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Catholic Tradition – the announcement of Pope John Paul II becoming Pope March 15, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Papa, Tradition, true leadership.
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I wish Peter Jennings would shut up.  This announcement makes an interesting contrast with the one we had on Wednesday:

Even more old school:

Here’s another interesting video of Venerable Pope Pius XII, speaking to British and Canadian troops who had just liberated Rome. You can hear Papa Pacelli speaking English!  Skip ahead a couple of minutes to get to the speech.

The weepers, the hearers, the standers, and the kneelers…… March 15, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Lent, Papa, Sacraments, sanctity, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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There is no question that one of the biggest, most negative changes to sweep the Church since Vatican II has been the near complete loss of a corporate conception of sin on the part of almost the entire Church.  So many souls today have either been taught, or come to feel, that sin is something they essentially never commit, that mortal sin is all but impossible, and that pretty much everyone goes to Heaven?  “I mean, it’s not like I’ve killed anyone, is it?”  As if that were the sole criteria, and, yes, you may have, if you got angry and wished death or serious harm on someone, you may be guilty of murder in your heart.  Our Blessed Lord said that even calling someone a blockhead with evil intent was akin to killing them, or desiring to do so.

Of course, it wasn’t always this way.  Prior to Vatican II, there was a much more proper focus on sin, with Confession a regular part of virtually every faithful Catholic’s life, and regular sermons and catechesis stressing our fallen, sinful natures, entirely dependent on sanctifying Grace for salvation.  Confession lines were long, penances were real (not one Our Father, or “think about how what you did was wrong”), and souls were generally sanctified in the process.

But way back in the way back, in the early Church, the focus on sin was much, much more severe. In continuing to read through Jurgen’s Faith of the Early Fathers, one thing that is very clear is that the early Church took post-baptismal sin, or relapse, very, very seriously.  Bear in mind that at this point, most Catholics were still converts, adult converts, and that many had promised to forsake sin as a very serious conversion of heart when entering the Church.  By the time of the Council of Nicea in AD 325, there were prolongued preparatory periods of catachumens seeking baptism in place, to prove their interest in the Church was more than just a passing fancy.  And if they happened to lapse back into serious sin, the penances were amazingly harsh.

First, there were four classes of penitent, generally.  They were thus:

  1. The “weepers,” people who had committed such grave sins as adultery or heresy were required to spend years outside the church every Sunday, literally in sack-cloth and ashes, forbidden by the porters to enter and begging the faithful to pray for them.
  2. The “hearers,” people who had either committed lesser sins or who had already spent years as weepers, who were confined to the vestibule and forced to leave Mass with the catachumens after the Mass of the Catachumens (the Liturgy of the Word in the Novus Ordo) were over.  People often spent years as hearers for a single grievous sin!
  3. The “kneelers,” who also may have spent time as weepers and/or hearers.  These were allowed in the nave but had to kneel throughout the Mass of the catachumens while the other faithful stood (that was the practice back then).  Some had to prostrate themselves flat on the ground for the duration.
  4. The “standers,” who st0od with the faithful, and could remain throughout Mass, but could not receive the Blessed Sacrament.

Amazing, isn’t it!  Who earned these punishments?  Well, for one, those who fell away during the persecutions!  Canon 11 of the Council of Nicea stated that those who apostasized, or burned some incense for the emperor during the persecution of Licnius, for instance, without compulsion of confiscation of proprety or grave danger to their bodies, had to spend 3 years as hearers and seven as kneelers!  For apostasy during a heavy persecution!  Yikes! I think I’m glad the Church isn’t quite so severe anymore!  But it shows how gravely they took sin!  Because sin is the very, very worst thing in the universe!  It is the only thing that cuts us off from God and denies us that salvific Grace!

Pope Francis, while still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, had some sterling words about repentance, words that I pray will lead our new Pope to demand of the episcopate a truly great re-emphasis on repentance in general and the Sacrament of Confession in particular.  And some enforcement mechanisms to regularize Confession practices throughout the Church – like at least an hour of Confession in every parish, every day, every year!

Little by little we get used to hearing and seeing, through the media, the black chronicle of contemporary society, presented almost with perverse enjoyment and we also get used to touching it and hearing it around us and in our own flesh,” he wrote. “The drama is in the street, in the neighborhood, in our home, and, why not, in our heart.”

Rend your hearts, not your garments, artificial penance without guarantees for the future,” he continued. “Rend your hearts, not your garments, formal and fulfilled fast which continues to keep us satisfied. Rend your hearts, not your garments, superficial and egoistic prayer which does not reach the depth of our life to allow it to be touched by God

Rend your hearts to say with the Psalmist: “we have sinned.” “Sin is the wound of the soul: Oh poor wounded one, recognize your Physician! Show him the wounds of your guilt. And given that our secret thoughts are not hidden from Him, make him hear the groan of your heart. Move Him to compassion with your tears, with your insistence. Importune Him! May He hear your sighs, make your pain reach Him so that, in the end, He can say to you: The Lord has forgiven your sin” (Saint Gregory the Great).

This is the reality of our human condition. This is the truth that can bring us closer to genuine reconciliation with God and with men. It is not about discrediting self-esteem but about penetrating the depth of our hearts and of assuming the mystery of suffering and pain which has bound us for centuries, thousands of years, always.

This Pope, he is intriguing me.  He has spoken with some true force.  He really believes what he says. I am beginning to wonder what we have here.  We shall see.  The only thing that could have really tied this together, for me, was specific mention of the need to receive Sacramental Confession, regularly.  I read the entire talk, and that was absent.  But the emphasis on repentance, prayer, and penance was very, very marked.  Much better than I’ve read from pretty much any American prelate of the last 40 years.

Dominus vobiscum!

Pope Francis as Cardinal Bregoglio – oppose abortion with all means even if persecuted March 15, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, error, General Catholic, horror, Papa, sanctity, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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In 2006, Pope Francis made a pretty strong statement against abortion, and how it should be fought:

Defend the unborn against abortion even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court or kill you. No child should be deprived of the right to be born, the right to be fed, the right to go to school.

That’s quite a strong, and realistic statement. Because we do get persecuted at times, in our efforts to defend life.  I’ve been yelled at by passers-by while praying outside mills, I’ve had people yell at me, I had a very militant homosexual try to throw his milkshake at me from his car (why, on earth, would he be so uptight about abortion?!?), and all those are very minor things.  A grandmother recently got attacked filming yet another casualty of a Planned Barrenhood. Yet again, a botched abortion led to life-threatening complications (safe, legal, and rare!) and the horror of having to have additional baby parts removed.  Apparently, the grandmother filming the noxious after-effects of yet another abortion gone wrong was too much for someone, who took out the grandma:

So, it’s good to see a prelate who recognizes the persecution that comes from standing up for life, and for encouraging us to cooperate with Grace and continue to make that defense.  If we cooperate with Grace in such a manner, it should be very efficacious for our sanctification.  This is truly a great corporal and spiritual work of mercy, opposing evil and striving to save human lives. It reminds me, I must get out to the mills more often!

The problem in a nutshell March 15, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Bible, catachesis, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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When university-educated “faithful Catholic” youth awaiting the results of a papal conclave glibly, gleefully apostasize, you know something is horribly, horribly wrong (see approx. 6:40 – 8:10 below, although the entire video is good):

Thus, the “future” of the Church.

As they said, this girl has been catechized not by the Church, but by the culture, the media. And so, almost certainly, have virtually every instructor/authority figure she has encountered in the Church, from her priests/pastors to her CCD instructors or Catholic school teachers to her parents to, certainly, her college professors.  The smiling, ignorant proclamation of error as “truth,” the mistaking of evil for good, the blithe acceptance of whatever the media tells her as “true.”  We are in a mess that one pope cannot fix, even if he were so inclined.  We have so very much work to do, but how does one change the opinion of those who are invincible in their willing ignorance and error?  Trying to catechize these people is a very long, slow process, converting even one a year is a major miracle.

This is what comes of playing around with doctrinal formulations, treating Tradition like a cancer, and embracing the mores of the world.  We are in deep kimchee, because that girl represents millions of American Catholics.

But, on the positive side, I note that when professional clown Nicholas Kristoff at the NYT lamented that the new Pope doesn’t accept all the left-wing cultural shibboleths of abortion, womyn priestesseses, contraception, state promotion of sodomy, etc., it was repeatedly pointed out to him that, yes, how dare the Pope be, you know, Catholic.  When Kristoff replied that American Catholics don’t seem to agree with the Pope, I noted, mentally, that I thank God that Americans make probably 2-3% of the truly practicing Church, at most, and that Catholics in other areas don’t agree with their American co-religionists. Or religionists in name only.  So, there’s that. America is pretty bad off, there are places that are much better. But there are also places that are much worse.  It says a very great deal that we must look to Africa and other regions for leadership in the Faith.