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Fr. Rosica explains modernism to us…… March 18, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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…….and I must say, he does so perfectly.  Via Vox Cantoris, the highly influential Fr. Tom Rosica, whose career has really taken off since March 2013, had this to say about how doctrine can evolve.  It is as good an encapsulation of the modernist mindset as I have seen:

Will this Pope re-write controversial Church doctrines? No. But that isn’t how doctrine changes. Doctrine changes when pastoral contexts shift and new insights emerge such that particularly doctrinal formulations no longer mediate the saving message of God’s transforming love. Doctrine changes when the Church has leaders and teachers who are not afraid to take note of new contexts and emerging insights. It changes when the Church has pastors who do what Francis has been insisting: leave the securities of your chanceries, of your rectories, of your safe places, of your episcopal residences go set aside the small-minded rules that often keep you locked up and shielded from the world.

If I had the time, I would fisk this sentence by sentence.  What makes a Church Doctrine controversial?  Who says a particular 2000 year belief is “controversial?” Fr. Rosica?  Simply because Catholics in great numbers reject it, does that make it controversial?

As for the rest, the “pastoral contexts” shifting and “new insights” emerging……he is describing the text of Pascendi perfectly, but taking the opposite viewpoint, that such shifts in belief are wonderful.  He also shows us the modernist game plan quite clearly: use pretended changes to “mere discipline” to advance changes in understanding of the Doctrine, and then over time bend the watered-down meaningless doctrine to the new pastoral approach.  See the Episcopal Church USA, Presbyterian Church USA, and Evangelical Lutheran Church of America to see how that works out over time.  Doctrine comes to mean nothing – so long as the offending doctrine is obnoxious to progressives.  If it is favorable to them, such as the grave evil of defrauding the workman of his wages or evils of rapacious forms of capitalism, then that will remain as carved in stone, if not more so.

Doctrine, then, becomes just another tool in the service of progressive politics.  Yes that’s a harsh assessment, but one of the prime reasons modernism developed in the first place – probably the prime reason – was to try to reconcile the Catholic Faith with the progressive political outlook, but as always with the left, with the progressivism ascendant. Modernism was simply one of the early attempts at this reconciliation.  The neo-modernism we are plagued with today is its direct descendant.  And the revolution which struck the Church in the 60s, long simmering under cover, can be viewed (if not entirely accurately) as simply a another leftist political revolution.  One reason why so many people fall into the error today of viewing the Church through a political lens is because so many elements within the Church have become profoundly politicized in the past 50 years. That’s a major reason I oppose the hulking lay bureaucracy that has grown up over the past 50 years: not only is it incredibly expensive, unnecessary, and actually counterproductive in so many instances (bureaucracies being always first and foremost concerned with their own survival and aggrandizement), but it is also represents a huge political base within the Church Herself.

I’m getting a bit far afield, but all these matters are tied together. No I should not unduly stress the political angle but I think it also a mistake to ignore it.  That political angle explains the hypocrisy in this dithering with sacred Dogmas – some remain sacred and inviolable, because they are favorable to the leftist viewpoint, while others must be undermined, changed, or obliterated.  Reducing Church belief to the service of sordid worldly politics has always been a grave danger to the Church, and it has been a key player in many heresies: Arianism, Nestorianism, and others.  We should not be surprised that it would be deeply involved in this the great modernist revaunchist heresy of the 20th and 21st centuries.


Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen: “Among virtues, obedience certainly ranks first” March 18, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, manhood, priests, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I’ve read the excerpts from Divine Intimacy, day 121 many times before, but they struck me in a particular way when reading them yesterday.  Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen compiled this book of Carmelite spirituality in the 1940s and early 50s, so it cannot be said to be influenced by current-day debates.  It is widely recognized as a classic of spirituality, while certainly not being an exact theological textbook.  I don’t want to overly stress this post as the be all and end-all, but it is certainly very important to keep the below in mind.  While most of us are not under any formal vow of obedience, still, I think our culture as a whole, and our families in particular, would function much, much better if joyfully willed obedience were practiced far more commonly:

Jesus said to the young man who was aspiring to perfection, “If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor and come follow Me” (St. Mt XIX:21) – the counsel of voluntary obedience, according to St. Thomas.  To follow Jesus means to imitate His virtues, among which obedience certainly ranks first. Jesus came into the world to accomplish the will of His Father: “It is written of Me that I should do Thy will, O God” (Heb X:7).  Several times during His life He said it expressly: “I came down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me” (St. Jn VI:38); and He declared that His food, His sustenance, the support of His life, was the fulfilling of His Father’s will (St. Jn IV:34). But Jesus also wanted to express concretely His dependence on His heavenly Father, by submitting Himself to those creatures who in their natural order had authority over Him as man. thus he lived for thirty years subject in all things to Mary and Joseph, recognizing His Father’s authority in theirs…….Later, during His public life, and especially during His Passion, Jesus always gave an example of obedience to constituted authority, civil as well as religious, even subjecting Himself to His judges and executioners and making Himself, according to the words of St. Paul, “obedient unto death, even to the death of the Cross” (Phil II:8).  Having come into the world through obedience, Jesus wanted to live in obedience and through obedience…..To follow Jesus in the life of perfection means that we must voluntarily embrace a life of total dependence.  St. Thomas concludes form this that obedience belongs to the essence of the state of perfection.

To follow Jesus means to carry out fully His invitation: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself” (St. Mt XVI:24).  Now the greatest act of renunciation that man can make is just this sacrifice of his liberty by submission to obedience in all things. In fact:

nothing is dearer to man than his own will, for this is what makes him master over others; because of this freedom, he can use and enjoy other goods and is master of his acts. Even as a man by abandoning his wealth or his kinsfolk renounces them, so by surrendering the freedom of his own will, by which he is master of himself, he renounces himself

(Saint Thomas, The Perfection of the Spiritual Life).

To permit our life to be ruled by another – in this the sacrifice of obedience consists. Every man is free, having received his liberty from God; therefore, he has the right to govern himself according to his own  judgment and personal views (which views must and judgment must be conformed to the will of God as revealed in His Church. Hence anyone who promises obedience uses his freedom to renounce this right, voluntarily offering it as a free holocaust for the service, worship, and glory of God…….Obedience then makes a living sacrifice of our being to its depths, or to be more exact, it sacrifices everything selfish in it – our attachments to our opinions, inclinations, and our personal demands. In this sense, nothing helps to free us from love of self, to strip us of ourselves as much as obedience.  At the same time, far from destroying our personality, obedience makes use of it in a most glorious and sublime way, by enabling it to surrender itself in order to adhere entirely to God, to His holy, sanctifying will.

———–End Quote———–

Blogging is funny. I’ll put something up that I expect to be explosive or popular, and I’ll get crickets.  Then I’ll put up a post that to me was just meh, or one I didn’t put a lot of heart into, and it gets 80 comments and incites all kinds of debate. I never know how it will come down.


The Church revolution applied……pastorally March 18, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Interior Life, priests, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi has a post up examining the grave scandal of priests engaging in grave dereliction of duty by failing to guide souls in the belief of the Church even in the confessional.  This matter came about because an Italian journalist deliberately published the details of the guidance she received in the confessional regarding her status as a divorced and civilly remarried individual.  She violated the seal of her own accord to report these details.  But what she found was so indicative of what so many of us experience and clearly demonstrates the kind of moral cowardice and complete lack of true pastoral care that so many of us have experienced ourselves.

The text below  is a little confusing.  The bold text is Bishop Gracida’s comments, I add comments per usual.

In Italy, an undercover female journalist recently violated the sanctity of the confessional to get material for an article she was writing on this precise question. The reaction has been rather enlightening. She went to confession and sought advice about whether she, as a divorced and civilly remarried Catholic, could receive Communion – a ploy to see if confessional practice was keeping pace with the enlightened movement among the progressive bishops. [And more than just bishops]

The confessor had some interesting bits of advice. [If by interesting you mean horrifyingly scandalous] The fundamental advice was based upon a radical [and false – Abyssum] notion of private conscience: he simply told her to follow her own conscience. [One can only safely follow an informed/formed conscience – Abyssum]  In other words, if she was subjectively convinced that her second marriage was a true marriage, in spite of Church teaching, she should receive Communion, since her conscience is telling her that she is not in a state of sin. [The problems with this should be obvious to all.  We all have powerful urges, both from our fallen nature and from our eternal enemy, to act in ways contrary to the belief of the Church. Indeed, this was a major point of emphasis in developing such a robust body of Doctrine in the first place, because people will invariably try to find ways around it.  Telling folks to rely on their own, almost certainly badly formed, conscience is playing Russian Roulette with your eternal fate.  It is spiritual insanity and a grave dereliction of duty]

He also advised her that she might also consider changing her parish, so as to avoid scandal (which indicates that the priest was quite aware of Church teaching, as are many of the parishioners in his parish). And then he encouraged her to seek an annulment, but one has to wonder why, if she is convinced in conscience that she is truly married and has a right to the sacraments. Why bother?

This confessor then tries to excuse himself and perhaps soothe his own conscience when he goes on to “advise” the woman, “I am telling you what the Church is asking, [NO!  What the Church demands, which is what Christ COMMANDS!  This is not a parlor game, this is about the eternal destiny of souls, but this priest is more afraid of offending someone than sending them to hell]  but at the end it is you who must make a choice. . . .It’s clear that from my position, I will never tell you that you can take the communion, as long as the Church recognizes only one matrimony. But I will never tell you either that you cannot take it.”  [Incredible! – Abyssum]

In all, a rather pathetic dereliction of the confessor’s own duty, which leaves all the responsibility on the penitent…. [Of course.  But that pastor will be judged for the souls he consigns to hell due to his self-serving advice.]

What the confessor never does is try to help the penitent properly and correctly form her conscience, that is, in accordance with the teaching and law of the Church. [Because that’s hard, and people might get mad, and stop coming and donating, and then the bishop might get mad.  It takes great faith to be a good shepherd, to be sure.  And then there are the priest’s own private sins and deviations from Church Doctrine that factor in, as well]  He simply dodges that in favor a totally subjective understanding of the obligation to follow one’s conscience, which properly understood is indeed the teaching of the Church. It’s so easy on the confessor: Whenever you face a hard teaching, just throw the whole thing back on the penitent’s subjective conscience. At least where the Sixth Commandment is concerned. Would such a confessor give the same advice if the penitent was confessing a temptation to murder – “I will only read the Fifth Commandment to you, but then you must follow your own conscience on this matter.” [They already do, with respect to abortion and contraception, which kills plenty of babies!  Those are popular sins today.  Unpopular sins still get condemned, like being a mean ol’ judgmental Catholic or not driving a Prius or voting for a Republican. Those are bad, bad, bad sins.]

In this mishmash of confessional “advice,” there are two exit points from the Church’s discipline as related to Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried: private conscience and easy annulments. Follow your own conscience has been the escape clause for confessors to properly handle confession of common sexual irregularities  – and still remain popular. It has long been the practical pastoral solution for bishops and priests who wanted to hold on to their jobs and also be loved by those who reject Church teaching on contraception. That’s where all this “just follow your own conscience” advice really got started, even before Humanae Vitae and Vatican II.

Indeed, one way to interpret the efforts of the progressive bishops and the birth control commission to change the Church’s moral teaching on contraception is that they were simply trying to solve a problem for confessors and a teaching problem for intellectuals and prelates. Catholics were already practicing contraception in large and growing numbers by the end of the Second World War, and this trend exploded with the production of the pill just a few years before the Council. The easy solution was to change the teaching of the Church and “liberate” confessors and teachers from this teaching.

Great point by the priest who authored the original column.  That last comment reminded me that even priests with a reputation for orthodoxy and an affinity for the TLM can still seek the easy way out.  A year or two ago, Msgr. Charles Pope wrote a post saying it was too difficult for pastors to tell people (almost invariably women) with hard luck divorce stories that their original marriages were valid and that they could not, in good conscience, support their request for an annulment.  He said he knew many of the original marriages were almost certainly valid but he went ahead and supported the drive for an annulment, anyway, both to get the person off his back and to hopefully “get them back to the sacraments,” whatever that means.  He also tried to push the problem back on Rome, by saying that the Vatican needed to “clarify” or “re-examine” the matter of divorce, remarriage, annulments, etc., to make pastor’s jobs easier.  Sounds eerily similar, doesn’t it?!

That puts a different spin on the recent push to soften doctrine to the preference of ostensible “pastoral” considerations, doesn’t it?  It would make the pastoral emphasis not be so much oriented toward the good of the laity, but the good of the shepherd!  It makes his job a lot easier.  And yes it will make some laity happy and they might hang around the Church a bit longer, a handful might even come back (while even more may leave), and that’s fine, but the important thing is that priests and bishops won’t have to face the difficult choice of being “faithful” in their office and making people mad.

I’m sorry, but this  explanation makes a great deal of sense, to me.  What that says about the faith of the shepherds involved, I’ll let you decide, but as an explanation for who so many priests and bishops seem to be behind this push to liberate pastoral practice from Doctrine, it makes even more sense to me than ideological blindness.

Que dices?

Presbyterian sect approves sodo-marriage March 18, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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In a move that surprised absolutely no one, the worldly secularist sect called The Presbyterian Church (USA) has chucked 2000 years of Scripture and Tradition (which has been their tradition for 500 years) and decided that two people of the same sex pretending to marry each other is fully equivalent to male-female marriage and worthy of their support:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has expanded its definition of marriage to include a “commitment between two people,” recognizing gay marriage as Christian in the church constitution after decades of debate over same-sex relationships.

The redefinition was endorsed last year by the church General Assembly, or top legislative body, but required approval from a majority of the Louisville, Kentucky-based denomination’s 171 regional districts, or presbyteries. The critical 86th “yes” vote came Tuesday night from the Presbytery of the Palisades in New Jersey……..

……Last year, Presbyterians allowed ministers to preside at gay weddings if local church leaders approved in the states where same-sex unions were legally recognized. The new wording for the church Book of Order extends that authorization to every congregation and reads, “Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives.”

The amendment includes a provision that no clergy would be compelled to preside at a gay marriage or host such a ceremony on church property. [That won’t last five minutes.  Give me a break, this isn’t even a fig leaf of a fig leaf.  Wait until one minister refuses and then see what happens]

….Between 2011, when the Presbyterians authorized gay ordination, and 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, 428 of the denomination’s churches left for more conservative denominations or dissolved, though some theological conservatives have remained as they decide how to move forward. The losses helped pave the way for approval of gay marriage, since many opponents had left the church…. [Yes, let’s speak of losses.  In 1965 there were 4.5 million presbyterians in the US.  US population was 200 million.  In 1983, when US population was about 260 million, the presbyterians had fallen to 3.1 million.  Today, they are down to 1.75 million, and the steepest declines they have seen in over 30 years have occurred in the past 2 years as the sect has been flirting with formal acceptance of the gravest perversion. So, presbyterian membership has collapsed over 60% since 1965 and 45% since 1983. Every single other “mainline” sect, which have all followed the same trend in accepting the prevailing modernist/progressive have experienced similar decline] 

I’m not surprised the Presbyterians have done this one bit.  For decades, they and the other mainline sects – absent a vocal if small minority – have been engaged in a headlong rush towards embrace of the most sordid and un-Christian cultural trends, becoming little more than constantly diminishing left-wing NGOs with a smattering of vague feel-good spirituality.  What I still cannot fully comprehend, however, is that in spite of volumes and volumes of evidence showing clearly that the mainline sects are committing suicide through this embrace of modernism/progressivism, there are still scads of leaders in the Church who want to do the same.  How blind do you have to be to say…..hey, let’s commit suicide like the episcopalians! But nothing blinds like ideology, and we certainly seem to have a surfeit of modernist ideologues at present.

Amazing.  Nothing is sacred.  I guess this is one way to take care of the sects…..just let nature take its course.  As for the Church……I shall pray.