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The importance of the Sacramental life February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, scandals.
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Or, I should say, the absolute criticality of the Sacraments.  From the book This is the Faith by Canon Francis Ripley, p. 224:

The Sacraments are the official channels of grace to the souls of men.  We shoudl therefore be very grateful to God who has given them to us through His love, and we should prove our gratitude by making use of them.  The supernatureal life is our most precious treasure.  Every time we receive  a Sacrament, we nourish that life.  In addition, each of the Sacraments confers its own Grace, in accordance with its purpose.  It would be wicked pride to say that we do not need these Graces; it is criminal carelessness to try to live without them; it is black ingratitude to use thse priceless Gifts from the burning Heart of Christ.

I would add, it is the height of human folly to look so askance at the Sacraments, to be so blase’ about them, as to receive them unworthily, or in a manner ill-suited to their reception.  Do not approach the Blessed Sacrament distracted or absent-minded – go knowing you are about to receive the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord, with a trembling fear at your unworthiness to receive so august a Gift.  Be very thankful, and always have many prayers to offer at the Mass that will go up to Heaven and come back down as so many Graces at the reception of the Precious Body and Blood.  Do not be flippant in Confession.  Perform as honest and thorough examination of conscience as possible, and then have true sorrow for your sins.  Do not receive the Blessed Sacrament if you are in a state of grave sin, or even have doubt.  It is better not to receive Communion one day, than it is to “eat and drink condemnation” on yourself. 

I do not know how people like Cuomo sleep at night.  I guess they just. don’t. care.

Wall Street Journal gay marriage poll February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, Society.
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I don’t know if this poll has been spiked by gay activist groups linking to it or what, but when I took it, it was running 85%-15% in favor of gay marriage, well outside the bounds of normal polling on this issue.  You can’t get 85% of Americans to agree to like chocolate chip cookies, so something’s up.

Go vote?

Voris on zombie Catholics February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
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How widespread is this phenonemon?  In my experience – very.

I could easily work up a rant, as Mr. Voris so often insprires me to do, but I’ve been writing long pieces all week and I think I’ll just note a couple of things.  I agree that it’s going to take decades to turn things around in the Church.  Things are so far gone in so many areas that it will take a herculean effort by many Saints to get things turned around again.  I pray we have them, or grow them.  Secondly, he could not be more right about the noise levels at Mass today in almost all parishes.  I have noted, however, that the noise level tends to grow in proportion to the ‘public’ nature of the celebration.  Since weddings, Confirmations, First Communions, tend to bring out alot of people who haven’t been inside a church in years, it would seem advisable for priests celebrating these Sacraments to make a few pointed reminders to those attending that they are participating in something sacred, and not attending a hockey game.  Goodness, people behave with more decorum in waiting for a movie to start than in waiting for the beginning of Mass at a Confirmation.  It wasn’t quite like that at Our Lady of Atonement and my nephew’s First Communion, but, unfortunately, I was at another First Communion here much closer to home recently and the noise level before, after, and even DURING Mass was atrocious.  You could barely hear the words of (the very abbreviated – I’m not entirely certain it was valid) Consecration over all the chatter going on in the pews.  It’s only the Lord coming down from Heaven! 

So, I know some people find Voris too harsh, too ‘judging,’ too heavy in his criticisms.  I know even some very tradtional Catholics who find him off-putting.  I’m afraid I disagree – I feel the situation is so severe, so urgent, that very strong medicine is called for.  And I think it’s going to take more than very pointed words to get things turned around, if they do turn around, short of another schism.  Pray, and strive to be holy.  That is all I can suggest.  We need Saints.  Many, many Saints.

This is a 100% true statement February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Society.
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If you are a child in a black woman’s womb in NYC, you have about a 60% likelihood of being murdered.  I would say that constitutes making the womb the most dangerous place in New York City:

Get the whole story at Jill Stanek’s site.  But note this interesting quote: ” According to Guttmacher 54% of girls and women were using contraception the month they got pregnant”  So, “family planning” advocates #1 favorite recourse – contraception – simply leads to more abortion.  But, abstinence doesn’t bring in millions for Planned Barrenhood, so we can’t have that.

Does the canon law matter anymore? February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Dr. Ed Peters, the well known canon lawyer whom I admire but occasionally disagree with, has engendered a media firestorm by stating that NY governor Andrew Cuomo should not have been given Communion by Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany at a Mass on Jan. 1, because Cuomo persists in public sins he has not repudiated, at all.  These sins include: being pro-abort, pro-gay marriage, pro-contraception, and living with a woman who is not his wife, described as his “live in girlfriend.”  By the way, at the Jan. 1 Mass, Bishop Hubbard gave Communion to both Cuomo and his non-Catholic girlfriend, after a homily in which he stated that Cuomo is exactly the kind of man he likes to see in government.  Wow. 

Some background – Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, the official law of the Church, states that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”  Pretty cut and dried, right?  If you’re a public sinner, say, by being a well known, unrepentant war criminal, you may not receive the Blessed Sacrament.  Cuomo is exactly this type of sinner – he has publicly stated repeatedly that he is pro-abort, that he is pro-gay marriage, and of course his living arrangements are very well known. 

Obviously, we all sin.  And apparently, Dr. Peter’s has received countless communiques informing him that he’s a Pharisee, that Jesus only came to love, and Jesus didn’t judge, that he is without sin should cast the first stone, etc.  It is amazing to me, the depravity of knowledge regarding the Faith so many self-described Catholics have.  Yes, Jesus said “let he is without sin cast the first stone,” but he also said “go and sin no more” right after that, which is the part everyone forgets.  Cuomo is going and sinning lots more.  The issue is not that Cuomo sins, ever, but that he persists in a manifest state of grave, public sin, that he has no remorse over and that he doesn’t intend to stop.  Look, when I screw up badly, I don’t go to Communion until I can get to Confession.  That’s because I believe in the Real Presence, and I don’t believe that St. Paul was lying when he stated that “he who receives the Body and Blood unworthily eats and drinks condemnation on himself (1 COR 11:29). 

But that’s all really a side issue.  The real issue is how the Diocese of Albany has responded.  They issued a statement regarding the Cuomo situation, saying this:

There are norms of the church governing the sacraments which Catholics are expected to observe.

However, it is unfair and imprudent to make a pastoral judgment about a particular situation without knowing all the facts.

As a matter of pastoral practice we would not comment publicly on anything which should be addressed privately, regardless if the person is a public figure or a private citizen.

Obviously trying to dance around the issue.  Canon 915, one of the most conveniently ignored but important aspects of canon law, regards PUBLIC sin, which Cuomo is guilty of, repeatedly.  Apparently, the Albany Diocese is incapable of making this distinction.  But I’m going to suggest something else.  That Bishop Hubbard is a well known dissenter from Church Doctrine is no surprise – in fact, he has a very checkered past that has been the subject of some very, very dark allegations I won’t go into now.  I’m going to suggest, and this is just my opinion, that what we see here in so many of these instances of well known politicians continually receiving Communion in a state of grave sin, is that those who refuse to impose ecclesial penalties, their bishops, are also those who lack a profound respect for the Real Presence, and instead feel that the most important aspect of Communion is its role as ‘community meal.’  And in their malformed view of ‘collegiality,’ these bishops and priests feel that the worst thing one can EVER do is to exclude someone from the community.  We’re called to brothers, right?  And Jesus is Love, right?  So how could we possibly exclude anyone from coming together in community and sharing this ‘meal’?  It wouldn’t be fair!  It wouldn’t be loving!  It wouldn’t be…..pastoral.

I think that is what this ultimately comes down to – the horrid abuses of the Mass in Albany, the willing embrace of pro-abort politicians, the distribution of Communion to those known to be in a state of grave sin – it all comes down to a lack of Faith in the Real Presence.  If one really, truly believes in the Real Presence, and all that implies (so very, very much), one could not allow someone to re-crucify Jesus by receiving it unworthily.  One could not allow someone to persist in a state of grave sin by giving them the Source and Summit of our Faith, giving that person the impression that they are in good standing with the Lord, when they are most certainly not.  Today’s Gospel (Mark 9:41-50) states that anyone who causes one of Jesus’ sheep to sin would be better off drowned in the deep.  Bishop Hubbard has caused Andrew Cuomo to commit an incredibly grave sin, and persist in one of the ‘unforgiveable’ sins – the sin of presuming that he is worthy to receive Communion, as if by right.  I pray for that Diocese – we in Dallas think we have suffered, but we have no idea.

And this is why Canon 915 must be enforced – it’s not a ‘punishment’ to the unrepentant sinner to do so, it’s an act of Charity to prevent an even worse sin from being committed, and to forestall potential eternal damnation.  That is why the law exists – would that it would finally be enforced!

The future of medicine under Obamacare – pulling the plug? February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, Society.
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Sarah Palin garnered a great deal of attention in the debate over Obamacare by claiming that a single payer government funded system would lead to death panels, groups of anonymous ‘experts’ setting guidelines that would lead to care being denied to severely ill patients.  Once the government becomes involved, individual decisions regarding health care go out the window, and everyone is forced to operate under the ‘one size fits all’ approach that is endemic to anything government does.  The fear is that, unlike under private payment schemes, patients will be denied care if they are deemed too far gone – or, more worringly, too expensive – to deserve care.  Canada has operated under a government directed single payer system for the last 4+ decades, and the experience there with these kinds of decisions being taken out of the hands of patients of their families is very troubling.  In fact, recently, a family with an infant son with a neurodegenerative disease has been told their son must be taken off a breathing machine and forced to die:

The Canadian family of a 13-month-old boy clinging to life support has defied a court order to remove the boy’s breathing tube and now is looking to an American hospital for what experts say would be a miracle recovery.

The boy, Joseph Maraachli, has been in a vegetative state at a hospital in London, Ontario, since last fall. He’s been treated for a neurodegenerative disease that doctors ruled leaves no hope for the boy.

A Superior Court judge, in turn, ordered that Maraachli’s breathing tube be removed on Monday. But his family refused, insisting that the boy be released to his family’s care, according to CBC News. 

“I belive in my son,” Moe Maraachli, the boy’s father, told Fox News on Monday. “I will never let my son die in the doctors’ way.”

The family says removing the ventilator would promise an agonizing death for the boy. They asked that doctors at least perform a tracheotomy that would allow Joseph to die at home, but the Canadian hospital has refused.

There is a sickness that has crept into our ‘health care system’ as a result of advanced care directives and the omnipresent concern over cost – almost making every decision related to health care based on a cost-effectiveness study.  But life is not cost-effective, it is a precious gift, and in the case of parents trying to care for their infant son, cost is immaterial.  Even simple procedures, like a tracheotomy, are denied, because the ‘system’ knows that might prolong life and mean more cost, which simply cannot be had.  Once the decision to terminate has been made in a government run system, it is final.  There is no room for compassion, there is only cold cost analysis that says whether the cost benefit to society is worth spending money on a given patient.  It is the same kind of cold mentality towards death that the writer described yesterday referring to his uncle that died because he had signed an advanced care directive in a fit of depression. 

And then we witness the spectacle of doctors, who have sworn an oath to heal and, more than that, do no harm, advocating that a baby boy be forced to asphyxiate.  Lovely.  This kind of thing has a terrible impact on the doctor’s (and nurses, etc) humanity, until they begin to view humans as just a consuming leech on the very finite resources of the government run system.  Private systems are more flexible – if the parents wish to pay for a tracheotomy and other care, or if the insurance company can/will do so, then it can be done.  But with the government, as I said, once the cost-benefit analysis points against you, you’re done. 

In the post yesterday, the man whose uncle was forced to die by medical ‘care givers’ had some discussions with a nurse who was particularly inured in this mentality – she had a violent desire to see people die if she felt there was no hope.  But as the conversations in that article reveal, this woman had gone from merely accepting the fate of someone horribly ill, to actively taking steps to force death on people who may have had weeks, months, possibly even years left to live.  This is the corrosion of the soul that seeps into people who become so coldly consumed with concerns over costs and resources that they completly lose the human aspect of their profession, and will actually prevent others from feeding a patient they have consigned to death.  It’s Terry Shiavo writ large, and it’s coming for all of us if this disaster of Obamacare is allowed to stand.  And then, there will be no ‘American hospitals’ for the Canadian families to flee to.