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Complete text of Bishop Athanasius Scheneider’s call for a correct reading of Vatican II January 25, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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Via New Liturgical Movement, EWTN has helpfully posted a translation of Bishop Schneider’s entire speech.  Great stuff!  Just click on the link.  I’m going to print it out and read it tonight!  That will probably contribute to my futher decline as a taliban Catholic!  Pray for me!

Here’s another great NLM post regarding the four pillars of living a Catholic life both individually, and at the parish level – the centrality of the Mass, praying the Hours, reading Sacred Scripture (Lectio Divina), and “mystagogical catechesis,” or formation in the mysticism of the Church, its signs, symbols, and acts of Faith.  I find reading the lives of Saints really good for that last part.  I try to do all of the above, but I’m only a partial-Hours prayer person at present.  I pray I will find the time to pray all the Hours, every day!

And now for something completely different – good speakers coming to Diocese! January 25, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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It isn’t all sturm and drang regarding upcoming speakers headed to the Dallas Diocese!  There are two good ones headed our way – Professor Robbie George of Princeton University and the American Principles Project will be speaking at the University of Dallas on Thursday, February 3 in the Lynch Auditorium at 7:30.  Professor George is a staunch defender of life and Catholic doctrine, and has focused much of his efforts on insuring the Catholic Faith plays an increasing role in public life.   He is also giving a seminar on February 4 at 9 am in the Gorman Faculty Lounge at UD on “public reason.”

These events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the UD Philosophy Department by phone at 972-721-5161 or by email at phildept@udallas.edu.

In addition, Professor Peter Kreeft will be speaking at Saint Gabriel parish in McKinney on Monday, Feb. 21 at 7 pm.  His talk will be “How to win the culture war,” which sounds like great information to have.  I’d like to know how to do that!  All the information is below:

Poster Peter Kreeft (2)

“Abortion and contraception are intertwined in their use” January 25, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery, sadness, sickness, Society.
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So said a figure from International Planned Parenthood in 1970.  My man:

From the really good Franciscans of the Immaculate, Blessed Mother Teresa on abortion:

America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.”

More on upcoming ‘new age’ retreats January 25, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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I sent an e-mail to a local pastor concerning a retreat to be held at his parish (St. Mark Plano).  He declined to comment on my communication, but here are some excerpts below, including some additional details I have learned about Sr. Marie Schwan’s philosophy and her retreat program:

Sr. Schwan has written one book.  It will form the basis for her retreat, as she uses this book for all her retreats.  The book is a manual for centering prayer, which starts out seemingly innocuous, with meditation intended to “find God within,” but reading more in the book, it describes not only ways to engage in centering prayer but a more advanced form or prayer, called “kything.”  Kything prayer: “is a way of calling up another person’s spirit to enter you, so that you can use their energy and gifts for yourself. You can also let others “centre” into your spirit to call your spirit to them. You can do this with saints as well as others who are dead and it’s all done in the name of Christian Prayer.”  This form of ‘prayer’ is not only outside the bounds of Catholic practice, it seems very close to necromancy, a very sinful practice rejected specifically in the Catechism.  Suffice it to say, opening oneself up to unknown spirits and allowing them to enter one’s soul/consciousness seems highly problematic, at best.  If one were not in a state of grace when doing so, I shudder to think of the potential consequences.  The entire notion of centering prayer, is, itself, very dangerous to the faith of Catholics.  It is recognized widely as a new age practice and has been specifically condemned by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the document Jesus Christ: Bearer of Water and Life.  Centering prayer has been described thusly:
in fact the techniques of centering prayer are neither Christian nor prayer. They are at the level of human faculties and as such are an operation of man, not of God. The deception and dangers can be grave.

Centering prayer differs from Christian prayer in that the intent of the technique is to bring the practitioner to the center of his own being. There he is, supposedly, to experience the presence of the God who indwells him. Christian prayer, on the contrary, centers upon God in a relational way, as someone apart from oneself. The Christian knows a God who is personal, yet who, as Creator, infinitely transcends his creature.

Centering prayer is essentially a form of self-hypnosis. It makes use of a “mantra,” a word repeated over and over to focus the mind while striving by one’s will to go deep within oneself.

I could add much more if it would help, but the simple fact of the matter is that centering prayer is a new age practice that has, sadly, become very widespread among certain religious communities and among some laity.  You may retort that Sr. Schwan has no ecclesial/canonical prohibition preventing her from speaking in this diocese.  That is less a reflection of her adherence to Catholic dogma than it is a sad reflection on the lack of enforcement of discipline in much of the Church today.  As pastor of St. Mark, you have all the authority you need to prevent Sister Schwan from hosting a retreat at the parish. 

It has been my experience that very little can be done to stop these retreats from happening once planned and set in motion.  Even worse, there appears very little in the way for concerned lay people to get involved in choosing speakers for these events, and so it appears they will just continue happening indefinitely.  Michael Voris has suggested some ways to try effect change at the parish level to prevent these kinds of heterodox speakers from being brought in, but I maintain that the ultimate power to effect change in this regard is the power of the purse.  Rapidly declining donations will result in budget cuts at the “family and adult ministries,” those happy playgrounds of new age-friendly staff, at various parishes that will, hopefully, deny them the funds to bring in speakers like this. 

I don’t like it.  I don’t like saying what I just said.  But my sensus fidei tells me this  kind of activity is wrong, it is dangerous for the faith of those who attend, and that it is not what we need in our parishes.  I’ve tried to be  nice.  I’ve tried to use logic, and Church documents, and Church Doctrine.  All that has failed to cause even a tiny change.  So, all I can suggest is further steps to prevent this kind of activity from occurring.