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Some more great points on NFP from Dr. J May 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, sadness, scandals, Virtue.
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As a side note, Dr. J was my 2nd favorite 70s NBA star, after “Iceman” George Irvin Gervin (apparently, I wasn’t much of a fan, if I can’t remember his name) of the Spurs.  And, yes, I have spent time in a mental institution.

Seriously, Dr. Jay Boyd has another good post on NFP.  Before anyone cries foul, both Dr. Boyd and I recognize that we are incapable of judging any couples’ individual circumstances.  Having said that, we can comment on the general practice of NFP and the degree to which it is marketed in the Church. I will pull a couple excerpts and add emphasis and comments:

[Within our parishes and dioceses…] There is virtually no teaching about the sin of birth control as such – whether it’s birth control by artificial or “natural” means. If a couple gets married and plans to postpone having children for an unspecified number of years while they finish school, establish their careers, pay off student debts, build their house or whatever, then they are not prepared to get married, and they should not. No one leading today’s marriage prep classes is going to say that, but, really, to marry at such a time is elevating the secondary end of marriage to primary status. Children have become a “commodity” that is “purchased” when a couple is “ready.” [Witness  the sicko photo on Time magazine this week, with a mother proudly displaying her latest accessory child along with her immodest dress and activity.] 
Oh…wait…Certain documents in recent times have begun to allude to the two inseparably intertwined ends of marriage – procreative and unitive – without giving primacy to the procreative end. But, as John Galvin points out, Humanae Vitae introduced the concept of that inseparability with virtually no support from the tradition of the Church on the meaning of marriage. It is a new and novel concept with little support. [Thank you.  The procreative end of marriage was always primary.  But “modern” man loves him some uninhibited, “consequence-free” sex, (just like the pagan Romans!), and so now we have the novel notion of the unitive aspect of sexual relations being declared equal]

The fact is, the teachings of the Church on marriage, going back to the Fathers of the Church, properly order the ends of marriage, with “procreation” as primary. In actuality, there is no point to marriage as a social institution without an explicit reference to procreation: we marry in order to have children, not to find “soul mates” with whom we can plan how many or even whether to have children. Sex with the explicit intention to avoid pregnancy is wrong in itself, rendering discussion of contraceptive methods quite secondary. [A related issue is the degree to which couples engage in sex for pleasure]
The natural flow of married life and love will inevitably overlap with times of fertility and infertility, but it’s not up to us to “chart” this so that we can deliberately frustrate the Will of God. Why would it make sense to think that God would want us to have this kind of “control” over fertility such that God is left out of the procreative process except when we want Him to be part of it?

That’s the key issue. I have an evangelical friend who defended his use of contraception by stating that “if God really wants us to get pregnant, He’ll make it happen.”  That’s really an error. God looks for our cooperation. If we do something that radically shuts Him out of our life, He leaves us to our own devices to suffer the consequences in this life and the next. Certainly, God can cause a pregnancy any time He wills (and He has), and contraception also fails (alot), but this notion that God will burst through your non-cooperation to “force” a miraculous conception is ridiculous – if a child occurs, it will be due to failed contraception, not Divine intervention.  Once one commits the objectively mortal sin of using contraception there is no Grace for God to act through to cause the pregnancy, anyway.

I hope Dr. Boyd keeps this series of posts up.  They are vitally necessary.

Another capitulation in the Church May 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Who can possibly believe the bishops would really go to jail over the Obama HHS mandate?  One of their number can’t even stand a few press releases from a pro-radical homosexual agenda group nobody has ever heard of without completely caving in! 

It seems the very last consideration in all this is the state of the kid’s soul.  Does anyone in the hierarchy actually believe what the Church believes anymore?

Church leaders in the US can give all the bravado sounding speeches in front of friendly Catholic audiences they want to. They can write loads of articles and grant interviews and appear on TV and radio in settings that are little else than official mouthpieces for themselves and talk about the need to re-capture the Catholic identity and wanting to be the friendly Church and eschewing that bar public relations image of the “Church of NO” but it wont mean a thing.

And it wont mean a thing because at the root .. the bottom line .. the absolute final measuring stick of Catholic identity is this .. the work to save souls. Period. Souls cannot be saved when the truth is being ignored.

Exactly.  Silly Michael, he thinks salvation of souls is the issue!  Doesn’t he know?  That became laughably passe, officially, on Dec. 31 1960 at 11:59:59pm, Rome time.

Two quick hits – Ascension Tomorrow! and…. May 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Tradition, Virtue.
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I don’t care what the silly “let’s never ask anything from anybody” approach calendar in the US says, tomorrow is Ascension Thursday!  40 days from the Resurrection – that’s Thursday! Go to Mass!  I don’t care if it’s not offered as the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, it’s still Mass and you can be in spiritual union with the brethren around the world who do get to celebrate this wonderful Feast on its proper day!  I will be at Mass tomorrow, and it will be the Ascension Mass!  Deo Gratias! 

Second item – a surprising (one might even say, shockingly) uncritical video interview of Bishop Bernard Fellay of the SSPX by the USCCB’s official Catholic News Service.  Have views towards the Society shifted that much within the USCCB, or was the producer just unusually friendly?

OK, I’ll make that 3 quick hits – Vatican/SSPX situation may not be resolved for some time?  This leak from Williamson’s supporters may have slowed down progress a great deal?  Or not? 

Is it best for SSPX to just stay as they are? 

Sorry, I put this post out real quick because we had a fire alarm go off!  Apparently, it was just a test.  I added a bit above, including a link to Rorate Caeli.

The execrable ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship’ is back May 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, priests, scandals, Society.
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During the runup to the 2008 election, there was great concern among those who strive to be faithful to the Church in all she believes and proclaims as True, over the “guidance document” the USCCB produced for that election – ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.’  This document was roundly criticized for equivocating on many critical issues, especially the life issues, drawing a false equivolence between torture and the death penalty with abortion.  As a well known (now) Cardinal said at the time, the document was so unclear and so wishy washy that one could conclude that voting for any candidate was acceptable, even the most pro-abort candidate in this nation’s history, Barack Hussein Obama.  Tragically, most Catholics did – about 55%.

In truth, this document is almost pointless – only a tiny percentage of Catholics (about 1%) indicated that they were aware of “Forming Consciences,” and that it would impact their voting practices.  But as a matter of principle, I, and many others, were very disheartened to learn that the USCCB planned to stand pat with the current, equivocating document, instead of producing an updated voting guide which would clarify things like the absolute requirement to oppose any candidate who supports keeping abortion legal.

I don’t know if this was a diocesan requirement, or simply something a local parish decided to do, but I found a 2 page condensed version of ‘Forming Consciences’ in a bulletin this week.  I want to discuss, and I mean fisk, the section on “The Right to Life and the Dignity of the Human Person.”  The text from the document is this:

Human life is sacred. Direct attacks on innocent human beings are never morally acceptable. Within our society, life is under direct attack from abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, and destruction of human embryos from research.  These intrinsic evils must always be opposed.  This teaching also compels us as Catholics to oppose genocide, torture, unjust war, adn the use of the death penalty, as well as to pursue peace and help overcome poverty, racism, and other conditions that demean human life.

The text above was obviously the cobbling together of the views of two radically disparate groups or committees.  The first part sounds like Catholic Doctrine, while the second part sounds like…….something else.  Certainly, Catholics are to oppose genocide (how is that even a political issue, except in the left wing fever swamps of ’08 who claimed the Iraq War was “genocide”?) and unjust war (which, again, is no longer an issue for this country, unless the bishops now oppose the Afghan War Obama is pursuing with even more vigor than Bush).  “Torture” was also a dog whistle for leftists in 2008.  Once again, Obama’s policies are virtually indistinguishable from Bush’s in that regard – there are still renditions, Guantanamo is still open, and now we have a law that says Obama can kill US citizens without trial!   Practically speaking, for this election, torture, unjust war, and genocide are red herrings – they are non-issues between the candidates.

The bit about overcoming “poverty, racism, and other conditions that demean human life………”……..so, now, racism is equivalent to the murder of millions of the unborn?  Poverty…….what are you talking about?  We were just talking about the sanctity of life, and now you throw in poverty?  Whaaaaa?  There is an entire section on the “preferential option” for the poor.  It is difficult to see these statements regarding poverty and racism as anything but allowing those inclined to vote for pro-abort democrats (or Repubniks) to have a cover for doing so. 

I’ve already shown on this site that the death penalty is an issue that is not in any way, shape, or form equivalent to the evil of abortion.  In point of fact, the Church has always declared – de fide – that the state has the power of the sword and the power to take life.  This ‘Forming Consciences’ document is actually opposing Doctrine in this case, because Catholics are not “compelled” to oppose the death penalty as a matter of faith.  As a prudential matter, recent pontiffs have been opposed, but that is a far different thing than the intrinsic – always and everywhere, without exception – evil of abortion.  There is also the vast gulf between the innocent life of the unborn and the value of the life of a convicted murderer. 

It’s a sad document.  I could fisk virtually every section of it.  If the USCCB had not the wherewithal to produce a new, doctrinally correct document for 2012, they should have at the very least buried this sad excuse for moral guidance in their basement.  Instead, it’s being trotted out again, once again undermining the moral authority of the bishops as they try to oppose the Obamacare contraception mandate.

One final note: it’s interesting that this document would be included in a parish bulletin, given that Bishops Farrell and Vann released a joint statement clarifying that these other issues mentioned above were not equivalent to the evil of abortion.  I have to wonder whose idea this was.

Vocations awareness retreat June 22-24 May 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, priests, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Dioceses of Dallas and Fort Worth will be holding a vocations retreat June 22-24 at Holy Trinity Seminary on the campus of the University of Dallas.  This weekend is for Catholic singles age 18-40 who feel they may be called to the priesthood or religious life.  There will be presentations, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and one on one conferences with diocesan and religious priests, sisters, and brothers. It costs nothing, and room and board will be furnished gratis.

There is a website for the retreat here.   You can sign up for the discernment retreat at the website (scroll down). 

I pray this retreat also provides much time for prayer, examination of conscience, and meditation on the great gift God has given us in His Holy Church, and the glorious nature of the priesthood and religious life.  We need so many good, holy, orthodox priests and religious now.  A generation is passing.  A generation whose actions in the priesthood and religious life only God and history can judge.  We need, now, wonderful, dedicated souls who love the Faith Christ has given us and who unequivocally accept all the beliefs of our Holy Mother Church.

I pray this weekend retreat leads to many such vocations!

The radical gay agenda will be the vehicle of the persecution May 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Papa, persecution, sadness, sickness, Society.
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I mispeak – it is the vehicle of the persecution, which is already well underway.  We’re just in the beginning stages of it.  Pertinacious Papist posted the following video, with some very…..pertinacious…….text:

A great and growing evil smolders on the horizon. The world of all that is light and good and true is rapidly falling into the shadow of oppressive darkness. Men have exchanged the truth of God for lies, and repressed the truth in iniquitous perversions in high places. It is now affecting our entire political, popular, and educational culture. One cannot expect to escape the effects of this evil by self-isolation or even identification with a counter-culture of virtue. The darkness is coming upon us all.

We can expect over the next months and years a rapid acceleration of legal legitimation of perversions and the increasingly heavy hand of state-sanctioned repression against traditional Judeo-Christian family values — a repression, in the final analysis of what we can’t not know: that our society is increasingly perverting the natural order and committing collective moral suicide as a nation and a people.

We can expect this to happen despite the fact that those who promote such perversion haven’t even a shred of justification in legal or moral precedent, logic or natural law. No doubt the Hollywood Sodomites are winning — they and their useful idiots in positions of power. This does not make them right. Their ‘case’ lies in scoffing derision of their opponents, not in evidence or argument.

Much that once was — what was good and true and beautiful — is now rapidly being forgotten. Few now live who remember it. The greater part of generations now living are rapidly falling into the world of shadows and oblivion.

Nothing in this declaration stems from fear or is intended to provoke fear. Perfect love and light and truth casts out all fear. We are an Easter People who know that our Lamb has already conquered: Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur! But we must not delude ourselves about our era being a “Springtime” of hope for our American or Western world. We have entered into a new Dark Ages. The barbarians are already at the gates; and they are on the inside.

That last bit reminds me of an old English anthropologist I once knew who said that, in many cases when the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome were overrun by barbarians, the Greeks and Romans just sat there, wanly waiting for the barbarians to come.  They had no strength to fight them. There culture was so exhausted that they wanted the barbarians to come and finish them off.  That may sound incredible, but it’s really the case.  When Alaric sacked Rome in the year of our Lord 410, the population could not be bothered to defend themselves, even when faced with certain destruction.

I read with fascination a letter from Evelyn Waugh that Tancred posted at Eponymous Flower, wherein the great English Catholic author described – 60+ years ago, mind you – what he felt was the exhaustion of western culture.  One knows a culture is dying when people can no longer muster the energy to defend the mores and customs that built up and sustained the culture for centuries –

It is entirely historical to believe that cultures decline and expire. I believe Western culture to be in rapid decay and that Picasso and Stein are glaring symptoms. You have no authority for saying so jauntily that ‘there are a few million years yet’. It is one of the determining conditions of our existence that it may end at any moment, individually or generally but were it true, your assumption would have no bearing on the probability of a new ice-age. Incidentally again, I believe the sin the West is dying of to be Sloth not Wraith as is popularly assumed. It requires constant effort to keep within the world order and our contemporaries are too lazy to make the effort.

So many of our contemporaries in this culture, in the “west” of today lack the moral fiber and strength of energy and conviction to defend the fundamental building block of society – marriage.  It’s so much easier just to play along, to accept newly invented “rights” and to really believe that black is white, that perversion and license are “natural” and “good,” even “holy.” 

God will not be mocked.  A shattering riposte is coming.  As Our Blessed Mother said at Fatima, the Holy Father and, by extension, the Church will have much to suffer during this period of cultural exhaustion, driven by the cleaving of Christendom which began on that fateful day in 1517.  We haven’t been the same since, and in spite of world dominance and awesome material wealth (which is one of the main drivers for the cultural exhaustion – we’ve made our selves so wealthy we’ve forgotten how to fight and struggle), the culture itself has been dying, slowly at first, but now increasingly rapidly, ever since.

But as Pertinacious Papist notes, this is not a time for worry or fear. It is a time to gird our loins and to fight even harder for God’s Truth and our Holy Mother the Church.  Even if this culture collapses, there will be something after.  And the Church will still be there, in some form or fashion, until the last day. 

Non sequitir – I had to laugh! May 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, fun, silliness.
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So……this is universal!  It’s not just me!

Actually, I don’t have it so bad.  It’s really only bad when the boy comes in the bed at 3 am.

Yes, that boy.  Also known, to himself, as Sword Man!