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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!

——————————-End Quote————————————

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!!!!!!

Michael Voris on the restoration of Catholic formation April 25, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, scandals, sickness, Tradition, Virtue.
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Lay people are forming their own organizations for formation to escape the heterodox establishment, as are some orthodox and enterprising bishops for their priests.  In fact, having a bishop dedicated to reforming and dramatically improving formation can make all the difference:

Obama’s endless tyranny – farm kids now banned from doing farm chores April 25, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, persecution, sickness, Society.
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My wife is an incredible lady.  She can do so many things, so well.  If she puts her mind to something, it’s going to get done.  It’s one of the many things I find so wonderful in the bride God gave me.

My wife grew up on a farm.  So did my dad.  Both are amazingly capable people.  I’ve learned a great deal from both.  And so it disgusts me to see that the Obama administration is once again assuming people are idiots, that we’re too dumb to protect ourselves or raise our children, and taking away another whole swath of liberty, by putting in regulations on the chores kids do on farms.  As CS Lewis said, there is no limit to the tyranny applied by a person who thinks they’re doing good things for you.  This will never stop:

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.

Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.

In Britain, the leftists firmly entrenched in power there (the change in government making not the slightest difference) are now proposing that people’s food intake be monitored, and that there be limits put on fast food and other types judged by those holiest of holier than thous, our self-anointed liberal elites.

Especially galling is the fact that the regulations they impose apply only to us lowbrow rubes in flyover country, and have almost no impact on the individuals  making them.  Like the fast food regs which will strike mainly middle and lower income families in Britain, this latest  ludicrous invasion of citizen’s privacy and rights won’t affect the apparatchiks writing the rules, but will onerously burden farm families, further helping to end this fundamentally American way of life.  

I have to wonder if another reason this is being pushed is because it will punish those who tend to vote against Obama (rural counties almost invariably go against democrats 2-1 in national elections).  The sun emperor has been that petty before.

There is nothing these people won’t try to control.  The Labor Department has already increased staff 30-40% to help monitor family farms, and they have apparently already given warnings to families with children performing tasks like tossing hay or working in barns. 

You may say……..so what?  I’m not a farmer, why should I care?  I’m not Catholic, why should I care about the contraception mandate? You should care because with this kind of over-reach, it’s only a matter of time before Obama regulates to death or outlaws something you do care about.  This man is on a mission to turn this country into a far-left socialist state, and he’s making quick progress.

If this disaster is re-elected, he is going to come after homeschoolers, I know it. He will either make it illegal or make it so onerous as to make it well nigh impossible to homeschool.

This guy is satan.

Speaking of St. Mark…. April 25, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, persecution, Saints, scandals, Society, Tradition.
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……Ars Orandi, that glorious site, has a wonderful excerpt from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s magnificent The Liturgical Year on St. Mark.  Dom Prosper Gueranger knew at least one thing: Matthew was first.

The cycle of Holy Mother Church brings before us today the Lion, who, together with the Man, the Ox, and the Eagle, stands before the throne of God. It was on this day that Mark ascended from earth to heaven, radiant with his triple aureole of Evangelist, Apostle and Martyr.

As the preaching made to Israel had its four great representatives—Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Daniel—so, likewise, would God have the New Covenant to be embodied in the four Gospels, which were to make known to the world the life and teachings of his divine Son. The holy Fathers tell us that the Gospels are like the four streams which watered the garden of pleasure, and that this garden was a figure of the future Church. The first of the Evangelists—the first to register the actions and words of our Redeemer—is Matthew, whose star will rise in September; the second is Mark, whose brightness gladdens us today; the third is Luke, whose rays will shine upon in October; the fourth is John, whom we have already seen in Bethlehem, at the crib of our Emmanuel.

Mark was the beloved disciple of Peter; he was the brilliant satellite of the sun of the Church. He wrote his Gospel at Rome, under the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. The Church was already in possession of the history given by Matthew; but the faithful of Rome wished their own Apostle to narrate what he had witnessed. Peter refused to write it himself, but he bade his disciple take up his pen, and the Holy Ghost guided the hand of the new Evangelist. Mark follows the account given by Matthew; he abridges it, and yet he occasionally adds a word, or an incident, which plainly prove to us that Peter, who had seen and heard all, was his living and venerated authority. One would have almost expected that the new Evangelist would pass over in silence the history of his master’s fall, or at least have said as little as possible about it; but no—the Gospel written by Mark is more detailed on Peter’s denial than is that of Matthew; and as we read it, we cannot help feeling that the tears elicited by Jesus’ look when in the house of Caiphas, were flowing down the Apostle’s cheeks as he described the sad event. Mark’s work being finished, Peter examined it and gave it his sanction; the several Churches joyfully received this account of the mysteries of the world’s redemption, and the name of Mark was made known throughout the whole earth.

Matthew begins his Gospel with the human genealogy of the Son of God, and has thus realized the prophetic type of the Man; Mark fulfills that of the Lion, for he commences with the preaching of John the Baptist, whose office as precursor of the Messias had been foretold by Isaias, where he spoke of the voice of one crying in the wilderness—as the Lion that makes the desert echo with his roar……….

The Church Fathers, the great biblical scholars from Bede the Venerable to Cornelius a Lapide’ and hundreds more in between and since, including  all protestant scholars prior to about 1870, all held Matthew’s Gospel to be the first written.  In the 1870s, Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany and a great enemy of the Church, was engaged in his Kulturkampf to try to destroy the Church’s influence in Germany. 

He commissioned German protestant scholars to use modernist techniques to establish that Mark’s Gospel was first.  This is an error.  But, this view became very widespread, even within the Church.  But the very order of our Bibles reveals that Matthew’s Gospel was the first written, aside from much more evidence, a tiny bit was mentioned above. In fact, the most recent biblical scholarship, even that using the historical-critical method, points towards Matthew’s Gospel being first (the “Mark is first” hypothesis reached its high water mark about 1970, and support for it has been eroding ever since). 

The reason why Bismarck wanted scholars to “discover” that Mark’s Gospel was first, was because Matthew’s Gospel establishes the Primacy of the See of Peter in Matthew 16:18.  If Mark’s is proclaimed first, and Matthew’s a derivative thereof, then it can be insinuated that the statement by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, regarding the nature of his Church and the establishment of Supreme Authority in the See of Peter, is a false attribution made up by zealouts of Rome who wished to establish an authoritative Church, and not a direct statement from Christ. By diminishing the credibility of the primacy of Matthew, Bismarck furthered his goal of attacking the Church. 

I should not have to mention how such a belief reflects modernist tendencies, since it proclaims that much of Sacred Scripture, even the Gospel attributions to our Savior, is the product of men, and not inspired by God, let alone said directly by God when He walked the earth.   The modernists start with the assumption (typically) that God did not walk the earth, and go from there.  That is why we are now told that the Gospels weren’t written a few years after Christ died, but decades later – certainly after the destruction of Jerusalem, because the “scholars” will not accept that Jesus actually made a valid prophecy.  There is also the explicit assumption that because Matthew’s Gospel is longer, it has to be an embellishment of both Mark’s Gospel and some never found, illusory “proto-Gospel” (the “Q Gospel” theory – Q being short for “Quell,” German for source.  Starting to see the German connection?  Germany, with Goethe and Nietzche and many others, was also the primary fount of modernism, in general, again, encouraged greatly by Bismarck).  All this, essentially, to deny the Incarnation.

There is an interesting analysis of this scandal, from an evangelical protestant perspective, here

All of the above is the reason why a priest acquaintance of mine recommended strongly not to use any study Bible produced after 1900, and those written before 1800 are preferred, because they all tend to be filled with errors like this.  I have found the Haydock Study Bible to be wonderful.

There is a great deal more at Ars Orandi.  Also, read the post about Rogation Day, now also sadly almost totally forgotten!

Earn a plenary indulgence – assist at Mass tonight @ St. Mark in Plano April 25, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, North Deanery, Tradition, Virtue.
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Today is the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist in the Novus Ordo calendar  throughout the Church .  There will be a special Mass tonight at St. Mark in Plano at 6:30 pm.  If you assist at this Mass, and satisfy the other requirements, you can receive a plenary indulgence!  Prior to the Mass, there will be an unveiling of some paintings of St. Mark, as well. 

A plenary indulgence can be applied to you, or to some holy soul in Purgatory.  The indulgence erases the temporal debt owed to God due to sin, which still exists even after sins have been forgiven.  Because sins have a dual dimension – there is the loss of Grace which sins cause (mortal sins cause total loss of Grace), but there is also the effect the sin has on the soul, a stain if you will, that must also be removed.  Confession provides forgiveness of sins and the restoration of Grace, but the temporal effect, the stain on the soul, remains. 

Thus, Indulgences have been granted in the Church for many centuries, and are a great gift since they allow those who still have these temporal effects of sin on their soul, or that of another, to be erased through the performance of some holy act recognized by the Church as worthy of an indulgence, or remission of debt.   The sufferings in Purgatory are terrible.  They are every bit as severe as the sufferings in hell, save for the fact that the soul knows it is saved and will join God in Heaven at some point, which is a tremendous blessing.  Performing indulgenced acts for the souls in Purgatory is a great spiritual work of mercy.

There is a wonderful book full of indulgenced prayers, the Raccolta.  I pray the Raccolta almost every day before Mass, and I offer the indulgences for various souls in Purgatory.  In the Raccolta, all the thousands of prayers are listed with the indulgence they merit – 300 days, 3 years, 7 years, etc.  Since Vatican II, such prayers have not been given with a specific time frame merited by the prayer, but are referred to as  partial indulgences, but I like the old way which assigns particular time frames.  It is important to note that the indulgenced period – 3 years, say – does not mean the soul “gets out of 3 years in Purgatory.”  What they mean is that the prayer is equivalent to the Grace merited by performing 3 years of hard penance or other beneficent acts for those suffering souls.  I like the old way of giving a specific period to prayers, because that way one is aware of the greater merit of certain prayers over others, which, when they are simply listed as partial indulgences, is lost.

I highly recommend the Raccolta for everyone!  I need a new one, mine is falling apart!

Shut me up – Bishops call for 2 weeks of protests against Obama/HHS April 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, persecution, scandals, Society.
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Let’s have much more of this, and less ecological dialogue:

Roman Catholic leaders are calling for two weeks of public protests against President Barack Obama’s policies as they intensify their argument that the administration is engaged in a war on religion.

The days between June 21 and July 4 have been set aside by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops which has sought to end the administration’s contraception mandate, among other policies.

The protests against the Obama administration’s policies could be “the game-changer” in the presidential election, one leading lay churchman told Newsmax on Tuesday.

The protests, dubbed “A Fortnight for Freedom” will be an “unprecedented, aggressive attack” against policies that church leaders see as an assault on religious freedom, said Catholic Advocate chairman Deal Hudson.
“The bishops are seeing – rightly – a pattern of emerging of hostility towards the Catholic faith for upholding protection of the life of the unborn and because of its position on contraception,” said Hudson.

That’s good.  I will post on these events as I become aware of them.  But, I don’t think we’ll see too many images of priests and nuns being dragged off to jail in the protests.  There was some talk of that in the article, but why would that be?  The law is not even in effect, yet, there is no law to violate.

But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have massive protests, preferably marching behind our Eucharistic Lord and His Mother.

 

More on pointless dialogue April 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals.
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I did a long winded post  yesterday on the novel term of “dialogue” that has catapulted to fame in the Church over the past 50  years.  Today, some concrete examples of pointless, even counterproductive dialogue in action.  First………the USCCB got together with the Methodists and turned out a wonderful document on the “connection” between the Eucharist and ecology:

“the sources of Catholic teaching about the Eucharist [are] not matched by similar sources for the United Methodist partners, and vice versa,” according to the document’s introduction. “As we present this agreed statement, we realize only too well its limitations … [and] fully realize that this statement does not reflect the breadth of what either church holds to be the total content of its Eucharistic belief or practice.” [That’s an understatement – there is a gulf between Catholic and methodist views of the Eucharist that could fit every ship ever built]

“We believe that we can and should offer a joint prophetic witness [this document is many things, but it isn’t prophetic, and it gives little or no witness] on a significant challenge facing both our communions [GRRRRR………the Church is a CHURCH, not a “communion”] regarding the relation of humanity to the rest of the natural world,” the statement continues. “In our time, the appearance of the skies has become a sign of the times. The threat of climate destabilization, [oh, yeah, another former global warming cooling climate change alarmist apostasized recently – he thinks the alarmism is false and destructive]   the destruction of the ozone layer, and the loss of bio-diversity point to a disordered relation between humankind, other living beings and the rest of earth. United Methodists and Roman Catholics have interpreted the signs of these times of ecological crisis as a summons to an ecumenical response.”

The actual statement of the document is, I kid you not: “Heaven and Earth Are Full of Your Glory: A United Methodist and Roman Catholic Statement on the Eucharist and Ecology.”  I may as well jump off that bridge, now.

Thank God there is nothing more pressing the Church needs to be concerned about, that we can spend our time on this. 

But that, my friends, is nothing.  I got to poking around the dark, dank, and musty corners of the USCCB website, and found this catastrophe: “Mid-Atlantic Catholic-Muslim Dialogue Nears Completionm of Interreligious Education Guides.”  In a nutshell, some Catholics and muslims got together and produced “study guides” for education in their respective faiths on the other religion.  I’ll pull a couple of posts from the press release:

The draft version of Understanding Islam: A Guide for Catholic Educators was presented at the plenary session by main contributor Sandra Keating, Ph.D., of Providence College. The document, which is intended to serve as an introduction to Islam for Catholic educators, provides an interpretation of Islam that is faithful to how individual Muslim educators understand and teach their religion.Overall, the document provides a brief historical survey of Islam, as well as a description of the holy Qur’an, the rise of the Ummah and Shar’ia law, including its five pillars, and a brief consideration of contemporary issues.

This document was well-received by the Muslim participants…………

The draft version of Understanding Catholicism: A Guide for Muslim Educators was presented via teleconference at the plenary session by Shaykh Aboor Rahman Khan, the main contributor to the document.  [They didn’t even condescend to present it in person…….]  This document describes some of the central tenets of the Catholic faith, as well as the basic differences between Catholics and other Christians. It also provides an historical retrieval of the origins of the faith, the beginnings and growth of the church, and the basic beliefs, ethics, and worship life of Catholics.

While this document was received positively by the Catholic participants, they encouraged their Muslim colleagues to strive to convey better to their Muslim audience a more faithful rendering of the central doctrinal notions of Incarnation and the Trinity as Catholics understand these. Catholic participants noted that the document provides a reading of Catholicism that is more faithful to the Qur’anic interpretation of Christianity.

Well, of course it did, the Catholics can talk forever about “dialogue,” but the muslims won’t change their position even slightly.  They have the courage of conviction – the Catholics, likely, not so much.  After all, they’ve already caved and given the muslims exactly what they want – a glorifying tribute to islam to be taught in Catholic schools.

If you’re confused on the above, let me break it down for you.  So, on the one hand, you have muslims getting their faith represented in the best possible light by the Catholics, while, on the other, the muslims present Catholicism as the deficient, “barely tolerable as a second-class citizen” religion they hold it to be.  In essence, it’s the surrender of the moral high ground by Catholics, presenting islam in a positive light while having their own religion derided.  I’m sure the talks will be viewed as a huge success.

And this is a study guide – for use in Catholic and muslim schools?  Is it any wonder we have Catholic teenagers who decide to follow the precepts of islam more than their own faith

This kind of stuff goes on all the time.  And in most of the cases, when the dialogue takes place, it’s the Catholic side that immediately surrenders the moral high ground and makes concessions on doctrine, or catechesis, or whatever subject, just as in the case of the dialogue with the mohammadans above.

Disability claims explode under Obama April 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, scandals, Society.
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The number of working age Americans who are filing for, and receiving, disability payments has exploded under President Obama.  There is great likelihood the system is being abused:

A record 5.4 million workers and their dependents have signed up to collect federal disability checks since President Obama took office, according to the latest official government data, as discouraged workers increasingly give up looking for jobs and take advantage of the federal program.

This is straining already-stretched government finances while posing a long-term economic threat by creating an ever-growing pool of permanently dependent working-age Americans.

Since the recession ended in June 2009, the number of new enrollees to Social Security’s disability insurance program is twice the job growth figure. (See nearby chart.) In just the first four months of this year, 539,000 joined the disability rolls and more than 725,000 put in applications.

As a result, by April there were a total of 10.8 million people on disability, according to Social Security Administration data released this week. Even after accounting for all those who’ve left the program — about 700,000 drop out each year, mainly because they hit retirement age or died — that’s up 53% from a decade ago.

To be sure, disability rolls have grown steadily as a share of the workforce since the 1990s (see nearby chart).

The main causes of this broader trend, according to a study by economists David Autor and Mark Duggan, are the loosening of eligibility rules by Congress in 1984 and the rise in disability benefits relative to wages.

Wait, I thought we had OSHA, EPA, and all manner of other federal agencies to make work safe, so people wouldn’t get hurt on the job?  Those organizations and the regulations they impose have been a multi-trillion dollar drag on the economy for well over a generation, and yet more people are filing for disability today than ever? 

I say that tongue in cheek, but there is little doubt the system is being gamed and abused. 

I have a friend who is, to put it mildly, lazy.  His idea of life is women, beer, and travel.  He’s a product of St. Mark CCD, by the way, but that’s neither here nor there.  He lives in Europe now, but when he lived in the US, he used to work just enough to maximize his unemployment benefits, then quit and travel until they were exhausted.  He had a friendly part-time employer who would forge some data so he could keep his gravy train rolling.  Over a roughly ten year period, he worked probably less than half the time.  And that was before the near-endless unemployment benefits paid today.

That’s just one example.  That there is massive fraud and abuse is hardly surprising.  And as Bishop Rene Gracida points out, this fraud undercuts the USCCB’s constant demand that spending on socialist wealth transfers always increase.   The USCCB just virulently attacked the Republican budget plan in the House.  Some saw this as a political move to appease democrats angered over the bishops pushback on the Obama HHS contraception death mandate.   But I don’t think that’s the case, the USCCB just adopted the same position it reflexively holds – don’t cut any social welfare funds, no matter the impact on the economy, or, if you do, make absolutely sure you’ve absolutely gutted everything else, first.  And yet there are 47 million – almost 15%!! – of Americans on food stamps.

What I’m trying to say is, it would be beneficial, perhaps, that there be a less reflexive response.  Circumstances are different.  Cuts to cherished programs will have to be made.  This applies to every segment of government spending.  I’m sure there are dumb or hurtful cuts in the Republican plan, but, then again, there are also plenty of dumb and hurtful spending programs.  

Check out this graph (Bush was nearly as bad as Nobama – we must learn to reject the Bushes and their false conservative rhetoric!):

Apostasy in action – ordination of female “bishop” April 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, sickness, unadulterated evil.
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Dear Lord, the things you can find on Youtube.  I feel so badly for these women and the few men in attendance – they’ve all cut themselves off, totally, from the life of Grace and are adrift in the world of sin.  I don’t know if it’s pride, anger, envy, or all three and more that drives them to so apostasize, but what a sad and pathetic desecration of one of the holiest rites of the Church, the consecration of a new bishop.  And the crozier is……what?  A hockey stick?  The extreme age of the participants is consistent at all these events.

Here’s another disaster – a backyard “Mass.”  This, from the “Mary, Mother of Jesus community” “celebrating” (but really desecrating) the glorious Feast of the Assumption.  Ladies, Mary is the total embodiment of feminine, nay, human, humility.  Please, desist and meditate on her life of submission which we should all strive to emulate as fully as possible:

I don’t know too many priests who get their hair dyed.  When Fr. Corapi’s beard suddenly became very dark, many folks saw that as the first sign of the wheels coming off.  It seems a bit…….prideful.  Note, the woman with the short, dark hair is present at both acts of rebellion and apostasy.  I don’t know who she is, but she seems a ringleader.  I wonder if the people present realize that by their mere participation they are excommunicate, anathema to God and His Church? 

I need a palate cleanser after this:

Yes, that’s more like it.  BTW, the entire “Becket” movie is on Youtube.  I wish A Man for All Seasons, which is even better, were, too!