized by the embarrassing spectacle of Neo-Catholic apologists tripping all over themselves to affirm every single prudential decision of the pope as not only good, but the best possible decision. In the judgment of the modern Ultramontanists, every utterance of the pope, no matter how banal or off the cuff, is treated as a profound insight; every administrative act or symbolic gesture he makes are examples of brilliant leadership; every prudential judgment and non-authoritative teaching treated as infallible truth. [thus the incredible claims that some would accept a papal claim that black is actually white, or 2+2=5]
No matter what they might say, there is a very easy test to see if the person you are talking with actually subscribes to the kind of crass Ultramontanism I have described above. Ask them to:
First, cite one prudential action of the pope which you disagree with[Kissing the koran]
Second, cite one action or statement of the pope that you agree with, though you admit that good Catholics can be in disagreement about[Pope Benedict's quoting of the Emperor Michael II Paleologos against the cruelties of islam was actually an act of charity, not a controversial interfaith blunder.  But you can believe it was a blunder if  you want. Heretic.]
If you or your interlocutor cannot do either of these two things, they are Ultramontanists, no matter what they might say to the contrary.

I think it’s a pretty good test.  And I feel very strongly that unchecked ultra-ultramontanism is seriously unbalancing the Church.  But it is a favorite pastime of many prominent American Catholics, including most of the top Catholic bloggers.  The danger we have seen is when obedience and fealty to the papacy as an institution and understanding of the narrow limits of papal infallibility morphs into ultra-ultramontanism, we tend to see very wild swings in emphasis, and even belief and practice, from one papacy to the next.  And that only exacerbates the already existing crisis in the Church, spreads confusion and scandal, and leads more souls to fall away – or at least increases the risk of some falling away.

And the even larger problem is that, in spite of all the canonizations, recent popes have taken a number of prudential actions, and even some actions or more import than mere prudence, that are very difficult to reconcile with Tradition and in fact represent great novelties in the life of the Church.  Those novelties have tended entirely in one direction, towards progressivism/modernism/indifferentism.  And thus we have the crisis.  So it is not a far reach to say that ultra-ultramontanism is playing a big role in precipitating the crisis in the Faith, and preventing effective action to promote the timeless Truth Christ has revealed through His Church in opposition to the crisis.

And then we have TFG.  That’s the problem taken to a whole different level.

UPDATE: There is also a reverse corollary, regarding sede vacantism. One could just sort of flip the questions around.

Why is there such a strong bias against the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary? July 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, religious, sadness, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, Virtue.
8 comments

I saw on VideoSancto that some months ago, Fr. Cassian Folsom OSB of the Benedictines of Norcia gave a retreat at The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, MA.  Now, these are the Slaves that are in full regular canonical unity and whose bishop has offered Mass at their chapel (TLM only, ever) several times.  But, they are, of course, descended from Fr. Leonard Feeney’s group – in fact, they are one of several offshoots of Feeney’s original group.  While there are branches of the original St. Benedict Center who are either still under some ecclesiastical penalty or who have not fully regularized, this group is not one of those. In fact, the Slaves of the ‘official’ St. Benedict Center take part regularly in diocesan events like the 40 Days of Life.

I will post two of the videos from that series of talks at the bottom of the post.  But I think it needs to be noted that Fr. Folsom is not a traddy.  He’s certainly orthodox, his order is sort of walking the line the Franciscans of the Immaculate trod, having both the Novus Ordo very reverently in Latin, but also the TLM with some regularity (goodness, I pray they are small enough to avoid attention for the duration of this pontificate).  But I don’t think Fr. Folsom is an “extremist” on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus or any other matter.  He’s a good, orthodox, traditional leaning priest, and his order is the same.

So I take it as kind of an endorsement of the Slaves that Fr. Folsom would preach a retreat there.  Under different circumstances, I would not have any surprise at this, but I have noted that many traditional Catholics most definitely retain an animus against this order, even though it has been fully regularized. There seems to be an assumption that if there was some error in the past, it somehow must remain. I have been surprised – shocked might be the better term – at how strongly opinions run against what seem to me very good nuns, brothers, and priests.  This is an order that throughout the crisis has never once offered the Novus Ordo. But that does not appear to win them much support.  I have seen that even though they do a great deal of good work, a good number of traditional priests, within the Fraternity and elsewhere, strongly counsel young men and women to avoid this order.  I really don’t know why that is.

Now, I will admit to some bias. I have had the pleasure of meeting several of the nuns of this order and I like them a great deal.  I have never heard any error or extravagant opinion pass their lips.  I even tried deliberately to pry on the matter of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, and while they certainly support this Dogma, there was a recognition of the broader understanding of this Dogma that most solid traditionalists hold (baptism by blood and desire). I cannot say I was even close to exhaustive in examining this matter, but there was certainly no obvious error.

So what gives?  There are so few traditional orders for women, and yet this one is frequently treated like a pariah.  Is there some real evidence of remaining error, or is it just lingering suspicion, or?  And if the latter, how is that charitable?

I would appreciate some input on the questions as posed. I do not want a re-hashing of the whole Feeney affair, nor do I want blanket statements that “they’re just bad,” or things to that effect.  How are they bad?  What do they believe that is wrong?  Etc.

I’m sure you guys will help me out, and some – some – heat in the comments will be tolerated so long as it remains on topic.

Video on St. John Cassian and prayer:

Video on Lectio Divina:

 

 

 

 

The false religion of sexular paganism exists to oppose and destroy Christianity July 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, reading, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
1 comment so far

I have read some more in Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism.  Feser argues early on in the book that modern secular materialist atheism exists almost exclusively in opposition to traditional religion, and in essence, Catholicism.  Catholicism was of course the main opponent of the first secularists of the 17th and 18th centuries, the so-called “enlightenment” thinkers, who sought to curb religious “extremism” through the growth of a competing, agnostic secular state.  I think Feser argues quite convincingly that this new sexular paganism of the late 20th and early 21st centuries both acts and sees itself as an essential opposite to Christianity in general, the Church in particular, and all the morality that flows naturally from the right practice of the Faith.  What secular leftists fail to admit today is that their philosophy has evolved into a competing and implacably hostile religion of its own.  Some very good points below, I hope you appreciate them as I did:

…….the “religious” characteristics of secularism……-its bigotry and its superstition – stem from a third and deeper respect in which secularism can only properly be understood in religious terms, namely that the content of secularism as a philosophy and a sensibility is entirely parasitic on religion.  It is not just that secularists happen to reject and oppose religion; it is that there is nothing more to their creed than rejecting and opposing religion.  This point might seem obviously true, even banal, but it is not. For secularists often regard themselves as promoting a positive intellectual and moral vision of the world, not merely a critique of religion.  They claim to have something new to put in its place.  Hence they not only reject faith; they endorse reason and science. They not only reject traditional morality, especially in the area of sex;’ they affirm the value of free choice.  They not only reject ecclesiastical authority; they promote democracy and tolerance.  And so on.  But look more closely and you’ll find that this “positive vision” is really nothing more than a restatement of the negative one.  As I have said already……the mainstream Western religious tradition itself very firmly rests on and embraces reason and science [Key point.  Reason has repeatedly been used to prove the existence of God, the Christian God.  Science can also support an enormous amount of Christian belief.  But there must also always been room for Faith. So Christianity cannot be entirely explained/justified by science and reason.  But that does not make it any less true.]  ……..So what, pray tell, is distinctively “secularist” about reason, science, free choice, toleration, and the like?  Nothing at all, as it happens.  The fact is that secularists are “for” reason and science only to the extent that they don’t lead to religious conclusions; they celebrate free choice only insofar as one chooses against traditional or religiously oriented morality; and they are for democracy and toleration only to the extent that these might lead to a less religiously oriented social and political order.  Again, the animus against religion is not merely a feature of the secularist mindset; it is the only feature.  [And this is certainly true of many of the leading lights of secularist thought, both today and historically.  Darwin admitted to having quite an agenda behind The Origin of Species.]

…….anyone who reads very deeply in the work of contemporary analytic philosophers will find that one of their main obsessions, perhaps the main obsession, is the project of “naturalizing” this or that phenomenon – the mind, knowledge, ethics, and so forth – or showing, in other words, that it can be entirely accounted for in terms of “natural” properties and processes of the sort compatible with (their conception of) “natural science.” ……..what this ultimately means is just accounting for it [whatever phenomenon is under examination] in terms that make no reference to God, the soul, or any other immaterial reality.  Those “tough-minded” secularist philosophers who like to pretend, to themselves and others, that hey are well beyond giving religion any thought whatsoever in their day-to-day work, thus reveal by the substance of that work that they are in fact and at bottom interested in little else.  In particular, their mania for “naturalizing” every philosophically problematic phenomenon they can get their hands on evinces a desire to rationalize their atheism, however indirectly…….. [And I think many of us have seen this in the way that modern science and philosophy tries to explain away every single possible aspect of the human psyche, the universe, Creation, etc, in purely naturalistic terms, even to the point of giving truly ludicrous explanation of such, at times.  All this is founded on a fundamental error that rejects the understanding of the classical philosophers, who proved the existence of God, for a near-communist/materialist attempt to understand man/Creation/the universe.]

……..when we consider: (a) the fact that secularism is little more than an animus against religion, without any positive content; [I would guess most readers have experienced utterly unreasoning hatred of religion among those who consider themselves "the smart set" (b) the fact that its adherents are often committed to ideas as superstitious and/or mad as any that the most corrupt forms of religion exhibit (ideas which, though not essential to secularism, per se and thus not accepted among all secularists, nevertheless usually tend to follow upon the rejection of religion as as substitute for religion; [Belief in UFOs, "paranormal phenomenon," astrology, bizarre superstitions, conspiracy theories, global warming, are rife on the left.  Even more, the adoption of certain acts as pseudo-sacramentals, like veganism or recycling to "save the planet," animal rights activism, etc, all involve certain required beliefs, expiatory acts, "angels" and "demons," etc.]  and (c) the fact that they also typically manifest toward religion and religious believers exactly the sort of ignorance, intolerance, and dogmatism they attribute to religion itself; when we add all these factors together, it is surely plausible to regard secularism as something that is…..a religion.

———-End Quote————

QED, if you ask me!

I guess I’ve been beating this drum a great deal lately, but part of why I am doing so is that occasionally some of these posts break out of the Catholic blogosphere and into the secular world.  Or, more frequently, I will reach a fair number of Catholics who have never considered progressivism/secularism as a religion in a to-the-death competition with Christianity.

I do think secularism has evolved into a religion or something essentially indistinguishable from same.  And I believe more and more firmly, as the evidence piles up, that the sexular pagan religion we are faced with today will brook no competitors, save, possibly, for islam, of which it is terrified.  At present, sexular paganism has a tacit alliance with islam, ordered to further reduce the influence of Christianity, which, I think, confirms that sexular paganism is not so much a positive belief set, but a negative one.  It seeks the death of Christianity and would rather wear a burqa than admit of Jesus Christ.  And does not this tell us of the demonic element behind this new materialist religion?

I had some blurbs about how this new religion has evolved from the error of the endarkenment philosophes, the error being their idea (or fervent wish) that religion could be reduced to a small, benign and almost inconsequential box.  They were wrong, man is an inherently religious beast and government must fundamentally choose which kind of religion it will support – islam, Catholicism, sexular paganism, or what have you.  Our government was founded on the latter, and so we are seeing the inevitable result.

Ok, this post is too long, so just pray for Faith and courage to stay strong as the pressure intensifies!

 

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