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Religious liberty in a secular state March 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, paganism, persecution, secularism, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Great talk by Michael Davies below, a man who understood the critical need for unity among all faithful Catholics in the effort to reclaim our Church.  Subtitle to the talk is: “The duties of a Catholic to Christ the King in a secular state.  How to use the religious liberty that has been accorded to you to uphold the Kingdom of Christ.”  Thanks to Sensus Fidelium for uploading this video.  Please support Sensus Fidelium monetarily if you find these videos valuable and  you have the means.  Thank you.

I have not finished listening to the video but over halfway in there is some really good, solid catechesis here on a subject we don’t often hear enough about.  Such a shame Mr. Davies passed away so suddenly and at a relatively young age, he was a great servant of the Church.

I love listening to Michael Davies talk.  He goes a bit fast at times, but he has such a wonderful dry sense of humor.

Davies also has a booklet on essentially the same topic as above.  You can order that here.

World turned upside down: Iranian official claims US arguing Iran’s position in nuke negotiations March 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, foolishness, huh?, persecution, rank stupidity, scandals, self-serving.
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Sheesh.  Our Dear Leader isn’t trying to even hide it anymore.  A former Iranian official who defected during ongoing negotiations in Switzerland has said that the United States is basically arguing in favor of Iran’s nuclear ambitions with reluctant Europeans in the 6 party talks.  Obama, of course, created a false crisis with respect to the negotiations by insisting on an end date which is imminent.  Thus, he apparently feels pressure to reach a deal, any deal, before the timeline expires.  Because no one has ever heard of diplomatic negotiations extending beyond the planned timeframe, no, never:

In his television interview, Mr Mottaghi also gave succour to western critics of the proposed nuclear deal, which has seen the White House pursue a more conciliatory line with Tehran than some of America’s European allies in the negotiating team, comprising the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.

So where does “arguing in favor of a muslim terror state acquiring nuclear weapons” fit into Obama’s oath of office to defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic?

I know a lot of readers have huge problems with US foreign policy in the Mideast over the past several decades, with constant warfighting and silly notions of building democracy among medieval tribesmen who don’t even possess the fundamental approach to human nature that “democracy” pre-supposes, but I have to say that Iran obtaining nuclear devices – if they don’t have them, already – could represent an existential threat to essentially any nation in the world, including this one.  Any normal logic regarding deterrence or how nuclear weapons tend to affect the behavior of nation states (they tend to make them more cautious) can be thrown out the window with Iran, the number one exporter of terror over the past 35 years and a nation that has shown it is quite willing to suffer huge losses in the name of advancing their religious worldview.  Even more, Iran’s leaders are possessed of a messianic vision that tells them they can bring about their glorious islamic “parousia” by instigating a fight to the death with the infidel West.  At the very least, Obama’s program of appeasement and tacit permission for Iran to obtain nuclear devices will, with grim certainty, set off a Mideast arms race and we will see at least Saudi Arabia if not a number of other states develop nuclear capabilities one way or another.

If the Obama Administration really is essentially Iran’s point of view with France and other European participants in the talk, we see once again how the left constantly projects their own immoral behavior onto their ideological opponents.  You may recall that a few weeks ago, a number of Republican senators sent a letter to Iran’s president informing him that the senate had to approve all treaties, and that administrations change, the point being that a future administration may chuck any agreement reached with Obama that is harmful to US interests.  Democrats and their media shills claimed such a letter was treason!, treason with a capital T, because…..well, because it made Obama look foolish.  Which is true, he is monumentally foolish.  But now we see that Obama is taking the side of a country that begins every day with regular chants of “Death to America” and which is directly responsible for the loss of hundreds of American lives in recent decades.  We are also basically serving as Iran’s tactical air force in the battle against ISIS, which threatens shia Iran more than it really poses a direct threat to the US.  But it’s the Republicans who are traitors.  I see.

I don’t know if the disastrous conduct of these negotiations by Obama is due to his basic deference to islam or if it’s just because he’s an equally progressive ninny.  After all, Iran has killed a lot more sunni muslims in recent decades than they have Christians or Jews. So I don’t quite get the angle, other than the fact that he wants a deal to try to pretend his foreign policy has not been a complete, abject failure.

Then again, some men just like to watch the world burn.

 

Is our muslim president siding with Boko Haram in Nigeria? March 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, rank stupidity, scandals, self-serving, shocking, sickness, Society.
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I’m sure I’ll attract the ire of at least one paid agent of Obama’s perpetual campaign organization OFA, but the allegations below are absolutely devastating, and so revealing.  I’m sorry, what else does this guy have to do before people will accept that he is either a practicing muslim, or has the most sympathetic view possible?

Lots of claims below.  Most of which are highly disturbing:

According to Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, more than 13,000 people have been killed in the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009. Some estimates put the carnage as high as 17,000 deaths.

Between July 2013 and June 2014 alone, an estimated 7,000 people  died in incidents related to the insurgency. Boko Haram –  which means “Western education is forbidden” – recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.……

…..Clearly, a more serious response than  #BringBackOurGirls was needed to combat the growing menace – but the United States all but abandoned their African ally.  Not only did the Obama Regime refused to sell Nigeria the arms it needed to fight Boko Haram, it blocked other Western allies from helping them, too.

Back in January, the Jerusalem Post reported that Obama refused to allow “the resale of US-made military helicopters by Israel to the Nigerian government for its fight against Boko Haram last summer.”

Via James Simpson of AIM:

 The administration also denied Nigeria intelligence on Boko Haram from drones operating in the area. While Boko Haram was kidnapping school girls, the U.S. cut petroleum purchases from Nigeria to zero, plunging the nation’s economy into turmoil and raising concerns about its ability to fund its battle against the terrorists. Nigeria responded by cancelling a military training agreement between the two countries.

What do you suppose was behind the Obama Regime’s abject refusal to help this ally fight these terrorists?

Would you believe that there’s a presidential election coming up in Nigeria, and Obama’s favored Muslim candidate is in a tight race against the Christian President Goodluck Jonathan?

And would you further believe that a political consulting group founded by Obama confidante David Axelrod is assisting that candidate - Retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari - who hails from Muslim-dominated northern Nigeria from whence Boko Haram was spawned?

Thanks to the lack of cooperation and assistance from the United States, the Jonathan government has been failing miserably at beating back the terrorist scourge, with the president looking weak and ineffectual. [Now there may be some valid reasons to be careful in arming the Nigerian government, such as concern over corruption and fears the weapons may simply fall into the hands of the muslims through some treachery.  However, there are certainly loyal Christian/Catholic militias that could be supported. There is more below that bears on all this.]

Desperate, the government finally turned to Russia, China and the black market to obtain the much needed arms……

….According to an anti-Buhari Nigerian blogger writing in the Western Post:

In the last year, Nigeria sought aid from the White House for many initiatives, including the fight against Boko Haram.

The Obama administration refused to do anything but pay lip service to Nigeria’s requests. However, it used public and private channels to internationally magnify every failure Nigeria’s government experienced. 

In the last year, since the involvement of Axelrod’s firm, relations between the two nations have significantly deteriorated, with the US refusing to sell arms to Nigeria, a significant reduction in the purchase of Nigeria’s oil, and the cancellation of a military training agreement between Nigeria and the USA. [The oil could be due to the growth of fracking, now under threat due to the Saudi’s flooding the market.  But cancelling regular training that is always ongoing between the US and various relatively friendly governments, and even more, denying intelligence to the Nigerian government of Boko Haram activities, including feeds from UAVs and satellites, indicates something more than just concern over arms diversions. To me it clearly shows an agenda at work, an attempt to deeply meddle in the interior affairs of a relatively friendly government, and to show favoritism to the muslim candidate]

In turn, the Buhari-led Nigerian opposition used the U.S. government’s position as validation for their claim that the Nigerian government was a failure. [And so I have to wonder how many claims we’ve heard of terrible corruption and incompetence we’ve heard of the Nigerian government are really true, or whether this is all just White House/leftist media spin to insure Obama gets the outcome he wants, a muslim government in a majority-Christian (and mostly Catholic) nation?]

To top it off, Simpson reports that Secretary of State John Kerry “made a mockery of the administration’s pretext by hinting in January meetings with both Jonathan and Buhari that the Obama administration might allow weapon sales after the election.”

If the U.S. was so concerned about human rights violations, how could a mere election change that? Given the perception that Buhari has Obama’s implicit support, this sends an unmistakable message.

The administration also rationalized its decision to cut purchases of Nigerian oil by claiming that output from domestic oil fracking has reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil. But that begs the question: why have U.S. oil imports from other nations increased at the same time? Nigeria was formerly among America’s top five oil supplying countries, and America its largest customer. Nigeria relies on oil revenues for 70 percent of its budget. America’s decision to look elsewhere has been catastrophic for Nigeria’s economy. [Hmmm…….not entirely sure about that.  There is a tendency to want to purchase from Western Hemisphere sources. Usually the top five include Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.  Still, even without the oil allegation, these are extremely damning revelations for Obama]

After turning to Russia and China to obtain arms, Nigeria was able to fight aggressively and on the offensive against Boko Haram.

They have retaken 40 towns previously occupied by the group and killed at least 500 of the terrorists.

At least 13,000 civilians dead in Nigeria since 2009 and the US looks the other way because Obama wants to put a progressive Muslim in power.

———-End Quote———

This article discusses this further Obama scandal in detail.  It is amazing the degree to which we are kept in the dark by the leftist Obama-apologist media.  Enormous scandals of huge international significance are consigned to the memory hole in order to protect Obama and serve his agenda.  If this story is even only true in part, it should be an incredible scandal.  Not that we need another one with this stuttering cluster@$%! of a malignant muslim traitor.

If this Republic fails, or has already, the “watchdog” media bears an enormous share of the blame, and perhaps should be considered as the formal, direct cause.  People have elected amoral monsters like Obama because the media carefully sells a completely false image.  Then again, maybe 50%+1 of people no longer even care about such things.  It’s very tempting to just stand back and watch the collapse.

And the saddest thing is, almost certainly well over half the bishops and priests of this country voted for this guy twice and are still totally on board with him!  As always, for the progressive, leftism is the real religion and anything else is just a sidelight.

Irving City Council supports anti-Sharia law March 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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Thanks to MFG for the link.

An atrocious Dallas Morning News article below (but that’s no surprise) reports on a recent Irving City Council decision to back a proposed state law to never allow decisions from “foreign” or sharia law courts to influence or form any basis in jurisprudence in the State of Texas.  This occurred as a result of the standing up of the first “optional” (until it’s not) sharia court in Irving recently.  Irving, reportedly, is nearly 1/5 muslim (though, not where I live – it’s more like 70% Hispanic where I live).  I add many comments below, and will try to address MFG’s question as to whether this kind of law could have any effect on canon law courts (the short answer is……unlikely for a very long time):

The intense national spotlight on Islam has shifted to Irving, where Mayor Beth Van Duyne has accused mosque leaders of creating separate laws for Muslims and the City Council voted Thursday to endorse a state bill that Muslims say targets their faith. [Are canon law courts similar to sharia, and thus under similar “threat?”  I would say, no.  While the culture is becoming increasingly anti-Christian and there will be many forms of persecution, canon law is very different from sharia.  Sharia is a holistic system of legalisms that apply from the islamic state down to the individual, insisting that ALL law be dictated by its statutes. Church canon law is very different and never really competed with the secular state in its proper sphere.  That is not the case with sharia, the goal in sharia always and everywhere is to become the SOLE means of jurisprudence in all spheres.  In the islamic world, there is no distinction between the secular and the religious. Everything is subsumed into islam and sharia.  That is how most radical muslim states operate today.  And the danger is that certain courts in Canada and even a few in the US have started to incorporate legal findings from sharia courts into secular court decisions. That is what the state law here in Texas, in Oklahoma, and other localities seeks to block, that islamic influence on American courts.  So, sharia is really a very different entity that Church canon law courts, it is a different system, it has different aims, and I think, even today, even given the rising persecution, that is still generally quite understood. Plus, Catholics don’t often kill others to advance their religion, or use babies to slaughter Jews, or whatever.  But……should the persecution continue to advance, it is not impossible that even Church canon law courts could come under fire, but that is probably some distance in the future (if ever), and this law won’t have any immediate or even medium term effect on the Church.]

The dispute has made Van Duyne a hero among a fringe movement that believes Muslims — a tiny fraction of the U.S. population — are plotting to take over American culture and courts. [All we must do is look to France, the Netherlands, the UK, and many other European countries to see what happens when muslims dominate a given area.  Sharia is imposed, secular authority breaks down, whole regions become effective “no-go zones” for the state authority, and you have little sharia-muslim enclaves within western nations, where outsiders are ruthlessly attacked if they do not conform to sharia, especially women. So give me a break that this is only the concern of a “fringe movement,” Dallas Morning News, and thank you for reminding me why I ended my subscription years ago]

“It fuels anti-Islamic hysteria,” said Zia Sheikh, imam at the Islamic Center of Irving. “Her whole point was to rile up her supporters. … The problem is we become the whipping boys.” [In which Western countries is public flogging still practiced?  In how many islamic countries is it currently practiced?  Why, Riyadh has an infamous public square where such floggings occur. Tickets are sold!  So maybe not the best metaphor. Or maybe a Freudian slip.]

The mayor stands by her statements, including an interview with former Fox News host Glenn Beck last month, when she said Sheikh and other imams were “bypassing American courts” by offering to mediate disputes among their worshippers according to an Islamic code called Shariah.

The mediation is advertised as voluntary, nonbinding and in harmony with the law. [Until such a time as a given area’s muslims become numerous enough, and radical enough, to insist on sharia being applied as the dominant form of government.  Sharia is not just about adjudicating failed muslim marriages, it is, as I said, the legal system of the muslim ummah, which dominates and informs everything from civil codes to criminal law.  Which gets us back to the public floggings and stonings, all called for by sharia.]

But it has led Van Duyne to back a bill by state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, that would forbid judges from using foreign law in their rulings……

…….Muslims in hijabs, burqas and business suits packed City Hall on Thursday, voicing protests before the council endorsed the bill in a 5-4 vote……. [probably not the best display to reassure concerned citizens.  Now, I have no problem with modest dress, of course, but the fact of the matter is, there are whole swaths of Europe, Canada, and even these United States today where women – whether muslim or not – have to wear at least the hijab if not the burqa if they are not to be assaulted or even attacked.  And that is how it starts!  Not how it finishes.]

……“You will find there is starting to be an encroachment and a movement to chip away at the ability of judges to say no to certain foreign laws.”…… [As I said, aspects of sharia have already been incorporated into legal decisions in Western countries, especially in Canada and the UK, where adherence to sharia has been used as a mitigating factor to let perpetrators of heinous crimes (spousal abuse, child rape, etc) off the hook because such was viewed as acceptable under sharia]

…..“Shariah law … it’s the whole way of life to a certain religion,” Berman warned a House committee as he pitched his bill that year. “It’s starting in Europe because of a large population of Middle Easterners … and it could spread through the United States.” [It already has.  Sections of Detroit]

I’m out of time, but never forget the muslim practice of taqqiyah, or “holy lying,” which is deliberate falsehoods made “moral” if they are made to fool the infidel and serve to advance islam.  The koran or haddith, I don’t remember, also guides muslims to use every means possible to advance islam, to gain every right possible while a minority, to gradually chip away, until they gain an ascendancy in a given area and then they are commanded to impose sharia, which they almost invariably do.

So this is not the fevered imaginations of some anti-muslim bigots, this is how islam operates and has operated for 1400 years.

Presbyterian sect approves sodo-marriage March 18, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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In a move that surprised absolutely no one, the worldly secularist sect called The Presbyterian Church (USA) has chucked 2000 years of Scripture and Tradition (which has been their tradition for 500 years) and decided that two people of the same sex pretending to marry each other is fully equivalent to male-female marriage and worthy of their support:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has expanded its definition of marriage to include a “commitment between two people,” recognizing gay marriage as Christian in the church constitution after decades of debate over same-sex relationships.

The redefinition was endorsed last year by the church General Assembly, or top legislative body, but required approval from a majority of the Louisville, Kentucky-based denomination’s 171 regional districts, or presbyteries. The critical 86th “yes” vote came Tuesday night from the Presbytery of the Palisades in New Jersey……..

……Last year, Presbyterians allowed ministers to preside at gay weddings if local church leaders approved in the states where same-sex unions were legally recognized. The new wording for the church Book of Order extends that authorization to every congregation and reads, “Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives.”

The amendment includes a provision that no clergy would be compelled to preside at a gay marriage or host such a ceremony on church property. [That won’t last five minutes.  Give me a break, this isn’t even a fig leaf of a fig leaf.  Wait until one minister refuses and then see what happens]

….Between 2011, when the Presbyterians authorized gay ordination, and 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, 428 of the denomination’s churches left for more conservative denominations or dissolved, though some theological conservatives have remained as they decide how to move forward. The losses helped pave the way for approval of gay marriage, since many opponents had left the church…. [Yes, let’s speak of losses.  In 1965 there were 4.5 million presbyterians in the US.  US population was 200 million.  In 1983, when US population was about 260 million, the presbyterians had fallen to 3.1 million.  Today, they are down to 1.75 million, and the steepest declines they have seen in over 30 years have occurred in the past 2 years as the sect has been flirting with formal acceptance of the gravest perversion. So, presbyterian membership has collapsed over 60% since 1965 and 45% since 1983. Every single other “mainline” sect, which have all followed the same trend in accepting the prevailing modernist/progressive have experienced similar decline] 

I’m not surprised the Presbyterians have done this one bit.  For decades, they and the other mainline sects – absent a vocal if small minority – have been engaged in a headlong rush towards embrace of the most sordid and un-Christian cultural trends, becoming little more than constantly diminishing left-wing NGOs with a smattering of vague feel-good spirituality.  What I still cannot fully comprehend, however, is that in spite of volumes and volumes of evidence showing clearly that the mainline sects are committing suicide through this embrace of modernism/progressivism, there are still scads of leaders in the Church who want to do the same.  How blind do you have to be to say…..hey, let’s commit suicide like the episcopalians! But nothing blinds like ideology, and we certainly seem to have a surfeit of modernist ideologues at present.

Amazing.  Nothing is sacred.  I guess this is one way to take care of the sects…..just let nature take its course.  As for the Church……I shall pray.

The scandal of divorce – and its impact on government/culture – make “gay marriage” pale in comparison March 16, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Domestic Church, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, family, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, self-serving, Society.
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So says Steven Baskerville in a retty good post below that re-hashes many points made on this blog in the past regarding the ongoing destruction of marriage, the most recent (but not final) attempt to trivialize marriage down to nothing but a convenient tax break (how long will that last?) in so-called “gay marriage,” and the failing efforts to resist this steady advance of radical family deconstructionism.  The author notes that even conservative Catholics writing in First Things still get the big picture wrong, by pretending that the destruction of marriage was more or less sealed by mass contraception use, errors asserting the pleasure/unitive aspect of marriage above the procreative, and no-fault divorce.  Until Catholics start to oppose those evils and reject them in their own lives, the destruction of marriage will continue apace (up to an including groups and animals, and I am not kidding).  Some excerpts:

…..Same-sex “marriage” is symptomatic of a much larger and more ambitious agenda of determined and defiant sexual liberation being pushed by radical political ideologues. The destruction of true marriage and the traditional family is not merely a consequence of the radicals’ program; it is its stated purpose. And it will not stop with marriage. Other manifestations of the radicals’ growing power have already demonstrated their eagerness to incarcerate their opponents……

….Same-sex “marriage” and the radical agenda of which it is but a small part cannot be stopped on the cheap. [Meaning, as a stand-alone evil to oppose.  This attack on marriage is part of a broader assault going back literally centuries and is tied into the fundamental destruction of Christendom which began in 1517.  Until the Church again begins to oppose evils like divorce and contraception with a true effort, marriage will only continue to be eviscerated] We must accept and act upon some unpleasant but obvious truths—truths that may cost us something. And they are precisely the ones [the First Things article] appears determined not simply to avoid but to deliberately obfuscate.

First, same-sex “marriage” and homosexuals did not kill marriage; they are merely picking over the carcass. Same-sex “marriage” is the direct result of precisely the divorce and cohabitation epidemics that [the First Things article] tells us are less important. These brought the “abolition of marriage” and devalued it to the point that it became attractive to some homosexuals. Others have long warned that Christian leaders are shockingly silent on these matters, and their warnings now stand vindicated. Same-sex “marriage” is the logical result. [Well, I don’t expect the very sects that normalized divorce from the start (or were founded based on acceptance of divorce!) to get it, but I do expect the Catholic Church to, and yet, as this writer notes, the Church has been “shockingly silent” on this point for decades, the occasional papal statements notwithstanding]

……..Same-sex “marriage” concerns tiny numbers. By contrast, divorce and illegitimacy devastate the lives of tens of millions and constitute the engine driving the welfare system that is bankrupting entire societies……. [Agree in principle, but sodo-marriage involves such a tremendous evil and is such a complete inversion of the meaning of marriage that it will have impact incalculably larger than the bare numbers involved]

……Under the gargantuan and repressive divorce gestapo, legally unimpeachable citizens are separated forcibly and permanently from their children, evicted from their homes, plundered for everything they possess, and incarcerated without trial for such transgressions as unauthorized meetings with their own children. Not only do they lose their jobs; they are then summarily jailed for having inadequate income. They are even incarcerated for criticizing government officials.

This has been going on for years, during which Christian leaders have been silent. It is hardly surprising that similar (but so far much less serious) authoritarian measures are now being meted out to Christians. [for opposing sodo-marriage]  A glance at the sexual revolutionaries’ other targets reveals that it can and will become much worse……..

…….Cheap compassion for the poor without attention to their sexual morality merely exacerbates the problem. Earlier generations of Christians did not flinch from this obvious, irrefutable, and necessary principle. But who preaches against adultery or fornication now?

Having neglected these age-old truths until the family crisis attains the absurdity of same-sex “marriage,” we now want to draw a line in the sand just short of the latest, most absurd manifestation and hope we can extricate ourselves without serious sacrifice. But it does not work that way. [That is a brilliant paragraph.  It really condenses the mass failure to oppose all these evils over the past 5 decades down to a nutshell]

……..Current bravado about pastors “going to jail” to defend marriage[from sodo-marriage]is nothing like the number that would face summary incarceration once they began to threaten the ill-gotten gains of the divorce industry by intervening to defend spouses and parents against its injustices and depredations. This is why the subject is simply off-limits for a Christian leadership that refuses to rock the boat and prefers the media spotlight. [Where is Cardinal Dolan when you need him?]

Those were merely some excerpts from a fairly long piece (probably 1800-2000 words).  But, it’s very good, you should read the entire thing, even if it is not strictly from a Catholic perspective.

I really haven’t much more to say.  The former Christendom has been attacking marriage for 500 years in some areas, and with increasing vigor and fervor for 220 years since leftism was first really unmasked and unleashed in the French Revolution.  The Left seeks absolute power for all time, the ‘boot stamping a human face forever” per Orwell.   The family is the largest impediment to that end.  So, they have waged war on the family for 200 years, and with amazing success.  However, final and total destruction of the family – if that is even possible – will not get them their end (for any length of time), what it will get all of us is a civilizational collapse that will make the Fall of the Roman Empire look like high Victorian quietude.

But the broader issue is the surrender the Church has made on these matters since the late 50s/early 60s.  I don’t care what sects are doing, they were founded in error and will remain there, but the Church is supposed to be the Light of the World, but for too long the shade has been drawn and the light dimmed to a barely discernible glow.  The calamities afflicting marriage are just one of the more visible aspects of that mass shirking of duty.  Unfortunately, there is no fix of any kind to deal with that failure of duty – it took decades, even centuries, to get to the point of collapse, and it will take about that long (barring some great miracle) to return from it.

I’ll add a bit more – even in traditional Catholic communities, the scandal of divorce remains.  That is one particular evil that even among these often most fervent of Catholics still seems to occasionally raise its ugly head.  I was recently brought into a particularly sad and sordid situation in that regard, which perhaps doesn’t quite “count” since one of the parties has totally fallen away from the Faith over the course of a few months.  That makes the second individual I’ve known that came out of a pretty messed up background to convert to a strong, even traditional Catholicism in the past year to fall away.  Satan never lets up, so never let your guard down.  Tragedies like divorce can afflict any of us – or those close to us – if we are not fervent in prayer/piety and blessed by God.

Some beautiful conversion stories March 11, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
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I haven’t linked to Unam Sanctam Catholicam in quite a while.  No particular reason, but they have a great post up now containing some conversion stories to the Church. Some are actually reversions.  Boniface rightly points out that while we who are very involved in the Faith tend to focus on the crisis quite a bit and the mass flight of souls from the Church, it is important to remember that there are still many converts into the Church, as well.  Heck, I’m one of them, and it hasn’t been that long – it will be 16 years this Easter.  So while we all recognize many grave problems and may have a lot of worries for the future, we should always keep in mind that God is ultimately in charge and we know how this story ends for ourselves (if we remain faithful) and for the Church at large.

Boniface has 5 stories and I’ll share 3 of them, do please go to his site to read the rest. Maybe I left the best ones there.

The Wrong Priest

A agnostic young man with a sordid history and nothing but ridicule for the Catholic Church takes a dare from a friend to go into a Catholic confessional. He stops randomly at a parish in Detroit and goes into the confessional with the intention of mocking the priest and wasting his time. Little does the man know he has walked into the confessional of Fr. Eduard Perrone of Assumption Grotto, the most bad-ass priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit and definitely the wrong priest to casually pick on! The priest asks, “What do you have to confess?” The man arrogantly says, “Nothing.” Father says, “We’ll see about that.” He takes out an examination of conscience pamphlet and starts reading through it, asking the man whether he’d committed each sin. By the end of the list the man is broken and realizes his sinfulness. He make a sincere repentance and is received into full communion with the Church not long after. He later becomes a catechist in his own parish. [Some shades of Padre Pio, without, of course, the ability to read hearts in depth! I do love the idea of a very orthodox priest coming across some sullen, cynical soul who says “I have no sins,” and answering “We’ll see about that!”]

Just One Traditional Latin Mass

A young man who was quite a ways through medical school was invited to Mass by a priest who regularly says the Traditional Latin Mass. He was uncertain about Catholicism in general, let alone the Traditional Latin Mass. The priest implored him. “Just one Latin Mass,” he told the medical student. The young man assented and attended the one Traditional Mass. He was blown away. A year later he was in the seminary. He has now been a priest for over ten years. Just one Traditional Latin Mass. The priest who related this story, Fr. Kevin Lutz in Columbus (the most bad-ass priest in Ohio), stated that he had personally led over ten men into the priesthood in a similar manner.

Beautiful Singing

An ardent atheist who had made a very determined rejection of God and His Church had a Catholic wife. She attended Mass alone for many years and prayed patiently for her husband. Eventually the husband consented to come to Mass with his wife, where he was struck by the beautiful singing of one of the cantors. The beauty of the singing melted his resistance, and he became convinced of the reality of God. His heart now softened by God’s grace, his intellectual opposition withered away.

Boniface adds:

The interesting thing is that in none of the above cases was the person converted by hearing a bunch of arguments. It was other things: beauty, liturgy, a sense of their own sinfulness, the glory of Catholic culture. To be sure, after their hearts were converted, argumentation and intellectual reasoning helped edify them in their faith, but in none of the five cases did rational argumentation precipitate their conversion.

These stories should give us confidence in the power of God’s grace; He calls whom He wills. It is His Church and He can bring in anybody through any means He chooses. When we see something like this unfolding before our eyes, as I did in a story I narrated recently, our job is to support them with prayer and, when necessary, by answering their questions. But we do not make converts, at least not in the strict sense. The Holy Spirit, “who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8), it is He who makes converts by turning hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (cf. Ezk. 36:26). Faith is a gift.

That’s why this blog is more about preaching to the converted and increasing the Faith or good dispositions of already solid Catholics.  Converting folks through argument is very difficult, though it does happen sometimes.

My own conversion was more or less inexplicable and miraculous, I cannot explain it myself. I wasn’t looking to “convert,” I had already been nominally, formally Catholic for years but felt no particular fervor or attachment to the Faith. I originally converted at the behest of my gorgeous, wonderful wife.  But after making a wreck of my life in many respects, I found myself pretty much adrift and in danger of losing everything, and God somehow, I know not how, asserted Himself into my soul and gave me the hope and direction I desperately needed.  This occurred slowly, there was no “ah ha!” moment, but gradually over the course of a year or more I became a convicted Catholic. Many many prayers, possibly most of all those of my deceased mother in law, and the fortuitous assignment of a good priest to a local parish played big parts in that process.  I was miles from being a “trad” or anything like that back then.

But I was not won over by any argument.  It was an act of Grace, for which I had little or no responsibility.  And as I look at my paltry efforts regarding loved ones who are outside the Church, I can say that my mostly intellectual arguments have failed.  But exposure to beauty and the TLM and many other efforts have failed, as well.  As Boniface says, faith is a gift, and God calls whom He wills.  While God wills all to be saved, we don’t get infinite chances and some – many, according to our Blessed Lord – refuse the call.  All we can do in those sad situations, so common today, is to pray and practice virtue and hope that God will touch them in one way or another.

Two quick hits on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus March 11, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, martyrdom, priests, reading, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I also saw at FideCogitActio a post from a 1940s Missal regarding salvation for those outside the Church.  It was not quite as clear and forthright a definition as I would have liked.  Of course, there were some in the Church at that time – and even well before, and especially in this country –  who claimed that the dogma of “no salvation outside the Church” was being compromised and watered down in many ecclesiastical circles, and they were no all “Feeneyites”!  Orestes Brownson in the preceding century had lamented the indifference and squishiness of the Church in the United States on that very point.

Nevertheless, not so much as a rebuttal, but perhaps as a bit of a rejoinder, I present the following quotes from two biographies of 19th century missionaries, one of the great Fr. de Smet, and the other of the martyred Fr. Just de Bretenieres.  First, from Fr. de Smet:

“But he who lifts his thoughts above the passing things of the world to consider truth, which all nature speaks, and desires the salvation of the many souls who would love and serve their Creator and be saved if they but knew Him – he sees in the privations of the desert and in the dangers and perils one encounters there, but slight inconveniences, far preferable to the sweets of indolence and the dangers of riches.”

The following is from the biography of Just de Bretenieres, but is from the forward, by Maryknoll Father James Walsh:

“……I hope that the present volume will fulfill its purpose…….to raise up Catholic souls who will push the standard of the Cross further into the regions now held by the hosts of satan.

Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call upon Him, in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe Him, of Whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom X)

Reading biographies of pre-20th century Saints, martyrs, religious, and priests reveals that, at least then, a widespread literal interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus predominated.  Perhaps something to keep in mind, before you get any tattoos.

Just-de-Bretenieres

Weakening the bond of human matrimony convinces people Christ’s marriage to the Church is similarly weak March 9, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Ecumenism, episcopate, Eucharist, General Catholic, martyrdom, mortification, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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Some commentary about the efforts to pretend-regularize divorce by admitting divorced and remarried folks (with no annulment) to the Blessed Sacrament by Fr. Hunwicke.  I think I’ve put forth the same arguments before, but not with so much eloquence, and it is very good to drum this understanding firmly into our head in the face of the onslaught of error from within and without the Church.  I pray you find it as edifying as I did:

The Christian Faith is a coherent and integrated whole. Every bit fits in with every other bit. Drop just one single bit out, and you throw the whole complex unity into disarray. Perhaps you will allow me, in conclusion, to take a topical example of this; topical, because we are at this precise moment immersed in the fascinating if febrile period between last year’s Synod and this year’s Synod. And so Marriage is very much in the mind of each of us. And, of course, fallen human nature being what it is, when we say we’re thinking about Marriage, it seems to turn out to mean that we’re thinking about Divorce. That’s the way that Screwtape and his associates have adjusted our philology. And the Lord said that Divorce is impossible; in fact, he said it so clearly that the way He actually put it was that if you get divorced and then “marry again”, you’ll really only be living in adultery……. [It’s been clear for 2000 years, but modernists like Kasper even doubt, or reject!, that Christ is really God, really performed miracles, and was really resurrected.  For them, this is all just a bunch of ancient mythology and theological gobbledygook]

…….Now … side by side with the Lord’s teaching … let us set some remarkable words from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. He likens the nuptial covenant between husband and wife to that equally nuptial covenant, the ‘mystical union that is betwixt Christ and His Church’.

You see, I’m sure, the bearing of all this. If a valid and consummated Christian marriage is as indissoluble as the union between Christ and His Church, it follows that the union between Christ and His Church is as indissoluble as that between husband and wife. Or, to put it the other way round, the union between Christ and His Church is as soluble and it is as breakable as marriage. Advocacy of remarriage after divorce is constructively tantamount to saying that the Lord may desert His Church and could renounce His nuptial covenant with her. [Which is exactly what I have said many times, although with much less eloquence.  And I have been far from alone.  That is why many people looking at this matter of Communion for adulterers/fornicators, “normalizing” sodomy, and all the rest, see in that not just caves to individual items on the cultural left’s agenda, but an attack on the entire moral Doctrine of the Faith.  Should, and I know not how, there be some “pastoral solution” that permits those in manifest mortal sin to receive the Blessed Sacrament, it will be open season on the moral edifice of the Faith.  Already, there are a lot of doctrinal poachers hunting out of season, but should the unthinkable happen, it will be with “official” approbation.  That would represent an enormous shift and the damage would be incalculable.]  

I think I had better come clean. The point I’m making is, in fact, disgracefully plagiarised. I have lifted this exposition from a magisterial book called Marriage and Divorce by a very great pontiff, Kenneth Escott Kirk, Lord Bishop of Oxford between 1937 and 1954 and sometime Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology in this University, which he wrote in the context of the English Divorce Act of 1937. Bishop Kirk makes with concise precision the point I have laboured in this homily; a point which Cardinal Hume once made by saying that our holy Faith is not a la carte. We accept it table d’hote, because it is a perfectly integrated and interlinked whole. Tear out one element, and the whole cardigan unravels. I’m sure Bishop Kirk would have been an Ordinariate Man … we would have had to learn to refer to him as Monsignor Kirk … so I’ll end with his own words. [So even an Anglican from 80 years ago could understand that this doctrine is not negotiable.  He obviously lost the argument in his own sect and in his country, and look what has happened to Anglicanism/Episcopalianism since?  They stand for nothing but cozy lefty feel-good sentimentality and activism posing as “Christianity,” and they are dying as a result.  Check that, they are already dead, it is simply centuries of momentum that have blinded the few remaining adherents to that fact.  Cardinal Kasper and possibly even a higher authority would have us follow the same suicidal course?]

“To plead for divorce with the right to second marriage is to ignore the whole of this constructive theology which relates the union of the sexes to that of Christ and His Church, and thereby to deny the unity of purpose which runs through the whole scheme of God’s activity both in the natural and in the supernatural sphere. …

“The Christian tradition of the indissolubility of marriage does no more than give effect to St. Paul’s great teaching, in which our Lord’s precepts about marriage are set in the framework of the unity of God’s purpose. To deny that tradition, therefore, is to cast doubt upon the very nature of God, and the modes of activity in which He has manifested Himself to man.”

———End Quote———

Great points.  There is a great line in Deuteronomy XXX:19:  “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.”  That choice has been made by many schismatics and heretics for centuries.  Their choice led straight to death and the hell on earth we see around us.  The sole remaining beacon of light, dimmed though it has been these past 50 years, is the Church.  And yet it seems there are many within her bosom who are absolutely set on choosing death, to blow out, once and for all, the Light of the world.

Pray that they do not succeed.  Oppose their efforts publicly.  Decry error when you meet it.  Only support truly good and holy apostolates within the Church.  Send letters, e-mails, sign petitions, do whatever is possible to stand athwart this mad death run and shout “STOP!”

But prayer is the most important.  I know many have doubled their efforts, but double them again.  Will we be the generation that souls in the Church of the future will look back on and shake their heads, saying “What could possibly have been thinking?  What was wrong with them?”  Of course, we could be witnessing the Great Apostasy forecast by St. John in the Apocalypse, in which case, our prayers may not stop the headlong rush to error but they will do our souls a world of good should the Parousia be coming!

Either way, it’s the only way to win.

The books for the total refutation of protestantism March 6, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, history, reading, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I have been blessed to stumble upon two works that take the total destruction of protestantism to new heights.  One is European Civilization: Protestantism and Catholicity Compared in Their Effects on the Civilization of Europe, by Father James Balmes, and the other is History of the Variations of the Protestant churches by Bishop Jacques Bossuet.  That latter was written in the 18th century, the former in the 19th.  Neither writer was from the Anglosphere, so their writings have been almost completely unknown outside those who focus great effort in studying the Church.  It is a shame that is the case, because I think either work had the potential to change the course of history – had it been written originally in English and become known in the dominant Anglo-American culture of the world.

Such was not the case, and so these pearls remain hidden from the view of most.  I don’t want to make a long post today but I did want to give a taste of these books by quoting some brief sections from Balmes’ book. It’s really quite tremendous.  Even in the first 30 pages, not only is protestantism destroyed in detail, but even the false reasons generally put forth to explain why it came into being, are, as well.  For instance, scandal over the ostensible failure of the Catholic Church to reform herself, or over the sale of indulgences, was not the true cause.  They were merely the pretense, the excuse. No, the true cause of protestantism is the same as it has been for every other heresy: man’s unwillingness to submit to the authority of God as embodied in the Church.  Again, a few selected quotes below:

…..If there be anything constant in protestantism, it is undoubtedly the substitution of private judgment for public and lawful authority.  this is always found in union with it, and is, properly speaking, its fundamental principle: it is the only point of contact among the various protestant sects – the basis of their mutual resemblance. It is very remarkable that this exists, for the most part, unintentionally, and sometimes against their express wishes.

However lamentable this principle may be, if the body of protestants had made it their rallying point, and had constantly acted up to it in theory and practice, they would have been consistent in error. When men saw them cast into one abyss after another, they would have recognized a system – false, but a system.  As it is, it has not been even that: if you examine the words and actions of the first “reformers,” you will find that they made use of this principle as a means of resisting the authority which controlled them, but that they never dreamed of establishing it permanently; that if they labored to upset lawful authority, [the Church]   it was for the purpose of usurping the command themselves; that is to say, that they followed, in this respect, the example of revolutionists of all kinds, of all ages, and of all countries…….. [dang right. I have said this before, but I think Catholics have made a huge mistake in even allowing protestants to be called “reformers.”  They were not reformers, they were revolutionaries through and through, intent upon using all means of force necessary to see themselves installed as the “new authority” in the Church.]

….Let it be known, never to be forgotten, that if these men proclaimed the principle of free examination, it was for the purpose of making use of it against legitimate authority; but that they attempted, as soon as they could, to impose upon others the yoke of their own opinions.  Their constant endeavor was to destroy the authority which came from God, in order to establish their own upon its ruins. It is a painful necessity to be obliged to give proofs of this assertion; not because they are difficult to find, but because one cannot adduce the most incontestable of them without calling to mind words and deeds which not only cover with disgrace the founders of protestantism, but are of such a nature that they cannot be mentioned without a blush on the cheek, or written without stain upon the paper.  [Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and so many other protestant leaders were incredibly distant in their actions from what the great Saints and Fathers have done]

……..There is no middle path; either civilized nations must remain Catholic, or run through all the forms of error.  If they do not attach themselves firmly to the anchor of truth, we shall see them make a general attack upon it, we shall see them assail it in itself, in all that it teaches, in all that it prescribes. A man of free and active mind will remain tranquil in the peaceful regions of truth, or he will seek for it with restlessness and disquietude…….. [And we see that our formerly civilized nations have indeed run through al the errors of protestantism, rationalism, materialism, leftism, and all the rest, and are now arriving back at the original set point before Christianity even began: paganism.]

……It appears to me to be clear, from what I have just shown, that the principal cause of protestantism, is not to be found in the abuses of the middle ages.  All that can be said is, that they afforded opportunities and pretexts for it.  To assert the contrary would be to maintain that there were always numerous abuses in the Church from the beginning, even in the time of her primitive fervor, and of that proverbial purity of which our opponents have said so much; for even then there were swarms of sects who protested against her doctrines, denied her divine authority, and called themselves the true Church…….

———-End Qoute———-

Great books, but very long.  The copy of European Civilization I got practically requires a magnifying glass.

Since we don’t have too many Churchmen today who will speak the truth regarding the sects, we can go back to the past to find those who will.  That is why God founded our Church not just on Scripture open to endless argument and interpretation, but also on Tradition, so that we would always have an authoritative, unalterable source of orthodoxy to return to.  Men do try – we’ve seen it repeatedly, one example being the antiquarianism regarding the “reform” of the Liturgy – but, ultimately, you cannot change the opinions of dead men. Provided we form ourselves in what they really believed.

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