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Definition of a theological liberal January 31, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, the enemy, the return.
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Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has, as usual, a very good post on the distinction between political liberals, in the modern American sense, and those theological liberals who were constantly excoriated by Rome in the period 1780-1950.  Boniface engages in this explanation to try to illustrate why many “conservative” Americans are actually liberals when it comes to Church theology.  That is, someone might be “conservative” for opposing abortion, but they are a liberal because they think the Bible is not inerrant, or that doctrine can be redefined/changed.

I am short on time, as I always am on Fridays, and Boniface’s post is long.  He includes a long list of definitions of errors theological liberals hold, much of which derives from the Syllabus. I won’t include that, but I will include Boniface’s description of theological liberalism and some of those modern errors which define it (for instance, Fr. Robert Barron is, contrary to most people’s understanding, a raging liberal):

Those moral issues certainly are part of liberalism, but anyone who has really studied the thought of the pre-Conciliar popes on this question knows that these moral issues are fundamentally not what the popes of the 19th century were worried about. Fr. Salvany, in his classic work Liberalism is a Sin, devotes an entire book to demolishing the errors of liberalism and never mentioned abortion or homosexuality. This is because for Salvany, as well as Bl. Pius IX and the other pre-Conciliar popes, liberalism is primarily a troubling theological trend within Catholicism, not a position on hot-button moral issues. It has to do with holding certain theological opinions, most of which are not relatable to any corresponding positions on the political spectrum, because they are problems internal to Catholic theological thought. This is why Fr. Salvany can write a whole book against liberalism and not mention these moral indicators; he simply does not see them as the essence of liberalism.

Once we understand this, we will begin to see why there is a divergence here; why where one sees a conservative prelate, another sees a liberal or modernist. If you are still thinking inside the liberal-conservative political paradigm, you may be surprised to see what the Church’s definition of a liberal-progressive actually is. It is certainly not the same thing as a political liberal in the American sense….

Here begins long list of condemnations of liberal thought.  Go over to Boniface’s site and check it out.  More:

As you can see, one need not profess same-sex marriage, abortion, favoring national health insurance or any of the current hot-button indicators of political liberalism have anything to do with theological liberalism. Forget whether a prelate is Pro-Life or not; does he believe separation of Church and State is ideal? If so, then he is a liberal.

Is he clamoring for decentralization of the Church, more power for the national bishops’ conferences, or an internationalization of the Roman Curia? Liberal.

Does he speak about Genesis in terms of “the Bible doesn’t teach scientific truth because it is not primarily a scientific book”? Liberal.

Does he believe in absolute freedom of speech and freedom of the press? Liberal.

Is he praising the religious experiences of non-Christian cultures, affirming that they have some sort of value in God’s eyes and suggesting that all people are somehow communing with God through their own religious traditions? Liberal.  [This one has had particular relevance since the terrible tri-fold scandal of Assisi beginning in 1986]

Does he state that the Church needs to figure out how to spread its message with new vocabulary to suit the temperament of modern man? Liberal[Or does he state that there are “new conditions” that require doctrine to change, or insist on “pastoral approaches” which would have the practical effect of nullifying doctrine?]

Does he believe in a loose alliance of all moral, religious people against secularism? Liberal.

Does he confuse natural with supernatural virtue, praising the natural virtues of pagans of anyone else as if these are supernaturally pleasing to God? Liberal.

Does he deny, on national television, that there were a historic Adam and Eve and then look like a fool when asked to explain original sin (which Pius XII specifically said would be problematic when the historical Adam and Eve are denied)? If so, then he is a liberal.

Once you understand what the profile of a theological liberal looks like, you begin to realize there are many more around than you first thought.

In fact, we are surrounded by them.  Thus, the distinction between “conservative” and “traditional.”


Psalm 12 January 31, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, sanctity, Tradition.
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When I was praying Compline Monday night, I read Psalm 12 for the 400th time.  I like Psalm 12, but it had never particularly moved me.  This night, it did.  I am short on time today and so cannot add much to the above.  I just thought this is a Psalm for our time – as all Psalms are.  The Psalms are gloriously inspired reflections on the exaltations and triumphs, and the disasters and defeats of human life.  The Church was indeed wise to build Her Office around them (This translation from the Baronius Press Roman Breviary):

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 enemy 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.


This could be a Psalm for the entire Church these past several decades.  I don’t like some of the Psalm translations in the Baronius Breviary, but this one is wonderful.

UPDATE: I don’t know why I put Psalm 7 in the title!  Just to fool you!

Good Voris video on the contraception-caused demographic implosion January 31, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, catachesis, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
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The collapsing demographics of developed nations is a subject I have covered extensively on this blog.  So extensively, I should have made it a category, but never did (I’m sure you can find many posts by searching “demographic,” however).

Michael Voris has helpfully complied a great deal of the demographic data and put it in one, easy to watch video below.  What he shows is that much of the world faces economic and moral collapse due to plummeting birth rates and the economic disasters those birth rates will bring.  Many countries are now past the point of no return, they will experience economic collapse due to their failure to reproduce.  Very low birth rates are the single largest driving factor in the worldwide economic malaise we have experienced over the past 10+ years.  Country after country has seen essentially zero economic growth in that time, while real wages have decreased.

The social wealth transfer schemes upon which so many economies are based (and which the USCCB and other national conferences seem addicted to supporting) will collapse of their own weight due to lack of young people to pay for the increasing numbers of elderly.  As this process accelerates, we will surely see heavy pressure to start “euthanizing” the elderly – just murdering them because they are too expensive.

It is highly ironic that the USCCB could hardly be bothered to defend Church Dogma on contraception these past several decades. Much of that time they preferred to play at politics and use what influence they had to prop up the social welfare state – the same state that plays a very large role in causing people to reproduce in small numbers (there being a worldwide correlation between generous welfare benefits and low birth rate). That system now must collapse because of insufficient numbers of young people.  So, the USCCB had a hand in destroying the very system it has spent decades lionizing and extolling, even though such was a questionable (at best) role for them in the first place.

Anyway, the video:

God allows our sins to be the source of our ultimate chastisement.  Contraception will, unless we see a sudden and radical change, be the ultimate destroyer of modern Western civilization.