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Pope Francis: I don’t know what to say July 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, priests, sadness, scandals, self-serving, shocking, the return.
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……I was supposed to not talk about Pope Francis anymore, at least until some news developed.  I don’t know if the recent scandals are really “new” information, or not. To some degree I think yes, but it mostly just confirms what I think informed Catholics already know.  One thing that certainly seems confirmed, is thatPope Francis is extremely clever about how he gets his message out in the Church, yet frequently keeping plausible deniability.

None of my family is Catholic.  Shall I, then, just give up evangelizing them and praying for their conversion?  I almost find refreshing the statement that we’ll never overcome our doctrinal differences, because I think that is almost entirely true.  The ecumenism that tries to paper over vast doctrinal differences -that is, the ecumenism that has been practiced for the past 50 years – is a total falsehood. Statements like the 1999 joint statement on justification between the Church and the Lutherans (or really, just one of many Lutheran branches, each believing different things) don’t satisfy anyone and are just exercises in indifference and lack of clarity.

But I don’t think the fact that this false ecumenism is pointless (which I have always said) means we should just say to heck with it and try to g0 along to get along.  That makes  a mockery of so much of what Our Blessed Lord said, it is difficult to know even where to begin.  For one thing, Matt XXVIII:19, all of John VI, and so much more.

It is profoundly demoralizing for people fighting in the trenches to see their general suddenly seem to wave the white flag.  What, on earth, did so many Saints struggle and die for, if 100, 200, or 500 years later a Pope can make a travesty of their efforts?  How can people holding what the Church has always believed to be such wildly disordered  understandings of the Faith even “find Jesus?”  And how on earth can the head of any organization, religious or no, say such a thing to the very groups who are absolutely destroying his own in his home region?  It is just such a sign of surrender.

I cannot imagine how so many priests must feel right now. Stabbed in the back, I am certain, is the least of it.  It is not fun to be called a potential pedophile, even if a certain number of priests are (as are all men, but priests at much lower rates than the general population, I think).  This matter of claiming there is little or no justification for celibacy is more troubling, since there is ample support in Scripture and celibacy was a strong characteristic of the priesthood from the beginning.  Our Lord said those who could take it, should take it, and St. Paul more than once indicated that celibacy for the Lord was a most wondrous thing.  He also indicated widowed women should strive not to remarry, especially if they were of a certain age.  Celibacy only became the universal discipline in the west a thousand or so years ago, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t very common in the priesthood and, certainly, among religious priests.

I don’t know.  Pat Archbold has a post juxtaposing statements from previous popes (egad, sorry, fixed error) with those of Pope Francis.  And that is where the trouble really begins, because how are simple lay people to understand what to believe when we see today’s Pope say things seemingly completely at odds with the Tradition?  So many people have fallen into the error of just saying and doing whatever the current Pope does, no matter how wildly one pope swings to another.  But those who have studied the Faith a bit deeper and see the enormous contrast in word, deed, style, emphasis, you name it between this pope and so many of his predecessors are left in a very troubling place.  Unfortunately, few of those of us who have studied are theologians capable of really fine distinctions.  I have to wonder, though, what kind of Church proclaiming to be the repository of Truth would  have constant recourse to double-speak (apparently, canonizations are infallible, except when they’re not), hair’s breadth distinction and seeming contradictions?

But the question that really troubles is, where does all this lead?  Pope Francis has shown he is a  man with a plan to rebuild the Church in his image.  He wants to “make a mess.”  He has taken some shockingly violent actions against a religious order.  He appointed an extremely outspoken and seemingly highly radical cardinal to lead his advisory body.  There are big plans for this upcoming Synod.

I guess the question is, what happens if the actions begin to match the rhetoric?  What happens when the mess starts to get made, in earnest?

I cannot counsel anything but to pray.  I probably shouldn’t post this, I know some won’t like it, but it’s just too much.  Lord, protect Your Church!  Have mercy on us poor, weak, confused souls!


Fr. Carota on the suffering caused by “progressive Catholicism” July 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, disaster, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I always come away from Fr. Carota’s site feeling edified.  He has a post on perhaps an often overlooked impact of false, progressive notions of Catholicism – if it can be called such.  He explores how progressive Catholics fail to teach the Faith, which in turn produces millions of uncatechized, sinful Catholics, who in turn sin and cause havoc in the culture. And there is no one calling them to account, unless we consider the USCCB’s preoccupation with fake climate change, farm bills, and all the rest.

Some interesting perspective, at least (I add emphasis and comments):

I let Johann tell all the boys the story so that they could learn how bad drugs are.  I tell them every marijuana joint has blood on it from all the violence behind the growing and selling of it[Which reinforces what I said last week.  It is probably not unreasonable to say that all illegal drugs are covered in blood, often completely innocent blood.  Another reason never to use them.]

After this, all the young men and boys could not stop telling me, one after another, about their own bad experiences they have had or are living with right now.  They told me about drug dealers living next door to them, the loud gun shots they have to hear at night and police helicopters circling around their neighborhoods, looking for criminals.  From the very tiniest of them (5 yrs. old) to the oldest they all wanted to tell me about what they are going through.

Now to my point and theory.  Johann’s friends, who were into drugs, were baptized, made their first communions and were confirmed (Catholics).  Most of the neighbors to these boys are Catholics.  A lot of the shootings and drug dealing done here in this part of Phoenix is done by baptized. [Gary Moran, the man who shot and killed Fr. Kenneth Walker and maimed Fr. Terra, is likely a baptized Catholic]

So, most people would just explain all this violence here in Phoenix and in Mexico as people making bad choices or doing bad things.

I will, over and over again, point out that the “New Evangelization” of the Vatican II Church is not producing holy Catholics. [I think that’s the key, isn’t it?  Isn’t that the crisis in the Church reduced to its essence?  Yes, we can argue about points of theology, novelties like collegiality and ecumenism, changes/abuses in the Liturgy, and all the rest, but the simple fact of the matter is that the Church since Vatican II seems to be producing far, far less holy Catholics than the pre-conciliar Church.  There are likely a number of reasons for this, but one of the key ones is that the Truth is simply no longer taught to the vast majority of Catholics. This includes a generation or more of clergy.  So we have the blind leading the blind.  That’s not to say the situation cannot improve. There are priests and lay people who find they are missing much and start to learn more about the Church as She was, but they are relatively few.  And so the cultural rot continues to advance.]  I contend that by the easy going progressive catechesis we are only producing bad Catholics who are then end up doing evil things, (like Catholics who are in the Mexican Cartels).  This is then causing the children, that I work with, to suffer from the crimes that are happening around them everyday and every night. [Another problem is that so many Hispanics who come to this country leave the Church, as are millions in Central and South America.  I will one day do a post on the myriad evangelical sects that have popped up in Irving in the past 10 years or so, with large congregations, and entirely devoted to Catholic Hispanics who have left the Church.  The Church is hemorrhaging Her members, because they are spiritually starved by the pablum they receive]

What we desperately need right now is strong traditional Catholic moral teaching.  The bleeding heart liberal Catholics always want to water down morals out of compassion for the divorced and remarried or the homosexual.  Whenever we water down one of the 10 Commandments or the traditional morals of the Catholic Church, it only undermines the structure that society stands on and the results is crime that the children have to suffer from.

I say that the silent victims of progressive modernistic Catholicism are the children who are never listened to by the pope, cardinals, bishops, priests and religious.  They are the ones being aborted (murdered by the thousands daily), are sexually abused by their stepdads, crying as their parents split up and get an annulment and marry a new stepparent that they have to adjust too.  [Divorce is devastating for children.  Even to adult children. My college roommate descended into a year of absolute drunken dissolution after his parents divorced before his sophomore year of college.  My friend was never right after that.  He has never managed to maintain stable relationships, and leads a highly disordered life to this day.]   Children are suffering by having to have homosexual “parents” or parents bringing different sex partners home every weekend.  Does anyone ever talk about the social injustice that these children have to bear day in and day out? [Children are the ultimate victims of almost all the aspects of the advancing sexular pagan culture.  Contraception prevents millions from being born and aborts millions more, direct abortion kills millions, millions are devastated by divorce and the subsequent unstable relationships that follow, rates of child sex abuse among children of “homosexual” parents are enormous…..I could continue for a very long time]

To be clear, when we water down the Gospel and traditional Catholic morals, it produces Catholics and others who do evil things that hurt children.  It hurts God and it hurts children and it hurts society.  Immoral Catholics and other people cause crime.  Crime hurts everyone, especially children who are afraid and are hurt everyday and every night. [And those children are overwhelmingly predisposed to commit the same egregious faults their parents did, or even worse. So, each generation winds up being more deranged than the one before.  I don’t know how long we can continue like this before society fundamentally breaks and we face a calamity of biblical proportions.]

————End Quote———–

If we had ten divisions of such priests, our troubles in the Church would be over, very quickly (source?).

St. Catherine of Siena on the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity in our souls July 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I stopped posting from Divine Intimacy, because I got the impression most readers of my blog were reading it regularly, and that the posts were thus not very helpful.  But the below is from one of my very favorite Saints, and my favorite female Saint, and is really good, so I thought I’d go ahead and post it.  I’m sure it will be “new” to at least some readers!catherine of siena

This if from day 222, The Trinity Within Us:

O Eternal Trinity, One God, One in essence and Three in Persons, You created man to Your image, so that by the three powers of his own soul he would resemble Your Trinity and Unity. [St. Gemma Galgani said that she could not imagine that a God Who created us in His Image would not want us to have Him for our highest end]  Through this likeness he is united with You; that is, by His memory, he is joined to and resembles the Father, to whom power is attributed; by his intellect, he resembles and is united to the Son, to whom wisdom is attributed; by his will, he resembles and becomes one with the Holy Ghost, the love of the the Father and the Son, to whom mercy is attributed.  [I tell you, one could meditate on the nature of the Holy Ghost for a lifetime and not begin to plumb the depths of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity]

thCAFYZ8Z3O Father, grant that I may unite my memory to You by always remembering that You are the beginning from which all things proceed. O Son, unite my intellect to Yours and grant that I may perfectly judge all things according to the order established by Your wisdom.  O Holy Spirit, grant that I may unite my will to You by loving perfectly that mercy and love which are the reason for my creation and for every Grace given to me, without any merit on my part. [All we can do is cooperate with Grace.  As Our Blessed Lord said, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” (St. John, XV:15)  And, “when you have done all you are required to do, say, we are unprofitable servants.” (St. Luke XVII:10)]

O mighty, Eternal Trinity, may You be thanked for all the love You have shown us in forming and sweetly endowing our soul with its powers; an intellect to know You, a memory to remember You, a will to love You above all things! saint catherine of sienna small It is reasonable that knowing You, O Infinite Goodness, I would love You; and this love is so strong that neither the devil nor any other creature can take it from me against my will.

O power of the Eternal Father, help me; wisdom of the Son, illumine the eye of my intellect; sweet mercy and love of the Holy Ghost, inflame my heart and unite it to Yourself.

O Eternal Trinity, my sweet Love, You Who are Light, give me light; You Who are Wisdom, give me wisdom; O supreme Fortitude, give me strength.  O Eternal God, You are the calm ocean where souls dwell and are nourished, and where they find their rest in the union of love.

————–End Quote————–

I really need to study St. Catherine more.  I’ve read several good biographies of the Saint, but I have only slightly delved into her voluminous writings.  Her Dialogue is very deep, I can say that much.

Oh St. Catherine, pray for us poor, timid, weak souls!  We are so easily lost and distracted!  We continually place our will before God’s!  Pray that the Lord have mercy on us, and that your prayers above may truly always be on our lips and in our heart!

St_ Catherine of Siena Gladbach


It was a glorious Solemn High Mass in Fort Worth last night July 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Solemn High Mass in Fort Worth at St. Mary of the Assumption parish was, I think, a great success.  Fort Worth Bishop Olson presided in choir and gave the sermon.  I say sermon, because it was not merely an explication on the readings of the day, but was more broadly based.  I’ll get back to that in a minute.

The crowd was very large.  The church was quite full.  I don’t know if that will have implications for the future of the TLM in Fort Worth or not, but I would say the local Latin Mass communities in both dioceses (Dallas, Fort Worth) really came out strong to show their love for the ancient Mass of the Church.  I did not get to speak with an usher to get a formal head count, maybe someone will fill us in, but I would estimate, very conservatively, there were at least 400 assisting last night.  It could be much more than that.

I would like to apologize for posting the wrong time on Friday.  I stated the Mass began at 5, it was actually at 5:30.  We got there before 5, and the church was already pretty full. I don’t know if my post played a role in that, or not!  I am sorry if you got there way early on my account.  But maybe you had more time for prayer!

I had never been to St. Mary of the Assumption before.  It’s a beautiful church, very well suited for this great and glorious Mass:



I’ll have a bunch more photos at the end.

About the sermon.  It was on the topic of the pain that disunity and division in the Church cause.  Some may immediately roll their eyes, thinking, “here it comes, you trads need to stop your complaining,” but that wasn’t really the point.  Bishop Olson seemed, to me, to acknowledge plainly that things have terribly off the rails in the Church over the past 50 years. He stressed that several times.  But he also noted that it is possible at times to develop so strident a position that charity gets lost and one can even delve into falsehood.  It was difficult for me not to interpret much of the sermon in light of the Fisher-More fiasco.  My impression was that Bishop Olson was greatly pained by that ordeal and by some of the accusations directed at him as a result of the action he took.  I wouldn’t say he gave a strong defense of himself, he certainly didn’t mention Fisher-More by name, but it seemed to be in the background of much of what he had to say.  And I thought he conveyed himself very well.  I felt then, and I feel more so now, that Bishop Olson has no antipathy towards the TLM.

That doesn’t mean I agree with the prudence of denying the TLM to Fisher-More, but in reality, I think it can be argued that Bishop Olson had few other options in a rapidly deteriorating situation.  And maybe I’m erring by even bringing this matter up, because last night was a great blessing and Bishop Olson was very warm and engaging. He stayed around for some hours after Mass at a community dinner and seemed to go out of his way to spend at least a little time at every table, with every group, at least to say thank you and to ask for our prayers.

None of the above ignores any problematic things that may have been said or done in the past. I’m not saying Bishop Olson is a new Cardinal Sarto.  But I found it interesting that Bishop Olson said that Summorum Pontificum was a gift to the Church that will go a long way towards healing the division and pain that has occurred in the past 50 years, and that he agrees with Pope Benedict’s assessment that the presence of the TLM will have an enriching effect on the entire Church.  I took that to be a statement of support for the TLM and an acknowledgement of the rights of those with an attachment to the great Mass of all Ages.

Others may have had different impressions, I’ve been through the ringer over the Fisher-More imbroglio and that may have colored my impressions.

And now, some pretty pictures.  Some came out pretty blurry, we were seated pretty far back in spite of arriving fairly early, and I had to use the zoom on my phone which makes taking clear shots very difficult.





Yeah, that one did not come out well.  I tried and tried but something with the light kept making the autofocus freak out.





The light, the stained glass windows, and the lingering smoke of incense led to some sunrays I tried to capture:

2013-03-28 21.01.16



Great statue of St. Vincent de Paul.  I’ve been reading about St. Catherine Laboure’ and the Vincentians, what Saints!


My favorite:


I know that girl!

I would be most remiss if I did not thank the Mater Dei priests for a truly beautiful Mass and all the folks in the Fort Worth Latin Mass community, KVG and many others, for the great job of organizing.  The dinner after Mass was really good. I even got some leftovers!  The choir did a great job.

All in all, it was a blessed and beautiful evening.  Thank you, Lord!

Just a note, there is legitimate room for discussion/re-hashing of the events surrounding Fisher-More, but if the comments develop the rancor that Bishop Olson decried last night, I’ll have to shut them down.

Here are some better photos via Facebook (my wife sent them to me, I am still anti-FB). I think CL reads the blog, if so, thanks.

fw bishop and priests

fw bishop olson

fw bishop olson sermon