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This is how you do a pro-life counterprotest March 3, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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I’ve blogged a few times about our counter-protest efforts at the dubious ‘walk for choice’ held in Dallas.  Well, ‘walk for (no) choice’ was supposed to be a national event on a scale with ‘March for Life’ (they weren’t even close, March for Life is in hundreds of cities, while walk for (no) choice was in about 6), and Chicago was the ‘lead city’.  But even in Chicago, it looks like they got about 500 pro-aborts, and they were almost outnumbered by pro-lifers, who staged an absolutely beautiful defense of life by floating ‘life’ balloons in the air.  You may have seen this video before, but here it is, courtesy of CMR:

Brilliant!  I think this is a great idea!  We should come up with something like this if the pro-aborts ever decide to copy pro-lifers again!

It’s absolutely hilarious to me how the pro-aborts use the exact same lying chants everywhere – the same were used in Chicago as in Dallas.  So typical of the left.  True concern for women does not involve encouraging them to make amoral ‘choices,’ and especially not the psychologically devastating act of abortion.  True concern for women highlights their natural role as mothers and encourages them to choose life giving options that they will not regret in the future.  I don’t know of any woman who has really said “I sure regret not having that abortion,” whereas I know of many who have regretted it, terribly.  Not to mention the murder of an innocent life that abortion entails.

But such is the other side – the largest banner read “Life begins when you stand up to Christian fascists.”  What a joke.  These…….blankety blanks……..don’t know what fascism is.  And they will always steadfastly ignore that fascism is a far more common tool of the left than of any other political philosophy.

The best thing about the Chicago effort – there were many priests involved!  Priests in cassocks!  Cassocks rock!  Keep it up!

It begins – pedophilia declared a normal ‘sexual orientation’ March 3, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sadness, sickness, Society.
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One of the many arguments against gay’s simulated marriages being recognized by law, is that it will open the floodgates to EVERY kind of perversion and weirdness being treated as basically the same as male-female relations.  One of the main avenues for this trend is pedophilia – there has always been a pronounced tendency among some gay advocates to push for abandoning laws on child sex – and now in Canada, in front of Parliament, an expert has testified that pedophilia is just another, normal ‘variation’ in human sexual behavior, just as normal as can be:

In a recent parliamentary session on a bill relating to sexual offenses against children, psychology experts claimed that pedophilia is a “sexual orientation” comparable to homosexuality or heterosexuality, a definition that was questioned by one Member of Parliament who was present. Bill C-54, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code, seeks to increase or impose mandatory minimum penalties or punishment on sexual offenders of children for particular crimes.

Parliamentary discussion on February 14 centered on the mandatory minimum imprisonment and how offenders respond to treatment.  Dr. Vernon Quinsey and Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem, experts on the issue, were called to witness.

“When we speak of therapy or when individuals get therapy and we feel as though everyone is pacified, the good news is often illusory,” said Van Gijseghem, psychologist and retired professor of the University of Montreal. 

“Pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offence from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality,” emphasized Van Gijseghem.

If or when ‘gay’ cohabitation gets legal recognition as marriage, wait for the avalanche.  Seriously, we will have swingers, incest, pedophiles – everyone will claim that they should have the right to freely engage in their preferred sex act and the government should bless this union as being just wonderful for society. 

Won’t that be fun!

Does liturgical abuse cause dissent on Catholic moral doctrine? March 3, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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Does a bear @#$%! in the woods?  Fr. Z picks up an article from CNA (the good Catholic news agency) asking this very question.  It’s a very long article at CNA, so I’ll just post a bit and you can read Fr. Z or the original, or both.   The argument (this time, my comments in blue, since Fr. Z uses red):

Polling data published by the Pew Research Center in October 2010 claims that 42% of Americans support gay “marriage,” while an even greater percentage of self-identified Catholics (46%) responded likewise. More noteworthy still is that the percentage of those who so reject Church teaching on the sanctity of marriage remains remarkably high (34%) even among weekly Mass-goers! [Well, the author could cite alot more than that. ‘Catholics’ reject Catholic moral doctrine on a massive scale on a wide spectrum of issues, ranging from abortion to contraception to issues of modesty and porn and masturbation.  This is a huge issue].

The author then goes on to tie various events, like the Stonewall riots that ostensibly started the militant gay ‘rights’ movement in this country, to Vatican II.  He believes these cultural shifts were linked to the 1969/70 Missale Romanum (the original released in 1969 was so chock a block full of errors it had to be pulled and quickly replaced):

The majority of Catholics, who as the name suggests worship in the Ordinary Form, are further faced with yet another unprecedented set of potential liturgical choices as the Novus Ordo is given to multiple variations.

Do I prefer the Folk Mass or the “regular” Mass? Do I like Fr. Joe’s Mass or Fr. John’s Mass? Do I want to drive a few extra miles to go to the charismatic Mass, or should I take the kids to that parish across town with the video screens and the PowerPoint homilies?

Saving any commentary on the merits of these choices for another day, the very idea of shopping for a liturgy that suites one’s fancy is inherently flawed in that it approaches a divinely instituted gift that is given by Christ to His Church (not to the local community, much less to the individual) and it treats it as though it is a product of the people that can be repeatedly reinvented according to popular fashion as seems useful to the meet the demands of personal preference. It is, in other words, a liturgical approach that is inordinately “me-centered.

With this being the case, is it any wonder there are Catholics in our day who operate as though their personal preferences legitimately reign supreme in such fundamental matters of faith as how one defines the sanctity of marriage

I don’t believe the author is trying to say that the liturgical ‘reforms’ of Vatican II, or the myriad abuses that have come out of gross misinterpretations of those reforms, is responsible for the culture-wide collapse of traditional understandings of morality.  He is simply arguing that for Catholics, obeying Church Doctrine on morality has become optional, since it seems something even so very fundamental as the Mass is open to ‘experimentation.’  I’m sure many think something like this: “If the Church can’t make up its mind what the Mass is, then why should I believe what the Church says on issues that really affect my day to day life, like contraception?  I don’t want umpteen kids, and it’s just a bunch of weird old celibate men (who are probably gay anyway) telling me what to do, and what do they know?”  I don’t think it’s quite as literal as that, but I do think the lack of reverence in the Mass has led to a lack of reverence for everything else the Church believes.  If Fr. ‘Just call me Bob’ is flippant about the Consecration, permits talking during Mass, doesn’t say a word about people bailing from Mass with the Host in their hands, and makes up all kinds of additions/subtractions from the form of the Mass, that tends to tell people that what is going on there is just not all that serious.  And if the Mass isn’t that serious, then neither is anything else the Church does.

Now, it’s quite possible to take this too far – I think another salient aspect is the fact that, sadly, many priests either fail to stress Catholic moral doctrine regularly in homilies, or outright reject it, either publicly or privately (and this private word tends to get around).  But I don’t think it is too much to say that, especially in the US and Europe, lack of reverence in the Mass, liturgical abuse, etc., have played a part in the collapse of Catholic adherence to the morality taught by the Church.  When less than 1/3 of Catholics believe in the Real Presence anymore, is it really surprising that most Catholics, even those who attend Mass every Sunday, don’t accept what the Church believes regarding moral issues?

It’s not to me.  We have much work to do.  But stopping liturgical abuses plays a part.  We need to assist on reverently celebrated Masses, and support those priests who do same.

Thanks to my friend Steve B for the heads up on this topic.

Two Cardinals agree – liturgical abuse weakens the Faith.  Canizares and my favorite – Cardinal Burke!

Trouble brewing at UD again? March 3, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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Most of my readers are probably aware that the Dallas Diocese has been blessed to have a fairly orthodox Catholic university within its confines – the University of Dallas (UD).  What some readers may not be aware of is that keeping UD fairly orthodox has been a difficult battle, especially over the past 10-12 years.  The problems started when Fr. Milam Joseph, current episcopal vicar at the Sacred Heart Catedral Santuario de Guadalupe downtown, was made the President of UD and instituted a series of ‘directional changes’ intended to make UD more like most dissent-oriented heterodox ‘Catholic’ universities – at least, that was the view put forth by his many critics.  In 2001, the entire staff of the UD Institute for Religious and Pastoral Studies left for Ave Maria University, citing concerns over the direction was taking.  Not too long after, Joseph resigned and was replaced by Frank Lazarus.  However, in the meantime, an organism known as the ‘School of Ministry’ was stood up at UD to replace the Institute for Religious and Pastoral Studies, and there have been many complaints about dissent, heterodox opinions, and outright heresy issuing forth from this replacement program.  In 2008, Lazarus engendered controversy when he allowed an artwork to be displayed on campus that showed the Blessed Mother as a stripper.  The painting was subsequently stolen, with some arguing that act constituted a sin, and others saying it was a necessary defense of the Faith.

Now, it appears there is a new controversy brewing at UD.  There is a proposal underfoot to place the quite heterodox School of Ministry at UD within the very orthodox Theology department.  When I say that UD is fairly orthodox, this is what I mean – there are portions of UD that very strongly adhere to the Faith of Tradition, while other parts are more problematic, to be charitable.  The School of Ministry is considered the most problematic, or heterodox, department on campus.  And this move by the School of Ministry to insinuate itself into the Theology department is causing a great deal of consternation, as it seems to be an attempt to, once again, convert UD into something more like Xavier in Cincinatti or even Notre Dame – that is, a university that is Catholic in name only.

Interestingly, in reading the long article at The Catholic Thing linked above, alot of the names of the heterodox staff at the School of Ministry sounded familiar.   Then I recalled – these were many of the same people who caused me concern about the Diocesan ‘ministry conference’ that was held last fall.  In fact, the Catholic Thing article reveals more about these individuals than I knew at the time – several staff of the School of Ministry are seriously heterodox, advocating for impossibilities like women priests and acceptance of homosexual acts as just fine and dandy.  A few details:

Take, for instance, Professor Jerome Walsh, who is currently teaching an Old Testament course to School of Ministry graduate students. Walsh’s interests in the Old Testament include publication of a lengthy analysis of Leviticus in which he claims that Israel’s holy law only ever meant to condemn the completed act of sodomy and that “other forms of male–male sexual encounter, encompassing the whole range of physical expressions of affection that do not entail penetration, are not envisaged in these laws” (see p. 209, warning: graphic content). Will this be taught to undergraduates? 
Another cause for concern is Sr. Dorothy Joanitis, O.P., who has openly advocated for optional celibacy for priests, as well as for female ordination. While her SOM colleague Dr. Marti Jewell thinks lifting the ban on celibacy is a legitimate option, Sister Joanitis goes even further, presenting to a synod of bishops the following: “To alleviate the injustices imposed upon the People of God, we offer these practical solutions to you, the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. . . .allow women to be ordained” (blog link; the original website has been taken down). Like Prof. Walsh, Sister Joanitis appears to have an interest in weakening the Church’s teachings on homosexual acts, defending Eucharistic ministers who “question a church teaching they see as justifying violence against their son and other homosexuals” and in her piece nominates Bishop Gumbleton as the authority on good conscience in regard to homosexual acts, while rejecting then-Cardinal Ratzinger.
Another SOM faculty member and a former Call to Action member, Dr. Scott Opperman, seems to be of the same mind. On a website designed to encourage new vocations, he co-wrote that “[r]eligious women and men aren’t oddities; they mirror the rest of the church they serve: there are introverts and extroverts, tall and short, old and young, straight and gay, obese and skinny, crass and pious, humorous and serious, and everything in between.” Does this pattern of dissent carry over into the classroom?
And there is much more at the link.  This seems all part of a pattern – heterodox elements somehow attach themselves to UD, and then move to try to drive the direction of the entire university.  I was unaware, until today, that the School of Ministry was the direct replacement for the Institute of Religious and Pastoral Studies, but one can see that it appears the heterodox elements are now fairly firmly entrenched, and are seeking to expand their influence.  It is interesting tonote that Ave Maria University, which absorbed the Institute of Religious and Pastoral Studies staff from UD, is now using that same staff and same department to stand up a satellite college in Fort Worth.  That says a great deal right there.
Apparently, UD’s Board of Trustees is voting today on whether to approve this move by the School of Ministry.  I pray that the University will instead take up  the Catholic Thing author’s desire, and investigate whether or not the School of Ministry needs to be revamped.  If UD fails to uphold Catholic Doctrine, it will simply be another in a long, sad line of formerly Catholic universities that lost the Faith.  And students, alumni, and orthodox professors and staff will simply have to go elsewhere or support another place.
UPDATE:  A commenter generously pointed out that the text quoted above has changed, and that Patrick Fagan has dropped his allegation against Sr. Dorothy Jonaitis involving undermining Church Doctrine on homosexuality.  It appears Fagan did so some time after I quoted the above text.