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I agree with this! May 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, silliness.
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From Rorate Caeli, which at times descends into scorn but often strikes just the right sardonic tone:

Summary: In the most liberal religious building in Italy, the most useless debate society in history keeps on as if nothing had changed.
From the Holy See Press Office:
The Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission has completed the first meeting of its new phase (ARCIC III) at the Monastery of Bose in northern Italy (May 17-27, 2011). The Commission, chaired by the Most Reverend David Moxon (Anglican Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses) and the Most Reverend Bernard Longley (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham) comprises eighteen theologians from a wide range of backgrounds across the world. [If you wish to waste your time, keep reading it here.]
The Anglican side included a delightful provocation: a “bishopess” (the “Right Reverend” Linda Nicholls, Area “Bishop” for Trent-Durham, “Diocese” of Toronto) and a “canoness” (“Canon” Alyson Barnett-Cowan, pictured above in Saint Peter’s with another Anglican “canon”- image source). The ladies, of course, helped the number of ordained clerics on the Anglican side reach the total of zero.
And on that, I’m out for the day!  I’m sick as a dog, I have no voice!  We were all sick all weekend!  A little suffering for the Lord!

Please pray for this family! May 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, sadness.
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My readers who assist at Mater Dei will already know this very sad story, but for those who don’t……..A traditional Catholic family who assists at the FSSP parish in the Oklahoma City area was given a great Cross as the tornados tore through that part of the country.  The mom got herself (pregnant, 4 mo.) and her three children in the bathtub, but it was a powerful tornado and the bathtube wasn’t enough.  The 15 month old died, as did the 3 year old boy.  The 5 year old girl and mom are in the hospital (or were, I don’t have an update since Sunday).  Dad was away running his harvesting business, likely making the great trek that runs from south Texas in April to Saskatchewan in September.

Please pray for this family, the Hamil’s.  They attend St. Damien’s FSSP parish in Edmund, OK. 

WOW!!!!!! May 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, foolishness, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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And I mean, WOW!!  Voris pulls no punches in addressing certain individuals in Catholic media who allow themselves to be heavily constrained in what they say or report by the USCCB or various bishops.  I know some back story on this that I cannot reveal, but Voris is not just talking about the Distorter or America Magazine – he’s talking about people you hear on EWTN alot and see at many conferences.  I can also say that I have independent confirmation that what Voris addresses, especially from about 4:15 on in the video, is very true.

I think it needs to be said that there is an ongoing, concerted effort to silence Michael Voris and his media company, St. Michael’s media.  I can’t say more now, hopefully I can, later.  Michael Voris is like an Old Testament prophet, he is shining a light on aspects of the Church that have been very damaging but little talked about.  He is goring some very sacred cows.  And there is getting to be more and more pushback.  If you value his work, some prayers for his apostolate would definitely be in order.

And there are also elements in the Episocpate in this country, and elsewhere, who strongly support Voris’ work.  So, to some extent, this conflict between Michael Voris and others in the media can be seen as a proxy fight between bishops over the present status and future direction of the Church, between the status quo and the burgeoning new orthodox movement.  As Voris says, you may want to be careful who you listen to or read.  My personal view is that one is far better off reading the Saints, or great treatments on our Faith from the 19th Century or prior, than reading most current day authors.  The Saints we know are in Heaven, while writers like Gueranger and Lasance are very well proven.

Ecclesia Semper Reformanda

Oh, one final note.  It’s always a difficult situation when one makes a livelihood from the Church as a lay person.  Motives can get confused.  What is good for one’s pocketbook can influence how the Faith is then presented.  If some of these media folks seem to have ignored some critical issues because it is in their economic interest, that may not be a conscious decision.  It’s always difficult to keep our motives pure.  There are some folks in the Catholic media who are bought and paid for, in my opinion (think Michigan, and crappy pizza), and who thus don’t have alot of credibility with me.  But there are others who I think try to do a good job but who may allow their motives to get confused by just those issues Voris mentioned – access to lucrative conferences, support from key ecclesial elements, etc.  It could make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars a year, perhaps much more than that, to their livelihoods.  And that can exercise a powerful influence over which topics one chooses to address, or not.

So, you say you want lay leadership of the Church? May 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, Papa.
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There are voices in the Church who demand that the Church radically its model of Authority.  They demand that bishops be ‘elected’ by popular vote of the laity, the same for the Pope, they want ‘pastors to be accountable to the laity, etc.’  This view is ignorant of history.  For, during much of the early Middle Ages, this was exactly the model of Authority the Church had, and it was a disaster!  The popular election of the Pope in Rome led to massive simony, or the buying and selling of Church offices.  The same was repeated at numerous bishoprics around Europe, where princes and potentates would sell Sees to the highest bidder.  It led to corruption, collapse of respect for Church leadership, and left the Papacy virtually destitute from roughly AD 900 until 1050.  This is the timeframe where many of the darkest tales of corruption and scandal in the Papacy, and the entire Episcopacy, come from.  After great struggle, two very holy Popes, St. Leo IX and Gregory VII, managed to change the election of Popes to being based on the College of Cardinals.  Simony took longer to stamp out in the broader episcopacy – it was still ongoing in various degrees throughout the Middle Ages.  It was a precipitate factor in the protestant revolt.

The reason why there are calls for this return to a failed model of Authority is that those doing the calling imagine that the Church they will wind up will be more to their liking.  I suspect they would be severely disappointed.  For, no matter how many bishops apostasize, or fail to live up to the high standards of their office, the Truth Christ reveals through His Church does not change.  God’s Grace has a way of winning out in spite of human corruption and our fallen nature.  And God has a way of working miraculous recoveries from the most destitute of circumstances.  The Church and Papacy looked almost broken at various times in the early Middle Age (or Dark Age), but God always raised up a Saint or an Abbot or Pope who would completely transform the situation. 

So, go on, prattle on about a more “representative church” with women bishops and fornicating priors and a Papacy brought low (made more “open and responsive”).  It’s been tried, failed, and did massive damage to the Church and to who knows how many individual souls.  I believe it is Divine Revelation, this present model of Church Authority that was developed centuries ago.

Increasing hostility towards Catholic homeschoolers? May 31, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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There appears to be a growing hostility in certain quarters of the Church towards Catholic parents homeschooling their children.  Earlier this year, an official with the Diocese of Austin stated that Bishop Vasquez regarded homeschooling as a threat to Catholic schools.  Very recently, an article at Our Sunday Visitor quoted Fr. Peter Stravinskas, who made several dubious claims regarding Catholic education while attacking homeschooling.  These statements include:

  • Father Stravinskas told Our Sunday Visitor, including that the Church Fathers made clear that catechesis is the job of the whole Church, with the main responsibility resting on the shoulders of the pastor, not the parents [In today’s Church, this statement is patently false.  When it comes to the education of children, the catechesis the pastor may perform is almost universally outsourced to CCD staff or teachers in Catholic schools.  Over the last several decades, this is where we have seen the breakdown, where catechesis has been almost uniformally abysmal.  Many Catholic parents, fulfilling their responsibility to insure the Faith is transmitted to their children, have had to step into the breech.  If we had a situation as existed many years ago, with a parish priest leading and teaching Christian education of children, that would be one thing, but that situation has not existed in years.]
  • And Catholic parents who choose to home-school when there is a Catholic school available at least implicitly send the message that they do not trust the Church to educate their children properly, and the children get that message. [Sorry, we Catholic parents have seen too many children emerge from Catholic schools with a 2nd grade view of the Faith, if they are not actively turned against the Faith by teachers with a dissenting agenda.  I could quote numerous examples, but won’t, because we all know them.  But there are many other reasons not to send kids to Catholic schools other than concerns over the catechesis they will receive, cost being one, as well as exposure to certain elements that parents don’t wish their children to be exposed to.  How many Catholic schools teach sex ed and discuss contraception?]

    “On the same property where they go to church on Sunday is a school where the parents don’t wish to send them,” he said. 


    That leads to a subtle anti-clericalism, he said, because the children learn that priests cannot be counted on to hand on the faith.  [Once again, it’s not the priests handing on the Faith, but those delegated by the priest to do so.  Give me a break.  Shall I mention the local teacher who stated the reason the Church did not have women priests is because “the Pope is a male chauvinist pig?”  Or those who reject Church doctrine on contraception?  Or those who dress completely inappropriately at a school Mass?  Or those who state that the Church prior to Vatican II was very, very bad, but since then is getting better, more like protestants, who essentially have it right?  Shall I go on?  Regarding anti-clericalism, Stravinsky is making a huge assumption, apparently given the divine gift to peer into souls and know what parents are transmitting to their children.]

  •  It shows in what he sees as a dearth of vocations from home-school families. [Another patent falsehood.  I know of 5 men well advanced in seminary from local families alone, and that is just those I know, personally.  This Diocese already has one home school priest and is about to receive another.]
  • He also believes it is psychologically unhealthy for mothers to spend 24 hours a day with their children as they get older, and it’s academically nearly impossible for one person to teach all that is included in a modern high school curriculum [Both of these tired, ridiculous canards have been completely refuted by the evidence.  Homeschooled children are more well adjusted than their peers, and outperform their peers academically.  These statements are nothing more than bias.]

Now, obviously, Stravinsky has a bias, because he is head of the Catholic Education Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting Catholic schools.  What is odd to me, however, is that in his statements ostensibly in support of Catholic schools, he could come up with few good reasons for parents to send their kids to those schools, and instead chose to focus on the alleged deficiencies of homeschooling.  But is this part of a broader effort?  There is no question that Catholic homeschooling is growing rapidly. It is difficult to find hard numbers, but it is estimated that of the 2 million children homeschooled in the US, one quarter are Catholic.  These children typically come from some of the most faithful Catholic families, many of whom would otherwise likely have sent their children to Catholic schools if they could afford it.  So, from the Catholic Education Foundation’s perspective, homeschooling is “robbing them” of 500,000 tuition paying students.  That’s $1.5 to $3 billion in “lost” revenue a year.  Given that poor financial condition of many Catholic schools today, that “lost” revenue could weigh heavily on some administrator’s minds.

But even more than that, is the issue of control.  I had written alot here, but I’ll just state that I am certain many of my homeschooling readers know what I mean by this.  It is very difficult for homeschooling parents to approach most parishes and ask that their child, who has not participated in the parish formation programs, to receive the Sacraments.  There are certain source materials used that, if mentioned, will immediately elicit a very hostile response, even though these materials were used for decades and are rock solid orthodox.  That raises the issue of just what is trying to be controlled, and what kind of Faith certain religious education directors and other staff are trying to communicate to children.  Unfortunately, there is serious division in the Church.  There are those who strive to adhere to all the Doctrine of the Faith, and those who do not, and many of those who do not hold positions of authority in parishes and chanceries.  And that is the root cause for many parents educating their children in the Faith.  That, and the dictum that comes from God that the prime duty of parents is to raise up new Saints for Him.  I take that duty deadly seriously.

I will note one final irony – there are certain voices in the Church who judge the ‘primacy of the individual conscience’ to be the highest moral authority, even to the extent that one’s conscience may arrive at a conclusion completely opposite from what the Church believes.  So, many parents have, after prayer and soul-searching, determined that homeschooling is the best for their children.  Isn’t that following their conscience?  Shouldn’t that be trumpeted?

h/t culturewarnotes