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The consequences of the contraceptive/abortive mentality May 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, General Catholic, scandals, Society.
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A man named Brian Gail has written a book called ‘Fatherless,’ a novel about Catholics struggling to live out their call to holiness and leading a priest to become more holy in the process. This sounds like a fantastic book, the reviews on Amazon were very positive.  Mr. Gail has apparently given some talks, and, boy howdy, are they scary.   In the talk, he gives some statistics on the effects the easy come  easy go sexualization of our culture that the contraceptive/abortive mentality has led to:

All these statistics are shocking.  The number of children per Catholic family has fallen from 5.5 in the mid 60’s to 2.1 today.  Good Lord.  That helps explain about 2/3 of the lost vocations – we’ve lost 2/3 of our candidates. 

We’re in a fight for the soul of the culture, for Western Civilization, and we have been losing badly for some time.  The world is the slave to its master, the devil.  The Church can never succeed by trying to placate, or appease, the world.  The Church and the world are diametric opposites.  But too many in the Church want to try to come to some kind of accomodation with the world, or out and out have lost faith and want the Church to bend to the world’s will.  This is not the mission of the Church.  This is not what Christ called for us to do when He instructed us to take up our Cross and follow Him.

Will we do it?  Will we as Catholics start to really live our Faith in such a way that we make clear to the world the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church?  Or will we try to hide away, only being ‘faithful’ for an hour on Sunday, or even every day, when we are at Mass?  Will we continue to allow the world to try to push our Catholic Faith into just one of many ‘lifestyle’ choices, or will we stand strong and proclaim to the world our Catholic identity and the Gospels?  Will we stop letting the world, our friends and neighbors and family convince us that ‘everyone’ is using the pill, everyone has 2.1 kids, everyone plans every pregnancy?  Will we let the world tell us the Church is corrupt and has no moral authority?  Will we let the world tell us that gays have every right to ‘marry’ as much as heterosexuals do?

Not me!  Forget that.  I’ve been insulted and reviled because of my six kids, because of my witness, and I don’t care.  In actuality, it’s a great grace God has given me, and my wife, to suffer insults for His Glory.  But in truth, I’m lazy, I don’t do nearly enough.  I must, we must, do more, to live our faith and proclaim Christ’s Truth and to bring the world back from the edge of the abyss. 

My friend John B. sent me this video.  This weekend, instead of going to the Mass of Reparations at the Carmelite Chapel, we went to pray outside an abortion mill.  John B. and my kids got a save, they helped convince a young black woman and her parents not to get an abortion.  My kids had a big part – the mother of the girl seeking an abortion did not have any grandkids and saw my kids and it touched her.  Sometimes just living our Christian witness is enough. 

Another video of Mr. Gail below.  Would any of you, in your charity, consider taking on extra efforts to try to live and witness to our great Faith?  I pray we all may be moved to greater actions.  May God’s Will be done.

Dominus vobiscum!

We’re not running out of food, you dorks May 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, silliness.
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There are alot of perhaps well meaning but ultimately foolish people out there who have bought into the completely discredited Malthusian nightmare lock, stock, and barrel.   They believe the world is horribly overpopulated, that vast numbers do or will starve because of this, that food production can’t possibly keep up (even though, it has for the past 1000 years)  yada, yada, yada. 

The great folks at the Population Research Institute have put out another video deconstructing  the Malthusian myth.   

These videos are very cleverly done, and help popularize the deconstruction of these myths. 

h/t www.catholicvoteaction.org

You should watch ‘The Journey Home’ tonight May 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic.
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One of my favorite ‘home away from home’ priests is Fr. Christopher Phillips, pastor of Our Lady of The Atonement in San Antonio.   Fr. Phillips, who knows his way around a Latin Mass and who institutes all kinds of wonderful, reverent expressions of worship, will be the guest on Marcus Grodi’s program ‘The Journey Home’ tonight at 7 pm on EWTN. 

Fr. Phillips was the first convert to the Church to institute the Anglican Use Liturgy, which uses the Anglican Book of Common Prayer for the most part for the Mass (and is awesome, way better than our current English Mass translation), but is a valid Roman Catholic Mass.  

This should be an interesting program.  Hopefully, Fr. Phillips will get to talk about the ongoing process of Traditional Anglicans entering the Roman Catholic Church – which appears very close to happening in many places, including the UK, Australia, and here in the US.  We will have tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of new, orthodox brothers and sisters to welcome into the Church soon.  What a tremendous blessing.   

If you are ever in San Antonio, I highly recommend celebrating Mass at Our Lady of the Atonement.

Video of Ordination of Bishops Seitz, Deshotel May 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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I missed the Installation Mass Ordination for our new coadjutor Bishops in Dallas, Bishops Mark Seitz and Doug Deshotel due to work.  I had been told by a reliable source that I missed quite an impressive Mass.  There is a video of the Mass available here.   The actual Mass does not start until about the 35 minute mark of the video – prior to that is some history on the lives of our two new bishops and a keg stand contest between our now three bishops.   I made that last part up. 

So many seminarians, deacons, priests, and bishops in attendance.  How amazing.  The entrance alone took 15 minutes.  I wish the sound didn’t favor the trumpet quite so much.  Still, a nice, traditional organ-driven entrance hymn.   The Kyrie was very nice – it was Chant!  And a sung Gospel.  And a censer swinging that thurible like he meant it.  The Credo in Latin.  I think my source was right – this is as beautiful a Mass as has been celebrated in the last several decades at the Cathedral. 

Congratulations to Bishops Seitz and Deshotel.  May God bless them, their new apostolate, and the Dallas Diocese greatly, and may their efforts help this diocese grow greatly in reverence, piety, and orthodoxy.

UPDATE:  Fr. Smith of St. Mark kindly pointed out I had used incorrect terminology in my original post title. I had said ‘installation Mass,’ which is not correct, as Seitz and Deshotel were ordained as bishops, not just installed.

Are priests required to wear clerics? May 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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Fr. Z has an interesting post up regarding the necessity of priests to wear identifiable dress, or clerics, when performing their duties both within church and out in the world.   This issue of proper, identifiable garb has been addressed in recent years both by popes and by the USCCB.  From Fr. Z’s post, the relevant portions from the USCCB letter on the subject [Fr. Z in red]:

On November 18, 1998, the Latin Rite de iure members of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved complementary legislation for canon 284 of the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States.

The action was granted recognitio by the Congregation for Bishops in accord with article 82 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus and issued by decree of the Congregation for Bishops signed by His Eminence Lucas Cardinal Moreira Neves, Prefect, and His Excellency Most Reverend Franciscus Monterisi, Secretary, and dated September 29, 1999.  [So, this is not merely a recommendation.]

Complementary Norm: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 284, hereby decrees [So, this is not merely a recommendation.] that without prejudice to the provisions of canon 288 [“Permanent deacons are not bound by the provisions of canon 284”], clerics are to dress in conformity with their sacred calling.

In liturgical rites, clerics shall wear the vesture prescribed in the proper liturgical books.[NB:] Outside liturgical functions, a black suit and Roman collar are the usual attire for priests. The use of the cassock is at the discretion of the cleric[“Usual” attire.  There are reasonable exceptions.  Also, this sentence confirms that the priest may use the cassock at all times, though at least the black suit/clothing is minimally required.  The cassock is the proper dress of a Catholic priest in call circumstances everywhere.]

In the case of religious clerics, the determinations of their proper institutes or societies are to be observed with regard to wearing the religious habit.

As President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, I hereby decree that the effective date of this decree for all the Latin Rite dioceses in the United States will be December 1, 1999.

Given at the offices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, on November 1, 1999.

Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza
Bishop of Galveston-Houston
President, NCCB

Certainly, there isn’t a need to wear clerics when cleaning a dirty attic or mowing the yard.  But, in general, the Church has required priests to wear special attire in order to help live their apostolate visibly in the Church and the world.  I know there are times when priests may get accosted for being a visible priest in public, certainly that may be the case today with the ongoing, constant attacks on the Church in the media.  However, I also know there are times when people are very glad to see a visibly identifiable priest in public.  I try to go out of my way to say a hello and thanks to any priest I see in public.  Wearing clerics may remind a lapsed Catholic how long it has been since they’ve availed themselves of any of the Sacraments, or it may encourage someone hearing a call to God to enter the Church to follow that call more intently.  There are many good reasons to wear clerics, and both the USCCB and the Vatican have indicated that it is a requirement to do so when performing any priestly work.

Alas, I do know of some priests who never wear clerics, not even while performing Sacramental work, such as celebrating Mass.  There could be many reasons for this, but I would ask any such priest if it would not be better, for our Catholic identity which is so under pressure these days from the forces of the world, to wear clerics, to show visibly their very special calling and the great graces God makes available through him?  There is of course also the issue of obedience.  All Catholics are called to be obedient to the proper Authority in the Church, and to see a priest not following his competent authority could cause some Catholics to question their need for obedience.  Following that thinking could take a Catholic to some very dangerous places. 

And, I reiterate my offer to any priest to buy them a cassock and/or biretta!  I would be priviledged to do so!