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REMINDER – Face the Truth pro-life effort TOMORROW 10/01! September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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The Face the Truth campaign for abortion awareness is tomorrow!  All times/locations below:

SATURDAY, October 1st:

STOP 1 – Greenville/Walnut Hill
0800-0930
Park at Hospital parking lot

STOP 2 – Royal/Preston
10:30 – 12:00 noon
Park in strip mall parking lot

STOP 3 – Northwest Highway
Near Northpark Mall entrance
1:00 – 2:30 pm
Park at Borders

STOP 4 – Mockingbird/Abrams
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Park in strip mall parking lot at NorthWest corner

SUNDAY, October 2nd:

STOP 1 – Royal/Greenville
near Southwestern Abortion Mill
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Park at Harry Moss Park

STOP 2 – Mockingbird/Greenville
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Park at 24 Hour Fitness parking lot 

All details at the Pro L ife Texas website.  More info here

I hope to see you at one or more of the locations.  I should be able to participate in at least two of the “tour stops.”

What is poverty? September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, Society, Virtue.
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We often hear many, both in the Church and without, assailing those who adhere to a more conservative or libertarian philosophy, with the notion that Christianity demands that we support endless wealth transfers through the government from certain ‘wealthy’ groups to other ‘poor’ groups.  While I have argued many times that this view is wrong, that the Gospels are far more concerned with our personal acts of charity made voluntarily, and less concerned about economic systems or forced charity under government fiat, it is helpful, perhaps, to have a view of what constitutes ‘poverty’ in this country, in this year of our Lord 2011.  Catholic Vote links to a report I actually saw a week or two ago, but was too busy to post on, done by the Heritage Foundation that looks at the living standard of those who the federal government rates as being in a state of poverty:

Examining the actual living conditions of the poor, authors Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield reached two major conclusions. The poor enjoy amenities that the middle class did generations ago:

• 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
• 92 percent of poor households have a microwave.
• Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.
Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.
• Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.
• Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.

Also, few poor people suffer from true material hardship:

• Over the course of a year, 4 percent of poor persons become temporarily homeless.
96 percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry at any time during the year because they could not afford food. [contrast this with numerous news reports that blare out misleading or outright false headlines that “40% of Texas children hungry!”]
• 83 percent of poor families reported having enough food to eat.
• 82 percent of poor adults reported never being hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money for food.

Some additional data from the Heritage Foundation (which is, of course, a conservative think tank):

I have no doubt that there are very poor people in this country, people that really and truly need help. I have no problem with that.  I highly encourage everyone to give to the extent they discern they can to charitable organizations of their choosing.  I have done several posts listing good charities in the past.  But we must be aware that, already in this country, a massive amount of assistance is provided to those whose monetary income falls below a certain level.  We also face an unprecendented problem of government debt that threatens to destroy or permanently damage the economy of this country.  So, given the material and other comforts those listed as being in poverty presently enjoy, it seems we might be able to cut back in some of these assistance programs without leaving millions of Americans to die on the streets of cold and starvation.  We have a fair amount of flexibility, it would seem.  It would seem some folks could probably get by if government assistance, which is money either taken from other citizens or, increasingly, borrowed, were cut to some degree.  But to hear many in the Church, especially those who work for various organs of the USCCB or certain dioceses, any even marginal cut to these wealth transfers is not only going to lead to complete devastation, but is also contrary to mind of the Church, perhaps even sinful. 

I would remind these folks that we get no individual graces from confiscatory wealth transfers.  Money taken by the government is money some or many of us cannot then use to support individuals in need more directly.  America is the most charitable country on the planet.  Government wealth transfers are horribly inefficient means of  providing assistance to the poor, with as much as half of the monies taken being consumed by administration, waste, lobbying efforts, and just plain squandered.  There is much merit in encouraging all Catholics to be more generous in aiding those in poverty through direct giving.  But I tire of this reflexive rhetoric from the USCCB and certain individual bishops, that even relatively small cuts to their favored programs (which, incidentally, make up a huge percentage of the budgets of USCCB organs like Catholic Charities) equate to a gross violation of  moral virtue. 

I am most tired of socialism, or at least big BIG government liberalism, being the default position of the USCCB.   As Austin Ruse says on the same topic “As Catholics we have an obligation to help the poor, but we are not obliged to indulge in liberal fantasies or to get pushed around by poverty activists – even Catholic ones.”

I used to listen to country music all the time…. September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition.
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……..and I have this great collection of about 1200 “good country” songs on my computer and phone.  But lately all I want to listen to is chant – especially early Roman and Byzantine, but also Gregorian.  It’s TEH awesome!

I know, I have issues!

Bishops supporting young, orthodox theologians? September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition.
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I have some personal experience with this topic, via a young man of my acquiantance. Two articles addressing young theologians appeared recently – one claiming bishops seek their support to help reinvigorate the Catholic identity of many nominally Catholic colleges and other institutions, while the other points to the huge problems that remain.  First the effort to encourage more faithful theologians to gain positions of influence:

Seeking to reverse a generational breakdown in the transmission of faith, the U.S. bishops have targeted a potential ally — young theologians who have just begun to teach undergraduates at Catholic universities. 

In an effort to build bridges between Church leaders and departments of theology and religious studies, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the chairman of the Committee on Doctrine at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, organized a gathering to foster dialogue between two camps with distinct but complementary missions.

“The Intellectual Tasks of the New Evangelization,” a symposium held here at the Washington Court Hotel, provided a forum for 54 untenured theologians from across the country to engage with Church leaders and prominent theologians………….

…At the symposium, Archbishop DiNoia explored related themes in an often passionate address. The work of a Catholic theologian “is not simply an academic vocation. It is an ecclesial vocation,” he stated. The task at hand required an affirmation of the “doctrinal core of the Catholic faith” and a concerted effort to address the “internal and external factors” that impede the New Evangelization. [Uff da…….’new evangelization.’  Alright, fighting through that silliness, what is being talked around is the profound tendency among numerous theologians of a certain age to reject Church Doctrine in their full embrace of modernism]

He counseled his audience not to allow academic specialization and speculative work to lead them to ignore the fullness of the Church’s teaching. [or reject it outright]

 

…….Archbishop DiNoia touched on the sensitive topic of episcopal oversight of theology departments at Catholic universities and colleges. While acknowledging that scholars “have an instinctive allergy with regard to any censorship of thought,” he insisted that the Church had an obligation to confront theological dissent.  [It’s amazing that a statement like that even has to be made.  We have fallen so very far]

He noted that the need for intervention by Church authorities has increased over time: “The more theologians are no longer reliably able to affirm what the doctrine means, the more the magisterium intervenes.”

A central obstacle to the New Evangelization, he asserted, was the “internal secularization of the Church. The enemy occupies our territory.” The steady advance of secularism has fueled doubts about the intelligibility of the faith, resulting in an “apologetic apologetics.”

Boy, that last bit is true.  There are many DREs and others at the diocesan and parish level that seem terribly embarrassed about whole swaths of the Faith.  They try to explain much of it away, while trying to force the Gospel into some washed out, watered down belief acceptable to our increasingly secular, pagan, modernist culture.  It is a massive problem, and one that has trickled down from academia.  When the modernist assault really began about 100 odd years ago, many Catholic theologians immediately surrendered the high ground, acquiescing to ostensibly “scientific” analyses (many since disproved) of Biblical events and other sources of the Deposit of Faith, and backing away from a strong defense of the Faith.  They were almost embarrassed to hold orthodox opinions.  I believe the younger people entering this field are more orthodox overall, but many problems will likely remain for some time. 

For instance…….in the second article, younger, orthodox theologians relate that they desire greatly to uphold the Faith in all its richness and have no desire to twist it into some heterodox, modernist, or protestant deformation, but their problem is lack of support from the episcopate:

the majority of young Catholic philosophers and theologians that I have met through my teaching—in England, Canada, and America—are eager to serve the Church, to imbibe her customs, and to perpetuate her faith. For the most part, where frustration is felt it is not at being restricted by authority; it is at not being confidently commissioned. Being a bishop is not for cowards. Failure of episcopal leadership in the post-Vatican II era has typically not been in the clumsy exercise of power, but in their reluctance to support those who defend authentic Catholic teaching. This trend is passing. 

Is it?  I pray it is, and while there are some positive signs, I would say progress has been painfully slow.   But reading on in the second article, I remain concerned, for even among these ‘orthodox’ theologians, they trumpet theology of the body as a prime tool of the ‘new evangelization.’  There is still an unhealthy focus on humanism.  What I would hope the last 100 years would show to anyone with eyes to see is that we need a focus on God, on serving Him in His Triune Nature and the Church He placed on earth to be both His Body in a temporal sense and the only gateway to spending eternity with Him in Heaven.  While the humanist/personalist approach may seem attractive to many since it seems to ‘play well’ in our current times, I think it is a dead end, or, more, a cul de sac, that will take people back to the same place we find ourselves today – with a Church that is inordinately focused on the temporal.

Back to my personal experience.  I know a young man with an advanced degree from the Angelicum in Rome.  He is thoroughly orthodox.  He went on numerous interviews at a number of nominally Catholic universities for positions in theology departments, and was rejected in all as being “too orthodox,” too lock step with the mind of the Church.  So now he works as a youth minister at a parish in this state.  I have knowledge of other, similar stories, of people being fired as DREs for being “insufficiently pastoral,” or “inflexible” when it comes to the revealed Truth the Church holds. 

We have a very long way to go.  While I believe there are many positive signs, I think there is also much danger that even this new, more orthodox generation can go in the wrong direction if they follow some of the schools of thought that have developed in the last several decades.  That we need bishops to not only support these more orthodox theologians is beyond question.  There should be pressure brought to bear on Catholic universities to accept these orthodox individuals for tenure track positions.  But even more, even though it might be very painful, we need more examples of leadership who will publicly correct, reject, and/or renounce those theologians who consistently either reject the Faith or propose “interpretations” that are strongly counter to the constant belief of the Church.  Hard hearted though it may seem, some of these individuals really ought to lose their positions.  You cannot blend Truth with error.

Happy Excommunication! September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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LarryD at Acts of the Apostasy is a funny guy.  Should he ever come to Dallas, I would happily buy him the non-alcoholic beverage of his choice.  He’s got a blog post with greeting cards for heretics that he made.  They cracked me up quite a bit:

Good lord, what is it with heretics and horrendous vestments?  See the rest here.

There is, after all, a war still going on September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, General Catholic.
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Although often it is easy to forget, there is still a real war going on in Afghanistan (among many other places, sadly).  I don’t know how old this video is, I think it is several years old and I think I’ve seen it before, but it captures some of the incredible nature of combat (language warning):

On one of the runs, the A-10 fired a 7 second burst, which is incredibly long.  The GAU-8/A Avenger cannon in the A-10 produces a tremendous recoil – firing bursts for that length of time can slow the aircraft down sufficiently to stall.  Obviously, “bitchin’ betty” was complaining with altitude warnings.  In addition, the huge amount of smoke from the cannon can also cause an engine flameout.  A 7 second burst even at the GAU-8’s “low” speed firing setting would discharge 245 rounds – each massive round weighs about 1 lb.  At the higher rate, 490 rounds would have been discharged.  That’s alot. 

Obviously alot of shooting going on in the background.  The forward air controller or combat controller displayed amazing cool under fire. 

Just some of the sufferings our troops endure.  They certainly merit our prayers, as do their families, who carry a terrible burden when a loved one is deployed in combat.

On a local note, going to DFW airport to greet the troops is a very noble thing to do.  Simply supporting them and welcoming them home does not imply an agreement in principle with the wars in which they are serving – hopefully, we have learned the lesson of Vietnam and will never treat our returning troops so shamefully again. 

info on greeting the troops – randr

For a feel for how large the A-10’s cannon is:

More plane PrON:

The gravest abuse of the Mass is Communion in the Hand? September 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, North Deanery, Papa, priests, scandals, sickness, Tradition.
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Rorate Caeli has a post that claims that the most serious problem afflicting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in many, many locales is not a bad translation, or the priest with his back turned to the Lord, or altar girls, or crummy music, but Communion in the hand.  New Catholic at Rorate Caeli claims that all other abuses flow from this one, which I am not certain is historically correct, since the Novus Ordo predates the indult for Communion in the hand by several years (although widespread abuse did pre-date the indult), but, nonethless:

(1) Any human being who has ever had any experience with any edible object based on a milled product knows that crumbling is a natural part of the process of consuming it: loaves, wafers, cookies, biscuits, crackers, tortillas, nachos – it does not matter, fragmentation takes place. 
(2) Catholics believe that the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ are truly present in each of the Consecrated Species, and completely in every single and minute fragment of it.
Because of (1) and (2), the Church was traditionally extremely careful regarding the distribution of Holy Communion. That meant reducing to the minimal imaginable level the possibility that any Fragment of the Body of Christ, even the smallest one, might be profaned or lost – which meant only the celebrant himself touched the Body of Christ, that all Fragments could be held under control on the Altar, and that all gestures in the distribution of Holy Communion by the Priest (or Deacon) to the servers and faithful would mean that no Fragment could ever go unaccounted. (And that same process also took place with the distribution under both Species in the East, in a slightly different evolution, but with the same end result: consecrated hands distributing Holy Communion in such a way to make any loss or spillage unlikely and under strict control.)
 
What the liturgical innovations following the Council did was to inculcate Catholics with the notion that the Fragments of the Body of Christ do not matter – and it would be absurd to limit that only to the abhorrent practice of Communion in the hand; no, it is not just a matter of respect, but of Belief that God Himself is entirely present in each single Fragment of the Consecrated species; and Communion in the hand is only one aspect of this. In fact, all those allowances for distribution by people other than those with consecrated hands that are not purified before and after the Distribution of Holy Communion, the use of all kinds of “vessels”, and all related matters – happening thousands upon thousands of times every single day around the world – also necessarily lead to abuse. Or, rather, they ARE the abuse. 

All other problems with the New Mass are intimately related with this gravest of problems. If the Sacred Liturgy is the “summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed” (SC, 10), the handling of the Body of Christ by the non-ordained is the pit from which all and every single liturgical abuse ontologically flows.
 
When I first converted to the Church, I had no idea the Church believed that Jesus Christ is present Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist.  I was totally ignorant of this.  When my true conversion came, when the veils were lifted at least to some degree from my eyes by the Grace of God, and I learned that Sacred Scripture and Tradition both showed conclusively that Jesus Christ was really and literally present in the Eucharist, I rapidly came to believe I had to receive Communion kneeling, and from a priest.  I am an unworthy sinner.  How can I pick up Christ in my hands and put him in my mouth?  How can I receive from any one of umpteen EMHCs at Mass?  A priest has hands consecrated to God, hands ‘set aside’ for certain purposes for which they are specifically called (or, we pray they are called, and not in the priesthood in the absence of a true vocation.  Sadly, that may not always be the case). 
 
I know this topic drives many people away.  I’m sorry – all I can do is relate what I’ve come to believe. I really believe this has been revealed to me – that this is what the Lord wants me to do.  Possibly it is just my pride or some perversion of what I think is sanctification that has driven me to believe inalterably that I absolutely must kneel to receive my Lord and Savior in the Blessed Sacrament – certainly, such has been claimed against me in the past – but I think not.  All one must do is to look at the timeless practice of the Church, the organic development of the Liturgy and especially Doctrine regarding the Blessed Sacrament, and see that there has been, for almost all if not ALL of the history of the Church, a great desire to preserve the integrity of the Blessed Sacrament and prevent abuse or accidents with it.  Total reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, which meant reception kneeling and on the tongue, was de riguer up until 35-40 years ago. 
 
Is Communion in the hand the ultimate basis of all abuses in the Mass?  I’m not convinced of that – I think it is the gravest abuse of the Mass, but I’m not certain that it is the fount of all the others, although, it could be.  One way to tell would be what happens if the indult were more formally rolled back (since, it seems it expired in the US, at least 6 years ago). If there is ever a formal action taken from Rome to end the practice, with actual punishment meted out (not holding my breath), what happens then?  Will those who have developed a sort of virtual theology around this practice submit, or will they claim that they didn’t leave the Church, but the Church left them? 
 
A related video from Michael Voris:
 
 
I had not heard about the priest in El Paso who refuses to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.  What a contrast with Fr. Michael Rodriguez – I’m sure the priest how denies the Real Presence remains in ‘good standing’ in a comfortable parish in the middle of El Paso.
 
Here is another useful video on the topic, although this young man has a manner I find a little disquieting:
 

Today is the Dedication of St. Michael the Arcangel September 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, Tradition, Virtue.
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Also known as Michaelmas.  I may be a bit late posting this for many people, but wouldn’t today be a really good day to assist at Mass?  Perhaps a traditional Mass?  Four days is getting to be too long without a TLM for me.  And, if you have been praying a Novena for the intercession of St. Michael, “capping” that Novena with Mass on his feast day could result in much Grace.

Offer Novenas for Fr. Michael Rodriguez September 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, priests, sadness, scandals.
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I have covered the Fr. Michael Rodriguez situation in depth.  I was thinking while traveling that I had been a fool not to have asked folks to pray Novenas for him and his apostolate.  In fact, I began the Novena for the intercession of St. Michael the Arcangel last week, and my intention had been that God may work through this situation to allow Fr. Rodriguez to be an even more fruitful vehicle of God’s Grace, no matter where he serves.  Some may wish to have the intention that Fr. Rodriguez be restored at San Juan Bautista, and this time as pastor, not “pastoral administrator.”   I will continue praying Novenas for these intentions. 

Below are the dates of some upcoming Novenas:

SEPT 29 – OCT 7: Novena in Honor of St. Michael (typically started before the Feast Day, which is today, but you can start it today)
OCT 8 – OCT 16: Novena to St. Therese
OCT 17 – OCT 25: Novena to St. Francis
OCT 26 – NOV 3: Christ the King Novena

For your convenience, a moderate length version of the St. Michael Novena:

Glorious Saint Michael,
guardian and defender
of the Church of Jesus Christ,
come to the assistance of His followers,
against whom the powers of hell are unchained.
Guard with special care our Holy Father,
the Pope, and our bishops, priests,
all our religious and lay people,
and especially the children.

Saint Michael,
watch over us during life,
defend us against the assaults of the demon,
and assist us especially at the hour of death.
Help us achieve the happiness
of beholding God face to face
for all eternity. Amen.

Saint Michael,
intercede for me with God
in all my necessities, especially….

“the intention is stated here”

Obtain for me a favorable outcome
in the matter I recommend to thee.
Mighty prince of the heavenly host,
and victor over rebellious spirits,
remember me for I am weak and sinful
and so prone to pride and ambition.

Be for me, I pray,
my powerful aid in temptation and difficulty,
and above all do not forsake me
in my last struggle with the powers of evil.
Amen.

I strongly encourage all to offer all these Novenas, as well as Rosary intentions and other prayers, for Fr. Michael Rodriguez and all good, holy priests they know.  In our family, we pray for many priests every night during our family prayer time.  These prayers not only help the priests, they help us.  Prayers for others are a great spiritual work of mercy.  I pray our joint efforts may effect great wonders!

The cheap ‘price’ of sex – cultural collapse in microcosm? September 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Interior Life, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition.
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I think this article on reasons why young women today give it up at the drop of a hat grossly oversimplifies very complex situations, but I did want to post it and make a couple of comments:

Women are jumping into the sack faster and with fewer expectations about long-term commitments than ever, effectively discounting the “price” of sex to a record low, according to social psychologists.

More than 25% of young women report giving it up within the first week of dating……….

researchers found a full 30% of young men’s sexual relationships involve no romance at all — no wooing, dating, goofy text messaging. Nothing. Just sex………[I’m sure the young men are very self-satisfied.  Very likely they have never even heard someone mention as a possibility whether fornication could lead to a soul’s damnation]

“If sex has been very easy to get for a particular young man for many years and over the course of multiple relationships, what would eventually prompt him to pay a lot for it in the future — that is, committing to marry?”
 
……..So, what can women do to return the balance of sexual power in their favor? Stop putting out…….
Sorry for the vulgar language – it is the sad language of our times.  And all the talk in the article about the “price of sex” is just silly.  All that talk means is that women are giving up sex for virtually any man they find remotely interesting.  More on that later.   The article made a point at the end that women in other, “less egalitarian” and presumably less “enlightened” cultures, tend to “group together” to deny sex to men and so keep their “sexual value” high.  First of all, commodotizing God’s precious gift of sexuality, as the article does, is disgusting, but the behavior of the vast majority of people in today’s culture is far worse.   The women in the “backwards” cultures don’t refrain from sex to keep their value “high,” or if they do it’s a tertiary or lower concern, they do so because they operate in a culture that still knows and follows traditional morality, which is derived from the natural law and the moral code of God that is written on all men’s hearts.  If they were to be a ‘loose woman,’ they know they would be ostracized in that culture.  In our culture, we have the opposite paradigm – those who prize chastity and other moral virtues are viewed as bizaare, as oddities to be observed perhaps occasionally but kept well away from.  And the culture continues to collapse into morass – precisely because there are absolutely no moral standards anymore.  The domination of modernism is total (outside of small communities of faithful of various stripes – orthodox Catholics and some other Christian sects, orthodox Jews, some muslims (who have their own issues….), etc), everything is relative, there is no truth but your “truth.” 
 
The other point I wanted to make was that studies have shown that women that have had several partners are incredibly more likely to divorce.  That is, they tend to grow dissatisfied with their marriages and initiate divorce.  I posted on this some time back, but some study showed that a woman who had 20 or more partners prior to marriage has a likelihood of divorce of nearly 100%.  Those who have had 3 partners have a likelihood of 50%.  So even if these many, many young women of today who have had numerous partners ever do marry, the likelihood is that they will divorce at least once.  And the destruction of marriage continues.
 
There is only one way out of this morass, and that is a return to traditional morality.  Cultures that have gone down the path of self-degradation and rejection of God’s Law in the past have invariably collapsed.  And the people who populate those cultures endure incredible sufferings and unhappiness as a result of their actions.  The young people of today, especially the men, may feel happy at present in a superficial way, always getting what they want and not having to pay any significant price, but the price even then is high, for they are denying that voice of God calling to them from inside, and who knows what life will be like for them in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, when they are alone and have no partner?
 
And only 14% of Catholics think premarital sex is sinful.  Now, why would that be?
 
Lord, please restore your Church.