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Dallas Ursuline’s own Melinda Gates spending $4.3 billion on contraception November 21, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, error, family, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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Interestingly, I just read an article the other day on how singularly, spectacularly ineffective all the great celebrity news-hounding “charity” by the Gates has been.  In effect, most of their programs haven’t even slightly improved the lives of the poor in Africa, but have only served to further enrich third-world kleptocrats.  But, these huge-dollar giveaways do keep the Gates’ name in the papers, which may be the point of it all.

And not to be churlish, but once again, we see a Catholic apostate hanging her apostasy on the words of Pope Francis.  Fairly or unfairly, that is the reality those words have created:

Melinda Gates, the wife of Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, is running a £2.7 billion ($4.3 billion) project to provide birth control for an additional 120 million women in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Her work has been criticised in some Catholic quarters because the Church opposes the use of contraceptives.

However, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph Stella magazine, Mrs Gates, 49, said she had wrestled with her beliefs before making her views – which put her at odds with the Catholic Church’s teaching – public.

“It took me a couple of years, quite honestly. I knew it would be controversial. But you can’t turn your back on these women you meet.”

Access to contraception led to greater opportunities for girls, as preventing unwanted pregnancies allowed them to finish their studies, Mrs Gates said. [But at what cost? How much will future productivity implode due to tiny family size? What of the long-term health effects on the mother from using often very dangerous, carcinogenic forms of contraception (the kind most preferred by the Gates, like 30 day shots of huge doses of hormones, to keep the “ooops I forgot” factor” away? None of this is mentioned, and contraception – a grave moral evil – is presented as an unalloyed good.]

I use contraceptives. I believe in contraceptives, my friends use contraceptives. And so if I believe in this for myself – and for my daughters and other women – I said to myself, ‘How could I not speak out about this?’”  [Could this be a way to rationalize her sin, by foisting it on tens of millions of other women?  “Everybody is doing it” is the oldest excuse in the book for sin.]

Mrs Gates said she was heartened by Pope Francis, who has suggested that the Church is too focused on contraception and abortion.  [Did he?  That was just one quote, how many other quotes – and there are a number – weigh against that one?]

“I’ve been so happy to hear him say overall is that he’s focused on the poor,” she said. “That is the Church’s mission. If you go back to the Bible, it was about focusing on people who were poor and marginalised. [Yes, but NO!  It was – it IS – about saving your soul!  About loving God with all your heart, mind, and strength, which means ACCEPTING ALL THE TRUTH CHRIST HAS REVEALED THROUGH HIS CHURCH, INCLUDING THE EVIL OF CONTRACEPTION! But I see you are a true product of your schooling, I would imagine 90+% of Ursuline grads agree with you.]

“So I think he’s trying to put the conversation back on the roots of the Church, and I think that’s fantastic.”

There you go, systematic theology from Melinda Gates.  Wonderful.  It is so sad she has not been advised by a very holy priest of the danger she is putting her soul in.  But then again, perhaps she has.

I know there are so many things to pray for, but perhaps a prayer for the conversion of Mrs. Gates would be in order.  So sad, she is going to have a devastating impact on so many women.  She has at least 4.3 billion things to atone for.  I pray for her happiness in this life and in the next, and most devoutly for her sincere conversion.

Hail Mary……

There is a place for charitable criticism of prelates….. November 21, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Papa, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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…..even at the highest levels of the Church.  So says a noted Italian Catholic below.

I posted earlier today on Michael Matt’s chastisement of overly critical traddies.  I wrote a response, but it was probably muddled.  Here, via Tancred (who has been bringing the gold of late), is a commentary from Mario Palmaro (he who received the papal thanks for criticism from the traditional perspective) on the subject of papal criticism and bad behavior of trads.  He sums up very well, even beautifully, my own feelings I could not articulate earlier today:

Whether people “like” the pope is completely irrelevant in the two thousand year old logic of the Church: the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth and must please our Lord. This means that the exercise of his authority is not absolute, but subordinate to the doctrine of Christ, which is found in the Catholic Church, in Her tradition, and is nourished by the life of grace through the sacraments.   This means that the Catholics may be critical of the Pope himself and criticize under the condition that this is done out of love for the truth and that the tradition, the Magisterium is used as a standard gauge. [My sentiment exactly. And I think an excessive ultramontanism inculcated after Vatican I played a huge role in the success of the revolution after Vatican II, because Catholics had been taught to never, ever criticize.]  A pope who would contradict a predecessor in matters of faith and morals should be criticized without doubt.  [And failing to do so is a tantamount joining in the criticism of the predecessor?] We must be against both the secular logic and suspicious of a pope, assessed according to the good pleasure of the democratic majority, as well as to the temptation of a papolatry, according to a “the Pope is always right”. In addition, we are accustomed for decades to criticize destructively dozens of popes of the past, by applying the small historiographical seriousness of the day. So there is no apparent reason why the reigning popes should be immune from all forms of criticism. When Boniface VIII and Pius V is evaluated, why doesn’t that also go for Paul VI, or Francis?  [Yes! That was the point I tried to make in my post earlier today. I read and hear some folks just blasting traditional/conservative Catholics for expressing criticisms or concerns about the current pope, and yet many of these same folks will turn around and blast Alexander VI, Formosus, etc.  Why is it only the current popes, or at least the post-conciliar ones, that are above reproach?  Is there a time limit, because I read critiques and analyses of popes long dead, and yet we aren’t allowed to discuss the current pope?  Very convenient!]

[When asked about grouchy, uncharitable trads….]  The attitude of some of the individuals or groups connected to tradition is a serious problem and can not be denied. [I agree.]  One explanation advanced is that truth without love is a betrayal of truth. Christ is our way, our truth and our life, so we have to take Him as a model, who was unbeatable in the truth, always inflexible, and in love. I think the world of tradition is sometimes pointed and polemical for three reasons: First, because of a certain syndrome of isolation that they can be suspicious and resentful, and it is also expressed by problematic personalities; Second, because of the sincere scandal, the specific directions of contemporary Catholicism provokes in those who know the doctrine of the Popes and the Church well up to the Second Vatican Council; Third, because of the lack of love that is shown by the official catholicity towards these brothers on the day, who are entitled with a contemptuous tone as “traditionalists” or ” Lefebvrians”, in which one forgets, that in the Church they are definitely much closer than any other Christian denomination, or even any other religion. For the official Catholic media this reality of hundreds of  [traditional]  priests and seminarians isn’t worth devoting a line, while devoting entire pages to some thinkers who have not once said anything remotely Catholic.

I’ve beat you guys down with enough long posts today, so I won’t add anymore commentary.  I will say again, these are difficult times, and many people are going to have to make choices with respect to how they conduct themselves, always keeping within the bounds of charity.  There can be respectful disagreement on the best manner in which to handle scandal in the Church, especially when it comes from the highest level. Some may feel very powerfully that the only thing to do is to pray and practice mortification, but some may feel called to take a more active approach.  I would think there might be room, and a genuine need, for both.

But, then again, that could just be some self-serving thinking on my part.  But there is much of that to go around.

“Fundamentalist” protestants advocate violent spanking, beat child to death November 21, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I really don’t like the term “fundamentalist,” because they are not.  Unless one considers people who obsess  over a few bible quotes taken radically out of context from the whole and from each other as somehow possessing a “fundamental” understanding of Sacred Scripture and Christianity in general.

A case on point.  Yes, the Bible does indicate in places – in the Old Testament – that parents should discipline their children, even severely.  This severity was prior to the New Covenant, which is based on love, not fear. So, these Old Testament dictums were obviated, or at least moderated to a point of reason, by St. Paul’s exhortation to parents and spouses in 1 Corinthians.  Unfortunately, some protestants have once again seized on a particular bit of Scripture and gone nuts with it, and now a little girl is dead. As the father of five daughters, this just makes me so sad.  I’m trying hard no to be mad.

I don’t have a problem with spanking. I have certainly spanked my kids.  But I pray God I would never take to using tricks like rubber hoses – the same technique the North Vietnamese used to torture our pilots in the Vietnam War – so I can hide the damage. That, right there, indicates shame and a knowledge that what one is doing is wrong.  There is a huge difference between applying one’s hand to a child’s bottom, and wailing on them with a plastic hose – to the point of death.

Yet another black eye for Christendom.  Just what we needed…….

I guess that does raise a question – are protestants part of Christendom?  Or are they so heretical they are not?  Orthodox – I would say they are part of Christendom.  The five high church Anglicans that are left – maybe.  Fundies…..probably not.

h/t Christine Niles

PS – What is the Church’s ecumenical outreach to fundamentalists?  It seems those to the right of the current administration of the Church don’t get much ecumenical love.  Funny how that works……


Michael Matt – traddies behaving like imbeciles? November 21, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, blogfoolery, disconcerting, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, Society, the return, Tradition, Virtue.
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I first saw this video pop up on Youtube a couple of days ago. I read the description, and decided I didn’t really want to watch it.  But I’ve seen it get some coverage elsewhere, so I finally did watch this video below.

In it, Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant – a quite traditional publication – chides, pretty strongly, traditional Catholics for excessive cynicism in general, and criticism of the Pope in particular.  I know there are some folks – Louis Verricchio, Mundabor, and that’s about it, from the people I read regularly – who have pretty much determined they know who and what this Pope is, and they have  made clear they stand in full-throated opposition. I haven’t seen some of the more extravagant criticisms that Matt alludes to in his video.  Perhaps he’s even pointing some of the criticism at this blog, although that would be surprising, as The Remnant website has linked to some of my writings on Pope Francis.

In fact, the traddy-bashing overall is somewhat surprising, as The Remnant has published pieces from Christopher Ferrara and others which have been quite strident in their criticism, if not outright condemnation, of the Pope.  Mr. Matt himself has reacted rather strongly to things like the Jesuit interview and the Scalfari interview.  But it seems like Mr. Matt goes to Rome periodically, and somehow gets a great feeling of reassurance from that experience.  And then some scandal would occur, and the rosy disposition would fall by the wayside again. I think he has even said, this papacy looks much different in Rome than it does here. In Italy, apparently, the Pope’s new approach has led to a number of people returning to the Faith, at least for a while.  We must pray these reversions are truly committed.

Below, Mr. Matt makes much of certain “olive branches,” if you will, that Pope Francis has extended towards the conservative/traditional souls in the Church.  These efforts – the greetings to the FSSP on their anniversary, the greetings to the Summorum Pontificum pilgrims, the “embrace” of Bishop Marchetto’s vision of the hermeneutic of continuity – have received some positive coverage.  But I don’t know how significant they are, to some degree, they are a sort of perfunctory diplomatic exercise in which the Papacy, as any government, engages every day.

One item I don’t recall Matt mentioning was the statement to the Italian traditional critics by Pope Francis – thanking them for their criticism.  The other positive acts Matt refers to have occurred in the past month.  Perhaps these are an indication of a change in disposition by the Holy Father.  I don’t know.  Or perhaps, things are becoming more clear over time. But the thanks of the Pope to some pretty strong criticisms by those two Italians would seem to indicate that those engaging in criticism of the papacy are, perhaps, having some effect which could be perceived as being beneficial to the cause of Tradition.

I’m sure there are people going too far. There almost always are, on any subject. I have found some criticisms that have made me uncomfortable on a few occasions. It’s easy to get wrapped up in an argument and proving one’s point, and forget charity.  If I have done so here, I pray I will not.  But I’m almost getting a sense from a few quarters that Catholics attracted to Tradition should pretty much just shut up and pray, that to engage in any criticism, expressions of concern, or even questioning – and not just in reference to the Pope, but even bishops or cardinals – is pretty much an invariably sinful activity.  What’s funny, is that some of the folks saying this have engaged in massive criticism themselves, in the recent past.  But now that it might, in some quarters, point at the Holy Father, they’re now quite certain all of that is wrong.  We are, of course, free to re-evaluate our actions at all times and certainly should, but  it’s an interesting phenomenon to observe, nonetheless.

This is a very trying time for many souls. There has been a huge shift in the behavior of the Pope compared to his predecessor. That is bound to be shocking and upsetting to some, or many. And there have been, unfortunately, statements made and a few actions taken that some souls may feel bound, in conscience, to respond to.  I think there is a bit of a sense developing that any criticism or even questioning of the reigning pope (note, dead pontiffs get criticized, even slammed, all the time – especially if they are pre-conciliar) is completely forbidden, even sinful.  I think this is a dangerous trend towards ultramontanism that is not healthy.  But I also recognize this is a very touchy subject – some people just can’t “go there.”

I do think we all need to constantly check our motivations and improve our practice of charity.  It’s never a good idea to release a blog post, an article, or a video when one is upset, and I will admit I have done so in the past 8 months.  I understand what Mr. Matt is trying to say below, and I think there are some good things to pull out of it.  I think we traditionalists need to strive to live up to the examples of the great Saints of our Tradition in all that we do, while keeping in mind, there have been times when even the Saints have been fiery in their rhetoric.  I might add, this was especially prevalent in the early days of the Church, when She was riven by heresies and great controversies regarding core, bedrock aspects of theology like Who Christ Is.  I have read statements by Saints that are as inflammatory as anything I’ve ever read on a blog, and a few of those statements were even directed at the popes of their time.   Read St. Jerome from time to time, and you’ll see what I mean.

Finally, the video:

PS – I really don’t consider this post “blogfoolery,” or internecine warfare between Catholic blogs, because I am not strongly disagreeing with Mr. Matt, whose estimation in my eyes has grown a great deal in the past year or so.  I get what he’s trying to say, and I think his words have some merit. I don’t think I quite agree with the final conclusion, and I also think he chose a poor expression in likening Catholic bloggers to dorkish imbeciles.  I also strongly disagree that we should all be striving mightily to spin the Pope’s more controversial statements into some endorsement of orthodoxy, as some blogs seem dedicated to doing.  It’s disingenuous and frankly disrespectful to put words in the Pope’s mouth.  But that applies to the critics, too.

I’m not sure this post made any sense!  Sorry if I’m just rambling. If you can’t tell, I’m discombobulated on the entire matter.



God uses the people in our lives to try us November 21, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, priests, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I read the following today in Abandonment to Divine Providence by Fr. J.P. de Caussade SJ.  This book was written in the mid 1700s.  It is a brilliant spiritual treatise, at times, I must admit, a bit out of my depth.  It is heavily imbued with Carmelite Josaphat_Basilica (1)spirituality. BTW, like so many books of Catholic spirituality, most versions available today are heavily abridged and denuded of content “challenging to the modern reader.”  That is to say, most of the really good bits have been taken out.  For instance, you can many copies that are 100-150 pages in length.  My copy, from an early 20th century version, is nearly 400 pages.  As I said, most of the good bits have been taken out. I don’t know where to counsel you to find a complete, unabridged version, I lucked upon my copy in a used bookstore.  I think – think – this version on Amazon is complete.

In the part I read today, Fr. de Caussade is advising a nun on the spiritual trials we often endure at the hands of people. Even very good people.  This struck me as perhaps being applicable for the disorientation many souls are feeling at present with regard to the leadership of the Church.  I think there is much of value here for all of us, not the least of all myself.  In a nutshell, what we are presently experiencing could very well be a trial of our faith by God.  There is no question the weak faith of Catholics from decades past precipitated the crisis in the Church.  Perhaps we are being asked to make a supernatural effort of St John Laterano aspe_cervusFaith in restitution to atone for those previous failings.  A thought, anyways.  Fr. de Caussade:

The annoyances you have experienced must have been all the more painful as coming from people from whom you would least expect them; but be assured that you will have gained great merit for Heaven by them. Men’s ideas are so different; they vary according to their interesting or temper, and each is convinced of his own sense, and that he has right on his side. Oh men! men! To what have we come? What an abyss of humiliation for the whole human race! Is is a good thing to have arrived at the bottom of this abyss, for it will be more easy to place all one’s confidence in God. The mind, enlightened by faith, disposes the heart to submit to the decrees of Divine Providence who permits good people to make each other suffer to detach them from each other. [This is the key. We must detach ourselves from the things of the earth, including people, and submit to the Will of God – according to our state in life.  Parents can’t be abandoning their kids to go pursue holiness in a solitary cave. Regardless of our state in life, we must overcome the slights and even attacks of others and always respond with great charity, a charity that flows from our love for God and our practice of mortification. I fail in this all the time, and I must say, I’m not certain blogging is conducive to the practice of charity.  Or, it is – everything is! – but there are great temptations in blogging not to do so.  Shame on me, I shall do better.]  On occasions such as these we can only resign ourselves, and abandon ourselves to God who will support us……Adoration of the Name of Jesus_ROELAS, Juan de las

………It is true, I own, that it is necessary to be very holy to let such things pass unnoticed, without feeling any kind of resentment; but, if you cannot attain such perfection yet, try at least during these times of trial, first to dismiss as far as you are able, all those thoughts, feelings and that language likely to embitter your mind; secondly if you cannot succeed in doing this, at any rate, say interiorly  in the superior part of your soul, “My God, You have permitted this, may Your adorable Will and divine decrees be accomplished in all things. I sacrifice to You this affliction and its consequences according to what pleases You. You are the Master, may You be blessed by all and in all things.” Then add “I forgive Lord, from the bottom of my heart for the love of You the persons who cause my sufferings, and to show the sincerity of my feelings about them I ask for them all sorts of graces and blessings, and every happiness.” When the heart is inclined to Harvest of the World_ALBEREGNO, Jacobelloresist say, “My God, You see my misery, but at least I desire to have all these feelings and I beg this Grace of You.”  Having done this think no more about it, and if uncharitable feelings still molest you be resigned to endure this torment in conformity to the Divine Will which permits it, contenting yourself with renewing the offering in the higher part of the soul. This is one of the ways by which we can share the Chalice of Jesus Christ, our good Master. [This is really just brilliant advice. It is so contrary to our human nature.  I have been advised by good priests, that whenever someone really wounds you in some severe way, we should simply pray for their happiness in this life and the next, which is nothing more than a condensation of the above. And whoever is praying for me, please keep it up!]

I am surprised, my dear Sister, that with the help of the rules I have so often given you, you are not even yet able to recognize Protus and Hyancinth _Martyrdomthe Hand of God in the misunderstandings that arise among people with the best intentions. “God,” you say, “does not inspire anything that brings trouble!”  That, in one sense, is true, but is it not also true that God has permitted, and often permits, His servants to be given to mistakes and illusions which are intended to try them, to exercise them, and, in this way to sanctify them by the trouble they cause each other? We see hundreds of examples of this in the lives of the Saints, and again quite recently in the lives of St. Francis Regis and St. Margaret Mary Alocoque. Try to judge, not by human judgment, weak, narrow, and blind as it is, but by Divine judgment, which alone is upright, sure, and infallible. In this way you will improve, and not have the peace of your mind and heart disturbed.

————End Quote————

I pray you find the above discourse helpful!