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Dean of Roman Rota – reform Canon 1095! May 1, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, blogfoolery, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Canon 1095 is the part of Canon Law likely egregiously abused by many, primarily American, marriage tribunals to grant tens of thousands of annulments a year.  The Code of Canon Law released in 1983 radically liberalized the grounds for granting annulments by adding a pseudo-psychological provision.  The Dean of the Roman Rota, the supreme marriage tribunal of the Church, asks that it be reformed:

Speaking at a conference in Rome, the dean of the Roman Rota suggested the need for a more rigorous interpretation of a provision in canon law that is cited in many annulment cases.

Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz said that the current reading of Canon 1095 would suggest that “it’s almost impossible to get married, in view of the current cultural situation.” Canon 1095 stipulates that a valid marriage may be impossible because of “causes of a psychological nature.” [This is what I’ve argued here for some time.  Even couples married for decades who raised children and were pillars of the community, and who exhibited little or no discord, can get annulments when one or both parties become dissatisfied and file for divorce.  It makes it so that, instead of marriage being indissoluble, it is virtually impossible to have an indissoluble marriage.  All marriages have rocky periods or one or both partners with some psychological shortcoming.  Thus, no marriage is really valid, with the way the law is interpreted now] Some Church tribunals—particularly in the US—have interpreted that canon liberally to mean that a marriage can be annulled if the parties show any signs of psychological problems. [Any signs…….think about that]

Noting that very few people are entirely free of psychological problems, Bishop Stankiewicz suggested that the canon should be understood to refer to psychological problems serious enough to prevent someone from giving proper consent in a marital vow. “We must reaffirm the innate human capacity to marry,” he said.

Nothing is likely to happen until the Canon Law is reformed, and it will be a darned long row to hoe after that.  Another element of this trend in tribunal conduct is that, based on their use of psychological problems like immaturity, depression, mania, etc., as grounds for divorce, it can and has been argued that EVERYONE with those problems is not validly married.  Such liberal interpretations have, thus, made a mockery of the Sacrament.

I was going to write on this a week or so ago.  In fact, I was going to absolutely tee off on Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington blog for opinions he wrote some time ago on this subject, in which he placed muddle headed pastoral sentimentality ahead of Dogma and stated plainly that he had pushed through annulments for people who, in the sense of what the Church has traditionally practiced, had no valid claim to an one.  I was tremendously disappointed when I read it, and it’s the main reason I don’t bother to read him anymore.  But, I demurred when my fisking ran to 3000 words, so I deleted the whole lot.  See what your complaining of my volubility leads to! !

Texas Women’s Health Program almost totally devoted to contraception – UPDATED! May 1, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, General Catholic, horror, scandals, sickness, Society.
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This is the most important post I’ll write all month!  Read it! The rest is all  just a bunch of crap. 

A local priest wanted me to bring something very important to the attention of my readers.  I have written stories in the past year touting the State of Texas’ efforts to get Planned Parenthood de-funded from the “Women’s Health Program.”  Most of my readers will be familiar, but for those who are not, the Women’s Health Program is a state run but largely federally funded program that ostensibly provides needed “health care” to low income women.  Planned Parenthood had previously received millions in funding from the state through this program, and pro-life advocates wanted that stopped as part of a broader effort to shut down the largest abortion agency in the country.  They were successful, last year, the legislature passed a law that in essence blocked Planned Barrenhood from receiving these funds.  Planned Barrenhood has of course fought back, using their favorite resource, the courts, and recently won in a lefty federal court in Austin an injunction to stop their being de-funded (wow, things move fast, that injunction has already been over-ruled and PB is still de-funded). That makes no difference, even if the Planned Parenthood de-funding is ruled unconstitutional in Austin that verdict will be overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans and Planned Barrenhood will still be de-funded.

So, big win for our side, right?  Well, not so much, in my opinion.

To understand why it’s not a big win, we need to look at the program in question.  So, what is the Women’s Health Program, really?  It is promoted as being a critical source of “health care” for poor women who would have no other alternatives.  But, what kind of medical care does it provide?  Well, a clue is in the name, for by now we should have learned that when the cultural elites talk about “womens’ health,” they mean two things – contraception and abortion.  And while this women’s health program does make available some other medical care, like cancer screenings (primarily uterine, through PAP smears and the like), the vast majority of what it does is dispense contraception.   The state’s own website for the program makes this clear:

The Texas Women’s Health Program provides low-income women with:

  • One family planning exam each year, which might include:
    • Pap smear.  [Pap smears are required to receive oral contraception]
    • Screening for breast and cervical cancers, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and high blood pressure.
  • Family planning counseling and education. This can include natural family planning and abstinence.
    • Birth control:
      • Birth control pill.
      • Vaginal ring.
      • Hormone patch.
      • Diaphragm.
      • Male and female condoms.
      • Spermicide.
      • Intrauterine device (IUD).
      • Cervical cap.
      • Depo-Provera.
      • Methods to prevent pregnancy (tubal ligations or Essure).

(Doesn’t include emergency birth control)

  • Follow-up family planning visits related to your method of birth control.

This program only pays for the services listed above. If a health problem such as a sexually transmitted disease, diabetes or cancer is found, you will be referred to a doctor or clinic that can treat you. You might have to pay for those extra services.

This data makes clear that the primary aim of the Women’s Health Program is the free distribution of contraception at taxpayer expense.  While some other basic medical services are provided, like urine and blood tests and some simple cancer screenings, some of which could be done at home by anyone, the main emphasis is on contraception.  This story from Kaiser Health News further illustrates that “Women’s Health Program” is all about contraception. 

So, simply because of its primary aim, the distribution of contraception, all Catholics in Texas should be totally opposed to this program.

But for non-Catholics, who cares?  Doesn’t contraception prevent “unwanted” pregnancies, and keeps the lower classes from reproducing to uncomfortable levels (uncomfortable for the elites, that  is)?  Well, aside from the eugenic, Orwellian aspects of such insidious thoughts, the answer is no, not really.  In fact, the one thing that has made abortion so very necessary in this country is contraception, and the hideous, self-serving mentality it breeds.

First of all, contraception fails, alot.  LifeNews reported in 2011 that 54% of those who had abortions had used contraception in the month they became pregnant.   Looking at the 1 year failure rates for different types of contraception, it quickly becomes apparent that over a reproductive lifetime of 25 years or more, a woman constantly using the pill, and even using it precisely as prescribed, is almost certain to experience at least one “unplanned” pregnancy.

And then what?  I don’t think an exaggeration to state that in our culture the use of contraception is more than  just an incidental facet in people’s lives.  In reality, it becomes one of the cornerstones of their existence, around which they

Even grandma can't live without contraception

plan how many children to have, if any, when, and at what rate.  They make all kinds of decisions about their lives, from where to live and when to set aside money, based on this theory of control of their reproduction.  Now, all of this is blatantly immoral and divorced from God’s Will, but just speaking generally, absent religious belief, this reliance on contraception creates a mentality, called the contraceptive mentality.  It is a mentality centered on selfishness and the illusion of control.  It is very powerful.  And when the contraception fails, the result is frequently anger and panic, and for  many people a demand that they be alleviated from the unplanned burden that results. 

That is where abortion enters the mix.  Abortion is the backstop for our contraceptive culture.  Even in the 1992 decision upholding Roe vs. Wade and keeping abortion legal, Casey vs. Planned Parenthood, turncoat “conservative” justice Sandra Day O’Connor argued that abortion could not be made illegal because it had become a fundamental “lifestyle choice” of our society, associated with the use of contraception.  Since so many people had come to depend on contraception, and contraception fails, and thus many people had to have abortion to continue to live their preferred lifestyles, then abortion had to be kept legal.  It was asinine, bewildering, and nonsensical, but it was law.

Which gets me down to my main points.  First, this “Women’s Health Program” has to be opposed by all faithful Catholics on first principles.  We cannot accept partial “victories” by de-funding Planned Parenthood, but which will still involve the State of Texas helping to keep abortion a reality by funding contraception.    That’s point number two – the pro-life movement is doomed to utter failure until the contraceptive mentality is excised from our culture.  I mean this.  Even if by some miracle abortion were declared illegal in all 50 states, tens or hundreds of thousands of them a year would still be performed, albeit illegally, because the mentality that leads to abortion would still be there.

Don’t believe me?  Perhaps the timeline of the legalization of abortion in the United States will be clarifying.   Contraception was illegal in many states at the time of Griswold vs. Connecticut, the Supreme Court case that invented the “constitutional” right to privacy and declared contraception for married couples legal.  After that, most states legalized contraception, sometimes with limits for married couples.  This was followed by Eisenstadt vs. Baird, which legalized contraception for all people.  From thence, we got Roe v Wade and institutionalized baby murder for the sake of convenience or personal preference.   Even further, Lawrence v. Texas struck down sodomy laws, and now we’re looking at the wholesale destruction of marriage so a tiny percentage of the population can feel less guilty about their sexual sins. 

The point is, the legalization of contraception laid both the legal and societal groundwork for the legalization of abortion.  In the late 50s, prior to the legalization of birth control in many locations, abortion was almost totally rejected by the culture as a barbaric evil.  But after contraception became widespread, suddenly, there was a groundswell of support for legalized abortion (although, still quite the minority of Americans wanted such at that time – it would never have passed into law by election). 

Some more, somewhat anecdotal data.  In Mississippi last fall, a ‘personhood amendment’ was on the ballot and enjoyed overwhelming support two weeks before the election.  But Planned Parenthood, realizing the grave threat this amendment posed, marshalled their resources and, most of all, ran a scare campaign based on the fact that personhood amendments, by defining life beginning at conception, could lead to most forms of contraception being declared illegal (since most hormone contraceptives are abortifacients).  Well, that did the trick, and the amendment which looked sure to pass by huge margins went down to defeat.  Because Americans love them some contraception.

So I’m sending this message out to all pro-life groups.  You’re doomed.  You’ll never win.  You’ll never more than nibble at the gargantuan, soul-devouring evil of abortion until you start to oppose its root cause, contraception and the selfish, controlling, sex-divorced-from-procreation mentality it breeds.  I know this is a big problem for you.  I know most Catholics loves them some contraception, and protestants/evangelicals have built an entire pseudo-theology around rejecting God’s Law and embracing contraception.  But if you’re really committed to ending the wanton slaughter of innocents in our time, you have to analyze the situation dispassionately and look at root causes. 

Contraception leads to abortion.  It also disfigures marriage and upsets the entire male/female dynamic, which is why we are now glutted with evils like dozens of strip clubs in every city, women objectifying themselves by dressing ridiculously provocatively, porn addiction, societally accepted adultery, fornication, and bastardry,and all the rest.  In fact, you can pin much of the blame for the crumbling of the entire moral edifice of this country and the world on one thing – the embrace of contraception.  

It’s going to be painful.  It’s going to be hard. It will “set the movement back” decades to start fighting contraception.  But it’s got to be done, or we’ll never win.

UPDATE:  Kassi Marks of Pro-Life Texas stopped by to remind me that she had written on this very issue last fall, after the Mississippi Personhood amendment debacle.  She stated many of the same things I did above with regard to WHP and contraception.  The pro-life cause will not succeed until we oppose the root cause of abortion – contraception and the self-glorifying mentality of personal convenience and illusory “control” it generates.

Another thing I failed to address above in my already too long post was IVF and the dehumanization it perpetuates, along with embryonic stem cell research and all the rest.  Those evils, too, are all tied in with this contraceptive/abortive mentality.  Satan has been having a field day, and far too many “pro-lifers” are only too happy to look the other way.

Run, run from von Baltasar! May 1, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, priests, sadness, scandals.
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Unam Sanctam Catholicam is a terrific blog.  It’s another blog that my friend Steve B turned me on to.  He’s done a series of posts lately on the problems of Hans Urs von Balthasar, a very popular theologian (and priest) who is far more erroneous and dangerous than is commonly accepted.  Aside from his notorious and self-serving claim that hell may well be deserted of humanity, there are numerous other disfigurements of Catholic belief in his theology.  It is a sad testament to the level of catechesis and adherence to traditional belief that von Balthasar is praised to the heavens even at the very highest levels of the Church. 

Unam Sanctam has put together another post on von Balthasar, dealing with his claim that Jesus Christ, One in Being

No clerics for von Balthasar

with the Father through the great mystery of the hypostatic union, did not actually enjoy the Beatific Vision, or the presence of God, while He was on earth.  This is contrary to Dogma.  I will give an excerpt of the beginning of the post, do go to Unam Sanctam and read the rest (I add some emphasis and comments):

Despite his eminence, many have raised concerns about his teaching, notably his thesis that Catholics may reasonably and with sincere hopefulness postulate that hell may be empty. This is the most often criticized doctrine of Balthasar’s, if for no other reason than it is the most easy to understand. Yet it is not the most troubling of his teachings. Among other things, Balthasar attributes to Christ ignorance and positive error [A creature, attributing error to the Divine!  Hubris!], denies the Traditional understanding of the “Harrowing of Hell”, suggests that Christ suffered the pains of the damned, says the blessed in heaven have faith,[Impossible.  St. Paul states that faith is the hope or evidence of things unseen.  In Heaven, we will possess the Beatific Vision, we will see God in His Glory! Faith is superflous in Heaven, and it is Dogma that of the three theological virtues, faith, hope, and charity, only Charity exists in Heaven, which is partly why St. Paul stated that of these three, charity, or love, is supreme]  states that the Incarnation can be “suspended”, suggests the theoretical possibility of the blessed in heaven still turning their back on God and losing their salvation,[This man is a raving heretic.  I cannot believe how many conservative Catholics honor him] posits more than one Divine Will in the Godhead, calls God the “Super-Feminine” and “Super-Death”, and denies that Jesus Christ experienced the Beatific Vision.  [That’s an amazing, dismaying list]

Though in my uneducated, arm-chair theologian opinion, an assertion of any one of these points would make Balthasar a heretic, in this article I wish to tackle on the last mentioned assertion: that Jesus Christ, while on this earth, did not possess the Beatific Vision. In this article, we will (1) explain Balthasar’s theory of the visio immediata, (2) explain Balthasar’s reasoning, and (3) demonstrate how they are at variance with traditional Catholic theology. All quotes will be cited; sources are at the bottom of the post. Unless otherwise stated, all works are by Balthasar.

The Teaching of Balthasar

Traditional Catholic Christology states that Christ, from the first moment of His conception and uninterrupted throughout His earthly life, possessed the Beatific Vision by virtue of the Hypostatic Union between the human nature of Jesus and the Word of God. Actually, this vision is actually greater than the Beatific Vision experienced by the saints, because the attachment of a normal human soul to God through grace is accidental – we receive the grace of God gratuitously through adoption; but the attachment of Christ’s soul to God is substantial, proceeding from a union of natures. Therefore, Christ not only has the Beatific Vision, but experiences it in a unique way that surpasses the experience of even the saints.

Note that the possession of the Beatific Vision by Christ has also traditionally been offered as an explanation as to why He is free from sin. [Thus, by cleverly denying the presence of the Beatific Vision, one can easily pivot to denying the Incarnation and Divinity of Christ]

Balthasar denies that Christ possesses this vision, as we have defined it above. Instead, he posits something that he calls the visio immediata Dei in anima Christi, or “immediate vision of God in the soul of Christ”(1). This terminology in and of itself is not problematic; the phrase visio immediata Dei has sometimes been used interchangeably with visio beatifica in Catholic Tradition (see, for example, Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals, pg. 162). But, as we shall see, Balthasar here uses traditional vocabulary but drastically redefines what is meant by the term. The visio immediataof Balthasar has nothing in common with the Beatific Vision of Tradition.

In the first place, Balthasar states that it is necessary for Christ’s mission that His human knowledge may not possess “supratemporal contents, nor contents from another period of time” (2). Christ has no infused knowledge of the past or the future. [This is heresy.  It denies that Christ actually prophesized while alive, such as when he predicted the fall of Jerusalem shortly before His Passion.  This is a very common modernist claim, modernists refusing to accept that Christ was anything more than a man, with strictly human capabilities.  That’s also why you may hear a homily sometime claiming that the “real miracle” of the loaves and fishes was that people generously shared their food with each other. That’s a pretty paltry miracle, and undermines the whole Eucharistic miracle]

Secondly, though this visio immediata reveals God’s will to Christ, it is not constant, but rather moment to moment:
“[the visio immediata Dei] at the very least…may fluctuate between the mode of manifestness (which befits the Son as his “glory”) and the mode of “concealment” which befits the Servant of Yahweh in his Passion…The second mode here is derived from the first: a living faith is content to stand before the face of God who sees, whether or not one sees himself” (3)

Mickey Mouse theology?

Notice that the visio immediata ‘may fluctuate’ depending on whether God wants to glorify Christ or conceal Himself from Him at any given time. In other places, Balthasar will states that what Christ knows about Himself and His mission is “successively revealed” (4) and changes over time (5); it is manifest to Him “step by step”, sometimes clearly, other times obscurely (6).|

It’s pretty deep water that Boniface, the author at Unam Sanctam Catholicam, is treading in, but he does a very admirable job and presents the authentic Catholic position with copious supporting evidence and notes.  I haven’t included Boniface’s critiquing of von Balthasar, so please go to his site and read his very well supported analysis there. 

I will close on a personal level.  I once had a guy who really got into my blog.  He and I shared alot of views.  We even met up once for lunch, as he was local, to discuss plans to try to get Latin Mass going in the North Deanery of the Dallas Diocese.  But, I did a post a long time ago that was not even critical, but  just questioning of von Baltahsar, and he got all mad, and left.  Which I bring up, because if you read this analysis of von Baltasar and get offended, I’m sorry.  But, we can’t be so hung up on this or that theologian or priest or whatever that we miss the broader picture.  The only really safe heroes we can have in the Faith are those who are dead and who have been raised to the altars.  And in this day and age, when error is so rampant, it is advisable to adhere to those tried and true sources from Tradition. So, if this post makes you mad, please keep that in mind.

Mayday awesomeness May 1, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, fun, General Catholic, sickness, Society.
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Good morning comrades!  I am proud to present the latest work of our splendid state propaganda department, advancing the vanguard of the socialist people’s paradise!  Behold, our First Secretary, Chairman of the Presidium, and Head of State Barack Hussein Obama!!

Mandatory worship begins now!