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Wowzer! LCWR to get oversight and desperately needed reform April 18, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, General Catholic, religious, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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I have mentioned on this blog many times how much I love nuns.  That is, women religious who wear a habit, keep a rule, pray the Hours communally, and in general observe religious life as it was meant to be observed  – without radical, worldly, modernist wreckovation.  Knowing that, you may understand how painful it is for me to see women religious who have, for whatever reason, eschewed that traditional observance of religious life.  It breaks my heart to see formerly glorious and storied orders nearing their final end, because of a horrifically erroneous interpretation of Vatican II and its ostensible “spirit” that led to all the grave abuses and problems I mentioned earlier today.  And speaking of, talk about Providence – I just read Amerio’s damning condemnation of the worldly religious last night, and now, today, the Vatican releases a long-expected report on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious – the LCWR, which represents most female religious in the US and, especially, those many orders which have so disastrously lost their way.  I haven’t read all the report, but apparently it is very long, very thorough, and very condemnatory.  Some excerpts from Fr. Z’s coverage below, but with his comments removed and mine thrown in, just to maximize confusion:

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has called for reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and named Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle as its Archbishop Delegate for the initiative.Bishop Leonard Blair and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki also were also named to assist in this effort. [Paprocki is pretty good]

The CDF outlined the call in a “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious” (HERE), released April 18. The document outlines findings of the 2008 CDF-initiated doctrinal assessment of LCWR, conducted by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, which included his findings and an LCWR response submitted at the end of 2009, as well as a subsequent report from Bishop Blair in 2010

The Archbishop Delegate’s role is to provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work of the LCWR,” the CDF document said.

The mandate for the Delegate “will be for a period of up to five years, as deemed necessary,” the document said. It calls for additional advisers – bishops, women religious and other experts – “to work with the leadership of the LCWR to achieve the goals necessary to address the problems outlined in this statement.” It also asked for a formal link between the Delegate and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). [This is going to be ongoing oversight and reform, not a one time event, or, I think, a whitewash.  We’ll see.  But the report, which I scanned, makes numerous references to copious, egregious problems – systemic problems – with the LCWR]

CDF said Pope Benedict XVI approved CDF’s taking action January 14, 2011, two days after a regular session of the CDF decided that “the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious Congregations in other parts of the world.” CDF also recommend that after the Apostolic Visitation of Religious Communities of Women in the United States, the final report of which was submitted to the Holy See in December 2011, “The Holy See should intervene, with the prudent steps necessary to effect reform of the LCWR.” It also said CDF would “examine the various forms of canonical intervention for the resolution of the problematic aspects present in the LCWR.” [This does sound a bit, as Fr. Z notes, that the greatest concern is for the leadership of the LCWR.  But the leadership is drawn from the ranks.  Fr. Z has intimated at times that the real problem with all these wayward orders is just a relatively few radical feminists at the top.  I’m not certain I agree with that.  The problems are deep and widespread.  Talk to a few orthodox nuns.  They can tell tales that will curl your hair.  While LCWR leadership is, without question, deeply esconced in materialist, radical feminist, and bizaare wicca-inspired environmentalist views, there are more than a few problems with most of the rank and file, as well]

The doctrinal assessment criticized positions espoused at LCWR annual assemblies and in its literature as well as the absence of support from LCWR for Church teaching on women’s ordination and homosexuality. [that’s a delicate way of putting it……..]

CDF said that the documentation “reveals that, while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States. Further, issues of crucial importance in the life of the Church and society, such as the Church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching. Moreover, occasional public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the Bishops, who are the Church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.”  [This is stinging criticism.   These are accusations of apostasy on a score or more of issues, condensed down to some generalities.  I’m glad these enormous problems have not gone unnoticed.  Thank God for the internet.]

……….CDF said, “The Assessment reveals serious doctrinal problems which affect many in Consecrated life,” calling it a crisis “characterized by a diminution of the fundamental Christological center and focus of religious consecration.” 

I know I’ve written some long posts of late, and I know people sometimes struggle to read them. I’m sorry.  But I want to expand on that last quote just a bit.  When I speak of widespread problems, this is what I’m referring to.  Even among some of the more faithful sisters in these, by and large, crazy orders, there is alot of strange earth mother gaia goddess new age worship going on.  There is alot of very disordered theology, theology that confuses priorities, aspects of the natural law, and which is strangely bereft of a firm basis in Christ as Savior, Redeemer, and Fount of Life.  There’s a helluva lot of new age running around.  And new age is not compatible with the Life of Grace – period, full stop. 

So, while we must be careful and not believe that ALL sisters in these orders hold bizaare, even apostate beliefs, it is not unfair to say that most, even the vast majority, do.  There is probably no area of the Church that has been more devastated by the changes of the last 50 years or so than female religious.  It’s been a grave wound to the Church.  We desperately need the constant prayers of good, holy nuns.  I pray this oversight is the beginning of the end for this terrible, unprecedented period of rebellion by female religious.

The Great Catholic Comeback! April 18, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Tradition, Virtue.
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I really believe this is one of the best Vortex videos I’ve ever seen.  I wonder if Michael wrote this one at 3 am in some strange bed, like he has written some others. 

I don’t have alot of comment, except this: I see alot of bad signs, and alot of good.  There are signs of the Church being restored to glory and Truth, but there are also signs of continued decay and collapse.  I believe the trends are running in favor of restoration, but we have a very long way to go.  We must not rest, we must redouble our efforts. The most important efforts are prayer and morification (penance).  These are the keys to the future growth and restoration of the Church.

I have a challenge for my readers.  This is not something I’m simply telling you to do, that I don’t do myself.  I do this, alot.  Pray in public.  Have a Rosary in your hands when you’re out and about.  Actually get on your knees and pray, at times. I do this at noon and 6 pm, roughly, pretty much wherever I am.  Yes, people will stare, they may even laugh or ask if you’re alright, but you may strike a spark with someone.  But I read a statement from St. Charles Borromeo, once, highlighting how wonderful it was when he saw whole villages in Tuscany stop what they were doing when the Angelus bell tolled, and got down and prayed that wonderful prayer.

Wouldn’t it be glorious to hear Angelus bells again?  Or bells tolling for Mass?  Or churches that don’t look like really horrific middle school auditoriums from the 60s?  Sorry….got distracted there, for a moment!  I pray you’ll consider praying in public. We can’t re-create the Catholic culture that once existed without getting out there and living our Faith in public.  Little things like that can start to make a dramatic difference.

God bless you!

Texas fully funds women’s health programs without Planned Parenthood April 18, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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Even without the federal funds withheld because the State of Texas refused to fund the abortion-loving nightmare, Planned Parenthood, the state has managed to fully fund the women’s health programs so affected:

Abortion advocates complained the state of Texas would leave women high and dry without access to a women’s health program now that the state has decided to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Despite prohibiting it from participating in the legitimate medical program, Texas officials have found a way to fully fund the program to provide women with non-abortion reproductive health care at hundreds of other locations across the state………….[the amount in question is about $40 million.  To take a stand on this principle, to avoid giving money that may be used to help perform abortions (by paying for other services, or directly), is well worth the cost to the state.  This is a matter of life and death – digging into reserves or slightly lowering funding in other areas is a reasonable alternative than funding the major abortion advocate and provider]

……….Last week, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas for its decision to revoke taxpayer funding for the abortion business in its state family planning program. The pro-abortion group contends that the new law prohibiting it from participating in the Women’s Health Program is unconstitutional discrimination………..[Of course they’ll sue, but they’ll lose.  States have a right to determine who and what organizations to fund, within reasonable limits]

…….The Obama Administration cut off the Women’s Health Care Program (WHP) for over 100,000 Texas women at over 2,400 providers for the sake of Planned Parenthood, which provides only limited health service at 44 facilities in Texas. In response, Governor Rick Perry says the state will look to funding the program on its own. [So, Planned Barrenhood played only a very small role in this program, anyway]

Planned Parenthood has mounted a disingenuous media campaign across Texas to discredit Governor Perry and mislead the public into believing that Governor Perry is at fault.  If Texas’ application for renewal of funds is denied, it will be the sole responsibility of the Obama Administration,” Schlueter said.

Go figure!  Planned Parenthood, disingenuous?!  Who could imagine that?!  I’m glad the State of Texas has stood its ground on this issue. I’m glad potentially saving the lives of children means more to Governor Perry and many in the legislature than a few millions federal dollars.  I’m further ashamed of Obama for his naked pandering to his abortion loving base. 

The lawsuit Planned Parenthood has filed is less about Texas than it is about other states.  Planned Parenthood will do all it can to inflict maximum pain on any agency – state, federal, or even private, as Komen found out – that threatens their precious, precious funding.  I’ve never seen an organization act as viciously as Planned Barrenhood does.  I think that speaks to their fervor – almost religious in nature – for the core part of their business, the part that, when the chips are down, is truly the most important to them: abortion.  They’d rather go out of business than stop performing abortions.  It is the reason they exist.

Romano Amerio nails the problem with religious life…… April 18, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, priests, religious, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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……and, the Church.  Or at least those vast swaths of the Church which have fallen into all manner of error and disaster.

As a reminder, Romano Amerio was an Italian philosopher and devout Catholic who surveyed the changes the Church underwent in the 20th century in his seminal work, Iota Unum.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone interested in the Faith, but most of all for those who feel or know that things are not right in the Church, and who wish to restore the Faith to its glory.  I below quote section 14o of Iota Unum:

As in the case of all parts of the ecclesial body[the Church], the crisis among religious is the result of an excesive conforming ot the world, and a taking up of the world’s positions because one has despaired of winning the world over to one’s own. [I can’t think of a single sentence that better encapsulates the collapse in the Faith over the past 50 years than that one.  Truly, that is the essence of the problem, a literal crisis of faith occurred, and many despaired, adopting the ways of the world in a desperate attempt to gain favor after they had lost that sense that WE – the Church –  are the agents of change, WE are the one’s who should be sought by the world, and not the other way around] The crisis is an alienation stemming from an incipient loss of one’s own essential nature, and from crossing over into what is other[It is a crisis of faith, a profound doubting that the Church is what Jesus Christ proclaims it to be.  Thus, souls embrace the world, and try to turn religious life and the entire Church into worldly affairs.  For, if the Church be not what Christ instituted it to be, there is nothing left but the world and its fallen ways] A by no means small or unimportant sign of this alientation is a change in the dress of members of religious orders, inspiried by a wish that it should no longer differ from that of secular persons. [pantsuits rule!] While it is symptomatic of the loss of the essence of religious life, or at least of the accidental qualities belonging to that essence, it is also a sign of servility. [Servility to what?  The world, and its ways]  It should not be forgotten that the sometimes extravagant singularity of religious dress was intended to show the singularity of the religious state, and was also an important sign of the Church’s liberty and its independence of styles and fashions.

Religious life is a style of living modeled on the evangelical counsels and is therefore objectively more excellent than common Christian life based on the Gospel’s precepts, since it is the option referred to by Christ when he says “If you would be perfect…..” (Matt 19:21). [YES!  There are different levels of Grace given, and there are forms of life that are higher than others.  The religious calling is higher than that of the lay life – but the responsibilities are also higher.  A priest bears an awesome responsibility for thousands of souls, responsibilities that a lay person does not have.  A religious similarly has higher responsibilities to go along with the greater gifts given.  I am sick of this false, revolution-inspired ‘egalitarianism’ that says “we’re all the same, no one is “better” than anyone else, we don’t want to make anyone feel bad or inferior!”  Bah!] The drift in reform in religious life today is parallel to the one governing the reform of the priesthood.  On the one hand there is the obliteration of the difference betweeen the sacramental priesthood and the priesthood of all believers;[a priest does not “preside” at Mass, he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  A lay person has no ability to do this whatsoever, no matter how many ‘lay pastoral associates’ prance around the altar] on the other, of the difference between a state of perfection and the common state.  What is specific to religious life is washed out or watered down in thought and behavior.

Since man’s life is a flux, and the human will perpetually wanders into opposition to the fixed and abiding requirements of the law, a state of life implies a fixed order within which that flux can be shaped.  A fixed character can then be given to life by the commitment whereby the will binds itself forever to that fixed order, through the triple vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience. A falling away from that fixed state is produced by weakening the observance of those vows, and weakining them not by contingent and arbitrary decisions on the part of individuals, but precisely through a canonical relaxation laid down in general chapters called to effect reform.

————————————————– End Quote —————————————

Amerio then goes not to note the many ways in which religious observance has declined, and in many cases collapsed.  From replacing the great prayer of the Church, the Divine Office, with TV watching, or eating sumptuous fare instead of the severe fasting and dietary restrictions of the past, to the foresaking of common life for life in one’s or two’s (which is especially troubling, since some of these two’s are not chaste) and the abandonment of their prime spiritual mission for worldly ones, observance of religious life in many orders has been almost totally destroyed.  It is not a “reform” to live like a secular soul.  If that’s what you feel called to, fine, but don’t destroy the great gift of religious life, inspired by Christ’s own counsel as well as that of St. Paul, so you can live just like your secular neighbor.  That is the foundational reason for the collaspe of so many religious orders.  They are no longer sufficiently distinguished from “regular” life to make committing oneself to such a life worthwhile. 

'Modern' sisters

That is why so many of these orders who have gutted themselves since Vatican II are in the process of rapid suicide.  The vast majority of these worldly orders simply will not exist in 20 years or so – all the old members who did the wreckovation will be gone by then.  But there are other orders, who either never lost the essence of religious life or who have grown up since the destruction began, who do observe the traditional aspects of religious life and how are attracting many vocations, and who will be around in 20 years, in growing numbers.  We must pray for them, for as exciting and hopeful as their presence is, they are still very small in numbers.  The best way to help vocations is to pray for them and to live your faith very visibly for your children, making it the core of your and their life.  God will take care of the rest.

Sadly, Amerio’s initial point can be applied to many in the Church – due to a deficit of faith and religious sentiment, many have embraced the world and called it “reform” or “the spirit of Vatican II,” or whatever.  It is sad but also somewhat hilarious that all these “priest’s movements” sweeping parts of Europe (Austria, Germany, Belgium) are merely spouting the same tired heresies that have been brought up by those with a troubled faith for centuries, even millenia (and speaking of tired, most of these priests are near to retirement age – this is sort of a last gasp for them).  The demand for allowing lay people to host some kind of pseudo-Mass without a priest is not new – it’s at least 700 years old.  The demand for the acceptance of those in adulterous divorced relationships to the Blessed Sacrament is at least 1800 years old. 

There is nothing new under the sun, or Son – those whose faith declines tend to have difficulty accepting what the Church believes, then they lash out and demand that the Church change its beliefs to suit their preferences.   Such is as old as the Church itself – there were heretical segments of the Church who refused Apostolic authority as early as the AD 50s  – a mere twenty years after the Ascension.  The only recent change is that many in the hierarchy of the Church have seemed to accept the heretical movements as good, as some kind of reform.  It’s a crisis of faith among the bishops that is new in this latest period of scandal and division.  This is not my opinion – Amerio documents this extensively. 

The model

 

I will continue to pray for the SSPX April 18, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Papa, Tradition, Virtue.
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I know there are many reports today stating that the SSPX has agreed in principle to accept the conditions laid down by the Holy See for the regularization of their canonical status.  Rorate Caeli has very good coverage here.  Perhaps this is the case.  I know Fr. Z is pretty excited. But situations like this are very delicate and frequently subject to surprising turns of events.  I think there is more work to be done.  So, I will continue to pray. 

I think the SSPX coming back in to regular canonical status will likely be a very good thing.  It has a strong potential to further strengthen the efforts to restore the Faith.  But there will be great problems, and a likely counter-reaction that could be surprising in its direction and unpleasant, even disastrous in its effects.   So, I will continue to pray.  There is so very much work to be done, we have almost totally lost the vibrant, comprehensive Catholic culture that existed just a very short time ago.  Having another million-odd souls back in full union with the Holy See and committed to restoring that culture should be a tremendous blessing.  I pray it is God’s Will that this ‘regularization’ takes place, and now.

I wonder what John Salza thinks about this?  I pray that no segments of the SSPX break away and refuse this union, if you will, should it come to pass.  I pray that no hearts have become so accustomed to opposition to Vatican II and the present-day administration of the Church that they find reasons to reject this apparent canonical solution.  It will likely occur, but I pray it doesn’t.

I also wonder if the perennial hostility from the SSPX towards FSSP will now cease. 

Nevertheless, if the reports are correct and the SSPX is given a full recognition or regular status by Pope Benedict XVI, what a glorious thing that would be.