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An excellent essay on the failure of the social justice model February 14, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, General Catholic, North Deanery, persecution, sadness, Society.
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The government-forced “social justice” model embraced by the Church over the last several decades has caused untold devastation, both to the moral authority of the Church and to the condition of this nation, among many others.  Paul Rahe writes a lengthy but brilliant essay that encapsulates much of what I have tried to say over the years.  I’ll post a couple of short excerpts, but you should read the whole thing:

There is, I would suggest, a connection between the heretical doctrine propagated by Cardinal Bernardin in the Gannon Lecture [the infamous “seamless garment” lecture] and the difficulties that the American Church now faces. Those who seek to create heaven on earth and who, to this end, subvert the liberty of others and embrace the administrative entitlements state will sooner or later become its victims. [Yes!  I have become increasingly convinced that God permits those widespread sins which become manifest in the Church, or a country, or a culture, to become the seeds of destruction of that entity, for the cleansing chastisement that follows]

…….Perhaps, however, Barack Obama has shaken some members of the hierarchy from their dogmatic slumber. Perhaps, a few of them – or among younger priests some of their likely successors – have begun to recognize the logic inherent in the development of the administrative entitlements state. The proponents of Obamacare, with some consistency, pointed to Canada and to France as models. As anyone who has attended mass in Montreal or Paris can testify, the Church in both of these places is filled with empty pews. There is, in fact, not a single country in the social democratic sphere where either the Catholic Church or a Protestant Church is anything but moribund. [This is entirely true.  Churches in Europe are empty, largely museums catering to tourists] This is by no means fortuitous. When entitlements stand in for charity and the Social Gospel is preached in place of the Word of God, heaven on earth becomes the end, and Christianity goes by the boards.

“Charity” at the point of a gun, the “social welfare” model embraced in the hierarchy of the Church after WWI (with the national conferences, embrace of FDR’s socialism, etc.), is not charity. It does not provide the Grace that individual acts of corporal charity provide.  So the Church in this country, by diminishing the need for corporate charity over the last several decades has missed out on an awful lot of Grace.   That has manifested itself in many negative ways, from collapsing Mass attendance to men without vocations becoming priests and using that position to horrifically scar adolescent boys. 

The Church, historically, has been a force of restraint upon the state, a supranational entity within and also beyond the state that has assiduously protected its rights.  But increasingly in modern times, the Church has sought close ties with the state, for the funding that is in it, or sometimes for protection from some threat.  That reliance has reduced the Church’s independence and its moral authority.  I pray this latest episode, this persecution from the catholycs of the Obama administration, wakes up many in the Church to the sure knowledge that the state is never your friend, it is an entity to be tolerated at best and generally held at arms length.  I pray we break away from the love affair with the social welfare model, focus far more on the primacy of our individual and corporate relations with Christ and individual charity.

More and more, the state, as our culture becomes increasingly libertine, increasingly pagan, and decreasingly Christian, will become an implacable enemy of the Church.  There is a persecution coming, a severe one.  Cardinal George of Chicago has stated that he will die in his bed, his successor will die in prison, and that guy’s successor will be martyred.  I think many of us sense this – the tides of the culture are running away from sanctity and embracing something very dark and very hostile.  The Church must gird itself for this increasingly likely future.  Being a creature of the state will not do much for this preparation.

Is it possible to “overemphasize” Christ’s Divinity? February 14, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, Liturgy, sadness, scandals.
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I didn’t think such a thing was possible – to overemphasize our respect, our awe, for the fact that the God and Creator of the universe took on human form and became  man.  But, then again, one of the most fundamental tenets of modernist dogma is the denial of the Incarnation.  Apparently, the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia feels that belief in the divinity in Christ can be overemphasized, and that Communion on the tongue is unhygenic (how did the Church survive for two millenia maintaining this barbaric, unhygenic practice?!?!?):

Receiving communion on the tongue when the majority receive in the hand disrupts the unity that uniformity of posture and practice at Communion symbolises and builds.[I have never understood this statement.  Uniformity – why is this so important?  Isn’t that just a way of justifying having things your way? And if we’re going to have a uniform posture, why should it be based on an indult that began as an abuse?] It is awkward for ministers to give communion on the tongue to people who are standing, which is the recommended posture for communion in Australia, and it is unhygienic because it is difficult for ministers to avoid passing saliva on to other communicants.  [Uhhhh…..any priest worth his salt should be able to place the Host on the tongue without covering his hands in saliva.  I’ve received on the tongue hundreds of times, and I can’t recall a single time where the priest’s hand touched my tongue.  I know it’s never happened at the TLM]

Historical accounts make it quite clear that communion was received in the hand in the early Church.  In the middle of the fourth century Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem gave this instruction to those who were about to join the church: “When you come forward for communion, do not draw near with your hands wide open or with fingers spread apart; instead, with you left hand make a throne for the right hand, which will receive the King. Receive the body of Christ in the hollow of your hand and give the response: Amen.” [This is almost certainly false.  In fact, it was common in the early Church for heretics and dissenters to write documents in the name of highly respected individuals, to support their cause (St. Paul refers to this in his Letters).  There is strong evidence that this document was written by Cyril’s successor, a follower of Pelagius, who rejected that Christ had both a human and divine will.  Even if you accept this endorsement from St. Cyril, there were far more statements that Communion was to be received kneeling and on the tongue, especially in the West, BEFORE and contemporaneous with Cyril.  This claim also ignores the fact that Tradition is revealed over time, and that organic development in the Church does not involve sudden, artificially imposed lurches from one practice to another.  Communion in the hand may have been practiced in the earliest Church, during pogroms and persecutions, but that was in extremis.  Even in these cases, the Blessed Sacrament was placed on a cloth to cover the bare hands of the recipient.] It was only later that over-emphasis on Christ’s divinity[The silliness of this statement is mind-boggling.  Is the writer a modernist?  Do they accept the Incarnation?] and on human sinfulness led to a ban on people receiving communion in the hand. In fact, people seldom received communion at all.  

We now understand that Christ is present in several special ways at Mass apart from in the consecrated elements, for example in the assembly which gathers. [Yes, but in no way so special, as we may physically become one with Our Lord and receive Him as literally food and drink, ala John 6]We “touch” Christ in these other manifestations, so it would be inconsistent not to be able to take Christ under the form of bread in our hands.[This doesn’t even make any sense.  Inconsistent how?  The author just made an enormous leap from claiming there are other manifestations, to stating those manifestations are an imperative to use our hands at Communion.  This is nonsensical.] The bread which becomes the body of Christ is described in the liturgical texts as “work of human hands”. [This is a statement many have expressed great concern over.  This statement is a novelty in the Liturgy.] There is nothing unworthy about our hands. After all, we use them to do Christ’s work. As St Teresa said, “Christ has no other hands but yours”.  [A fair point?  But why not show the utmost devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Is “unity” more important than reverence?  Has belief in the Real Presence been increased since Communion in the hand became widespread?  Do people treat the Blessed Sacrament – God literally present in our midst – with the love and respect He deserves?]

Is there not an air of presumption about this piece?  Is it not strongly implied that we are quite worthy to receive this unspeakable Gift?   Isn’t that part of the problem that has become so endemic in the last several decades – many Catholics don’t approach their Faith as souls desperately in need of Grace in order to accomplish any degree of growth in holiness, but instead as “mature people” who at most need a buddy to “help” them across the finish line into eternity?  Is there not at least some tendency, expressed in certain prayers, or in seemingly minor, innocuous actions or statements, to approach God as very nearly equals? 

I need not go on.  I’ve asked enough questions, done enough fisking.  Suffice it to say, I believe the text quoted above forms a core part of what has gone wrong in the Church in the last several decades.  The question is, when will things begin to change?

Early non-sequitir post February 14, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery.
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It’s not Friday, but I found this and had to share:

Not sure why the new joint electronic warfare aircraft should be doing air to air combat training, but, whatever. Fun for the pilot, I expect.

Saving souls is more important than filling stomachs February 14, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, priests, Virtue.
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According to St. Ceasarius of Arles, a Father of the Latin Church and Bishop of Arles:

It is more important to refresh a mind that will live forever with the food of the Word, than to satisfy with food the stomach of the body that is going to die.

One of my major concerns regarding the present structure of the Church, especially in this country but also most of Europe and other “developed” nations, is the tremendous focus – I would even say inordinate focus – on temporal, even secular concerns.  St. James does state in his Catholic Letter that we must physically aid our brethren in need, and I wholeheartedly agree.  What I am referring to is the structures, as Pope Benedict calls them, which seem inordinately focused on serving temporal needs rather than spiritual.  How much money does the UCCB allocate to serving temporal needs, rather than building up the Faith?  Bureaucracies can measure how much aid they distribute, it is difficult to assess the number of true conversions or souls saved.  And so they tend to focus on the former, to the detriment of the latter.

There is another aspect of this that is a bit more fundamental.  At the “bidding prayers” at many Masses, I frequently hear a prayer begging God to end poverty.  But the Lord Himself told us we would always have the poor with us.  And poverty in this country, in this present society, is a far cry from what constituted poverty, historically.  But on a spiritual level, we seem to forget as a Church that there is a holiness regarding poverty.  In this country, so focused on  material ends, we forget that St. Bonaventure wrote eloquently on embracing one’s poverty, if that is one’s state, and he and many other Saints, especially the Carmelites, highlighted the fact that material possessions can be a grave attraction, an impediment to embracing the interior life and advancing in the process of sanctification.  I don’t know if this ending poverty is something we should be praying about in Mass. 

Saying that may seem hard hearted, even flippant.  And am I giving away all I own?  Nope.  What I’m talking about is not so much concrete acts to be taken, but a shift in focus, both within the Church institutional and in the minds of the faithful.  I think we’ve embraced the materialism of modern society to far too great a degree.  And not just the capitalist view of materialism, but the left wing view, as well, which is even more insidious than the capitalist view.  I am certain that all of us have attachments, unless I have a Saint reading this blog, in which case, PRAY FOR ME, but I don’t know that we get enough encouragement to look at life in a different way, to see this life as short and transitory and the real life, our real future and eternal destination, as something entire different, obtaining which requires entirely different concerns on focii from what our culture tells us.  I’m not sure that praying for an end to poverty, at MASS!, fits into the spiritual reality we should really be embracing – I think it keeps our heads and hearts too focused on the unreality that is our existence in the temporal realm. 

I’m probably not conveying my thoughts very well.  I’m certain some will be offended, which I don’t intend.  I don’t mean to let the poor starve and die in destitution, and call that “holiness.”  That’s not what I mean.  What I mean is that we should stop thinking so materially, individually and as a Church, and embrace, no, re-embrace, that focus on the eternal which so occupied the Church for centuries.  Why don’t we pray for the holiness and sanctification of everyone at Mass?  Why don’t we pray for the conversion of heretics?  Why don’t we pray that all those catholycs die to themselves and embrace the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church?  Those are prayers that will affect the dispositions of souls.

But if we’re going to turn the Church institutions away from secular concerns, it would be incumbent on the faithful to take up the slack.  May I recommend Food for the Poor?   They come with the approval of Fr. Joseph Tuscan, OFM, Cap!

Is Sr. Carol Keehan pro-abort? February 14, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, disaster, General Catholic, religious, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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There is a post on a local pro-life website (not local here, in Dallas) that makes the claim, or strongly asks if,  Sr. Carol Keehan, head of the Catholic Health Association, close associate of President Obama, and routine participant in what Fr. Z describes as the “magisterium of nuns,” (she’s actually not a nun, she is a female religious), is pro-abort.  Sr. Keehan was apparently sent a letter recently from a pro-abort group thanking her for once again ignoring the guidance of the bishops and the Doctrine of the Faith and supporting the Obama Administration, this time on their noxious contraceptive “mandate.” 

What is so disturbing about Sister Keehan’s response to this email from a clearly pro-abortion group is that the email thanks Sister Keehan for supporting abortion, standing against the Bishops, and calling Sister an inspiration to those in the pro-abortion community.  Her only response is “thank you so much.”
The email from the pro-abortion group offers to make a donation to the Catholic Health Association, but Sister Keehan recommends that this pro-abortion group give the money instead specifically to a “poor woman” not a poor person.   We all know full well that a pro-abortion group gives money to poor women for only one thing – abortions.
When an email was sent to Sister Keehan saying the donation would be put into a fund for “reproductive services”, a euphemism for abortions, Sister Keehan did not object. 
Sister Keehan’s response to the alleged pro-abortion  group does not deny her being considered “a hero for choice”.  Nowhere did it deny that she was in opposition to the Bishops of her Church.
You can see the e-mail exchange at the link.  I don’t know if this really establishes whether Sr. Keehan is pro-abort.  It could be a stock, fairly automatic reply, not even reviewing the source.  But in the broader sense, Sr. Keehan has repeatedly and publicly rejected the guidance given by the bishops to all Catholics on a number of matters.  She was instrumental in getting Obamacare passed.  Obamacare has then led to this contraceptive mandate, which Sr. Keehan – given the slightest fig leaf of cover by Obama, with this false “compromise” (in actuality, a doubling down) – has now endorsed.  The mandate includes not only contraception, but also sterilization and abortifacients.  So, on that basis alone, I think it fair to conclude that Sr. Keehan is at least marginally pro-abort.
Furthermore, Sr. Keehan frequently winds up on the same side of issues as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and virtually all pro-abort groups.  She is thus in opposition to the bishops and the Church.  So, again, while Sr. Keehan may claim to endorse the Church’s consistent life ethic and rejection of abortion, in practical terms, she is effectively pro-abort.  Just as politicians like Pelosi, Kerry, Sebelius, Cuomo and many others may claim to be “personally opposed” to abortion, in terms of public actions, Keehan closely aligns with the goals of pro-abort groups.
Thus, the “magisterium of nuns.”
h/t culturewarnotes

USA Today gets it right – why can’t the AOD? February 14, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, persecution, sadness, Tradition, Virtue.
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There is an article in USAToday about Michael Voris.  I don’t normally subject you to secular media, my dear readers, because they so often get things regarding the Faith terribly, incredibly wrong.  But in this case, a reporter has done a pretty fair job, and in one area, seems to have understood the reality of things far more accurately than the Archdiocese of Detroit and a certain canon lawyer.  You can read the entire article here, which explains how Voris is fighting to restore glory and strength to the Faith, but the section I want to focus on is this bit:

Voris’ efforts are financed by Marc Brammer, a business developer for Moody’s who lives in South Bend, Ind., and is a member of Opus Dei, a somewhat controversial group known for its traditional views.

Voris started and owns a media company, St. Michael’s Media, which Brammer contracts to produce Real Catholic TV.

Like Voris, Brammer is concerned about what he feels is the liberal shift of the Catholic church. They both criticize what they call “Americanism,” a term they use to describe a post-1960s culture that they say has influenced Catholics negatively.

Well, the writer could have pointed out that Americanism is a condemned heresy, and that much of that condemnation was focused on the adoption by the Church of certain views on liberty which are contrary to the Faith, especially the view that all religions are essentially the same.  The entire post-conciliar system of national, regional, and other conferences of bishops was also called into question, both then and later.

But that’s not the important point.  The important point is that the writer correctly understood that RealCatholicTV is an entity owned by Marc Brammer that contracts with Michael Voris/St. Michael’s Media to produce content.  As such, while the Archdiocese of Detroit can say all it wants that they don’t feel that RealCatholicTV is entitled to use the term Catholic, in terms of canon law, the claim is largely meaningless, which is why they have not proceeded with a canon law case against RealCatholicTV.  This is old news to readers of this blog, but it’s nice to see confirmation from an unexpected source.

Regarding Opus Dei, I don’t know why they get such a bad rap.  The popular notion, spread by Dan Brown’s ridiculously fantastic and execrable depiction of the prelature, of some incredibly conservative, secretive group that does all kinds of bizaare and nefarious things is ludicrous.  The prelature is only “controversial” because someone wrote a book making up baldfaced lies about them and presenting them as fact, which far too many gullible people accepted unquestioningly.  But that’s just part of the general persecution of groups trying to be faithful.

Remember to come see Michael Voris in person at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on Sunday, March 4 at 3 pm!  You can buy tickets here!