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Lord have mercy – Dutch Salesians say child rape A-OK May 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, religious, sadness, sickness, Society.
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Rorate Caeli has the transcript of an interview of Fr. Herman Spronck, Dutch superior of the Salesians.  Now, I should note at the beginning that since this interview was publicized, the Salesians have sacked Spronck and the priest he discusses in the interview, a Fr. Van B.  But how in the name of all that is good have we come to a point in the Church that we have superiors of religious orders saying the following atrocities:

Summary of recent Interview with Herman Spronck, Dutch superior of the Salesians. Spronck in a response says he does “not agree with the text” and refers to his official response.
Were you aware that Father Van B. was a member of Martijn, an Association of pedophiles?
Yes, I can remember that he told [me]. When, I did not ask. I do not know exactly when that was.
He was a member since 1994, did you know it?
That I cannot remember exactly, but it could be. I have been the superior only since 1995.
Were you aware that that Father Van B. was in the board (2008-2010) of the Pedophile Association Martijn?
I cannot remember. But he told me that he was to become director of an association. Was he not secretary or something? I did not ask him exactly what kind of society that was. He also told me at one point that he wanted to give up. That seemed sensible. But I did not ask for details.
Was it compatible with the ideas of the church that Father Van B. was a member of a pedophiles’ association?
I was not sure what kind of association it was. But if you look at the association, it is not [legally] forbidden for Martijn to do what they do. I think that Father Van B. sought help for his feelings. I’ve always told him that he had to obey the law.
What do you think of Father Van B., who was twice convicted [for indecent exposure], did he obey the law?
I repeatedly told him what he should do. He was warned several times for flashing, which is, of course, not a serious offense.
You never found the membership of Martijn and convictions for sexual offenses a reason for Father Van B. to leave the order?
No. I have to give him a dignified life. [This is a bizaare, sickening statement.  How could a priest make this kind of statement.  Read on, it gets way worse]Somebody is placed out of the order only if there is a serious sexual offense, such as rape. And that’s never been the case.

But to a pedophile priest to work in churches where he comes into contact with children, without their knowing it, is that really a good idea?
Father Van B. I have always said that he had to obey the law and nothing has ever really happened. So I saw no reason to doubt Father Van B..
Father Van B. says himself that it is necessary to watch him near children. If not, then the pressure increases and he is afraid that things go wrong. What do you say?
I have never seen a reason why he could not work with children. Only in 2007 – after the incident when he worked in the parish of St Luke in Amsterdam – I decided it was sensible that he no longer work with children. I got him sent to Nijmegen. He takes care to older brothers.
How do you feel about sexual relations between adults and children?
Of course there are certain social norms that everyone has to comply with. But one wonders if that is not going too far. Formally, I always say that everyone must obey the law strictly. But these relationships are not necessarily harmful. [The constant lie of the pedophile – the kids like it!  They want my predations!  This 100% false, and the victims will attest to the everlasting damage of innocence ripped away]
You believe that relationships between adults and children are not necessarily harmful?
I have an example. I was once approached by a 14-year-old boy who had a relationship with an older priest. He was sent away, and this boy suffered immensely, he suffered because [the priest] had been sent away. He told me, “Father Herman, why did you send him away?” And, now, what should I say to a boy like this? [This sounds like the kind of fantastic retelling of events that can only be created in the mind of someone so seriously consumed by grave sine that reality and truth no longer exist.  I highly doubt any of this is true, but it is possible that someone who has been abused can develop a sort of allegience for their abuser, something akin to the Stockholm syndrome]
So, then, relationships between adults and children are fine?
Personally, I believe that relationships between adults and children are not necessarily wrong [Persoonlijk wijs ik relaties tussen volwassenen en kinderen niet per definitie af.] Do you know Foucault? The philosopher. Do you know his writings? [Michael Foucault was a gay French libertine and ‘philosopher’ who sort of committed suicide by his repeated forays into drugs and deviant sex.  He knew he was engaging in high risk behaviors and yet persisted, and contracted AIDS.  That a Catholic priest would embrace the nihilist extreme Nietczheanism of Foucault is revealing of the kind of selfishness present in this priest, the kind of selfishness that feeds deviant sexual behaviors] No, you should read that once again, especially the introduction to Part 4. It does depend on the child. You should not look so inflexibly at age. You should never enter into the personal space of a child if the child does not want it, but that depends on the child himself. There are children who themselves indicate that it is admissible. Then, sexual contact is possible. [Children do not instigate sexual relationships with adults.  This is sick]
At what age do you think that sexual relationships are possible?
Saying the age of 18 years is, I think, too inflexible.
Do you think that from the age of 12 years then is fine for sexual relationships with adults?
If it were up to me, they should be. [Uh, yeah…..he’s a pedophile]
Will there be in the Salesian Order any more relationships between older people and children?
Just imagine that in the 50s/60s all lived together in ‘s Heerenberg. We were all away from our family and had only each other. Adults and boys – there was no woman to see – then lived together and some things bloom. [And so this is how it started.  Is he saying he was abused by superiors in the seminary?  This could even be the minor seminary, with himself being a minor at the time.  One of the strongest indicators of potential for sexual abuse of children is to have been the victim of such abuse.  This could be a vicious cycle that has played out in the Church for some time.  This is beyond sad.  This is hideous, evil, satanic.]
The Salesians were founded by St. John Bosco expressly for the care and nurturing of young boys.  This is a complete betrayal of a great Saints memory and the apostolate he helped create.
The folks at Rorate Caeli are, naturally, blaming Vatican II for this and all faults in the Church.  I myself have serious concerns with what has been the apparent fruit of that council to date and would be quite happy with a kind of ‘Syllabus’ for it as suggested by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and others.  But the problems that have seemingly exploded on the Church in the decades since Vatican II existed well before the Council.  Read the above, it appears abuse in seminaries was ongoing years before the Council.  After all, Vatican II had to come from somewhere, it didn’t just fall from the sky and force itself on the Church.  But there are legitimate concerns about the interpretation of some of the documents of Vatican II with regard to subjects as diverse as individual liberty and ecclesiastical discipline.
I do agree that this latest episode reveals a grave crisis of both faith and governance in the Church.
It’s impossible to pray too much over atrocities like this.

A sad experience at church May 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
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My family and I had a troubling experience after Mass the other day.  At a parish where a number of really very good things are occurring, there was a sort of celebratory Mass being held for the parish school shortly after the completion of the usual Friday Mass.  Since it was going to be a crowded Mass and there were some activities associated beforehand, many people arrived early for the celebration.  I am sorry to say, we were scandalized by the dress and behavior of those in attendance.  We were scandalized to the point of needing to get our children out of the church building as quickly as possible so that they would not see the copious amounts of legs, breasts, and riotous behavior on display. 

I know the pastor of this parish well, and I know he has reminded his congregation at times about appropriate behavior and dress at Mass.  At the usual ‘school’ Mass at this parish, dress among some of the teachers used to be a problem, but it seems to have gotten better.  Well, those same teachers must have felt some pent up need for exhibitionism, because they were among the very worst offenders of decorum Friday night.  I posted some photos a couple of weeks ago of inappropriate dress at Mass, drawing a complaint from a regular reader over the revealing nature of the dress.  I removed those photos.  But I am tempted to put them back up, because what we saw Friday night was much, much worse.  One teacher had on a tight kind of wrap around top that was cut so low it appeared parts were about to burst forth from the compression.  Another teacher’s skirt was strictly notional.  While some readers of this blog may not need examples of inappropriate dress, it appears that many, many people in the broader church culture DO need such reminders.  I may do a post on this specific topic again – my wife thinks it would be a good idea.  The worst bit was, the inappropriate attire was far from limited to the adults – many of the students and other young people ‘assisting’ at this Mass had definitely taken some cues from the notional adults – my first sight upon entering into the sort of narthex area was of a group of teenage girls wearing attire that would have been unthinkable for a young woman to wear a few short years ago. 

I wish the problems were limited only to the attire, but, sadly, they were not.  The atmosphere in the sanctuary had all the reverence of a college kegger.  People would NEVER behave this boisterously at a movie theater, concert hall, or a city hall meeting as they did before our Eucharistic Lord present in the Tabernacle.  I don’t know if anyone was trying to pray and gather themselves prior to that Mass, but I pity them if they were.  There was also an effort to take a graduation photo on the steps leading up to the altar; this doesn’t strike me as a ‘best practice.’ 

Some will say – what’s my problem?  Why do I have to be getting in people’s business, telling them what to wear?  There are many reasons.  First, such dress can be distracting to other people assisting at Mass.  We receive more or less Grace from God depending on our level of participation in Mass.  Seeing provocatively dressed women can be very distracting to many people, especially men.  It can distract them from participating in a prayerful, loving, thankful manner at the Mass.  Secondly, such attire can lead directly to sin.  If a man sees a provocatively dressed woman, his thoughts may wander into unfortunate places and he may even committ a mortal sin. The women so dressed and the object of that lust is complicit in the commission of that sin, and the sin becomes hers as well.  Given that we have 100% presentation for reception of Communion at Mass in today’s church, it is possible that people may receive unworthily within seconds or minutes of having committed a mortal sin.  A related reason is that women dressing in this manner must needs examine their conscience for their reasons for doing so – if they are married and yet enjoy eliciting certain reactions from men by their dress, there is another potentially serious occasion of sin.  Fourthly, what kind of example does this set for children?  I cannot speak to the other parent’s motivations, but as a father I don’t want my children exposed to that kind of dress, and I would not allow my daughters to dress as I saw many dressed that sad day.  Finally, once again, this is the house of the Lord.  This is not a protestant church where there is hope of a sort of symbolic presence of the Lord – as Catholics, as members of the Body of Christ, the One True Church instituted by Jesus Christ, we have our Lord present at every Mass in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  Should we not dress appropriately for that Real Presence?

I pray for those whose dress caused scandal on Friday.  The dominant culture certainly says that flamboyantly revealing dress and ever more casual, irreverent behavior is the way to go regardless of the setting.  People should be free to ‘express themselves.’  But the ways of the world are not the ways of God’s chosen people.  We are called to be apart from the ways of the world, to conduct our lives in a manner that resonates with the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.  And that Truth has always stated that modesty, not sexual flamboyance, is a virtue.

How long, Lord?

Civilization and the Faith May 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sickness, Society.
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I am reading a truly fantastic historical series right now by the great Warren Carroll.  His ‘Christendom series are a faithful reading of the history of the Church and the world from an orthodox Catholic perspective.  I only became aware today that Dr. Carroll and his wife and the founders of the Seton home school materials that my wife and kids use. But more to the point, Dr. Carroll points out repeatedly in his books the fragile nature of civilization.  Many tend to see Western civilization as a never ending, always expanding series of progress, with an always more sunny future before us.  Carroll demonstrates how wrong that assumption is.  And he shows that, for the past 17 or 18 hundred years, the more civilization has been in tune with the Faith, the better things have gone.  When civilization has walked away from the Faith, the problems tend to multiply rapidly.  This wonder we live in called ‘modern Western civilization’ is only a few hundred years old, and is under violent attack from marxists, modernists, islamists, and worst of all from its own arrogant assuredness that its success is self made and not God-given.  The Pope has made clear that he has grave concerns for the future of this culture if it continues on its present path. 

Moral decay has definitely been perhaps the determinant factor in the collapse of cultures.  Who does not recognize the serious signs of decay in today’s society?  Is it inexorable, can it be stopped?  Yes, with prayer and conversion, anything is possible.  But it takes humility and great effort.  And it requires superb leadership from the Church, constantly exhorting the faithful and the civilization at large to live by all the Doctrine Christ has revealed through His Church.  We always need stronger leadership.

Phlegmatic Pfleger reinstated May 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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The bombastic pastor of St. Sabina parish in Chicago, who had his faculties suspended a few weeks ago by Cardinal George for repeated disobedience (on top of much dissent and misrepresentations of the Faith), has been reinstated as pastor by Cardinal George.  The people of St. Sabina, who no doubt love their pastor, will have him back, but I am skeptical that this decision is the best for the state of their souls.  There was great political pressure brought to bear by supporters of Fr. Pfleger, and this no doubt had an impact of Cardinal George’s decision.  But given Pfleger’s demonstrated, repeated grave abuses of the Mass, his nearly violent confrontations with elements in the surrounding community, and his radical views regarding the ordination of women and much else, I think both he and the people of St. Sabina are in need of many, many prayers. 

Their firebrand pastor may tell them what they want to hear, but I’m not certain he will tell them what they, what we all, need to hear.

A thorough deconstruction of the progressive catholyc ‘truce’ May 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, religious, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I need to work on my ledes – “deconstruction, what’s that?”  Anyhoo, there is a very long piece at LifeSiteNews explaining in detail recent efforts by John Allen of National Catholic Reporter and Fr. Tom Rosica of Salt+LightTV (and a thoroughly dangerous man) to simultaneously viciously attack (faithful/orthodox/conservative/traditional/irate/judgemental/evil – you pick) Catholic bloggers and other media enterprises while at the same time calling for decorum and a ‘change in tone.’  In reality, what they are seeking, claims Matthew Hoffman, is a truce, whereby faithful Catholics who normally strive to adhere to Church Doctrine in their lives will stop pounding on ‘progressive catholics’ for constatntly, incessantly refusing to do so, and more so, to stop opposing ‘progressive’ efforts to undermine the Faith.  What it all means, Hoffman claims, is that the progressive elements know they are losing, and badly, and are seeking to co-opt faithful Catholic media to their own ends:

In recent months, media celebrity John Allen has been on a campaign to legitimize the dissenting, anti-life and anti-family views embraced by his publisher, the “National Catholic Reporter” (NCR).  Let us call it the “Allen Strategy”.

The Allen Strategy hearkens back to the 1990s [no, it hearkens back to well before then, the ‘seamless garment’ rhetoric dates from the 80s, and the arguments it makes to the 70s], when Chicago’s Cardinal Bernardin sought to co-opt orthodox Catholics with the “common ground” and “seamless garment” initiatives. His apparent intent was to induce the faithful to compromise with liberal dissenters in order to promote “unity” in the Church. Inevitably he failed, although the Common Ground Project maintains a postmortem presence at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union……

Hoffman then goes on to describe, at length, Allen’s efforts to describe the Church as having descended into forms of tribalism, with each tribe essentially equal to the others, and don’t we all want to get along?  So ‘peace and justice’ catholics are one tribe, and ‘liturgical extremist’ Catholics are another, along with ‘neo-con’ and ‘pro-life,’ etc.  Hoffman demonstrates the fallacy of this argument, with abundant supporting links, and establishes that what Allen is trying to do is to somehow rhetorically ‘equalize’ faithful Catholics with those who reject Church Doctrine, to put them on the same plane and make them equivalent in someone’s eyes – perhaps the bishops.  Thus, the bishops should not heed demands to enforce Catholic Doctrine, as such calls are merely coming from one ‘tribe’ and the other tribes have an equal claim to being ‘authetnically Catholic.’  Allen is also seeking to have orthodox Catholics willingly ignore the dissent and heresies of the ‘progressive’ camp and ‘work with them’ on issues of import to both – that is the co-opting.  What this reveals, however, is that the ‘progressive’ wing, of which Allen is most definitely a part, is very concerned about the direction of the Church.  Hoffman concludes:

And it is here that we arrive at the deeper meaning of the Allen Strategy. Although it is distressing to witness such a famous and capable reporter putting his talents to ill use, Allen’s words can only inspire hope, if read in their proper context. The Allen Strategy, which has no real possibility of succeeding, is nothing less the swan song (if swans will excuse the comparison) of a dying movement that has no recourse left but to silly subterfuges and weak protests against “extremism.”

The defeat of NCR’s phony, neo-modernist “peace and justice Catholicism” is in large part the product of lay movements exercising the very functions that liberal dissenters hoped to expropriate for their own ends following Vatican II, a council for which the latter professes a profound reverence. Although the legitimacy of lay movements to protect orthodoxy has always been recognized in the Church, the concept was engraved in stone in the new Code of Canon Law, which explicitly recognizes the right and even the obligation of Catholics to inform their prelates, and one another, of their concerns regarding the faith.

To the dismay of NCR and the movement it represents, this new emphasis on lay involvement in the Church did not spawn a proletarian army to carry out their “peace and justice” revolution. It produced instead the “evangelical Catholicism” that so troubles Allen and his publisher. In recent years, “evangelical Catholicism” has made increasing use of the Internet as well as television, augmenting its influence dramatically. The Church’s establishment, so accustomed to controlling the Catholic means of communication, is finding that modern communication is a two-way street.

The response it is hearing is a clear “no” to the culture of death and sexual perversion, and to compromise and laxity with regard to the truths of the faith.  It is a voice that will only grow louder until the Catholic faith, in all its integrity, is fully upheld and protected in the Church.

John Allen and his unfortunate patron are facing an inexorable imperative of Catholicism: the tribe of life must prevail over the tribe of death. Then, and only then, will authentic justice and peace reign among Christians.

The entire article should be read.   Hoffman also discusses Fr. Rosica, mentioned above.  This is a dangerous man, who has no problem using calumny and false accusation in support of his agenda.  I should note that Fr. Rosica is very closely associated with the Canadian bishop’s conference.  This conference has raised concerns among Catholics the world over through its support for pro-abort organizations and even efforts (through it’s ‘development and peace’ organization) to enact laws in Latin American countries in favor of abortion.  LifeSiteNews broke that story, and yet Rosica has seen fit to describe LifeSiteNews as ‘not credible,’ ‘not ethical,’ ‘not honest,’ ‘bombastic,’ etc.  Rosica has tried to have the Vatican somehow ‘regulate’ the content of Catholic media sites, including blogs.  At the recent ‘blogger’s’ conference, the Vatican chose not to follow Rosica’s advice.  Rosica has also been supportive of a lawsuit brought by a different Canadian priest accusing LSN of various grave evils, for reporting the fact that the priest is pro-abort.  Essentially, there has been a concerted campaign to shut down LifeSiteNews. 

I find that very interesting – how those who repeatedly speak of the ‘primacy of the individual conscience’ and the right of every Catholic to have their own views, even if those views counter the proclaimed Doctrine of the Faith, are at the same time using force if necessary to deny the proclamation of the Truth.  It’s enough to make one just what their motivations truly are.

h/t culturewarnotes