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Why ecumenism that is not ordered to conversion is problematic….. January 29, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
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…and unlikely to achieve much, and tends strongly towards indifferentism.  A good analysis by Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam, pointing out the fact that, from either side of the protestant/Catholic divide, ecumenism oriented towards “go along to get along” and endless dialogue is not only pointless, it’s dishonest.  Some excerpts (emphasis in the original. I add comments):

There is much one could say about the modern Catholic approach to ecumenism; but it is important to note that, at least as regards to Protestantism, the modern ecumenical movement does not make much sense on their side either. In this post, I’d like to examine modern ecumenism from the Protestant angle and show why it does not make much sense either.

First, recall that we are talking about modern ecumenism; traditional ecumenical dialogue seeks to engage non-Catholic Christians in friendly dialogue for the purpose of winning them back to the Catholic faith through charitable argumentation and prayer (what the modern hierarchy refers to as the “outdated ecclesiology of return”); in traditional ecumenical dialogue, dialogue is a means and the end is the return of the non-Catholic to the Church.
In modern ecumenism, on the other hand, the means of dialogue is exalted to an end in an of itself, and the traditional end of return to the  Assisi_prayingChurch is chucked altogether in favor of a purely worldly end of “religious tolerance” and “world peace.” Discussion is held for the purpose of having more discussion, [most often in very comfortable places, like 5 star resorts in lush surroundings. Nice work, I suppose, if you can get it. I can see why the participants seem to be in little hurry to come to any conclusion]
……We all know that this kind of ecumenism tends towards indifferentism and is ultimately untenable from a Catholic view, but lets look at this problem from a Protestant perspective as well. [Because, fundamentally, protestant and Catholic beliefs are so radically different from each other – and of course, protestantism grew out of a rejection of many Catholic beliefs – that any “ecumenical breakthrough” can only be an exercise in either obfuscation, indifferentism, or both]
Boniface goes on to look at some differing beliefs held by protestants and Catholics:

If that piece of bread we are adoring up there is not Christ Himself, then we are idolaters. There is no question about it. If that isn’t God, we are worshiping bread and breaking the first commandment in a major way. [and a most hideous way] We are worse than pagans; pagans at least worshiped statues that looked like gods, or forces of nature – we are worshiping a piece of bread. We might as well worship an apple or a meatloaf.

If the man in Rome is not the successor of Peter with the authority to infallibly bind and loose, then he is a monstrous impostor claiming the powers to bind consciences and to act falsely in the name of God Himself when he in fact has no special power. An institution that would perpetuate this base lie and bind so many souls to the whims of this impostor must be desperately wicked.assise_002

Finally, if a priest does not have power to absolve us of our sins in the name of Christ through the sacrament of confession, and if this is not the normative means of forgiveness that God willed for His people, then what sort of twisted system must this be that compels people, on the pain of eternal damnation, to tell all of their secrets and failings to another man who (if he is not who the Church claims him to be) can not but default to a position of power and manipulation over the penitent, leading to all sorts of mischief. [I am grateful that Boniface pointed out that violating one of the 6 precepts of the Church – the need for Sacramental Confession at least once a year – is in itself a grave sin.  With the abysmal state of catechesis today, it’s difficult to impossible to say it’s a mortal sin, but it’s still a very grave matter. And yet the vast majority of self-decribed Catholics haven’t entered a confessional in years, often decades, and the vast majority of parishes have such a paucity of confession times as to resign the Sacrament to virtual oblivion. It’s one of the greatest problems in F015_JPIIthe Church right now.  Thank God if you have a nearby parish with frequent Confession, and avail yourself of it regularly (every 2 weeks, at least).  To me, every parish should have at least some daily Confession, even if it’s only half an hour. It should be available every day]

What a diabolical system!These are harsh words, but let us keep in mind that, if Catholicism is false, every accusation above is true. We are idolaters. The earthly head of our Church is a megalomaniacal dictator, if not the anti-Christ. Our priests are slave-masters and we the basest knaves, revealing every secret and sin to them in good faith, thinking they are absolving us but in reality we are only enslaving ourselves more.

It comes down to this: Either Catholicism is absolutely correct, or it is absolutely wrong. Either it is from God in its truth and beauty, or it is from the devil in its error and ugly abuse of power. There is no in between.

Boniface notes in some depth the difference between fundamentalist-type protestants, who generally castigate the Church and want nothing to do with her (save to pick off unwary souls), while the mainline protestants – coincidentally, the ones by far the most infected with modernism – happily engage in the modern ecumenical movement en masse. And that is really the key.  This may sound harsh, but historically, the modern ecumenical movement and modernist indifferentism in the Church and mainline protestant sects have gone hand in hand.  In point of fact, the growth of fundamentalist, evangelical protestantism in the 20th century was a reaction against the same modernism that has so infected in the Catholic Church. Thank God we have a Magisterium and Tradition, which has helped prevent the complete, catastrophic collapse of doctrine and belief that has been experienced in virtually every mainline protestant sect. Not that we have been unscathed. Far from it. And I should note, too, that many former Catholics are not fundamentalists because they were denied the spiritual support and growth they craved in parishes deeply infected with the “spirit of Vatican II.”  Who knows how many millions of souls have fallen away for that reason.
True ecumenism is built around charitable efforts to establish the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church in the minds of others. It is focused on converting and saving souls. It is not focused on endless dialogue and the ongoing scandal of Assisi.  It requires the courage of conviction, and the deep charity that gives one the strength to say something that another well-meaning person may find difficult or even hurtful, but is truly what is best for them.  It does not involve concern for worldly appearances or hypersensitivity for the feelings of others.  It is hard, patient, slow work.
Let us have a return to the “ecumenism of return.” As a former protestant, I couldn’t be more in favor of that.

Best video I’ve seen on the March for Life yet January 29, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Society, Tradition.
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From the guys at Tradition, Family, and Property:

I see much to recommend in this group, but I guess they are controversial?  Especially in Brazil?  Their founder thought society would be better off with an aristocracy, or something like that? Anyone know any reason not to support this group?  I met some at the March for Life in Dallas, and they seemed like very good guys, very faithful Catholics, very traditional.  They were from Tyler.

Thanks for any insight you can provide, on or offline, for those who have my super-secret hidden identity e-mail address.

I love the South Vietnames flag.  Awesome.

One error in the replies to “how will we end abortion?”  No one mentioned contraception.  So long as widespread contraception use exists, there will be mass abortion in this country. Even if by some miracle Roe v. Wade were overturned, demand for abortion would remain, if much less than today, so long as contraception use remains rampant. That is the change of heart that really needs to be made.

It seems some things never change January 29, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, error, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, Society, Tradition, true leadership.
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I am far from certain that democracy, or republican government, is something blessed by God.  There are many problems with democracy as such, the most critical being the notion that proper authority for any government flows up from the people, rather than down from God, but another huge problem seen in practice in virtually every democracy, especially as they age and decay, is the people figuring out they can vote benefits for themselves at the expense of some minority.  Usually the “rich.” There is a meme going around of late quoting Cicero, the great Roman orator, noting just this fact regarding Caeser:

Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious….

Such has been noted by philosophers and other thinkers for years – democracy almost always trends toward totalitarianism as few societies are sufficiently humility.jpgvirtuous, over the long term, to stop people from abusing their voting power.  This leads to the class warfare we see today, and when the industrious sector of the nation is so drained that the entire economic life begins to break down, the people look for a strong-man “savior” to put things right, and gladly trade away their democratic liberties for bread and circuses.  That such dependence saps the moral fiber of a culture has been shown again and again, and great thinkers from Plato to Edmund Burke have noted that democracy is almost always illusory in its “rights” and “freedoms,” and that what comes after is frequently most unpleasant.

The Church, for many centuries, knew this and pointed out the problems of what we call democracy constantly, especially after the unavoidable terminus of the so-called enlightenment – the French Revolution.  It is very interesting that so many experiments in representative government have failed.  Such governments require a level of cultural and individual virtue that seem hard for human societies to maintain, and they also seem to breed habits and behaviors that militate against that virtue. So the end result of democratic experiments is frequently collapse or other disaster. These United States, and Britain, have been the two great contrary examples, but both seem headed in a very bad direction now.

The main problem, of course, is that any country/society/whatever not founded on the principle of Jesus Christ as its ultimate Authority and Ruler, from Whom whatever form of government derives its authority and by Whom it will be judged, is probably (certainly?) doomed to fail over time.  The sad fact is, even at the height of the Church’s power and influence, there have been few governments which have operated with an open submission to Christ and His Church.  There have been some outstanding individual monarchs who have done so – St. Louis of France, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, possibly Philip II of Spain, and some others – but they have been the exception.  Our fallen sinful nature and our overwhelming pride leads us to reject Christ and arrogate to ourselves “rights” and authority we simply do not rightfully possess.

And so the wheel turns.  I don’t know where this country is headed, but I do know most all the signs are profoundly negative.  I think being a faithful Catholic in this country is going to become much harder. I think it’s going to come with a profound cost.  Again, pray that you remain faithful – pray this every day, and it’s a very good Mass intention. And always pray for the conversion of your fellow citizens, no matter how much they oppress you.


Boy Scouts caving on homosexual policy? January 29, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Society.
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Uff da.  This one will be bad.  If true, but the huge amount of coverage makes it seem like it almost certainly is, and the BSA ain’t denying this.  It appears one of the most stalwart organizations for defense of traditional values and morality is caving in to the homosexual lobby, primarily over the decline in support from corporate donors.  Corporate America has almost universally instituted policies against supporting any charity or other entity that “discriminates,” and since the radical gay lobby has managed to get the federal government to deem them a protected class, the BSA is officially discriminatory.  Thus, no money.  Thus, the cave:

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is considering lifting their longtime ban on  gay scouts and scout leaders.

“Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national  membership restriction regarding sexual orientation,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith  said in an emailed statement.

Lifting the ban would mean that individual scout groups would be able to  decide how to confront the issue.

“This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding  sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver  Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each  organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs,” Smith added, noting  that families could choose which scouting unit best served their needs.

Smith stressed that any policy change would not “dictate a position” but  rather allow units to decide how to confront the issue on their own.

“Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered  organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission,  principles, or religious beliefs,” he said.

How this plays out, who knows.  Many Scout troops are based in different kinds of churches – a lot of them Catholic – so perhaps the individual groups will keep the “ban,” which isn’t really, it’s just a qualification for membership. But that’s probably being naively optimistic.  What will occur is that certain very high profile efforts will be made demanding entry to various scout troops, they won’t have any resources to fend off such an assault, and the cave will be on.

This will only end badly.  If it was not OK for Catholic boys to engage in sleep overs with homosexual priests in the rectory – and it wasn’t, we all know how that turned out, and the suffering of thousands still goes on – then why will it be OK for boys to sleep in the same tent with gay scoutmasters?   That’s not at all to say that most or even many scoutmasters will do any thing untoward, but some will, some additional number that is much more difficult, if not impossible, to occur with the current policy.

Judging by comments I’ve read on different sites, folks are pretty upset about this.  Many people talking of pulling their kids out of the Boy Scouts if this occurs.

I was a Boy Scout for a while.  I had previously been a very happy Cub Scout, which I really liked. Unfortunately, by the time I hit middle school it had been decided – by that nameless, faceless mass of opinion that bears no name – that being in the Scouts was very, very uncool.  So I was a very blase, lackadaisical Scout.  I dropped out after 7th grade.  Still, it is very sad to see this.

This is the unspoken kind of pressure that can be put on organizations to get them to toe the line. My own company engages in this kind of crap all the time – we have mandatory sexual harrassment and environmental training every year. The environmental is especially egregious, it is little more than an apology for the most radical global warming theories. We’re all gonna die!  But it is through this sort of death of a thousand cuts that people fall away from their traditional beliefs and Christian morality.  It’s the constant pressure, everywhere, that wears us down and makes us acquiesce.  That’s why the gay marriage thing is gaining support, not because people really think it’s a good idea – although they may say so in a poll or in polite company, because that is what is now expected – but because they’re simply getting worn down. The Scouts have been worn down.

Pray.  Pray for strength that you don’t get worn down, and one day find yourself declaring that what two people do to each other has no impact on you, or the culture at large.  Apostasy is sooooo easy.  Pray to remain strong. And if you’re not in a parish that affirms the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church – all of it, publicly and regularly – perhaps it is time to seek one out. I pray you can find that kind of support, because no man is an island and divided we fall.

Dark times ahead. Very dark times.


A note on the comment policy January 29, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery.
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Since I’m getting many new commenters, I thought I’d repost this general comment policy.

I generally allow just about any comments on this blog.  I don’t moderate comments a priori.  But I do not allow certain kinds of comments, most of which result in an instant ban:

  1. Cussing in the comments, even relatively “mild” terms.  An occasional exception may be granted to long time commenters on issues of grave emotional impact, but the comment will probably be edited
  2. . Generally, long term or frequent commenters get more leeway

  3. Lewd terms in comments, or “funny” but lewd commenter IDs – instant ban
  4. Being identifiably from SNAP – this is my call, but if you use a bunch of SNAP talking points, gone
  5. Using any generic, hyperbolic, or reflexive attacks on the Church, such as by opening that the Church has no right to criticize X until takes care of its priest abuse problem, apologizes for Crusades, whatever.  Possibility of banning, but this will depend on the case and how the comment is framed

In general, the blog is not a forum.  Folks are allowed to comment and I put few restrictions on those comments, but not everyone has equal “rights.”   In general, if you don’t cuss or use morally questionable terms, you’ll be fine.  I want to keep this blog very family friendly, which is why I pass over a number of stories of a lurid nature. I am happy to report that in over 3 years on this blog I’ve only had to ban a handful of people – maybe around 15 or so. It hasn’t been much of a problem, thankfully.

One other note – if you post a comment with links, it may go in the spam folder. In that case, I have to go dig it out and approve it. I try to do this regularly, but if your comment with links doesn’t show up right away, that is likely the reason. Sorry for the inconvenience.