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Texas Catholic Conference Conducts Ugly, Unprecedented Attack on Texas Right to Life February 23, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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I’ve written on this subject before, though it’s been some time – basically, there has long existed a marked division among the Texas pro-life movement, the uncompromising, total ban on abortion and other forms of murder position represented by Texas Right to Life, and the much more accommodating stand taken by Texas Alliance for Life.  There are many reasons to view Texas Alliance as weak on key issues, and indeed, most of the most dedicated, most successful pro-life advocates tend to support Texas Right to Life.  During the 2014 legislative session, some acrimonious division developed between Texas Right to Life and the Texas Catholic Conference (TCC), which is the bureaucratic arm of the state’s bishops (like a mini-USCCB).  Dominated by its lay staff and their preferences, including their relations with several prominent Texas lawmakers, TCC at various points supported end-of-life legislation that a number of pro-life advocates believed – I should say proved –  actually worsened the status quo in Texas, and put elderly, the sick, and their families even more at the mercy of doctors and hospitals in making end of life decisions.

So why has Texas Catholic Conference taken the very  unusual step of disavowing, or telling all Catholics in the state to disavow, this most effective pro-life group now?  In a word, politics.  Texas Right to Life, along with a number of other hardcore grass-roots conservatives groups like the Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, Texas homeschoolers, and others, have managed to fund a number of “insurgent” campaigns by true, hardcore conservatives against establishment candidates like Angela Paxton.  Early voting is underway for the party primaries, so feeling their establishment buddies under threat, major Texas politicians like Joe Straus – the Speaker of the House, who has done more than anyone to block effective pro-life legislation in this state and who saw Texas’ pro-life ranking drop from #4 to #12 in his 10 year tenure as speaker – are pulling out the stops to try to break the backs of the conservative groups supporting the insurgent candidacies.

We’ve seen this before in this state, where the establishment always favors its own, but not to this degree, and not with a public disavowal of a group whose only “sin”, even by Texas Catholic Conference’s own admission, is to be “too pro-life.”  In point of fact, the very minor pro-life “gains” we have seen in Texas are out of all proportion to the citizenry’s general abhorrence of abortion.  In one of the most conservative states of the union, Texas’ pro-life legislation falls further and further behind, because of the super slow boil establishment approach.

Many Texas Catholics are incensed by what they see as a betrayal of THE most effective, most dedicated pro-life group in the state (which also happens to have the support of the best bishop this state has seen in 50+ years, Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi, who now offers the TLM more or less exclusively).

If you want more on the inside baseball of Texas politics and how this very sad abandonment of a great pro-life group9 came to pass, read the below from Church Militant, which……..yeah, I know, but just roll with it:

The bishops’ denouncement of Texas Right to Life comes in the wake of a split looming inside the Texas Republican Party — a winnowing of the conservative wheat from the Establishment chaff. Internal polling indicates Lone Star State RINOs are facing extinction in the upcoming elections, and political insiders believe the bishops’ “advisory” is a ploy to save their political hides. By demonizing Texas Right to Life, they suggest, the bishops hope to preserve their political allies in office.

According to their “advisory,” the bishops are spurning Texas Right to Life for three reasons:

  1. Conflicts on pro-life reform. The bishops complained the group “often opposes the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops and has implied that the bishops do not faithfully represent Church teaching.” Texas Right to Life rejects the bishops’ “incrementalism” as a halting, soft approach.
  2. Conflicts on end-of-life reform. The bishops slammed Texas Right to Life’s messaging on end-of-life care and advance directives as “misstatements.”
  3. Texas Right to Life’s voter guide. The group publishes an annual voter guide scoring Texas lawmakers according to their pro-life record. The bishops have denounced the guide as built on unfair analysis, and they maintain “a number of legislators who have consistently voted for pro-life and end of life legislation have been opposed by Texas Right to Life.”

This isn’t the first time Texas Right to Life has run afoul of the Church Establishment. In 2013, Jeffrey Patterson, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference, wrote to state Representative Dan Huberty on behalf of the bishops, blasting Texas Right to Life’s voter guide as “unconventional,” “subjective” and producing “perplexing results.” He complained that the voter guide assigned low scores to “pro-life lawmakers who have worked long and hard to protect and preserve life.”

But Republican lawmakers like Byron Cook and Joseph Straus, key leaders of the Texas GOP Establishment, have been criticized by Texas Right to Life for obstructing pro-life laws.

As Church Militant reported in October 2017, “Cook, as the chairman of the Texas House State Affairs Committee, has worked overtime to block pro-life legislation from being passed in the Texas legislature despite claiming to be pro-life.” For example, he killed HB1113, the Pro-Life Health Insurance Reform, which would prohibit insurance companies from paying for elective abortions.

The pro-life bills Cook did support were considered “weak” and “fake” by Texas Right to Life — “ineffective or non-priority” measures that were actually “detrimental to the pro-life movement.”

Straus, meanwhile, as Speaker of the House, “put a sudden end to a special legislative session” that Gov. Greg Abbott had called in order to address important bills Establishment Republicans ignored during the 2016–17 regular session.

Just because, fearing losing a primary election, Straus and Cook are no longer seeking another term, does not mean that the establishment is broken or disorganized. As we see, they are still plenty powerful.

I do wonder the degree to which the 13 bishops who ostensibly make up TCC are involved in this, and the degree to which it comes from the lay bureaucrats who run TCC on a day to day basis?

If you want to read the TCC declaration, here it is—>>>02-2018_TRTL_parish_advisory

Some folks are planning to walk out if the announcement is read in their parish during Mass this Sunday. I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about that.

I am saddened and shocked at this turn of events.  There was no need for such an absolutist position from TCC against TRL – the two have worked together at many points in the past.  Why now, of all times, this matter had to be brought to the fore is incomprehensible for reasons of doctrine or importance to souls.  It very much appears to be doing what their political allies in Austin want the TCC to do, which is to try to remove a troublesome thorn from the establishcrats side.  To Bishop Olson – dude, I’ve defended you in the past, but you got to get a hold of your temper.   There are fights that are optional, and fights that are mandatory, and fights that one should never get in, and this is one of those.

 

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Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga – Poverty for Thee, but Not for Me (or my boyfriends) January 17, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, cultural marxism, different religion, disaster, Endless Corruption, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, It's all about the $$$, scandals, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, unadulterated evil.
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This news is almost a month old, but I think the implications are plain – once again, a leftist ecclesiastic demanding a “poorer church,” a “church of accompaniment” – has been found personally enriching himself at Church expense.  Or, at least, there is substantial evidence of such.  Even more, this enrichment seems to be directly tied to personal immorality of the type practiced in Sodom and Gomorrah, and seems to make plain why these leftist cardinals and other apparatchiks in the Church seek to implode the current moral edifice of the Faith, and replace it with one that is conducive to progressive mores.

There is a long article below, but the implications are damning, both for Rodriguez-Maradiaga, and for Francis, who has apparently sat on this information for over 6 months while deciding how to treat with one of his closest advisers and allies (my emphasis and comments):

When he finished reading the inquiry drafted by the apostolic envoy he himself had sent to Honduras last May, Pope Francis’ hands went up to his skullcap. He had just found out that his friend and main councilor — powerful cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, a staunch supporter of a poor and pauperist Church and coordinator of the Council of Cardinals after he appointed him in 2013 — had received over the years from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa around 41,600 US dollars a month, with an additional 64,200 dollars bonus in December.Bergoglio had yet to learn that several witnesses, both ecclesiastical and secular, were accusing Maradiaga of investments in some companies in London topping a 1,2 million dollars that later vanished into thin air, or that the Court of Auditors of the small Central American nation was investigating a flow of large sums of money from the Honduran government to the Foundation for Education and Social Communication and to the Suyapa Foundation, both foundations of the local Church and therefore depending on Maradiaga himself.

“The Pope is sad and saddened, but also very determined at discovering the truth,” people of his entourage at Santa Marta, his residency, explain. [Uh huh. Is that why this was not made public for over 6 months, and in fact required investigative journalism (as in, not a Vatican press release) to uncover?  Can you imagine the hue and cry if this had occurred under Benedict, with one of his closest advisers and supporters?] He wants to know every item of the investigation Argentine bishop Jorge Pedro Casaretto conducted in Honduras, on top, of course, of the final destination of the jaw-dropping sums of money obtained by the cardinal. Just in one year, 2015, as shown in an internal university report L’Espresso obtained, the cardinal received almost 600,000 dollars, a sum that according to some sources he collected for a decade in his capacity as “Grand Chancellor” of the university. However, some other rather unpleasant items account for the rest of the sums he received according to Bishop Casaretto’s report. The pope’s trustworthy person put down on paper the serious accusations many witnesses brought forward (the audits totaled around fifty witnesses and included administrative staff of the diocese and of the university, priests, seminarians and the cardinal’s driver and secretary) also against the Auxiliary Bishop of Tegucigalpa, Juan José Pineda, among the most loyal in Maradiaga’s inner circle and de facto his deputy in Central America. [We will learn just how close Rodriguez and Pineda are later on]

After studying the dossier he received directly six months ago, Pope Francis assigned to himself all final decisions to be made. [Because of course he did.  Makes it easier to bury the unpleasant news.  As Rorate has noted, Rodriguez Maradiaga was absolutely key in securing Francis’ election in 2013, and may well have used copious distribution of funds from his leadership of Caritas International to do so – at least, that is the implication, which no one in the media seems interested in investigating]

……..The accusations are many: “Some expenses go to close friends of Pineda, like a Mexican who calls himself ‘Father Erick’, but who never took his vows,” said a missionary. “The real name of the man is Erick Cravioto Fajardo. He lived for years in an apartment adjacent to that of the cardinal at Villa Iris. Pineda, who lived with him under the same roof, recently bought him a downtown apartment and a car. The money, we fear, came from university funds or from the diocese. We denounced this close and unseemly relationship also to the Vatican………[“Close and unseemly.”  I think we can understand just what that means in this disastrous era of sodomitical penetration deep into the bowels of the Church – so to speak. So at least some of this pilfered money is going to the lover and buddy of Maradiaga’s protege and closest supporter, who just happens to live next door to the Cardinal.  But we don’t need any investigation of a “gay mafia” in the Church, right Francis?  Unbelievable.]

The witnesses envoy Casaretto audited talked also about investments to the tune of millions gone catastrophically sour: Maradiaga supposedly transferred large amounts of the diocese’s funds to some financial companies in London, like Leman Wealth Management (whose owner is one Youssry Henien, as the registers of the Company House of England and Wales show). Now part of the money entrusted (and deposited in accounts in German banks) seem to have vanished.

There is more to the story. Casaretto’s report also hints to likely huge flows of money from the media empire the archbishopric set up and Suyapa Foundation, which manages the newspapers and televisions of the diocese, controls. As to Bishop Pineda, local newspapers pinpointed him recently as being the man who orchestrated reckless financial operations and the recipient of public funds (for as much as 1,2 million dollars) allegedly destined to obscure projects aimed at “training of the faithful to the values ​​and understanding laws and social life”. According to the accusers, these expenses were never supported by valid documentation. [Which tends to be the way these guys operate, especially when they need to pay off aggrieved former lovers or the outraged families of violated children.  This would hardly be the first time vast resources intended for the good of souls have been misdirected by unworthy men to enable their corrupt and immoral lifestyles.]

The Vatican is worried also about the Court of Auditors of Honduras’ launching of an accounting probe on the Catholic diocese there between 2012 and 2014. The prosecutors at the Tribunal Superior de Cuentas want to see clear about the lawfulness of the projects for which the government transferred every year tens of millions of lempiras to the Foundation for Education and Social Communication, whose official representative is still Maradiaga. As of the time of writing — so in a letter from the prosecutors L’Espresso obtained — the church did not produce the records on assets and liabilities and expenditure documentations. [Stonewalling from post-Vatican II Church bureaucrats?  Unthinkable!]

Leftism is religion for immoral people.  As Saint Thomas Aquinas and many other great Saints and Fathers of the Church have warned us, heresy, especially from ecclesiastics, is always a cover for personal immorality, almost always involving sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments.  Once a man convinces himself that Church Doctrine is false and his error is truth, that God has lied or the Church radically misunderstood, there is no end to the depths to which he will stoop.  I am not at all surprised that a major progressive Church operator is facing accusations of corruption and immorality – I only sense that there are far, far more such instances of which we are unaware, due to deliberate complicity by a media intent on protecting its co-religionists and ideological allies.

What a catastrophe for souls.  How terribly, terribly sad. Whether AA-1025 be true or not in all its details, I think it unmistakable that communists/leftists did undertake a deliberate program to penetrate the priesthood and fill it with ravening wolves.  I think that effort is dying out, at least in North America, but we shall be stuck with the products of it for decades to come, and with its effects for even longer.

What a fireball nightmare.

With 6 Bishops and One Cardinal, is it Really “Schism Rising?” January 17, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Restoration, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I certainly admire Michael Matt very much, and almost always agree with him, but I think he may have gotten a bit ahead of himself when he advances, at least to a degree, the idea that the fact that 3 bishops and one cardinal (including some emeriti), as of about 10 days ago, had signed onto the statement of the 3 bishops of Kazakhstan, led by the redoubtable Bishop Athanasius Schneider, which asserted their rejection of Francis’ attempt to gut Catholic moral belief by permitting constant, regularized sacrilege through reception of the Blessed Sacrament by the divorced and civilly remarried.

Whew……..that was a run on.  Anyway, I’m all for Schneider’s statement, I’m all for the reaction, but what I am is doubtful that this will be even the beginning of some kind of generalized reaction among the hierarchy, or even the priesthood, against the apparent errors of the Franciscan porntificate (see what I did there?).

This is not the first such reaction. We’ve had the statement by priests that they would continue to teach the Church’s constant belief regarding marriage. That topped out at under 1000 priests, last time I looked, in spite of the over 400,000 active priests in ministry today.  So, about 0.25% of priests took even this minimal stand.  Likewise, the few hundred priests and theologians who signed the statement led by Dr. Joseph Shaw similarly accusing Francis of promoting heresy, probably constituting much less than one tenth of one percent of all the priests and theologians in the world today.  And there was the Dubia, which only 4 Cardinals out of well nearly 200 endorsed.

There are over 4000 active bishops in the Church today.  The fact that 7 have endorsed this effort, again, indicates a support of less than 0.2% of the hierarchy for this very necessary rebuttal toward the Bishop of Rome.

Look, once again, I personally endorse and support all these efforts, but I have been discouraged by the lack of support they receive from those with formal roles within the ecclesiastical structure.  Just as the entire traditional movement is purported to consist of perhaps 1-1.5 million people worldwide, and thus constitutes barely a tenth of one percent of the supposed 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today (but since the number of actual, active, believing Catholics might be 1/10th that number, we do make up a much larger percentage of the “practical Church”), and the hierarchy has managed to, at most, successfully pigeonhole us off, I think they can just as easily keep ignoring that 0.1% or 0.2% of bishops, priests, theologians, or whatever as troublemakers, miscreants, neo-Pelagians, or whatever.  Our numbers are simply too small, on the human level, to have any kind of impact.  I think it would take something more like 60 or 70,  maybe even 150-200, bishops signing onto the Kazakhstan statement before it would start to really make waves.  Even 200 would not constitute even 5% of the episcopate, and note that this ratio does not include the number of emerati that are around today.

Realistically, traditional Catholics are about the same in number, and about as relevant, humanly speaking, as the “Old Catholics” were at the time of Vatican I.  How much influence did the Old Catholics have on the Church at Vatican I, and how much have they had since (as they have fallen into neo-liberal, pseudo-protestant heresy and even blasphemy, aping the worst of the most extreme progressive sects)?  God forbid the same should happen to traditional Catholics. I don’t believe it will.

I bring all this up not to be a pessimist but to inject some realism into the discussion.  I have promoted every one of these actions – the priest’s statement of adherence to the Church’s moral doctrine, the filial correction, the dubia, and now this statement from Kazakhstan.  I am happy to do so.  Indeed, nothing would make me happier – in a sense – than to wake up tomorrow and read that 500 bishops had signed onto this new “Athanasian Creed.”  At the same time, however, I think we need to be realistic, and not develop unfounded hopes.  In addition, while the Truth and justice, I think, demand such firm correction from bishops and cardinals against any error taught in the Church from any source, I also recognize that the process of exposing the error and excising it from the Church could be incredibly painful – though surely, in every respect, the right, just, and necessary thing to do (like a painful and difficult operation, necessary to save a life, but something no one looks forward to).

I also know we need things to talk about, and that folks need encouragement from time to time.  So I don’t take too much issue with the argument forwarded by Matt, I just wouldn’t stake a great deal of hope on it.

On Those Weirdo Trad Parishes January 17, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, Restoration, Revolution, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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Cliches exist because they often serve as a sort of shorthand for truth, an often glib but also uncannily accurate description of a place, an event, a tendency, etc.  Now, cliches can serve to represent and advance unfair bias, and often do, and they can badly misrepresent and miss vital nuance.  But having said that, the cliche of the mean ‘ol trad Catholic is probably the dominant, knee jerk reaction we trads have to contend with.  And, not entirely unfairly, it must probably be said.

How has this come about?  Likewise, what about the trad cliche of the silly, far from groovy, get over the 60s hippy dippy happy clappy define your own truth Novus Ordo type?  How true are these descriptions, and from where might they stem?

My new sole source for blogging material, Tumblar House, has some answers below, which I found pretty insightful.  In this case, I thought Charles Coulombe’s confrere made perhaps the most insightful contribution – we trads/faithful Catholics are the product of long years of avoiding and overcoming constant deadly threats, both to ourselves and to our children – you think a few years of that might make someone a little reserved in charity and prone to pounce on perceived threats with maybe a bit more relish than absolutely necessary?  And how about the rank failure of the hierarchy to define and defend Truth, so that laity have, by default, often had to step into this role?  Think that might also have had some less than perfect fruit?

This short segment also provides a keen insight into that strange entity, the former devout pre-conciliar Catholic who now so loved the old Mass and all the old devotions, and now, as a septuagenarian or octogenarian finds them repellent.  This person may or may not be a hippy casualty leftist, they may be quite orthodox in their Novus Ordo way, but they just viscerally hate the old Mass.  How could that person, on an objective level, exist, when the TLM is so manifestly superior on practically every level possible?  Well, they went through the incredibly jarring experience of being told by the Church, their Mother, that all they loved and held dear was not just far from ideal, but positively harmful/dangerous, and would be replaced by something “better.”  I can’t imagine how painful that must have been, nor the depth of Faith those folks had, and have, to have seen them through that experience.  That’s not to say their reactions, then or now, were always the right ones or even virtuous (mass contraceptive use, anyone?), but it does help to explain how these people came about.  I think it hard for someone like me, who converted on the cusp of the 21st century, to comprehend just how obedient Catholics were in the 1960s, and the entire expectation of obedience that was woven into the fabric of Catholic lives at that time.  That ethos, once such a cornerstone of the Faith (to an extent that m may have been excessive and even unhealthy, as natural as it was given the external attacks the Church faced from 1789-1958, say) has been one of the biggest casualties of the collapse of hierarchical authority since the “new springtime” of Vatican Il Duce.

Basically the Church is badly broken, probably in worse shape than she’s ever been, and that has left the sheep largely fending for themselves.  We should not be surprised that under such circumstances, the laity would be left confused and even divided into hostile camps.  This will persist, in my surmise, until the revolution that afflicted the Church in the 60s/70s (and today) is definitively rolled back, either by overt act or by slow submersion beneath a renewed authentic Catholicism.

First TLM in nearly 50 years offered at Dallas Cathedral Dec 30 – UPDATED January 9, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Restoration, Spiritual Warfare, thanksgiving, Tradition, Virtue.
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I sorely wish I had had the means to share this with folks before the event, but it was deliberately cordoned in a veil of silence.  Nevertheless, an historic event occurred during the Octave of Christmas this year, when, on Dec 30 (thanks to KB and SB for the correction), a Traditional Latin Mass was offered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Dallas.  Father Thomas Longua, pastor of Mater Dei FSSP parish, offered the Mass.  Our family was unable to attend and I have received few reports on the Mass, the crowd, or the participants (I do not believe Bishop Burns participated), but there are a few pictures available.

Apparently the Mass was requested by some interested folks and new Bishop Burns, along with Cathedral Rector Stephen Bierschenk, approved.  The occasion, in addition to the feast, was a retreat for the altar boys and their families.

The Mass took place at the side altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed.  That is of course appropriate for the TLM – though our cathedral at one time had a most beautiful high altar, which was unfortunately and, I think it may be fairly said, callously ripped out during the wreckovations of the early 70s.  Indeed, the former marble altar rail was turned into curbs for the parking lot!  Just a slight triumph of expedience over piety……..

At any rate, some pics, and a bit more commentary below:

I am aware that this is not the first request to offer a TLM at the Cathedral.  Certainly, it is not the first since Summorum Pontificum of 2007.  So it is quite significant that approval was granted.  There is a sense in this Diocese that our new bishop Edward Burns, is more sympathetic to traditional Catholics and the offering of the TLM than was his predecessor, Cardinal Kevin Farrell.  There is growing hope that Bishop Burns may do away with the public, written policy instituted by then Bishop Farrell of banning offering of the TLM outside of the designated FSSP parish.  Certainly there remains much unmet demand for the TLM, even with the explosive growth of Mater Dei, due to Mater Dei’s awkward location (I should know, I live near it and don’t want it to move) and the diocese’s size.

Nevertheless, it is certainly something to pray and hope for.  The possibility appears much brighter than it did a year or so ago.  Unfortunately, there was expressed a wish to keep this event quiet until after it happened, so we may still have a long way to go.

Compare and contrast the bare offering table above, and the former high altar:

I’m not supposed to say this, it might hurt “the cause,” but different religion, much?

UPDATE: A local confrere informed me that this was indeed the first TLM offered in the Cathedral at least since the ascension of the, ahhhh……..one might say problematic, Bishop Thomas Tschoeppe in 1970.  Tschoeppe’s predecessor Bishop Gorman had apparently continued to offer the TLM regularly, until he was forced into retirement (very much against his will) in 1970.  Bishop Gorman was known for his stalwart orthodoxy and adherence to the Faith he was raised in, the Faith of our fathers, Bishop Tschoeppe, for allowing the seminary to collapse into sodomitical anarchy and general liberalism.  If what I am told is correct, one of Tschoeppe’s first acts was to oversee the wreckovation of the cathedral, including the altar rail cum parking curbs imbroglio.  Anyway, a bit of local history.

Texas Catholic Culture – El Cristo de los Pescadores December 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Restoration, the struggle for the Church.
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“Christ of the Fishermen.”  Reader LaGallina sent me the following description of a beautiful bit of Catholic culture, placed where the Brownsville Ship Channel meets the Gulf of Mexico (roughly).

From La Gallina:

The statue is called “el Cristo de los Pescadores” and is turned slightly to face the channel and greet the shrimp boats when they are coming back to shore. A Brownsville family brought this from Italy back in the 90s (I think) after they won a settlement with the shrimp boat company after their two sons were killed on the boat. They also hold a huge party on the grounds around the statue which includes a public rosary (with a gigantic rosary made by an elderly gent from Port Isabel), catered food for everyone (invited or not), fireworks, and of course the ever-present “matachines.” (Do you think the bishops before Vatican 2 had matachines dancers at their Catholic events?)

No, I don’t think so.

LaGallina also apprised me of Francis’ elevation of a Father Mario Alberto Aviles to be auxiliary Bishop of Brownsville.  This is noteworthy for the fact that Fr. Aviles comes from the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, which operates one of the few “canonically regular” TLM in the Rio Grande Valley area (the only other one of which I am aware is at the Brownsville cathedral, if that one is still going.  Perhaps LaGallina can confirm).

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville is reputed to be pretty solidly orthodox and relatively friendly to the TLM.  Coming from a branch of the Oratorians based mostly in northern Mexico which is widely known for its liturgical and doctrinal orthodoxy (though it is quite small), it may be hoped that Bishop-elect Aviles may increase this disposition even more. I know several readers who have assisted at the St. Jude Thaddeus parish in Pfarr administered by the Oratorians, and they all speak highly of the beautiful TLM and solid catechesis offered there.

However, it should be noted that Bishop-elect Aviles hasn’t been pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus for 15  years, so I cannot really speak to his personal qualities or adherence to tradition.  I am told he seems down to earth and pretty solid overall.

Now, El Cristo de los Pescadores.  Very nice:

Statues like this, and even entire parishes, have long been dedicated to Catholic mariners in major ports around the world. For my money, one of the most beautiful parishes in the world, Our Lady of Bon Succours in Montreal, has a heavy nautical emphasis and a close association with the maritime trades.  Why, several of the Apostles including St. Peter were, of course, pescadores, themselves.

It’s another aspect of the still heartbreakingly deteriorating Catholic culture that deserves widespread revival.  Good on the family for dedicating a lovely statue like this to the shrimpers and other seafarers of the south Texas coast.

New Book Blasts Francis and His Wholesale Inappropriateness for the Chair of Peter December 5, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, cultural marxism, disaster, episcopate, fightback, Francis, General Catholic, horror, reading, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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Via Steve Skojec at One Peter Five comes a review of a short (141 pp) book on Francis, his seedy and troubling past life, his outlook, his philosophical and psychological shortcomings, and his disastrous agenda.  The review is quite long, about 4000 words, so I’ll only hit some high points.  In summation, however, the author of this book, who is anonymous (and has apparently caused a furious response in Rome and a search for his identity) but who goes by the deliciously Catholic name of Marcantonio Collona (the leader of the fleet of the Papal States at Lepanto), ties together much already known about Francis and his hard left agenda, while at the same time delving into his past and revealing a very great deal about Francis’ apparently nasty personality, his carefully crafted image as a great humble man (note the contradiction), and the mysterious twists and turns that led a man who was lambasted by his superiors in the post-conciliar Jesuit order as wholly unfit for high office (think about that) to become Pope. This naturally includes a great deal about the deceased Cardinal Martini, long-time leader of the leftist/anti-Catholic “Bologna School” of misfits and miscreants in the Church otherwise known as the “St. Gallen Mafia.”

The name of this new book is The Dictator Pope, and it is available for purchase online, but only in Kindle and similar e-formats.  I look forward to purchasing the book once it is available in print, if a publisher can be found (and believe me, with this pontificate, that will not be an easy task).

Taking up with some excerpts from Skojec’s review:

The book promises a look “behind the mask” of Francis, the alleged “genial man of the people,” revealing how he “consolidated his position as a dictator who rules by fear and has allied himself with the most corrupt elements in the Vatican to prevent and reverse the reforms that were expected of him.” [Indeed.  Whatever happened to the reform of the Vatican Bank (IOR), or the advancing of even stiffer penalties and interdictions against abusive priests, or men unsuited to the priesthood due to their addiction to perversion, or the financial reform of numerous corrupt Roman ministries, especially those associated with the disgustingly corrupt Cardinal Angelo Sodano and the entire group of high prelates and curial officials who were given enormous graft from Maciel Maciel to cover up his hideous abuses and double life?  And these barely scratch the surface.  In point of fact, after battling mightily to undo the tremendous power Sodano had accumulated under Pope JPII, Benedict has had to live to see this wholly corrupt and heterodox creature not just restored to his former power and influence, but perhaps more influential than ever.  These are the kinds of creatures Francis has chosen to surround himself with, since they will OK any ideological agenda so long as their nests continue to be feathered.]

The book promises a look “behind the mask” of Francis, the alleged “genial man of the people,” revealing how he “consolidated his position as a dictator who rules by fear and has allied himself with the most corrupt elements in the Vatican to prevent and reverse the reforms that were expected of him.”

OnePeterFive has obtained an advance copy of the English text, and I am still working my way through it. Although most of its contents will be at least cursorily familiar to those who have followed this unusual pontificate, it treats in detail many of the most important topics we have covered in these pages, providing the additional benefit of collecting them all in one place.

The author of the work is listed as Marcantonio Colonna — a transparently clever pen name laden with meaning for the Catholic history buff; the historical Colonna was an Italian nobleman who served as admiral of the papal fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. His author bio tells us he is an Oxford graduate with extensive experience in historical research who has been living in Rome since the beginning of the Francis pontificate, and whose contact with Vatican insiders — including Cardinals and other important figures — helped piece together this particular puzzle. The level of potential controversy associated with the book has seemingly led some journalists in Rome to be wary of broaching the book’s existence publicly (though it is said to be very much a topic of private conversation), whether for fear of retribution — the Vatican has recently been known to exclude or mistreat journalists it suspects of hostility — or for some other reason, remains unclear. Notable exceptions to this conspicuous silence include the stalwart Marco Tosatti — who has already begun unpacking the text at his website, Stilum Curae — and Professor Roberto de Mattei, who writes that the book confirms Cardinal Müller’s recent remarks that there is a “magic circle” around the pope which “prevents an open and balanced debate on the doctrinal problems raised” by objections like the dubia and Filial Correction, and that there is also “a climate of espionage and delusion” in Francis’ Vatican.

Some sources have even told me that the Vatican, incensed by the book’s claims, is so ardently pursuing information about the author’s true identity that they’ve been seeking out and badgering anyone they think might have knowledge of the matter. The Italian version of the book’s website has already gone down since its launch. The reason, as one particularly credible rumor has it, is that its disappearance was a result of the harassment of its designer, even though that person had nothing to do with the book other than having been hired to put it online.

If these sound like thuggish tactics, the book wastes no time in confirming that this pope — and those who support him — are not at all above such things. Colonna introduces his text by way of an ominous portrait of Francis himself, describing a “miraculous change that has taken over” Bergoglio since his election — a change that Catholics of his native Buenos Aires noticed immediately:

Their dour, unsmiling archbishop was turned overnight into the smiling, jolly Pope Francis, the idol of the people with whom he so fully identifies. If you speak to anyone working in the Vatican, they will tell you about the miracle in reverse. When the publicity cameras are off him, Pope Francis turns into a different figure: arrogant, dismissive of people, prodigal of bad language and notorious for furious outbursts of temper which are known to everyone from the cardinals to the chauffeurs.

Colonna writes, too, of the “buyer’s remorse” that some of the cardinals who elected Bergoglio are experiencing as his pontificate approaches its fifth anniversary: “Francis is showing,” writes Colonna, “that he is not the democratic, liberal ruler that the cardinals thought they were electing in 2013, but a papal tyrant the like of whom has not been seen for many centuries.”  [Gee, a hardcore leftist ideologue who is also an out and out tyrant.  Who would have known?  I thought these Vaticanistas and high cardinals were political sharpshooters?  How could they be so naïve?  Maybe they are not so sharp as they like to think.]

Colonna then transitions to an opening chapter exposing the work of the so-called St. Gallen “Mafia” — the group of cardinals who had been conspiring for decades to see to it that a pope of their liking — a pope like Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was capable of becoming — would be elected. Formed in 1996 (with precursor meetings between progressive European prelates giving initial shape to the group as early as the 1980s) in St. Gallen, Switzerland [notice how leftists, supposed friends of the common/downtrodden man, always seem to ensconce themselves in luxury when given the chance], the St. Gallen Mafia was originally headed up by the infamous late archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. The group roster was a rogue’s gallery of heterodox prelates with a list of ecclesiastical accomplishments that reads more like a rap sheet than a curriculum vitae. (In the case of Godfried Danneels, implicated in some way in about 50 of 475 dossiers on clerical sexual abuse allegations that mysteriously disappeared after evidence seized by Belgian police was inexplicably declared inadmissible in court, this comparison transcends analogy.)[Yep.  Look, the Leftists in the Church thought they were electing a fellow-traveler, at least, in naming a relatively unknown from Poland – a product of the sainted “Ostpolitik “ of Paul VI – as pope in 1978.  But he turned out to be much more conservative (relatively) than they wished.  So they began an illicit, illegal (in Church law) conspiracy, basically, to make sure a pope to their liking would be elected after JPII.  They didn’t quite succeed in 2005, but managed to send Benedict XVI running for fear of the wolves (under threat of the financial ruination of the Church?) and finally got their man in 2013.  The fact that any such collusion prior to an enclave automatically invalidates that enclave AND results in the excommunication of the participants didn’t bother them a whit. Why would it?  They’d have the power if their man got in, and the media would always have their back if they didn’t.  It was low-risk for them.  And since when has a pontiff had the stones to cast out large swaths of the episcopate for being heretics/schismatics, anyway?  The last time was 1908-10, wasn’t it?]

The names of some of the most prominent members of the group — many of which would have been unknown to even relatively well-informed Catholics just a decade ago — have become uncomfortably familiar in recent years: Cardinals Martini, Danneels, Kasper, Lehman, and (Cormac) Murphy O’Connor have all risen in profile considerably since their protege was elevated to the Petrine throne. After a controversial career, Walter Kasper had already begun fading into obscurity before he was unexpectedly praised in the new pope’s first Angelus address on March 17, 2013. Francis spoke admiringly of Kasper’s book on the topic of mercy — a theme that would become a defining touchstone of his pontificate. When Kasper was subsequently tapped to present the Keynote at the February 14, 2014 consistory of cardinals, the advancement of his proposal to create a path for Communion for the divorced and remarried thrust him further into the spotlight. The so-called “Kasper proposal” launched expectations for the two synods that would follow on marriage and the family and provided the substrate for the post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, around which there has been a theological and philosophical debate the likes of which has not seen in the living memory of the Church. For his part, Danneels, who retired his position as Archbishop of Brussels under “a cloud of scandal” in 2010, even went so far as to declare that the 2013 conclave result represented for him “a personal resurrection experience.” [What kind of creature would frame anything like that, let alone the election of a pope, and most of all, this pope?  Oh, right, the same kind of man that would at least cover up, if not directly participate in, mass boy rape for decades]

And what was the goal of the St. Gallen group?

Originally, their agenda was to bring about a “much more modern” Church. That goal finally crystalized around opposition to the anticipated election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy — a battle in which they were narrowly defeated during the 2005 conclave, when, according to an undisclosed source within the curia, the penultimate ballot showed a count of 40 votes for Bergoglio and 72 for Ratzinger. Colonna cites German Catholic journalist Paul Badde in saying that it was the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner — later one of the four “dubia” cardinals — who “passionately fought” the Gallen Mafia in favor of the election of Ratzinger. After this loss, the Gallen Mafia officially disbanded. But although Cardinal Martini died in 2012, they staged a comeback — and eventually won the day — on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. For it was on that day that Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, victorious, as Pope Francis the First. Those paying attention would take note that one Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium stood triumphantly by his side.

———-End Excerpt————-

There is much more at the link, but I’ve taken too much already. Skojec will take a tire iron to my shooting hand if I take anymore.

But he goes into quite a bit about Francis’ emulation of his youthful political paramour, Juan Perón, and how, aside from a sort of reflexive populist leftism, little informed that man’s career save for his own lust for power.  Readers should take from this a cold shot of reality against any hopes that Franky George Bergoglio will follow his predecessor into abdication.  Quite the contrary, having access to power will probably lengthen his life by 5-10 years.  That’s how these things seem to go.  Look at finally deposed 94 year old Robert Mugabe.

Also reviewed are the synods, which I would argue were doctrinally meaningless, and the subsequent deconstruction of the Church’s moral edifice through Amoris Laetitia.

Sounds like an excellent book. I look forward to reading it, even as I wonder, just what, if anything, of the human element of the Church will be left if Francis lives another 10 years?  I fear the Franciscans of the Immaculate are our guide for the future of the Church under Francis.

Poland Passes Bill to Eliminate Most Sunday Commerce by 2020 November 29, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Domestic Church, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Restoration, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Poland continues its rapid ascent to become the most Catholic country in the world.  The lower house has passed a bill to ban most all Sunday shopping by 2020, and the Senate looks likely to approve.  Amazingly, the bishop’s conference is somewhat opposed to the bill, because it does not, in their minds, go far enough.  Can I imagine the USCCB taking such a strong, unequivocal stand?  Not very easily:

Polish MPs have approved a bill that will phase out Sunday shopping by 2020.

Initially proposed by trade unions, the idea received the support of the ruling conservative Law and Justice Party, who want to allow workers to spend more time with their families.

The Sejm, the lower house of Poland’s parliament, passed the bill by 254 to 156 to restrict Sunday shopping to the first and last Sunday of the month until the end of 2018, only on the last Sunday in the month in 2019, and to ban it totally starting in 2020. It will still be permitted, however, on the Sundays before major holidays such as Christmas. Some bakeries and online shops will also be exempt.

The bill will now pass to the Senate, and then to President Andzrej Duda for approval.

In a statement, the Polish bishops’ conference said the bill did not go far enough, and that everyone should be free from work on Sundays.

I don’t disagree, excepting those who perform vital public services, such as doctors and nurses at hospitals, emergency workers, and, of course, muslim or Hindu 24 hour convenience store/gas station attendants.

Seriously, I still remember a time when, on Christmas day at least, the streets were pretty much empty.  This would have been the late 80s, even after the Sunday blue laws had been repealed here in Texas (which I think happened around ’82 or ’83).  The only places that were open were a few gas station/convenience stores staffed by surly Sikhs.  How unimaginable it would have been, back then, at the height of the Cold War, to think that in 30 year’s time, formerly communist Poland would be leading at least some kind of Catholic restoration, while the United States and the West generally would be sinking into a soft leftist sexularist dystopia?

I don’t think these “extra” shopping days have boosted the economy at all, they’ve just transferred commerce from one day to another.  I find especially grating all these “Black Friday” and “Day After Christmas” sales that start at noon on the holiday itself (and soon, will probably just subsume the entire holiday).

I think allowing shopping on Sunday has had a deleterious effect on the sanctity of the Lord’s Day and people’s appreciation of it. I think it’s helped peel people away from Christianity, which is probably why it was pushed in the first place.  For most people, Sunday is just another day.  It no longer has any special significance, except maybe during football season or because it’s the 2nd day of the weekend.  There is little sense of family togetherness, even on a secular level, and barely any more religious significance to the day.

So good on the Poles for taking at least this first, partial step.  Hopefully they will move forward even more to end all non-essential trade on Sundays.

h/t reader MFG

USCCB Bishops – Immigration Not a Matter of Prudential Judgment       November 15, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, cultural marxism, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Immigration, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
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At least, maybe, when it comes to the canard of instant mass deportation.

But in reality, in their recent confab discussing the hot-button topic of immigration, what was presented an attempt to basically refute lay complaints that the US bishops – reverting to unfortunate, damaging, hurtful stands they took in the 70s and 80s – are infringing upon lay rights by insisting upon specific policy prescriptions as being the only doctrinally acceptable approach.  This echoes the dark days of the “Bernadin”-dominated US episcopate, when supposed paeans to “peace” and “justice” were in reality little more than far left talking points and anti-Reagan, anti-US defense rhetoric.

Well, personnel is policy, and Francis has been busy remaking the US episcopate in his own image and likeness.  With men like Blaise Cupich in positions of great influence, and the sidelining of more (relatively) conservative forces like Conley and  Chaput, this is hardly surprising.  Francis’ influence will likely be felt in the US episcopate for a decade or more to come, depending on how long he reigns, and how replaces him.

At any rate, here’s what the bishops, including the liturgical aesthete Cordileone, had to say about the laity and their uppity opinions regarding prudential judgment. I’ll provide a little color commentary along the way:

As the conclusion of a lengthy discussion on migration, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops decided Monday to draft a statement from their president expressing the need for humane and just immigration reform.

The Nov. 13 proposal was first floated by Archbishop Michael Sheehan, Archbishop Emeritus of Santa Fe. After debating how to go about preparing a statement, it was agreed by oral assent that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the conference, would issue a statement with the assistance of the Committee on Migration, chaired by Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, assisted by Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles.

The discussion followed brief presentations from Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Vasquez. The Los Angeles archbishop outlined the principles which guide the US bishops’ work on migration, which come from Strangers No Longer, a 2003 pastoral letter issued jointly by the US and Mexican bishops’ conferences……… [That is a poor, and in many ways politically extremist, document.  It is on a par with “Always Our Children,” which tacitly or openly endorsed most of the sodomite agenda, for bad documents written by bishops in the past 20 years.  It insists upon basically a free right for Mexican and other Latin American nationals to have free access, on demand, to US jobs, welfare benefits, and services, with nothing more than lip service, and even that slight, to the extremely negative impact mass immigration of low-skill, benefits-seeking, poorly-educated has on native workers in a post-industrial economy.  This is not 1890.  We don’t have millions of manufacturing jobs suitable for a 3rd grade intellect anymore. The bishops are living in a fantasy land, constructed from their near total disconnect with the flock they lead and their needs.  The robust economy and abundant riches they refer to constantly as the driving moral imperative in favor of ceaseless mass immigration with virtually no limit or control no longer exists.  Trump was elected precisely because millions of Americans, more and more of them formerly solidly middle class, can no longer find work.  Their wages are horribly depressed by competition from illegal and other foreign workers imported into this country specifically for the purpose of driving down the cost of wages. Thus the bishops, contrary to their rhetoric, are not really so concerned about the little man – there are millions of Americans suffering gravely from the immigration pandemic – they are actually carrying water for the transnational globalist elite, who want a large and ignorant labor force that makes little more than $5 an hour. This is an environment in which everyone suffers, including the immigrants, the vast majority of which lose their faith, and generally also their moral compass, in crossing the Rio Grande. I am being harsh, the bishops may simply be naïve and myopic, but a very solid argument can be constructed that they are deliberately acting in behest of powerful interests, all the while clothing themselves in the garment of “friend of the little guy” (so long as he is not a native-born American)].

……..Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces raised the question of how to counter charges that immigration policy is a matter of prudential judgement, and that the faithful may therefore in good conscience come to a judgement which differs from that of the bishops.

Bishop Thomas Wenski of Miami responded that “we’re making our prudential judgement, too … in the light of Catholic teaching.” He emphasized that “immigrants are not problems, but brothers and sisters; strangers, but strangers who should be embraced as brothers and sisters. We’re offering what we think is best, not only for the immigrants, but for our society as a whole. We can make America great, but you don’t make America great by making America mean.”

Immigration reform, he maintained, must “include the common good of everyone: Americans and those who wish to be Americans.” [OK, that’s your opinion, but many Catholic laity believe it is not only wrong, it is destructive and harmful and in many ways achieves the opposite of its intent (i.e., worse outcomes for Americans AND illegal immigrants).  We can certainly disagree in prudence.]

Bishop Soto responded that deportations do not fall under the category of prudential judgement, but rather were included by St. John Paul II in his 1995 encyclical [sic] Evangelium vitae among the sins which cry out to heaven, and so is not merely “consistent with Church teaching,” but “to discard it as a prudential judgement doesn’t reflect our tradition.” [First of all, this is a red herring. No one is seriously advocating, or seriously expects, mass deportations to begin this year, or next, or the year after that.  I for one am single-minded – build the dang wall, worry about what to do with those here after that.  We must control the situation, the inflow, before we try to reverse it.  Once the crisis is passed, we can talk sensibly about how to deal with those here.  Secondly, there are four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.  An encyclical is an important document but not the place for novel de fide definitions.  Thirdly, Evangelium Vitae, which focused primarily on abortion and contraception as evils against human life, mentions deportation once, in quoting Guadium Et Spes, the 3rd worst document of Vatican II, for a list of evils which are “infamies.”  Whether an “infamy” equals one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for justice is quite unclear.  If so, Vatican II added about 30 other sins to that list, because Guadium Et Spes 27 condemned, equally, and without distinction, everything from genocide and abortion to “living conditions” and “where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons.”  That is to say, while GeS 27 sounds impressive, it’s theological import and meaning are muddled, at best.  Naturally, then, it would be a favorite of a progressive bishop.]

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco recommended the five principles from Strangers No Longer as a sine qua non, on which “there can be no disagreement” among Catholics. “While there’s room for prudential judgement, it’s not something that can be taken lightly” because it “involves such basic considerations of justice.” [But justice to whom?  Aquinas and Augustine would indicate that justice begins with those closest to home.  When there are periods of abundance, or when economic and cultural circumstances permit, there can be quite liberal approaches to immigration. With prolonged economic depression and cultural disassociation growing to the level of near open conflict, however, prudence would indicate, even demand, a much more conservative approach.  This has been the situation in the US for over 200 years, with periods of mass immigration leading to problems followed by periods of restricted immigration allowing for cultural and economic assimilation.]

———-End Quote————

But let’s be honest, this issue of mass immigration in the present context, is at least as much – and I mean this from the bishop’s perspective, as well – about insuring permanent ascendance for progressive/leftist politics in this country as it is about any purported concern for the huddled masses yearning to breathe free (and is in fact probably much, much more about the former than the latter).

Correspondent MFG sent me this link, and he notes – quite intelligently – that this seems an attempt by the bishops to up their rhetoric and try to squash lay arguments against the bishop’s very liberal pro-immigration stance.  The prudential judgment argument has been a powerful one, and they seem to be trying to take that away.  As MFG notes, the way to combat this attempt is by returning to first sources and principles, going back to Aquinas, Augustine, Peter Canisius, and others to demonstrate the proper Catholic understanding of the role of government, of citizens of a land’s duties to one another and to those of other countries, of Catholic moral principles (in a hierarchical sense), and all such related topics.

Doing this in a systematic fashion will show that Catholics of any stripe, lay, clergy, whatever, are fully  within their rights to advocate for much more limited immigration than the status quo of the past 50 years, and to preserve the culture and heritage of the land they love, which they see slipping away faster and faster all the time.  This latest bit of rhetorical weaponry from the bishops is frankly very ugly, very manipulative and smacks of desperation.

UPDATE: Commenter CMatt makes a great point that I failed to address (in my defense, I covered quite a bit, anyway) – these are bishops talking, yes, but not necessarily YOUR bishop, and their authority over you as a soul is basically non-existent.  It only exists to the extent that the bishops unanimously approve documents or actions of the Conference, and even in that situation it is more of a tacit authority, something novel in the history of the Church and of dubious significance for souls.  That is the huge problem with episcopal conferences, and why Pope Leo XIII found them far from his liking – they muddy the lines of authority greatly and cause tremendous confusion when their actions are contrary to the Doctrine of the Faith.  Much of Testem Benovolentae, Leo XIIIs encyclical denouncing the heresy of Americanism (which the US bishops have never faithfully implemented) has to do with these manifest problems that emerge from such conferences – bureaucratization, secularization, inordinate focus on money/funding, an excessive interest in the material works of mercy vice the spiritual works, etc.

Blessed Clemens von Galen on the Right Ordering and Purpose Catholic Education October 19, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, episcopate, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, sanctity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Clemens von Galen was beatified as a confessor, for the witness of the Faith, and defense of his flock, he gave during the rise and fall of the evil Nazi regime.

The Nazis, as the Left has been doing in this country for a few decades, attempted to kill the Faith by a thousand cuts. Contra the communists, they simply didn’t outlaw the Church on day one and declare all faithful, and especially clergy, enemies of the state.  They operated more by craft, deception, and moderate, but constant application of many means just short of force (though having recourse to force more and more as their ends became more and more obvious – the destruction of the Church – and more and more individuals rose up to oppose them.

As we all know, Vatican Council II did not burst on the Church from a vacuum.  The rot, pointed out by Pope St. Pius X already 30 years before von Galen, was already quite deep.  As such, there were huge debates in the German hierarchy as to how to respond to the Nazi regime.  The slight majority of bishops favored general public science and acquiescence, seeking to influence the regime by endless private dialogue behind the scenes, while a large minority, led in part by von Galen, favored a much more public, confrontational approach.  Because all the bishops, including for a time von Galen, were convinced they could only have effect if they spoke in total unanimity, all the bishops were kept more or less silent for a time by the ineffectual dialogue faction.  Eventually as the persecution became more and more severe, von Galen and others broke with the demand for unanimity and began operating more and more on their own.

Nowhere was the persecution of the Church more apparent than in the area of education.  Like everything else Church-related in crazy Germany, the Catholic schools were state funded.  Well, that gave the Nazis a perfect opening to do just what they pleased with them.  Then they simply started closing all the parochial schools and forcing kids into government Hitler Youth indoctrination camps (remember, the modern public school system and structure is a largely German, and progressive, invention).

This gave rise to von Galen writing an extensive pastoral letter to his flock on the right nature of Catholic education, to try to give them arms with which to protect their children.  It’s really quite good – so good, I can imagine virtually no American prelate uttering words of even close to the same effect.  Maybe Burke, but even that’s dubious in part.

The point of this post is: compare von Galen’s description of a proper Catholic school and education, and compare to the Catholic schools you know.  See how they line up.

Excerpted from various parts of pp. 148-157 of The Lion of Münster:

A Catholic confessional school, according to von Galen, is a school in which Catholic children are taught by believing Catholic teachers, in accordance with the principles of the Catholic Church. [Already we see a massive variance with today’s “Catholic” schools – many children aren’t Catholic, the teachers often are not Catholic and many reject vast swaths of the Faith even if they are, and they are more and more rarely taught according to Catholic Truth.]  Religion influences every aspect of education……….

He urged parents not to be fooled by the different names that might be used in the propaganda for the new state schools, whether it be “the community school,” “the German school,” or “the German confessional school.” Demand instead: the Catholic confessional school.  Then he gave clear, simple, straightforward answers to the standard arguments in favor of the new community schools.  Perhaps, he said, parents would be told that in Catholic areas, everything would remain the same in the new schools. “That is not true,” was the response. “If all were to remain the same, then why all the pressure and advertising for a new school? Will all remain the same if teachers can be assigned to your schools who are not Catholic, or who have left the Catholic Church, or who deny the articles of her faith?“……….

To the claim that the new schools would still have religious instruction, the bishop replied that a brief class on religion each day does not constitute a Catholic education, if for the rest of the day, the educational philosophy was based on a non-Christian spirit and if there were no more prayer and celebration of feast days.  He reminded parents that already, teachers who no longer believed in the Catholic Faith were teaching in Catholic schools……….[Wow. It’s almost as if he’s describing the vast majority of Catholic schools today.  Or, put another way, the Catholic school of today is closer to the Nazi model than the Catholic one?  How many children go through 12 years of Catholic schooling and emerge knowing basically nothing of the Faith, except the same sneering derision for many of its moral precepts they learned from their teachers?]

[But it’s not all on bad Catholic schools……]……No school could make up for parents’ neglect in their children’s religious education.  They should be sure to keep good religious writings in the home and to watch carefully the teaching their children received in the school.

Consecrate your family by means of your parental office so that it will be an acceptable offering to God! Be conscientious about the divine service of communal prayer in your houses!  The father as the head of the family should be its delegate and its representative before God.  Plant the spirit of the fear of the Lord and reverence for the Saints in the hearts of your children! The cross should have the place of honor in a Christian home!……..[Awesome advice]

……….Guard your authority! Give your children healthy spiritual nourishment and genuine joy!  Do not tolerate any poisoning of their loyalty to the Church or disparaging of the Faith by slanders [from those given authority over them as teachers.  Better yet, don’t give unworthy people that authority!]

………God had given [parents] a sacred responsibility, he told fathers and mothers, a responsibility for which they were consecrated by the Sacrament of Matrimony.  The great importance of this Sacrament was becoming even more clear in their own days.  Neither the Church nor the state could absolve them of their duty as educators of their children, nor could the schools take responsibility from them.  He urged them to recall the words of St. Peter: “He who has an office, let him fulfill it in the strength hat God supplies” (I Pet iv:11)……..

[In fact]…….Better NO religion classes in the schools than religion classes that destroy rather than build up, that poison rather than heal!  Keep watch, Christian parents, and observe carefully whether your children are learning the true faith in the school, and are being directed in the truly Christian way of life! [I think after decades of experience, a few worthy exceptions aside, that we can conclude that virtually all Catholic schools are to be assiduously avoided, for they destroy rather than build up, and poison rather than heal.]

————-End Quotes————

Well, as I said, simply compare and contrast what passes for Catholic education these days in virtually all diocesan or religious-run schools, with what Blessed Clemens von Galen describes as both good and bad in proper formation of children.  No wonder, as Venerable Fulton Sheen and many others have said, the absolute last place you want to send your child for Catholic education is a Catholic school (or college/university, for that matter).  Yes, there are a handful of exceptions, but even those exceptions carry with them certain dangers.