Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Liturgy, mortification, North Deanery, sadness, Spiritual Warfare, true leadership, Virtue.
My mom, in spite being 80 herself, volunteers at the Plano Community Home-East. This is a home for elderly and disabled individuals who need affordable housing.
There is a crisis among some of the elderly there, and it is most heartbreaking. There is a group of 1o or so Catholics there who have no way to assist at Mass. They have been unable to attend Mass for months or even years, in some cases. These are people on decidedly fixed incomes who both cannot afford, and in many cases no longer have the ability, to drive a car. They have asked for help from local parishes and even the dioceses to provide transportation for them to Mass, or even look into finding souls who might help, but they have received a decidedly cold response (especially from the diocese).
Also, it seems these folks never have priests (or any others) visit them to bring the Blessed Sacrament. More than the infinite Grace of the Eucharist, however, they long to assist at Mass, any Mass, and partake in the Source and Summit of our glorious Faith again.
I am praying volunteers who live in the Plano area can be found to make arrangements with these souls to provide transportation to assist at Mass. I know bringing 10 or more souls to Mass may seem a logistical problem, but if even a few could be brought to Mass each week, over a month over a few weeks all could assist at Mass. Or maybe you have a large van that could take all at once? A further suggestion might be to see if these souls have any desire to assist at the TLM again, as they did in their youth. Many Mater Dei families live in the Plano/Allen/McKinney area – perhaps some rides could be arranged that would have minimal impact on everyone’s schedules?
The good news is that all of these people are generally ambulatory, though some need a cane or a walker. There is no need for wheelchair accessible transportation.
If there are any readers who live near the Plano area who think they could help, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you belong to a local Catholic e-mail list like PARCH or whatever please consider sending out a link to this post! The Plano Community Home is located at Ave L and 18th Street, so it is about 5 minutes from St. Mark or maybe 8-9 minutes from Mission of the Sacred Heart, though I imagine the elderly would feel more comfortable at the former. The desire is most especially for SUNDAY Mass, though there may be an interest for weekday Mass at some point if arrangements could be made.
If any interested parties will get in touch with me, I’ll arrange contact with those needing help at the Plano Community Home to work out arrangements. God bless you and thank you so much for your consideration. You would be helping in a spiritual and corporal work of mercy of the highest magnitude.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, huh?, It's all about the $$$, sadness, secularism, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
Via the Dallas Morning News, a farewell interview conducted with outgoing Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell. I found two aspects of the interview quite starkly apparent – I’m sure you’ll see what I mean below. While the questions asked may have led the conversation in a certain direction, I was still struck by the lack of any mention of the supernatural/transcendent. The other aspect I’ll flesh out a bit below. BTW, I found the liberal Morning News’ headline unfair, as I’ll also discuss:
……..Farrell sat down for a conversation looking back at the changes in the Dallas diocese during his tenure — and assessing the needs his successor will face.
His responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
What did you do to assess the needs of the diocese?
“I spent my first three years traveling to parishes. I used to listen to people in the back of churches when they’d be going out of church on Sunday, and I would always stand and listen to them talk and they would complain to me about some things, and some were important.” [You guys here in Dallas remember seeing Bishop Farrell around parishes all the time, right, pretty much every Sunday? Honestly, while there are 70 parishes in the Diocese, do you recall him at your parish more than once or twice, at most? I have heard/read many, many complaints of Farrell’s lack of visibility/accessibility.]
“[But] I never forgot after three or four years when I got an email from Plano, I won’t tell what parish, asking me, now that I’d been there for three years, when was I going to do something about the terrible condition of the parking lot at one of our parishes. People expected me to do everything and anything.” [Like defend the Doctrine of the Faith against heresy and immorality?]
What has changed in the diocese under your leadership?
“I believe that parishes work differently than they used to in many different aspects. I think I have brought lay people in to do the administration, overseeing everything that’s done.” [Is this supposed to be a good thing? In my writing going back to the very beginning, lay staff have been one of the most consistent, gravest problems in the Diocese. From Sister Rupp to Always Our Children, they almost always feature in some scandal or heartbreak]
“We have what we call the diocesan finance council. Here are lay men and women who are involved in all of what I would call the business aspect of the church, I have tried to get them to lead and take responsibility for doing that. In our high schools, I have board of directors and boards of trustees that I have always tried to empower. To empower the laypeople to make the decisions, not me. I’m not a businessman. I’m not even that interested in the business aspect. That’s not my thing and not my vocation. I may be mildly successful at it. But it’s not my desire, neither am I interested in it.”
What are the challenges your successor will face?
“Obviously the challenge we all face is the tremendous growth of this diocese. That is a challenge that will continue. I do hope I have recruited enough young people to enter the seminary over the years so that task will be a little easier. When I came here to the diocese, we had 17 people studying for the priesthood over at Holy Trinity Seminary. Today, we have at this moment 70.” [There is no question the seminary situation is far better than when Bishop Farrell arrived. Now, there has been quite a bit of attrition in the seminaries, where a lot of guys drop out before ordination, but things were in a deplorable state under Grahmann and they’re now quite a bit better, but short of need, sadly.]
“I did not open up many [Was MD the only one? Perhaps some nationality based ones?] new parishes for the specific reason that I didn’t have the staff to staff, the priest staff. I think that after about three more years, that will be alleviated, The diocese will start seeing some of these young men being ordained.”
What else will your successor need to focus on?
“I think the work of trying to integrate and trying to get our communities to work together. You have people on the north side of Dallas who have never been, who have no idea what the south of the Trinity River looks like.” [This is I guess where the DMN got their silly headline about “rich people getting out of their comfort zones.” For those outside the area, the Trinity River acts as a sort of literal and figurative dividing line between North Dallas and South Dallas, “rich” Dallas and “poor” Dallas, although, more and more, the distinction has become blurred. South Dallas historically has lacked investment. I live in Irving but I technically live south of the Trinity. So that’s the reference. As for Bishop Farrell’s statement……I again note that souls, salvation, conversion, rarely seem to enter in. Lots and lots of people I know go south of the Trinity regularly to visit/serve with the Carmelites and the Missionaries of Charity, or to go to the DFW National Cemetery. This is rarely an issue for committed Catholics, for CINOs, maybe so]
How soon do you think Pope Francis will name your successor?
“I think it will be within two months after I leave. I know sometimes that can stretch out for a year. But it will not happen in a diocese as large as Dallas. We grow continually, from migrants coming from the north and immigrants coming from the south. “
Meh. Again with the hints that a successor has all but been selected. As a for instance, I can guarantee you Farrell knew he was leaving Dallas, going to Rome, and probably heading this dicastery months ago. Rome would not give a bishop only 2 weeks to wind up affairs in a diocese after nearly 10 years of leadership. I guess we’ll see.
Well Godspeed Bishop Farrell, thank you for Mater Dei. May your successor give true liberty to the TLM in the Diocese of Dallas.
Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, unbelievable BS.
Cardinal Zen in Hong Kong has, through the Cardinal Kung Foundation in the US, been shouting from the housetops that the Vatican, under Francis, is about to make a poisonous deal with the ChiCom party and throw the underground Church in China, which has suffered for so many decades, under the bus.
Now, Sandro Magister all but confirms the same, saying a secret deal – worked to deliberately avoid Zen’s opposition – which will confirm the heretical and schismatic Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association in place, and allow schismatic and heretical bishops to be recognized by Rome with no conversion, no repentance, and no reconciliation. In addition, the greatest opponent to this deal in China, aside from Zen, has been exiled to Guam, per Francis’ preferred modus operandi.
Magister (my emphasis and comments, throughout):
In Appointing Bishops, the Pope Leans Toward Beijing
He is preparing, that is, to grant the communist authorities the privilege of selecting candidates. And he is exiling to an island in the Pacific the highest ranking Chinese archbishop in the curia, contrary to the agreement. But in China, Cardinal Zen has already taken the lead in the rebellion…….
………..fellow countryman bishop and friend Savio Hon Taifai – he too a Salesian like the cardinal – called by Benedict XVI from Hong Kong to Rome in 2011 as secretary of the congregation for the evangelization of peoples, but now dispatched by Francis to an island of the Pacific Ocean, as apostolic administrator of Guam, with an unexpected appointment last June 6. [From a major player in both Rome and China to Guam? That’s an Francis Urquhart if I’ve ever seen one]
……..In China, among the one hundred and nine Catholic bishops there are eight who have been consecrated at the behest of the communist authorities and who have never received the pope’s approval, thereby incurring excommunication, a couple of them with children and lovers.
But for none other than these eight, by the end of this summer or at the latest before the end of the jubilee Francis is ready to perform a spectacular gesture: a pardon. [So heretical schismatics and pawns of the evil, corrupt Chinese Communist party will simply be instated as bishops with no change of behavior, belief, or allegiance.]
Francis missed another stunning gesture by just a hair’s breadth last September 26, during his journey to Cuba and the United States.
That day, his touchdown in New York on his way to Philadelphia coincided with the landing of Chinese president Xi Jinping, who was expected at the United Nations. Everything had been calculated for the two to cross paths “accidentally” at the airport and exchange a greeting. Xi was aware of this ardent desire of the pope, but in the end he let it drop and the meeting did not take place. [Thus establishing his dominance?]
From that moment on, however, the secret contacts between the Vatican and Beijing underwent an acceleration. [According to Zen, because the Vatican simply started kow-towing to Chinese demands]
…..Since it has been in power, in fact, the Chinese communist party has wanted to equip itself with a submissive Church separate from Rome, with bishops of its own appointment ordained without the pope’s approval, beholden to a Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association that Benedict XVI called “irreconcilable” with Catholic doctrine.
A Church of the regime, therefore, on the verge of schism with its eight excommunicated bishops, contrasted with an “underground” Church with about thirty bishops earnestly faithful to the pope, which however pays all the costs of clandestinity – oppression, surveillance, arrest, abduction.
And in the middle the vast gray zone of the remaining dozens of bishops who were ordained illegitimately but then were more or less reconciled with Rome, or were ordained with the parallel recognition of Rome and Beijing but must still remain under the iron control of the communist authorities.
The bishop of Shanghai, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, ordained in 2007 with the twofold approval of the pope and the government, has been under house arrest for four years for the simple offense of having resigned from the Patriotic Association. Two months ago he retracted, but he is still deprived of his liberty. The eighty-five-year-old Joseph Zen Zekiun (in the photo), who has more freedom of speech in Hong Kong, has called “inevitable” the suspicion that this retraction was also desired by the Vatican, just to reach an agreement at any price. [Can you imagine, requiring a bishop that had suffered due to his fealty to Rome, to abjure, violating his conscience, in order to work a wicked deal with corrupt worldly authority?]
That an agreement has already been reached was confirmed in recent days by Zen’s successor in the diocese of Hong Kong, Cardinal John Tong, with an open letter released in Chinese, English, and Italian that bears all the marks of wanting to prepare the faithful to make the best of a bad lot…
Steve Skojec added the following thoughts:
For his part, Cardinal Zen has reported — and not for the first time — that he is being kept ignorant of the process. He laments that even as one of only two living cardinals in China and as a member of the Vatican’s advisory committee for China, he is “barred from knowing anything about how [in the secretariat of state]they are negotiating the affair of the Church in China.” [He has also remarked this is the deliberate policy of Francis, who wants to keep the outspoken Zen from gumming up his great diplomatic triumph of surrendering to the Chinese]
……..I keep coming back to this thought, to Francis various comments favorable toward Marxists and against free markets, to his gracious acceptance of the blasphemous hammer and sickle “crucifix” (and accompanying medal bearing the same image) given to him by the Marxist president of Bolivia last year, and I find myself unable to shake the suspicion that Francis would almost rather deal with the communists in Beijing than the suffering underground Church throughout China.
“Almost?” I don’t think there’s any almost to it.
If this comes to pass, I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it will be for the millions of Chinese Catholics who have remained faithful to Rome under the harshest possible persecution, only to see Rome turn around and sell them out.
As a salve to that unthinkable spiritual pain and heartbreak, you could adopt a relatively faithful Catholic priest or religious in the underground Church through the Cardinal Kung Foundation. These poor souls who refuse to go along with what they know to be a false and heretical sect, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, will in all likelihood now have to contend not only with the persecution of the state but also that of the Church. Lord have mercy, what a burden. May they be kept strong.
As for the creme de la creme, via Skojec:
Zhou Enlai was directly responsible for the implementation of policies that killed millions of Chinese. Can you imagine the reaction if Benedict had said: “I remember reading in Mein Kampf…….”? What kind of man can quote him from memory? Did Francis ever scream and wave a Little Red Book?
Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
From Thy Will Be Done: 58 Letters by St. Francis de Sales, advice given to a young, pious man who had to go live at the notoriously decadent French court, on how to maintain his virtue and practice of the Faith in such a harmful environment.
Today, however, almost the entire world is even more decadent and amoral than even the worst of the baroque period courts of Europe. We are all forced to live in a moral sewer, with those of us who have to go out into the world every day to work or otherwise interact with an increasingly satanic society facing the gravest threat.
St. Francis de Sales advice to this young man on how to keep his virtue and maintain his strong faith is, then, of great use to all of us. I pray you will find these excerpts from pp. 72-75 useful:
[S]ir…….continue to nourish your soul with divine meats, for they will make us strong against vanity and just against ambition.
Keep carefully to frequent Communion: believe me, you could do nothing more certain to strengthen yourself in virtue. To make yourself quite safe in this practice, put yourself under the orders of some good confessor, and beseech him to charge himself with making you give an account in Confession of the failures you may make in this exercise, if by chance you make any. Always confess humbly, and with a true and express purpose of amendment.
I solemnly implore you: before leaving your home in the morning, never forget to ask on your knees for the help of our Lord; and before going to bed at night, never forget to ask for the pardon of your sins.
Especially beware of bad books; and for nothing in the world let your soul be carried away by certain writings that weak brains admire, because of some vain subtleties that they find in them. Such are the works of certain of our age, who profess to doubt everything, to despise everything, and to scoff at all the maxims of antiquity. On the contrary, read books of solid doctrine – especially Christian and spiritual ones – for recreation from time to time……..[Of course, we have much, much more than bad books to be concerned about in this our age. While bad books can be particularly devastating, probably nothing is more destructive than the electronic media, most especially, the television and internet. A local priest just gave a very strong sermon asking parents whether they really need the internet in their homes. This is a very tough matter, because many homeschooling programs are internet-based or highly dependent on internet access. But the priest has heard the confessions of so many young people, most all of them from families assisting at the TLM, who are addicted to internet porn, that it is really something to consider, whether the internet is really vitally necessary. At the very least, you MUST have a very robust filter. TV is full of filth these days, too, and, even worse, is one of the prime means by which the powers that be indoctrinate people in the culture of sexular paganism and religious indifference. Beware of both.]
………I would wish that, first, in speech, in bearing, and in relations with others, you should make open and express profession of wishing to live virtuously, judiciously, perseveringly, and as a Christian.
I say “virtuously” that no one may attempt to engage you in immoralities. “Judiciously,” that you may not show extreme signs, exteriorly, of your intentions [towards piety]…..
…”Perseveringly,” because unless you show with perseverance an equal and inviolable will, you will expose your resolutions to the designs and attempts of many miserable souls, who attack others to draw them to their company.
Lastly, I say “as a Christian,” because some make profession of wishing to be virtuous philosophically, who, however, are not so, and can in no way be so, and who are nothing else but phantoms of virtue, using their graceful manners and words to hide their bad life and ways from those who are not familiar with them.
But we, who well know that we cannot have a single particle of virtue but by the Grace of our Lord – we must employ piety and holy devotion to live virtuously; otherwise we shall have virtues only in imagination and in shadow…..
….It is also of the greatest importance to make some friends who have the same aim, with whom you can associate and strengthen yourself. For it is a very true thing that the company of well-regulated souls is extremely useful to us to keep our own soul well-regulated [This is so key, and one of the greatest challenges of these dark times, finding pious souls to associate with, to grow with, to even compete with, in a holy sense, in the practice of virtue. This is one of the enormous, often unseen benefits of belonging to an explicitly traditional parish, where there are many souls driven to serve our Lord with a powerful fervor. The breakdown of the old Catholic neighborhoods and Catholic culture is one of the most pernicious influences of our times, and it was done, according to E. Michael Jones and others, quite deliberately]……..
……..I wish you further, a vigorous heart. Do not flatter your body by delicacies in eating, sleeping, and other such softnesses; for a generous heart has always a little contempt for bodily comforts and pleasures…….
…..I mean, then, that I would like you to sometimes correct your body so far as to make it feel some rigors and hardships by contempt for delicacies and by frequent denial of things agreeable to the senses. Again, reason must sometimes exercise its superiority and the authority that it has to control the sensual appetites…….[Once again, this fallen age tells us to satisfy our every desire in an instant. It is the ultimate culture of self-gratification on demand. TV is one a great one for creating such disordered appetites. No wonder so many self-described Catholics today view self-denial as an intolerable imposition]
……In a word, that is what we must seek: to be no less brave for being Christian and no less Christian for being brave. For this we must be very good Christians – that is, very devout, pious, and if possible, spiritual. For, as St. Paul says: “the spiritual man discerneth all things” (I Cor ii:15). He knows at what time, in what order, and by what method each virtue must be practiced.
Form often this good thought, that we are walking in this world between Paradise and hell, and that our last step will place us in an eternal dwelling. We do not know which step will be our last, and so, in order to make our last step well, we must try to make all the others well. [Such excellent advice]
O holy and unending eternity! Blessed is he who thinks of you. Yes, for what do we play here in this world but a children’s game for who knows how many days? It would be nothing whatever, if it were not the passage of eternity. [Which is why the West is now sunk into a suicidal nihilism – having rejected God, and recognizing the emptiness of a strictly material existence, more and more souls see life as meaningless, nothing more than a continuous series of pleasures that leave the soul more empty than it was before. Little wonders Westerners are now so enervated they cannot even bother to reproduce. Without God, there is no point to existence, and all falls to decay and ruin.]
On this account, therefore, we must pay attention to the time we have to dwell here below, and to all our occupations, so as to employ them in the conquest of the permanent good………
Well that’s long enough. Saint Francis de Sales, pray for us, pray for the conversion of this increasingly dark and fallen world, and for the restoration of Holy Mother Church!
Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, contraception, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, It's all about the $$$, paganism, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
I have just received confirmation via local pro-life sources that Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth personally OK’d the campaign event* for Representative Marc Veasey at All Saints parish tomorrow night. As I reported yesterday, Veasey is one of the most radically immoral members of the Texas Congressional caucus and has constantly advocated in favor of abortion, supposed rights of sodomites, persecution of the Church through HHS mandates, a general reduction if not termination of the role of the Church in the public square, and all other manner of moral evils.
Local pro-life sources have informed me that at a meeting with Chancellor Msgr James Hart, Hart informed the pro-life souls complaining of Veasey’s campaign event that Bishop Olson was aware of the event and disagreed that allowing Veasey to use the good name of the Church for his own political benefit was scandalous.
The Holy Writ of Saint Dialogue was cited as the Doctrine in favor of allowing Veasey to speak. Must be cited somewhere there in Guadium Et Spes …….
As an aside, the Fraternity parish promised last year by Bishop Olson remains stalled with little apparent progress being made to occupy their permanent parish (at least as of a month or so ago). This may be beyond Bishop Olson’s control – apparently, the community currently occupying what will become the FW FSSP parish has run into fundraising and other problems in building their new church, but I know some folks are becoming frustrated and beginning to lose heart.
If you want to voice your opposition to this great scandal, there is contact info at the link.
*- That’s what a “town hall” is, especially 2 1/2 months before an election, it is a local campaign event for the Rep during Congress’ month-long August recess.
Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
As a corollary to the big news of the day in the post below, a brief overview of some of the great virtues practiced by St. Alphonsus Liguori, as written by Fr. Eugene Grimm, CSsR. If Liguori was the ideal, or some representation of it, it is perhaps a bit depressing to contemplate the degree to which most, if not practically all, current-day bishops correspond to this ideal.
Note, the below has to do almost solely with personal practice of virtue, but it is the personal practice that powers the public apostolate. That is to say, holy men make holy bishops, and not the other way around. From pp. 14-15 of The Victories of the Martyrs:
…..[O]ur revered author was not satisfied with telling us how we may imitate the heroes of faith; he shows us this much better in his wonderful life, which was a prodigy of patience and long martyrdom. There are but few Saints who suffered as much as he suffered.
He was his own tyrant and his own executioner. Although he had never committed a grievous sin from his youth, yet, impelled by his ardent love for Jesus Christ, he gave himself up to the most cruel penances, and God permitted that he could continue them to the age of nearly ninety-one years. He regarded himself as a victim that was to be entirely immolated to divine love without the least reserve; and convinced that this love is manifested by labor and suffering, as he himself teaches us, he thought only of laboring and suffering as much as possible for God. But obedience being better than sacrifice, he bound himself by a vow to follow in all things the advice of the director of his conscience, in which he recognized the Divine Will. By renouncing all worldly hopes, he condemned himself to a life of extreme poverty; his garments, his furniture, and everything that he used, even when he was a bishop, bore the impress of this virtue, and reduced him to what was strictly necessary. At night he took his short repose on a simple straw mattress, and sometimes on a plank; and when travelling, if he could not go on foot, he would use only a donkey for riding.
He took but little nourishment, and was careful to mix it with bitter herbs so as to render its taste very disagreeable; and this he often ate on his knees or sitting on the floor. Besides the ordinary fast and abstinence, he fasted on bread and water on all Saturdays and vigils of the principle feasts. When he studied or wrote, he would stand with small stones in his shoes in order to suffer. He severely scourged himself every day, and frequently to blood; he used, besides, little chains, hair-cloth, and other instruments for the purpose of continually tormenting his flesh. One evening, worn out with fatigue, he fell down in his room, having swooned away, and remained unconscious the whole night and the greater part of the following day; the doctor ordered him to be disrobed, and on him was found a hair shirt that covered his whole body. From this we may form any idea of his austerities, which he strove so much to conceal from the eyes of men. To these self-inflicted penances must be added his great labors in the midst of pain, solicitude, and continual trials.
In reality, many of Saint Alphonsus’ penances were commonly practiced by many saintly bishops, especially those of the early Church and the Age of Faith. And even more salutary for our own souls is less to consider how today’s bishops correspond to his eminent example, but how we ourselves do, not that we are called to be bishops, but we are all called to holiness. I’m a great one for taking extra things on, a sort of positive penance, if you will, but when it comes to self-denial, I’ve always been weak. Please pray for your wimpy blogger.
Victories of the Martyrs is shaping up to be an excellent, excellent book, even by the very high standards of St. Alphonsus. It will take me months to get through it, though.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, family, Francis, General Catholic, pr stunts, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell’s increasingly controversial tenure as Bishop of Dallas has come to an end. He was appointed by Francis to head the important new Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life just created. His transfer is effective in 2 weeks, which is really short notice, so we can expect that his effective tenure as Bishop of Dallas is over as of today, or perhaps, weeks ago. DMN coverage next, some commentary from me at the bottom:
Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell has been tapped for a position at the Vatican, where he will oversee a new department focused on the lives and families of ordinary Catholics around the world.
The promotion, effective Sept. 1, will make Farrell the highest-ranking American clergyman serving in the Vatican, the Diocese of Dallas announced Wednesday.
The move leaves an opening in Dallas, where Farrell has been bishop since 2007……..
…….Farrell said Wednesday morning that he was “extremely humbled” by the appointment and “grateful for the Holy Father’s confidence in me.” But, he said, “I meet this news with mixed emotions.”
“Dallas has been my home for 10 years and, from the beginning, I quickly grew to love the beautiful people and culture here,” he said in a statement. “The strong faith, kindness and generosity of the people in the Diocese of Dallas surpassed all of my expectations.”
A diocese spokeswoman said a new bishop could be appointed as soon as October. Auxiliary Bishop Greg Kelly will lead the diocese in the interim.
Pope Francis chose Farrell to lead the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, a newly-created department that combines the responsibilities of two existing pontifical councils. It will be part of the Roman Curia, an administrative body that advises and helps the pope carry out the church’s affairs worldwide.
In his new role, Farrell, 68, will focus on the needs of lay people, regular Catholics who are not part of the clergy.
The reorganization comes as Pope Francis strives to make the Catholic Church more inclusive and efficient. [“Inclusive.” That’s what Christ stressed all the time, wasn’t it? He never said anything about bringing the sword of division, separating the wheat from the chaff, or anything like that. The redefinition of Jesus Christ along sexular pagan lines continues apace.]
The pope wrote that he created the new department so that the Roman Curia can effectively “respond to the situation of our times and adapt to the needs of the universal Church.”…….
…….The Diocese of Dallas saw an increase in vocations to the priesthood and raised $130 million during a landmark fundraising campaign under his leadership, said diocesan spokeswoman Annette Gonzales Taylor. [Well, just about any vocations would have been an increase from the total collapse of the seminary system and ordinations under the last decade or so of his predecessor. Ordinations have averaged 3 or 4 a year under Farrell, much more than before, but not nearly enough to make up for the number of priests set to retire soon]
“We’re exceptionally proud, but we’re also exceptionally sad to be losing him,” Gonzales Taylor said Wednesday. “He’s just be an outstanding leader and, from my point of view, a wonderful boss. He’s going to be sorely missed.”……
…….Farrell’s new assignment will reunite him with his brother, Brian, who is also a bishop and the secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Farrell asked for prayers as he begins “this next unexpected chapter of my priesthood.”
“My God continue to bless the Diocese of Dallas,” he said.
In the end, Bishop Farrell’s tenure played out almost exactly as expected by many local observers when he was first named Bishop of Dallas in 2007. It was widely expected then that he would not retire here, that he would be something of an interim or “caretaker” bishop. Certain well-informed local priests expected him to spend 7 or 8 years (in reality, it was 9) addressing the myriad problems left by his predecessor Charles Grahmann and then be promoted to some dicastery in Rome, to finish out his career near his much-beloved brother. This is exactly what happened.
In many material respects, Bishop Farrell’s tenure was a successful one – he got the Diocese out of debt after massive payouts to the survivors of priest sex abuse cases, and did somewhat improve the seminary and the number of priests being ordained, which latter had all but died under his predecessor.
I have already observed, I believe, how hard Bishop Farrell has changed direction under the current pontificate. He has really tacked into the wind. Under Benedict Bishop Farrell was fairly conservativish, a bit “right” of center in the American episcopate. Since, 2013, however, he seems to have drifted quite a bit in the other direction.
As a man, like so many bishops – though he was, it seems, an extreme case – he was very hard to get in front of. He seemed to be constantly gone, or had others run very effective interference for him. Even in public events, getting much more than a handshake and a smile from Farrell was all but impossible. Obtaining a meeting was apparently reserved for a select few (if any). Even though he supposedly obtained a mansion for fund-raising, there are no reports of fundraisers actually being held there, to my knowledge. Farrell tended to “rule” from behind the scenes and was certainly not above hiding behind bureaucratic subterfuge, as the Joyce Rupp/Dr. Rick Gaillardetz imbroglios, the twin issues that launched this blog in late 2009, showed.
Farrell was always assessed as a very political creature who would not be long in Dallas. Benedict’s abdication probably kept him here a year or two longer than planned. But now he has gotten his reward, a plum assignment, in Rome, near his brother, in which to ride out his career. Many have speculated Bishop Farrell’s socially liberal policies of late (banning guns in all diocesan facilities – since repealed – strident support for unlimited Hispanic immigration, constant paeans on his blog to the new wisdom of Francis, taking up a crusade on domestic violence, etc) were perhaps related to a desire to seem in step with the new mood in Rome. It is likely these later stands may have been more reflective of Farrell’s true beliefs, given his status as protege of the very troubling Cardinal McCarrick, and may well serve as indicators of why Farrell was chosen for this very important new office.
Of course, I pray for Bishop Farrell’s success in his new duty and that he may use this apostolate for the good of souls and of Holy Mother Church, which could have a huge impact on the life of the Church. As to how Bishop Farrell will conduct himself in this new role, he has always been a very good soldier, knowing who he needs to please and how to do it. I was not the only one to notice what seemed a fairly substantial change in Bishop Farrell’s rhetoric and pastoral emphasis after March 2013. Remember his joint statement with former Ft. Worth Bishop Vann on the USCCB’s 2008 “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” staking out a very welcome and clear guidance with respect to the life issues trumping all others in determining who Catholics can support, electorally (pretty much wiping out legitimate support for democrats)? Could you imagine him releasing such a document, today?
We also eagerly await the naming of his replacement, which comes at such a critical juncture for this diocese. If Bishop Farrell was something of an interim crisis recovery expert, it was similarly expected that his replacement would likely be much younger and here for a very long time. It is thus vital to pray for this new bishop, conducting Rosary crusades and other prayer efforts, even outside the chancery itself, to show our filial obedience and spiritual communion with out present and future ordinaries, while imploring God that they be men worthy of the name, Catholic bishop. Please also pray for Bishop Farrell, that the Grace of Jesus Christ may guide and direct all he does according to the Truth revealed and practiced by the Church for over 1900 years in his very important new role.
Amazingly, with the sacking of Cardinal Burke, this new appointment makes Bishop Farrell the highest ranking “American” (he’s Irish, but served most of his apostolate in the US) in the Curia. That’s something that sort of makes one go “gulp.”
A few other interesting notes from Rocco Palmo:
……the Vatican statement announcing the move conspicuously did not include Farrell’s elevation to the rank of archbishop, which has always been customary practice for appointments of this kind……
…….Third, he enjoys close ties and clear goodwill among four prominent figures in Francis’ orbit: having served as vicar-general and auxiliary of Washington under Cardinals Theodore McCarrick and Donald Wuerl until his southern transfer, the sister of the ever-influential head of Francis’ “Gang of 9,” Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, lives in Dallas, [Yikes] while the work that brought him to DC to begin with saw him succeed then-Bishop Sean O’Malley as director of the capital’s Centro Catolico Hispano, which the Capuchin founded a decade earlier as Latinos began to arrive in the city en masse, only leaving the role on his appointment to the Virgin Islands……..
…….Lastly for now, as some fireworks are bound to ensue in the top rank with the appointment for a now-vacant Dallas church – where Farrell was already laying the groundwork to receive another auxiliary – it bears recalling that, with the new Prefect to be aided by three Secretaries for each of the new office’s areas of competence, the legislation establishing the Dicastery provides that (in a first for a top Curial organ) the lead deputies need not be clergy, but may likewise be named from among religious or the laity.
Yes, I’m certain that for this new Dicastery for the Laity, Francis has found his man.
And here I thought I would have nothing to blog on today.
Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, persecution, Restoration, Revolution, scandals, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
An interesting addendum to the already widely reported interview of Archbishop Pozzo of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei; after previously opining that a breakthrough with the SSPX is perhaps tantalizingly close, he also made some very revealing comments regarding Vatican II, arguing that some or even most of the documents are not-doctrinal or non-dogmatic in nature and are not binding on conscience.
Of course, many, many Catholics, most all attached to the traditional Mass, have argued this for years. There are entire books on the subject (see Msgr. Brunero Gharardini’s books) In fact, even Paul VI at least once described Vatican II as a strictly pastoral council. Of course, where Vatican II repeats dogma already solemnly defined, it is dogmatic in that sense. But in the novelties – which is of course where the crisis has always laid (lain?) – its binding authority on conscience has always been at least highly debatable, if not non-existent.
Archbishop Pozzo seems to argue for the latter, relevant excerpts from One Peter Five below, I add some comments:
There is a section in the interview that is especially worth noting, inasmuch as it may facilitate proper doctrinal discourse among a wide range of conservative and traditional Catholics. In it, Archbishop Pozzo explains why it may be possible for the SSPX to be fully integrated into the structures of the Catholic Church without their previously accepting some of the documents of Vatican II, namely Nostra Aetate, about interreligious dialogue; the decree Unitatis Redintegratio, on ecumenism; the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, on religious liberty; and, finally, other texts relating to the question of the relationship between Christianity and Modernity. [Such as, say, Guadium Et Spes, especially #12] While saying that “the Council is not a pastoral superdogma, but part of the completeness [sic]of tradition and the continuous Magisterium,” Pozzo makes clear that there are some texts of the Council that are not doctrinal and are thus not binding on the Catholic conscience. Pozzo stresses that “the Church’s tradition is developing, but never in the sense of a novelty – which stands in contrast to the previous teaching – but which is a deeper understanding of the Depositum fidei, the authentic deposit of the Faith.” Pozzo continues, by saying that
In this [same] sense, all [the] Church’s documents have to be understood, also those of the Council. These preconditions, together with the obligation to affirm the Creed, the recognition of the Sacraments and of the papal primacy are the basis for the magisterial declaration which the Fraternity has been given to sign. These are the preconditions for a Catholic, in order to be in full communion with the Catholic Church……….
…..With regard to the earlier-mentioned documents above – Nostra Aetate about interreligious dialogue; the decree Unitatis Redintegratio on ecumenism; and the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae on religious liberty – Pozzo explicitly says:
They are not about doctrines or definitive statements, but, rather, about instructions and orienting guides for pastoral practice. One can [thus legitimately] continue to discuss these pastoral aspects after the [proposed] canonical approval [of the SSPX], in order to lead us to further [and acceptable] clarifications.
When asked by the journalist as to whether the Vatican has now come to the idea that the varied Council documents have different dogmatic weights, Pozzo very importantly states:
This is certainly not a [later] conclusion on our part, but it was already clear at the time of the Council. The General Secretary of the Council, Cardinal Pericle Felici, declared on 16 November 1964: “This holy synod defines only that as being binding for the Church what it declares explicitly to be such with regard to Faith and Morals.” Only those texts assessed by the Council Fathers as being binding are to be accepted as such. That has not been [later] invented by “the Vatican,” but it is written in the official files themselves. [In point of fact, numerous histories present this – and I fully believe the facts bear this out – as being a critical selling point in gaining approval for documents like Nostra Aetate and Dignitatis Humanae, even with the other shenanigans that went on, like losing the 400-odd petitions submitted on time to further amend DH in order to get the document approved as it was. Paul VI put very heavy pressure on the Council Fathers to gain those near unanimous approvals he so coveted, but, to do so, he had to confirm on various occasions the pastoral nature of these documents. That the liberals would turn even pastoral documents into all-conquering super-dogmas should perhaps have been foreseen, but it’s easy to say that in hindsight.]
In response to a possible critique that important Council declarations such as Nostra Aetate could thus be more fully and openly denied, Pozzo declares:
The secretary for the Unity of Christians said on 18 November 1964 in the Council Hall about Nostra Aetate: “As to the character of the declaration, the secretariat does not want to write a dogmatic declaration on non-Christian religions, but, rather, practical and pastoral norms.” Nostrae Aetate does not have any dogmatic authority, and thus one cannot demand from anyone to recognize this declaration as being dogmatic. [This is the key. And I would certainly agree. Unfortunately, most of the hierarchy does not, and continues to treat every document of Vatican II as a super-dogma trumping everything that came before. There remains bitter division among cardinals, bishops, etc., as to what degree of authority these documents have.] This declaration can only be understood in the light of tradition and of the continuous Magisterium. For example, there exists today, unfortunately, the view – contrary to the Catholic Faith – that there is a salvific path independent of Christ and His Church. That has also been officially confirmed last of all by the Congregation for the Faith itself in its declaration, Dominus Jesus. Therefore, any interpretation of Nostrae Aetate which goes into this [unfortunate and erroneous] direction is fully unfounded and has to be rejected. [my emphasis added]
Well, tragically, tell that to Cardinals Koch, Marx, Maradiaga, Schoenborn, and many others, all of which have tried to pretend that Jews still have a valid covenant and path to salvation outside of Jesus Christ.
As gratified as I am to see Archbishop Pozzo’s comments, and certainly agree with them, the fact remains, they remain in the distinct minority in the Church today. Most high-ranking prelates and local ordinaries hold strongly to the belief that every document – every jot and tittle, so to speak – of Vatican II is not only dogmatic, but supersedes and replaces all that came before.
The ONLY way this matter will ever be settled, as a good local priest said recently, is for a future pope or pope/council to settle it. That’s the only way to overcome the division and endless argument that has been the status quo for 50+ years.
Even then, it will be a bitter struggle to overcome the deeply entrenched, deeply erroneous views held by so many in the Church today, from the “lowest” lay person to the most powerful cardinal. It will require a pontiff who is a truly great Saint, a Pius V or someone similar, with the enormous depth of faith and clarity of vision to overcome the resistance that will surely develop.
But, in human terms, we seem light years from that at present. In fact, we seem headed away from Restoration fast, and deeper into the endless darkening maze of Revolution. God does have a way of working tremendous surprises and unprecedented comebacks, however. Prayer and penance remain our most important weapons in this struggle.
h/t reader TT. Many thanks for all the good leads.
Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, different religion, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, the struggle for the Church, true leadership, Victory.
I’m not necessarily advising the below. I will say, however, that concerned laypeople, making use of private investigators and using assumptions that almost always prove to be true, have driven even unworthy bishops from their dioceses. The former Bishop of Miami is one example.
I’m low on time, but I am curious to know what you make of this (I do add a few comments below):
But I could not imagine what would happen when a new pastor arrived. Fr. Stan, who was in his mid-40s, was creative, an “innovator,” and he set about his “reforms” with unflagging self-confidence. His first move was to hang garish banners from high over the altar. They weren’t exactly “un-Catholic,” just unnecessary, these broad, pastel bolts of cloth with images of birds, candles, or sunflowers, and saccharine messages, likePeace, Harmony, and Sonshine. Next was the invasion of gentle Jesuit junk in the new hymnals, which no one could sing. So Fr. Stan found a woman who believed she had talent, a divorced lady with a lot of time on her hands, it seems. She became the “Music Minister,” stealing our last fifteen minutes before Mass for “rehearsal,” waving her arms in front of us like one of the “weird sisters” in Macbeth, as if trying to conjure up the ghosts of Woodstock. The parishioners just frowned at her in stony silence, which visibly irritated our new pastor.
Fr. Stan gave up on the muzak, a minor setback, but not on his protégée. On the contrary, he decided to promote her. She then began to function as an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister, the first this parish of barely 200 souls had ever seen. But when this became a little too “ordinary,” she started standing beside the priest during the Canon of the Mass, now vested just like him, hands outstretched and mimicking his every gesture during the Consecration. Then she started uttering all the prayers in unison with the priest. Finally, the coup de grace: After the Prayers of Consecration, Fr. Stan started taking a seat behind the altar-table, and Ms. Lomsheck became the only source for receiving Holy Communion. [This has happened hundreds if not thousands of times all over this country]
This was too much for the farmers, ranchers, mechanics, feed-store owners and large-animal veterinarian, who spent all week in dirt, grime and worse. They were not about to have a priestess take over their one hour of transcendence, and more or less have to become Methodists without any say in the matter. The parish council drafted a letter to the bishop with a simple message: we want something Catholic for Mass. The bishop’s response was artfully courteous. He thanked the letter writers for their love of “being church,” but assured them that Fr. Stan had his complete confidence. He was certain that by following the lead of their appointed shepherd ever more closely on their “faith journey,” they would all arrive harmoniously, somewhere, together. [Typical. Another unworthy shepherd, more concerned with keeping his priests happy – no matter what damage doing so might cause – than serving as a true shepherd of souls. In all likelihood, he shared the priest’s sentiments towards a different religion]
The parishioners were not reassured. Attendance at Mass dropped dramatically. For many, Sunday became a group rosary day, at alternating farmhouses. Others were making the 50-mile drive to the nearest alternative Mass. With a car so badly rusted I could see some of the road through the floorboard, I had to join the rosary group. The Sunday rosaries spawned a Saturday afternoon offshoot, as another group began quietly meeting inside St. Isidore’s Church at about two o’clock, so as not to relinquish all claim to a building their great-grandfathers had lifted skyward with their own hands. When Fr. Stan learned that the parishioners, who now refused his Masses, were using his church for a “protest” rosary, he started locking the building all week and required the parish council to turn in their keys. Only he and the priestess could let themselves into the church.
Barely six months had passed between Fr. Stan’s arrival and the climax of this confrontation. But the dramatic end took place with even greater speed. One Sunday, as I was preparing to head out to a group rosary, I received a phone call: “Mass in the church in about an hour!” Fr. Stan was gone, there was a new visiting priest, and in a few weeks, a new permanent pastor was to arrive. Our prayers were answered. How exactly had this miracle come about?
Later that week, I ran into the head of the parish council at the Greyhound Diner. Mr. Pulaski (who was also the town pharmacist) was hesitant to answer my questions about Fr. Stan’s abrupt departure, but he finally relented. He himself had conceived the plan that was endorsed by the entire council. They had written Fr. Stan a letter, anonymously, of which the entire message was essentially this:
We know what you are doing. We have photographs and other evidence.
If you do not leave NOW, we will take it to the bishop and the police.
What had they discovered, I wondered? What kind of evidence? How had they uncovered it? “Nothing,” said Mr. Pulaski, “We had no evidence of anything. Just an assumption. It was a pure bluff. And it worked.” I was dumbfounded. How on earth had anyone imagined that such a dubious ploy, which seemed so desperately phony, could ever have the desired effect? [I say good on these people for having the strength of faith, and right understanding of human nature, to pull this off. Good for them for standing up for themselves, their children, and the Church.]
“Well, it’s like this,” Mr. Pulaski continued. “Pretty simple, really. When a priest hates the Mass as much as Fr. Stan obviously does, it is a sure bet that he is involved in some great immorality, possibly something illegal. Having to preach a Gospel he doesn’t believe in makes him bitter and angry with the Church for ‘forcing’ him to be a hypocrite. He takes it out on the parishioners. We didn’t know what was wrong in his private life, but we were sure it was a damned mess.”
………Some years later, with a sense of morbid curiosity, I tracked down the priest who had been the source of all the trouble. Was he at some other parish, I wondered, among people more willing to be “innovated?” No, it turns out that he had become a sociology professor at a Catholic university. [and thus gets to infect even more Catholics with his different and incompatible religion]
The practical, day-to-day crisis in the Church in this country, and around the world, in a nutshell. Bishops and priests who don’t believe, whose unbelief is powered by an addiction to sin. Just like Luther. It drives them to reject Catholicism in favor of a worldly, indifferent, man-made religion. And they use their great numbers and influence over the levers of power in the Church to persecute the faithful, whether they be priest or layman.
Anyone know of any similar tales where such tactics have worked, or may have? Have any of you ever considered retaining a private eye to investigate the behavior of local churchmen? Did Roman Catholic Faithful do that for a while, and turn up a very great deal that was very, very bad?
Is this a viable way for the faithful to try to reclaim the Church, or is it unscrupulous to stoop to such tactics? Do the ends justify “punitive” means, or do the faithful have a right to know? Are we not called to be wise as serpents and simple as doves? If the latter, why aren’t such investigations – which have been successful several times – more frequent? I have to believe scandals such as those in Miami and the anecdotal story above are depressingly frequent.
Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, suicide, the struggle for the Church.
I finally took the time to stop down by Unam Sanctam Catholicam, and was rewarded as usual. Some have argued strenuously that merely creating a committee to study the issue of “female deacons” doesn’t imply an endorsement of such or any kind of move towards making deaconesses a reality, and could even be an ingenious method to bury the issue! Of course, there have been preceding commissions, preceding studies, and they failed to do so.
Anyone who knows how politics work, however, knows that nothing is more important to a fringe issue than keeping it alive. Nothing is more vital than getting the seeming acceptance of the powers that be by having them create some committee to study your nutty fringe issue. Suddenly, it’s not so fringe, it’s become mainstream, it’s part of the process! It has momentum. And allowing highly contentious politicized issues to gain momentum in the official sphere can often have enormous unintended consequences, even those quite contrary to those who may have intended to kill a matter by consigning it to committee in the first place.
So opines Boniface at USC, and I am strongly inclined to agree (my emphasis and comments):
……But the thing to realize is the mere fact of opening a subject to discussion makes it appear that its open for discussion. Even if there’s no money for the project and it literally cannot happen, the fact it is being discussed makes people think it can
[The most important part…..] And the impossibility of the project coming to fruition does not stop its partisans. They use the commission as a means of propagating their ideas and refining their arguments – of networking with the right people and putting the right mechanisms in place to further their agenda. Of putting out whatever message to the public they wish. Of building public support and leveraging pressure on those in charge to bend to their wishes.
In other words, they might know they are not going to get what they want, but they create a momentum towards it.[!!!]
Why create momentum when they know it literally can’t happen? Well, in politics nothing is ever ultimately impossible. But in the Church, literally women can never be ordained to the diaconate. It simply cannot happen any more than a woman could be ordained to the priesthood. But that does not mean its proponents – who think it is possible – will not try to create the momentum. And the momentum is what is so dangerous, because even if we never have women deacons, the momentum is like a huge net that will drag all sorts of souls into error on this point, create dissension, false expectations, schisms, scandal, confusion and chaos. And the chaos itself is detrimental, whether or not we ever get women deacons. [And so, Francis committees, and the ones that have come before, rehashing an issue already settled centuries ago, are, at best, huge prudential mistakes, if not at times worse than that]
People who think this is “no biggie” just because it “won’t happen” don’t understand the way people hijack parliamentary procedure and the commission-committee system to foment chaos to create momentum towards their goals. It is all destabilizing, and ultimately destabilization of the traditional Church structure is what the progressives are after. [And you have to keep in mind, though you or I may know deaconesses in the modern sense to be impossible, the supporters of women’s ordination do not know that. They think it not only possible, but inevitable. They’re on the “right side of history,” and all that. Even more, many of their allies in the hierarchy also think it quite possible. From that, all kinds of dire outcomes are possible]
The pope ought to have said, “There is no point in a commission to study. This can never happen, and if so, there’s no point in studying it. I don’t want to give Catholics the impression something could change when it can’t.” But by allowing a commission to “study” the question, Pope Francis is opening the door for partisans of women deacons [no, women “priests,” that’s always been the goal] to start building that momentum towards a female diaconate; whether they get it or not it irrelevant. The fact is, the traditional exclusion of women from Holy Orders is now open for discussion, and that fact alone – regardless of what conclusion they come to – is dangerous.
With the Left, whether secular or ecclesiastical, it’s always about moving the ball forward. Once moved, it’s like a new point of departure,; there is no going back. Anything that serves to move their agenda forward, they will take with great cheer. Even synods that don’t go nearly as far as some might have liked. And they can be very patient in pursuit of their agenda.
I’ll admit – there are times when committees are used to kill certain issues. But rarely do they succeed with regard to sacred shibboleths of the Left that involve cultural hot-button issues.
Boniface has been in politics. It shows.