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Lapsed Catholics more catechized by culture than Church March 29, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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The Washington Post ran a story (h/t culture war notes) recently that included some results of a poll conducted of apostate Catholics, or so-called ‘lapsed Catholics’ who have left the Church (but most of whom, inexplicably, still consider themselves ‘Catholic.’)  The results show to me a group of people far more catechized by the culture and the media, than by the Church:

As part of a survey to understand why they have stopped attending Mass, a few hundred Catholics were asked what issues they would raise if they could speak to the bishop for five minutes.

Their reasons ranged from the personal (”the pastor who crowned himself king and looks down on all”) to the political (”eliminate the extreme conservative haranguing”) to the doctrinal (”don’t spend so much time on issues like homosexuality and birth control”). [I want to to go their parishes.  I’m going to say this is a crock, and also guilt manifesting itself.  I will bet homosexuality and contraception are rarely if ever mentioned, but even those very brief mentions are troubling to the apostate]

In addition, they said, they didn’t like the church’s handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal [good Lord, who does, but that doesn’t mean you leave Christ’s Body!] and were upset that divorced and remarried Catholics are unwelcome at Mass. [This is an incredibly poorly written and communicated excerpt.  First of all, anyone is “welcome” at Mass, but those who are not in a state of Grace and in union with the Church cannot receive the Blessed Sacrament.  Unfortunately, we’ve developed a mindset in this country, especially, that everyone who assists at Mass must automatically receive the Blessed Sacrament.  There are huge problems with the way the Church is handling the epidemic of divorce, but handing out the Blessed Sacrament like a cookie to just anyone isn’t going to help matters – it will be gravely scandalous and sacriligious.]

…….Conducted by Villanova University’s Center for the Study of Church Management, the survey, called “Empty Pews,” asked Catholics in the Trenton Diocese [this is a troubled Diocese.  I don’t know that these results can reliably be extrapolated to the entire Church]  a series of questions about church doctrine and parish life to better understand why they are staying home.

While the study was restricted to one diocese, chances are the responses could come from just about anywhere in the U.S., where a 2007 report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found one-third of Americans were raised Catholic but one-third of those had left the church………

Almost two-thirds of the respondents were female, and the median age was 53, two facts that Zech finds troubling. “That’s a critical demographic. If we’re losing the 53-year-old women, we risk losing their children and their grandchildren,” he said.  [How about stop sounding like a secular corporation, and worrying about ‘demographics,’ and worry about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness.]

About a quarter of the respondents said they still consider themselves Catholic despite not attending Mass. [Well, they aren’t. You can’t reject a Precept of the Faith and be happily engaged in mortal sin while calling yourself still Catholic.  You can’t reject what the Church believes at its core and still be ‘Catholic,’ united to the Universal Church] About half offered negative comments about their parish priests, whom they described as “arrogant,” ‘’distant” and “insensitive.” [I haven’t met too many arrogant priests, but distant, yes. It’s one problem with having so few priests relative to parishioners]

“One respondent said, ‘Ask a question and you get a rule, you don’t get a “let’s sit down and talk about it” response,’” Zech said. “They feel no one is willing to explain things to them.” [Well, this is dumb, and seems disingenuous.  Those who lambast the Church for “rules” don’t understand the Faith.  But then, as commenter Terry C has pointed out, that is the key driver for this entire problem –  the collapse of catechesis, and that started with the replacement of the sermon with the homily]

Respondents also said they were troubled by the church’s views of gays, same-sex marriage, women priests and the handling of the sex abuse crisis. [Catechesis, catechesis, catechesis.  And how  many of these respondents were led on by priests who themselves reject Church Dogmas into believing these dogmas were somehow ‘negotiable?’  And then, once they find they really aren’t negotiable, are scandalized and develop an impetus to leave?]

Criticism of the sex scandal was predictable, Zech said. “That doesn’t surprise anybody. They did not manage that well, and they are still not managing it well,” Zech said. “It hasn’t gone away.”

The respondents also called for better homilies, better music and more accountability of the church staff. [Well, that’s interesting.  Really, the only interesting bit.  Better homilies could mean anything, but it could point towards getting back to sermons and getting REAL catechesis from the pulpit, and not the mildest of encouragements to change one’s life by tiny degrees.  Better music could mean dumping the oh-so-tired hippy dippy sing alongs, or it could mean aping the protestants even more.  Chant is the proper music for Mass.  Better accountability for Church staff – does that mean clergy, or lay people?  As much as it may be frustrating at times, the priests are accountable to the bishop, and that’s about it.  I hope this isn’t some ‘vote for the pastor’ pseudo-‘democratize the Church’ response.  But if it means holding lay people with great responsibility and influence in the Church to greater account…….that could be meaningful and helpful.  Mrs. So and So who is  a big fan of new age and who rejects all manner of Church Dogmas shouldn’t be running the RCIA program, but at too many parishes, she does.]

Oh noes, I late for a meeting!

A woman who uses the pill over her lifetime reproductive period……. March 29, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, sickness, Society.
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……is almost assured of having at least one, and very likely two, “unintended” pregnancies, if she is sexually active throughout that approximately 30 year period.   So calculates Stacy at Accepting Abundance.  Using typical birth control failure rates as related on Wikipedia, Stacy calculates the failure rates over 1, 5, and 10 years:

The typical-use failure rate for the pill is 8%, in one year 8 out of 100 women using the pill in a typical way will get pregnant, but the numbers are much higher extrapolated over time. It’s even worse for condom use.

    # Women out of 100 that will get pregnant 1 or more times:
Birth Control Method Typical-Use Failure Rate 1 year 5 years 10 years
Pill 8 8 34 57
Condom 17 17 56 80


8 out of 100 women will have unintended pregnancies in one year, but 34 of those same 100 women will have unintended pregnancies in 5 years, and more than half in 10 years. Condom use has an even higher failure rate, so typical-use of condoms over 5 years actually makes a woman more likely to get pregnant than not. Over ten year’s time, it practically ensures unintended pregnancy. And what about teens? Teens are not as careful so the failure rates are higher.

    # Teens out of 100 that will get pregnant 1 or more times:
Birth Control Method Typical-Use Failure Rate     1 year 5 years 10 years
Pill 8.6 9 36 59
Condom 17.7 18 62 86

 ————————-End Awesome Quote—————————–

I found the data at Wikipedia fascinating.  Knowing how contentious this subject is, and how diligent the pro-aborts and pro-depravity crowd is regarding trumpeting the alleged “safety” and “assuredness” of contraception, I’m certain the probabilities listed are very favorable towards contraceptive use.  That is to say, the failure rates are at least as high as listed.  Having said that, only the surgical methods are really effective – surgical sterilization and implantation of birth control devices.  “User-administered” means of contraception are very unreliable – the diaphragm and condom fail about 15-20% of the time.  It’s almost assured one will have at least one “unintended” pregnancy over ten years using these popular methods, and for the pill, over a period of 15 years. 

And yet we are told by our cultural elites and the depraved Obama administration, that the only way to reduce unwanted pregnancies is to get more contraception out there!  That’s a lie, a total fabrication.  Getting more contraception “out there” has only one assured conclusion in this country today – more abortion.  No wonder Planned Barrenhood is so in favor of it.  Souls that are totally dependent on contraception and especially those who are fornicating outside of marriage and/or bad relationships, are going to be very likely to desire to abort when confronted with the biological consequences of their actions.  And another soul will be created only to be destroyed.

This data should be proclaimed far and wide.  It confirms what the Church has always said: that artificial contraception is not effective, that it leads to a huge panoply of societal ills, and it creates the environment in which abortion flourishes. 

Brave New World by Huxley should be required reading today, along with We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.   The handwriting was on the wall 100 years ago, and these men nailed it.


Words cannot hurt us March 29, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, Saints, The Imitation of Christ, Tradition, Virtue.
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My kids certainly don’t think this is true.  And even if I temporarily convince them that words really can’t hurt you (sticks and stones, and all that, with regard to inter-kid fights), they will turn that around and grab a bat or a stick to do some real damage – before I intervene, of course.   That actually happened once. I think it was one of the twins, when she figured she couldn’t hurt her sister who had made her mad by calling her names with some return name-calling, she grabbed a stick to go whack her.

But it is true, at least for adults.  It is funny the extent that someone’s words can hurt us, or rob us of our peace, or cause us to commit grave sins ourselves, becoming filled with unholy rage or thinking very uncharitable thoughts.  Thomas a Kempis has the remedy (The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter 46):

Son, stand firm and trust in Me; for what are words but words: they fly through the air, but hurt not a stone. 

If thou art guilty think that thou wilt willingly amend thyself  [that is, perhaps we have earned our verbal reproof]

If thy conscience accuse thee not, think that thou willt willingly suffer this for God’s sake.

It is a small matter that thou shouldst sometimes bear with words, if thou has not as yet courage to endure hard stripes. [the harshest words directed towards us are as nothing compared to what Our Blessed Lord suffered]

And why do such small things go to thy heart, but because thou art yet carnal, and regardest men more than thou oughtst! [yep………]

For because thou art afraid of being despised, thou art not willing to be reprehended for thy faults, and seekest to shelter thyself in excuses. [St. Teresa of Avila makes great points of this.  Excuses point to pride, pride to refuse wrong doing on our part, or pride that wants to avoid hurt, or acceptance of failure]

But look better into thyself, and thou shalt find that the world is still iliving in thee, and a vain desire of pleasing men.

For when thou art unwilling to be humbled and confounded for thy defects, it is plain indeed that thou art not truly humble, nor truly dead to the world, nor the world crucified to thee (Gal 6:15)

But give ear to My Word, and thou shalt not value ten thousand words of men.

Behold if all should be said against thee which the malice of men can invent, what hurt could it do thee if thou wouldst let it pass, and make no account of it? Could it even so much as pluck one hair from thee? (Lk 21:18)

But he who has not his heart within, nor God before his eyes, is easily moved with a word of censure. [yep]

Whereas he that trusts in Me, and desires not to stand by his own judgment, will be free from the fear of men.  [Trust in God.  Accept condemnation and censure, even wrongfully made.  Accept such as the will of God.  I know it’s very hard.  It’s completely counter to our nature, especially in a ‘democratic’ country so focused on rights and getting what’s ours, and then some.  Die to self.]

For I am the judge and discerner of all secrets, I know how the matter passeth; I know both him that offers the injury, and him that suffers it.  [Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.  And our suffering the slight or the verbal blow may be God’s Will for our sanctification. We must assume that it is.]

From Me this word went forth: by My permission it happened, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed (Lk 2:35)

I shall judge the guilty and the innocent, but by a secret judgment I would beforehand try them both.

To Me, therefore, must thou run in every judgment and not depend upon thy own will.

——————————–End Qu0te—————————————————-

The above is so counter to our nature.  But it is a very core part of growing in sanctification.  Love your enemies.  Pray for those who talk evil of you. Never speak uncharitably of others (yes, I know, I’m looking in the mirror right now).  It’s completely contrary to all that our fallen natures and the world tells us we should do – especially today’s world.  It’s very hard to be meek and humble.  But it’s also very necessary if we are to hear those glorious words “Well done, my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master’s house.” (Mt 25:23)