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More on St. Francis Xavier New York July 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, scandals.
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St. Francis Xavier parish in NYC, the very gay friendly (gay dominated?) parish that was the subject of a CNN report as well as much coverage elsewhere, was covered in a RealCatholicTV video from a few weeks ago.   In the intervening time, many have contacted the Archdiocese of New York and Archbishop Dolan to let him know how his seeming endorsement of this parish was unacceptable.  Well, the archdiocese has responded to those people.  Was this response a rigorous defense of Catholic doctrine and a call for change at St. Francis Xavier?   You decide:

I think the fact that St. Francis Xavier has no association with COURAGE is the most damning bit of evidence, because COURAGE is the only Catholic group dedicated to help those who have same sex attractions overcome them and lead a life faithful to the doctrine of the Church.  If you recall back to the CNN video, however, the woman from the parish interviewed made it plain to me that she is in an active sexual relationship.  I think the response is deliberately evasive and entirely disappointing.  This is not the kind of leadership we need in the Church, and certainly not from the leader of  a See as influential as that of New York’s.

Internecine strife July 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, silliness.
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I like Steve Kellmeyer.  I know him personally, we’ve been on the radio together several times and just recently at the Pastor Broden rally I spoke at, I joked that since I was speaking before Steve, he was stuck with me as his MC and intro guy forever.   I’ve learned a good deal from Steve about the Faith – he has a fantastic knowledge of Church history and many other topics.   Having said all that, I know he rubs some people the wrong way with his stridency, and that he sometimes might be a bit over the top in his rhetoric.  That’s just his nature, and you have to take that with the rest he offers, which is very good IMO.

Before I go any farther, I have to say that I hate talking about other blogs in a critical sense.  I have been blogging now for nearly 8 months and I have assiduously avoided picking fights with other blogs.  The only time it has ever really occurred was during the run-up to the passing of Obamacare, when I was being, admittedly, very critical of the Catholic Health Association, Sister Carol Keehan, and all the LCWR women religious who came out in support for Obamacare.  In that case, I got into a squabble with Vox Nova, a very liberal Catholic blog that has begun, in recent months, to relentlessly attack everyone in the pro-life movement.  I think these kind of inter-blog debates are unproductive and largely a waste of time, which is why I won’t link Vox Nova so that a) I don’t give them traffic and b) don’t get involved in another spat.

Having said that, I’ve never quite seen such a dramatic pile on as I’ve seen in the past day or so regarding Steve and his blog.  Now, Steve has been critical of Janet Smith and others associated with Chris West for some time.  Steve has said some pretty explosive things.  His recent post asking why Janet Smith would hold a Theology Chair at a seminary when she has no training in that field was apparently the final straw for some people, because within a day of each other several very well known Catholic names came out and pounded Steve.  This includes Dr. Ed Peters, Patrick Madrid, Mark Shea, and Carl Olsen.  These are some heavy hitters in the Catholic media.   The complaint is that Steve has gone too far and is just lashing out in envy at others.  Now, I really respect Patrick Madrid and I’ve been reading Olsen’s blog lately and enjoying it, but I’ve seen Mark Shea drop some unfair and uncharitable comments on the likes of Fr. Eutenaur for no apparent reason, so his repeated attacks on Steve (which in going through the endless links have not been returned in kind) are kind of mystifying, but whatever.  Perhaps Steve gave him a hard time in some post I haven’t seen, yet.

What I don’t get is this – what is the motivation here?   If you think Steve’s an idiot and shouldn’t be allowed access to a keyboard, why are you continually throwing him link after link after link (this is directed at Shea more than anyone else)?  Is this like some Catholic Jedi-mind trick to increase his traffic by repeatedly criticizing the critic?  

Anyway, this seemed to be by far the biggest news in Catholic blogdom, and I had a couple of people ask me about this, so there you go.  I think it’s all pretty silly, but then I don’t make my money based on my being a full time lay Catholic author/commentator, so perhaps I don’t get just that gig goes.

Hurrah! Canadian Anglicans to join Catholic Church July 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Ecumenism, General Catholic.
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CNA is reporting that the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada has decided to take advantage of the provisions of the Anglican Ordinariate and join, en masse, the Catholic Church.  This is a great thing for the Anglicans involved and a good thing for the Church, as more of the brethren separated in most cruel fashion by the English Reformation are coming home. 

This is not a huge group (24+ congregations) but it’s a start and one of the first groups to formally announce acceptance of the Ordinariate.  I pray that many more Anglicans will take advantage of this unique Apostolic Constitution and join the Church.  This is one of Pope Benedict’s best moves as Pope – an end run around the pointless ecumenism that seeks “unity” without anyone discussing that which divides.  This is ecumenism that truly unites, and brings about a genuine reunion with the Catholic Faith with an acceptance on the part of the Anglicans of all that means, doctrinally.  This is also great in the sense that some of the thorny issues are being worked out: finances, pay for the soon to be Catholic priests, benefits, etc.  These issues had the potential to limit the effectiveness of the Ordinariate, but I have read they are being worked through, and this statement is evidence of that.

Pray for the conversion of Anglicans, whose Church has drifted in many ways from traditional beliefs, and the the reunion of all Christian sects to the Fullness of Truth in the Catholic Church!

“They were men” July 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, Society.
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As a counterpoint to the radical feminist diatribe below, here’s the Duke, who wasn’t Catholic in life but prayerfully is now, offering a bit of American history and sociology:

I haven’t been to a movie theater in years.  We almost never watch TV and rarely rent a movie.  The few DVDs I own are heavy on John Wayne and John Ford.  If they start making movies like they used to, with stars that love this country and unabashedly sing its praises in a rational, non-pithy manner, I’ll be back.  I’m not holding my breath.

Is it uncharitable to wish death on Hollywood as an institution and cultural phenomenon?

UPDATE: I should have hat tipped this to CMR.  My bad.

Fr. Z takes apart a crazed radical feminst calling for a ‘new church’ July 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals.
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Fr. Z has a long post up taking apart an utterly crazed radical feminist who wrote a piece for (what else?) the Distorter.  This woman hates the Church.  Again, I’m short on time, but a brief excerpt:

For women across the globe, it is so much more than this. It is a statement of profound spiritual violence [Blah blah blah… this is the tired old language of ‘80’s Dworkin feminism where everything is violence against women.] against half of the human race already routinely victimized on the basis of their God-given anatomy. [But this next bit is over the top.  No sane person goes here unless they are filled with hate and rage.] In a world where 39,000 baby girls die in China annually because they do not receive medical care equal to male infants, brides in India are burned once every two hours, and 35,000 Colombian women are trafficked to the sex trade every year, the church’s [always small “c”] statements only reinforce the idea that female bodies are not of equal value in the eyes of God, that they do not hold the same potential to be a sacred vessel of the life of God in our world[Neither the norms nor the Church’s definitive teachings do anything of the kind.  It could be that the writer is working out her own problems.]

At the same time that the Vatican freed bishops from being accountable for criminal activity (by failing to order them to report every instance of abuse and refusing to create sanctions against those who cover up abuse), [This is a canard.  The Vatican doesn’t have a law enforcement arm.  Also, the new norms are explicitly applied to bishops, cardinals, patriarchs, etc.  But look at this howling error in the next part….] it saw fit to define new kinds of crimes that have everything to do with gender, but nothing to do with sexual abuse.  [Did she read the new norms?  They are explicitly about defending the sanctity of sacraments.  The graviora delicta which are treated in the revised norms deal with sexual abuse of children by clerics because there are sacraments involved (Holy Orders always and sometimes Penance.  They cover the attempted ordination of women because a sacrament is involved.]

Women, and those who attempt to ordain them, were classified as committing crimes against the sacraments. [Ahhhh… she gets something right.] Such crimes are metaphysically serious in that they constitute any action that desecrates the Eucharist. [Nooo… the issue of woman’s ordination is about the sacrament of Holy Orders.] Not only can God not work through the body of a woman, now, it seems, women’s bodies actually defile the Eucharist. [That’s just plain stupid.]…………..

But, really, what do women have to lose at this point? In the Roman Catholic church, [bad male homophobic institution] they have no status and no potential to work in a church environment that will courageously and creatively supportive their callings to and gifts for ministry. [A canard.  Women have been in “ministry” from the beginning of the Church.] Unless their jobs or livelihoods depend on at least appearing to keep within the fold, what is the real risk? As a young adult grappling to understand the future of the church—and my own role in it—the benefits of the emergence of new kinds of smaller, alternative eucharistic communities seem to far outweigh any risk. [Jamie’s eucharistic communities (what ever they are) v. institution.]

Such communities, I believe, will be a vital remedy for the aching need for communal support and spiritual nurture that will define new generations of women and men. [Lot’s of buzz words there.] These new forms of Catholic communities would be uniquely positioned [Now watch this!] to convey the best parts of the Catholic tradition, those fundamental beliefs—in ritual and sacrament, mysticism and spirituality, the preferential option for the poor and the pursuit of social justice—that keep them calling themselves Catholic. [“fundamental beliefs”… not much there about what we have considered Tradition from the beginning.  This is “call a new church into being” time.  They want the best parts of tradition.  Who determines what the best parts are?  Not an institution, of course.  Everyone would be able to determine what are, for themselves, the best parts.] They would also teach the next generation that they do not need to participate in their own oppression in order to be a member of a church community. [eucharistic community v. institution] These communities can begin to model now what may very well be the life-giving future of the church. [But not to the Catholic Church.  Some other church.] 

Women who are interested in using their bodies [ho hum] to allow God [This is the second time she has used this “allow God” thing.] to continue to build up the body of Christ only need to consider the extraordinary, sacramental work that has been done and can be done outside of the walls of an institution [sacramental but not in the institution] bent on fortifying its spiritually violent, [Feel the dark-side.  Use that anger, Jamie.] paranoid and medieval structure. As they gather together in community, [bzzzz  But, she is now making an appeal to break with the Catholic Church…. ] one of their first orders of business may be to reach out to the women in developing countries who do not have even a modicum of the privilege and power held by many women in the West. They must use their money and their influence to help free these women from the poverty to which they are enslaved. [Actually, this sounds to me like “Let’s find uneducated and desperate women we can exploit, we can use to swell our already inflated numbers.”] And they must reach out to those places where the institutional church’s oppressive stances on women only support the social and cultural beliefs that subject women to so much abuse, violence and exploitation.

By the way, it gets much worse.  This woman loathes the Church, and she is calling on the poor, downtrodden, oppressed, so beaten up they can barely make it out of bed in the morning women of the Church to RISE UP and form a new Church, without all the oppressive male oligarchy, where the women can be on top.  Women just like the radfem author!  In fact, her!  She wants it soooo bad!

The psychodrama played out in this one piece would take pages to unwind, but I’ll just leave with a few questions – is this not heresy?  Is she not advocating that women leave the Church and form their own ecclesial groups, led by amazonian feminist power goddesses?   How is it that National Catholic Distorter Reporter can still be found in almost any parish office or library, or, worse yet, on the desk of the pastor, after so many years of outright heresy?  If it weren’t for parish subscriptions of 2-5 copies per, NCR would have bit the dust years ago.  Why do pastors continue to support a source that spews so much venom at the Church, and leads a <shinking> number of <rapidly aging> people away? 


Voris on the BOMB July 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, General Catholic, Society.
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What’s the BOMB?  I’ll give you a hint, it has nothing to do with nuclear physics, but it does deal with the destruction of whole societies.

Short on time today – read this and ponder July 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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So, I’m giving myself 10 minutes to blog today.  Three posts in 10 minutes – I’m a pimp with a limp.  Errr…or perhaps not.  Irrespective, here’s a great interview of Dr. Alice von Hildebrand by Latin Mass Magazine, check it out!  I’m ripping this straight off Sancte Pater, I hope Vicenzo doesn’t come break my legs.

A Philosopher Remembers and Reminds 

 Latin Mass Magazine

The following conversation with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand opens our discussion of this issue’s focus: The Crisis in the Church: Scenarios for a Solution. Dr. von Hildebrand, professor of philosophy emeritus of Hunter College (City University of New York), has just completed The Soul of a Lion, a biography of her husband, Dietrich.

TLM: Dr. von Hildebrand, at the time that Pope John XXIII summoned the Second Vatican Council, did you perceive a need for a reform within the Church?


AVH: Most of the insights about this come from my husband. He always said that the members of the Church, due to the effects of original sin and actual sin, are always in need of reform. The Church’s teaching, however, is from God. Not one iota is to be changed or considered in need of reform.


TLM: In terms of the present crisis, when did you first perceive something was terribly wrong?


AVH: It was in February 1965. I was taking a sabbatical year in Florence. My husband was reading a theological journal, and suddenly I heard him burst into tears. I ran to him, fearful that his heart condition had suddenly caused him pain. I asked him if he was all right. He told me that the article that he had been reading had provided him with the certain insight that the devil had entered the Church. Remember, my husband was the first prominent German to speak out publicly against Hitler and the Nazis. His insights were always prescient.


TLM: Had your husband ever talked about his fear for the Church before this incident?


AVH: I relate in my biography of my husband, The Soul of a Lion, that a few years after his conversion to Catholicism in the 1920s, he began teaching at the University of Munich. Munich was a Catholic city. Most Catholics at the time went to Mass, but he always said that it was there that he became aware of the loss of a sense of the supernatural among Catholics. One incident especially offered him sufficient proof, and it greatly saddened him.


When passing through a door, my husband would always give precedence to those of his students who were priests. One day, one of his colleagues (a Catholic) expressed his astonishment and disapproval: “Why do you let your students step ahead of you?” “Because they are priests,” replied my husband. “But they do not have a Ph.D.” My husband was grieved. To value a Ph.D. is a natural response; to feel awe for the sublimity of the priesthood is a supernatural response. The professor’s attitude proved that his sense for the supernatural had been eroded. That was long before Vatican II. But until the Council, the beauty and the sacredness of the Tridentine liturgy masked this phenomenon.


TLM: Did your husband think that the decline in a sense of the supernatural began around that time, and if so, how did he explain it?


AVH: No, he believed that after Pius X’s condemnation of the heresy of Modernism, its proponents merely went underground. He would say that they then took a much more subtle and practical approach. They spread doubt simply by raising questions about the great supernatural interventions throughout salvation history, such as the Virgin Birth and Our Lady’s perpetual virginity, as well as the Resurrection, and the Holy Eucharist. They knew that once faith – the foundation – totters, the liturgy and the moral teachings of the Church would follow suit. My husband entitled one of his books The Devastated Vineyard. After Vatican II, a tornado seemed to have hit the Church.


Modernism itself was the fruit of the calamity of the Renaissance and the Protestant Revolt, and it took a long historical process to unfold. If you were to ask a typical Catholic in the Middle Ages to name a hero or heroine, he would answer with the name of a saint. The Renaissance began to change that. Instead of a saint, people would think of geniuses as persons to emulate, and with the oncoming of the industrial age, they would answer with the name of a great scientist. Today, they would answer with a sports figure or cinema personality. In other words, the loss of the sense of the supernatural has brought an inversion of the hierarchy of values.


Even the pagan Plato was open to a sense of the supernatural. He spoke of the weakness, frailty and cowardice often evidenced in human nature. He was asked by a critic to explain why he had such a low opinion of humanity. He replied that he was not denigrating man, only comparing him to God.


With the loss of a sense of the supernatural, there is a loss of the sense of a need for sacrifice today. The closer one comes to God, the greater should be one’s sense of sinfulness. The further one gets from God, as today, the more we hear the philosophy of the new age: “I’m OK, You’re OK.” This loss of the inclination to sacrifice has led to the obscuring of the Church’s redemptive mission. Where the Cross is downplayed, our need for redemption is given hardly a thought.


The aversion to sacrifice and redemption has assisted the secularization of the Church from within. We have been hearing for many years from priests and bishops about the need for the Church to adapt herself to the world. Great popes like St. Pius X said just the opposite: the world must adapt itself to the Church.


TLM: From our conversation throughout this afternoon, I must conclude that you don’t believe that the accelerating loss of the sense of the supernatural is an accident of history.


AVH: No, I do not. There have been two books published in Italy in recent years that confirm what my husband had been suspecting for some time; namely, that there has been a systematic infiltration of the Church by diabolical enemies for much of this century. My husband was a very sanguine man and optimistic by nature. During the last ten years of his life, however, I witnessed him many times in moments of great sorrow, and frequently repeating, “They have desecrated the Holy Bride of Christ.” He was referring to the “abomination of desolation” of which the prophet Daniel speaks


TLM: This is a critical admission, Dr. von Hildebrand. Your husband had been called a twentieth-century Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII. If he felt so strongly, didn’t he have access to the Vatican to tell Pope Paul VI of his fears?


AVH: But he did! I shall never forget the private audience we had with Paul VI just before the end of the Council. It was on June 21, 1965. As soon as my husband started pleading with him to condemn the heresies that were rampant, the Pope interrupted him with the words, “Lo scriva, lo scriva.” (“Write it down.”) A few moments later, for the second time, my husband drew the gravity of the situation to the Pope’s attention. Same answer. His Holiness received us standing. It was clear that the Pope was feeling very uncomfortable. The audience lasted only a few minutes. Paul VI immediately gave a sign to his secretary, Fr. Capovilla, to bring us rosaries and medals. We then went back to Florence where my husband wrote a long document (unpublished today) that was delivered to Paul VI just the day before the last session of the Council. It was September of 1965. After reading my husband’s document, he said to my husband’s nephew, Dieter Sattler, who had become the German ambassador to the Holy See, that he had read the document carefully, but that “it was a bit harsh.” The reason was obvious: my husband had humbly requested a clear condemnation of heretical statements.


TLM: You realize, of course, Doctor, that as soon as you mention this idea of infiltration, there will be those who roll their eyes in exasperation and remark, “Not another conspiracy theory!”


AVH: I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican “who were working for us.”


Many a time I have heard Americans say that Europeans “smell conspiracy wherever they go.” But from the beginning, the Evil One has “conspired” against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. On the other hand, I, European born, am tempted to say that many Americans are naïve; living in a country that has been blessed by peace, and knowing little about history, they are more likely than Europeans (whose history is a tumultuous one) to fall prey to illusions. Rousseau has had an enormous influence in the United States. When Christ said to His apostles at the Last Supper that “one of you will betray Me,” the apostles were stunned. Judas had played his hand so artfully that no one suspected him, for a cunning conspirator knows how to cover his tracks with a show of orthodoxy.


TLM: Do the two books by the Italian priest you mentioned before the interview contain documentation that would provide evidence of this infiltration?


AVH: The two books I mentioned were published in 1998 and 2000 by an Italian priest, Don Luigi Villa of the diocese of Brescia, who at the request of Padre Pio has devoted many years of his life to the investigation of the possible infiltration of both Freemasons and Communists into the Church. My husband and I met Don Villa in the sixties. He claims that he does not make any statement that he cannot substantiate. When Paulo Sesto Beato? (1998) was published the book was sent to every single Italian bishop. None of them acknowledged receipt; none challenged any of Don Villa’s claims.


In this book, he relates something that no ecclesiastical authority has refuted or asked to be retracted – even though he names particular personalities in regard to the incident. It pertains to the rift between Pope Pius XII and the then Bishop Montini (the future Paul VI) who was his Undersecretary of State. Pius XII, conscious of the threat of Communism, which in the aftermath of World War II was dominating nearly half of Europe, had prohibited the Vatican staff from dealing with Moscow. To his dismay, he was informed one day through the Bishop of Upsala (Sweden) that his strict order had been contravened. The Pope resisted giving credence to this rumor until he was given incontrovertible evidence that Montini had been corresponding with various Soviet agencies. Meanwhile, Pope Pius XII (as had Pius XI) had been sending priests clandestinely into Russia to give comfort to Catholics behind the Iron Curtain. Every one of them had been systematically arrested, tortured, and either executed or sent to the gulag. Eventually a Vatican mole was discovered: Alighiero Tondi, S.J., who was a close advisor to Montini. Tondi was an agent working for Stalin whose mission was to keep Moscow informed about initiatives such as the sending of priests into the Soviet Union.


Add to this Pope Paul’s treatment of Cardinal Mindszenty. Against his will, Mindszenty was ordered by the Vatican to leave Budapest. As most everyone knows, he had escaped the Communists and sought refuge in the American embassy compound. The Pope had given him his solemn promise that he would remain primate of Hungary as long as he lived. When the Cardinal (who had been tortured by the Communists) arrived in Rome, Paul VI embraced him warmly, but then sent him into exile in Vienna. Shortly afterwards, this holy prelate was informed that he had been demoted, and had been replaced by someone more acceptable to the Hungarian Communist government. More puzzling, and tragically sad, is the fact that when Mindszenty died, no Church representative was present at his burial.


Another of Don Villa’s illustrations of infiltration is one related to him by Cardinal Gagnon. Paul VI had asked Gagnon to head an investigation concerning the infiltration of the Church by powerful enemies. Cardinal Gagnon (at that time an Archbishop) accepted this unpleasant task, and compiled a long dossier, rich in worrisome facts. When the work was completed, he requested an audience with Pope Paul in order to deliver personally the manuscript to the Pontiff. This request for a meeting was denied. The Pope sent word that the document should be placed in the offices of the Congregation for the Clergy, specifically in a safe with a double lock. This was done, but the very next day the safe deposit box was broken and the manuscript mysteriously disappeared. The usual policy of the Vatican is to make sure that news of such incidents never sees the light of day. Nevertheless, this theft was reported even in L’Osservatore Romano (perhaps under pressure because it had been reported in the secular press). Cardinal Gagnon, of course, had a copy, and once again asked the Pope for a private audience. Once again his request was denied. He then decided to leave Rome and return to his homeland in Canada. Later, he was called back to Rome by Pope John Paul II and made a cardinal.


TLM: Why did Don Villa write these works singling out Paul VI for criticism?


AVH: Don Villa reluctantly decided to publish the books to which I have alluded. But when several bishops pushed for the beatification of Paul VI, this priest perceived it as a clarion call to print the information he had gathered through the years. In so doing, he was following the guidelines of a Roman Congregation, informing the faithful that it was their duty as members of the Church to relay to the Congregation any information that might militate against the candidate’s qualifications for beatification.


Considering the tumultuous pontificate of Paul VI, and the confusing signals he was giving, e.g.: speaking about the “smoke of Satan that had entered the Church,” yet refusing to condemn heresies officially; his promulgation of Humanae Vitae (the glory of his pontificate), yet his careful avoidance of proclaiming it ex cathedra; delivering his Credo of the People of God in Piazza San Pietro in 1968, and once again failing to declare it binding on all Catholics; disobeying the strict orders of Pius XII to have no contact with Moscow, and appeasing the Hungarian Communist government by reneging on the solemn promise he had made to Cardinal Mindszenty; his treatment of holy Cardinal Slipyj, who had spent seventeen years in a Gulag, only to be made a virtual prisoner in the Vatican by Paul VI; and finally asking Archbishop Gagnon to investigate possible infiltration in the Vatican, only to refuse him an audience when his work was completed – all these speak strongly against the beatification of Paolo VI, dubbed in Rome, “Paolo Sesto, Mesto” (Paul VI, the sad one).


That the duty to publish this depressing information was onerous and cost Don Villa great sorrow cannot be doubted. Any Catholic rejoices when he can look up to a Pope with boundless veneration. But Catholics also know that even though Christ never promised He would give us perfect leaders, He did promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail. Let us not forget that even though the Church has had some very bad popes, and some mediocre ones, she has been blessed with many great popes. Eighty of them have been canonized and several have been beatified. This is a success story that does not bear parallel in the secular world.


God alone is the judge of Paul VI. But it cannot be denied that his pontificate was a very complex and tragic one. It was under him that, in the course of fifteen years, more changes were introduced in the Church than in all preceding centuries combined. What is worrisome is that when we read the testimony of ex-Communists like Bella Dodd, and study Freemasonic documents (dating from the nineteenth century, and usually penned by fallen-away priests like Paul Roca), we can see that, to a large extent, their agenda has been carried out: the exodus of priests and nuns after Vatican II, dissenting theologians not censured, feminism, the pressure put on Rome to abolish priestly celibacy, immorality in the clergy, blasphemous liturgies (see the article by David Hart in First Things, April 2001, “The Future of the Papacy”), the radical changes that have been introduced into the sacred liturgy (see Cardinal Ratzinger’s book Milestones, pp. 126 and 148, Ignatius Press), and a misleading ecumenism. Only a blind person could deny that many of the Enemy’s plans have been perfectly carried out.


One should not forget that the world was shocked at what Hitler did. People like my husband, however, actually read what he had said in Mein Kampf. The plan was there. The world simply chose not to believe it.


But grave as the situation is, no committed Catholic can forget that Christ has promised that He will remain with His Church to the very end of the world. We should meditate on the scene related in the Gospel when the apostles’ boat was battered by a fierce storm. Christ was sleeping! His terrified followers woke Him up: He said one word, and there was a great calm. “O ye of little faith!”


TLM: I take it by your remarks about ecumenism that you don’t agree with the current policy of “convergence” rather than “conversion”?


AVH: Let me relate an incident that caused my husband grief. It was 1946, just after the war. My husband was teaching at Fordham, and there appeared in one of his classes a Jewish student who had been a naval officer during the war. He would eventually tell my husband about a particularly stunning sunset in the Pacific and how it had led him to the quest for the truth about God. He first went to Columbia to study philosophy, and he knew that this was not what he was looking for. A friend suggested he try philosophy at Fordham and mentioned the name Dietrich von Hildebrand. After just one class with my husband, he knew he had found what he was looking for. One day after class my husband and this student went for a walk. He told my husband during this time that he was surprised at the fact that several professors, after discovering he was Jewish, assured him that they would not try to convert him to Catholicism. My husband, stunned, stopped, turned to him and said, “They said what?!” He repeated the story and my husband told him, “I would walk to the ends of the earth to make you a Catholic.” To make a long story short, the young man became a Catholic, was ordained a Carthusian priest, and went on to enter the only Charter House in the United States (in Vermont)!


TLM: You spent many years teaching at Hunter College.


AVH: Yes, and several of my students became Catholics. Oh, the beautiful conversion stories I could relate if I had time – young people who were swept up by truth!


I want to make one point very clear, however. I did not convert my students. The most we can do is to pray to be God’s instruments. To be an instrument we must strive to live the Gospel every day and in every circumstance. Only God’s grace can give us the desire and ability to do that.


It is one of the fears I have about traditional Catholics. Some flirt with fanaticism. A fanatic is one who considers truth to be his personal possession instead of God’s gift. We are servants of the truth, and it is as servants that we seek to share it.


I am very concerned that there are “fanatical” Catholics who use the Faith and the truth it proclaims as an intellectual toy. An authentic appropriation of the truth always leads to a striving for holiness. The Faith, in this present crisis, is not an intellectual chess game. For anyone not striving for holiness, that’s all it will ever be. Such people do more harm to the Faith, particularly if they are proponents of the traditional Mass.


TLM: So you see the only scenario for a solution to the present crisis as the renewal of a striving for sanctity?


AVH: We should not forget that we are fighting not only against flesh and blood, but against “powers and principalities.” This should elicit sufficient dread in us to make us strive more than ever for holiness, and to pray fervently that the Holy Bride of Christ, who is right now at Calvary, comes out of this fearful crisis more radiant than ever.


The Catholic answer is always the same: absolute fidelity to the holy teaching of the Church, faithfulness to the Holy See, frequent reception of the sacraments, the Rosary, daily spiritual reading, and gratitude that we have been given the fullness of God’s revelation: “Gaudete, iterum dico vobis, Gaudete.”


TLM: I cannot end the interview without asking your reaction to a well-worn canard. There are those critics of the ancient Latin Mass who point out that the crisis in the Church developed at a time when the Mass was offered throughout the world. Why should we then think its revival is intrinsic to the solution?


AVH: The devil hates the ancient Mass. He hates it because it is the most perfect reformulation of all the teachings of the Church. It was my husband who gave me this insight about the Mass. The problem that ushered in the present crisis was not the traditional Mass. The problem was that priests who offered it had already lost the sense of the supernatural and the transcendent. They rushed through the prayers, they mumbled and didn’t enunciate them. That is a sign that they had brought to the Mass their growing secularism. The ancient Mass does not abide irreverence, and that was why so many priests were just as happy to see it go.


TLM: Thank you, Dr. von Hildebrand, for this time and the opportunity to speak with you.

New way to stay in touch with Our Lady of Angels Monastery July 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic.
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Our Lady of Angels Monastery of the Poor Clare’s of Perpetual Adoration in Hanceville, AL, now has a blog!  It’s here

Stay up to date with Mother Angelica and all the nuns at OLA!

Men’s attire at Mass often lacking July 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in foolishness, General Catholic.
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A while back I did a post that touched on the subject of people, most frequently women, dressing immodestly at Mass.   Over at Acts of the Apostasy, Larry D. has a good post up castigating guys for wearing shorts and flip flops to Mass.  There is a guy at daily Mass I see all the time that looks like he just came from sleeping off an all night bender at the beach.  I feel for the guy in a sense, but in another I wish he could bother to wear a bit nicer clothes for the Lord.  Anyway, Larry D. has stirred up a bit of controversy, with some folks insisting that it’s time for people to stop “preaching to the choir” on this issue (i.e., blogging), and to get out there and start confronting folks.

I haven’t got too much time today, but I’m not sure about this.  I’m way more confrontational than most priests would like me to be, but I don’t know about calling people out at Church for how they are dressed.  I would love to see pastors give much better guidance, including putting up signs indicating that shorts, tank tops, exposed cleavage, etc., are not permissible.  So what do y’all think?

Kinda related: The problem of female porn use/addiction.

What is THIS? July 26, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, silliness, Society.
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I’ll give  you a hint, it is not a Call to Action or National Catholic Distorter praise and glorify man service.


It’s the a presbyterian synod or leadership meeting, if you will.   Giant puppets, flags, “liturgical dance…” what on earth will Call to Action do?  The presbyterians have upped the ante in the liturgical arms race to the bottom.  Mr. President, we cannot have a mine shaft gap Dear fellow travelers with Sophia/Gaia/Earth Mother Goddess, we cannot allow the presbyterians to outdo us in liturgical absurdity!  More papier mache!  More dance!  More pseudo-ethnic music which assuages our collective guilt towards the ‘other!’

Seriously, what on earth does this have to do with worshiping God and His only Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior?