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Francis Begins Curial Shifts: Plans Major Liberalization of Curia? July 19, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in blogfoolery, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, self-serving, the struggle for the Church.
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I must stress that what is reported below is not yet substantiated.  It comes from a source of unknown quality to me, a Catholic newspaper in Malaysia (but it was picked up by the German language site kath.net).  I didn’t think Malaysia had much of a Catholic population, but whatevs.  However, if true, it would be most disconcerting, to say the least.  Abolishing the Pontifical Councils for the Laity and the Family and replacing them with a Congregation for “Pastoral Health Care” headed by arch-progressive Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, Francis’ most eager collaborator?  Removing Muller at the CDF and appointing Schoenborn in his stead?  Will we soon be treated to the theological orthodoxy of balloon Masses?

The report via Eponymous Flower might be speculation, but if true, it would constitute a significant advance in the entrenchment of like-minded souls in the hierarchy and the institutionalization of Francis’ progressive agenda.  Perhaps something to pray over, or against:

Accordjng to a report by the Malaysian Catholic weekly “Herald” Pope Francis plans personnel changes within the Curia. This suggests that the former prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (68) will occupy the See if Mainz long since vacated by Cardinal Karl Lehmann. In return, the Viennese Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (71) is to switch to the Vatican and take over there, the management of the CDF, the Journal reported over the weekend, citing “well-informed Vatican sources” on its website. [Schoenborn, if he was ever much good when he was involved in the drafting of the 1990s catechism, has certainly drifted left in the past decade or so.  He has persecuted faithful priests and shown himself very friendly to the sodomite agenda.  His views are not nearly so orthodox as those of Muller’s, which weren’t just perfect to begin with.  Muller and Francis have butted heads on many issues, with Muller directly rebuking several of Francis’ more outrageous claims in the past (there are so many, I know).  I would not be surprised if Muller is moved out, and soon.  Whether he will be replaced by Schoenborn or someone even worse remains to be seen]
There were indications that the pope also plans the appointment of Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko (71), Polish cardinal and President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Archbishop of Krakow. He would assume the office of the 77-year-old Stanislaw Dziwisz, who has already reached the age limit for resignation.
The paper refers to a decree by the Pope, according to which the Council for the Laity and for the Family will be merged on 1 September into a new office. Its statutes were published by the Vatican in early June. According to “Herald” it will be incorporated into an office of pastoral health care. [Could a more worldly and really inappropriate name be chosen?  So we’ll be treated to “pastoral health care reform?”] The new formation will receive the status of a congregation with the decision making power. As head of the new Congregation, the Honduran Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga (73) has been selected, a close confidant of the pope and head of the Cardinal Council for a reform of the Curia.
The words “Maradiaga” and “decision-making power” should never occur in a sentence together, unless it also contains the words “barred from” or something to that effect.
Remember Francis’ recent statements about getting rid of opposition by moving them out or retiring them off?  Indeed.
A couple other good reads, as I have some unexpected time to post:
It falls under the category of blogfoolery, which is something I assiduously strive to avoid, but Steve Skojec has a really good post on the descent of much of the mainstream Catholic blogosphere into an increasingly heterodox and toxic environment.  Mark Shea, Elizabeth Scalia (I remember when I used to like her, when she was sweet and honest, before she started getting jobs in the Church and suddenly became a constant basher of tradition and conservatism), Simcha Fischer, and the rest of the Patheos/Aletia crowd began their severe decline before Francis was elected but either the pressure of his pontificate, or simply the passage of time, have caused them (among many others) to become increasingly antagonistic towards traditional Catholic belief and anything they seem to believe carries the taint of the feared and loathed conservatism.  The post contains some truly incredible statements from some of the above attacking the widely held belief that Maria Goretti is a Saint because she maintained her purity to the point of death.  That, apparently, is a bad, bad thing to believe.  To say such attacks reveal more about the source than those they criticize is a bland understatement.
I’ve had a number of opportunities to make money off of blogging, or to collaborate with others on what were proffered as bigger and better things. I dipped my toe in once or twice, but always found, almost instantly, that there were always strings attached.  “Don’t say that.”  “Do you think we could avoid that topic?” “Can you tone that down a bit?” Et cetera.  It seemed any time money was on the table concerns over saying too much, the wrong thing, or “going too far” immediately surfaced.  No thanks.  I remain a stubbornly independent blogger who seeks no remuneration for his efforts for a reason.  I admire those who can persist in producing high quality work even as they earn a living from it, but their numbers are very limited.  The temptation to play it safe, not make waves, and go along to get along with the culture at large and a badly broken Church are simply too strong.  That’s the main reason I collaborated with Vicki Middleton, she was self-funded and could thus say what she wanted (and did she EVER!), and never imposed even a slight restraint on anything I had to say.  God rest her soul.
Speaking of how money corrupts: an article on the wildly amoral, pro-abort, pro-contracept (and filthy rich) Jeffrey Sachs and his growing influence at the Vatican under Francis.  It appears he even drafted Laudato Si, or that the encyclical drew heavily from his own writings.  Sachs is the number one influence guiding Francis’ wholehearted support for the incredibly amoral UN Global Sustainable Goals and other atrocious elements of the sexular pagan agenda.  It’s an important read.

St. Alphonsus Liguori on the Means of Perfection         July 19, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, mortification, reading, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I have posted on this subject from St. Alphonsus before, but it’s something I for one can stand to hear over and over again.  This is a particularly exhaustive instruction on practicing perfection so it goes on a bit but I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever read, so I’m going to inflict it on  you:

The chief means of perfection are:

  1. To avoid all deliberate sin, however small. Should we, however, happen unfortunately to commit a fault, let us refrain from becoming angry and impatient with ourselves; we must, on such occasions, quietly repent of it; and while we make an act of love to Jesus Christ, and beg his help, we must promise him not to repeat the fault.
  2. To have an earnest desire to acquire the perfection of the Saints, and to suffer all things to please Jesus Christ; and if we have not this desire, to beseech Jesus Christ, through His bounty, to grant it us; since, as long as we do not feel a sincere desire of becoming Saints, we shall never make one step forward in the way of perfection.
  3. To have a firm resolution of arriving at perfection; whoever is wanting in this resolution, works but languidly, and in the occasion does not overcome his repugnances; whereas a resolute soul, by the divine aid, which never fails her, surmounts every obstacle.
  4. To make daily two hours’ or at least one hour’s mental prayer; and, except in case of urgent necessity, never to relinquish it for the sake of any weariness, dryness, or trouble that we may experience.
  5. To frequent Holy Communion several times a week [I think this one is so key], it is well to seek the counsel of our director, “in order that the practice may be carried out with greater prudence and more abundant merit.” The same rule holds good with regard to external mortifications, such as fasting, wearing the cilice, taking the discipline, and the rest; mortifications of this kind, when practiced without obedience to our spiritual director, will either destroy health or produce vainglory.  Hence it is necessary to for each one to have his own director, so that all may be regulated in obedience to him.
  6. To pray continually, by having recourse to Jesus Christ in all our necessities, by invoking likewise the intercession of our Angel Guardian, of our Holy Patrons, and most particularly of the Mother of God through whose hands Almighty God bestows all graces upon us……Our welfare depends entirely on prayer. We must especially not pass a day without begging God to grant us the gift of perseverance in His grace; whosoever asks for this perseverance obtains it, but he that does not ask for it obtains it not, and is damned; we must pray, too, that Jesus Christ may grant us His holy love and perfect conformity with His divine will. Neither should we forget to pray for every grace through the merits of Jesus Christ. We must first make these prayers when we rise in the morning, and afterwards repeat them in our meditation, at Holy Communion, at the visit of the Blessed Sacrament, and again in the evening at the examination of conscience.  We must particularly cry to God for help in the time of temptation, and more especially in temptations against purity, when we should not cease to call for succor on the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.  He that prays, conquers; he that prays not, is conquered……..

…….With respect to humility, not to pride ourselves on riches, honors……or any other natural advantage, and still less on any spiritual gift, reflecting that all are the gifts of God.  To consider ourselves the worst of all, and consequently to delight in being despised by others; and not to act as some do, who declare themselves the worst of men, and at the same time wish to be treated as the best.  Moreover, to receive corrections humbly, and without attempts to excuse ourselves, and this even though wrongly blamed; except when to defend ourselves would be necessary in order to prevent others being scandalized.

Much more we ought to banish all desire of appearing in public, and of being honored by the world. The maxim of St. Francis should never be out of our sight: “We are just what we are before God.”  It would be still worse for a religious to covet posts of honor and superiority in his community.  The true honor of a religious is to be the most humble of all; and he is the humblest of all who most joyfully embraces humiliations.

[I add one more unrelated quote because it’s provocative but not at all contrary to the Gospel……]……….St. Philip Neri says…..”whatever affection we bestow on creatures is so much taken from God.”

———–End Quote————

I’d like to add a conclusion but I’m out of time and probably won’t be back for today.  Sorry.

Time to restart the men’s prayer group outside strip joints or “gay” bars?  I’m feeling it.

Would You Care to Help a Good Priest on Facebook? July 19, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, Revolution, the struggle for the Church, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’m a bit of two minds about this post.  A really good,  young local priest – he’s not traditional at present, but, I believe, has aspirations or inclinations in that direction – wrote a post on Facebook about offering Mass Ad Orientem.  He didn’t say he’s planning on doing so, he just asked for people’s experiences, and whether they found the Novus Ordo offered Ad Orientem meaningful.  My wife brought this post to my attention.  Since I refuse to have anything to do with Facebook, and won’t get sucked into having my account reactivated (and all my personal data available, again), I thought I might ask readers still on Facebook if they might charitably share their experiences.

The problem, to the extent one exists, is this: there are about 15 replies at present, and they break down about 2:1 or more against Ad Orientem rather than in favor of it.  Even those who claim to have assisted at a Novus Ordo offered Ad Orientem seem to speak against it.  The usual reasons are proffered: it’s rude for the priest to have his back turned to the people, versus poplum doesn’t undermine the sacredness of the Mass or diminish belief in the Real Presence (both demonstrably false), versus poplum doesn’t result in the Mass devolving into a closed-circle of entertainment, etc.  The most frequently offered justification for opposing Ad Orientem is, to me, a very sad one; it comes from older people who lived through the liturgical revolution and eventually came to embrace it.  They ask why the Church would now “go back in time,” which is an appalling bit self-justification and a fundamentally illogical claim.

A bit of an aside: I’ve often related that I’ve never had anyone assist at the TLM who did not come away at least somewhat impressed.  That is, until a few months ago.  A member of my wife’s family who had not been to a TLM since the days of the Council assisted at our local Fraternity parish and literally hated EVERY. SINGLE. ASPECT. of the Mass.  I mean everything was wrong.  The priest didn’t fold his hands properly.  The priest didn’t cross himself enough or at the right times. She couldn’t hear the priest.  Etc., etc., ad infinitum.  How this woman could perfectly remember every slight detail of the Mass of Ages from 50+  years ago is beyond me.

But she said something really revealing later on.  She said it had been extraordinarily difficult, back then, to accept the changes to the Liturgy, but eventually she had.  She could not now countenance that those changes had been wrong, or destructive, or that she had gone along with something deficient and disordered all these years.  I have to wonder whether that sentiment does not underlie some of the non-response responses asking why the Church would “go back in time.” Or, they may just be liberals.

Anyway, do what you will, I don’t really think it would be helpful to critique other people’s responses, but I think it would be very helpful to provide some powerful positive arguments in favor of Ad Orientem, whether from a Novus Ordo or TLM perspective, in support of this priest.  I think if he could, he would be very interested in offering Mass facing the Lord in the tabernacle.  He is certainly worthy of support.  He’s recently been made pastor of a very large parish that has a very sad history behind it, and he could do much good work for souls in his new position.

Thank you for your consideration.  Dominus vobiscum!

Have I Finally Found a Reason to Definitively Support Trump?     July 19, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, General Catholic, huh?, pr stunts, shocking, Society, Virtue.
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Rorate ran an absolutely fascinating report the other day regarding statements Donald Trump has made concerning the Johnson Amendment, which for 62  years has severely limtited – one might even say throttled – the ability of religious institutions to endorse or condemn specific candidates by name.  That’s because the Johnson Amendment holds the church or religious institution’s tax exempt status under threat for so doing.

What Trump said, is that he would seek to repeal the Johnson Amendment and permit churches and religious institutions a much freer hand in terms of what is considered acceptable political speech on their part.  One can only imagine the quandary in which this would place the USCCB and many individual bishops.  Coverage from Rorate (my comments):

Now, enter Donald J. Trump. To be clear, we are not, have not and will not support any candidacy, but it is important to explain where the freedom of the Catholic Church will be better protected.

Back in 1954, when future President Lyndon Johnson was still a senator, he helped pass a change to the U.S. Tax Code called the Johnson Amendment. The amendment, among other things, prevents tax-exempt institutions and churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates. [Which imposition may be speculated to stem from Johnson’s ardor at having been opposed by certain preachers in the hotly contested 1948 Senate Election in Texas, which Johnson stole from Coke Stevenson by ballot-stuffing.  Typical for the despicable Johnson]

So, if Candidate A is a rabid pro-abort, and Candidate B is a man of faith, our priests, college presidents, bishops conference, etc., must stay silent, saying no more than something such as “we believe you should vote pro-life” (yes, we know, the USCCB and many “Catholic” school presidents would probably still not endorse over other issues not related to — or now, sadly, in direct opposition to the Faith — even if the law didn’t exist). [Yeah, no kidding.  I imagine most at the USCCB would assume the law remain in place, to prevent their having to remain either embarrassingly silent, or endure the wrath of scandalized Catholics when the refuse to endorse the obvious pro-life/morals candidate]

Because of this law — which really does fit nicely into a land that divorced God from its governance from the beginning — we have warned our prelates and priests to start their planning for a day when they have to pay taxes in order to prevent violating their consciences. [Or maybe they’ll just go along to get along]

Then, in a remarkable but little-reported line in Donald Trump’s speech announcing Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, he made a statement to the effect that we must allow religious to speak freely in our society and in their churches — and he promised the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.

First the work was done at Trump’s request at the GOP Platform Committee meeting a few days earlier…….. [Yes, the RNC did add this repeal to the platform, for what it’s worth]

……In the speech yesterday, Trump stated: “We’re going to get rid of that horrible Johnson amendment and we’re going to let evangelicals — we’re going to let Christians and Jews and people of religion talk without being afraid to talk.”

Will Trump act on this pledge? Will he be able to get a bill repealing the Johnson Amendment through Congress?  The left would lose their minds, they’ve been banking on breaking Christian adherence to doctrine through the club of threatening repeal of the tax-exempt status.  This is not just a clever end-run around yet another sacred shibboleth of the left, but yet another very clever tactical ploy from Trump to undercut cultural marxism on some of its most foundational assumptions.

And, repeal of the Johnson Amendment would be a pretty big deal.  Catholics could, for instance, run ads directly attacking pro-aborts and endorsing specific very pro-life/morals candidates.  It would greatly remove the threat to the church tax exempt status by forcing the left to focus on first getting the Johnson Amendment reinstated, or something like it.  It could have a quite positive impact on the culture.

Amazingly, Trump is the first serious candidate since ’54 to advocate for the Johnson Amendment’s repeal.  I don’t think I believe that Trump is more conservative than Reagan, but that’s an interesting fact nonetheless.  It’s the kind of thing that makes me reconsider whether he might be more sincere on a number of issues important to me than I have given him credit for.  I’ll certainly watch with interest what he does from this point on.

We shall see how the spirit moves me.