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Our Blessed Lord’s warning to pastors of souls who abdicate of their duty June 23, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Bible, catachesis, disconcerting, error, foolishness, General Catholic, priests, secularism, self-serving, the struggle for the Church.
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The great prophet of the Old Testament, Jeremiah, is a type for the faithful priests of today’s Church.  The situation of the Israelites before the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity is a type for the crisis in the Church.  Both have been precipitated by mass desertion from the Faith as God has revealed it to His chosen people, and especially by the failures and even apostasy of those given the great grace, but also responsibility, of spiritual leadership.  Our Lord revealed in inspired and inerrant Scripture that those pastors who are really wolves in sheep’s clothing are to face a terrible reckoning, even more terrible than those fallen Levites who worshiped satan by sacrificing babies and led immoral lives.  But there is also hope offered by our Lord, who promises that the Remnant that remains faithful shall be protected and eventually return to their home and be multiplied.

From Jeremias(h) Chapter XXIII:

Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord.  

Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.

 And I will gather together the remnant of my flock, out of all the lands into which I have cast them out: and I will make them return to their own fields, and they shall increase and be multiplied.  

And I will set up pastors over them, and they shall feed them: they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed: and none shall be wanting of their number, saith the Lord.

Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth. [An obvious reference to the coming of our Lord incarnate in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, but since the Old Testament is a type for the New, and the old temple for our Church, it also refers to the apostasy that will afflict (or is afflicting) the Church prior to the Second Coming]

…….Because the land is full of adulterers, because the land hath mourned by reason of cursing, [false oaths and blasphemies] the fields of the desert are dried up: and their course is become evil, and their strength unlike.

For the prophet and the priest are defiled: and in my house I have found their wickedness, saith the Lord.

Therefore their way shall be as a slippery way in the dark: for they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evils upon them, the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.

 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria: they prophesied in Baal, and deceived my people Israel.

And I have seen the likeness of adulterers, and the way of lying in the prophets of Jerusalem: and they strengthened the hands of the wicked, that no man should return from his evil doings: they are all become unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. [How hideously literally has this prophecy played out in our time, where so many priests have indeed become as the inhabitants of Sodom, and so many female religious as Gomorrah.  And think on this, for all the times our Lord references Sodom in Scripture, and it is many (over a score, at least), His wrath is always kindled and He speaks of their evil as ultimate.  What a rebuke that is to those given over to perverse inclinations, and their apologists, who pretend Sodom was destroyed not for the rank immorality of its inhabitants, but because of a failure of hospitality!  Please, they turn our Lord into a spiteful, vengeful God who wipes out cities for trifling offenses in order to try to justify their sin.  Poor deluded souls.  St. Ephraem’s counsel must be remembered in dealing with people like this]

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts to the prophets: Behold I will feed them with wormwood, and will give them gall to drink: for from the prophets of Jerusalem corruption has gone forth into all the land.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Hearken not to the words of the prophets that prophesy to you, and deceive you: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

They say to them that blaspheme me: The Lord hath said: You shall have peace: and to every one that walketh in the perverseness of his own heart, they have said: No evil shall come upon you. [And to those who are adulterers, they say, “come to Communion,” and for those who are sodomites, they say, “bring us your gifts!”]

For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath seen and heard his word? Who hath considered his word and heard it? [Say the lying temporizers]

Behold the whirlwind of the Lord’ s indignation shall come forth, and a tempest shall break out and come upon the head of the wicked.

The wrath of the Lord shall not return till he execute it, and till he accomplish the thought of his heart: in the latter days you shall understand his counsel…….

……..How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies, and that prophesy the delusions of their own heart?

Who seek to make my people forget my name through their dreams, which they tell every man to his neighbour: as their fathers forgot my name for Baal.

The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream: and he that hath my word, let him speak my word with truth: what hath the chaff to do with the wheat, saith the Lord?

Are not my words as a fire, saith the Lord: and as a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Therefore behold I am against the prophets, saith the Lord: who steal my words every one from his neighbour.

Behold I am against the prophets, saith the Lord: who use their tongues, and say: The Lord saith it. [When they contradict the very Truth our Lord has revealed to us]

Behold I am against the prophets that have lying dreams, saith the Lord: and tell them, and cause my people to err by their lying, and by their wonders: when I sent them not, nor commanded them, who have not profited this people at all, saith the Lord..….[who lead the people to err by their lies, who have not profited this people at all, saith the Lord.  My my]

….Therefore behold I will take you away carrying you, and will forsake you, and the city which I gave to you, and to your fathers, out of my presence.

And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame which shall never be forgotten.

———End Quote———

It’s pretty plain to me.  I know Scripture is open to varying interpretations at times, but given that the Levitical priesthood was all but wiped out during the fall of Jerusalem, this is the kind of warning I would tend to heed.

More on Confession – Resolution/Amendment of life June 23, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Sacraments, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I posted an excerpt from Treasure and Tradition on the Mass last week, always intending to cover two of the four necessary aspects of Confession – contrition and resolution/purpose of amendment.  I discussed contrition last time, so below is the excerpt on resolving to change our lives to not sin again.  Note there are many aspects of this depending on the sin in question and its severity.  Just a brief background which I’m sure is old news to you, but the four aspects of Confession are:

1. We must heartily pray for Grace to make a good confession (preparation)
2. We must carefully examine our conscience (examination)
3. We must take time and care to make a good act of contrition
4.  We must resolve by the help of God to renounce our sins and to amend our life (amendment)

Now on resolving by the Grace of God to renounce our sins and to begin a new life for the future.

Remember we have to make a purpose of amendment.  Now a purpose is not a mere passing wish, it is a strong intention or determination, it is the making up of our mind about something.  Clearly, then, it needs time and thought.  This purpose, as as been said, is really part of our act of contrition, for there can be no true sorrow for the wrong we have done unless we intend not to do it again.  The purpose of amendment we are bound to have is a firm determination to avoid all mortal sin and the proximate occasion of mortal sin.  [if you are an adulterer, and desire to stop adulterating, continuing to see your adulterous partner, even without the intent to consummate the act, would be a grave proximate occasion of sin and would not indicate a purpose of amendment]

When we have fallen into sin we must look back to see what was the occasion.  Any circumstance leading to sin is called an occasion of sin.  It may be proximate or remote.  A proximate occasion is one which usually leads us into sin.  A remote occasion is one in which we sometimes, though seldom, commit sin.  Persons, places, and things may all become occasions of sin, some to one person and some to another.  Certain things, such as bad companions, improper conversations, and bad books, are always proximate occasions of sin.  Should there be any person, place, or thing which, no matter what we do, always leads us into mortal sin, we are bound to keep away from it at any cost. [upon pain of sin]

We should of course resolve to avoid all venial sins, too, and if we have these only to confess, we should pick out one at least, and make a firm resolve about that.  If you cannot make up your mind what to choose, think what our Lord would advise, and you will make a good choice.

Our natural character lays us open to the same temptation, and the routine of our daily life brings round the same occasions. And therefore it is not surprising if we take the same faults to confession again and again.  What we have to do is to lessen the number; to rid ourselves of them by degrees; to turn occasions of sin into occasions of victory; thus, as Saint Augustine says, using them as steps by which to climb up to Heaven.

We do not make a purpose of transfiguration – to become all at once entirely different from what we were – but a purpose of amendment.  Mending is a gradual and a laborious process, whether it be the mending of a stocking or of a man-of-war.  No one expects it to be done all at once.  If God is patient with us, and willing to wait whilst we mend, why should we be so impatient with ourselves! [Great point. I struggle with one stubborn attachment that still persists to this day.  I have overcome other things I feel were much more insidious and difficult to resist and yet this one remains.  It’s not a mortal sin, thank God!, but it is annoying.  But I will overcome it with God’s help and in His time. When I get frustrated I think about the much worse things I have been blessed to overcome and give thanks for those, rather than allow the frustration to gnaw at me.]

In a few minutes you will be confessing your sins before Almighty God and the grandees of the court of Heaven.  Think how ashamed you would be if you had to confess them before your father and mother, brothers, sisters, schoolfellows.  Should you feel less shame to confess before God, the Holy of Holies; before Blessed Mary, conceived without sin; before angels and saints, standing without spot before the great white throne?  [And yet one day, at the general/final judgment, all our sins will be known to all.] The sense of shame does us good and helps us to sorrow.  Think, too, that all that heavenly court looks down lovingly upon you, and is praying for you, and rejoices to see you purifying  your soul in the Precious Blood to be ready for their company some day.  

It happens, however, sometimes, that we have to wait, not a few minutes, but a long time at the confessional, and that having finished our preparation, we begin to look about and get distracted.  This is a pity.  If we like, we may say our Rosary then, or read some holy book.  These will not distract us, but on the contrary, will help us to make a good act of contrition when our turn comes to go in.

 ———End Quote———

I think that will wrap up my excerpting from Treasure and Tradition.  I hope you’ve found these edifying and useful.  If it is all repetitive and just obvious, you’d actually be helping me out letting me know so I can fine tune what works I spend time copying for you to read.  There is an element of self-benefit in everything I blog, but mostly I post things like this because I think and hope they will help others.

Dominus vobiscum!

Pray like mad: working document for upcoming Synod pushes Kasper proposal, “gifts” of sodomy June 23, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, contraception, episcopate, error, Eucharist, family, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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Noted fire-breathing, knuckle-dragging raddest of trad sites Whispers in the Loggia (I kid) has announced the release of the instrumentum laboris, or working document, for the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family and the Destruction of Marriage (I’m sorry, getting a bit jaded).  The text, in spite of having significant portions fail to gain the requisite approval at the Extraordinary Synod, includes the full Kasperite proposal (and goes even further in some respects), as well as the ground-laying language on sodomy which is sure to lead to an eventual push to declare sodomy no longer a sin and some kind of recognition of pretended sodo-marriages.

If you haven’t been praying like mad, now would be a very good time to do so (my emphasis and comments):

And after a second round of global consultation, it has arrived – at Roman Noon, the instrumentum laboris (baseline text) for October’s climactic Synod on the Family was released… for now, however – much like last year’s first volume – the full sequel is only available in Italian.….

……..Among other highlights, the final portion of the framework deals with the proposed changes of practice cited by their supporters as necessary for the church to better respond to families in challenging situations amid current pastoral practice.

On the assembly’s most hot-button issue of all, the instrumentum speaks of a “common accord” among the world’s bishops toward “eventual access” to the sacraments for divorced and civilly remarried couples, but only following “an itinerary of reconciliation or a penitential path under the authority of the [diocesan] bishop,” and only “in situations of irreversible cohabitation.”  [No there was not “common accord.”  These texts were highly divisive.] The text cautions that the proposal is only envisioned “in some particular situations, and according to well-precise conditions,” citing the interest of children born in a second union. On a related front, ample treatment was given to the state of marriage tribunals, with calls for a “decentralization” of the annulment courts and the floating of the “relevance of the personal faith” of spouses in terms of their understanding of the marital bond as a means for declaring the nullity of a marriage. [I’ll just say it: BS.  Just as contraception was put forth by people like Charles Curran as a recourse for well-formed Catholic married couples capable of discerning fine moral points, in practice, the Church has all but abandoned preaching the evil of contraception on a regular basis, and it is used by the large majority of self-described Catholics. The same will happen with divorce, the “precise conditions” (also a feature of the initial Anglican embrace of divorce AND contraception) will disappear overnight and we’ll have mass distribution of the Blessed Sacrament to those in adulterous unions – not that such does not already occur in this country, but the point is, these bishops are tired of fighting the culture, they’re disinclined to accept perennial Church Doctrine and practice, and they are looking for an easy way out.  Period, end of sentence.]

In particular, the latter point echoes a longstanding line of the Pope’s – having quoted the impression of his predecessor in Buenos Aires, the late Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, that “half” of failed Catholic marriages there “are null” solely on the grounds of unformed faith, a papal commission formed quietly by Francis last summer is studying possible changes to the annulment process independent of the Synod itself. No timeline is set for its work. [But this is not how the Church traditionally viewed matters. The only grounds for annulments prior to the US circa 1970 were grave incapacity, failure to consummate, or evidence of marriage against one’s will.  Now in the American context, excuses are sought after the fact to annul a marriage that has, by the bishop’s demand, already failed (the bishops demand a civil divorce before an annulment can be pursued).  And of course the vast majority of the few US annulments appealed to the Roman Rota are rejected.  So something is amiss.  But it seems the desire is to apply the quite scandalous US practice to the universal Church.]

Elsewhere, three paragraphs were devoted to pastoral ministry to families “having within them a person of homosexual orientation.” While reaffirming the 2003 CDF declaration that “there exists no foundation whatsoever to integrate or compare, not even remotely, homosexual unions and the design of God for the family,” the text urges that “independent of their sexual tendency,” gays “be respected in their dignity and welcomed with sensibility and delicateness, whether in the church or society.” [While being clearly apprised of the depravity of their acts and their exclusion from the Blessed Sacrament until they repent of them, right?]

Perhaps most boldly – reflecting a key emphasis of one of the gathering’s three presidents, Cardinal Chito Tagle of Manila – the text emphasizes that “The Christian message must be announced in a language that sustains hope.

“It is necessary to adopt a clear and inviting communication [style],” the instrumentum reads, one that is “open, which doesn’t moralize, judge, nor [aim to] control, and bears witness to the moral teaching of the church, while at the same time remaining sensible to the situations of each person.” [In spite of the lip service to Doctrine, who really believes this will not mean in practice the complete abandonment of the moral doctrine of the Faith, at least as it relates to the groinal issues so sacred to the left?]

Along the same lines, the theme of “mercy” – the core of the extraordinary Holy Year conceived by Francis and opening in December  [including non-ordained ministers of mercy empowered to somehow, I know not how, remit all sins and even the temporal punishment stemming therefrom, to, more or less, “re-baptize” people]  – runs pointedly throughout the document, with the term cited over 30 times. Arguably in a hand-showing of the Pope’s intent, the Synod’s conclusions will be entrusted to the pontiff for him to decide upon, with the results likely to emerge sometime in mid-2016, squarely in the midst of the Jubilee Year he’s chartered.

All that said, especially given the topic’s place at the core of the church’s long polarization on family issues, one word was especially conspicuous by its absence: “contraception.”  [The Japanese term is mokosatsu – to kill with silence]

———-End Quote———–

All I can say is to again exhort readers to as much prayer and penance as possible.  The writing is clearly on the wall.  As Rollo Tomasi Rocco Palmo at Whispers intimates, it is more that slightly significant that the final papal interpretation and enactment of the Synod’s efforts will be introduced at the high point of the Holy Year of Mercy.  All the pieces point in a direction quite opposite to a Humanae Vitae moment, where Pope Paul VI, contrary to the recommendations he had received and his own inclinations, was compelled to repeat the perennial Church judgment of all  contraceptive-use as inherently immoral.

But the indications at that time similarly pointed to a change in Church Doctrine, and that somehow did not happen, much to the consternation of the progressives of the world.  We can only pray the Holy Ghost will intervene again if necessary and insure the doctrinal cohesiveness of the Faith.  Speaking from a human point of view, things don’t look too hopeful right now.  Who knows, maybe the bishops will surprise us again and not approve the more problematic aspects.  Our God is a God of surprises, we’re told, right?

Pope: weapons manufacturers who call themselves Christians are hypocrites June 23, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Christendom, disconcerting, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, pr stunts, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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So…….they have that going for them.  I’ll preface the post by saying this explosive comment as quoted below is confirmed by Zenit in its entirety.  In fact, I’m going to switch from the Reuters report below to Zenit as I go along, so  you can get see the quote in context.

I really don’t know what to say anymore, this comes from the endless stream of off-the-cuff, rambling discourses made after the Pope spikes his prepared text, in this case, in Turin.  Blanket condemnations like these lacking any distinction or apparent charity for those concerned have been the hallmark of this papacy.  This kind of statement is not only imprudent, it approaches calumny.  Weapons of all kinds are tools and while they may be unpopular in certain quarters (especially among progressives, whose distaste for weaponry is only exceeded by their ignorance of it) simply designing, building, and selling them cannot be said to be immoral.  It depends entirely on the circumstances:

People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.

“If you trust only men you have lost,” he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.

“It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to applause.

OK, so here I cut to Zenit, for the entire quote:

It makes me think one thing: people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! “No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no …. I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.” Ah! And why? “Because the interest is somewhat higher …” And a double face is also a current coin today: to say something and do another. Hypocrisy…….[That’s a pretty nasty little comment about being two faced.  He immediately segues into genocides (Armenia, Jews in WWII), as if the arms manufacturers somehow precipitated them.]

Now back to Reuters:

He also criticised those who invest in weapons industries, saying “duplicity is the currency of today … they say one thing and do another”.

Francis also built on comments he has made in the past about events during the first and second world wars.

He spoke of the “tragedy of the Shoah,” using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

“The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb (the railway lines)?”

OK, no offense to His Holiness, but his comments are internally contradictory.  He makes plain in this last quote that military force/weaponry CAN do good things. He claims the Allies were bad for not bombing the railways to the concentration camps. There were many reasons for not doing so, which I won’t go into now, but the matter is not so simple as Pope Francis makes it out to be.

And what if they had?  The Germans were past masters at overcoming the effects of incredibly heavy bombing.  Reading the biography of Kurt von Schuschnigg makes clear that even in 1945 the trains ran nearly on time, with only periodic delays to repair tracks that were cut by bombing (which were usually repaired in hours if not minutes).  The point being, the Allies could have bombed the railroad tracks till they were blue in the face and it would have had only the slightest of impacts on the death toll in those camps, but it would have had a very negative impact on the main goal of the war – the defeat of Nazi Germany. In fact, such a campaign could have prolonged the war and led to MORE deaths, not fewer.  All this criticism of the Allies for their failure to “do something” about the death camps is just so much after the fact liberal hand-wringing with more than a tinge of moral superiority.  The Allies did in fact do much to stop the killings in the death camps, by invading and conquering Germany at the earliest possible moment. That was the only really effective way to stop the attempted extermination of the Jews.

There is an aspect of tragedy about this Pope.  Moments before he made these silly, reflexively progressive statements about arms manufacturers, he have a really very moving exegesis on the virtue of chastity.  It was very good, but it is also completely forgotten and ignored, washed away in the media firestorm over these strange statements the Pope seems incapable of restraining himself from making.  The good this Pope says or does gets washed away in the constant stream of media-friendly, progressive-friendly rhetoric.

As to his more general comments on the arms industry, others have already pointed out instances where military force and armaments have certainly been used for moral good. Goodness, the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity was marked by a decisive military victory.

I think this is yet another instance where Francis’ provincialism really shows.  The military has been persona non grata in Argentina since 1983 when the last of the juntas fell.  Due to their role in the ugly shadow civil war that gripped Argentina (initiated by attempted marxist takeover of the country) for decades prior, the military is viewed highly unfavorably by a large majority of Argentines, especially those associated with the Peronist camp (which, ironies never cease: Peron came to power through military coups, being an army general, and the present government is hardly innocent when it comes to use of force against dissent).  Argentina has almost no arms industry to speak of (though I did get a nice gun from BERSA recently).  There once was a decent sized one, but as part of the general falling out of favor of all things military it has been allowed to collapse.  This lack of respect for the armed forces is a pretty common feature of Latin American life, since the military in most of those countries is used much more to deal with internal threats rather than external ones.

So Pope Francis comes from a milieu that sees the military as populated by sickos who want to work their fantasies of violence on innocents, and armaments as the tools they use to do so.  It is the polar opposite of how most people in the Anglosphere tend to view the military, with a 3 or 400 year history of its use primarily to deal with foreign threats rather than as a tool to crush internal dissent.

The tragedy of Francis’ provincialism is that contra a much more cosmopolitan Pope like Benedict XVI or John Paul II, Pope Francis seems to have a great deal of difficulty expanding his worldview beyond his own narrow experience.  He views the world from a profoundly Argentine, but even more, Peronist viewpoint, with all the biases and limitations that implies.  He seems to have a great deal of difficulty recognizing that other people have had radically different experiences with whatever – the military, capitalism, technology, industrialization – aspect of society he wants to decry, and that their experience gives them a very different appreciation of these matters.  And since so many of these matters he gets exercised about, from how to deal with ostensible global warming to the right conduct of the arms trade, are matters of prudence, he winds up casting an awful lot of people out of the Church for what are disagreements on prudential matters.

I feel bad for my many friends who serve in the military or work for Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Vought, General Dynamics, Bell Helicopter, and many other places.  This is surely a a discomfiting thing for them to hear.  Given how many people attracted to the TLM work in these kinds of industries, I hope some good traditional priest can give a sermon that sets the record straight on the morality of being employed in such endeavors.  I’ve tried a a bit above, but I’m neither a theologian or priest, and so my response is necessarily limited.

And so the sadness continues.  A little more Pope coverage today, then I’m going to take a break for a while, barring any really momentous events.