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Does not justice, and charity, demand more severe presentations of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus? January 9, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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A weekend discussion topic.  In the Church today, the dominant opinion held by priests, bishops, and laymen alike regarding salvation is that most, if not all, people are saved.  This is in radical contrast to the dominant opinion of even the very recent past of those in the Church, which held that salvation outside the Church was, while theoretically possible for a few, exceedingly unlikely.  For just one datapoint on that view, I present the following quote from the fantastic biography of Fr. Peter de Smet, SJ, the great missionary to the Native Americans during the 1800s:

How happy I would be if I could spend myself for the salvation of so many souls, who are lost because they have never known truth!…..I beg you to pray for this intention.  Implore the Divine Pastor to deign to look upon the most unworthy of his servants, who longs to work for His glory. I tremble when I think of the great qualities an apostolate to the Indians demands. We must make men before making Christians, and such work requires unlimited patience and solid virtue, and you know what I am . Nevertheless, I am not discouraged. God’s strength is greater than my weakness, and He can bring forth from stones children of Abraham. 

Any number of other great missionaries could be found to have prayed similarly.  Think of how St. Francis Xavier, Saint Peter Damien, Saint Boniface, Saint Columban, and so many other great missionaries, whether they be formally canonized or no, gave themselves to the missions.  They didn’t do that just to increase someone’s possibility of salvation.  They did that because they fervently believed, and the Church taught, that those outside the Church had, very rare exceptions aside (if even that was granted, and in many theological presentations of the past, it wasn’t) essentially no chance of salvation.  The desperate need to save souls from damnation fired the Church’s incredible missionary efforts for over a thousand years.

Even many quite faithful/orthodox Catholics today, however, almost seem to have a compulsion today to believe that lots of people outside the Church are saved, or that it is at least a reasonable possibility.  I fear that much of the time, this belief comes from a desire to either excuse oneself from the hard duty of evangelization of loved one’s outside the Church, or to assuage the conscience for those who may have passed on without converting.

I am not saying that absolutely no one outside the Church is saved (even if several popes and more than one ecumenical Council did make that exact definition, that “outside of which absolutely no one at all may be saved.”)  I say that because we do know God is infinitely merciful and none of us know the eternal destination of any save canonized Saints (there is even argument here, as to whether canonizations are dogmatic – I am not going there).  But I do fear that there remains even among quite orthodox Catholics a tendency to perhaps overstate just how likely salvation outside the Church may be.  The guidance of the Saints tells us almost all of them believed it was not very likely at all.

But to the title of the post: obviously it is a comforting sentiment to hope that all can be saved.  But is it truly just, and charitable, to tell those outside the Church it is likely they are saved, or to wishfully hope for universal salvation, when there is so much evidence against that belief?  Our Blessed Lord Himself told us there would be souls damned, and in fact said that MOST would be.  So is it not unjust and uncharitable to encourage false hopes, to weaken evangelical/missionary efforts, to assuage our guilty consciences, and to shirk our own sacred duty by maintaining a strong belief that there is a good chance of salvation outside the Church?  My sensus fidei, badly formed though it may be, says yes.

In fact, I think the argument can be made that justice demands that, if salvation outside the Church is very difficult, that popular presentations should at least stress that much, if not default to the very long held public proclamations of the Church (and many Saints, as noted) that salvation outside the Church for practical purposes does not exist.  That is the safe thing to do, the conservative thing to do, is it not, from the perspective of encouraging conversion and having true charity for the eternal destination of souls?

Discuss.  Have a blessed weekend.  I’m out.  And this post is a bit of a response to Pat Archbold’s post here, which isn’t at all indifferentist, but I think paints Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus in perhaps not as strong or positive a light as it should be.  I also think the Feeneyites have long gotten a bit of a bum rap, not that I will ever make a hard claim that I know the eternal destiny of any soul, or that it is absolutely impossible for a particular outside the Church to be saved.  I am not saying that.  I am saying, perhaps there was great wisdom and virtue in stressing the enormous practical difficulties of salvation outside the Church, and that perhaps we should get back to that time-honored practice, which was so commonly held by Catholics for 1900 years or so, which taught that salvation outside the Church was perhaps not totally impossible, but as rare as hen’s teeth.

A final thought: we live in a culture that is geared towards indifferentism. The whole Anglo-Saxon heritage this nation received from Britain, and the history of how the Church of England came about and all the dissenting bodies, have left very deep marks on the culture that orient it towards religious indifferentism.  This nation prides itself on “freedom of religion,” with the state at the very least keeping religion at arm’s length, and tending more and more towards outright hostility at least towards Catholicism. To what degree is the widespread desire to tout salvation outside the Church as a real and viable possibility colored by those profound cultural trends, and is Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus more widely accepted outside the Anglosphere?

Remember, this is a bit of theological speculation from an untrained amateur so don’t blow your top unnecessarily.  It’s a discussion point.

Good news on the local pro-life front January 9, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, General Catholic, horror, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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There has been some positive developments on the local pro-life front.  I have covered in the past several aspects of HB2, passed against vociferous protests from leftists, feminists, satanists, and other lost souls in the summer of 2013.   Some aspects of that bill are still under legal challenge, in particular the requirement that abortuaries meet the same minimal health and safety requirements as other ambulatory surgery centers.  The Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans heard arguments on that provision of the bill just this week, and is expected to rule in March.  Pray that the unelected, unaccountable power mongers in black robes rule in favor of HB2!  That provision alone will result in the shutdown of most of the remaining mills in the state, because abortionists love their money, and meeting those requirements would cut too deeply into their bottom line.

For the good news: I have also covered the drama concerning another requirement of HB2, that doctors have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles in order to continue their murder of children.  That aspect of the bill has withstood legal challenge, but some local baby murderers like “Doctor” Lamar Robinson managed to force a local area hospital to give them privileges (winning a court case to that effect, even though that hospital had no OB-GYN facilities!).   A small new hospital called University General Hospital had apparently given privileges to those doctors, but UGH was unaware of what type of doctors these were.  When they found out, they pulled their privileges.  The doctors sued to get them back, and won, finding a sympathetic liberal Dallas county judge to hear their case.

However, University General Hospital has apparently closed.  The part of Dallas it is located in is economically depressed and the location they used was the site of another hospital that failed a few years ago.  So, at present, neither Lamar Robinson nor Routh Street’s “Doctor” Jasbir Ahluwalia have privileges at a hospital, and can no longer abort babies.  Routh Street remains open, but will be able to kill fewer babies without Dr. J, while Robinson’s new mill is apparently closed. Praise the Lord!  May it remain so forever!

It is known that if the ambulatory surgery center requirement stands, Texas will have only 5 mills open – two in Dallas, one in Austin, and I think two in Houston.  That will mean vast swaths of the state will be hundreds of miles from the nearest mill, making abortions that much less likely.  In addition, these mills have a certain capacity, much less than the combined capacity of the 30+ mills that existed prior to HB2.  Many lives will be saved as a result of this bill, even if it remains far from ideal, and allows abortion to remain a reality in this state.

Nevertheless, should the Fifth Circuit rule in a moral manner, it is safe to say that HB2 is probably the most significant piece of pro-life legislation ever passed in this country.  And that is no small thing to be grateful for.

 

Cardinal Burke: feminization of the Church causing massive problems January 9, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, family, General Catholic, horror, paganism, sanctity, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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On some occasions in the past, when I have written about the excessive feminization of the Church, I have sensed that some female commenters haven’t been entirely on board with my concerns.  The point has never been – and is not Cardinal Burke’s below – that women don’t have a role in the Church.  That is silly. Nor is the point that the Church does not need positive feminine elements.  Look at our Blessed Mother, the greatest human who ever lived.  Of course the Church needs such.  But what I have argued, and Cardinal Burke argues at length in an interview here, is that the Church has gone way, waaay too far towards emphasizing feminine virtue and feminine concerns, to the extent that masculine concerns and interests are often downplayed to the point of nonexistence, if not outright ostracized.
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The present leadership in the Church, lay and clerical, consists predominately of women and perverse men.  Strong, masculine leaders are not frequently found. The Church certainly does need feminine qualities, but She also needs masculine qualities, as well, qualities like fortitude, willingness to combat, willingness to sacrifice for others (in our Lord’s example), leadership, etc.  So many of those, and many more, are dreadfully lacking in the Church today.  That is one reason why in so many countries and cultures, men are almost totally absent from the life of the Church.  They do not find anything there that appeals to them. This must change.

As I said, the interview is very long. Cardinal Burke gets on a roll and doesn’t really stop.  So I will only pull a few of what I think are some of the most impressive quotes and leave the rest for you to read at the link:

I think there has been a great confusion with regard to the specific vocation of men in marriage and of men in general in the Church during the past 50 years or so. It’s due to a number of factors, but the radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized.

Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women’s issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men; the importance of the father, whether in the union of marriage or not; the importance of a father to children; the importance of fatherhood for priests; the critical impact of a manly character; the emphasis on the particular gifts that God gives to men for the good of the whole society. [A brief comment: radical feminism is one of the core constituencies of the hard left.  The hard left managed to gain enormous influence in the Church through the progressive/modernist cabal of priests and bishops.  So it was natural that feminism would be installed as a critical concern of the Church after the progressives swept to power in the 1960s.  Marginalization of men and the masculine is a key component of leftist ideology, because leftism requires the destruction of the family to develop dependence on the state, and the shift of primary allegiance from the father as head of household to the state as father/provider.  None of this happened accidentally.  It is all part of the religious ideology of leftism that is viciously hostile to download (2)Catholicism and demands the breakdown of the family and the Church in order to succeed]

The goodness and importance of men became very obscured, and for all practical purposes, were not emphasized at all. This is despite the fact that it was a long tradition in the Church, especially through the devotion of St. Joseph, to stress the manly character of the man who sacrifices his life for the sake of the home, who prepares with chivalry to defend his wife and his children and who works to provide the livelihood for the family. So much of this tradition of heralding the heroic nature of manhood has been lost in the Church today……….

……..Sadly, the Church has not effectively reacted to these destructive cultural forces; instead the Church has become too influenced by radical feminism and has largely ignored the serious needs of men[Well, again, that’s the practical effect, but none of this has happened accidentally. The marginalization of masculinity in the Church, the practical denigration of fatherhood, the installation of many unworthy and perverse priests which has shattered respect for the office of the priesthood…..all of these things were intentionally done to corrode and eventually collapse the understanding of spiritual fatherhood – the target of the enemy all along – and thus the entire spiritual structure of the Church.  The enemies of mankind have been amazingly successful, and have found far, far too many willing accomplices of this project within the Church.  Today, understanding of the absolutely critical role of spiritual fatherhood as it applies to priests and fathers of families is almost totally absent from the vast majority of those who call themselves Catholic, and that has led directly to the near total derangement in right practice of the Faith and has seen the family as an institution all but destroyed, something never before accomplished in human history]

My generation has taken for granted the many blessings we were blessed with in our solid family lives and with the Church’s solid formation of us. My generation let all of this nonsense of sexual confusion, radical feminism and the breakdown of the family go on, not realizing that we were robbing the next generations of the most treasured gifts that we had been blessed to receive.

We have gravely wounded the current generations. As a bishop, young people complained bitterly to me, “Why we were not taught these things. Why we were not more clearly taught about the Mass, Confession and traditional devotions?” These things matter for they form a spiritual life and a man’s character………

…….The Church becomes very feminized. Women are wonderful, of course. They respond very naturally to the invitation to be active in the Church. Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved.

Men are often reluctant to become active in the Church. The feminized environment and the lack of the Church’s effort to engage men has led many men to simply opt out…….

The loss of the sacred led to a loss of participation of women and men. But I think that men were really turned off by the loss of the sacred. It seems clear that many men are not being drawn into a deeper liturgical spirituality; today, many men are not being drawn to service at the altar. [A corollary anecdote: Fr. Rodriguez has gone south of the border many times. He goes to places where there has not been a TLM in decades.  In almost all these small towns, the Mass is only frequented by women.  But when Fr. Rodriguez shows up, starts images (3)offering the TLM (where he can), and gives a more masculine face to the Faith, suddenly, the men who normally stood outside talking and smoking while their wives were at Mass, started drifting into the Church again.  They were intrigued at first, then interested, then committed.  By the time Father had to leave, they were begging him to come back, and the men crowded around him and loved him.  Sorry to say, but there are not many strong, masculine priests in the Church today.  Even those who do not have extremely inappropriate inclinations are often just strange.  They are not often normal, masculine men.  Men pick up on that, and avoid both the perverse and the strange.  Not to toot my constant horn, but one reason TLM parishes attract so many men is that the priests are much more normal, if you will.  They are just guys who responded to the call to the vocation of the holy priesthood, they are not odd or possessed of inclinations that are profoundly disordered, if not worse.]

Young men and men respond to rigor and precision and excellence. [Men, predominately and entirely until the pathologies in our culture became so great, serve in military life.  Some men are attracted to the rigor and severity of that kind of life.  Well, we are the Church Militant, and the Church needs to challenge men to fight the spiritual combat which is infinitely more important than any temporal combat. But all that has gone down the drain with the revolution in the Church since 1958]  When I was trained to be a server, the training lasted for several weeks and you had to memorize the prayers at the foot of the altar. It was a rigorous and a carefully executed service. All of a sudden, in the wake of Vatican II, the celebration of the liturgy became very sloppy in many places. It became less attractive to young men, for it was slipshod……..

……..We can also see that our seminaries are beginning to attract many strong young men who desire to serve God as priests. The new crop of young men are manly and confident about their identity. This is a welcome development, for there was a period of time when men who were feminized and confused about their own sexual identity had entered the priesthood; sadly some of these disordered men sexually abused minors; a terrible tragedy for which the Church mourns.

We have to be very clear with men about purity, chastity, modesty and even the way men dress and present themselves. Men’s behaviors and dress matter, for it affects how they relate to the world and it affects the culture. Men need to dress and act like men in a way that is respectful to themselves, to women and to children……

……..One way to re-engage men is to restore the dignity of the liturgy. Men will respond when they see a priest reverently acting in the name of Christ. Men will not respond when the priest is putting on a show about himself. Offering the Mass in a reverent way has always attracted men throughout the history of the Church. It does today.

We need to catechize men about the profound realities of the Mass. As I mentioned, catechesis has been poor, especially the catechesis of men. Catechizing men and celebrating the Mass in a reverent way will make a big difference. It is also clear that many men will raymond-burke-13respond to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the rite celebrated before the Vatican II Council reforms.

I have been very struck by the number of young men who were attracted to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. This is not because the Extraordinary Form is more valid than the Novus Ordo, the Ordinary Form. [Ahem.  With regard to validity, perhaps.  Efficacious of Grace, I will demure from that argument for now] Men are attracted because the Extraordinary Form is very highly articulated; it demands a man’s attention to what’s happening. Even the use of a hand missal where there’s a verbal accompaniment to the action of the Mass can help a man more fully enter into the Mass. [It is also much more severe and stresses our sinfulness and need for conversion to a much greater degree.  That appeals to men’s desire for self-sacrifice and engagement in a form of combat, to sacrifice themselves for something larger than themselves.  When All Dogs Go To Heaven, there is nothing to fight for, and feminized, happy-clappy liturgies led by Fr. Indifferent turn men off in a big way.  All of which, it can be argued, was known and calculated prior to the liturgical revolution, and played a big part in producing the “reform” we got. But enough, this post is already too long.]

———-End Quote———-

Believe it or not, I don’t think I copied more than a 1/3 of the interview. I pray I may be excused by the folks at the New Emangelization (uff) for taking such liberties with fair use, but this is an interview that deserves to be widely read, as do all Cardinal Burke’s interviews.  Please go read the rest, it is all very, very good.

I guess this post is long enough to count as weekend reading. I pray you find it edifying.

 

 

 

 

 

Formalize your end of life plans now! January 9, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, family, foolishness, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Latin Mass, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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No, this is not an advertisement for investment advice.  But it is a reminder that, after you die, if you have not spelled out your wishes for what types of Mass or “services” you desire, someone else in your family will.  There has been a recent case in our local TLM parish where a man very much attached to the TLM passed away.  He had not formalized his desires for a Requiem Mass or other “services” in his will or any other document.  This man surely wanted a Requiem Mass, he was deeply attached to the TLM.  But his family was not Catholic. They did not care for his religion.  They did not want a Mass.  They looked on having a Mass as being an imposition……on them. The deceased man and his wishes no longer counted for anything, because, after all, he’s dead, and who cares about them in this selfish age? And so there was no TLM Requiem at the parish he loved. The family would apparently not listen to reason. It was a very sad scene.

Please make sure you have your desires for a Mass, vigil, Rosary, and all the rest spelled out in writing in advance!  That is the only way to insure that your wishes will be observed.  How sad would it be to not have a glorious sung Requiem Mass, if that is what you desire!  How much Grace would we miss should our wished not be known!  I agree with Pat Archbold, I want the doors to the church locked for 6 hours after the Mass concludes and every one required to stay and pray for my sinful soul.  Unfortunately, I need it!

Seriously, though, do not mess around, this is a very important detail to take care of well in advance.  You might also put in your most important documents a declaration of your faith and your desire for all the Sacraments offered in the traditional way if you are somehow incapacitated. You might be bit into the Traditional practice of the Faith, but maybe the person who will be empowered to make those decisions about you won’t be.  Take the time and spell it all out, in writing, notarized, and all that.  Put it in a safe or safe deposit box.

Another consideration: the last thing we want is an argument among family members about what dear Uncle Tantumblogo would have wanted.  It’s an act of charity to make all this perfectly clear in advance.

Flightline Friday: General Ephemera January 9, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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I don’t have a major point to this Flightline Friday post.  I will be online longer today than usual for a Friday, noon Mass being an impossibility for me today, unfortunately.

I stumbled on this very interesting photo below last night just surfing around.  It’s from the ’91 Gulf War and shows “Battle Force Zulu” in the Persian Gulf at some point during that conflict.  It’s very  unusual to put four carriers in such close proximity to each other in anywhere near a war zone, for the risk of losing so many valuable ships to some lucky attack – maybe this was after the conflict.  Usually carriers operating together are spread very far apart from each other. But the photo is brilliant for showing the advancement in carrier design from WWII to the 1980s.  Every carrier type save for one (the great CVN-65 Enterprise) that has served in the Navy from 1945 to present is shown in this photo.  From upper left you have CV-41 USS Midway, extremely heavily modified from its original design and with the addition of a huge angled deck port side and large bulges for elevators and counterbalance the angled deck on starboard side.  Then you have CV-61 Ranger below, a member of the Forrestal Class, the first post-war carriers to be completed and the first “supercarriers” as well.  Lower right is CV-66 America, a Kitty Hawk Class that refined the Forrestal design, and then upper right is CVN-71 Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz Class carrier whose production run of 35 years just ended. You can see Tomcats on the decks of all the supercarriers but not on Midway – she was too small to operate them.  Midway served longer than any other WWII-produced warship, serving from 1945-1992.  Her service life as a carrier was only exceeded by…..you guessed it, USS Enterprise, which served for 51 years.  US_Navy_Battle_Force_Zulu_carriers_overhead_view_in_1991

 

Just for thoroughness’ sake, here is an overhead of Enterprise:

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Enterprise’ design most closely mirrors that of the Kitty Hawk class America above. They were contemporaneous designs.  But Enterprise was substantially larger.  She was the largest warship built until Theodore Roosevelt.

A follow up on an earlier post. Before the break, I posted the Vietnam-era short movie “There Is A Way,” featuring the 421st TFS, 388th TFW at Korat RTAFB in late 1966.  One of the pilots featured in that movie is a very young 1st Lieutenant Ed Rasimus.  I had known that Ed Rasimus was also an author who wrote 3 books.  I had had one of those books in my possession for a while but never read it.  Over the break, I did.  download

I’ve read a ton of books on the military. I’ve read many military biographies and autobiographies.  But Rasimus’ twin works: When Thunder Rolled, and Palace Cobra, are quite possibly the best two I have ever read.  Rasimus is not a poetic writer, he isn’t James Joyce, but he conveyed the fear, the adrenaline rush, the confusion, the terror, the frustration, and the exhilaration of combat as well, or better, than any author I’ve ever read before.  One thing I particularly liked about both books was that he didn’t futz around for 50 pages telling us about his childhood, and learning to fly, and all that.  He provides the minimal background necessary and then immediately jumps into the main, or juicy, part of the story: combat.  He also pulls no punches in describing the many problems afflicting the USAF at that time, especially regarding trying to find enough qualified pilots to fly combat without ever really coming off a peacetime footing.  A lot of the pilots and even units sent over to Southeast Asia were not good.  They were not 41Q-bOCZxUL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_leaders. They did not fly missions effectively.  They were not effective units.  Rasimus goes into some detail describing the qualities of those good leaders who did manage to turn his squadron around, as well as those bad ones who remained.

I am a slow reader, but I knocked out his ~300 page book in a few days.  I did have more time than usual to read.  But it’s quite a book. Bear in mind, I read a ton of spiritual works every day, so I was fitting When Thunder Rolled around all that.  It is very unusual for me to finish a book so fast.  I guess I was pretty engrossed.  I’ve only started Palace Cobra and have only glanced through his ghost-written “autobiography” of Robin Olds, but both look fantastic, as well.

In honor of Ed Rasimus, who sadly passed away in April 2013, I’m reposting There Is A Way below.  Raz, as he was called, also had a blog, and that blog has remained up since his death (unlike Lex’s, sadly).  You may want to be careful with the blog.  Raz was not what you would call a highly virtuous Catholic.  Oh, and there is a very small amount of foul language in his books.  Not real bad language, and not very frequent (maybe, once every 50 pages), but it is in there.  Unfortunately, that kind of language is very prevalent in the military and that whole lifestyle. There is also an unfortunate incident in a Bangkok bar (I’m sure you can imagine where that is going) that isn’t terribly edifying, but is at least mercifully short.  Aside from these few, very brief, unfortunate excursions, the book is solid and very enjoyable.

I do recommend both books, for those with an interest in such things.

If you do happen to read When Thunder Rolled, the faces in the videos below will be very familiar:

I also found this moving tribute to Ed Rasimus by a fellow warrior friend that shows some pics and 8 mm films of young Lieutenant Rasimus as well as his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.  Those are nickels they are laying down next to his urn.  That’s in honor of a famous fighter pilot song.  The video closes with a song that originated with the RAF in WWII, and is pretty bawdy.  You are warned: