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As if we needed more evidence……….Japan committing national suicide January 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, disaster, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Well, I guess the seppuko mindset was a bit more engrained than we thought.  To go along with my previous post on civilizations cut off from Christianity heading into devastation and collapse, here’s another data point.  Japan’s population will crash by 1/3 over the next 50 years if present fertility rates hold (and they’ve held for decades):

 Japan’s population will shrink by a staggering 30% by 2060, according to a new estimate by the country’s government.

The current population will shrink from the current level of 128 million to 86.74 million, as the graying nation’s aging accelerates and the birthrate continues to stay low.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s research organization released the data on Monday. The group, called the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, provides a 50-year demographic forecast every five years.

The institute also projects that people age 65 and older will account for 39.9% of the total population in 2060. In 2010, the elderly accounted for 23% of the population.

Yay modernism!

What you get with a culture divorced from Christianity January 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I don’t do much on Facebook.  I’m on there, but not “on” there, except rarely.  But last week, I pressed the apparently all powerful “like” button with respect to a certain sermon, on marriage and contraception and the HHS mandate.  I’ve liked things before, and never gotten a response.  But this time I did, including a response from my (I pray, still) best friend.  I don’t know how friendly we are, actually, anymore, I haven’t seen him in years and we are on precise opposite paths.  I want to still be his friend, and I pray for his conversion daily, but he lives in Europe and is following a very bohemian lifestyle.  He is full-bore into the socialism that predominates in Europe.  And he is a fallen away Catholic (another victory for St. Mark CCD!), now militant atheist.  So, in response to that sermon, he sent me this:

“I heartily enjoy many “San Francisco behaviors”, thank you very much. Wonder where your man comes down on contraceptive mindset in relation Father Bill sticking it to little Tommy. Morally wrong only if a condom was involved? Take a look at the entire 2000 year history of the One True Church guys – Crusades, Inquisitions, Greed and Depravity from the Holy See on down and you might get a better picture. Oh…and close quote. “

So, obviously alot to unpack here, but I’m not going to address the constant “low-hanging” fruit that those opposed to the Church always, and I mean ALWAYS bring up.  What I will address is what all those who hate God, reject His Church, and feel that all of us poor religious saps are a bunch of hoodwinked brain-dead fools think this culture will be like if Christianity is excised from it?

It won’t be pretty.  Many enamored of a left-friendly, secular pagan viewpoint like to imagine that there was some ideal human civilization before Christianity came along (for their invective is almost exclusively reserved for Christians – the muslim is too threatening and the buddhist/hindu too strange and irrelevant).  Wrong.  The culture of the Greco-Roman world, of early empire China, of the Mayans, etc., was violent and cruel.  It was a strictly utilitarian world – what can you do for me?  If nothing, then you have no worth.  The bleeding heart sentiment that fires so much left-wing thought came from the Judeo-Christian ethos.  Where did the large scale opposition to slavery as a practice come from?  The Church.  Where did the idea of hospitals to care for the indigent come from?  The Church.  Where did the university, from which so much Church-hating invective originates today, come from?  The Church.  Where did the idea that there should be some kind of social safety net to keep the most poor and vulnerable from being left to the hand of cruel fate?  The Church.

Modern secular pagans feel that they can somehow keep all this good stuff (and much more, including the very idea that we should love our fellow man as ourselves), while gutting the culture of the world of any element of religion (again, especially Christianity).  This is fantasy.  A world without the Christian Faith will be greedy, licentious, barbarous, and cruel.  As the world has become increasingly decoupled from Christianity (especially, the Catholic Church), it has undergone just exactly this process of decay.  Don’t believe me?  Well, how about this small data point – two oxymoronically titled “bio-ethicists” have declared that it is morally wonderful to kill the very disabled to harvest their organs:

Two bioethicists — one from Duke University, the other from the National Institute of Health — bring up the question “What makes killing wrong?” in the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics. Using their definition of killing, the authors conclude if the person is “universally and irreversibly disabled” and has “no abilities to lose” then killing them to take organs for donation in order to save the lives of others should not be considered morally wrong. [this is precisely the utilitarian argument used to defend abortion]

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, a professor of practical ethics from Duke, and Franklin Miller, a senior faculty member in the NIH Department of Bioethics, state in their abstract ”What makes an act of killing morally wrong is not that the act causes loss of life or consciousness but rather that the act causes loss of all remaining abilities.“ [greedy, barbarous, and cruel.  Life  only counts if you have some ‘ability.’  Defined by who?  How many?  Any?]

The actual issue at hand in the above is whether it is OK to take brain-active and heart-beating patients off respirators, to facilitate death and organ harvesting.  Harvesting…..like a crop.  C0ntinuing:

“[T]he dead donor rule is routinely violated in the contemporary practice of vital organ donation. Consistency with traditional medical ethics would entail that this kind of vital organ donation must cease immediately. This outcome would, however, be extremely harmful and unreasonable from an ethical point of view [because patients who could be saved will die]. Luckily, it is easily obviated by abandoning the norm against killing.”  [This of how many can be “saved” if we just kill a few people!   Utilitarianism, pure and simple, without any reference to the inherent value of each person, no matter what their condition is]

“[I]f killing were wrong just because it is causing death or the loss of life, then the same principle would apply with the same strength to pulling weeds out of a garden. If it is not immoral to weed a garden, then life as such cannot really be sacred, and killing as such cannot be morally wrong.” [I can’t believe an adult human actually made that argument.  So a human being is just like a weed?]

This is culture increasingly divorced from Christianity.  Compassion is at best an afterthought.  Utilitarianism rules.  Abortion is freedom, empowering.  The medical care you receive will depend on your estimated future economic productivity. You can be killed if someone else really needs your organs (or, perhaps, even your things).  All manner of perversion is good, wonderful, and worthy of emulation, but religious belief is intolerant and must be banished. Marriage is not a union of man and woman ordained by God for the furtherance of humanity, but is whatever the state defines it to be. Birthrates are plummeting, as people are so anethetized in their state approved materialism that they can’t even bother to reproduce.  They have no hope, they’re just waiting to die.  How many examples of decay and collapse do we need?  There is no limit to where society can descend in this environment.

We hear the terms “Judeo-Christian” worldview alot.  Many don’t know what it means.  It means loving your fellow man even at great cost to yourself.  It’s not the violent subjection of islam or the mind-numbing nihilism of the eastern religions.  It’s unique in the history of the world, and it is the religion God has revealed to man in His time for our good and in accord with His Will.  But it’s being rejected by a mindless, self-serving materialism.

Have a nice day!

An Army With No Soldiers January 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I have noted with some concern that virtually all the bishops opposed to this terrible assault being made by the Obama administration against the Catholic Church, demanding that the Church pay for contraception, abortifacients, and even sterilizations as part of its health insurance plans, is based on the issue of religious liberty, and not on the basis of forcing the Church to commit morally reprehensible, evil acts.  Almost all the many responses of bishops, as wonderful and numerous as they have been (and I have been surprised both by the scope and the ferocity of the opposition), have stressed only the contra-constitutional nature of this move, and have been less focused on the intrinsic evil inherent in this demand.  Only Bishop Bruskewitz, of those of which I am aware, has stressed the fact that the government is demanding the Church to commit acts of grave evil.

Why wouldn’t the bishops stress the inherently immoral nature of this governmental demand?  Why do they all refer to the act as “violating conscience,” instead of being, in and of itself, being a demand to commit grave evil?  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that so few Catholics accept and practice Church doctrine on contraception, sterilization, etc?  While I might quibble with the numbers quoted in the video below (which I myself used and referenced previously), because they come from the pro-abort Guttmacher Institute and therefore may be “push poll” numbers intended to drive public opinion into accepting the “inevitability” of contraception, the point of fact is that the vast majority of Catholics accept the use of contraception and sterilization.  If the bishops stressed this point, would whatever support they may garner wither away?

Dr. Jay Boyd has two related posts at Philothea on Phire that mirror a comment I left at CatholicVote Friday afternoon.  The bishops may win the short term battle over “consicence,” but in order to win the war for souls and for this culture, they will have to start defending Truth much better than they have over the past several decades.  That begins by stopping the toleration of dissent and heresy.  We must have heroic bishops who are willing to enforce Church Doctrine – period, end of sentence.

This is a golden opportunity for the bishops.  They can neatly seque from opposition to this assault on religious liberty into a general discussion on the evil of contraception, and really lead from the front.  Or they can keep doing what they have been doing, ignoring the issue, allowing the mass apostasy in the Church they lead to continue to fester and grow (a veritable cancer on the Church), and hoping that somehow the Church can continue on relatively unmolested.  I am not sanguine on the prospects of the former.  If ever there was a time to pray and offer penance, it is now.

Two Novenas for you January 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, priests, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
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I hadn’t heard much from my secret correspondent of late.  She’s back in action now, with two Novenas for us to pray.  One technically should have been started 8 or 9 days ago, but it’s perfectly acceptable to start a Novena on the feast day rather than before. 

Novena Prayer to St. Agatha:

O Saint Agatha, who withstood the unwelcome advances from unwanted suitors and suffered pain and torture for your devotion to Our Lord, we celebrate your faith, dignity and martyrdom.

Protect us against rape and other violations, guard us against breast cancer and other afflictions against women and inspire us to overcome adversity.

O Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr, mercifully grant that we who venerate your sacrifice may receive your intercession in all our needs. 

  (Mention your intentions)

Please keep our homes, churches, places of work (and our country) free from all dangerous fires & storms, natural disasters and earthquakes.  AMEN

Novena in Honor of St. John Bosco – feast is Jan. 31

In need of special help, I appeal with confidence to you, Saint John Bosco, for I require not only spiritual graces, but also temporal ones, and particularly… (add your personal intentions here)

May you, who on earth had such great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Help of Christians, and who always had compassion for those who were suffering, obtain from Jesus and His Heavenly Mother the grace I now request, and also a sincere resignation to the Will of God.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.

You are all fair, O Virgin Mary; you never knew the stain of sin; You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel.

You are the great honor of our people, you are the advocate of sinners.

O Mary, Virgin most prudent, O Mary, Mother most merciful, pray for us, Intercede for us with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen. 

prayers written by St. John Bosco

O Mary, powerful Virgin, thou art the mighty and glorious protector of the Church; thou art the marvelous help of Christians; thou art terrible as an army in battle array; thou alone hast destroyed every heresy in the whole world. In the midst of our anguish, our struggles and our distress defend us from the power of the enemy and at the hour of our death receive our souls in paradise. Amen.

Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christian, how sweet it is to come to your feet imploring your perpetual help.

If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me?

Grant then to me, I implore you,

your perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations.

I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering.

Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners.

Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life.

Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians, that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven. AMEN

Prayers to St. John Bosco

O God, Who didst raise up Saint John, Thy Confessor, to be the father and the teacher of the youth, and Who by him, with the help of the Virgin Mary, didst promote new families in Thy Church: grant, we beseech Thee, that inflamed by the same fire of love, we may win souls and serve Thee alone. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen Admirable apostle of youth, founder of religious Congregations, catechist, educator, writer, and a light that shone brightly in our time, you know that one of the greatest powers today is the power of the Press. Prompt editors to be always truthful and to work for the good of human beings, thus serving the greater glory of God. Amen

Abortion devastating Baltimore January 27, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, disaster, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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That’s what is quoted in this op-ed in the Baltimore Sun.  Baltimore is one of many American cities that has experienced a long, painful decline.  The city is shrinking.  While city leaders try to solve this population implosion by immigration (ha!), Diana Schaub notes that the major reason for this decline is the out of control moral decay in the city, especially the collapse of marriage and the rampant use of abortion:

The decline of marriage, particularly among African-Americans, is all too familiar. Not as well-known is that Maryland has a very high abortion rate (third highest among the states in 2005, the year that the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stopped collecting abortion statistics). The breakdown by jurisdiction reveals that Baltimore City is driving those deadly numbers, and also that the abortion rate among African-American women is at least triple the white rate.

Even for those in favor of legal abortion, the situation should be dismaying. And it certainly represents what Montesquieu termed “a change of customs.” For comparison: In 1970, Baltimore City abortion rates for single white and black women stood at 7.43 and 10 respectively (the abortion rate is the number of abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44), with the married women’s rates half that. By 2005, the Baltimore rate was 86.2. The National Abortion Rights Action League, which cites that figure, did not provide the African-American rate, but it would be substantially higher.

Lest one think that poverty accounts for this shift, the poverty rate in Baltimore has remained relatively fixed at around 20 percent for decades. The marriage dearth and the abortion deluge among all races are not attributable to material causes as much as moral causes: young women’s loss of respect for themselves as the bearers of new life and their resulting willingness to treat abortion as a method of contraception.

Cities dying off from abortion and general moral degradation.

A beautiful, Grace-filled action to take place tomorrow! January 27, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Latin Mass, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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Tomorrow at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Dallas, Sister Veronica of the Holy Face will receive her habit.  This clothing will take place at 10:30 am. 

May Jesus Christ be praised always and at every moment!  What a glorious gift of self, what an oblation!  I can’t wait to go!  There is a 100% certitude I will cry!  What a gift to make of oneself, to be a bride of Christ!   

I love nuns, and there are no nuns I love more than Carmelites!  To think of joining the order of St. Teresa of Jesus, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross, St. Teresa of the Andes, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, and so many more! 

Glorious!  Deo Gratias!


Bishops Farrell and Vann castigate Obama HHS contraception mandate January 27, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, persecution, scandals, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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I think the Obama administration has made a serious mistep.  I don’t think they anticipated this kind of reaction from the Church.  Obama and Sebelius are getting absolutely pilloried, with only the most die-hard “Catholic” leftists supporting this contraceptive mandate.  The reaction from the episcopate has been surprisingly strong.  I pray this begins a general period of catechesis on the Church’s opposition to the evil of contraception, which de-couples sexuality from procreation and leads to abortion, adultery, objectification of women (porn, especially) and even the radical re-definition of marriage.  Bishops Farrell and Vann:

The United States is a nation founded on the principle of life, liberty and justice for all. Throughout the history of this great nation, the religious communities and those in posts of civil authority have recognized that free practice of religious belief is foundational to our country.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” But in recent days the latest salvo in the attack on religious freedom was fired by the Obama administration and, sadly, by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic. [The fact that she is still able to call herself a Catholic, is, to my mind, a major reason why this noxious regulation was put in place.  We need ecclesial discipline enforced, for the good of the Church and the good of souls]

On Jan. 20, Sebelius announced the administration’s decision to mandate the inclusion of particular health services in insurance coverage that would result in Catholic institutions having to provide coverage that violates Catholic Church teaching and, therefore, Catholic conscience.

The HHS ruling requires that sterilization and contraception, including controversial abortifacients, be among the “preventive services” coverage in almost every healthcare plan available to Americans, including health plans offered by religious organizations.

The one-year concession allowed to implement these provisions is, as Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “a one-year period to violate our consciences.”

Cardinal Roger Mahony, retired archbishop of Los Angeles, says this is a “full frontal attack” on religious freedom.

As the shepherds for nearly 2 million Catholics in North Texas, we cannot stand by silently.

This decision is outrageous. It is an unprecedented and untenable abrogation of religious freedom in the United States. This ruling, upon its implementation, would force Catholic institutions — hospitals, schools, social service agencies — to either violate the fundamental tenets of their faith or stop offering health insurance coverage to their employees, students and clients.

This is part of a pattern in the United States that has degenerated from the recognition of religion as good and salutary to our society to religion being subjected to punitive discrimination. [All true.  But we must recognize that our own failure to live the Faith as Catholics, and even the failure of our leadership to reliably enforce the Doctrines that define the Faith, has helped precipitate this collapse in Faith and the increasing secularization in our society.]

We ask that the Catholics of North Texas and other people of good will join us by speaking out for the protection of conscience rights and religious liberty that are essential to the American way of life.

We ask our civil authorities at all levels of government to “reform the law and change this unjust regulation,” as Dolan said after the ruling.

The Catholic Dioceses of Dallas and Fort Worth, just as every religious organization in the United States, must be allowed to follow the fundamental tenets of their faith in all aspects of life without unwarranted government interference as is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

A very good presentation of the problem and condemnation of this egregious assault on our foremost liberties.  But let this just be a beginning.

Non Sequitir Friday January 27, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, fun, Society.
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In this case, a pretty good rip off of Flight Deck Friday:

Two F/A-18Cs from VFA-131 Wildcats being refueled by a KC-10A Extender.  Super high-res video, watch in full screen.

Those fighters move around alot, don’t they!

Related – it looks like the sailors may get to cross the Magsaysay bridge and the @#$& River (literally) and storm Olongapo as in days of old again.  Maybe even old Clark Field will be open for US business again (though I doubt it) – it’s time for containment, round 2.  And countries who felt they had no need for a US presence anymore after 1991 now feel rather differently, with a new Red Menace growing in the East.  The Phillipines is negotiating with the US for a renewed US military presence. 

A reconstruction of the Cubi Point Officers Club below:

Fr. Pavone gets permission to leave town – UPDATED w/ video! January 26, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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It was supposed to have the video to start with!  Here ’tis…..

BAH!!  Still screwed it up!  Trying again!

The town being Amarillo, but only for a short time at the March for Life.  He did participate and speak at the March itself and various other events.  Apparently, both Bishop Zurek and Fr. Pavone feel that their “problem” is now in the hands of Rome, which must be comforting to Bishop Zurek.  It is unlikely Rome will decide anything in Fr. Pavone’s favor, but we’ll see.  I guess I should retract my statement that Fr. Pavone will never serve publicly in a pro-life capacity again.  I pray he is released from his limited circumstances on Bishop Zurek’s own authority – and not Rome’s – soon.  That’s the only way I see Fr. Pavone returning to the kind of ministry he exercised previously.

I do think it important to have at least some priest or priests dedicated full time to the pro-life mission.  Abortion is such a critical social evil that must be fought, surely the Church can spare a priest or three.

5/6 Catholics favor religious diversity January 26, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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You can see what question is asked.  It seemed reasonably clear to me, but the vast majority of Catholics apparently feel that religious pluralism is the ideal:

Much ado about nothing, or a telling sign of the formation Catholics have received over the last several decades?  Why is it that in so many of these polls, Catholics seem less sure of their own religion, less willing to assert it as the best and only religion, and possess a tolerance bordering on indifference towards others?  Is this the result of a conscious effort to weaken the faith of many, or just a product of the times?  But if the latter, why do Catholics stand out more than protestant sects?

Is this the fruit of a runaway, wrong-headed ecumenism, that threw overboard over a millenia of Tradition in a desperate attempt to appeal to separated sects?  It’s certainly disconcerting.