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Sr. Rupp update January 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, North Deanery, scandals.
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I wanted to give an update on the status of the women’s retreat featuring Sr. Joyce Rupp on Feb. 20 at St. Elizabeth Seton parish in Plano.  There is no change, it appears that barring a miracle, Sr. Rupp will speak.  I’m disappointed in a sense – I thought it possible to change the venue, at least.  I knew that cancelling her engagement would have been difficult, as I’m sure she’d threaten a lawsuit and still demand payment, but I was praying for cancellation or at least that the retreat would be moved to a secular venue.  At present, I don’t see that happening. 

I don’t think anyone should give up, however.  And, I think contacting Fr. Petter at St. Elizabeth or the diocese would certainly not hurt, if you haven’t done so already.  Contact info on three of my many posts.  The only way to communicate your concern at this retreat is to let the staff and pastor of St. Elizabeth and the Diocese know.

For the future, I have heard some rumblings that things may be changing.  I’ve heard several things, and can’t go into too much detail, but it’s possible that the diocese may put in some policies that make events like this women’s retreat less likely in the future.  Unfortunately, the policies may be overly broad and leave common sense behind, since they may limit the ability of orthodox speakers to come to the diocese, as well.  We shall have to see.  I’ll have to find out as I usually do, back-channel, as I don’t think the Bishop or chancellor will be calling me to let me know what an impact this dulcet little blog has had.   I would ask everyone to pray that in any policies that are changed regarding speakers in the Dallas Diocese, common sense prevail and we don’t have situations where someone with impeccable credentials, like Fr. Mitch Pacwa or the Fathers of Mercy, will have to ‘prove themselves’ to the Diocese.  I think the reputation of many Catholic speakers precedes them. 

Let us continue to pray that my and your efforts have some effect, and the Diocese and/or parishes take more time to review the beliefs espoused by speakers brought to this diocese.  While it took some time to establish a depth of evidence on Sr. Rupp, I knew after a brief review of her writings that she was not in communion with the dogma of the Church.  I think it reasonable to expect the diocese to conduct similar reviews in the future.  However, we are dealing with entrenched interests who are seeking to promote certain views within the Church that are not always in line with the doctrine established in the Catechism.  Please continue to pray for the conversion of everyone involved in such decisions  to always look for the best, most fully Catholic speakers possible, in order to provide the best formation  in our diocese.

Bishop Vasa on Excommunication January 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, scandals.
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One thing that particularly scandalizes faithful Catholics is the tendency for certain ‘Catholic’ politicians to thumb their nose, or worse, at Church teaching.  Some of these politicians, such as Nancy Pelosi, go even further, causing scandal to the faithful by deliberately misrepresenting Church teaching, and claiming their misrepresentation as being the ‘true Catholic position.’  Many of the faithful have wondered how these scandalous politicians can continue to receive communion, and why they are not given strong medicine to try to return them to the beliefs of the Faith (since this return would be of enormous benefit to their immortal souls, the prime concern of the Church).  In this light, Bishop Vasa of Bend, OR, recently wrote an editorial in his diocesan newspaper explaining why such strong medicine, in the form of excommunication, may be necessary at times. 

Predictably, this has elicited strong reactions on both sides of the theological divide.  There are some who are shocked, or feign being shocked, that a Bishop could be so controversial, so un-pastoral.  After all, didn’t Jesus call us to ‘love everyone,’ and didn’t he say ‘Judge not, lest you be judged?’  Meanwhile, those who have tried to be faithful Catholics to the best of their ability have been quite heartened by this editorial, as the Bishop relates.  Those faithful Catholics do wonder, however, when this strong medicine will ever actually be given to those who cause such scandal in the faith. 

Well, you can probably guess which side I fall on.  I am all for taking all measures that help to strengthen the faith, and help provide clear direction to the faithful.  In response to those who feel that Bishop Vasa has been un-pastoral and judgemental, I would say: “those terms, I do not think they mean what you think they mean.”  There is a vast difference between true, pastoral care and true, concerned love, and the weak permissiveness and soft sentimality that many confuse with those two noble virtues.  Too many in the Church today are hopelessly confused on this, and are incapable of understanding that true love and concern for one’s neighbors at times requires one to do hard, unpleasant things, for the good of that neighbor.  We do not judge their eternal souls (which is what Jesus’ admonition was specifically aimed at), but we can judge their actions and statements in the light of our understanding of the One, True Faith.  

The permissiveness of soft sentimality, of ‘can’t we all just get along,’ is foolhardy and can lead the souls of those engaged in scandal further towards a place a grave jeopardy.   There are too many in the Church today who seek to bend the Church to their thinking, rather than the other way around.  This can be a grave error, as often those seeking to change the Church to suit their preferences are doing so from a basis of pride or some other vice that is detrimental to the development of their soul.  The Church did not arrive at the professed doctrine by accident.  It has been revealed over time through Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the grace of infallibility at the highest levels of the Magisterium.  To deviate from this doctrine is not only detrimental to the souls, it is very dangerous, as it leads one away from the Church, from the Body of Christ, and to places that can be deadly indeed. 

And so, at times, for the benefit of the soul in question, strong, even painful medicine must be given.  In order to excise a cancer, painful treatments are at times necessary.  It is not pleasant for all involved, but if such measures lead one back to the Faith, then they are very much worth it.  History is replete with examples of those who  repented of their errors after being excommunicated, whereas those who would not, such as Arias, often met truly unfortunate ends.  It really comes down to this: either our Faith is Truth, and is the fullest Truth humans have yet managed to discern by the Grace of God, or it is not.  Those who believe it is understand the strong medicine of excommunication, and why it is necessary; those who do not so believe, will never understand.

Health care legislation update January 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Society.
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I don’t want to get too much into politics, especially national politics, on this blog, but I would like to note one thing.  There are two health care bills in Congress right now – the House version, and the Senate version.  In terms of abortion funding, these two bills are not the same, the Senate version is far, far worse.  If Scott Brown is elected to fill the vacant Massachussetts Senate seat, the Democrats are planning to try to get the House to accept the Senate version, so that the Senate would not have to vote.   They have to do this since Scott Brown would give the Republicans the ability to filibuster again in the Senate (he would bring them up to 41 Senators, enough to filibuster according to Senate rules).

From a Catholic perspective, the Senate bill is a disaster, as it will lead to billions of your dollars being used directly to pay for abortions.  I encourage everyone to contact their representative and Senators, and the White House, as often and as loudly as you can to make sure that they know that Catholics do not want federal funding of abortion.  From what I have read, the pressure on Congress by the public on this health care issue has decreased – Catholics need to ramp it up again, at least as far as making sure abortion will never be paid for by your dollars.  I know I ask you, my dear, sweet readers, to do alot, but suck it up – this is important.

As the other side often says………do it for the children.