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Orthodox Catholicism is winning? April 26, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Latin Mass, priests, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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The actual title of the article is “Traditional Catholicism is Winning,” but I think that’s a bridge too far, at this point.  And even as regards orthodox Catholicism, I’d say things are starting to turn around, but we have miles and miles to go:

In his Holy Thursday homily at St. Peter’s Basilica on April 5, Pope Benedict XVI denounced calls from some Catholics for optional celibacy among priests and for women’s ordination. The pope said that “true renewal” comes only through the “joy of faith” and “radicalism of obedience.”

And renewal is coming. After the 2002 scandal about sexual abuse by clergy, progressive Catholics were predicting the end of the celibate male priesthood in books like “Full Pews and Empty Altars” and “The Death of Priesthood.” Yet today the number of priestly ordinations is steadily increasing…..[slowly…..]

……The situation in the U.S. is still tenuous. The number of American Catholics has grown to 77.7 million, up from 50 million in 1980. But the priest-to-parishioner ratio has changed for the worse. In 1965, there was one priest for every 780 American parishioners. By 1985, there was one priest for every 900 Catholics, and by 2011 there was one for every 2,000. In dioceses where there are few ordinations, such as New York’s Rochester and Albany, people know this shortage well.  [Hmm……both dioceses are run by disastrously heterodox bishops endorsing much dissent and heresy….could there be a connection to a dirth of faith and lack of vocations?]

Still, the future is encouraging. There were 467 new priestly ordinations in the U.S. last year, according to a survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, up from 442 a decade ago.  [That’s a pretty slow rate of growth, but I think there are many men in seminary now who could make that number really jump…….if they stay through to get ordained.  That has been one of the big problems, orthodox young men get run out of seminary for being orthodox]

While some of the highest numbers of new priests are in the Catholic-majority cities of Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia, ordinations in Washington, D.C. (18 last year) and Chicago (26) also are booming. The biggest gains are not only in traditional Catholic strongholds. In Lincoln, Neb., Catholics constitute only 16% of the population yet have some of the strongest numbers of ordinations. In 2011, there were 10 men ordained as priests in Lincoln. [Hmmm…Lincoln has Bishop Bruskewitz. Bruskewitz is perhaps the most orthodox bishop in the country.  Maybe there is a connection……..duh!]


What explains the trend? Nearly 20 years ago, Archbishop Elden Curtiss, then leader of the Omaha, Neb., diocese, suggested that when dioceses are unambiguous and allow a minimum of dissent about the male, celibate priesthood, more candidates answer the call to the priesthood. [Archbishop Curtiss was correct.  Orthodoxy leads to all kinds of benefits, from vocations to salvation] Our preliminary research on the correlates of priestly ordinations reveals that the dioceses with the largest numbers of new priests are led by courageous bishops with faithful and inspirational vocations offices.

Leadership and adherence to church doctrine certainly distinguish the bishop of Lincoln, the Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz. He made national news in 1996 when he stated that members of dissident Catholic groups including Call to Action and Catholics for Choice had automatically excommunicated themselves from the church. [And the Diocese of Lincoln has consistently led the country in percentage of priestly vocations in relation to the number of Catholics. As such, even small parishes in the Diocese have their own priest, which helps insure even more vocations later]

Cardinal Francis George, the longtime leader of the Chicago archdiocese, once gave a homily that startled the faithful by pronouncing liberal Catholicism “an exhausted project . . . parasitical on a substance that no longer exists.” Declaring that Catholics are at a “turning point” in the life of the church in this country, the cardinal concluded that the bishops must stand as a “reality check for the apostolic faith.”  [Wow……I never knew George spoke thus.  Say more, Cardinal George!]

It’s not a secret.  The “formula” to a vibrant, growing, faith-filled Church is not heresy, dissent, and modernist anti-clericalism and false, illusory “empowerment” of the laity.  It’s orthodoxy, prayer, mortification, and adhering to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all the great Tradition of the Faith.  That leads to vocations, the saving of souls, true renewal in the Church, and a vibrant faith.

The 50 odd year liberal-run embrace of the world is, I pray, coming to an end.  It cannot come soon enough. 

Thank goodness! Transgendereds now protected class! April 26, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, sickness, Society.
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I have been losing sleep over this issue for years. But finally, thanks to the generous benificence of the Obama administration EEOC, transgendered people are now a protected class in the US of A:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that discrimination against transgendered persons violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, [discrimination] ‘based on … sex,’” the EEOC ruled.

Thus, the US government has now determined that was once seen as a profound psychological dysfunction is now a wonderful human characteristic, so innate it must be protected!  I have enormous problems with all protected class legislation, or hate crimes legislation, because it’s balkanizing the culture, pitting us against one another, and making a mockery of “equal protection before the law.”

E. Christian Brugger of the Culture of Life Foundation looks at some aspects of what he calls “pangenderism:”

………In 2004 in an article entitled Surgical Sex, McHugh wrote: “… I concluded that to provide a surgical alteration to the body of these unfortunate people was to collaborate with a mental disorder rather than to treat it.”

Catholic teaching and sex reassignment surgery

Although neither the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) nor — to my knowledge —  specific documents by the Magisterium on moral issues address directly the question of trangenderism or sex reassignment surgery [The Church is having a hard time keeping up with the lunacy and moral decay of our times], a fairly clear assessment of both can be gathered from what is taught in scripture and tradition.  Catholic teaching going back to the Middle Ages definitively affirms that human personhood is constituted by an inseparable unity of body and soul (cf. Council of Vienne, Constitution Fidei Catholicae; Lateran V, Bull Apostolici Regiminis; Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, no. 14; Veritatis Splendor, no. 48). St. Paul admonishes the church in Corinth to shun immorality in the body because our bodies — not just our souls — are temples of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18-19). And Genesis 1 teaches that human persons proceed from the creative will of God as male and female.   

We may say, then, that humans are essentially their bodies, although not reducible to their bodies.  In other words, their personal identity is constituted in part by their bodies. Since the human person is a substantial unity of body and soul, if the body is a particular sex, so too, must we conclude, is the whole person.  Therefore, the proposition that a person can be a “woman trapped in a man’s body,” or any other similarly dualistic proposition, must be firmly rejected. (I prescind here from a discussion of “intersex” individuals.) We are warranted in concluding from this, indeed required to conclude, that the painful psychological disharmony that some people feel in relation to their settled biological sex is due to psychological disorder[And, indeed, it was always viewed as such, for centuries, until modernist, amoral influences began to grow in medicine and psychology, which have tried to “regularize” aberrant behavior]

Attempting to satisfy psychological states, therefore, is not a valid therapeutic reason to amputate healthy genitals and to undertake to reconstruct new ones.  The choice to do so should be assessed as a form of unethical bodily mutilation. The CCC teaches: “Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reason, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law” (no. 2297). 

Finally, to hold that such surgery is unethical to undergo (as well as to perform and support) is not to make a judgment about the subjective culpability of those persons who request and undergo it.  I expect that in a community as confused as our own, many of them “knoweth not what they do” and so, although doing serious harm to themselves, do so with diminished culpability. [those who encourage them to mutilate themselves may have more culpability – substantially more]

It is not bias, or hatred, or my own repressed homosexual tendencies (so strong they’ve led me to father six children), that causes me to weep for the many people acting out on same sex attraction or other sexual problems. Great evidence shows that, no matter how much validation gays or transgenders get from the culture, they are still fundamentally dissatisfied on a deep emotional level.  Thus, the very high rates of alcohol and drug abuse, extremely risky sexual behavior, depression, suicide, etc., among homosexuals – and the rates are 10x higher for transgendered people.  I pray for them.  I pray they understand that what they feel is not normal or natural, no matter what psychologist or doctor or the culture tells them. 

God only instituted one legitimate, natural, moral way of sexual expression: between a man and a woman, in the confines of marriage, ordered towards the procreation of children.  If any of those conditions are not met, any sexual behavior is immoral and offensive to God. 

All the rest is just playing the games of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Bishop Gracida: Catholic News Service should be shut down April 26, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.
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Well, there’s no mistaking this opinion from Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi.  He leads a post with “CNS, Catholic News Service, Should Be Shut Down,” and then goes on to re-post an article by George Weigel, criticizing CNS for uncritically repeating statements from pro-abort, pro-gay marriage, far-left Representative Rose De Lauro of Connecticutt regarding Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed House Budget.  CNS is the official news organization of the USCCB.  Weigel’s post (I add emphasis and comments):

One does wonder, sometimes, just what goes on at Catholic News Service (CNS), an agency that wouldn’t exist were it not for the U.S. bishops and the bishops’ conference. This past April 16, CNS distributed a lengthy interview with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., giving her a platform to blast the 2013 federal budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and to badger Cardinal Timothy Dolan to pay as much attention to “the poor, the hungry, the middle class, the people who are going to be evisceratedby the Ryan budget” as Dolan and the bishops he leads are paying to the defense of religious freedom.  [What amount to relatively modest cuts in certain programs, re-orientation in others, and reductions of the rate of growth in still others, does not mean that the “poor and middle class” will be eviscerated.  This is ludicrous. It speaks to the leftist mentality of an all-encompassing government which alone sustains and provides for all, ignoring the fact that the more government grows, the smaller the private sector becomes, and the less there is to tax and thus to spend.]

The Congresswoman’s appeal was specifically Catholic—“my Church, the Catholic Church, needs to speak out loud on this issue”—which involved an irony left wholly unexamined by CNS. For Rosa DeLauro’s voting record is in some tension, to put it gently, with Catholic understandings of justice.

The Catholic Church teaches the inalienable right to life of the unborn and insists that that obvious moral truth be acknowledged in law; Rep. DeLauro is a consistent pro-abortion vote in the House. The Catholic Church worked with District of Columbia education authorities to provide “opportunity scholarships” to Catholic inner-city schools for poor children; Rep. DeLauro supportedthe Obama administration’s cruel refusal to fund that program. The bishops have declared that religious freedom is under serious assault in theUnited  Statestoday; the gentlewoman from Connecticut has been notably AWOL in defending the first of American liberties. [That is to say, DeLauro, like many ostensible Catholics in the democrat party, consistently commits grave sins by her votes.  In point of fact, she has removed herself from the Church by repeated violations of Church Dogma.  What we are seeing here, is an attempt by the Catholyc left to claim and equivolency between prudential matters, like how much to spend on certain government programs, and core dogmatic issues, like whether every human being has a right to life from conception to natural death.  This equivalency is completely false, but it is being advanced to try to secure Catholic votes in the upcoming election – otherwise, these Catholycs wouldn’t bother at all with this rhetoric, IMO]

How, then does Congresswoman DeLauro imagine herself as someone who speaks for “my Church, the Catholic Church?”  My hunch is that she imagines herself a spokesperson for authentic Catholicism because she, like many other Catholics on the port side of both American politics and the Church, have long thought that they alone hold the high ground at the intersection of Catholic social teaching and public policy. [a “high ground” built atop the bones of dead babies]

Weigel makes more points at the link.  He argues about subsidiarity, the pending collapse of European economies (Britain has already re-entered recession), and the fact that there are more ways to aid the poor than confiscatory wealth-transfer schemes, which are horribly inefficient and damaging to economies.  Regarding the USCCB, this last bit is the major disconnect which has existed within the national bishop’s conference since its inception 80 years ago.  The bishops have always argued for more and more government wealth transfers, while paying scant attention to private charitable activities (how many press releases do we see from CNS with regard to major new efforts to raise private charitable donations, as opposed to press releases about bishops lobbying the government?  The ratio, in my experience, is at least 100-1).

These confiscatory efforts are also devoid of all Grace.  When you or I give to a charity of our free will, that is a corporal work of mercy and a source of Grace for us.  When government takes our money and gives it to someone else, at the point of a gun, so to speak, there is no Grace.  The welfare-dependence model has gravely wounded the Church by denying this great potential fount of Grace.  There is also the further notion of whether people are truly “lifted up” by government wealth transfers, or if they become dependent, indolent, and sunk in an increasing moral morass.  There is much evidence that the indolence and immorality among the dependent class in this country is indeed aided and abetted by this method of aid to the poor. 

In 1996, Congress and the Clinton White House passed a sweeping welfare reform package.  At that time, both the USCCB and Catholic Charities proclaimed this was a vicious, cruel, immoral act that would lead to tens of millions starving in the streets (I only exaggerate their rhetoric slightly).  Instead, this welfare reform helped lead to the great boom of the latter half of the 1990s by reducing federal expenditures, which benefited the entire nation.  Almost all the long-term welfare recipients were transferred to work, at least for a time.  So, you could say, I’m fairly skeptical of USCCB claims regarding how best to deal with poverty. 

Having said all that, I’ll go Bishop Gracida one step further – I don’t want the end of CNS, I want the end of the USCCB and all these “structures” Pope Benedict XVI so rightly decries.  These conferences have been a blight on the Church and a source of continuing problems, most of all in muddying the waters of authority in the Church, interrupting the clear line from Pope to Bishop to individual.

But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

The sweet reasonableness of the Papacy April 26, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Papa, Tradition, Virtue.
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From the excellent article by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski of Wyoming Catholic College, “Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church: The Papacy as the Expression of Christ’s Love for Us,” Latin Mass Magazine, Winter/Spring 2012:

Far from being an archaic embarrassment for Catholics in the modern world, the Papacy ought rather to be our boast, representing as it does the sweet reasonableness of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. While there are doubtless many elements of wisdom in Christ’s decision to found the Papacy, here are three to think about.

First, because our Lord wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim 2:4), He instituted a sure sign of unity , a trustworthy leader, a visible head to govern in His absence until the Second Coming, so that everyone far and near could approach Him and receive His Gospel in its purity, lest “faith in Christ” become an empty phrase injected with a peculiar meaning by every wild visionary who takes it into his head to preach the Gospel. [Christ prayed that His Church would always be One.  Now, there are thousands of sects and tens of thousands of independent churches, each preaching a slightly different (or very different) Gospel.  This is not what Christ desires] As Saint Thomas Aquinas says in his exposition on the Apostle’s Creed: “While the Faith has disappeared or has partly decayed in other regions, the Church of Peter still flourishes in faith and free from heresy.  This is not to be surprised at, for our Lord said to Peter: ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not’ (Lk 22:32).” [The eastern orthodox churches are instructional.  After rejecting the Authority of the See of Peter through the Photian schism and the final split of 1054, the orthodox churches have themselves become increasingly divided, with nationalism running rampant in the various national churches and a rather marked hostility at times.  This is the fruit of the rejection of Christ’s plan, attested to by the Church Fathers, that there be one leader of the Church, one man instituted with the power and authority to lead the Church free from error and doubt.  That man is the Pope]   We must take this promise of Christ’s seriously, and not waste our time criticizing this or that phrasing of the Holy Father’s.  For the bottom line is this: It is only through the Holy Father that the world is guaranteed, over time, indefectible access to the saving truth of Jesus Christ. [Triple exclamation point with 48 point font]

Furthermore, the chosen means had to be personal, not something merely symbolic, in order to respond to the souls of men at all times, in every condition of the world. Only a person can rule, not a law or a picture or an idea; only a teacher living among us can teach us in a way we can easily recognize and accept, if we humble our pride; only a teacher with his feet planted in this world can respond to the ever changing circumstances of this world…………The fact that so many other Christian churches, under the assault of biotechnology, scramble to follow what the Catholic Church teaches about the inviolable dignity of human life is a potent sign in our own day that a living Magisterium is required for beings who live in time. [Would that more Christian sects would follow the Church on issues like abortion and contraception.  Contraception is epidemic among almost all Christians, now, with only a very few Catholics and fewer evangelicals avoiding this grave evil.  And it is incredible that a number of protestant parishes tacitly, or even openly, endorse abortion – like those protestant ministers in California I blogged about last week.  Support for abortion among Christians is a wicked, evil scandal, and a repudiation of Christ’s love for each of us!, not just those who happen to be born]

Finally, if such a divinely founded human institution as the Church is to maintain unity of Doctrine and devotion, it could not rest upon the vagaries of democratic process; it needed the firm foundation of one Vicar of Christ, who represents the Lord as Priest, Prophet, and King, fulfilling the threefold purpose of the Church – sanctifying, teaching, and ruling. The decision of how He would perpetuate His incarnational presence in history until the end of time rested with Christ, and the choice He made is perfectly suited to the needs and nature of man.  [Of course it’s perfect, He made it!]

When we consider, then, how fundamental and pivotal a role in the One and Only Church of Christ is played by His Vicar, the Successor of Saint Peter, the Sovereign Pontiff, the Servant of the Servants of God, we would do well to fall on our knees and pray for Pope Benedict XVI!

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Indeed, we should pray for the Holy Father every day.  One way to do that is to add a Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and Gloria for the Holy Father and his intentions at the conclusion of every Rosary. 

God bless Pope Benedict XVI!!!!!!