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Model for true ecumenism – Saint Josephat November 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, manhood, martyrdom, persecution, Saints, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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In the traditional liturgical calendar, today is the feast of the great Saint Josaphat, the man who understood true ecumenism as union with the Catholic Faith and saw to it that countless numbers of souls were returned to Her bosom.  I write his biography as contained in the Roman Martyrology, I wish I had more time:

Josaphat Kuncewicz was born of noble Catholic parents at Vladimir in Volhynia.  When a child, as he was listening to his mother telling him about the Passion of Christ, a dart issued from the image of Jesus crucified and sounded him in the heart.  Set on fire with the love of God, he began to devote himself with such zeal to prayer and other works of piety, that he was the admiration and the model of his older companions.  At the age of twenty he became a monk under the Rule of Saint Basil, and made wonderful progress in evangelical perfection.  He went barefoot even in the severe winter of that country; he never ate meat, drank wine only when obliged by obedience, and wore a rough hair-shirt until his death. The flower of his chastity, which he had vowed in early youth to the Virgin Mother of God  he preserved unspotted. He soon became so renowned for virtue and learning, that in spite of his youth he was made superior of the monastery of Byten; soon afterwards he became archimandrite of Vilna; and lastly, much against his will, but to the great joy of Catholics, he was chosen archbishop of Polotsk.

In this dignity he relaxed nothing of his former manner of life; and had nothing so much at heart as the divine service and the salvation of the sheep entrusted to him.  He energetically defended Catholic faith and unity, and labored to the utmost of his power to bring back schismatics and heretics to communion with he See of blessed Peter.  The Sovereign Pontiff and the plenitude of his power he never ceased to defend, both by preaching and by writings full of piety and learning, against he most shameless calumnies and errors of the wicked.  He vindicated episcopal rights, and restored ecclesiastical possessions which had been seized by laymen.  Incredible was the number of heretics he won back to the bosom of mother Church; and the words of the Popes bear witness how greatly he promoted the union of the Greek and Latin churches. His revenues were entirely expended in restoring the beauty of God’s house, in building dwellings for consecrated virgins, and in other pious works. So bountiful was he to the poor, that, on one occasion, having nothing wherewith to supply the needs of a certain widow, he ordered his Omophorion, or episcopal pallium, to be pawned. [How many bishops today possess such charity?  Heck, any of us?  Would I pawn my most sacred possession to help someone in need?]

The great progress made by the Catholic Faith so stirred up the hatred of wicked men against the soldier of Christ, that they determined to put him to death.  he knew what was threatening him; and foretold it when preaching to the people. As he was making his pastoral visitation at Vitebsk, the murderers broke into his house, striking and wounding all whom they found. Josaphat meekly went to meet them, and accosted them kindly, saying: “My little children, why do you strike my servants? If you have any complaint against me, here I am.”  Hereupon they rushed on him, overwhelmed him with blows, pierced him with their spears, and at length dispatched him with an axe and threw his body into the river. This took place on the twelfth of November, 1623, in the forty-third year of his age.  His body, surrounded with a miraculous light, was rescued from the waters.  The martyr’s blood won a blessing first of all for his murderers; for, being condemned to death, they nearly all abjured their schism and repented of their crime.  As the death of this great bishop was followed by many miracles, Pope Urban VIII granted him the honors of beatification.  On the third of the Kalends of July, 1867, when celebrating the centenary of the princes of the apostles, Pius IX in the Vatican basilica, in the presence of the College of Cardinals, and of about five hundred patriarchs, metropolitans, and bishops of every rite, assembled from all parts of the world, solemnly enrolled among the Saints this great defender of the Church’s unity, who was the first Oriental to be thus honored. Pope Leo XIII extended his Mass and Office to the universal Church.

———End Quote——–

The sad tale is that Saint Josaphat’s enormously successful efforts to bring Ruthenian Orthodox into the Church, which by the time of his death had resulted in many hundreds of thousands returning to unity, were later squandered by political machinations and a substantial share fell back to Orthodoxy.  As Dom Prosper Gueranger notes, this repression of the “uniate” Greek Catholics by Polish Latin Catholics hastened – or may have directly caused – the later collapse of the Polish-Lithuanian Empire and the subjugation of all its territories to Orthodox Russia and protestant Prussia.  Oh how short sighted men are!  Such a glorious reunion, purchased at the price of a martyr’s blood, wasted due to worldly ambitions and short sighted prejudice.

Thankfully several million did remain in union with the See of Peter and they persist today, greatly increased, as Greek Catholics in western Ukraine, parts of Romania and Poland, and scattered about in other locales.  Saint Josaphat was a model of true ecumenism, not the false variety bandied about today, and should be a model for all future efforts are union with schismatic Churches.


The Dark Side of Martin Luther November 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, damnable blasphemy, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, horror, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, unadulterated evil.
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There is a long post at Shameless Popery regarding Luther and his rather substantial dark side.  It is a very long post and a bit difficult to excerpt, but for weekend reading I think you would be most edified to read the whole thing.  A quote a bit from the intro and conclusion, do go read the whole thing, as Pope Leo XIII and many good priests have argued, protestantism loosed errors on the world that have caused the downfall of Christendom and led directly to the anti-Christian, liberal, amoral culture in which we are awash today.  He also provides powerful argumentation that the mass murder machine known as National Socialism and the German embrace of the same was deeply rooted in Luther’s hatred of the Jews and his penchant for absolute obedience to state authority (but forget the Church authority!) almost to the point of religious reverence (another Nazi characteristic, deification of government leaders):

There’s a popular Luther narrative that plays out a little like Star Wars. A humble son of the Church rises up to overthrow the Dark Side, the Evil Empire, the Roman Catholic Church, all while cominfg to see his true identity. We love an underdog story, so it’s easy to root for Luther. And this narrative is an important one, both for Protestants (to show why the Reformation was “necessary”) and atheists (to show why Catholicism/Christianity/fundamentalism/religion is dangerous and evil).

But no matter how attractive it may be, this Luther narrative is a fundamentally false one. It relies on two sets of falsehoods: (1) distortions and exaggerations of the evils done on the Catholic side; and (2) a whitewashing of the real history of Luther and the early Protestants. I’ve addressed (1) before, and I’d like to address (2) head-on today.

The real-life Luther was a man passionately convicted of his own rightness, so convinced that he thought anyone who disagreed with him was either ignorant, stupid, or evil. It was this overconfidence that I would suggest is the root behind some of the shockingly evil things he advocated. I’m going to lay them out here, letting them speak for themselves, before considering the implications of these facts…….

[Follows an analysis of some of Luther’s most egregious evils, calling for the most violent and repressive measures against those who took him at his word and started interpreting Scripture privately, which soon led to cultural chaos and armed uprisings in much of Germany. Very worth a read.  Mind, this post only discusses Luther’s more publicly deplorable acts, and skips the many private vices of the man]

……I mentioned before that Luther was so passionately convinced of his own rightness that he thought his opponents must necessarily be ignorant, stupid, or evil. This is the spirit consistently animating Luther’s writings. When he’s writing to someone who agrees with him, or who he thinks will agree with him, we get Dr. Jekyll. When he realizes that the other person actuallythinks he’s wrong, Mr. Hyde appears. We see it from the first with his writings to the papacy, sweetly promising to obey whatever the pope should decide, and then denouncing him as the Antichrist when the pope doesn’t decide in his favor.

We see that play out time and again in the above passages: he’s convinced that the Christian rulers who disagree with him secretly know the truth about the “Gospel,” but just refuse to acknowledge it. He’s gentle to the peasants until he realizes that they’re not listening to them; then he calls for their mass slaughter. Likewise, he defends the Jews, when he thinks that they’re open to hearing his version of the Gospel; when he fails, he calls for their destruction, as well.

This has all the marks of the sin of pride, the sin said to have caused the fall of Lucifer. And none of us, regardless of Church affiliation, are immune from these temptations. It’s so easy to fall into a mindset where your political or religious opponents are idiots or monsters. Let Luther’s life be a cautionary tale in that regard.

[I regard the below as really key, and as a former protestant I attest to its veracity]

When Catholics point out that several of Luther’s early writings sound pretty Catholic, the standard Protestant response (and a quite reasonable one, I might add), is that Luther wasn’t completely reformed yet. Even after he went into schism, he spent another quarter-century slowly divesting himself of his Catholic beliefs. But what’s remarkable is that, as Luther became less and less Catholic, he became less and less Christian. [Dang right]

Compare the before-and-after you see above to see what I mean. There are countless other examples that point in the same direction, too. For example, Hosanna Lutheran Church notes that Luther’s language in Against the Papacy at Rome Founded by the Devil, written in 1545 (a year before his death), was “the most vehement and vulgar Luther ever wrote. To accompany it Luther commissioned a series of political cartoons by Lucas Cranach defaming the pope and Rome.”

The man praised for taking a bold stand for freedom of conscience was positively bloodthirsty towards those whose consciences disagreed with his own. And he became crueler and more bloodthirsty, the longer he spent away from the Church. [Well like all protestant revolutionaries, “private interpretation” quickly came to mean “MY interpretation.”  And anyone who opposed Luther’s, or Zwingli’s, or especially Calvin’s interpretation was a damnable heretic and must be put to death.  Within three years of Luther posting his false “theses” protestantism had already splintered into myriad groups, mutually antagonistic and all claiming to be right, only joined together in confederations of convenience by hatred of the Church founded by Jesus Christ]

[Killer conclusion:] This is one of the most important questions that I think we can take away from this: do we have any reason to conclude from the evidence that Martin Luther was a Saint?
Within the same year, 1525, he both cautiously encouraged the peasant’s revolt as possibly of God, and called for everyone involved in the revolt to be killed, saying that they were all going to hell. Does that sound like someone being led by the Holy Spirit, or like those that St. Paul warns (Eph. 4:14) are “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles”?
———-End Quote———–
Great post. Do go read the rest. Thanks to reader skeinster for the linka.
I must quickly add this note: Lutherans spent a century after Luther’s death reforming his untenable and unChristian doctrines into something much more palatable to reasonable men.  In so doing, they walked back much closer to Catholicism.  However, they stubbornly maintain at least a tacit attachment to all of Luther’s main errors, including private interpretation and justification by Faith alone. I note that the lead agent for the disastrous “Joint Declaration on Justification” between the Church and a German Lutheran synod was none other the Kasper the Klown Kardinal himself.


Father Peter Carota on why we love the Traditional Mass November 13, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, manhood, Our Lady, priests, sanctity, scandals, secularism, sickness, the return, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The post on Father Michael Rodriguez’ involuntary sabbatical has attracted a great deal of attention, some of it from individuals who are either new to my blog or who do not share my love of what I consider traditional Catholic piety.  At least, they certainly appeared not to agree by some of the strongly negative opinions that have been given with respect to the Traditional Latin Mass or my preference towards it.

Being the model of charity that I am, however (heh), and in the interests of building bridges, I thought I would share Fr. Peter Carota’s recent recording of a talk he gave extolling the manifold benefits of the TLM and the traditional practice of the Faith.  I’ve never met Father Carota personally but I sure like him.  The video is actually part of a marriage prep class and while it does discuss the Mass it is not focused on it, per se’. It is also pretty long so after the video I content from another of Father’s posts, in which he discusses the apparitions at La Salette and their connection with the collapse of the active practice of the Catholic Faith, especially with regard to its liturgical aspects.  First, the video:

Now Father Carota on Our Lady’s discourse to the children at La Salette (emphasis in original, my comments). I find reading these warnings chilling, this is an obvious prophesy of our own times:

What I’m to say to you will not always be a secret; you can announce it in 1858. Priests, my Son’s ministers, priests, by their evil life, by their irreverences and their impiety in celebrating the holy mysteries, love of money, love of honor and pleasures, priests have become sewers of impurity. Yes, priests call forth vengeance, and vengeance is suspended over their heads. Woe to priests, and to persons consecrated to God, who by their infidelities and their evil life are crucifying my son anew! The sins of persons consecrated to God cry to heaven and call for vengeance, and now here is vengeance at their very doors, for no longer is anyone found to beg mercy and pardon for the people; there are no more generous souls, there is now no one worthy of offering the spotless Victim to the Eternal on the worlds behalf.”

[Father Carota interjects:] In this, you can see the importance of the Latin Mass’ focus on reverence when offering the Holy Mysteries.  The Latin Mass also emphasizes the offering of the Jesus to the Father for the salvation of souls and the world[One of my biggest concerns with the Novus Ordo is not that it cannot be reverently offered, but that it so rarely is, and that the rubrics and even the changed prayers of the Novus Ordo predispose it towards a less reverential offering than the Traditional Mass.  We are dealing with the holiest of holies with the Mass, many regard the Traditional Mass as the pinnacle of Western Civilization, it was, so to say, our best effort.  Why can we no longer give that best effort today, why must we instead see irreverence, closed circles of humanity with backs turned to God, the Blessed Sacrament handed out so casually, all manner of abuses…….I could go on for some time.  You get the point.  Back to Our Lady’s warning:]

God will strike in an unparalleled manner. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His anger, and no one will be able to escape so many evils at once. The heads, the leaders of the people of God, have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has darkened their minds; they have become those wandering stars which the ancient devil will drag with his tail to destruction. God will permit the ancient serpent to sow divisions among rulers, in all societies and in all families; both physical and moral punishments will be suffered. God will abandon men to themselves and will send chastisements one after the other for over 35 years. [Or 135…….]

“Society is on the very eve of most terrible scourges and greatest events; one must expect to be governed by a rod of iron and to drink the chalice of God’s wrath. [And in 1870 the Iron Chancellor, Bismarck, utterly defeated and occupied much of France. The response of the people of Paris was not to beg God’s mercy and turn to penance and prayer, it was to foment a godless communist revolution!]

“In the year 1864 Lucifer, together with a great number of devils, will be loosed from hell; little by little they will abolish the faith, and that even in persons consecrated to God; they will so blind them, that without a special grace, these persons will take on the spirit of these evil angels; a number of religious houses will lose the faith entirely and cause many souls to be damned[And faithful religious will be persecuted.  The collapse in numbers of consecrated religious is the largest seen in centuries, probably ever in the Church’s history.  Religious life has been devastated by the “reforms” of the past 50 years]

“Bad books will abound over the earth, and the spirits of darkness will everywhere spread universal relaxation in everything concerning God’s service: they will have very great power over nature; there will be churches to serve these spirits. People will be transported form one place to another by these evil spirits, and even priests, because they will not have lived by the good spirit of the gospel, which is a spirit of humility, charity and zeal for the glory of God. [sounds prophetic to me]

Civil governments will all have the same objective, which will be to abolish and make every religious principle disappear, to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritism and vices of all kinds.

In the convents the flowers of the Church will putrefy, and the devil will establish himself as king of all hearts. Let those who are at the head of religious communities be on their guard concerning the persons they are to receive, because the devil will use all his malice to introduce into religious orders persons given to sin, for disorders and love of carnal pleasures will be widespread over the whole earth. [How many links could I find in 30 minutes regarding priests and religious given over to perverse disorders of sin?]

I address a pressing appeal to the earth: I call upon the true disciples of the God living and reigning in the heavens; I call upon the true imitators of Christ made man, the one true Savior of men; I call upon my children, my true devotees, those who have given themselves to me so that I may lead them to my Divine Son, those whom I bear as it were in my arms, those who have lived in my spirit; finally, I call upon the Apostles of the Latter Times, the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in contempt of the world and of themselves, in poverty and humility, in contempt and silence, in prayer and mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering, and unknown to the world. It is time for them to emerge and come enlighten the earth. Go, show yourselves to be my dear children; I am with you and in you, provided your faith is the light enlightening you in these evil times. May your zeal make your famished for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. Do battle, children of light, you, the few who see thereby; for the time of times, the end of ends, is at hand.”

————-End Quote————-

Lord, have mercy on Your Church.  Our Lady, pray for us!  Send us holy priests, and holier bishops and Supreme Pontiffs!  Do not give us the priests and bishops we deserve but those we so desperately need!  Great Saint bishops of the Church, pray for all our Church leaders and for laity that we may be holy and raise up great leaders like you.

One advantage of the TLM: readings that don’t appear in the NO November 13, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, secularism, Tradition.
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One of the advantages partisans of the NO purport it to hold over the TLM is the greatly increased number of Biblical verses that are used in the Novus Ordo’s three year cycle of readings as opposed to the perennial calendar of the Traditional Mass. But the reformers of the Mass were extremely selective in the verses they chose, deliberately some which had been in use for well over a thousand years because they were either insufficiently ecumenical or said things the reformers did not like.

One of the most famous of these is the exclusion of 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, wherein Saint Paul reminds us that receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord unworthily is sinful sacrilege.  The exclusion of that reading also undermines belief in the Real Presence, because it was exactly that condemnation of illicit reception that forms a powerful argument in favor of the Real Presence (even if the Gospels, and especially John 6, were certainly enough support for this belief that can be traced back to the earliest Fathers.  Unfortunately, the Novus Ordo excludes or relegates to early weekdays (Mon, Tues) much of John 6).

Another reading missing at least in part from the Novus Ordo selections is 1 Pet IV:13-19 (taken from the Feast of Pope Saint Martin I, according to the Missale Romanum of 1945):

Dearly beloved, if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, that when His glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.  If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed; for that which is of the honor, glory, and power of God, and that which is his Spirit, resteth upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a railer, or a coveter of other men’s things. But if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in His Name. For the time is that judgment should begin at the house of God, and if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the Gospel of God?  And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God, commend their souls in good deeds to the faithful Creator.

——–End Quote——–

Now why might these verses included in such an ancient Mass be excluded from the Novus Ordo?  Could it have anything to do with the fact that it speaks of the damnation of those outside the Church, a most conveniently unecumenical thought by Saint Peter?  Bible verses that mention suffering and travail are quite frequently excluded, as were the many Collects and other Propers of the Mass containing such elements also either edited or replaced entirely.

The following is the the Novus Ordo Mass, but I think it merits inclusion, anyway, this is the Gospel from yesterday (Saint Luke XIV:26-33):

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: if any man come to Me, and hate not his father and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, having a  mind to build a tower, doth not first sit down and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he have wherewithal to finish it; lest, after he hath laid the foundation and is not able to finish it, all that see it begin to mock hi, saying: This man began to build and was not able to finish?………So likewise every one of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth cannot be My disciple.

———End Quote———-

Now Pope Saint Martin was horribly persecuted not by pagans but by fellow Catholics, or, rather, Monothelite heretics.  He died a martyr’s death. Thus the Church’s inclusion of this Gospel is so obvious and yet is also a clear warning, if we are to call ourselves Catholic and live the Faith truly we must count the cost beforehand, even to the point of death.  Very few katholycs do so today.  Once again, we see also a reading that stresses the suffering Christians must expect in this life.  That is quite different from the happy clappy never suffer a moment ethos that reigns in most parishes today.

I note in passing that the Feast of Pope Saint Martin I was reduced to an optional memorial in the liturgical calendar of the Novus Ordo and the readings were completely changed and utterly nonsensical from the point of view of the life of the great Pope and Martyr.

It can also be argued that the three year cycle undermines key Catholic beliefs because some critical readings are heard only once every three years (if at all), opposed to every year. Thus, opposite to decades ago when many Catholics knew certain part of the Gospels by heart from hearing them every year at Mass, today most Catholics know even less of the Bible, and what they know is often disconnected from the flow of liturgical seasons, as the three year cycle in the Novus Ordo completely divorced the readings from the liturgical year.

Diocese of Dallas training video: “Two greatest Commandments love of self and love of neighbor” November 13, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, Domestic Church, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society.
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Somehow, God got left out of the picture.  If I could reduce the past 50 years of the Church’s history into one brief sentence, that would be it.

I put up a post yesterday asking locals for their appraisal of religious formation in the Diocese of Dallas.  There have been some good responses, you should go read them if you have not, but I received another one, offline.  It had to do with Safe Environment training.

Now, I will state straight up, I have enormous problems with Catholic Safe Environment training in both concept and execution.  The Dallas Policy and the training it mandates basically takes a disaster caused by men manifestly unfit for the priesthood (and in most cases, this was obvious from their earliest seminary days) and makes complete innocents victims of their crimes.  This victimhood applies to both the adults and children who are forced into these programs.  Adults are victims because they are incurring the penalty, if you will, for crimes committed by others, and children because they are exposed to materials what are often not just inappropriate but potentially very damaging.  But Safe Environment is just one aspect of the collective bishops’ response to the boy-rape scandal that seeks at all turns to minimize the culpability of the episcopate for their own actions.  It is a training program forced on all that assumes all are potential abusers in order to meet a certain legal strategy and reduce their potential future liability.

There has been much ink spilled already about the problems with the Safe Environment training directed at children, which many feel introduces topics and ideas inappropriate for many age groups.  The adult training generally gets less visibility and fewer complaints.  But I happened to be informed of an egregious faux pas – at least I sure hope it was – in a Safe Environment video for adults produced by the Diocese of Dallas that is so severe it could cause one to question the reliability of the entire content of the video.

I cannot link the video, it is embedded without link and is not public on Youtube (or, at least, I couldn’t find it), so you’ll have to go here to see it. The offending comment starts at 3:59 and goes to about 4:03.  Again I will try to be charitable and assume the person who makes the statement didn’t mean what they said, and I quote “The two greatest commandments, love and self and love of neighbor……..” but how could this statement make it through editing and be used as a form of training – it could even be viewed as catechesis – in this Catholic Diocese of Dallas? My correspondent asks how a successor of the Apostles could appear and, one would think, approve of a video where this statement is made?  This isn’t just slightly wrong, it’s directly contrary to the entire ethos Christ gave us and is emblematic of the error at the heart of the crisis in the Church and culture: men have replaced love of self for love of God.

I must also say that this is why I am so leery of having half-trained lay people serve as heads of ministries and perform so many roles once assigned to priests and religious in our churches today, and which the comments from yesterday’s post indicate is evidence of a systemic problem in religious education.  But I want to stress I am certain the comment is not intentional, the greater problem is how this was vetted and a reviewed and still allowed to go public, as it were.  It’s just so revealing of the kind of shoddy product that bureaucracies tend to produce.  And the Church has been bureaucratized as never before in the past several decades.

Lest you think there is just this one comment I have a problem with, I assure you, that is not the case.  Another person in the video says child abusers go where the children are, so I must ask why those men who displayed such perverse tendencies in seminary and in service, like Rudy Kos (where there will literally dozens of warnings sounded) were allowed contact with children for  years?

Anyway, I’m not sure how long the video will stay up, so you may want to jet on over and see it while you can.  And another thing, I am reliably informed that at least two complaints about this video (and the offending comment) have already been made, privately, so I consider the lack of response makes this fair game for public airing.

Priest: Demoting Burke could turn out to be Pope Francis’ biggest blunder November 13, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, martyrdom, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, the return.
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I have seen good Father Ray Blake bend over backwards to try to find a happy reason for Cardinal Burke’s demotion, opining that perhaps the Pope was actually interested to see Cardinal Burke given more time to promote concern for true family life and the Traditional Mass and so gave him a position with the time and resources (the Order of Malta being very, very rich) to do just that.

Below, in a contrary viewpoint, Fr. Benedict Keily of the Diocese of Burlington, VT presents the matter in a different way, feeling that the demotion was a deliberate attempt to reduce Cardinal Burke’s influence in all respects, but that the Pope may have blundered in so doing.  If you are familiar with Fr. Blake’s argument, see which you agree with more:

Despite the image of Francis as a man of dialogue and compromise, he is regarded in Rome as the most authoritarian pope in decades. He is also a man known to settle scores. Immediately after his election as pope, he swiftly moved an Argentinian bishop known to have been his chief opponent when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires — another “downward” promotion — transferring him to an obscure position in the Vatican bureaucracy. In the space of just over two years, Pope Bergoglio has been removing, or not reappointing, many of the key men put in place by his predecessor, Benedict XVI……..

……In today’s Vatican, the courtiers have the upper hand. It is as a patriot, a man discontented with yet loving his Church, that Burke in his new position will enjoy a freedom that until now he did not have. He will be able to travel and to celebrate the ancient Mass all over the world. He can lecture, preach, and write. And the Knights of Malta are not, as left-leaning devotees of liberation theology might believe, relics from a Dan Brown novel. Not only are their ranks filled with members of the aristocracy from every nation on earth but, far more significantly, the newer members are often wealthy and influential figures in industry, politics, and the media. The Knights — and Dames — of Malta run hospitals and charitable organizations throughout the world. Their annual pilgrimage with the sick and handicapped to Lourdes is one of the largest the shrine sees. The men and women admitted to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a state that issues passports, are devout Catholics, who both love their faith and act with generosity and commitment. It is this highly influential arm of the Church that Cardinal Burke has been “demoted” to lead.

What does this apparently inter-ecclesiastical dispute matter to the wider world? In the first place, it shows how the only large global institution that represents what might be called the traditional view of the family and society is divided, and that division is clearly bad for those who care about the future of the family and civil society. On a more positive note: This could mark the last rally of a certain Sixties mentality in rapid decline. Unless they are weathervanes tilting with the wind of ambition, the priests and bishops ordained since Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict have nothing in common with the bell-bottomed theology that, at least for a season, has been revived in Rome. [And I think this is generally true, and I do think the radical progressive generation is slowly dying out, but how long can they continue to dominate events is anyone’s guess.  I fear it may be a lot longer than we might hope, for the progressive faction has shown itself a master of political maneuvering and the ability to dominate events with a relative few.  However, that hope remains, because there are essentially no replacements in the “pipeline” for that generation of progressives, their ideology having proven barren of vocations by decades of experience. Which has made me wonder, just what are these radical modernists of the Kasper Kabal gaming at?  OK, say they do implement their radical agenda, in a few years they will all be gone and who will replace them to carry it out?  Or is it just they are so blinded ideologically that they have to continue regardless of the long-term fruitlessness of their efforts, or do they secretly hate the Church and just desire to wound Her one more time?  I will admit to being stumped, what fires a man in his 80s to make this great push so late in life?  Is it pride, is it a final “victory” to prove that one was right all along?  Cardinal Bea, the architect of “ecumenism” and, some might say, the more egregiously indifferentist statements of VII, was the same way, he was practically given up for dead on the Council’s eve and suddenly became a fireball of energy for its 4 year duration, then died just a couple of years after.  He was well into his 80s at the time.  Very strange.]

There is one possible final irony. Some have speculated that Pope Francis, who turns 78 next month, will follow the example of his predecessor and eventually step down from the Petrine office, perhaps at age 80. In any case, Raymond Burke will likely be a significant figure at the conclave to elect his successor, and already some observers are predicting that the courtiers’ foe will end up as the next king……

Meh. I won’t hold my breath  Fr. Keily links to Taylor Marshall’s post of a year and a half ago, promoting the pious hope that Cardinal Burke might be elected pope.  Didn’t happen then and it is in some ways even less likely to happen now.  There are so many variable it is very difficult to predict who might be the next Pontiff but given Francis’ predilections towards enormous change, who knows what the college of cardinals might look like in even 2 or 3 years.

Of the two views, whether Pope Francis is giving Cardinal Burke free reign and more time to be a champion of the family and traditional piety, or if he was shoved aside and given an embarrassing position almost as an insult, my cynical nature tends to make me side more with the latter.

But who am I to judge?

Sorry, but like it or not, this pontificate will be defined by that tagline for decades.  It was just so exactly what the media and the world want to hear, it will never be forgotten.

Shoot I see Rorate beat me to the punch on this. I didn’t read a single blog yesterday.

I guess that is good I am generating my own material?

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.






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.