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Curial crisis – Bertone trumps Muller over Peruvian university? February 20, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
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Via Pewsitter, it appears Archbishop Gerhard Muller, Pope Benedict’s picked man as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been squashed in his effort to – theoretically – protect his mentor and his mentor’s university from Papal approbation.  I wrote about this a few weeks ago, how Muller appeared to have undermined the local Cardinal who has waged a long battle to get the “Pontifical” and even “Catholic” status for this very problematic university revoked, but now it is reported via a German website that Bertone has squashed Muller’s efforts. To refresh your memory, this university is the home of Muller’s apparent mentor Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, widely recognized as the “father” of the condemned, heretical “liberation theology.”  I, personally, was stunned when I read that Muller had taken this step in defense of this Peruvian university, since it has been widely reported that the Holy Father himself was supporting the Cardinal in removing it’s pontifical status, against the opposition of much of the Peruvian hierarchy. I even speculated that such an act may have weighed on Pope Benedict’s mind with respect to his resignation.  Anyway, the report (forgive the rough Google translation):

(Lima) in the Andean country of Peru, there is a rebellious university, which
Rome has deprived of the right to continue to call itself a “Catholic.” The
Archbishop who is responsible and nominal Chancellor of the academic institution
withdrew from the entire faculty for the right to teach theology. After a heated
session, which took place a few days ago in Rome, it has been laid down by the
Holy See that the rebel university will continue without theologians. Cardinal
Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone was responsible for invitations to the
meeting. The senior participants wished to thwart the intentions of the Prefect
of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,Curial Archbishop Gerhard
Ludwig Müller. He had tried to take the side of the Peruvian rebel party. A
“gross error” from the protector of the faith, as it is said in Rome

Several Dicasteries were invited to the meeting to consider a letter from
Archbishop Müller to the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Cipriani Thorne dated
the end of January. In it the Prefect demanded an explanation of why the
Peruvian Cardinal had revoked the church’s permission to teach all the
university professors of theology department. The disciplinary measures were
notified to the university authorities in December after which the Holy See by
decree of June 2012, deprived the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú of
the right to continue to describe themselves as “Papal” and

University must not be no longer describe themselves as
“Papal” and “Catholic” – entire faculty of theology deprived of teaching

The disciplinary measures which had the approval of Pope
Benedict XVI, has lost none of its legal validity, since the university boards
continue to refuse to reform the statutes and to conform to the the
ecclesiastical provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae for
higher education institutions.  [Would that those provisions would be applied with such vigor to American  univesities!  I pray more bishops will have the courage of Cardinal Cipriani!]

Although the Roman decree at the time of appointment of the Bishop of Regensburg
to Rome had been adopted, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith becaome active after the rebellious professors had turned to complain
to him. According to them, the withdrawal of permission to teach was made from
“reasons of doctrine.” Müller felt himself to be responsible for this matter and
called on the Archbishop of Lima, despite his decision to allow the teaching
regularly of theology. He justified this unusual step of saying that the Holy
See had not yet decided the question.

Archbishop Müller’s interference
neither in Lima nor in the Vatican taken well
This interference of the new
Prefect at the Congregation of the Faith was not taken well in Archbishop’s
Palace in Lima and not in the other departments in Rome. Therefore Secretary of
State Cardinal Bertone called together the meeting at which the Müller ‘s letter
was cancelled. It was done on the grounds that it had merely been a “personal”
initiative by the Prefect, who had not even consulted his experts at the

Müller also did not also send the letter via the regular
channels of the Apostolic Nunciature in Lima. The Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal
Cipriani had instead simply just got a fax. [Really?  That’s….unusual.  Why would a fax be sent for such a high-level matter?  That stinks of being an off-the-cuff, almost emotional kind of action.  Hmmm…]  The letter had ignored canon law,
according to the other Dicasteries, in which the competent diocesan bishop has
the right to grant and revoke the teaching license. [A critical point to note]

The result of the
meeting was immediately sent through diplomatic channels to Peru. It can be
summarized as follows: The letter from Archbishop Mueller is null and void and
the decision of Archbishop Cardinal Cipriani has undiminished

Müller’s letter null and void – “Hard hit” for the new tenant
of the Holy Office
The former Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, whose
acronym of PUCP has shrunk in UP has not enough teachers who are willing to
teach at the university without ecclesiastical permission.

The outcome of
the meeting chaired by Cardinal Bertone was a “serious blow” to the new head of
the CDF, as Andrés Beltramo Álvarez for Vatican Insider wrote. [Perhaps Pope Benedict’s loyalty to Bertone is not entirely misplaced] It is questioned
in the Roman Curia whether the “new German” in Rome “is really the right man for
such a central post, which demands maximum discipline demands and allows neither
for improvisation nor for formal or editorial errors”.

I think it is more than just shadowy commentators in the “Curia” who question Muller’s aptness for this post. We shall see.  But it was profoundly unsettling to learn that every year for the past 18 years Archbishop Muller has gone on sabbatical to commune with his mentor Gutierrez in Peru.  Coupled with some of Muller’s previous writings, which caused many people grave concern (but also a fair amount of flying off the handle), I’m a bit disconcerted.  Nothing to do but watch, and pray (and mortify!).


Awesome….Texas mom has two sets of identical twins February 20, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, contraception, family, fun, General Catholic, Society, Virtue.
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I have seen of late that I am just a whiner.  We know a family that has 6 kids under 8.  We had 6 kids 9 and under at one point.  And now here is a family with 5 kids under 3!  We went from 2 to 4, and had four kids 4 and  younger.  AndI thought that was rough!.  But going from 1 to 5, and having all 3 be toddlers/infants – uff da, that’s going to cause a few grey hairs to sprout, I would guess:

Valentine’s Day brought a very special delivery to Tressa and Manuel Montalvo of Houston: two sets of identical twins.

The quadruplets were conceived spontaneously, without the help of any fertility treatments or drugs – something that has a one in 70 million chance of happening, the hospital says. They were born at 31 weeks by Cesarean section to Tressa, who is 36, The Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston says.

The couple had been trying for one brother or sister to keep their little boy Memphis [ummm…….] , now 2 years old, company.  At 10 weeks, they learned she was having twins. But when the couple went in for Tressa’s 12 week check-up, they learned she was carrying not two, but four babies.

“If I wasn’t already on the table lying down, I’m pretty sure I would have hit the floor,” Tressa told TODAY.

Manuel’s immediate reaction was jubilation.

“The first thing I said was ‘Home run!’ and then I started jumping up and down,” he said.

The Montalvo’s doctor says this delivery is a very rare event……

…….The Montalvos have always wanted to have a baby girl. And Manuel has told reporters that he’d like to keep trying even with the five boys the family has now. [Perhaps such matters should be left up to God. I have no idea if the Montalvo’s are Catholic, but if they are, I pray that is the council their priest gives them.  I know…..I’m a hopeless dreamer]

Tressa isn’t ready to commit to anything. “My husband was quick to answer for us in interviews,” she said. “For myself, I thought, ‘OK, can we get through this first before I answer that?’”

It’s going be a great change for their marriage. I pray they trust in God and serve each other with Christ-like love.  What a blessing, but what a challenge, too!  God bless them!

Extremely important document on homosexuality on the priesthood February 20, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, priests, sadness, scandals, sexual depravity, sickness, true leadership.
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Last week Rorate Caeli posted a translation from the Polish of a text produced by Fr. Dariusz Oko on the grave, very grave, problem of homosexuals in the priesthood, both active and inactive.  I did not take the time to read it last week as I lacked the time, but I have read a good bit of it this week and I think it is a very important document that all concerned/faithful Catholics should read.   It’s so good it’s difficult to excerpt.  I’ll try to give an overview: the sodomite abuse problem did not break as early in Poland as it did in other countries. It’s been a rather recent phenomenon. But if Fr. Oka – and those other Polish Church figures he quotes – are any indication, they’re handling the problem much more seriously, much better, there.  He starts by explaining what the homosexual priest network is, how it works, how it deforms the priesthood, and how they have managed to gain control over levers of power throughout the Church. He then explains how contrary the homosexual orientation (and activity) is with respect to the right function of the priesthood and how terribly disfiguring having even a relatively small, but influential, number of homosexual priests in the clergy is for the Church as a whole.  He also has charitable concern for the souls of those lost in this depravity, while noting those who have fallen so far typically are extremely difficult to raise up again, especially when they have been denying such incredibly powerful lights of Grace through abuse of the Rite of Ordination, Consecration day after day, etc., all the while living a lie.

The document moves on to discussion of how Pope Benedict has implemented reforms – unequally observed, I must add – regarding denying access to Holy Orders for those with a profound homosexual orientation, and how the Church is struggling to overcome this seemingly diabolical plot to destroy the faith of millions, let alone the poor lost priests themselves.  It’s an involved read, I’d guess at least 12-15,000 words, but it’s very worth your time.  I think it might make a very good topic for a certain men’s group I belong to, sometime.

I pray there are many more men (or women, for that matter) like Fr. Oko who are willing to speak openly and forthrightly about this very pressing crisis in the Church.

Italian traditionalist’s ire with Pope Benedict’s res-dication February 20, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Papa, sadness, scandals, Society.
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I coined a new word, res-dication, since there seems to be much heartache with either resignation or abdication.  Maybe it should be resigcation.

I’m not endorsing the views below, but they are certainly interesting. Sandro Magister has re-upped his game of late, this is rather explosive.  Two Italian traditionalists, one of whose books I’m reading at present (I won’t say slogging through, but I hope it improves), have some commentary on the Pope’s resigcation. One feels it is certainly in the Pope’s power to do so, but highly inadvisable and potentially revolutionary, whereas the other believes the Pope is creating a schism!  Oy vey! First up, Roberto de Mattei, highly respected Italian historian:

De Mattei does not contest the legitimacy of Benedict XVI’s renunciation of the pontificate.

He recognizes that “it is contemplated by canon law and has been seen historically over the centuries.”

And it is also founded theologically, because it puts an end not to the power of orders conferred by the sacrament, which is indelible, but only to the power of jurisdiction.

From the historical point of view, however, de Mattei maintains that the resignation of pope Joseph Ratzinger “appears to be in absolute discontinuity with the tradition and praxis of the Church”:

“One cannot make a comparison either with Celestine V, who quit after being dragged away by force from his hermit’s cell, or with Gregory XII, who was forced to resign in order to resolve the very serious question of the Great Western Schism. These were exceptional cases. But what is the exception in the action of Benedict XVI? The official reason, engraved in his words of February 11, expresses, more than the exception, the rule.”

It is the “rule” that would simply coincide with “vigor of both body and mind.”

But then “the question arises”:

“Over two thousand years of history, how many popes have reigned in good health and have not witnessed the decline of their powers and have not suffered from illnesses and moral trials of every kind? Physical well-being has never been a criterion of governance of the Church. Will it be so beginning with Benedict XVI?”

If this is so – de Mattei writes – the action of Benedict XVI takes on an impact “not simply innovative, but revolutionary”:

“The image of the pontifical institution, in the eyes of public opinion all over the world, would in fact be stripped of its sacrality to be handed over to the criteria of judgment of modernity.”

And this would achieve the objective repeatedly set forth by Hans Küng and other progressive theologians: that of reducing the pope “to the president of a board of administration, to a purely arbitral role, accompanied by a permanent synod of bishops with deliberative powers.”

Next up, Enrico Maria Radaelli, who apparently wrote a 13 page commentary to substantiate his claims:

“Why pope Ratzinger-Benedict XVI should withdraw his resignation. It is not yet the time for a new pope, because it would be that of an antipope.”

Radaelli moves from the words of the risen Jesus to the apostle Peter, in chapter 21 of the gospel of John. He gathers from this that “the cross is the status of every Christian” and therefore “rebelling against one’s status, rejecting a grace received, would appear to be for a Christian a grave offense against the virtue of hope, against the grace and the supernatural value of accepting one’s human condition, all the more grave if the condition involves roles ‘in sacris,’ as is the condition, of all the most eminent, of pope.”

As the Peter of the “Quo vadis” who while fleeing from Rome runs into Jesus who is going to die in his place, so “it happens when the pope (but also the least of the faithful) flees from the place where Christ has driven him to endure, to suffer, perhaps to die: it happens that Christ goes to endure, to suffer, perhaps even to die, yes, in his place.”

It is true – Radaelli acknowledges – that canon 333 of the code of canon law establishes that a pope has the power to resign, “but I say that not even the pope has such power, because it would be the exercise of an absolute power that contrasts with being one’s very self.” And “it is impossible even for God” not to be what he is.

The resignation of a pope – he continues – even if permitted legally, “is not permitted metaphysically and mystically, because in metaphysics it is bound up with the kernel of being, which does not permit something at the same time both to be and not to be, and in mysticism is bound up with the kernel of the mystical Body which is the Church, through which the office of vicar taken on [by the successor of Peter] with the oath of election places the being of the elect on an ontological plane substantially different from the one left behind: on the metaphysically and spiritually highest plane of Vicar of Christ.”

“The final consideration is therefore this: pope Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI should not resign, but should draw back from such a supreme decision, recognizing its character as metaphysically and mystically impracticable, and thus also legally unfounded. Not the resignation, but its withdrawal becomes an act of supernatural courage, and God only knows how much the Church needs a pope who is supernaturally, and not humanly, courageous. A pope lauded not by the ‘liberals’ of all the earth, but by the angels of all of heaven. A martyr pope moreover, a young lion of the Lord, brings more souls to heaven than a hundred resigned popes.”

Wow.  I don’t know how one would quantify the ratio of souls to heaven for resigned vs. martyr Popes, but it’s moving rhetoric.  But, given how friendly Pope Benedict has been to Tradition, and the uncertainty of the future, it’s difficult not to see a measure of self-interest in both commentaries.  That’s all I’ll say.

I know I am taking some liberties with fair use.  But since La Repubblica doesn’t have a comment page on the link, I posted the all the meat here. Also, this blog has historically been pretty small, and I’ve been able to get away with it in every case except one involving some nasty leftists from Oregon. But since it seems to be becoming much more widely read of late, I may have to reconsider my ripoff-with-abandon policy.  Have mercy on me.

Mexican priest has superhero chasuble February 20, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness.
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But surely everyone knows this kind of thing was rampant even prior to 1965, so nothing to see here.  Move along.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No … it’s SuperPriest! Catholic padre Humberto Alvarez of Saltillo, Mexico, is getting plenty of online love because of these images showing him wearing robes covered in superhero images when he celebrates children’s Mass. Not many members of the clergy would sport pictures of Superman, Batman and Spidey on their holy vestments, but Alvarez clearly knows something about keeping kids’ attention. The godly goofball also peps up the service by using a water gun to bless the congregation with holy water. He puts on regular robes for the adult Mass, though, and brings it back to that guy who (like Superman) died for a while but then came back

If you read the comments, you will find that, indeed, this gross abuse is very popular.  Positively inspired.


So many have asked, for decades now, why it is that the Novus Ordo seems so much more prone to abuse than the TLM?  Or is it just that people have so lost the sense of sacred that no matter what occurred with the Mass, reform or not, this kind of abuse would today take place?  Or is there something in the Novus Ordo that inspires this kind of abuse?  Or was it simply the fiddling around with a timeless Rite that had inspired so many for centuries, the Rite that nourished so many great Saints and raised up so many to such a holy practice of the Faith, that once that was changed, the perception sank in that anything goes?  I really don’t know, I think all play a part, but my sense is that the less reverential nature of the Novus Ordo, the far more liberal rubrics, the very horizontal or earthly focus of the 1969/70 GIRM, creates a general impression that anything, no matter how bizaare or extreme, is acceptable if it can in any way be justified on “pastoral” grounds.

But do these kind of antics really instill a proper faith?  Will the children entertained by novelty still be strong in the Faith as adults?  How has that worked out over the past several decades?

Congratulations to Calles, Zapata, Obregon, et. al., you really did manage to gravely weaken the Church in Mexico, at one time one of the most Catholic nations in the world.  It’s a shadow of its former self.