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Keeping focus on the crisis in the Faith is critical and charity for souls demands it November 16, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Admin, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, different religion, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, sanctity, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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I’ve had some discussions with several traditional/”orthodox” Catholics, maybe even including some priests, of late who have remarked to me that there is little point in constantly “carping” on or “whining” about the crisis in the Church.  With regard to my blog, that would include posts examining the history of the crisis, or specific manifestations of it today, or reviewing/excerpting books that discuss it in earnest, etc.  I have to say, I very, very much disagree with this viewpoint. I understand it, on a couple of levels, but I think it really misguided.

I would say to priests and others who have some reluctance to “dwell” on the crisis in the Church, yes, you may have been raised in a traddie home, read all the books, and maybe even gone on to become a traditional priest.  All this may be very old hat to you.  You may be sick of talking about it, or, more likely, having to fend off very uncomfortable questions that arise surrounding the crisis, and its particular apotheosis under the pontificate of Pope Francis.  And, yes, sometimes (very rarely in my experience) some folks get so twisted off regarding the crisis in the Church that they wind up falling away entirely.  While the latter is something to keep in mind, it should not be so omnipresent as to make discussing the crisis either a chore, or something one refuses (or are extremely reluctant) to do.

Why?  Because while someone who has been blessed to be in traditional communities for decades may be dreadfully familiar with the crisis and all its particulars, millions of others are not.  Every year, every week, hundreds if not thousands of Catholics in this country alone, many of them converts, wake up to the reality that the Church as they experience it every week in your typical Novus Ordo parish is not at all what the Church is supposed to be.  These people don’t know the SSPX, Michael Davies, Romano Amerio, Dr. Roberto de Mattei, or the FSSP.  If they’re anything like I was ~8 years ago, they’ve never even heard of any of them. They don’t know if the TLM is valid or not, and have no idea what is meant by “traditional practice of the Faith”.  They see the Pope and many others saying and doing incredible things, destructive things, and they aren’t sure if its right or not.  Even more, they are extremely uncertain if it is possible to be a faithful Catholic and to examine the Church of today critically in the light of Tradition.  Many have been told that to do so is to make oneself a possible heretic or schismatic, or at least a “bad Catholic”.

In a very real sense, those souls are abandoned in the Church today.  It is a matter of either blind luck or special divine intervention if they don’t fall away before finding a traditional/orthodox parish that provides the answers – and far more importantly, the spiritual food – they so desperately crave. In fact, in my mind, there is a far, far greater likelihood of those kinds of souls falling away entirely, into sects that seem to make more sense and offer far greater spiritual sustenance than the pablum fed souls in most parishes today, than there is of souls scandalizing themselves out of the Church by getting overwrought in their too-great knowledge of the crisis.

When I say that, I am thinking much of my own experience, and that of other souls who have been blessed to follow a certain path.  We managed to stumble into a TLM parish, almost entirely by word of mouth (because almost all dioceses that have TLMs try very hard to pretend they don’t), and through Grace and the presence of good priests and other good orthodox souls managed to start to learn about the Church prior to the Council.  But we are a tiny minority.  The vast majority of souls in the Church who feel spiritually starved or distraught over the abuses and heresy they face on a constant basis never make that connection. Instead, they leave.  I can name dozens off the top of my head who have followed that route.  They outnumber those who found a good home (almost always traditional, but sometimes not) probably 5:1 or more.  More distressingly, they outnumber those trads who “scandalize themselves out of the Faith 20:1 or more.

I pray I never forget where I was several years ago, when I was starting to learn about the Faith in earnest and gaining the rapidly dawning realization that what I found in your typical suburban parish in Plano or Richardson was a very far cry from the Faith as it has existed throughout almost her entire history, until recently.  And that’s why I won’t stop talking about the crisis, I won’t stop pointing up particular examples of it, and I won’t stop repeating the responses from the Church’s bi-millenial Tradition that effectively answer the claims of modernists and provide guidance to souls who are desperately craving such.  I will continue to do so even if it means this blog’s readership falls off, as some get tired of reading the same old thing over and over again.

On that note, I’ve always maintained that this blog is meant to confirm the faithful, less than convert those outside the Church, and it is, but it is especially meant to help those who have been in the Novus Ordo, post-conciliar wilderness their entire lives find the path to traditional sanity and, I pray, sanctity.  My most cherished “achievements” as a blogger will always be the handful who have told me they converted to the Church through my writings.  I have no idea to what degree that is true, but I am profoundly thankful and humbled to have played what I’m sure was a small role in that process.  More to the point, however, while always striving to be aware of the poorness of my efforts, I am almost as proud to have been inspiration for the few dozen souls who have told me they started assisting at the TLM and adopting a much more traditional practice of the Faith after reading my blog.

Please forgive my braggadocio.  I highlighted these “achievements” (which were absolutely God’s, not mine), not to toot my own horn but to stress the very practical reasons for this blog’s focus.  The crisis in the Church is THE topic that dominates all others, aside from the always paramount necessity to practice virtue, receive the Sacraments, and correspond to the best of our ability with God’s Grace.  I try to post about daily some material that is uplifting and hopefully helpful to souls in that correspondence with Grace, but on a practical level the crisis is the unavoidable topic, it looms over everything like a deadly shadow.  To ignore it, to pretend it doesn’t exist, to try to wish it away, would be to me to be irrelevant.  Even more, it would mean to me to fail in my duty of charity to souls, to not give them the fullest picture of the Church in these days as I understand it, the unbelievable crisis afflicting the Church, and the only possible response: return to Tradition, centered, wherever possible, on grounding one’s life in the Traditional Mass and all the Sacraments.

I am saddened that in this time, when the crisis has grown particularly acute and may even exceed the dread days of the late 60s/early 70s in terms of destructiveness, it seems not everyone is willing to forthrightly answer the errors emanating from the highest levels of the Church and to elucidate souls in a proper response to them (that is to say, to tell souls that rejecting these errors is not merely permissible, it is a moral imperative).  I pray all our good leaders may realize it is not whining or complaining to point out, even with grave frequency, the elephant in the Catholic living room, the revolution against the Church from within.  To me, it is the paramount duty to charity and truth to address this unprecedented crisis.  Pray forgive me if my doing so becomes tiresome, but whether it is or not, I feel a definite compulsion to continue.  I firmly believe at this time Our Blessed Lord absolutely desires His Church, His Body on earth, to be purified and restored to her former glory.

May we be blessed with far more leaders who feel quite similarly called.

 

Comments

1. Claire - November 17, 2015

Thank you, sir. May God bless you.

2. Brian - - November 17, 2015

“Maybe even including some priests….who have remarked to me that there is little point in constantly “carping” on or “whining” about the crisis in the Church”

I have heard this too. It puzzles me greatly why Priests are not outraged about this infidelity in their midst. They are married too, you know!

And I think, if there were infidelity in MY house; if my wife introduced a lover in front of my kids and presented prostitution as an expansion of love and enhancement of family life, how would I respond? I like peace and tranquility as much as any Priest. Why not turn the other cheek and let him in? My wife SEEMS the same, Except for the man who keeps showing up every day visiting her and disappearing into my bedroom, life goes on normally. My kids keep up with school and sports. I am well fed and my TV works fine. We still go to Mass. SHOULD I complain? Should I question this strange new male presence in my house? My wife gets angry when I mention it. Saying something leads to discord. Silence leads to peace and quiet.

Nah! I’ll take discord. Get the peckerwood out of my house. Everything else is irrelevant until he is gone with a footprint in his butt and I have my wife back, heart, body and soul again. There is no peace as long as he is sharing my house and wife with me.

So where is the Priestly outrage? Is it a problem, or not?

LaGallina - November 17, 2015

Ha! Great analogy, Brian. I, too, am longing for the priests to step up and speak out. That is why so many of us love Fr. Michael Rodriguez — He is not afraid to speak on the crisis.

Back in 2013 when I first found this blog, I was one of those devout, confused Catholics who needed to understand more about the crisis in the Church. I was actively searching for truth and asking God to help me find it. That’s when I found this blog, the Remnant, and Catholic Family News. Suddenly it all began to make sense. I may have given up on the Catholic Church if I hadn’t discovered Tradition! (I knew it was out there. I just didn’t know how to find it.)

Thanks, Tantum, for saying it like it is. If the priests won’t speak out, at least the laity will.

Tantumblogo - November 17, 2015

I knew the readers of this blog are quite astute. I thought you guys would figure it out. This post was a direct reply to a specific conversation. There have been others that are similar, to be sure, but this has been an ongoing frustration for me going back months. You could say it is a local phenomenon, but since a promise was forced from me not to give the, ah…..local situation……a black eye, I have to be very careful what I say.

Brian - - November 17, 2015

Not sure what all is implied, but please let me add to the other comments how much I appreciate your efforts, not to mention the fantastic material and comment. A calm, reasoned, faithful service to be sure.

Tantumblogo - November 17, 2015

Sorry to be opaque. You might say the local situation has to do with my parish.

3. Brian E. Breslin - November 17, 2015

Tantum,as so many of us have told you, you rock, man. We owe you a lot. Keep writing this blog and also relax a bit now and then, eh?

4. L. Chapman - November 17, 2015

Absolutely keep up the blog, pointing out errors and truths in the Church. We never know when a kernel will fall into good soil. God has His own time and season for each soul, we just have to keep plowing the soil. God bless you and your family.

5. Guest - November 17, 2015

The priests are caught in a choice between keeping a vow of obedience to a man they think is pope and obedience to the popes before him. In the 1960s most priests decided to become members of the new sect in the name of obedience. Even many priests who know more than the laity refuse to acknowledge that the Church is in an eclipse and the visible church teaches the opposite of the pre-Vatican II Church. Instead we have novel doctrines such as “As long as the apostate doesn’t speak ex cathedra he is still Pope” and “we can resist the pope”. I have done reading on this and we own obedience to the man we acknowledge as pope. The idea that we can disobey him in matters of faith, discipline and so forth is what schism is. Those who have honest doubts about the pope are not schismatic, so long as they accept the papacy. Too many people whom we trusted were anti-sedevacantists, and too many cannot acknowledge the horror we see in front of us and what evils have been done in the name of being in communion with heretics who claim to be popes.

Brian - - November 17, 2015

Good points, but I don’t understand your conclusion:

“The idea that we can disobey him in matters of faith, discipline and so forth is what schism is.”

Schism is not disobeying the Pope. It is disobeying the clearly defined teachings of Holy Mother Church. Even the Pope can be in schism under that definition.

There are two different issues at play. (1) Accept the Pope as legitimate occupant of Peter’s seat. (2)How do we then render proper obedience?

The current Pope (whoever it may be) does not act on his own in isolation from previous Popes and especially from Jesus. He has authority ONLY insofar as he is in union with Jesus, previous Popes, with the Bible, with the Magisterium.

This Pope has introduced dramatic changes to the faith and morals of the Faithful. It is really not even a choice. He MUST be disobeyed, insofar as this is true.

It is like a family in which a Father asks his child to go to the corner and procure crack for his drug habit. The child refuses. His refusal IS obedience to parental authority, properly understood. He still acknowledges his father is father, while disobeying his direct order.

The Pope has wide latitude to act, but he can NOT act against Faith and Morals as defined by Holy Mother Church. Disobedience is required in that case.

Guest - November 19, 2015

Where are you getting your theology from? Please read actual Church teaching on the matter. The pope is not a bad father. He’s not Catholic, period. As such he is not a member of the Church and has no authority. The one thing that kept me in the recognise and resist position was the idea that these people really know Church teaching. But they talk about things they don’t really know. Their arguments sound sound, but what the Church actually teaches contradicts them. A natural father will always be your father, but the pope doesn’t have popery in his DNA and as such can cease being pope.

6. Peter - November 17, 2015

I’m now where you were, going to what I now know from “traddie” blogs is “the Novus Ordo Mass” and sensing that something is not right. Your blog and others have opened my eyes. I don’t agree with it all but it has helped me begin to understand why things are not quite right in the Church. In reading traddie blogs, I have to resist the sins of gossip and being like a Pharisee, not the Bergoglian charicature but a real Pharisee as was described in a recent informative article at Aleteia . Thanks for all you do. Keep up the good work.

Lynne - November 17, 2015

Peter, as you go forward in your learning, be careful in your reading. Many of the bloggers at Patheos seem to have migrated to Aleteia. They are the “nothing to see here, move along, don’t judge” Catholics.

Question everything.

Peter - November 17, 2015

Good advice, thank you. I feel abandoned by my earthly shepherds. That’s what hurts most of all.

H-town - November 18, 2015

They’ve all moved to Aleteia because Elizabeth “Mean Lizzie” Scalia is now the editor (she started the Patheos Catholic site). But it’s all the same old rehashed neoCatholic garbage, avoid unless you like to poke fun at them.

7. Lynne - November 17, 2015

And thank you, Tantum for all the work you do. I’m sure you’ve helped many more than you realize.

8. Elizabeth Ann - November 17, 2015

Amen! Thank you for writing this blog.

I do think priests should address all the troubles and concerns so as to help people navigate these rough waters and know better how to respond and cope with the negativity, discouragement and confusion. For the average Catholic in the pew who is trying to hold down a job, pay bills, educate their kids to have to wonder now about the one Institution, the Church, they believed to be true and trusted (fallout due in part to the circus synod; media and weak diocesan leadership) is far above their understanding and sets off cynicism and discouragement. Combine this with poor formation and inconsistency in practice and those families find more and more excuses not to go to Mass or live the faith and before long, they’re out the door and heading to the mega church down the street (with their teens who’re already going there for the Friday night socials) where the minister (speaker) personlizes his sermon by addressing the concerns of his audience, speaking out against what’s wrong, giving specifics as to how to deal with it, all the while quoting from the Bible with emphatic prayer. Is this not where “pastoral care” begins? How many Catholic priests speak to what’s happening in the lives of their parishioners and the life of the modern day Church? I assume they don’t because their local Bishop doesn’t either . Look at what many of our local Parish Priests are writing about on their social media outlets (blogs, FB, Twitter) who rarely spotlight the social and moral ills of the day by drawing connections to the Bible and/or catechism, instead it reflects vainglory, secularism, ecumenism even new age spirituality (one priest featured a vulgar photo of Miley Cyrus in one blog post!). Not sure how this translates to “pastoral care” or evangelization. As the Shepherd of the flock, they need to LEAD the blind sheep away from the wolves, NOT into them by their neglect, denial and wishful thinking.

So, this is why we need THIS blog and your voice of conviction. Wish washy milk toast faith abounds, but your insights, wisdom and inspiration give me the tools I need to help myself, my family and those around me, journey on through the darkness of this spiritual storm we find ourselves in now and for years to come. God bless you and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide you in writing and speaking the Truth.

9. skeinster - November 17, 2015

I think this depends, in large part, on motive and execution.

Fwiw, I think your motive is as pure as you can make it, and know that you examine it on a regular basis. And you’ve always aimed for balance, putting in the devotional and uplifting posts, as well.
So, good job.

A thought- I entered the Church in ’85, when troubling news about the Church (and contrary to the opinion of some of our current young Turks, there were plenty of people who were aware of the problems then) wasn’t available on a 24 hr. loop. The Wanderer was a weekly, The Society of St. Joseph’s newletter was bi-monthly, Human Life International was a monthly publication, as was Fidelity magazine. Heck, the newspaper only arrived once a day.

So, the bad news was out there, but people had time to consider and digest it before the next batch arrived. Which is no longer the case, and if we don’t watch ourselves, we will be overloaded and burnt out
and vulnerable to the despair TB mentions.

I have given up almost all Catholic blogs for a couple of reasons.
I’ve been in and out of the Trad community for over twenty years, so
there’s very little I haven’t heard.
My time and energy are limited and must go to other responsibilities,
there is nothing concrete that I can do about many of the things reported, other than pray and sacrifice, so I’d rather spend my resources there.

My point- each one of us must examine ourselves and discern our own limitations re: bad news. and everyone’s mileage will vary.

10. tg - November 17, 2015

I appreciate your blog and I read it everyday. Keep up what you are doing. I wish you and your readers were at a parish near me. I feel I could connect with you guys.

Tantumblogo - November 17, 2015

Thank you! I hope this is a sort of virtual parish for those who don’t have one that provides what they need. Not that I’m anything like a priest, but hopefully the camaraderie and support is there.

11. Shari - November 17, 2015

I am a life long Catholic and my soul so looks forward to your writings everyday. You have saved me from leaving to search out a Greek Orthodox Church. You have been able to explain why I have heard discordant notes within the Church and having an understanding from your writings have kept me in the Roman Catholic Church. ..And just knowing the RCC traditional treasures are still within the Church is comforting although I may not physically experience to the degree I would like in my own parish. Thank you and God bless you

Tantumblogo - November 17, 2015

And thank you too! God bless you!

12. H-town - November 18, 2015

If it means anything, your blog is one of my top three or four go-to Catholic sites. Great job T-blogo! frankly I don’t know how you find the time, but I’m glad you do.


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