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Sursum Corda by Fr. Michael Rodriguez January 12, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, North Deanery, priests, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Fr. Michael Rodriguez continues his apostolate in the desolate reaches of the Big Bend area.  I pray for him daily, several times a day:

Wow……..transferring him hasn’t exactly quieted him down, has it?  But the problems in El Paso are manifold (as is the case most places, unbelievably and tragically), and cry out for correction.

I pray fervently he is successful in this lonely, bold, incredibly necessary effort.

I feel it necessary to add this little update.  Your prayers are extremely necessary.  There has been severe backlash against priests (and others) who expose homosexual priests.  There has been blood shed over this.  I think this will get worse before it gets better.

The Supreme Court gets one right? January 12, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition.
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The US EEOC, under the blatantly anti-Christian Obama Administration, had been prosecuting a case against an evangelical Lutheran church in Michigan over its right to hire clergy as it saw fit.   A woman had filed suit that the Equal Employment Opportunity Act meant that she could not be fired from being a preacher on the basis of her sex, which she claimed was the reason for her dismissal. Historically, in this country, there has been a “ministerial exemption” that gave religious entities more or less carte blanche to determine their own rules for clergy, membership, etc.  The Obama Admin took a dim view of this, claiming that the government should be able to determine narrow boundaries that various religions could operate in – essentially, giving the state an awful lot of say in who could be a priest, bishop, etc.  If the US government had won, we’d have had “women priests” in no time in the Church.  But, the Supreme Court ruled that the government had no case, and the ‘ministerial exemption’ remains intact:

In a landmark January 11 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that religious bodies should set their own standards for hiring ministers, free from government interference.

The unanimous decision in the case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOCwas described by Douglas Laycock, who successfully argued the case before the high court, as a “huge win for religious liberty.”

The Hosanna-Taborcase was the result of a discrimination lawsuit, filed by a woman who claimed that she had been wrongly dismissed by the Michigan Lutheran congregation. The Supreme Court ruled the congregation was exempt from such an anti-discrimination suit. The ruling indicated that the First Amendment to the US Constitution, in its guarantee of religious freedom, means that a religious body should “be free to choose those who will guide it on its way.”

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts explained that the government’s interest in preventing discrimination is important. “But so too is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission.”

The case upholds the legal tradition the “ministerial exception”—the understanding that secular courts should not judge the standards by which religious bodies select their own ministers…………….During oral arguments in October, Justice Stephen Breyer had observed that the government’s argument seemed to allow for a discrimination case against the Catholic Church, for excluding women from priestly ordination.

And don’t think that didn’t figure in Obama’s vigorous prosecution of this case.  He’s gotten much support from “women-priest” endorsing Catholics, especially over Obamacare (think of all those female religious who supported it in spite of opposition from their bishops), I would not be surprised in the least if this was a quid pro quo.

While this is being billed as a victory for liberty, it really just maintains the status quo that has existed since the founding of this nation.  And the attacks will just get more intense.

St. Cyprian, pray for us!


Our pagan culture – having children “too expensive” January 12, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Sacred Scripture makes plain that children are a great blessing from God.  For centuries……..millenia, really……..most all cultures have viewed children as an asset at the least, if not a blessing.  But our modern, industrialized, increasingly-post Christian and urbanized society increasingly views children as a cost, as a burden, as something one can have if they must but really wouldn’t it be better if they didn’t?  And if you do have any children, certainly not more than 1, 2 at the very, very most.  We have a planet to think about!

Or somesuch.  There is an article on Yahoo regarding how expensive it is to have children.  I don’t know what the point of the article is………to commiserate?  To encourage people NOT to have kids? At the end there are some statements about how governments should give more help to parents, monetarily.  Whatevs……….:

For example, if you have a family of two college-educated parents who could each earn $50,000 a year or more in the workforce, it’s hard to justify having one parent stay home with the kids. Time is money, and all the time you spend with your kids is time that you’re not earning money. Parents have to make a conscious choice as to how much they’re willing to sacrifice in terms of lifetime income and future standard of living. It’s not always an easy choice, but it’s something that’s on every parent’s mind: “How long do I want to be home with the kids? How many kids can we afford to have? How much are we willing to give up?”

I’m a parent myself so I can speak to this from experience. We made the choice to have my wife stay home full-time with our kids (and I’m home too, since I’m a work-at-home freelancer) and it’s not always easy but we have chosen to pay the “opportunity costs” of parenting.

The question is, how long will people be able to keep making the same kind of choice? Will Baumol’s cost disease and the opportunity costs of parenting ever make it “too expensive” for people to have kids at all? How will governments respond to the financial pressures on parents? Will there eventually be bigger tax breaks and financial benefits to encourage people to have kids? The United States is unusual compared to most other wealthy countries, because we still have a birthrate that is high enough to keep the population growing – many other wealthy countries like Germany and Japan have such low birthrates that their populations are actually starting to shrink.

If you’re a parent raising kids on one income (or even two incomes), it often seems like the world is speeding up and becoming more expensive every day. We all have to do what we can to control our spending, live within our means and make the best possible life for our kids. But it’s worth thinking about the long-term trends facing parenthood: as life becomes more expensive, will people keep having kids?

I don’t know how common this calculus is, but I think it may be becoming more prevalent.  I think there are several misconceptions, or deletorious preconceived notions, in this piece.  The first is that kids have to be expensive.  Implicit in this assumption that to have a “good” childhood, a child needs many accoutremonts – their own room, new clothes every year at the least, their own TV/gaming/DVD/Tivo entertainment suite, their own computer, etc., etc.  But not every child needs such.  And what is ignored in the “opportunity cost” is the value of having a child raised by its own parent – such value is incalculable.  Also incalculable is the value of raising a new soul up to God.  Unfortunately, for more and more people such gets either entirely left out of the equation, or dealt with so trivially as to be inconsequential.  Then there is the entire aspect of our fallen natures and our desires to please self – having children can really impact how much self-pleasing can be done. 

As Catholics, we are called to be open to the creation of life throughout marriage.  We are called to understand that the marital embrace has as its first and foremost end procreation.  It is a Doctrine of the Faith that Catholic should take no step to preclude the possibility of having children within marriage.  That does not mean that periodic continence (NFP) is wrong, so long as it is practiced with the right intention (which, sadly, I think may not often be the case).

I could go on and on.  Fr. Larry Adamcyzk has been running a series on the marital act and licit/illicit aspects of it.  It’s very worth a read.

Prayers, in your charity January 12, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, General Catholic, sickness, Society.
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A great tragedy/atrocity has occurred at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Helotes, TX.  This is a parish that some of my wife’s family attends.  My brother-in-law is very involved at this parish.  Apparently, a murder-suicide took place at the parish yesterday.  I can’t imagine what the parish community is going through:

A man and woman were killed in an apparent murder-suicide at a Helotes church Wednesday afternoon.

Police said the shooting occurred just after 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church off Riggs Road and Highway 16.

Lt. Elliot Rodriguez with the Helotes Police Department said officers received a call for shots fired at the church and when they responded, they found the front door locked and they could see two bodies inside.

Officers entered the building and saw two individuals who were deceased, one male, one female,” Rodriguez said. “They’ve both been identified but their family hasn’t been contacted yet.”

Rodriguez said the victims are in their mid-40s to early 50s. Rodriguez said a pistol was found between the two bodies, which were near the church altar[My Lord, what a ghastly thing………]

Both the man and the woman are believed to be from San Antonio and were parishioners at the church, police said. Information about their relationship has not been released. No other people were inside the church at the time.

I’ve been to this parish many times.  Our Lady of Guadalupe is, I think you could say, not my kind of parish.  It has many of the same problems that are so common in San Antonio churches – the ‘spirit’ was drunk deeply there, and is still very strong.  But at a time like this such things are immaterial.  I pray for my wife’s family and all parishioners of this parish, and especially for the families of the deceased.  The state of a soul who commits suicide after a murder……….I can’t even bear to think of it. 

Dear Lord, have mercy.  Comfort the anguish of all those involved.

h/t culturewarnotes