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Some of the silliest, most mal-formed “Catholicism” I’ve ever seen October 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Interior Life, priests, religious, sadness, Saints, scandals, Society.
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I can’t believe this.  Or, I can, but it’s such a damning condemnation of the cultural dominance of the Church (aggiornamento, indeed!) as well as the collapse of catechesis, it’s simply incredible.  The Chicago Sun Times has a sort of companion piece containing ‘man on the street’ interviews of Catholics, in light of the polling data released that shows apostasy rampant in the Church:

I’m a very good Catholic because I follow what’s in my heart, more than I feel what the church has to tell me to do. … I don’t care if it makes me a good Catholic, it makes me a good human being.” [yes, I’m sure you are.  How do you define good?  The Church, including many of the greatest intellects in history AND with the guidance of God Himself, has spent 2000 years wrestling with what defines good, with how we should live in order to be good in the eyes of God.  But none of that for retired mattress salesman Barry Blake, HE knows what’s good!  I wonder how much of what Mr. Blake thinks is ‘good’ fed by the fallen world?]

 Barry Blake, 70, Gold Coast, retired bed salesman“The church is a little antiquated and they pick and choose what makes the most money at the time. For instance — the pope, he’s infallible now, but years ago he was never infallible. [So, the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility is about making money?  Does good Barry even have a clue what that Doctrine means?  Does he understand how the Doctrine developed, and how even long before being declared a Dogma it was accepted by the Church?] They married and did all kinds of things, which kind of gets me to believe (the rules) are a little more the hierarchy of the church than God-given.” [It is amazing the damage scandal caused by sinful behavior causes, even a millenium after the fact.  But that sinful behavior has no weight on the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility, which Barry probably conflates with perfection in all areas and sinlessness.]

 Merri Baldermann, 50, downtown Chicago, retired banker“Love God with all your heart and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself — those are the two greatest commandments. If you follow those tenets, you’re doing OK.” [Uhhh….that’s nice, but how do YOU do that?]

 Al Baldermann, 70, downtown Chicago, retired banker“A lot of the teachings of the Catholic Church were written so long ago that they applied to a different culture and situations that no longer exist.” [Ahhh….the timeless heresy of historical relativism. No, Al, Truth is eternal because it is of God.]

 Kareen Di Giovanni, 51, Bartlett, human resources communications manager“I was brought up to believe it’s all or nothing. … (These days) I believe you can be a good Christian (without following all of the rules), but maybe not a good Catholic.” [I’m not sure what this  means.  I doubt Kareen does, either]

 Sue Vitort, 54, lives in Phoenix, Ariz., but originally from Cicero, health care administrator“I am a Catholic, but I’m not a fanatic. [You know, those jackasses (shame on me!) who follow the “rules” and are always babbling on about prayer and sacrifice and suffering.  Those are the fanatics] There are some things, some rules I don’t agree with in the Church, but that doesn’t change my religion. It makes me a loyal Catholic because I’m not against it. I just have a different point of view.” [The cognitive dissonance is astounding.  People have been catechized to believe whatever they want, which is generally what the culture tells them to believe.  I pray they are right, and us ‘fanatics’ are wrong.]  Olga Garcia, 44, North side, medical biller

 Bear in mind, these people were interviewed outside Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, leaving Mass.  Daily Mass.  These are the ‘best’ Catholics.  Now maybe the Sun Times threw out all the faithful responses, but that’s just being charitable.  More than likely, this is what even the ‘best Catholics’ believe, at least in Chicago, Ill, USA.

It is to weep.  How many people in a state of grave sin for their rejection of Church Doctrine just received the Blessed Sacrament?  Thus, the “good.”

50 theologians issue call to reassess Vatican II in light of Tradition October 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Papa, priests, sadness, scandals, Tradition.
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That would be, the issuance of some clarifying document(s) that establish plainly how certain aspects of the works produced at Vatican II are in alignment with the foregoing Tradition:

“For the good of the Church—and more especially to bring about the salvation of souls, which is her first and highest law (cf. the 1983 CIC, canon 1752)—after decades of liberal exegetical, theological, historiographical and “pastoral” creativity in the name of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, it seemed urgent to me that some clarity be created by answering authoritatively the question about the continuity of this council with the other councils (this time not simply by declaring it so but by proposing a genuine demonstration), the question about its fidelity to the Tradition of the Church.”  …

This point, made by Msgr. Bruno Gherardini, is extremely important.  A number of people in the Church, even the Holy Father, claim that Vatican II must be read in light of Tradition. But how so?  A number of very bright minds have wrestled with certain statements in Vatican II for years and not come up with a consensus interpretation which would align Vatican II with Tradition, and even if they do, such formulations are not Magisterial.  The request is for a Magisterial, an official, formulation regarding Vatican II, from the very highest level of the Church, which provides the clarification that is needed to end, finally, once and for all, the myriad interpretations and dissensions that exist in the Church regarding the last Council.  Mercy suggests it.  Charity requires it.  Justice demands it.

The names on the list:

Prof. Paolo Pasqualucci, professor of philosophy; Msgr. Brunero Gherardini, dean of the Italian theologians, professor of Ecclesiology; Msgr. Antonio Livi, professor emeritus of epistemology at the Lateran University; Prof. Roberto de Mattei, Università Europea di Roma; Prof. Luigi Coda Nunziante, personally and in his capacity as president of the association Famiglia Domani; Dr. Paolo Deotto, chairman of Riscossa Cristiana (www.riscossa cristiana.it); Prof. Piero Vassallo, professor of philosophy, co-chairman of Riscossa Cristiana; Dr. Virginia Coda Nunziante; Dr. Pucci Cipriani; Fr. Marcello Stanzione and the entire Militia of St. Michael the Archangel;  Prof. Dante Pastorelli, Governor of the Venerable Confraternity of St. Jerome and St. Francis of Assisi in San Filippo Benizi, Florence, and president of Una Voce (Florence); Calogero Cammarata, president of Inter Multiplices Una Vox (Turin); Dr. Cristina Siccardi – Castiglione Torinese (TO); Dr. Carlo Manetti – Castiglione Torinese (TO); Alessandro Gnocchi; Mario Palmaro; Mario Crisconio, Knight of the Order of Malta, Governor of the Pio Monte della Misericordia (Naples), president of Una Voce (Naples); Enrico Villari, Ph.D., engineer (Naples); Marcello Paratore, professor of philosophy (Naples); Giuseppe De Vargas Machuca, First Governor of the Reale Arciconfraternità e Monte del SS. Sacramento dei Nobili Spagnoli (Naples); Giovanni Turco, university professor, president de la International Thomas Aquinas Society, Naples division;  Giovanni Tortelli, writer, research specialist in canon law and Church history (Florence).

Website for the peition in Italian.  Translation by DICI

This petition is unlikely to make any traction.  The Holy Father seems content to declare Vatican II in line with Tradition without establishing how that is so.  I think this kind of thing will likely require another generation to pass to be realized.  But, one can always pray, and I do.

US budget numbers – UPDATE! October 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I got into another discussion last night (for there were many discussions), regarding the percentages of the federal government budget allocated to discretionary spending (especially defense) and entitlements in the form of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment, welfare, etc.  There was some exasperation expressed by a good fellow when I claimed that the defense budget is dwarfed by entitlement spending.  From US government figures, quoted in the .pdf below, in FY 2010 defense occupied 4. 7% of GDP while entitlements made up almost 15%.  The deficit is running at around 10% of GDP.  Thus, when I said that you could cut all discretionary spending to zero, and this government would continue to run a deficit, that’s what I meant.  There was also some doubt expressed regarding how much the US spends on defense – the baseline budget authority for DoD and defense related activities at DoE is $526.1 billion this year.  Factoring in ‘war costs’ for the useless wars we’re engaged in, and the number increases to $685.1 billion. I stated last night that the defense budget was between $500 and $550 billion to some scofaws, but the ‘war costs’ are policy decision separate from the defense budget.  Unless we’re back in Kellog Briand ‘war profiteers!’ mode again. 

This additional site supports the numbers above – that entitlements make up the lions share of US federal government spending:

$761 billion – Social Security
$468 billion – Medicare
$269 billion – Medicaid
$598 billion – Unemployment/Welfare
$679 billion – Department of Defense + Foreign Wars

Our total tax receipts are on the order of $2.3 trillion per year, while total spending is around $3.8 trillion.  So, first – all spending on defense makes up only around 18% of federal spending, even with the wars factored in.  Secondly, you could zero out all discretionary spending, including defense, education, the FDA, highways, etc., and some deficit remains (although, large cuts in ‘discretionary spending’ should be made because this is where alot of the fake stimulus (democrat payoff) monies went.  I fully support rolling that spending back).  There can’t be a ‘balanced budget’ without significant reform, and that means cuts, in entitlement spending. 

Hopefully, the foreign wars will be winding down dramatically, soon.  That should reduce “defense” by at least $100 billion by itself.  And I’m sure there will be more cuts in defense and other discretionary spending beyond that.  But to really tackle the deficit problem, we’re going to have to endure some pain, and that means entitlement cuts.  But such is politically unpopular, and there is no voice really willing to make the painful choices necessary to reduce the debt.

And the economic malaise, will, thus, continue.

UPDATE: I hate it when I forget to include the attachment!  Here is the .pdf referenced above! 0511facts_figs

If there is a persecution, will I stay faithful? October 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition.
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This is a question that has haunted me at times over the past several months.  A fried reminded me last night of something a priest said.  We had been having a discussion about numerous problems afflicting the Church, about how so few Catholics are faithful and how so very many proudly reject what the Church believes – not only laity, but priests and even bishops.  How does the Church continue on with so many unfaithful people claiming to be good Catholics?  How do we correct the mass apostasy and error?  My friend reminded me that a local priest has said – warned, really – that the way that God has frequently dealt with such problems in the past is persecution.  In times when there has been mass falling away, poor practice of the Faith, and error run amock, God has frequently raised up grave threats to the Faith that cause those who don’t really believe to fall away, and in huge numbers.  It happened under Diocletian.  It happened under Decius.  It happened in Germany and other places in the 1500s.  I happened in France and other places in the revolutions at the end of the 18th century, it happened in Germany under the Kulturkampf of the 1870s, in China at various times, the Christeros in Mexico in only a few decades ago, in India right now – it’s been an ongoing aspect of the Church’s history.  Historically, only those places that have remained strong in the Faith across the board have escaped persecutions – such as Spain in the protestant revolt of the 1500s. 

And of course, we all like to think that we’ll remain faithful.  I’d certainly like to think so, but if someone threatened my children, would I repudiate Christ, telling myself “God knows I really love Him, I’m just doing this to save my family?”  Sometimes, the demands of the persecutors can seem very slight, insignificant – just burn a little incense for the Emperor, just send your kids to the Prussian schools.  The world would say “be reasonable, think of your family, God will understand.”  After the persecution of Diocletian, there was a very big debate in the Church between those who wanted to be more lenient and understanding in allowing those who had apostasized to return to the Faith, and those who wanted to be very severe and insist on very rigorous penances and denail of re-admission to others.  The more lenient faction won, with the rigorists going on to form heretical sects including the Donatists. 

All of this may seem very far off, a fantasy.  Some may think it’s wishful thinking from a prideful man.  I pray not.  But there is growing concern in the Church, even among those who have a very comfortable relationship with the government and who are not always known for repudiating this fallen culture, that a persecution may be coming:

Speaking on October 26 to a constitutional subcommittee of the House Judiciary committee, Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport said:

In the recent past, the bishops of the United States have watched with increasing alarm as this great national legacy of religious liberty, so profoundly in harmony with our own teachings, has been subject to ever more frequent assault and ever more rapid erosion.

Bishop Lori—who was recently appointed chairman of a committee on religious liberty created by the US bishops’ conference—cited several examples of recent government moves to restrict religious freedom: the mandate to include contraceptive coverage in health-insurance programs; the denial of government grants to Catholic agencies that do not provide abortion services or participate in condom distribution; the administration’s drive to end resistance against same-sex marriage.

Much of the above is troubling, but also closely associated with the relatively far-left administration in power at present.  Many of these specific threats may recede when he is removed from office.  But there are broader cultural trends, which have sadly gained many adherents in the Church, which are more troubling.   As for whether there would be a persecution along the lines of a Christiada or Kulturkampf, I don’t think so, I pray not, but there are signs that are not reassuring.  I pray if there is, that I and my family remain faithful.

Christeros hung in Mexico