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What a sham…….”poster child” gay couple “divorces” February 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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NO group of people has a higher “divorce” rate than lesbian couples.  That may cause a certain group of commenters to try to come back and flood the combox again, but it’s what the limited data has shown. 

Not sure how related that is, but one of the first couples to challenge California’s 2008 constitutional amendment restating the obvious (marriage shall consist of one man and one woman) is now divorcing – not even 4  years!

When gay couples first sought the right to legally wed in California, they argued that they were entitled to all of the benefits of marital bliss.

It was only a matter of time before that benefit extended to the right to split up.

Even as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found California’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Tuesday, one of the state’s first gay couples to tie the knot was calling it quits.  

Robin Tyler filed for divorce from Diane Olson on January 25. The pair were among 14 same-sex couples who originally challenged the ban in 2008.

When they wed, in June of 2008, they had gone to the Beverly Hills Courthouse every year for seven years to apply for — and be denied- a marriage license.

“I don’t know how to describe it – I wanted this all my life,” Olson told the Jewish Journal that day. “Every time I went to a girlfriend’s wedding, and when my brother got married, it was something I always wanted for myself. It looks like God must have wanted it for me, too.” [And did your God-in-a-box want the divorce, as well?]

No, they didn’t “wed,” because no matter what freaked out lefty-culty states say, marriage consists of one man and one woman exchanging exclusive rights for the procreation of children.  They were given state recognition of a simulated marriage.

Is it unreasonable to surmise that the real story of this “divorce” is that once the “fun” of being transgressive and ultra-hip and trendsetting and getting plaudits and notoriety wore off, the “marriage” just wasn’t so much fun?  And so, you ditched it?  Which is one of the major problems with marriage in this culture, which will only get worse once states decide to radically re-define it – people having no real commitment, because their marriages are disordered and pointed to the wrong ends from the beginning?

What can I say in rebuttle to a word gone mad, in thrall of secular paganist indifferentism?  No matter how the state chooses to attack the foundational instrument of every human society, no, they were not married in accord with the will of God, as one of the couple stated.  Did “god” then, also will their divorce?  Did He put them together just to have them rip the union asunder?  Was this “god” making a political statement, conveniently timed and with an expert PR campaign?  Can you not see how this divorce makes the entire cause laughable in the eyes of those who adhere to traditional morality?  And, yes, divorce is always a scandal, and heterosexuals have done everything possible wrong in terms of how they conduct their marriages, but that is also immaterial.

The inspired, inerrant Word of God states repeatedly, well over a dozen times in both Old Testament and New, that homosexual inclinations are intrinsically disordered and homosexual acts abominations before God. No matter how much society turns its back on that Truth, no matter how much it doesn’t want to hear that Truth because it cuts so deeply against the perversion, license, and self-indulgence rampant in our culture, nothing changes It. 

I have a memory.  20 years ago, the idea of “gay marriage” would have been utterly laughable.  10 years ago, it would have been dismissed.  This nation and the entire western culture, such as it is, has been exposed to an unprecendented propaganda campaign for 40 years aimed at “normalizing” what cannot be normalized, and this state recognition of, I’m sorry, perversion, is not the final end.  Already forces are being marshaled to try to foist the “normalization” of pedophilia on our culture.  People are trotting out polygamy and beastiality, as well.  It’s going to be a truly glorious, Brave New World of complete sexual license, debauchery, and domination of the strong over the weak.  The souls crushed in misery as a result will be forgotten and ignored.  Some of you will look around and wonder “How did this happen? How have we fallen so low?”  Well…….this is it.

Beware Hans Urs von Baltasar? February 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, scandals.
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I’ve never read this guy much, but what I have I have found rather disturbing.  He is one of the major intellects behind the erroneous idea that hell may be empty.  That theory, in turn, has led to the widespread dimunition in the importance of the Sacrament of Confession, because why bother if no one really goes to hell?  The really great blog Unam Sanctam Catholicam tackled von Balthasar’s view on hell recently, in reviewing Alyssa Pitstick’s Light in Darkness.  As I’ve shamefully done before, I’m going to rip off alot of a lengthy post (my 3rd of the day!):

For the past month, I have been slogging through Alyssa Lyra Pitstick’s monumental tome Light in Darkness, subtitled, “Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Catholic Doctrine of Christ’s Descent into Hell.” It is a massive work, but tremendously thorough and takes on von Balthasar like few in the post-Conciliar Church have been willing to do. Balthasar is most known, of course, for his idea that we may reasonably hope that hell may be empty, but Pitstick takes the fight to the heart of Balthasar’s theology: his doctrine that Christ was abandoned by the Father and suffered the pains of hell on Holy Saturday. As Pitstick demonstrates, this theology of the “Descent” is actually central to all of Balthasar’s theology and actually serves as the premise upon which he will build his conclusion that we may hope for universal salvation.

I have not finished the book yet, though I am drawing close. Even so, I can say that Miss Pitstick has done us all a tremendous service in putting this work together. I for one an appalled that so many otherwise orthodox individuals in the Church, from theology professors right on up to John Paul II and Benedict XVI, find Balthasar’s theology credible. I dismissed his “hope for universal salvation” theory as completely contrary to our tradition about two seconds after somebody explained it to me, and it mystifies me that so many other learned persons continue to dally with it. But Pitstick’s book does more than expose the flawed thinking behind Balthasar’s empty hell theory – it exposes him as heretical (or at least extremely counter to tradition) in his Christology, soteriology, Trinitarian theology, sacramental theology, ecclesiology and almost every other area across the theological spectrum, leading the reader to the conclusion that, not only is Balthasar mistaken on his empty hell hypothesis, but his entire corpus of theology is extremely questionable and that this man is far from the trustworthy theologian that Ignatius Press and many in the Magisterium would have us believe. [Especially Ignatius Press…….I largely stay away from those guys, for a variety of reasons]

…………Balthasar’s dissatisfaction with the privation theory of sin leads him to posit a real, ontological existence for sin, contrary to Augustine, Thomas, the implications of the Catechism and almost all of ancient and medieval Catholic tradition. Sin becomes an ontological reality by a sort of negative creation, in which man, by the passion and willfulness that he puts into sinning, turns sin into a positive reality. Balthasar says:

“It is possible to distinguish between the sin and the sinner…Because of the energy that man has invested in it, sin is a reality, it is not ‘nothing.'” (Theo-Drama, vol. V, pp. 266, 314).

Because sin has this ontological reality, it can be abstracted from the sinner and, consequently, removed to another locus. Here Balthasar’s theology of sin crosses into his soteriology. Because sin is a reality that can be separated from the sinner, it is possible to “load” it on to Christ, who literally assumes the sins of every person in His death, but especially in His Descent:

“[Sin] has been isolated from the sinner…separated from the sinner by the work of the Cross” (ibid., 285, 314).

Thus, because sin is able to be loaded onto Christ, Christ literally takes the sins, and the guilt, of every sinner on to Himself, and in His death and Descent, literally becomes sin, in such a real, metaphysical sense that Balthasar makes the shocking statement that the Incarnation is “suspended” while Jesus is in the tomb:

Holy Saturday is thus a kind of suspension, as it were, of the Incarnation, whose result is given back to the hands of the Father and which the Father will renew and definitively confirm by the Easter Resurrection” (“The Descent into Hell”, Spirit and Institution, Explorations in Theology, vol. IV, pp 411-412).

If all sin and all guilt and all punishment for sin has been loaded upon Christ by the Father, who wills to actively “crush” and punish the Son as if He had sinned, then there is no more wrath or punishment left that any sinner could endure eternally. All his sins have been abstracted from him and loaded on to Christ. Conversely, if there is no wrath left for the sinner, there is no real merit left for the saint, at least in the way traditional Catholic theology has understood it. Here, Balthasar sounds downright Lutheran in his understanding of salvation:

“[The sinner’s] hope can only cling blindly to the miracle that has already taken place in the Cross of Christ; it takes the entire courage Christian hope for a man to apply this to himself, to trust that, by the power of this miracle, what is damnable in him has been separated from him and thrown out with the unusable residue that is incinerated outside of the gates of the Holy City” (Theo-Drama, vol. V, 321).

The language of the sinner clinging “blindly” to an act that has already taken place reminds one of the Protestant jargon of “resting in God’s finished work”; as with Luther, the sin of man is separated from him and placed on Christ, who in turn bestows upon us righteousness. The difference between Balthasar and Luther here is that Balthasar appears to make the operative principle the virtue of hope rather than faith. Balthasar vehemently denied that his soteriological doctrine was Lutheran, because he emphasized charity and hope along with faith and thus technically did not teach “faith alone” (and Balthasar emphasized the redemptive nature of the Descent, something Luther ignored), but in practice, it seems that Luther and Balthasar are very close together here inasmuch as they both agree in sins being abstracted from the sinner, “loaded” upon Christ who is then punished with God’s wrath, and the sinner appropriating the righteousness of Christ by faith-hope in a finished work that has already been completed.

There is so much more we could point to with Balthasar, but here I merely wanted to show how he breaks from Catholic Tradition not only in his teaching of an empty hell, but on many other things as well; in this case, the idea of sin having a positive existence that can be abstracted and separated from the man, as opposed to the traditional Catholic idea of sin as a privation.

I highly recommend Pitstick’s book. I will also probably do some more stuff on Balthasar in the future on here because his teachings are so pernicious. I knew he was questionable, but until I read Pitstick’s book, I did not understand how truly horrific and contrary to Tradition some of his concepts really are.

I’ve got to agree – by this sort of protestantization of sin flow all kinds of repercussions that have become visible in the last several decades – a dimunition of the focus on the Mass as a Sacrifice, the collapse in focus on the necessity of Sacramental Confession, the collapse in vocations, since the priest offers not a Sacrifice necessary for our salvation but a community mea that could be offered by anyone, collapse in Mass attendance, etc., etc.  It all flows together. 

 von Baltasar’s views on the emptiness of hell (then why was it made?) is not only sustained by a very protestant outlook on sin and Grace, but also by his indisputably modernist beliefs – he was one of the most prime architects of the ‘razing the bastions,’ the purposeful deconstruction of those elements of belief in the Church which had helped insulate it from the sinfulness raging in the world.  He, and others, thought the Church would then convert the world.  In practice, it’s more worked out the other way around. 

This is one of those situations where I pray the guy is right, and I’m wrong (and many Doctors of the Church are wrong, as well), because if I’m not, a whole lot of souls could be in very grave danger.

The path of an Anglican cleric to the Church February 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Interior Life, Papa, Tradition, Virtue.
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Fr. Owen Francis Dudley wrote a remarkable series of books between WWI and II called the Masterful Monk series.  They are incredible.  He also wrote some associated but  non-fiction books about the creeping modernist, secular pagan indifferentism of our culture (and this, 80 years ago!), and how it was rotting out western civilization.  He was an Anglican cleric who became a Catholic priest and missionary.  He wrote a fairly lengthy discourse on his conversion here.  Because I have souls to whom I am very close and care about very deeply (and who I pray over constantly) who are still protestant, his words have a great deal of meaning to me.  I’ll excerpt a few sections of this conversion story, and pray you read the rest.  Please say a prayer for my constant intention of conversion:

The Established Church [the Anglican Church] was a church of contradictions, of parties, each of which had an equal claim to represent it, and all of which were destructive of its general claim to be part of the Church of Christ – directly one affirmed its unity. As far as authority was concerned, it was possible to believe anything or nothing without ecclesiastical interference. You could be an extreme “Anglo-Catholic” and hold all the doctrines of the Catholic Church except the inconvenient ones like papal infallibility; you could be an extreme modernist and deny (while retaining Christian terms ) all the doctrines of the Christian religion. No bishop said yes or no imperatively to any party. The bishops were as divided as the parties. For practical purposes, if bishops did interfere, they were ignored, even by their own clergy. If the Holy Ghost, as claimed, was with the Church of England then logically the Holy Ghost was the author of contradictions: for each party claimed His guidance. These facts presented me with a quandary which appeared insurmountable, and which remained insurmountable. I have often been asked, since my conversion, how, in view of them, Anglican clergy can be sincere in remaining where they are. My reply has been – they ARE sincere. There is a state of mental blindness in which one is incapable of seeing the plain logic of facts. I only know that it was over a year before I acted on those facts myself. And I honestly believe I was sincere during that period. Only those who have been Protestants can appreciate the thick veil of prejudice, fear, and mistrust of “Rome” which hampers every groping toward the truth. It was about this time that there fell into my hands a book written by a Catholic priest, who himself had once been an Anglican clergyman, who had been faced by the same difficulties, and who had found the solution of them in the Catholic Church. “But the Catholic Church CAN’T be the solution,” I said. And there rose before my mind a vision of all I had been taught about her from my boyhood upward – her false teaching, her corruptions of the doctrines of Christ. The Catholic Church, though, was the church of the overwhelming majority of Christians, and always had been. If what I had been taught was true, then for nearly two thousand years the great mass of Christians had been deluded and deceived by lies. Could Christ have allowed a hoax, an imposture of that magnitude? In His name? The Catholic Church was either an imposture or– Or what? I began to buy Catholic books. To study Catholic doctrines. To read history from the Catholic standpoint. The day came when I sat looking into the fire asking myself: “Is what the world says of the Catholic Church true? Or what the Catholic Church says of herself? Have I all these years been shaking my fist at a phantom of my own imagining, fed on prejudice and ignorance?” I compared her unity with the complete lack of it outside. Her authority with the absence of anything approaching real authority in the church of which I was a member and a minister. The unchangeable moral code she proclaimed with the wavering, shilly-shallying moral expediency that Protestantism allowed. She began to look so very much more like the church that God would have made, just as the Established Church began to look so very much more like the church that man would have made……..

…….At the end of some months I came to this conclusion – that, as far as Holy Scripture, history, and reason were concerned, the Catholic Church could prove her claim to be God’s infallible teacher up to the hilt. It is difficult after all these years to recapture the exact mode of its appeal to my reason; but it was the appeal that the doctrine of the infallibility of the Church inevitably presents to any man who is prepared to lay aside bias, prejudice, and preconceptions. I will try to state it in the fewest words possible. Infallibility is the only guarantee we have that the Christian religion is true. [It is important to note just what infallibility means.  It means that when the Bishop of Rome, speaking from the Chair of Peter or ex cathedra, makes a formal procouncement of Doctrine on Faith and Morals it is held to be infallibly correct and a revelation of the Truth Christ reveals through His Church.  It applies only to Faith and Morals, and only when the Holy Father invokes that infallibility.  It does not apply to issues outside Faith and Morals.  The Popes can make as many or more mistakes and sins as “normal” people, but when speaking from the Chair of Peter, Christ’s invisible action – Grace – preserves the Holy Father from error.  This is part of the Magisterium.  There are other aspects of Doctrine, not formally proclaimed ex cathedra, which are also infallible and come from Sacred Scripture or the gradual accrual of Divine Wisdom through the Ordinary Universal Magisterium – Sacred Tradition.  All Truths must be consonant with previously revealed Truth, for Truth cannot contradict itself]. Actually, if I, at this moment, did not believe in an infallible teacher appointed by God then nothing on earth would induce me to believe in the Christian religion. If, as outside the Catholic Church, Christian doctrines are a matter of private judgment, and therefore the Christian religion a mere matter of human opinion, then there is no obligation upon any living soul to believe in it. Why should I stake my immortal soul upon human opinion? For that is all you have if you refuse the infallible Church. In itself her claim may be reduced to this: the Catholic Church, when she defines a doctrine of faith or morals, when she tells us what to believe and what to do – in a word, what the Christian religion is – then, and then only, she is prevented by God from making a mistake, from teaching untruth. The Church is God’s mouthpiece – His voice. Could God’s voice speak untruth? Protestantism, claiming the Holy Ghost and presenting a jumble of contradictions, declares, in effect, that God DOES speak untruth. And only blinded reason prevents its adherents from seeing and admitting that unpalatable fact.

re the Catholic Church’s very claim. It is commonly assumed that submission to an infallible authority in religion involves slavery, that Catholics cannot think for themselves, that their reason is stifled, that they commit intellectual suicide. “No educated man could accept the medieval dogmas of the Catholic Church.” Examined in the light of horse sense and human reason, that shibboleth of the modernist leaders is revealed in all its naked stupidity, as an irrational and unscientific piece of snobbery for gulling the masses and blinding them to the claims of the Catholic Church.

In intent, since the dogmas are the same today, it means: “No educated man could submit to what the Catholic Church claims to be infallibly true”: or, more simply, “No educated man could submit to infallibility in the matter of religion.” For acceptance involves submission to the one Church that claims it. The obvious reply is: “In the name of all that is sane – why not?” When in every other department of life he is submitting to infallible truth already? Is slavery involved; is reason stifled; is it intellectual suicide to submit to the infallible truth of the law of gravity; do men jump off cliffs on the chance of going up instead of down? To submit, as every scientist does, to the fixed data of science, believing them to be infallibly true; could he be a scientist at all, if he refused to submit? To submit, as every educated man does, by eating, to the infallible truth that the human body needs food?

Long post.  I hope some read it.  I pray no one gets mad.

Pope – admonishing sinners a spiritual work of mercy. Why then undermined by Texas Catholic? February 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Well, it’s a Doctrine of the Faith, but the Pope made clear recently that we all have a duty to try to correct those who are mired in sin, with charity:

In his annual Lenten Message for 2012, Pope Benedict XVI calls attention to the duty of Christians to admonish and correct one another, stressing that such fraternal correction is an important form of charity.

Lent begins this year with Ash Wednesday on February 22. The Pope’s message was released by the Vatican on February 7. The theme of the papal message is taken from the Hebrews 10:24: “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works.”

To “be concerned” for others, the Pope writes, means first to “be attentive” to the activities of our neighbors. The Pope observes: “All too often, however, our attitude is just the opposite: an indifference and disinterest born of selfishness and masked as a respect for ‘privacy.’”

Bearing in mind the Pope’s words, I found the following article in the Catholic News Service and printed in our diocesan newspaper, The Texas Catholic, rather bizaare for how it was edited.  I’ll note below portions that were edited out of the piece in the diocesan newspaper in bold italics:

Priests hearing confessions need to replace any negative or aggressive attitudes with meekness and mercy toward the penitent, said a Vatican expert on confession.

The sacrament of reconciliation “has led to a unilateral overemphasis on the accusation and listing of sins,” said Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court that handles issues related to the sacrament of penance.

The end result is that “the thing that is absolutely central when listening to sin, that is, the blessed embrace of the merciful Father, is put on the backburner,” he said………

……..”Isn’t it true perhaps that at times confession takes on the semblance of a prosecuting tribunal rather than a celebration of forgiveness,” and that the conversation takes on “inquisitorial or, in any case, indelicate tones,” he asked [In actuality, I have never once experienced, and I will wager I’ve been to Confession more in the last 5 years than most Cathoilcs go in a lifetime.  I’ve never had a priest be harsh or “inquisatorial.”  What a joke.  The problem is actually the opposite, where many priests are far too lax and dismiss serious sins as something insignificant, telling the penitent that mortal sins aren’t unless they intended consciously to kill their relationship with God – something rejected as erroneous by Blessed Pope John Paul II.]

A confessor is first and foremost a father who welcomes, listens and engages in dialogue, he said.

People going to confession “are seeking comfort, advice and forgiveness,” he said. Often they are dealing with problems in their personal life or in their relationships; concerns about contraception,  separation or divorce; [can you see where this is going?] or difficulties between parent and child, he said.

“As confessors we are called to show mercy and hope, to be fathers more than judges, to take on the penitent’s pain and listen with much patience,” he said.

“All of this has nothing to do with being lax or permissive,” he said, “rather it focuses on the inner liberation of the penitent,” their feelings of remorse and repentance, and facilitating their reception of judgment, grace and mercy from God.

Bishop Girotti said a confessor “would commit a serious injustice” if he dared let his judgment and advice to the penitent be influenced more by his own personal opinions and viewpoints than by church teaching and doctrine.

Priests must carefully control their reaction, including facial expressions and gestures, when hearing confession, he said. [it’s easy to control facial expressions if you hear confessions separated by a screen or wall]

The confessor should imitate Christ’s gentleness and never display a sense of shock no matter how grave the sin, he said. The confessor must never pry for personal details, never show impatience or be in a hurry, and should instill a healthy fear of God, but not terror and should condemn the sin, not the sinner, he added.

Penitents open their heart and soul to the confessor because they see him as being “God’s minister, and if instead they find in him severity, not mercy, or doubts and obscurity, and not the light of truth, they will have been truly deceived.”

Before I begin  my analysis of the differences between the Texas Catholic version and the CNS version, I’d like to note that I think this is a well intentioned but rather unnecessary and almost foolhardy statement made by the Bishop.  The problem in the confessional over the past several decades has not been excessive harshness, but excessive leniency, of priests denying that sins are sins and not challenging penitents to change their lives.  There should always be great mercy in the confessional, but mercy must be tempered with justice and grounded in Truth.  Too often, priests have put their personal beliefs in the fore, and not guided penitents with the mind of the Church.  And this is a great tragedy and scandal for many souls.

There is a rather different emphasis in the CNS piece, and what was in the Texas Catholic, isn’t there?   In the Texas Catholic version, we are told that a confessor “would commit a serious injustice if he let his judgment be influenced more by his own opinions and viewpoints,” with the statement of Doctrine that the priest must instead be guided by the mind of the Church deleted.  Texas Catholic also deleted the statements about instilling a healthy fear of God, about mercy in the confessional not being “dismissive or lax, and the divine character of the priest in the confessional, being in persona Christi.   The Texas Catholic version is very heavy on mercy and on the preferences of the penitent, even alluding that certain topics like contraception and divorce are up for discussion, and not extremely grave sins to be confessed.  I don’t think the bishop struck the right emphasis even in his comments as reported by CNS, but it was far better than the Texas Catholic version, which, when I read it, struck me as being a peaen to the confessional as a psychiatrist’s couch where people are never challenged to change but are instead confirmed in their sins and told what good little Catholics they are.  The editing out of the portions on laxity and dismissiveness are particularly revealing.

The lack of emphasis of Confession in the vast majority of parishes, and the flippant nature with which it is frequently treated, is a grave, grave scandal.  It is one of the worst ongoing scandals in the Church.  There are a number of parishes here in the Diocese that don’t even have an hour of Confession a week, and more that have just that, one hour.  For thousands of souls.  Confession is a hugely important and necessary part of the process of sanctification and growing closer to the Lord.  It should be the second most important activity at every parish after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

I’d like to know why this piece was a) run in the first place, and b) edited to soften and change the character of what Bishop Girotti said?  What are we trying to communicate in our diocesan newspaper?  It is not harshness to tell a penitent that contraceptive use is an objective mortal sin.  It is not prosecutorial to demand that they stop its use before granting absolution.  Given what is going on in the broader Church with this HHS mandate, I find the timing incredible, and saddening.  Was this an attempt to undermine the bishop’s effort against Obama?  The paper was published over a week after the HHS mandate broke.

Santorum – “The Bishops got what they deserved.” – UPDATED February 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Wow, that’s a strong statement from a potential future President of the United States.  What would it be like to have a fairly traditional, orthodox Catholic as President, for the USCCB?  It might be not quite what they want or like.

“They fell into bed with the secular left, and then wonder why the secular left is forcing them to do what the secular left wants them to do.” 

That’s the horror of the “Bernadin model” of close dependence on government “largesse” for the Catholic Church – eventually, the government is going to force you to do something you’re not comfortable with (if you’re lucky), or something truly egregiously, outrageously evil.

Santorum, as a Catholic, is going to have much greater knowledge of how the Church operates, and the grave problems it now faces, than any other candidate, including Gingrich (for he only recently converted).  The President of the United States should not be dictating terms to the Church, but perhaps a certain President could help those bishops who have such a seeming love affair with playing politics see what their true mission is – shepherding souls.

You should read this notional apology letter from a bishop to the souls in his charge.  It is almost inconceivable such a letter will actually be written.

h/t Ars Orandi

UPDATE: Just to be clear, the letter above was written by Dr. Jeff Mirus, not by any bishop anywhere. 

Let us chill out in the combox.