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Pope Francis’ very own 10 step program August 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
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So when I first saw the below at Fr. Ray Blake’s site last week, I took it Fr. Blake had developed his own “10 step” program of life according to Pope Francis, based on Fr. Blake’s interpretation of some of Pope Francis’ statements.  So, he posted this:

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So, like I said, I thought this was just Fr. Blake riffing on some of Pope Francis’ more, ummm…..worldly statements.  That is to say, I did not think this was a real list from Pope Francis himself, nor a shorthand compendium of some ideas he expressed in an interview, but just someone extrapolating from some of Pope Francis less edifying moments.  Coupled with the fact I am extremely busy and have nary a chance to cover much of any news,I sort of let the matter go.

But then I saw some other coverage just today, and realized……ay caramba, these are for realz?!!?  And it seems save for a little bit of squabbling over some of the translations, they are.

This is really how the Great Fisherman, Sweet Christ on earth, the occupant of the most exalted office in the history of mankind, and the spiritual leader of at least a billion souls, thinks?   When did Dale Carnegie get promoted to the See of Peter.

And as a member of a 12 step program, I can say Pope Francis missed step 3 rather badly, which is the foundation of all the rest: acknowledge the Higher Power.  He also excluded step 8, make amends for one’s sins.

And it’s having more than just a slight effect.  This very worldly, in some cases nearly new age, conception of “happiness,” with nary a mention of Jesus Christ, is having an immediate and strong impact.

Aside from a mention of Sunday being a holy day holiday day off from work, the entire list is completely secular.  That’s not right, even the mention of Sunday is completely secular, and there is no mention of reserving a day to honor God, which 90+% of the people in the world would accept at least as a sort of nice intention.  What is all this bending over backwards to please atheists?  There is even a denouncement, at least in the Catholic News Service article, of proselytizing, something I think many early Church fathers and great Saints might take a bit of exception to:

9. Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing,” the pope said.

Poor Saint Francis de Sales, poor Saint Francis Xavier, and thousands of other Saints……they did it all wrong!  Saint Paul, too, apparently, and the entire early Church, which existed in a perpetual state of condemnation of the dominant pagan culture.  That living rebuke of paganism drove the non-Christians nuts, and provided much fire for the ongoing persecutions.  But now we are told to be a proselytizer is the very worst thing one can be.

What can one say?  Ten steps to happiness, and Jesus Christ not even in the mix.

I really wish I could meet the Pope, and ask him (in Spanish, since he doesn’t speak English), whether I made a horrible mistake in converting to the Faith.

I know the answer……I have absolutely no doubt……but I have to openly wonder what his answer would be.

Is it either unfair or inappropriate to state that the viewpoint expressed above is unequivocally one of secular humanism?  A belief system that says all religions are basically the same, we should throw away any ideology that “divides,” and come together with a mushy, totally ineffectual spirit of nebulous good will (that denies sacrifice and rarely produces any good works), without a thought for the afterlife?

 

Start Novena to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux today Aug 11! August 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, religious, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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Noah M of the Militia Templi sent me an edifying old school Novena for St. Bernard of Clairvaux.  By old school, I mean turn of the century traditional.  The following is to be said in its entirety for the nine days of the Novena, running from Aug 11-19.  You will be joining the North American Preceptory of the Poor Knights of Christ!  St-Bernard

 

Admirable St. Bernard, who, after having been the delight of your parents by the innocence of your manners, became the model of Religious by the austerity of your penances and the fervor of your piety; and who had also the happiness of drawing with you, to a life of holiness, your whole family and an infinite number of distinguished persons: obtain for us, of the Lord, the grace that we may correspond to the divine inspirations, and live up to the perfection of our state.

 

Glory be, etc.

 

2. Admirable St. Bernard, who, advancing in sanctity as you progressed in learning, practiced the most severe mortification of your senses, and conceived the deepest hatred for every kind of sin: obtain for us, of the Lord, the grace, by the practice of penance, always to mortify our unruly passions.

 

Glory be, etc.

 

3. Admirable St. Bernard, who, after founding many monasteries, and filling them with fervent and holy monks effected the greatest good by your counsel and advice; so that not only kings and princes, but bishops and popes applied to you to heal public discords and distresses: obtain for us, of the Lord, the grace to labor continually for His glory, and to walk so faithfully in the way of His precepts, that we may at all times merit His aid.

 

Glory be, etc.

 

4. Admirable St. Bernard, who, passing like an apostle through all the kingdoms of the West, carried to all peace and joy, deciding the most difficult 855a7b871490b652f5330ec9e2dc72a9questions, concluding the most complicated affairs, assisting at counsels, confuting errors, converting the most hardened sinners: obtain for us, of the Lord, the grace, that by our lives we may shed the odor of Jesus around, and have, like you, a lively faith and an ardent love for the Most Holy Eucharist, the greatest and the most precious treasure of Christianity.

 

Glory be, etc.

 

5. Admirable St. Bernard, who, notwithstanding your numberless occupations, your continual journeys, and your delicate health, never ceased your meditations, your prayers, and your penances; who, not content to announce the word of God by your voice, also composed most valuable works, for which you have merited the glorious titles of Doctor and Father of the Church; and who, by your beautiful writings for her glory, promoted devotion to Mary: obtain for us, of the Lord, the grace of perseverance till death, in all the practices of piety and penance suitable to our state, and always to breathe the most fervent devotion to our Mother Mary.

 

Glory be, etc
————End Novena————
The illustrious St Bernard is a Spiritual Father to the ancient Order of the Knights Templar.  One of the more overlooked facts about St Bernard was the fact he was a powerful wonderworker.  He performed so many miracles when he was preaching the 2nd crusade that his chroniclers could not write them all down!  If you are interested in hearing about some of the more incredible miracles he worked during his life time, there is a free catholic audiobook available on the web here : St Bernard the Wonderworker. 
Here are also some collections of his homilies on audio, especially focusing on the Blessed Virgin Mary here and here.
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Immigration woes: “Osama bin Laden” sneaks across border, half of all Americans don’t have $400 saved August 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Immigration, sadness, scandals, self-serving, Society, the return.
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A couple of data points from the ongoing immigration debacle.  The effort to fundamentally transform this nation into something very different from what it has been continues apace, while the democrats feverishly advance their efforts to assure a permanent electoral majority.

First up, highly effective and ironical prankster James O’Keefe recently decided to test security along the southern border of this country, sneaking into Hudspeth County, Texas, from Mexico, dressed as Osama Bin Laden.  He had no problem gaining access to this country:

OK, that’s sort of on the silly side, but I think the point is very valid.

Not only is the open southern border and absolutely unconstrained flow of people across it a grave threat to national security in a time when islamic extremism continues to grow to levels unparalleled in centuries, but there is also an increasing public health crisis with huge spikes in many highly contagious diseases seen of late.  Rates of measles are at their highest in over 20 years, TB is nearly rampant among the recent immigrants, and pertussis, diphtheria, and other diseases continue to worsen.  But so long as the elites don’t get sick, who cares, right?

Another data point…..according to a first of its kind study commissioned by the US Federal Reserve’s board of governors, over half of all Americans say they would have a hard time meeting a $400 unplanned expense:

If you have $400 to spare, count yourself lucky: Half of Americans would have trouble raising that amount in an emergency, according to a new report that suggests that many U.S. families face surprising financial difficulties…….

…….Only 48 percent said that they could easily handle an emergency expense of $400 without running a balance on their credit card. Almost a fifth said they simply could not come up with the funds, and a similar share said they would have to take on credit card debt. Others said they would either have to sell something (9 percent), ask a family member or friend for help (12 percent), or turn to a payday lender (4 percent) to come up with the money.

The survey also captured some of the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis. Thirty-five percent of Americans still felt they were doing worse in late 2013, when the survey was conducted, than they were in 2008. One in five Americans postponed a major life decision because of the crisis. The biggest delayed decision was buying a house, which it appears almost one in 10 people did. Smaller percentages also delayed moving, getting married and having kids.

Now this study, for a number of reasons, is certainly open to some skepticism.  Whether really half of all Americans would have such a difficulty dealing with a $400 unplanned expense or not, or whether the number is 1/3 or 4/5, the broader point is that immigration tends to hurt the lowest income levels by far the most, and there are millions of Americans who have essentially no savings and could be wiped out by some major, or even moderate, catastrophe in their lives.

Mass, unconstrained immigration tends to drive wages for the lowest level jobs – the kinds of jobs immigrants tend to fill – down the most.  That is why the US Chamber of Commerce and other corporatist lobby groups are so much in favor of both continuing the status quo and giving amnesty to the millions already here illegally. And that is why true Catholic Doctrine regarding immigration is heavily nuanced – Church Doctrine does not claim that all immigrants from a poorer region simply must, as a matter of course, be admitted to a richer region in order to enjoy “the good life.”  No, matters like security, the cohesiveness of the region experiencing mass immigration, and maintaining a reasonable social order, avoiding upsets to unity and enforcing the national ethos, all have to be factored in.  But most importantly is the duty in justice to the leaders of a country or region to the native born citizens, whose claims on justice have high priority over those desiring to immigrate.

But all of the above has been essentially overlooked in the formal responses of most of the Church hierarchy in this country to the ongoing crisis. I don’t think it unreasonable or even uncharitable to say there are some self-serving motives at work in the present stance of the bishops viz a viz hispanic immigration.  Many bishops are frankly very much on board with the democrat party achieving a permanent electoral majority, and seeing this nation shift to a much more socialistic, centrally-planned type of government.  And all these immigrants help hide, at least for a while, the ongoing collapse in the Church.

There was, after all, a reason for all those Obama stickers on the cars in front of so many rectories and chanceries.  This present “crisis” has in the works for a long time.

Thorough report on the grave and continuing problems at Catholic Relief Services August 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, Society.
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Christine Niles has an internet radio show called Forward Boldly.  She interviewed Dr. Stephen Mosher of the Population Research Institute late last week regarding the ongoing scandal of Catholic Relief Services’ involvement in distribution of contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization agents in its “relief” work in Africa and other places.

The program is an hour long but very worth listening to.  While it does rehash some material from last  year’s scandalous revelations regarding CRS and its far too cozy relationship with many pro-abort, contraceptive-distributing, population control agencies, there is much new ground covered.  This is a really valuable contribution, I thank Christine and Dr. Mosher for their efforts:

Key takeaways, for me:

  • Catholic Relief Services’ near total dependence on federal funding has resulted in a severe compromise of the organization’s Catholic character and moral behavior.  CRS receives over 70% of its funding from the federal government
  • The US bishops interpret both the receipt of federal funding, and the Constitution’s “no establishment” clause, to mean they cannot “discriminate” in hiring only faithful Catholics to staff organizations like CRS.  Note, the bishops never fought over this interpretation, they simply yielded to it as a matter of course. So, CRS in Africa and around the world is frequently staffed with leftist atheists, evangelical protestants, pagan libertines, etc., all working to undermine Catholic Doctrine in one of the few places it is still relatively observed, Africa.
  • CRS is staffed with many people from radical population control NGOs like International Planned Barrenhood and the UN Population Fund.  These organizations are totally, completely steeped in the contraceptive/abortive mindset.  The idea that these people once hired by a Catholic institution would suddenly give up their lifelong support for abortion or contraception at the behest of the Church is ludicrous.  The data indicates they do not.
  • CRS in Africa and, I’m certain, around the world, operates like a rogue agent, completely independent from local diocesan oversight.  This is the claim of bishops of Madagascar.
  • CRS has been directly involved in the distribution of contraceptives and dangerous abortifacients like Depo-Provera.
  • CRS routinely engages in obfuscation and prevarication in attempting to escape moral culpability and oversight of its pro-population control activities
  • USAID, the source of much of CRS’ funding, is one of the most virulently, dogmatic population control agencies in the world.  Does anyone think he who pays the piper does not call the tune, in this case?

There are many more really devastating points raised in the show.  I encourage you to listen to all of it.

The federal government is no friend of the Church, or the moral order. The federal government is increasingly an institution of radical social change, endemically hostile to the interests of the Church and right moral conduct.  And yet, the bishops of the United States choose to be more and more and MORE dependent on federal funding.  Right now they are getting deeply embroiled in this immigration fiasco/”crisis,” receiving federal funding to provide some kind of help, but note the timing: the federal government just imposed a regulation saying even private contractors, like churches, who receive federal funding, cannot discriminate on the basis of “sexual orientation.”  The Church in this country has already been badly compromised over the issue of federal funding for contraception and abortion and the willingness of at least some Church organs to provide those services, now the Church is faced with endorsing sodomy in order to keep Uncle Sam’s gravy train rolling.  OK, perhaps not “faced,” quite yet, but soon, and inevitably.

As the threats against the rights of the Church from the government mount, as the undermining of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ advances,it is well past time to end this dependence on federal funding.  It will only be used more and more as a club to attempt to beat the Church into sexular pagan submission.

There is also very good content featuring Michael Hitchborn from American Life League, which I shouldn’t neglect to mention.  When I hear him describe how often the bishop’s seem utterly surprised to find out what is going on at their own agencies, agencies they supposedly spend most of their time overseeing (which is why bishops are supposed to be so rarely available within their own dioceses, because they are always off performing USCCB-level tasks), I have to laugh.  Either the bishops are saying they have no control over their bureaucracy, in which case, nice management skills there, or the exasperation at the continued revelation of these ongoing scandals and the highly problematic nature of all these bureaucracies is just an effort at cover-up and blame-shifting.  Which one would like to think would be beneath the nature of a prelate in Christ’s Holy Church, but I don’t think we can make that assumption, given the course of the entire abuse scandal.

I guess a good question is, how, and when, did the episcopate in this country (and so many others) go so totally off the rails.  And why?