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Reminder: Fall Ember Days Start Tomorrow 09/21/16 September 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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EOM.  Maybe a bit more tomorrow.  Fast and partial abstinence tomorrow and Saturday, full abstinence on Friday (per, I’m certain, your usual practice).

Mac n’ Cheese for me!

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Start Novena to St. Michael the Arcangel Today 09/20/16 September 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I try to put out these reminders for you.  The Novena starts today and finishes on the vigil of the feast.

Saint Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence andStMichaelTheArchangelseek your powerful intercession.

For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer.

You know the value of my soul in the eyes of God.  May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty.  Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me.  I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and men.  And since you are God’s messenger for the care of His people, I entrust to you this special request:

(Mention your request)

Saint Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers.  I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will my petition will be granted.St_Michael_Raphael

Pray for me, Saint Michael, and also for those I love.  Protect us in all dangers of body and soul.  Help us in our daily needs.

Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever.

Amen.

In thanksgiving to God for the graces bestowed on St. Michael: one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

The faithful who recite devoutly some prayers in honor of St. Michael with the intention of continuing the said prayers for nine consecutive days may gain: an indulgence of 5 years once each day; a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, at the end of their novena.

Has the In$titutionalized Pro-Life Been a Manifest Failure Through Steadfast Repubnik Loyalty? September 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disconcerting, error, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, rank stupidity, sadness, scandals, self-serving, Society.
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So says Leon H. Wolf in a piece at RedState, which, it must be said, tries to tie what I agree is a general trend towards failure by the institutionalized pro-life movement into an anti-Trump screed.  I’ve read few sites that have been more reliably Never Trump, so keep that in mind.

I’ll cut and paste a bit of the article below, but while I think the author has a major point, I think he also errs substantially in 1) trying to parlay the “Republicans have always abused you” argument into “You’re a sucker if you vote for Trump” and 2) his general bashing of the pro-life movement for being steadfast Republican homers.  For instance, was the same author just as exercised against pro-life orgs support for Mitt Romney, who had just as inconsistent record on abortion as Trump?  If not, why not?  Secondly, where else were pro-lifers supposed to go over the past 40 years, even as the Repubniks did, admittedly, repeatedly screw them over?

Ergo, I think this piece is a lot more about hating on Trump than really having something to say regarding the pro-life movement. YMMV.

Having said that, if you want to bash the in$$titutionalized  pro-life movement for being ineffective and probably more concerned with keeping fundraising going than really ending abortion, you’ll get little argument from me.  As for the rest, see what you think:

Personally, I have reached the point that I am fed up with these organizations. They have been, by and large, total failures in holding politicians accountable. When is the last time you can recall that a pro-life group claimed the scalp of any of the dozens if not hundreds of Republicans who have betrayed the pro-life cause over the years? It has not happened and it does not happen. [Well, is that the point of being a pro-life group, to claim Republican scalps?  They’ve claimed a number of democrats, which is not unimportant.  I agree most pro-life groups far too slavishly tote the mainstream Republican line, but what mainstream conservative commentators have ever called for a mass pro-life turning against Republican politicians who have somehow betrayed the cause? That is, until the Republican nominee somehow threatened the interests of these same mainstream commentators. I follow pro-life events quite closely, and I can’t remember more than a handful of such calls, all at the state or local level, never national.Why now?]

………These orgs are all carrot, no stick. They are happy to go out and encourage people to elect more Republicans, elect more Republicans, vote Republican for President in particular. Meanwhile, 7 of the 9 judges who decided Roe v. Wade were appointed by Republicans. Roe v. Wade would not have survived throughout all these years without Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter – all nominated by Republicans and confirmed with the unanimous consent of Senate Republicans. At no point has anyone ever paid a political price for this. So pro-life orgs set their sights on a series of incremental legislative changes to the abortion regime at the state level, which have systematically been thrown out by judges who were appointed and confirmed by Republicans – and again, no one has paid a political price for any of this. You could hardly ask for a more useful set of stooges for the RNC. [Again, who has been advocating for this?  I think it’s a good idea, and if this is to be a start of a movement to get the pro-life movement to hold Republicans far more accountable for their lack of support for pro-life matters, I’m all for it, but as an argument simply to not support Trump, because now’s the time to start punishing R’s for lack of pro-life commitment?  I don’t get it.  Why not start with some of the most egregious House and Senate members, and go from there?  How about we try to get a turncoat like Lindsay Graham driven from office, rather than start at the highest office?  Or was this all just about self-justification?  Which, if so, fine, but say so, don’t try to cloak it in some supposed larger-than-self virtue]

………I don’t know what it is about these groups that makes them totally unable to state the obvious: that pro-lifers are being played for suckers by the GOP, which has no intention of ever allowing Roe v. Wade to be overturned. [I thought Trump was an insurrection against the establishment GOP and largely despised by people like the author?  So how does supporting him make people suckers for the GOPe?]  After all, if it were, how would they scare the evangelicals into voting for the Donald Trumps of the future? [Well, I do wonder if there still isn’t some massive play going on, where, just as conservative were lured to vote for the non-conservative Romney in 2012 (after which many said never again), they are somehow being lured to vote for the non-conservative Trump in 2016.  That all depends, I suppose, on how much sincerity one think Trump has.] The professional pro-life orgs are too scared to say this, and to admit that everything they have done for the last 40 years to this point has been an abject failure, because doing so might cause their donor money to dry up. So they continue to play the willing sucker again and again and at no point has it been more evident than their embrace of Trump this year. [I think this guy is getting a bit carried away in fervor to make his point. I don’t think the pro-life movement has been an abject, meaning total, failure over the past 40 years.  Successes have been small, and too rare, but they have occurred.  What awesome, unique cultural forces has the pro-life movement faced, that, say, someone supporting tighter immigration controls hasn’t faced, like, virtually all Americans defining their lives around the use of contraception?  Have those had an effect?]

………If you believe that Trump has actual pro-life principles or that he will honor any sort of pledge to only appoint pro-life justices, then you have to be one of the most monumental suckers who has ever lived…… [Again, this is really inconsistent. Somehow he is tarring Trump the outsider as being part of the GOPe that has so failed pro-lifers.  But Trump could actually be perceived as the very reaction this guy seeks, though not in the way he seeks it, agreeing with his preferences.  That is to say, many pro-lifers, agreeing that the GOPe has used and abused them for decades, are now willing to take a flyer on the extremely dubious Trump, who is at least better than the same old same old that has betrayed them over and over.  Again, did this guy advocate the pro-lifers finally punish the GOPe who gave us the pro-abort Romney in 2012?  If not, then it’s not serious, it’s more NeverTrumpism] 

………..Will there ever come a point – and I do mean, literally ever, where the professional pro-life orgs throw up their hands and say, “You know what? We are sick of being played for fools by the Republican Party. They must be actually opposed until they change their ways.” And if that day is ever supposed to come, why not now? If the Trump Farce isn’t enough to make them say “no mas,” then what will be?

The more I read this piece, the more unnerved I became.  At the end, I no longer took it seriously as cri d’couer to the pro-life movement, but just another NeverTrumper seeking to justify his refusal to vote for Trump, and using some pretty ugly psychology on pro-lifers to try to sway them away from Trump, basically ending with calling pro-lifers stupid inbred mouth-breathing flyover dolts who don’t know what’s good for them when we tell them!

Which kind of smug superiority explains at least half of Trump’s support among conservatives in a nutshell.  They are sick of being betrayed, they are sick of being lied to, they feel they have nothing to lose at this point, and so, why not give a total outsider, even one like Trump, a shot?  At least he kneecaps cultural marxism on an almost daily basis, and seems to have a near Reaganesque quality to deflect all the media’s attempts to destroy him.  Historically, how would the pro-life movement been better off if it had abandoned Republicans for…..what?  What alternative was there?  Even the examples he cites in his piece for successful “punishments” of Republican politicians who fell afoul of this special interest in the conservative base or that were only individual House members, never the presidential candidate, let alone an abandonment of an entire party!  I think the author may have tipped his hand as to what he plans to do should Trump win……..

Telling these folks what stupid idiots they are for supporting Trump smells a lot more like sour grapes and deep fear of diminishing influence than it does anything else.

Look, I never have liked Trump. But I have no alternative but to vote for him at this point, because he is the best of a damnably weak field (at least in my state). I see no point in attacking him.  He’s the nominee, he’s not going to give us an out by dropping out of the race (it was never going to happen), and it looks like he’s going to be quite competitive.  I cannot understand, then, what purpose attacking him or those who support him serves, at this point, at least outside individual self-interest.

Which is a shame, because I think the original point of the piece, that the institutional pro-life movement, especially at the national level, has sold out, is dead on.

What do you think?

h/t reader good ‘ol MFG, who sends so many thought-provoking pieces

PS – At this point, I find any “pro-lifer” who isn’t also completely, totally anti-contraception to be unworthy of the name.

New Movie EWTN Affiliate Focuses on Alinskyite Influence in the Church September 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, paganism, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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I guess it’s throwback Tuesday on the blog, I’m hitting a lot of subjects I covered in depth in the past but sort of moved on from.

Probably many of you know about Saul Alinsky and his influence on the current president, the Catholic Church (especially the Archdiocese of Chicago), and the advance of cultural marxism in the US generally.  True to his paramour, satan, he has been a one man wrecking crew.  Coupled with the Frankfurt School penetration of the federalized education industrial complex, Alinskyite “social justice” warriors have probably done more to advance the creeping socialization of the United States than any other group.

Someone at EWTN apparently recently figured this out, because there is a new movie coming out on 09/22 that features much EWTN talent, like Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, etc., discussing the baleful influence of Saul Alinsky and his Rules of Radicals.  I’m sure it’s a well done production and a great message to get out, but,  ummm………where were you in 2008?

Well, the reason is, there is always a steady stream of folks who have advanced to a point where a message like what I expect from this movie will have a significant impact on them.  So while perhaps quite a bit late to stop the fundamental transformation of our nation, perhaps it will help prepare a few souls for the future that awaits us:

Summary from the website:

From the producers of the Gabriel Award winning television series “SAINTS ALIVE!” on EWTN, comes “A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING”, a new feature docudrama on Saul Alinsky, the father of community organizing and author of “Rules for Radicals”. The film is a lens into America’s cultural Marxism euphemistically called ‘progressivism.’

With all the radical transformations of America and its religious freedoms, politics, economy, education, healthcare, courts, media, cinema, music, art, architecture; the film will help Catholics and all Christians understand “how we’ve gotten to where we are today” and “what’s behind” the amorality, sexual revolution, political correctness, gender confusion that is destroying our families and culture.

This is no conspiracy theory! It’s the real story of Alinsky and his movement. It’s the classic teachings of the Church with insights from philosopher Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. (who as a Jesuit scholastic was trained in Alinskyian organizing), Fathers Glenn Sudano & Andrew Apostoli (co-founders with Fr. Benedict Groeschel of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal), Stephanie Block (who wrote the definitive 4 volume study of Alinskyian organizing) [Stephanie’s great.  She’s always worth a listen]. Actors play Alinsky, Popes St. John Paul II & Leo XIII, Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko & others.

Most interesting to contemplate is the degree to which leftists and left-leaners within the Church were eager to provide the Alinskyite movement with its first big success at penetrating a church for the much sought after money and moral credibility.  It’s been no stopping for them ever since, which is also how we have gotten such poisonous doctrines as the “seamless garment.”

But perhaps most interesting of all is the correlation between the present pontificate and the beliefs, methods, and techniques of personal destruction honed and Saul Alinsky.  I’m sure that won’t be part of this movie, but you can ruminate on that as an extra credit assignment to work on at home.

Remember to show your work.

Bishops Fear Loss of Revenue More than Tax-Exempt Status September 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, Restoration, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
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It’s been a while, but I wrote extensively in the past about how 90+% of the budget of Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services comes from the federal government, and how that federal funding has caused inevitable compromises in the Catholic mission and identity of these erstwhile charities (is it a charity if the money is taken by force?).

Many wonder why so few bishops have any backbone to oppose the culture or even the very public moral failings of their flock.  Why do they always seem to cave?  Well, the main reason is, they belong to a different religion, but many also wonder whether fear of losing their tax-exempt status might not have a big part to do with it.  Didn’t Nancy Pelosi threated to strip it if the bishops ever got out of line and started, totally contrary to their personal inclinations, really opposing democrat candidates?

But the tax-exempt issue, while large, is probably less significant compared to the loss of the billions of dollars of forced donations taken from the American public at large and given to the USCCB’s charities by the federal government every year, so long as the bishops continue to play their part in the big, always left-turning machine of our culture.

That’s the theory proposed by Philip De Vous below, and I think he’s pretty much spot on, if you leave out the whole different religion aspect (my comments):

Every time I hear an American Bishop or some apparatchik at the USCCB give some fake warning about being careful what we say, or write, or what pro-life literature we hand out concerning the election because “we could lose our tax exempt status, I laugh and think, “so what and let the bastards try it.” [Fight through. Move along…….]

Why are so many prelates and priests so unmanly and afraid of a confrontation and a fight? Surely one of the reasons men only are called to the priesthood has something to do with a man’s capacity to fight and protect what he loves? Testicular fortitude should be thing for men–Christ’s own men especially!!!

“What doth it profit a man to gain his tax exempt status and lose his soul?” [Well, what if these men are actually fervent devotees, high priests even, of a different and implacably competing religion, a religion of man, by men, and for men, a religion dreamed up by Montesquieu and Voltaire and Hegel and all the other prophets of the sexular pagan left?  What if they held a vision of “catholicism” that reduced it to a simple appendage, a sort of god-modded version, of the “greater” religion of sexular pagan leftism?  Mr. De Vous is completely right in his analysis, insofar as it goes, but there is much more beneath the surface of prurient interest and Pharisaical wealth- and influence-seeking.]

As I see it, given the number of people who regularly go to Mass, confession, and actually support the Church, and given that Catholics contracept and divorce at the same rates as the pagan population [slightly higher!], we have too much land, too many parishes, and too many schools for the number of Catholics who actually practice their faith, so a tax paying forced reorganization might be beneficial to properly slim down to productive and believing ecclesiastical assets[Great point]

Why do Bishops pretend as if they would have no public leverage, influence, or legal recourse should the government actually and improbably move to revoke the Church’s tax exempt status? Why do they and their apparatchiks tell this ridiculous, very public lie of the potential revocation of exemption every election season? How many African-American congregations have suffered a revocation of their exemption when they regularly have candidates preaching from their pulpits? NONE. [Maybe, just maybe, many if not most of those bishops don’t WANT to stand against the dominant culture and the evils it promotes, because they predominately agree with them? You’re asking them to inveigh against their most deeply held spiritual beliefs – the horror!]

When are we going to confront the real truth at the root of what the Bishops and their apparatchiks fear: That they have made the Catholic Church in the United States a subcontractor for the anti-Catholic, secularized welfare state and have grown dependent on government money to prop up the Church’s charities and social welfare programs, partly due to the fact that the faithful aren’t so faithful anymore and don’t support the Church and her works much anymore. [But which came first, chicken or egg?  The faithful and bishops both started abandoning the faith en masse in the mid-20th century, but a fair argument can be made that the elites (bishops) went first.  So, stop teaching the Faith,  make massive changes in the very core of people’s lived religious experience (the Mass), and experience a decrease in conviction and involvement.  So the USCCB sucked up to the gov’t to make up for the lack of conviction (read: donations) their own mishandling of the Faith had encouraged, which sucking up is what they wanted to do all along for deeply held cultural and ideological reasons.  Sound like a self-fulfilling prophecy?]

We’ve been corrupted by government money and have made it hard for ourselves to speak the truth about things that matter most, the millions in government dollars prop up school lunch programs, family aid programs, Catholic charities programs, refugee aid, etc.  “Helping people” viewed as a quantity, at the cost of muting our integral witness on moral non-negotiables is surely a highway to Hell paved with greenbacks. [But may have been viewed as much more of a feature than a bug]

It’s not our tax exempt status we’re afraid of losing by speaking the truths that frankly most comfortable, semi-practicing Catholics don’t much want to hear, it’s because we’re afraid of losing the money(concupiscence of the eyes) and the public prestige that administering these big programs (the pride of life) brings to episcopal and meta-episcopal administrations, such as the various organs of the USCCB.

Again, I don’t mean to sound critical, it’s great analysis as far as it goes, and mirrors almost exactly where I was, say, in 2011 or so.  Even then, however, it was evident to me that something was seriously off in the episcopate beyond the love of easily obtained governmental money, something much more to do with ideology and a repugnance for the Bad Old Church.

Nevertheless, it’s always refreshing to see people seeing through the bureaucratic smokescreens of the USCCB/chanceries and starting to figure things out for themselves.  Don’t stop digging, Mr. De Vous!  The truth is out there…….