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Cathedral renovation December 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery.
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The Cathedral for the Dallas Diocese, formery Sacred Heart, now Catedral Santuario de Guadalupe, was once quite different from how it is today, especially on the interior.  The former marble altar rails were removed and parts of them were used as curbs in parking lots for the Cathedral and other locations, the glorious High Altar was removed and, presumably, destroyed, etc.  Similar things happened around the country.  One diocese, Orlando, is seeking to restore some of the former glory to its cathedral, as shown below.

The before:

The ongoing renovations:

If you’ve never seen it before, this is what the High Altar used to look like at the Cathedral in downtown Dallas:

The present altar is rather more simple:

Start your Christmas Novena tomorrow! December 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Our Lady.
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You can start your Novena for Christmas tomorrow!  And don’t forget, today (Wednesday, Dec 15), Friday, and Saturday are Ember days

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment
At which the Son of God was born
Of a most pure Virgin
At a stable at midnight in Bethlehem
In the piercing cold
At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee,
To hear my prayers and grant my desires
(mention request here). 

Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.

Pope Benedict on contraception/abortion December 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, General Catholic, sadness.
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From another book length interview with Peter Seewald, Salt of the Earth, then Cardinal Ratzinger addresses the issue of contraception.  My question, to all but especially Steve B and WhiteLily, is the “answer” Ratzinger gives on this subject profoundly modernist in its outlook?  Does this answer below provide a “preview,” if you will, of the Pope’s ‘condom comments’?

Your Eminence, many Christians do not understand the Church’s position on contraception. Do you understand that they don’t understand it?

Yes, I can understand that quite well; the question is really complicated. In today’s troubled world, where the number of children cannot be very high given living conditions and so many other factors, it’s very easy to understand. In this matter, we ought to look less at the casuistry of individual cases and more at the major objectives that the Church has in mind.

I think that it’s a question of three major basic options. The first and most fundamental is to insist on the value o£ the child in society. In this area, in fact, there has been a remarkable change. Whereas in the simple societies of the past up to the nineteenth century, the blessing of children was regarded as the blessing, today children are conceived of almost as a threat. People think that they rob us of a place for the future, they threaten their own space, and so forth.  In this matter a primary objective is to

recover the original, true view that the child, the new human being, is a blessing. That by giving life we also receive it ourselves and that going out of ourselves and accepting the blessing of creation are good for man.The second is that today we find ourselves before a separation of sexuality from procreation such as was not known earlier, and this makes it all the more necessary not to lose sight of the inner connection between the two.

Meanwhile, even representatives of the sixties’ generation, who tried it, are making some astonishing statements. Or perhaps that’s just what we should expect. Rainer Langhans, for example, who once explored “orgasmic sexuality” in his communes, now proclaims that “the pill severed sexuality from the soul and led people into a blind alley.” Langhans complains that now there “is no longer any giving, no longer any devoted dedication”. “The highest” aspect of sexuality, he now professes, is `parenthood”, which he calls “collaboration in God’s plan”.

It really is true that increasingly we have the development of two completely separated realities. In Huxley’,s famous futuristic novel Brave New World, we see a vision of a coming world in which sexuality is something completely detached from procreation. He had good reason to expect this, and its human tragedy is fully explored. In this world, children are planned and produced in a laboratory in a regulated fashion. Now, that is clearly an intentional caricature, but, like all caricatures, it does bring something to the fore: that the child is going to be something that tends to be planned and made, that he lies completely under the control of reason, as it were. And that signals the self-destruction of man. Children become products in which we want to express ourselves; they are fully robbed in advance of their own life’s projects. And sexuality once again becomes something replaceable. And, of course, in all this the relationship of man and woman is also lost. The developments are plain to see.

In the question of contraception, precisely such basic options are at stake. The Church wants to keep man human. For the third option in this context is that we cannot resolve great moral problems simply with techniques, with chemistry, but must solve them morally, with a life-style. It is, I think — independently now of contraception — one of our great perils that we want to master even the human condition with technology, that we have forgotten that there are primordial human problems that are not susceptible of technological solutions but that demand a certain life-style and certain life decisions. I would say that in the question of contraception we ought to look more at these basic options in which the Church is leading a struggle for man. The point of the Church’s objections is to underscore this battle. The way these objections are formulated is perhaps not always completely felicitous, but what is at stake are such major cardinal points of human existence.

The question remains whether you can reproach someone, say a couple who already have several children, for not having a positive attitude toward children.

No, of course not, and that shouldn’t happen, either.

But must these people nevertheless have the idea that they are living in some sort of sin if they …

I would say that those are questions that ought to be discussed with one’s spiritual director, with one’s priest, because they can’t be projected into the abstract.

So, when asked clearly, if a couple with several children develops an antipathy towards having more, the subject of contraception is at the discretion of their spiritual director?  Does Pope Benedict undermine his argument by having a modernist hermeneutic, looking at things from a distinctly ‘modern’ point of view?

Greatness! Chants I’ve never heard before December 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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Thanks to Fr. Phillip Neri Powell, OP:

I wonder if Chris has heard these before?

Bishop blasts largest Catholic hospital chain – UPDATE – IMPORTANT! December 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.
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Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix, one of a number of bishops for whom I pray every night, has blasted Catholic HealthCare West (CHW), an ostensibly Catholic hospital chain (and one of, if not the, most profitable “non-profits” in the country), for disregarding Church doctrine on abortion.  One of the issues was the performance of an abortion at a CHW hospital in Phoenix last year, but there are much wider problems:

On December 17, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix will declare that St. Joseph’s Hospital is no longer a Catholic institution unless its parent company recognizes that the abortion that took place there violated the US bishops’ ethical directives and pledges it “will never occur again.”

The bishop’s November 22 letter to Lloyd H. Dean, president of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), followed earlier correspondence in which Catholic Healthcare West, relying on the analysis of M. Therese Lysaught, attempted to justify the killing of the unborn child that took place at the hospital in late 2009. Lysaught is associate professor of theology and director of graduate studies at Marquette University.

In response, Bishop Olmsted wrote that as bishop, it was his task to interpret the moral law and the bishops’ ethical norms authoritatively within the diocese.

Bishop Olmstead also stated that if St. Joseph’s Hospital wished to remain a Catholic hospital, it must consent to a review by the diocesan medical ethics board and training of its staff by the medical ethics board or the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Going beyond the issue of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bishop Olmsted blasted Catholic Healthcare West for operating some hospitals that do not abide by the US bishops’ ethical directives. Citing the example of a hospital within diocesan boundaries, he spoke of his

absolute objection to CHW operating hospitals without following the ERDs [Ethical and Religious Directives]; namely my objections to your administration of Chandler Regional Hospital, where as an organization calling itself “Catholic,” CHW authorizes sterilizations and I know not what other immoral acts. I continue to find this arrangement deeply troubling………

In September 2009, Dean, Catholic Healthcare West’s president and CEO, lauded a speech by President Obama on healthcare reform. According to Federal Election Commission records, Mr. Dean made $10,000 in contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee over a ten-day period earlier that summer and donated an additional $250 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. An early supporter of Obama’s presidential campaign, Mr. Dean gave $2,300 [the federal individual limit – ED] to Obama for America in September 2007

I will also add that, CHW, as part of the Catholic HealthCare Association headed by Sr. Carol Keehan, lobbied strenously for Obamacare, and that both organizations stand to earn untold billions in reliable, there every year federal dollars, should Obamacare come into effect.  CHA repeatedly defied very clear explanations of how Obamacare would fund abortion and other services antithetical to Catholic moral doctrine in their continual support.

UPDATE: It seems CHW has a facebook page.  Some are indicating their support for CHW refusing to follow Bishop Olmstead’s legitimate authority.  You can leave your own comments for CHW at their facebook page here.