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Our ‘modern’ liturgy is inwardly focused on the greatness of……us January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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I didn’t say it, but I agree wholeheartedly.  No, Msgr. Charles Pope did.  In discussing the tendency to dramatically overemphasize the human, community dimension of the Mass at the expense of directing all honor and glory to God at this Supreme Sacrifice, the Liturgy, the Source and Summit of our Faith, has gone seriously astray.  A few examples:

1. The Tabernacle, once invariably at the center of our churches, was placed to the side or in some chapel. It was almost as if Jesus was in the way, somehow, of what we wanted to accomplish in the Mass. Increasingly what it seems our focus shifted to was our very selves. The principle of unity was thus to be found in us.  

2. The Linear and cruciform orientation of the church building gave way to the fan shaped and even circular buildings of the past forty years. Again the message seems to be that we should look at each other, and the main goal  seems to be that we be able to see each other’s faces. It would be this that would enhance and create greater unity. Hence anything like tabernacles, candles, crosses, even altars that blocked  the view of others was to be eliminated. The unity was to be found within the assembly and by a physically inward arrangement free of any obstacles.

3. Thus architectural  minimalism became essential since the people and their ability to see each other and thus find unity were the main point. Large impressive altars, statues, high ceilings etc., anything that tended to draw attention away from others or bock the view of others, was to be removed. Somehow these outside and “distracting” objects, even if they were images of our Lord, offended against unity which was to be found within the “gathered” Church.  I remember rather humorously a now deceased liturgist from the 1970s, (Eugene Walsh), coming to our parish and telling us that the altar should be no bigger than a night stand or side table and that the priest should never stand behind anything. Even our rather radical pastor at that time thought that was going a bit too far! The altar stayed.

4. The priest must face the people at all times. The ancient and common orientation of priest and people in one direction, all looking outward toward Christ, was replaced with an inward focus, a circle. This was said to create and emphasize unity in the gathered assembly. The principle of unity was within, among the humans gathered.

5. Self-congratulatory salutations abound. We are endlessly impressed and fascinated by what we are doing and who is doing it. At large parish masses announcements and congratulatory accolades for musicians, visitors, youth et al. may last longer than the homily or Eucharistic prayer. This is seen as affirming and community-building and thus, once again, the impression is created that the we are the main point and that our unity and gifts flow from us, and exist for us. That the worship of God should be the main point  seems to many to be a downer or a distraction.

Now community is an essential partof who we are and why we are at Church. We do not come to Mass as a purely private moment with God and the Church is not a private oratory. Neither is this a question of the old versus the new Mass, for many of these trends set up wel before the missal of 1970. But in our attempt to emphasize the important and essential communal dimension of the liturgy,  it seems we may have over-corrected. It also seems that we have set up a false dichotomy wherein focusing on God, on the vertical and outward dimension of liturgy, is necessarily to offend against the human and communal dimension of the Mass.

Not only is this dichotomy false but it also destroys the very unity it clams to serve. For, if we do not communally focus on the Lord, we have no true unity. It may be argued that there is some vaguely human sort of unity, but it really no different that the unity that exists among the members of a bowling league. And even the members of a bowling league know that at some point it is important to focus on the act of bowling rather than merely on each other. Something outside themselves (i.e. bowling) ultimately unites them.

There is much more at the link.

Pray for this man January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, Society.
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If ever anyone has been set up for a fall, it’s this man.  It’s a beautiful story, and I pray, I really pray, that the fairy tale comes true, and I hope he’s really solid in his recovery.  With the world being offered to him, it’s going to be hard to keep his faith, and stay away from those things that caused his ruin in the first place.  I pray that he may get right with his 9 children and keep God first in his life, find the Fullness of Truth, and realize that the worldly happiness he is being offered is not the ultimate, he has, I pray, already found that.

Sister Keehan – building the alternative Magisterium January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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She just won’t stop.  Now that  Bishop Thomas Olmstead (OR-Phoenix) has revoked the ‘Catholic’ status of the Phoenix hospital that allows abortions (and is part of Catholic HealthWest, more on that), Sr. Carol Keehan has come out in support of…….you guessed it, and it ain’t the bishop

Sister Carol Keehan — who leads 1,200 Catholic hospitals and health organizations nationwide and riled bishops with her key support of President Obama’s health care reform legislation last year — has told the National Catholic Reporter that the Phoenix hospital that authorized an abortion to save a mother’s life “correctly applied” Catholic ethics.

Yesterday, Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted stripped St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the city’s leading hospital, of its Catholic status.

Olmsted cited disapproval of the hospital’s actions including abortion case and reproductive health services such as contraception sought by poor people and provided by the hospital through the state’s insurance program.

Olmsted said the hospital, founded by Sisters of Mercy and now part of Catholic Healthcare West, failed to heed the ethical directives issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

 Keehan said the hospital……has many programs that reach out to protect life. They had been confronted with a heartbreaking situation. They carefully evaluated the patient’s situation and correctly applied the ‘Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services’ to it, saving the only life that was possible to save.”


That statement is not true, as complete data on the nature of the case has not been made public.  She does not have a right to access to that information, and is simply following the lead of Catholic HealthWest, which, as the most profitable member of the Catholic Health Association which Keehan heads, and one of the staunchest supporters of Obamacare, is hardly surprising.  Keehan is simply reprising her role as head lobbyist for a very profitable group of nominally non-profit ‘Catholic’ hospitals (CHW has reported hundreds of millions of profits over the last several years, and stands to reap far more under Obamacare). 

What is even more interesting, is the confirmation, by the very liberal Cathy Lynn Grossman of USAToday (who has been very hostile to Pope Benedict and orthodox Catholics over the past few years), that Keehan’s action in supporting Obamacare, along with the heterodox, unfaithful female religious who sent letters to various congressmen, provided key cover in allowing nominally ‘pro-life’ democrats to vote in favor of Obamacare, especially Bart Stupak:

For Keehan, this is a return to the headlines after last year’s clash with bishops on whether the Obama health reform package sufficiently banned any federal funding for abortion.

The USCCB said no. But Keehan and other nuns said yes — becoming heroes to progressive Catholics and provoking vitriol from some bishops to this day.

In the final days of the contentious health care reform debates, Keehan and nearly 60 other nuns and leaders of religious orders found the legislation’s numerous anti-abortion funding provisions were sufficient. They came out in favor of the bill, saying it was “life affirming” legislation. This gave enough legislators religious cover to allow them to vote for the bill.

Exactly, which was the entire purpose of that letter of support. 

And so, the construction of the alternative Magisterium goes on.  So long as this naked, public dissent (which used to be called heresy) continues unchecked by our ordinaries, the alternative Magisterium will continue to grow and metastesize and undermine the Authority of the Church, and those who hold ultimate responsibility for the Faith in each diocese, the bishops.  By permitting Sr. Keehan to continue her public role unpunished, she will continue to undermine the authority of all bishops, especially in this country.  Is this what ‘pastoral’ leadership looks like?

The problem is, they probably would actually be OK with that January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, General Catholic, scandals, sickness.
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h/t Jill Stanek

Today should be the Feast of Epiphany…..UPDATED! January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, silliness.
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….and it IS the Feast of Epiphany in the 1962 Missale Romanum calendar, but for many diocese in the US and other places, there were not 12 days of Christmas, but 9. 

I know I am speaking for many when I say “We want our Holy Days back,” not rolled into the most convenient Sunday!

Have a blessed non-Epiphany St. Andre Bissette (optional memorial) January 6 day!

UPDATE:  Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington blog agrees with me.  Our Christmas season is all messed up (no Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus?!?!)

Does anyone else care about the mangling of the Liturgical calendar?  Comment!  I get lonely with no comments!

Wow January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society.
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When I write certain things, asking pointed questions about how it is that we have so many new age type speakers coming into the diocese, or out and out decrying certain actions by the episcopate, I definitely feel a certain twinge, a certain fear of going too far or acting primarily from my own agenda.  With that in mind, watch this:

Voris definitely picks up where he left off, dodn’t he?  Dude, tell us how you really feel!

My conviction, my sensus fidei, tells me, however, that such things need to be said, more and more publicly, more and more forcefully, until this madness stops.

Something I need to hear frequently January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Society, The Imitation of Christ.
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Perhaps you do not struggle with inordinate affections for created things.  Unfortunately, I do.  A created thing can be anything in our lives that is not of God – TV, books, work, car, kids, spouse, beer, nicotine (doh!), food, whatever.  Loving any created thing too much distances us from God.  We are to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and our whole strength [Mk 12:30].

Vanity of vanities and all IS vanity [Eccl 1:2] except to love God and serve Him alone.

Whensoever a man desires anything inordinately he is presently disquieted within himself.

The proud and covetous are never easy.

The poor and huble of spirit live in much peace.

The man that is not yet perfectly dead to himself is soon tempted and overcome with small and trifling things. (hello, Larry!)

He that is weak in spirit, and in a manner yet carnal and inclined to sensible things, can hardly withdraw himself wholly from earthly desires.

And therefore he is often sad when he withdraws himself from them and is easily moved to anger if any one thwarts him.

And if he has pursued his inclination he is immediately tormented with the guilt of his conscience, because he has followed his passion, which helps him not at all toward the peace he sought for.

It is then by resisting our passions that we are to find true peace of heart, and not by being slaves to them.

There is no peace, therefore in the heart of a carnal man, nor in a man that is addicted to outward things; buy only in a  fervent spiritual man.

Taken from The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis, Book 1 Chapter 6.  The Imitation of Christ was once the second most read book in Christendom, after the Holy Bible.  I think we have lost something in this book being nearly forgotten.

Oh no, Firefox! January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, disaster.
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Well, not quite, but, maybe F-22 production should not have been terminated at 187 units.  Brilliant!  Let’s spend $50 billion on development, and once all those costs are sunk, only buy 187!  Is that tooling still around?

By the way, play this on mute unless you like overwrought, bombastic ChiCom “patriotic” music:

Sorry, I really don’t intend to turn this into a Catholic military aviation blog.  But, then again, it probably would be the first one……..HMMMMM

Did you get the reference?

Ah, yes, the “Mig-31 Firefox” from the movie of the same name……..a Mach 6 (!!) stealth fighter!  Mach 6 and stealth do not go together!