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“Liberalism has no young Catholic progeny” April 14, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
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Well, I don’t know about “no progeny,” but I’d say few in number and part of a declining breed.  Cardinal Pell, writing an editorial in response to a “heretical” (according to Rorate Caeli) Australian priest:

Eric writes with the genuine anguish of most of us older Catholics who grew up at an unusually high tide of faith and practice and lived through the radical decline which followed the social revolution of the 1960s in the First World. But some of the damage was self-inflicted.

One major point of difference is that in my view Eric’s prescriptions are a significant cause of our problems. His solutions were put into practice after the Council, to some degree in Australia, but especially in Belgium, Holland and French-speaking Canada. They emptied the Churches there. [Indeed, I have read that the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II was most thoroughly implemented in these countries, and a few more.  The result has been an utterly devastated Faith.  Quebec was at one time one of the most thoroughly Catholic regions of the world – now, it is bereft of the Faith – ED]

Pope Paul VI appointed no bishops who were opposed to the ethos of Vatican II, and for various reasons the good bishops appointed in Holland were overwhelmed [Interesting that Cardinal Pell seems to draw a distinction between bishops who were full of the feverish ‘spirit,’ and those which were ‘good’], tossed aside by the liberal gales. This brings me to another contemporary fact, which I never anticipated as a young seminarian in Rome during the Council or as a young priest. The now aged liberal wing of the Church, which dominated discussion after the Council and often the bishops and the emerging Church bureaucracies, has no following among young practising Catholics, priests or religious. This is not only true in Australia, but everywhere in the Western world. In these different countries dominated by a secular media and intelligentsia, liberalism has no young Catholic progeny.  [Well,  not only no Catholic progeny, but in these formerly Catholic countries, no progeny period.  But I take the Cardinal’s point – where are the young, terrifically on fire young Catholic liberals?  Where is the next generation burning with desire to take the more egregious excesses that came out of Vatican II to the next level?  Outside a very few, who seem to be far more steeped in cultural, political liberalism than anything else (but who tend to have soapboxes via various legacy Catholic media), they do not seem to be very widespread or noticeable.  On the contrary, young, traditional Catholics seem to be a cohort growing in numbers, if not yet influence]

On reflection we should not find this surprising, as growth is tied to Gospel fidelity, to faith, love and sacrifice. [I don’t think this can be underestimated.  The value of Sacrifice in the Church is one of the most critical factors in growing in holiness.  So many that have that ‘spirit’ don’t seem to understand the call to be set apart from the world, in it but not of it, and there is something lacking in their practice that fails to resonate with those outside a narrow demographic group. I believe that something is a sense of sacrifice, a call to lead lives in union with the Truth revealed by Christ through His Church.]   After Vatican II many of us overestimated our cultural strengths and underestimated the virulence of anti-Christian forces. [Hundreds of years from now, I think the histories of this period will be replete with similar analyses.] You need strong Christian foundations to participate productively in “open dialogue”. Without these roots the end of the road is agnosticism.[How much additional evidence of this trend do we need?]

Very interesting words from Cardinal Pell.  I don’t mean to repeatedly kick the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ types in the groin, but I do feel that the direction this crowd has had the Church take, and would have it take still further, has been horrifically destructive of the Faith.  I think Cardinal Pell briefly touches on a critical fact – in the places where this ‘spirit’ most took root, the greatest falling away from the Faith has occurred.  This tends to argue against the ‘spirit’ types counter that it was inevitable, due to societal changes, that a great falling away take place. 

One thing I do know – where orthodoxy abounds, so does the Faith.  Vocations, attendance, donations – pick any measure, those locales with greater orthodoxy tend to have communities with a far more vibrant faith life. 

USCCB calls for defunding Planned Parenthood April 14, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Society.
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Better late than never…….

In an April 13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston urged Congress to vote for a resolution to ban federal funding of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In the midst of a budget debate involving shared sacrifice and hard choices, Cardinal DiNardo wrote, “Whether to fund the largest abortion network in the country is not one of those hard choices.”

… Cardinal DiNardo wrote that some, in an effort to divert the discussion away from abortion, have tried to make the debate about women’s access to basic health care. He noted that Catholic and other religiously affiliated health care providers generally do provide mammograms, prenatal and maternity care for women, while Planned Parenthood does not.

To the extent that Planned Parenthood does provide any legitimate health services for women, however, those services can be provided by others, since H. Con. Res. 36 does not reduce funding for services by one cent,” Cardinal DiNardo wrote.  “Therefore the question at issue here is:  When low-income women need these legitimate health care services, should the federal government insist that they receive them from the local abortion provider?”

Seriously, this is great.  I can’t recall too many times that the USCCB has come out in favor of pulling the funding of any organization that receives federal dollars, so, yay! on that.  Could have been more timely (re: 30 years ago?).  But there is always the fear of political exclusion…..

Pro-abort group reports on contraceptive use April 14, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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Including, Catholic contraceptive use.  The Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of the National Abortion Federation (with close ties to Planned Barrenhood), has released data on contraceptive use by various religious affiliation.  Now, this data is from Guttmacher, an agenda group that exists to spread the use of contraceptive and abortion, so the data may need to be taken with a large dose of salt (indeed, the very title of the report “Countering Conventional Wisdom: New Evidence on Religion and Contraceptive Use” seems to reveal an agenda to undermine traditional Christian morality):

Among the report’s findings– all of which refer to women of reproductive age (15-44):

  • 25% describe themselves as Catholic, 25% as evangelical, and 22% as mainline Protestant
  • 30% of Catholic women attend Mass weekly, while 50% of evangelicals and 24% of mainline Protestants worship weekly
  • 46% of Catholic women say religion is very important to their daily lives, compared to 77% of evangelicals and 44% of mainline Protestants
  • 98% of Catholic women– and 99% of all women– have at one time used artificial contraception.
  • 68% of Catholic women use highly effective methods: sterilization (32%, including 24% using female sterilization,) the pill or another hormonal method (31%) and the IUD (5%).
  • Only 3% of married Catholic women who do not want to become pregnant rely on natural family planning; 72% use highly effective methods, including 40% who rely on sterilization.”
  • Now, if this data were broken down further, to look at contraceptive/sterilization rates by faithful Catholics, that is, those who actually particpate in the sacramental life of the Church in a meaningful way (regular Mass, Confession, prayer, etc), the percentages I am certain would change a bit, but not enough. 

    Three quarters of sexually active Catholic women use contraception or sterilization on an ongoing, day to day basis.  3% use NFP.  I’m not sure what the other 25% are doing – nothing?  Irrespective, like abortion and doctrine on homosexuality and the Real Presence and the Sacramental Priesthood and so many other areas, Catholics are poorly formed.  Or, actually, they are more formed by the culture than they are by the Church.  Now, Guttmacher determined that anyone who went to services at least once a month was an observant member of their religion (ha!), so we don’t know just how ‘Catholic’ these self-described Catholics are, but, I have maintained for some time that formation from the pulpit on this key issue, this incredibly important issue, has been severely lacking.  For the contraceptive mentality becomes so pervasive that it leads one to fall away from the Church on a huge number of other issues, including all those I mentioned above.  By saying ‘yes’ to contraception, one is saying no to God on one of the most important areas of one’s life.  After that, so many other things can be easily dismissed as just the prattlings of disconnected, weird old men in Rome. 

    I pray for more preaching, effective preaching, on Church Doctrine on contraception every day.  I pray that Catholics will realize that hormonal contraception is very dangerous on so many levels (and especially to one’s health).

    A Lenten treat – incense April 14, 2011

    Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, religious.
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    The burning of incense has been a part of Catholic Tradition since the earliest days of the

    Pure Myrrh

    Church.  Unfortunately, we don’t see as much incense burning at our Mass celebrations and other parish functions as we once did.  Like prayer candles, however, if we offer prayers in the presence of burning incense, our prayers can continue to ascend to God for as long as the incense burns.  And, there is something about incense that just seems to increase the prayerful atmosphere of any time of prayer – individual, family, or parish.  Unfortunately, incense is not sold on every street corner. 

    But!   There is a group of Carmelite monks in Christoval who sell very high quality incense. 

    Frankincense

    Because they are “original” Carmelites (not Discalced), they have many links to ancient Carmelite monasteries in the East, and they obtain some fantastic incense.  You can order it here.  They also have a small size burner for sale.  I highly recommend the pure Frankincense, pure Myrhh, and the ‘Splendor of Carmel’ and ‘Desert Sage’ mixes.  I’m not a big fan of rose scented incense – I like more woody, spicy incense, not as sweet. 

    You’ll also need charcoal, which you can obtain from the monks, as well.  Light the charcoal over a candle – it takes too long to light with a match or lighter. 

    I strongly recommend you buy incense from the Carmelites, or from another Catholic religious order or a reputable Catholic goods store.  Many incenses sold online are low cost, low quality, and are frequently mixed with dangerous chemicals.  There have been recent reports of people buying incenses supposedly laced with marijuana or other drugs, but they have instead been laced with chemicals that have caused severe sickness and even death.  So please be careful.  Another factor to consider is that many incense oils and other types available online are really more for eastern religious practices than Catholic – so buy from a good Catholic source, like the Carmelite Monks!