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Several quick hit links February 15, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, Liturgy, persecution, sadness, scandals.
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There has been a bounty of really good writing on Catholic blogs of late (save for mine…..awwwwwww!).  I don’t have time or space to cover each one in detail, but here are several items of interest you might want to read:

Archdiocese of Winnipeg teaches heresy regarding the Blessed Sacrament: should we be surprised, since this is the locale where the Canadian bishops, collectively, repudiated Humanae Vitae in 1968? 

Bishop Morlino of Madison, WI, states that Obama’s plan is to “divide and conquer” Catholics

A fine article detailing the activities of the Catholic ministry Courage: helps Catholics with same sex attraction live a chaste life.  We all need help living in chastity.  But gays especially, at this moment in this culture, are deserving of all the loving assistance that can be had.  And no one should be defined by their sexuality.  I’m a Catholic, a husband, father, engineer, and many other things before I’m a heterosexual. Good grief.  Courage seems a far more helpful, and faithful, ministry than the misguided Outstretched Hands” at St. Elizabeth Seton in Plano.  I would very much like to see a Courage group stood up in this diocese.

Fellow Mater Dei parishioner Taylor Marshall has a post about the current contraception/sterilization/abortifacient mandate imbroglio, and how the Church is missing a golden opportunity to take the offensive and evangelize core Truth.  Instead of proclaiming our right to “religious liberty,” equating the Church with all the other deficient or frankly wrong religions and philosophies of the world today, we should be taking this opportunity to proclaim that the Catholic Faith is the One True Faith instituted by Christ in all its glorious Truth! 

Taylor follows up with 6 reasons why contraception is sinful and contrary to God’s Will. He notes that even the Orthodox have caved (very recently – they now permit barrier methods).  Only the Catholic Church remains steadfast in this ancient (from the very earliest days, 1st Century) belief.

I don’t know why I’ve never had him on my blogroll?

Call Senators to stop HHS attack on Church February 15, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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The evil of forced procurement of contraception must be stopped.  The Senate will apparently vote on a measure to overturn this mandate today.  Several senators are in doubt.  Please call them, especially if you live in one of these states:

We need you to call now and tell the following Senators to vote YES on S. 1467. If you live in one of the states that these Senators represent, it is especially important that you call.


Leaning Yes:
*Bob Casey, D-PA – (202) 224-6324

*Olympia Snowe, R-ME – (202) 224-5344

On the fence:
Mary Landrieu, D-LA – (202) 224-5824
Mark Pryor, D-AR – (202) 224-2353

Leaning No:
*Claire McCaskill, D-MO – (202) 224-6154 — Office confirmed she’s voting NO.

*Bill Nelson, D-FL – (202) 224-5274
*Jon Tester, D-MT – (202) 224-2644

* Denotes a Senator seeking re-election this year.

Senator Roy Blunt’s conscience bill enjoys bi-partisan support and has been endorsed by our Catholic bishops. This bill would provide legal protection for all Catholic hospitals, charities and schools so they would NOT have to provide medicines or procedures that violate their moral and ethical beliefs.

This legislation would also protect small business owners who have the same moral objections to certain medical drugs and procedures.

Irrespective of the problems with the USCCB and the fact that the bishops are not fighting this issue as a fight against an intrinsic evil, but as an issue of the rights of the Church, it must be opposed and defeated!  Call these Senators, even if you don’t live in the state!  I got through to Landrieu’s office!

The audacity of the USCCB is astounding February 15, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.
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Steve Kellmeyer has a very important post on his blog, addressing the recent demand from the USCCB that unemployment benefits be extended, yet again, creating conditions in this country depressingly close to those that exist in Europe, where many are on “unemployment” for years, even decades.  But Steve notes another, even more concerning aspect to this exhortation – it is full of rank hypocrisy:

Alright, this is just absurd.

On the one hand, the USCCB is attacking Obama for forcing them (the bishops) to pay for contraception.

On the other hand, the USCCB is pushing forward the idea that taxpayers should pay to extend unemployment insurance (again).

And that’s just the beginning of the rich irony.

You see, almost NONE of the parishes in the United States pay unemployment insurance. They get dispensed from the mandate to do so because they are religious organizations. [Hypocrisy, anyone?]

So, if you are employed by a Catholic parish and you get laid off, so long, sucker.

You can’t collect unemployment because your bishop hasn’t paid into unemployment for you.
And, you’ll be lucky to wring a month or two (8 weeks) of severance pay out of them, never mind 99 weeks.

When the bishops started complaining about the HHS mandate, I thought they were, perhaps, finally waking up to economic and moral realities.

More fool I.

At the risk of being absolutely gauche, might I point out that if the bishops REALLY wanted unemployment benefits applied, they might try paying into the system themselves? [Again, the attachment of the bishop’s conference to the social welfare state is fatally undermining the moral authority of the bishops in truly critical areas of the Faith.  This Bernadin model, and oh what a wolf that man was, must go]

I mean, isn’t it remarkable that a system they are recommending so strenuously to others is something they themselves deliberately refrain from doing? It’s almost as if they really don’t care about social justice, isn’t it? And if they did pay into the system themselves, and paid for something which is most assuredly in line with Catholic teaching, then wouldn’t it give them a lot more social capital (pardon the pun) on other issues… like…. oh, I don’t know… can anyone think of an issue that’s in the news in which the bishops might require some social capital? Maybe involving paying for something that is NOT in line with Catholic teaching? Can anyone think of such an issue? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller? [Words are meaningless. It is actions that count.  What example is being set when the USCCB demands a benefit be paid for by others that they are unwilling to pay for themselves?]

Better yet, how about the bishops stop volunteering other people’s money and double down on being Catholic [!!Indeed!!] That is, how about they use the coffers of the parishes and the dioceses to care for the poor? Again, it may be tactless to point this out, but that’s what the Church did for over a thousand years before Bismarck created the welfare state, in what has turned out to be his successful effort to compete with the Catholic Church.

The Church used to boast of saintly bishops who gave up every vestige of personal wealth and offered all of the money to the poor as an example to others. When was the last time that happened?

I want to have rich, opulent churches to worship in – God is Beauty, after all.
But I kind of wonder about million-dollar mansions for the bishops. [Uhhhhh…….]

As I have blogged in the past, we strive to support the Church to the best of our ability.  And if Church institutions like Catholic Charities were not a) so dependent on government funding, b) such mouthpieces for the social welfare state, and c) didn’t have such high overhead (they need to lobby, after all!), I’d support them more, too.  I think I, and many other faithful Catholics, are tired of being told that the true Christian model of charity is the social welfare state. This is simply false, and denies the Church and individuals much Grace, for there is no Grace attached to charity at the point of a government gun. 

This whole model is breaking down.  We have, as a country, run out of other people’s money.  There will come a time, very soon, when such largesse may not be available.  What then?  And what of Grace, even in the interim?

Oh how I love Providence! February 15, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, priests, religious, Saints, Virtue.
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Yesterday, I wrote a couple of posts about the wrongheadedness of the current focus of so much of the Church and its structures towards earthly, materialistic things.  I wrote about my perplexity regarding bidding prayers begging for an end to poverty.  Last night and this morning – after I wrote those posts – I read some sections of The Imitation of Christ and Divine Intimacy that corresponded quite well with what I had written.  First, from The Imitation of Christ Book III Chapter 22:

All we have in soul and body, all that we possess outwardly oor inwardly, by nature or grace, are Thy benefits and commend Thy bounty, mercy,and goodness, from whom we have received all good.

And thoug one has received more, another less, yet all is Thine, adn wihout Thee even the least cannot be had.

He that has received greater things cannot glory in his own merit, nor extol himself above others, nor exult over the lesser……and he who esteems himself the vilest of men and judges himself the most unworthy, is fittest to recieve the greatest blessings.

But he that has received fewer must not be troubled, nor take it ill, nor envy him that is more enriched; but attend rather to Thee, and very much rpaise Thy goodness, that Thou bestowest Thy gifts so plentifully, so freely and willingly, without respect  to persons (Rom 2:11)

Thou knowest what is fit to be given to everyone; and why this person hath less and the other more, is not our business to decide, but Thin, who keepest an exact account of the merits of each one.

Wherefore, O Lord God, I take it for a great benefit not to have much, which outwardly and according to men might appear praiseworthy and glorious, so that a person considering his own poverty and meanness, ought not, upon that account to be weighed down or to be grieved and dejected, but rather to receive comfort and great pleasure.

Because Thou, O God, hast chosen the poor and humble, and those that are despised by this world, for Thy familiar friends and domestics (1 Cor 1:27).

Witness they Apostles themselves whom Thou didst appoint rulers over all the earth (Ps 44:17), and yet they lived in this world wihout complaint, so humble and simple…….

Nothing, therefore, ought to give such great joy to him that loves Thee and knows Thy benefits, as the accomplishment of Thy will in himself and the pleasure of Thy eternal appointment.  With which he ought to be so far contented and comforted as to be willing to be the least as any one would wish to be the greatest and to enjoy much peace and contentedness in the lowest place……..

Then, there are exhortations to embrace poverty in Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen’s excellent Divine Intimacy, Chapters 86-87:

St. Thomas teaches that in order to arrive at the perfection of charity it is necessary for the heart to be completely detached from the things of the world, that it may concentrate all its affections on God. “He who possesses temporal goods, by the very fact that he possesses them, is inclined to love them. Consequently, the fundamental basis for the acquisition of perfect charity is voluntary poverty, that is, the free renunciation of all one’s possessions, as the Master said in St. Matthew: ‘If thou wilt become perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give it to the poor, and come follow Me!‘” (IIa, IIae, q. 186, a.3)

…..the practice of the ‘spirit of poverty’ is incumbent upon all, namely , that affective detachment from the good of earth which enables one to use these goods with moderation and detachment.  Those who, like fathers and mothers, have the obligation to administer goods and to increase them by honest work, must do so rightly, taking care that these material affairs do not make them neglect their own spiritual good and their duties to God. “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt 16:26) 

————–End Excerpts———————-

Again, I don’t mean to trivialize the suffering of those who are truly poor.  But I also believe very strongly that prayers to “end” poverty are incredibly wrongly placed.  Poverty, willingly embraced, is a positive virtue!  And we want to end that?

At the same time, the inordinate focus on the temporal among the leadership of the Church (bishops, staff at chancery, national conferences, state conferences, etc) is both hypocritical (more on that later, see post above) and damaging –  it comes at the expense of the spiritual, in practice.  The close collusion between the Church and state on this whole issue of the social welfare state – in effect, transferring to the state the Church’s holy duty, and that of its individual members, to care for the poor – has gravely undermined the moral authority of the Church and denied both the Church as a whole and her individual members of much needed Grace.  “I gave at the office, or, we have welfare programs, don’t we?  Why should I give to the poor?”  Such is the mentality that is terribly widespread in the Church, where the entire Body of Christ, more or less, seems to have prescribed to this belief, and explains at least in part why Cathoilcs are so notoriously parsimonious in giving to both Church and the needy.

It’s got ot change.