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Wow March 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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Here’s another brilliant exhortation from a good priest – a Fr. Shelton in the Diocese of Knoxville.  An extended excerpt:

The Church in Ireland was not the Devil’s only companion during this time. In too many countries we have seen the subversion of the Council, whose call for renewal proposed a deeper embrace, not a Satanic reordering, of the Sacred Liturgy, doctrine, morality, evangelization, penance, devotional practices and discipline.
That lay Catholics in these countries so gullibly accepted instructions from their priests, issued with deceitful and unfounded reference to the holy Council, to banalize the Holy Mass, to lay aside their devotions, to forget their catechisms, and to consider the immoral moral, gives testimony to a radical misunderstanding on the part of the laity regarding the legitimate authority of the clergy. It is within the competence of the clergy to urge greater reverence, greater penance, greater morality, greater knowledge and greater mercy, not to impose plans to reduce any of these.
Who told you to stand and take Holy Communion into your hand and pick up the Savior with your fingers for your mouth? Who told you to look at the priest during the Sacrifice or while you make your confession? Who told you to eat meat on Fridays or to use contraception? Who told you to address priests by our first names? Who got rid of the Legion of Mary in many of our parishes (are there no longer people in need of mercy?)? Why haven’t the young been taught the truths of our faith or the traditions of our fathers? The children of this parish can’t even recite the Ten Commandments! Why don’t Catholics know their parts of the Roman Mass in Latin as the Council instructed, and why don’t families kneel down to pray when Mass is ended?
The clergy responsible for dismantling the faith and tradition of the Western Church are members of the generation whose perversion has poisoned the mission of the Holy Church. And restoration will not be easy. I have told seminarians that they will have the opportunity to accept a bloodless martyrdom once they are ordained. You see, if you tell Catholics today that their sins aren’t that bad, that their casual reverence at Mass is sufficient, that their piety at home will be just fine without rosaries and scapulars, fasting and study, if you tell jokes at Mass and praise the choir, inviting an army of laymen to enter the sanctuary to do the work of the priest, you will be thanked, praised and worshiped yourself. But if you insist on increased reverence, piety, morality and knowledge, if you promote the Legion of Mary over lay communion ministers and the parish council, you will be dismissed, mocked, attacked and will have a file of complaints at the chancery that grows by the day. Such is the state of our perversion today as Catholics. May God have mercy on us. There’ve been many revelations of evil within the Church in recent years. How many more must there be before we see the solution is not in adopting new policies and procedures, but in a return to piety and penance? The image the world has today of Our Lord’s Church is no longer one of pious grandmothers and penitential monks, but of pervert priests and unfaithful politicians.
What’s needed now, brethren, is a new generation devoted to truth and tradition, morality and mercy, a holy generation that will flush away the horrors, deceptions, impiety, irreverence and scandals of the “hippie” catastrophe that has marked the recent decades of the Latin Church, a generation that will discover anew the work of the Holy Ghost in the documents of Vatican II, leaving behind the so called “spirit of Vatican II”–the spirit of Satan, and help the Church discover for the first time the wisdom and promise of the holy Council, which is the wisdom and promise of 2000 years of faith, hope and charity.

All I can say is, YES!  Amen, Father!

Michael Voris is on fire March 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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Michael Voris of Real Catholic TV is full of fire in his latest video.  He takes my comments that the bishops have some complicity in the passage of the Great American Socialist Takeover of 2010 and, uh……goes alot further.  I don’t agree with all he has to say, but I do agree that the time has come, and is in fact past, for a great reawakening of Roman Catholic faith and identity in this country.  We must no longer allow mixed messages, watered down catechesis, apostasy posing as ecumenism, and self-professed catholics who publically dissent from Church doctrine to stand.  The Faith means something, after all.

And now for something uplifting March 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic.
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Believe me, I get very tired of always reporting on the negative things going on in the Church and world.  I would love to have a blog that reported constantly great expressions of faith in God and great triumphs in the Church.  I don’t get to do so often enough.  But occasionally, something comes along that is great.  In the video below, a young girl explains that she has seen visions of Heaven and has had communications with God since she was 4 years old.  She has been given great gifts by God to share these experiences – she is a very accomplished painter at 12, and has been painting since she was 6.  Her parents were atheists, so she didn’t somehow absorb something from them and construe it as a vision.  No, she has received this totally from God.

Her parent(s) converted after the experiences of their daughter.  I don’t know a thing about this girl or her faith, but I do know that God is real, He is present in our lives constantly, and that he wants a deeply intimate relationship with each of us.  What a great grace, to have been given visions of Heaven.  And better, how amazing to perhaps have even been able to see some vision of God, at least as He chose to reveal Himself to this child.  God ways are as high above our ways, as the heavens are above the earth.

CHA starts to get its rewards March 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, General Catholic, scandals.
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Catholic Vote Action, is reporting via National Review Online, that Sr. Carol Keehan is going to receive a great reward for her unfailing support of President Obama’s health insurance takeover.  She’s going to get one of the 20 pens the President uses to sign this disaster into law.  Great!  My insurance will go from costing my family about $3500 per year to about $10,000, and she gets a presidential pen!  That’s an awesome trade!

This is just the beginning.  Look for hospitals and health organizations represented by CHA to rake in billions in federal grants and outlays over the ensuring months and years.  Obama does know how to reward his allies.  And when the federal government demands that these hospitals perform abortion in accord with the law and the funding they have received, what then?  I’m sure Sr. Carol will tell us that it really doesn’t matter, that the real pro-life position involves providing all forms of ‘health care’, including ‘helping mothers who have a crisis pregnancy’ – once you start down the slope, it gets harder and harder to stop.

More sadness in Anglican Land March 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in foolishness, Society.
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Alright – if you have a sensitivity to forthright discussion in the Episcopal/Anglican Church, do not read this.  But on top of an active lesbian being confirmed as a bishop in the Episcopal Church,  Fr. Longenecker has this post about a traditional Episcopalian community being railroaded out of its property by the Episcopal diocese of Central New York.  The diocese refused offers by the traditional, Scripture observing community to buy the property at a generous price when the community decided it could no longer remain in the Episcopal church, and instead sold the property to Muslims at 1/3 the asking price.  In the process, they kicked the pastor out of the rectory on zero notice, and closed a soup kitchen depended upon by locals, with no notification that a Catholic Church down the street had agreed to allow the former Episcopalians to use their facilities to provide food for the poor.  Some local people went hungry for several days/nights as a result.  Christian charity truly abounds.

Lord knows, the Catholic Church has problems.  All churches are made up of fallible, sinful human beings, who often do really bad things, like turning young boys into animalistic objects for their sexual gratification.  It is still very sad to see an instance like this in the Episcopal Church, where there appears to have been vindictiveness and wrath involved.  And the extremely poor prudential judgement to then a) bar the property from ever being sold for Anglican/Catholic worship and, b) selling it to Muslims, who have a faith that doesn’t just call homosexuality a sin, but feels people should be killed over it……..what were they thinking?  What kinds of motivations would lead to judgements like this?  It is difficult for me to find examples of Christian virtue displayed here. 

I don’t know what the intentions are of the community that got railroaded out of its home.  They have apparently been offered a property by the Catholic diocese and have occupied it, but I do not know if they intend to convert.  I know there are people who have a very strong attachment to the Episcopal/Anglican Church, and I feel very badly for them.  I know some of them find the idea of converting to Catholicism difficult to even contemplate, and so they are left in a very bad position – remaining in a church that is rapidly going off the rails, trying to give witness to the increasing worldliness of their compatriots, or somehow striking out on their own and carving out a new church in the Episcopal tradition that remains faithful to the beliefs their faith has held for centuries.   We all need to pray for our Episcopalian brothers and sisters – pray that this time of great strain and sadness will pass, pray that they may remain faithful to the teachings God has given us in the Bible, and pray that they will continue to have, or find, a home that allows them to worship God in great awe and wonder.  I of course pray for their conversion, if not to the Catholic faith, at least to a great reverence and service to God.

Mother Teresa at National Prayer Breakfast March 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, General Catholic, Society.
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Mother Teresa, that fabled nun who lived a life of such great faith and penitent sacrifice, so often even cut off from God’s warming touch but persevering nonetheless, spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994.  C-SPAN has the video, with Bill and Hillary Klint-on in attendance.  Now, I often expect a little of my readers. I expect you to have a certain amount of patience, to put up with my long winded prose.  And, if you want to watch Mother Teresa address the Clintons and others on the horrors of abortion and contraception, you need to forward the video up to th 49 minute mark, where she begins to speak.  She hits the abortion issue at 60 minutes in, and contraception at 66 minutes.  Bill and Hillary were not amused, although the crowd gave vocifierous response. 

Check it out!  Offer up your time watching this as a Lenten, penitential act.  As I just related, we need to do many more such acts, on an ongoing basis.   And you can watch a very tiny woman speak the words of Truth in the face of worldly power.

A hot commentary on the European priest sex scandal March 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, scandals.
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In many ways, the Europeans are 10 years behind the US (in other ways, they are 10 years ahead, which I will elaborate on one day).  So, the Europeans have been enjoying their own version of a massive priest sex abuse scandal, from Ireland to Austria, about 10 years after such scandals rocked the US.   Naturally, alot of people are casting about for reasons.  Why did this happen?  Gerald Warner, a conservative Scottish politician and publisher, has made his opinions known, writing specifically about the Irish abuse cases.   You should go read the whole thing, it is brilliant as a polemic.  I think the author oversimplifies things, but has a major point – the abuse is not about priestly celibacy, it is about loss of faith.  It always has been – the modernists cave to the world, and then it is anything goes – literally. 

Warner’s comments have set off alot of other commentary in return.  Fr. Z has a really good post  generally agreeing with most of Warner’s points, but cautioning against traditionals becoming triumphal.  Fr. Longenecker adds his comments, as well, again, largely agreeing with Mr. Warner.   Fr. Blake of St. Mary’s in Brighton disagrees with Warner’s vituperation, but does think alot of the weakening in spirituality and mysticism that was done ‘in the spirit of Vatican II’ played a significant role. 

And me?   I think it’s largely spot on.   Accepting that Warner is speaking in the broad generalities imposed by a 100o word limit, his criticisms have a great deal of merit.  This abuse is caused by a lack of faith.  Most of this lack of faith has come from worldly influence, the infection of modernism in the church that used to be called ‘the spirit of Vatican II.’  I don’t think the documents of Vatican II or the council’s efforts are necessarily to blame (except that the documents were vague and not centered sufficiently on Christ), but the illusory ‘spirit’ invoked in the name of the Council, which was used as cover for the efforts of the modernists and the revisionists, is heavily to blame.  

Below, an excerpt, with Fr. Z’s comments in red:

How could clergy transgress so gravely against the doctrines of the Church? What doctrines? These offences took place in the wake of Vatican II, when doctrines were being thrown out like so much lumber. These offenders were the children of Paul VI and “aggiornamento”. Once you have debauched the Mystical Body of Christ, defiling altar boys comes easily. 

The “neglected” sacraments and devotional practices that the Pope says could have prevented this did not just wither on the vine: they were actively discouraged by bishops and priests. [This is where I need to intervene.  I am sure that some of the more traddy stripe are crowing as they read.  I would remind them to supress that reptilian brain-stem a little and recall – before reading the next self-affirming quote – that we are all in this together.  When clergy and lay people of the Church fall down, every one suffers.  The whole Church needs to help the fallen to rise again.  We need to do that by raising the level of holiness, of penance, and worthy worship, just a rising tide raises every boat.  Read on, now, and feel that affirmation…] In the period when this abuse was rampant, there was just one mortal sin in the Catholic Church: daring to celebrate or attend the Latin Tridentine Mass. [And that is pretty close the the truth!] A priest raping altar boys would be moved to another parish; as for a priest who had the temerity to celebrate the Old Mass – his feet would not touch the ground. [They were – and in some places still are – treated in much the same way.]

Ouch, man, that’s gotta hurt.  But, it’s hard to argue that what Warner says was, and to an extent still is, true.  Here in Dallas, we all know that priests like Rudy Kos, active sicko child molesters, were moved around to hide them, with the Diocese making strenuous efforts to keep them in the fold.  Meanwhile, saying a Latin Mass in this town would get you banished to the extreme ‘burbs, if you’re lucky to even remain a pastor.  What does that say of the priorities involved? I want to clarify here – the incidents I reference above did not occur under the present Bishop.   But how far have we come from those days?   Far in some areas, but not nearly far enough in others.  There is a still certain hostility to reverence, orthodoxy, and tradition in some quarters in this diocese, and still a tendency towards heterodoxy and dissent.  Things are improving, but very slowly. 

One of the most important areas of improvement is to get back to stressing SIN!  We are all inherently sinful.  We need God’s grace more than anything!  Too much, we have allowed a ‘go along to get along’ mentality to creep in, and even some of our better priests have trouble taking the Sacrament of Confession as seriously as it should be. Fr. Longenecker:

We all need repentance in the face of this. We all need to turn again to the awareness that the devil is real, that sin is real, that nice people are capable of terrible evil. We must be on our guard. We must believe in the power and reality of the sacraments. We must be New Testament Christians with missionary zeal, the discipline of ascetical prayer and a warrior spirit.

Yes.  I agree.  What is needed is a true dedication to the Sacraments in the Church, serious, sacrificial prayer and serious sacrificial living.  There used to be a very deep sense of the seriousness of the Faith in the Church, but much of that spirit has been lost.  It is important to get it back.  And the laity will have to lead alot of that effort, as has been done in the past.