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The Pope November 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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I was out of town, but I heard about the Pope’s condom comments.  I don’t know what to think, other than granting a book length interview during a Papacy is both unprecendented and seemingly not very wise.  I pray that one day the Vatican will get a top-notch 1950’s PR team together.  That would be an improvement by about a century. 

UPDATE: This is a complete disaster.  The comments above (I deleted them later) were based on early analysis of events as of last weeked – subsequent “clarifications” have been far, far worse – apparently, women, men, whomever can use condoms at will provided they intend to prevet the spread of VD.  This, although not Magisterial, would represent a HUGE change in Church Doctrine, a disastrous change, because hte Truth cannot change, right?  I think the Pope was trying to speak extemporeanously without causing the firestorm he caused last year with his comments on a flight to Africa, and he appears to have stumbled in to a potentially bigger controversy.  No wonder he looked so lost and exhausted last night at the Vigil for Nascet life. 

Seriously, tell me how this is not a serious problem.  This opens the door hugely wide for contraceptive use, a radical change in Church Doctrine (contraceptive use has been opposed since the inception of the Church, all the Fathers were opposed, vehemently so), and an incredibly muddle-headed moral analysis, to boot.  I’ll have to seriously consider SSPX if this train of “moral theology” continues.  I would say the Vatican-SSPX and Vatican-Orthodox talks just hit an enormous impasse.

UPDATE2:  I don’t know how much blogging I’ll do today – I thought of a number of items over the last week I wanted to cover, but right now I’m not certain I’ll get to them.  I found a copy of the Ratzinger Report at my father in law’s old house, and I’m reading that, and I had some thoughts last night, because in that other book length interview, the Pope seems to indicate exactly the opposite of what he’s saying now, just as he seemed to say a year or so ago on that fabled flight to Africa, when he decried any condom use for AIDS prevention.  But now, it’s apparently a positive moral good to use condoms.  In fact, the Pope’s statement is very hard to wrap one’s head around, as it is worded in some seemingly contradictory manner, but it’s the followup by Fr. Lombardi that I have a very hard time understanding, and that makes me very unnerved:

“I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lombardi said. “He told me no. The problem is this … It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship.”

This is if you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual. We’re at the same point. The point is it’s a first step of taking responsibility, of avoiding passing a grave risk onto another,” Lombardi said

My first problem with the Pope’s statement is the assumption that the use of a condom is a positive good, a “more moral” act than not using one, at least in terms of AIDS prevention.  This is a contradiction compared to what he stated on that flight to Africa.  Secondly, with the expansion of the argument to include not just male on male sex, which would be a limited case and not much affect Church Doctrine since 2 men going at it can’t be fecund, anyway, but including men and women using condoms to prevent AIDS from spreading, this IS a huge change – no Catholic Pope ever in the history of the Church has said there were any circumstances in which a woman and man could use a condom in their sexual activity.  AIDS is not such a game changer that it requires a redefinition of the Church’s stance on this key moral issue – there have been potentially deadly venereal diseases from time immemorial, including syphillis and secondary infections stemming from gonorrhea.  So this expansion of the argument beyond that originally presented in this new book length interview is enormous.  If Fr. Lombardi is faithfully representing the Pope’s views, I do not see how this is not a very significant change – it is being argued that in order to prevent the spread of a disease, male-female couples can use a device that renders procreation impossible.  I pray there will be further clarifications of this (read, retraction).

But think about the current situation, folks – now anyone could justify using a condom to prevent the spread of venereal disease, and have such use seemingly sanctioned by the Pope.  It was stated even married couples can use condoms – so anyone could say “hmm….I did have unprotected sex one time years ago, and while I’m now trying to live as a faithful Catholic, I could have a disease, I better use a condom, and that way, we may not have umpteen kids, too.”  The marriage act is thus frustrated.   

The only good thing about this is that this interview is not a Magisterial pronouncement, but it’s nevertheless not good.

UPDATE3: Many are saying that the Pope’s comments are not being fairly analyzed, or are being taken out of context.  Well, deal with it, that’s the world we’re in, and if one makes statements that are potentially explosive and with unclear or insufficient caveats, then the media will do what the media does, they’ll run with it if there is even a dim chance that their preferred interpretation can be reasonably drawn out from the statement.  It’s foolishly naive to try to argue that the media is somehow being unfair – it’s just doing what it does.  If you don’t want statements taken out of context, don’t make nebulous statements, and don’t have your chief PR officer seemingly take that statement about 12 miles further down the logical road.  Frankly, the caveat is insufficient – “The Church doesn’t regard condom use as a real or moral solution, BUT one could view condom use as a step towards morality if you’re already imbued in the pagan culture.”  Do you really think the pagans aren’t going to take that statement and run with it, seeing as it could be taken to endorse exactly what they want it to endorse?  It seems to make a positive good out of something that has always been declared intrinsically evil, the use of contraceptive devices.

UPDATE4: Unless I see something really interesting, I think I’ll drop it after this.  According to the SSPX commentary on this issue (thanks to commenter Tom), the Pope also, in this interview, described those who adhere as fully as they can to the Doctrine re-emphasized in Humanae Vitae (which did nothing more than re-affirm Church Doctrine since the Fathers) as “deeply convinced minorities” who offer others “a fascinating model to follow,” as if faithful Catholics are an interesting sociological specimen.  Is that a ringing endorsement of Church Doctrine which has been explained and clarified and repeated by Popes from the earliest founding of the Church through to this present day?

I’m out November 23, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery.
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I’m going to be where there ain’t no intrawebs, so talk amongst yourselves.  One quick hit, St. Mark in Plano is showing forth God’s great Mercy and His Spirit at daily Mass – there are so many people they’ve had to move into the regular Church! It’s Teh Awesomeness!

Normal blogging will resume  nextr week.

God bless you!

Boxer – US just like N. Korea, Iran…… November 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, General Catholic, scandals, Society.
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……because we don’t have gays in the military (http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/sen-boxer-compares-us-iran-north-korea-a).  Thanks for re-electing her, California!  Anything else you’d like to do for us while you’re here?  Oh, yeah…..you’d like us to bail you out when your government goes completely insolvent.  No, thanks:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) today likened the United States of America to Iran, North Korea and Pakistan because those nations also do not allow homosexuals in their militaries.

Boxer likened the U.S.A. to the Communist regime in North Korea, the Islamic regime in Iran and the Pakistani government at a press conference in which she called for repealing the ban on homosexuals in the military during the lameduck session of Congress, which is taking place now before the new members elected on Nov. 2 can arrive in Washington, D.C. and replace the members who are retiring or who were defeated. 

“We now stand with this rule with countries like Iran, North Korea and Pakistan in banning gays and lesbians from military service,” said Boxer. “Our brave young men and women fight alongside allies like Australia, the United Kingdom and others who allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. Let’s not stand with Pakistan and with North Korea and Iran.”

The truly amazing thing is, she has internalized lockstep leftist groupthink to the point that she actually believes what she’s saying,  just like “human rights” NGOs at the UN lump the US into categories with similar countries because most states have the death penalty and, especially, because abortion “rights” are threatened.  We’re just not as enlightened as our European betters.  I think that’s why many of our forebears came here, to get away from sanctimonious elites who always know better, but now we’re growing our own.

True story about Boxer – she would blast criticisms of oil companies, especially ARCO, my dad’s former employer, and then hit them up for million dollar campaign contributions.  They would pay, they had no choice.  She is also widely considered, quite literally, the dumbest person in the Senate, if not the entire Congress.  She is one of the most fervently pro-abort politicians in the country.

Child claims visit to Heaven November 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic.
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Could Acquinas have been wrong?  Anyway, a child and his family claim their son went to Heaven during emergency appendectomy surgery when he was 4 years old.  The child claims to have met his sister who died in a miscarriage, and a great grandfather he never knew.  True story?

Except for the “smile which lit up the heavens,” a turn of phrase rather beyond most 7 year olds, sounds pretty real to me.  I don’t know that the purpose of heaven is to be reunited with our loved ones, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

Admin note – embedded linking messed up November 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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WordPress has done something to  make it impossible for me to embed links in the text, so I’m pasting them in to give credit where due.  Sorry for any annoyance.

Couple leaves baby’s life to internet vote November 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, foolishness, General Catholic, sickness, Society.
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I’d say sick, but I think WTF is wrong with people is the better expression.  This is why God created life, so people could auction it off?  Moloch must be so pleasedhttp://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2010/11/horror-couple-hold-online-vote-on.html:

This is nothing short of sickening. A couple is pregnant with their first child and are now leaving it up to a vote whether to abort their child or not. They’ve established a website called BirthorNot.

While they say the final tally is not binding they will take it into consideration. The two post images of their baby’s ultrasound but still are threatening to abort.

I thought about putting the link in but I really don’t want to send traffic their way because that’s really what they’re after. If we give publicity to these kinds of things I think we’ll only get more of them.

Pete and Alisha Arnold have created a website called Birthornot.com, where they’ve been posting updates on Alisha’s pregnancy since September. But this site is unlike any other expectant parent’s blog: this site has a poll that asks viewers, “Should we give birth or have an abortion?”

So you know how pro-aborts are always saying that women don’t take abortion lightly, well this kind of puts the lie to that.

Uh, just a bit.

We want our Holy Days back November 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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We don’t want them done away with if they fall on a Monday or Saturday, and we don’t want them rolled up into a Sunday in some misguided notion of being “pastoral,” which the current operative definition of seems to be “don’t expect very much of people.”  Thomas Peters (http://catholicvote.org/discuss/?p=11646) comments on a George Weigel (http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/11/countercultural-time) suggestion that many of the traditional Holy Days of Obligation be put back into the liturgical calendar:

As things now stand, the Church has bent its sense of liturgical time to the imperial demands of that modern cultural artifact, the weekend. The Holy See has permitted local churches to lower the bar of liturgical expectation by transferring solemnities like Epiphany and Corpus Christi to Sundays, and the bishops of the United States have gone a step farther by lifting the obligation to attend Mass on certain holy days if those days fall on a Saturday or a Monday: thus, just a few weeks ago, the Solemnity of All Saints dropped off a lot of Catholic radar screens because it fell on a Monday, and was thus not a holy day of obligation.These are very bad ideas, it seems to me. If the time we spend worshipping God through Christ in the power of the Spirit is, in truth, an experience of enriched time (because it anticipates the time-beyond-time,) then we should not look for ways to cut temporal corners by shifting to Sunday long-established feasts whose celebration during the week once gave a unique rhythm to Catholic life. So let’s put Epiphany back where it belongs, on January 6, and let’s get the Solemnity of the Body and Body of Christ, Corpus Christi, back where it belongs, which is during the week.

Weigel then goes on to suggest that some other Holy Days be added, like the Solemnity of the North American Martyrs and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Or, we could just go back to the old calendar and be done with it! 

Peters suggests that some people nowadays just go to Mass on what should be a Holy Day, anyway.  That’s a good idea, and I think a few people do that.  Perhaps an even better idea would be to go to Mass every day!

But seriously, give us our Holy Days back.  There is a growing number of Catholics who aren’t interested in doing the bare minimum style of worship.

40% of Americans say marriage doomed November 18, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, Society.
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Doomed as an institution, that is.  Well, what do you think when most folks reduce their marriage to an infertile cohabitation, a sort of friends with benefits kind of existence? 

Other findings include a plurality of Americans thinking “new modes of family life” like unmarried couples having children together, single parent households, etc,. are a postive development for society vis a vis the traditional two parent household (34%), while 29% think it makes no difference, confirming what sociologists have been claiming for years – 2/3 of the American public is completely clueless. 

Really……gay couples having kids, unmarried mothers with 4 kids, these are positive developments?!?!  Did anyone of these positive respondents think at all when asked this question, or do they all make up one of those non-traditional groups?!?

I’m going to quit blogging, or I’ll wind up a serial depressive.

Msgr. Charles Pope on strong preaching November 18, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic.
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This guy is really good.  Many priests would do well to take his advice, and for those that are already boldly proclaiming the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church, thank you.

Preaching is about saving before it is about consoling, and God makes this clear to Ezekiel and to every preacher. I think a lot of people think that preaching is supposed to merely please and encourage them. There is a place for that but good preaching also afflicts and provokes response. Jesus was more than willing  to provoke people and unsettle them. It is not a goal in itself. Rather,  it is the necessary outcome of lancing a spiritual boil or setting a broken limb. Protests, anger, and so forth are not necessarily the sign of failure. I’ve had people come to me and say, You once made me mad but you also made me think and I’ve come to understand what you were saying was true. A lot of times powerful preaching takes people through a cycle of: mad, to sad, to glad.

I think we have long enough tried the “nice guy” preaching that is extolled by many, as the model. But all through these past 40 years with that model largely operative,  Mass attendance has steadily dropped. Currently, as noted, only 27% of Catholics attend Mass at all any more. We have, collectively become a rebellious house…….

The fact is, I think there is a general hunger for a return to vivid and strong preaching. I think this is more common among younger people, many of whom have had enough of polite but abstract sermons that preach ideas more than unvarnished Catholic and Biblical truth. I observe a hunger for strong preaching. I look at how popular priests like Fr. John Corapi, and Fr. Bill Casey are. Lay people too like Scott Hahn and Patrick Madrid don’t mince words, they say it plain. Looking back who can ever forget the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen? He was a real hero to me and I think I’ve listened at least once to every thing he ever preached. He too made it plain and did not apologize for preaching the cross and repentance as a prelude to victory. None of the men I have mentioned are dainty  in any way.

Go read the whole thing.

Watch this and see if you aren’t fired up November 18, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic.
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I really like Fr. Angelo Gieger of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.