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Nunsense March 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, religious, sadness.
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Many may have seen this video around – it’s enough to make someone who loves nuns like me want to weep:

What was it with Kumbayah in the 60s?  Larry D asked how many of these women left their order within a few years of this…….episode.

This put me in the mind of another story that may have some allegorical import.  Back in 1963, a record producer shamelessly exploited a Dominican nun by the name of Jeanine Deckers, producing a recording of a syrupy folk song the nun had written and catapulting her to the top of the chart.  Unfortunately, this little burst of stardom took what had been, by all accounts, a happy religious life and turned it completely upside down.  Within a few years, the sister left her order while she tried to hit the high of stardom again, which never came.  Her record producer took almost all the money, her order got the rest, and poor Ms. Deckers’ wheels really came off after that – lesbianism, hostility towards the Church (very ironic, since it was her cache as a nun that made her a one hit wonder in the first place), advocacy for birth control (even a song entitled “God bless the golden pill”), chronic money problems and frequent relapse into drug and alcohol active addiction. 

Not much point to this tale, except perhaps as an allegory for what has happened in so many women’s orders over the last several decades (save, perhaps?, the excesses of drugs and alcohol).  Oh, and the dangers of succumbing both to the “glories” of the world and new found “freedom.”

Oh, those Benedictines in the video – that’s Joan Chittister’s order.  What do I mean, Joan Chittister’s – go to their website, it’s like her order has wrapped itself around her personality.  Look at their mission statement:

As Benedictine Sisters of Erie we commit ourselves to be a healing
presence and prophetic witness for peace by working for sustainability
and [social] justice, especially for women and children

Hmmm……I guess words like Christ, Truth, Church, Sacrament, just did not make the cut.

Internet leading to rise in satanism March 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I can’t think of a more heinous thing to do, spiritually, than to become involved in satanism.  After all, if you believe in satan, you must believe also in God, but consign yourself to knowingly following a path of death, destruction, misery, and lies.  In spite of all that, evil always has a certain allure for those inured in the ways of the world, the flesh, and the devil.  And with more and more people becoming increasingly cut off from the life-giving Grace of Christ (and leading increasingly sinful lives), I expect this sad, tragic trend to continue:

The web has made it easier than ever before to access information on Devil-worshipping and the occult, experts said.

Exorcism is the subject of a six-day conference being held this week at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome, which is under the Vatican’s authority.

“The internet makes it much easier than in the past to find information about Satanism,” said Carlo Climati, a member of the university who specialises in the dangers posed to young people by Satanism.

“In just a few minutes you can contact Satanist groups and research occultism. The conference is not about how to become an exorcist. It’s to share information about exorcism, Satanism and sects. It’s to give help to families and priests. There is a particular risk for young people who are in difficulties or who are emotionally fragile,” said Mr Climati.

The object of seminars was to scrutinise the phenomenon of Satanism with “seriousness and scientific rigour”, avoiding a “superficial or sensational approach”, he said.

The conference in Rome has brought together more than 60 Catholic clergy as well as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and youth workers to discuss how to combat the dangers of Devil-worship.

Organisers say the rise of Satanism has been dangerously underestimated in recent years.

“There’s been a revival,” said Gabriele Nanni, a former exorcist and another speaker at the course……

While the number of genuine cases of possession by the Devil remained relatively small, “we must be on guard because occult and Satanist practices are spreading a great deal, in part with the help of the internet and new technologies that make it easier to access these rituals,” he said…..

Pray for those who fall for the f”ather of all lies and a murderer from the beginning.” (Jn 8:44).  Pray for more priests and exorcists and better formation on spiritual warfare.  Satan and his evil minions are real.  We are protected if we remain in a state of Grace, and if we are aware of the evil that lurks around us.  Prayer and regular reception of the Sacraments are the most effective defenses against spiritual attack. 

Another nice church renovation March 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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And it appears not to expensive, either!  Check out the pics from New Liturgical Movement of a sanctuary remodel done recently on a church in Louisiana:

BEFORE

AFTER

Whoa, that’s quite a difference!  That’s lovely – and reverent and inspiring, to me.  I, of course, really like the addition of the altar rail and the changed altar position allowing celebration versus Dominum.  And the Benedictine altar arrangement.  Very nice!  I really like how the crucifix is highlighted and is predominant focus for the eyes, with the altar underneath the next point of focus.  And I bet it didn’t cost a tremendous amount, either!  This is the kind of sanctuary redesign I’d like to see more of!  Great work!

This parish, St. Peter the Apostle in Lake Charles, was largely destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005.  So, the ‘before’ is from a relatively recent church rebuild.  I am heartened they found the funding for a significant remodel so quickly!  God be praised, it may not be ideal but it’s a great improvement!

Am I the only one who would strongly support such a remodeling effort?

A nice dose of humiliation March 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery.
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Humility is one of the virtues most necessary to advance in the interior life.   It’s also a rather difficult virtue to acquire, at least for me.  Many times, after I post various things on this blog, I see a great deal of pride in what I write.  It may not be intentional pride, but there is a certain superiority that comes through, which may be unavoidable when arguing a position, I don’t know.  But I am aware of a tendency towards pride I have, and I strive to be more humble in my actions.

In Divine Intimacy, Chapter 110, Fr. Gabriel of Mary Magdalen OCD insists that in order to grow in humility, we must accept humiliation.  He states “it is impossible to gain humility without humiliations; for just as studying is the way to acquire knowledge, so it is by the way of humiliation that we attain to humility.”  But who wants to be humiliated?  I hate that!!  But, I can see the wisdom in his words, and so I have tried to be more open and accepting of humiliating events, although my natural reaction is to run screaming from them and deny the possibility of my being humiliated even exists. 

But very recently, I’ve had some nice opportunities for humiliation.  I’m asked to read at Mass sometimes, and while I’d prefer one of the priests serve as lector, I do it.  And in the past, I’ve sung part of the lector’s part, and I’ve received a whole bunch of compliments on my singing voice.  Even though I try to brush these compliments off, I’m sure I enjoy them on some level.  But today, when asked to read, when I came to sing, I completely flubbed it.  I mean totally.  I started in the wrong key, I changed keys at the wrong point, I murdered it.  The thing is, people may not have even noticed, but I did, and I was very embarrassed.  Normally, my reaction would be to just try to forget about it, but this time, remembering that I need to grow in humility, I

Our Lady of Humility

 tried to bask in the humiliation and actually thanked God for it!  I don’t know that I’ve ever done that before……thanked God for a humiliating event.  But I needed it.  I need a great deal of humility, so I need alot of humiliations.

So when I write stupid things on this blog, you’d actually be doing me a favor by telling me, giving me a really good dressing down.  And I need to be less sure of myself, perhaps less the smugly assured “Mr. Catholic” with all the answers.  Oh, Lord, this life you call us to is not easy!  Our human natures are so in opposition to the lives we need to lead to be filled with your Grace!  The way is narrow and rocky, and few go through the narrow gate, indeed!  Help me in my pride and unbelief, for you suffered the ultimate in humiliations for our redemption!

Here is a link on St. Benedict’s 12 degrees of humility.  I’m on degree minus 3.

/wallowing in personal issues mode off

More on the UD imbroglio March 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals.
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National Catholic Register has an article about the debate going on at UD over the School of Ministry.  It’s a long article, and i’m short on time, so I’ll just say a few things.  First, Bishop Farrell and Bishop Vann issued statements about how the orthodoxy of the programs at UD is on them, and they would never allow any faculty or programs that were not 100% A++++ orthodox.  Well.  I guess it all comes down to how you define ‘orthodox,’ then.  Second, the School of Ministry program that is the source of controversy is going forward.  In spite of a great deal of resistance from students, alumni, and some faculty, the decision has been made that, specifically, lay ministers in the Diocese will receive training from faculty at the School of Ministry.   Third, about that faculty…..as my other recent post on this subject indicated, there remains a good deal of concern over this faculty, and with good reason.  Although a few problematic individuals appear to have been dismissed, several still remain, including advocates of gay marriage, an end to the discipline of priestly celibacy, and advocates for the impossibility of female ordination (sigh…..how many times must this be explained!).  So, again…..it all depends on your view of ‘orthodox,’ I suppose, in determining just how faithful the School of Ministry will be.

It would seem apropos to remind readers at this time that I have been told that the Bishop (Bishop Farrell) has personally vouched for the ‘orthodoxy’ of individuals such as Sr. Joyce Rupp and Sr. Marie Schwan (both serious advocates of new age practices), and has permitted problematic speakers like Fr. Bill Sheehan (new age), Dr. Arturo Chavez (pro abort), Dr. Rick Gaillardetz (bizaare views of the Magisterium), Amy Florian (gay marriage) at conferences in the Diocese over the last year (yes – just the last year, and that’s not nearly an exhaustive list).  Orthodoxy can be such a subjective thing.

 But then again…..I must remind, I do have ‘taliban’ tendencies, so all of the above could simply be the ravings of a homicidal lunatic.

Priest accused of ‘anti-gay’ indoctrination March 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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A priest at a Catholic high school in Indianapolis has been accused of “spouting a stream of homophobic and offensive falsehoods about same-sex marriage and gay people in general to a classroom full of students” by a radical gay rights group, “Equality Matters” (but some views are of course more equal than others).  Why?  Because he dared to present the constant, Magisterial Doctrine of the Faith on homosexuality and homosexual acts, a Doctrine that condemns the acts as hostile but states just as clearly that homosexuals are to be treated with charity and respect as they are encouraged to lead lives of constant chastity, he is a target for harrassment and defamation by radical gay activists.

The goal of this harrassment is not “equality,” the goal is the complete and total silencing of any views that do not embrace the most radical of gay activist agendas.  The goal is subjugation of traditional views on marriage and the triumph of a view of sexuality as a fetid playground.  The goal is to so marginalize traditional religious views that one can scarcely voice them in public for fear of a savage (and well funded and well coordinated) backlash.  The goal is to shut you, and me, and any faithful Catholic, especially clergy, the #$^@ up.  Because one thing sin cannot stand is to have the light of Truth shined on it.

The article goes on to quote a made up statistic that 70% of Catholics believe that the Doctrine of the Faith, as presented in the Catechism and repeated numerous times throughout Sacred Scripture, leads to gay teen suicide.  This is the new tactic – a claim that any representations of a Faith (or any other view) that condemn homosexual acts leads directly to gay teens killing themselves.  Again, the goal is not to win the case on merit, because with regards to the Church, radical gay activists know they have met an implacable foe. So, the goal is to silence the opposition through harrassment and outright persecution, and to peel away as many Catholics as possible from the authentic Doctrine of the Faith. 

The videos that caused the hubbub are on youtube:

Everything Planned Parenthood says is a lie March 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sadness, sickness, Society.
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Even words like “the” and “a” and “uh…..” – all lies!  Planned Parenthood has claimed to provide essential health services for women, like mammograms.  Utterly false.  Watch Cecille Richards – “we provide all kinds of basic health care to women, like……………..family planning! (meaning contraception and abortion!)  Oh, and mammograms! (zzzzzt – wrong!)

Way to go Live Action.  Will ivory tower moral theologians get in a tizzy over these phone calls?  Is Lila Rose exhibiting the right amount of moral reservation? 

h/t CMR

Catholic Relief Services refuses to evangelize March 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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This should make Janet B unhappy – Catholic Relief Services has stated that as a matter of policy, they refuse to evangelize in any way – and will not even distribute Bibles.  This came up in relation to their work in Darfur, where CRS is likelyu doing very good work helping those who are starving due to muslim oppression and general political instability.  CRS was accused of proselytizing, and handing out Bibles in a region that has a relatively high number of Christians – who might even want a Bible.  But in response to the criticism of Bible distribution, CRS released this statement:

“This is completely wrong,” said a CRS representative. “It is against all our operating principles.”

As Al Lawler at Catholic Culture said…….really?  Evangelizing at all is totally against Catholic Relief Services operating principles?  We don’t even evangelize a little bit?  Well, given that, why should a Catholic give to CRS, when they can just as well give to a secular group, or even a generally Christian group that at least evangelizes some.  And which, by the way, may have substantially lower overhead than CRS, which spends about 90% of donations on actual help to people, unlike Christian Food for the Poor, whose ratio is over 98%?  What is the advantage of giving to CRS, then?  Why would anyone support this group – especially with some of that overhead going to foolishness like the Cathoilc Climate Covenant (a ‘climate change’ advocacy group)?

This is another reason why I don’t give to CRS or Cath0lic Charities.  They are fundamentally secular in behavior and too often socialist in outlook, and far too eager to be dependent on government handouts.

A short history of the USCCB March 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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Steve K over at The Fifth Column has a post up giving a brief history of the USCCB, or, really, it’s antecedent organizations, and how they were nearly killed off by a papal decree in the early 1920s (it’s a shame that decree wasn’t enforced).  Regarding the authority the USCCB yields, Steve K quotes Apostolos Suos Christus Dominus, an encyclical produced by Pope John Paul II,which dealt with the subject of episcopal conferences:

10. At the level of particular Churches grouped together by geographic areas (by countries, regions, etc.), the Bishops in charge do not exercise pastoral care jointly with collegial acts equal to those of the College of Bishops.

11. In fact, only the faithful entrusted to the pastoral care of a particular Bishop are required to accept his judgement given in the name of Christ in matters of faith and morals, and to adhere to it with a religious assent of soul.

12. Nonetheless, this territorially based exercise of the episcopal ministry never takes on the collegial nature proper to the actions of the order of Bishops as such, which alone holds the supreme power over the whole Church. In fact, the relationship between individual Bishops and the College of Bishops is quite different from their relationship to the bodies set up for the above-mentioned joint exercise of certain pastoral tasks.

19. This provision is found explicitly in the Code of Canon Law where we read: “A diocesan Bishop in the diocese committed to him possesses all the ordinary, proper and immediate power which is required for the exercise of his pastoral office except for those cases which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme authority of the Church or to some other ecclesiastical authority”

20. In other cases “the competence of individual diocesan Bishops remains intact; and neither the Conference nor its president may act in the name of all the Bishops unless each and every Bishop has given his consent”.

In short, the various episcopal conferences have NO authority except when granted by the bishops, and that requiring a supermajority vote (and very limited).  Any local bishop can override any decision of the USCCB (or any other conference) at any time. 

Steve K notes that the USCCB and the previous US episcopal conferences came into being out of a desire to be seen as political ‘players,’ for the most part – to have a ‘voice’ at the tables of worldly power.  It is very unfortunate that it appears major areas of Church Doctrine, including important Canon laws, are not being enforced, perhaps out of fear of being denied access to big name political players who just also happen to be “dissenting” (read as heretical) Catholics.  After canon lawyer Ed Peters called out Andrew Cuomo and Bishop Hubbard for Cuomo’s receipt of Communion from Hubbard, and Hubbard’s “homily” which was basically a political rally in favor of Cuomo, Cuomo cancelled a meeting with the New York state Catholic bishops (yet another conference).  I am certain that panic ensued, as well as quick reassurances that the bishops would never let some lowly canon lawyer tell them how to enforce basic Catholic Church law.  One wonders if the scandalized faithful have been considered in the calculations of many bishops with respect to Canon 915 and other “controversial” issues.

But what do I know, I’m nothing more than a dirty taliban, anyway.

A handy collection of great little Catholic books March 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery.
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When we were in Hanceville over Christmas, we found some books lying around near one of the little bed and breakfasts next to the monastery that turned out to be really good.  They are produced by a Catholic priest in Louisiana, and given away for free.  They cover a huge variety of topics, especially those that are especially “problematic” in the Church today – divorce, contraception, radical feminism, etc.  They are short – usually just 15-20 pages – but they are concise and give a good presentation of both the problems that come from disobedience to Church Doctrine, and how to incorporate the Doctrine into your life.  They’re actually pretty fun to read.  You can view all the books here, and download and read any you want – you can also order many copies for free for distribution at your parish, if you wish.  They are produced by Christian Family Outreach.

Here’s a little book for starters, entitled 30 percent, that discusses the reasons why so few Catholics believe in the Doctrine of the Real Presence anymore and even bother to attend Mass.  It examines lack of reverence at Mass and the impact that has had on the beleifs held by the faithful.  This little pamphlet is only a couple pages long – go read it!

Perhaps we’ll start seeing some of these good little books lying around our local parishes soon.  I think it may be helpful.