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US Bishops Oppose Appeal of Johnson Amendment – Why? March 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, different religion, Endless Corruption, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
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I saw the following excerpt of a lengthy interview Archbishop Lori gave to the Catholic Register recently on the subject of the new presidency and the prospects it brings to the Church, and in addition to being generally disappointed with the bishop’s general view of much of the Trump agenda he was queried about, I was very surprised by this particular excerpt:

What is your assessment of the president’s proposal to eliminate the Johnson Amendment?

That’s, of course, a very complex question. We would certainly want to see, more specifically, what the president might have in mind. As a general rule, it is not a good idea for churches to engage in partisan politics. I believe that, generally, that proves to be a great distraction from our central task and mission, which is to preach the Gospel. Furthermore, I think it would have a tendency to unnecessarily divide our congregations.

I would recognize that the Johnson Amendment is lived out fairly unevenly, across religious lines, but in general, I think we would eye the adjustment of this amendment warily. I think that’s the best adverb I can give you. We are looking at this carefully and warily.

The Johnson Amendment, for those who don’t know, was something created by the corrupt, racist Lyndon Johnson in 1954 and tacked onto a defense appropriations bill to punish the churches who had opposed his 1952 candidacy to the US Senate from Texas.  Johnson only won by literally manufacturing votes in magical ballot boxes, but he had faced criticism from various churches for some of his stands and he did not want to have to deal with that again.  So, he created an amendment that churches that endorse or oppose specific candidates would lose their precious tax-exempt status.  The amendment was shockingly non-controversial at the time, but it has had enormous ramifications.

Now why would the bishops not favor being freed from this restriction on their ability to speak freely and endorse the most moral, most worthy candidates, and oppose those who are unworthy?  There are two reasons, really – money, and ideology.

Regarding the money, the USCCB – and Lori was speaking in at least a semi-official capacity for the USCCB in this interview – is wholly dependent on federal funding for almost all of their activities, activities which have come to be thoroughly politicized by this very same funding.  Something like 90% of Catholic Charities and 92% of Catholic Relief Services funding comes directly from US taxpayers.  One could imagine that, if freed of the Johnson Amendment the bishops would be placed in a very difficult position, not wanting to anger either party by openly opposing some or many (or all) of their candidates.  Such politicking could place their precious, precious billions at risk.  Can’t have that.

In addition, one can easily forecast how divided and lukewarm the bishops would be in determining which candidates to endorse or oppose.

Think how many very difficult, uncomfortable stands out milquetoast bishops would have to take should the Johnson Amendment be repealed.  The house divided they worry about is their own conference’s alienation from faithful souls.  Either way they went, they’d be angering a large proportion of their sharply divided flock, but in most of these cases, there is a clear, Catholic moral imperative to support one candidate and oppose another. Right now, they have the perfect excuse not to speak out much more forcefully against pro-abort, pro-contraception, pro-perversion, etc., candidates.  They simply can’t speak out for fear of losing that “holy” tax exempt status.  It’s great cover.

But it’s also a huge shirking of duty and conduct unworthy of a shepherd of souls.  In fact, much of the division among those in this country who apply the name Catholic to themselves stems precisely from the bishop’s unwillingness to take clear stands on moral issues, and, more importantly, impose ecclesiastical penalties against politicians and others of notoriety who advocate for positions contrary to the Doctrine of the Faith.  How many pro-abort politicians have been denied Communion, for instance?  How many have been condemned by name?  How many morally worthless, mealy-mouthed “voting guides” have been trotted out over the years, always containing just enough  morally ambiguous language to give a shade of cover for those who want to vote for politicians who advance morally reprehensible positions?

Overall, this commentary reveals the moral corruption at the heart of the USCCB and most national episcopal conferences.  Not only do they try to enforce a rigid conformity, blocking individual ordinary’s ability to speak out by imposing penalties against those who do, they also reveal a bureaucratic contractor more concerned with getting paid than saving souls.  Repealing the Johnson Amendment would allow the Church and the protestant sects and others to have a stronger impact on the electoral landscape than they’ve had in decades, and thus materially improve the moral condition of this nation.  In point of fact, one can trace the steady decline in morals in this country almost in a direct line back to 1954 – that is to say, the silencing of the churches played a significant role in the subsequent moral collapse of this nation.

But perhaps many of our shepherds today consider that much more of a feature, than a bug.  Whatever keeps  the gravy train rolling……is that their primary concern?  And how many of them favor the Church to be a mute, subservient, loyal and dutiful NGO-type contractor to the government, rather than the radically countercultural Body of Christ and vehicle of salvation she is intended by our Lord to be?

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Tempting Christ – Avoiding Satan’s Trap March 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church.
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In posting this video, The Remnant asks why St. Augustine called the Cross “satan’s trap?”

Strange question, isn’t it?  How could the Cross, the very vehicle of our salvation, be a “trap” for faithful souls?

Watch the video, and see if you can figure it out:

From the standpoint of this very good sermon, the “trap” was satan’s belief that he could undo this Messiah by having him killed.  Satan was unable to determine that Christ was truly God, and so erred in believing engineering the most horrific, shameful death possible would destroy all the good this Messiah was intending to accomplish.

But I think the analogy works on another level, too. How else can the Cross possibly be a trap?  We have no need but to look at the present Bishop of Rome, and, shuddering, find the reason.

The Cross also becomes a trap when people reduce the act of salvation to it, and it alone.  When protestants, and their unimaginative emulators in the Church, proclaim that one is saved, wholly and entirely, by Christ’s salvific Sacrifice, independent of one’s actions, this is a terrible error that has led countless millions of souls to their eternal doom.

Personified in the totally novel, made in America phrase (invented in the late 19th century) “once saved always saved,” this pernicious error has grown and multiplied until it has come to dominate most sects and made very deep inroads into the Church herself.  This is the opposite error of Pelagianism, which posits that it is possible to earn salvation entirely by one’s own efforts at virtue, independent of God’s Grace flowing through that one-time but constantly re-presented Sacrifice.

Salvation through a one time proclamation that Christ is one’s “personal Lord and Savior” is refuted numerous times in Scripture, most notably I Cor xv:31, Heb iii:13 and especially Mt xxv:31-46, but the supposedly “scriptural” protestants have twisted it to their own destruction, as St. Peter warned they would.

Of course, Catholics know the truth, that we are saved through Christ’s Sacrifice, yes, but also by cooperation with Grace through the good works we do and the sins we avoid.  Christ tells us repeatedly through Scripture that we establish the fact of our existence in the state of Grace through good works, and that those works are necessary for our salvation.  Christ’s Sacrifice offers us the potential for salvation, which was all but impossible before, but does not guarantee it based on a silly one time altar call.  Such an American concept, anyway, that salvation is like placing an order in a drive thru.

It is terrifying to contemplate that the man elected to the Chair of Peter so openly seems to hold protestant beliefs as much superior to the Sacred Doctrine of the Faith.  Francis has heaped praise on the sects and feted numerous sect leaders, and seems to never tire of heaping scorn and derision on faithful Catholics.  It is the inversion of the Truth and the damage being done to souls is incalculable by human means.

Our Lady, however, revealed the answer, at least figuratively, at Fatima, when she showed Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco the souls falling into hell like snowflakes.

Prayer for Self Control March 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, mortification, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Continuing in this impromptu Lenten series of prayers for establishing a holy and virtuous home life, a prayer/meditation on maintaining self-control at all times.

I am definitely of a quick tempered disposition.  I inherited many things from my father’s side of the family, many very admirable attributes, but this is probably one that is on the debit side.  My paternal grandmother said her father-in-law, my great-grandfather, was the meanest man she ever met.  My dad had a really hard time with his father, who was an extremely hard worker but also extremely demanding. I believe, Deo Gratias, there has been a certain process of mellowing from one generation to the next, but the tendency towards a quick temper – which subsides as quickly as it comes on – has remained.  Also, both my grandfather (lifelong farmer) and father (farm raised/construction/gas fields) were notorious abusers of the language, using foul words as a matter of course, and that’s been another bad habit I’ve struggled against.

That is to say, this prayer from Father’s Manual by Fr. A Coomes, SJ, is something I can really appreciate.  It would be ideal, I guess, if readers could say “this is definitely not a problem for me!,” but I tend to doubt that’s the case.  Note, tendency towards excessive anger is not the only area of self-control addressed, but in raising a whole bunch of kids, it is often among the most prevalent:

Lord Jesus, You told us to learn of  You because You are meek and humble of heart. Teach me Your way of meekness that I may control my mind, my heart, and my tongue.

Give me the manly calm and self-control needed to be an example and inspiration to my family.

Help me to be a considerate husband – to be a true comfort to my wife……..and never quarreling or peevish.  May I be at all times sympathetic, and may my words never be bitter to bring her sorrow.  May I always be understanding, unselfish, and thoughtful in sharing with her the family problems we experience.  Let me be ready to conciliate differences with understanding and never be domineering.

Teach me to be a patient father to my children, inspiring them always by word and example.  May my words always be words that direct and help them, and never words that wound.  When I must correct them, let it not be in anger. And, if I must be firm in my corrections, let me never be crude or harsh.

Let me never use rude or impatient words before my wife and children, nor display an uncontrolled or ill-considered action, which must certainly be a reproach to me afterwards when I contemplate the gentleness and calm of your meek and humble heart.

Finally create in me a spirit of true familial leadership, where I embody all the virtues necessary in a father, husband, and head of the domestic church entrusted to my care.  May I display none of the vices of selfishness, pride, indifference, or failure of leadership. May I in all things lead my family according to Your holy will, for which I will be judged most severely at my death.  May my wife and children submit to my role as leader of the family entrusted to me with willingness and humility.

Please bless our family abundantly and provide us with a joyful and happy Christian home.

———End Quote———

It is a great challenge, adequately balancing proper leadership and necessary firmness with the optimal levels of gentleness and deference.  These days, the great impediment to being a good father and husband is selfishness and carelessness, as we see so commonly in the cultural presentations of oafish, self-serving, uninvolved fathers.  Of course the culture of divorce has a very great deal to do with that.

Even among some traditional priests and laity, however, there seems almost a bias at times against strong leadership which is sometimes slandered as severity, a certain – I am positive it is unintentional – trepidation about fathers going “too far,” or encouragements to fathers towards excessive deference.  There is also sometimes a subtle undermining of the father’s role, in presenting the “ideal” father as meek to the point of emasculated, or gentle to the point of milquetoast.

That does not mean I have not seen very well intentioned Catholic fathers who have perhaps gone a bit too far towards clarity, strength, and decisiveness, which may manifest as a certain tendency towards severity.  As I said, it’s a very difficult balance, but in my limited experience and reading the great mass of deficient fatherhood is on the other side, towards laxity or loss of leadership, both among fathers/husbands who perform their God-given role poorly either due to indifference or lack of knowledge (perhaps more common), and due to the undermining of the father’s/husband’s role by society and, much more destructively, by some of those who should be supporting and upholding that role with all their strength.

This leaves aside the very difficult situation many fathers/husbands face, which is dealing with attempts to usurp their rightful role from within the family itself. This is a very common problem and is found within the most outwardly devout families.  Many women have absorbed some of the noxious ideas floating about in the culture, most of the time unconsciously. Some pious mothers are unaware of how they may be, largely unintentionally, undermining their husband or attempting to subvert his leadership.  Certain priests seem to have a hard time strongly supporting fathers in the face of tearful outbursts in their office or confessional.

All this is to say, the challenges are manifold, especially at this time, though many of these have always existed.  I read a book from a priest written in the 19th century that decried many of these same problems.  Hopefully this prayer will go some way towards overcoming these challenges.  I am looking for a similar prayer intended for mothers and children to aid in their subordinate role in family life, something that is so radically countercultural in these days many have a hard time accepting it.  Generally speaking, in the broader Western world, the overwhelming deficit of virtue and action is on the side of men.  In the much tinier pious Catholic subset, however, the problems are more evenly balanced.

I’ve wandered far enough abroad.  If I keep this up, it’ll be the only post you get today, so I’ll stop.  At root, the best I can do is for all to look to the Holy Family for guidance.  Fathers, look to St. Joseph, mothers, look to Our Lady.  Our Lady never sinned, was preserved free from sin by an act of Grace, and yet she submitted to her husband in all things.  Fathers emulate St. Joseph’s kindness, love, strength, masculinity, and virtue.  I have found you cannot model yourself on St. Joseph, nor ask for his intercession, too much.

 

Prayer for a Christian Atmosphere in the Home March 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Lent, reading, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Another helpful gem from Father’s Manual by Fr. A. Coomes, SJ.  Raising a family has always been hard, but with our kids exposed to more temptations and diabolical interference than perhaps any time in history, it is especially vital to maintain the home as a literal domestic church, full of virtue and with clearly marked lines drawn around every possible vice.  I am better at explaining this than I am living it!  We are all fallen creatures and almost all of us have been damaged by detritus we have picked up from the sewer in which we were raised and have been forced to live all of our lives.  That’s not a commentary on anyone’s particular home life, least of all my own (though far more substantial problems can result from less than ideal upbringings, certainly), but simply a recognition of reality . I wasn’t Catholic as a child or young person, I was very secular and accepted without question most of what the world told me – how much of that do I hold onto today? How many bad habits or ideas do I have of which I am unaware?

You get the point.  I thought this was good, hopefully you will, too (pp. 43-6):

Lord Jesus Christ, You are the way and the truth and the life; and it is by following You that we willmost surely find the way to our Father in Heaven.

Help me, instructed by You and  Your example, to create a truly Christian atmosphere in my home.

May there be in all things a deep and true family life in our home, and a family life patterned after the Holy Family at Nazareth.

May You always be a guest at our activities, our conversations, our recreations  – in a home that is truly and meaningfully centered around You.

May Your picture and that of Your Mother on our walls be treasured reminders of Your love for us and a token of our love for You.

May the Holy Bible, and other books and literature that tell us of You, lead us to a closer knowledge of You,a nd be welcomed and read by every member of the family.

May the thoughts expressed in our home be uncomplaining – at one with Your thoughts and those of Your Holy Church.

May there be a deep respect for all things holy, and may my children learn from me and from their mother a love of family prayer and of the Sacraments.

May charity of speech reign in our home.

Instill in use a tolerance of our neighbors that will be free from all littleness – and free from all prejudice.

May our ways be ever gracious in imitation of Your own; and may we show a special regard for the aged, the underprivileged, the handicapped, the infirm.

And, in all the things that I expect of my children and that I want to characterize our home, let me ever be a convincing example.  May my words be always words that I may invite You to utter with me; my thoughts always thoughts that I may ask You to think with me; the feelings I make my own ever be feelings I may ask You to entertain with me; may the interpretations and judgments I make be such that I may expect You to share them with me.

So in all things may I, together with my family, be so directed by the inspirations of Your Grace that we may be completely one in You.

———End Quote———-

Perhaps striving to improve the tranquility, virtue, and piety of your home life could be a (admittedly slightly tardy) part of your Lenten program?  It is for me.

The best way to fix this fallen culture is one family at a time.