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Pope Francis has turned his back on radical Synodal agitators? May 11, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, family, General Catholic, Papa, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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Those familiar with this blog will know that while I have grave concerns regarding Pope Francis and many of his statements and actions, I also have always held out hope that the many prayers being offered on his behalf would have an effect.  In a piece released today, Sandro Magister presents some evidence that they may have.  I think what Magister says below is mostly true, but I think he has forgotten a quote or two here or there that tells towards the Kasperite gambit to radically undermine the moral edifice of the Faith.  Nevertheless, the sort of full court press we saw in favor of Kasper and radical changes to the Church’s approach to divorce, adultery, the reception of the Blessed Sacrament, et. al., has not been repeated in the run up to the second and final session of the Synod.

Has there been a sea change, or is this a tactical retreat?  Time will tell.  Some of Sandro Magister’s evidence below:

The second and last session of the synod on the family is approaching, and the temperature of the discussion keeps going up.

The latest uproar is over an onslaught of the German bishops, who now take as a given, in the “cultural context” of their local Church, substantial changes of doctrine and pastoral practice in matters of divorce and homosexuality……[I’m glad at least one commentator notes that what the Germans have been angling at all along cannot possibly be seen as a mere “pastoral” changes, but will have profound impact on doctrine, as well]

…..The new development is another. And it has as its protagonist Pope Francis.

Until the synod of October 2014, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had repeatedly and in various ways shown encouragement for “openness” in matters of homosexuality and second marriages, each time with great fanfare in the media. Cardinal Kasper explicitly said that he had “agreed” with the pope on his explosive talk at the consistory.

But during that synod the resistance to the new paradigms showed itself to be much more strong and widespread than expected, and determined the defeat of the innovators. The reckless “relatio post disceptationem” halfway through the assembly was demolished by the criticism and gave way to a much more traditional final report. [Meh. I’m agnostic on the final report, while it did contain more orthodox language, it also included – at the Pope’s behest –  language from the Relatio.  It was another muddled compromise document from the Vatican.]

……..But it is above all from the end of the synod on that Francis has taken a new course with respect to the one that he initially traveled.

From the end of 2014 until today, there has not been even one more occasion on which he has given the slightest support to the paradigms of the innovators.

On the contrary. He has intensified his remarks on all the most controversial questions connected to the synodal theme of the family: contraception, abortion, divorce, second marriages, homosexual marriage, “gender” ideology. And every time he has spoken of them as a “son of the Church” – as he loves to call himself – with ironclad fidelity to tradition and without swerving by a millimeter from what was said before him by Paul VI, John Paul II, or Benedict XVI….. [Magister lists or links a couple dozen statements from Pope Francis dating from last October that Magister argues show a much more orthodox stand than the pre-synodal rhetoric.  I pray he is right, to me, some of the statements are more equivocal than he seems to think they are.  But I also recognize I may have developed a certain jaded view]

…….In the media circuit the innovators continue to enjoy great visibility and applause, and Francis continues to be depicted as one of them.

This presumed support of his continues to be taken for granted even by Bergoglio’s most fervent admirers, as for example that “Cenacle of friends of Pope Francis” that meets each month behind the Vatican walls, with mentors Cardinals Kasper and Francesco Coccopalmerio.

But the reality is entirely different. As a perfect Jesuit, Bergoglio is a great realist and has already understood – even just from scanning the names of the delegates elected by the various national episcopates – that the next session of the synod will be even more unfavorable for the innovators than the previous one[As I said, this could be a tactical retreat, or we could be seeing the “real” Pope Francis, or there could be a  conversion in the works. Who am I to judge?]

———–End Quote———–

So……what do you think of this?  I do recommend you go to the link and read some of Magister’s quotes that he feels establish Pope Francis’ definitive “return” to orthodoxy.  Is it not significant that one of the most respected Vatican analysts believe there has been a sea change in the Pope’s rhetoric on these subjects?  Does that not give credence to the fears and doubts many were developing regarding this papacy?

Has there been such a change in outlook or approach?  I certainly pray so, I’ve been praying for that for many months, and I would be most thrilled to have my previous discomfort over this papacy to be definitively wrong.  For now, I cannot make up my mind, the evidence is not, to me, overwhelming, and I continue to wait until October – and beyond – to find out what this Pope really intends.  I don’t think we can know for certain until then – by which point, of course, it will be “too late.”

As a final little addendum, I note that the number of American priests who have made plain their commitment to support and defend Church belief on marriage, divorce, adultery, and reception of the Blessed Sacrament now numbers nearly 1000.  But there should be many, many more!  Goodness, how can there not be at least 5000 priests who are faithful to what our Lord has revealed in this country?!  Are things really that bad here in the US, where we can’t get even 10% of priests to formally state their adherence to the Church’s perennial belief and practice with regard to these moral dogmas?!?  They managed quite a bit more than 10% in England and Wales!  At present, only about 2% have signed.  But there are still months to get the word out.

I have to wonder…….are bishops exerting pressure on priests behind the scenes not to sign? Such did occur in England.  I ask because while I certainly don’t know the name of every priest in this Diocese of Dallas, the list has gotten much easier to search and I still don’t see any names I recognize outside of some religious priests.  I know there are some names “missing” that will surely defend these sacred beliefs.  So either they don’t know, or are unable or unwilling to sign on.  Sad.

Just one small example of how the academic received “wisdom” biases souls against the Faith May 11, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, error, family, foolishness, General Catholic, history, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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My high school age kids had to write long papers this semester on various figures.  One daughter got Nicholas and Alexandra, another Michelangelo.  They had to read a number of books on not just their subjects, but the whole historical period of events surrounding their lives, as they had to be able to explain why their lives were significant to history.  So we got a book on the Italian Renaissance that is sold by the University Co-op in Austin and used at UT as a textbook for a sort of Renaissance 101 kind of course.  That is to say, it is a widely used primer on the subject for undergraduate college students.

Now, the title of the book isn’t really important, and I think it’s always better not to give details of a book one despises and regards as highly dangerous.  And this book is just that. Thank goodness, we recognized the problem early and my daughter never really used it.  Unfortunately, the book is pretty influential, and many thousands of students over the past few decades have read it, or at least pretended to, as they pursued their subjects in the humanities or soft sciences.

Which brings me to the main point. While this book is truly noxious and seems to revel in the benighted underside of Italian life during the Renaissance – the pimps, perverts, politicians, and other scoundrels who lived immoral lives – it is one of those books that has formed the part of curricula in campuses around the country for decades. It is highly indicative of the sort of unexamined thinking that informs the liberal academic received wisdom at least since the mid-20th century, when the academy was deliberately and very successfully invaded by the marxists on the first step of their long march through the institutions.  It contains many items that are rudely dismissive of the Faith, like the little nugget of wisdom below:

In the Middle Ages there had been sinners galore, priests, cardinals, popes, who could not resist the itch of concupiscence; novices had been thrust into monasteries at too hectic a period of their adolescence; nuns found that the time waiting for their heavenly groom lay heavily on their hands.  And the laity, as ever, found the desires of the flesh pushing them through the barriers of accepted morality.  But in the Middle Ages these things were wicked, a matter for penance and sorrow; matters to be suppressed and eradicated.

No so in the Renaissance.  Sex was par excellence the expression of the individual man.  Nor were the humanists confined to Christian morality; they had read their Plato, they knew of the lives and loves of the gods.  

The entire book reads like this…..”enlightened” amoral Renaissance humanists overcame the stultifying, suffocating morality of the prim Middle Ages – but by the way, the Church that provided that overwhelmingly morally strict environment in the Middle Ages was full of pious hypocrites.

I’m sure there were, tragically, many priests and prelates during the Middle Ages who fell short of the ideal in terms of all areas of moral theology, not just sexual ones.  But that also makes absolutely no difference.  They were always the exception, because virtually all, including those who fell into sin, recognized that the moral environment created by the Church was the best not only for those who abided by the “rules,” but also for those who didn’t. That environment gave a culture convinced of the centrality of God in our existence and of our need to serve Him and His Church first the best possible chance to succeed and conduct their lives in accord with the Faith, and to make amends if they did not.

It was in fact a time of great glory and achievement for individual souls and for society collectively.  But since the Church is so inseparably wed to that period, it has to be dismissed as backwards, superstitious, insular, and stupid.  Most vital is to show it as hypocritical, to make sure all those young minds know that whatever the Church says, even her top leaders never believed and practiced it, so the whole thing is just a sham.  Far better to have the jaded, if disgusting, open immorality of the Renaissance humanists – at least they “kept it real,” and weren’t such huge hypocrites.  And they paved the way for the “Reformation” and “Enlightenment,” which led to our wonderful culture today – aren’t we so lucky?

How many young minds have the experience and confidence to fight through such subtle and well-construed propaganda?  How many young Catholics would come out of a course like this feeling quite a bit less sure of their Faith?  And how many texts are like this, assuming – because everyone just knows – that the Catholic Faith is full of bull?  This is such utter received wisdom, neither the author in the book above – as I can attest – nor in others, is the claim ever established factually.  It’s just one of the known truths of the universe – the Catholic religion is false, her leaders hypocrites, only concerned with how much they can bilk from the sheeple.  Indoctrination in this kind of garbage is endemic in our schools (even Catholic ones!) and builds and builds as kids age. No wonder the vast majority fall away once they hit college, where the anti-Catholicism really ramps up (again, especially in Katholyc colleges!).

So if you’re at the end of your homeschooling year and you’re all burned out, thinking maybe of throwing in the towel……maybe this will help remind you why you do it.  It’s a nasty world out there that just can’t wait to turn your kids into sexular pagans – your efforts and  your sufferings are doing a very great deal to keep that from happening.

Happy belated Mother’s Day to my many mom readers.

Who knew Tantumfrogo was a mommy blogger?

Guadium Et Spes 24: more evidence of problems, even distortion of Sacred Scripture? May 11, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, disconcerting, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, secularism, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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Almost three years ago to the day, I wrote a post describing some aspects of the Vatican II Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Guadium Et Spes – which Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, described as a “counter-Syllabus,” referring to Blessed Pius IX’s formal condemnation of the errors of liberalism – that I, as a confused and struggling Catholic, found particularly problematic.

The problem I addressed in that post was with regard to Guadium Et Spes #24, and how it seemed to equivocate on the proper understanding of man’s place in the order of Creation and man’s rightful relation with his Creator.  In particular, in the third and final paragraph of Guadium Et Spes #24, it is stated that God is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, meaning, not for the glory of Himself, God, but that we could, as humans, glory in our own awesomeness.  A very mid-20th century point of view, certainly.  This is counter to both Scripture and scads of Tradition, as I pointed out in that post.

So it was with some interest that I saw that Rorate had posted a brief commentary from Dr. John Lament on Guadium Et Spes 24, but this time, on the second paragraph, wherein he claims to find a  not-inconsequential translation error.  The fact that this error directly feeds into the “conclusion” reached in paragraph 3 – man being willed by God for itself/himself – is quite relevant to my confusion from 3 years ago:

Those who wish to apply a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ to Vatican II, or who deny that there can be any opposition or rupture between the documents of that council and Catholic tradition, or who claim that the assertion that the authentic teachings of Vatican II formally contradict the tradition of the Church is false, might consider the following passage from the council’s pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes:

Gaudium et Spes 24: ‘Quapropter dilectio Dei et proximi primum et maximum mandatum est.’

For non-Latinists, this claim (it is a complete sentence in the conciliar document) can be translated as follows: ‘For love of God and of neighbour is the first and greatest commandment‘. [It is the first sentence of Guadium Et Spes 24.2] No Latin is needed to realise that this is a flat contradiction of the teaching of Christ. There is a deliberate allusion in Gaudium et Spes 24 to the wording of the divine teaching it is contradicting, as can be seen from looking at the Vulgate text of that teaching:

Matthew 22:35-39: “Et interrogavit eum unus ex eis legis doctor, temptans eum; ‘Magister, quod est mandatum magnum in lege? Ait illi Iesus: ‘diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo, et in tota anima tua, et in tota mente tua. Hoc est maximum et primum mandatum. Secundum autem simile est huic: diliges proximum tuum, sicut teipsum.'” [Translation (Douay-Reims): And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking Him, tempting Him: Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?  Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.  This is the greatest and first Commandment.  And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.]

This text from Gaudium et Spes suffices to prove that the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are not without error, and that fidelity to Christ’s teaching requires that parts of it be rejected. It is also a fruitful starting point for reflection and investigation into the ideology and motivations of the progressive leadership of that council, and into the degree to which the Council Fathers as a whole accepted their responsibility for preserving the divine deposit of faith. (This text was pointed out to me by a Catholic professor of theology who must remain anonymous.)

Well, those are some major claims.  Is this just a somewhat careless reduction of a Scriptural text, or does it have greater significance?  For instance, is it part of a pattern?  Guadium Et Spes 24.2 says, in entirety:

For this reason, love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment. Sacred Scripture, however, teaches us that the love of God cannot be separated from love of neighbor: “If there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the Law” (Rom. 13:9-10; cf. 1 John 4:20). To men growing daily more dependent on one another, and to a world becoming more unified every day, this truth proves to be of paramount importance.

OK, we see references to Romans 13:9-10 and 1 John 4:20. What do they actually say?

Romans: For Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not steal: Thous shalt not bear false witness: Thou shalt not covet: and if there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this word, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  The love of our neighbor worketh no evil. Love therefore is the fulfilling of the law.

1 John: If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar.  For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not?

If these quotes were intended to establish an equivalence between love of God and love of neighbor, I am not convinced.  They certainly establish that love of neighbor is critically important and provides, as it were, proof of love of God, but neither assert any equivalence between love of God and love of man/neighbor.  So the assertion made in the sentence Lamont finds contradictory to the Scripture reference to St. Matt 22 remains unsupported.

How does this relate to Guadium Et Spes 24.3?  Well, if one “establishes” an equivalence between love of God and love of man in 24.2 as the foundation of our sacred duty, and then goes on to say that man is the only creature that God has willed for himself (not Himself), then isn’t that coming close to implying some kind of equivalence between man and God, or at least our duty to each?  And isn’t that equivalence redolent of the sort of ultra-humanist philosophy that informed so many of the leading lights of Vatican II?

Have we not seen in the Church over the past several decades a pronounced tendency to confuse the ascendancy of the rights of man with the rights of God?  Is the Social Reign of Christ the King even much mentioned these days, let alone observed, in how the Church approaches endorsing or opposing various humanist, libertine forms of government?  If this assertion of rights and glories to man has been institutionalized within the Church, can we identify ways in which the effects have been made apparent?  Is it possible that this error underlies recent efforts to radically undermine Church belief and practice in areas ranging from contraception to divorce to reception of the Blessed Sacrament to how to approach those afflicted with deviant urges?  How authoritative is a “pastoral constitution” anyway?

I offer no firm, final conclusions. I’m a blogger, not a trained theologian, but I will say that for me, praying I have eyes to see and read the signs of the times accurately, the answers to the questions above are quite apparent.  However I certainly would be open to contrary explanations.  The “answer” could be something “in between:” the Council did not directly intend to establish anything novel with Guadium Et Spes 24, but muddled statements arrived at to achieve a compromise that would result in the much desired near-unanimous passage of the documents of VII resulted in a text open to abuse and misinterpretation.




Thank goodness we have science, to provide such brilliant insights: porn, video games leading to ‘masculinity crisis’ May 11, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, paganism, persecution, sadness, scandals, sexual depravity, Society, unadulterated evil.
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Well, yes they are, but they are also symptoms of an already extant crisis that predate the internet or video games by many years.  The broader problem or “crisis” – one largely deliberately caused – has to do with the culture rejecting the proper (Catholic) understanding of roles and duties for men and women and healthy approaches to the God-given natures as man and woman, masculine and feminine.  We have had generations of man-boys now, a phenomenon that got its start as part of the broader attack on the family.  If you take out the father, you can in most cases take out the entire family.  And if you take away traditional, I would say divinely-instilled conceptions of masculinity, you will take out the father, or so neuter him that even if physically present his impact will be minimal.

So file this in the water is wet category of breakthrough scientific research – porn and video games are destroying boys and young men’s virtue, film at 11:

A leading psychologist has warned that young men are facing a crisis of masculinity due to excessive use of video games and pornography.

Psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford UniversityPhillip Zimbardo has made the warnings, which form a major part of his latest book, Man (Dis)Connected…….

……Zimbardo says there is a “crisis” amongst young men, a high number of whom are experiencing a “new form of addiction” to excessive use of pornography and video games……….

[The following explains why science almost always fails to address, or even measurably improve, the very crises it has helped visit on the culture……]…….In his opinion, the solution is to accept that the problem is serious – parents must become aware of the number of hours a child is spending alone in their room playing games and watching porn at the expense of other activities. [You mean parents should have close relationships with their kids?  That’s impossible, right?!?  The TV told me so, over and over again!]

He also blamed negative images of men in the American media, which show men as being “slobs, undesirable, only wanting to get laid and being inadequate in doing that.” [Well, he got that part right.  That pretty much nails the cultural image of “dad” conveyed by the mass media for the past 20 years or so]

He also called for better sex education in schools – which should focus not only on biology and safety, but also on emotions, physical contact and romantic relationships.

It is amazing how resilient these scientists are to identifying and recommending the things that have been proven to prevent kids from getting lost in porn and all the other vices – close relationship with parents, strong involvement in a Christian, especially Catholic church, being encouraged to participate in outdoor activities and sports, etc.  No, it always has to be a plan or program that tends to benefit their clan.  The ONE thing that can lead a soul out of the nightmare of addiction over the long haul – faith in Jesus Christ – is of course totally ignored.  To introduce Him would be to surrender one’s credibility as a scientist at the start.

I want to make clear, video games are not, like pornography, intrinsically evil.  There is no problem with many games that do not introduce immoral themes and do not feature excessive gore or other disordered matter.  Video games can be a decent recreation if kept within due limits.  But video games, especially the more modern immersive types, have been shown to have a strong potential for abuse/addition and many contain material that is morally toxic (Grand Theft Auto series, for instance).  So strong caution and parental monitoring is most definitely called for, but I am not one to think there has to be a blanket ban.