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The problem with the Archdiocese of Detroit viz a viz RCTV is……..UPDATED! January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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…….not that the AOD is acting outside its area of competence, it’s that it is patently unjust in its incredibly inconsistent application of this particular discipline, according to Rorate Caeli:

Dr. E. Peters (via Fr. J. Zuhlsdorf) is right on the simplest interpretation of the Canon: “The plain text of this canon [Can. 216] unquestionably puts the burden on those behind an undertaking to secure consent from the competent ecclesiastical authority before claiming the name ‘Catholic’ for their project(s).”

 However, even if one ignores the significant aspect of who has actual canonical competence in this case (or in any case involving online media based in several different canonical jurisdictions), he passes over one very, very relevant point, which is as important in Canon Law as in Common or Civil Law: Law and Justice must walk hand in hand. That is particularly relevant in Ecclesiastical Law since one expects a heightened sense of moral considerations in its application. Therefore, while it is true that the burden is on the side of “those behind an undertaking”, there are burdens of justice on the side of the “competent ecclesiastical authority”: if he wishes to proclaim loudly that A “cannot use the name Catholic”, he must in justice do the same with every single enterprise within his jurisdiction, be it B or C or U, which must be under constant examination for whether they “deserve” to use or keep using the title “Catholic”.
In this, as in most cases involving serious Catholics in the past decades, what irks people, even if they somehow do not know how to express it, is precisely this: the injustice in the application of the law by dioceses or even by Higher Authority. There is nothing in law more prone to abuse than an apparently “clear” or “plain” law, precisely because it demands great care in its application, that is not supposed to be simply uniform, but must be equitably just for all. Do all remember how the “clear” and “plain” “abrogation” of the Traditional Mass was defended by most Canonists for decades, and how abuses became norms in the Pauline Mass, while the Traditional Mass was persecuted with no quarter?…
Is stating that something that “claims the title ‘Catholic’ does not have canonical authorization to do so” a regular action of the Archdiocese of Detroit? Or does the Canon apply only to one particular enterprise? How about sending a “Defend the Catholic Name Inspection team” to every parish and “institution” in the diocese: we are absolutely convinced that a team composed of orthodox Catholics would be horrified at what is being said, done, and taught under the “Catholic” name from some pulpits and in classrooms. It is not even really hidden: for a very diminute example, the Catholic & Jesuit University of Detroit Mercy has never stopped linking to Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women in their website (and this is what is available in one single webpage, one shudders to think at what may take place in “Women and Gender’s Studies” classes in the university.) Despite the appropriate behavior of the Archdiocese during the “American Catholic Council”/Call to Action conference last year (see 1, 2, 3), the canon on the prohibition of the word “Catholic” without “consent” was never invoked even then, when the actual integrity of Catholic doctrine was affected.Let us be clear: the selective application and loud proclamation of this Canon for one case only, amidst the disastrous situation of the Church in general, looks ridiculous. It  does not make the Archdiocese look admirable and law-abiding, but petty and small. Finally, the fact that it is completely unenforceable in civil courts, since the Archdiocese does not have exclusive intellectual property rights over the name “Catholic”, makes it look weak and toothless. “Dura lex sed lex” has always been a problematic brocard; it can also be dangerous when those guided by it are not informed by a keen sense of equity and justice. 
As Rorate Caeli mentions, there are variables at play that may undermine the Archdiocese of Detroit’s case, but I suspect that, in the end, RCTV will have to change their name in some way.  Perhaps, Real CatholicS TV, or whatever.  But the manifest injustice of this selective application is both revealing and depressing.  Faithful Catholics are called to be “good soldiers” and fall on our swords at times, but this egregious persecution of a faithful group, when so  many heterodox/dissenting/heretical groups go unpunished is just about enough to make one choke. 
And a new record!  Nine posts in one day!
UPDATE:  Speaking of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Larry D at Acts of the Apostasy notes that a recent issue of Mosaic, the publication of the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, includes a description of an illicit, possibly invalid baptism as a delightful and heartwarming vignette.  Heartwarming as it may be, does this description of a likely invalid baptism belong in the official journal of the Diocesan seminary with no clarification?!   Detroit is the home of Call to Action, and retired Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, and numerous problems of heterodoxy and heteropraxis.  One wonders at the energy being expended in the direction of RCTV with all the numerous other pressing issues in Detroit – but it is possible this “enforcement of discipline” regarding RCTV is a sort of quid pro quo, or proof that Archbishop Vigneron isn’t solely pursuing those of a certain set of beliefs (it could be “proof” that he’s rigorously enforcing the “rules” on everyone).   I note in passing that Dr. Ed Peters, who has staunchly defended the AOD in this matter with Voris, is on the staff of Sacred Heart Major Seminary. 
UPDATE THE SECOND: So, Diane at Te Deum Laudamus dropped by to chide me for not following up this post religiously and noting that Ed Peters had commented on this and determined that the baptism was valid, but illicit.  That’s awesome.  Peter’s also went on to note that the “issue” has been addressed, but that it just hasn’t made it to print, yet.  We shall see what develops, I suppose, but retractions rarely have the same weight as the issue, or even scandal, that prompt them. 
It’s funny when a mere sidebar to a 1000 word post gets more atttention than the post itself!

Gorgeousness and Gorgeosity – UPDATED January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Tradition, Virtue.
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A rather Arabic hymn on the inexpressible majesty and mystery of the Incarnation, taken from Ite Ad Thomam:

I believe that’s a record – 8 posts in 6 hours!  I’m making up for lost time!

UPDATE: My friend David R points out that this chant is actually from the Arabic Melkite rite, in union with Rome.  It is certainly beautiful.

My Christmas Epiphany January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I had a minor epiphany over the long period of prayer and reflection, and much woodworking, and chasing the kids around the house, and spending time with my wife, and a little extra sleep, that was my Christmas vacation.  I don’t normally get fired up about taking a vacation, because usually the work just transfers from one place to another, but this year, I really needed and wanted a “break,” such as it was.  But back to the main point, I did have a little epiphany, a moment of realization, if you will, regarding the various topics I was reading on and thinking about during the break (the protestant revolt, the horrific Mexican persecution of the period 1917-1940, plus all of Dom Proper Gueranger’s work on Advent).  In the back of  my mind was my continual reading and re-reading of Pascendi Domini Gregis – Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical denouncing modernism as a formal heresy – “the synthesis of all heresies.”

My epiphany was this – modernism is simply, or primarily, an attempt to rationalize left wing political beliefs with the Catholic, or even Christian, Faith.  There is no more explanation needed beyond this.  All of modernism’s novelties, which grew out of “enlightenment rationalism” and its first practical application, the French Revolution, are focused on trying to coalesce a coherent philoosphical and theological framework amongst two radically disparate sets of beliefs – the dialectical materialism of leftism, and Christianity.  That such a framework is impossible has been born out by the experience of the past century, with millions of people falling away from the faith, with the steady progression epitomized in a cartoon I once saw that showed a descending flight of stairs starting from modernism, to denial of the Resurrection, to denial of the Incarnation, to Agnosticism, to, finally, atheism and spiritual oblivion.  Sadly, almost all of us have been infected by these errors to one extent or another. 

I hope to get back to delving more into the Catechism of Modernism and sharing the errors Pope St. Pius X highlighted, because I think you will see how pervasive those errors are not only in our culture, but in our Church. 

It’s always possible my epiphany was false!  Modernism could well be more encompassing than an attempt at political rationalization, but I think the description fits to a large extent.  I’ll try to develop this some more in the next few weeks, as well.

Heterodox LA bishop resigns January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, sadness, scandals.
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It’s difficult to be a bishop when you’re also a father of two illegitimate kids:

The pope has accepted the early resignation of a Los Angeles bishop who recently acknowledged being the father of two teenagers.

Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, 60, resigned Wednesday under the code of canon law that lets bishops step down earlier than the normal retirement age of 75 if they’re sick or for some other reason that makes them unfit for office.

In a letter to the faithful, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez said Zavala had told him in December that he had two children who lived with their mother in a different state. Zavala subsequently submitted his resignation to the pope.

Bishop Zavala has been mentioned on this blog in the past – once, for his outspoken criticism of Catholic blogs, while at the same time playing footsie with the generally heterodox US Catholic, Distorter, etc.  He was a well known and outspoken liberal.  He was big in PaxChristi. I pray for his sincere repentance and conversion, and pray for a much better auxiliary for LA. 

Is there any relation between left wing heterodoxy and inability to remain faithful to priestly vows?  Some data says yes, but you can always find “orthodox” priests who fail in this regard. 


The BlackSheepDog is down January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, General Catholic, sadness.
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Corapi’s site is down.  I haven’t followed him at all since he left the priesthood, but apparently his website went dark a day or two ago and hasn’t come back. 

I wonder what’s up with that?  Legal problems?  A change of heart?  I understand that his following largely collapsed after leaving the priesthood, and that he wasn’t moving much merchandise.  His website had not been updated for months.


Seven reasons to completely avoid the Traditional Latin Mass January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, priests, scandals, sickness, Society.
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This is totally post stealing, and, frankly, I’d rather steal another post from this site, but I’m afraid that might be politically incorrect and lead to all kinds of calamaties.  So, here it is, from the site I’ve just discovered Philothea on Phire (thanks, Terry C!), seven reasons to completely avoid the Traditional Latin Mass:

1.       It will make you wonder why we have lay ministers of Holy Communion in the Novus Ordo Mass.
If it’s the same Mass, and it’s the same Jesus in each Mass, then why is it that in the extraordinary form of the Mass (the TLM, as it is often called), only the priest may handle the Body and Blood of Our Lord? Could it be because (gasp) he is ordained for that purpose? Could it be that his hands are anointed for that purpose? Could it be because he is a…priest? Once you experience that a few times, it starts to look quite unsettling to see lay ministers – or even deacons and acolytes – distributing Holy Communion, or purifying the vessels (which they’re not supposed to do anyway), or just in general traipsing through the sanctuary. Those things don’t happen in the TLM, and it makes a huge difference in one’s sense of reverence and awe during the Mass.
2.      It will make you more aware of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Precisely because the priest is the only one who may handle the Eucharist, awareness is instantly raised as to the importance of that little “wafer” – the True Body of Christ.  Because the faithful receive on the tongue while kneeling, reverence is cultivated. It cannot be otherwise. Receiving Holy Communion becomes more humbling. It makes one more aware of Jesus and what He does for us by coming to us in the Eucharist. Truly.
3.      It will make you wonder why we have guitar music at the Novus Ordo Mass.
After a period of adjustment, as your musical “palate” is cleansed of the sugary sweet pop tunes of OCP origin, Gregorian chant will impress its spiritual flavor on your heart and mind, and you will experience the way in which this sacred music – which was designed for nothing but the worship of God – lifts your soul to God.
4.      It will bring you to a new understanding of the liturgical worship of the Catholic Church.
The interior logic and spiritual integrity of the extraordinary form will manifest itself to you over a period of time. It is an integrity that no longer exists in the Novus Ordo – at least as it is celebrated in most parishes. And even in the best of situations, you will sense, after some time, that there is something missing in the Novus Ordo. Part of that has to do with the abbreviated nature of the prayers; yes, the new translation is a good start, but the prayers are still…well…incomplete, when compared with those of the extraordinary form.
5.      It will bring you to a new awareness of your own sinfulness…and it will make you more Catholic in your understanding of Church teaching on things like homosexuality, abortion, and artificial contraception.
The prayers of the extraordinary form talk about sin (and some of this sense of our sinfulness has been restored with the new translation). The sung Kyrie is an extended plea for mercy. The prayers at the foot of the altar and the Confiteor are much richer and piercing than anything in the Ordinary Form. Read the prayers of the TLM.  How does this relate to an increase in understanding of Church teaching? I don’t know, exactly. But it does.
6.      It will make you aware of how “horizontal” the worship is in the Novus Ordo.
I’m talking here about the typical experience of the NO in the typical parish in my experience.  It’s flat. It’s not aimed upwards; we aim it at each other. The priest faces us; we interrupt our worship to extend the “sign of peace”, which in some parishes is tantamount of a free-for-all of pious handshaking and smiling and crawling over each other to greet everyone. The songs chosen (instead of the music proper to the Mass) are sometimes of questionable theology, and often are pure “schmaltz”, playing on our more secular emotions rather than lifting our minds and hearts to God. Why? Because they resemble secular music – not sacred music.
7.      It will make you hunger and thirst for true worship every time you attend the typical Novus Ordo Mass at your parish.
This is because, as Richard Collins says over at Linen on the Hedgerow,  “the two Masses are as different as chalk is to cheese”. Even in a Novus Ordo that is said properly – even with the Gregorian chant propers and ordinary, even with the priest celebrating the Mass ad orientem – it is quite likely that you will feel that something is missing. Because it is.
In short, you should not attend the TLM because it will make you more aware of your Catholic identity. And that is precisely what the enemy does not want.
There is actually more at the site, check it out.   I  may turn people off when I trumpet the Traditional Mass – I don’t mean to, but I sincerely believe that all serious Catholics should give the TLM a good look.  I think it very worthwhile to assist at 3 or 4 Masses, minimum, and see if one finds the appeal of it all.  I am definitely not one who thinks the Novus Ordo invalid – I assist at Novus Ordo Masses all the time.  But I think the TLM is the Mass of all Ages whose benefits are incalculable, and which can effect great changes, great growth, even in a very devout soul.  I don’t know anyone who has given the Traditional Mass a serious try (assisted at several Masses, minimum), that doesn’t find it a very rewarding experience, and who does not develop a hunger for much more.

When and where was this future portent written? January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Glory, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition.
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A test from my vacation reading………….when and in what country were the following comments made?

“The reactionaries say and the clericals say that the child belongs to the home and the youth to the family; this is a selfish doctrine, since the child and the youth belong to the community, and it is the Revolution that has the obligation of doing away with prejudices and devloping the new natinoal soul………For this reason I call upon all governors throughout the Republic, on all public authorities, and on all Revolutionary elements to proceed at once to the field of battle which we must make, because the child and the youth must belong to the Revolution.” 

The person making the comment?  Plutarcho Elias Calles, dictator of Mexico from 1926-1936, a socialist fascist with a high interest in Nazism (when he was finally arrested and deported in 1936, the soldiers happened upon him reading a copy of Mein Kampf).  But haven’t we heard similar words in our own country?  Haven’t we heard that children belong to the community, that it “takes a village,” and all that?  As is said in Ecclesiasticus, there is nothing new under the sun, our vanity and pride are constant.

Calles was, of course, the prime persecutor of the Church, whose actions precipitated the Cristero rebellion about which I have blogged recently.   In his Masonic zeal to persecute the Church (for, he was a “devout” Mason, and strongly supported by the Grand Orient of France.  The entire Mexican revolution was perpetrated by freemasons, and was supported by masons in the US government starting with Woodrow Wilson and extending into the Roosevelt Administration), he extended his efforts to every aspect of life in Mexico.  At this time, Mexico was about as Catholic a country as there was.  Catholicism was the air that Mexicans breathed.  But the socialist state can brook no competition, and most of all must possess the souls of its citizens in order to insure the success of the “revolution,” and so the Church must be destroyed.  He went about this process of destruction in every possible way – seizing Church property, making public and even private worship illegal, declaring priests to be outlaws, using communist militias to assault and devastate sacred places, etc, etc. 

One of the final avenues of assault was on education.  Socialist education became the law of the land, forcing all Catholic schools to completely apostasize, or close.  So, they closed.  But part and parcel of this “socialist education” was sex education.  Sex education is necessary to immerse the souls of youth in filth and separate them from the life of Grace.  This sexual education was of a horrific variety – in the book Mexican Martyrdom by Fr. Wilfrid Parsons, SJ, Fr. Parsons relates: “What happened is well authenticated.  Children were taken to stockyards to see the coupling of animals.  They were taken into maternity wards to witness parturition.  They were undressed in schools of both sexes and had explained to them the process of copulation.  One teacher put on a school dance in which all the boys and girls were unclothed.  Other, and unprintable, things occurred.”  I should note that these teachers who remained were all largely socialist fanatics, placed in the schools by the government when the previous teachers, predominately Catholic, left, rather than inculcate socialist dogma into the students.

Such actions would cause outrage in any country outside Scandanavia today.  In 1930s Mexico, they caused outrage on an immense level.  The atrocities that are attributed to the Cristeros – perhaps 300 socialist “teachers” killed or maimed by having their ears cut off – were all totally in response to both the socialist mantras against religion that were repeated constantly in class (No hay dios – there is no god, dios muerta – god is dead, etc), and of course to the outrage over this destruction of the innocence of youth.  In many cases, these socialist dogmatists were killed by the mother of children who ran home from school to tell of what was ongoing.  These murders were of course grave sins, but put into context the ostensible “crimes” of the Cristeros –  and keep in mind there was no recourse to laws or courts in Mexico at that time.  The police, the army, the courts, were completley dominated by Calles men. 

Believe it or not, I had never made the connection that Mexico’s constant inability to provide for its people was due to its socialist oligarchy form of government.  While Calles and his allies preached socialism for the masses, they enriched themselves on confiscated Church and private property.  That process has continued to the present day – Mexico has a very small, very rich elite, a small middle class, and a vast impoverished class, many of whom emigrate to the US. 

Calles set out to destroy the Church in Mexico.  Did he succeed?  In the 1930s, Mexico had a population that was 95-97% Catholic, and most actively practiced the Faith.  Today, that number is about 80%, and about half of those practice the faith.  Evangelical protestants are making large inroads, and the Church is still denied the right to worship in public, to evangelize publicly, to have access to media (there is no EWTN radio in Mexico, for instance).  Religous orders cannot publicly recruit – a good order of Dominicans near Monterey is slowly dying because of this limitation.  The Church is not dead, but it has been gravely wounded – perhaps as much by the changes instituted at Vatican II as by anything, for the adherence to the Faith remained strong until the modern day mass apostasy began around 1970.  But, most Mexicans are still Catholic, at least culturally.  Many US bishops count on it remaining so. 

There are sadly, many Americans who would like to have a socialist government in this country.  Of course, they would “do it right,” seeing as it has failed everywhere else.  As far as the sex education goes, I say thank God for homeschooling, and thank God we live in Texas where homeschooling is a snap.  Not so in other states. 

Thus concludes my “What I did on Christmas vacation” post.

A Catholic VBS program? January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, scandals, Virtue.
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A commenter over the Christmas holidays pointed out a Catholic Vacation Bible School program, noting that I had lamented that so  many parishes (all that I have encountered) use protestant-based VBS programs.  The program is called Growing With The Saints, and it is intended to have a Catholic focus.  This is important, because personal experience, and numerous comments of others, have shown that there are problematic aspects to these protestant-based VBS programs.  I have been told by some VBS leaders, who are frequently volunteers helping out in charity for these summer programs, that they felt compelled to amend some of the program content in order to delete some false aspects or to add distinctly Catholic content into the programs. 

Anyway, this program appears to have a more Catholic focus.  The one sort of odd aspect is that they are claiming that they are “sold out” of the program for this coming summer 2012.  They are taking orders for 2013.  I guess they only printed a certain amount of material, or…………..? 

Those who are interested in these summer programs may want to check them out.  When I have blogged on the use of protestant type VBS programs in the past, I have thought there must surely be a Catholic alternative.  Well, there is.  It seems to be somewhat similar to the protestant-based programs in appearance – lots of cartoons, sort of kid oriented, etc.  It appears to be a viable alternative, although I have not reviewed the program in depth.  I’d say it definitely bears checking out.


Santorum’s surprising show January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Society.
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Sort of alliterative?   I don’t know if many of my readers listen to me on the radio, but on my last night on before Vicki shut down the show on the 23rd, Pastor Stephen Broden commented on how he felt Iowa was a race between Paul, Santorum, and Romney.  He said the polls were wrong, he had toured the state for a week or more and Santorum had as much or more support than anyone.  So, perhaps Santorum’s constant dismal showing in the polls was not representative of his true level of support.  Or, Iowa could just be a one off – I hate that the two earliest, most influential primary states are so unrepresentative of the body politic at large – Iowa is I guess sort of OK, but New Hampshire?  Perhaps it was representative 100 years ago, but not so much.

Anyways, it will be very interesting to see if this will be a one off event in an idiosyncratic state, or if his support truly is wider than has been reported.  I, of course, pray for the latter.  I could very strongly support this faithful Catholic candidate.  I pray I get a chance to vote for him in Texas.

Another reason to support him is to watch Dan Savage and all the other degenerates heads explode.  If I were the Republican party insiders who submarined Santorum’s senatorial re-election bid in 2006, I’d be very nervous right about now.

And DEO GRATIAS to at least have a faithful Catholic make some impact!

UPDATE: He got CatholicVote’s endorsement. And, and more.