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Gueranger – Travail of Jews since rejection of Christ prophesied in Daniel March 3, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Christendom, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, Four Last Things, General Catholic, reading, secularism, Society, Tradition.
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Some very interesting Scriptural exegesis below from Dom Prosper Gueranger.  Yesterday, in the Traditional Mass, the Epistle for the Monday of the Second Week of Lent was from Daniel IX, as below.  The exegesis below applies to the Jews, certainly, but also to the Church, in Her perfection of Judaism.  The  quote from Daniel is a lamentation after sin, a begging of forgiveness for unfaithfulness:

In those days, Daniel prayed to the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, who hast brought forth thy people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand, and hast made thee a name as at this day: we have sinned, we have committed iniquity, O Lord, against all thy justice. Let thy wrath and thy indignation be turned away, I beseech thee, from thy city Jerusalem, and from thy holy mountain.  For, by reason of our sins, and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are a reproach to all that are round about us.  Now, therefore, O God, hear thy supplication of thy servant, and his prayers: and show thy face up on thy sanctuary which is desolate, for thy own sake. Incline, O my God, thy ear and hear; open thine eyes and see our desolation, and the city upon which thy name is called: for it is not for our justifications that we present our prayers before thy face, but for the multitude of thy tender mercies.  O Lord, hear; O Lord, be appeased; hearken, and do; delay not for thy own sake, O my God; because thy name is invocated upon thy city, and upon thy people, O Lord our God. 

Now Dom Prosper places the above in a Catholic context:

Such was the prayer and lamentation of Daniel, during the captivity in Babylon. His prayer was heard; and, after seventy years of exile, the Jews returned to their country, rebuilt the temple, and were once more received by the Lord as His chosen people. But what are the Israelites now?  What has been their history for the last 1800 2000 years?  The words of Daniel’s lamentation but faintly represent the sad reality of their present long chastisement. God’s anger lies heavily upon Jerusalem; the very ruins of the temple have perished; the children of Israel are dispersed over the whole earth, a reproach to all nations.  A curse hangs over this people; like Cain, it is a wanderer and a fugitive; and God watches over it, that it become not extinct.  

The rationalist is at a loss how to explain this problem; whereas the Christian sees in it the punishment of the greatest of crimes. But what is the explanation of this phenomenon?  The light shone in darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it!  If the darkness had received the light, it would not be darkness now; but it was not so; Israel, therefore, deserved to be abandoned. Several of its children did, indeed, acknowledged the Messias, and they became children of the light; nay, it is through them that the light was made known to the whole world. When will the rest of Israel open its eyes?  When will this people address to God the prayer of Daniel?  They have it; they frequently read it; and yet, if finds no response in their proud hearts. Let us, the Gentiles, pray for the Jews – the younger for the elder.  Every year there are some who are converted, and seek admission into the new Israel of the Church of Christ. Right welcome are they!  May God in his mercy, add to their number; that thus all men may adore the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, together with Jesus Christ, His Son, whom He sent into this world.

———–End Quote———–

While the above stands as an interesting if quite contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy form of exegesis (it was not contrary at all when written, nor for quite some time after that), I think it is also very relevant to the Church today. “The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it!”  Does anything better describe our world today?  But what is far more troubling, is that the searing billion candle-watt beacon of the past that was the Church has been dimmed down to a wimpy 40W bulb.  It is so much harder for souls to find the light, as the light itself, in its human element, has been greatly dimmed.  We have, for some reason, put bushel baskets over our candlesticks, and they no longer cast light for all to see.

And, I think we can glean from the above how God may respond if the Church continues to hide the Light she has been divinely commissioned to hold aloft to the world.  No, there will never be a “replacement” for the Church, there will be no “new new covenant,” but we can read in The Apocalypse and some of the Old Testament prophets what happens when the Church shirks her duty towards the end of the world.  Are we in that time?  It is really difficult to tell, Our Lord did tell us to watch for signs and wonders, but He also said we would know not the day nor the hour.  Not that it really matters – we will all be called to our own judgment in God’s good time, regardless.

Irrespective, as I said, it is interesting to contrast the very traditional view of the Jews presented by Gueranger above, and modern approaches to Judaism these past several decades. They are almost night and day in their differences. And, of course, we have seen even more outreach to Jews and statements of fraternity, equality, and liberty of late.  Certainly, another quite substantive break with the past.

But we’ve had plenty of those. So what’s one more piled on all the others?

Not everyone who says to Me “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven March 3, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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As a way of rebuttal to the claims of Bishop McElroy reported in the previous post, about “primacy of conscience” even trumping the Doctrine of the Faith, I present the very providential sermon below, which extrapolates from the closely defined Dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus to examine not only who may be saved, but also the common excuses of souls to reject Church belief.  I draw particular attention to ~9:00 – 11:00, wherein the priest quotes both Scripture and one of the greatest Scriptural exegetes ever (Cornelius a Lapide’), to show the error of asserting the primacy of a badly formed conscience over the Doctrine of the Faith:

That is why it is so dangerous for an authority figure in the Church to tell souls that they must obey their conscience no matter what.  To his credit, in the piece quoted in the previous post, he did say that souls should give the Doctrine of the Faith pre-eminence, but he still left a huge “out,” if you will, by saying that if you just somehow (I know not how) cannot reconcile your conscience to the Doctrine of the Faith, you must obey your conscience.  He even noted that people would be tempted to abuse such knowledge, that their personal preferences could easily masquerade as the pangs of conscience and lead them astray.  But he badly failed to note the culpability they would bear should that be the case.

Given that we swim in an amoral sewer, it is so very easy for us to absorb dangerous, damning beliefs.  Even more, to the extent that there is still some sense of Christianity about in the culture, it is generally a gravely distorted sense, full of protestant errors and self-serving “theology” in the form of “prosperity gospel” and all the rest.  Thus to advise souls that they can, in conscience, deviate from those beliefs binding on conscience for all Catholics (such as abortion being in all places and at all times intrinsically, mortally sinful) without at the least clearly stating the grave peril of doing so is at the very least a serious dereliction of duty, and could even rise to the level of sinful malfeasance.

Another quite timely portion of the sermon assails the error that says the Doctrine of the Faith can be disregarded as a pretext towards reforming the Faith and morals always held by the Church. Is this not exactly what we see happening with these Synods on the family, which seek to obviate the Doctrine of the Faith through ostensible “pastoral” solutions?  I found this quote highly relevant: “And they approach, wolves in sheep’s clothing, by the simulation of meekness, simplicity, or piety.  They propose themselves as the model of humility.  And the whole time, they are seeking to destroy souls.”

By hook or crook. The far more dangerous man to souls is not that man given over to satan’s control who, like masons, perhaps, acknowledge they are trying to pry souls away from One True Faith, but that man who is convinced he is a loyal son of the Church, who is only trying to bring the Church forward into modern times and to help propagate the Gospel.  The former may have pangs of conscience that limit their activities, but the latter, so assured that they are on the side of goodness, truth, and right, will have no check for their actions.  This is a close analogue to the political arena, where, as C.S. Lewis noted, the progressive convinced he is doing good by his invasion of personal rights and assault on morals and decency, will never let up, whereas the one who knows he does such things for very bad reasons might have some limit to the ends to which he will stoop.  Of course, the political-religious analogy overlaps quite closely, where those who seek to remodel the Church in man’s own image are generally quite progressive politically, as well.

“If you love me, keep my commandments.”  “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will be saved, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in Heaven, shall be saved.”

“My Church” is only mentioned by our Lord once in Sacred Scripture, in St. Matt XVI:18 “Upon this rock I will build My Church.”

This is really just a top-notch and very valuable sermon.  The priest explodes so many of the modern myths regarding “universal salvation,” salvation outside the Church, etc.  He notes, quite rightly, that while salvation outside the Church may be theoretically possible, it is not terribly likely.  We hear phrases like “invincible ignorance” and they sound so reasonable to so many, who probably have loved ones outside the Church and actively want to believe that they will be saved, while not having to do anything to proselytize them that might cause strain or make them uncomfortable. But as the priest notes, if there are souls actively searching for God and His Church who have never heard the Gospel, God will make Himself and His Church known to them.  But how many people in the world today are truly ignorant of the person of Jesus Christ, His message, and His Church?  This is not 1600.

Anyway, just a very good and timely sermon.  I pray it somehow finds its way to Bishop McElroy and he hear it with an open and humble heart.  We may look on a man such as that as someone who has abrogated his duty and does very bad things, but he is another soul made in the likeness of our Creator and he will face his particular judgment, a very severe one given the exalted office Our Blessed Lord has seen fit to give him.  Each soul falling into error and outside the Church, really, is an incalculable loss not just for them personally but for the entire Body of Christ.  As Saint Paul says, when one glories, we all glory, and when one suffers, we all suffer.  We must pray for the conversion of men such as this who have come to accept these very dangerous, even blatantly false ideas as good and true.

Coptic Christians march on White House February 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, martyrdom, persecution, scandals, secularism, Society, unadulterated evil.
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Wearing orange jump suits, a group of Coptic Christians marched on the White House calling on President Obama to protect Christians in the area.  Doing so across 1500 miles of open desert would be a neat trick, but I understand their sentiment. Unfortunately, this nation has twice decided to elect an islam-protecting narcissist as president, who has repeatedly shown his attitude towards Christians…….disdain, comes to mind.

Naturally, the mainstream media consigned this non-event to the memory hole, and the omnipresent intelligence machine probably marked every name and face for possible reprisal, later.  Non-events and unpersons, that the United States these days (and yes, I’m being negative, but I think I have every reason to be):

A group of Coptic Christians marched to the White House on Tuesday, demanding that President Obama protect Christians from the genocide that is taking place in the Middle East.

“Obama, Obama, did you see? Christian blood in the sea,” they repeated as they marched in D.C.

As U.S. allies push back against ISIS, [half-heartedly and ineffectually] the Islamist militants take every opportunity to inflict acts of barbarism across Iraq and Syria. Even in retreat, they’ve taken over small villages, kidnapping Christians, and separating the men from woman and children.

No one can be certain of their fate, [unfortunately, I think we can….]  but if recent history is any indication, the men will be paraded out, tortured and murdered. And the Christian women and children will be sold as sex slaves. [Ah, the pleasures of jihad…..murder, barbarity, theft, rapine, and endless quenching of bloodlust.  Of course islam is the “religion of peace!”]

………“These women were sobbing, saying, ‘What is our fault? Why is the West silent? Why is the Church not talking about our persecution?” Taimoorazy said.

“And they’re asking, they’re questioning the foreign policy of America and also other world powers and Europe, saying, ‘Why is it that there’s nothing; there’s no agenda.’ There’s really nothing being done to help the persecuted in the Middle East,” she said.

Without starting a debate on how broke this country is or anything else, first and foremost, little is done to protect Christians because the West’s elites have absolutely no interest in doing so.  Their multi-culti sensibilities and latent (or openly avowed) disdain for Christianity (and especially the Church) mean they have no interest in protecting Christians terrorized by muslims.  The effort against ISIS – such as it is, and it isn’t much – is about geopolitics, not saving persecuted religious minorities.  We only do that for muslims, as we did in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Chechnya.

These Christians, monophysites or not, have my prayers, and a little bit of money, but that’s probably all they can expect from us at this point.

If we Christians want to be defended – and I mean that as much in this country as any around the world – we are going to have to do the defending ourselves.

On a side note, perhaps we’ll see the first Egyptian Coptic “doctor of the Church” soon?

Sorry, it was just hanging there, waiting for me to bat it out of the park.  But instead I hit a dribbler down the third base line, but the third baseman errored out and I got on base, anyway.

ISIS calls for terror alliance with radical left to conquer Rome – by 2020 February 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, horror, martyrdom, persecution, secularism, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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The radical left hasn’t answered, yet, but this is more or less what I expected to happen: the radical left and islam would eventually come together to work to crush their most dread enemy, Christendom.  Or what remains of Christendom.

Lord, have mercy on all of us:

The Islamist terrorist group ISIS is instructing Muslim sympathizers in Europe (and presumably the United States) to seek out leftist activists to form an “armed combat” alliance.

The armed alliance against European governments will further ISIS’s goal to conquer Rome by 2020.

The call to recruit leftists is in an eBook entitled Black Flags from Rome. The eBook is the subject of a two part report by Bridget Johnson at PJ Media. (Excellent reporting in bothpart one and part two.)

While Western leftist groups like Obama funder group Code Pink , ANSWER , and ISM have given political support and humanitarian aid to Islamist terrorists, there have been no readily apparent instances of Western leftists joining Islamist terrorist groups in committing terrorist acts in recent years.

Leftist terrorism in the West of late has been largely about the environment and animal rights. There were some attacks planned by leftists allied with the Occupy movement that were mostly ineffective or were disrupted by law enforcement. The anarchist Black Bloc groups have mainly attacked property and mostly used non-lethal weapons in protests.

……ISIS writes that a good place to recruit leftists is at anti-Israel protests. [Well they’re nothing if not practical.  Pretty astute tactic]

ISIS is counting on frustration among some leftists at their inability to change the system combined with admiration for the strength of Islamists “to fight against the injustices of the world” to prove fertile in recruiting them to form a terror alliance against the West………

I had an offline discussion a while back with a reader who thought that eventually the Left would rise up in opposition to islam and fight it, because islam is so repressive of so many cherished Leftist shibboleths.  I thought that wrong, the political Left, and especially its extreme wing, is based on self-loathing and a visceral hatred for the established order of Western culture, based on the Catholic Faith, reason, the rights of the individual, and ownership of private property.  Their hatred is stronger than their love.  And, deep down, even committed leftists know the worldly, materialist, sexualist lifestyle they promote is unfulfilling and bereft of meaning.  Fundamentally, the left’s greatest enemy, going back to well before the French Revolution, is the Catholic Church/Christianity.  It is thus a diabolical movement at least to some degree, and many on the left, I believe, will willingly submit to islam when it comes down to it.  In fact, many are already doing so today, it is not young men (and women) of the right who are joining ISIS in large numbers from Europe, but mostly those on the left and the disaffected.

Yes, there will be committed leftists of a more libertarian stripe who will be violently opposed to an encroaching islam, but many will eagerly hop on what they perceive as the “strong horse” either out of conviction or convenience.  We may even get to see in our lifetime former libertines who used to advance the grossest immoralities calling for women to wear the hijab (or burqa) and barbaric repression of sodomites.

Anyway…….I think that a greater likelihood than some great left wing resistance to the advance of islam.  What resistance there is will come from Christians, because only a competing religious conviction can stand against another.

May the blood of all the Catholic martyrs of islamic atrocities, and their prayers, lead to the restoration of our Church!

The black flag of jihad flying over St. Peter's in a photoshopped image.  Will we  let this happen?

The black flag of jihad flying over St. Peter’s in a photoshopped image. Will we let this happen?

A fairly balanced assessment of the new Doctor of the Church February 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in disconcerting, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, huh?, Papa, pr stunts, religious, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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I think  many were surprised when Pope Francis announced the 36th Doctor of the Church was not even a Catholic, but a member of the Armenian Orthodox Church.  I know Ann Barnhart has addressed this matter in her usual detached and understated way, but I thought Eliot Bougis’ coverage might be a bit more balanced.

What do we know of this Saint few in the Western Church had heard of before Sunday, Gregory of Narek (ca. 950-1005)?  Well, we know he was a stgregorymember of the Armenian Orthodox Church, which has oft been described as a Monophysite Church that failed to approve the Council of Chalcedon, rather like many Coptic churches.  However, the Armenians dispute this and claim to be Miaphysites, holding a nuanced position between that adopted at Chalcedon and the condemned heresy of Monophysitism. Both positions have to do with not the personage of Christ, but his nature.  Catholics believe Christ is both God and man with a divine and human nature, whereas monophysites hold that Christ may have been God and man but only had one (divine) nature.  Miaphysites occupy a position somewhat in between.  All of these discussions on the person, nature, and will of Christ can become very complex very fast and very small differences in language (including the effects of translation) can have a big impact.  If you want a strong opinion on Miaphysitism, read Barnhart’s piece.

With that background, some thoughts and questions from Mr. (Dr.?) Bougis, who doesn’t reject the elevation on the grounds of heresy, but does wonder how this can be reconciled with many troubling factors:

The AOC, the body to which Gregory belonged, has formally and persistently rejected the authority of the Council of Chalcedon, was not in communion with Rome during Gregory’s life, and highly venerates Gregory, who was (as Ann Barnhardt strongly emphasizes) a miaphysite. “The main difference,” notes the just cited AOC website, “between the Byzantine tradition, also known as Chalcedonian churches and the Armenian Church, (together with other non-Chalcedonian churches) has been on the issue of Christology, i.e., the dogma related to Christ’s Divine and Human natures.”……

……..So, a saint venerated in a fellowship that has for centuries rejected Chalcedon–a council universally binding on the Catholic Church–is considered a Doctor of the Catholic Church. Are there any other councils that one might reject while still enjoying exemplary ecclesial status–say, Trent or Vatican II[Great points. Traditionally, rejection of an ecumenical Council, especially one of the famous first four, was seen as admission of heresy and status as excommunicate.  But we all know all the old rules have been thrown out and we’re just sort of making things up as we go along]

Does this elevation not also canonize Gregory? How could it not? If he is but a provincially revered saint in an ancient but schismatic Christian communion, how can he be considered a universal Doctor? Are there any other Doctors of the Church who are not also celebrated in her liturgy as saints?* Are there any other Doctors who belonged to schismatic bodies? [Uh…….no]

………Am I the only one who thinks this cause, which had been underway for some time, was executed with such celerity in order to throw a grim but timely light on one of Pope Francis’s favorite themes, “the ecumenism of blood”? As he most recently put it: “Be they Catholic, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it doesn’t matter: They’re Christian! The blood is the same: It is the blood which confesses Christ”. [I had not seen this quote before.  This is one of the most clearly problematic statements I’ve seen from Pope Francis, and seems very difficult to comprehend as other than representing a distressing indifference]

* [I’ve since learned that Gregory is in fact in the Church’s most recent martyrology, but not in the earlier edition, and is mentioned as a saint in the CCC, so this just confirms my instinct to see something beautiful here, regardless of how it might be spun for this or that ideological fetish. {Further research leaves me uncertain once more. Did Rome recognize Gregory of Narek’s sanctity as recently and suddenly as 2001/2005? What’s going on here?}]

Personally, I find this elevation at the least quite imprudent, and at worst, gravely scandalous.  This is sort of “ecumenism” by default – sure, we don’t safe_imagebelieve the same things, but we’ll just paper over the differences and pretend we do!  Then, we’ll elevate each other’s holy people to “saints!”

You know I’m a former episcopalian.  The Anglican Church has its own calendar of “saints,” and quite a calendar it is!  It includes such notable non-Anglicans as Martin Luther King and Ghandi (among many, many others, including a number of post-Reformation Catholics!). Over time, it has become an increasingly worldly list, with an always leftist drift.  Is that what we can look forward to in the steady episcopalianizing of the Catholic Church?  Will we have Saint Cesar Chavez and Saint Barack Obama one day?  How about a “Saint Mohammad?”

I know the ecumenical dimension probably was dominant in this act, but I cannot help but think an almost equally important aspect was the sowing of enormous confusion.  Can we not even trust Doctors of the Church anymore?  And is the standard not getting watered down quite a bit?  For over 1500 years, there were always recognized 8 Doctors, four Latin and four Greek.  Two more, Aquinas and Bonaventure, were added in the 16th century. Since that time, and especially since 1925, the title has proliferated and now it seems every Pope must name at least one (if not several) Doctors.  Certainly I download (3)have no problem with the likes of Teresa of Avila or Robert Bellarmine being accorded such an honor, but I do think the rapid proliferation of the awarding of this distinction is tending to water down its import.  It took 1900 years to recognize 23 Doctors, whereas 13 have been recognized in less than 100 years.  I note the only modern popes (since Pius VII) NOT to name a Doctor of the Church have been Gregory XVI and Saint Pius X – both incredibly holy men not much given to hubris.

Maybe I’m getting too crotchety.  I don’t know, what’s not to like about another Doctor of the Church?  Why do I always have to complain?  It just seems a bit too cute, a bit too……worldly?

What’s funny, is that just four years ago I read a book The Thirty Three Doctors of the Church.  Just in a few years, that book has become quite out of date.

 

Without Christianity, the West is powerless to defend itself against Islam February 25, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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Mark Steyn has an article about the incredible duplicity of the Obama administration in its approach to worldwide muslim extremism and acts of barbarity, which they blithely call “violent extremism.”  To Mr. Steyn, this moral cowardice is simply indicative of a much broader cultural trend (I agree), in which post-Christian elites lack the moral conviction to stand against this existential threat.  While he doesn’t make the point explicitly, my firm belief is that without Christianity (re: Catholicism), the former Christendom will be defenseless against an increasingly militant (and ignorant) islam.

This article contains some material from a letter Mark Steyn received from a reader, asking how other religions might react if they saw Western culture cowering before their demands and making all kinds of special provisions for them.  There is no reason, at present, for muslims to stop making demands and stop their campaign of violent conquest, so long as the West’s leaders behave as neutered ninnies more beholden to cultural marxism than they are to defending their own people and the work of millenia they inherited.  What I found most interesting in the letter was the litany of accommodations already made to islam, and the portents for the future:

  • No shopping laws on muslim holy days are being introduced in some European regions
  • Public schools allow the offering of muslim prayers but not Christian
  • Offensive comments about the “prophet” are condemned, even excoriated
  • Other religions are persecuted or driven from the public life as islam is extolled as part of “the fabric of the nation.”
  • Cultural leaders, including academia, media, politicians, etc., are driving to support insitution of islamic customs in the culture while Christian customs are often summarily blocked from public practice
  • Muslims should be allowed to offer prayer to allah during citizenship ceremonies, when other religions are not permitted to do so
  • Sharia is being de facto enforced in increasing swaths of Europe, including much of England, including requirements for women to wear the hijab and generally cover themselves from head to foot
  • There are rampant cases of muslim child rape that go on with government compliance and rarely any criminal charges.  Grooming of young non-muslim girls to be targets of male muslim lust are increasing rapidly.
  • Governments constantly apologize to their muslim citizens for attacking radical muslim sects in the Mideast and other locales
  • Governments (like our own) seem far more concerned about muslims being victims of some kind of prejudice than they are about the attacks muslims perpetrate

That’s only a very partial list.  In fact, even that partial list reveals that the sway Catholicism held for centuries in terms of being recognized as the One True Faith and being deserving of special treatment is now being accorded islam.

More and more, islam is becoming the de facto official religion of the West, or at least, that which receives deference and approbation from its political and cultural elites.  Meanwhile, belief in Christianity is basically non-existent in most of Europe, and is often weak and ineffectual even in the Western Hemisphere, at least as regards understanding religion as being the sole moral force capable of motivating the decaying remains of Christendom to stand in opposition to the muslim threat.  This fact is simply never discussed.  Liberalism is a belief set, and becomes a false religion in many (especially on the left, but also on the “right”), but it is not a sufficient grounds to resist the kind of moral firepower religious belief – no matter how erroneous – can inspire. That is the prime reason behind why tens of thousands of youth, even non-muslims, have flocked to Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS.  They see in islam, more than in the weak, limp-wristed Christianity to which most have been exposed (if they have been exposed at all), something real and cohesive to believe in.  Liberalism is, at root, the exaltation of the self, but God did not create us to be endlessly selfish creatures, and the natural law written on our hearts causes many, probably even most souls awash in sexular pagan materialism to feel empty and devoid of meaning.  A muscular islam offers these disaffected souls what they are looking for, which is an answer for their longing for something larger than themselves, faith in god (however deformed), and something more than just acquiring more and more things.

But islam is especially well disposed to be attractive to materialist Westerners.  Islam is a far more materialist religion than Christianity (especially Orthodoxy or Catholicism), and promises the kinds of earthly rewards (virgins, feasts, cold, clear fountains of water, etc) that appeal to people lost in a materialist mindset.

What doesn’t appeal to many people (especially young men of fighting age) is the watered down, worldly, very nearly equally materialist, and feminized version of Christianity to which most Westerners have been exposed.  And in this sense, the revolution that has afflicted the Church in the past several decades plays a huge part in seeing souls walk away from a Catholic Christianity that does not move them, and seek something more “real” to them in libertine or muslim materialism.  It is absolutely incredible, but at the same time perfectly true, that millions of Catholics have walked away from the bland, unfulfilling post-conciliar practice of the Faith for something as empty as atheistic materialism or as deranged as islam. Certainly, the adoption of the latter is in its nascent stages and many other Catholics do seek out a more meaningful practice of Christianity in the evangelical sects (and, it must be said, from the point of view of horribly catechized former Catholics, the more robust evangelical-type sects are more meaningful in their practice of Christianity than most “large, suburban parishes” they have experienced), but to one who knows what the Church is, and what She alone can provide, seeing any souls fall away is simply incredible. And yet the badly disordered if not outright faulty practice of the Faith over the past several decades has led to tens, if not hundreds, of millions doing just that.

The Church, and the West, will not be able to stand against islam long-term until traditional Catholicism is once again the predominant practice of the Faith.  I am not overly optimistic at the prospects of this at present, and am much less optimistic than I was a little over two years ago.  This modernist resurgence ongoing since March 2013 is only going to delay the absolutely vital return to traditional Catholicism for more long years, if not decades.  And the Church increasingly faces grave threats from militant sexular paganism, so the future does not seem to bold well for us, in a worldly sense.  God is obviously displeased (gee…..I can’t imagine why, what with child sacrifice in the billions, exaltation of the grossest perversion, materialism and lust for power run amok, etc), and His Church is going to be made to suffer for a good, long while.  I am skeptical anything resembling the pre-conciliar Church on a mass basis will return in my lifetime, and so we can continue to expect islam to continue its long advance into the historic Christian areas.  I would say there is at least a 1 in 3 chance that even Rome may be, if not conquered, subsumed in a majority muslim population.  It will probably take a century or more, from now, to recover from the great modernist revolution of the mid-20th century.

I really don’t think I can stress enough the absolutely vital need for prayer in circumstances such as these.  Without a very strong prayer life, we shall not stand the storms that will buffet the Church for the rest of our lives.  One key area for prayer, is to pray that the blood of the many Catholic martyrs in the Mideast, Nigeria, and elsewhere will lead to this great flowering, this great restoration the Church so desperately needs.  We have great experience that the blood of martyrs will water the Vine of Christ and make it grow and bloom anew.  There have been so many martyrs……may their sacrifice redound to God’s glory!

And, I know much of the above is obvious to many long-time readers, but there are always new ones, some folks are just starting to figure this out, etc.

 

 

ISIS threat to sack Rome may be no idle threat February 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, Society, foolishness, asshatery, Immigration, Ecumenism, disaster, Papa, persecution, error, secularism, rank stupidity.
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Via reader MFG, the Italian government is in full blown panic mode over ISIS’ rapid strides in Libya, on a short distance away from Sicily, Pantellaria, and other Italian domains.  Italy at present receives a lot of illegal immigration across the Mediterranean, via Lampedusa and Pantellaria, of Libyan muslims.  With that papal-endorsed influx, it would be exceedingly easy for ISIS killing machines to enter Italy and much of Europe.  I’d say they have good reason to be concerned, especially given the fact that all of Europe would be hard pressed to put a full mechanized division in the field, even given a year’s warning:

Last weekend in Italy, as the threat of ISIS in Libya hit home with a new video addressed to “the nation signed with the blood of the cross” and the warning, “we are south of Rome,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shuttered the Italian embassy in Tripoli and raised his fist with the threat of impending military action. Never mind that Italy has only 5,000 troops available that are even close to deployable, according to the defense ministry. [If you assess them at the level of the US, they probably haven’t got even 500 that are up to speed. “Deployable” usually means “at 90 days notice,” if not 180.  All of Europe, with some exception for Britain, have allowed their military capabilities to wither down to essentially nothing.] Or that the military budget was cut by 40 percent two years ago, which has kept the acquisition of 90 F-35 fighter jets hanging in the balance and left the country combat-challenged to lead any mission—especially one against an enemy like the Islamic State.

In fact, Renzi didn’t specify exactly who would wield that military might, and, two days later, when no one volunteered to lead the charge, he backtracked. “It’s not the time for a military intervention,” Renzi told an Italian television station Monday night and said the United Nations had to lead the way. “Our proposal is to wait for the U.N. Security Council. The strength of the U.N. is decidedly superior to that of the radical militias.” [Don’t you bet on it, bub.  Wait until they get their hands on some MANPADS and AAA.  These guys should not be underestimated…….nor should the appeal of a violent caliphate and unholy jihad has with a very large percentage of muslims]

Whether the time is right or not, there is no question that there is a palpable tension in Italy over the ISIS threat—Libya is just 109 miles away from the island of Lampedusa and 300 miles from Sicily—made worse by a 64 percent increase in illegal migrant arrivals by sea since last year. In all of 2014, more than 170,000 people arrived from Libya and Turkey, the highest number ever recorded. Last weekend, as the embassy staff made their way to Italy on a mercantile ship, 2,164 migrants left the same Libyan shores en route to Sicily. The week before, more than 300 people were lost in the same seas as their rickety fishing boats capsized before rescuers could save them.

Where on earth is the benefit to this unconstrained, mass immigration?  Oh yeah……corporate titans want to drive down wages so they can take in another $50 million in their golden stock parachutes.  But aside from that, how long are governments going to foster national suicide through this insane immigration procedures?  While the presence of muslim radicals in Mexico is a bit speculative, their presence in Libya is not!  And yet they continue to accept this mass influx!  Doing so reveals more than just a desire to appease those who buy political influence, it reveals something approaching a desire for cultural suicide.  But that’s our self-loathing leftist elite for us.

A good movie and some quick hits February 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Ecumenism, fun, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, manhood, persecution, sexual depravity, Society.
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Over three years ago, I recommended the Russian movie Ostrov for viewing.  I have not seen it in a long time. I bought a copy, but it came without subtitles!  So, it was a little hard to understand.

However, there have been copies on Youtube for some time.  The one below has the movie complete and with subtitles. Thanks to reader D for sending me the link.  Many readers may already be familiar with the movie, but for those who are not, it is a very interesting and watchable meditation on sin, redemption, and Eastern monastic life.  There is much of value in the movie that I hope you may appreciate, if you take the time to watch it.  The movie is fit for the entire family except perhaps for a brief scene of violence at the end:

On a totally different note, feminists like to say that “only 8% of rape accusations are false.”  That’s an utterly ridiculous statement, unprovable prima facie.  The statement is actually derived from the statistic that only 8% of rape cases that go to trial are found for the defendant.  That ludicrous statistic says a great deal more about our justice system, perhaps, than it does about the prevalence of false rape allegations. As to how many women out there claim to have experienced a rape that never occurred…….only God knows.  It is impossible to see into the hearts of individuals to tell if they are really telling the truth or lying.  But there is growing evidence that the left wing feminist moral panic over an ostensible epidemic of rape on college campuses is simply false.  Even more, it seems that many of the most high-profile cases used to establish the reality of this claim are equally false, or so full of holes there is a very serious reason why few if any of these women ever pursued a criminal case against their supposed attacker: the cases are so weak they would have failed to even get an indictment, let alone a conviction.

Ann Althouse, who I rarely read, has a horrifying anecdote about a young man terrorized on a college campus because he happened to look somewhat like the man who (may have) raped a woman thousands of miles away.  The college that conducted this brutal violation of rights should rightly be sued and made to pay a steep price for such unjust treatment.  But maybe if enough of these cases proliferate, colleges might take steps to stop the out of control drinking and fornication on campuses by reinstituting single-sex dormitories and much stricter supervision in loco parentis, which they did as a matter of course up until the worst decade ever – the 1960s.   Right now, young men would be very well advised to not wind up alone with any young woman in a dorm room somewhere.  It will always come down to being her word against his, and the deck is at present stacked in her favor.  Would it not be bizarre if this feminist witch hunt against men wound up being the vehicle by which colleges returned to some semblance of upholding moral behavior?

Yeah, I’m not holding my breath.  The two things colleges are most steadfast in avoiding in this crisis are doing anything real to curb binge drinking and stopping the perverse hookup culture that dominates on campuses these days, and is all too often even instigated by young women. Heck, if they stopped John Belushi levels of partying and soul-corroding sex, half of all young people would lose any interest in going to college, and they can’t have that! Not when there are hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money at stake!

Finally, reader D also sent a report detailing (surprise!) the fact that CCHD is still funding radical left wing Alinskyite groups in most dioceses.  The Dioceses of Las Cruces, NM is investigated in this report (with almost half of all monies donated going to left wing groups opposed to Church Doctrine at one level or another), but what is most important to keep in mind is that it is not just CCHD. All these alphabet soup organizations constantly cross-pollinate in terms of personnel and constantly funnel money back and forth to each other, creating an intricate web of financial dealings that is designed, at least in part, to be nearly impenetrable to outside (faithful Catholic) scrutiny.  That’s not a bug, it’s a feature, and often involves Catholic Charities and “Bishop’s Annual Appeals” (ongoing in Dallas right now), as noted below:

$216,000 worth of CCHD grants went to various Catholic Charities offices, which have good, working relationships with the local Alinskyian network affiliates. Catholic Charities of Buffalo, for example, received a $46,000 CCHD grant for “education.” [hopefully not this kind].

But the diocesan director of Catholic Charities of Buffalo is also the diocesan director of CCHD who oversees local CCHD-funded organizations.1 This is also true in the Diocese of Springfield, MA, where the Director of Catholic Charities – which received $50,000 grant – also directs the CCHD. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Metuchen, which received a $55,000 grant, is also the coordinating body for the local CCHD, evaluating, monitoring, funding and assisting “community-based organizations who have submitted proposals of grass-roots community organizing and anti-poverty initiatives”

Oh what a tangled web we weave, right?

Who is desecrating churches in France? February 16, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, damnable blasphemy, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, Eucharist, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, sickness, Society, the enemy, unadulterated evil.
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The Bishop of the Diocese of Bellay-Ars in France, Pascal Roland, has taken the unprecedented step of ordering all tabernacles in his diocese to be emptied (link is to Patheos), after repeated attacks and desecrations, including 5 separate blasphemous events which took place over the last 10 days. Copie-de-090215-319 This removal has been widely reported, but what I could not find, in English anyway, was just who is suspected (or found guilty of) perpetrating these hideous acts.  The fact that the media is so silent on the source of the attacks lead me to believe that they are being perpetrated by a group the media desperately wants to protect, and I can only surmise that means either radical atheists or radical muslims. Given other the scope and ferocity of other attacks ongoing in Europe, including the desecration of Jewish graves elsewhere in France and a muslim attack in Copenhagen, both of which took place this weekend, I tend to conclude that it is muslims perpetrating these heinous acts.

There was a rash of such desecrations in France last August, which were attributed to muslims.  Perhaps one of you has a source that IDs the attackers, but for now I’ll stay with my surmise, that this is part of a broader muslim campaign in France and around the world against Christians and those of any other faith:

In response to the desecration of ten parishes since October, including five on February 6-7, the bishop of Bellay-Ars has ordered the Blessed Sacrament removed from the tabernacles of all parish churches and chapels.

The Blessed Sacrament, Bishop Pascal Roland decreed, must be kept in a more secure location, and tabernacle doors must be kept open to indicate that the Eucharist is not present.

The particulars of the ban:

 

  • Blessed Sacrament will be removed [from] tabernacles of all parish churches and chapels and be kept in a secure location.
  • The door of the tabernacle [will] remain conspicuously open.
  • For the purposes of public or private prayer, the Blessed Sacrament will be [placed] temporarily in these tabernacles provided that a sufficient presence of the faithful is assured.
  • The only exceptions will [be] metal tabernacles [that are] secure and have a resistant lock.
  • These measures come into force from today [Monday February 9] and will remain so until further notice.
  • The bishop hopes that these exceptional measures manifest to all the seriousness of these facts and help discourage [such vandalism].

This certainly appears an unprecedented, or at least exceedingly rare, act to me.  I can’t recall reading of a bishop demanding all consecrated Hosts being placed in a “secure” location.  Americans might sensibly ask, first……..they still have tabernacles in France?  Secondly, we might wonder whether there would not be a better way to provide security for the Blessed Sacrament than sequestering Our Lord away in some lonely, hidden, strongbox location?  Would this not be a great time for pushing for perpetual Adoration, whether exposed or not?  If souls are too few and/or too cold, could not security be paid for?  What of the priests, could they not play a role?

But we have to remember, this is France in 2015.  The vast majority of parishes have no permanently assigned priest.  The vast majority of parishes have active congregations of a few dozen, and almost all are quite elderly.  Most parishes are too poor of funds to pay for security.  The Church in France, outside traditional communities, is all but dead.

So perhaps the bishop did the only thing he felt he could do.  I am somewhat agnostic on the act, though heart-broken the Church in France – the elderly spinster daughter of the Church, apparently – has fallen to this state.  It’s possible crazed secularists have been behind this, but they rarely have the commitment or organization for such broad-scale attacks. But then again, FEMEN.  Generally only a hostile religion fires souls with such bloodlust and hate that they would stoop to attacking another religion in this manner.  But I could be wrong.  It will be interesting to see if we ever find out the source of these attacks – I imagine the media will keep it a close secret, if they can.

 

Pray for the repose of the soul of Milt Kays February 16, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Ecumenism, family, Four Last Things, General Catholic, manhood, sadness, Tradition, Virtue.
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I make request of  your charity yet again, and ask you to pray for the repose of the soul of Milt Kays, the father of a man who has been a friend of mine since I was 5 years old.  Perhaps some prayers could also be offered for his widow Nancy and sons Dan and Mike Kays and their families during this time of suffering and loss.

I have not seen Mr. Kays in nearly 20 years, since my friend’s wedding in 1995 or 6.  I’m quite certain that was the last time I saw him in person.  He had retired to Arizona but only last  year moved back to Texas to be near his sons and grandchildren.  He died suddenly and completely unexpectedly on Feb. 8, but I only just became aware.  He had fought the lingering effects of a childhood bout of polio his entire life, and had what is commonly called a bum leg. But I recall him always as a very kind and good man. He did not allow his quite visible disability either greatly limit his activity nor color his disposition. He died outside visible communion with the Church.

I would really appreciate your prayers on this one.  This is the person closest to me that’s passed away since Vicki Middleton in July 2012.  This passing reminds me also that my parents remain outside the Church.  That is so very concerning to me.

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