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Noted canonist – priests contribute to contraceptive use September 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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As part of Sandro Magister’s recent articles on the use of contraception, CNA has a follow-up article interviewing a noted canonist, Fr. Gerald Murray of the archdiocese of New York, who states that priests have had a major role in the lack of obedience to Church doctrine on the subject of contraception:

CNA contacted canon law expert Fr. Gerald Murray, a priest in the Archdiocese of New York, who gave his insight into the controversial topic in an e-mail on Sept. 15.
When asked if he believes that silence on the part of clergy today on contraception has in fact contributed to Catholics’ use of it, Fr. Murray said “yes.”
“Even worse,” he continued, “it is incontestable that some clergy have contradicted Humanae Vitae and have stated that contraceptive use is not sinful.”
“So there is confusion among the faithful,” the priest asserted. “It would be good for the bishops of the United States to speak more often about the grave sinfulness of contraceptive use and encourage both generosity in receiving more children into our families, and the use of Natural Family Planning, not artificial contraceptives, to postpone pregnancy for serious reasons.”
Fr. Murray then offered clarity on the subject of how the issue of contraception should be broached in the confessional.
“If someone confesses that he or she has used some form of contraception, that ordinarily means that he or she knows such actions were sinful and that they wish to be forgiven this sin,” he noted. “The priest should first tell the penitent to thank God for the grace to make this good confession. He should then help the penitent to arrive at a firm resolution to avoid such sins in the future.”
“He should encourage the penitent to pray more, to receive Holy Communion frequently, to confess regularly even when the penitent only has venial sins to confess. He should also recommend that the person learn about Natural Family Planning in the case of a penitent who is married or is preparing for marriage.”
When asked he thinks there are mitigating factors for Catholics who contracept and whether or not a delicate approach is necessary on the part of priests, Fr. Murray responded, “a delicate approach is always necessary when hearing confessions.”
“But a delicate approach does not mean moral relativism which would subvert God’s law by calling contraceptive use not a sin,” Fr. Murray underscored. “Church teaching on the gravity of artificial contraception is clear and binding on all. If the penitent confesses this sin, the priest must never contradict the moral law under the guise of pastoral charity. The repentant sinner needs to be encouraged to leave sin behind.”

So, I’ve been assisting at Mass faithfully every week for the last 15 years.  I’ve been assisting at daily Mass for the last couple of years.  In all that time, I’ve heard one priest talk about Church doctrine on contraception twice.  Occasionally you’ll hear about it on EWTN during their Mass broadcasts, but, in person – only one priest has ever discussed it.  It is little wonder so few Catholics observe this core Church doctrine.  Add to that the fact that many priests, including some in this diocese, reject that doctrine or feel that one can “form their personal conscience” to arrive at a position diametrically opposed to the mind of the Church, and it is little wonder virtually all Catholics do not abide by this doctrine, and never bother to confess their contraceptive use.  I guess they trust in the infinite Mercy of God.

Silly America Magazine September 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, General Catholic, scandals, sickness.
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Poor, silly America Magazine.  Is it really still published by Jesuits?  They have an article on the subject of anorexia, and, hey, guess what?!?  Did you know that St. Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Church, was anorexic?!?  You see, she fasted alot, to the point of eating rarely late in her life, and finally, it is claimed, consuming nothing but the Blessed Sacrament.  Many have changed their lives after reading of St. Catherine’s powerful vocation, truly, one inspired by the Holy Spirit.  She suffered greatly in her life in a number of ways, but no one doubts that her writings are an amazing description of a life lived totally for God and in the service of others. 

But, American Magazine, never able to leave any wonderful mystery of the Spirit alone, has to of course try to reduce this miraculous life down to some kind of modern neurosis.  They’ve done this before – didn’t you know that Teresa of Avila was manic-depressive?  Don’t you know that St. Robert Bellarmine suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?  And now, they try to de-mystify (for this is what they are doing)  a great, mystical Saint, and cut her down to size.  Oh, and by the way, America Magazine, you bastion of learning – there are 33 doctors of the Church, not 36. 

In fact, rather than just picking on St. Catherine, they attack all those who fast “excessively” in a desire to achieve greater holiness.  The article lambasts this practice, and compares it to a range of eating disorders – once again, to “de-mystify” their actions and let those who can’t/won’t make sacrifices to grow in Faith know that those great Saints are really no better than them – in fact, they were sick, twisted, deformed.  Perhaps I’m being uncharitable, but I find the comparison of someone who either did not or could not eat because of the action of the Holy Spirit in her life and her great desire for unity of purpose with the Lord, and someone who won’t eat and makes themselves sick largely out of a deformed vision of their personal appearance gravely insulting.  St. Catherine managed to subsist on nothing but the Blessed Sacrament for the last few years of her life – that in itself is a great miracle, and her lack of eating was witnessed by many people.  Perhaps she was a skeleton, the available sketches do not indicate that, but that doesn’t matter.  It’s yet another attempt to remove the mysterious from the Faith and reduce the great, sacramental, Mystical Body of Christ down to a social club.  I find that very offensive, and very sad.

If you read the comments, you will find that a number of Catholics are all too ready to believe that many of the great Saints of the Church were severely neurotic, if not psychotic.  They’re thinking with the mind of the world, not with the mind of God.  What the world cannot explain or accept, it rejects as false.  God finds many great saints among those the world rejects.

Updated prayer request September 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, General Catholic, sadness.
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I asked a few days ago for a family member injured in Iraq.  USMC Sgt. Mark Juarez was very badly wounded during a training exercise with the Afghan National Army in Helmund province when their vehicle struck a large IED.  Mark received severe shrapnel wounds to the right side of this head.  Until this morning, almost a week since his injury, he was kept sedated.  Doctors have had to remove a large piece of the right side of his brain.  When he awoke, he gave some fairly good signs like moving his toes and hands and trying to give a thumbs up, before going under again.  He is receiving three surgeries today.  He is in very critical condition.  If I could trouble you again, please say a prayer for this wounded warrior.  He is a husband and father and only 27 years old.  I pray that he makes a quick recovery and that his family may draw close to Christ, the source of all mercy and strength.

Dallas 40 Days for Life kicks off Sept. 21 September 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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The Dallas 40 Days for Life prayer vigil outside local abortion mills starts Sept. 21 with a kickoff rally at 6:30 pm at Harry Moss Park, which is at the corner of Royal and Greenville in Dallas (SE corner).  This is near the Southwest Women’s Clinic abortion mill.  You can check the link above to see when and if your church is taking a day to pray outside abortion mills, or you can just go on your own, as we usually do.  Either way, I am certain it would bring many blessings to you and your family were you to do this work of spiritual almsgiving by praying outside an abortion mill for an end to abortion, for the conversion of all the staff and butchers “doctors” at the clinics, and for the conversion of all the supporters of abortion.  That would be a great act of spiritual charity. 

In the past two years, the age of the doctors, general economic conditions, but most importantly, the prayers of faithful Christians and others all over the Dallas area have resulted in several abortion mills closing.  My sensus fidei tells me that Routh Street, the really run down nasty looking abortuary on Central Expressway, will be next.  Let’s keep praying and make abortion an impossibility in Dallas!  After all…….

They also have a facebook page here.

From the “intentionally trying to offend” department September 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Antonio Federici is apparently an Italian ice cream company.  They have a series of ads running that have caused a great deal of controversy.  One features two well built men in roman collars and nothing else eating ice cream and with the tag line “forbidden pleasures.”  The other one is below:

So, anyone think the oh so very brave and bold Antonio Federici, so fearlessly showing practically blasphemous images of a particular religion, precisely because they know this religion doesn’t tend to kill those that offend it, would have similar bravery showing say two imams in a gay sex setup?  Or a woman in a burqa lifting her skirt/whatever it is to some hunky guy?

Somehow, I think not.  Islam is the de facto state religion of the West.

They fought – for what I’m not sure September 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, sadness.
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In 1522, the Knights Hospitaller defended the small island of Rhodes, off the Turkish coast, from an invading Ottoman army.  They had successfully repelled a similar invasion in 1480.  This time, 700 Knights Hospitaller, 500 trained archers, about 1000 Christian mercenaries, and around 5000 half-trained Rhodian militia defended the island against an invasion force of 100,000 men commanded by the greatest muslim combat leader ever, Suleiman the Magnificent.   The Knights were led by their Grand Master, Fra Phillipe Villiers.  The seige lasted for months.  The muslims would burst forth, their dervishes hopped up on hashish, attempting to smash through the walls of the Knight’s defences.  The Knights beat them back again, and again, and again, each time losing more men.  As the battle progressed, especially during the awful summer months of plagues and flies and dysentery and lack of water, Fra Villiers observed the muslims preparing huge stakes, greasing them, so the Knights could be impaled on them from their bottoms, slowing sliding down the stakes in a horrific, agonzing death.  Again and again the muslims came, and again and again the Knights repulsed them.  Each knight was worth 10, 20, 50, 100 of the Muslim army.  The walls of the castles defending the Grand Priory were continually shot to pieces by cannon and enormous siege engines, and undermined from underneath by mining, but the Knights would repulse the whirling dervishes and rebuild their walls with brick, rocks, mud, and bodies of their enemies.  Finally, after 6 hellish months, there were no Knights left to defend that were not violently ill or repeatedly injured.  They held a debate – should they fight against the final assault that was coming, or surrender, knowing they would die horribly at the hands of their invaders.  They chose to fight – until, that is, Suleiman, impressed beyond measure at the Knights sacrifice and supreme fighting abilities, offered to let them leave if there would not have to be a final, climatic battle that would further devastate his army, an army he wanted to use to continue his conquest of Europe.   This was no magnanimous gesture – Suleiman’s army had been broken in the siege, he had lost 20,000 dead and 60,000 wounded or gravely sick.  He had the power to take Rhodes, but his army would be useless for years afterwards.  And so, he let the Knights leave, taking with them their arms, their relics, their armor and their pride.  They had given all for their King, Jesus Christ, and had done Christendom an enormous service, delaying the further onslaught into central Europe Suleiman had planned. 

And, over the weekend, a Koran was blessed in the Sacramento Cathedral.  I wonder what those Knights would have thought of that.