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It’s not that the Church is “obsessed” with sexual issues……. January 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
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…it’s that the culture is.  And when there are such huge swaths of the population out there for whom nothing is more important than their electrically operated sexual stimulation devices –  or whatever – even tacit opposition from the Church suddenly becomes a very big deal.   Thus, the Church merely saying “no” to contraception, abortion, fornication, or sodomy, becomes an intolerable affront, a veritable rejection of the whole psychological makeup of millions.

It is the culture that obsesses about the Church’s stance, and demands it change. We see 5000 times as many news items on the Church’s stance on moral-sexual issues, than we do on ones like the Real Presence or the College of Saints.  But is that really because the Church is just out there constantly focused on these sexual matters?  Or is that there are millions who, from their actions, appear to care about nothing but their next orgasm?

The following piece says much of the same, while noting that the problem with the culture is not so much those with more extreme kinks – sodomy, polygamy, bestiality, etc – no, the problem is with more garden variety heterosexuals who want the freedom to fornicate, adulterate, or porn…….i-cate……. without guilt, and thus they favor seeing the sexual envelope pushed, the better to make their sins more acceptable.  I think this is a very accurate, and important, point:

Americans resent religion’s perceived interference in their sex lives. The president of the Barna Group, an evangelical market research organization, recently observed that “Young people’s most common complaint . . . is that churches are too focused on sexual issues.” The consequences of same-sex marriage may pose the gravest threat to religious liberty, but the cultural conditions and assumptions that make that threat possible are rooted in heterosexual behavior.

This is a curious attitude, given that no religion in America has the legal ability to force anyone, adherent or not, to follow its teachings regarding sexual morality or anything else. An evangelical Christian can impregnate his girlfriend and keep his head firmly attached to his body, unlike the situation faced by Claudio in Measure for Measure. A Catholic can buy a package of condoms at the local drugstore. The clerk won’t ask to check his religious identification before ringing up the purchase. And women of any religious persuasion can obtain an abortion in all fifty states.

Why, then, does it seem that a growing number of Americans view religious liberty with suspicion, if not outright hostility? The problem is that many Americans are offended by the existence of an opposing view. The fact that someone, somewhere, dares to voice disapproval of their sexual behavior is, it now seems, offensive in and of itself. Studied non-judgmentalism is one of the hallmarks of contemporary American culture, with departures viewed as gauche at least or, more commonly, as an illegitimate attack on the sacrosanct individual. If you doubt this, please try telling a group of largely secular thirty-somethings that you believe cohabitation is wrong and see what response you receive.

Or try telling your average 20 year old co-ed that their hook-up culture is banal, unsatisfying, dangerous, and will almost certainly entail a lifetime of bad and destroyed relationships.  Even though the co-ed herself knows she is dissatisfied with the casual one night hour 5 minute stands, more often than not, she’ll defend the practice as somehow not only necessary, but even good.


It is no surprise, then, that people whose belief systems are a muddle of Casey’ssweet-mystery-of-life passage and Modern Family bridle at the strict sexual morality of the monotheistic religions. This is exacerbated by traditional Christianity’s refusal either to conform to the spirit of the age or to go away and be quiet. [That is what the cultural left wants – it wants traditional, non-left-supporting religion to go away, permanently.  Unfortunately,the vast majority of the population counts as cultural leftists nowadays] The erosion of the state’s role in upholding public morality both foreshadowed and led to the cultural rejection of religion’s right to judge the morality or immorality of certain acts.

Evangelicals still loudly proclaim that one should “wait until marriage,” even if that command is largely honored in the breach. The Catholic Church has not relaxed its prohibition on contraception, even if many of its adherents ignore its teaching or even loudly oppose it. Both Evangelicals and Catholics (and those members of mainline churches who hold to traditionalist norms) grapple with the culture on multiple fronts—praying outside abortion clinics, attending the March for Life, objecting to FDA approval of abortifacients, decrying pornography, etc. In short, they have remained a thorn in the side of an ever-more-permissive culture for over forty years. (Orthodox Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, and Islam also adhere to strict moral norms regarding sexual behavior, but attract less attention because of their status as minority religions.)

This cultural attitude has led to religious liberty’s current embattled position. Catholic bishops teach that contraception is a sin? Break them. The charities they oversee must, in some way, be forced to provide free contraception and abortifacients to employees. Contraception has been available for over forty years, but now, suddenly, we must force business owners and religious orders to provide drugs and devices they believe to be sinful.

The proponents of the sexual revolution successfully persuaded the state to support their views. Now they seek to use the power of the state to force private persons to violate their religious beliefs and conform to the new morality.

And if you think these developments are just accidents of history, you think wrong.  The left began, as far back as the 1930s, deliberately plotting to overthrow both the Western politico-economic paradigm and the Christian Faith that undergirds it order to pave the way for communism.  By the 1960s, leftist academic professors and lawyers pursued a course of action designed to shatter the Christian consensus of our culture – even one as deformed as the liberal protestant one in the United States – through deliberate legal challenges made in specially chosen, friendly courthouses in order to advance their agenda. Research Leo Pfeffer.  They chose their targets brilliantly, knowing that sexual sins are the easiest to get people to fall into.

The Church has not radically amped up its rhetoric in opposition to these sins.  The Church has always spoken about them, probably more so at points in the past than it has today.  How often to most Catholics hear a sermon denouncing their contraceptive use, or their porn habit, or their fornication?  Even from the pulpit of St. Peter’s?  Dang rarely.

But the mere fact that the Church maintains official, even though often nothing more than tacit, opposition to these sins is enough of a rebuke for those lost in them to be an intolerable offense.  And this matter of two people of the same sex pretending to be married, and the government recognizing this false union, is a bridge, like abortion, that most churches maintaining even a semblance of adherence to traditional morality simply will not cross.  Given the cultural forces ranged on the other side, pressing for this awful change, that is why I feel this matter will be the vehicle of the persecution.  The incredibly oversexed culture will not take no for an answer……..so to speak.  We shall have a fight on our hands, perhaps even to the death, whether we want it, or not.

Our first and best recourse is to prayer.

Clericalist careerism is bad…….except within the Vatican? January 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Papa, pr stunts, priests, scandals, self-serving, the return.
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It made some news a few days ago when Pope Francis announced he was going to crush clerical careerism by eliminating the title of Monsignor for those under the age of 65.  But now it turns out, this new rule does not apply to those priests serving in roles at the Vatican?  As they say in the military, whiskey tango foxtrot?

The reduction of the honorary spiritual title decreed by Pope Francis shall not apply to employees of the Roman Curia. Vatican Radio reported on Tuesday, citing a notice from the Vatican Secretariat of State. Thus, a priest after five years of service with the Holy See can become an “Honorary Chaplain of His Holiness”.

The Pope had severely restricted the award of spiritual honorary titles in the Universal Church and informed the bishops earlier this year. Francis has abolished two from the current three tiers, the “Honorary Prelate of His Holiness” and the “Protonotary Apostolic”. Its lowest rank “Honorary Chaplain of His Holiness” will be allowed to be received only by priests who are 65 Years of age. Bearers of this title are commonly styled as “Monsignor.” The title “Honorary Chaplain of His Holiness’ are usually given to Curia employees after five years if they are 35 at that time and have been priests at least ten years. The title “Honorary Prelate of His Holiness” follows in many cases after a further ten years.

Huh………maybe just an oversight?


More from von Hildebrand – Truth more important than unity January 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, General Catholic, reading, scandals, the return, true leadership.
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Another excerpt from The Devastated Vineyard, this time on the fact that adherence to the Truth which Christ has revealed to His Church being the most fundamental Christian duty.  It has been dereliction from this duty at so many levels of the Church that has allowed the progressive/modernist revolution to be so successful, and led so many souls to perdition.  Many, many good points below (I add emphasis and comments):

Only if we understand real love of neighbor and its holy fire and power, as we find this in St. Paul, can we understand that the anathema and excommunication are in no way opposed to the spirit of love of neighbor, but rather flow from its true spirit……

……The anathema is an act of love of God because it condemns the offense against God which lies in the distortion of Christian Revelation and of the teaching of the Holy Church, and because it officially unmasks error as error. The protection of the Divine Revelation has been entrusted to Holy Mother Church, and to fulfill this holy trust is a central act of holy obedience and of love for divine Truth, and indeed for God Himself. And it is an act of sublime love of neighbor to protect the faithful from the poison of false teachings, for it is a far more important and higher objective good for man to remain in the True Faith, than to be relieved in his physical or psychic sufferings. [So true, and especially important to remember when many in the Church seek to create a division between Truth and the Church’s corporal works of mercy.  Some try to say Truth is irrelevant today, or too hard for modern man to grasp, and should thus be ignored, or radically downplayed, so that the Church can “meet the people where they are.”  The problem is, even after meeting them, the Truth almost never gets conveyed, there is no demand for conversion, and people remain lost in sin.]  The anathema is for men in their pilgrimage through life something which protects that greatest good, which is so important for the salvation of their souls. It is thus a very great act of love because it protects the faithful from the deceits of heretics, who speak in the name of the Church, especially when they hold a position of authority and thus belong to the “teaching Church.”  [Would that Dr. von Hildebrand’s counsel had been heeded 40 years ago.  Today, there is a sense that heresy is some unstoppable phenomenon which simply has to be put up with.  Rubbish.  What is missin is the zeal and charity to overcome worldly concerns and keep the focus on the eternal good of souls.] These heretics are listened to with much sympathy and openness by the simply believing layman, and this makes it quite easy to seduce him to error and to poison his faith. [Which is a major reason why I cover scandal so much on this blog, in order to counter it.  Some soul may initially think some false teaching sounds pretty good, especially given our fallen nature, so it is very important that there be some public correction or at least counter-argument put forth]  Is it not a more fundamental, deeper act of love of neighbor to protect the faithful by unmasking heretics – and suspending  them   if they hold any office of authority – than to protect men against a plague, or to mitigate their poverty, or even to eliminate social injustice?…….

…..And even for him who is condemned it is an act of the greatest love of neighbor. It is for him like the knife of a surgeon which cuts away the cancer of a patient. It is a fully earnest admonition, an enlightenment as to his errors, an invitation to return to the truth. It protects him from completely lapsing into heresy without fully realizing it – it enables him to grasp the full incompatibility of his theses with the teaching of the Holy Church, to feel the significance of his error, and with terrible seriousness it forces him to decide “for or against God and His Holy Church.” If a spark of true faith in Christ and His Holy Church still lives in him, he will turn away form the temptation which his heresy involves, and return to the community of the Holy Church. [Think of all the heretics who went to their graves in the past 50 years thinking they were in full union with the Church!  What a great injustice was done to them, that they were never given the best medicine the Church had to offer!]

The vilification of the anathema – though it is through the anathema that the Church has preserved her identity and the purity of Her teaching since St. Paul and throughout the centuries – is a typical consequence of distorting love of neighbor, and of confusing this love with a weak cheerfulness, niceness, and readiness to give in.  The fear of the anathema betrays above all a loss of the sense of the supernatural, a lapse into this worldliness which is more concerned with the earthly welfare of man that with his eternal salvation…….[I agree.  Ultimately, the Truth is not defended because those charged with its defense are much more concerned with worldly matters, with not giving offense, or attracting bad PR, or making people mad, or decreasing donations, than they are with the true care of souls.]

……There is another great danger which goes together with the distortion of love of neighbor: the danger of putting community above truth, and of implicitly making peace the highest value.  Unfortunately, this tendency is very widespread in the Church today.

The first great error which we find here is the separation of the community from truth. All genuine community among men presupposes that they encounter one another in a certain realm of goods. The solidarity which comes from worshiping the same idol and working for it, or from working together for something false or evil, does not deserve the name of community. Such a pseudo-community is a definite evil, and possesses a disvalue. The value which community possesses as such is here poisoned by the disvalue of that which brings people together, of that in whose names they are united. Surely unity, community has a value of its own…….. [but] community based upon error or something evil not only has no value, it has a definite disvalue.  A pseudo-community built on some evil idol is something much worse than many individual, unrelated men who are in error or do evil. [Thus, false religions are not sources of “good.”  They are not sources of supernatural Grace.  Pagan rituals do not result in sanctification.  Some sects outside the Church do possess good, to the extent they still have remnants of the One True Faith within them, but the further a religion is from the Universal Church, the less a source of good it becomes.]  It is not only that it is worse for many to fall into error or heresy than for one to do so; it is not a question merely of a quantitative increase. No, it is the very unity of those who encounter one another in untruth and evil which gives birth to a pure disvalue and heightens the evil. [The mere presence of these false religions, the evils they convey and the encouragement they give to men to remain within them, is something which must be opposed by the Church, which is why for centuries missionaries braved enormous privation and even death in order to convert those who had not the Truth of Divine Revelation]  The value of true community, the concordia, becomes in a pseudo-community a definite disvalue.  Thus it  is utterly impossible to separate community from truth, and to make community the most important thing. 

———–End Quote———–

Are you finding these quote from von Hildebrand helpful?  Are they too long!  He writes in long paragraphs, and I have always felt we must respect an author’s format when slavishly copying them.

You might think about that last paragraph in respect to the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium released late last year.  There is certainly a contrast………

Pray the Rosary in Latin! – from a strange source? January 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Our Lady, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I have prayed the Rosary in Latin for some time now.  I originally did it in order to help learn a little bit of liturgical Latin, so I could understand some parts of the Mass even without a Missal.  Doing so helped, a little.  But I continue to pray the Rosary in Latin from time to time because it is both beautiful, as well as being a touchstone of unity with the centuries of faithful who came before us.  It’s probably not for everyone, but if you can learn the Latin, it may have some benefits.

I found the Rosary prayed in Latin from what might, at present, seem a bit of a strange source.  The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI) have been much covered on this blog, of late.  Their ongoing suffering has certainly been a consternation to many.  But it was the FFIs, through their American Air Maria apostolate, that put this video up over two years ago, well before their suffering began.  I wonder if they would be free to do so, at this point:

If you were unaware, the FFIs post many sermons from their daily Masses online here.  You can see they still wear more traditional vestments, it’s hard to tell if the accompanying Masses were TLM or Novus Ordo. From some of the readings, a good portion are Novus Ordo – not that this is unusual, the FFIs offered Novus Ordo’s constantly and were originally formed as a Novus Ordo order.   It was only the “definitely traditional drift” that ostensibly brought down the severe measures being taken against them at present.

Here is a pretty traditional sermon given on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Dec. 28 2013.  The priest is certainly wearing traditional vestments and he gives the traditional belief regarding the eternal destiny of the souls of aborted baby: limbo.

There is a community of Franciscan of the Immaculate nuns in New Bedford.  From my understanding, they are quite solidly on the traditional side.

You might say a prayer or two for them in this trying time.

A Psalm for our day January 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, manhood, sanctity, Virtue.
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When I read this Psalm, the 2nd Psalm from the regular Compline for Tuesday night, it struck me as being very apropos not just for how I was feeling Tuesday night, but for how probably most faithful souls are feeling right now:

How long, O Lord, will You utterly forget me? How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long shall I brood in my mind, and bear grief in my heart all the day long?

How long will my enemies be exalted over me?  Look down and answer me, O Lord my God!

Enlighten my eyes lest I ever sleep in death, lest my enemy say “I have prevailed against him.”

Those who oppress me will rejoice if I am shaken; but I have trusted in your mercy.

My heart will rejoice in Your salvation; I shall sing to the Lord who has been good to me, and sing psalms to the name of the Lord most high.


These times feel for many of us like a Babylonian Exile. We feel like strangers in a strange land. Those who should be inspiring us with feelings of glory and desire to convert ourselves and the world have abdicated their responsibilities.  So have so many of our brethren – parents, friends, children……

But ultimately, none of this need affect our prime mission: to assure our personal salvation.  God is still God.  The Blessed Sacrament is still the Ultimate, soul-enlivening Gift.  Even in this barren and gravely wounded Church, we still have what we need to succeed in our goals.  Some have better situations than others, but all have enough. Let us never forget that.

There is much to cause dismay.  Misery abounds.  Things are certainly not as they should be.  But we must have hope and even joy.  If we cling to the Sacraments as best we can, avoid sin, practice prayer and penance, and grow in piety, we know we shall have a happy ending.  We must keep the Faith.

I try on this blog to always mix some hope and even levity in with the catechesis and yes, even exasperation. Maybe a bit too much exasperation at times. Forgive me.  I am a fallen man who has a tendency to be impatient and get upset at times.  I don’t want any readers to get too down or, God forbid, start to doubt their faith, because of what I write on this blog.  The intention has always been quite the opposite!  I have always only desired to help people grow in faith and, maybe, make a miniscule contribution to the restoration of the Faith in the Dallas Diocese and the Church at large.  I hope I have not failed too much in that first goal, as for the second, I leave that in the hands of our Blessed Lord.

But I want you to know, even when I cover shocking, upsetting things, even when I read the signs of the times and I see many portents of doom, I always keep hope, and lots of it. If I didn’t have hope, I would not write.  I love writing, but if I thought it made no difference, I would quit.  But I’ll never give up hope, I pray, because we have Christ’s promise to be with us always.  That is extremely consoling.  No matter how dark things get in the world, or the Church, we have to keep the faith in that promise, and know that we can and will be saved if we are faithful.

Even should the number of faithful around us be reduced to a handful, and all we have for the glorious Sacrifice is a shack with a few souls in attendance, that is more than enough, and is in fact such a superabundance of Grace from our Lord that even the entire world could be saved from that single offering of the Sacrifice – if only it would cooperate.  But we can cooperate.

I don’t know if this little bit of self-indulgence has made sense, or not.  I care a great deal for you all.  God bless you.