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Kneeling for Communion May 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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A priest in the Diocese of Madison, WI, has a blog post concerning a recent change in his parish, where the bishop has encouraged all communicants to kneel.  The priest has set out a kneeler, and he states that now the majority of his parishioners kneel:

Prior to offering the option of kneeling and receiving on the tongue (which was offered with much teaching), I may have had a small handful of people who felt comfortable enough to receive on the tongue.  Since offering the option, I now have 60-70% of my parishioners receiving this way. 

It is difficult to describe how much it has helped so many who were, as Bishop speaks about, ”desensitized” before making the choice to receive in this way.  Now they approach in a much more discerning and serene way.  I have even noticed such things as people choosing to get a bit more dressed up for Mass.  Praise God!

A word of caution:  For those parishes who choose to do this, I would say that the divine benefits far outweigh the earthly costs. In other words, I have come to understand, over 22 years of priesthood, that if we are going to choose to do the hard work of reversing the trend in our churches of a growing ‘cult of the casual’ and ‘privatization’ of our faith,  we are going to be met with FIERCE opposition.  Having encountered such disproportionate hostility toward any efforts to call us to a deeper reverence (while introducing each effort with much love and much teaching), has left me convinced that this is particular turf the devil does not want to give up without a fight.  Which tells us this is all the more reason why this is a fight in which we must engage.

Amen and Alleluia.  I should note that there is a video of Bishop Morlino of Madison explaining to the faithful why kneeling for Communion is a great idea.  Our Holy Father has given us the example of kneeling by requiring that all who approach him to receive the Blessed Sacrament to kneel.

For the past 15 months or so, my, oldest daughters, and I have been kneeling to receive Communion.  We generally do so at parishes where this is not the norm.  We have felt called to kneel due to our growing awareness of just what an incredible Gift Christ makes of Himself in the Sacrament, and how this Sacrament is the sustaining force in our life.  We are also very aware of our unworthiness to receive the Blessed Sacrament – to take Christ’s Flesh into our bodies, to become as one with Him as we can, which is what He most desires.  We have not done this in order to try to convince other people to do so, although a very few at one parish we attend have joined us.  In our receiving Communion kneeling and on the tongue (which is how Episcopalians receive Communion!), we have had some priests be supportive or at least tolerate it, while others have been outright hostile.  We had one priest state that we were in a state of rebellion and suffered from the sin of pride – that priest later apologized.  Nevertheless, there have been alot of curious glances and some outright hostility, but I think this is the direction the Church is moving – towards far greater reverence in reception of the Blessed Sacrament. 

And, I think the priest at the blog originally linked, Fr. Rick Heilman, makes a very good point when he says this is something the devil does not want to see happening in the Church.  He knows that obedience, faithfulness, and humility are all virtues that bring us closer to God, and decrease his terrible power.  Should a local priest feel inclined to encourage his parishioners to receive Communion kneeling, he could expect fierce opposition.  He could expect this opposition even should he simply regularize the option to receive Communion in this manner.   But, I think the words of Fr. Heilman and Bishop Morlino on the tremendous benefits this practice brings should be kept in mind – and the fact that where kneeling has been tried “the divine benefits have far outweighed the earthly costs.” 

These divine benefits will eventually lead to earthly benefits, as well, such as higher Mass attendance, greater giving, etc.  I pray this practice becomes much more widespread.

Anthropogenic Global Warming – “surely the biggest exercise in totalitarian thought-reversal and reality-denial since Stalinism” May 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Society.
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I must buy this book.  A British author, Melanie Phillips, author of The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power, was interviewed by Kathryn Lopez at National Review.   What a heavyweight of right reasoning and identification of the great evils that afflict the West – evils of paganism, scientism, ‘progressivism,’ and the tendency of all the above and more towards totalitarianism.  With regard to anthropogenic global warming cooling climate change, she stated that the notoriously poor and biased “sciencyism” revealed by the East Anglia Climate Research Unit fiasco, and the subsequent unwillingness of radical environmentalists among the elite of western society to recognize the utterly flawed nature of the “research” revealed the religious fervor with which progressives hold their views:

One of the striking aspects of mass ideological delusion is a refusal to acknowledge even the clearest evidence of the intellectual and moral corruption at its core. The gerrymandering of scientific evidence by the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, in order to uphold the theory of anthropogenic global warming in the face of evidence that the earth was not warming at all, has been pushed aside as either an artificially created uproar or, at worst, an error of judgment by one hard-pressed scientist.

It was far worse than that, of course, because the various scientists involved had been for years absolutely central to the promulgation of AGW theory; and what the leaked emails revealed was their instinctive impulse to wrench the facts to fit their prior assumptions. Most chilling of all was their unshakeable certainty that they had a duty thus to wrench that evidence — in order to demonstrate the truth of the theory, because it was simply impossible that there could be evidence to the contrary.

What was also glossed over or missed altogether in the uproar over East Anglia was that AGW theory has been sustained on the back of one scientific fraud or sloppy and flawed research exercise after another. Yet astonishingly, it is still being promoted quite shamelessly by those for whom there can simply be no contradiction to the theory, and who thus project in turn all the falsehoods and frauds onto the skeptic side of the argument. It is surely the biggest exercise in totalitarian thought-reversal and reality-denial since Stalinism.

While Phillips is not a religious person, she recognizes the fundamental role that Catholic mores and doctrine have played in shaping Western culture:

You don’t have to be a religious believer to understand that if religion — more specifically, the Hebrew Bible and the Christianity that built upon it — underpins Western civilization and the codes of right and wrong — putting others above yourself, freedom and equality, and belief in reason — that form the bedrock of that civilization, then eroding or destroying that religion will erode or destroy those virtues and the civilization they distinguish.

In describing the unlikely alliance between  progressives, Islamists, environmentalists, fascists, militant atheists, and sexual deviants, Phillips answers:

It may seem strange to lump all these ideologies together since they are all so different. But, when you look at them, it is immediately apparent that they are all at root utopian, millenarian visions of the perfection of the world through human agency — the age-old recipe for totalitarian terror. The idea that fascism is in a wholly different place from the Left is in my view quite misplaced: Although conventionally one is described as “right” and the other as “left,” this is historically and philosophically inaccurate; they share common roots in the repudiation of individual reason and liberty.

One of the mysteries of the age is the way “progressives” who fetishize sexual freedom, gay rights, female equality, and the like march shoulder to shoulder with Islamists who stone adulterers, kill gays, and subjugate women. They share a common desire to destroy the cultural traditions and normative values of the West — all in the cause of creating the perfect society, which creates in turn a totalitarian mindset, which links religious fanatics and the political tyrannies of both Communism and fascism.

To some of us, this is very apparent — but many who are in the grip of these delusions are frighteningly incapable of understanding what it is that they don’t understand.

Phillips also notes that self-described ‘progressives’ are nothing of the sort – they tend to make up the most regressive, reactionary elements of current society, seeking to undo Western culture and replace it with a form of neo-paganism ordered entirely towards the self.  Go read the whole thing.

I hope the author also delves into the link between socalist economic and government and the kind of super narcissism that fuels this radical leftism. 

The Catholic Church built Western civilization.  That civilization is presently more threatened than it has been in centuries because the Faith that once underpinned that civilization has been discarded as a relic of the past, and offered up on the altar of hedonistic self-pleasure.  Those who fight the culture wars instinctively know this – it is why they fight.  But we have been losing, not because we lack numbers – in the US, at least we have the numbers.  We simply must make ourselves heard, and no longer allow the cultural elites intent on blowing up Western culture to be dominant.

Bishop Oscar Cantu names apostolic administrator for Archdiocese of San Antonio May 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic.
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Auxiliary bishop Oscar Cantu’ has been named apostolic administrator for the Archdiocese of San Antonio in the wake of the departure of Archbishop Gomez to Los Angeles. 

Congratulations to Bishop Cantu’.  It is hard to say whether this means he will be named Archbishop of San Antonio – someone else could still be chosen. 

Bishop Cantu’ was ordained a priest in 1994.  It would be rather surprising if he would be made bishop of such a large diocese at such a young age.


Homosexual ‘rights’ bill poses threat to religious freedom, sanctity of marriage, bishops say May 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Society.
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From LifeSiteNews, the USCCB last week sent a letter to the Congress stating their opposition to pending legislation entitled the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA).  The bishop’s letter was obtained by America Magazine and highlights the bishops opposition to a bill that they say will threaten religious freedom, the ability of the Church to proclaim the Truth, and the sanctity of marriage.  

These laws are an integral part of the agenda pursued by homosexual activist groups.  It works like this – first you pass a law, in a state or at the federal level, purporting to protect homosexuals or some other group from discrimination.  The law is written very broadly so that it is widely applicable to both public and private organizations.  Then, the activist groups file suit in state or federal court stating that the lack of gay marriage in that state constitutes a violation of the law, and that gay rights are being trampled upon.  Then they use lower court rulings in their favor to argue at a higher court for sweeping rulings that will enforce the law across the nation.  A federal law is best, as it is applicable everywhere.

The bishops recognize the threat this poses to the Church and to marriage as an institution.  Laws such as ENDA are the vehicles by which activist groups seek to impose their small minority agenda on the vast majority of Americans (laws allowing gay marriage have been voted down in 37 of 37 states where votes have been held – the only states where gay marriage has come to be in place is through judicial fiat).  By referring to ENDA, pro-gay lobbies could force all states to allow gay marriage, in spite of state votes or constitutional amendments to the contrary.  This is a means by which leftist organizations have sought to impose their will on the substantial majority of Americans opposed to their agenda.  The consequences are huge.  From the bishop’s letter:

If this strategy were to succeed, it would represent a legal and moral disaster comparable in many ways to Roe v. Wade. As leaders of the Catholic Church, we have a moral obligation to oppose any law that would clearly contribute to this outcome,” they declared.

In contrast to sexual conduct within marriage between one man and one woman — which does serve both the good of each married person and the good of society —  heterosexual and homosexual conduct outside of marriage has no claim to special protection by the state.

The bishops go on to note that such legislation will have a chilling effect on the ability of religious organizations to voice their opposition to the homosexual agenda in the public square.  Such opposition would be viewed as that most heinous of constructs, ‘hate speech,’ which in Canada, for instance, led to pastors being prosecuted for giving sermons on the disordered nature of homosexuality. 

So what we have in this legislation is an end run on the popular will expressed through numerous plebescites around the country, and a potential source of the same kind of toxic, corrosive effect on the broader culture that has been seen in the wake of Roe v. Wade.   Plus, this type of legislation, which seeks to provide special protections (and thus, special benefits) to certain groups of people, is fundamentally undemocratic and makes a mockery of the rule of law.  Such laws are also contrary to right reason and the natural (and supernatural) law.  Given the above, should not all faithful Catholics oppose such legislation for the numerous ways in which it is contrary to the faith, and contact their legislators to insure they know that Catholics, guided by their bishops, are opposed to the passage of any such legislation?

I will make that clear to mine.   Sam Johnson causes me no worries on this, but Hutchison and Cornyn are squishes.