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Another member of the Group of 8 Cardinals makes the news – Church must “repent of scaremongering hell,” according to Cardinal Marx November 18, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, error, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, the return.
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I’d have to say, with a name like that, I’d think twice before giving him a red hat.  But that’s just me, and certainly patently unfair.  But still……

Another member of the group of 8 “super-cardinals” appointed to advise Pope Francis on the future of the Church and, especially, further implementing Vatican II’s ostensible calls for a great new “collegiality” in the Church, has said some disconcerting things.  Cardinal Marx has criticized the Church’s past presentations on hell, according to an article on the German site Katholisches translated by Tancred at Eponymous Flower (I add comments):

The resurrection says the Cardinal, that God gives us the assurance that He will transform  and lead us with His help  to the end, “but without moralizing and without a hell of torture, imprisonment and a burning oven”. The Church caused this with pictures like that of purgatory and hell, fear of death. Not only that, the Church must “repent” for this scaremongering images that a malicious invention [so, images of hell painted so well by great Saints like Alphonsus Liguori were just “malicious inventions?”]  will be obvious to Catholics……”and for that we need to repent.” And you wonder where the Cardinal actually lives. After half a century of the  abolition of the sign of hell, the problem is not the [excessive, overly negative] belief that there is a hell, but that many Christians no longer believe in the existence of hell and purgatory. [and many have been helped on their way in this rejection by many perhaps well meaning but severely deluded priests and prelates]

Finally, the Cardinal proffered a logical conclusion to universal salvation: Because  Jesus went about not to enumerate sins, but to pledge every man to healing and salvation. “The Church must completely drive out fear ,”  emphasized Cardinal Marx. To imagine what would come after death, the person needs images, “but this must be images of confidence, hope, images and help to continue on, even if they can not give us a definitive answer.” What the Archbishop did was give the impression that the Church has not allowed in its two thousand year history, a great show to salvation, redemption and salvation of souls. [But this is precisely the program that has led to the utter collapse of the Faith.  First of all, hell is real and souls go there, we have the assurance of Our Blessed Lord Himself on this matter.  The entire Doctrine of the Church is oriented around this reality, and the avoidance of it for as many souls as possible.  But practically speaking, collapse in belief in the reality of hell is directly correlated with the collapse in the practice of the Faith and all indicators of that practice: Mass attendance, material support for the Church, reception of the other Sacraments, number of people claiming to be Catholic, etc., etc.  This is the same post-VII program we’ve been getting for decades, and it is directly related to the collapse of the Faith. Disbelief in hell, if not the only cause of the collapse, is one of the prime reasons causes.]

However, the church follows the true teachings of Jesus Incarnate, which also says, “I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him, which can not only kill, but has the power even to throw you into Hell. Yes, I say unto you, Ye shall fear him “(Luke 12:5).. Or in his  Mount Olive Discourse: “Then he will turn to the on the left side and say unto them, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt 25, 41)
Christianity is realistic demonstration of creation, human nature and God’s work of salvation. The denial of hell and purgatory is a betrayal of Christ and the believer. Whoever preaches a universal salvation, is in danger of leading people astray and will make them lose their souls.
Obviously a bit of roughness in that translation, but I think the meaning is clear enough. This is the same Cardinal Archbishop of Munich – such a historically great Catholic See! – that couldn’t exclude the possibility of female “priests” when giving a talk to some German schoolgirls.  Sheesh.  So, now we have reason to be quite a bit concerned about at least 1/4 of the body of cardinals intended to advise Pope Francis on re-making the Church.
And then there’s Cardinal O’Malley!

Criticisms and responses to the Divine Mercy devotion November 18, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, religious, Saints, sanctity, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
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My Polish friends will likely disavow me over this, but I found some interesting discussion regarding the Divine Mercy Chaplet/Devotion at P Blosser’s site and I thought I’d share some of the data.  It’s a funny thing. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is one of those items in the Church – and there are a fair number of them – where the more you dig, the less clear it becomes.  On the surface, one sees a canonized Saint  and papally approved devotion.  Then one reads of earlier condemnations of the devotion back in the late 50s. But then one reads again of bad translations and perhaps an overly hasty condemnation.  But one digs deeper and finds that maybe that original condemnation was not so hasty.  It’s all so confusing.

Irrespective, here is some of the best data I found.  Below is a short summation of the earliest condemnation of the Divine Mercy devotion:

Pius XII … placed this devotion, including the apparitions and the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index  Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books). 

Next, came other prohibitions made by Pope John XXIII. Twice in his pontificate, the Holy Office issued condemnations of the Divine Mercy writings. 

Not once, but twice under Pope John XXIII, this particular devotion was condemned through the Holy Office. The first condemnation was in a plenary meeting held on November 19, 1958. The declaration from the Holy Office issued these three statements about this devotion:

  1. There is no evidence of the supernatural origin of these revelations….
  2. No feast of Divine Mercy should be instituted….
  3. It is forbidden to disseminate the images and writings propagating this devotion under the form received by Sr. Faustina.

Now, via a commenter at pblosser’s site, a defense against this condemnation:

The condemnations of the devotion and writings of Faustina stemmed largely from judgments based on faulty Italian translations of the diary. It is important to remember that Faustina’s formal education didn’t extend past about 2nd Grade elementary school. She tended to spell things phoenetically and her grammar was poor; moreover, she did not employ a rigorous mechanism for dileniating in her text where the interlouctions with Our Lord and Lady stopped and started, relative to her own thoughts and words. When the Diary was first compiled from the handwritten text (during World War II), there was not the luxury of time to carefully analyze it and provide a critical apparatus for working around those shortcoming. When it was translated into Italian, the problems were compounded. In those early translations, it was not possible to easily determine whether Faustina’s references to “mercy” and “my mercy” and various other spiritual favors and promises referred to her own person or to Our Lord. The rest is history – for a period of nearly 20 years, the devotion and Diary were censured by Rome.

Diane K from Te Deum Laudamus offered some more explanatory material:



But just as you’re thinking, OK, the Divine Mercy devotion must be OK, along comes another commenter which goes to yet another level, casting more doubt.  The below offers some interesting insights, as much for how these devotions get publicized and promoted in today’s Church as for its doctrinal content:

Click to access divine-mercy.pdf

But, finally, here is a sermon from about the best priest I personally know on the subject, endorsing the practice and explaining much of the history:


I have had some folks asking me of late what I thought of the Divine Mercy devotion, which is why I am putting this post up. It’s highly providential to me that Professor Blosser got the discussion started.

I actually do pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, but I am nowhere near as attached to it as I am to the Rosary and certain other prayers, especially some Novenas.  It is a private revelation/devotion – you can be a 100% perfectly orthodox Catholic and say pbbbt to the whole thing.

I present the above so you can have a pretty well-rounded view of this devotion and make your own determination.

But the messenger will be shot, on schedule.

Jesus, I trust in Your Sacred Heart!

Jesus, I trust in Your Sacred Heart!

The great Liguori on providing for our final end November 18, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, Four Last Things, Glory, Grace, horror, Interior Life, religious, Saints, sanctity, secularism, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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We shall all die.  Our culture does everything it can to deny that fact, to wish it away, to extend life, to make this short, illusory life the focus of our entire existence.  That is a strong indicator of how disconnected from its roots in the Catholic Church this culture has become.  Just as the culture was beginning its final repudiation of the Christianity that forms its very basis, that gave its structure and meaning, the great Moral Doctor of the Church. St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, exhorted souls to reject this world and its “pleasures” and delusions of grandeur, and keep our focus firmly on our eternal destiny.  That destiny shall either be eternal rapturous glory in Heaven, or unimaginable suffering in hell with satan and all the damned.

From Preparation for Death, Ascetical Works Vol.1 pp 205-207, as translated by Fr. Eugene Grimm CSsR:

He who acts according to the rules of prudence, looks to the future – that is, to what must happen at the end of life – to death and judgment, and after judgment, hell or Heaven. Oh how much wiser is that peasant who saves his soul, than the monarch who 0 Rbrings himself to hell. O God! would not all pronounce the man to be a fool, who, in order to gain a shilling, would risk his entire property? And will he not be considered foolish, who, for a momentary gratification, forfeits the Grace of God and exposes his soul to eternal perdition?  The care of present, and the total neglect of eternal goods and evils, is the ruin of the immense multitude of the damned. 

God has certainly not placed us in this world to become rich, or acquire honors, or to indulge our senses, but to gain eternal life. But the end is life everlasting (Rom 6:22). And nothing but the attainment of this end is of importance to us. One thing is necessary (Lk 10:42). But there is nothing that sinners despise more than this end: they think only of the present; they each day walk toward death, and approach the gate of eternity, but know not whither they are going……Such are the wise of the world, who know how to acquire wealth, to indulge in amusements, to gain posts of honor and emolument, but know not how to save their 500px-AlphonsusLiguorisouls……..How many miserable sinners now weep and cry out in hell: What hath pride profited us? Or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All those things are passed away like a shadow. (Wis 5:8). Behold, they exclaim, for us all the goods of the world have passed away like a shadow, and nothing remains but eternal wailing and everlasting torments.

Before man is life and death, good and evil, and that which he shall chose shall be given him.  (Eccl 15:18) Beloved Christian, God places before you in this world, life and death – that is, the voluntary privation of forbidden pleasures, by which you will gain eternal life; or the indulgence of them, by which you merit everlasting death.  What do you say? What choice do you make? In making the choice, act like a man, and not like a senseless beast. Act like a Christian who believes in the Gospel and says: What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? (Mt 16:26)

———–End Quote———–

Our culture today wants to reduce people to senseless animals, rutting beasts, acting on nothing but sheer animal instinct and sensory pleasure.  The only reason the culture sees to deny oneself pleasure in one way – say, by dieting and exercising to have a 470px-Santalfonsobetter body – is to enhance pleasure in another area, the practical god of our culture, sex.  Or, perhaps, to prolong this life, which is the end of all, right?  And the very comfy, self-serving belief in universal salvation convinces even those who retain a semblance of the Christian Faith that going along with the culture is perfectly alright.  I mean, it’s not as if they’re murdering anyone, right?

I’m certain satan is quite pleased with all of this.  I wonder if even he is surprised at the empire he has built on our sexular pagan liberal “democratic” culture?


Pope Francis considers it important to be criticized by traditional Catholics? November 18, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, blogfoolery, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Rorate is reporting on a very surprising exchange that apparently occurred between Pope Francis himself, and an Italian Catholic who loves the great Tradition of the Church, wherein the Pope relates he feels it important to receive reminders or even criticism from the lay faithful?  I’m not sure how else to interpret this, although the comments were made to an ailing man, so perhaps there was some extra generosity there (I’m not trying to say there was, at all, simply that some might see it that way).

Important to note also is how this Italian critic has made plain his submission to the Pope, making his criticisms in a spirit of love and fidelity.  I think that aspect has been missed, or not stressed enough, in some of the concerns expressed around the Catholic blogosphere, including here.  Shame on me.  But given that hugely important caveat, it should be possible, outside of a completely unchecked ultramontane environment, to ask questions or express concerns without being told one is going to hell or is radically unfaithful.

If this is true – and it appears to be – it highlights what I referenced late last week, wherein I justified some of the criticism or questioning by stating that I believe some of the commentary reaches the Pope. The below would appear to confirm that.

“It bothers me that the news has been made public, and if it had been up to me, and Alessandro, [Alessandro Gnocchi, co-author with the man quoted here, Mario Palmaro of a piece highly critical of Pope Francis] to whom I revealed it immediately, it would never have been known. Also because the Pontiff obviously had no intention that his gesture be made public, as well as the contents of our conversation”.
“Pope Francis told me that he was very close to me, having learned of my health condition, of my grave illness, and I clearly noticed his deep empathy, the attention for a person as such, beyond ideas and opinions, while I live through a time of trial and suffering.”
“I was astonished, amazed, above all moved: for me, as a Catholic, that which I was experiencing was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. But I felt the duty to remind the Pope that I, together wih Gnocchi, had expressed specific criticisms regarding his work, while I renewed my total fidelity [to him] as a son of the Church. The Pope almost did not let me finish the sentence, saying that he had understood that those criticisms had been made with love, and how important it had been for him to receive them.” [These words] “comforted me greatly.”
[The main duty for Palmaro and Gnocchi] “is that of being lucid and watchful regarding the contents of the Catholic doctrine, and, even in what we wrote in Il Foglio, fidelity to the Pope was never called into question.”……
………”Our intention is that of keeping steady on the path that we have always followed, answering before our conscience. This without ever faltering in fidelity to the Pope and the Church, but precisely because of this fidelity and love.”
A very interesting development.  I did not include in the above, but this news apparently broke through Vatican leaks (yikes, they’ve returned?!?  Funny how they almost always seem to cut against anything even remotely related to the traditional practice of the Faith), not through the interested parties. So, there is not an element of self-interest here.  It’s amazing how the Vatican leaks went totally away after Pope Emeritus Benedict abdicated, but now return if Pope Francis gives even a bit of succor to some traditional Catholics?   I’m just spit-balling here, but it does seem almost certain the leak of this private conversation came from the Vatican side.
It’s like there is a “war for Francis” going on.  I don’t really want to elaborate on that statement.  It’s just a sense I get. I’m certain the pressures of the Holy Father, God bless him, are unimaginable.

That’s it, I’m officially famous November 18, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, Ecumenism, Eucharist, General Catholic, Liturgy, secularism, self-serving, silliness, Society, Victory.
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That’s right, Tantamergo/Tantumblogo has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal:

Some non-Methodists also see the idea as sacrilege. “Isn’t this taking things a bit too far?” said Roman Catholic blogger Larry Roach of Dallas. “How much can you trivialize what should be sacred?”

Well, I’m famous beyond all telling now.  Next up, twerking and making out with giant stuffed teddy bears.  This one quote will be the start of a massive multi-media Catholic empire that will make Church Militant TV look like a PBS station in rural Idaho.  But I shan’t let it go to my head.  BTW, I’m going to start to charge a $200 a year subscription to read this blog.

Here is the article, sure to be recorded, studied, and argued over for ages, that started it all.

Kidding aside, I’d like to thank Valerie Baurelein for the quote.  I’m gratified she found it useful.  But don’t take the inclusion of a quote form my work as an endorsement of everything in the article. I would argue with some of the history of the Blessed Sacrament, at least as far as it relates to the Church, and a few other details contained therein.