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Short prayer for the upcoming Supreme Court decision on pretend sodo-marriage May 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Good St. Joseph, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, persecution, Sacraments, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I found the following prayer to Saint Joseph and thought it would make a good prayer to make in the continual Novena up until the Supreme Court decides for 320 million people what marriage is, at least in the eyes of US and state law.  You might have a better prayer in hand, if you do, I would appreciate your sharing it in the comments. This is the prayer we as a family have been praying for a few days.  St. Joseph is a very powerful intercessor, both he and Our Lady are our two best advocates before the Lord in this time of grave need.  The prayer comes from the book Favorite Prayers to Saint Joseph, and has the benefit of being short and too the point, if not specifically on the subject of perverse marriage, which, like…….who in even the recent past could have imagined a culture so deranged such a thing could come to pass?:

O glorious Saint Joseph, thou who hast power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress.  Take this important and difficult affair under thy particular protection, that it may end happily (name your request, specifically, that the Supreme Court not arrogate to itself to define the foundational human relationship of marriage).

O dear Saint Joseph, all our confidence is in thee.  Let it not be said that we would invoke thee in vain; and since thou art so powerful with Jesus and Mary, show thy goodness equals thy power. Amen.

Saint Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.

Close with Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Gloria.

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American culture accelerates embrace of immorality, poll shows. Rubio says America poised for persecution of Christians May 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, martyrdom, mortification, paganism, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church.
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This country has got a death wish, apparently.  A new Gallup poll – feel free to debate its accuracy – shows that America has lurched decisively leftward in the past few years, especially since 2009 (remember that bit about fundamentally transforming America?).  Support for grave immorality has increased almost across the board, while an equal number of Americans, for the first time since the poll began in 1999, describe themselves as “very liberal” socially as do “very conservative.”  I hold this latter bit to be far less significant than the detailed findings of the poll, which, again, show support by Americans for the gravest immorality increasing substantially in the past 15 years:

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There’s been quite a bit of variation in that data.  I find it pretty hard to believe that the US was 42% conservative in 2009, and only 31% today.  I have a feeling this particular portion of the poll will probably swing differently in a few years. We’ve seen the same with polls on support for abortion, where occasional ones show Americans tied between pro-abort or pro-life positions (in reality, belief is much more nuanced, the vast majority of Americans favor a much more restrictive abortion regime than we have now), but then a year or two later they show support for abortion substantially lower than opposition.

But, as I said, the more troubling aspects are in the details:

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No surprise how much support for sodomy has skyrocketed. That support for illegitimate birth and fornication should see similar increases is no accident, all this is tied to a fundamental rejection – or at least ignorance of – the vital need for the coherent family of father, mother, and children.  Since so many now view sex as a sterile act oriented solely towards personal pleasure, no wonder they have no problem with sodomy.

And, we can easily predict where the cultural pathology will take us next: polygamy, cloning, euthanasia, etc. We also see the idiocy of the progressive leftist mentality in comparing things like wearing animal fur and medical testing on animals to abortion and sodomy.  Lunacy.  But at least people still oppose marital infidelity……..I really have to wonder, on what possible grounds, since it seems everything else is just fine?  And how would they view sodomite “marriage” if they knew that even the most “committed” of these poor lost people regularly fornicate with others outside their “stable, long term” relationships?

Incredible the degree of moral carnage our culture is now willing to call good.  I’m reading After Virtue by Alasdair MacIntyre, and he was arguing 35 years ago that people are so morally lost today, and have been for a long time, that they no longer even have the capability to divine what is good and what is bad.  This poll certainly bears that out.  What these people do not understand (and note the connection with collapse in Christian practice in this country and the collapse in morality), is that by rejecting a transcendent source of Truth and embracing a relativist mentality, they are setting up the conditions where everything, not just morality, but also economics, politics, education, etc., will come down to will-to-power. It took centuries for the virtues inherent in Catholic Christendom to create Western civilization as we know it, and it is all being destroyed in a few short years. We are returning to the barbarism of pre-Christian times very rapidly.

Today, his deep faith drives public policy positions on social issues such as traditional marriage.

“If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech,” Rubio told CBN News. “Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

“So what’s the next step after that?” he asked.

“After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger,” he warned. [I’d say that is a very visible danger]

To give us an object lesson in how sexular pagans, especially those of the more perverse inclinations, will interpret Catholic-Christian belief as ‘hate speech,’ see this response one commentator made to Rubio’s interview:

Mr. Rubio, despite great provocation [what provocation – believing what essentially everyone believed 15-20 years ago?!?  Repeating 2000 years of constant Christian-Jewish-Muslim belief, a belief set well over half the world’s population claims to adhere to?!?] by you and others like you, LGBTs and their supporters—many of whom are Christian, by the way [No, they are poor lost souls who might incidentally attend a Christian-like sect or self-profess to be Christians. That doesn’t make them so] —who back equality actually think you can say and think whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t incite violence and hatred. If it does, they will object, as any reasonable person might. [Note his attempt to sneak in a massive limitation on free speech – a problematic doctrine, to be sure – by expanding the Supreme Court’s limitation on free speech that might pose an immediate danger to people – shouting fire in a crowded theater – and adding an incredibly nebulous term – “hatred.”  Which he plainly means any speech he really, really doesn’t like]

If you claim that LGBTs do not deserve marriage equality, and your argument has the ring of prejudice about it—and it necessarily would because you are arguing against the principles of equality—then expect to be called out for it.

But you are not being silenced. You are being disagreed with.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. People are being silenced when the sodomite lobby forces passage of laws that cause the state to sue individuals for hundreds of thousands of dollars who refuse to provide flowers for a fake wedding profoundly abhorrent to their most cherished beliefs.  Christians are being silenced and having their lives ruined all over this country for desiring not to give their visible support to something they know to be a grave moral evil.  This is not “disagreement.”  This is a deliberate, hateful campaign of vicious persecution, and this guy is prevaricating mightily in calling it anything else.

But the entire pro-sodomy campaign in the culture, going back nearly 30 years now, has always had to wrap itself in a cloak of lies in order to gain public support.  Immoral lives that involve hundreds of partners, wickedly immoral sexual practices (including a near-endemic predilection for young boys), rampant drug and alcohol abuse, severe psychological problems, and sky-high suicide rates are all kept carefully concealed from the public.  A completely false, sanitized vision of these perverse lifestyles is sold in it’s place.  Likewise, since those lost in these sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance crave constant affirmation for their perversion to shout down the quiet voice inside them that tells them how wrong their mode of living truly is, they cannot stand to have even a tiny minority continue to refute their disordered lusts and perverted desires.  Thus, faithful Christians must, of necessity, be crushed and driven from the public square.  That is also kept closely hidden with demonically hypocritical language arguing for “equality,” “tolerance,” and “acceptance” – all of which the movement (not to say all individuals) necessarily denies to Christians.

These people conflate “hate” with having to hear things they really, really don’t like.  Such reactions are becoming epidemic in the increasingly dyspeptic left.

But even more, this movement quite literally cannot abide ANY public criticism or contradiction.  And, in a very real sense, the more they gain acceptance and drive moral condemnation from the public sphere, the more that which remains drives them batty and the more they want to see it gone.

So get ready for a very, very rough ride in which we will have almost no allies.  Once persecution gets really revved up, we can expect many now bearing the Christian name to fall away, or join perverse sects that set Christian moral doctrine on its ear (many are already around).  I fear we will also be told by many in the Church what rotten, bad Catholics we are, and we may well be escorted to the figurative or literal gallows with Church officials hectoring us to “repent” along the way, just as the English martyrs did.

The key to surviving this while keeping our Faith and saving our soul is to cling to Our Eucharistic Lord and Our Lady.  Only They can keep our faith whole in such a trial.

Pray for those who would persecute us!

ThirdSecret

A good piece on how to approach criticism of the Papacy May 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, catachesis, Christendom, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, self-serving, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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There has been a great deal of debate and discussion in (what is easiest to distinguish as faithful) Catholic circles regarding whether it is possible for Catholics to criticize a Pope at all.  Some take the stand that such criticism is always extremely dangerous and imprudent and really should never be done.  I have always found this argument silly, since it would at a minimum destroy historical analysis of the Church as a profession, and is a direct criticism of the writings of too many Saints and great Catholics to list, going back many centuries, who have certainly made critical analyses of papacies of the past.  In practice, the rule really seems to be “it is impermissible to criticize the reigning, or recently reigning, pontiffs, especially those since the sainted, indefectible Council,” while it is OK to take to task the actions and judgments of pontiffs distant past.

Whatever.  I’ve always tried to steer a middle course, avoiding gratuitous judgments of any Pope, past or present, while steadfastly pointing out imprudent actions or even errors promoted that could affect the faith of many souls.  You cannot block papal PR coverage.  Word is going to get out, and people, especially better formed souls, are not blind. They will make their own judgments.  It has always seemed to me that it is far better to point out problematic statements or actions with charity and basic fairness, rather than attempt to cover up that which cannot be covered.  Certainly, it is better not to point out Noah’s, or Francis’, nakedness, but when that nakedness is apparent for all to see (and receiving worldwide coverage), it is not only necessary, but vitally necessary to explain why the nakedness is wrong (or problematic with respect to the Doctrine of the Faith), rather than to pretend it doesn’t exist.

It may be a gross comparison, but I’d say such is the tack advocated by Steve Skojec in a long post at One Peter Five on the permissibility of criticism of the papacy.  I will skip the quite extensive groundwork he lays (but will note, he is quite right that criticizing the papacy does not mean Christ’s promise that His Church will never fail is invalid, but is in fact a defense of that Truth), and get to some of the justifications he uses for his position (original, I add comments):

Put more simply: we didn’t make this mess, but pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t going to make it go away. Want people to stay faithful? Help them to see how what’s happening doesn’t mean Catholicism is false, but rather, is suffering exactly as we were always told it would. Show them what is true, and what the limitsand boundaries of assent require. Give them a path forward, not out. [An excellent point. I personally know 2 individuals who deferred, if not gave up on, their plans to convert, because they are now utterly confused on what the Church believes. That’s only my own narrow experience. The plain fact is, people are being exposed to the Pope’s more confusing/troubling statements, and without correction, their assumption is that what the media is telling them is true and accurate, that irreformable Catholic belief is changing, or may change]

To that end, we need to look to our Church’s history. Would we say that the bishops of the Third Council of Constantinople, which posthumously anathematized Pope Honorius I for heresy, were “spiritual pornographers” or scandalizers of the faithful? Would we make such claims about the Theology faculty at the University of Paris who opposed the heresies in the personal sermons of Pope John XXII — or King Philip VI, who forbade them from being taught? [Or really holy men like Bossuett, who made some value judgments about some preceding and even near-contemporary papal actions in public]

Taken further, would we make such claims about St. Paul, who publicly reprimanded the very first pope, the one chosen by Christ Himself?

But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. – Galatians 2:11

A pope is still a man — and thus, a sinner — and can make mistakes. Paul withstood Peter for the simple reason that he was “to be blamed” – in other words, culpably in error[Long excerpt from St. Thomas Aquinas follows that I do not copy, you should read it]

……St. Thomas makes the important distinction between an exercise of authority — a papal action — and authority of ruling — the power and authority inherent in the papal office. He asserts that if public actions of a prelate — even the pope — cause “danger” that is “imminent,” then the “truth must be preached openly” and “the opposite never condoned through fear of scandalizing others.” Further, if it is true that these prelates must not “disdain corrections from those who are lower and subject to them,” then any argument that the faithful and clergy must not publicly address a pope’s public errors, misleading statements, or actions for fear of scandalizing the faithful is without merit. [I’d say this is a fair representation of St. Thomas’ argument]

On the contrary, there is a positive duty to keep such errors from spreading if one possesses the ability to identify and charitably elucidate them. This is of paramount importance in order to instruct or correct those who might be led into sin by believing these errors. This is not merely a hypothetical, but something that has become a real problem with (to use examples that quickly come to mind) misconceptions following the Synod that the pope has changed the rules for the divorced and remarried on receiving Holy Communion, or in the case of those who have taken Pope Francis’s “Who am I to judge?” as a tacit endorsement of same-sex relationships. The Spiritual Works of Mercy include “instructing the ignorant,” “counseling the doubtful,” and “admonishing the sinner.” At various levels, any (or all) of these three works of mercy might apply in a redress of these errors.

We would also do well to remember that the non-theological actions of popes can also be scandalous. Popes like Stephen VI,  Benedict IX, Sergius III, John XII, Alexander VI, Innocent IV, and Urban VI come prominently to mind. These popes — all of them valid — were reported variously to have taken part in scheming, simony, murder, adultery, rape, torture, sodomy, bestiality, desecration of the corpse of a predecessor, and other horrific crimes. [It was these kinds of non-theological actions that Bossuett and others have pointed out were scandalous. That was no sin.  Many others, also many holy men, have pointed out that Clement XIII’s politically-motivated suppression of the Jesuits was unfair and may have played a role not only in the French Revolution but the ascendance of liberal thought in the latter 18th and 19th centuries. That does not make them bad Catholics for doing so]

While Pope Francis has certainly not been accused of acts such as these, many of his papal appointments have empowered men who have no business in leadership positions in the Church, and whom, as in the case of Fr. Radcliffe, represent an actual danger to the faith. Men who speak to the media, making statements on the pope’s behalf, leading us to believe that he agrees with their heterodox agendas. 

And when reports of the pope’s more controversial (alleged) opinions or activities disseminate through the global press — reports which many faithful Catholics find troubling — they are very rarely addressed or corrected, despite a Vatican press office and a PR executive in his employ, both of which are meant to monitor the news and ensure that the Vatican is being represented accurately in the media. The mechanisms are in place to analyze the message the world is receiving, but a choice is made not to clarify. The impression given is that silence gives consent…….. [I’d add just a bit more.  A Pope who behaves scandalously in his private life, or even somewhat publicly, by insisting on gaudy riches, a lavish lifestyle, sexual incontinence, etc – is one kind of scandal.  Yes, especially since Popes have not been known to do so for many centuries, it would cause a great deal of confusion.  But I’m not sure that is as severe a scandal, or causes such confusion, as troubling statements related to Doctrine, the right practice of the Faith, ecumenism, etc.  Those affect the Faith on a more fundamental level, and, I think, are even more necessary to comment on]

…….If the Vatican does not choose to speak to these issues by reaffirming Church teaching, may we, the faithful, not do so in an attempt to mitigate the damage? We do not have the luxury of living in the historically disconnected world, where statements of the pope took months to reach any given diocese by letter, if at all. Our always-on, Internet connected planet presents a new reality not encountered by the ancient Church: every thought and action of a figure as high profile as a pope is instantly broadcast to billions, both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. They are forming opinions of what we believe based on what they hear and see, whether or not it is accurately represented. Is there to be no corrective action taken by anyone if the Holy See takes none itself?

As cited by Pope Leo XIII, Pope Felix III admonished:

“An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed…. He who does not oppose an evident crime is open to the suspicion of secret complicity.”

It seems indisputable, then, that we must resist error — even from a pope, who may fall into such outside the parameters of the infallibility of his office and most particularly in his personal judgments.

In the 16th century, we see this understanding succinctly expressed by Melchior Cano, a Bishop and Theologian of the Council of Trent. It is taken from his De Locis Theologicis — a text the Catholic Encyclopedia indicates “certainly ranks with the most lauded productions of the Renaissance” and “in the estimation of some critics … made its author worthy of a place next to St. Thomas Aquinas.”

“Now it can be said briefly that those who defend blindly and indiscriminately any judgment whatsoever of the Supreme Pontiff concerning every matter weaken the authority of the Apostolic See; they do not support it; they subvert it; they do not fortify it… . Peter has no need of our lies; he has no need of our adulation.”

It seems equally clear that none of us may use such criticism as an excuse to abandon the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. [Agreed!] We may not decide for ourselves that any given occupant of the See of Peter is not the pope, for it lies outside our competence to make such judgments. We must submit to every legitimate exercise of his authority, showing obedience in all areas where obedience is due. [Which is really quite limited. And this Pope has chosen thus far to avoid invoking his charism of infallibility in official doctrinal pronouncements for the universal Church.]

———-End Quote———-

OK, I’ve stolen more than enough, but I don’t think I took even 1/3 of the post’s material!  As I said, it’s pretty long (~3500 words?), but quite valuable.

I generally try to go even a bit further on the side of prudent caution than the above, generally restricting my commentary to admittedly pointed, even leading questions, regarding this papal statement or that papal act.  I’ve written a lot on this Pope, and certainly don’t recall every single thing I’ve ever written, but I generally try very hard from making definitive judgments regarding his deeds, limiting myself to those questions or addressing, at most, the prudence of whatever is under consideration.  That’s just my point of view, it doesn’t have to be yours, and I generally don’t have a problem with those who vary on either side – towards a more cautious, non-critical approach, or a more openly critical one.  I do start to have a bit of a problem when those who adhere to one of those positions tries to dictate to others what is permissible for them to do in this regard.   I have always believed as Skojec (and many others) do, and as I think they have demonstrated through strongly reasoned argument, it is licit to point out problematic acts or statements if it is done in in a charitable manner that does not involve final value judgments (this Pope is a heretic, protestant, demon, etc).

YMMV.  May the fireworks begin.

Pope Francis: It may be a heresy, but I agree with the devil that all Christians are one? – UPDATED May 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, pr stunts, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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Pat Archbold has an explosive post related to Pope Francis that is quite possibly the most troubling statement made by this Pontiff yet.  After acknowledging that what he says may not only be controversial, but heretical, he then pronounces that he agrees  with the devil that all Christians, be they evangelical, Orthodox, Lutheran, Catholics, or “Apostolic,” are “one.”  He even pauses, announces out loud his doubts about what he is tempted to say, but then goes ahead and says it anyway.  This starts at 4:10 in the video below:

Now, there are some people at CMR that are attacking Mr. Archbold severely, pretending that Pope Francis did not say what he plainly said.  He is speaking in Spanish, which I read much better than I speak, but I’ve listened to the Pope and read the translation about 10 times now and it’s very close to how I would translate it.  They leave out a bit that I think is important which I’ll include in the transcript below, which is mostly from the subtitles of the video but I make a few changes:

“I feel like saying something that may sound controversial……….or even heretical, I don’t know.  But there is someone who “knows” (sabe – the verb used conveys knowing an intellectual fact) that, despite our differences, we are one.  It is he who is persecuting us*.  It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with the blood of martyrdom**  He knows that Christians are disciples of Christ: that they are one, that they are brothers! He doesn’t care (or he is not interested) that they are Evangelicals , Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics, or Apostolic……he does not care!  They are Christians!  And that blood unites. Today, dear brothers and sisters, we are living an “ecumenism of blood.”

* – So the devil is using muslims as the vehicle of his persecution?  Is this statement intended to absolve muslims for their guilt in murdering Christians around the world in their thousands every month?  “The devil made them do it?”

**- So the devil now anoints us?  What is he anointing us with? The blood – grace – of martyrdom.  So the devil is playing a key role in the dispensing of grace?

Now, there has been tremendous confusion in the Church on just this subject of the ostensible unity of Christians in the post-conciliar period.  This confusion is a prime reason why so many Catholics of conscience have serious concerns over Dignitatis Humanae and other VII products, documents that played key roles in introducing novel concepts regarding just who constitutes the Church and what means unity. The souls arguing against Archbold on this narrow point (he also brings up the scandal of appointing Fr. Timothy Radcliffe to a position of influence at the Vatican, and the Pope’s silence on the Irish sodo-“marriage” vote – those concerns get crickets, everyone is focused on this devil-unity statement) seem very confused on this matter – some persistently argue that because protestant baptisms can be valid, that means unity with the Church. But “unity” properly understood extends far beyond that, and once a protestant, possessing the proper mental faculties, accepts protestant errors condemned by the Church, the Grace of baptism is lost as he has now chosen to place himself outside the Church.  This used to be clear.  Virtually all Catholics used to firmly believe that those outside the Church had only the dimmest chances of salvation – if they believed they had any at all.  But not anymore – which is why a lot of very bright souls wonder how it is possible to reconcile major aspects of the pre-and post-conciliar Magisterium.

Back to the Pope’s statement – my good Lord, have mercy on us. Has there ever been a Pope who would preface a highly controversial (and dubious) theological proposition with, essentially, “This may make me a heretic, but…….?”  Simply on the prudential level, for any Catholic to make a public pronouncement like that is simply incredible, but for a prelate, let alone THE POPE?!?!?!  There simply are no words.

Even if what he were saying were 100% orthodox, to be so imprudent as to promote uncertainty in the Pope’s theological standing, to assail the dignity of the office with a statement that, according to the Pope, might be heretical, to scandalize millions by declaring “I’m just not certain if this is heresy or not, which could land you and me in hell for all eternity, but here goes!”……just wow.

We are in totally uncharted waters.  Yes, yes, John XXII, but that was one narrow matter on which he was clear he spoke as a private theologian. We get no such reassurances here.  And it is almost certainly much more than one narrow topic.

We are deep into the Passion of the Church, indeed.  Our Lady warned us and warned us……

UPDATE: More analysis from Eliot Bougis.  Much of his commentary is directed at Jimmy Akin’s endless, credibility-snapping apologias for papal statements over the past 2 years, including this one.  A quote from that commentary, including a statement by Pope Francis I did not address above:

Third, the biggest problem arises from his claim that the wound of division exists “in the body of the Church”. This is utterly false, and in the “heretical” kind of way, to be sure. The Church is ONE and SPOTLESS; all such “division” is extrinsic to Her. Ironically enough, the divisions Pope Francis is addressing are themselves the result of schismatic Protestant history and an ongoing refusal to seek communion with Rome. So, by calling such divisions the work of the Devil, he’s right–all schism is diabolical, including that fostered by the organizers of the John 17 Movement! [Which meeting in Arizona the Pope’s video was addressing]

Fourth, by saying that “from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, [he] will be with [the John 17 participants] spiritually,” and that he desires to “join [them] as just another participant” in the event, he vaults over the otherwise safe area of merely praying with non-Catholics and dives into formal co-celebration with them. The event in Arizona included Bible teaching and worship, not mere prayers, so, by uniting his person and intentions with the participants, Pope Francis has formally and publicly united himself as a member of Protestant worship,* which is a no-no, even in the post-Conciliar age (cf.Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 8). But, hey, who am I to judge?

Not that any of the above matters, of course. It doesn’t matter what this pope says, whose pious ears he offends, what traditional doctrine and laws he undermines and obscures. He’s the pope, after all. It’s all his show. As “faithful Catholics” we’re just expected to smile and nod.

More shortly, God willing.