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Bishop Gracida: Between Hillary and Trump, Vote None of the Above    July 26, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, catachesis, contraception, episcopate, General Catholic, Restoration, scandals, secularism, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’ve long had a great admiration for Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi.  To me, there has been no more orthodox, tradition-embracing bishop in this state in the past 30, possibly 40 years.  I have quite a bit of respect for his opinions, though I do not necessarily agree on every point.  I give a good deal of weight to what he has to say.

Bishop Gracida has posted a pretty explosive opinion piece regarding the upcoming presidential election. I think this is one of the few times I’m not fully in agreement with what Bishop Gracida had to say.  I don’t disagree with his broader point – Hillary and Trump both so offend against good morals that supporting either is problematic, at best, if not entirely impermissible – but I do think his reasoning for finding Trump morally objectionable is not entirely correct. Bishop Gracida finds both candidates so wanting that he recommends either a no vote or a write-in.

With regard to the latter, reader TE does bring up one  very important point regarding Bishop Gracida’s recommendation below, however – votes for write-in candidates that are not on the list of candidates approved by the State of Texas ARE thrown away.  That is, they are not counted.  It is just as if one does not vote.  That’s an important consideration.  An equally important consideration is that the Constitution Party candidate, Darrell Castle, looks like he’ll make it as one of the accepted write-in candidates in Texas and does provide a morally acceptable alternative for a Catholic.  In fact, probably no party corresponds better to the Doctrine of the Faith, overall, than the Constitution Party, though it is by no means perfect.

At any rate, Bishop Gracida’s commentary (my comments):

No one, especially a Christian, can ever choose evil, however small. Everyone, especially a Christian, must choose good however small. In my opinion the evil in both Hillary and Donald so far outweighs the good in them it is impossible for a anyone, especially a Christian, to vote for either of them. Instead, write in the name of a person you judge to be more good than evil… …If we make our choices without reference to what Jesus Christ has taught us, we are no different than our first parents in choosing to call evil good and good evil…….

……… Some would argue that when faced with an important situation we are allowed to choose the lesser of two evils. But the Church magisterium has always taught that one can only choose the lesser of two evils in cases of ABSOLUTE NECESSITY, such as whether to save the mother or the child in cases of an ectopic pregnancy. [To me, this is the core of the piece, and the most important point made.  It’s an incredibly important point, and I think the fact that both of these candidates have not only held gravely immoral beliefs, but committed seriously immoral acts (and shown no remorse for same) has sort of been shoved aside in the push for an expedient method to stop Hillary’s election.  I view Hillary as practically a demon incarnate, but Trump has his own warts.] In the present case no person can say that IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY THAT THEY VOTE FOR EITHER DONALD TRUMP OR HILLARY CLINTON. [Given that, from a practical standpoint, one of the two will win, and one might be markedly preferable to the other, even though still egregiously bad in many regards, is there not a sufficient difference to merit support? Bishop Gracida says no.  I’d love to hear more opinions from well-formed authorities in the traditional wing of the Church. Does the SSPX have anything to say on this election?] Yes, Hillary Clinton favors abortion which kills unborn children, but Donald Trump will (in my opinion) cause America to go to war which will kill not only unborn children but men, women, boys and girls AND UNBORN CHILDREN. I do not believe that any human person can decide which of the two, Clinton or Trump, is the LESSER of the two evils. [Now many may argue with that. I’m not certain where Bishop Gracida gets this notion that Trump will put us in a war, which seems to be the basis on which he concludes that Trump is as evil as Hillary.  We’re already at war, and have been for 15 years.  Does he mean beyond that?  He has to be speaking of a total world war, even a nuclear war, otherwise, even a fairly major regional war killing thousands would not be nearly morally equivalent to abortion, which kills over a million a year.  On what evidence does Bishop Gracida foresee this calamitous war happening? Trump has spoken of breaking decades-old alliances to keep us OUT of wars, but then has also spoken of bombing the crud out of those who attack us.  I don’t think anyone can definitively say what he’ll do in this regard, if elected.  I don’t think this an adequate basis upon which to establish a moral equivalence between Hillary and Trump. For me, that equivalence exists more because of his unrepentant immorality and his conservatism of convenience he’s developed in the past year or two.  He’s done some things to reassure me on the latter, but his total lack of Christian faith and his personal immorality remain huge issues.] They are both so evil in their actions that no Christian (especially Catholics who have the benefit of the magisterial teaching of the Church, e.g. VERITATIS SPLENDOR) can play God and decide which is the lesser of the two evils.

What is important is how they must answer to God for their choice. [I know we all despise Hillary and the demonrat party, but we must keep this in mind] My advice is for a perplexed Catholic to vote for all other offices on the ballot but to abstain from indicating a choice for President. If a Catholic is not happy with that solution, then that Catholic should write in the name of any good person for President.

Again, while I think the specific arguments advanced and conclusions reached may be a bit unfair, but the overall point remains valid: is there sufficient distinction between Trump and Hillary, from a moral perspective (not a political one), to permit Catholics to support him?  On a political and personal basis, a few months ago, I was convinced the answer was no.  Since then, Trump has specified some policy positions (including a quite solid list of likely Supreme Court nominees) that has caused me to find him less objectionable, politically. Personally, his massive warts remain, the convention doing nothing to allay my concerns in that regard.  I still lean against Trump, though not as strongly as, say, last spring.

Last major point: my understanding of the Church’s thinking on such matters is that we should support the most moral option/option most in accord with the Faith, period, not the most moral option we believe has a chance of winning, but I’m open to correction from magisterial sources.  Darrell Castle will likely be on the ballot in most if not all states by November 8.

As I said above, I would very much appreciate hearing more counsel from good priests and bishops on this subject – even though that might mean a violation of the Johnson Amendment!  There hasn’t been enough clear moral direction on this most conflicted of presidential campaigns, yet. I greatly appreciate Bishop Gracida’s commentary, even if I’m not entirely on board with it.

Fortunately, I still have several more months to sit back, observe, and see what develops.  Perhaps a miracle will occur, Trump will convert and become a stalwart, fiery Catholic, dump his concubines, and advance a platform totally in concert with the Doctrine of the Faith.  I won’t hold my breath, but one can always hope.

I have been very glad to see that the very heated exchanges that often surround discussion/criticism of Trump on other conservative sites have been almost entirely absent here.  Instead, the discussion has been quite edifying and reasonable, for the most part. Please let us keep it that way!

h/t reader MFG

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Reminder – Men’s Prayer Vigil outside ‘The Men’s Club’ Wed July 27 2016 July 26, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, mortification, sexual depravity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Virtue.
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I will be praying outside  The Men’s Club, 2340 W. Northwest Hwy, Dallas, on WEDNESDAY July 27 @ 8:00 pm.  I will actually be across the street in the parking lot of the US Post Office.  This is directly across from the entrance to the inappropriately named “gentleman’s club.”  

The post office parking lot is well lit and set back some distance from the very busy roadway.  It is public land so we cannot be harassed for being there.  It’s really an ideal situation, we are basically impossible to miss by patrons leaving this sexually oriented business (SOB).  Men over 18 only.  All men are welcome.  You don’t have to be a member of a particular parish.

I’ll bring my Catholic flag and Fatima banner.  If you have a Catholic flag or hat or whatever, come represent!

This is a small way to push back against the culture of license, perversion, and death.  Maybe it’s even a way to get that ballyhooed “smell of the sheep” we hear so much about.

Sate yarimaska?

I pray I see some of you out there!

Liguori – Prayer is the Font from which God’s Grace Flows, but How Few Partake of It! July 26, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
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Probably the last excerpt from The Holy Eucharist, as I am wrapping up at present.  From pp. 483-495, in small segments, some advice on making prayer the focal point of our lives, and turning away from created goods, which have the tendency to separate our focus and concern from God.  Also, our prayers are not only vital to our own progress in the spiritual life, but are the foundation of all charity for others, including their spiritual conversion:

…..The Almighty complains that many souls go about seeking for fleeting and miserable pleasures from creatures, and leave Him, Who is the infinite good and fountain of all joy……..Wherefore God, Who loves us, and desires to see us happy, cries out and makes known to all: “If any thirst, let them come to me” (Jnm vii:37).  He who desires to be happy, let him come to Me; and I will give him the Holy Ghost, who will make him blessed both in this life and the next…….He, therefore, that believes in Jesus Christ, and loves Him, shall be enriched with so much grace, that form his heart (the heart, that is, the will), shall flow many fountains of holy virtues, which shall not only serve to preserve his own life, but also to give life to others.  And this water was the Holy Ghost, the substantial love which Jesus Christ promised to send us from Heaven after His Ascension…….

..The key which opens the channels of this blessed water is holy prayer, which obtains every good for us in virtue of the promise, Ask and you shall receive (Jn xvi:24).  We are blind, poor, and weak; but prayer obtains for us light, strength, and abundance of Grace.  Theodoret said: “Prayer, though but one, can do all things.”  He who prays receives all he wishes.  God desires to give us His graces; but he will have us pray for them…….

…….A quarter hour’s prayer is sufficient to appease every passion of hatred or of inordinate love, however ardent it may be……..Holy meditation is where love is set in order, so that we love our neighbor as ourselves, and God above everything.  He who loves God loves prayer; and he that loves not prayer will find it morally impossible to overcome his passions………..

……The more we love God, the more holy do we become.  St. Francis Borgia says that it is prayer that introduces divine love into the human heart; and it is mortification that withdraws the heart from the earth, and renders t capable of receiving this holy fire.  The more there is of earth in the heart, the less room there is for holy love……Hence the Saints have always sought to mortify as much as possible their self-love and their senses.  The Saints are few, but we must live with the few, if we will be saved with the few; “Live with the few,” writes St. John Climacus, “if you would reign with the few.” And St. Bernard says :”That cannot be perfect which is not singular.”  He would lead a perfect life must lead a singular life.

But before all, in order to become saints, it is necessary to have the desire to be saints; we must have the desire and the resolution!  Some are always desiring, but they never begin to put their hands to the work.  “Of these irresolute souls,” says St. Teresa, “the devil has no fear.”  On the other hand, the Saint said, “God is a friend of generous souls.”  The devil tries to make it appear to us to be pride to think of doing great things for God.  It would indeed be pride in us, if we thought of doing them, trusting in our own strength; but it is not pride to resolve to become saints, trusting in God, and saying, “I can do all things in Him who strengeneth me” (Phil iv:13).

We must, therefore, be go good courage, make strong resolutions, and begin.  Prayer can do everything.  What we cannot do by our own strength, we shall do easily with the help of God, Who has promised to give us whatever we ask of Him. You shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you” (Jn xv:7).

————End Quote————

Nothing exactly unheard of before, but well said and well worth hearing over and over, if you’re anything like me.  I can’t recall any time I’ve sat down and read Liguori and come away saying: “Well, I didn’t really learn anything there.”  I always do.  He, Thomas a Kempis, St. Bernard, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa or Avila are probably my favorite spiritual readers, but Liguori tends to be the most quotable.

Hypocrisy in El Paso: liberals get “mercy,” faithful souls persecution July 26, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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Many long-time readers will be familiar with the situation regarding Father Michael Rodriguez and his former parish of San Juan Bautista.  Assigned as a sort of punishment, given a parish that had been moribund for years, Father Rodriguez completely transformed the parish and even the neighborhood around it, becoming financially solvent, vastly increasing attendance, and instilling the right practice of the Faith into hundreds of souls.  All of this was based on a growing attachment, over a period of some years, to the traditional practice of the Faith and, especially, the TLM.

When Father Rodriguez was sacked and San Juan shut down, due to his adherence to Tradition and his strong advocacy of certain unpopular Catholic truths, especially those having to do with the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, he voluntarily revealed the existence of a lay-initiated and administered fund (established to allow improvements at San Juan without exposure to diocesan assessment) to the Diocese of El Paso, as the Diocese was totally ignorant of its existence.  Many nasty and totally unsubstantiated allegations were subsequently thrown at Father as part of a general campaign to discredit him, including total inventions regarding this fund.  Dark rumors of theft or enrichment on the part of Father and/or family members were circulated, and an expensive lawsuit ensued.  All of this, mind, over an amount that was somewhere in the $50,000 range – entirely consisting of parishioner donations which they themselves administered.  The lawsuits are still ongoing, and the Diocese still holds the moneys contributed by parishioners for the purpose of improving a now defunct parish for itself, even though the people would very much like their money back now that there is no longer a parish to spend it on.

Suffice it to say, there wasn’t a whole lot of mercy going on.  Father Rodriguez was persona non grata among most priests and officials in the Diocese of El Paso due to his stalwart adherence to the constant belief and practice of the Faith, and his willingness to condemn ongoing scandals and immoral behaviors rife within the Diocese itself (behaviors, even with the switch of bishop, which still go on to this day).

Contrast that with the recent scandal that blew up in El Paso, over two religious brothers who stole – it is admitted that they stole – nearly a million dollars from a local school over several years.  Were they sacked?  No, they were permitted to not only retire but leave the area, and before the news broke.  Did the Diocese run their names through the mud, as occurred with Father Rodriguez?  No, they were thanked for their many years of service and all the wonderful things they did!  See below the mercy flow, for those who are recognized as co-religionists:

An audit found that the former principal and assistant principal of an El Paso Catholic school allegedly misappropriated more than $800,000 for personal expenses, diocese officials said Tuesday.

The Diocese of El Paso found the financial irregularities during a recent audit following last year’s retirement of the two administrators of St. Joseph’s School in Central El Paso, officials said.

Diocese officials said that former principal Brother Edwin Gallagher, 79, and former assistant principal Brother Richard Fish, 70, allegedly took $800,246 from school bank accounts to pay for personal expenses over seven years. Diocese officials said they are not seeking criminal charges in the matter.

Gallagher and Fish retired last year after helping run the school for about 25 years. They could not be reached for comment.

Parents, school staff and community members said they were shocked, disheartened and saddened Tuesday evening after learning about the alleged misappropriation during a meeting in the school gym with Bishop Mark J. Seitz and diocese officials.

“Everyone at St. Joseph and many in El Paso know that during that time, they (Gallagher and Fish) did many good things for the school and for the children who study here and those good things certainly cannot be denied,” Seitz said. “Unfortunately, we’ve also learned during that time, or at least a good part of the time, St. Joseph school funds were misappropriated for their own personal use.”……. [The lauds piled on these men for committing grand larceny is certainly in stark contrast to the treatment Father Rodriguez did receive, and continues to receive from the Diocese]

…….. The Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis will repay the money to the school in four quarterly payments starting June 30, the diocese said. [Apparently the spirit of poverty is not fully embraced in this order]

“The discovery of the misappropriated funds by trusted individuals has caused disappointment and justifiable anger,” the diocese said in a news release. “We are thankful that St. Joseph School will not suffer the adverse financial consequences that accompany most cases of this nature. And we ask for prayers for Brother Edwin and Brother Richard during this Year of Mercy.”

What an amazing double-standard.  In point of fact, the threat of criminal charges – on what basis I cannot imagine – was frequently inferred during the period after San Juan’s closing and the departure of former Bishop (and arch-liberal) Armand Ochoa.  But these guys get plaudits and heaping doses of mercy.  I cannot recall a single instance of the Diocese asking for prayers for Father Rodriguez.

Why the massive difference?  Speaking with a number of locals and others very close to the matter, Father Rodriguez is despised because he represents the “old Faith” so many want to kill off, never to rise again.  More, many have a vested interest in seeing it never rise again, as their beliefs and actions are totally irreconcilable with the Doctrine of the Faith.

Put another way, they belong to a different religion.  Every diocese in the world today is riven with the division, but it is more marked in El Paso than in most.  It is a diocese that has had a pervasive and activist liberal influence for decades, which has born the “fruit” of many heretical and immoral priests.

As we see so often with Francis, every religion is welcome to not only “dialogue” with the Catholic Church, but to be treated at least as its equal if not its actual superior.  We see the Church constantly defer to the errors of various error-filled sects and pagan religions in these days.  The one religion that cannot be countenanced, however, is that terrible old beast, Catholicism, as it was known, understood, and practiced for 1950 odd years.  No mercy can be spared there.  No persecution is too strong, too unjustified, or too unreasonable.  When it comes to the hated old Faith, anything goes.

So men who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars get the fawning praise of the Bishop, while Father Rodriguez gets persecution and unjustifiable demands to change or limit the way he conducts his priestly apostolate.  But God be praised, when sin abounds, Grace abounds the more, and Father continues to reach a growing number of souls through a number of means as he continues to honor his vocation in the sadly afflicted Diocese of El Paso. Much good fruit is resulting.  May God be praised.

Please keep Father in your prayers.

Priest slaughtered during Mass, nun injured; bishop claims perps “victims” July 26, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Glory, Holy suffering, martyrdom, persecution, priests, scandals, shocking, Society, the struggle for the Church, unadulterated evil.
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During Mass this morning in Rouen, a French priest was nearly beheaded (he perished), and a nun gravely wounded, during an attack by jihadists that also devolved into a hostage situation where several others were injured.  The instigators of this attack shouted the dreadfully familiar “allahu akbar” and were subsequently killed by French police.  The parish where this attack occurred had apparently been on an ISIS target list for over a year:

Two knife-wielding attackers who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” slit the throat of an 84-year-old priest and critically wounded at least one other person during a Tuesday morning terror attack on a Catholic church near the Normandy city of Rouen, officials said.

The terrorists, who were later shot and killed by police, forced priest Jacques Hamel to kneel before they slaughtered him, and the Islamist attackers captured the bloody episode on film, Reuters reported, citing a nun who escaped the assault. ISIS’ Amaq news agency said the France attack was carried out by two Islamic State “soldiers,” Reuters reported…….

……..The attackers, who were not immediately identified, entered through the back door of the church and took the priest, two nuns and two parishioners hostage during morning Mass, police said.

Police responded and later confirmed that the attackers had been “neutralized,” Sky News reported. Three hostages were rescued in good condition, while another was taken away on a stretcher, according to reports.

It seems basically everyone at the Mass – the priest, a couple of female religious, and two lay people, were taken hostage?  Amazingly, the Archbishop of Rouen, comfortably ensconced at World Youth Day in Krakow, described the murderers as “victims:”

Away from his diocese at the World Youth Day celebrations in Krakow, Poland the archbishop of Rouen has released astatement on the death of one of his priests this morning, which strangely seems to identify both the slain clergyman and his killers as “victims”.

He said: “I have learnt with sadness of the killing this morning at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray. The three victims: the priest, Father Jacques Hamel, 84, and the perpetrators of the assassination.

“Three other people were injured, one very seriously. I cry out to God with all men of good will. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry!……. The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men.

We can always count on the post-VII modernist-progressive cabal to invert the truth, say the wrong thing, and cause scandal.  How one turns vicious, cold-blooded murderers, shot in the very act of committing grave crimes, into victims, is beyond me.  It requires decades of deep immersion in moral relativism and a reprobate sense to arrive at that level of moral confusion and abdication of duty.

As for “other weapons,” how about the Truth, Bishop Lebrun?  How about preaching the Truth of Jesus Christ in season and out, and clearly denouncing the massive, soul-killing errors of Mohammadism?

Lebrun, a longtime liberal, was appointed Archbishop of Rouen by Francis just last year.  Perhaps he’s still growing into his office.

As for the priest, Father Jacques Hamel, he was 84  years when killed.  I know nothing of his personal beliefs, but he must be considered a martyr for the Faith and the Church in France.  He is the first priest martyred in continental Europe in quite some time, isn’t he?  Perhaps since the fall of the communist empire?

We live in dreadful times.  It is vital to stay prayed up.

Via Cardinal Sarah’s twitter feed: “How many dead before European governments understand situation of West today? How many decapitations?”

Indeed.  One more question: how many Catholics must die before the Church hierarchy recognizes that all “dialogue” with islam is a useless diversion, at best, and stands in total opposition to islam and its murderous errors as the Church did for so many centuries?