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Weekend reading – On Adhesion to Vatican II December 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Tradition.
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In today’s L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, a Msgr. Fernando Ocariz Brana of Opus Dei lays out his view for how Vatican II should be correctly interpreted with regard to previous Councils/Tradition.   I won’t quote any here, you can go read there, but I will note in passing that the Opus Dei vision of the Faith was in alignment with what Vatican II produced, before Vatican II happened.  That is to say, many of the novelties (which Msgr. Brana admits to) in Vatican II were embraced by Opus Dei prior to the Council.  So, his opinion of how “magisterial” Vatican II is might be colored a bit.   If you read the article here, make sure to read some of the comments.  Such recommendation does not constitute an endorsement of the comments.

Bishop Sample for El Paso? December 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Liturgy, priests, sadness, sickness, Tradition.
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There is a very laudatory article on Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, MI, in Catholic World Report.   He’s known to have an affinity for the traditional Mass and all aspects of Catholic orthodoxy and Tradition.  A good fit for El Paso?

Although a young bishop, Bishop Sample has been outspoken in his defense of Church teaching. In 2009, for example, he asked Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, retired auxiliary bishop of Detroit, not to speak in the Marquette diocese because of his dissenting views on such issues as homosexuality and the ordination of women. He also condemned the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama, calling the move “unconscionable” and “completely out of step with the Catholic Church’s teaching.”…….

…….Additionally, here in Marquette we’ve experienced what they’ve experienced in other parts of the country: some of our Catholic people are drifting away from the faith. They are not well formed in the faith and have been swayed by a secular culture. They don’t see religious values as important.

Is the use of contraception a factor?

Bishop Sample:Absolutely. Not everyone wants to talk about it, but that is a clear factor in the decline of the Catholic community. When I speak to my pastors, I hear them ask, “Where are the children?” We’re struggling to keep our Catholic school population up. This is true in our public schools as well.

My pastors want to have flourishing schools, but the children just aren’t there to fill them. Couples are using artificial contraceptives to limit the size of their families, and sterilization is also becoming a common practice. Families think they have the number of children they want, and then close off any further openness to life that God might want to bring into their family.

……..You’ve described yourself as a member of “the first lost generation of poor catechesis,” which “raised up another generation that is equally uncatechized.” What’s wrong with catechesis and what have you done to help solve the problem?

Bishop Sample: My generation was the first in the wake of Vatican II. While I certainly don’t blame the Council, much upheaval occurred in the Church in its aftermath. Culturally, society was experiencing the sexual revolution, the women’s liberation movement, and the anti-war movement, among others. There was an anti-authoritarian spirit. 

In this time of great confusion, catechesis suffered. We booted the Baltimore Catechism out the door, but there wasn’t anything to replace it. I was taught the faith in Catholic schools using materials that were weak and insubstantial. I wasn’t being taught my faith. The liturgy suffered from experimentation as well.

When I speak about this publicly, invariably people of my generation come up to me to agree with what I’m saying. This includes many bishops.

My generation raised up the next generation. Since we weren’t taught the faith, we raised children who weren’t either.

We need a renewal in catechesis. I feel passionately about this………….

…….What is a basic program of spirituality you recommend to the faithful?

Bishop Sample: That is a good and important question. I emphasize the importance of a strong sacramental life, especially participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I recommend frequent reception of the sacrament of penance; the fall-off in its use worries me greatly. We priests and bishops need to preach often about the importance of confession and be available to hear confessions.

Marquette is a very small diocese, and Bishop Sample is a very young bishop.  Many expect him to take over some larger diocese soon.  Whether he would be a good fit for El Paso, I don’t know – it may be too great a difference, too fast.  Some have suggested he might take over for Bishop Bruskewitz in Lincoln.  I suppose we’ll have to see.  Still, it is refreshing to see some pretty strong exposition on the Faith from another young bishop.

Well……a change in plans with the Latin Mass at St. Mark December 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery, sadness.
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I’ve just been informed that, contrary to what Fr. Hopka indicated at the great Mass we had last Monday, there will be no further Latin Masses at St. Mark until December 26th when Fr. Hopka becomes available again.  Apparently, there are numerous other events scheduled on these Mondays which will prevent offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

I pray that folks will return to the Mass after this long break.  I pray I see you then.


A couple of great videos by Michael Voris December 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society, Virtue.
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In the first, Michael Voris posits that the lack of unity in the Church is a dread problem, and the result of variance from accepted Dogma.  He especially warns about those subtle “wolves in sheep’s clothing” who present themselves as faithful Catholics, but who undermine the Faith from within with error and doubt.  Most commonly, these errors stem from a sad embrace of the world and it’s “wisdom:”

The second video may be more controversial, but Voris asks a very salient question – how can the Church evangelize effectively and compete with very grass-roots based evangelical protestant efforts when it is burdened with its corporate-model of incredibly top heavy bureuacracy?  By the time the “new evangelization” is implemented, will the world have moved way beyond it, and a still “newer” evangelization will be required, which will then also be waaaay late?  The Catholic Church possesses the source of all Truth – the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We need far more on fire souls to proclaim this Truth, but will committees and dicasteries and ad hoc panels produce such?

I love love love the part from 3:15 – 3:30!  It’s so true!  

So, who thinks I should get paid to preach Catholic Truth?  Kidding aside – I could not agree more about the complaint that if we had stayed far more focused on serving the spiritual needs of people, and far less on temporal concerns, we would not have a need for a “new evangelization.”  Is a “new evangelization” needed in Africa, where the Church is growing rapidly, but is perhaps less “graced” with “structures?”

You shameful, dirty Catholics December 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, silliness.
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For a bit of Friday silliness, a plaintiff in a bankruptcy case in Minnesota is apparently claiming that the evil, murderous Catholic Church is the source of his woes:

Referring to a bankruptcy judge and other court employees as “dirty Catholics,” a Minnesota attorney said in a bankruptcy filing that “across the country the court systems and particularly the Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota are composed of a bunch of ignoramus, bigoted Catholic beasts that carry the sword of the church.”

Catholic deeds throughout the history have been bloody and murderous,” added the memorandum, which was signed by bankruptcy attorney Rebekah Nutt, who said that the views were those of her client, a company that ran gas stations and convenience stores. Nutt added that she did not write the words that bear her signature.

It is illustrative to point out that anti-Catholicism remains quite rabid in certain circles.  While we can all read the signs of the times and fear that the Catholic Church may be headed to another persecution because of an increasingly anti-Christian, hedonist, paganist culture, specific instances like this are not as common as they used to be.  Or, at least, those who hold such views are more circumspect in expressing them.  But in a fair percentage  of pentecostal, fundamentalist, or evangelical types (not to mention out and out atheists, wiccans, pagans, etc.,), there is a certain strain of anti-Catholicism that runs quite deep.  But sometimes the expressions of such are just plain silly, as in this case.  Poor guy probably lost his business and is looking for someone to blame.    Still, it’s not exactly comfiting to see such an outburst.  They’re out there, folks.

Problems with Fr. Robert Barron? – UPDATED December 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness, silliness, Tradition, Virtue.
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My friend Steve B. sent me some material yesterday that was both highly informative and also a bit depressing.  Many have probably become aware of Fr. Robert Barron over the past year or two.  Through his Word On Fire ministry, he has developed a steadily growing media presence – his ‘Catholicism’ series is now being aired on PBS – which might ought to raise an eyebrow or two, right there.  It’s not like PBS is going to change.  But, irrespective, Fr. Barron has developed a reputation as an orthodox exegete/apologist with the trappings of intellectualism – the kind of priest who could perhaps bridge the gap between knuckle dragging, immature traditional type Catholics clinging to their 18th century Faith, and the more modernist wings of the Church.  If there is such a ‘wing.’ 

Anyhoo, we’ve had numerous high profile public priests go bust of late, so perhaps it’s wise to be wary.  In that vein, Unam Sanctam Catholicam points out some disturbing aspects of Barron’s theology.   While his views on Adam and Eve as not real, living people, but only allegories, are very problematic in that they undermine a huge amount of theology on Christ as the New Adam and our Blessed Mother as the New Eve, the one I find most disconcerting is that he has argued for something closely resembling “universal salvation.” – the idea that God would never be so mean ‘n angry to send anyone, or allow anyone to send themselves, to hell.  Basically, the idea is that God’s Love and Mercy trumps all, even the most grave of unconfessed sins, so that it is likely no one winds up in hell.  While this is problematic in itself, statements Fr. Barron made in the comments are even more disconcerting: “Even an atheist who is sincerely following his conscience can be saved. The point is this: the more deeply you understand conscience and its implications, the more you’ll be drawn to God!”

This statement is incredibly problematic.  For almost the entire history of the Church, there was no question that those who were outside visible communion with the Church could not be saved.  This was stated infallilbly at the Council of Florence Fourth Lateran Council.  Unfortunately, certain modernist/indifferentist opinions have crept in that have made this very clear cut, truly charitable belief much less so, and now we have statements in the current Catechism that imply that it may be possible for those outside visible union with the Faith to be saved.  Barron is sort of starting with those statements, and running with them to their logical conclusion – if strong belief in the True Faith established by Christ is not necessary for salvation, then why can’t atheists be saved?  And if an atheist “sincerely following his conscience” is moved to violently attack the Church and seek to damage or destroy it at every turn, up to and  including committing the gravest of sacrileges against the Blessed Sacrament, well, then, certainly God will understand the atheist is only following his conscience, doing what he thought is right, and will happily extend salvation to him.   Christ revealed infallibly through Sacred Scripture that “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.”  (Mk 3:24) It appears, however, for Barron (and, sadly,  many others) that the Kingdom of God can indeed be 100% opposed to itself and yet no contradiction exists.  There are numerous Saints and Doctors who would argue that Barron is completely wrong, and that his false charity poses grave danger not only to the wayward souls in question, but of causing massive scandal in the Faith.  Such opinions, expressed publicly by a priest 100 years ago, would have had to have been publicly recanted.  The Truth cannot change – it can be better understood, made more clear, but what was false 100 years ago (salvation outside the Church being a possibility, even a likelihood), cannot now be true today. 

Priests like this need to be prayed for, intensely, because these kinds of views are depressingly widespread.  What is surely meant as a charitable hope of salvation for friends and family who  may be of another faith, or no faith, or even hostile to any faith is really a false charity – in trying to be nice, in trying to reassure people, the Truth is withheld and pious hopes are held up to replace what has been constant Truth.  I don’t think there is much charity in encouraging atheists to believe they can hedge their bets and be saved – if such would even appeal to them. Everything I’ve seen about Fr. Barron leads me to believe he means well, but I also know that compromises are all too easily made, especially when fame or influence – or lots more money for a really well-intentioned apostolate – are in the offing.  I don’t know that’s the case, Fr. Barron may have always held these beliefs.  If so, more’s the shame, because I think they are wrong and, frankly, scandalous.  And these are hard issues – it’s hard to believe that Our Lord, who is entirely Love and Mercy but also Justice, would allow someone to condemn themselves to hell.  It’s especially hard to believe this in our modern day, when permissiveness reigns and discipline is a lost concept.  But no matter how much the idea of people going to hell doesn’t agree with us or our creation, this sad culture, Sacred Scripture and Tradition say, forcefully, “Yes, it does.  And prepare constantly lest you arrive there, ‘where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished'” (Mk 9:43-47).

Pray.  Where sin abounds, Grace abounds all the more (Rom 5:20)

UPDATE:  Thinking on this issue more last night, while the Church did dogmatically define at the Fourth Lateran Council (sorry for my error above, no corrected) the Doctrine that there is no salvation outside the Church, commenter Terry C points out the the Church does hold out pious hope for the salvation of all.  We can all hope that all can be saved.  I pray for that daily – often several times per day.  I have numerous friends and relations who are outside the Church.  I do not like to think of the possiblity that they cannot be saved.  So, I pray both for their conversion and their salvation.  The Church has tried to guide souls with Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus using the best Doctrine that reasoned, prayerful analysis of Scripture and Tradition can provide.  But our God is infinitely Good and can save whom He wills.  If He wills to save all, God is great, and that is His Will.  So the belief Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is not a triumphalist claim of Church supremacy, it is a humble plea for souls to be converted!  At least, that’s how I’ve always viewed it and tried to practice that belief.

First Friday with the Carmelites! December 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, North Deanery, religious, Sacraments.
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Shame on me, I forgot to post on this yesterday.  Regular First Friday at the Carmelite Chapel in Dallas – begins at 4pm ends tomorrow at 7am. 




Pray for Our COUNTRY and its future

Discalced Carmelite Nuns Invite YOU!!

Starts Friday night     come as early as 4 PM

stay 30 minutes, one hour or as long as all night Vigil ends just before 7 AM Mass on Saturday, Dec. 3


First Mass (prayed in Latin) 8:00 PM

Food & Drink available in the room next to the chapel.

Please help yourself!

2nd Mass (in Latin)  3:00 AM

Leave your personal prayer requests

The Nuns will storm heaven! 

The Monastery is at 600 Flowers Ave., Dallas, 75211, off of Jefferson. 

convenient from I-30  and Loop 12. 

From downtown:  take I-30 going west, exit LOOP 12 south, take the second exit, which is JEFFERSON EAST.


Go through the stop light and straight


 drive past 7 or 8 blocks, you will see tire & auto repair shops, then a small church (drive past) shortly after that, TURN RIGHT ON FLOWERS Street. Address is 600 S.

Flowers. Go through the Monastery gates.  park anywhere. 

For more information, please see attached flyer or phone: 214-702-8051



 Sunday, Dec. 4 from 3:30 – 4:15 PM at the Carmelite Monastery, you are welcome to join the Confraternity of the Holy Face, where we pray the Devotions to The Holy Face and then Deacon Leo leads the Benediction. No dues or fees. You may leave your prayer requests with the Carmelites

All details here————>Allnightcarmelites DecJanFeb 2012