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Why aren’t Texas Repubs doing more to protect marriage? May 15, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, error, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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Texas is known around the country as the most powerfully conservative state in the union.  At the present time, marriage and the rights of the Church are under attack in this country as never before.  One would think, then that we would be seeing really strong leadership from Governor Abbot and in the Legislature to pass many measures to establish as many legal protections for marriage and the rights of convicted Christians as possible. But as the article below notes, Abbot has been MIA and the House remains under the business-owned, socially liberal country-club Republican Joe Strauss, so very little has happened, even with overwhelming majorities and a large number of true conservatives in both houses.  Strauss is allowing bill after bill to die, while Abbot is using none of his substantial political capital to fight for those who elected him.

Many good points below. Discuss. Thanks to MFG for the link.  BTW, it must also be stated that our bishops, through the TCC, are doing precious little to defend marriage and the Church’s rightful liberty, either.  Hardly surprising, but eventually the leftists will come for something the bishops do hold dear, so they may regret their relative inaction:

As I have written here many times, there is a war waging against people of faith and the values we hold.  Nowhere is that more evident than the war on marriage that soon likely will culminate in another Supreme Court decree, this time declaring that marriage is something that it plainly is not.

But much more troubling than even the destruction of the nuclear family and the institution of marriage is the all-out assault on religious liberty underway by the anti-faith left and their corporate crony allies.  It’s apparently not enough to re-define marriage.  No – those who resist must be silenced and made to care and to conform.

It is at this moment that we would expect states to lead the fight for religious liberty and the constitution.  Thankfully and not surprisingly, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has stepped up to defend people of faith from the attacks, and has articulated the important principles clearly and with passion.  But with all due respect, where is Texas leadership?  Sadly, they are MIA.

Our first liberty is under assault.  If you dare to express your religious conviction about marriage, you will be told you are a bigot by someone not remotely grasping the irony of his own discrimination against you.  Pastor or Rabbi?  You must marry two men!  Private religious school?  Don’t teach the hatred of traditional marriage!  Cakebaker, photographer or wedding planner?  Perform or shut down!

This is the new world order.  If you don’t believe me, you need look no further than the Solicitor General of the United States.  Arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in the marriage case a few weeks ago, he actually asserted (openly and without hesitation) that “it’s certainly going to be an issue” whether religious schools can keep 501(c)(3) tax exempt status if they teach the traditional definition of marriage.

Yet, in the face of this assault, the great state of Texas – supposed beacon for liberty in the nation – is sitting on its hands.  Why?  Hardly a soul in the entire Capitol Building is leading, and especially not Governor Greg Abbott.  Unfortunately, he has been essentially silent on the issue other than some half-hearted plugs for religious liberty generally once the issue heated up and a few comments in support of Pastor protection.  But no boots-on-the-ground, back room arm-twisting, big-speech giving leadership that we had become accustomed to from Gov. Rick Perry.

And in the vacuum, there has been a hodge-podge of bills, tweets, press releases, and other half-measures while Texas “leadership” shrugs and avoids fighting the massive Texas Business machine.   The result has been chaos.

Last night, a bill that was introduced by State Rep. Cecil Bell that would have forbidden public funds from being used to issue marriage licenses died a painful death at midnight (a deadline in the Texas Legislature).  While well intentioned, it never had a chance because 1) there has been no leadership on the issue generally, and 2) this bill was the wrong approach.  It would certainly be struck down if the Supreme Court decides (wrongly) that there is an equal protection right to non-traditional marriage, and it misses the actual fight – religious liberty.

On that front, the strongest leadership has come from 2nd term Texas State Rep. Scott Sanford for introducing a bill (HB 2567) to increase protections for Pastors, Priests, Rabbis and all members of the clergy to conduct marriages according to their beliefs.  After a great deal of work – and working with Texas Values to rally Pastors to engage – that bill was also picked up in the State Senate by Sen. Craig Estes (SB 2065).

With the support of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (kudos to him), the Senate bill was passed out with a vote of 21-9.  It sits in the Texas House right now awaiting a second chance after Sanford’s bill died in the Joe Straus-led House of Representatives.

The bill is far from passage given the total lack of leadership in Texas.  And the worst part is – it’s kind of a yawner anyway!  Of COURSE we should protect the clergy.  Isn’t that the babyist of baby steps?  New Hampshire took that step in 1992.  How is this difficult?  Yet it’s not even clear Texas will get that through – it may.

Michigan wants homeschooled kids registered, inspected, tagged, spayed, neutered May 15, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, persecution, pr stunts, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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I may have embellished the lede just a bit.  In actuality, there probably are a number of dems who would fervently be in favor of all of the above, they’re just too smart to push for that……..just yet.

So a woman who claimed to homeschool her kids was using that as a cover for hideous abuse.  It happens, but rarely.  In typical statist fashion, demonrat lawmakers in Michigan take the extreme exception to be the rule, [BE WARNED, LINK CONTAINS DESCRIPTIONS OF SATANIC ATROCITIES AGAINST CHILDREN] and now want to demand registration and regular inspection by “child welfare agents” to make sure kids aren’t being abused.  Because, everyone knows that not a single child attending public school is ever abused, either.  And the state never, ever lets cases slip under the rug, as they did in the case of the cruel, deviant fake-homeschooler who killed her own kids.  That’s right, child protective services had already been called out to deal with this woman multiple times in the past, but state agents sort of forgot to keep checking up on her kids.

Just one of those little oopsies massive bureaucracies most interested in their own aggrandizement seem to suffer from on a regular basis.  You might even call it endemic to the leviathan state:

The proposed legislation from state Rep. Stephanie Chang, a Detroit Democrat, would require homeschooled children to be inspected twice per year by a licensed social worker or law enforcement officer. The bill would also require homeschooling parents to register their children — like dogs or sex offenders — with the superintendent of the school district in which they reside. Michigan is one of eleven states that do not require homeschooling parents to report to state or local authorities…….

……..That’s a common thread in most of these tragic stories. In nearly every case — almost without exception — the family had a history of contact with child welfare officials because of allegations of abuse. And in almost every case — almost without exception — the authorities dropped the ball. In the case of the children in Detroit, the state had investigated allegations of abuse in 2002 and 2005 and the mother was referred for counseling. In the Ohio case, family members called authorities multiple times but nothing was done. They said they were accused of lying.

It’s absurd to think that a mother who tortured her children with [skipping description]…….. is going to file a pile of paperwork that would trigger an inspection of her children………People who commit diabolical crimes against children will just go further underground if such a law is enacted — they’ll move to a different school district and pretend they don’t have any children, they’ll ignore the regulations, or worse, they’ll go off the grid completely, compounding the danger to the children.

It’s not the sick, twisted individuals like Stoni and Stephen’s mother who will be caught up in the state’s dragnet. Instead, it’s law-abiding parents who are exercising their constitutional right to home educate their children — and doing an admirable job of it —  who will be harmed by these intrusive regulations. In addition to the creepy registry, they’ll be forced to live under a presumption of guilt and will be required to “prove” twice per year to some (allegedly qualified) government official that they are not abusing their children.

And the awful experience of many parents has shown that providing entree to a “child welfare officer” into your home, especially one of with a left-wing ax to grind, can be the beginning of a massive legal headache at a minimum, and the destruction of the family and the ruination of the children’s lives, at worst.  That is because there are, as we have seen in Texas, state agents who have an ideological hatred of homeschooling, they think kids belong in school, and that homeschooling parents must be dangerous extremists, incompetent, or abusers.  I know a fair number of homeschooling families who have been hassled by CPS, almost always for entirely spurious reasons.  There is always grave danger when one falls into the hands of an agent of our increasingly socialist monster-state.

As for the politicians, occasional atrocities simply provide the excuse for the laws banning homeschooling, or guns, fossil fuels, or whatever, that they couldn’t implement otherwise, when people are not scandalized and enraged following some terrible revelation.  This is a regular tactic of the gun control movement, but it’s also a tactic endemic to the left.  Hopefully this measure will go nowhere.  Michigan remains one of 11 states (including Texas, thank God) where parents are given a free hand to educate their children as they see fit, with a minimum of state interference.  Leftists, of course, hate that, and have tried to usurp that parental control where they can.

I am feeling especially grateful to live in Texas, given the rising leftism in our nation.  That rise is much less pronounced here, at least for now, but that won’t last forever.  I do hope and pray it lasts long enough for us to complete the education of our children.  We need another 12 years.  But as Michael Matt has noticed, the way this country is going, I don’t know that homeschooling will stay legal for that long.

This is something I certainly do pray about.

Fr. Volpi forced to renounce role as Commissioner of FIs? May 15, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, martyrdom, Papa, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, shocking, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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Roberto De Mattei, in a very public article on an Italian Church-news site, and a serious author and historian in his own right, has claimed that Fr. Fidenzio Volpi’s health is so poor he has had to renounce his role as Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscans of the Immaculate permanently.  It is known that Fr. Volpi suffered a serious stroke with follow-on complications and that he remains quite ill (at least as of last week).  I cannot say I have seen this claim confirmed anywhere else.  And, it must be said, de Mattei is part of that large group of Catholics who have been dismayed and scandalized at the Volpi’s administration of the formerly flourishing order, so he may have a bias (I admit my own).

Nevertheless, I imagine Volpi’s time as head of the FIs is over, but who knows what kind of leadership will follow in his wake.  Via Rorate Caeli, who arranged the translation into English. there are  many revelations below that are new to me, beyond the one announcing Volpi’s time being done (my emphasis and comments):

Sic transit gloria mundi. For the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the Institute founded by Father Stefano Maria Manelli, ( externally commissioned on 11th July 2013) the “era of Volpi” , which will certainly be remembered as one of the saddest in the history of this religious order, is over. Father Fidenzio Volpi, assigned by the Congregation for Religious as Apostolic Commissioner to liquidate Father Manelli’s order, is in fact in a Roman clinic, after suffering a cerebral ischemia [lack of blood flow to the brain, a severe stroke], followed by a hemiparesis, [paralysis or profound weakness of an entire side of the body] which has seriously compromised his health, forcing him to renounce, irrevocably, his appointment as Commissioner……

……Commissioner Volpi has not been dismissed by the Congregation for Religious, but by the mysterious designs of Divine Providence. Furthermore, his health has never been that good, and the tensions that he underwent after accepting the task of Commissioner, were very burdensome indeed, not only for the rupture which immediately opened with the Franciscans of the Immaculate, of whom 70% remained faithful to Father Manelli, but also for the contrasts created with Father Alfonso Bruno, who brought disaster on the Institute after the commissioning. Together with these, there were added tensions with the Congregation for Religious, which disapproved many of the initiatives taken by the Commissioner; like the attempt to condemn some friars without proceedings, after they had asked for a dispensation or exclaustration and who are now under the protection of many bishops in Italy, Great Britain and the Philippines. [That’s news to me. I had understood the new leadership of the FIs/Fr. Manelli had wanted to take severe measures against those friars who left the order, but I did not know the Congregation of Religious had objected.  Interesting]

Furthermore, Father Volpi’s credibility was compromised by the arrangement of February 12th 2015 at the Tribunal in Rome, initially undersigned, then retracted by Father Volpi himself, wherein the Commissioner had admitted defaming Father Manelli’s family members, accusing them of taking possession of real assets belonging to the Institute. The accusation that the Franciscans of the Immaculate had set aside illicitly some millions of Euros revealed itself to be a great big bluff. The investigations came about because of the contrast between the friars on the one side aligned to Father Volpi and Father Bruno and on the other the lay-faithful associations, faithful to Padre Manelli. [I covered that here.  As to what was the true reality of that situation was somewhat unclear, with defenders of the new administration saying Fr. Volpi made no such agreement, with opponents maintaining that he did, then retracted it when it was publicized.  de Mattei seems convinced of the latter]

……The fact remains, however, that for almost two years, no-one has yet answered a basic question: what are the true reasons for the external commissioning of the Franciscans of the Immaculate? The hypotheses made are rather diverse, but so far the true reasons for the commissioning have never been clarified.

And that gets to the crux of the matter, even today.  So far, the only claim made against Fr. Manelli’s direction of the order that seems to have any merit in reality is that it was drifting too traditional, and had committed the apparently unpardonable sin of asking uncomfortable questions regarding Vatican II, the only Council in Church history whose decrees are apparently above even scholarly examination.  All the others, claims of misuse of property or great division in the order remain either almost entirely unsupported by evidence or have been proven false.

I’ve been pretty up-front about my own views on this matter – the order was broken due to an incredibly clumsy and ideologically highly biased “investigation” instigated by a very few disaffected friars who had the ear of the new powers in Rome.  What occurred to my mind can best be likened to a coup, wherein a small disaffected subset usurped power from the founder and leadership duly constituted by appealing to their friends in Rome.  The measures instituted to “reform” the order were inordinately harsh due to the pronounced ideological nature of the coup leaders and those chosen to constitute the new leadership. Ideologues (I may be one, I pray not) tend to be overly harsh with their perceived ideological adversaries because they tend to prize the ideology above anything else, including (or especially) according decent, fair treatment of others.

The point in any coup, or revolution, if you will (and all modern revolutions are driven by ideology on some level), is to so crush the opposition as to insure there cannot be a counter-revolution.  Is that what we have seen with the Franciscans of the Immaculate?  Many think yes.  There could be evidence that would exonerate the new leadership and provide justification for their actions, but it seems passing strange that almost 2 years in it still hasn’t been produced.

And while I pray that any new administrator appointed takes a much more charitable and reasonable path than Fr. Volpi chose to, if the individuals who instigated this massive disruption of the order have any say, I fear such change is unlikely.  It is quite possible to appoint an independent and fair-minded administrator who can begin the work of rebuilding this “shattered” order on the basis of the Founder’s intent for it, the only question is whether Cardinal Braz de Aviz and the others calling the shots in Rome desire to do so.

And so that is what I will really pray about.  I continue to pray for Fr. Volpi’s recovery.

Start Pentecost/Holy Ghost Novena today May 15, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Liturgical Year, Novenas, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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This is basically a repost from last year:

O Holy Spirit, You are the Love of The Father and The Son. Inspire me always in what I should think. Inspire me always in what I should say and how I should say it. Inspire me in what I should keep silence about and how I should do it. Inspire me in what I should do for God’s Honour, for the good of souls and for my own sanctification. Holy Spirit grant me understanding to understand and recognise. Grant me a capacity to remember everything. Teach me the ways and grant me the ability to learn always again. Grant me the acumen to interpret and to discern correctly. Grant me the grace to speak efficaciously. Holy Spirit, grant me confidence and certainty at the beginning. Guide me and lead me during the accomplishment and grant me perfection at the completion. Amen.

The other one is a typically looong EWTN Novena.  Too long to copy and paste here, go to the link.

But the longer the prayer is, the more merit there is in praying it, I suppose.

Pray a Novena with your family!  Develop in your children a love for this great traditional practice!

If you have Fr. John Hardon’s Catholic Prayer Book, there is also a Novena to the Holy Ghost there, on pp. 309-10.  Lots of other prayer books have their own versions.

Dominus vobiscum!

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