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And now for something completely different….. July 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Society, the enemy.
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…..I’ve been reading Christopher Ferrara’s very interesting Liberty: The God that Failed.  I’m frankly less than 10% through the book, so can’t give an honest overview, but there have been some excellent individual quotes I thought I might share.  This book really attacks the formation we essentially all received growing up in this country: that “democracy,” or republican democracy, is the best, practically the ony acceptable form of government ever devised, that, likewise, the “free market” is ideal, and that both trump any previous constructs, especially those hopelessly corrupt and authoritarian relics of the Middle Ages, the limited monarchy coupled with a dominant Church.  Ferrara argues no so fast, and makes a strong case, even in the beginning stages of the book, that classical liberal democratic states (liberty, for short) have been an unfettered disaster for mankind, and are leading us rapidly and inevitably towards civilizational collapse.  This, without even the seemingly unavoidable fall into the sexular socialist statism now encroaching on all “advanced” countries, if they are not already there.

A few selected quotes:

Liberty so defined has given birth to the State in its modern guise: organs of government separated from the Church; government by majority will and the “representatives” of the majority, including a quasi-monarchical “chief executive” who succeeds the Christian king with all the pomp and ceremony of the monarchy, but on a far grander scale than any king could have afforded and with far greater powers at his disposal [mostly because we now pay taxes far, far higher than any Medieval monarch would have dreamed obtaining!]. …..modern states exercise vastly more authority over the individual than any Christian monarch of old – not in spite of, but precisely because of its claim to represent “the will of the people” over and above the authority of any moral code, religion or Church to which a mere king ruling a state in the classical state was subject, if only out of his own fear of eternal punishment. [Think about our present situation. 53% of Americans elect a man president. That man is given immense, near total power. He decides to impose a new health payment scheme on the nation, and gets an obsequious Congress to willingly enact this scheme. This scheme contains provisions forcing all citizens to drastically alter their economic standing, and, even worse, fund horrifyingly immoral acts with their own money – all because a narrow majority voted for one man. That is obscene. But that is the system that has been created in this country.  And because Obama has the “backing of the people,” his actions have a patina of univeral approbation, approval, and even moral licity.  All of which are highly dubious, at best.]


The political tradition of Christendom, then, provides a complete doctrine, rooted in revelation, for both obedience to civil authority and the grounds for licit disobedience to its unjust or immoral commands. Having abandoned the Christian teaching on the divine source and the divinely imposed limits of civil authority, the modern nation-state boasts of its freedom even as it destroys true freedom by an exact inversion of the Gospel: We ought to obey men rather than God, keeping any contrary “private” religious beliefs to ourselves in the exercise of our “religious freedom.” [And we see heavy, heavy efforts to force the practice of religion – should it be tolerated at all – into the private realm of Church and home.  The Christian religion, anyways.]


….if nationalism – the worship of the nation-state – is classed as a religion, then it is far and away the most violent relgiion in human history…….[nationalism has caused……]……..”the cruel wars, desolations of countries, and oceans of blood” that none other than John Adams, second President of the United States, predicted “must occur before rational principles and rational systems of government can prevail and be established” – that is, before Christendom could be eradicated throughout teh West and replaced by “the American model.”……..Only when the living God who founded a Church and preached His Gospel in the flesh had been banished form political affairs – that is, only when Christendom had been overthrown – was it possible to speak of a secular nation-state; and only then did there emerge the epiphenomenon of nationalism with its demands for total war. [Ferrara had just spent quite a bit of time explaining how these new “democratic” nation-states had spilled more blood in more wars than anything that had come before, by orders of magnitude. The 20th century has been the century of total war, where men no longer die for God, but for the new god of the nation state.] But as Milbank has written: “Once there was no secular.Instead there was the single community of Christendom with its dual aspects of sacerdotium and regnum……The secular as a domain had to be created or imagined, both in theory and in practice.” The creation or imagination of the secular domain of politics, separated from the precepts of revealed religion, was a primary aim of the enlightenment and an essential preparation for the American Revolution.



Spank! July 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, shocking, Tradition.
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I really was going to leave this alone, but this is too good.  Patrick Archbold hits a home run:

Imagine for a second that you are a priest or a religious or even a lay person attending mass.  When you joined the order you has [sic] no idea whatsoever that the liturgy which you have used all your life would be suddenly changed.  This wasn’t the mass you had in mind when you signed up.

But your superiors are intent on imposing this alternative liturgy on the whole community.  But hey, the mass you were used to had been the standard liturgy for your whole life.  It is the only mass you have ever known.

Now, something completely alien is being thrust upon you.  You have reasonable concerns about how these changes will affect religious life. You have reasonable concerns about how these sudden changes will impact the faithful that attend mass with you.  You have reasonable concerns about the universality of this other mass.

You and a very sizable minority have all these concerns about such a drastic change to your religious lives and the method of worship, but your superiors are intent on the imposition.

Where can you be heard?

So with no other recourse, you turn to the Vatican for a hearing.  You turn to the Vatican in hopes that everyone can take a deep breath and not just impose this on everyone whether they want it or not.

Now imagine…imagine…

Now imagine it is 1970.

In 1970 a sizable minority of Catholics had very real and reasonable concerns about the imposition of this new mass upon them. [A sizeable minority had concerns. But the vast majority saw no need to change the Mass at all, although they went along with their shepherds, as they had been very carefully taught to always do] They tried to raise their concerns, but no one would hear them.  They were given no alternatives and no opt outs.

In 2013, we now see a Church so attuned to the needs of the minority, so sensitive to those who are having the mass they were used to changed, that the Church is willing to impose the one form on the whole community even if the majority prefer the other form.

It might seem that the Church has done a 180 in its approach to the sensitivities of those having another form of liturgy thrust upon them.  It might seem that way, but the result is the same.  The Novus Ordo is imposed on all, whether you like or not.


No, it’s probably not an entirely fair analysis, but it sure is effective. Much of this debate within the FFIs seems to come down to, “this isn’t what I like, this isn’t what I signed up for” and that group – small or large, whatever it is – having the ability to demand things be the way they want them to be, irrespective of the wishes of the majority, or the founder, or whatever.

I cannot believe how much I have covered this situation!  Aack, I’m sick of it!

Hey, I used to get a magazine from the FFIs, then it stopped.  What’s up with that?

NYT has gleeful article about Catholic Georgetown U being “gay-friendly” July 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, the enemy.
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Oh they love this so much they cannot stand it!  As if we needed further condemnation that formerly Catholic, Jesuit (ok, it’s still very, very Jesuit, which is one of dozens of reasons why that order needs supressing) Georgetown has completely gone off the trolley, the NYT has a 3 page (!!) article that just revels in the fact that their side won, that yet another formerly Catholic institution is no undeniably sexular pagan.  I won’t make you suffer through the article, nor earn the Times some money through clicks, so here is a safe review from Catholic Culture.  Note the student who lays it all on the line: he remains Catholic, in order to destroy the Faith:

The New York Times has published an article on the acceptance of homosexuality at Georgetown University. “Indeed, there’s a Gender Liberation Week, Gay Pride Month, a popular drag ball called Genderfunk, and a Lavender graduation ceremony attended by the university president,” the Times reported.

“Every month is a good month to be gay at Georgetown,” said the president of the student gay pride group, who has considered converting to the Episcopal Church. “You stay Catholic because you have a love of the institution and you want to change it.”   [You may say, Tantumergo, how can you say he wants to destroy the Faith? He only seeks to “change” it?  Into what?  Something that completely ignores one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance?  A lifestyle that even the modern catechism declares is fundamentally disordered?  What remains of the Church, when those who seek to change it to accept their particular sin, have their way?  If homosexual acts are not sinful, why did Jesus Christ become man, and die?  All these “little issues” destroy the Faith.]

Knowing they’re going to get creamed by actual Catholics, Georgetown attempts to equivocate:

Todd A. Olson, Georgetown’s dean of students, says he is confident that providing gay students support, freedom of expression and a place to celebrate who they are does not conflict with the university’s Jesuit heritage … The university, he said, is careful not to take positions or advocate behavior that contradicts church teachings. The resource center, for example, does not distribute condoms or provide safe-sex counseling.

See!  Aren’t you reassured now?!  The university is “careful not to take positions!”  Would that be like doggie, 69, kama sutra, what?  Because they’re sure as heck taking a position in favor of encouraging the homosexual lifestyle, and probably, in many various ways, the act, too.  Remember at the beginning “Gender Liberation Week, Gay Pride Month, a popular drag ball called Genderfunk, and a Lavender graduation ceremony attended by the university president.”  Do you think they have “Handgun Liberation Week” at Georgetown?  How about sense mortification week?  Do they practice Ignatian exercises? I know, I know…..it is to laugh!  Please!  There is more outright paganism practiced at Georgetown than there is a sad remnant of Catholicism.

Please stop pretending we’re idiots!  We can see through your double-talk and sad excuse making.  Notice how they say, they are not in conflict with the university’s “Jesuit heritage” – that could mean anything!  But are they Catholic?  Even remotely so?  No!!!!!  The only extent to which they are Catholic, is when it comes time to hit up aging alumni with fat wallets with a bit of 1950s romanticism about how Georgetown used to be.  But it hasn’t, in fact, been remotely Catholic in 50 years or more.  In actuality, many of the worst, early modernists in the US Church, who helped undermine the belief that contraception use is sinful, for example, came from Georgetown.

They can call themselves whatever they like.  But they ceased being Catholic, long, long ago.

A different viewpoint – Bishop Gracida on the FFI situation July 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Papa, persecution, religious.
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Bishop Rene Gracida is an inspiration to me. The man is right around 90 years old, yet his mind is clear as a bell and his comments always Hist16Linsightful.  I frequent his blog regularly.  He has a post with his own thoughts on the situation with the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and also posts some text from an interview Pope Francis gave to a Russian news agency, which does have bearing on the Liturgy in the Latin Rite.  I continue to pray for Bishop Gracida’s health, he is a very valuable source of information and views, and possibly the most orthodox bishop in the United States right now (if retired!):

I first read Sandro Magister’s column printed below and I was shocked.  I seemed as though Pope Francis was possibly going to undo all that Pope Benedict had achieved with his motu proprio,  Summorum Pontificum, in which he decreed the freedom of everyone to celebrate and participate in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  But, then on further reflection and upon reading Pope Francis’ remarks about the liturgy of the Orthodox Church during his press conference on board the flight from Brazil to Rome, I am not so sure.  I have two reasons for my very limited optimism.  First, the decree of the Congregation for Religious that Sandro Magister writes about came about because of group of dissidents in the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate had protested to the Congregation of the Religious that their superiors were forcing them to attend Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form.  [Was the really the case? Or that the TLM was being overemphasized, and maybe some pressure put on to offer it, but I’m not sure about “forced.”] The Congregation, with the approval of Pope Francis, solved the problem of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate by forbidding the celebration of the Extraordinary Form.  That, to me, was the wrong solution.  It would have been better and less drastic to work out an arrangement requiring the celebration of the Mass in the Ordinary Form as well as the Extraordinary Form. [I think Bishop Gracida might be misinformed here.  I did not understand that there was ever a “denial” to offer the NO?  Perhaps some pressure exerted to focus on the TLM, but from what I understand, the NO was always an option?  But I agree, there were many other options available to resolve this “dissension.”] But the Congregation did not do that.  It is important to note that the ban on the Extraordinary form was the work of the Congregation for Religious and perhaps Pope Francis, in giving his approval to the decree did not realize in the midst of his preparation for the World Youth Day what the full repercussion of the decree would be, both for the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the entire Church. [Good Heavens, I hope that is not the case.  I’d hate to think the Pope, any Pope, would be distracted when considering an issue of this magnitude] Pope Francis, in his efforts to be a simple and humble pope, may have made his first big liturgical mistake in approving such a simple solution to a very complex problem of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. [Big is relative. Washing female muslim feet on Holy Thursday was big to some.]

[Disclosure:  I regularly celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in my private chapel.] [Yay!  I might not agree with Bishop Gracida’s obvioius efforts to put maximal-charitable spin on this situation, above, but I always appreciate his views.]

Now, for Pope Francis’ statement to a Russian journalist, as reported by Dr. Robert Moynihan:

Toward the end of the interview, a Russian journalist asks the Pope to comment on the 1025th anniversary, currently being celebrated in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, of the baptism of the Rus’, the ancient Russian people, centered at the time (988 A.D.) in Kiev.

In response, the Pope makes a very positive judgement on the liturgy of the Orthodox. To my knowledge, this response has been little noted.

“They have conserved that pristine liturgy, no?” Pope Francis says. “So beautiful. We [i.e., the Latin Christians] have lost a bit the sense of adoration, they conserve it, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time does not count. [Important point: Orthodox liturgies last how long they last, there is no imposed 1 hour or 45 minute time limit.  They frequently go 2 hours plus, which I’m fine with.  But they do stand much of that time!  I’ve always said there is a great deal to admire in Orthodox Liturgy – which always leaves me scratching my head, because the Mass is really, truly, the heart and soul of Orthodox belief, but only 2% go on any given Sunday!  What’s up with that?!?]  The center is God and that is a richness that I would like to emphasize on this occasion as you ask me this question.”

I had not seen that quote from Pope Francis before.  There is a bit of inconsistency in the Pope’s statements on many issues, including the Liturgy.  But I’m glad to know he said the above.  I must admit to remaining troubled, however. Even Bishop Gracida in his great charity had to grasp at straws.

Here is a nice, brief bio on Bishop Gracida.



The core of what troubles me about the action against the Franciscan of the Immaculate July 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, priests, religious, sadness, scandals, shocking.
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Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam almost always posts gold, and I think he’s made another important contribution with his latest post.  The point of the post is really about the “shoot the messenger” phenomenon that occurs on Catholic news and blog sites whenever there is some scandal.  The effect is that those reporting on the scandal, bad news, disconcerting events, etc., get blamed for the event themselves, by those who I guess would rather not face reality…….or something……rather than the, errr, ummm, upsetedness getting directed at those who caused the actual scandal.

But let me not get sidetracked, at the beginning of his long post (you think I’m long!), Boniface outlines his concerns over the action taken against the Franciscans of the Immaculate and their being denied freedom with regard to offering the TLM.  The issue is precedent, and it’s a very important one (emphasis in original I add comments):

As I see it, the real issue is that this establishes a legal corollary to the principle of free celebration of the EF laid down by Benedict XVI. While Benedict XVI stated, “Anyone can celebrate the Extraordinary Form without permission of the ordinary (or with the permission of their superior)”, Pope Francis has added the proviso, “Unless there is a good reason to require permission.” There may not have been a legal “contradiction” of Summorumbut there has been a drastic interpretive shift in how it is applied. In his decree regarding the Franciscans, Pope Francis has established that the provisions of Summorum can be set aside in particular cases if Rome judges there is good reason. We can debate the merits of this approach, but what is not debatable is that this is a new approach, one that Benedict did not seem to envision when he issued Summorum Pontificum. [Some may argue Rome always had the right “with good reason” to block the TLM in certain conditions, but now there is a concrete example. That does make a difference, a significant one.  We will have to see what develops in the coming months, but I maintain that this is still a shocking act, a massive swing of the pendulum from what should have been free, unfettered ability to offer the TLM, to one where there are clearly strings attached. We cannot at this point tell how tight those strings are.]

If this is not a general attack on Summorum, then why is it troubling? Simply because it puts the existence of the EF Mass back under the aegis of authorities who can now suspend it if they feel there is just cause, and what sorts of “just causes” may potentially be brought forward in the future, no one can tell[Indeed. Even the FFI spokesmen, and some who have come by this blog, have claimed the TLM was not the real issue. Then why was it denied them?  Even if the TLM had important “symbolic value” in this dissension, which has also been reported, it seems there could have been myriad other ways in which to deal with this “problem,” without blocking the ability to offer a truly glorious Mass. And as much as I appreciate Novus Ordo Masses offered Ad Orientem, with incense, Roman chasuble, etc., it is still not the same!  It did not take me long assisting at the TLM to realize that there is simply a massive difference between the TLM and the Novus Ordo.    In the case of the Franciscans, the mere allegations of disunity by one faction was enough. Now that the principle is established that the freedom granted in Summorum can be set aside for pastoral reasons, the question becomes how broad or narrow will these reasons be interpreted in future cases. It creates a precedent that strengthens the hands of every bishop who would like to extinguish celebration of the EF. [Exactly.]

This is a very significant act, which, while focused on one religious order, has implications that apply to the entire Church.  Yes, the investigation was begun under Pope Benedict, but I can’t believe he would have taken this course of action, which would have militated against two of the most important preceding acts of his pontificate.  Investigation of religious orders by the Vatican is a regular event in the life of the Church. There are frequent dissensions and disagreements. Sometimes orders split.  But none of that means that this particular course of action, with these broad implications, taken together with a great deal of rhetoric which indicates a certain antipathy towards “traditional” or “restorationist” practices of the Faith, is without implications for the broader Church.

Another brief point not made by Boniface: there is also the aspect of how the decision was made. By affixing his name to the decree, Pope Francis has insured that there can be no canonical resource to the former leadership of the FFI’s, or those others within the order who feel negatively affected by this decision. That is also rather unusual, and has often been overlooked. As I pointed out in another post, such a step is usually reserved for truly disastrous situations, such as the relevations regarding Fr. Maciel.  It is unusual to take such a step in this manner, making it utterly final.

A commenter I know personally stated that I must be having a bad week, with this news. It’s funny, these things do affect me, but I don’t think they come even close to causing a “bad week.” Or, at least, this one didn’t. It’s concerning. I think it’s very important. But I have a great deal going on in my life, of which this blog is only a small part.  The Faith is the most important aspect of my life, and while I may be a bit troubled, overall, I’m feeling quite fine.