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Bishop – how long will pro-abort politicians receive Communion? March 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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Adding another name to my list, Bishop Samuel Aquila came out with a stinging rebuke of those ‘pastoral’ practices that allow notorious pro-abort politicians to receive Communion while in a state of very grave sin:

One must honestly ask, how many times and years may a Catholic politician vote for the so called right to abortion, –  “murder” in the words of John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae (58), and still be able to receive Holy Communion?”  The remark came as part of a keynote address delivered by Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo on March 18.“The continual reception of Holy Communion by those who so visibly contradict and promote a grave evil, even more than simply dissent, only creates grave scandal, undermines the teaching and governing authority of the Church and can be interpreted by the faithful as indifference to the teaching of Christ and the Church on the part of those who have the responsibility to govern,” Bishop Aquila told over 150 participants at the 10th Annual Symposium on the Spirituality and Identity of the Diocesan Priest in Philadelphia, PA .

Concentrating his remarks on the exercise of authority in the Church, Bishop Aquila noted that in Matthew 18 Christ lays out a plan for correction of a wayward believer.  First correct him personally, then with another believer or two, then with the Church and if there is still not a change shun them. 

“The steps in this passage are clear and Jesus is teaching us, but do we listen and follow his example?, said the Bishop. “If this criteria had been followed with dissenting theologians, priests, religious and faithful in 1968 with the encyclical, Humanae Vitae, would we still be dealing with the problem today of those who dissent on contraception, abortion, same sex unions, euthanasia and so many other teachings of the Church? “

The Bishop of Fargo excoriates the notion of “faithful dissent, when this phrase describes a refusal to adhere to the deposit of faith”, as the “work of ?the father of lies.”

Bishop Aquila noted finally “Correction can be difficult and painful, as parents know, yet as a shepherd I am willing to suffer the rejection and anger of another when I speak the truth for the good of the person and the Bride of Christ. To correct and/or to punish someone who has gravely sinned against real love is an act of servant love and is found in the truth!”

Wow!  Praise God!  Such a blessing to have such a faithful servant!   That is a great defense of Catholic orthodoxy and how to address those who reject it!  

On the downside, I bet Bishop Aquila won’t get invited to the golf vacation at a 5 star resort with Bishops Hubbard, Clark, and Kicanas.  He might find himself seated towards the back at the USCCB executive session.  Oh, well.  I am certain he can ” suffer the rejection and anger of another when I speak the truth for the good of the person and the Bride of Christ”

The Fifth Column March 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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In historical terms, the ‘fifth column’ was a term that came into use during the Spanish Civil War.  Since that time, it has always implied enemies within – those who would undermine the defense of a thing, and help in its overthrow.  

Have you ever been in a casual conversation with someone about the Church, and perhaps mention some pious practice of yours, and receive a hostile response?  My family and I certainly have?  “Why would you wear a veil?”  “Why fast the entire day before Mass?”  They go on and on.  And then there are those who reject whole swaths of the Faith, those who are wedded to belief in contraception, or abortion, or fornication, or whatever.  Many of these folks actively seek to undermine the Doctrine of the Faith.

Defend Us In Battle has a post on what he terms the greys, but which I think is more aptly termed a fifth column:

I always thought it was because they were lazy, ignorant, or undereducated. I knew for certain the root cause was sin. Just as some of the worst creatures are nothing more than the best of creatures, except in a deformed state, like how demons and the devil are the fallen angels. Except these people who live in The Greys aren’t casting away good, in fact they cling to it by their fingernails. They ultimately want to be “in the light” except they want it on their own terms. As I said, I always thought it was that they were under-informed. Yet, I am more and more becoming of the belief that it is worse than that. I unfortunately believe that they really are so attached to their wants and desires that they will do anything to try and conform the rest of us to their way of thinking. It is as if might makes right for them. If only they can convince enough folks to their beliefs, they then will hold dominion over what are the teachings of the Church on some particular subject. [Many Catholics operate under a delusion that if they can just get enough people to support their favored heresy, the teaching will somehow change.  It’s the underpants gnome theory. – ED] As I said, to them fidelity is not important, but ultimate acceptance is.

It really is a very protestant mentality really, and I don’t use that in a pejorative sense. What I mean by it is that they want to change the Church through opposition and convincing. Take for example the teaching on contraception. There is a very adamant wing of folks that call themselves Catholic but don’t believe that we as humans should abstain from using contraception in marriage. What that means to them, and to the bigger picture is that it shouldn’t be (or isn’t really) a sin. Now obviously the Church doesn’t make something a sin simply by saying it is or it isnt… well, not exactly. There is that whole “what you bind on Earth, I will bind in Heaven” thing… but it isn’t as if Church Teaching is some malleable thing like the legislative texts of a state. Things can’t just be argued and lobbied for until they change.

So what we have is a bunch of people that want 95% of what the Faith offers but as long as they can conform the other 5% to their liking. To them, the Church is all reason, and no faith. God is an intellectual pursuit, and the faith is something to argue for in an intellectual way. To them the teachings of the Church are oppressive and legalistic, so they argue for flexibility, they are crafty. But is that what we really need, or want from our Faith? The Greys? The 90%? The “you’re ok, I’m ok” kind of religion where “as long as we are all happy, and mostly on the same page we are good, cuz God is gonna’ save us all anyways!” Of course it isn’t… at least not what we want, but not those in the Greys.

The Greys want exactly that, a faith where things are very loose and open to interpretation. Moral absolutes, Canon Law, and even Mass Rubrics are much more fluid than firm. Restraint, law, rigidity, rubrics, requirements, absolutes, facts, truths, and other hard and fast things are not what exist [for them].

I’ve struggled with this issue for a long time.  I am certain there are those who are actively planning, conniving, and working to undermine Church Doctrine.  They do it because that Doctrine is counter to the kind of life they want to live, to things they believe in.  They actively work against the Church.  Some of these people may be on your parish council.  Or they may even be your priest. 

Then there is the large swath that is just inundated in the culture and just goes along to get along, putting in a small amount of effort in their faith but for the most part just being part of the world.  I think that describes a large swath of people.

How many of each there are, and how to deal with the former, are the difficult issues.  The latter can hopefully be won over by good preaching, prayer, and general persuasion.  The former, the diehard modernists who want to blow up the Church because they are ideologues for causes that are counter to the Doctrine of the Faith, they are simply implacable enemies who can only be prayed for.  I don’t think human means can change them.   And I might be in that category, too, on some traditional-conservative level.  I hope not, I pray always not, that I am not forcing the Church to fit into some box of my own design rather than conforming myself to the Church, to the Will of God.  It’s not easy being Catholic, it’s not easy conforming yourself to the mind of the Church, and many just can’t/won’t do it.  They’d rather fight against the Church and try to change it rather than themselves.

It’s a story as old as man.  We want to do what we want, not what God wants.

Tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord March 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Our Lady.
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Tomorrow used to be a Holy Day of obligation, and although it isn’t anymore, the requirement for fasting and abstinence is abrogated tomorrow, as it is a feast day.  You can still fast and abstain if you wish, but it should be done for the right reasons, like maintaining the spirit of your Lenten Sacrifice.  It is perfectly permissible to eat a big steak if you want to, though.  I think I’m going to fast most of the day but then maybe have a big meal at night, including meat.  It would be nice to give my wife a break. 

Make sure to pray the Angelus 3 times tomorrow!

I was having a bad day…. March 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, religious.
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Today did not start out so good.  I forgot that Renner Rd. was shut down today between Shiloh and 190, so I had to re-route my path to Church.  So, instead of taking 15 minutes to get to Mass, it took 35.  D’oh!  Then I spilled something on my pants and stained them. D’oh! 

But, then, in the 30 seconds I had for Adoration before Mass, I saw someone that made my day alright.  A nun.  A habited nun.  A Dominican!  Then, two of them!  They were at Mass today.  And after Mass, I got to visit with them for some time.  Such nice ladies!  So happy and full of the spirit.  And a helpful friend sent me a picture she took (thanks, Veronica!).  It was very cool having Fr. Rangel, former Benedictine monk, and the Dominicans there together.  What a great time, even if I was then ridiculously late to work!

These nuns are from a Dominican monastery in Mina, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.  No website that I can determine, which, is like…..duh!  But they told me there is a monastery of cloistered Dominicans in Lufkin which I did not know about.

What a great blessing to see the witness of these women of God and to talk with them.  They filled my day with Grace!  I love nuns!  I pray I get to see them again!

More on Girl Scouts March 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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A commenter helpfully left a link to a site that chronicles the myriad problems with Girl Scouts USA and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (sheesh – think about a name change).   This site provides much evidence that Girl Scouts have completely lost their way, that they have become a radicalized agent of extreme feminism and leftism in general, and that they are heavily embued with the contraceptive, abortive mentality via their extensive relationships with Planned Barrenhood.   A recently published guide book for all Girl Scout troops encourages 8 to 10 year old girls to read a play that attacks the Church and traditional morality.  Funny, I bet they’re utterly silent on female genital mutilation and the culture of rape in Muslim countries, but I digress….

The commenter also asks that laity at parishes with Girl Scout troops contact their pastors after they review the aforementioned link.  Simply because Girl Scouts has a long association with various churches as places for meetings and for recruiting of girls into the organization is not a valid reason to maintain this relationship since it appears the Girl Scouts are adopting views increasingly hostile to the Doctrine of the Faith.  How can parishes in good conscience continue this relationship, with Girl Scouts increasing support for Planned Parenthood, abortion, and contraceptive use?  You also may want to contact Bob McCarty (direct e-mail), the head of the…..sheesh…….National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry, yet another Church bureaucracy doing a very, very great deal of good, I’m quite sure. <low whistling, past the graveyard>