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Thought Experiment: is the sin of Sodomy, in the present context, “just” another sin?      May 27, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, error, family, General Catholic, paganism, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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While I was researching some things yesterday for the post on the support the “Always Our Children” program has received from Bishop Farrell, I found a video in which a protestant “minister” at Focus on the Family, of all things, argued that people should not make too big a deal out of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, as they are just one of many sins that people fall into.  Since we are all sinners, and virtually everyone mortally so, we should not condemn too harshly those who fall into this particular sin.

On the surface, that argument seems to make a great deal of sense.  We are all sinners, and every one of us has deserved eternal death through our sins.  We should have mercy and compassion on those who fall into grave sin, praying they repent and confess their sin and never commit any again.  To do anything else would not be Christian, right?

But there are several problems with this approach.  The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the present context, are in most cases not like other sins.  This is not because they are intrinsically worse in terms of the evil they involve, but they are worse because, for the first time in history since the founding of Christendom, we have individuals going around who literally define themselves according to the sin they commit.  They claim they and their sin are one, that the sin is inseparable from their identity, and, even more terribly, they believe that their sin is not, and that far from realizing their need to repent of this sin and abstain from it, they embrace it as so core to their being that they utterly reject even the thought that they could possibly change even slightly.

In fact, many of the practitioners of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah are so attached to their sin, they would rather see their relationships with mother and father, sister and brother, friend and cousin destroyed rather than accept even the least bit of criticism of it, or any counsel advising them to change their ways.  This is a root cause for the approach the “Always Our Children” group has adopted – out of fear of losing contact with their loved one entirely, they have more or less adopted the  rationalizations of the “gay” lobby whole hog.  Anyone who proclaims the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Church raises such painful mental stress they must be shut up at all costs.  Thus, the treatment some have received at these local group sessions.

We have not seen, to date, thank God, groups of thieves, or murderers, or adulterers, or gossips, or the pathologically envious, running around declaring their sin is such a core part of their being that God must give them a pass for their sin, because “He made them that way.”  In this way the devotees of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah are, for the most part, unique (there are some who do struggle with this sin, and try to overcome it, but I am speaking of those who embrace it fully, to the extent of trying to re-write Scripture and Tradition to find excuse for their sin).

This is a most dangerous trend, and there are indications that it is spreading.  There presently exist “fat advocacy” groups who argue that being morbidly obese is not unhealthy, who basically reject the idea that gluttony is a form of moral degradation.  But the devotees of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah are much more dangerous, touching as they do on that most powerful of human drives.  The arguments they put forth could easily be accepted by others attached to sins of the 6th and 9th Commandments, further destroying the tattered remains of the Christian moral order.  As such, their advocacy for their sin represents a grave threat to the moral well-being of others – a further marker that this particular sin, in this particular place and time, is not simply one among many.  About the only sin I can think of that has similarly tried to upend Truth in order to justify the sin, is divorce and remarriage.  Those two evils have probably precipitated the present rise of “liberated sodomy” more than anything else.

It is also spreading in the sense that already millions of people have become convinced that the sin of sodomy/”lesbianism” are not sins at all, because they have accepted the false and self-serving arguments of those who have fallen into these sins.  This can be witnessed in the outlook of the “Always Our Children” groups here locally, where “outreach” has transmogrified into unthinking support, and even advocacy.

None of this is to say that those who have not fallen into these sins are somehow superior to those who have.  Nothing could be further from my purpose.  All have sinned, and all have deserved death.  St. Paul and our Blessed Lord make this clear.  Thus we all have infinite need of the salvific Grace that only comes from faith in Jesus Christ and the Church He founded.  This is not about standing on a statue of superiority condemning others.

What it is about, is making plain that we are dealing with a unique threat to the entire moral order and millions of individual souls.  We do ourselves no favors by downplaying the unique danger of the “gay” rights lobby and self-serving, soul-crushing arguments they put forth.  Of course these individuals should be approached with love – and I would argue that those who have the strength of faith and character to stand in a group of hostile people and tell them the Truth, that sodomy is wrong and always has been, that the inclination is disordered, etc ., are the ones practicing true love and true mercy.  No one wins by souls falling into hell like so many snowflakes, and Our Lord could not be more clear that these sins absolutely DO send people to hell.

I’ve gone about a thousand words, so now I invite your comments.  Any approach to anyone in any sin must be a fine balance between charity and truth.  But we do ourselves no favors – nor those who fall into this sin as with any other – by hiding the Truth and failing to make necessary distinctions.  At this point in time, the behaviors associated with the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah are really unique in the history of Christendom and represent an existential threat to the remains of the Christian moral order.

I guess I would sum up saying, in order to deal with a problem, you have to first understand it.  Minimizing it or pretending it is not unique is not a help, in the long run.

Saint Alphonsus on Humility  May 26, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, reading, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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Saint Alphonsus on humility, or, more specifically, the kind of humility we should be have if we would advance in virtue and be saved.  Saint Alphonsus says we should seek out humiliations and rejection by others in order to grow in perfection.  A tall order, perhaps the most contrary thing to our nature imaginable, but one supported by many other Saints.  I guess one way to put this into perspective would be to ask, what price eternity?

From The Holy Eucharist, pp. 361-2:

But it is not enough, in order to be humble, to have a lowly opinion of ourselves, and to consider ourselves the miserable beings that we really are; the man who is truly humble, says Thomas a Kempis, despises himself, and wishes also to be despised by others. [It’s a goal, not necessarily a command!] This is what Jesus Christ so earnestly recommends us to practice, after his example: “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt xi:29).  Whoever styles himself the greatest sinner in the world, and then is angry when others despise him, plainly shows humility of tongue, but not of heart.  St. Thomas Aquinas says, that a person who resents being slighted may be certain that he is far distant from perfection, even though he should work miracles.  The divine Mother sent St. Ignatius Loyola from Heaven to instruct St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi in humility; and behold the lesson which the Saint gave her: “Humility is a gladness at whatever leads us to despise ourselves.” Mark well, a gladness; if the feelings are stirred with resentment at the contempt we receive, at least let us be glad in spirit.

And how is it possible for a soul not to love contempt, if she loves Jesus Christ, and beholds how her God was buffeted and spit upon, and how He suffered in His Passion!  Then did they spit in his face and buffeted Him; and others struck His face with the palms of their hand (Mt xxvi:67).  For this purpose our Redeemer wishes us to keep his image exposed on our altars, not indeed representing Him in glory, but nailed to the cross, that we might have his ignominies constantly before our eyes; a sight which made the Saints rejoice at being vilified in this world.  And such was the prayer which St. John of the Cross addressed to Jesus Christ, when He appeared to him with the Cross upon His shoulders: “O Lord, let me suffer, and be despised for Thee!” My Lord, on beholding Thee so reviled for my love, I only ask of Thee to let me suffer and be despised for Thy love.

St. Francis de Sales said, “To support injuries is the touchstone of humility and of true virtue.” If a person pretending to spirituality practices prayer, frequent Communion, fasts, and mortifies himself, and yet cannot put up with an affront, or a biting word, of what is it a sign?  It is a sign that he is a hollow cane, without humility and without virtue.  And what indeed can a soul do that loves Jesus Christ, if she is unable to endure a slight for the love of Jesus Christ, who has endured so much for her?  Thomas a Kempis, in his golden little book of the Imitation of Christ, writes as follows: “Since you have such an abhorrence of being humbled, it is a sign that you are not dead to the world, have no humility, and that you do not keep God before your eyes. He that has not God before his eyes, is disturbed at every syllable of censure that he hears.” Thou canst not endure cuffs and blows for God; endure at least a passing word.

———–End Quote————

As I said, there is little that could be more contrary to human nature than bearing with slights and insults with complete humility – but it is the example our Blessed Lord gives us.  I pray for the strength to deal with contradiction with much greater equanimity and peace of soul.  That’s not something I’m very good at.

This Faith of ours, because of our fallen natures, may be simple, in a sense, but it is certainly not easy.  May God have mercy on us and patience with us in our struggles towards perfection, from which I feel a long, long ways.

Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell Wholeheartedly Endorses Highly Problematic, Scripture Denying “Always Our Children” for “Gay” Ministry May 26, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, Restoration, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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It has been reported to me via disparate sources that at the most recent convocation of priests for the Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Kevin Farrell gave strong support to the ministry “Always Our Children,” and encouraged its spread throughout the Diocese. “Always Our Children” is a group which purports to be a support entity for the families of individuals who act out in profound ways on their same sex attraction.  Always our Children is a renaming of the group’s previous title, “Outstretched Hands,” and according to some has links to the heterodox New Ways Ministry and Dignity “gay” lobby front groups.

Before I get into the details, I’ll simply state I’m not talking about intent. The intent behind this may be pure as the driven snow, but the effect I fear will be quite the opposite.  In fact, the evidence already demonstrates that is already the case.

Some history: 6  years ago, I became aware of what was then called Outstretched Hands at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Plano.  I wrote several blog posts on this subject, the two most principal of which are here and here.  As I stated, the problems with “Outstretched Hands/Always Our Children” are manifold, including:

  • Undermining or attempting to refute the plain condemnations of both the inclination towards, and especially the commission of, sexual acts committed between people of the same sex as outlined repeatedly in Sacred Scripture. In doing so, they adopt the language and diabolically erroneous interpretations of Scripture emanating from false, pro-gay sects like the Metropolitan “church.”
  • Basing much of their outlook, and even their name, on an erroneous document produced by a sub-committee of the USCCB in 1997 and never approved by the full body of bishops: “Always Our Children.” This document was so full of error and false moral equivalence, the CDF under then Cardinal Ratzinger demanded it being rewritten and recast under a new title, which document was approved by the USCCB in full in 2006.  The “Always Our Children” website makes no mention of this later, much more faithful document, which condemned the acts of Sodom and Gomorrah in much clearer terms, nor the fact that since the “Always Our Children” document was never approved by the full body of US bishops, it has essentially zero doctrinal or moral authority. The bias of the Always Our Children website is readily apparent from the short list of documents they use for reference, all of which were problematic to one degree or another and all of which are distinguished by their unusual degree of acceptance/support for the arguments of the “gay” lobby.
  • Referencing the problematic 1990/94 version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which erred towards softness on the subject of sodomy and its associated sins. One has to dig far down to find any mention of the revisions made to the 1997 Catechism on the same subject, correcting what many felt was a far too tolerant approach to these sins which cry out to Heaven for vengeance.  The 1997 version of the Catechism is the only “authoritative” version at present, having superseded the earlier versions.
  • Routinely serving as an advocacy group for the LGBT agenda
  • Violently attacking anyone who shows up at an “Always Our Children” group meeting who speaks of chastity, self-denial, living in accord with the Doctrine of the Faith, etc. I have received numerous reports to this effect, and can attest to this truth by personal experience.  In fact, those who present a faithful Catholic perspective at local Always Our Children meetings are routinely told to leave

A bit more history: when I first reported on this matter in 2010, there was a bit of a flap and a number of complaints sent to the Diocese.  Bishop Farrell’s response was not to investigate the problems with the offending group with an eye towards removing them from local parishes, not to counteract their potentially (likely?) harmful influence by supporting the only Vatican-approved outreach ministry for same sex attracted individuals and their families, Courage/Encourage, but to order the deletion of the offending (contrary to doctrine) materials on the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton website!  In other words, a cover up of sorts.  And yet now those same materials have returned!

But that’s not even the half of it.  I can also report to you that this isn’t the case of a bad memory.  Numerous attempts have been made in recent weeks/months by well meaning souls to explain to the Diocese/Bishop Farrell the continuing problems with Always Our Children.  There have also been a number of attempts to garner support for the far more faithful and morally satisfactory Courage group.  Those efforts have met with the usual stonewalling and delay tactics.

It is also reported that most diocesan priests are strongly hostile towards Courage, to the extent that for nearly 3 years, from the departure of former auxiliary Bishop Seitz until very recently, the local Courage ministry could find no priest to serve as spiritual advisor/mentor in either the Dallas or Fort Worth dioceses (that sad situation has now, to my knowledge, been rectified).  I’m sure you can imagine why so many priests might be hostile towards a faithful Catholic ministry that teaches chastity, the denial of sinful urges, and living in accord with the Doctrine of the Faith.

The truly devastating part is that Bishop Farrell’s support has now caused Always Our Children to spread throughout the Diocese.  From being based at only St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in 2010, it is now in four parishes in the north deanery alone: Seton, St. Mark, St. Francis of Assisi (Frisco), and Prince of Peace.  Three of the four are of course in Plano.

It does seem that some “Always Our Children” groups are better than others, but the information I have garnered informs me that the groups in the Diocese of Dallas are quite strongly on the liberal/unquestioning acceptance side of this matter.  Again, I have some experience of this myself, though it is several years old, but I have recent testimony of folks who tried to represent an orthodox Catholic viewpoint in the local Always  Our Children groups who met with a distinctly hostile reaction.  This is not surprising to me, given the long time and overwhelmingly left-liberal influence of the lay ministers who oversee the operation of AOC at the local parishes in question.  The family and adult ministries at three of the four parishes above have long been dominated by women who hold quite heterodox views regarding the Doctrine of the Faith, and whose advice in practical situation is highly questionable.

But at root, what is most upsetting to me, and others, is Bishop Farrell’s choice to so strongly endorse Always Our Children, when an alternative of much more robust orthodoxy, and a far more successful pastoral approach, exists in Courage/Encourage (Courage being the ministry for those with SSA, Encoruage for the families/loved ones of those with SSA).  There are priests in the Diocese of Dallas who would like to see Courage get more support, but they are unfortunately in the distinct minority.  As I mentioned above, many priests, quite possibly the majority, are reported to be quite hostile towards Courage and its approach.  I would not be surprised in the least if this hostility did not influence Bishop Farrell’s decision.  Again, I do not think ignorance can be cited as a defense, as I know problems with the current “gay outreach ministries” and the alternative of Courage have been presented to the chancery for years.

I’m not terribly surprised at all this, though I do find it disappointing.  While the Bishop Farrell may be acting with the best of intentions, given the history and the criticism I know these groups have received, it’s pretty upsetting that he decided to go this route.

I’ve inveighed on people to contact the Diocese in the past on such matters, but having been through that process several times I can’t say it makes much difference (save, perhaps, to remove the public embarrassment by taking down a webpage or two).  But, if you feel motivated to contact the Diocese of Dallas, by all means, knock yourself out, though I ask that you be respectful and to the point, eschewing words like evil or hell (not because I disagree, but because I don’t think they’re very effective).

Contact info below. Bishop Kelly is really the man to contact, since getting to Bishop Farrell is all but impossible unless you leave a trail of gold coins behind you when you walk:

Mary Edlund   Chancellor, Dallas Diocese   chancellor@cathdal.org 214-379-2819

Bishop Greg Kelly Auxiliary Bishop / Vicar of Clergy
(214) 379-2821
gkelly@cathdal.org

Elsa Espinoza: Executive Assistant to the Bishop
(214) 379-2816
eespinoz@cathdal.org

Would someone kindly link this to Pewsitter?  God bless you.

John Salza against sede-vacantism May 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, error, General Catholic, Papa, Restoration, Society, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
6 comments

10 years ago, when I was first becoming an active, committed Catholic (or trying to), I found the books of John Salza to be immensely useful.  His “Biblical Basis” series was an excellent resource to help bring me from erroneous protestantism to a solidly formed Catholicism.

Since then, Salza and I have both become committed trads, him probably more so than me. Salza is now definitely in the SSPX camp, and doesn’t have too many kind words for the Ecclesia Dei communities.  So while you could say I disagree with him on some points now, I remain very thankful to him for the role his works played in my conversion to a more robust practice of the Faith. I still think he’s one of the best, most thorough, most orthodox Catholic writers around.  I have a great deal of respect for his views.

I say the above to provide a bit of context of where I’m coming from with respect to the videos below.  They contain an interview of Mr. Salza by Brother Andre Marie of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the brother’s Reconquest internet radio show.  In general, I found Salza’s analysis below spot on.  At any rate, he is a serious scholar of theology and ecclesiology and is worth listening to, even if you don’t agree with every conclusion he makes.  I would also note the irony of Salza appearing on this particular radio show, with this particular host, since the Slaves are often lambasted as “Feeneyites,” seemingly every trad-group’s favorite whipping boy.  That’s something I admit I’ve never quite understood (I get the root error, but they profess to no longer maintain it).  So here you have an SSPX-supporter dashing sede vacantism on a “Feeneyite’s” radio show!

A reader had asked me to summarize the content below.  I wish I had the time today to do so, but I’m just about out.  It took me 4+ hours to finish the post below, as I had so many interruptions (how can that nasty old work ever get in my way like that!?).  For those who cannot watch the below for technical reasons, or because they don’t want to invest the nearly two hours, I’ll try to work on a summary, but these guys cover a lot of ground, including much of the 710 page content of Salza’s book on this subject (which I have not read)!  That is to say, summarizing this long interview would be no easy task.  But, I’ll see what I can do.

The interview, in two parts:

If you have comments on the interview, I’d love to see them.  Thanks and God bless you!

 

Reminders: back to Angelus, start Sacred Heart Novena today May 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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Just a reminder, you should have switched back from the Regina Caeli to the Angelus on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday.  Sorry for the lateness of my reminder, but better late than never, I suppose.

Also, the Novena for the Feast of the Sacred Heart starts today, Wed. May 25:

I have two versions, one from Fisheaters and another that is from St. Margaret Mary Alocoque.  First:

O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; Sacred-Heart-Il-Gesugive me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.

Now, what many already pray daily, if you are like me:

I.O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of……(here name your request)
Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father….Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II.O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of…….(here name your request)Our Father…Hail Mary….Glory Be To the Father….Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.sacred heart bird hand painted colorful.jpg

III. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of…..(here name your request)Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father…Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

OSacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
— St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

LMS Chairman: Sacrosanctum Concilium a self-contradictory document unsuited for guiding liturgical reform May 24, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, secularism, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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Joseph Shaw, chair of the Latin Mass Society in England, has penned a piece for Rorate Caeli noting the massive contradictions that riddle the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium.  What can be said about Sacrosanctum Concilium can be said about every document of Vatican II, which is that they are less clear pronunciations on the Doctrine of the Faith for all ages, than they are the transcripts of a very heated debate that took place at particular place and time, and which was never resolved.  Thus, aspects of other documents of Vatican II seem bizarrely out of date.

I have long argued that the documents of VII are documents at war with themselves, filled with rather banal declarations of orthodoxy weakened with caveats that permitted the entry of mass amounts of destructive novelty.  Or, vague statements permitting endless novelty “corrected” by weak endorsements of the constant belief and practice of the Faith.  It reads like a debate in which the orthodox, unable to articulate the Doctrine of the Faith cogently, fought a rearguard action of damage limitation.  Their efforts were largely unsuccessful, almost entirely because the conciliar popes sided overwhelmingly with the progressives, and so we have what we have today, a Church riven by discord, but with the progressives firmly in command.  One could even argue that the documents of Vatican II are so riven with self-contradiction that they create an environment in which endless debate will be the inevitable result.  Feature or bug?

Shaw makes some very good points, and demonstrates how both SC, and the conciliar and post-conciliar popes, have at various times endorsed both liturgical orthodoxy and dangerous innovation, which are well worth reading and considering.  I’ll skip over those, and note his general summaries, which correspond very closely with my own thinking (which means he must be right, of course):

Liturgical conservatives and progressives argue endlessly about this. Their argument will never be resolved, both because Sacrosanctum Concilium was and the subsequent magisterium has been self-contradictory, but also because neither side in the debate is willing to be honest about the historical facts. I am sorry to be harsh, but having read the output of both sides of the debate over a number of years, it is time it was said.

First, Sacrosantum Concilium: how is it self-contradictory? It makes few concrete suggestions, but it does make some. It calls for wider use of the vernacular (63); the removal of ‘useless repetition’ (34), and a more ‘lavish’ presentation of the Scriptures in the readings, arranged over a ‘prescribed number of years’ (51). It leaves further details to local initiative and an official commission. On the other hand, it says (23):

There must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.

It is perfectly obvious that the this double condition is not satisfied by the concrete suggestions the document itselfmakes. There is no precedent in the liturgical tradition of the Church, in any Rite, for a multi-year lectionary, and to suggest that such a thing could grow ‘organically’ out of a single-year lectionary is obviously absurd. There is no precedent for a mixing of Latin and the vernacular in the liturgy, or for the liturgy to be translated into dozens of vernaculars for different countries. The principle militating against ‘useless repetition’ is entirely foreign to the Church’s liturgical tradition. And none of these changes could possibly, in advance, be said to be required ‘genuinely and certainly’ by the good of the Church.

From this fundamental self-contradiction, you can draw any conclusion you like. Perhaps the ‘general principle’ of section 23 should control our interpretation of the specific examples of reforms; perhaps it is the other other way around. The fact is, there is no coherent programme of reform in Sacrosanctum Concilium. Let’s not engage in make-believe. It is a compromise document with provisions pointing in different directions.

It was, however, interpreted by those appointed to interpret it, and the Novus Ordo Missae was signed off by Pope Paul VI. So what liturgical style are we guided towards by the official documents, documents of the ‘living magisterium’ as the conservatives like to call them, which accompanied and followed the promulgation of the new missal?…….

……..We need to face the fact: the magisterium’s own interpretation of Sacrosanctum Concilium is a moving target. It was quite different in the 1970s than it was by the mid 1990s. Who knows where it will be in ten years?

…….Those seeking, in Conciliar and post-conciliar documents, guidance on liturgical principles, with a view to the way Mass should be celebrated, and perhaps with a view to future reform, should stop right here. There is no single, coherent, vision of the liturgy in these documents. There is, instead, a debate. In the end, one side of this debate must win, and the other side must lose. [It’s been heavily back and forth since the 60s, as Shaw indicates in text not excerpted.  The modernists dominated from the 60s through the 80s, but then the conservatives gained a stronger position in the 90s and 00s, not that much changed, practically speaking.]

I would like to appeal to the ‘reform of the reform’ writers, and to the progressives on Pray Tell and elsewhere: stop accusing each other (and traditional Catholics) of contradicting authoritative documents and the ‘real’ principles of Vatican II. On this subject, arguments from authority will get us nowhere.

The only way to think with the Church on the liturgy is to take a longer view: to look at what the Church has done, not over a few decades, but over millennia. The very idea of doing this, of course, contradicts the claim that everything up to 1965 was bad. But it is that idea, rather than an honest appraisal of the modern liturgical documents considered here, that is really troubling for the doctrine of the indefectability of the Church. If the Church was wrong up to 1965, why pay any attention to what she has said since then?

If you read through the entire piece, do you also come away with the impression that Shaw is recommending this: since Vatican II and the post-conciliar leadership have been blatantly contradictory on the Liturgy since 1965, we should mostly ignore their pronouncements and go back to the Church’s ancient understanding of the Mass and other Sacraments?

If so, that’s certainly something I can agree with.  Not so much “rejecting” Vatican II, which has always been a meaningless canard, since the documents contain thousands of statements which can be twisted to say just about anything one wants them to, but ignoring the heterodox, novel portions therein.  I’ve always favored the Japanese term mokusatsu, “to kill with silence.”

In fact, Shaw’s take is pretty sympathetic. A stronger stand would be that revolutionaries planned and/or hijacked a council, and targeted the Liturgy as their prime means of remaking the Faith.  In other words, different religion.

All I know is, I plan on never assisting at a Novus Ordo again.  I’m going to be in San Antonio next weekend.  If there is no diocesan TLM, I’m going to St. Joseph’s.

Cover-up of perversion and sexual abuse in Hollywood goes back decades: why are we watching their product?    May 24, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
10 comments

I read today that the man who was once America’s Favorite Dad, Bill Cosby, is going to face a criminal trial over the mass of evidence that he drugged, abused, and raped women for decades.  Another revelation came out recently, from his own testimony in a previous civil trial, that he had “scouts” bring him a bevy of very young teen models for his perusal every day, and that he would select one or two to use for his sick pleasures.  Hardly surprising, given the other evidence, but since this practice was self-admitted, and that there is evidence that some of the models may have been underage, this admission by Cosby could cause him even further well-deserved legal trouble.

But the truth is, Hollywood has known about Cosby’s sicko lusts for decades.  I believe I have mentioned before that one of my best friend’s sisters was a Playboy Playmate.  There’s a whole sordid tale about how that came to pass, but that’s not the point of this post.  The point is, as a former Playboy Playmate, aspiring (but never successful) actress, and denizen of Hollywood, she had access to the Playboy Mansion owned by Hugh Hefner.  This was a frequent gathering spot for former Playmates looking to party in a drug-soaked atmosphere with both major movie stars and the perennial Hollywood hangers-on.  One of the most frequent guests at the Playboy Mansion during the 70s and 80s was one Bill Cosby.

So there I was at my best friend’s house one evening in 1991 or 1992, when his sister happened to be in town with her then-fiancée Miklos “Mickey” Hargitay, Jr.  I don’t know how we got on the subject, maybe his show was on TV, but both mentioned how often they saw Bill Cosby at the Playboy Mansion back in the day.  Even more, Mickey Jr., who I ran  into several times, and who was a really cynical sort (I was told he was messed up from seeing his mother Jayne Mansfield decapitated right before his eyes in a terrible 1967 automobile accident), made a number of very disparaging comments about Cosby’s moral hypocrisy, how he “guessed he loves his wife Camille, now, because he sure didn’t seem to back when he was <using> 15 year olds three at a time in the mid-80s,” among other things.

Anyway, this was no big secret they had stumbled onto.  Everybody who even occasionally attended the Playboy Mansion knew of Cosby’s habits, so notorious were they, and because virtually anyone who was anyone in Hollywood in that period (says, 60s-early 90s, at least) visited the Mansion at least occasionally, pretty much all of Hollywood knew what was up. They probably considered it no big deal, because many others had similar habits, whether criminal or not.  Secrets like this are considered de rigueur in Hollyweird, I suppose.

For a bit more evidence of that, a number of child stars from the 60s through the 90s have alleged that child molestation is also extremely widespread, that the “casting couch” applies as much to children as it does to young adults seeking to “make it big.”  Just recently, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Woods stated that child sex abuse was common in Hollywood (though he subsequently backtracked), only confirming previous claims from former child stars like Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, two youths who claim their train-wreck adult lives of addiction and worse were fostered by the abuse they suffered.

And it continues to this day.  X-Men director/producer Bryan Singer may or may not have raped underage boys, but that he has a strong attraction for “barely legals” is beyond dispute.  When allegations first surfaced, the Hollywood press reacted to the effect that everyone already knew this, and who cares?

Of course, these are only a few recent scandals.  Hollywood has long played a pivotal role in the decline of moral standards in this country.  Hollywood has been associated with moral depravity from its earliest days, whether through the perversion of major stars or “prosaic” serial divorce/adultery, the standard Hollywood set, through its massive cultural influence, provided a highly influential, highly negative example to tens of millions of Americans going back decades.  Hollywood has helped normalize vice, perversion, and sin of all kinds.  Even “good guys” like John Wayne, Ward Bond, or Clint Eastwood have led personal lives of highly dubious moral character.

Which leads me to my close: why the heck are we giving these sickos a dime of our money? I ask this question as much of myself as of anyone, because my kids like to have some of the recent kids movies and I have a few things I like to watch, too.  If I watch anything these days, it’s mostly old westerns, but I do break down from time to time and see something “modern,” which I usually regret afterwards.  Like skeinster has said in the comments, if we eschewed everything with a taint of immorality we’d have to live in a cave somewhere with no contact with the outside world.  But watching movies and TV comes with an exceedingly high cultural, moral price.

I’m going to try like heck to no longer pay it.  So no Captain America: Civil War for the kids, thanks to Disney leaning on Georgia to overturn their ban on men in women’s restrooms, which they unfortunately did.

St. Francis de Sales on protestant butchery of Scripture May 24, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, reading, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
6 comments

I’m reading a very good book containing St. Francis de Sales writings against the protestants of the Chablais from the 16th century.  These pamphlets were combined into book form under the title The Catholic Controversy.  St. Francis is a very thorough writer whose pamphlets tend to be quite complex.  As such, they are not easy to condense to blog post length.  I’ve been meaning for weeks to try to share some of this content with you, but I’ve had a hard time finding excerpts of appropriate length that would still be understandable.

Deo Gratias, I believe I’ve found some in the chapters on protestant butchery of Sacred Scripture in order to justify their false beliefs.  This is quite key, and really shocking, in that protestants who claim to rely on Scripture as the sole rule of Faith, in fact excluded many books (for reasons that are false, as St. Francis clearly demonstrates) specifically because they contained matters of belief they refused to accept!   That is to say, they did not start out honestly examining Scripture and somehow found that books present in the Canon of Scripture since the 4th century were somehow false or “apocryphal,” quite the contrary, they started with false beliefs and then modified Scripture to only support those beliefs.  Furthermore, in addition to excluding various Old Testament books, they also edited the content of others that they retained, even including the New Testament.

With that background, the great Doctor of the Church, St. Francis de Sales (my emphasis and comments):

What likelihood is there that the Holy Spirit has hidden Himself from all download (1)antiquity, and that after 1500 years he has disclosed to certain private persons the list of the true Scriptures?  For our part we follow exactly the list of the Council of Laodicea, with the addition made at the Councils of Carthage and Florence.  Never will a man of judgment leave these Councils to follow the persuasions of private individuals.  Here, then, is the fountain and source of all the violations which have been made of this holy rule; namely, when people have taken up the fancy of not receiving it save by the measure and rule of the inspirations which each one believes and thinks he feels. [One of satan’s most effective traps, getting pious souls to assert their own judgment over that passed on by the Church Fathers.  So much destructive has man’s pride in his own intellect – or, worse, his feelz – wrought!]

Now, how can an honest soul refrain from giving the rein to the ardor of a holy zeal and form entering into a Christian anger, without sin, considering with what presumption those who do nothing but cry Scripture, Scripture, have despised, degraded, and profaned this divine Testament of the eternal Father, as they have falsified this sacred contract of so glorious an alliance!  O tumblr_mgzlw7bjam1qmkw26o1_1280ministers of Calvinism, how do you dare to cut away so many noble parts of the Bible?!  You take away Baruch, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, the Machabees, why do you thus dismember the Holy Scripture?  Who has told you that they are not sacred?  There was some doubt about them in the ancient Church but was there not doubt in the ancient Church about Esther, the Epistle to the Hebrews, those of St. James and St. Jude, the Second of St. Peter, the last two of St. John, and especially of the Apocalypse?  Why do you not also erase these as you have done those [that is, the books of Scripture they excluded]

Acknowledge honestly that what you have done in this has only been in order to contradict the Church.  You were angry at seeing in the Machabees the intercession of the Saints and prayers for the departed; Ecclesiasticus stung  you in that it bore witness to free will and the honor of relics.  Rather than do violence to your notions, adjusting them to the Scriptures, you have violated the Scriptures to accommodate them to your notions; you have cut off the holy Word to avoid cutting off your fancies……Open your heart to the Faith and you will receive that which your unbelief shuts out from you.  Because you do not will to believe what they teach, you condemn them; rather, condemn your presumption and receive the Scripture………. [de Sales has it right.  Protestants are loathe to admit it, though]

[We now switch subjects from excluding books from the Canon of Scripture, to deliberately flawed biblical translations]

…….Your fine church has not contented itself with cutting off from the Scripture entire books, chapters, sentences, and words, but what it has not dared to cut off altogether it has corrupted and francis-de-salesviolated by its translations…….In our age, behold arise a thick mist created by the spirit of giddiness, which has so led astray these refurbishers of old opinions formerly current, that everybody has wanted to drag, one to this side, one to that, and always according to the inclination of his own judgment, this holy and sacred Scripture of God…….[in this way] as soon as we are assured that the ordinary edition [The Latin Vulgate] of the Church is so out of shape that it must be built up again anew, and that a private man is to set his hand to it and begin the process, the door is open to presumption……[Upon which, all of protestant opinion is built]

[After demonstrating how protestants mistranslated key bits of Scripture, for instance, Lk xxii:20, trying to pretend that Christ’s Sacrifice was only spiritual or allegorical by changing the words of Scripture]……You see something, then, of the violence and profanation your ministers do and offer to the Scriptures; what think you of their ways?  What will become of us if everybody takes leave, as soon as he knows two words of Greek, and letters in Hebrew, thus to turn everything topsy turvy?  I have therefore st-francis-de-salesshown you what I promised, that this first rule of our faith has been and still is most sadly violated in your pretended church, and that you may know it to be a property of heresy thus to dismember the Scriptures, I will close this part of my subject with what Tertullian says, speaking of the sects of his time: “This heresy” [of the gnostics],” says he, “does not receive some of the Scriptures; and if it receives some it does not receive them whole…..and what it receives in a certain sense whole, it still perverts, devising various interpretations…….” [earlier in the book, de Sales demonstrated how virtually every major heresy of protestantism was simply the recreation of some ancient heresy.  There is nothing new under the sun, or Son]

———-End Quote———–

Thank you Lord for sending us great Saints like St. Francis de Sales, to refute the errors of heretics and shine the light of Truth on their errors.  His words are so apropos to our own time, too, when so many in the Church have fallen into protestant errors.

St. Francis later goes on to attack vernacular translations of the Bible as prone to causing division and confusion, in addition to the fundamental problem of translations serving as sources of error.   You can imagine what he would think of the vernacular Mass, then!

The testimony of a Doctor like de Sales is all the testimony I need to find vernacular Mass severely wanting.

I also fully endorse his practice of ecumenism – converting protestants by the tens of thousands.  One wonders what kind of place St. Francis de Sales would find in the Church today?

Anti-Catholicism Rising: Even in “Catholic” Philippines May 23, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
4 comments

So the Filipinos have elected a new president, it seems, a man who has made numerous virulently anti-Catholic statements, and who promises to institute a “3 child policy” (I don’t believe he has specified what penalties will occur if families “violate” the policy), divorce on demand and government-funded contraception.

Apparently, his hostility to the Faith did not prevent a plurality of nominally Catholic Filipinos (where roughly 80% of the population today claims the name Catholic, down from over 95% about 20 years ago) from voting for him.  As in so many countries, so-called Catholics vote in their own persecutors – assuming, of course, these self-described Catholics even view these anti-Catholic policies and tirades as being opposed to the Faith, which, of course, they don’t (my emphasis and comments):

Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he will defy the Roman Catholic Church and seek to impose a three-child policy, putting him on a new collision course with the bishops a day after he called them “sons of whores”……..

……..Duterte’s often outrageous comments have won him huge support and his tirades about killing criminals and a joke about a murdered rape victim do not appear to have dented his popularity in the largely Catholic country.

“I only want three children for every family,” Duterte said on Sunday in Davao City. “I’m a Christian, but I’m a realist so we have to do something with our overpopulation. I will defy the opinion or the belief of the Church.”……[Not clear on if this “Christian” Duterte claims to be a Catholic or protestant.  Indications are that it is the latter, which, surprise!  A protestant advocating for draconian governmental interference into the most intimate of spheres, the size of family and relations between husband and wife]

…….On Saturday, he criticized the Church as the “most hypocritical institution”, meddling in government policies and said some bishops were enriching themselves at the expense of the poor. [So, opposition to your evil policies = “meddling in government policies?”  How many other tyrants have said similarly over the years?]

“You sons of whores, aren’t you ashamed? You ask so many favors, even from me,” Duterte said in an interview broadcast by TV station GMA.

Monsignor Oliver Mendoza, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Lingayen, whose head is the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the Church respected Duterte’s opinion [is that how you respond when someone calls your mother a whore?  You “respect their opinion?”  That’s not an opinion but an insult, and unworthy of respect.  This is a major problem, an indication of leadership far too willing to bow to the secular authority, and its certainly not limited to the Philippines] but that it would continue to speak against government policies that are contrary to Church teaching. [But even after you have done your duty, say, we are unprofitable servants, for we have only done what was required of us]

…..Political analysts said they were not surprised at Duterte’s statements because some bishops spoke out against him during the election campaign. [Only some.  Shocking, I know.  And thus his successful election?  So where does uber-progressive and Francis confidante Cardinal Tagle stand on this?]

“Like most liberal, secular politicians, Duterte is a deist,” said Joselito Zulueta of the University of Santo Tomas. “This in itself is a self-serving position conceived out of human conceit. He will do as he pleases except when he’s stopped by public criticism.” [Well, someone knows the truth!  And a Catholic university professor, of all people!  I need my fainting couch!]

He said Duterte’s government was expected to clash more with the Catholic Church not only on population issues, but on the restoration of death penalty, legalization of divorce and planned distribution of contraceptives[Which, if it occurs, means legalizing abortion within a few years, to deal with the “problem” of contraceptive failure (which failures are guaranteed and frequent).  Legalized abortion is also necessary to insure a “3 child policy.”  You can see where this diabolical plot is headed]

And once again we see bishops expending their limited and dwindling political capital on matters like the death penalty, on which the Church has spoken clearly until the last 40 years or so.  The state has always had the right of the sword, according to the Church, and while there may be prudential reasons to oppose the application of the death penalty in a given country either generally or on specific occasions, proclaiming it to be an intrinsic evil, as is generally done by Church leadership today, is simply not reconcilable with the Doctrine of the Faith.

That may sound like picking nits, but it’s not.  For as many people as a particular bishop, or even Francis, may turn on by making prudential matters into dogmatic ones, or elevating the progressive political platform into a pretended doctrine, they turn at least that many more off.  Even more, the confusion this causes undermines the Church’s moral authority in ALL spheres and can be a precipitating factor in souls falling away.

 

 

Which gets down to the root question: is this a feature or bug of the post-conciliar paradigm?

Report: Average Vatican Employee makes $10.50 an hour? May 23, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, different religion, error, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
13 comments

In the light of Pope Francis’ incredible statements made last week, seeming to attribute mortal sin to “bloodsucking” employers who fail to provide what he feels are adequate wages and, more specifically, health insurance, it is reported (link to Crux) that the average Vatican employee makes $22,000 a year, and this in Rome, one of the more expensive places in the world to live.  If you assume a 40 hour work week (indications below are that many work much more than that) and 52 weeks work a year (the article also claims most receive no paid vacation), that works out to just over $10.50 an hour, about what a moderately experienced grocery store clerk makes.  However, this income is supposed to be tax free, the impact of which is unclear to me in real terms.  In the US, people who make under $45k a year rarely pay any income tax, anyway, but I’m not certain of the situation in Italy.

Some additional details:

…..The Vatican has a working force of roughly 4,600 employees, three quarters of which are lay people. The overall annual budget is around $300 million, with salaries and benefits being the largest single expense. [We don’t know, from the data presented here, just how much of that $300 mil goes to salary.  If we can assume 2/3 of the total Vatican annual budget goes to personnel costs, and that would probably be a bit high given many other expenses, the “average” salary+benefits cost per employee would equal ~$43500 a year – pretty durned low, especially in Rome]

……The net result is that the average Vatican employee makes around $22,000 a year, tax free.

That may seem shockingly low by American standards, but for those already in the system it’s at least a secure source of employment: Odds are, the Vatican is never going out of business. [Does it seem shockingly low to you?  Seems pretty low to me]

Under the Vatican’s labor law, it’s also virtually impossible to get fired……….

……..Those working with a full-time contract get a pension and health care, though anyone living in Italy for more than three months and who registers with the National Health Services is eligible for free or low-cost health care along with their families, university students and retirees.

Things have gotten considerably more difficult for many lay Vatican employees since February 2014, when the Vatican announced an immediate end to new hires and imposed a freeze on wage-increases and overtime in an effort to cut costs and offset budget shortfalls.

Pope Francis, with input from the Vatican’s central accounting office, also determined that volunteers could be used to help provide the labor needed to make up for the hiring freeze and eventual attrition.

According to four Vatican lay employees, all of whom asked to remain unnamed, the freeze has created new ways in which laity face exploitation.

In truth, new lay people are still being hired to work in the Vatican, but under what are known as “religious contracts.” These contracts are supposed to be for religious men and women coming to Rome to fulfill a specific task, for a period ranging from 10 months to a year. [Which would seem dubious to start with.  Also a sad sign of the continued collapse of religious life?]

Since religious communities normally provide health insurance, pension and benefits, the Vatican doesn’t have to cover them, and doesn’t do so for a lay employee hired under these contracts. [So that notional $22,000 salary does not even include the single largest additional cost to employers – health insurance?]

This is the case of many people working today at Vatican Radio, for instance, or the Vatican Museums.

In most cases, the employees add, people under these contracts end up working for many years, with no benefits, no guaranteed vacation days or no health insurance, hoping to eventually see their situation regularized. [My goodness.  If true, wow.  Hypocrisy much?]

Now, this is one report, not exactly the gold standard for reliability, but nevertheless, if even somewhat true, this would reveal a huge dichotomy between the rhetoric we are treated to, and the reality of how Francis runs the Vatican administration as a sort of religious CEO.  It would mean, in essence, that Francis has condemned himself with his words. And not for the first time, I might add.

There could of course be true mitigating circumstances, a perceived need to balance the Vatican books, the collapse in religious fervor leading a general decrease in donations to Peter’s Pence (for which, it can be said, Francis shares a growing responsibility), perhaps some dire and unseen funding/debt difficulties – all of which apply to private “bloodsuckers” just as much as they do to the Vatican.  Meaning, that while the seemingly low pay of Vatican employees, and using less than perfectly just means to keep employee costs down, can perhaps be excused or explained away, they cannot be squared with the rhetoric declaring others who do exactly the same things for perhaps even better reasons to be mortally sinful.

A skeptic might add that such behavior, however, would be thoroughly in line with the Peronist oligarchical populists of Argentina, who loved to condemn the rich as evil and show themselves to be the friend of the poor common working man, even while obscenely enriching themselves, often at the expense of the poor.

Thankfully, I am not a skeptic.

h/t reader “ediegrey”

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