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Still awaiting CCHD grantee list for 2011 October 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, scandals.
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Every year, the problematic Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) takes a collection at almost every parish in the country on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  In the past, CCHD has released their list of groups to be funded for the next year around the end of August, giving time for folks to review the list and, perhaps, adjust their contribution accordingly.  Apparently, that has not occurred this year, and we more than likely will not have a grantee list until AFTER the collection date.  In addition, CCHD announced new structural reforms to prevent the funding of groups with agendas antithetical to the Doctrine of the Faith (for instance, supporting abortion, gay marriage, contraception, etc).  During this announcement, CCHD stated that only 5 or 6 “problem” groups had had to be de-funded in the past year.  This small number being an attempt to minimize the perception of any consistent deviance from Catholic Doctrine at CCHD.  American Life League reminds us that with only 5-6 defunded, dozens of potential “problem” groups remain:

“In its ‘Review and Renewal’ documents, the CCHD repeatedly says that 5 out of 270 grantees were defunded last year. However, on page 6 of its “Responses to Questions about CCHD Grantmaking” document, the CCHD itself lists 6 grantees that were “defunded because they took actions or positions in conflict with Catholic teaching”: the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, the Chinese Progressive Association, Young Workers United, Washington Community Action Network, Preble Street Homeless Voices and Los Angeles Community Action Network.

“Additionally, the Reform CCHD Now coalition’s investigations reveal that 67 grantees were either directly promoting practices contrary to Catholic teaching, or involved with coalitions or forums that promote abortion, contraception or homosexual ‘marriage’ as primary objectives. We look forward to the CCHD addressing the question of the additional 61 grantees involved in intrinsically immoral activities.”

Some are concerned that this delay in releasing the grantee list may be an attempt to keep from critical reviewers any data that could confirm, or deny, that CCHD is truly committed to structural reforms.  It also helps keep the focus off of CCHD so they can try to recover from last year’s extremely poor fundraising performance.

Ineffective voter’s guide October 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.
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The statement from the bishops of Massachussetts was extremely disappointing.  It does nothing to provide guidance along the lines that the Pope laid out a few days ago

Archbishop Burke also gave very strong guidance to Catholic voters, stating that to vote for someone who is pro-abortion is contrary to the good practice of the Faith.  The ‘progressives’ are apoplectic about such clear endorsements of Catholic doctrine, and so they have had a wig out in the Distorter.  Fr.Z picked it up.  Hilarity ensues:

In an interview with Thomas McKenna, president of the arch-conservative Catholic Action for Faith and Family, Burke reportedly said that Catholics are bound in conscience to vote for political candidates who oppose aborting babies, embryonic stem cell experiments, euthanasia and so-called homosexual “marriage.[You can see why the editors of the NCR would be against that!]

There was no mention of [Here it comes… ] the central issues of the 2010 mid-term election: unemployment, the economy, the widening income gap between the wealthy and the working/middle class, home foreclosures, or even immigration. For Burke, everything apparently hinges on the “bedroom” issues, not the “boardroom” or the “border” issues. [She is rehashing the liberal catholic from the 2008 election cycle.  NCR catholics fail to see that the basic human right to live is prior to every other human right.  The foundation of true Catholic social justice rests on the right to be born and live in dignity to a natural death.  The bonds of society and our societal interactions depend on firm foundations that are in harmony with nature and common sense – and divine revelation.  Society’s basic building block is the normal and natural family.  If you tear apart what “family” means and begin to call unnatural relationships “normal” you tear at the bonds of society.]

Then, the author, a heretical religious sister named Maureen Fielder, goes hypocritical:

This is a yet another example of hierarchical behavior that oversteps the boundaries of acceptable church/state relations and sends most Catholic voters up the wall — if they pay attention to it at all. [Another misstep.  She is pressing on the reader a false understanding of the chimeric “separation of church and state”.  Furthermore, she is taking a position against the right of the Church to have a voice in the public square.  Effectively, for arch-liberal Fiedler, catholics only have the right to raise their voice in the public square so long as they are pressing for her positions.  Had Burke been speaking about mercy for illegal immigrants, she and the NCR would not have taken a public position against him. They would not have praised him.  It is when Church officials say that homosexual acts are wrong that they seem to get worked up.]

Many Catholics do not agree with the official hierarchical position on some or all of these issues, but even those who do don’t want to be given instructions on how to cast their ballot. [Arch-liberal Fiedler reduces the Church’s teaching to a “official hierarchical position”.  Note the choice of words.  For NCR catholics “hierarchical” is bad.  If something is “official”, perhaps there is an un-official position which is still “catholic”.  She would like that, because she wants to have part in an alternative magisterium.]

The alternative magisterium is an increasingly real, and distressing phenomenon.  I pray that the bishops will collectively examine this threat to the Unity of the Church and their own Authority, and determine appropriate steps to protect the Faith, which they are bound by oath to support, defend, and proclaim to the utmost of their ability. 

Burke’s video is below (and a complete, much longer version of the Burke interview at that link):

Dying to self October 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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A brief examination from Servant of God Sr. Elizabeth of the Trinity, a Carmelite nun, taken from Divine Intimacy:

As long as my will desires that which is alien to the divine will, has preferences for one thing or another, I remain like a child; I do not walk in lvoe aiwht giant strides.  The fire has not yet burnt away all the dross, and the gold is not yet pure.  I am still seeking myself.  O Lord, You have not yet done away with all my resistance to You.  But when the crucible has consumed all tainted love, all tainted pain, all tainted fear, the love is perfect, and the golden ring of our union is wider than heaven and earth.

But in order to attain this I must die daily to myself.  O Jesus, I wish to die, to decrease, to deny myself daily more and more, in order that you may grow and be exalted in me.  As a ‘little one’ I dewll in the depths of my poverty; I see my nothingness, my penury, my weakness; I see that I am incapble of progress, of perserverence; I appear to myself in all my destitution; I prostrate myself in my wretchedness, and recognizing my state of dire need, I spread it out before You, my divine Master…….As far as my will – not my feelings – is concerned, I set my joy in everything that can hubmle me, immolate me, destroy self in me, for I want to give place to You, O Lord…..I no longer wish to live by my own life, but to be transformed in You, so that my life may be more divine than human, and that, inclining unto me, the Father may recognize Your image, the image of His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased.

And then, from Vera Sapientia, by Thomas a Kempis, Book II Chapter 1 paragraph 1:

So long as I am in the world I shall not be free from sin, and so long as I remain here I shall be a poor pilgrim and sojourner on the earth.  I brought nothing into the world, and I shall take nothing out of it; for I came into it naked, adn I shall depart from it in the same state, and shall leave it as a lodger of one night.  The whole present life is one short night [ a sentiment shared by Doctor of the Church St. Therese of Lisieux – ED].  My days are few and evil, and shall soon be at an end. 

The remembrance of man on earth is short, both to those who knew him and to those who knew him not; but the just shall be in eternal remembrance, because he shall be always united to God, who never dies.  He is therefore happy who does not place his hope in man, and does not over-rejoice in anything in the world or in its appearances, but who has his heart fixed on heaven, because everything here is vain and deceitful. 

Well, the Opus Dei folks would vehemently disagree with the last part, but I think there are many, too many, in the Church who see man and society as perfectable.  They often seek to wipe out human suffering and misery, to make everyone materially comfortable and, thus, in their view, happy.  Ultimately, this view of the Church elevates man and man’s condition to a very high degree.  It seeks to make the Church, even primarily, a vehicle of social change.  Seeing the Church is this manner is, to me, terribly reductive, and often tends to make God sort of a sidelight in the activities of the Church. 

Anyway, that’s not how I view the Church or my relationship with God.  I do serve others constantly, at work, at home, but I do not focus on that service, I focus on trying to serve God.  I fail always, in my fallen nature I am constantly referring back to myself, wanting to make myself some kind of demi-god.  I have way too much pride, but I pray that I may die to myself far more than I’ve been able to thus far.  I want to direct all my love through Jesus to God and then down to all the creatures I interact with.  I want to forget about the world and material possessions to the extent that I can, while recalling always my duties. I pray I may live a life that will draw others to worship the One True God.  And I pray that I will never turn someone away from God due to my pride and arrogance, but I probably have done that. 

Sometimes it’s hard to be an ardent defender of the Faith.  I always pray I am not at cross-purposes to God’s Will in anything I do.

How to make a Church very beautiful with paint (and statues and stained glass……) October 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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……still, the point is, this doesn’t have to cost a bajillion dollars.  This is the parish of Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.  I would be very gratified to worship there!

How would it be to have a spokes-priest for our Diocese have a parish like this?  I can only think of a few in our Diocese that come close – St. Thomas Acquinas is pretty nice, as is Christ the King.  Mater Dei and St. William are also pretty nice, but not like this one in Washington (yet?).  I think pastors might be surprised to find strong support for a remodeling along these lines.

Pope – Catholics MUST use their votes to support pro-life candidates… October 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, Society.
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…..and Catholics CAN NOT vote for those who support legalized abortion and/or euthanasia.  The Pope made these comments with regard to upcoming elections in Brazil, but the principle applies to elections anywhere.  The Pope also directed bishops to clearly guide the faithful according to these Catholic principles – Catholics cannot support any politician or any measure anywhere that would threaten the sanctity of life:

Bishops must guide their faithful to use their vote to oppose efforts to legalize abortion and euthanasia, Pope Benedict XVI told bishops from Brazil.“Dear brother bishops, to defend life we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking,” the pope said Oct. 28 during a meeting with bishops from northeast Brazil.

… Pope Benedict told the Brazilian bishops that while direct involvement in politics is the responsibility of the laity “when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it, pastors have a serious duty to make moral judgments even in political matters [there is no “space” that is free from our obligations as Christians – not even the voting booth].”

… While some may claim they support abortion or euthanasia to defend the weak and the poor, “who is more helpless than an unborn child or a patient in a vegetative or terminal state?” he said.

“When political positions openly or covertly include plans to decriminalize abortion and euthanasia, the democratic ideal which is truly democratic only when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person — is betrayed at its foundations,”

The pope is being careful in his message to be completely clear: bishops and priests have the “obligation” to do this – to speak to the Catholic faithful about the importance of voting in a democratic election against any candidate who will “covertly” or explicitly expand abortion and euthanasia.

We all have our marching orders – Bishops ought to encourage the laity through the means of communications at their disposal to vote with a properly-formed Catholic conscience. Priests ought to encourage their parishioners – yes, from the pulpit – to vote with a properly-formed Catholic conscience.

And WE, the Catholic faithful, have a sacred obligation to take our Catholic conscience into the voting booth and vote down candidates who, in their support of abortion and euthanasia, betray the democratic ideal at its foundations, because (as the pope says) a true democracy is only realized when it “acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person.”

Well, I don’t know that too many of the readers of this little blog need much guidance in this area, but just in case, the Church believes that anyone who uses their vote to support a pro-abort pro-euthanasia pro-gay marriage whatever candidate is involved in the commission of a serious sin.  They are culpable, through their material support (a vote) for having contributed to acts attacking human life, be they abortions or policies that will lead to euthanasia, etc.  This is not a right wing/left wing, it’s a Truth thing, and  increased funding for social causes or because one party supports a war and another may perceived as not supporting that war quite so much are not somehow “offsets” that permit you to support the pro-abort candidate.  This is not opinion, this is Catholic doctrine repeatedly and clearly explained and emphasized. 

If you feel that this is wrong, that the Church is wrong on this, I would gently ask you to consider if your problem is really with me, or the Church, but with God, for that is from whom all this Truth revealed by Christ through His Church flows.

Let us pray all bishops and priests will follow the Pope’s exhortation and expend total efforts to guide the faithful on these critical moral issues.

Hating on the Church October 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, sickness, silliness, Society.
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Voris comments on the recent AP article decrying the “conservative” Catholic blogosphere.  If you go to the websites of some newspapers running that article, you will find the most vile anti-Catholic hatred you can imagine.  Many people hate the Church.  It is one of the most acceptable bigotries around.  And some of the strongest haters are former Catholics, the vast majority of which left a Faith they barely, if ever, knew:

BTW, at the link, which I fixed (thanks Fr. Jordan!), the Arizona Central site used the .html “catholic rage” to describe this article.  This is the pushback I was talking about.  There is an inherent bias in that .html tag, and it’s used many other places, from the Washington Post to the Grande Island Gazette.  Plus, the unhinged commenters pick up phrases like “Catholic taliban” and instantly parrot them.   Knowing Alinskyite tactics and how they work (pick a target, freeze it, frame it, destroy it), I have a hard time believing this AP writer just randomly chose to write a high profile article on faithful Catholic blogs.  As the reaction to the Tea Party movement has revealed (plus, an almost infinite number of other examples), if liberals feel they are losing an argument, they call in the hounds.

Nothing ever changes October 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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We think we are soo dang smart.  We think we are so advanced, so subtle, so much more nuanced than our idiotic forebears.  And certainly, the problems of today have never been addressed before.  So, I read a quote from St. Peter Damian, which is valid, and it just floors me with how concise and apropos it is for our “modern” Catholic Church, especially in this country and Europe:

For God’s sake, why do you damnable sodomites pursue the heights of ecclesiastical dignity with such fiery ambition.    – St. Peter Damian, 1049

He’s only a Doctor of the Church, and he wrote extensively on this subject, one of several ecclesiastical abuses he railed against as a reformer at a time when the Church seriously needed reform (when does it not?). 

So why am I railing about this?  Just another pointless attack on homosexuals, to exercise my profound bigotry?  Not exactly:

The USCCB will hold its semi-annual meeting in a few weeks. One of the items on the agenda is the election of a new president. If things go as expected the vice president, Bishop Gerald Kicanis, will move up. And what a fitting appointment he is for the bishops’ vile bureaucracy. One of Bishop Kicanis’ claims to fame is his enabling of mega-sex abuser, defrocked and jailed priest, Daniel McCormack.

Kicanis was the rector of Mundelein Seminary in the 1990s when McCormack was a seminarian there and knew of three cases of “sexual improprieties,” one involving a minor. Kicanis recommended McCormack’s ordination anyway. His assessment even after McCormack’s history of child sex abuse was,  “It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him. There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience. I was more concerned about his drinking. We sent him to counseling for that.” Sexual activity with a minor is part of the “developmental process?” Please!

So 23 youngsters (at least) were sexually abused and psychologically damaged because it was “unfair” to recognize McCormack’s homosexual depravity for what it was and refuse him ordination. To see exactly how horrible McCormack’s actions were go here and read what one father only recently learned about the homosexual rape of his young son over a three-year period. He can thank Bishop Kicanis for helping it happen.

How many “sexual improprieties” involving minors are necessary, Bishop Kicanis, to know someone shouldn’t be ordained? Current USCCB head, Cardinal Francis George, was also involved in promoting and enabling McCormack. He kept him on even after his own review board recommended action and after McCormack was arrested on charges of molestation.

McCormack went to jail in 2007 but the men who enabled him were elected by their brother bishops to run their national group.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Church would be far better off if all these national conferences would be abolished.  They are a constant source of problems and the politicking that must go on to reach these high positions is difficult to reconcile with our calling as Christians – far too many compromises are made to reach these high levels.  If you read the link, you’ll find that the sex abuse in question did not happen a long time ago, it was all in the past few years.  Another notorious priest-abuser.  Lives ruined.  The Church drug through the mud.  And the future president of the USCCB was instrumental in sponsoring and recommending for ordination not only an active homosexual and pederast, but an alcoholic to boot!  What kind of thinking does a person have to think this man, this “filth,” would make a fit priest?  How does one view the Church to recommend such a man for the priesthood?  Saying “oh, well, the psychologists and the lawyers all said we should get him treatment, and he would be fine….” is a complete non-starter – we’re not talking about abuse back in the 70’s, or 80’s, – we’re talking about abuse ongoing up until 3-4 years ago, when the “psychological treatment” of priests was already completely discredited.   How do you think the father of the boy, the 11 year old boy, that McCormack, the priest in question, raped, will feel seeing our new USCCB President receiving plaudits for his wonderful faith and his serene leadership?  How do you answer for the fact that many who suffered the effects of this abuse have lost their Faith?

What possible motivation could there have been to promote a man with such a twisted past and troublesome present to the priesthood?

Pope Benedict – states have the right to defend their borders, set reasonable immigration laws October 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, Immigration.
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Really?  So a “rich” country does not have a moral obligation to let in every single person that wants to come in and make them a near instant citizen, no matter of any laws they may have broken in the process and without any reckoning of the social and financial costs of this massive immigration?  The Pope said:

” The Church recognizes this right in every human person, in its dual aspect of the possibility to leave one’s country and the possibility to enter another country to look for better conditions of life” (Message for World Day of Migration 2001, 3; cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Mater et Magistra, 30; Paul VI, Encyclical Octogesima adveniens, 17). At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity. “

In fact, Pope Benedict XVI is merely relating the Doctrine of the Faith as it is contained in the Catechism (Cat 2241).  In fact, it’s almost a word for word re-utterance of portions of the Catechism related to immigration.  This view of immigration, which our own Bishop Farrell seems to share, is very far from what is presented by, I am sure well meaning, Catholics, including various Cardinals and Bishops, who seem to feel that Catholics must support absolutely unconstrained immigration and imply that one cannot be a good Catholic if you don’t follow the most extreme pro-immigrant views.  This is not the Doctrine the Church, in Her wisdom, has developed.  The Church feels that countries are plainly allowed, as a matter of the natural law and the authority God has granted to their properly constituted leadership, to defend their borders and set reasonable limits on immigration.  A nation under serious threat, from, say, terrorism, including terrorists who have a desire, and the known capability, to inflict massive casualities, has a very serious reason to quite tightly control its border and regulate who may or may not enter the country.  There is nothing anti-Catholic about such a view, and, in fact, stating the a nation has no such right, and that Catholic social doctrine requires almost completely unconstrained immigration (and rewarding those who break the host-nation’s laws) is the position more difficult to reconcile with Catholic doctrine. 

I am a big proponent of immigration.  I have heard numerous horror stories of very good people, well qualified people, people with skills and abilities this nation desperately needs (like engineers), waiting for years, even decades, for the ability to come to this country and to become a citizen.  That is wrong.  This nation should not have idiotic quotas limiting immigration from countries like Canada and Germany.  At the same time, our southern border is virtually overrun, with drug/terror gangs boasting that they control large swaths of American territory.  This is a serious national security issue.  It  must be addressed.  We must have the ability to better control our southern border.  And it is not Catholic to insist that those who have broken this nation’s laws have a right to become near-instant citizens.  That is an unjust position, as it slaps in the face all those who have followed the (admittedly, seriously in need of reform) rules and waited and paid out the wazoo to gain citizenship.  But then, I fear that there may be motives at play among some of the more extreme Catholic unconstrained immigration supporters than just some view of satisfying ‘social justice.’

Planned Parenthood – fewer babies mean cheaper government October 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, General Catholic, sickness, silliness, Society.
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Ah, that sweet, good good Planned Barrenhood, always acting so selflessly, so much with the good of the society at heart.  They are just so darned caring!  Cecille Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, has been lobbying to include funding for contraception in Obamacare.  She argues that reducing the number of babies will reduce the cost of government provided health care:

I think it’s important … to understand that unlike some other issues of cost, birth control is one of those issues that actually saves the government money,” said Richards. “So an investment in covering birth control actually in the long run is a huge cost savings because women don’t have children that they weren’t planning on having and all the sort of attendant cost for unplanned pregnancy.

“So we actually feel that covering birth control is not only it’s the right thing to do for women, it’s good for women it’s good for their health care, but it’s frankly good public policy.” [


Such benevolent magnaminity!  I’m sure Planned Barrenhood has never done any studies that confirm that widespread use of contraception leads to an increase in the rate of abortion!  They’d never argue from their own naked self-interest!   And I love the long term thinking of Planned Parenthood!  While reducing the number of new births may reduce immediate government expenses with the misbegotten concept of socialized health insurance, in the long term, the decreased fertility rate will contribute to an economic death spiral like that being enjoyed by Europe and Japan.  When you don’t have babies, there aren’t enough new people to provide for economic growth, or to pay for all those very expensive socialistic programs (largely consumed by the elderly) that Planned Parenthood and the left love so much!  So government funding for contraception is a great plan, if you want to see a huge spike in abortions, and if you don’t care about the future economic vitality of this country (and the world at large). 
New motto: Planned Parenthood – wrong on every single issue we address!

CCHD plans reforms October 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, scandals.
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CCHD, oft the target of many Catholic bloggers (including me) is claiming it will institute reforms to “insure” funds don’t go to groups that work against the Doctrine of the Faith.  10 new “commitments” are promised, which, we are told, will absolutely GUARANTEE! that noooo pro-abort/gay marriage/leftist apparachik  (oops) group will ever again get Catholic money.   Apparently, there was at least a semi-serious move afoot within the USCCB to kill of CCHD, but its supporters obviously successfully staved that off.  It remains to be seen whether these “reforms,” like many that have gone before, will result in better results.  I pray it does, but I’m not going to just blindly declare victory for CCHD.  With such a checkered history, this group definitely bears continued monitoring (to the complete annoyance of Bishop Morin). 

One odd factoid is that CCHD normally releases its list of grant recipients in early September, but, this year, is delaying that release until November, shortly before the annual Thanksgiving-week collection in almost all US diocese.  Many critics of CCHD feels this late release of data may be a tactic to reduce the amount of time CCHD critics will have to go over their donation rolls.  I suppose we’ll see how well this ‘reform’ has been implemented when the data are finally released.