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Fundraising organ “The Catholic Foundation” promoting social justice in the Diocese November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the enemy.
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I have thought for a while that maybe I should change the name of this blog. When I started it, it was very much focused on goings on in the Diocese of Dallas, and especially uncovering and reporting many problematic or disconcerting activities.  That quickly became depressing, and even more, I found that the crisis in the Church extended far, far beyond the narrow boundaries of the 9 counties that make up this one diocese.  When I started blogging almost 5  years ago, naive little waif that I was, I actually thought that if I only made the powers that be aware of some of these problematic, even destructive, activities they would be cleared up in no time!  Silly me!  Actually, I wasn’t quite that naive, but I thought it might make a little difference.  Has it?  Meh, not much.

Still, I was a bit surprised to find, in the hallowed halls of the former Korean methodist church that is now occupied by the glorious Mater Dei parish, a promotional flyer for the local “The Catholic Foundation.” The flyer featured none other than former pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish (and current pastor of St. Ann in Coppell) Father Henry Petter.  Longtime readers of this blog will know that Fr. Petter and I have not always enjoyed the warmest of relations and will also know that I have been rather critical of the social justice program he instituted at Seton.  In fact, Seton was such a hotbed of social justice – which means, in practical terms, left wing political agitation – that the local Alinskyite branch of “Dallas Area Interfaith” (a member of the Industrial Areas Foundation) was given office space there while the parish was under Fr. Petter’s pastoral care.

The flyer itself highlights The Catholic Foundation’s social justice work.  The flyer actually states:

The purpose of the fund is to take charitable donations a step further and truly impact structures of injustice in the local community.

Couldn’t have been said better if it had been said by ol’ Barack Hussein Obama himself.  Or some communist college professor – it is shocking to see such overtly left wing language in a document purporting to serve an organization of the Church.

Now they claim that over 50% of the money they raise goes to “education,” over 1/3 to “religious,” and the rest to……….well, at least some of it goes to social justice ministries.  And even that covered under the broad blanket of “education” could easily be applied to this kind of social justice endeavor, educating us rubes into advancing  the socialist revolution that is the true source of goodness, plenty, and light!

So you could take this as an irregular reminder to be very, very careful which organizations you support in the Church. I do not know if the Diocese funnels money assessed from parishes to this Catholic Foundation or other similar groups but I am very leery about supporting any of these large institutional charities or groups.  I tend to look for either specific religious orders, organizations like the St.Vincent Ferrer Foundation, the FSSP, Transalpine Redemptorists, etc, to support financially, as I really, really do not want any of my money winding up being devoted to Alinskyite leftist agitation.  I do very strongly believe that about the only real influence the laity exercise over the direction of the Church in the near term is the power of the purse.  If we keep donating to the regular diocesan appeals or even our local parish’s general funds we can be sure that at least some of our money will wind up supporting efforts just like this, impacting “structures of injustice in the local community.”

It’s actually a genius plan, duping people utterly opposed to socialism and left wing agitation into financially supporting just those diabolical efforts through their own church.  Saul Alinsky devoted his master plan, the book Rules for Radicals, to satan, and I feel the program he instituted (using churches as vehicles for funding and respectability) is satanic in its perverse brilliance.

 

 

So, Dallas readers, what have you to say regarding religious education in our fair Diocese? November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, secularism.
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I saw this post on Bishop Farrell’s blog last week and wanted to comment on it then, but, eh, it was late and I had other things to do.  Apparently last week was National Parish Religious Education Week, and Bishop Farrell posted some of his thoughts on the topic of religious education, which I quote in full and without comment below:

At the heart of evangelization is the parish. It is there that we celebrate our Catholic faith. It is there that we deepen our faith. It is there that we enrich our faith and it is there that we pass on our faith.

As we observe National Parish Religious Education Week, we recognize the important role that our parish Religious Education Program plays in Evangelization. Religious educators are deeply involved in all four of these elements of evangelization through the parish’s role as the hub of lifelong faith formation programs.

Gone are the days when religious education was something only for children. We realize now that our faith life is one of continual conversion and deepening understanding and spiritual development that not only enriches our faith but our participation in liturgical celebrations.

Of course, faith formation must begin in the home, but religious education programs for our children, particularly when they involve the family, insure that their spiritual growth parallels their physical and mental growth. Lifelong faith formation means we no longer try to develop an adult faith with only a First Communion or maybe Confirmation spirituality.

During this week, I particularly want to honor our religious educators, volunteer and professional, who dedicate themselves to the important work of teaching our faith and keeping it dynamic, lest it become stagnant and lacking vitality.  Please join me by thanking the religious educators in your parish.  May God bless them as they do the Lord’s work!

My thought with regard to this post is to ask you, my good readers, just how do you think the Diocese of Dallas is doing in this regard?  How would you rate institutional/official religious education in this Diocese?

I certainly have many tales to tell and have shared at least some of them on this blog.  They are not terribly positive.  But rather than retread what is likely old ground, I’d like to hear what you have to say, either with respect to religious education that you yourself have received, or possibly your children or other family members. Those in other dioceses are certainly free to chime in with their own experiences but I ask that you at least name the Diocese in question, for the better edification of all.

I know that at varying times this blog has been – you might say – observed by denizens of the chancery with some fair degree of interest.  So its possible your assessments may be heard, so please try to be reasonable and keep the comments focused on specific incidents.

 

 

 

Pope Francis: “God does not love some Christians” November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, SOD, the return.
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Some readers may recall that I used to be on radio, both broadcast and internet.  I loved doing radio but I was cognizant of the danger that it is so easy to misspeak and really step in it, so to say.  I enjoyed broadcast much more because that was a group format, there were regular commercial breaks, and so I had to fill maybe 10 minutes of content versus an hour or more.  I found internet radio a lot less fun because it was just me yelling at my computer screen for an hour.  And it just sat there……….and took it.  You have no idea how annoying that is.

I bring all this up (and add a bit of levity) because I understand how easy it is to say things one really doesn’t mean when speaking extemporaneously.  For a very significant period of the Church’s history (as in, the vast majority), given both the critical nature of their office and the import of their words, popes only spoke in very carefully scripted and reviewed manners.  Many popes even of the 20th century recognized the danger in speaking “off the cuff.”  Thus it is that I hope and pray Pope Francis just had a bit of a verbal blunder when he stated the following, as reported by the Vatican News Service and commented on (and what good commentary it is) by Bones:

A fascinating theological exegesis emerges from a recent Pope Francis homily on light, dark and grey Christians and that is that God does not love everyone. There are light Christians, dark Christians and the grey Christians and ‘God does not love these’. This is a controversial thing to say, for any Christian. Does God love the lukewarm, grey, mediocre Christian? Can God’s love be earned?  [and yet who makes allegations of Pelagianism!] Who is worthy of God’s love? Does God love the ‘good Christian’, let us say the Franciscan ideal, but loathe, or not love the ‘bad or lukewarm Christian’…. 

…..Recently we have heard more about Pagan Christians. “They” or “them” is a nearly daily refrain of the Pope followed by a swift, sharp criticism towards someone, some ‘kind’ of Christian. Do we only find out who they are when they have been demoted or moved elsewhere?  [Ouch, but true….] Are papal homilies really opportunities for Francis to elaborate on the Lectionary reading of the day or are they an opportunity for him to take aim at his theological or ideological opponents and issue a public denunciation?  [More like a political speech than a sermon.  One might fairly wonder if these are not public signals to those very political hangers-on of this pontificate to take their next action?]

How far does the demonisation of, in Francis’s opinion, ‘the pharisees’, the ‘pagan Christians’, the ‘grey and lukewarm’ Christians, the ‘enemies of the Cross of Christ’ in the Catholic Church extend? Of course, for more denunciations you can read the not-often-updated-because-I can’t-keep-up with-the-insults Pope Francis Little Book of Insults. 

Of course, we should all search our consciences for those times that we sin against Christ and by our sinfulness and selfishness fail to live up to the name of Christian. Yet, I cannot help feeling that there is a particular kind of Catholic (If you are Jewish, Muslim, Evangelical, Protestant, Hindu, atheist or consider yourself a genuine Pagan, [Or an active sodomite, adulterer, lecher, etc] don’t worry, Francis gives you a pass…) Francis has in mind, and its not necessarily the people I would usually associate with those who, for example, hate Christ and His Church. [Who, again, seem to get a pass.  Or a hearty endorsement]

I have always thought that despite the many, terrible sins that I have committed, the sins I commit and the vices I unfortunately have, despite my lukewarmness in so many ways, my lack of charity and zeal for souls, my indifference to others, that God loves me still. And I have not just considered this a truth to apply to myself, but indeed to all I know, be they Catholic, of other denominations or complete atheists and/or pagans. [Or even enemies of the Church and truly evil men. God may hate sin and allow men to damn themselves, but God created and sustains every one of us, every millisecond of our existence, in the perfect love only He can have]

And if for a moment (and of course, I do actually have those moments) I truly considered that God does not love X, Y or Z, or ‘that type’ of person, I would, I have always thought, cease to be a Christian……

……So when the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Catholic Church says of certain Christians, that ‘God does not love these’, that is a serious thing to say indeed and one that needs surely some kind of clarification. The idea that Francis might say that God has withdrawn Himself entirely from people who Pope Francis, or Jorge Bergoglio, the man, takes exception to is to say, ‘I know who God loves and who God loathes’, thereby sharing in God’s own thoughts. It is also to say that God loves the man Jorge Bergoglio very much but detests certain Christians. Who could these people be? Who does God not love? 

……..The logic of Pope Francis, however, if God does not love ‘some’, ‘certain people’, might lead you to conclude that he [Pope Francis] doesn’t……..

———–End Quote———–

And given how Pope Francis has engaged in more recorded public insults of people of all stripes, but especially of Catholics themselves (when he seems to have unreserved admiration and even adulation for others, like evangelical protestants) than probably all other popes in the past 2000 years put together, I would say this is all of a piece and the explanation fits rather well.  I pray it is not true, but as Bones concludes, my heart wants it not to be so, but my head says it is.

So then what we would really have is a blind ideologue, very much lacking in self-awareness, who constantly misrepresents the beliefs and devotions of those he perceives as his ideological opponents while also engaging in heavy doses of psychological projection (Pelagianism, anyone?).  I may have crossed my own line regarding making value judgments about the state of the pope’s soul but this is not some minor verbal faux pas, this is the kind of statement simply unthinkable for a Catholic pontiff – heck, even an Anglican “bishop”! – to make.  It’s been over a day since this statement has been made and no clarification or retraction has been made, to my knowledge.

The logic of the argument is that if Pope Bergoglio doesn’t love certain Christians, than God doesn’t, either.  I have a hard time not seeing even more logical inconsistency in the pope’s statements, because he again castigates the “lukewarm” Christian, but who then did he just marry in Saint Peter’s a month or so ago?  Most of those people were public adulterers……are those not “lukewarm” Christians, or even dark ones, to quote the Pope, leading “a life of sin, a life distant from the Lord?”  And yet they are fit to receive Holy Matrimony without Confession or contrition and to receive the Blessed Sacrament, as well?

Or is it that he simply does not believe divorce/adultery a real sin, and no impediment to receiving the Blessed Sacrament, in spite of the words of Our Blessed Lord and Saint Paul?  But he did associate use of vulgar language with being a “dark” Christian, so how could that be a serious sin and not adultery? The Pope concluded:

we hear so many, some nice, well-articulated, but empty, without meaning

We sure do, don’t we?

I keep trying to be charitable, but I have to say, Bones’ explanation makes as much or more sense to me than any others, in concert with all the other information we have on this most unique of pontificates.

 

Photos of Father Rodriguez’ last Mass in Shafter November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, martyrdom, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return.
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Thank you to JMJHF Productions for posting these photos of Father Rodriguez’ last Mass in Shafter.  I will post a few below, you can see many more here.

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I had no idea Shafter was so pretty. Does that creek always run like that?  I suspect they’ve had more rain than usual?  It is not well known that the 1971 film The Andromeda Strain filmed some extensive and critical scenes in Shafter. Sacred Heart parish actually figured pretty prominently in many of those scenes. The entire movie used to be on Youtube but it’s been taken down.  Anyway, Shafter sure didn’t look so green and beautiful when they filmed those scenes in early 1971.  The town was practically a ghost town then, as I think it remains today, but a few people still live around there.  I guess there is a mine nearby that may be reopening and that may bring more people back to the area.  Souls came from both near and far to assist at Father’s Masses in Shafter and to receive his spiritual care.

Father Rodriguez’ assignment to first Santa Teresa parish in Presidio – but with regular “duty” at Sacred Heart in Shafter – and then finally at Sacred Heart itself was really a miracle in some respects. Shafter certainly was.  There was a beautiful little church preserved from the ravages of post-conciliar wreckovation and, after some cleaning, ready to go for the offering of the traditional Mass and the traditional practice of the Faith.  I am sorry I never made it out there.  I really wanted to go last Christmas but we had just moved and my wife wasn’t up to it.  I considered it for this Christmas but we opted for Clear Creek instead.  Now I shall never have the opportunity, or, at least, it is exceedingly unlikely.

 

Take the quiz! Modernist church or communist building?! November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, fun, General Catholic, horror, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the return.
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I scored 8/10.  You simply must take this fun if depressingly revealing quiz at ChurchPop, which site I know nothing about but I love the quiz!  A few samples:

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Some of the buildings in the quiz are not Catholic, but some are.  I think I’m giving you a cheat.

And those Catholic churches in the quiz are hardly rare examples:

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It is absolutely NO accident that Stalinist brutalism, resplendent (if that is the right word) of modernist errors and almost always iconoclastic with regard to traditional Church art, was for quite some time the dominant form of architecture in the Church, and elements remain in almost every church built even today.  We know that the modernists have tried to foist a new religion on the Church in the post-conciliar period, well, nothing better represents the aspirations and core principles of a people better than its architecture.  All of these structures are to my mind completely obscene and undermine, in a most underhanded but destructive manner, proper instillation of Lex Orandi Lex Credendi Lex Vivendi.

In many ways (or all?), these structures are overt attacks on traditional Catholic piety.  You could even say they are a form of persecution. They speak of a different religion from that which was handed onto the mid-20th century.  They also speak to me of dominant left-wing influence in the Church.  The similarities between communist architectural grotesqueries and many churches built since the 1940s are too many to be coincidental.  Ever been to Eastern Europe?  You will know what I mean in a heartbeat.

Thankfully, aside from some disastrous cathedrals, few Catholic churches built in the US today are this obviously representative of a competing, hostile religion.  But that hardly indicates they are adequate or ideal.

It is not sinful to point out the crisis in the Church November 12, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, sanctity, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The estimable Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a very good post examining yet another false claim – one might even say calumny – directed against those faithful/traditional/orthodox/whatever Catholics who point out and lament the ongoing crisis in the Church.  This false claim states that describing the crisis in the Faith breeches the unity of the Church and results in the sins of discord and contention.  Claims are made back to Aquinas in support of these accusations of sin, and not just sin, but even mortal sin!  I always enjoy when someone from 1000 miles away and over an ephemeral “connection” like the internet can judge the state of my soul, don’t you?

Irrespective, Boniface points out that whoever has been pointing to Aquinas failed to read the whole way, and failed to make critical distinctions which completely alter moral judgment of the matter (I add emphasis and comments):

Recently, I heard a new take on the “traditionalist Catholic bloggers cause disunity” assertion. The argument relied upon St. Thomas Aquinas’ definitions of the sins of discord and contention. Let me phrase the argument in the context in which I heard it:

Catholics should be unified. Unity is one of the hallmarks of Catholicism. Catholic bloggers who frequently write about things wrong in the Church can damage the unity Catholics are supposed to have (because posts about scandals, heresy, etc. can damage the faith of other Catholics, lead to a loss of hope, and be done without charity). It can create a climate of bickering and dissension within the Church. This is bad.

And not only bad, but sinful, perhaps mortally so. Here were invoked the sins of discord and contention as defined by St. Thomas in the Summa. Discord was defined as obstinately clinging to your own way of thinking. [and is most frequently associated with holding obviously heretical views (even after correction, or especially so), and not as much with regard to vague matters of discipline] Contention was defined as putting such discord into speech or writing.

I don’t want to retread a lot of old ground, but let’s at least look at whether Aquinas’ definitions are being used correctly. In the Summa II-II, Q. 37, Aquinas deals with the question of discord and whether it is a sin.  Discord is defined as a disunion of wills (Q. 37 art. 2). Unity of wills can be destroyed by discord two ways – directly or accidentally. Hence Aquinas distinguishes between active and passive discord, the first consisting in actively willing to cause discord, the latter in which discord happens in a way accidental to the intention of the agent. In other words, to cause discord for the sake of creating discord – as when family members create discord by gossiping simply because they relish drama – is certain sinful. This is active discord. [Certainly sinful, but difficult to prove, for one has to know the motivation behind the person who is committing the act, which is very difficult to do especially over the internet]
But passive discord occurs when human disagreement arises from two people disagreeing about the best way to attain a certain good. The object of such discord is not discord as such, but a certain good about which the parties disagree. One co-worker at the office wants pepperoni on the pizza for lunch, the other wants pineapple and ham, and they have a disagreement. Yes, there is discord in the office, but it is of an accidental nature. Aquinas states:
“Hence when several intend a good pertaining to God’s honor, or our neighbor’s profit, while one deems a certain thing good, and another thinks contrariwise, the discord is in this case accidentally contrary to the Divine good or that of our neighbor. Such like discord is neither sinful nor against charity…” (Q. 37 art. 1)
Passive discord is thus not really discord in the fullest sense, since it is not so much a disunion of wills as much as a disunion of opinions. And there is no mandate for unanimity of opinions. Again, Aquinas:

“concord…is an effect of charity, a union of wills, not of opinions.” (ibid)

We all want the good of the Church. We all want to bring souls to Jesus Christ. Our disagreement is on the prudence of what is going on in the Church today. Catholic bloggers – speaking for myself at least – do not will disunity or discord and do not blog in order to create it. When disagreements arise, then discord arises accidentally because we are all of different opinion on these matters. But as Aquinas states, this sort of discord is not sinful nor against charity. [And that is certainly my intent, as well, anything I do on this blog is done for the good of souls to the greatest extent I can manage with my frail faculties]
Another sin was mentioned – contention or contentiousness. This was defined as putting our discordant opinions into speech or writing. St. Thomas takes up contention in II-II Q. 38. Again, he agrees that contention is a sin, and that is principally consists in tending against someone or something in speech or writing. 
“To contend is to tend against some one. Wherefore just as discord denotes a contrariety of wills, so contention signifies contrariety of speech.” (Q. 38 art. 1)
He says such contentiousness is mortally sinful. Is this the end of the story? Should all traditional blogs finally shut down under the weight of the argument that we can never express our misgivings in writing? Hardly. Aquinas goes on:
“Now contrariety of speech may be looked at in two ways: first with regard to the intention of the contentious party, secondly, with regard to the manner of contending. As to the intention, we must consider whether he contends against the truth, and then he is to be blamed, or against falsehood, and then he should be praised.” (ibid)
Contention cannot be understood in isolation from what is being contended against. If it is falsehood against which one is contending, it is not sinful; on the contrary, it is praiseworthy. Clearly in the case of Catholic bloggers, we contend not against truth but against error and cannot be charged with the sin of contentiousness. [I certainly like to think so. That has always been  my intent, not to point out error in order to be a gossip or hurt some individual but to, pray God, dissuade any souls who read my junk into avoiding the error that is pointed out.  There can certainly be a great deal of disagreement over whether revealing this error or castigating that priest/bishop is prudent, but differences of prudential opinion are generally not matters of sin among people of good will]
In the case of both discord and contention, Thomas notes that even if we do not sin in intention or content of our words or writings, we may sin in the manner or mode in which they are delivered; i..e, if our mode of delivery lacks charity. Agreed. I have always agreed to this, as do almost all Catholic bloggers I know. Of course, we have different opinions on what is charitable and where the line is. But we all agree that our opinions must be expressed in an attitude of charity, and that this charity is due even to those we find ourselves in vehement disagreement with[And I will be the first to admit that there have probably been times when I have allowed myself to become exasperated and have, if not failed in charity, at least not been as charitable as I could be.  And that is why we have this glorious Sacrament called Confession, not because sin is something to be toyed with or, God forbid, reveled in, but because we are all human and all make mistakes.  The effort is to try to make those failures more and more rare.]

So, like other variants of the “you bloggers should just knock it off because you are wounding unity” argument, this one from Thomas’ definitions of discord and contention fails as well. It fails because it does not allow for Aquinas’ distinctions between active and passive discord or whether the blogger contends for truth or falsehood. The failure to make necessary distinctions is a common modern pitfall.

———–End Quote————-

Absolutely.  I could not agree more.  Please go by Boniface’s site and read the rest of this very edifying post.

Look, folks, times of trial tend to make for disunity.  They tend to magnify what would be in normal times very small differences of opinion into what seem like mighty gulfs when faithful souls are under duress.  To some degree this can be good and clarifying, but it can also be very painful and even destructive. It all depends on how we react to the differences that arise.

Of late there have been many accusations tossed about regarding “traditional” blogs, whatever that means to you or the next person.  Some people might find CatholicCulture a wacked out traddy blog, while another might find Catholic Family News too “liberal.”  I’m not here to discuss the various merits of this news outlet or that blog, but instead to point out that so much of this is profoundly personal and subjective.  I should probably be the last one to say this, because I favor Church-related matters to be as clear-cut and neatly defined as possible, but there is a lot of room for disagreement among faithful souls and that disagreement does not need to make us deadly enemies.

I have observed a tendency among those drawn to the traditional practice of the Faith……and this includes even very well formed priests………..to so crave precise formulations and clear cut guidelines that they have a tendency to make the prudential into the dogmatic.  They may find some Saint to quote to bolster their position that matter X is really a grave matter and you have to hold opinion Y, but statements of individual Saints, even great Saints I love like Aquinas and Liguori, are not dogmatic. They just aren’t, no individual Saint is endowed with that kind of infallibility, even if they can, of course, repeat dogmatic beliefs left and right.  I love Saint Alphonsus but he makes some claims that are not dogmatic, such as his claim that devotion to the Blessed Mother is morally necessary for salvation. I dearly love the writings of Saint Alphonsus and I think a very strong argument can be built on this claim (and I share it), but that doesn’t make his claim dogmatic!  As great as Liguori, or even some individual pope, is, it doesn’t mean that if someone holds a different opinion they are a sinner or somehow outside full communion.

I get the desire to be able to categorize every behavior we don’t approve of as a sin, but that’s just not always the case.  It sure is a powerful argument and sort of the ultimate trump card in Catholic circles, to call someone out as a sinner, but I fear it is probably unproductive and perhaps a bit spiritually dangerous to the accuser.  And I understand that, for some, this tendency to make the prudential into the dogmatic may be a natural reaction to the chaos of modernism which surrounds us, but it remains a fallacy to do so.

This is not an “let us all get along” post.  We do need very strong and effective critiques of the modernist cabal running the show in the Church.  Ignoring them and pretending everything is just wonderful plays into their hands.  We may even have to point out problematic statements or actions from the pope.  So perhaps it would be better for those critiquing conservative/faithful/orthodox/traditional blogs to direct their fire at the modernists actually driving the Church into the ground rather than engage in the age-old past time of shooting the messenger. Sure, the latter is safer and easier, but it won’t stop souls from falling into hell like snowflakes.