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Sean Hannity a ‘catholyc’? March 24, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, Society.
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I got accused over at DFW Catholic of being a shill for the Repubican party.  They wish.  I’m a shill for the Church and for personal liberty, insofar as that liberty is in concert with the doctrines of the faith.   And so, I’d like to say that Sean Hannity, far from my favorite person, is yet another dissenting Catholic.  Or, if you prefer, you can use Thomas Peter’s term, catholyc.   Why do I say that?  Despite all his ostensibly moral hystrionics, Mr. Hannity is a vigorous opponent of the Church’s doctrine on contraception.  He is, in fact, such an opponent that he viciously attacked Fr. Thomas Eutenaur of Human Life International, when he was on Hannity’s program.

Now, if I were a lock step Republican, would I not be defending Mr. Hannity?  Maybe, trying to say he had a bad day or something?  Hannity is wrong.  Any Catholic who uses contraception is committing a mortal sin and should not receive Communion until they have stopped contracepting and gone to Confession.  A Catholic cannot be first a Republican, Democrat, Socialist, or Libertarian.  A Catholic must always be first a foremost a Roman Catholic.

So, when I state that the bishops, and especially the USCCB, should not have too cozy a relationship with the democrat party, I’m not doing so to score points for my Republican heroes.  I am doing so to give my belief that the Church is best served by being apolitical and completely dedicated to the mission Christ has invested in it.  That mission is not well served by favoring a particular political party, as the USCCB, and, historically, Catholics as a whole, have done.  That mission is served by following the Truth Christ has revealed in His Church – and that is all.

UPDATE:  I found the video of this interview, if you care to call it that.  When I first posted on this, I was recalling from memory this exchange.  I know I’ve changed in the four years since this originally aired.  But, my God, I find Hannity’s behavior with this priest very offensive. 

He trots out every tired canard that dissenters, usually those on the left politically, use to defend themselves when called to account for their deviance from Church doctrine.  He states “judge not, lest ye be judged,” which is a complete bastardization of Jesus’ intent in that statement, which was to criticize the pharisaical judgements placed on people ostensibly condemning them to hell (which they couldn’t know), or attributing someone’s illness or an accident befalling them to their ‘sinful’ nature.  As Catholics, we can and must judge the actions and beliefs of others actions in order to form associations that are in line with our faith!   Should I not criticize pro-abort Catholic politicians, because that’s judging them?  I know that Hannity has repeatedly attacked Pelosi, Biden, and others for their pro-abort policies, and rightly so.  He sure had no problem passing judgement, then, and constantly engages in such judging on his shows. 

More hurtfully, instead of submitting to competent Church authority on this issue and issuing a mea culpa, he  lashes out at Eutenaur, who is one of the best, most faithful and dedicated priests in this country, with the sex abuse issue.  That is not an argument – that is an ad hominem directed at the Church and an attempt to change the subject. 

I know contraception is as prickly an issue as there is in modern, American Catholicism.  The vast majority of Catholics in this country use artificial contraception and/or support its use.  But I agree with Eutenaur that contraception has helped lead to the ‘abortion mentality.’  This  mentality feels that we have a right to decide how many children we’re going to have.  The Church has taught since its inception that this mentality is very wrong, mortal sin wrong.  The Catholic Church fought against the abortion and infanticide that was prevalent throughout much of the Roman Empire at its inception, and has faught against it ever since.   And contraception is specifically forbidden in the Bible – God killed Onan for spilling his seed on the ground, and Deuteronomy forbids the means of contraception available at that time (really, really painful means).   We are called as Catholics to be open to life throughout our married lives.  This is really challenging in modern US culture, but, that just makes the graces received that much greater when we do submit to Church doctrine on this issue.   

Catholics can disagree about how best to reduce poverty, or whether the Traditional Latin Mass should be more widespread.  But we cannot disagree about whether Christ died for our sins, whether Mary is the Mother of God, and whether abortion, euthanasia, AND contraception are intrinsicaly evil. 

For those that don’t know, Fr. Thomas Eutenaur, a Marine, is one of the Church’s staunchest defenders of life AND orthodoxy.  Of all the priests Hannity could choose to lash out at, Eutenaur would rank as about the most ridiculous in  my mind.

An intersesting perspective on the Traditional Latin Mass March 24, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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Around the country, the number of parishes celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass, or the Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, has been growing rapidly.  In some areas, the number of TLMs has literally exploded.  The Dallas area, and Texas as a whole, has not been so fortunate.  There is, praise God, a Latin Mass community that just got a new home in Irving, and a monthly Latin Mass at the Carmelite Chapel, but that’s it.  I pray that more pastors will avail themselves of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and we will see more Mass celebrated according to the Extraordinary Form.  If you have never been to a Latin Mass, you should try it, and give it a fair chance, before dismissing it.  While very different, it is also an amazing, Christocentric form of worship.

A guy up in Philadelphia agrees.  I couldn’t quite make out the whole story, but it seemed he had largely been away from the Church until the TLM came back.  That’s a bad reason to be away from the Church (as is any reason).  Nevertheless, he gives some good insight as to why TLM is making a comeback, and why it is a good thing for the Church.  I don’t know many people who want to replace the current Mass with the TLM.  Yes, some SSPX types and a few sedevacantists, but virtually all traditionalists I know would prefer that both Masses be available widely, and celebrated in a very reverent, orthodox manner.  The Novus Ordo in Latin is a very beautiful Mass in its own right.  Many of our young priests feel the same way – they would like more celebrations of Mass in the traditional form.  As time goes by, we will eventually see many more such Mass celebrations.

Archbishop Chaput on ‘bad bill’ March 24, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Society.
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The great Archbishop Chaput of Denver has weighed in on the health insurance wealth transfer legislation, and finds it wanting.  Regarding the bill itself:

First, the bill passed by the House on March 21 is a failure of decent lawmaking.  It has not been “fixed.”  It remains unethical and defective on all of the issues pressed by the U.S. bishops and prolife groups for the past seven months.

The bishop gives some reasons why the bill was passed, but then he comes to the cover given by ‘Catholic’ organizations to formerly pro-life politicians who voted in favor of this bill, which will expand abortion to heretofore unseen levels in this nation.  While the Archbishop dismisses the efforts of groups like ‘Catholics United’ and ‘Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good,’ which in reality consist of a handful (literally from 2 to 10 members) of people who are paid DNC apparichiks and who have no interest in being faithful to the Church, he is disgusted by the actions of the Catholic Health Association, CHA:

….the actions of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in providing a deliberate public counter-message to the bishops were both surprising and profoundly disappointing; and also genuinely damaging.  In the crucial final days of debate on health-care legislation, CHA lobbyists worked directly against the efforts of the American bishops in their approach to members of Congress.  The bad law we now likely face, we owe in part to the efforts of the Catholic Health Association and similar “Catholic” organizations.

Thus Sister Keehans’s pen.   I don’t know if this is the start of a general backlash against CHA from the bishops.  Archbishop Chaput is unusually clear and forthright in his proclamation of Catholic teaching and the expectations he has for Catholic organizations to adhere to that teaching.  Cardinal George, head of the USCCB, was already politicking in comments today, and certainly did not give the impression of any impending moves from the bishops to insist on better obedience from nominally Catholic groups.  If there are any efforts, that will take time. 

I do think the bishops would be advised to develop a plan for how they plan to deal with nominally Catholic institutions that trade, and make a great deal of money, from the Catholic name, but who have agendas that run counter to the doctrine of the Church.  We have truly turned a corner here.  If this legislation stands in its present form, the threats to innocent life in this country will grow more and more grave with every day that passes.  And, politicians will be looking for ‘catholic’ groups to give them cover when their votes in the halls of power directly contradict the teachings of the Church they profess to love.  94% of ‘Catholics’ in Congress voted for this health insurance wealth transfer bill, and those ‘Catholics’ will continue to ‘vote their consciences’ against the clear doctrine of the Church for as long as they think they can get away with it utterly scot free.  Will the bishops recognize the threat this poses not only to innocent life, but to the life of the Church in this nation?  Can they see where this is all headed?  I pray that they will discover the awesome threat that has been unleashed, and work quickly to insist that all Catholic institutions adopt a unified front in promoting the true message of Christ and His Church.

Jeff Mirus at Catholic Culture has more.

Interesting story on Religious in DFW March 24, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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One thing I am always pleased to find out about, is little groups of cloistered religious here in the DFW area.  There are of course the Carmelites down in south Dallas, and a group of Discalced Carmelites in Arlington, and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Ft. Worth (not really cloistered, but they live together).  There is also the Dominican Priory in Irving, whose appearance is unfortunately a modernist monstrosity.  I was not aware, however, that there was also a Cistercian monastery in Irving.  I probably should have known – I’ve known about Cistercian school for many years, but I did not know there was a monastery serving both the school and UD. 

From the Dallas Morning News this past Sunday, and thanks to occasional reader TimH for bringing this to my attention, a gentle story on life in this cloistered Cistercian community.   The comments are a disaster – there is a grumpy old man assailing these young men for giving up their “natural inclinations.”  Yes, it’s called sacrifice, and you’ll find in the Bible that it is very appealing to God.  God is not all about free love and the anything goes mentality. 

But, I digress.  The story follows the adjustments being made by a young novice, Brother Lawrence, who entered Cistercian 4 years ago and is still growing in his monastic life.  He struggles with the idea of totally surrendering to God with his final vows, and with the growth that he feels he should experience as a cloistered religious.  Unusually, this article does not try to tell a story or draw the reader to a conclusion – it simply presents some aspects of the life of a religious.  For a faithful Catholic, there should be much of interest.  Monastics deserve our utmost support and prayers, as they pray for all of us, and their very lives are great sacrifices to God for the benefit of the whole Church.  

For many years in this country, very few young people could be persuaded to make such a great sacrifice of their lives, but in recent years, more and more young people are doing so.  This is  a tremendous grace from God.  I pray that all families with youth who may be attracted to such a great calling will be supportive of this call – I know it is very hard to let go of your child, and the dreams you may have had for them, but this monastic life is, to me, one of the highest callings one can receive from God.  It is something to be cherished and nurtured at every turn.

The Carmelite Chapel in Dallas: