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Query: is it possible for traditional parishes to become too large? May 10, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, Sacraments, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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We have been blessed by a particular “problem” at our local FSSP parish.  This church has grown like wildfire since it moved out of the convent and into its own facility, a converted Korean Methodist church that was rundown when bought but which has been restored to something quite nice.  Since that time, roughly the beginning of 2010, the parish has at least doubled in attendance, with a fourth Sunday Mass added recently and more and more new faces showing up every week.

I don’t have updates on the latest Sunday attendance figures over Holy Week but I’m quite certain they are now surpassing 1000 souls per Sunday.  That’s quite small by typical NO parish sizes, but makes our local parish perhaps the largest, in terms of weekly attendance, traditional parish in the world.

Mind, this is after two priests were permanently assigned to a parish in Fort Worth, 30 miles away, and two priests are also in Tyler, 90 miles away.  The three priests at our parish are swamped, and there is talk of bringing in a fourth.

Which gets to my question – is there an optimal size for traditional parishes?  Traditional Catholic parishes are much more than just the Mass, they are the community, they are the intimate involvement of the priests in every level of catechesis, they are Sacraments always offered by priests and not deacons, they are communities where the priests try to visit the homes of every parishioner at least once (and generally, more than that).  This is to say, a priest at a traditional parish is a true father to the souls in his charge, attempting to know all the families at least a little bit and taking great concern over the state of their souls.

As such, at a certain size, no matter how many priests are assigned, can a traditional parish not outgrow itself?  Would it not be better to build a new parish to split some of the congregation off?  Is that not what the Church did for centuries?  And weren’t most parishes, outside the largest urban areas, smaller in attendance than the (it must be said) ludicrous situations we have today, where two priests supposedly supply pastoral care to a notional 15,000 families?

To me, the situation in Dallas is getting to the point where serious consideration for a second traditional parish should be underway.  It is not unforeseeable that the current parish could have 2000 people assisting on a given Sunday within a decade, after the new church gets built (as we’ve outgrown the one acquired in 2010).  Even with 3 confessionals, can you imagine the lines?!

Add to that the factor that many souls drive 20, 30, 50, even 100 miles to assist at Mass.  Much of the parish attendance comes from the northern suburbs, and I’m positive that should a second Fraternity or other traditional parish open in Plano or McKinney, there would be no problem with attendance or funding.  But would Bishop Farrell allow it?  I keep hearing the words of a local diocesan (non-FSSP) priest ringing in my ears – “the Traditional Mass will never be offered  in this diocese outside Mater Dei.”

What do you think?  Do you agree that traditional parishes are best if they don’t grow beyond a certain size?  Believe me, this is not a “I want this to myself” complaint, I constantly invite folks to Mater Dei, but I’m concerned that much of what makes a traditional parish special can be lost if it becomes too much of a behemoth. I think there is also a practical benefit in having more than one location, as there are more than a few folks who would assist at a TLM were it 10 minutes away, instead of 45 minutes to an hour.  Might not four priests spread among 2 parishes not result in more folks assisting at the TLM than four priests at one parish?  Isn’t bringing more souls back to the traditional practice of the Faith, and giving them the best shot at Heaven, the point of it all?

But really, it’s mine all MINE and I want you OUT!

Conservatism without Christianity is pointless….. May 10, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, Restoration, Revolution, secularism, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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……but even more, conservatism in the modern political parlance has been a chimera, founded on false assumptions, something some of us (me) have wasted decades defending.  But before you get your dander up, read to the end.

I read a long post at a blog I’d never seen before over the weekend, and I thought the author was pretty sharp for identifying leftism as a false religion.  He apparently arrived at this conclusion after reading Eric Hoffer’s analysis of mass movements.

He’s got some pretty good analysis below, but at several points he veers into error so extreme that it fatally undermines the whole. This kind of fundamental error is something that is pervasive in modern conservative thought.  His biggest error is systemic: he is an atheist conservative who recognizes the need for Christianity as a pillar of society but, in the height of hubris, rejects the Faith for himself.  I don’t mean to fisk the below, but I think this material I quote is so tightly related with the main thrust of the previous post I did that I’m going to have to pick  on the guy, well-intentioned though I’m sure he is (and I appreciate having an atheist recognize the great positives in Christianity, rather than simply attacking it with a, uh…..religious…..fervor).

Picking up his blog post at the relevant point (my emphasis and comments):

Call Out and “Shame” Progressive Mass Movements For What They Are: Religions

Mass movements can be identified and named by their religious symbolism.  They share installation of religious themes into practical matters, or in Hoffer’s words, “religiofication.”  Hoffer declares atheism is a religion [it’s another variation of leftism]……..

“For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious [xiii, 86]”,……. Hoffer cites the 19th Century-era historian-philosopher Ernest Renen (d.1892) who warned that Socialism was “the coming religion” and that being secular, it would lead to a religiofication of politics and economics [158].  [Which is exactly what we’ve seen]

…we need to continually refer to mass movements as militantly religious, identifying and calling out specifics.  The True Believer “is one of the chosen, bolstered and protected by invincible powers, and destined to inherit the earth [126.]”  Militant atheists wage jihad with as much fervor as any radicalized Muslim. [So is this a call to Aristotlean moderation in all things, or?]

We have also got to embrace the truth that appeals based on logic and logical reasoning do not affect The True Believer, who is immune to logic and reason and other sources of morality [86][B as in B, S as in S.  That’s what separates Christianity, and especially Catholicism, from all other religions. No other faith is so amenable towards, nor grounded in, clear philosophical reasoning and scientific argumentation.  It is one of the distinguishing markers of the Catholic Faith, that it is SO grounded in reason and not reliant simply on unthinking obeisance to nonsensical divine commands, a la islam. But I can forgive an atheist for not knowing this, because he’s never seen real Catholicism in his life] Avoid the frustration upfront.  I don’t mean we stop finding and highlighting illogical contradictions in their [leftism] ideologies and constant hypocrisies and projections, however.  In fact, we need to explain the roots of these contradictions and hypocrisies are actually pathologies. [The root of which IS……….rejection of the Christian God]

…….We have got to constantly, and loudly, align the modern Progressive mass movements with other violent and destructive mass movements like National Socialism, neocommunism, and violent Islamism.  Hoffer recognized that followers of mass movements—even those apparently at opposite ideological poles—are in fact, at the same pole. [Agreed. But this guy may not be in the camp he thinks he is]

…….Hoffer argues fanatics [cannot??] be  convinced; they can only be converted to another mass movement [86], hopefully one which is positive, like Christianity.  I say this as a 99% atheist: we need a lot more Christians and a lot less of the other destructive mass movements of our day which are actively supplanting Christianity as a mass movement.  Unfortunately, a Christian revival is unlikely to occur without a corresponding human extinction event.  [I fear he’s right on that last point.  But “as a 99% atheist” but also a self-proclaimed conservative, I believe he’s much more part of the problem than he is willing to realize]

Do what you can to support and respect Christianity and its role in a stable America, despite your personal religious or irreligious beliefs.  This will sound strange to evangelicals, but Christianity in America is “much more” than “just” about the eternal salvation of souls.

There’s a great deal to agree with in the above, but none is so blind as he who will not see.  He’s pretty much declaring that the only way to overturn the leftist revolution rapidly destroying Western Civilization is a Christian – by which he means Catholic – revival, but then he excuses himself from taking part in that revival by his adherence to atheism.

It’s possible the author may read this, so I’d just like to ask him, if Christianity has so many extremely positive, indeed, necessary, characteristics, if they are responsible for most if not all of what is good in Western culture, how could you not be one?  Even on a strictly natural level, those would be very powerful incentives for adopting Christianity.

But far more, I’d tell the author that by professing atheism he is not the conservative he thinks, but in fact adheres to one of the many variants of leftism/progressivism.  That is to say, his conservativism, to the extent he holds it, is false at worst, disordered at best.  Even more, by his own analysis, as an atheist, he is helping to contribute to the progressive cause (by undermining Christianity, at least tacitly), because he is failing to adhere to the belief system most responsible for the success of Western civilization over 2000 years.  It’s a shocking level of cognitive dissonance.

But this kind of cognitive dissonance – this lack of faith – has been a prime characteristic of the conservativish reaction towards leftism going back 100 years or more.  Sure, I’m “conservative” – just give me my three frivorces*, contraception, side piece, and usury.

Or, of course I’m conservative, but what can I do but vote?  Which mentality plays right into the hands of a system increasingly (or always?) rigged to give us two false choices. The left does a lot more than just vote.

That doesn’t even get into one’s definition of what it means to be a conservative.  Most American conservatives hold beliefs that would have been very radical even a few decades ago.  For most people, “conservative” and “liberal” in the American context have devolved into two sides of the same coin, and are probably meaningless due to the disordered nature of this nation’s founding political and religious orientation.

Far better terms are either orthodox or traditional, and are inescapably attached to their religious meaning.  The only true conservative, then, is one guided by orthodox Christian beliefs.  To try to be conservative outside the Catholic-Christian context is to be virtually assured of holding at least some radical beliefs, and to tend to at least some degree towards the revolutionary mentality inherent in leftism.

Which mentality has always stemmed from the original revolutionary, satan.  It only took a few hundred years of revolution from the left for Saul Alinsky to make that connection explicit.

We can see how few conservatives there are, then.  In fact, the label “conservative” should really simply drop away, to be replaced with the far more apt name, Christian or Catholic.  Doing so also points out that there are differences in belief between what most modern conservatives hold (especially surrounding the unrestrained free market, usurous practices, etc), and the Doctrine of the Faith.

I may be painting myself into a very small corner, and seem to be defining right political belief down to a kind of tribalism, but if the author of the piece above is right – the only thing that can save Western Civilization is a great Christian revival – and I firmly believe he is, then defining “conservatism” or right political belief into orthodox/traditional Catholicism is not counterproductive, it’s not parochialism, but is entirely necessary.  For any such revival to succeed, it must be grounded on correct first principles.

That’s not to say coalitions can’t be built and accommodations at times made, but, generally speaking, Christians have been much too accommodating in the past, and all it has gotten us is a pagan culture that is gearing up to persecute the heck out of us.  If Trump represents the collapse of the disordered semi-Christian social conservative movement, perhaps it’s time to rebuild the movement from the ground up in a more orthodox manner. And perhaps it’s time to stop thinking about winning the war for this culture, and planting the seeds for the next.

It may not seem like it, but I spent way too much time on this!  This post has been something of a thought experiment, so it might seem not fully developed (in spite of the time spent), or it might seem dumb and off-base.  What I am trying to convey is the errors I see at the root of the American conservative movement, errors which predicated its ultimate failure as presently construed.  I’ve written 1500 words, which is a longish post, but even that only barely allows me to skim the surface of a complex subject.  I can’t focus on writing like I did in the past so forgive me if this comes across as either obvious or wrong-headed.

*- frivorce = frivolous divorce

Those whom God will destroy He first makes mad   May 10, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, paganism, persecution, Revolution, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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A really good sermon below on the madness overtaking our culture, the natural resort of millions of souls rejecting God and His Truth.  But it’s more than just a natural effect, it is also a supernatural one.  God will allow our sins to destroy us.  We are very deep into the West’s final descent into madness.  A culture that can no longer tell male from female is one that is not long for this world, and it is one that is very far beyond any natural means of restoration:

Check out the bit from John Maynard Keynes.  He admits that as an atheist he both had a deliberate plan to destroy Christianity (which paints an entirely different light on his disastrous economic theories), and at the same time benefited from being raised in a still-Christian culture.  He knows that the post-Christian culture he helped create will be filled with emptiness and endless misery – and yet he still worked feverishly to that end?  Demonic possession, much?

In a world full of madmen the sane will be judged insane.  And since leftism is, more than anything else, an anti-Christian religion, not only will faithful Catholics be viewed as cray-cray, but as apostates and hateful bigots.  As just a bit of illustration of this future rushing into seemingly inevitable focus, a Harvard professor has declared that now that Christians have “definitively lost” the culture wars, they should be treated like Nazis:

Tushnet blames what he calls the “culture wars” on conservatives, and he says liberals should now make conservatives pay. “The culture wars are over; they lost, we won,” he writes in italics. Tushnet claims that conservatives “had opportunities to reach a cease fire, but rejected them in favor of a scorched earth policy.” [Remember: leftists always lie, leftists always project]

So what’s next? Tushnet explains: “the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars.” And his answer isn’t comforting: “My own judgment is that taking a hard line (‘You lost, live with it’) is better than trying to accommodate the losers.”

Tushnet explains his unwillingness to respect the rights of the “losers”: “Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.)”

Ah, yes, if the “losers” of the American “culture wars” are the functional equivalent of racists and Nazis, then Tushnet’s argument works wonderfully. But if Orthodox Jews, Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Latter-day Saints, faithful Muslims, and other Americans who believe that marriage is the union of a man and woman are decent members of society, maybe Tushnet should reconsider his hostility.

When one holds religious beliefs with a white-hot intensity, then any deviation from those beliefs becomes totally unacceptable heresy, heresy that must be crushed at all costs.  The reason why Christians have lost the culture wars over the past several decades is because the faith of the leftists in their sexual pagan demonic paradise dystopia has been, on the whole, stronger than the faith of most Christians, and especially Catholics.

Ever notice how leftists, though truly few in number, constantly drive the terms of the debate in this country,  constantly have conservatives on the defensive (in spite of the hateful Harvard professor’s claims that conservatives somehow instigated the culture wars, which doesn’t even make sense, but what he really means is, how dare you have the temerity to even oppose me), and seem to win far more often than not?  Yes there are structural factors in their favor, but one major reason they have been overwhelmingly successful is that they practice their false religion on a 24/7 basis.  They have the courage of their convictions.  They are of the stronger faith, generally speaking (present company likely excepted, but, then again, are we really doing all we can?  Our leadership sure ain’t).

And now that they have won, they are not going to be generous winners. These are souls tortured by self-hatred and mental anguish, but the “beautiful” part of their religion is that it always gives them someone to blame for their personal failings (the exact contrary of Christianity).  It’s going to get very ugly.  They will be coming for us, but especially, our children.

Molon Labe.

Of course, this is why I say, leftism must be destroyed.