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Cardinal McCarrick’s pectoral cross March 8, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, awesomeness, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, religious, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness.
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Via Eponymous Flower, a photo that is ostensibly of Cardinal McCarrick’s pectoral cross.  That there have been accusations regarding Cardinal McCarrick’s behavior would be an understatement. That Cardinal McCarrick did much to prevent the enforcement of doctrine and continue the status quo of the post-conciliar collapse is a certainty.  The below is apparently his pectoral cross, if it can even be called that.


Whichever Cardinal’s………cross substitute that is, they ought to get some fashion lessons.  That is about as timely as a polyester leisure suit with a wings haircut, let alone being so very, very wrong on so many levels.

I, for one, have little doubt as to the owner of such a monstrosity.  Did Jesus lose a leg on the way to Calvary (striking breast three times)?

I actually have a very 70s style crucifix I wear that was a gift, from a very holy young man pursuing a religious vocation. He had performed various lay roles in the Church, and the crucifix he gave me apparently once belonged to Pope John Paul II.  When a certain priest in Rome, an American, had fallen into addiction, and was found by one of his confrere’s living as a homeless, strung out addict, that still active priest brought him into Pope John Paul II, who blessed him and gave him my crucifix, which began the turnaround of that priest’s life.  That priest then, a number of years later, gave the priest to the y0ung man I knew.  And he gave it to me, because he knew my history.  I wear it every day.  I have no idea if the story is true, but it certainly sounds nice.

That young man, by the way, was determined to reform the Jesuit order from within, and is out there, still trying. He certainly set himself no small task.

Conclave to start Tuesday March 8, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Lent, North Deanery, Tradition, Voris.
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I know we’ll be four weeks into Lent by then, with weeks left to go, but if you have any spare capacity for prayer and penance, that will be the time to use it.  I have a feeling this conclave is going to take some time.



The revealing reaction to US Cardinals press conference cancellation March 8, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, self-serving, true leadership, Voris.
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I haven’t covered this much, but I think it is very significant.  Several US diocesan (as opposed to curial, or Roman) cardinals, had been giving interviews to select US reporters, primarily TV reporters, during the run-up to the conclave.  They were directed to stop by their brother cardinals from around the world, and/or the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone. What followed was rather interesting: a media barrage from certain American Catholic commentators who



perhaps have a stronger reputation for political conservativism than Catholic orthodoxy.  This included George Weigel, who just went off on the other cardinals of the world for having the temerity to end the US media campaign, and Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture, among others.  That these individuals have some ties to the two American cardinals most featured in the interviews and in recent talk of papabile is perhaps meaningful.  I should note that no other cardinals have been giving such interviews, and that encouraging a media circus seems to me contrary to the spirit of prayerfully preparing the solemn duty – the sacred, incredibly vital duty – of electing the next Pope from within their own ranks.  The American advocacy of “transparency” to me has not rung true, instead, the media effort appeared to me a transparent attempt to influence the papal voting, as well as being a powerful temptation to self-seeking by gaining media exposure and notoriety.

Occuring almost simultaneously with all that was an article from Sandro Magister that purports to describe the infighting in the conclave, with different blocs at war with one another. One bloc, made up of Italian curial cardinals who seek to maintain their current power arrangements uninterrupted, and progressives who seek a weak, easily bullied Pope, is said to be against an American led group who seek a powerful Pope who will clean house in the curia and maintain doctrinal orthodoxy. Magister then posited that the two most likely American papabile were Dolan and O’Malley.  I’m very Archbishop-Dolanskeptical of either’s chances, and both cardinals have been very uneven in their support/enforcement of Catholic belief.

Which gets me to what Rorate Caeli wrote concerning all the above today. I was working on a post very similar to theirs last night, but ran out of time and didn’t get it out. Their prose and logic is much better than mine, but the analysis is exactly what I had been thinking, as well (my emphasis and comments):

Is an American Pope possible? Yes, eminently, this time more than ever. In this, we agree with Magister. Cardinal Wuerl’s declaration that there could not be a pope from “the Superpower” indicated: first, his dislike for specific fellow countrymen of his in the College, perhaps one specific curial Cardinal, one not making any noise, whose position he wished to undermine; and also an outdated view of the relatively much weaker position of the United States in today’s world. [I think we feel and understand that in this country, but do people around the world see the US as much weaker than it was even 8 years ago?]

Could it be Cardinal Dolan? There is a diffuse feeling that he, as well as some noisy American prelates, speaks through the media, and that “mainstream-media-Catholics” such as Weigel represent his views.[I think this a likely surmise. And we know Cardinal Dolan speaks through Bill Donohue]And the boisterous, belligerent, and particularly imperious and ideological tone epitomized by Weigel and his allies make a Dolan papacy very unlikely. That is the fault of what Weigel in a fit of wrongheaded patriotism calls “Team America”, but that is rather a “Team of some Americans”.
Does the Church need more noisy gestures from lukewarm sources? Does she need more instability? An American Pope, certainly, but one who is a sterling administrator and understands the need for festina lente, not presidential-like “first 100 days”. [A reference to an unfortunate term Weigel used, likening the beginning of a papacy to that of a new presidential administration, a unique time to clean house. I think that analogy betrays far more about Weigel than it reveals about the papacy]  Such antics, including press conferences during the period of reflection that is that of the pre-conclave General Congregations, and exclusive interviews for the favored media, are beneath the papacy. Rome is not Manhattan, and it is not 340xWashington – and that is something to be celebrated, not regretted.
Everything I have seen in the pre-conclave thus far indicates to me that Cardinal Burke’s chances are improving – maybe.  Several prime candidates have been knocked out, or knocked themselves out (for goodness sakes, Cardinal Turkson is having posters calling for him to be elected Pope plastered all over Rome!).  And much of Magister’s analysis made sense, I would not be surprised in the least if the conclave came down to a liberation theology/modernist faction against a more orthodox faction.  But divining from that a specific “winning candidate” is still pretty far fetched.
I really do not think that Dolan and O’Malley and the other American Diocesan Cardinals have much of a chance.  If you read foreign sites, which I do, there is strong antipathy towards them, specifically.  We’ll see.  But I bet we don’t know until Thursday or Friday.

It’s a shame the cardinals aren’t as orthodox as the laity March 8, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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Has anyone in the hierarchy stopped to think, that  maybe the Church is growing so rapidly in Africa, because orthodox presentations of the Faith are being transmitted there?  A recent article shows that the beliefs of Catholics in Africa are very orthodox, quite a bit more than some of their episcopate:

Over the past century, the Catholic Church has been growing fastest in one of the regions other Catholics know least. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for only one percent of the world Catholic population in 1910. By 2010, that had jumped to 16 percent.

The faith here has a strength and exuberance that reminds some of early Christians. “These people are living a kind of New Testament experience,” says U.S. theologian George Weigel.

It is also highly conservative. [no, it’s orthodox. I’m sick of mixing political terms into religious matters]  Interviews in Luwero, a town in central Uganda, elicited moral stands so strict they would surprise Catholics in the West, as well as deep concern about poverty and justice.  [Most Catholics in the West, anyway.  But good for them!  God bless them!]

“Modernisation has spoiled Catholics a little bit and they think they have to do whatever they want,” said Joseph Lwevuze, 58, who grows pineapples, coffee and other crops in a nearby village and teaches catechism at his local church.

Homosexuality is a globalization issue,” he said to illustrate his point. “It’s a virus, if I can use today’s computer language. It’s a computer virus that’s spreading. Even animals do not do it.” [I think there is something to this statement. I think Western and especially US cultural dominance – or imperialism – has spread much immorality around the world, and it has engendered a strong backlash]

Demands from Europe or the United States for reform of Church attitudes meet stiff opposition here. “The new pope needs to maintain and even tighten traditional Church teaching,” said brickmaker Frederick Lule, 25, who struggles to feed his wife and two children but honors the Catholic ban on artificial birth control and abortion. [Relative to recent conversations on this blog over NFP, I find this man’s example very heartening.  May God bless him abundantly, as well]

I think those pills they give women bring diseases,” said Joanina Nansubuga, a 35-year-old mother of seven………. [These Ugandans are well formed and wise!]

“If you allow priests to marry, then the Catholic Church will start to crumble,” objected Edward Sindamanya, 64, who walked from his hamlet to Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral to pay his tithe and say a rosary. “I’ve also heard women want to be allowed to be priests. That can’t be.” [pay his tithe……]

What these Catholics wanted most from the next pope was more help to fight poverty and provide better education and health facilities.

“The Gospel should be translated into action so there are equal opportunities for the African farmer to sell coffee to Europe and get better prices,” said Rev Gerald Wamala, 36, a local priest and head of the local church AIDS program. “It would be great for the new pope to speak out on equity in international trade.”

Well, we all have a tendency to put our self interest to the fore, even in matters of faith.  I don’t know enough of international trade restrictions to speak to their concerns.  But for the rest, it’s very refreshing to see.  I know the Church in Africa is facing many threats, from modernist prelates to protestant inroads (there is a correlation there!), but from this very anecdotal, limited data, it is reassuring to see.

Non sequitur I couldn’t resist March 8, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, non squitur, sickness, silliness, Society.
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With all the insanity in schools over play or even imaginary guns, I had to share this:


Back in the day (maybe 20 years ago), it used to be nothing for kids in the country to have gun racks in their pickups, often with firearms in them.  Parked at school and everything. And nobody had a conniption back then.  But 20 years of media propaganda and well nigh infinintely hyped shootings have led to mass hysteria.  Someday, should sanity every prevail again, someone should do a study on all these ridiculous hysterias.  Like the phantom sexual abuse of kids at California day care centers back in the 80s – virtually all of it was completely, totally made up.  Or various scares over certain technologies – Y2K, Large Hadron Collider, that VHF array in Alaska – every year or two, we get a new technological doomsday scenario hyped to death.

It’s like Chesterton said, when people reject God (and thus, reason), it’s not that they believe in nothing, they’ll believe in anything.

Hopefully, my final post on NFP March 8, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, attachments, contraception, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, error, family, General Catholic, secularism.
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An NFP instructor left a comment in a previous post on the popular presentations on NFP. I replied, and I think the reply is worthy of a post in its own right. I do hope to get off this subject after this post, at least for a while!  I hate to beat a dead horse, but this is a subject that always attracts interest, so here goes:

I don’t want it to be thought that I totally oppose NFP. I don’t.  I think it is a necessary tool for those who face unexpected difficulties. I just object to some of the popular presentations, by folks like Greg Popcak, de Sollenni, and others, who present NFP as a life-time tool to use to limit births.  In doing so, I never hear them say “you need to review any decisions in this regard with your spiritual director,” or even give any caveats. I have heard Pia de Sollenni on the radio at least twice say couples can use NFP for the entirety of their married lives, which I suppose could be true in very exceptional cases, but she presents that as just a regular old option to the use of NFP.  She even says couples can use NFP to have NO children, ever.  And that I find problematic. These popular presentations rarely mention that the Church does grant the use of NFP, but only for serious or grave reasons.  I’m glad the commenter maintains that she does make that fact clear.

For some countervaling examples (as the commter spoke of how she tries to guide folks to an understanding of NFP that is not embued with any kind of “birth control mentality), I know a handful of Catholic couples just in my own little circle who used NFP in a manner very analagous to contraception. They used it to space their desired number of births to an optimal time, and when they “had enough children,” met their quota, or whatever, they all got their husbands sterilized.  That was 5 different couples I know!  And they thought it was fine, no problem.  It’s just what one does.  So when Dr. Boyd speaks of a “birth control mentality,” I think there may be something to it.

The three main points I was trying to make were: 1) NFP is a tool only to be used in extremis, 2) the Magisterium of the Church has made pretty clear what those extreme situations are, and 3) anyone contemplating the use of NFP should really review thier decision to do so with a good spiritual adviser.  As a tool, it’s morally neutral, it just depends on how it is used. That’s all.

One final point.  If one wants to argue that NFP can be used as a “bridge” to ween people off contraception and into a viewpoint much more accepting of life, that argument may have some merit.  It’s still problematic, morally, to teach folks to use NFP in a manner analagous to contraception, accepting all the cultural assumptions that go into that use, but it would at least get them to stop poisoning their bodies, possibly unintentionally aborting who knows how many fertilized eggs, and just really being in rebellion to the belief and practice of the Church (rebellion could/would remain, but not so severely). I have sensed at times in certain NFP advocates that they feel at least somewhat that way about the practice, that NFP should be “sold” as a way to control fecundity in order to appeal better to users of contraception and hopefully get them to a position where they can eventually accept the Church’s beliefs regarding the life issues. Such is never said openly, of course. As I said, such a view, while very well intentioned, is still morally problematic (and quite so), but it might go some way to explain the way that NFP is presented. In their zeal to get couples to stop contracepting, NFP advocates go a bit overboard and present NFP as a lifelong contraception alternative. Not in so many words, but that’s the effect.  I think that zeal may be misplaced, for even though NFP has many advantages like I listed above, and more, viz a viz contraception, if there is still the mentality that one should be “in charge” of making decisions about when babies come and how many, for want of a very serious or grave reason, there is still a great disconnect from the Will of God as expressed in the Mind of the Church.

I’m late for Mass!