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Argentine bishop gives new meaning to “full, active participation…….” June 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals.
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I can’t help the snark.  Sorry.  I always found it rather mind-boggling that a servant of God, a bishop, a latter day Apostle, would find the need to take a 3 week vacation to Rio De Janeiro, the south of France, or Tahiti.  I guess they must recuperate from such excrutiating labors.  An Argentine bishop took a vacation in Mexico recently.  With company.  Female company.  Immodesty alert, bikini attire and middle age man in bathing suit:

Ah, well. At least it’s not another dude.  And at least Bishop Fernando María Bargalló, of the Diocese of Merlo-Moreno, Argentina, wasn’t wearing a speedo!

Bishop Bargallo is apparently deeply involved in Caritas.

Fr. Robert Barron – Adam and Eve “theological poetry” June 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, error, foolishness, General Catholic, priests, sadness, scandals.
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Some time ago, I attracted some ire when I blogged on Fr. Robert Barron’s take on eschatology.  In one of his many short video interviews, he stated his belief that hell was empty, or very nearly so.  He stated in the comments that an atheist, acting morally within his atheist framework, could be saved.  So much for “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.”  I guess we don’t need to know the Father, or even have a firm desire to, in order to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. 

There was another thing I mentioned at that time that I didn’t really dwell on, then.  But, since that time, I’ve learned more and done more thinking, and I think the part I skipped over is just as troubling, if not more so, than his seeming endorsement of universal salvation.  This is Barron’s take on Adam and Eve.  According to Barron:

Adam. Now, don’t read it literally. We’re not talking about a literal figure. We’re talking in theological poetry. Adam: the first human being . . .

Goodbye Original Sin!  If Adam and Eve are just mythical figures, then how, and when, did sin enter into the human race?   In fact, Venerable Pope Pius XII decried this view of Adam as a mythical figure as erroneous and deadly for Catholic Doctrine in his encyclical Humani Generis:

For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.


Therefore, whatever of the popular narrations have been inserted into the Sacred Scriptures must in no way be considered on a par with myths or other such things, which are more the product of an extravagant imagination than of that striving for truth and simplicity which in the Sacred Books, also of the Old Testament, is so apparent that our ancient sacred writers must be admitted to be clearly superior to the ancient profane writers

I should note that Church councils have specifically declared the reality of Original Sin as Dogma, as they have the fact that souls do indeed go to hell.  

I was reminded of this problem with Barron’s statement when I was listening to a sermon by Fr. Phil Wolfe on atheist attacks against the Church.  As a matter of fact, going back well over 200 years, one of the foremost vehicles atheists have used to attack the Church is through the denial of Adam and Eve as our real first parents who fell through Original Sin.  One of the  atheist creatures Fr. Wolfe quoted claimed that destroying belief in Adam and Eve was the best method to destroy belief in Christ, “to leave Him alone and broken beneath the cross with no one to believe in Him”, since the purpose for His Incarnation had been destroyed.  I don’t recall the atheists exact words, but he gloated about the stinking, smoldering wreck of the Church that would be left if only belief in Adam and Eve could be rooted out and destroyed. 

For, if Adam and Eve did not exist, then Original Sin never occured, and if Original Sin never occured, why would Christ need to be incarnated, and if not incarnation, then, at most, Christ was just a man who said some wonderful things, and, at worst, the entire Christian Faith is founded on a myth, a lie, even.

Other bloggers have noted the grave problems with Barron’s statement.  Dave Armstrong reminds of statements from Romans and 1 Corinthians that are both beautiful and definitive statements of our need for salvation through Christ our Lord, due to the sin of Adam.  He also reminds that our Lord Himself in St. Matthew certainly seems to accept Adam – or, at least, Abel – as real figures, not allegories of human archtypes.

This is what I meant yesterday when I claimed that Fr. Barron was one of the most dangerous modernist exegetes around. Because of his, at least seeming, erudition, his admitted knowledge in many areas, and the fact that he does give some solid catechesis, many look to him as a wonderful, orthodox source on any topic.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and I have noted a sort of modernist tint to many of his views, and a definite worldliness that I’m not certain is appropriate in the current culture.  But, more than anything, it’s the glaring errors on core issues that is the greatest problem, for even though they may seem small or quibbling to others, they are anything but.

God’s Ways are not our ways.  They are so far above our ways that even 2000 years of study by some of the most brilliant minds in history has only slightly pierced the veil.  As a result, Catholic Doctrine is interconnected in ways that are often not immediately apparent.  So, while it may seem “reasonable,” at least in the light of our materialist, increasingly atheist culture, to accept today’s scientific theories as fact and chuck Adam and Eve, such a belief has massive consequences that amount to the total destruction of the Faith, as I tried to illustrate above. 

It is also interesting to me to compare these two very problematic areas of Barron’s belief: rejection of Adam and Eve as real, and universal salvation.  They sort of go together, don’t they?  If Original Sin never occured, then all of salvation history is radically different and one could surmise then that most everyone goes to Heaven.  That is to say – I don’t think these are accidental statements.  They actually form core parts of Barron’s belief and work.  And they happen to be terribly destructive of Christ’s unique role as Savior – I would say, they are almost Arian in their nature.  Although, this blog argues that they are more semi-Origenist, but it’s a small difference. 

The major reason modernism came to be as a philosophy in religion was to attempt to force Christian revelation into current views of science.  If what passes for science these days says X is true, and Christian belief says Y, then Christian belief must be wrong and changed to fit into the accepted scientific theories of the day.  Pope St. Pius X goes on at length regarding this in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, his brilliant tome against modernism.  Here again, Barron appears to accept “scientific” views regarding creation against Catholic Doctrine.  Thus, the modernism.


Walter Hilton on hating the sin, not the sinner June 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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Walter Hilton was a 14th century English monk and sometime hermit.  He wrote a book on the spiritual life, The Ladder (or Scale) of Perfection.  I’ve been reading through an early 19th century translation of it, and it’s a bit of a bear, because of the rather antiquated English used.  But, I found this section worthwhile, and a very good reminder for me, because I have a temper I despise that just loves to flare up.  And having a bad temper is a very bad thing for the spiritual life, as it shows lack of temperance and excessive self-love.  Hilton:

The branches of the sins of envy and wrath are these: Hared, evil suspicion, false and rash or unskillful judging, melancholy, risings of the heart against them, despising, unkindness, and back-biting, or other ill-speakign of them, misliking, unskillful or causeless blaming of them, misconstruing their words or deeds, anguish and heaviness against those those that despise us, or speak any evil of us, or speak against us, a joy or gladness at their pain, a selfness or bitterness against sinful men and others that will not do as we think they should do, with great desire and eagerness of heart (under color of charity and justice), that they were well punished and chastised for their sin. 

Such motions and stirrings as these seem good; nevertheless, if thou ransack it well, thou shalt find it more fleshly and sensual sometimes against the person than spiritual against the sin; for thou shouldst love the man, be he never so sinful, and hate the sin in every man whatever he be. Many are beguiled in this, for they set the bitter instead of the sweet and take darkness instead of light, contrary to the prophet, saying: “Wo to you who call evil good, and good evil; putting darkness for light, and light for darkness; putting bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. (Is 5)” Thus do all they who, when they should hate the sin of their neighbor and love his person, hate the person instead of the sin, and imagine that they hate the sin. Wherefore it is a special craft and art by itself whoso can do it well.

————————- End Quote —————————

I find it interesting that “love the sinner, hate the sin” has been around in Catholic spirituality for at least 600+ years!  There is truly nothing new under the sun.

Having said that, this is an easy error to fall into.  It’s easy to feel that one is hating the sin, when, deep inside, the hatred has transmogrified into hatred of the person.  Hilton goes on at length about means and methods by which one can avoid this error.  For one, we must all strive to practice the maximum possible charity for all our neighbors, even those who gravely offend or injure us.  If one feels passionately about an issue, it’s easy to come to demonize those who oppose you equally passionately.  I pray for the conversion of the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, and the myriad others who support the murder of babies, but it’s a bit of a trick to feel real charity in my heart for them.  I can’t say I’m fully successful at that, given the manifest evil they so stridently, cheerfully support (along with Pelosi’s constant butchery and misrepresentations of the Faith). 

But, we are called to love all, even our greatest enemies.  That is one aspect of assisting at the traditional Mass I have found incredibly valuable (and, perhaps even more so, going to confession at a traditional parish), is the constant reminder to pray for those who hate us.  Or, praying for the person who made you mad when  you were driving, when they cut you off and gave you the bird.  That’s a proof of at least some degree of charity.  It’s a very important thing to do on a constant basis, and it’s a reminder I haven’t heard often outside traditional parishes.

It’s something I really need to work on.

Julian of Norwich, anchoress, contemporary of Hilton

The glory of state-run health care: Britain’s NHS kills 130,000 elderly per year June 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, General Catholic, horror, sadness, sickness, Society.
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OK, it’s the Daily Mail, so perhaps there is some hyperbole here, but the sourcing seems solid and cooberated:

NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday.

Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly.

He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.

It is designed to come into force when doctors believe it is impossible for a patient to recover and death is imminent.

It can include withdrawal of treatment – including the provision of water and nourishment by tube – and on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours.

There are around 450,000 deaths in Britain each year of people who are in hospital or under NHS care. Around 29 per cent – 130,000 – are of patients who were on the LCP.

Professor Pullicino claimed that far too often elderly patients who could live longer are placed on the LCP and it had now become an ‘assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway’.

He cited ‘pressure on beds and difficulty with nursing confused or difficult-to-manage elderly patients’ as factors.

Professor Pullicino revealed he had personally intervened to take a patient off the LCP who went on to be successfully treated.


He said this showed that claims they had hours or days left are ‘palpably false’. 

In the example he revealed a 71-year-old who was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia and epilepsy was put on the LCP by a covering doctor on a weekend shift…………

………Very likely many elderly patients who could live substantially longer are being killed by the LCP

Coming soon to America?  This has, of course, always been one of the principle concerns regarding Obamacare.  When the state becomes the primary payer of health care, instead of millions of private citizens making their own decisions in a relatively free market, resources that were once limited by choice become limited by funds. 

Of course, many people have to deal with their own limited funds in making health care decisions, but that is more or less their choice – not the choice of a doctor, a bureaucrat, or a President.  Killing off the elderly in order to reduce health care costs has been a common feature of single-payer systems for decades – in Holland, they’ve gone so far as to publicly talk about, almost crow about, “involuntary euthanasia,” previously known as murder.  In Britain, it’s still under the table, but give it a decade or two, and soon the shock will wear off and most “sensible” people will agree that health care must simply be rationed based on age, and that those without extensive wealth can forget about care beyond age……..70……..75………….68?  Pick your arbitrary number. 

But, don’t worry – we were told that “death penalties” were a crazy fantasy dreamed up by that dingbat Sarah Palin.  Nothing to see here, move along.

Horror – dad catches man molesting daughter, beats him to death June 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Four Last Things, General Catholic, horror, sadness, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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I think this is just about the nightmare scenario for any dad.  Hearing your 5 year old daughter screaming, and finding her with a man on top of her with his pants pulled down.  How would you react?

Hearing his 5-year-old daughter crying from behind a barn, a father ran and discovered the unthinkable: A man molesting her. The father pulled the man off his daughter, authorities say, and started pummeling him to death with his fists.

With his daughter finally safe, the father frantically called 911, begging a dispatcher to find his rural ranch and send an ambulance.

“Come on! This guy is going to die on me!” the man is heard screaming on the 911 call. “I don’t know what to do!”

In declining to indict the 23-year-old father in the June 9 killing of Jesus Mora Flores [Jesus – really?!], a Lavaca County grand jury reached the same conclusion as investigators and many of the father’s neighbors: He was authorized to use deadly force to protect his daughter.

“It’s sad a man had to die,” said Michael James Veit, 48, who lives across the street from where the attack happened in this small community run on ranching and the Shiner beer brewery. “But I think anybody would have done that.”

The attack happened on the family’s ranch off a quiet, two-lane county road between the farming towns of Shiner and Yoakum. A statement released by the district attorney said a witness who saw Flores “forcibly carrying” the girl into a secluded area scrambled to find the father. Running toward his daughter’s screams, the father pulled Flores off his child and “inflicted several blows to the man’s head and neck area,” investigators said.

Emergency crews responding to the father’s 911 call found Flores’ pants and underwear pulled down on his lifeless body. The girl was examined at a hospital, and Lavaca County District Attorney Heather McMinn said forensic evidence and witness accounts corroborated the father’s story that his daughter was being sexually molested.

The father was never arrested, but the killing was investigated as a homicide.

Philip Hilder, a Houston criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, said he would have been surprised if the grand jury had decided to indict the father. Hilder said Texas law provides several justifications for the use of deadly force, including if someone commits a sexual assault.

“The grand jury was not about to indict this father for protecting his daughter,” he said.

If I were on a jury, I wouldn’t vote for a conviction, or even trial.  Child sex abuse is very much like murder, for it destroys the innocence of a child forever.  I feel great remorse for all involved – the girl for the assault she suffered, the dad for having to see it and react as he did (for which, I cannot blame him at all), and the perpetrator for being so sick and deranged as to conduct the attack in the first place. 

Regarding the perpetrator – what of the state of this man’s soul?  He was killed in the very act of committing a horrific mortal sin.  I say it’s mortal, even though we have very sick people nowadays who want to “legalize” child sex abuse, and who see no problem with it whatsoever.  They even imagine its “consensual,” that the child victim somehow “wants it.”  I have a greater moral revulsion to this kind of horror than I do murder.  There is something just so horrific about the sexual abuse of a child.  But I have prayed for this man’s soul, though I am doubtful that prayers will be of any help.

Some in the Church like to believe that hell is empty.  That God, being so beneficent and merciful would never condemn any soul, forever.  It’s an enormous error I plan on discussing again, soon.  This belief is totally counter to Scripture and Tradition.  In this case, the man was committing the gravest of sins when pummeled to death.  Do you think one could make an act of perfect contrition while being beaten, literally to death?  Was his pummeling a “baptism by blood?”  No, I don’t know the state of his soul, none of us do, but based on the available evidence, it looks pretty grim.  But, to develop my very wanting charity, I will make a project of praying for this man’s soul.

Of course, I have and I will pray for the family.  What a nightmare.  The poor kid and dad.