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There is still a rampant antipathy towards Tradition in the hierarchy October 10, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, Interior Life, Latin Mass, persecution, scandals, Tradition, Virtue.
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Michael Voris fisks a a recent audio recording by Bishop Anthony Taylor  of Little Rock, AR  – who has had, shall we say, a rather contentious time with local Traditional Latin Mass communities.  Bishop Taylor  seems to subscribe to the general view of those of a certain age in the Church – generally from about 50-70, who were very young when Vatican II started and have little but antipathy towards the pre-Vatican II Church.  Many good points here:

I have seen, read, and been exposed directly via conversation a sort of caricature of the pre-Vatican II Church that many of a certain age hold.  This caricature is often directly contradicted by those a bit older.  Be that as it may, there is a presentation of the Church as backwards, medieval, clericalist to the extent of the priesthood standing exultant over the vanquished, broken bodies of poor, ignorant lay people stupidly “thumbing their beads” during a Mass they didn’t understand, ghetto-ized, overly mystical, devoted to the Blessed Virgin “outside the bounds of Christian orthodoxy,” etc, etc……in short, all the same tired rhetoric that has been trotted out for our consumption for 50 years. Much of this rhetoric first appeared in Vatican II press conferences, where progressive theologians like Kung or their episcopal sponsors/allies really drove the agenda by getting around etiquette and making their attacks on Tradition/progressive presentations directly to the press.  It was in these press conferences where statements like “useless repetitions” and “listening to the world” were made.

The point is…..there is a sort of narrative of what the pre-Vatican II Church was like, just as there is a narrative of the Council itself and then it’s “Spirit.”  None of these necessarily reflect reality, so much as they serve as convenient means to advance an agenda.  The progressive agenda had to present the pre-Vatican II Church as one in desperate straits, in dire need of reform, in order to justify the massive changes instituted. Changes that have, at the very, very least, not resulted in the New Springtime promised.  Far from it. It’s sort of like the revisionist history of the communists, you have to make history conform to the revolution in order to justify what you’ve done (murdered millions).

We’re going to hear a distressing amount of this for the next year or so.  In fact, this anniversary could serve as a means for the ‘Spirit’ crowd – rapidly aging and diminishing in numbers and influence – to attempt to instill these canards in a new generation and so continue the demolition uh….re-invention.  It shant work, for the devastation is too visible for anyone with eyes to see, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be vigilant in taking these presentations apart.

More tomorrow.  Bishop Taylor has been very hostile to the TLM community in Arkansas, we’ll see what he trots out in that regard.

I can say this, right now – I have never found anything so spiritually edifying as the Traditional Mass.  I have never experienced a Novus Ordo Mass – and I have been to some really top notch ones in Greenville and Hanceville  – that can equal it.

U-2: Above All October 10, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, fun, Society.
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Fantastic, warm video from USAF’s Airman Magazine (watch full screen, hi-def)

Actually, the USAF brass keeps trying to retire the U-2 and replace it with the under-performing RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, but USAF has found that the robot aircraft cannot do the job of the manned one – it’s much more expensive, unreliable, and can’t perform the same missions.  Although Donald Rumsfeld, the 3rd worst SecDef in history, tried to retire the aircraft in 2005 to free up money for his ridiculous Army re-equipment scheme, it has remained because nothing else can do the job as well or as cheaply.  Expect that to continue.

+Dolan calls Confession key to “new evangelization” October 10, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, priests, Sacraments, Tradition, Virtue.
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Well, this sounds alot more like the old, old evangelization to me.  Prior to the old new one that has put us in the present state.  But, nonetheless, Dolan has been stressing Confession for a couple of years now in New York.  That’s a good thing.  But words are easy.  What about making a certain amount of Confession time per week mandatory in the parishes of the New York Archdiocese?  More than an hour a week. How about an hour or two a day?

“The Sacrament of Reconciliation evangelizes the evangelizers, as it brings us sacramentally into contact with Jesus, who calls us to conversion of heart, and inspires us to answer His invitation to repentance,”  [ummm……in addition to putting us back into the state of Grace, which state perhaps millions have not seen in a long, long time.  It also allows the Blessed Sacrament to be received worthily] Cardinal Dolan said, adding:

The Second Vatican Council called for a renewal of the Sacrament of Penance, but what we got instead, sadly, in many places, was the disappearance of the sacrament.[Hmmm…..why is that?  Why is it that so much of what, it is said, Vatican II called for, did not happen? Why, in fact, did the opposite occur in so many critical areas of the Faith?]

So we have busied ourselves calling for the reform of structures, systems, institutions, and people other than ourselves. Yes, this is good.

But the answer to the question “What’s wrong with the world?” is not politics, the economy, secularism, pollution, global warming… no. As Chesterton wrote, “’The answer to the question ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ is two words: I am.”[Great point. Good quote.]

I am! Admitting that leads to conversion of heart and repentance, the core of the Gospel invitation. That happens in the Sacrament of Penance. This is the sacrament of evangelization.

I totally agree. I agree that Confession is the great, forgotten Sacrament of the post-Vatican II Church.  It is forgotten because it was meant to be forgotten by Rahner, Schillebeeckx, and the other peritus who wrote so much of so many of the Vatican II documents.  It was forgotten because of very widespread acceptance of the von Balthasarian notion of the God Who Does Not Judge…….or at least does not damn.  If we all go to Heaven, why bother with Confession? Indeed, if even Mao or Molotov or Robespierre go to Heaven, why should I even bother going to Church.  It all flows from the massive error of the so-called “fundamental option,” which is this idea that an infinitely loving God would never damn anyone, forever, to eternal suffering.

But the adherents of this philosophy, such a fundamental tenet of modernism, forgot a number of things.  They forgot, first of all, that God doesn’t damn anyone, we choose to damn ourselves.  They forgot the torrents of Grace that pour through the Sacrament of Penance, which have been so missed by the Church and the world for decades. They forgot, as Cardinal Dolan points out, the efficacy of Confession as a vehicle for conversion.  It is an incredibly powerful tool in that regard. And they forgot that humans always tend towards the least common denominator, and that proclaiming universal salvation – even tacitly, by minimizing Confession – would have an incredibly enervating effect on the practice of the Faith.

So, I pray Cardinal Dolan is true to his words, and demands or otherwise causes an explosion in the practice of the Sacrament in his Archdiocese.  And I pray that explosion spreads around the country, and world.  Confession is absolutely the seed-bed of steady progress in the interior life.  Without it, progress in the Faith is impossible.

Survey shows collapse in protestantism, decrease in Catholics, huge increase of unaffiliated October 10, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Will an “ecumenical” evangelization effort stop the mass rejection of Christianity and adoption of secular paganism?  Or would the Church be better off clarifying Truth and pointing to Itself, as in times past, as the sole, true Church?  The Synod on Evangelization continues the efforts of the past 50 years towards the former.  Has that been effective?  Or has it helped foster the cultural attitudes of religious indifferentism that lead to agnosticism and finally mass atheism?  Another survey, another bit of data to show that whatever has been and is being tried in terms of evangelization, it’s not working:

A new survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has found that only 48% of Americans now identify themselves as Protestant, while 22% are Catholics and nearly 20% are unaffiliated.

In 1972, 62% of Americans identified themselves as Protestant, 26% as Catholic, and 7% as unaffiliated. [So, the number now not practicing any faith to which they want to claim adherence has tripled in 40 years]

“The [Protestant] decline is concentrated among white Protestants, both evangelical and mainline,” the survey found. “Currently, 19% of US adults identify themselves as white, born-again or evangelical Protestants, down slightly from 21% in 2007. And 15% of adults describe themselves as white Protestants but say they are not born-again or evangelical Christians, down from 18% in 2007.” [Okay………]

“The Catholic share of the population has been roughly steady over this period, in part because of immigration from Latin America,” the survey authors added. [Probably very substantially due to immigration.  Which causes some to find a self-serving argument in the USCCB’s demand for  unlimited immigration.  But those days are over.  Barring some calamity, we’ll never see such huge waves of immigration from Latin American ever again]

The survey found that 41% of self-identified Catholics attend worship services at least weekly and 58% pray daily. [This is not right.  It isn’t even close to right.  I scanned through the more detailed results and didn’t find this exact question asked, so I don’t know how it was asked, but this doesn’t match up with numerous other polls at all.  Or my own experience.  At the average parish, about 15-20% of people assist at Mass on any given week.  15% or less assist every week.  In polls like this, there is a tendency at times to over-report expected/virtuous behavior.   At any rate, this doesn’t collate]

39% of Catholics identify themselves as political conservatives, 42% as moderates, and 18% as liberals. 50% of Catholics – and 54% of white Catholics – believe that abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances, while 45% of Catholics (and 41% of white Catholics) believe it should be illegal in most or all circumstances. [This is incredible.  This is the fruit of 50 years of horrible, terrible, often heretical catechesis.  I also don’t fully believe it.  I have seen other polls that show that a majority of Catholics – not nearly enough, but a bare majority – are opposed to abortion.  I would guess this poll had a serious sampling skew towards democrats, as so many presidential election polls – especially those by Pew – have had.  Nevertheless, the number of Catholics opposed to abortion should be 100%]

By a 53%-37% margin, the Catholics surveyed believe that same-sex marriage should be legal; overall, Americans favor same-sex marriage by a smaller margin (48%-44%). 

Once again, I’m dubious of this result.  I think it confirms that this poll had a severe bias towards the leftward side of the political spectrum, which would make all the results doubtful, at best. I’m a bit skeptical that protestants have fallen below 50%.  I tend to doubt that Catholics really favor state recognition of gays simulating marriage at a rate of almost 3:2.  I also don’t believe Americans as a whole favor abortion in almost all cases 53-41 – that is the exact opposite of what Gallup and other polls have shown in recent years, where a slight majority oppose abortion in most cases.  There are many other datapoints that show this poll was skewed probably 8-12% in favor of democrat/progressive types.

But…..as I said, it’s another data point, and while the results may be skewed 10% or so by bad sampling, the overall trends are consistent with every other poll taken in the past 20 years or so.  Mainline protestantism is in dire straits.  The megachurch phenomenon is wearing off, and evangelical protestantism is decreasing in influence and intensity. The Church is slowly decreasing in numbers, bouyed only by the huge influx of hispanics which is now ending, permanently.  Non-affiliated secularists are increasingly rapidly.  What is pathetic is that a quarter of Americans believe in things like “spiritual energy in rocks, trees, and crystals,” astrology, and reincarnation.  In short, new age.  In fact, the growth of new age very closely tracks with the decline in organized religion – it is the neo-pagan, materialist replacement for Jesus Christ.

Whence the “new evangelization?”  How will it be different from the old, which has so apparently failed? And wasn’t that now “old” evangelization “new” just a few years ago?  Perhaps what is needed is a return to basics, the timeless promotion of the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church and an end to the muddying, equivocating statements of ephemeral unity and false “equivalance.” I would say that much of what is needed is a return to the promotion of the Four Last Things – death, judgment, Heaven, and hell. Stop making people feel that just about everyone goes to Heaven, and you’ll see a great change in behavior.

It worked for me.

 

Neurologist claims proof of Heaven October 10, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Interior Life, Society.
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I don’t know about you, but I don’t need any convincing that Heaven, as well as hell, exist.  I am as certain of that as I am certain that I am presently typing this post. But for many in our increasingly pagan, atheistic culture, belief in such is at best theoretical, and for an increasing number it is the realm of ridiculous delusion.  So when a Harvard trained neurosurgeon of tremendous reputation has an ‘out of body experience,’ it is worthy of note, for the conversion that may be in it.  I don’t know what this really means – that is to say, what he really experienced, with respect to the realities of individual judgment (I don’t think he got that far in the process), Heaven, hell, and Purgatory – but hopefully it will convince some souls to amend their lives and return to the practice of the Faith.  For believers, it’s a bit of a curiosity, perhaps a glimpse into what awaits us, perhaps something different:

Dr Eben Alexander, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, fell into a coma for seven days in 2008 after contracting meningitis.

During his illness Dr Alexander says that the part of his brain which controls human thought and emotion “shut down” and that he then experienced “something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.” In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman [the Blessed Mother!  How rapt I would be to be greeted by Her in Heaven!] in a “place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones” and “shimmering beings”.

He continues: “Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms.” The doctor adds that a “huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. the sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn’t get you wet.”

Dr Alexander says he had heard stories from patients who spoke of outer body experiences [ummm……I think they mean “out of body….”] but had disregarded them as “wishful thinking” but has reconsidered his opinion following his own experience.

He added: “I know full well how extraordinary, how frankly unbelievable, all this sounds. Had someone even a doctor told me a story like this in the old days, I would have been quite certain that they were under the spell of some delusion.

“But what happened to me was, far from being delusional, as real or more real than any event in my life. That includes my wedding day and the birth of my two sons.” He added: “I’ve spent decades as a neurosurgeon at some of the most prestigous medical institutions in our country. I know that many of my peers hold as I myself did to the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness and that we live in a universe devoid of any kind of emotion, much less the unconditional love that I now know God and the universe have toward us. [not sure about the ‘universe’ part……]

“But that belief, that theory, now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it.”

Very interesting.  The article doesn’t say anything about Dr. Alexander’s religious practice, if any, prior to this experience, but from what he writes above, it sounds as if he wasn’t a devout Christian.   Not everyone has such a positive experience – there are numerous stories of those who fall into hell and then are pulled back, in stark terror.  But most seem to have a very positive experience.  Is it a glimpse of Heaven, or some part of the process of dying as yet not understood?  I would say definitely the former, except that those who feel they go to hell don’t recall an experience of judgment, just a sudden transference of reality into a terrible place.  That, of course, doesn’t align well with what the Church believes, but perhaps the judgment is so quick and final that there isn’t really a recollection of it.

The positive experiences, however, are almost universal in their description of an infinite, overwhelming beneficence, transformed or celestial beings, immense beauty, music glorious beyond description, and usually some encounter with Jesus Christ.  This is the first I can recall that appears to involve the Blessed Mother, instead.

Interesting.

h/t culturewarnotes