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Pope Francis speaks to group of protestant “bishops,” evinces “Mere Christianity” November 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, SOD, the return.
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Via Pertinacious Papist – hardly a traditionalist source –  a video of a group of followers of the deceased “Bishop” Tony Palmer meeting with Pope Francis within days of the Synod wrapping up.  All of these individuals represent various protestant sects.

I will forewarn those who do not like critical assessments of the actions of the current Pope, they may not be comfortable with this post.  I internally debated for a long time just posting the video without comment in order not to offend, but I fear that the video is so difficult to watch that the vast majority of readers would not get much of the content, so I decided to provide an assessment of the content. I apologize in advance to the extent that this post troubles anyone.

As I said, the video below is painful to watch, for several reasons, not least of which is the slow manner of speech and the constant interrupts for the translator (and you can argue about how accurate the translation is until the cows come home, I can tell some of the key words, it’s not that far off). Pope Francis says, more or less, all Christians are essentially equal due to our common baptism – even if some protestant sects hold very different views regarding the role of baptism in the economy of salvation (justification by faith alone argues implicitly that baptism is not necessary for salvation, contrary to Our Blessed Lord’s plain revelation, yes I understand there may be exceedingly rare exceptions but water baptism is the normal vehicle for inclusion in the Body of Christ – some protestants argue it is not necessary)- and that pointing out the vast doctrinal differences between the various sects and Churches and the fact that one may risk damnation by absorbing protestant errors, errors denounced constantly for 4 centuries, is doing the work of the devil.  I am not opining, I am simply repeating what Pope Francis says in the video below:

Pope Francis’ declaration regarding an invisible community of baptized believers is diametrically at odds with the statements of Pope Pius XII: Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely “pneumatological” as
they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond.”

Pope Francis says doctrinal differences between the Church and all the separated groups are for theologians to figure out: meanwhile, the great project of ecumenism must move forward.  What does that say for his appreciation of the impact the false doctrines of the sects, decried and opposed for centuries by the Church and Her many Saints, has on the salvation of souls?  Did not Saint Peter say we had to accept the Faith whole and entire, or that we were not within the Church?

I could add more by reminding how at odds Pope Francis’ statements appear to be with the constant belief and practice of the Faith, and how he is at least tacitly attacking the lives of too many great Saints to list by making such a declaration.  Just off the top of my head: Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Augustine, Saint Hilary of Poitiers, Saint Jerome, Saint Teresa of Jesus, Saint Peter Canisius, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori……all Doctors of the Church……..Saint Vincent of Lerins, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Justin Martyr, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis Xavier, Pope Saint Pius X…….I could go on for a very long time.

I could also add how Pope Francis frequently only has invective and criticism for Catholics, especially the most faithful Catholics, but seems to have nothing but praise and understanding for protestants, and especially the more pentecostal types of protestants. I know some fear Pope Francis may cause a huge boost in membership for the Society of Saint Pius X, but I fear far more the great windfall this pontificate may mean for the more conservative sects.

Many great popes, like Pope Leo XIII, have proven without a doubt that protestant bodies are not churches but are sects.  Their ecclesiastical bodies are so deficient in so many regards they are not part of the Church of Christ – their ordinations are not valid, they do not confect the Blessed Sacrament if they make the attempt, they have no valid apostolic succession, they are full of errors that lead souls dangerously astray from the Church Christ founded – again, this could be a very extensive list. There was something of a kerfuffle when, after they agreed to ordain women “priests” and tolerated the US Episcopal embrace of sodomite simulation of marriage, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was not seated with the Orthodox and other recognized (if schismatic) Churches at the 2011 Assisi ecumenical confab held by Pope Benedict, but was instead seated with the numerous evangelical-type sects.  So even Pope Benedict, who certainly held to post-conciliar views of ecumenism, recognized that simple baptism does not mean an ecclesiastical body makes a Church.

Here are some direct quotes for those who cannot make out the audio (I had little difficulty, I just found it very boring and upsetting):

We are sinning against the will of Christ, because we are looking only at the differences. But we all have the same baptism, and baptism is more important than the differences. We all believe in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. We all have within the Holy Spirit who prays, “now” for us, the spirit who prays in us. [So then having the Blessed Sacrament, or not, makes no difference?  What of John 6?  What of Matt 16:18-20?]

And everyone must know that there is also a father of lies, the father of all divisions, the “anti-Father,” the devil who gets in and divides, divides… Tony talked about this a lot, about this going forward and walking, walking together in what unites us. And that the Lord Jesus with his power may help us so that what divides us may not divide us too much. [And I will believe the sincerity of the protestants towards the ecumenical project when they stop calumniating the Church founded by Jesus Christ and stop going all out to steal away tens of millions from the bosom of the Church]

I don’t know, it’s crazy… Having a treasure and preferring to use imitations of the treasure. The imitations are the differences, what matters is the treasure. [Some might say……many Saints did say……that it is exactly protestantism that is the imitation, while the Church is the treasure.]

There is so much more I could point out.  But I don’t like being in this position any more than some of those who may read this.  This is a tragedy of incomprehensible proportions.

I post this because it is highly relevant to the ongoing revolution in the Church and to address errors put forth by the most influential person in the Church.  I also post this because it highlights the question that has been foremost in my mind for at least a year:  Is Pope Francis glad that I became Catholic?  Would he prefer or recommend – if I still were not – that I not become Catholic?  Did I make a mistake in becoming Catholic?

Former lesbian: it is cruel for Church leaders to go soft on perverse relations, and the hell of her former lifestyle November 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, sadness, scandals, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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Mature material warning for this post.  Not for children.

Some very important articles have been posted to LifeSiteNews for over a week, regarding a former “lesbian” who has left her prior lifestyle and embraced the Catholic Faith. There is much of value here, including the usual heartbreaking litany of severe problems in her upbringing that led to her fall into this disordered, sinful lifestyle, and the fear she has that Church leaders may undermine her own conversion by going soft on Church Doctrine.  I will cobble together excerpts from two posts, the first covering the disconcerting trend in the hierarchy to pretend gross perversion is just OK and even the bearer of “gifts” to the Church:

Robin Teresa Beck, 59, lived through 12 lesbian relationships over the course of 35 years before her dramatic conversion to the Catholic faith and healing from homosexuality, just five years ago……..

……..Her experience with same-sex attraction and the gay lifestyle gives her insight into what is at the heart of homosexuality and why it is fundamentally incompatible with the human person and with Christianity……

……Beck called it “cruel” for any religious leader to look favorably on homosexual relationships, saying if they only knew about the suffering, darkness, and brokenness tied to the lifestyle, they would never even consider condoning it.

“[P]eople do not see homosexuality for what it is,” she said.

“I think because I was so broken and so totally sickened by my sin that for me it was like: ‘I’m never going back there. I don’t care if Pope Francis gets in the chair and proclaims homosexual behavior is no longer a sin — which of course he can’t do — but if he did, I would be like: ‘No, I’m sorry. It is a sin.’ I don’t care who tries to tell me otherwise. I am just resolute on that.”

People who love God and neighbor need to reach out to people struggling with homosexuality with truth and love, Beck said. [I agree. I am shocked both at how many people have rolled over on this subject, and also just who has.  Some people who know very much that this is a gross offense against God have given up the fight, and left these souls to a nightmare of suffering in this life and the next]

“The Church needs to lovingly say to this person: ‘This is not who you are.  [Dang right. It is very hard to say, but that is the truth of the matter. Most will not hear us.  Most will lash out full of anger and vengeance. But a few will, and that makes the entire effort worth it] Acting on same-sex inclinations is never going to bring you to a place where you can have a right relationship with God. In fact, if you go this way, you are heading down a destructive path. The good news is we love you, we are going to be patient with you. If you fall a thousand times, we will still be there for you.’” 

Religious leaders need to start confronting homosexuality head-on, Beck said, because it’s the only way to offer any real help to people struggling in this area. [And it ain’t going away on its own]

Priests need to stop people-pleasing. They need to speak the truth in love.  [Dang right.  Eternal salvation is not a popularity contest, and Our Blessed Lord told us the world would hate us.  So stop avoiding the subjects that make people mad, to avoid them is to fail in duty] If people pack-up and go away, well, so be it…….

[The key……..] Beck said religious leaders need to start leading the faithful in acts of repentance for all the ways in which humanity has strayed from God’s plan for sexuality.

“We Catholics are in big trouble. It’s as if we are just taking orders from the world instead of from God. People need to get on their knees and repent. The Pope needs to call us to get on our knees and repent. The Church is supposed to be the light. We are supposed to stand fast with Truth and not compromise with the world.” [Agreed. Something went disastrously wrong starting in 1958]

The next post deals more with this woman’s sad history, both her unloving and disordered upbringing and then her descent into unfulfilling, depression-inducing, perverse relationship after relationship:

Robin Teresa Beck, 59, is not afraid to tell anyone, even Pope Francis himself, that homosexuality turned her life into a living hell of suffering, darkness, smashed dreams, and lasting regret. And after 35 years of homosexual behavior over the course of 12 relationships, Robin knows exactly what she’s talking about.

“From my experience, it is impossible to have a healthy gay relationship because it goes against the way God made us to be,” she told LifeSiteNews, calling it “cruel” for any religious leader to look favorable upon such a relationship……

……At a young age Robin witnessed how her father hit, shoved, and did “degrading things” to her mother. She remembers standing nearby watching her mother cry as she suffered abuse. Robin lived in deadly fear of her father, believing that he could kill her at the slightest provocation.  [Abusive parents (especially sexually), and distant relationships, especially with fathers, are hallmarks of those with a predilection for this lifestyle. Something fails to develop properly in the psyche due to lack of attention, abuse, or whatever, and that person spends the rest of their life trying to fill that void]

She has only one memory of any tenderness from her mother. She was about 3 years old when her mother one day unexpectedly drew her close to nestle her in her arms. It was the only time in Robin’s entire childhood that she felt “safe and happy.”……

…..Looking back, Robin now realizes that she continually chose partners who, like herself, were psychologically challenged. “I kept hoping to find a stable, loving, nurturing woman to heal my heart (in other words, I was looking for the mom I never had),” she wrote. 

Robin told LifeSiteNews that she now believes the “majority of lesbians who are craving relationships with other women have a deficiency in their relationship with their mother.”

“I know it’s true for me. I did not get the nurturing I needed from my mom. I had this woundedness from my mother and I tried to have it healed by turning to other women and asking them to give me what my mother was not able to.”…… [So she spent most of her adult life trying to make gomorrist relationships “work” for her.  None were successful.  The “best” lasted a few years, most must less than that.  She had at least a dozen relationships with other women.  This mirrors my own experience with everyone who has fallen into this most egregious sin – merry-go-round relationships, serial promiscuity, chasing the high of the next conquest only to get bored with it…….I’ve seen all this before in several people close to me.  As the woman states, there is simply no such thing as a healthy “gay” relationship] 

…….Robin had now hit rock bottom, accepting that there “could never be a ‘right’ relationship with another woman.” In the midst of her brokenness and anguish, she cried to God for help. She received the strength to surrender her sexuality over to God, vowing to follow his word on the matter from that day forward. This happened five years ago, on the weekend of her 54th birthday…….

……“As painful as my birthday weekend was, I am so grateful that it was awful enough to wake me up and bring me to my senses (and my knees). I walked away from gay life and haven’t for a split second thought about going back,” she wrote. 

Robin began instruction in the Roman Catholic faith and was received into the Catholic Church during Easter of 2010. She just celebrated five years of what she called “walking in victory.” She believes this is a “huge miracle.”

———–End Quote———–

I wonder if this woman had any interaction with the Courage apostolate.  It is not mentioned in the reports. She’s been a convert and chaste for less than 5 years. I pray she stays faithful.  Behaviors involving sexual perversion and incontinence are powerfully addicting and so easy to relapse into, like any addiction.  I pray she may be strengthened by Grace.

How long might we spend in Purgatory? November 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disconcerting, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Holy suffering, mortification, reading, religious, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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How long might even very faithful souls spend in Purgatory? Fr. Schouppe, SJ, answers in his book.  I would not take the discourse below as a discouragement, and one could certainly argue with some of the assumptions made, but instead focus on our immense need we must feel of charity for the souls in Purgatory who depend on us for the alleviation of their suffering.  Certainly, what Fr. Schouppe explains below was the dominant belief in the Church in the latter half of the 19th century and for many other periods, as well.  Jansenism, you might say, but I think we would be most remiss to dismiss the probability of long stays in Purgatory for many of us.

Another key factor discussed below is our great need to do penance and works of mercy for the expiation of our own sins:virgen carmen animas

Father Mumford of the Company of Jesus, in his Treatise on Charity Towards the Departed, bases the long duration of Purgatory on a calculation of probability, which we shall give in substance. He goes on the principle that, according to the words of the Holy Ghost, The just man falls seven times a day (Prov XXIV:16),  that is to say, that even those who apply themselves most perfectly to the service of God, notwithstanding their good will, commit a great number of faults in the infinitely pure eyes of God. We have but to enter into our own conscience, and there analyze before God our thoughts, our words, and works, to be convinced of this sad effect of human misery.  Oh how easy it is to lack respect in prayer, to prefer our ease to the accomplishment of duty, to sin by vanity, by impatience, by sensuality, by uncharitable thoughts and words, by want of conformity to the Will of God!  The day is long; is it very difficult for even a virtuous soul to commit, I do not say seven, but twenty or thirty of 20130412-estampita_almas_del_purgatorio_santa_misathis kind of faults and imperfections?

Let us take a moderate estimate, and suppose that you commit about ten faults a day: at the end of 365 days, you will have the sum of 3650 faults. Let us diminish, and, to facilitate the calculation, place it at 3000 per year.  At the end of ten years this will amount to 30,000, and at the end of twenty years to 60,000. Suppose that of these 60,000 faults you have expiated half by penance and good works , there will still remain 30,000 to be atoned for.

Let us continue our hypothesis – if you die after these twenty years of virtuous life, and appear before God with a debt of thirty thousand faults, and each one of those faults requires an hour in Purgatory to expiate them………these 30,000 faults will mean three years, three months, and fifteen days in Purgatory.  Thus even a good Christian who watches over himself, who applies himself to penance and good works, finds himself liable for over three years in Purgatory.animas del purgatorio

The preceding calculation is based on an estimate which is lenient in the extreme.  Now, if you extend the duration of the pain, and, instead of an hour, you take a day for the expiation of a fault; if, instead of having nothing but venial sins, you bring before God a debt resulting form mortal sins, more or less numerous, which you formerly committed; if you assign, on the average, as St. Frances of Rome says, seven years for the expiation of one mortal sin, remitted as to the guilt, who does not see that we arrive at an appalling duration and that the expiation may easily be prolonged for many years, and even for centuries.

Years and centuries of torments!  Oh! if we only thought of it, with what care should we not avoid the least faults! with what fervor should we not practice penance to make satisfaction in the world! 

———-End Quote———

All I can say is, yikes. I have committed many egregious sins, and continue to do so today.  I fear I may spend a very, very long time in Purgatory.  Lord have mercy on me!  I fear Your just wrath!

How contrary is the above to popular presentations today about the afterlife?  How does the above, which was considered very mainstream theological guidance to lay people less than a century ago, square with what is taught in the vast majority of parishes and other Catholic outlets today?  How many instant canonizations have you been to?  How many souls are not being prayer for?

Oracion para que las animas del Purgatorio concedan una peticion

 

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.

 

Good post: The Paramagisterium November 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, priests, religious, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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I really like the way the author of this post at catholicism.org has conceptualized the way in which formal Doctrine has been attacked and undermined since Vatican II: the paramagisterium.  That’s a brilliant word summing up a sometimes difficult to explain phenomenon, the manner in which prelates and even popes may weaken Doctrine while never formally changing it, something that has afflicted the Church to a huge degree in the past several decades.  Paramagisterium also describes not only what many in the Church hierarchy seek, but how they go about achieving it, often in concert with forces outside the Church, many of which are openly hostile to orthodox Christianity.

First, I’ll quote a section describing the author’s definition of “paramagisterium” (I add emphasis and comments):

One undeniable hallmark of Catholic dogma has always been its clarity. The Church, as a good teacher, does not guide her children in halting speech. She is not vague or ambiguous. Indeed, to teach infallibly and thus bind the faithful under pain of grievous sin would absolutely require clarity. Since it is manifestly contrary to reason for a teacher to demand assent of the intellect to something ambiguous or vague, how can Christ’s faithful be bound in conscience to believe something ephemeral or given to a multiplicity of contrary interpretations? [Ahem, Guadium Et Spes, cough, Nostra Aetate, hack, Dignitatis Humanae, choke.  These documents are so often either unclear, self-contradictory, or apparently at odds with the prior Magisterium that we are now told it takes post-doctoral studies in systematic theology to begin to understand them]

The infallible magisterium of the Catholic Church is limited in its exercise, clearly recognizable when invoked, and serious in its expression. But these marks of Catholicity are all but lost in our day when a “paramagisterium” operates seemingly to supplant the authentic magisterium of the Church.

These thoughts came to mind upon hearing the news that Libreria Editrice Vaticana has published the book, Interviste e conversazioni con i giornalisti (“Interviews and Conversations with Journalists”), a collection of interviews with Pope Francis.

The author then outlines what the paramagisterium is and how it works by focusing on one very clear doctrinal belief of the Church – capital punishment – and how the constant belief and practice of 2000 years has been steadily attacked and eroded over the past 50 years or so:

For purposes of illustration, I would like now to consider a concrete subject upon which the paramagisterium has spoken frequently and loudly, even to the point of confusing some very good Catholics — especially champions for the pro-life cause. I speak of capital punishment.

Writing for Crisis Magazine some time ago, Christopher A. Ferrara asked the question “Can the Church Ban Capital Punishment?” He replied in the negative for very weighty reasons. In brief, the entire tradition of the Church advanced and defended the right of the State to administer the death penalty, not only as a means to protect the citizenry from a repeat offense, but also for reasons of justice, deterrence, expiation, and even the spiritual welfare of the guilty, whose frightful sentence could lead to his conversion, as it did over the years for many of the condemned. [I have argued the same on this blog.  While there may be valid prudential reasons to oppose the use of the death penalty in a given state at a given point in time (which reasons are of course arguable, see below), one cannot say that the Church is categorically opposed to the death penalty, that the Church teaches that its use is immoral, or that, God forbid, Church Doctrine has been “changed” by the less than careful statements by some recent pontiffs on this subject.]

Ferrara quotes the Catechism of the Council of Trent:

Again, this prohibition [of killing] does not apply to the civil magistrate, to whom is entrusted the power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which he punishes the guilty and protects the innocent. The use of the civil sword, when wielded by the hand of justice, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the commandment is the preservation and sanctity of human life, and to the attainment of this end, the punishments inflicted by the civil magistrate, who is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend, giving security to life by repressing outrage and violence.

…….What a lot of Catholics probably do not know is that Vatican City State and the other Papal States themselves formerly used the death penalty.

In the nineteenth century, there existed in Rome the archconfraternity of San Giovanni Decollato (“Saint John Beheaded”), whose members did penance for those we now call death-row inmates. For them, part of being Christian also meant looking out for the spiritual welfare of the condemned. The Papal States were quite interested in man’s supernatural end, too. For this reason, execution days in Rome were days of prayer and penance. Saint Vincent Pallotti used to work with the archconfraternity of San Giovanni Decollato, and never complained that the popes, one of whom was Blessed Pio Nono, were “violating human dignity.”

There are some who oppose capital punishment purely for prudential reasons, and in the present context. They believe that the modern state is so evil, so given to usurp rights that are not its own, and so callous towards human life in general (e.g., abortion), that it ought not to wield the sword. This position is not at variance with Church teaching, but it is certainly debatable. [Being based on prudential arguments, of course it’s debatable.]

Granted, the State does not have to resort to capital punishment. The question is may it do so. And the answer is yes.

But there is a new body of teaching today, part of the paramagisterium, which has it that the death penalty is an intrinsic violation of the dignity of the human person. We hear it from bishops, priests, and pious lay faithful engaged in the pro-life movement. The logical question presents itself: If this is so, why did Christ’s infallible Church, for the entirety of her history, teach and act otherwise until the late twentieth century? This cannot be justified as a legitimate “development of doctrine,” because these individuals negate capital punishment in principle and based upon fundamental anthropological truths that the Church has either not known or overlooked until the ascendancy of personalist philosophy in the twentieth century. [And personalism of a certain sort, not necessarily that of Dietrich von Hildebrand, but that of Karol Wojtyla – rather a different view of personalism]

Capital punishment is but one issue upon which we see confusion generated by the paramagisterium. Others would include evolution (no, it’s not a teaching of the Church!), Christ’s Social Kingship, Limbo, Biblical inerrancy, and, of course, sex. Lastly, the very nature of the Church herself, her necessity and divine constitution are constantly assailed by the paramagisterium[Dang right. And don’t forget the manner in which NFP is promoted, often as a moral obligation!, in that list, nor ecumenism/interreligious dialogue]

————–End Quote—————-

Certainly this paramagisterium has been immensely aided by the press carefully picking and choosing which papal statements or quotes from bishops it will publicize.  But at the same time, it must be noted that statements by recent pontiffs often serve as virtually the sole “doctrinal” support for Catholic acceptance of things like the evolution of species, even if those statements were often lacking in clarity (as stated above) and non-binding on conscience themselves.  They are often just enough to muddy the waters or convince well meaning people that the popular “modern” sentiment is acceptable from the point of view of the Church.

Cardinal Koch: Fall of Communism “not all positive” because revival of Greek Catholicism has hampered ecumenism November 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, Holy suffering, sadness, secularism, self-serving, the return.
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You have got to be kidding me.  On the surface, Koch’s statement might seem relatively innocuous (even if counter to the sensus fidei of most Catholics who understand the destruction of the Soviet Empire as a good thing), but given the history of horrible persecution, suffering, and abuse the “Uniate” and Orthodox Churches suffered under communism, it seems incredible to lament the passing of the old communist regime:

“The changes in 1989 were not advantageous for ecumenical relations,” Koch told Vatican Radio. “The Eastern Catholic churches banned by Stalin re-emerged, especially in Ukraine and Romania, and from the Orthodox came the old accusation about Uniate churches and proselytism.” [It was so much easier under the old regime, he seems to say!  “We could just dial up the Kremlin and demand a bishop show up at our Council and they would be there and say whatever we wanted!  No back-tracking, no mussing around, things are much more difficult today, it’s almost like these Orthodox and Uniate guys believe in all this Jesus stuff!  That makes ecumenism so much harder!”]

“Uniate” refers to eastern churches with Orthodox-style liturgies that recognize the pope as their spiritual leader.

Pope Francis will meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul late this month. The Orthodox spiritual head supports more cooperation with Rome, but cannot ignore the wary Russians, who make up two-thirds of the world’s 300 million Orthodox.

Koch, who spoke a week after the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall, and on the same day as Czechs marked the start of their democratic revolution, noted that talks on closer ties between Catholic and Orthodox theologians were suspended between 2000 and 2006 because of tensions between the two sides. [One major concern the Orthodox have – Lord knows the preponderance of fault is on their side – is on the tendency towards liberal worldliness they perceive in the Church today.  Relations improved under Benedict because they saw the Church as heading in a better, more traditional direction.  I bet the brakes are hot now.]

“There are always setbacks, but I’m convinced we can make more progress,” the Swiss-born cardinal said. [Always ill-defined…..”progress”. Oh yay]

Persecution of Christians in the Middle East has brought Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants there together, he said, but the Ukraine crisis has heightened tensions among churches.

“We’ve repeatedly heard major complaints from the Russian Orthodox,” he said. “This is unfortunate because churches are supposed to be a factor for unity and reconciliation.”

Metropolitan Hilarion, the number two man in the Moscow Patriarchate, used his guest presentation to a Vatican synod on the family last month to accuse the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from Orthodoxy. [What a joke.  The Orthodox persecute the living crud out of the Ukrainian Catholics and Catholics of all stripes every chance they get.  They constantly proselytize Catholics while getting the government to try to prevent the Catholics from evangelizing Orthodox.  They almost behave as if they do not have the courage of their convictions, if one looks at the degree to which they rely on the state to run interference for them.]

Folks, Catholic/Orthodox relations have been incredibly complex and difficult for over 1500 years. Forgive me if I am dubious that the likes of men as Cardinal Kurt Koch or his hangers on are of a mettle to overcome this very thorny problem.  The Orthodox Churches are very screwed up, mixing in equal parts nationalism with religious fervor and, maybe even more, anti-Catholicism.  If there is one force that binds the many, constantly warring Orthodox Churches together it is their anti-Catholicism.  I used to dream about “progress” in Catholic-Orthodox relations several years ago, when my knowledge of Church history was much weaker, now I pretty much just leave it in the hands of God and pray for the conversion of individual souls.  I don’t see a reunion happening by human agency at all, it could only occur through a huge movement of Grace, a basically miraculous event.

What I do fear, and what has already occurred several times in the past, is that Greek Catholics will be thrown under the bus  and  made to suffer for some perceived or promised ecumenical “gain.”  The only gains the other side will permit are those which profit them and they would like nothing more than to see that little island of Catholicism in their Orthodox sea crushed.  So pray for the Church in Ukraine, it is under heavy pressure and will probably need our support. For one thing many of our bishops really don’t care for the Greek Catholics because they do not use the Novus Ordo and are thus suspect of having a different religious identity.

h/t reader CH

Great story about chaplain of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles November 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, manhood, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I don’t know how much pub this story has gotten in orthodox Catholic circles but it’s a good one.  A priest recently assigned as chaplain for the great order of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles in Missouri spends his time off walking around town in cassock and saturno, evangelizing souls he meets.  What great witness:54651d0500414.preview-300

Most afternoons, the Rev. Lawrence Carney can be found walking around St. Joseph. Dressed in black, carrying a crucifix and rosary, he can be hard to miss.

“The name of St. Joseph being one of the three of the Holy Family, a nun and I thought this would be a good town to allow me to walk around and pray,” the Rev. Carney says. “I think God has lots of ideas in mind for this idea of walking around and being a visible sign of the church, as kind of a missionary.”

The Rev. Carney moved to St. Joseph from Wichita, Kan., in January, where he had served as a pastor with the Diocese of Wichita.

“I was invited by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles to be their chaplain,” the Rev. Carney says. “From there, I asked if I could live in a city and pray the rosary around the town and meet people along the way. If they wanted to talk about God, I would help them.” [The prayers of holy nuns are so vital to the success of priestly apostolates.  The collapse in women’s religious life has wounded the Church more than we can know in this life.  I know one very holy priest who believes very strongly that every good priest requires what he calls “a little girl” or two praying in a convent somewhere for his sanctity and the success of his apostolate. I think he’s right.]

The Rev. Carney spends part of his day with the nuns of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Mo., saying Mass and praying. Afterward, he returns to St. Joseph to walk, pray and attend Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, where he is staying.…..

…….While he walks in St. Joseph, the Rev. Carney prays the rosary and talks to people he meets.

“A lot of time, people want me to pray for them, for their general intentions, sicknesses or conversion. And then I teach them how to pray,” he says. “They ask about God and Jesus and Mary.” [Wonderful evangelization right there]

54651d04a7580.preview-300He doesn’t have a set route, but he enjoys visiting the soup kitchen and listening to people. While he walks, he carries a crucifix in his right hand and a rosary in his left, an act he calls “fishing.”

“One guy came up to me and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m fishing. The crucifix is my hook, my rosary is my line. Allow me to put the rosary around your neck.’ He allowed me, and I said, ‘You’ve just been caught by Jesus,’” the Rev. Carney says. [Corny, but cool]

Later, he saw the man again while walking. 

“A month later, I walked by, and there was like 20 kids and they all wanted to ask me, talk about questions of God. This young man just runs out of his house and says, ‘Father Carney, I want a rosary.’ I gave him a rosary. I blessed it and taught him how to pray it,” he says…….

……He wears a sacramental black robe, called a cassock, which represents the tunic the priests wore in the Old Testament. He also wears an Italian hat called a saturno, which means “half a Saturn.” It helps keep the sun out of his eyes and protect his face from sun damage.

“We stick to tradition. This hat was required by all clerics who lived in Rome. It was against the law not to wear one until several decades ago. It’s very fitting to the priesthood because it’s what we used to wear all the time,” he says.

 

————End Quote———–

There is quite a bit more at the link.  I think it fair to say that the coverage is quite positive.

So this is what comes of giving visible witness to our Faith through the wearing of clerical garb in public. I am always so pleased to see priests dressed as priests in public.  Of course, I strongly favor the cassock and other traditional wear as being most well ordered and most evocative of our Faith.  This priest’s experience seems to stress that being identifiable as a priest in public stirs people’s minds and imaginations and may have an impact beyond quantifying. I really endorse this kind of witness.

The walking is also brilliant, you can’t evangelize very well from a car, but on foot, the interactions are much more personal.  I really pray bishops give priests time in their schedules to perform these kinds of ad hoc apostolates, they may not have an immediately visible return but they could have enormous impact over time.  I’d say this kind of mission is of more benefit to souls than the myriad meetings priests seem to spend half or more of their time sitting in.  Or even less edifying activities.  I knew one priest who, from his constant talking about different TV shows including many daytime ones, obviously spent a great deal of time watching the tube.

May God support and protect Father Carney.

 

 

 

More data on the collapse of the Church in Latin America November 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, demographics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, horror, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, SOD.
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Probably most of my readers, if not all, read Rorate Caeli, but there was some very disheartening material posted there recently regarding the continuing collapse of the Church in Latin America.  As Rorate notes, this collapse cannot be blamed on ongoing secularization nearly to the degree that it can be in the “advanced” nations of North American and Europe.  The Church in Latin American was, in 1970, quite strong, cohesive, and going through (perhaps concluding is a better word) a period of great renewal that started well before the Council.  But ever since the mid-70s the Church in Latin America has been in free-fall on a scale that outpaces even the collapse of the Faith in some Western European countries.  There hasn’t been a period since the protestant revolt when so many have fallen away so fast in a given region.

Another difference between the secularization of countries like Canada, France, Germany, Spain, etc., and the Latin American countries, is that, for the most part, in the former countries people have tended to fall out of religious practice entirely, they have become atheist or agnostic.  In the Latin American countries, religious practice remains very strong, but a huge portion of the Church has found the “product,” if you will, so lacking in the post-conciliar environment that they have sought spiritual sustenance even in the separated and heretical sects. And as the data shows, they have done so in great numbers, tens of millions, over the past 4 decades:

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I have to look no farther than my own backyard to see witness of this phenomenon.  In my home zip code, the population is something like 70% Hispanic, many recent immigrants.  There is only one Catholic parish to serve both this and several other zip codes containing tens of thousands of Hispanic families, while one literally cannot drive a block without finding some Hispanic-oriented evangelical sect, many small, but some quite large, serving tens of thousands of former Catholics.  It breaks my heart to have to see this every day.  And my observation over the past year-plus is that this trend is accelerating dramatically, with new evangelical sects popping up almost weekly.

Even more devastating is the deep anti-Catholicism many of these former Catholic souls have imbibed.  There is a little restaurant I frequent on occasion, and the owners are recent Hispanic immigrants who are now evangelical. They were quite warm to me when they saw me reading my Bible in their restaurant, but when they found I was still Catholic they became less so.  Even more, there is anti-Catholic propaganda in their restaurant, not obvious, but there.  I have tried to engage with the owners but due to my poor Spanish speaking skills (especially when it comes to technical topics – I read much better than I speak) and their self-assured hostility, I have made precious little progress. When souls make a conscious choice to reject the Faith they were raised in, it is very rare for them to return. Please pray for these and millions of other souls falling away from the Church like snowflakes.

It is easy for the scale of this tragedy to get lost in the cold reality of numbers.  Each one of these souls falling away from the Church is an incalculable loss both to the souls themselves and to the Mystical Body of Christ. What we are witnessing is a tragedy that is beyond human reckoning, but with widespread erroneous understandings of notions like “ecumenism” and “universal salvation” even at the highest levels of the Church, there is little sense of crisis in response to data like this. To the extent many in the Church are concerned about this ongoing hemorrhaging of souls, the concern is only worldly: what will this mean for Church income, what will this mean for parish closures, how will we run a Church without priests?  There is little or no sense of urgency in dealing with this crisis: quite the opposite, so many in the Church and especially the hierarchy seem to be doing all they can to exacerbate the crisis?

These souls are falling away, by and large, because they felt spiritually starved. I know a good number of former Catholics who left for the exact same reason.  All the changes being discussed – Communion for adulterers, the gifts of sodomites, institutionalizing the travesty of US-style annulment mills, etc., etc. – none of this will attract souls back to the Faith.  The opposite is actually true, and I’ve seen comments all over the web to confirm this: souls already outside the Church or leading sinful/heretical lives will only feel confirmed in their errors by all these destructive novelties, and, even more, they feel that a Church that can be so wrong on so much for so long has nothing to offer them.

That is the true tale of the Church in Latin America over the past four decades: a Church without substance feeding worldly pablum to starving souls who then depart en masse.  This is so contrary to how the Church conducted Herself for centuries it is simply staggering.  The last five decades have proven, without doubt in my mind, that this “openness” to the world is destructive of the Faith and the good of souls.  The case of the Church in Latin America is a very strong argument that the collapse in the Faith is not something that just happened to the Church, but is a result of the deliberate direction the Church has taken.

Late Flightline Friday – CAG bird November 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, silliness, fun, non squitur, Flightline Friday, SOD.
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I never got a chance to post Flightline Friday before the weekend. So depending on how you look on this, it being Tuesday, it’s either early or late.

Not much today, I just found a few photos I liked over the weekend.  Most feature a remarkable paint job applied to the “CAG bird” of VFA-81 Sunliners.  The CAG bird is the aircraft in a given squadron nominally reserved to the Commander of the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) to which the squadron is assigned.  Such aircraft get much more elaborate paint jobs.  Some of them are quite spectacular.

You might wonder how “Commander Air Wing” resulted in the acronym “CAG” – that’s because they used to be called Carrier Air Groups and the CAG was the commander of the air group, not air wing. Even after the change, decades ago, everyone continued to call him CAG.

I like the POW/MIA on the inboard sign of the starboard vertical fin.  I also threw in a totally unrelated pic of a Gator in some unique climactic conditions:

From last week

From last week

vfa-81cag_zps49ee9843

That’s a great shark mouth.  The Hornet is a natural for it.

So I guess the Sunliners converted from the F-18C Hornet to the E model recently?  Because the video below from last year has them flying C model Hornets and not the Super Hornet I are dumb. The video was of two squadrons, VFA-94 Mighty Shrikes and VFA-81, the Shrike birds were C models but the Sunliners were E’s:

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The pic below shows LHD-7 USS Iwo Jima with fog right about flight deck level.  I’m sorry that is just too awesome:

1280px-US_Navy_060115-N-6282K-001_The_amphibious_assault_ship_USS_Iwo_Jima_(LHD_7)_shown_operating_in_dense_fog_in_the_Atlantic_Ocean

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.

 

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