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Pastor removed for free-lancing prayers and ignoring rubrics at Mass February 28, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Liturgy, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness, Tradition.
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Not here in Dallas, although there are some priests who could probably use a reminder, at the least, but up in Illinois:

An Illinois bishop has confirmed that a Roman Catholic priest was fired [I doubt that’s the right term, but……..?] because he “simply would not and could not pray the prayers of the Mass” under a new translation that went into effect last year.

In a rare letter of explanation about an internal personnel dispute, Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Ill., publicly responded to the firing of the Rev. William Rowe, who has been pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Carmel, Ill., for 18 years.

The case, which has garnered international media attention, also led to a second priest in the Belleville diocese to resign a leadership post in protest.

Braxton said in the Feb. 14 letter that “several” parishioners of St. Mary’s had brought audio and video evidence to the bishop “which showed the many changes and omissions Fr. Rowe makes in the Mass.”

Rowe offered Braxton his resignation last year after a meeting during which the bishop barred Rowe from improvising prayers during Mass [so, he wasn’t ‘fired,’ he resigned]  Rowe said that when he prays the Roman Missal — the book of prayers, chants and responses used during the Mass — he tends “to change the words that are written in the book to match what I was talking about” in the homily. [So, the priest is deciding that his views as to what should be said at Mass trump the established norms, his oath of obedience, and the collective guidance of the Magisterium/Tradition]

According to Catholic liturgical practice, priests are duty bound to use the prayers laid out in the Missal. “These changes consist of far more than ‘a few words,’” Braxton wrote.

In an interview two days after the letter was sent, Rowe called the letter “pure Bishop Braxton.”

“He mentioned in the letter that we clash in our ecclesiology — our image of the church,” said Rowe, 72. “He’s right. He seems to consider the church as the bishops’, and my notion is that the church starts with the people.” [What an absolute straw-man, red herring “argument.”  It’s not even an argument, just an emotional ploy.  The Church consists of those in union with the See of Rome and who accept all Catholic Doctrine.  Properly offering Mass is a part of that submission to Doctrine.  When priests clericalize by making themselves the star of the show, by determining that they have more wisdom to decide what should be said at Mass than Holy Mother Church, they are putting themselves on an enormous pedestal which is also an enormous temptation to pride.  It is very sad to see this kind of thing still goes on.]

If you read the comments at the link, you will see that there are a number of people who are very attracted to Fr. Rowe’s style of improvisation.  In some of those same comments, you will also read much apostasy from the Faith.  And that, aside from the abuse of the most glorious institution in the history of the world, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is the main issue – such abuse is invariably tied with dissent or outright heresy regarding Doctrine, as well.  What these priests have done is to build their own private little church, with them as personal pope, determining what doctrine will be adhered to and how the Mass will be said, and they’ve tragically led many souls astray in this process.  Many of these men have been priests for decades.  Many have some charisma.  And many of the beliefs they reject play right into the hands of the culture which tells us never to suffer, never to deny ourselves anything, that everything should be just as we want it every second of the day – the antithesis of growth in the interior life and learning to take up our cross and follow Our Lord Jesus Christ.  And so, they are very influential, and many older Catholics cannot recall a time when they weren’t being “led” by men such as this. It is the apotheosis of the cult of man.

It’s also a complete rejection of the tradition of the Church and what constituted a faithful Catholic life for centuries – and still constitutes it.  I saw a reference to “cookie-cutter” Catholics in the comments, as if those who adhered to the Doctrine of the Faith were simply mindless robots, little “Stepford children” for the bishops.  What a joke (do you think Bishop Farrell would think me a “cookie-cutter”?), and what a sad insight into the commenter’s view of the Faith.  And yet these folks are likely not much to be blamed – they were led to where they are at today by men who fell in their vocations.  It’s very sad.

islam is becoming the defacto state religion of much of the west……. February 28, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, sickness, Society.
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……including, potentially, the United States.  Article 1 – a British man (poor, modernist, utterly lost Britain) was detained and interrogated by Gatwick airport security for stating the obvious – it is ridiculous that non-muslims must go through onerous body cavity and other searches at airports, while muslim women in hijabs can sail right through:

David Jones, 67, commented on the ease with which a woman with her face covered by a hijab had walked through security controls, the Daily Mail reports.  [Isn’t this exactly backwards?  Is there one class of person which has a propensity to blow up airplanes, or fly them into buildings?  And yet that class is exactly the one which is given a free pass for all of our ludicrous, ineffectual security procedures?]

“If I was wearing this scarf over my face, I wonder what would happen,” he said to an official as he went to pass through an X-ray scanner at Gatwick Airport.

To his surprise he was met on the other side of the barrier by officials who detained him for an hour in an attempt to force him to apologise for making an offensive remark.  Police were also called.

……Mr Jones said that when he had made his original remark, the guard had appeared to agree with him, saying: “I know what you mean, but we have our rules and you aren’t allowed to say that.” [The right not to be offended – no matter how ludicrous and inconsequential the “offense” is – apparently rules the day in Britain.  But remember, this isn’t Spain]

Mr Jones said a female security guard told him she was Muslim and was deeply distressed by his comment. [Perhaps that distress has been caused or exacerbated by the left’s policy of pitting one group against another, encouraging aggrievement and leading to individuals with hair-trigger sensitivity?]

Well, that’s Britain, after all.  They’ve been in constant collapse mode since 1918.  Couldn’t happen here, right?  Of course not:

 Jonathon Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, reports on a disturbing casein which a state judge in Pennsylvania threw out an assault case involving a Muslim attacking an atheist for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

Judge Mark Martin, an Iraq war veteran threw the case out after ruling that there was insufficient evidence. But then he berated the plaintiff in what appears to be an invocation of Sharia law.

The incident occurred at the Mechanicsburg, Pa., Halloween parade where Ernie Perce, an atheist activist, marched as a zombie Muhammad. Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, attacked Perce, and he was arrested by police. [that actually makes me laugh……zombie mohammad]

Judge Martin threw the case out on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence, refusing to allow a grainy video of the incident to be entered in [he also threw out eyewitness testimony from a police officer] But then he suggested to Perce that Elbayomy was obligated to attack Perce because of his culture and religion. Judge Martin stated that the First Amendment of the Constitution does not permit people to provoke other people. [Well, it depends on what you mean by “provoke” – pointing a loaded gun at me and saying you’re going to kill me is not protected speech.  But the Westboro “Baptist” sicko cultists keep getting notoriety for committing heinous crimes against the families of KIAs from our useless overseas wars – because even their terrible speech is protected. But there are many (eg, the left) who want to apply a different standard towards islam and other favored groups. In the case of those groups, free speech does not apply.IF the judge really used this claim as part of his decision, it’s unconstitutional] He also called Perce, the plaintiff in the case, a “doofus.” In effect, Perce was the perpetrator of the assault, in Judge Martin’s view, and Elbayomy the innocent. The Sharia law that the Muslim attacker followed trumped the First Amendment.

Now, the judge has come out with his own version, which conflates some of the above, but not nearly all, and it does appear that he did say it was the atheist’s fault for bringing the attack on himself and that provocation against islam like that is not protected speech. 

Cultural exhaustion frequently stems from collapse in religious practice.  It can be stemmed and even reversed (although examples are pretty sparse), but it usually takes some great calamity to bring about the reversal.  Or, the culture just falls apart (Persia, several Chinese cultures, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Carolingians, etc).  Then, some new culture rises in its place.  Should it come to that, will that culture wave the banner of the crescent, or the Cross?

Reminder – Lenten Ember days start tomorrow February 28, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Lent, Liturgy, North Deanery, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Lenten Ember Days start tomorrow.  Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week are days of fasting (having one full meal and two smaller meals that don’t equal, together, the full one) and abstinence (some sources say partial abstinence, meaning you can have one meal with meat, but the ‘traditional’ schedule I posted below recommends complete abstinence from flesh meat on Ember Days, which is what I had always understood.

This is a penitential season!  Penitence means sacrifice!  Get your fish on! Or your beans and mashed potatoes, whatever!


How to keep the Traditional Lenten Fast February 28, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Lent, North Deanery, Tradition, Virtue.
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I meant to post this a week ago, darnit, but it completely slipped my mind (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!).  David Werling, at his gorgeous site, has very helpfully reminded what constitutes a traditional keeping of the Lenten fast. That is to say, this is how the fast was kept before all the indults and changes relaxed the discipline greatly.  I will say I, and my family, are not at the point of practicing this fully just yet.  I doubt we will do the full fast in this manner this Lent, but we will try to up the days of fast and abstinence/partial abstinence to three instead of one – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.  Hey, it’s Ember Week anyway, so we were going to need to keep a 3 day fast, but we’ll strive to carry it through all of Lent.  Anyway, the particulars:

According to the traditional Lenten Fast:

*all days of Lent are days of fast and partial abstinence, except:

*Ash Wednesday and the Wednesday in the Lenten Embertide, which are days of fast and abstinence;

*Fridays and Saturdays, which are fast and abstinence;

*Sundays, which are neither fast nor abstinence.

Abstinence: In the Latin Church, abstinence means refraining from eating flesh meat, or in other words, meat from mammals or fowl. This includes soup or gravy made from these kinds of meats. Meat from cold blooded animals is allowed, however, such as fish. This is why Fridays are known as “Fish Fridays.” Traditionally, the laws of abstinence apply to all aged 7 and over, but the new Code of Canon Law applies it to all who have completed their 14th year.

Partial abstinence: Flesh meat, and soup or gravy made from flesh meat, may be eaten only once during the course of the day, at the principle meal.

Fasting: Eating only one full meal (which may include meat) and two smaller, meatless meals that don’t equal the large one meal. No eating is allowed between meals, but various beverages such as water, milk, tea, coffee, and juices can be consumed. Meat can be eaten, usually for the principle meal, but only if the day is not a day of abstinence as well as a fast day. Traditionally, everyone over 21 years of age and under 59 years of age is bound to observe the law of fast; but the present Code of Canon Law sets the ages of 18 and 59 as the limits.

As in all things, we need to practice the virtue of prudence. All situations should be weighed in the light of Christ’s love. Traditional Catholics fast in order to share in the sacrifice of Christ and to discipline the body. Our bodily discipline should be directed toward the cultivation of virtue, not an indulgence in austerities for the sake of show or false pretenses.

This is pretty challenging, far more so than the discipline currently in force in the United States (or anywhere in the Church, for that matter, of which I am aware).  It is thus completely voluntary to try to follow this schedule.  You will not incur any penalty if you do not.  But there are great Graces for those who do follow this more rigorous schedule of fasting and self-denial!  Joyful adherence to this much more rigorous fast will lead to tremendous spiritual benefits and growth. 

What do you think?  Too much, or something worth trying?

Lent and Thomas a Kempis seem to go together February 28, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, The Imitation of Christ, Tradition, Virtue.
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From The Imitation of Christ, Book III Chapter 29:

Blessed, O Lord, be Thy Name forever, Who hast been pleased that this trial and tribulation should come upon me. (Dan 3:26)  [So much Grace flows into us if we take our sufferings, disagreeable situations, and mortifications joyfully and offer them to God!]

I cannot fly from it, but must of necessity fly to Thee that Thou mayest help me, and turn it to my good.

Lord, I am now in tribulation, and my heart is not at ease; but I am much afflicted with my present suffering.

And now, dear Father, what shall I say? I am caught, O Lord, in straitened circumstances: O save me from this hour (Jn 12:27)

But for this reason I came unto this hour, that Thou mightst be glorified when I shall be exceedingly humbled and delivered by Thee. [A very good sentiment to recall, during these days of mortification during Lent.]

May it please Thee, O Lord, to deliver me; for poor wretch that I am, what can I do and whither shall I go without Thee? (Ps 108:21)

Give me patience, O Lord, at this time also.

Help me, O my God, and I will not fear how much soever I may be oppressed.

And now, in the midst of these things, what shall I say? Lord, Thy Will be done (Matt 6:10) [One of the very best things we can pray, if not the best – just agree with God that His Will be done.  Such humility, such trust!] , I have well deserved to be afflicted and troubled. I must needs bear it, and would to God it may be with patience, until the storm pass over and it be better.

But Thy almighty hand is able to take away from me this temptation also, and to moderate its violence, lest I sink under it, as Thou hast often done heretofore for me, O my God, my mercy! (Ps 58:18)

And the more difficult this is to me, the easier to Thee is this change of the right hand of the Most High. [As the awesome old saying goes, offer it up!]

————End Qu0te————-

A priest has given me the very good advice, that when faced with a temptation or a sin that is very difficult to overcome, simply offer it to God.  I visualize placing the sin on the altar (which he also advised), and just leaving it there, and turning away from it.  Tell the Lord the temptation or sin is too much for you, and ask Him to take it.  You can even visualize running away after the fact, or imagine punting it over some hill if that works better.  I have found this method can work very well, if we offer to God these weaknesses or sins of ours, He will aid us.