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Oh noes! My cardinal doth apostasize! March 7, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, family, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, secularism.
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When I signed up for a cardinal to pray for, I didn’t know anything about the one I got. He was only made a Cardinal last November.  He is from Nigeria, John Oh My God I can’t pronounce his last name! Onaiyekan.  Well, there is a story out about him today, wherein he states that condoms can and should be used in some circumstances, particularly in couples where one partner is HIV+.  Ho boy (emphasis and comments per usual):

An African cardinal who is considered a possible contender for next pope [there is no chance this man will be Pope, no matter how many progressives might wish otherwise]has said that he believed condom use is not only a right “but in some circumstances even a sort of duty” for couples where one partner is HIV-positive, in order to protect the other. [Ummm, condoms have a high failure rate, over even a  few years the risk of HIV transmission between an infected person and an uninfected one would be very high.  Over 50% of women who use condoms every time they have sex will get pregnant over a period of a few years. If condoms don’t prevent pregnancy, they don’t stop the spread of HIV.  So, practically speaking, this is terrible advice.  Theologically speaking, it’s even worse.]

Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, told the US-based National Catholic Reporter that it was important to distinguish between using a condom in the context of HIV/AIDS and condoms as contraceptives, and said moral questions  regarding their use depended on what they were used for. [Well, there aren’t any “HIV-only” condoms. They are also contraceptives. Which use has been condemned by the Church since the Didache, circa AD 80.]

An estimated 3.5m Nigerians have HIV, according to the UN.

Acknowledging this viewpoint was not the Church’s official view, he added: “I believe this situation is different than the reason for which Humanae Vitae condemned artificial contraception. To cite Humanae Vitae in this case, I think, is inappropriate.”

Once again, we see someone in the Church pretend like nothing existed in the entire Magisterium regarding the sex act prior to Humanae Vitae.  Please.  And it’s not like STDs did not exist prior to HIV, either.  Syphillis has killed far more people, historically, than HIV ever has, and possibly ever will, and has been around for thousands of years.  Humanae Vitae did not address contraception use as a method of prevention of the spread of STDs because, frankly, it’s beneath the dignity of that form of document. And the Cardinal’s statement is exactly contrary to the view the Pope Emeritus expressed a couple of years ago.  I see this as little more than a camel’s nose in the door of the tent, like the “morning after pill” imbroglio in Germany (and now Switzerland), it’s an attempt to find a justification, any justification, to permit Catholics to use contraception. If this were permitted, very soon, the whole edifice of chastity would fall down.

Frankly, the appropriate action for those infected with HIV is to abstain from sex.

If this guy was a papabile before, he ain’t now. Now, I’ll have to pray for his conversion.

I thought only the Pope was to wear a white cassock?

I thought only the Pope was to wear a white cassock?

Planned Parenthood to use porn pics to counter explicit photos of abortion March 7, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, contraception, disaster, error, family, General Catholic, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Society.
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Do we not have public decency laws anymore?  One can’t simply put photos of nude women in gynecological exams on public display, can they?  And, no, it’s not the same thing, while photos of babies murdered in abortion may be upsetting to some, they don’t violate modesty or chastity.  The pro-aborts on the left have long forgotten even a semblance of either (this post contains explicit, adult-oriented content):

Planned Parenthood will be hosting a panel discussion titled,   “The Vaginas are Coming,” at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, to kick  off a counter protest against pro-life activists, and will feature 12  billboard-sized photographs of women’s vulvas on Thursday and Friday.

Feminist and LGBT student groups are the primary sponsors of the counter  protest, which includes a display they are describing as, “Re-envisioning the  Female Body,” in which photographs expose women’s nude bodies that are posed in  a position similar to a gynecological examination. [It is amazing to me how the “feminist” movement, originally intended to raise women up and keep them from being treated as sex objects, now routinely treats women as bags of meat with sex organs attached.  Feminists now routinely describe women debasing themselves through wanton sexual licentiousness as “empowering” themselves. They’ve gotten so twisted off wanting to be like men, they’ve aped the worst characteristics of low masculinity and transferred them to women, calling them good.  How pathetic]

The organizer’s Facebook page announcing the event states that: “The idea and  focus of this demonstration formed in response to the gruesome images  brought to UC’s campus by the Genocide Awareness Project. Their billboard sized  photographs equated mutilated fetuses with genocide victims in an effort to  shame women, comparing reproductive choice to holocaust.” [Well, gee, the Holocaust killed 5 million Jews and several million Catholics and Gypsies, but abortion has killed 55 million in this country alone.  Perhaps those promoting abortion could use some shame.]

It continues: “The images will be accompanied by posters sharing quotes from  the models and from others about decisions that are made by us or taken from us  concerning our bodies in areas of health care, queer sex, birth and abortion  ….” [Well, I’m certain these quotes will be supremely edifying.  If you find the tired, doctrinairre regurgitations of 20 year old feminist studies majors and queer theory specialists edifying]

Mark Harrington, executive director of Created Equal, a social action  movement that aims to end abortion, told The Christian Post that he’s not  surprised that Planned Parenthood is taking an active role in the counter  protest.

“Planned Parenthood has increasingly become identified with the radical  pro-abortion elements of their movement,” he said. “This gives us more  reason to argue that Planned Parenthood does not deserve to receive our tax  dollars.” [With the present occupant of the White House, I’m not surprised Planned Barrenhood is behaving even more monstrously.  They feel they’re covered in any event.]

Harrington, who attends pro-life rallies with members of his team, including  events on college campuses, said that he usually sees counter protests organized  by an “ad hoc group from the women’s studies or feminist student groups.” He  added that they rarely encounter organized outside groups.

It’s typically students,” he continued. “However, sometimes the radical  pro-abortion groups who escort at the clinics or the gay rights groups from off  campus come onto campus.  They tend to be quite vile, vulgar, and offensive  in word and deed.  There have been times when we’ve had the signs  vandalized.”

You mean people who debase themselves through radicalism and sexual depravity would behave in a vulgar manner?!  I’m shocked, shocked!

What this latest effort is an attempt to do is to scandalize the pro-lifers into abandoning at least their graphic signs, if not the entire effort. Those graphic photos must be very effective to elicit this response.

It’s just the beginning, folks. The forces of darkness are gathering, I’ve read or heard just in the past 24 hours several prophecies from orthodox priests about the grave evils that seem to be coalescing in the world. Gird your loins.

St. Alphonsus Marie de Liguori’s prayer to the Blessed Mother March 7, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, religious, Saints, Virtue.
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This is from The Glories of Mary, translated by Rev. Eugen Grimm, Vol. VII and VIII of Liguori’s Ascetical Works, p. 151.  If you buy Liguori’s Ascetical Works, you really want the UNABRIDGED copies translated by Grimm. Many modern abridged versions excise huge amounts of content, taking 700 pages down to 61UJlt5N6TL__SL500_SY300_150 in one case.  I add emphasis and comments:

Behold at thy feet, O Mary my hope, a poor sinner, who has so many times been by his own fault the slave of hell[When I think of how holy St. Alphonsus was, and how wicked I have been and am, I shudder…….]  I know that by neglecting to have recourse to thee, my refuge, I allowed myself to be overcome by the devil. [So many times thou hast forgiven me, Lord……] Had I always had recourse to thee, had I always invoked thee, I certainly should not have fallen[So true……] I trust, O Lady most worthy of all our love, that through thee I have already escaped from the hands of the devil, and that God has pardoned me. But I tremble lest at some future period I may again fall into the same bonds. [I have felt the hands of the devil clasped around my neck, I live in dread fear I fall so low again……..] I know that my enemies have not lost the hope of again overcoming me, and already they prepare new assaults and temptations for me. Ah, my Queen and refuge, do thou assist me. Place me under thy mantle; permit me not again to become their slave. I know that thou wilt help me and give me the victory, provided I invoke thee; but I dread lest in my temptations I may forget thee, and neglect to do so. The favor, then, that I seek of thee, and which thou must grant me, O most holy Virgin, is that I may never forget thee, and especially in time of temptation; grant that I may then repeatedly invoke thee, saying, “O Mary, help me; O Mary, help me.” And when my last struggle with hell comes, at the moment of death, ah then, my Queen, help me more than ever, and thou thyself remind me to call on thee more frequently either with my lips or in my heart; that, being thus filled with confidence, I may expire with thy sweet name and that of thy Son Jesus on my lips; that so I may be able to bles thee and praise thee, and not depart from thy feet in Paradise for all eternity. Amen.

Ah, well, I should have just bolded the whole thing!

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Still, I think the most beautiful statue of Our Lady I've ever seen

Still, I think the most beautiful statue of Our Lady I’ve ever seen

Today marks the half-way point of Lent March 7, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Lent, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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Today is “mid-Lent Thursday,” the half-way point of Lent.  How are you doing with your mortifications?  I took on three or four, depending on how you look at them, and I’ve been good on most but struggled a bit with one. Partly through just plain forgetting a couple of times what I was doing, and getting back into an old habit, but also now a couple of times because I just gave in.  So, some success but a bit of failure, too.  I picked some fairly difficult ones this time. They didn’t seem that way before Lent started, but 3 weeks in they seem pretty challenging, now!

One additional thing I wanted to do this Lent was to assist at Mass every day, but that hasn’t happened. Saturdays are just a big problem, I can rarely make it to Mass on Saturday since we’re just so busy.  We’ve had 4 soccer games on some Saturdays already this Lent.

Keep going.  If you’ve fallen down, that’s OK, get back up and keep trying. Don’t give up.  If you haven’t started any mortifications, it’s not too late now. You can still get some value from a half-Lent mortification.  Do your best. It’s hard, I know, especially when  you weren’t raised Catholic and don’t have practice at mortification.  Heck, it’s hard for everyone, because there has been so little emphasis on mortification in the Church that many folks were never raised with that practice, even if cradle Catholics.  But it’s never too late to start.

Get your penance on!

Dominus vobiscum!

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Shocking development! I’m a heretic! March 7, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, error, family, priests, secularism, self-serving, Society, Virtue.
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Or Jay Boyd is, or both of us, or something something something.  Last week I did a post on Dr. Jay Boyd’s new book.  By some means, that post got linked to a Yahoo group for “NFP professionals.”  Within a very short time, Jay got word of that post, and the comments it attracted from the NFP professionals.  Jay has made her own response here, where she cuts and pastes some of the comments.

Basically, there were two people in the group who determined, from the post (which I admit, wasn’t my best effort, it was not well written, but you get what you pay for, and in spite of my repeated attempts to extort money from you people (not), this blog is free to read) that I am a manifest heretic, a Janssenist who hates sex* (which, to put it bluntly, this statement is so far off-base as to just make me laugh, that’s all I could do, because it’s just so wrong.  Modesty preventscontraception me from saying any more) and a “providentialist.”  That last bit is a neat trick, taking a term NFP advocates have used to describe some of their “opponents,” those who basically let God determine how many children they’ll have, and turning it into a heresy.  Somehow, it’s absent from my manual on moral theology.  I think the denunciation of this term strange, as aren’t we to trust that God will provide for us, at least to an extent?  That doesn’t mean we lie around waiting for stocked Frigidaires to fall from the sky, but there is nothing wrong (and really, much to commend) in taking a leap of faith in a given situation, trusting that God will provide for our needs. To denounce that seems to me to be very troubling, indicative of something I’d rather not say.  I, or Jay, or both of us, were also likened to the devil, as “all heresies have a common ancestor.”  Before I proceed any farther, I want to make clear that of course there are valid reasons to use NFP to periodically abstain from the marital act, but I have serious reservations about how NFP use is presented in many quarters.

Well.  I originally thought I might parse some of the statements, but Jay has already done that, for the most part.  Another reason was that I just don’t much care for blogfoolery, internecine strife between Catholic bloggers.  I comment and even condemn certain aspects current in the Faith in a general sense quite frequently, but try to stay away from denouncing individual bloggers, etc.  But there was a statement made by a Hanna Klaus, MD at the Natural Family Planning Center of Washington, DC and “TeenSTAR Program” that I think deserves some comment. This was one comment Jay decided not to directly address.   Here she blows (my emphasis):

From the brief look at the blog, the protagonist appears to be  partly a providentialist  (God will provide,  period)   and partly has  a residue of Janssenism (sex is basically sinful and has to be redeemed by procreation)       couples are free to practice NFP or not,  but they are not free not to practice responsible parenthood.   Humanae vitae  makes it clear that the marital act has two “ends”  the perfection of mutual love and the transmission of life.   Let’s not revive the controversy about grave vsserious reasons for avoiding more children… that’s been done. 

Now, again, it’s hard to know just which portion of the 1000+ word post is being addressed here, whether it’s something I said, or something I pasted from

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist

Jay,or what.   This statement about “practice responsible parenthood” is very nebulous and potentially disturbing. That can be used to justify NFP under just about any circumstance.  It also seems to pass judgment on others who may hold different values when it comes to how to provide for children. To some, an inability to pay for a private education or college could be a sign that children are not being responsibly raised.  I’m mostly going to let that lie, however, as it’s just too vague and, frankly, confusing, to address. But there are a couple of neat rhetorical tricks towards the end that do merit comment. First, note how the writer places the two “ends” of the marital act, with the unitive aspect first, and the procreative second.  Revealing?  I doubt it’s accidental.  There is also a third end, relief of concupiscence, which is sort of tied in with the unitive aspect but often goes overlooked (as I did the other day, thanks, Steve K, for reminding me).

But what I find most concering is the author’s complete disregard for other Magisterial statements on marriage and family life. This ties in with the whole “theory of rupture” regarding Vatican II, that basically the Church started anew in 1962 and everything before is both obsolete and can be forgotten. But those statements prior to VII DO matter, and HV must be read in light of them, not the other way around.  In my post that got them riled up, I mentioned that HV natural-family-planning-10140_0was “problematic,” or not as clear as it could be on this issue of the primacy of the procreative end of the marital act, which has been confirmed in Casti Conubbii, Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae, and many other documents and is firmly grounded in Thomist theo-philosophy.  I say this because we see the evidence right here in the quote above, someone pointing to HV and putting the “unitive” aspect of the marital act first, which is a radical shift from what had always been Catholic belief before about 40 years ago. Since Doctrine can only evolve in its explanations, but never change, this shift is very troubling to me.  This is one of my strongest concerns regarding NFP, that many of the folks using it are embued with an acceptance of dominant cultural mores that say that a couple should regulate the number of children they have, that children should only ever be had under optimum circumstances defined by the couple, the whole personalist/primacy of the individual conscience paradigm that is so dominant in the Church today. But one’s conscience must first be formed in the mind of the Church, before it can exert its primacy!

The last bit, regarding the difference between “grave” and “serious” reasons to periodically abstain from sex is more than mere semantics. For those grave reasons have been defined in the Papal encyclicals which were written prior to Vatican II.  Valid reasons to periodically abstain from sex to avoid conception that stem from those documents include grave illness, very difficult financial situations (although I know many couples that fight through that, right now), some mental incapacity that makes the couple unable to properly raise a child (but in which case, why were they married?), and a few other reasons.  It isn’t a carte blanche for couples to “examine their conscience,” and determine this year isn’t the right one to have a child, because the Cote d’ Azur is calling. Whether one calls the reasons for using NFP made plain in previous Magisterial documents serious or grave, the general sense of those reasons has been conveyed.  Jay sums up the general problem in her post (my emphasis):

That still doesn’t answer the question of why NFP advocates and promoters become so angry and defensive when anyone disagrees with them, though. Perhaps the answer is that questioning the use of NFP means questioning the false sense of autonomy many Catholics have with regard to “forming one’s conscience”. Many Catholics talk about conscience, but few understand that one’s conscience must be properly formed according to the teachings of the Church. It’s the improper formation of conscience that has led many Catholics to accept artificial contraception, homosexual marriage, and even abortion with no qualms. And it is “conscience” on which NFP users rely when deciding whether or not they think God wants them to have another child.

Further, I suggest that the failure to correctly understand conscience flows from the personalist and existentialist notions that have crept into the minds of Catholics by way of some of the verbiage used in various Vatican II and post-Vatican II documents – verbiage that suggests that saying “I prayed about it, and I feel it’s right” is the only justification needed for one’s actions. That’s called moral relativism.details_perimon-natural-family-planning-3_6_9
And that is precisely my concern over NFP, that many couples may be using it for reasons that really aren’t that serious and that there could be moral culpability they are unaware of.  One thing I rarely hear NFP advocates say, which troubles me, is the need for anyone contemplating its used to consult with a good, orthodox spiritual director. I know such are rarer than hen’s teeth in the Church today, but the recommendation should still be made.  In the presentations on NFP I hear on certain EWTN programs, or see in certain books, NFP is presented as an unalloyed good in and of itself and the need to consult with a spiritual director is rarely mentioned, if ever.

I want to make clear again that there are valid reasons to use NFP.  But I have grave concerns that many popular representations of NFP basically turn it into Church-sanctioned birth control, and lose sight of the limitations that have been put on its right use by the Church. To provide some additional background, I’m linking below some very good presentations on NFP and the marital act, from a  very good, traditional priest.  I think they are the best elucidations on the subject I’ve ever heard from the pulpit.

http://www.audiosancto.org/auweb/20120212-The-Sanctity-of-Marriage-The-Duty-of-Motherhood-Versus-the-Abuses-of-NFP.mp3 – this one is, I think, the best of the three

http://www.audiosancto.org/auweb/20040718-Holy-Matrimony-and-NFP.mp3

http://www.audiosancto.org/auweb/20071014-Series-on-Marriage-Part-4-Periodic-Abstinence-and-NFP.mp3

* – the actual quote was “Janssenism (sex is basically sinful and has to be redeemed by procreation)”, but since we are called to hate sin, therefore, I must hate sex

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