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An exhortation to have larger families June 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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I’ve blogged on this before, and I can’t say it went over terribly well, but at a new website called integratedcatholiclife, a mother of 10 has written an exhortation for Catholics to not only have more babies, but to want to have more babies. 

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please?  Put down the birth control.  You heard me.  Put it down and walk away.I don’t like to be harsh, but the hour is late. The citizens of many countries belong on the endangered species because they are dying out.  Never before in the history of the world have so many countries lost so many people without disease or war to blame. This loss is by choice and it’s downright suicidal.


I am not telling you to have more children if you do not want them.  I am telling you to want them.  Couples have come to think that there is some cosmic balance that limits families to two children.  Of course there are families who want to have children but can’t and those that can’t have more.  This article is not addressed to them.  Nor do I (or I hope anyone) give dirty looks to small families assuming they are not doing their part.  It is between them and God.  Even when people express shock at learning I have ten and proceed to either categorize me as a “special person” or announce the reasons why they don’t want more, I don’t judge them.  Alas, I was once in the group that thought family planning was all about the planet, money and freedom. These are the main reasons people choose not to be open to new life.

There is much more at the site, including an examination of the problems of cratering birth rates in much of the developed world, and an examination of the reasons why people don’t have (many) kids.  Practically, I know that many people limit the number of children they have because of concerns over economics, the fear of having a bunch of kids to contend with, and, I think most important in modern day suburban American life, because “it’s what we do.”  You can shoot down all these arguments – it is very possible to have a large family and not be broke all the time, etc.  I’d add another argument – God wants you to be open to life.  God will decide how many kids you’ll have, if you let Him.  He may give you two, or ten, or none.  But being open to life is a huge thing – it is truly a defining aspect of one’s relationship with God.   I know many may not agree, but to me, having rejected the contraceptive mentality and embraced life, has caused a radical change in my relationship with God.  This is a seminal break, and I think it’s highly defining of one’s relationship with God.  If you are willing to let God decide how many kids you’re going to have, you’ve turned over a very fundamental area of your life to His care.  You’ve told God you’re trying to give Him all the control you can.  It’s hard to explain, and those who haven’t done this probably won’t get what I’m trying to say, but there is something foundational that changes when you turn over this part of your life to God.  I pray that more people would try it – I know it’s very scary, but it is incalculably wonderful. 

I can’t imagine my life now without my six kids.  I pray God will give us  more, if it be His will.

Your tax dollars support abortion June 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, General Catholic, scandals.
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A recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office has detailed that, over a period of 7 years, well over $1 billion in federal government money was given to pro-abort groups including: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Population Council of the United States, and the Guttmacher Institute, among others.  While these organizations maintain that the money given to them does not pay for abortion services, this is specious, as money is fungible.  Funds that allow Planned Parenthood to pay its staff, pay for utilities, and advertise, free up more money to provide abortion services at little or no cost in some cases.

But this is only part of it.  Medicaid will pay for abortions if they are deemed “medically necessary”.   Supposedly, abortion services are only to be paid by Medicaid if the pregnancy poses a risk to a mother’s life.  But, practical experience shows that this is a sham.  Most abortion clinics take Medicaid, and their own doctors are allowed to assess whether the abortion is medically necessary.  I recently talked to a father about to have his child killed in an abortion mill, and he stated plainly that Medicaid was paying for the abortion.  Even in locations where there are supposedly more severe restrictions on Medicaid paid abortions, it is laughably easy to get a doctor to sign off on the abortion as being necessary to “save the patient’s life”. 

So, the real total of federal money going to Planned Parenthood and other organizations in a single year is far in excess of $1 billion

This is awful.  If you pay $20,000 in federal income taxes, $10 of that money is going to pro-abort organizations like Planned Parenthood (I allowed for the fact that 50% of the federal budget is presently borrowed).  No, it’s not much.  But, if you’re like me, any amount is totally wrong. 

I’m going to pray and fast even more.

Fr. Robert Barron – don’t dumb down Catholicism June 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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One of my biggest problems with the Church today is the fact that it is so rare to see the immense depth, richness, and beauty contained in Catholic theology communicated to the laity.  I’m not sure why that is – perhaps those charged with communicating Catholic theology weren’t well formed themselves, or perhaps some feel it is too difficult to communicate to those lacking at least an MA in theology.  Fr. Robert Barron, who has been making an increasing name for himself, complains about dumbed down Catholicism.  I think this problem is nowhere worse than in so many of our Catholic schools (and, lamentably, CCD programs).  The people are just not being challenged to learn the great treasures of the Faith, its Scriptural basis, and the all-ecompassing nature of Catholic theology, and in many cases the Faith, as presented to the young, gets dumbed down to a Barney level of simplicity. 

If high school students can understand Hamlet and the Aeneid, they can understand Augustine and Acquinas, at least at some level.  There has been too much tendency to try to dumb Catholicism down to “Jesus loves you, He died for you, don’t you want to be nice for him?”   Our Faith goes so far beyond that.  Two things shocked me most as a convert to Catholicism.  One is the incredible, interwoven nature of the Faith that enmeshes all aspects of life – I can say that no protestant theology, with its focus on ‘once saved always saved’ and justification through faith alone, even approaches the subtle majesty of Catholic theology.  The second is that this great treasure of Faith is so rarely communicated in any kind of depth.  I have had to find most of this on my own, as well as I can.  That is not to say that there are no Catholic priests or catechists who are communicating the treasure of the Faith, we have some in this diocese, but they are rare, too rare.  I think part of the problem is low expectations – it’s easy to think that only an elite can process any depth of Catholic theology, so it’s better off being avoided.  I think this sells the faithful tragically short.  Many people may well yawn and daydream during a sermon tying together great elements of the Faith, but some will get it.  And they may well be inspired to seek out more, to hunger to learn the Faith. 

Would you, in your charity, pray that many more Catholics will be better formed in the Faith, to encounter God through its varied riches?

Why do more traditional Catholic blogs prosper far more than liberal blogs? June 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, General Catholic.
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Recently, someone compiled a list of the top Catholic blogs.  No, my sweet, demure little blog did not make the list, but that’s ok.  My plans for world domniation may be slow, but they are inexorable.  One interesting factoid – blogs which either embrace traditional views of Catholicism, or which trend that way pretty srongly, predominate.  Of the top 25 blogs, 16 favor traditional views of Catholicism strongly.  Several more are more or less general interest blogs which don’t espouse a particular view of Catholicism.  Very few tend towards the novel, or to embracing non-traditional views of the Church. 

Being inquisitive, I have to wonder why that is?  At present, in terms of sheer numbers, I think those which hold traditional Catholic beliefs are in the minority in the Church (although our numbers are rapidly growing).  Most Catholics, unfortunately, are not sufficiently well formed to be able to coherently embrace either a traditional or a dissenting view of the Church, but many of these probably tend less towards traditional views as the doctrine of the Church is  quite all encompassing and demanding.  For the 90+% of Catholics who contracept, or the many who have had abortions, orthodox interpretations of Catholic doctrine are probably pretty foreign.  And then, there is a large cohort, aging, yes, but still numerous, that strongly embraces the ‘spirit of Vatican II.’  So why do “conservative” or orthodox Catholic blogs dominate?

I think it has to do with age, and the fact that traditional Catholics were relegated to a musty attic for many years.  Of all the orthodox Catholics I know, most are 45 or younger, and these younger people tend to be far more active on the internet than the older generations.  Younger people are far more inclined to view blogs, to rely on Teh Intarwebs for news, and to use social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter.  But I don’t think that explains all of it.  There is more fire on the side of the orthodox, more desire to see the Church be as beautiful and reverent and full of Truth as it can be.  I think there is something more than that, though, something nebulous, hard to define.  Perhaps it’s the working of the Holy Spirit, but there seems to be a momentum, like  my blog, slow, but inexorable and gaining strength.  I sense that by the end of my life, there will be a surge towards a great re-evangelization of the Church and world with orthodox Catholic doctrine. 

Just some musings.  I’d like to know your thoughts.  My week is winding down, I’ll be out for several days starting tomorrow PM.  Leave a comment and tell me how foolishly wrong I am.

Drama going on at the Vatican? June 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in foolishness, General Catholic.
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There have been some odd goings on at the Vatican.  There appears to be a serious power struggle underway.  Those opposed to the reforms of Benedict XVI are doing all in their power to stop the changes he knows need implementing.  Damian Thompson at the Telegraph claims that one means of oppostion is the attempt to block the appointment of the superb Cardinal Pell to be Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops.  Another development was the failure of the Pope to name St. Jean Marie Vianney to be the Patron Saint of all priests.  This move had been announced at the beginning of the Year for Priests, but shortly before the closing Mass of the Year on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this plan was quietly dropped (see Rorate Caeli).  The Pope’s trip to England appears to have been sabotaged by either neglect, incompetence, or connivance by the English Church leadership.  Facilities that have been announced as hosting Papal Masses were not booked, and sudden changes in plans, to far inferior venues, have resulted.   And there is a virtual insurrection in parts of the Church where various bishops have refused to allow the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, or to respond to requests from the faithful for this form of the Mass.  Even Novus Ordo Mass in Latin is blocked by those committed to the ‘spirit of Vatican II.’  If you’d like to know more, ask me.

Pray for the Pope.  Pray for his intentions.  Pray for his Pontificate.  Pray that he is doing God’s Will and that God’s Will be done.  Pray that the Church may be less motivated by selfish interest and parochial positions, and entirely motivated by doing God’s Will.