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Secret e-mails reveal collusion between NARAL and government to shut down crisis pregnancy centers January 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, contraception, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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It’s the government of Maryland (again, we see Maryland as a locus of the culture of death), but still, very significant.  And hardly surprising, just as the IRS and other government organizations have colluded with left wing agitprop groups for years to persecute those on the right, it’s not terribly surprising that the government of Maryland – one of the most left wing, top to bottom, in the nation – would collude with NARAL.

More concerning on a broader scale, however, is NARAL’s plan to shut down pro-life crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) nationwide.  They must surely view those centers as an existential threat in order to go to the lengths outlined in their seven-point plan for government persecution of CPCs:

Those strategies include:

  • Prosecuting volunteers and employees of pregnancy care centers for “consumer protection violations”;
  • Forbidding Centro from “participating in advertising” that county officials deem “untrue or misleading”;
  • Allowing women who claim they were “harmed by limited-service pregnancy centers to collect monetary damages” from women’s centers;
  • Denying taxpayer funding to crisis pregnancy centers; [Locally, I do not believe any of the Catholic crisis pregnancy centers receive any government monies.  For that matter, they receive almost nothing from the pro-life committee of the diocese, either]
  • Instructing county officials not to refer women to CPCs for ultrasounds or to “very clearly differentiate the centers from legitimate medical providers”; 
  • Having the county undertake a “public awareness campaign”  against pregnancy centers; and
  • The regulation of ultrasound practices.

Diabolical in its cleverness. All of the first three are so nebulous and generic CPCs could be sued by the government over just about anything, which appears to be the goal.  As the article at the link notes, NARAL encouraged Maryland to try to put a Catholic CPC out of business by claiming they misled women about the kind of care they offered, but successive judges (including Clinton appointees) through the case out, noting that the only evidence of alleged misinformation was provided by radical pro-abort enthusiasts who made up stories about crisis pregnancy centers.

You get the impression from the above that NARAL is rather terrified of both ultrasounds, and anyone slowing or momentarily interrupting a woman’s almost always confused, panicked decision to have her own child killed.  That’s what CPCs are designed to do, to slow down women in the head long rush to death, to show them the humanity of their child via ultrasound (always reduced to an “it,” an object, even a foreign invader, by money crazed pro-aborts) and to get them to stop and think, just a bit.  That’s usually all it takes, for a lot of women.  CPCs also help to interrupt the process of coercion and fear that drives many women to think they have to kill their baby to keep their “man,” as if that would even work.

If you read the article (which I recommend), you will also find the diabolical disorientation and reprobate sense that consumes those lost in the satanic cult of baby murder. To them, as quotes from a NARAL agent coordinating with government officials reveal, anything that dissuades a woman from having an abortion, anything that provides her with hope, anything that informs women of the dangers of abortion and the immense evil of the wanton destruction of innocent life, is “manipulating women with lies and misleading information.”  It’s really chilling to read, as it reveals individuals so utterly cut off from good and it’s Source, that they are utterly unable to see anything save through the prism of grave evil.

And more and more people are falling into this diabolical sense in our culture.  It’s beyond scary, it’s mortally terrifying.

Lord, protect and defend your Church!

We had a great retreat at Clear Creek Monastery January 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, religious, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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clear-creek-abbey-Cardinal-Burke-visit-4638Many readers are likely already aware of Clear Creek Monastery in rural northeastern Oklahoma.  A good number have probably already been there.  But for those who have not, I cannot recommend scheduling a brief stop or a long retreat there enough.  Our retreat was relatively short, just a few days, but we hope very much to return.

Current monastery

Current monastery

The monastery is situated on approximately 1000 acres about 30 minutes from Wagoner, Oklahoma. It is pretty far from any civilization.  But the setting is quite picturesque, with many hills and extensive woods.  Clear Creek runs roughly through the middle of the property, and is a source of water year round (not sure if it remains in severe drought).  The monks have done a great deal of work clearing and cultivating the land.  They raise their own livestock of many types, have a large garden, and in general are working toward self-sufficiency or as near to that as they can get.  Ora et labora is much in evidence: the monks work and pray most hours of the day.  And the work they do is generally quite physical: carpentry, tending livestock and poultry, working fields in tractors, clearing brush, sawing wood, building up walls, etc.  They also make candles, honey, cheese, painted icons, hand-made rosaries, and other items to support themselves monetarily.

Benedictine hospitality was also very apparent.  Most male visitors are invited to eat at least once with the monks during their stay.  That was an experience for me in itself.  My hands were washed by Fr. Abbot Anderson prior to the meal, which takes place in complete silence save for the reading, which was from Chesterton’s history of the US.  I must say, being limited to eating only at meal time, with a total absence of conversation, would be a serious mortification for me in its own right.  I noticed as I sat there looking about, trying to soak in the experience, I was the only one doing so.  Custody of

Future plan

Future plan

the eyes is part of the ongoing mortification these monks practice.  The meal I ate with the monks was dinner, about 1 pm, their main meal of the day.  There was a heavy cream soup (I have no idea what kind) with heavy bread made on site, a light salad of greens, and a main meal of hard boiled eggs in a rich tomato sauce.  The excellent cheese the monks make was also available.  Dessert was about the best orange I’ve ever eaten.

I was also given a brief tour of the cloister.  There are presently 43 monks in the monastery.  If I remember correctly, almost half are priests.  I did not rise early enough to assist at the early morning Low Mass where all the many monks are offering their daily Mass on the side altars.  All Masses were offered in the crypt, since the main church is incomplete and not yet heated.  It was quite cold during our visit, the temperature remaining in the 30s and a light mist falling most of the time.OKHU1_dusty-monks_500 x 375

There were also several men visiting the monastery while we were there.  I think some of them were discerning a vocation, while some may simply want a place to focus on spiritual matters while helping the monks out with odd jobs about the place.  Visits are encouraged.  There is a very comfortable cabin available for families.  It can sleep about 17 in good comfort.  There is also a bunkhouse for single men.

Daily activity obviously focuses on the Mass and the Divine Office.  Mass and the hours from Terce through Vespers are open to the public.  We assisted at most of the daily Hours while there.  The Breviary is a bit different from standard, the Benedictines have a slightly specialized form they use that doesn’t 00970always align with the regular form of the prayers in the Breviary in every detail, although there is a great deal of overlap.  But they have little Breviary-ettes available so you can follow along if you desire, but I, for one, just enjoyed watching and listening to the monks pray in choir.

Another attraction is the well-equipped gift shop. I tell you, these monks make some fantastic cheese.  We bought about 6 lbs or more while we were there, and it didn’t last long.  They had gouda while we were there.  Just a note, their online gift shop does not contain many of the items available at the physical store. It also seems they don’t ship their cheese!  Dang it.  9-CC-Abbey-007

For parents wondering if a visit to a monastery might be trying for the kids, our children really, really liked it.  Well before we even left they were asking if we could come back.  There is plenty of open space for the kids to run around and explore.  Our kids are hoping for a summer visit so they can play in the creek.  More importantly, our kids, especially the boy, were fascinated with the monks and the Office.  We pray Vespers and/or Compline at home, and there is Compline after Mass on Wednesday nights locally, but this was the first time the kids had seen it done “for real,” up close and personal.  They seemed to really enjoy the whole trip.

62featured-540x300There is also a start up order of Benedictine nuns on the same large tract of land, but separated some distance, of course, from the monks.  Unfortunately, we did not have much time to visit with them and I haven’t got too much to report on, other than that they are praying very hard for badly needed vocations.

If you are ever in Oklahoma, or are really craving seeing religious life lived in the traditional way, I highly recommend a visit.  My only wish was that we could have stayed a day or two longer.  When we return, God willing, it will have to be for a bit longer visit.  We did Christmas retreats to Hanceville for a few years in a row, and found those very edifying and spiritually helpful. We had conflicts the past two years and could not go on retreat, and I really missed it.  I was very glad we made time to go this year, and pray we do so again!


Vatican very interested in hearing from women….. January 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, huh?, paganism, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, silliness, Society.
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……men, apparently, not so much. Which, go figure, most parishes are dominated by women, anyway, so why not appeal to their primary audience by pumping up their importance just a little bit more?

So, being offline for the entire Christmas period means I missed quite a bit.  I guess there was a bit of a row when the Vatican released this really cheesy video below.  Could they not find a native English speaker for this video intended for the English-speaking world?  As Pertinacious Papist notes, this sure seems like an effort at the tail wagging the dog again.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the video below highlights an effort from the Pontifical Council for Culture to get women to send in photos or videos demonstrating what it means to be a woman today, because, as we all know, somehow, the ancient recipe for “authentic” womanhood was lost about AD 33 and hasn’t been found since.  The hope is that these women can again cobble together the divine secret of the yaya sisterhood from scratch:

Is that really the best they could come up with?  Is this not just more mopey faced hashtag activism and empty feel-good secularism devoid of any serious purpose or meaning, more “Eat, Pray, Love” self-indulgence?

In short, is this what the institution surrounding the Chair of St. Peter, the Vatican, has been reduced to in 22 months?

And since I’m ripping off PP’s post, I may as well post Louis Verricchio’s response, as PP did (please give PP a hit):

Yikes……it will be interesting to see the submissions Mr. Verricchio receives.  I do think it means rather a bit more to ask Catholics, women or men, what it means to be Catholic, rather than what it means to be a woman.  I thought, after all, that the left maintained as a Dogma of their satanic religion that women and men were completely interchangeable, with nary a difference between them?  So then, why do they need all this special coddling and treatment for women?

It should be noted that the English version of the video was pulled.  So maybe some eager flunky got ahead of themselves and produced this embarrassing bit of twaddle, but then again, maybe not.  The Italian version remains, even if it only has an embarrassing 3 views at present.

I only found one response thus far.  It’s as bad as you can imagine, full of feminist tropes including the dismay the woman holds at being told women can not be priests:

Well, this is just sure to be an edifying exercise.  I can’t wait to see the LCWR’s submission, if you can forgive the oxymoron of LCWR and the word submission.

The Church today uses the same missionary approach that failed protestants in the US 200 years ago January 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, mortification, priests, religious, sadness, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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I am continuing to enjoy, and find great value in, reading the biography of Fr. Peter de Smet, SJ, that great 19th century Jesuit missionary to the Native Americans of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.  This is an excellent biography for men to read, full of virtue and faith, adventure and history.  I strongly recommend it.

As I was reading a bit yesterday, however, I was struck by a description the book gives of the very successful Catholic missionary efforts among the many different Indian tribes, and the manifest failure of similar protestant missions.   The missionary efforts of the Jesuits and other Catholics were incredibly successful, at least until the federal government intervened to more or less squash the Catholic efforts and force protestant missionaries on the unwilling Indians. Perhaps in reading the below, you may find, as I did, in the description of the failed protestant efforts  with the Native Americans any similarity to the Church’s missionary efforts today, which are as moribund and ineffectual as they have ever been:

Protestant ministers tried to compete with the Catholic priests; but between a salaried official who distributed tracts to inquisitive members of the tribe, and the missionary, devoted body and soul to their interests, the Indians did not hesitate to make their choice. As Fr. de Smet noted in a contemporary letter: “After five years residence with the Otoes, the protestant minister has not yet baptized one person, and the greater part of the protestant missionaries who overrun the Indian Territory [present day Oklahoma] make no better showing.”  They refused the most alluring offers from protestants and came from all directions to ask for a Black Robe to show them the way to Heaven. Fr. de Smet: “The protestant ministers pay the chiefs to come and act as interpreters in their churches. Some give as much as a hundred dollars, four beeves, etc, to make converts, but still fail”.

So the simple, poor missionary, who didn’t bestow earthly riches on his charges, but gave them riches that moth doth not corrupt, was far preferred by the Native Americans of the time to the glittery protestant showering wealth on those who would take it.  The Jesuits taught many virtues, not just spiritual ones, but also corporal ones, as well.  The Jesuits describe many of the tribes – especially the men of the tribes – as being averse to hard, physical labor.  Physical labor was for slaves. The Jesuits managed to change that attitude, and instilled in many converts many corporal and spiritual virtues, including willingness to work hard to develop a plot of land, and appreciating the value of education.

That is to say, these missionaries were not just ethereal spiritualists who promised a future Heaven while leaving souls mired in misery in this life.  They built up the whole man.

If you are like me, you may have noticed how much the protestant efforts of yesteryear mirror the dominant approach to missionary efforts in the Church today.  Due to the great shortage of priests, there aren’t nearly as many priest missionaries as their were 50, 100, or 150 years ago.  Most of those efforts have been taken over by lay people, the “salaried official” from above.  But our Catholic “missionaries” of today – and few merit the name in reality – with organizations such as Catholic Relief Services, Caritas International, etc, manifestly refuse to even hand out “tracts” or Bibles or anything else. In fact, they are very proud of the fact that they manifestly refuse to evangelize in any way!

To a great degree, Catholic missionary efforts since the Council have been designed to fail.  As Anibale Bugnini, Yves Congar, Hans Kung and other leading lights of Vatican II have noted over and over, there was a conscious effort at the Council to make Catholic belief and practice less “offensive” to protestants in the furtherance of their great ecumenical project.  In many areas, Catholic practice was to be made as similar to protestant as possible.  In terms of Church organization and administration, far more lay people were to be brought into the mix – just as the protestants did.  And it certainly appears the Church’s missionary and evangelical efforts were also reoriented from a largely priestly enterprise to a far more protestant model.  It must be noted, however, that the protestant model chosen was that of the mainline protestant sects, not the evangelicals.

In contrast, today evangelicals manage to make converts of millions of Catholics, while Catholic missionary efforts continue to peter out.  The evangelicals tend to operate much more like Catholics (such as Fr. de Smet) did in the past, in small groups focused on religion and practical virtue, with little bureaucracy, gradually converting individuals and small groups to their faith.  And they are reaping great rewards for their efforts, as the Church continues to pay the price for purblind indifference and lackadaisical, bureaucratized spiritual sloth.

Pray God He may raise up more priests, and restore sanity to the Faith, so that we may begin the decades of hard work it will take to win the growing numbers of lost souls back to the Church Christ founded.