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Build up my Church June 10, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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I think the analysis of the new media is interesting.  I also think that Voris makes an excellent point in arguing that much of the success of the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ crowd was due to their ability to get their views presented in the dominant media of that time as not only progressive and forward thinking, but really the only acceptable views to hold.  Those opposed to this ‘spirit’ were virtually ignored.  There is no question that, at present, traditional Catholics have a much, much stronger presence in the new media than those of a more progressive bent.  I wonder if this is due to the age differences in the two groups, or if is simply a revelation of the fact that the vast majority of involved, faithful Catholics have been very friendly towards Tradition all along, but simply had no venue for their voice?


Providence strikes again? June 10, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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In 1976 in the Archdiocese of Detroit, the infamous ‘Call to Action’ conference was held.  While originally billed as being a conference to help in the renewal of the Church called for by Vatican II, the conference was quickly hijacked by a small cabal of leftist groups and deteriorated into something akin to a Soviet party congress.  An incredible amount of heresy and dissent issued forth, and, gravely, colored the faith of a wide swath of an entire generation of ‘Catholics’ in a rosy shade of red.  The ‘Call to Action’ group and the mentality it has spread has cast a pall over the Church in this country for decades, and gravely affected the faith of millions of Catholics.

As I said, this embrace of dissent, this widespread rejection of the Doctrine of the Faith, profoundly influenced an entire generation.  That generation is still around, although getting alot older.  As a sort of swan song, they have organized a group called the ‘American Catholic Council,’ which is sort of an umbrella group of dissenting organizations.  They have been planning for many months, going on now for nearly 2 years, a big conference in Detroit to “celebrate” the 35th anniversary of their submission to Moloch the original ‘Call to Action’ conference.  Larry D has been covering this conference, which is planned for this weekend, extensively, including Archbishop Vigneron’s explicit warning to all laity, priests, and religious not to attend.  Organizers of the heresy hit parade conference maintain they will have about 1800 people in attendance over the 3 days, which is far less than your average Fullness of Truth conference.  That it to say, the view of the Church held by the conference organizers and attendees is small, and shrinking, but is inexplicably still held by many employees in various chanceries, USCCB bureaucracies, and parish staff.  The conference attendees wield influence far out of proportion to their numbers.

So, this is the weekend of the big conference.  And what happens?  A major electrical system problem has affected downtown Detroit, including the hall where the ‘American Catholic Conference’ was to be held, and the poor dears may be without power for the duration:

A major malfunction Thursday at the beleaguered Detroit Public Lighting Department knocked out Fire Department phones and power to traffic lights, municipal buildings, courts, schools and the People Mover, prompting fears that traffic snarls, widespread outages and disruptions likely would continue through tonight.

The outages knocked out power to the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Cobo Hall, Detroit Institute of Arts, the People Mover, 36th District Court, Wayne State University, Wayne County Community College District’s Downtown Campus and the McNamara Federal Building.

The municipal center won’t reopen until Monday, and WSU said its main campus would remain closed today, with classes canceled. Most of the other facilities are likely closed through at least tonight.

Cobo Hall is the venue for the conference.  I’m sure it’s just a technical glitch, but who knows?  The Lord has certainly intervened in the past.

Seriously, I really pray for all those at this conference that they will convert!  We all struggle with our pride and our desire to feel like WE are right, and some of us [hi!] feel that WE know how to run the Church and what the Church should believe.  I probably give into my pride far too much.  But I strive to observe all the Doctrine of the Church, I do not reject any of it out of hand as being ‘archaic’ or ‘non-inclusive.’  These people obviously have a great deal of passion, even in their later years – I pray that it may be channeled in a healthy direction, for the good of the Church, and not their vision of a ‘Catholyc Church of America’ which is cut off from Rome and thoroughly secularized.

Does material prosperity impede spiritual progress? June 10, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, North Deanery, Society.
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Some insights from Dr. Warren Carroll’s Glory of Christendom I found very intriguing (p. 159):

One of the greatest paradoxes of the spiritual condition of humanity – and and essential element in the mystery of the Cross – is that prosperity of any kind tends to draw men away from God. The poor keep the Faith when the rich apostasize. The dark ages are ages of faith, while progress brings doubt and even scorn toward the Truth which is God’s, and the God who is Truth.  Martyrdom builds the Faith, oppression strengthens it, while to be “at ease in Zion” opens the gates to every kind of temptation. The graces of the Redemption which came from crucifixion flowed at their fullest during the presecutinos of Diocletian, when the barbarians sacked Rome, when the Vikings scourged the coasts, when the Moors hammered Pelayo and his tiny band back to their last mountain from which they stil proclaimed the salvation of Spain would come. Never in modern histoyr did men so love the Mass as in Ireland during the 18th century when it was a capital offense to say it. These times, these persecutions produced Saints innumerable. But it may well be that the greatest Saints of all are those sent in times of progress and prosperity, to recall men from sloth and greed and moral corruption, and call them back to their duty as children of God. For in those ages it is easiest for a man to lose his soul, and hareest of all to be a Saint.

When I read this, I was blown away, because Carroll very closely mirrors my own thoughts regarding human nature, the rise and fall of civilizations, and the Faith.  There is something inherent in our natures that seems to make times of prosperity also times of moral and religious decline.  This is of course gross generalization, but I think there is a real phenomenon.  There is something in mankind that tends to turn us away not only from God, but from basic morality, when things are easy for us.  And things have become, in the last century, mind blowingly easy for many parts of the world.  I don’t think we can even comprehend how incredibly easy we have it compared to folks just a few decades ago – the post WWII economic and technological boom has been one without precedent in recorded history.  But with that boom has come a concommitant decline – I would say collapse – in both traditional morality and true adherence to Christianity.  What passes for religious practice now among the vast majority of those who live in the developed world, and most outside of it, is a pale shadow of the practice of our forefathers.  As little as a 110 years ago, the US had dozens of Holy Days of Obligations.  Now, we have a tiny handful – 2 or 3, depending on the year, because most people can’t be bothered to make it to Church on Sunday,  let alone on a Wednesday or other day. 

In Greek and Roman civilization, there were similar high standards of living.  No, they did not have electricity or internal combustion engines, but they had public running water, public sewage, hot water in the homes of the rich with indoor plumbing, they had wealth pouring in from all the known world – they had lives of great leisure.  One of the things that killed Rome and the Western Roman Empire is that the citizens had become so used to the dole, so lazy, they couldn’t even be bothered to maintain their own defense, and so had to hire barbarians to do the work for them.  In today’s Europe, the people are so used to the dole, so lazy, they can’t even be bothered to maintain their own defense OR have babies, and so they bring in neo-barbarians to have someone to tax and “do jobs Europeans won’t do.”  One of which is having babies.  The United States is not far behind – the reason we must import cheap labor through illegal immigration is that the US population would be in a slight decline without that immigration.  Over the last 40 years, the US has generally had slightly fewer babies than it takes to keep a steady population.  Which is why the Social Security and Medicare and other ponzi schemes are imploding – they were predicated on a steadily, rapidly growing population of native born citizens.  When the pill and general moral collapse occurred in the 60s, that went out the window and we are about to pay that long past due bill. 

I don’t know if we’re headed for cultural collapse.  Or, actually, I believe we’re headed for one, but I don’t know when it will occur.  Our culture is amazingly advanced and seems so durable because we are in the midst of it and can’t imagine anything else, but in reality it is more fragile than Roman or Greek culture was.  But all the signs of impending collapse are there – severe moral decay, breakdown of many institutions, rapidly declining birthrate, the cultural and political polarization ordered towards self-seeking (ok, so I’m contributing to the decline of the civilization!) etc.  I don’t know, sort of a scatter-shooting, meandering post, but can this decline continue forever?  Is there any ‘floor’ to this moral innervation?