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Radical reform needed at USCCB August 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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That is, radical reform, or complete dissolution.  I, for one, would be happy to see a return to the Church’s traditional model of Authority – Pope – Bishop – Laity, without the muddled compromises and separate agendas of national (and state, and regional) conferences.  Louie Verrecchio, writing at Catholic Exchange, lists some of the numerous problematic statements and agendas that have eminated from the USCCB in just the last year or so, and then concludes that the USCCB should be radically reformed:

 trust the picture has been sufficiently brought into focus, so allow me to conclude by saying that I do not necessarily believe that the majority of American bishops share their bureaucratic namesake’s leftwing orientation. I am afraid, however, that too many of those bishops who share the concerns articulated herein appear, with all due respect, to be unduly influenced by group-think as it seems that the majority are largely unwilling to speak out as clearly as their exalted office might demand for fear of offending, or perhaps just embarrassing, their misguided brothers.

As a result, the assault against human dignity in America rages practically unabated, all too frequently with the active cooperation of those who march openly under a Catholic banner. Clearly Archbishop Chaput was correct when he said, “A quieter approach to these things has not been effective” (ibid).

We therefore implore you, good shepherds, to take the USCCB bull by the horns and drag it, kicking and screaming if necessary, away from the influence of liberal partisan politics so it can effectively carry out its critically important mission of building a culture of life; collectively and clearly sanctifying, teaching and governing the people of God in the name of Christ.

No, it won’t be easy, but please know that the lay faithful (or perhaps better stated, faithful laity) are prepared to do whatever it takes according to the demands of their own exalted vocation to support you and encourage you in the work that needs to be done

Obviously, I agree that something needs to be done regarding USCCB and many of its attendant bureaucracies.  I am tired of being lectured that I must be a socialist in order to be a good Catholic.

Another point. Earlier in the article, Verrecchio stated that we don’t hear much criticism of the USCCB, because to do so can be very career-limiting for a writer at major Catholic publications.  He later went on to state that some bishops were outraged when the whitewash John Jay report was released, stating that adult male priests abusing almost exclusively teen boys was not due to homosexuality in the priesthood.  Well they were to be outraged, because the findings were nonsense, and Verrecchio alludes that John Jay College may have been chosen to write the report because they refused to find a link between homosexuality and the abuse.  That prompted me to remember back to that time, and certain writers at Catholic blogs doing cartwheels of logic trying to explain how the John Jay report’s conclusions made perfect sense.  Those authors doing the most mental gymnastics typically have the closest associations with……the USCCB.  

You should read the entire article.  Bear in mind, these are just the most egregious examples from the last year or so.  I would argue that the USCCB has been, in toto, a strongly negative influence on the faith of Catholics in this country, by giving seeming ‘official’ cover to all kinds of heterodox views and left wing viewpoints.   

BTW, have you been to Sacred Heart bookstore lately?  You should really go, they have great Catholic books, artwork, prayer cards, etc!

Elderly grandmother again thrown in jail for protesting outside mill August 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Linda Gibbons is a Canadian grandmother who has spent over 8 years in jail and prison for the heinous offense of peacefully protesting outside abortion mills in Canada (particularly, Ontario).  She was recently arrested again for the same ‘offense.’   It took 7 cops to drag this fierce, firebreathing woman into the police cruiser, fighting, biting and clawing all the way:

Oh, then again, perhaps this wisp of a woman simply continued her witness to the Sanctity of Life and refused to leave.   In very ‘progressive’ Ontario, there is a court injunction which states that pro-lifers cannot criticize the practice of abortion or hand out information on the damage abortion causes within 500 ft (!!) of a mill, all of which are state funded and largely (entirely?) state operated in Canada’s socialist health care system.  The LSN article juxtaposes the very gentle treatment Gibbons received in this arrest, contrary to previous arrests where law enforcement acted in a far more hostile and aggressive manner.  The cozy relationship between state-operated abortion mill and state law enforcement appears to remain, although increasingly hostile media coverage and the ridiculousness of jailing an elderly woman for opposing abortion seems to be causing more shame in the state apparatus. 

Vicki always talks about what we can do to change things, to right wrongs and be willing tools for God.  This Canadian woman gives a beautiful example.  We don’t have to be tough or confrontational, we simply have to stand for what is true and charitable and continue this witness inexorably, no matter what comes.  With Grace, eventually, the sin we are opposing will be overcome.  We have to trust that will occur. 

Canada is only a partly free society at present.  There are increasing restrictions on free speech, such as denying the ability for those opposed to abortion to protest directly outside a mill, where they can have the most impact.  There are forces who would like to see similar restrictions imposed here in the United States.  They must be opposed with every possible means, short of sin.  Abortion is a barbaric practice fed by greed, selfishness, and hedonism.  All people of faith are called to stand against it.  I pray we may all do more to oppose this dark blight of sin on our nation’s conscience.

Charity is the vehicle to pay debts to God for our salvation August 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Saints.
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From Divine Intimacy, Eighth Sunday After Pentecost, Chapter 245:

We have received from God a patrimony to administer, that is, our natural gifts, and more particularly, our supernatural gifts, and all the Graces, holy inspirations, and promptings to good which God has bestowed on us.  The hour for rendering an account will come for us, too, and we shall have to admit that we have often been unfaithful in trafficking with the Gifts of God, in making the treasures of Grace fructify our soul. How can we atone for our infidelities? This is the moment to put into practice the teaching of the parable by which, as St. Augustine says, “God admonishes all of us to use our earthly goods to make friends for ourselves among the poor. They, in turn, becoming the friends of theri benefactors, will be the cause of their admission into Heaven.” In other words we must pay our debts to God by charity toward our neighbor, for Sacred Scripture tells us, “Charity covereth a multitude of sins” (1 Pt 4:8). This does not mean material charity alone, but also spiritual charity and not in great things only, but in little ones too – yes, even in the very least things, such as a glass of water given for the love of God. These little acts of charity, which are always within our power, are the riches by which we pay our debts and put in order “our stewardship.” [Uff, I have so much to make up for, I need to be the most charitable person ever!]

St. Augustine wrote: “O Lord, it is Your Spirit which combats within me. You gave it to me to destroy the deeds of the flesh. Moved by Your Spirit, I keep up the struggle because I hvae a powerful helper; my sins have slain, wounded and humbled me; bu You, my Creator, were wounded for me, and by Your dath You overcame mine. I bear within myself human frailty and the chains of my former slavery; in my members there is a law which opposes the law of the spirit and would drag me into the slavery of sin; my corruptible body stil weights upon my soul. Although I am made strong by Your Grace, as long as I continue to carry Your treasure in this earthen vessel, I shall always have ot suffer because of my frailty. You are the stability which makes me firm against all temptations; if they increase and frighten me, You are my refuge. ‘You are my hope, my inheritance in the land of the living.'”

Oh, how much I ow You, my Lord God, who redeemed me at so great a price! Oh! how much I ought to love, bless, praise, honor, and glorify You who have loved me so much! I shall give praise to Your Name, O God, who made me capable of receiving the great glory of being Your son. I owe to You all I have, all that is of use for my life, all that I know and love.”

Professor advises – keep kids home from college….. August 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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…..unless they are sure what they want to do in life and need a college education to pursue that dream: 

I am frequently asked whether I would be willing to spend the money necessary to send my own kids to a four-year brick and mortar college. The answer used to be a qualified “yes.” But college isn’t what it used to be. So my answer is now a firm “probably not.”

While I once considered college to be a good investment for most high school graduates I have come to believe that it is a bad idea for most of them. Note that I am not saying that college simply doesn’t deliver the good things it once did. I am saying much more than that; namely that it often hurts young people. And it does so in at least four distinct ways:

1. Spiritually. Three out of four Christian teens walk away from church after they leave home. The fact that they do so is largely the result of what they encounter in college. Here in my department (Sociology and Criminology) at my university (UNC-Wilmington) the anti-Christian indoctrination begins in freshman survey courses. Feminist professors are seemingly incapable of discussing important issues like same-sex marriage without engaging in ad hominem attacks against Christians. For example, those who adhere to the majority view (in support of traditional marriage) are characterized by their feminist sociology professors as advancing “hetero-sexism” driven by “homo-phobia.” It is no wonder that in classroom discussions the students voice support for the professor’s opinion. They want to avoid being attacked personally. And so a false consensus emerges. Eventually the students abandon their worldview in a move based on the false premise that their views are somehow out of sync with social progress.

Just in case the student retains some of his religious upbringing an array of special programs and special offices – designed to indoctrinate on religious issues –is there to reinforce your child’s spiritual drift. Our own LGBTQIA Office organizes specific lectures teaching kids that their biblical views on sexuality are actually a form of mental illness, or phobia. This helps explain the second way kids are often harmed by college.

2. Morally. I don’t know when it first hit me. Maybe it was when I saw our (former) Women’s Resource Center director handing out condoms to students during orientation. Or maybe it was when I read about the “sexual health expert” who gave a lecture (on a UNC campus) called “Safe Sodomy.” Or maybe it was the time they erected (sorry) a vibrator museum on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. No, I think it was the time our Women’s Center put pictures of nude little girls in the lobby of Randall Library. Yes, that was the moment it really hit me. It was right after seeing the exposed breasts and pubic hair of a thirteen year old girl on public display (sorry) in the library that I arrived at an important conclusion: Our universities are being run by some deeply disturbed people who, with feet planted firmly in mid-air, are simply incapable of providing moral leadership. Incidentally, the child porn display was posted only a few feet from a display advocating national health care for, you guessed it, prostitutes. I’m sorry. Sex workers.

It is little wonder why these people attack our Judeo-Christian heritage. Sodom and Gomorrah University cannot thrive in the presence of God. And that is why your child stands almost no chance of being improved morally in the typical college environment.

There are growing alternatives to ‘sending kids off to college.’  For one, college education, once a given for middle class children, may not be the best course, period.  But even if college is a good idea for a child, there are growing alternatives on the internet, as well as local colleges where students can live at home while matriculating.  I know some people whose children are doing just that.  I attended college as the cesspool was just really beginning to form – we engineering majors thought the ‘Gay Student Alliance’ and ‘feminist theory’ majors were pretty funny, but they were a small part of campus life at UT – at that time.  Now, at many universities, the inmates run the asylum.  It is a profoundly amoral environemnt. There are alternatives worthy of consideration.

Much more at the linka.

Great story on Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun August 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Saints.
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Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun was a US Army Chaplain during WWII and Korea.  He perished in a communist prison camp in N. Korea in 1951.  TFP Student Action has a very nice post on his virtue and sacrifice:

The night of November 1 was quiet.  Fr. Kapaun’s battalion, having suffered some 400 casualties among its roster of 700 soldiers, was placed in a reserve position.  Chinese troops, however, had infiltrated to within a short distance of them.  Suddenly, just before midnight, there was a cacophony of bugles, horns and whistles, as the enemy attacked from all sides.

Fr. Kapaun scrambled among foxholes, sharing a prayer with one soldier, saying a comforting word to another.  He assembled many wounded in an abandoned log dugout.  All the next day, he scanned the battlefield and, some 15 times, when he spotted a wounded soldier would crawl out and drag the man back to the battalion’s position.  By day’s end, the defensive perimeter was drawn so tightly that the log hut and the wounded it contained were outside of it.  As evening came and another attack was imminent, the chaplain left the main force for the shelter so that he could be with the wounded.  It was soon overrun, and Fr. Kapaun pleaded for the safety of the injured.  Approximately three-quarters of the men in the battalion had been killed or captured.

Hundreds of U.S. prisoners were marched northward over snow-covered crests.  Whenever the column paused, Fr. Kapaun hurried up and down the line, encouraging the men to pray, exhorting them not to give up.  When a man had to be carried or be left to die, Fr. Kapaun, although suffering from frostbite himself, set the example by helping to carry a makeshift stretcher.  Finally, they reached their destination, a frigid, mountainous area near the Chinese border.  The poorly dressed prisoners were given so little to eat that they were starving to death.

For the men to survive they would have to steal food from their captors.  So, praying to St. Dismas, the “Good Thief,” Fr. Kapaun would sneak out of his hut in the middle of the night, often coming back with a sack of grain, potatoes or corn.  He volunteered for details to gather wood because the route passed the compound where the enlisted men were kept, and he could encourage them with a prayer, and sometimes slip out of line to visit the sick and wounded.  He also undertook tasks that repulsed others, such as cleaning latrines and washing the soiled clothing of men with dysentery.

Fr. Kapaun’s faith never wavered.  While he was willing to forgive the failings of prisoners toward their captors, he allowed no leeway in regard to the doctrines of the Church.  He continually reminded prisoners to pray, assuring them that in spite of their difficulties, Our Lord would take care of them.  As a result of his example, some 15 of his fellow prisoners converted to the Catholic Faith.

He allowed no leeway with the Doctrine of the Church, and for his adherence to this Doctrine and great practice of the virtues, Fr. Kapaun convinced 15 men to convert to the Faith. 

Truth, and Charity.  Those are the cornerstones of the house built upon rock.