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Are you an Ultramontanist? July 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return, Tradition.
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The good Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a post asking a most pertinent question in the present environment in the Church – are you an ultramontanist?  This does not mean you accept the Dogma of papal infallibility.  That is not what the ultramontanism run amok in the present context means.  I will let Boniface explain:

There is a lot of talk these days about a kind of pervasive Ultramontanism in the Neo-Catholic world; not Ultramontanism in the classical sense, for understood classically, Ultramontanism, like the term “Integralism“, was just a phrase denoting Catholicism affirming the infallibility of the pope.In current parlance, we are not talking about fidelity to the Holy Father, but rather a kind of crass, undiscriminating Ultramontanism that is best characterized by the embarrassing spectacle of Neo-Catholic apologists tripping all over themselves to affirm every single prudential decision of the pope as not only good, but the best possible decision. In the judgment of the modern Ultramontanists, every utterance of the pope, no matter how banal or off the cuff, is treated as a profound insight; every administrative act or symbolic gesture he makes are examples of brilliant leadership; every prudential judgment and non-authoritative teaching treated as infallible truth. [thus the incredible claims that some would accept a papal claim that black is actually white, or 2+2=5]
No matter what they might say, there is a very easy test to see if the person you are talking with actually subscribes to the kind of crass Ultramontanism I have described above. Ask them to:
First, cite one prudential action of the pope which you disagree with[Kissing the koran]
Second, cite one action or statement of the pope that you agree with, though you admit that good Catholics can be in disagreement about[Pope Benedict’s quoting of the Emperor Michael II Paleologos against the cruelties of islam was actually an act of charity, not a controversial interfaith blunder.  But you can believe it was a blunder if  you want. Heretic.]
If you or your interlocutor cannot do either of these two things, they are Ultramontanists, no matter what they might say to the contrary.

I think it’s a pretty good test.  And I feel very strongly that unchecked ultra-ultramontanism is seriously unbalancing the Church.  But it is a favorite pastime of many prominent American Catholics, including most of the top Catholic bloggers.  The danger we have seen is when obedience and fealty to the papacy as an institution and understanding of the narrow limits of papal infallibility morphs into ultra-ultramontanism, we tend to see very wild swings in emphasis, and even belief and practice, from one papacy to the next.  And that only exacerbates the already existing crisis in the Church, spreads confusion and scandal, and leads more souls to fall away – or at least increases the risk of some falling away.

And the even larger problem is that, in spite of all the canonizations, recent popes have taken a number of prudential actions, and even some actions or more import than mere prudence, that are very difficult to reconcile with Tradition and in fact represent great novelties in the life of the Church.  Those novelties have tended entirely in one direction, towards progressivism/modernism/indifferentism.  And thus we have the crisis.  So it is not a far reach to say that ultra-ultramontanism is playing a big role in precipitating the crisis in the Faith, and preventing effective action to promote the timeless Truth Christ has revealed through His Church in opposition to the crisis.

And then we have TFG.  That’s the problem taken to a whole different level.

UPDATE: There is also a reverse corollary, regarding sede vacantism. One could just sort of flip the questions around.

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Why is there such a strong bias against the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary? July 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, religious, sadness, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, Virtue.
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I saw on VideoSancto that some months ago, Fr. Cassian Folsom OSB of the Benedictines of Norcia gave a retreat at The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, MA.  Now, these are the Slaves that are in full regular canonical unity and whose bishop has offered Mass at their chapel (TLM only, ever) several times.  But, they are, of course, descended from Fr. Leonard Feeney’s group – in fact, they are one of several offshoots of Feeney’s original group.  While there are branches of the original St. Benedict Center who are either still under some ecclesiastical penalty or who have not fully regularized, this group is not one of those. In fact, the Slaves of the ‘official’ St. Benedict Center take part regularly in diocesan events like the 40 Days of Life.

I will post two of the videos from that series of talks at the bottom of the post.  But I think it needs to be noted that Fr. Folsom is not a traddy.  He’s certainly orthodox, his order is sort of walking the line the Franciscans of the Immaculate trod, having both the Novus Ordo very reverently in Latin, but also the TLM with some regularity (goodness, I pray they are small enough to avoid attention for the duration of this pontificate).  But I don’t think Fr. Folsom is an “extremist” on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus or any other matter.  He’s a good, orthodox, traditional leaning priest, and his order is the same.

So I take it as kind of an endorsement of the Slaves that Fr. Folsom would preach a retreat there.  Under different circumstances, I would not have any surprise at this, but I have noted that many traditional Catholics most definitely retain an animus against this order, even though it has been fully regularized. There seems to be an assumption that if there was some error in the past, it somehow must remain. I have been surprised – shocked might be the better term – at how strongly opinions run against what seem to me very good nuns, brothers, and priests.  This is an order that throughout the crisis has never once offered the Novus Ordo. But that does not appear to win them much support.  I have seen that even though they do a great deal of good work, a good number of traditional priests, within the Fraternity and elsewhere, strongly counsel young men and women to avoid this order.  I really don’t know why that is.

Now, I will admit to some bias. I have had the pleasure of meeting several of the nuns of this order and I like them a great deal.  I have never heard any error or extravagant opinion pass their lips.  I even tried deliberately to pry on the matter of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, and while they certainly support this Dogma, there was a recognition of the broader understanding of this Dogma that most solid traditionalists hold (baptism by blood and desire). I cannot say I was even close to exhaustive in examining this matter, but there was certainly no obvious error.

So what gives?  There are so few traditional orders for women, and yet this one is frequently treated like a pariah.  Is there some real evidence of remaining error, or is it just lingering suspicion, or?  And if the latter, how is that charitable?

I would appreciate some input on the questions as posed. I do not want a re-hashing of the whole Feeney affair, nor do I want blanket statements that “they’re just bad,” or things to that effect.  How are they bad?  What do they believe that is wrong?  Etc.

I’m sure you guys will help me out, and some – some – heat in the comments will be tolerated so long as it remains on topic.

Video on St. John Cassian and prayer:

Video on Lectio Divina:

 

 

 

 

The false religion of sexular paganism exists to oppose and destroy Christianity July 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, reading, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
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I have read some more in Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism.  Feser argues early on in the book that modern secular materialist atheism exists almost exclusively in opposition to traditional religion, and in essence, Catholicism.  Catholicism was of course the main opponent of the first secularists of the 17th and 18th centuries, the so-called “enlightenment” thinkers, who sought to curb religious “extremism” through the growth of a competing, agnostic secular state.  I think Feser argues quite convincingly that this new sexular paganism of the late 20th and early 21st centuries both acts and sees itself as an essential opposite to Christianity in general, the Church in particular, and all the morality that flows naturally from the right practice of the Faith.  What secular leftists fail to admit today is that their philosophy has evolved into a competing and implacably hostile religion of its own.  Some very good points below, I hope you appreciate them as I did:

…….the “religious” characteristics of secularism……-its bigotry and its superstition – stem from a third and deeper respect in which secularism can only properly be understood in religious terms, namely that the content of secularism as a philosophy and a sensibility is entirely parasitic on religion.  It is not just that secularists happen to reject and oppose religion; it is that there is nothing more to their creed than rejecting and opposing religion.  This point might seem obviously true, even banal, but it is not. For secularists often regard themselves as promoting a positive intellectual and moral vision of the world, not merely a critique of religion.  They claim to have something new to put in its place.  Hence they not only reject faith; they endorse reason and science. They not only reject traditional morality, especially in the area of sex;’ they affirm the value of free choice.  They not only reject ecclesiastical authority; they promote democracy and tolerance.  And so on.  But look more closely and you’ll find that this “positive vision” is really nothing more than a restatement of the negative one.  As I have said already……the mainstream Western religious tradition itself very firmly rests on and embraces reason and science [Key point.  Reason has repeatedly been used to prove the existence of God, the Christian God.  Science can also support an enormous amount of Christian belief.  But there must also always been room for Faith. So Christianity cannot be entirely explained/justified by science and reason.  But that does not make it any less true.]  ……..So what, pray tell, is distinctively “secularist” about reason, science, free choice, toleration, and the like?  Nothing at all, as it happens.  The fact is that secularists are “for” reason and science only to the extent that they don’t lead to religious conclusions; they celebrate free choice only insofar as one chooses against traditional or religiously oriented morality; and they are for democracy and toleration only to the extent that these might lead to a less religiously oriented social and political order.  Again, the animus against religion is not merely a feature of the secularist mindset; it is the only feature.  [And this is certainly true of many of the leading lights of secularist thought, both today and historically.  Darwin admitted to having quite an agenda behind The Origin of Species.]

…….anyone who reads very deeply in the work of contemporary analytic philosophers will find that one of their main obsessions, perhaps the main obsession, is the project of “naturalizing” this or that phenomenon – the mind, knowledge, ethics, and so forth – or showing, in other words, that it can be entirely accounted for in terms of “natural” properties and processes of the sort compatible with (their conception of) “natural science.” ……..what this ultimately means is just accounting for it [whatever phenomenon is under examination] in terms that make no reference to God, the soul, or any other immaterial reality.  Those “tough-minded” secularist philosophers who like to pretend, to themselves and others, that hey are well beyond giving religion any thought whatsoever in their day-to-day work, thus reveal by the substance of that work that they are in fact and at bottom interested in little else.  In particular, their mania for “naturalizing” every philosophically problematic phenomenon they can get their hands on evinces a desire to rationalize their atheism, however indirectly…….. [And I think many of us have seen this in the way that modern science and philosophy tries to explain away every single possible aspect of the human psyche, the universe, Creation, etc, in purely naturalistic terms, even to the point of giving truly ludicrous explanation of such, at times.  All this is founded on a fundamental error that rejects the understanding of the classical philosophers, who proved the existence of God, for a near-communist/materialist attempt to understand man/Creation/the universe.]

……..when we consider: (a) the fact that secularism is little more than an animus against religion, without any positive content; [I would guess most readers have experienced utterly unreasoning hatred of religion among those who consider themselves “the smart set” (b) the fact that its adherents are often committed to ideas as superstitious and/or mad as any that the most corrupt forms of religion exhibit (ideas which, though not essential to secularism, per se and thus not accepted among all secularists, nevertheless usually tend to follow upon the rejection of religion as as substitute for religion; [Belief in UFOs, “paranormal phenomenon,” astrology, bizarre superstitions, conspiracy theories, global warming, are rife on the left.  Even more, the adoption of certain acts as pseudo-sacramentals, like veganism or recycling to “save the planet,” animal rights activism, etc, all involve certain required beliefs, expiatory acts, “angels” and “demons,” etc.]  and (c) the fact that they also typically manifest toward religion and religious believers exactly the sort of ignorance, intolerance, and dogmatism they attribute to religion itself; when we add all these factors together, it is surely plausible to regard secularism as something that is…..a religion.

———-End Quote————

QED, if you ask me!

I guess I’ve been beating this drum a great deal lately, but part of why I am doing so is that occasionally some of these posts break out of the Catholic blogosphere and into the secular world.  Or, more frequently, I will reach a fair number of Catholics who have never considered progressivism/secularism as a religion in a to-the-death competition with Christianity.

I do think secularism has evolved into a religion or something essentially indistinguishable from same.  And I believe more and more firmly, as the evidence piles up, that the sexular pagan religion we are faced with today will brook no competitors, save, possibly, for islam, of which it is terrified.  At present, sexular paganism has a tacit alliance with islam, ordered to further reduce the influence of Christianity, which, I think, confirms that sexular paganism is not so much a positive belief set, but a negative one.  It seeks the death of Christianity and would rather wear a burqa than admit of Jesus Christ.  And does not this tell us of the demonic element behind this new materialist religion?

I had some blurbs about how this new religion has evolved from the error of the endarkenment philosophes, the error being their idea (or fervent wish) that religion could be reduced to a small, benign and almost inconsequential box.  They were wrong, man is an inherently religious beast and government must fundamentally choose which kind of religion it will support – islam, Catholicism, sexular paganism, or what have you.  Our government was founded on the latter, and so we are seeing the inevitable result.

Ok, this post is too long, so just pray for Faith and courage to stay strong as the pressure intensifies!

 

Ginning up a persecution……Obama attacks the rights of the Church again July 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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In an incredible move, but not a terribly surprising one considering his track record, Obama late yesterday signed an executive order banning “discrimination” in hiring the adherents of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah from all recipients of federal contracts.  This includes many entities of the Church, which now face either seeing their federal contract pulled (which may not be a bad thing), or committing grave sin by employing people who openly reject the Doctrine of the Faith through their actions.

There are many aspects to all this.  First, the report, which curiously hasn’t been covered much on the more orthodox blogs, I guess because we just expect this now?

President Obama signed an executive order Monday barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – ignoring the pleas of Christian and other faith leaders to include an exemption for religious organizations.

“Thanks to your passion and advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of your cause, our government – the government of the people, by the people and for the people – will become just a little bit fairer,” the president told a gathering in the White House.

The executive order would prevent Christian and other religious organizations with federal contracts from requiring workers to adhere to the tenets of their religious beliefs. Christianity Today reports the order could impact religious non-profits such as World Vision, World Relief and Catholic Charities.

“If religious organizations cannot require that their employees conduct themselves in ways consistent with the teachings of their faith – then, essentially, those organizations are unable to operate in accordance with their faith,” Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, told me.

…..this administration believes gay rights trump everyone else’s rights – including religious rights.

Indeed.  But even more, this administration, and the far left from which it sprang, is so lost in atheistic materialism that they cannot even envision how religion could mean much of anything to anyone.  At most, it’s something some do on Sunday for largely [I used the wrong word before, I was trying to convey….] <selfish, preening, egotistical> reasons.  We see the endemic hostility of the modern American left to not just religion but even basic decency in this decision.

As I said, there are many aspects to this. It is stunning that Obama would make this move even after his administration just getting pummeled at the Supreme Court this year, with overreaching socialist law after egregious abuse overturned.  Obamacare was dealt a potentially shattering blow just today from a federal appeal’s court.  He just doesn’t seem to care.  He’s going to throw everything he can at the wall and see what sticks, because he is a red diaper doper baby and an openly avowed enemy of Christianity.

And this guy was elected, twice.

On another level, there is the increasing dependence among many organs of the Church on federal funding.  Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, CCHD, the whole panoply of alphabet soup agencies – all receive the vast, vast majority of their funding from the federal government. That condition has been most deliberate and has led to all manner of problems.  For one, we have seen the many scandals in which CRS is supporting Planned Barrenhood in distributing contreceptives in third world nations, and even has struck some alliances with pro-abort groups.  It is a metaphysical certitude that there are at present numerous “LGBT” types at CRS, Catholic Charities, et. al., and that their presence is very open and some very high level people know this.

So all of this has some feeling of a bit of a charade.  The Church lost a great deal of its fundamental independence from the government when it decided, in this country at least, to rely on the state as the source of most of the funds for its “charity.”  Charity at the point of a government gun has never been a virtue, but decades ago, back when the USCCB was called the National Catholic WELFARE Conference (and deeply aligned with left wing policy prescriptions even then) and Pope Pius XI was deciding whether such a conference should be permitted to exist,  the bishops collectively made the decision that it was much easier and much more reliable to obtain funding for “charity” from the government than it was  from the pewsitters.  But it was during the 60s that most major national-level Catholic organizations, started up in the wake of Vatican II, were founded on the principle of being entirely dependent on government funding (Catholic Charities and CRS are both over 90% dependent on federal funding).  He who pays the piper calls the tune, and it was likely only ever a matter of time before something like this, and the HHS mandate, came down the pike.

It’s called unintended consequences.  But eminently foreseeable at least for the past two decades. As at least half the population and one major party became irreversibly wedded to the culture of death, the bishop’s stratagem of depending on state funding for many activities became increasingly high risk, and increasingly prone to moral nightmares like this. Which is all to say, if you dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, you may live to regret it:

And I didn’t even mention how aligning the Church with a government that rejects the entire concept of the Social Reign of Christ the King must be disordered!  But the bishops didn’t even buy into that in the 1930s, which is why Pius XI sat in judgment of the NCWC.

Unfortunately, after much pleading and promises to change, he decided to let it live.  And thus when America emerged as hegemon after WWII, and the influence of the US bishops was at its peak, that entire model of episcopal conferences was unleashed on the Church.

But that would be a whole ‘nuther 1000 word post, so I’ll demure for now.

Buy a ready-made traditional Catholic church! July 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Christendom, fun, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, sadness, silliness.
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There is one for sale in Fulton, Kansas, which is about 10 miles west of the Missouri border and halfway between the Okleyhomey border and Kansas City.

What are some of the features of this church building?  Well…….

Built in 1894, the church was closed and sold to the Preservation Society in 1994. In 2007, the Seller purchased the property with plans to make it his home. He had a new roof installed and began work before his plans changed. When he stopped his project, he boarded up all the beautiful stained glass windows to protect them. The nine 6’ x 13’ large windows are originally from Ireland and set in beautiful slider oak frames. Plus, there are also 2 large round and 6 smaller windows.
The brick building is 42’ x 75’ with old growth timber throughout. There are twelve 8” x 16” x 50’ black walnut beams, 2” x 18” pine floor joists covered with 3,000 sq. ft. of pine flooring. The vaulted, barrel ceiling is patterned tin. The wainscoting appears to be finished pine. Choir Loft is approximately 20’ x 40’. The lot size is 185’ x 150’.

CONTENTS
32 14’ Pews
Hanging Sacristy Light
Statues of St. Patrick, Sacred Heart, St. Bridget, St Joseph, Angels
Stations of the Cross
Pedestals for Statues
Funeral Candlesticks, Candle Holders
Votive Light/Stand
Main Altar
2 side altars
Tabernacle
Communion Rail
Baptismal Font
Misc Church Items
Pump Organ in Choir Loft

Sounds to me about like a ready made TLM parish!  Maybe we should drag that down to Irving, but I think it’s much too small, unfortunately?  Well, how about we go claim the stained glass before its demoed?  And the altar!

Unfortunately, the pics aren’t so great, but here’s a few:

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The auction starts tomorrow!  I doubt this building will go for much, you might be able to buy your very own TLM-ready church building for very cheap!

Current taxes are only $283 a year.  Ah, small town living.

Fulton Kansas has a population of less than 200.  I think that’s why the parish closed.  I’m sure wherever area Catholics assist at Mass now, it is not nearly so beautiful.  Seriously, if the price were right, this would not be a bad structure to part out for use elsewhere.