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Capital punishment – consistent with dignity for life March 6, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Flightline Friday, fun, General Catholic, Interior Life, Papa, scandals, secularism, Society.
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Capital punishment is one of many matters when chaos reigns in the minds of even faithful Catholics trying to understand what the Church believes and requires.  It’s really very simple – the Church knows the state has the power of the sword, including the taking of life in both war and peace.  Recent pronouncements even by popes cannot change this fact.  Popes  may argue that there are now means to avoid capital punishment, but that doesn’t even come close to saying that it is immoral for the state to take a life.  Nor does it say souls cannot support capitol punishment.

In fact, growing Church opposition towards, or concern over, capital punishment, even at the highest levels, could be another sign of the steady invasion of worldliness into the Church. To someone who believes this life is the be all and end all of existence, it seems a terrible thing, an impermissible thing, to take another life, no matter what. But to one who views this life as just a brief interlude prior to our eternal destiny in Heaven or hell, offering a soul a way to expiate for the enormous sin he has committed in taking a life by willingly offering his own in return (in cooperation with Grace, of course) could be the factor that results in a damned soul be converted and saved, or quickens its flight to Heaven.

I thought the priest provided a lot of good review, and raised a couple of considerations I had not entertained before:

 

After listening to the above (and I did not listen to it all, I fell asleep last night and did not have time today!), one thing I thought was: the window opened at VII sure must have been a big one.

And it’s your lucky day, no Flightline Friday today:

F-16_and_F-16XL_aerial_top_down_view

Sucker!  There’ll always be a Flightline Friday. Bwahaahaahaaaaa!

10 Mk 12A multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles descending on the Kwajalein Test Range.  500 kt each.

10 Mk 12A multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles descending on the Kwajalein Test Range. 500 kt each.

The books for the total refutation of protestantism March 6, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, history, reading, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I have been blessed to stumble upon two works that take the total destruction of protestantism to new heights.  One is European Civilization: Protestantism and Catholicity Compared in Their Effects on the Civilization of Europe, by Father James Balmes, and the other is History of the Variations of the Protestant churches by Bishop Jacques Bossuet.  That latter was written in the 18th century, the former in the 19th.  Neither writer was from the Anglosphere, so their writings have been almost completely unknown outside those who focus great effort in studying the Church.  It is a shame that is the case, because I think either work had the potential to change the course of history – had it been written originally in English and become known in the dominant Anglo-American culture of the world.

Such was not the case, and so these pearls remain hidden from the view of most.  I don’t want to make a long post today but I did want to give a taste of these books by quoting some brief sections from Balmes’ book. It’s really quite tremendous.  Even in the first 30 pages, not only is protestantism destroyed in detail, but even the false reasons generally put forth to explain why it came into being, are, as well.  For instance, scandal over the ostensible failure of the Catholic Church to reform herself, or over the sale of indulgences, was not the true cause.  They were merely the pretense, the excuse. No, the true cause of protestantism is the same as it has been for every other heresy: man’s unwillingness to submit to the authority of God as embodied in the Church.  Again, a few selected quotes below:

…..If there be anything constant in protestantism, it is undoubtedly the substitution of private judgment for public and lawful authority.  this is always found in union with it, and is, properly speaking, its fundamental principle: it is the only point of contact among the various protestant sects – the basis of their mutual resemblance. It is very remarkable that this exists, for the most part, unintentionally, and sometimes against their express wishes.

However lamentable this principle may be, if the body of protestants had made it their rallying point, and had constantly acted up to it in theory and practice, they would have been consistent in error. When men saw them cast into one abyss after another, they would have recognized a system – false, but a system.  As it is, it has not been even that: if you examine the words and actions of the first “reformers,” you will find that they made use of this principle as a means of resisting the authority which controlled them, but that they never dreamed of establishing it permanently; that if they labored to upset lawful authority, [the Church]   it was for the purpose of usurping the command themselves; that is to say, that they followed, in this respect, the example of revolutionists of all kinds, of all ages, and of all countries…….. [dang right. I have said this before, but I think Catholics have made a huge mistake in even allowing protestants to be called “reformers.”  They were not reformers, they were revolutionaries through and through, intent upon using all means of force necessary to see themselves installed as the “new authority” in the Church.]

….Let it be known, never to be forgotten, that if these men proclaimed the principle of free examination, it was for the purpose of making use of it against legitimate authority; but that they attempted, as soon as they could, to impose upon others the yoke of their own opinions.  Their constant endeavor was to destroy the authority which came from God, in order to establish their own upon its ruins. It is a painful necessity to be obliged to give proofs of this assertion; not because they are difficult to find, but because one cannot adduce the most incontestable of them without calling to mind words and deeds which not only cover with disgrace the founders of protestantism, but are of such a nature that they cannot be mentioned without a blush on the cheek, or written without stain upon the paper.  [Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and so many other protestant leaders were incredibly distant in their actions from what the great Saints and Fathers have done]

……..There is no middle path; either civilized nations must remain Catholic, or run through all the forms of error.  If they do not attach themselves firmly to the anchor of truth, we shall see them make a general attack upon it, we shall see them assail it in itself, in all that it teaches, in all that it prescribes. A man of free and active mind will remain tranquil in the peaceful regions of truth, or he will seek for it with restlessness and disquietude…….. [And we see that our formerly civilized nations have indeed run through al the errors of protestantism, rationalism, materialism, leftism, and all the rest, and are now arriving back at the original set point before Christianity even began: paganism.]

……It appears to me to be clear, from what I have just shown, that the principal cause of protestantism, is not to be found in the abuses of the middle ages.  All that can be said is, that they afforded opportunities and pretexts for it.  To assert the contrary would be to maintain that there were always numerous abuses in the Church from the beginning, even in the time of her primitive fervor, and of that proverbial purity of which our opponents have said so much; for even then there were swarms of sects who protested against her doctrines, denied her divine authority, and called themselves the true Church…….

———-End Qoute———-

Great books, but very long.  The copy of European Civilization I got practically requires a magnifying glass.

Since we don’t have too many Churchmen today who will speak the truth regarding the sects, we can go back to the past to find those who will.  That is why God founded our Church not just on Scripture open to endless argument and interpretation, but also on Tradition, so that we would always have an authoritative, unalterable source of orthodoxy to return to.  Men do try – we’ve seen it repeatedly, one example being the antiquarianism regarding the “reform” of the Liturgy – but, ultimately, you cannot change the opinions of dead men. Provided we form ourselves in what they really believed.

Lenten readings contradict modern Church indifferentism towards Judaism March 6, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Liturgy, paganism, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving.
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Another excerpt from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s contemplations on the readings for Lent.  This from last Tuesday and the Epistle (III Kings XVII) which relays Elias emerging after his 40 day fast in the desert to the widow of Seraphta, who was starving herself in the midst of a terrible drought, and yet provided Elias with bread and water from the very last of her rations.  She had only a tiny amount of oil and meal for herself and her son, which, after consuming them, she and her son would die of starvation.  But Elias implored her to bake a cake for him, as well, and as a result of her faith in God’s prophet neither the flour nor the oil ever ran out.

Our Lord Himself referenced the widow of Seraphta when he chastised the Jews for their unfaithfulness.  He reminded them that Elias could find no one just in all of Israel and so went to a Gentile, which, of course, was a type of our Lord’s own experience at the hands of the institutional Jewish religion of his time.  I have been really struck this year at the extent of the prophesies against the Jewish religion, and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity’s repeated confirmations of those prophesies in His own words and experiences.  God told the Jews very plainly who He was, and yet He was rejected.  Both Old Testament and New make plain that the plight of the Jews since Christ’s death and Resurrection are the result of this deliberate rejection of the Messiah God had promised.

Thus, the indifferentism we have seen in the Church towards the Jewish religion in all the worldly “dialogue” is a representation of a massive lack of faith and an even worse lack of charity.  It clearly demonstrates the extent to which the Church Christ founded has fallen from into prostrating itself before the concerns of men, rather than upholding and propagating the Truth Christ has revealed through her.  Gueranger doesn’t discuss that aspect directly, as he was blessed to live in a time when the Church still, overwhelmingly, upheld the Faith of the Fathers, but it is implicit in his discourse.  The same fate which befell the Jews can befall all of us, including much of the human element of the Church, if we become or remain similarly unfaithful.  Gueranger:

So, then, this poor woman is a figure of the Gentiles, who were called to the faith.  Let us study the circumstances of this prophetic event.  The woman is a widow; she has no one to defend or protect her; she represents the Gentiles, who were abandoned by all, and had no one that could save them from the enemy of mankind. All the mother and child have to live upon, is a handful of meal and a little oil; it is an image of the frightful dearth of truth, in which the pagans were living at the time when the Gospel was preached to them.  Notwithstanding her extreme poverty, the widow of Sarephta receives the prophet with kindness and confidence; she believes what he tells her, and she and her child are saved: it is thus that the gentiles welcomed the Apostles, when these shook the dust from their feet and left the faithless Jerusalem.  But what mean the two pieces of wood, which the widow holds in her hands? St. Augustine, St. Cesarius of Arles, and St. Isidore of Seville (who, after all, are but repeating what was the tradition of the early Church) tell us that this wood is a figure of the Cross.  With this wood the widow bakes the bread that is to support her; it is from the Cross that the gentiles receive life by Jesus, who is the Living Bread.  Whilst Israel dies of famine and drought, the Gentile Church feeds abundantly on the heavenly wheat, and on the oil, which is the symbol of strength and charity.  Glory then be to Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light of faith!  But let us tremble at witnessing the evils which the abuse of Grace has brought upon a whole people. If God in His Justice has not spared a whole nation, but cast it off; will He spare you or me, if we dare to resist His Law and His call?

———End Quote———-

And just for good measure, the Gospel (St. Matt XXIII from Tuesday, which certainly continues the same theme, which is that rejection of Christ leads to worldly suffering and eternal damnation:

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.  All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men’ s shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes.

And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi…..Neither be ye called masters; for one is your master, Christ.  He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Our problem in the Church, is that w have so few shepherds who either do or say.  Oh, they say many things, but not the right things, not the things St. Augustine or Bellarmine or Suarez or Bossuet or so many others said.  I do think we are in the midst of a great chastisement.  The problem is, the response has not been right, in fact, it’s often been dead wrong – instead of collective beating of breasts, prayers for forgiveness, and a return to God’s Law, we see so many in the Church doubling down on the church of man garbage even while Rome burns around them.

San Francisco parents shocked to learn that Catholic schools are Catholic March 6, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, rank stupidity, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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So the below from a San Francisco secular publication – and think on what that implies- is actually intended as searing satire, but with some minor editing I think portrays the situation regarding the controversy over Archbishop Cordileone’s efforts to restore a tiny modicum of doctrinal integrity to Catholic schools there perhaps better than the author intended.  Leaving aside the author’s clumsy attempts to balance his commentary by throwing in a frankly silly and unconvincing portrayal of Archbishop Cordileone as some kind of hyper-traditional ogre, I think it tells us about all we need to know:

San Francisco parents of children enrolled at local Catholic schools were recently shocked to discover that their children are attending schools run by Catholics. [This does raise a point. Around the country, the percentage of nominally Catholic children attending Catholic schools has been falling for decades as the schools open enrollment to non-Catholics in order to make up for the plummeting attendance of actual, you know, Catholic children.  Doing so raises the specter of a hostile reaction when attempts are made to enforce doctrinal conformity.  The fact that we see so few controversies like this tells us quite clearly that doctrine in Catholic schools is rarely given much emphasis, and that heresy and error are rampant.]

The discovery was made after the local Archbishop, an official of the Catholic Church, sent letters to local teachers employed by the Catholic Church, reminding them of some of the things that the Catholic Church believes in. Those things offended many San Francisco parents, who say they were horrified to discover that the church which they have asked to educate their children might be influencing the way their kids think.

“I had no idea this was really a Catholic school,” said San Francisco mother of two Benita Bentley. “I thought it was just an extremely ironic public school. You know: ‘look at us, we’re so Catholic.’ Like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” [This may be parody, but it’s spot on.  I would not doubt some people actually think this]

Local father Greg T., who self-identifies as gayer than you, said that he finds the idea that the Catholic schools are Catholic to be offensive.

“I strongly object to the hateful, oppressive, messages the Catholic church has been constantly sending out for the last 2,000 years,” he said. “So when I entrusted my children to them, I expected better. To find out that the Church which has never accepted me doesn’t accept me … well, obviously I’m going to sign a petition.”

Parents say that the letter sent by the Archbishop, which reiterated that the Catholic church objects to abortion and sex of any kind outside of marriage, among many other things, was “judgy” and “might make people protesting the Catholic church feel that it is not welcoming.” They have signed a petition asking the Archdiocese to change its positions, or at least never mention them where other people could hear about it. [And that’s the point.  Don’t convict me of my sin, you unmerciful cretin]

San Francisco father Jon Davidson, who contributes to a local atheist blog, was among the petition’s organizers. “Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse: for the Catholic church to believe in God in their own schools, and expose my child to it … or for the God they believe in to have opinions about things. Either way, this is a violation. I don’t know how this happened. We were all completely blindsided.”

But it’s not just parents who are upset. Local teachers at area Catholic schools say they can’t believe they are being asked not to dispute Catholic doctrine.

[The best part….] No other employer would punish an employee for publicly protesting their product to their customers,” said mathematics teacher Wilma Marker, who says she finds the Catholic church to be “vile, reprehensible, and come with an excellent benefits package.” [The last bit being so important]

I disagree with everything they stand for, and use all my summer vacations to undermine their cultural authority, but other than that it’s a great fit,” she added. “I just need them to shift a bit on their doctrines and principles. You know, so I’ll feel comfortable.”  [Said 90% of the membership of the LCWR]

I really get the impression the author was just nailing the hypocrisy of so many people who leech off the Church for their quite comfortable livelihoods (and awesome benefits packages) or for its (far too secularized, but academically generally excellent) schools, but chickened out at the end and put in some parody about Archbishop Cordileone.  That parody, as I said at the top, was weird and unconvincing, so I just left it out.  I think the author really wanted to go after the hypocrisy of the parents and teachers involved, but was afraid of the response, and so made the attack “balanced” by throwing in a forgettable paragraph on Cordileone.

What is sad is that Catholic schools are so emblematic of the utter collapse of catechesis the Church has experienced since the Council. Of course, many of us believe that collapse was anything but accidental and was the deliberate intent of revolutionaries from within who desired to change the Church from an institution of God to one centered on fallen man.  But that would be a whole ‘nuther blog post, so I’ll leave it at that.

I am gratified that Archbishop Cordileone has stuck to his guns, so far.