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Priest laments massive failure of catachesis in the Church May 28, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, priests, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’ve used the word “collapse” a great deal today, but I don’t know any better to describe what has occurred to the Church’s catechetical efforts over the past several decades than just that. Perhaps disaster would be an alternative. A priest from Britain has a post regarding the difficulty in reaching souls who were either never formed in the Faith, or still worse, formed in a neo-protestant deformation of the Faith that invincibly convinces them they can decide for themselves which Dogmas, if any, to believe. It is a post that is definitely worth reading (I add emphasis and comments):

It used to be said when I was in seminary and newly ordained (1993) that we should not worry too much about baptising the children of lapsed Catholics since they would generally return to the Church at the time of their child’s First Holy Communion. [This is insanity,and represents a stunning abdication of duty.  What if the souls never return? What if they die while away?  It reveals an indifferentism that is depressing] While I have seen a few come back at First Communion, but not all of them continued to come, while the vast majority of parents never bothered at all. Am I alone in finding it disturbing that when children are presented for the Sacraments the parents have no intention of having their child continue in the Faith?  [No, y0u are not. Many of us are similarly troubled and scandalized] On enquiry it is easy to discover that many are not even ‘culturally catholic’: they don’t have religious pictures or statues in the home; they don’t practice family prayer, they say no grace before meals etc. The Church simply plays no role in their life other than providing a local school with a good Ofsted report. [True story: when we had our house on the market, our real estate agent AND a number of people who toured our home commented on the amount of religious art. Well, guess what, I ain’t gonna remove it to sell a house.  And I feel that frankly, at present, our home has a paucity of such depictions of our Faith.  Well, God is good, and there is time, I pray……..]

One of the reasons for the lapsation of the parents (and now, the grandparents) was the undeniably bad catechesis given over the last forty years, with its hidden implication that God is subject to change: “Who is Jesus Christ for you?”.  [I would say, the implicatinos, they weren’t so hidden.] Without meaning to, we were/are telling people it is OK to create God in their own image, so that now we come up against such statements as “my understanding of God is that He doesn’t hold A, B or C against us; we can still get to heaven if we are a good person”. We place souls in grave spiritual danger when we allow them to formulate God according to their own design. [I agree with the priest, but I am not so certain the inculcation of error and indifferentism was purely accidental]
The errors of past formation wreaked havoc in the Church, and still have their influence today. How can they not? It was the foundation we gave to those under 60; to those educated with deficient school texts and in progressive seminaries from the 1960’s onward. Thus we still hear people say Confession is only for mortal sins and “rarely needed”,and the Eucharist “was given to be received, not worshipped”. There are still those whose ecclesiology sees the Catholic Church and the ecclesial communities of Protestantism as being essentially the same, and those whose moral theology is tainted by the mistaken theory of the Fundamental Option. [I am glad the good Father Dickson mentioned the “fundamental option,” the idea that all are saved. This concept is totally contrary to Scripture and 2000 years of Tradition!  But it is sooo very appealing…..who doesn’t want to think they are saved?  And, it makes the task of being a shepherd very much easier, not having to confront souls with sin or exhort them to live holy lives.  It is one of satan’s greatest coups]  Sadly, much on-going formation is just more of the same, which is perhaps why some priests take responsibility for their own on-going formation by having recourse to orthodox conferences and reading materials.
I truly believe that unless we return to the very basics in our preaching, in our school texts and in our public statements, and unless we return to a liturgy that is God-focused rather than people-centred, we will continue to see the Church dwindle by lapsation and lose influence in society. We need to be formed again, theologically and catachetically. in key issues: the Primacy of the Pope in Doctrine and Discipline; the unique nature of the Catholic Church as the One True Church from which all salvation flows; the necessity of regular Confession for regular Communion; [I thank Father for adding this, too!] the Mass as the Sacrifice of Calvary and not simply a fraternal banquet; the inherent evil of contraception; of fornication, abortion and euthanasia……..
It’s a great post, do go read the rest. And make sure to read the comments by Adrienne and Maureen.  I did not have the heart to comment on Maureen’s tragic tale there, nor will I here, but I definitely have an opinion on why things turned out as they did. I will say that studies have shown children follow the religious behavior of the father far more than the mother.
Fr. Dickson may be a bit discouraged: because he was using strong catechetical materials and only offered Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue at First Communions, it seems many parents are having their children receive First Communion elsewhere. That has to be a very difficult blow.  I pray he continues on his way and remains strong!

A local Catholic response to the Boy Scout collapse May 28, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, fun, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, scandals, secularism, Society, Virtue.
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Let’s face it, the Boy Scouts are done, at least from the perspective of serving an acceptable moral end and contributing to a better, possibly more Christian society.

But is there any alternative?  While I might argue that by far the best place to encourage social interaction, bonding, outdoorsmanship, and civic responsibility is within a large Catholic family, my fellow parishioner Taylor Marshall has determined to form a faithful-Catholic alternative to the Boy Scouts, which he is calling the Scouts of St. George.  I wish the endeavor every success.  Here are some pertinent details:

We are going to make Catholic Scouts happen: the Scouts of Saint  George.

Here’s the mini-manifesto in 7 points:

1.   The Scouts of Saint George must be Catholic and  acknowledge every jot and tittle of the magisterium of the Church – and be in  full communion with the Holy Father.
2.   A personal relationship with Christ and the  growth in manly virtue will be at the heart of the Scouts of Saint George.
3.   The Scouts of Saint George will be like the Boy  Scouts of America with hiking, fishing, camping, merit badges, and a highest  rank (equivalent somehow to Eagle Scout). Same format and structure.
4.   The Scouts of Saint George must have protection  from the government, which means it must be  grassroots. It cannot be a  non-profit 501(c)3. Otherwise, we are under government regulation and pressure  in the years to come. We must avoid influence from lobbyists and governmental  powers to compromise (as has happened with the BSA). Where there is no money,  there is less pressure.
5.   The Scouts of Saint George will be free and  open-source. Like the original Baden-Powell, all you’ll need is the book,  uniform, and badges. That’s it. The rest is grassroots. Fathers and sons  organize and simply register or seek recognition from the other Scouts of Saint  George.
6.   The Scouts of Saint George won’t reinvent the  wheel. Traditional scouting works. Why change it? We’re just going to preserve  the tradition and import a Catholic identity.
7.   The Scouts of Saint George is global. My goal is  to get Pope Francis to approve it and recognize it.

8.   Why Saint George? I have a devotion to  him and he’s the exemplar for young men in the categories of courage and  virginity? We need young men to slay the dragons of our era. Wouldn’t you agree?

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NO Latin Mass tonight at St. Mark May 28, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery.
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Don’t go!  There will be no Novus Ordo Latin Mass at St. Mark tonight. The Mass will resume on June 17 at 7pm, with a special Requiem Mass.

st_ peters altar cards ii

Understanding Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus May 28, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, priests, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The audio below is from a sermon given on Pentecost Sunday.  The priest discusses the many times confirmed Dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus: outside the Church there is no salvation. I have blogged on this subject a number of time, but I know I haven’t covered the subject as accurately, nor as comprehensively, as the priest does in the sermon below.  I know that when I first heard this sermon, I was eager to blog on it. This is a subject of critical import for the life of the Church and the propagation of the Faith. And this subject of “no salvation outside the Church” is one that is very widely misunderstood, with a huge majority of Catholics today, including those in the hierarchy, almost completely discounting this timeless Dogma, and with a very small number of people on the extreme side of Tradition taking it rather too far, discounting Baptism by Blood.

I think this sermon may be followed up with another one expanding on some of the topics discussed, because it does not get into all the various errors regarding this belief.  But, even as it stands, it’s one of the best explanations I’ve ever encountered on this vital subject:


A brief summary of the sermon from AudioSancto: Quotes regarding “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church”. Commanded by Christ to be incorporated by Baptism into the Mystical Body and united to Vicar of Christ on earth. Explanation of the desire for Baptism and incorporation. Who will be saved and who will be condemned? What are infidels? Story of Walking Bear. Who are heretics? Ignorance is NOT a means of salvation. Four necessary beliefs: there is only one God Who will reward the good and punish the evil; there are three persons in God, Jesus Christ suffered and died for out sins. Quote from Pope Francis.

Forget Fortnight for Freedom, how about Christus Rex for Freedom! May 28, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, Tradition.
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Louis Verrecchio is at it again:

As the August 1st deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate looms, Archbishop William Lori, Chairman of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, recently announced, for the second year in a row, “The Catholic bishops of the United States have called for a Fortnight for Freedom in the days leading up to the Fourth of July.”

His Excellency described the fourteen day observance as “a time when we as Catholics—people who believe in the Constitution and the freedoms guaranteed by it—can come together to pray, study, and prayerfully act in support of those freedoms, most especially the freedom of religion.”

With this in mind, please join me in respectfully proposing an alternative course of action constructed upon the solid foundation of Catholic tradition and the following unshakeable convictions:

• Our FAITH is placed not in the Constitution, but in Jesus Christ, Sovereign and Lord.

• Our HOPE for freedom is expressed not by reciting Constitutional precepts, but in teaching both individuals and States to observe all things whatsoever that Our Blessed Lord commanded.

• Our LOVE for God and country is made manifest not through acts of patriotic sentimentalism, but by proclaiming the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King to all, including those in civil authority, that they may come to heel under His sweet and saving yoke.

Boo yah, I’m on board with all that!  Dang straight!

And if you would like to communicate to the USCCB, that misbegotten organization, that you implore our bishops not to appeal to the Constitution, but to the Sovereign Reign of Jesus Christ in all things, then please consider going to the link and signing the petition at the bottom. I did.  The petition states the following:

I hereby pledge to recite the Most Holy Rosary daily throughout the “Fortnight for Freedom” (June 21 to July 4), with the intention of seeking for the bishops of the world, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the grace necessary to proclaim, with neither hesitation nor fear, the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King, making known the duty incumbent upon every individual and State to serve Him, and to honor the uniquely absolute freedom of the Holy Roman Catholic Church that He established for our salvation.

With every good intention for the liberty and exaltation of Holy Mother Church,


An endeavour worthy of support. I, for one, am quite tired of hearing bland platitudes regarding “religious freedom” completely decoupled from the rights of the Church as the One True Church established by Jesus Christ our Sovereign King. Stop being ashamed to be Catholic!  And stop surrendering massive amounts of territory, and the ultimate moral high ground, by making this an issue of constitutional principle, rather than one of an outright demand to commit acts of grave evil, and an assault on Jesus Christ Himself.  For the Church is His Body on earth, so that anything that attacks the Church attacks Christ.

As many popes have pointed out over the past several centuries, any government not founded on Jesus Christ as its ultimate exemplar and visible head, is doomed to fail.  I fear we have made an idol of our Constitution, and look for a piece of paper, scribbled by men, to protect us, when the only True Protector and Defender of the Church is Jesus Christ.

May God have mercy on us.


Up next for Boy Scouts……..atheists! May 28, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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Once you cave into the zeitgeist, all the pagan sexularists want you to recognize their own particular specialness.  Frankly, now that the Boy Scouts have made their decision to stand with the culture of perversion and death, I’ve lost all interest in them, but I think this op-ed from the head of the very Lone Star District of the Circle 10 Council that I was once a member of, deserves some consideration.  For there is another oh-so-aggrieved group demanding the Boy Scouts destroy themselves in order to provide the aggrieved with that affirmation they so crave, and that is the atheists (I add emphasis and comments):

On Thursday, delegates to the national convention of the Boy Scouts of America adopted a resolutionto eliminate the longstanding policy barring “open and avowed homosexuals” from being Scouts (while maintaining the policy against homosexual Scoutmasters and adult volunteers).

This supposed compromise satisfies no one. Homosexual activists demand to be admitted to all phases of Scouting, while conservatives insist that being an “open and avowed homosexual” (not just someone who has privately experienced same-sex attractions) is inconsistent with the Scout’s oath to be “morally straight.” Giving an inch to the demands of political correctness will only put the Scouts on a slippery slope toward complete capitulation.

However, even the full acceptance of homosexuality throughout Scouting would not be the bottom of that slippery slope. There is another group that has been howling as loudly as the homosexuals about their exclusion from the Boy Scouts — the atheists………

………Just as homosexual activists insist that Scouts can be “morally straight” without being sexually straight, atheists apparently believe they can be “reverent” without believing in God. In particular, the FFRF denies that “belief in an unprovable deity has anything at all to do with ethical conduct.” Indeed, they claim the mantle of morality for themselves, with FFRF saying that “piety is often counterproductive of moral action,” and the American Atheists’ Silverman declaring, “Legally, the Scouts can practice bigotry. But morally, they shouldn’t.”

The vast majority of Americans believe in God and don’t consider it “bigotry” to do so — nor to choose certain private associations with people who share that belief. And if there is no higher being to provide a standard against, which one’s beliefs and conduct are measured, how can the atheists know with any certainty what is “moral” at all?

The slippery slope — from “morally straight” to homosexual to atheist Boy Scouts — is real. The Boy Scouts in the United Kingdom, who opened their tent flaps to homosexuals years ago, are now considering welcoming atheists as well. [And, I should add, membership in the Boy Scouts in the UK, where it was founded, has collapsed into irrelevancy.  But that is what always occurs when formerly stalwart defenders of morality and the Christian ethos cave into the demands of the sexular pagan culture.]

The new “compromise” adopted by the BSA is an irrational and thus an unstable one. Whether through further administrative actions or a lawsuit, it is likely that the Boy Scouts will have “open and avowed homosexuals” as Scoutmasters and volunteers in the near future.

The atheists will not be far behind.

How many elements of the Boy Scout motto are going to have to be thrown out in order to appease the culture?   How about all of them?

And should the Scouts invite homosexual scoutmasters, will the Catholic Church then terminate its association with that group?  Could not the Church be exposed to liability for sponsoring Scout groups where abuse occurs?  What of atheism? Will the bishops terminate their relationship if the Scouts allow atheists?

Should I hold my breath?


The first vows of Sister Maria Benedicta were wonderful! May 28, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, religious, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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My family and I were blessed to assist at the Mass and reception of First Vows of Sr. Maria Benedicta and it was, as always, a very blessed event. I am sorry I have no photos to share, but the Carmel has asked that photos not be taken.  Nevertheless, it was glorious!  Sr. Maria Benedicta is a rather late vocation, and her family had to travel from California to be at this profession.  But they were so happy, so filled with bliss, and so proud, it was catching just to be around them.  We got to speak with Sr. Maria Benedicta for a short while in the parlor, and her joy and humility were radiant, if I can use that term.

Sr. Maria Benedicta had actually transferred from another Carmel in another state, where there were unfortunately many problems. That community did not seem very happy. But when she discussed her plans to transfer with Reverend Mother Juanita Marie, good mother informed her that the two requirements for the Dallas Carmel were to be joyful and constantly humble.  That focus must be very attractive, because the Dallas Carmel has exploded in the last few years from the 8 or 9 nuns to 19 today.  We are so blessed to have a Carmel in this Diocese.  Most do not.  But that locus of cooperation with Grace and the unending prayers these nuns offer up are such a source of good for the entire Diocese, the impact of which we shall not know in this life, but I know it is all to the good. I don’t think it accidental that Mater Dei had a long association with the Carmel, and then was not only stood up as a personal parish in its own right, but has also grown to be quite probably the largest FSSP apostolate in the world.

I want to personally thank Mother Juanita Marie for taking the time to speak to my oldest daughter.  Annabelle has been having a very hard time since her best friend entered the Carmel in Valparaiso, Nebraska several weeks ago. She is totally cut off from contact with her friend, and will be for a very long time.  This has been very hard on Annabelle. So, Mother Juanita Marie spent nearly and hour just talking with her and offering some advice.  It was a very charitable thing to do, and completely unexpected.

Overall, it was a most blessed day.  I pray the Dallas Carmel continues to grow and grow and grow!  And thanks to FutureCarmeliteJMJ for all the links!

Oh, one final note on the Carmel. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 7, Fr. Thomas Longua will offer a TLM at the Carmel. This Mass will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of father’s ordination to God’s holy priesthood.  I hope to have more details soon.