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Christmas gift idea December 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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I’ve written before that I like to attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass from time to time on Sunday’s.  It would be great to have that form of the Mass available to attend anytime, but since it is still unfortunately rare in this Diocese, we attend when we can.  Having said that, I haven’t assisted at many Traditional Latin Masses – only a dozen or so over the last several months.  Particularly at first, it can be a bit hard to follow even with the aid of an English-Latin translation.  In addition, there are a number of subtle and not so subtle differences between the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) and the Extraordinay Form.  Why did those occur?  Why is the EF/Traditional Latin Mass different?  Why is the Mass construed as it is, at all?

These are fundamental questions, and, unfortunately, many Catholics today may not be able to answer them very well.  But I received a book, by 19th Century priest and monk Dom Prosper Gueranger, that greatly explains the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, why it is celebrated as it is, what all the prayers mean, and why the Mass is such an incredibly rich, Biblical, mystical experience, especially when celebrated reverently and with great love.  The book is The Holy Mass, and it’s available through Baronius Press, many Catholic  bookstores, and Amazon.  It’s not a long book, about 200 pages, and it’s pretty small, so it is not onerous reading (I struggled through Augustine), but it is a very noble work, concisely and beautifully explaining the Order of the Mass, all the prayers, why certain things are said by the priest in the Extraordinary Form and some by the choir or the people.  It also has great value for those who do not yet assist at Extraordinary Form Masses, as well as for those who may not even have an interest in doing so, as there are still many similarities between the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Latin Mass for the book to provide many valuable insights.  I can already tell it will be a book I will return to again and again – there is so much good information, and its such an easy read, that it is worth returning to again and again, like The Imitation of Christ.

It’s reasonably priced.  You may want to check it out!

Surgeon-Oncologist claims birth control breast cancer link December 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society.
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At a recent conference sponsored by Human Life International (I don’t think that undermines it’s crediblity, but I’m sure some will claim that), Dr. Angela Lafranchi, a breast cancer surgeon/oncologist asked a very loaded question:

How often do doctors in America prescribe a Group One carcinogen – one recognized as a “definite” cause of cancer – to otherwise healthy patients?

The answer is something known to most faithful Catholics and others who oppose contraceptive use: “as often as they prescribe hormonal birth control?”

It is seemingly impossible to ignore a profound link between the birth control pill and breast cancer.  Rates of breast cancer have increased by 660% in the last 37 years – there is no other cancer whose rates have skyrocked nearly so much.  And yet, millions of women continue to injest these powerful hormones every day, fooling their body into believing they are pregnant, when actually not.  Dr. Lnfranchi adds:

She compared media treatment of the pill’s cancer risk to that of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which was found to be carcinogenic in 2002. Once word got out, 15 out of 30 million women in America taking HRT stopped; by 2007, invasive breast cancer in women over 50 for estrogen-receptive positive tumors dropped 11 percent.

Meanwhile, she noted, hormonal contraception – essentially the same drug as HRT and with a similar cancer risk, about 25-30 percent – continues to be touted as harmless and even healthy. And yet, the International Agency on Research of Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, classified hormonal contraceptives in 2005 as a group one carcinogen along with asbestos and radium.

And yet, these revelations are almost totally unknown, as the media has assiduously avoided almost any mention of these findings, and even when it is mentioned, there are usually copious rebuttals from “scienticians” claiming that the pill is the safest thing since breast milk, and that its “benefits” outweight the potential risk: ‘one British medical textbook she cited said that, “Considering the benefits of the pill, this slight increased risk is not considered clinically significant.'”  Other studies have shown a 50% or greater increase in breast cancer rates for women who use(d) the pill, especially for women who use it at young ages before having their first child.  So a 30-50% increase in breast cancer is “no clinically significant.”  I think it is to the women who suffer from this horrid disease, millions of them.

Why can we not be honest about this?  Half of women on hormone replacement therapy stopped after the revelations of the cancer risk associated with it – should women not have the fullest information about the risks of the number one drug prescribed to young women?  Why would you want to exclude this information, unless one’s ideological preconceptions so cloud the judgement that the big picture “good” of decreasing the threat (myth) of overpopulation and the “good of the environment” somehow makes this very important information somehow less important?  It’s tragic. 

This doesn’t even go into the link between abortion and breast cancer, which is another huge issue. 

Some people do not like to think about temporal punishments for sin.  The Church has always believed that contraception is a sin.  All Christian churches/sects used to believe that, until about 80 years ago when the Anglicans first got ‘hip.’  I am not stating that breast cancer is the punishment of a vengeful God.  But I do think that God set up certain natural systems to work in certain natural ways, and when those ways are frustrated the consequences can often be disastrous.  I pray that more women will have this information made available to them.  I pray that large corporate interests in the pharmaceutical industry and a general media adulation of contraception will cease so that women (and men) can be given the full information about the drugs they take.   And I pray for a radical change in our culture so that the culture of life will be embraced, and people will again realize that children are not an ornament to be added to one’s life at the perfect age, but are a gift from God at any time.  And I pray we will receive much better formation, as Catholics, from our priests and bishops on this issue.  For those priests that will tackle this “difficult” issue, you have my gratitude, and even more prayers.

In Solemn Rememberance….. December 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Society.
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………we here highly resolve that those who have died shall not have died in vain.  “An unprovoked……..and dastardly attack……a state of war has existed between the Empire of Japan, and the United States of America:”

Some of the most savage fighting in modern memory followed.  I pray for the repose of the souls of all who died, and am in incredible debt for their service. 

The fighting was perhaps nowhere worse than on the Kokoda trail, which climbed from the northern shore of New Guinea, up to altitudes of 14000 feet over the Owen Stanley mountains, and back down to Port Moresby on the southern coast, the very gateway to Australia:

In the second half of the campaign, the Japanese were reduced to cannibalism, something they took to with an aplomb the Americans and Australians, who starved almost as much, could not fathom.

The war at sea was the greatest naval conflict in the history of the world, with the world’s two largest navies, both naval powers of long standing, both daughters of the Royal Navy, fighting to the last over the entire western half of the Pacific, about 1/4 of the globe.  Midway is often seen as the turning point, but don’t forget about the 2nd Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.  Had that battle been lost, and the US subsequently lost control of the sea around that island, the Japanese may have completed their conquest of the Solomon Islands,  extended their defensive perimeter hundreds of miles south and west, and threatened Australia gravely.  The terrible attritional warfare around Guadalcanal had ground the US Navy down to its last assets – 2 brand new, untested battleships and a few destroyers.  The Japanese came steaming down the ‘Slot’ with 1 battleship, 2 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and 9 destroyers.  Early on, the US destroyers were largely put out of the fight, and the brand new battleship South Dakota (BB-57) was caught too close to the Japanese forces, suffered an electrical failure robbing it of all ability to fight, and was peppered with 28 shells of 6″ and up, including some 14 inchers from Kirishima.   But, then, Vice Admiral Willis A. “Chink” Lee, in his flagship USS Washington (BB-56) came out of nowhere (to the Japanese) and opened fire, inflicting crippling damage on battleship Kirishima and a Japanese destroyer.  The final major Japanese bid for naval supremacy around Guadalcanal was thwarted, after almost a dozen major engagements and the loss of dozens of ships on both sides.  It was the brutal attritional warfare on and around Guadalcanal, 6 months of grinding hell, that broke the back of Japanese air and naval power. 

Before entering combat, “Chink” Lee called ashore to the US naval installation on Tulagi to insure that friendly torpedo boats would not attack his force.  To prove his identity in some muddled communication conditions, he stated the following:

This is Ching Chong China Lee. Refer your big boss about Ching Lee. Call off your boys!     

Willis Augustus Lee, Chink Lee, looked decidedly Asian, although he was not.  He, like his confederates John Slew McCain and Marc Mitscher died almost immediately after the war’s end, all of sudden heart attacks.  It would appear they gave their all.

Slew McCain and Bill Halsey.

Episcopal disappointment December 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
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I missed this being out of town, but the newly elected head of the USCCB, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, seemed to have difficulty articulating firm belief in the One Lord of All in a recent TV interview:

Why indeed is it the case that so many of our leaders seem to have such great difficulty clearly evangelizing, let alone proselytizing, with the message that Jesus Christ is the One Lord and King.  Did episcopal leadership have this grave difficulty 100 years ago?  Not nearly so much……….

Celebrate St. Ambrose December 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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Today is the Feast day of St. Ambrose, bishop, anti-heresiarch, and great author of hymns and sermons.  He also famously converted St. Augustine.  Below is one of St. Ambrose’s most famous hymns – recite this prayer on New Year’s Day in thanksgiving to God for another year and receive a plenary indulgence!

Sung by the Carthusians of the Grand Chartreuse!  The Carthusians are the only order that has never had to be reformed!  Praise God!

ZOMG!! Distorter declared heretical! December 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals.
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Absolutely shocking!  That bastion of fine Catholic reportage declared heretical!  Say it ain’t so!  Oh, wait……this was over 40 years ago!  It would appear this particular declaration did not have too much in the way of concrete effects, but the below is from the former Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri, from October 1968:

NOW, AS a last resort, I am forced as bishop to issue a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporterfor its disregard and denial of the most sacred values of our Catholic faith. Within recent months the National Catholic Reporter has expressed itself in belittling the basic truths expressed in the Creed of Pope Paul VI; it has made itself a platform for the airing of heretical views on the Church and its divinely constituted structure, as taught by the First and Second Vatican Councils. Vehemently to be reprobated was the airing in recent editions of an attack on the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the virgin birth of Christ, by one of its contributors.
Finally, it has given lengthy space to a blasphemous and heretical attack on the Vicar of Christ. It is difficult to see how well instructed writers who deliberately deny and ridicule dogmas of our Catholic faith can possibly escape the guilt of the crime defined in Canon 1325 on heresy, and how they can escape the penalties of automatic excommunication entailed thereby.

In fairness to our Catholic people, I hereby issue an official condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter. Furthermore, I send this communication to my brother bishops, and make known to the priests, religious and laity of the nation my views on the poisonous character of this publication……….

IN AS MUCH as the National Catholic Reporterdoes not reflect the teaching of the Church, but on the contrary, has openly and deliberately opposed this teaching. I ask the editors in all honesty to drop the term “Catholic” from their masthead. By retaining it they deceive their Catholic readers and do a great disservice to ecumenism by being responsible for the false irenicism of watering down Catholic teachings.

I further ask the editors and the board of directors, for the love of God and their fellow men, to change their misguided and evil policy; for it is evident to me that they have already caused untold harm to the faith and morals not only of our laity, but of too many of our priests and religious

So, was this excommunication ever revoked?  Was this publication re-instated?  If not, why is it universally found in parish offices, parish libraries, chanceries, or essentially any other official Church locale?  Am I being spoofed, or is this excommunication genuine?  If so, how does NCDistorter have any credibility at all?

Puts me in the mind for this, thanks to Orbis Catholicus:

A Church more willing to enforce discipline and canonical penalties may have a number of drawbacks, but it certainly let you know where you stood.