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Advice from Orbis Catholicus – How to keep your kids Catholic September 20, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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For a starter, I don’t disagree!  I don’t think this is THE way to keep your kids Catholic, but I think it’s an excellent start.

It is a great tragedy the Baltimore Catechism, tried and proven for so many years, is now the subject of scorn and ridicule in Catholic youth formation (CCD) circles – at least as far as many directors of religious education are concerned.

Billboards convey false Gospel September 20, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, Society.
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Many of my readers may have seen various billboards around the area that state very clearly that Jesus, or some other Biblical figure, clearly endorsed the gay lifestyle.  Some even imply Jesus endorsed gay marriage.  These billboards have been up for a year, and are sponsored by a group calling itself Would Jesus Discriminate?, which is in turn made up of an organization calling itself “Metropolitan Community Churches” – an entirely gay lobby front group.   The billboards state things such as “Jesus ‘affirmed’ a gay couple,” and references Matt 8:5-13, which describes Jesus  healing a Roman centurion’s favorite man-servant.  This is based on a complete mis-translation of the Greek word “pais,” which gays take to mean implies a pederast relationship.  A very noted Catholic apologist described this claim as ridiculous; it’s essentially making up a claim out of thin air, as pais and/or duolous, another associated word, are not used in a ‘gay’ context anywhere in Scripture.  It also ignores the more than one dozen clear Old Testament condemnations of homosexual acts, and several New Testament condemnations.  Two other billboards, one claiming “The early Church welcomed a gay man” and “Jesus said people are born gay” is based on converting the word “eunuch” into “gay.”  There is not one shred of evidence that supports these claims, but the Metropolitan Church people are claiming that “eunuch” really means “gay,” because eunuchs were intended to serve female royalty.  So, they weren’t castrated males, for which there is copious evidence and thousands of years of history; no, they were gay.  Both claims are novelties (as in, no one has ever heard of them before) in the 2000 year history of Biblical scholarship, and are again specifically refuted by specific Biblical condemnations of homosexual acts elsewhere.

It’s very sad, really, and further evidence of the “dictatorship of relativism” that Pope Benedict is so constantly referring to.  The tyranny of relativism isn’t just some philosophical term – it describes a real world tendency to reject Truth, and, thus, sin.  This relativism is at the heart of these fantastical interpretations of Scripture; rather than accept the Truth that homosexual acts are sinful, gays, like numerous sinners before them, are seeking to bend Scripture to “approve” of their particular favored sin.  I could cherry pick Scripture to “prove” that Jesus loved the intoxication of alcoholics and addicts – after all, they had been drinking for a while in Cana when Jesus turned the water into wine.   Doesn’t that mean Jesus thinks it’s great if I get stone drunk every day? 

So, sorry gay lobby, this ploy won’t work. It’s been taken to pieces elsewhere.  And, no, it doesn’t mean I hate you.  I don’t want to see anyone misrepresenting the Truth and thus deluding themselves that their sinful acts are actually pleasing to God.  If I did so, then I would truly hate you, for I would not care how you angered God or what fate you had in the after-life.  I do pray that nobody is fooled by these attempts to split off members of Christian churches from their traditional (and Biblically supported) doctrines regarding homosexuality, which, by the way,  is the point of the exercise; to fool just enough people to allow the various agenda items being pumped by this group, especially gay “marriage,” to be ‘approved’ by that magic 50.01% of Americans that makes everything alright.

Pope Benedict XVI strongly endorses this blog September 20, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Society.
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Woot!  Pope Benedict has given a ringing endorsement of this humble, sweet little blog.  What?  OK, well, sort of.  In a way.  And while I have had vatican.va IP addresses looking at this blog occasionally (very occasionally), Pope Benedict XVI in speaking on his recent trip to Britain did endorse efforts by Catholics to try to evangelize and declare the Truths of the Faith in the public square.  That has always been the intent of this blog, so, in my narcissistic over-appraisal, I take that as a ringing endorsement of all my personal efforts!  Back to seriousness:

For this reason I appeal in particular to you, the lay faithful, in accordance with your baptismal calling and mission, not only to be examples of faith in public, but also to put the case for the promotion of faith’s wisdom and vision in the public forum. Society today needs clear voices which propose our right to live, not in a jungle of self-destructive and arbitrary freedoms, but in a society which works for the true welfare of its citizens and offers them guidance and protection in the face of their weakness and fragility.

This Pope has long had a vision of the future, a vision that troubles him greatly.  It is a vision that prompted him to enthusiastically help draw up, and then try to faithfully implement, the documents of the 2nd Vatican Council.  It is a vision of a world culture that is much darker, dangerous, soul-destorying, EVIL, than any the world has known for many centuries.  It is a culture that is largely bereft of any religious faith, but most especially bereft of the guiding Light of Christianity.  The Pope has warned that he sees the Church becoming much smaller, holding much less sway in the culture, and being persecuted in ways unseen (at least in the West) in a very long time.  But, he also sees the remnant, those remaining faithful to the Doctrine of the Faith, becoming even more Faithful and striving to live the Faith in a manner ever more pleasing to God.  In short, he sees the potential for a coming Dark Age, where scattered Faith communities will struggle on through the storm and then re-emerge to re-evangelize and re-civilize the culture after every falls apart.  I don’t think this vision is any kind of certainty in his mind, but I think he feels the potential for it exists, and that potential grows a little bit day by day.  That is why he so frequently evokes the “dictatorship of relativism,” which is really the chucking of any core Truth and sense of sin.  That is why he constantly exhorts the Faithful to live the Faith more fully and seriously, to evangelize the culture and try to stave off this coming darkness.  There have been times in the past when it appeared the dark ages would return – certainly, after the fall of the brief Carolingian Empire – and they were successfully fended off.  But the historical trends do not look promising. 

The Pope seems to be saying: “Do not go gently into that good night.  Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Voris on the Pope’s trip to Britain September 20, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic.
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As I’ve said, this guy makes this blogging thing easy.  There’s a bit of cheek in this video, as well.

My efforts at ecumenism – Mormons visit my house September 20, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Ecumenism.
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So, on Saturday, I was visited by some Mormon missionaries.  As usual, very nice and polite young men, but they did look pretty hot and rather wiped out from their day’s exertions (it was around 3 pm when they came by).  I saw them coming up the walk, so I grabbed my Bible and was prepared to some extent to engage them on some theological issues.  When I came out the door, I greeted them fairly politely but launched into a discourse about how our family are pretty devout Catholics and that they had no chance of getting a conversion here.  But, they tried, and so we got into issues like the “great apostasy,” which Mormons claim occurred after the last Apostle was murdered (St. John the Apostle actually died of old age on Patmos) and thus caused a break in the apostolic succession and the church degenerating into total apostasy.  Nice try, but the Bible clearly shows the Apostles laying on hands and instituting other priests, first to replace Judas, and then adding more as time went by.  I went into a bit of depth on the Catholic view of apostolic succession, the primacy of Peter, and how both are very strongly supported by both Sacred Scripture and Tradition.  I took their arguments apart pretty well, and and that point they more or less stopped trying.  We parted reasonably amicably, and there was really not much tension throughout the entire episode.

Having said that, I came away from my little effort at ecumenism rather disappointed with myself.  I’m not Patrick Madrid or Jimmy Akin, but I know a fair amount of what Mormon’s believe, and how to take those beliefs apart Scripturally.  I was mad at myself for not bringing up how completely un-Biblical and frankly insulting to God some Mormon beliefs are.  Mormons go to GREAT pains not to reveal these core areas of their doctrine until you are pretty well hooked, because they are quite bizaare.  If you read the Book of Mormon you wont find these beliefs, they are almost all in something called Doctrines and Covenants.  This includes things like, if we die after going through a process called “exaltation,” we then become god’s ourselves in our own Universe with planets full of people worshipping US.  So, none of that “I, the Lord, am God, and I alone.”  Then there’s the history of the struggle between Satan and Jesus and how God literally had sex with Mary in order to conceive Jesus.  You can see more in the video below.  Oh, and these “gods” we become still have flesh and bone.  There’s alot more, such as enormous peer pressure directed at keeping people within Mormonism, with those who leave being frequently cut off entirely from all family and friends.

So, what I’m mad about is that I let these guys largely off the hook.  Patrick Madrid has managed to convert some pretty involved Mormons to Catholicism, and while I’m far from his ability, I should have planted more seeds of the Truth revealed by Christ through His Church.  I actually felt a bit sorry for them – they looked really hot and sweaty and rather disheveled, especially the one from California.  Well, anyway – perhaps God used this episode to show that I have a long ways to go in proclaiming and defending the Faith – it’s relatively easy to write about it, it’s much harder to go at it face to face.

This video below is pretty controversial in the sense that Mormons don’t like it, and they claim that it spins some Mormon beliefs unfairly, but others say it’s pretty much dead on.

On second thought, I’m not going to embed the video in the post, but you can see it here.

UPDATE: Further proof of my self-centeredness!  Commenter Chris B rightly reminds me that if any conversion occurs with the Mormons, it will be the act of the Holy Spirit, and not mine.  See how I view the world?!  Please be patient with me, I have a very long way to go.  I continually short-change God what is rightly His.