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Update on Sr. Rupp December 14, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, North Deanery, scandals.
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I know, this blog is becoming all Sr. Rupp all the time, and I don’t intend to be that.  Bear with me, there’s a number of people concerned about this retreat and time is running short to do anything about it, so this subject will be a little frequent for a while. 

I spoke with the Bishop’s secretary, Elsa Espinoza, about trying to meet with Bishop Farrell on this subject.  Ms. Espinoza claims that the Bishop has been travelling, and will be travelling, and that he hasn’t got much time for a meeting.  She offered to arrange a meeting with the vicar general, but I really want to speak with Bishop Farrell directly.  We were essentially deadlocked until I mentioned going to the Papal pronuncio in Washington, DC.  At that point, she suggested I put my request to meet with Bishop Farrell in writing.

So, write I will.  I have no idea whether I’ll be able to meet with the bishop, but given that I, and perhaps a few people who may go with me, will be representing dozens of concerned Catholics, it would seem he ought to have a little time built into his schedule for such meetings. 

We’ll see.  This could be an attempt to buy some time, I don’t know. 

Other updates on Sr. Rupp speaking at SEAS here, here, and here.

UPDATE – After some serious discussion and thinking, I will meet with the vicar general, Fr. Deshotel.

Deconstructing a church December 14, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic.
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This news is a little old, but I wanted to talk about it.  I’m a former episcopalian, and it saddens me to no end to see the ongoing deconstruction, or, if you will, suicide, going on in the Episcopal Church USA and the schism in the Anglican Communion. 

My parents started attending an episcopal church in Plano in the mid-80’s.  Founding members, you might say.  My dad built the first altar for that church.  My parents are still members there, in spite of all my proselytizing.  Now, that church in Plano is no longer episcopalian, but is an Anglican church under a Nigerian primate.   They left due to the episcopal church’s efforts to chuck increasing parts of Scripture in order to be oh-so-inclusive.  It’s been a very painful experience for that church. 

And, it’s painful for me.  I don’t miss the episcopal church at all, although I like the liturgy the more traditional Anglican and episcopal churches use (and which is used at Our Lady of the Atonement).   But it is rather saddening to see yet another flock led further down the primrose path, more young people led astray.  And, given my very devout Catholic views, I feel that everyone in any denomination outside the Catholic Church lacks the fullness of God’s Truth and is lacking in certain aspects of the Faith – if I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be much of a Catholic.  But to see a church completely abandoning long-held Christian principles and essentially succumbing to the diktats of the world is profoundly saddening.   It’s also disturbing to learn that homosexual lobbies have been funding the effort to make the episcopal church into a haven for active homosexual clergy.

And so, we witness the demise of a church.  I pray that all Anglicans and episcopalians that remain firmly rooted in Sacred Scripture and traditional Christian beliefs will prayerfully consider joining the Catholic Church, either en masse through the new apostolic constitution, or individually.   To remain in the episcopal church will become increasingly untenable, as that church will almost certainly further split into two (or more) unrelated traditional and worldly parts.  Many individual church communities or small groups of such will cross the Tiber, but many will remain, like my parent’s church in Plano, which is really more evangelical in outlook than it is Anglo-Catholic.  These church communities, still faithful to The Bible,  will become increasingly isolated mission churches of African or Latin American provinces, as many of their brethren opt for Rome.   I don’t know how long they can last in what is really intended to be a temporary expedient.

As for the nominal “Episcopal Church USA,” with their gay bishops and senior theologians describing abortion as a blessing, within 50 years it will be a pathetic, shrunken rump with membership in the low hundreds of thousands (a process already well underway before any of these latest scandals).   Along with the Unitarians, most of the Methodists, the Lutherans, and the Presbyterians, their discarding of long-held Truth for the adulation of the world will lead to their ultimate demise, as their steadily shrinking membership indicates.  There may always be an Episcopal Church in the United States, but it will become increasingly irrelevant and a haven for those whose Christianity is little more than a lapel pin, worn when fashionable but trivially discarded.

Latin Mass in the Dallas Diocese December 14, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, North Deanery.
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I’ve mentioned how much my family and I enjoy attending Mass at St. William in Greenville.  Unfortunately, Greenville is pretty far for alot of people, and it makes it pretty hard to celebrate Mass there on weekdays, let alone Sunday.

I’m curious how many people would like to see a parish offering Latin Mass in the north deanery, containing the cities of Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, and all the way up to the Red River.  I’ve got a poll below.  I’m wondering how many people out there would attend Latin Mass if it’s more conveniently located.  Thanks for your responses.

A confused religious landscape December 14, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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A new poll examining religious habits of Americans has revealed some interesting information.  The poll examines the religious beliefs of a wide cross section of Americans, from evangelical Christians to Catholics and Orthodox, etc.  Among the findings is that a large percentage of self-identified Christians engage in pratices such as astrology, contacting the dead, or believe in things like reincarnation.  If you look more closely at the details, you find that, among Catholics, 1 in 5 Catholics at least somewhat regularly attend non-Catholic worship services, almost 1 in every 3 Catholics believes in reincarnation (perhaps a poorly formed view of the Resurrection?), more than 1 in 4 use yoga as something more than exercise, and almost 1 in 3 regularly use astrology.  Even those who attend Mass weekly, around 1 in 5 of such Catholics, use astrology or believe in the spiritual power of yoga.

Some may be saying, so what, right?   Who cares if Catholics believe such things?  Well, for one, the Church does.  The Church has specifically warned against, if not outright condemned, all of the practices listed in the survey.  This is not because the Church hierarchy consists of uptight, narrow-minded old men in Rome.  It is because the Church, after long examination of these practices and discernment guided by the Holy Spirit, has determined that these practices are very dangerous for the immortal souls of the faithful.  While engaging in any one of these practices from time to time may not necessarily cause someone to separate themselves from the Body of Christ, they all pose the possibility of leading the faithful seriously astray, and the danger they pose grows significantly with increased use. 

Which leads me to the main point of this post – all of these practices (yoga, ‘spiritual energy,’ belief in reincarnation, and astrology), are all commonly considered to be part of ‘New Age’ religions.  As I have mentioned in previous posts , here, and here, Sr. Joyce Rupp, conducting a women’s retreat at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Plano in February, is strongly influenced by New Age practices and uses such practices as the basis of both her books and her lectures.  Sr. Rupp’s lectures deal strongly with the examination of dreams as a means of achieving spiritual growth (another New Age practice), the channeling of spiritual energy, and have at times dealt with communication with the dead and a certain, non-Christian and decidedly non-Catholic view of reincarnation. 

The Catholic Church in the United States has serious problems with very poor formation (lack of understanding of the faith), which has led to a huge reduction in regular Mass attendance (less than 1/3 of Catholics attend Mass on any given Sunday), among many other problems (lack of vocations, inadequate material support for most parishes, etc.).  The single largest religious denomination in the United States today is former Catholics.  Many of these former Catholics left the faith because, a) they didn’t understand the incredible richness and beauty of their faith because they had never been taught it properly, and b), they were led astray within the Church by various heterodox priests, religious, and lay people who have been confusing Catholics beliefs with those of the New Age movement, protestant denominations, and eastern religions for decades. 

After reading more of Sr. Rupp’s work since my original posts, I am becoming increasingly convinced that Sr. Rupp will continue this process of confusing and badly mixed messages.   By mixing strongly New Age beliefs with a weak and poorly formed Catholic theology, she will sow further confusion regarding the faith among a large number of Catholic women who are probably not terribly well formed in the faith to begin with.   To quote one critic of Sr. Rupp, “people who are well formed in the faith don’t usually attend Sr. Rupp’s lectures.”  Thus, we have a situation where a number well meaning, but not necessarily well formed* women will be exposed to a mashup of weak Catholic theology with strong New Age overtones.  What conclusions will they draw from this lecture?  Will the lecture lead them to a stronger Catholic faith, or will it lead them away from the Church? 

This is my concern.  I am very worried that a number of women in the Dallas Diocese could be, will be, led seriously astray by attending this conference. 

I pray that those who are reading this post will take the time to contact the staff responsible for this retreat, below. 

Cecilia Ladda, Director of Adult Education at St. Elizabeth Seton: cladda@eseton.org  972-596-5505 x4247. 

Judy Clark Family and Adult Ministry at St. Mark  jpclark@stmarkplano.org 

Mary Edlund   Chancellor, Dallas Diocese   chancellor@cathdal.org 214-379-2819