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Bishop installation at 2 pm April 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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The installation of Dallas’ two new coadjutor bishops is today at 2 pm.  Sorry for the late reminder!  The installation will be broadcast locally on EWTN radio.  I had hoped to attend this installation Mass but will not be able to due to work constraints. 

Let us pray for these two new bishops, Mark Seitz and Doug Deshotel, and pray that the Dallas Diocese will grow in faithfulness, reverence, and orthodoxy under their pastoral care!  I pray that these new bishops will be able to focus great efforts on improving formation, vocations, and liturgy in this diocese.

Dominus vobiscum!

Eighth Bishop severs ties with CCHD April 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, scandals.
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Bishop Lawrence Brandt of Greensburg, PA, recently made news by informing some religious orders in his diocese who broke with the bishops to support Obamacare that they were no longer allowed to recruit using diocesan resources or at local parishes.  He is in the news again, coming out as the eighth bishop to state that his diocese will no longer support CCHD.   His diocese will now direct those funds normally allocated to CCHD to a diocesan anti-poverty fund that the diocese can control.  This will insure that funds given by the faithful in that diocese will not be diverted to causes that are antithetical to the Catholic faith.

CCHD has had a very checkered history.  For the past several years, numerous pro-life groups have railed against CCHD for its repeated support of pro-abort, pro-gay marriage, pro-contraception organizations.  There have been serious efforts afoot to either defund CCHD or to completely reform it.  Many complain that it’s very nature, being a Catholic ‘social justice’ organization set up in the Saul Alinsky mold, makes CCHD problematic from the get go.  The Reform CCHD Now coalition continues to press for a complete makeover of CCHD’s goals and agenda. 

I will note again that CCHD does not give to the poor!  It does not run one soup kitchen, it does not help get jobs for poor people, and it does not provide clothing or medical care.  It’s entire existence is centered around political agitation on behalf of the poor in the Alinsky mold.  Most of the organizations it supports are fringe leftist/progressive pressure groups.  These groups, being fully immersed in progressive thought, of course subscribe to those core progressive beliefs of being pro-abort, pro-gay marriage, pro-contraception, pro-women’s ordination, etc.  So long as CCHD is oriented to supporting these types of groups, scandals will repeatedly occur.

The future of the Church April 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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Alot of people ask what direction they think the Church is headed, or should be headed.  I’ve certainly offered my opinions on numerous occasions.  a writer for Inside the Vatican has opined that the future of the Church is less a hermeneutic of rupture, of discontinuity with the past, and more a hermeneutic of continuity, of enlivening the Church based on Sacred Tradition.  Thus, there will be less “the Church was re-invented in 1965” and alot more of St. Pius X – everything in the Church must be in continuity with what has gone before.  This is not mere romanticism.  No, the ooint of embracing Tradition is to continue to live the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church in the past, present, and into the future.  We cannot do this by chunking all the practices of the past, but by embracing the whole of the Church’s tradition from the earliest days through later times to today. 

After discussing the growing interest in the Extraordinary Form of Mass, especially among younger people (for whom no one can say that interest represents nostalgia), the writer states:

It is our future that it looks toward — not just our past.

Having just been in Rome, having been present three weeks ago at the papal liturgies during Holy Week, having talked recently with a number of Vatican officials about liturgical matters, and about the Second Vatican Council and its legacy, for me this liturgy reflected what Pope Benedict is trying ceaselessly to teach: that the Catholic tradition has not been lost, that it remains to be discovered, and lived.

How this will all work out, of course, is yet to be seen.

At least one Vatican official I talked to recently told me he believes the future of the Church’s liturgical life will be a type of fusion between the old Mass and the new Mass of Paul VI.

This is the view of many.

But at least one Vatican official I talked to, also in the past month, told me he believes the future is solely and exclusively in a return to the old rite.

“The old rite is our past, and it will be our future,” he told me. “The new Mass is a passing phase. In 50 years, that will be entirely clear.”

Perhaps.  I am not one who thinks Vatican II was an unmitigated disaster for the Church and all the changes associated with it, including the ‘new’ Mass, should be thrown out.  I certainly hope we never come to a  point where those who favor the new Mass are as ostracized and isolated as those who favor the Extraordinary Form once were, and, to some extent, still are.  I feel that the Novus Ordo, celebrated in a reverent form and using alot of Latin (as was the intent of the Council members), with Chant and beautiful music, is a beautiful Mass.  I think the Extraordinary Form should be far more available than it is, and I pray that the obstructionism ongoing in many diocese, including Dallas, will stop. 

The Novus Ordo is now a part of the Church.  It should remain a part of the Church.  Now, it’s use may decrease for many valid reasons, but that is a different thing than denying people the right to celebrate it.  I don’t think that’s the intent of anyone, but given recent history, it is important to be forthright on this subject.  I think the Extraordinary Form will be a very important part of the future of the Church, and I cannot wait for that day.  I think we will see a very large portion of Catholics, perhaps more than half of daily Mass types, eventually gravitate to that most august form of the Holy Mass.  I have assisted at Extraordinary Form Mass, my son was baptized in that form, and I think it’s a great thing.  

What’s very interesting is that my kids love it, except for our little rebel, who at 3 hasn’t taken to any form of Mass.   It’s very interesting how kids are really drawn to authenticity, even without prompting from mom and dad.  I am not the only one to notice it.  So, yes, Extraordinary Form I think does represent the future of the Church, but not to the exclusion of the current Ordinary Form.

Do you agree with this? April 26, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, scandals.
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What do you think of this?  Are baby boomers most responsible for the illusory ‘spirit of Vatican II’ that I, and many others, think has damaged the Church greatly?

I don’t agree with Mr. Voris.  Yes, there was and is a ‘spirit of Vatican II’ crowd, but I don’t think it’s primarily due to the baby boomers.  I don’t think it’s a generational thing, I think it’s more of a faithfulness thing, and certainly ego-related.

Many of the most egregious excesses were committed not by baby boomers, but by the preceding generation.  The baby boomers were mostly children or very young adults at the time of the 2nd Vatican Council – they did not shape it.

The ‘spirit of Vatican II’ crowd does seem most associated with older generations, but not with one specifically.  And, mercifully, it does appear that the influene of this ‘spirit’ is waning steadily – not fast enough, but it is gradually going away.  The hermeneutic of rupture is giving way to the hermeneutic of continuity.  This is critical, because the Church is based strongly on Tradition, and anything that breaks dramatically with that Tradition cannot be Authentic (especially according to St. Pius X). 

Dominus vobiscum!

Want to go to Heaven? Practice Charity April 26, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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I’m not saying it……..the patron saint of priests, St. John Vianney, did!   A priest in the Diocese of Fall River in Massachussetts recently based a sermon on St. John Vianney’s comments on charity – both in the more modern sense of being generous financially, and in the classic sense of having love for our fellow man.  The Cure’ of Ars:

“All of our religion is but a false religion, and all our virtues are mere illusions, and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God,” he declared emphatically, “unless we have universal charity for everyone, for the good and for the bad, for the poor people as well as for the rich, for all those who do us harm as much as those who do us good.”

“The obligation we have to love our neighbor is so important that Jesus Christ put it into a commandment that he placed immediately after that by which he commands us to love him with all our hearts. He tells us that all the law and the prophets are included in this commandment to love our neighbor. Yes, my dear brethren, we must regard this obligation as the most universal, the most necessary and the most essential to religion and to our salvation. In fulfilling this commandment, we are fulfilling all the others.” 

“Dear Lord, how many Christians are damned through lack of charity! No, no, my dear brethren, even if you could perform miracles, you will never be saved if you do not have love. Not to have charity is not to know your religion. It is to have a religion of whim, mood and inclination. … Without charity, you will never see God. You will never go to heaven!”

“When we give alms, we should think that it’s to the Lord and not to the poor that we’re giving.”

Truer words are rarely spoken.  We are all called as Catholics to be very charitable.  In the past, the Church, based on Scripture, encouraged tithing (giving 10% of one’s gross income).  This is not as common in the Catholic Church anymore, but I think there are many blessings to be had were one to do so.  I think in this area, my family generally does very well, although we could always give more to the poor, and this reading encourages me to try to do more.  In the other sense of charity, having love for one’s neighbor, this can be difficult at times.  I am sure there are many who feel I lack this virtue – and perhaps I do.  I can definitely see room for improvement in my charity for others, although I must add that all charity must be grounded in Truth, and St. Paul and Jesus reserved strong words for those who were sinful.  But, I recognize that I fail in charity far too often. 

One thing is clear – we should all strive to be as charitable as possible in every meaning of the word.  This is the ultimate path to salvation – Caritas in Veritate.

Survey of religious beliefs is bad news for Catholics April 26, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic.
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The Rasmussen polling organization has conducted a survey of the religious attitudes of Americans.  The survey results are interesting.  80% of Americans feel that religious faith is at least somewhat important in their lives – which is good, but a decrease over previous surveys.  18% of Americans now feel that religious faith is not at all or not very important to them. 

57% of Americans say that their religious faith is very important in their daily living.  Breaking this down, 82% of evangelicals describe their faith this way, while 65% of general protestants do the same, 46% of Catholics, and 37% of those of other beliefs.  63% of adults say they pray every day. 

What are we, as Catholics, to make of this?  How is it that, of believers in the Faith that Christ established, that possesses the fullness of Truth and is the best vehicle for salvation, only 46% of Catholics say their faith is important in their daily lives?  And how does this square with the fact that only 15-20% of Catholics attend Mass every Sunday? 

Apparently, there are a significant number of Catholics who don’t take their Faith terribly seriously, by their own admission.  I would very much like to see further analysis done on this, to determine why it is that so many Catholics do not take their faith seriously.  My guess is that it primarily comes down to poor formation, and a poor sense of Catholic identity.  Catholics simply do not know their faith well enough to appreciate the immense, endlessly rich treasury that is the Catholic faith.  I think the loss of the sense of Authority and Truth in the Church, especially in developed countries, is also a substantial factor.  There is absolutely no reason that as many or more Catholics should feel their faith is as important as do evangelical protestants.  There have been many negative trends in the Church in the last 40 years or so, but this is the worst.  Huge numbers of Catholics have, for all practical purposes, lost their faith.

The fact that 46% of Catholics claim their faith is very important in their lives, but that 2/3 of that number can’t be bothered to celebrate Mass every week illustrates that, even among those who possess some sense of faith, they have not been sufficiently well formed to understand why celebrating Mass is not a burden but an incalculably great gift. 

What is amazing to me is that, even as many of the mainline protestant Churches seemingly fall apart, their membership expresses a greater sense of faith than most Catholics.  Perhaps the Catholic Church is in much worse shape than I thought. 

How do we address this?  Well, for one, we can start by insisting that homilies briefly expanding on the readings become more challenging and explain how Scripture relates to our faith.  This includes regular discourse on those ‘difficult’ subjects that so many priests and bishops avoid – abortion, contraception, divorce, the all-male priesthood, and the recognition of active homosexuality as disordered and a grave sin. 

We can start insisting on better formation in our schools, in our CCD programs, and most of all, in our homes.  We must insist that all catechists meet very high standards and do not harbor doubts (or, even worse, heresy) about certain aspects of Catholic dogma.  We must insist on more beautiful and transcendant churches.  We must support and encourage our priests to add more distinctive elements to Catholic worship, from adhering strictly to the rubrics of Mass to other practices that strengthen Catholic identity such as regular, 24 hour Adoration, devotions, novenas, Eucharistic and Marian processions, etc. 

And, we can all pray, much more.  We must pray for our Church and for those who have lost their way.  We must pray for our priests that they will be inspired to provide solid catechesis at every Mass and will resist those who like to mix in elements of other faiths into our Catholic faith (i.e.,  Joyce Rupp).  And we must pray for a great return of Authority and Truth in God’s Church, and no more of this soft sentimality masquerading as ‘charity.’  There are places in the Church, in this country, that are experiencing growth in attendance, growth in giving, growth in vocations, all the things that indicate a great surge in Faith.  That those places are almost invariably orthodox in nature is a way God has of communicating to His Church.  The Truth will always win out.

But, we must pray for the souls of those who either never learned, or no longer believe, that Truth that is present in the Catholic Church.  We must pray for their conversion, and we must pray for ourselves that we will remain instruments of God’s Will.

Fasting and prayer for our nation April 26, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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Many Americans are very disconcerted about the direction our nation has taken of late.  It seems that our political leadership is governing in ways diametrically opposed to the will of the people, and the culture grows more and more hostile to people of faith.  We could just sit around and mope, hoping that someone will do something about it.  Or, we can do what Americans have always done, which is to refuse to acquiesce and to get engaged.  I, for one, will not go silently into that good night. 

I’m not alone.  On Saturday, May 1, at the Discalced Carmelite Chapel in Dallas, there will be a time of fasting and prayer from 5 am till noon.  Mass will be celebrated at 7 am.  The point of all this is to atone for the many sins ongoing in this nation and to cry out to God for mercy.  The Discalced Carmelite Chapel is at 600 Flowers St. in Dallas.  

Prayer and fasting are two of our greatest weapons in the war for souls, and the war for the culture.  I pray that many will consider trying to participate in this sacrificial offering.  Even if you cannot attend in person, perhaps you would consider setting aside a time of prayer on this Saturday.  May 1, “May Day,” has long been associated with secularist and socialist causes.  What a fine way to combat these forces hostile to the Church by offering up our prayers and ourselves in atonement for our sins and those of many others. 

Would you consider joining us in this sacrificial offering?

Cassocks! April 26, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic.
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Via Fr. Z, we see a photo of the rehearsals of the Pontifical High Mass honoring Pope Benedict’s 5th anniversary as Pope.  Witness the cassocks!

If there is one more thing our Church needs, it’s more young men wearing cassocks!  I still have an open offer to any priest to buy them a cassock and/or biretta, they only have to wear it!

Bishop Slattery gave an inspired sermon at the Pontifical High Mass.  He’s a very good bishop, who celebrates Mass Ad Orientem.

Another noted psychiatrist supports Cardinal Bertone April 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, scandals.
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In the ‘global warming’, also known as weather climate change debate, we have been repeatedly told that ‘the science is settled.’  Such statements are of course intended to stifle diverging opinions and to attack the credibility of those who think anthropogenic global warming is merely a tool to achieve the leftist agenda.   In the situation regarding pedophile priests, we have again been assured by some authorities, including the USCCB via the John Jay report, that homosexuality has nothing to do with pedophilia.  I wrote recently about a psychiatrist who disagreed most strongly with that assertion, and now another noted psychiatrist has come forth to argue that there is such a link.

I’m sure some will disagree most strongly with the psychiatrist’s conclusions.  I think we need to be careful here – just as in the global warming debacle, we may be presented with ‘facts’ and ‘proven scientific theories’ that are nothing of the sort.  There is still quite strong debate ongoing, and I do not think that it can be argued that there are not powerful, well funded lobbies out there who would like to drive the ‘science’ regarding homosexuality to a predetermined, politically correct conclusion.

Sharon Lee Giganti on New Age Deception June 24 April 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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It seems that the Guadalupe Radio Network, our local EWTN radio affiliate, has been promoting this for months, but Sharon Lee Giganti, former New Ager turned good Catholic will be speaking at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas (at Love Field) on June 24th.  Tix are steep  – $45, but Ms. Giganti is a renowned expert on new age practices and provides a great deal of material explaining how new age is 1) contrary to the Faith, and 2) potentially very dangerous for its practitioners.

I encourage you to check her out.  The new age movement has made frightening inroads into the Church.  I’ve discussed the problems with new age practices among many in the Church, especially Sr. Joyce Rupp.   And, new age seems very popular with some in this diocese, including the staff at several parishes in the northern suburbs.  We’ve had several local parishes repeatedly new age types into the diocese, including Thomas Keating and Richard Rohr, two of the most ardent new age types who claim they are faithful members of the Church.  In fact, new age is so popular that Prince of Peace parish in Plano offers regular ‘centering prayer’, a practice that is contrary to the Catholic faith on numerous levels, as  Ms. Giganti explains at her site

A brief explanation of some of the problems with ‘centering prayer’ from Ms. Giganti’s site:

These pages list just a few examples, of the grave theological errors being taught to unsuspecting Catholics, through the “Contemplative Outreach” literature and media of Fr. Keating’s Centering Prayer Movement. Please know that Fr. Keating has stated, “The heart and soul of ‘Contemplative Outreach’ is the network of “Centering Prayer Groups’“. To allow one to set up camp in your parish is to allow the other

All of your parish members who sign up for centering prayer meetings, will be lead through Fr. Keating’s spiritual teaching and mentoring (which becomes more and more dissenting, the further you go along) – book by book, video by video, and also through their many “special events”. (All emphasis is mine)

#1 Fr. Keating claims that IT IS OUR DUTY TO BECOME GOD

The paragraph describing Segment 17 of 21 in “Integral Contemplative Christianity” reads as follows:”The Purpose of Being Human“:

Father Thomas says, “If you don’t want to become God, you’ve missed the boat. If you’re too humble to think you can become God,

#2 Fr. Keating contradicts the Truth that Jesus Christ is the only person who is both fully human and fully Divine, claiming that each one of us can achieve this too:

“For human beings, the most daunting challenge is to become fully human. For to become fully human is to become fully Divine.” —-Fr. Keating From his book, Manifesting God

#3 Fr. Keating is teaching monism when he says:

“The first part of the Christian Journey is to realize that there is an Other. The second part is to become the Other. The third and greatest part is to realize that there is no Other.”
Quote found on the www.incarnationalcontemplation.com website

It appears that Fr. Keating is expressing here, the (pantheistic and false) core tenet of many Eastern Religions which says; “We are all One, and this One is God“.

#4 Fr. Keating is teaching the Hindu (and non-Christian) concept of “Atman is Brahman and Brahman is Atman” – or, in Western terms-“My soul is God, and God is my soul” when he says:

“At our deepest level, we are more God than ourselves.”
– Fr. Thomas Keating

“Our basic core of goodness is our true Self”…

and

“…God and our true Self are the same thing”

— Fr. Thomas Keating (Both quotes are from his book: Open Mind, Open Heart)

Again, this contradicts the teaching of the Catholic Church, that we are creatures of God-distinct from God– and we remain eternally creatures. (A total absorption or dissolving into God does not ever occur)

#5 Fr. Keating contradicts the Catholic Church’s teaching on the reality of hell-the condition of eternal separation from God– when he says:

If God is present everywhere, it follows that under no circumstances can we ever be separated from him. We may feel that we are; we may think that we are. But in actual fact, there is no way that we can ever be apart from God even if we try.”
— Fr. Thomas Keating (From his book, Manifesting God)

We have a problem with many directors of religious education or family ministries in the northern part of this diocese having a strong affinity for new age practices.  These directors routinely pressure pastors to bring in heterodox, dissenting speakers into these churches, including Richard Rohr, Charles Curran, Thomas Keating, and Joyce Rupp. 

I pray that Ms. Giganti’s work will help increase awareness of the dangers of new age practices and highlight the fact that these speakers have no place in our parishes.  If you knew the travails of those who have tried to bring in good, orthodox speakers into these same parishes, you would be shocked at the double standards applied because of the hostility of the staff to authentic Catholic formation.

We must all pray continually for the conversion of much of the staff at our area parishes, and pray that our pastors will have the strength to resist their demands requests.