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A historical anecdote about the 2nd Vatican Council April 19, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals.
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I found this on Rorate Caeli, but the original is here.  It’s a story related by Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican, as he interviewed the awesome Msgr. Brunero Gherardini.  It’s about how the Council began.  Many are not aware, but Pope John XXIII intended the 2nd Vatican Council to be a very short, simple affair – a conservative restatement of doctrinal truths with some pastoral additions for modern times.  As before every council, the Curia in Rome drew up schemas, or basic points of interest, to guide the discussions.  The schemas were thrown out, some say in an act that resembled a coup, on the 3rd day – the 3rd day! – of the council.  At the time, the head of the Holy Office (now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), rose to speak in defense of the schemas:

Then I asked about the Council. Whenever I think about the Council, I said, I always have one image in my mind: an aging Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, now blind, about age 80, limping, the head of the Holy Office and so the chief doctrinal officer of the Church, born in Trastevere to parents who had many children, so a Roman from Rome, from the people of Rome, takes the microphone to speak to the 2,000 assembled bishops. And, as he speaks, pleading for the bishops to consider the texts the curia has spent three years preparing, suddenly his microphone was shut off. He kept speaking, but no one could hear a word. Then, puzzled and flustered, he stopped speaking, in confusion. And the assembled fathers began to laugh, and then to cheer…

“Yes,” Gherardini said. “And it was only the third day.”

“What?” I said.

“Ottaviani’s microphone was turned off on the third day of the Council.”

“On the third day?” I said. “I didn’t know that. I thought it was later, in November, after the progressive group became more organized…” [Interesting phrase, that]

“No, it was the third day, October 13, 1962. The Council began on October 11.”

“Do you know who turned off the microphone?”

“Yes,” he said. “It was Cardinal Lienart of Lille, France.”

“But then,” I said, “it could almost be argued, perhaps, that such a breech of protocol, making it impossible for Ottaviani to make his arguments, somehow renders what came after, well, in a certain sense, improper…”

“Some people make that argument,” Gherardini replied.

Father Joseph Ratzinger was among the leaders of the progressive movement at the Council, along with Karl Rahner, Dominique Chenu, Yves Congar — “Congar was the master-mind of the group,” Gherardini said — and others.

That’s a famous, but rather sad, tale.  Vatican II took place at a very unique place in history.  Had the council occured 10 years before, or 20 years later, the results would have been totally different, I think.  That there were revolutionary elements bent on radically changing the Church – even detaching it from its solid foundation, built on rock, in exchange for the sand of modernism – is apparent.  But the timing was such that those more radical elements were at the peak of their influence, whereas the traditional elements were, bafflingly, in disarray. Having such a strange Pope – not John XXIII, although he wasn’t sterling, either – was the final bit of the mix that sealed the direction the council would take, and the far more bizaare events afterwards, in the……..ahem……..implementation.

When assessing something like this, one must look at the fruit born of the effort.  I’ll leave that to the reader.

Back to form? USCCB blasts House Republican budget April 19, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Well, at least, Bishop Stephen Blair, one of the most liberal bishops in the country, used his office as head of the USCCB’s “Justice and Peace” committee to blast the House Republican budget:

A week after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan claimed his Catholic faith inspired the Republicans’ cost-cutting budget plan, the nation’s Catholic bishops reiterated their demand that the federal budget protect the poor, and said the GOP measure “fails to meet these moral criteria.” [Okay….why?]

That and other strongly-worded judgments on the GOP budget proposal flew in a flurry of letters from leading bishops to the chairmen of key congressional committee.

The letters to Capitol Hill were highlighted in a Tuesday statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that came after Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and rising conservative hero, told an interviewer last week that his fiscal views were informed by Catholic social teaching.

The hierarchy’s pushback comes after liberal Catholics in Congress and progressive activists challenged the bishops to resist the GOP budget proposals with the same vigor that they have challenged the Obama administration’s contraception mandate and its perceived violations of religious freedom. [Well, that’s a very poor reason to oppose the proposed budget.  I pray that had nothing to do with it.  The democrats are engaged in an unprecendented attack on the Church in this country.  There is simply no comparison between whatever deficiencies may exist in the House budget proposal (which has zero chance of being enacted into law), and the attempt to force the Church to engage in acts of grave moral evil being led by the democrat party and especially the President]

………Last Thursday, the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty called for American Catholics to engage in a “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign — starting in late June and ending on July 4 — to actively resist the contraception mandate and other measures that the bishop say impinge on religious liberty.

The next day, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations, wrote to the bishops’ president, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, saying that as a Catholic she felt the bishops should highlight the injustices she and others saw in the Republican plans. [This is the progressives favorite trick – to try to compare a grave moral evil like this HHS assault on the Church with an issue of lesser moral magnitude.  In the past, these “moral evils” in proposals to reduce social spending have really amounted to differences of prudential opinion, for the most part.  There are very, very few truly poor people in the United States.  Of those below the poverty line, the majority have air conditioning, and almost all have refrigerators, TVs, and most have at least one automobile.  That is hardly poverty by any global or historic comparison]

What I am asking for is a campaign for the poor, the hungry, the middle class, the people who are going to be eviscerated by the Ryan budget,” DeLauro told Catholic News Service. [That is just naked partisanship, a desperate attempt to draw a moral comparison between the inveterate hatred held for the Church by the current adminstration and many in the democrat party, as evidenced by the HHS mandate and numerous other actions, and the actions of Republicans.  It’s a joke]

That same day, some 60 Catholic social justice leaders, theologians and clergy also released a statement saying that “this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good.”  [this budget does nothing of the kind.  It does not radically reduce taxes – it simply fails to raise them to the onerous levels the socialists progressives would like.  Likewise, it makes some cuts in social spending, but also cuts across the board]

Tuesday’s statement from the bishops came the same day as Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., called a proposed cut in benefits for children of immigrants “unjust and wrong.” Blaire, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, also decried any cuts in food stamps while preserving federal subsidies for industrial farming enterprises.  [Bishop Blair may have a point in that last item, I don’t know.  But the USCCB is going to have to stop reflexively opposing any cuts in their cherished social programs, because they are unsustainable, no matter what other cuts are made or what level taxes are raised to]

“Congress faces a difficult task to balance needs and resources and allocate burdens and sacrifices,” Blaire wrote to theHouse Agriculture Committee. “Just solutions, however, must require shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and fairly addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs.”

Well, this last bit is really the problem.  The Defense budget is being cut, dramatically.  DoD is looking at about a 20% across the board cut in funding, with force structure cuts to match.  There is no strategy driving these cuts, they’re just being made.  Which, in the present fiscal environment, is probably appropriate.  But even if DoD and all discretionary spending were zeroed out, this nation would still be running a deficit of several hundred billion dollars a year.  The USCCB’s preferred program – slashing defense spending to ridiculous levels, raising taxes onerously, and leaving social spending intact, if not increased!!, is as tiresome and foolhardy as it is obsolete. 

First, because no matter to what rates a nation raises taxes (and the US has the highest corporate tax rates in the world), the US government has historically never collected more than 19-20% of GDP in revenue.  That is because, as taxes become more onerous, investment declines and people/businesses find more and more creative way to shelter their money from taxation, rather than invest them in the economy.  Higher taxes will just lead to more economic stagnation, further reduction in government receipts, and a worse funding problem than we’re now experiencing. 

Secondly, discretionary spending is being cut dramatically. But even there, we’re talking trifling amounts in comparison to the socialist wealth-transfer program juggernaut. 

Finally, the bit about addressing the Medicare and Social Security catastrophes is just pablum.  No matter what restructuring is proposed, you can be assured that the progressive denizens of the USCCB – and they are legion – would oppose it. 

So, here’s the USCCB’s plan, same as last  year’s and the year before that and the year before that, etc., ad nauseum: gut defense and all other “discretionary spending,” dramatically raise taxes, and increase social welfare spending.  Because, such has worked out so very well for Europe.

The saddest part is, Blair and the other USCCB functionaries cannot read the lessons of sociology and history: socialism is death for the Faith.  The reasons are many and varied, but, throughout the world, as socialism ascends, the Faith retreats.  Apparently, that is what the USCCB wants, because they’ve been hammering the same message for 40 or more years.

And sadder still – instead of lobbying for more government spending, the bishops should be exhorting the faithful to give to private charities, locally run and operated, on the basis of subsidiarity, fraternity, and charity. 

Well, at least the USCCB was able to get back to is comfort zone, cheerleading for the democrat agenda rather than opposing them.