Vatican Issues Stamp Hailing Luther – Will Anything Shake Papologists From Their Slumber? January 20, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church.
The Vatican post office plans to issue a stamp this year featuring the likeness of the arch-heretic Martin Luther, the man single most responsible for the seeming-permanent rending of the unity of Christendom and, almost certainly, the man responsible for consigning literal billions to eternal damnation. Given the aid and comfort the Bishop of Rome has given protestants since his installation, this is hardly surprising, but only marks an intensification of an effort that dates back to Francis’ days in Argentina:
The Vatican office charged with issuing stamps, known as the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, confirmed Tuesday to LifeSiteNews that Luther, who broke away from the Catholic Church in a schism 500 years ago, will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. The office is in charge of the annual commission of stamps, coins, and other commemorative medals.
The Vatican regularly issues such memorabilia for special events, including papal trips and holy years. Honoring Luther and the Protestant Reformation is an unlikely choice, trumping other significant events in the Catholic Church such as the 100-year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the 300-year anniversary of our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil.
Got that? Luther trumps Fatima. Will that be the tenor for the entire, momentous year 2017? I fear so.
Michael Matt posted a video last night that directly relates both the stamp issue and the broader crisis afflicting the Church of which the administration of Francis is simply the culmination so far. It features a debate he had with an ostensible Church liberal and conservative (Dale Alquist), wherin both his opponents more or less ganged up on Matt and attacked him with ad hominems throughout. According to Matt (the entire debate was not included) neither of his opponents were able to provide cogent arguments in defence of their position that, regarding violating 2000 years of sacred belief and practice and a direct command of Jesus Christ, it just doesn’t matter that much, times have changed, and the Church needs to get with the 21st century program and go all mercy all the time, even to the point of allowing constant sacrilegious reception of the Blessed Sacrament by those openly persisting in grave sin. The video is great and I recommend you watch the whole thing:
But the broader point is this, and cuts to the quick of that 50+ year argument that has been ongoing between those who accept radical changes in the Church (whether quickly a la “liberals” or more slowly a la “conservatives”), and those who find those changes a total abandonment of the Church as she lived and breathed for 1900+ years. The results of the exchange were not encouraging – there is apparently no action authority figures in Rome can take that will not be accepted by those Matt labels as “neo-Catholics.” As Matt notes, where the revolutionary program is headed is all the more obvious everyday – protestantism, and protestantism of the most ineffectual, libertine bent. We know from 150 years of history where that liberal, worldly protestantism leads: decay, destruction, and collapse, both of individual souls and church structures as a whole.
But the vast majority in the Church still refuse to see this. At some deep level, they appear psychologically unable to see it. Their conception of the Church simply does not allow that bad men might deeply infiltrate it and possibly even corrupt her teachings to the extent men can – which is not insubstantial. But the evidence that there has been a deliberate effort to alter, undermine, and destroy twenty centuries of sacred Doctrine is there for any who care to examine it, and it is overwhelmingly compelling. Nevertheless, it appears the “neo-Cats” will never be moved by it. They were not moved by the radical destruction of the Liturgy. They were not moved by the implosion of the priesthood and religious life. They were not moved by all manner of heresy and abuse being taught as solemn Catholic Doctrine. They were not moved by Assisi. A stamp won’t even elicit a tired sigh from them.
Even more, the manifest problems afflicting the Church since the 60s have had their center in the Petrine office. Francis may be the most openly radical of the post-conciliar pontiffs, but he is hardly the only one to promote massive novelty. All of his immediate predecessors have, including Benedict.
It appears the Church is to cleave into two halves, a tiny, faithful remnant, and an initially huge but constantly, rapidly shrinking majority who go along with whatever they are told this week constitutes Catholic belief and practice. I used to hold high hopes that by sharing careful, detailed analysis of the crisis in the Church – by getting the message out – that souls would naturally react similarly to me, come to see the crisis for what it is, and do what they could to impose the different religion we see being built around us. I found out very early to my dismay, however, that while there was a fraction who would come to comprehend the crisis in the Church and the inadmissibility of many of the revolutionary changes made since Vatican II (that including the vast majority of those who will read this), the vast majority would not. That, in fact, that there was nothing that would move them to do so. They were literally unable to do so.
I understand that, to a degree. We all have lines we are unwilling, even unable to cross. I am disheartened to see how many struggle to accept that the Church could be afflicted with a pope who tries to promote error (it’s happened before, after all), but it’s a reality I – we all – have to face. The question is what we do about that reality. It seems we are fated to be a very small remnant, with malice towards none and charity for all, hopefully, but a very small one, nonetheless. We must work to preserve as much as we possibly can, which starts with saving ourselves and our families. We must do as much prayer and penance as possible, far, far more than most of us are doing today.
We must pray for one thing in particular, to sum up which I will turn to Ann Barnhardt. We must pray to have the traditional Sacraments available to us as the cultural and ecclesiastical noose tightens around our necks, figuratively or literally:
What you should do is move heaven and earth to attend a Traditional Mass or Divine Liturgy, and then go every single day humanly possible, and spend as much time as possible before the Blessed Sacrament, and go to confession frequently. Do whatever it takes, right now, to find a good parish or chapel. If you wait until The Remnant Church is forced completely underground, you will have a much harder time. This is precisely what the parable of the wise and foolish virgins is about, folks. At some point, the door will close, and if you are one of the foolish virgins who got caught without any oil in your lamp, and had to scramble to find any, it will, at some point, be too late, and the Bridegroom will close the door. You have been warned. It is obvious what is happening. No one will have any excuse.
Go to Our Lord, kneel before Him and BEG HIM to provide for you and your family to always be able to go to Mass. Beg Him to show you the way and illumine the path for you, as He illumined the path of the Magi. Beg Him to fill your lamp with oil Himself, and to keep it always full. Beg Mary, Mother of The Church, to intercede for you. Beg St. Joseph, Patron of The Universal Church, to lead you to safety as he led Our Lord and Our Lady on the flight to Egypt.
I hoped to flesh this post out some more, but I’ve run out of time, at least for the moment. I think Barnhardt’s exhortation is as good an ending as I could put to a post, anyway.
If by “right,” one means in the direction of promoting traditional Christian values and beliefs, I’d say that’s correct, and what a damning indictment that is, given how many errors the Russian Orthodox hold, in spite of the ancient nature of that Church and its many beautiful elements.
Reader TE sent a link to an article examining the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in Putin’s Russia. As in the days of the tsars of old, the relationship between Putin’s government and the Russian Orthodox Church is one of complex interdependence, each supporting and strengthening the other. Post-Christian libertine Westerners are aghast at this relationship, but it’s very similar to how Church-state relations were conducted in western Christendom for centuries. It would be fascinating – and one hopes instructive – to see if Putin’s close integration of the Church into Russian society/government leads to an increasingly stable, united, morally upright Russia. That would serve as a powerful counter-example to the direction of the decadent West.
Some highlights from the piece, which is not exactly what I would call a ringing endorsement of these close Church/state relations:
Putin may not be religious in the traditional sense, but he certainly realizes that Christianity- specifically the Russian Orthodox Church- is the common glue that holds the Russian people together. It has deep historical roots that were dampened, but never extinguished by 75 years of communist rule. And it extends beyond the borders of Russia itself into neighboring lands, especially the Ukraine.
Putin has carefully nurtured his relationship with the Church. He has demanded that the oligarchs fund the rebuilding of almost 25,000 Orthodox churches in Russia. A recent law passed forbids the practice of religion outside of an established church- a law that targets Western religions like Jehovah’s Witnesses that practice in their home……..The Church is consulted on legislation of any nature that may touch upon religion.
Putin, like the Church, view themselves as a bulwark against Western decadence. [In spite of the many problems in Russia’s government, the endemic corruption and continued rot and decay, this is not an unfair assessment, and Russia’s re-embrace of religion (along with that ongoing in much of the former Soviet satellite states) is a damning indictment on the Western belief that the irreversible trajectory of history is towards more secularization, more libertinism, more hedonism, and less and less influence on religion. We simply have not yet learned the lessons learned in the former communist states, which is that a society that explicitly rejects God is a dystopian nightmare where all manner of evils are prevalent in appalling abundance] He has criticized Western values and “tolerance” as “genderless and infertile.” To Putin, the new Cold War is one of Western values versus Russian conservatism.
As a result, Russia has rising birth rates. [But still far from adequate] It is perhaps the only developed country where religion is taking on a greater role rather than a diminished one. His stance has been intolerant of divorce. He has banned the advertisement of abortion services. Pornography is banned as is “homosexual propaganda.” Putin’s Russia has moved considerably to the right of the Pope’s Vatican….. [Which is equally a commentary on the radicalism emanating from Rome as it is on Russia’s nascent return to its Christian roots]
……..There is nothing new here as concerns the Putin regime and the Church. Since the time of the czars, the Patriarchate and the Kremlin were allies- each doing the other’s bidding. The Church saw the czar as God’s chosen leader. But underlying the alliance was the belief in a shared and almost sacred vision of Russian exceptionalism and a unique national identity- neither Western nor Eastern.
Perhaps this explains why some have called upon Putin- not the EU, not the UN, not the Pope and not the US despite who occupies the Oval Office- to save Christianity. In fact, the Orthodox Church has specifically asked Putin to do just that and he enthusiastically responded, “Consider it done.”
Such a contrast to our decadent Western elites, who, even among those who do not outwardly mock and scorn Christianity, rarely do more than pay lip service to orthodox Christian belief. Religion for the vast, vast majority in the West, especially among the elites, is at best a quaint relic from a benighted past, and at worst the most dangerous, corrosive, hateful element of society – something to be fought and crushed at all costs.
I think we shall see over the coming decades which vision produces the best effects. Russia still faces enormous problems, and while the religious revival may be a mile wide, it is yet only an inch deep. Massive problems including rampant alcoholism and the lackadaisical work ethic resulting from a lifetime of communist rule remain. But the post-Christian West very apparently has a suicidal death wish, forlornly refusing to learn the lessons of history and embracing the exact same ideologies that have led to endless misery and societal collapse around the world. Should Russia’s religious revival intensify and work more deeply into the day to day lived experience of Russians, I have no doubt which society, which culture will be the more robust, the more vibrant 50 years from now.
The Atrocious Conditions Inside the Southwestern Abortuary January 20, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, asshatery, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, It's all about the $$$, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
I have prayed outside so-called “Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center” many times. This is the abortion mill – though butcher shop might be a more apt description – operated by former baptist minister and long time abortion fanatic Curtis Boyd. A woman probably undergoing an abortion apparently had a medical emergency at Boyd’s shop recently. Which is hardly surprising, considering the atrocious conditions found inside, as detailed in a 22 page report listing health and safety violations at the abortion mill. Lots of very revealing, if terrifying, detail below:
An ambulance was called to Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center in Dallas, Texas, on January 12, 2017, to aid a woman who was removed from the abortion facility in a wheel chair prior to being loaded into the ambulance.
According to radio communications obtained by Operation Rescue, an ambulance was dispatched to the abortion facility at 12:21 pm. The recording indicated that the woman in need of emergency care was having difficulty breathing.
Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center (SWSC) is considered a high-volume abortion facility, conducting approximately 50 surgical abortions per day. It is owned and operated by aging abortionist Curtis Boyd, who turns 80 in March and is said to still conduct surgical abortions there………
However, the most recent inspection report available for SWSC, dated November 24, 2015, tells a different story about horrific conditions women have been subjected to there.
Within the 22 pages of violations were found a litany of problems, including untrained staff, unsanitary conditions, failure to maintain the sterility of surgical instruments, and failure to follow up with women who were given abortion drugs, to name a few.
However, perhaps the most shocking finding was related to SWSC’s storage and disposal of contaminated waste and aborted baby remains.
Inspectors found the Biohazard Room packed “floor to ceiling” with bags of soiled linens and biohazard boxes. There was a refrigerator that contained aborted baby remains, but the room was so junky, that the inspector could not access that refrigerator.
On the second day of the inspection, bags of dirty linens were found crammed into nearly every available space, including the patient recovery room. Again, access to the refrigerator storing aborted baby remains was not possible due to the obstructions, which the staff never bothered to remove.
If the storage refrigerator could not be accessed, one can only wonder how the remains from the day’s abortions could possibly be refrigerated, and how it was possible for a disposal firm to collect the refrigerated remains.
Unfortunately, SWSC isn’t unique when it comes to badly failing health and safety inspections. The most recent inspection reports available for each abortion facility in Texas were obtained by Operation Rescue. They showed 16 out of 17 abortion facilities failed their inspections and were cited for a wide range of violations.
Of course, with the courts overturning the very sensible restrictions the State of Texas had placed on abortion mills, requiring them to meet minimum health and safety standards, the standards against which abortion mills are judged are much less stringent than they should be. When that Texas law – HB2 – was passed, the vast majority of the state’s mills closed. They were unable to make a fat profit while meeting minimum health and safety standards. Now that the law has been overturned by the unelected black robed oligarchy that rules this country, mills are free to conduct their business amidst atrocious, horrifying conditions.
And why wouldn’t they? Individuals dedicated to the wholesale slaughter of perfectly innocent children are unlikely to have any scruples over such a trivial thing as health code violations. That is why state health code enforcement against abortion mills must be rigorous and severe. But it’s not. In fact, it’s the opposite, mills are constantly allowed to continue operating even with numerous ongoing, unremediated violations. The whole thing reeks of collusion, and the women seeking abortions are the ones who ultimately pay the bill.
Pro-aborts love to use scare-tactics regarding sensible abortion restrictions, claiming that the day of the back-alley butcher and coat-hanger abortion will return en masse if mills are required to maintain even the slightest standards. But doesn’t that reveal a great deal about just who populates the abortion industry, and the kinds of depths they are ever-ready to stoop to in their unquenchable pursuit of profit?
That is to say, the supposed “abortion doctor” of today is in reality the very same as the “back alley butcher” of yesterday, he’s’ just hung a shingle and set up shop in a filthy, unkempt facility. Thus, the Left’s supposed sacrosanct concern over “women’s health.” What a crock. Like everything else, it’s a monstrous, diabolical lie.
Christianity is the Root of Reason and “Reality Based” Existence January 18, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, cultural marxism, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society, unbelievable BS.
A shockingly contrarian declaration, but a true one, nonetheless. As for living a life based on reason or factual reality, it sure isn’t leftism, and especially not some of its radical fringe, like extreme feminism, that will put you there. As a for instance, is it shocking at all that the poor, damaged, brittle feminist soul who decided to turn her shame (Genital Herpes) into a badge of honor would also be deeply ingrained in astrology? Is it any coincidence that many major feminists hold similar if not more bizarre views (such as being devotees of Druid or other pagan religions)?
In fact, acceptance of totally false, demonically-inspired religions/philosophies is a pandemic on the Left. So much for being reality based. But as Robert Stacy McCain notes below, there is another aspect to all this. The philosophies extreme leftists tend to adopt tend to encourage abdication of personal responsbility: “Oh, I’m in a terrible mood because ‘Mercury is in retrograde,'” or Venus is transposed, or whatever. Who really believes the position of the planets and stars at our birth somehow dictates our existence? Amazingly, I know a fair number of nominal Catholics who are far more devout practitioners of astrology than they are the Faith of Jesus Christ.
“Mercury in retrograde” is a dye-marker of belief in astrology, and you don’t want to be in the proximity of anyone foolish enough to believe such ridiculous nonsense. Belief in astrology is like theosophy or voodoo or Keynesian economics — a hallmark of poor judgment. Bad things happen when you start hanging around losers like that. Avoid them.
Go take a look at the Twitter search results for “Mercury retrograde” and you will notice that it’s almost entirely women. You can explain that however you wish, but doesn’t the unusual prevalence of belief in astrology among women also tell us something about feminism?
Like astrology, feminism is a quasi-religious belief system that tells people that their problems are caused by circumstances beyond their control. It’s not her fault she didn’t get hired for that job, feminism tells the young women — she’s a victim of sexist discrimination. The college girl got drunk at a frat party and did things she regrets? That’s certainly not her fault, feminism tells her — she’s a victim of “rape culture.”
Or maybe Mercury was in retrograde.
Feminism offers a ready-made excuse for anything a woman might be unhappy about, so the feminist movement attracts a lot of unhappy women who need excuses for what’s wrong with their lives………
………..In April 2016, Emily Depasse bragged about teaching sex to 12-year-old boys in Baltimore during the #ShoutYourStatus campaign to “destigmatize” sexually transmitted diseases. DePasse graduated in 2015 from Maryland’s Salisbury University, where she majored in Gender and Sexuality Studies, doing her senior project on “The Secret Sexual Revolution at Salisbury University in the 1960s and 1970s.” Not long after graduating, in July 2015, DePasse was diagnosed with genital herpes. This was an entirely private misery for Ms. Depasse until Ella Dawson and her feminist comrades decided to launch the #ShoutYourStatus campaign, the rationale of which was to end the “stigma” of herpes. And so Ms. Depasse was emboldened to go public with the fact that (a) she was infected with this incurable virus, and (b) she was talking about her diseased genitalia with seventh-graders. [This is the same woman who declares that herpes wasn’t a consequence of poor behavior or wanton sexuality, it was “inevitable,” something that just happened to her irrespective of her dangerous life choices]
What kind of person thinks this is a good idea? A fool or a feminist, but I repeat myself. It appears that the inspiration for #ShoutYourStatus was a campaign in September 2015 to “destigmatize” abortion. The #ShoutYourAbortion campaign was a response to efforts by Republican members of Congress to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. In other words, it was about partisan politics……….
…………Feminism is essentially a religious cult. Members of the cult are unable to step back and examine their value system from a critical perspective and, no matter how irrational their beliefs, or how damaging the consequences of acting on those beliefs, they remain fanatically devoted to the feminist cause. Fanatics only listen to their fellow fanatics, and this echo-chamber effect tends to alienate feminists from normal people. Trying to convince Ella Dawson that making her name a synonym for “herpes slut” is a bad idea would be like trying to convince Mohamed Atta that flying a Boeing 757 into a skyscraper was a bad idea. Belief systems that are fundamentally irrational — like feminism or radical Islam — tend to attract people with a psychological predisposition to fanaticism.
This is why the prevalence of belief in astrology among women is a clue to the nature of the feminist movement. Emily Depasse, the herpes-infected feminist who teaches “human sexuality” to seventh-graders, also has a mystical belief in the influence of “Mercury retrograde.”…….
……..There is such a thing as evil in this world, and when people start dabbling in the occult, they’re opening the doors to that evil. You may think astrology is harmless nonsense, but once people buy into that nonsense — “Mercury in retrograde!” — what will they buy into next? It’s like drug addiction. If you’ve seen a few people completely wreck their lives through substance abuse, you become wary of claims that drugs and alcohol are harmless. Similarly, if you’ve known people whose interest in the occult led them into madness, crime and self-destruction, it’s not so easy to laugh off astrology as harmless. The Bible repeatedly condemns occult practices (e.g., Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Nahum 3:4, Revelation 9:21). Indeed, a reliance on astrologers is condemned specifically by the prophet Isaiah as among the sins of Babylon.
Secular readers who disdain scriptural authority are apt to disregard the Bible’s condemnation of sorcery and necromancy and astrology, but we cannot ignore the fact that occult beliefs are now flourishing in our culture at the same time that destructive ideologies like feminism are flourishing in our politics. Why is this? Because the same hate-filled atheists who insist that Christianity must be excluded from our culture (thus enabling the proliferation of the occult) also insist that they have an exclusive monopoly on moral virtue and political wisdom.
And isn’t that an interesting transposition – those most given over to personal immorality insisting they are the true arbiters of moral virtue and cultural standards – standards they constantly manipulate to give themselves, and their ideological allies, a pass, while constantly attacking, belittling, and undermining Christianity. In fact, qua Chesterton, these amoral elites are happy for people to believe anything, so long as that anything is not convicted Christianity. Christianity is the one true enemy that must be destroyed.
It’s almost as if they were part of a deliberate diabolical plot. A diabolically narcissistic plot, to be specific. Continued thanks to Ann Barnhardt for correctly diagnosing the ultimate source of our society’s manifest ills. Astrology and feminism are just two particular manifestations of diabolical narcissism, but there are many others, including some particularly popular with men, like excessive devotion to sports and addiction to onanism.
Circumcising the Root of All Evil January 18, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, huh?, manhood, sadness, silliness, Society, Tradition.
The post title is a bit tongue in cheek, Sensus Fidelium on Youtube posted the video below yesterday, an upload from a recent episode of the Crusade program of the St. Benedict Center in New Hampshire. The topic is voluntary male circumcision, which is done to the large majority of males (Jewish or otherwise) in infancy, generally at the hospital within a day or so of birth. I’ve always thought circumcision was mostly a question of taste with perhaps some overtones of cleanliness and moderation, but it appears at least one Catholic philosopher/ethicist has determined circumcision to be a barbaric practice that causes a huge gamut of (potential) deleterious health effects. None of which any of the males on either side of my family has ever experienced going back at least 4 generations, and all of which were circumcised.
I’m posting this not because I really care either way, this is a very personal decision. There are pros and cons on both sides and you can decide where you line up. It’s quite possible the medical benefits of circumcision have been overstated, but I think the dire claims made in the program of negative effects are also being dramatically overblown. Love, and do what you will, and all that.
The reason I’m posting this is the fascination I had with the responses on Youtube. People who had almost certainly never heard such a detailed (and one might even say, extremely opinionated) presentation on this subject before were suddenly lining up declaring circumcision to be a barbaric practice that must be stopped NOW. Which is odd, because, this is just one presentation, which may or may not be accurate. Why are folks getting so exercised over something they may have never heard a cogent argument on before? Are those expressing instant shock and outrage really in a position to judge whether or not this guy is really telling the truth, or maybe has gone a bit around the bend?
There was another aspect to that drew my attention – some pretty hardcore comments regarding Judaism. Certainly circumcision and Judaism have a long connection, but some of the direct commentary – leaving alone snide implications – regarding filthy Jews, et. al., was a bit extreme. I found that unfortunate.
As I said there are arguments on both sides, some people say circumcision negatively effects a man’s ability to feel certain pleasures, some say being uncircumcised can lead to accumulation of dirt and disease. I’ve never known anything different, so I have no way of knowing if these claims are right or not. I do think maybe we should tone down the instant outrage generation on every single little issue that comes along. If one wants to argue that circumcision is a bad practice that has outlived its usefulness, fine. He’s probably right. But for folks to turn it into a giant conspiracy and start to allude that you’re somehow less Catholic if you’ve been involved in this very optional, tangential practice, I think that’s where the circular firing squad and the shrinking of the membership of the True Remnant Church (TM) down to one (me!) starts to get a little extreme.
Surgical Abortion Rate Falls to Lowest Level in Over 40 Years, But Is This Good News? January 18, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, paganism, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, unadulterated evil.
So the pro-abort Guttmacher Institute has put out its annual compendium of abortion statistics and reported that fewer than 1 million surgical abortions were performed in the US in 2014, for the first time since 1975. This would normally be a cause for rejoicing (while lamenting the fact that there are still mountains of dead babies every year even still), but there are certain caveats that make this report less than heartening. First, at least part of the reduction in surgical abortion can be explained away by the continuing implosion of the conception rate, especially among native born American women. Another factor is the rise of chemical/pharmaceutical abortion, the “morning after pill” and such like, which are not “counted” as abortions in the statistics. Many deeply involved in the pro-life movement report that these chemical abortions are increasing at an alarming rate, so that the total abortion rate may indeed by higher than it was a few years ago. Chemical abortion is often preferred as it can be done at home and doesn’t involve much of the trauma and medical risk of surgical abortion.
The final negative factor on the abortion rate is an increase in the use of long term contraception, which is very nearly self-sterilization in the form of IUDs. Use of long-term contraceptives exploded over the past several years and is probably also driving the abortion rate down.
At any rate, here’s the report from a non pro-abort source:
Great news, if not surprising news. As contraceptive technology has improved, as the taboo against using it has shrunk, and as new restrictions on abortion have passed in various red states, it’d be odd if the rate weren’t declining.
The pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, which conducted the survey, says there were fewer than a million abortions performed last year for the first time since 1975. Which is also good news, once you get past the whole “a million children aborted every year for 40 years” thing.
Some really bad news:
By the way, according to two polls taken last year, approval of birth control as either morally justified or not a moral issue is virtually unanimous among Americans. Gallup found 89 percent willing to call contraception “morally acceptable.” When Pew asked a similar question, just four percent overall (and eight percent of Catholics) deemed it morally wrong.
Thanks, bishops and priests of Amchurch! Mission accomplished.
Know this, and without the slightest doubt – the progressive/modernist faction in the Church intends to do the same with divorce and sodomy as they have done with contraception, turn them into moral non-issues for the vast, vast majority of Catholics. That includes, naturally, making the Blessed Sacrament available to those who have been civilly remarried with no annulment of their first marriage – as what’s the point of being Catholic if you can’t line up to get your “reward” every week like everyone else?
Think how many priests should have at least strongly suspected that the vast majority of their married couples with two or one or zero kids never once challenged them on the exceedingly strong likelihood that they were receiving the Blessed Sacrament while actively practicing contraception. That’s a massive failure of moral duty and a very large part of the reason why the Church continues to implode in a self-inflicted crisis.
Even writing this feels like whistling past the graveyard. Outside a handful of isolated traditional communities and even rarer Novus Ordo parishes with solid priests, no one in the Church cares in the slightest. Everyone continues to believe their happy fantasies that God is just a good guy in the sky that never holds anyone even slightly accountable for the moral evils they commit. He’s the cosmic Pez dispenser handing out eternal life to all who come calling. That this is utterly contrary to both Scripture and Tradition is, of course, conveniently forgotten.
Enjoy your newchurch while it lasts, boys. It won’t be around for very long. People can get their empty, meaningless, happy-clappy emotional/spiritual kumbayah experience just as well at home as they can in your parish. It won’t be long before the vast majority of the few remaining active Catholics start to figure that out.
Good Local News – Another Catholic Homeschool Co-Op Starts This Year January 16, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, North Deanery, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Society, true leadership, Virtue.
A hearty thanks go out to Fr. Cliff Smith, pastor of St. Mark parish in Plano, for making this new Catholic homeschool Coop a reality. Starting next fall, St. Mark in Plano will host the area’s second Catholic homeschool cooperative for older students. Currently there is one at Mater Dei that meets on Thursdays and is intended primarily for high school students, this new one will meet on Tuesdays and be for grades 7-12. A few details below:
Several of our group members met with St. Mark the
Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano this week, and they are welcoming us to start a Catholic homeschool co-op next school year to serve students in 7th grade through high school. It has been named the Collin County Catholic Co-op (C4).
We will be meeting in the Smyth Pastoral Center on Tuesdays.
The day will start with morning Mass at 8:30am and have classes following after Mass through the afternoon.
Well that is good news. As I’m sure almost any homeschooling parents can relate, as kids enter middle and high school teaching all the advanced and complex subjects can be quite taxing. Cooperatives like this help spread the burden by hiring teachers for these subjects. Without them, a mom might be faced with simultaneously teaching 10 or more high school subjects on her own – a daunting task. Coops also provide a great outlet for kids to meet other kids being raised by parents of good will.
Fr. Smith has long been very supportive of homeschoolers and deserves recognition for that. He is taking his support a step further by enabling this new co-op to use parish facilities. I’m sure there will be many local Catholics thankful for his generosity. Anything that encourages the spread and execution of homeschooling is much appreciated. I pray even more parents in the North Dallas area will embrace this wonderful way of raising children with this latest opportunity.
Some Classic Refutations of protestant Errors on the Bible January 16, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, priests, reading, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From the Preface to the New Testament in the Haydock Study Bible, some excellent commentary on common protestant claims regarding Sacred Scripture as the sole rule of faith under the private interpretation of each individual (or the leader of each sect, as is more typical). Much of the commentary below comes from Archbishop Rene Fenelon. All of it is great. Some of the key points addressed below:
- The absolute need for a sole authority to settle questions of Scripture
- The extreme danger that results from private interpretation and the pride that inspires this interpretation
- The error of protestant use of supposedly superior knowledge of the Bible against Catholics as a weapon to rend souls from the Church, when in fact they simply twist Scripture to their own ends. Those souls would be far better off with a Catechism than a panoply of biblical studies.
- Scripture cannot be the sole rule of Faith
If there be no infallible authority, which may say to us all, “this is the true meaning of the holy Scripture:how can we expect that illiterate peasants, or simple mechanics, should engage in a discussion wherein the learned themselves cannot agree? God would have been wanting to the necessities of almost all men, if, when he gave them a written law, he had not at the same time provided them a sure interpreter, to spare them the necessity of research, of which they are utterly incapable. Every man of common understanding has need of nothing more than a sincere sense of his ignorance, to see the absurdities of the sects, who build their separation from the Catholic Church upon the privilege of deciding on matters far above their comprehension. [Or even if not above their comprehension, per se, we still see the effect of private interpretation in the proliferation of warring sects, each holding a different view of various parts of Scripture and their meaning. Most of those have to be wrong. And in point of fact, much of protestant Scripture “scholarship” is nothing of the sort but simply an exercise of ex post facto effort to twist Scripture to find in it the doctrines they’ve already decided upon, as Luther and Calvin did in identifying “total depravity” as a rule of Scripture in order to justify the elimination of works as necessary for salvation and thus most of the 10 Commandments] Ought we then to hearken to the new reformers, who require what is impossible; or to the ancient Church, which provides for the weakness of our nature?” If we listen to the former, we should soon be found to resemble those men of latter days, who St. Paul tells us to avoid: ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of truth; (2 Timothy chap. iii. ver. 7,) because they trust to their own lights, and not to the visible authority appointed by Jesus Christ. How evident does all this speak for itself, when we behold a Voltaire extracting mental poison from the Song of Solomon; or, another Cromwell reading to a ruthless soldiery God’s ordinances concerning the smiting of the Ammonites and Chanaanites, in order to induce them to kill every Catholic, man, woman, and child; or the fanatic, maintaining from the Revelations, that no king is to be obeyed but King Jesus; or, finally, when we hear those dangerous comments of our modern Moravian and Antinomian Methodists on St. Paul’s Epistles, importing, that they being made free by Jesus Christ, are not subject to any law either of God or man. Surely, in such cases, it would be advisable, if possible, to withdraw the Bible from every such profaner of it; and instead of it, to put into his hands the Catechism, in which he would find the bread of God’s word, broken and prepared for his weak digestion, by those prelates to whom this duty particularly belongs. This the Protestant owns, when he finds the Socinian [Society of Friends – Quakers] abusing private interpretation, by repeatedly citing and expounding the sacred text against the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the Presbyterian against the episcopacy……
……..The learned Walton (Prolegom. chap. iv. 56,) asserts, what every one versed in antiquity must allow, that “some parts of the New Testament were doubted of for some ages, till at length by consent of the whole Church, all the Books, as they are read at present, were received and approved.” [Indeed. The Canon of Scripture was settled by the Church. The protestants accept all of the New Testament canon, even though Luther wanted to exclude at least the Catholic Epistle of James because it was too contrary to his new doctrine. He was only prevented from doing so by allies of his due to human concerns – rejecting portions of the New Testament so long settled would cause even more division and scandal and undermine his new sect. But from a standpoint of logic, the protestants have no reason not to exclude all manner of books from Old or New Testament, nor to add works like the Epistle of Barnabas, Gospel of Thomas, or the Shepherd of Hermas – they have rejected Authority in favor of their own private judgment to arrive at answers predetermined in advance, so why not use these other works? The only reason they do not has to do with human concern, e.g., what people would think] Here then we see that for a chief proof of the inspiration, authenticity, and due rendering of the word of God, we are referred to the general consent of Christians; therefore Scripture, though the rule of faith and life, cannot be the whole rule;since from Scripture alone, an exact canon of the sacred books cannot by human art be learned…………
………St. Augustine goes so far as to say: I would not believe the gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not determine me. (Epis. cont. Fund. chap. v, n. 6.) “This, says Fenelon, is the most simple, short, and decisive of all controversies.”……..[This is the key. Scripture has authority because the Church determined it to have it, not the other way around. It was the Church that predated the Canon of Scripture or indeed any individual Gospel or Letter. Tradition ultimately is greater than Scripture, and it is a sad testimony that far too many priests and bishops today, cowed by supposed protestant knowledge of the Bible, mimic their arguments in favor of Scripture, turning reading the Bible into an end in itself rather than as simply being the support and basis for what the Church believes. Priests would be far better off advising the souls in their charge to read a solid Catechism like the Catechism of the Council of Trent or This Is The Faith than the Bible, honestly. Mind, I am not discouraging those sound in the Faith from reading the Bible, I read it every day, but I am saying that in this time when so few people are really able to understand much of Scripture, and with the proliferation, especially in this country, of erroneous protestant biblical studies, and very aggressive “bible study groups” seeking to make converts of poorly formed Catholics, that it is more prudent to first form souls deeply in the Faith before turning them loose on Scripture.]
………..There are such inimitable instructions in the five letters of Fenelon, to a lady who wished to be admitted a member of the Catholic Church, that a brief analysis of the same cannot but be very acceptable to the biblical scholar: — In the first, the prelate shews that there can be but one true religion, and one only Church, the spouse of Jesus Christ. Our Lord would have only one; men are not entitled to make more. Religion is not the work of human reasoning; but it is our duty to receive it, such as it has been given us from above. One man may reason with another man, but with God we have only to pray, to humble ourselves, listen, be silent, and blindly follow. This sacrifice of reason is the only proper use we can make of it, weak and contracted as it is. Every consideration must yield, when the supreme reason decides…….. [Awesome]
……..In the second, he shews the necessity of a visible authority. Religion, he says, is all humility. The mysteries are given us to subdue the pride of reason, by making us believe what we cannot comprehend. Without this authority, the Scripture can only serve to nourish our curiosity, presumption, jealousy of opinions, and passion for scandalous disputes: there would be but one text, but as may interpretations as religions, and as many religions as heads……..
……..In the third, he teaches how to hear the Church, and to obey it without any apprehension of error. The infallible promises of God are our surety. He tells the lady, if she wish for any reform, not to seek it, like Dissenters, out of the Church, but by frequently reverting back to her thoughts upon herself, and by reforming every thing amiss there; by subduing all that savours of self; by silencing the imagination, listening in silence to God, and imploring his grace for the perfect accomplishment of his will……….
……..In the fourth, he gives her comfort and instructions how to act under her trials. The kingdom of God suffers violence. We cannot die to ourselves without feeling it; but the hand that afflicts us, will be our support……..
………..In the fifth, he give excellent instructions, on the promises of Jesus Christ to his one true Church. He remarks the Jesus Christ does not say, if you will not hear the church of this country or that; he does not suppose a plurality of churches, but one universal Church, subsisting through all ages and nations, and which is to speak and to be obeyed from one extremity of the globe to the other. Not an invisible church composed of the elect only, but a Church that can be pointed out with a finger. A city elevated on the summit of a mountain, which all can see from a distance. Every one knows where to see, to find, and to consult her. She answers, she decides; we listen, and believe: and woe to those who refuse to believe and obey her: if he will not hear the Church, &c………
Such sage wisdom! Thank God for providing us – even if in the somewhat distant past – shepherds whose cooperation with Grace and docility to the will of God inform all they said and make of them a great light to souls of this and every age. We live in a time when such souls are few, almost non-existent, among the men given the sacred charge of holding watch over the souls of millions, but we have the inestimable gift of Tradition and the wisdom of the past to guide us still, even in this our own faithless age. That is a gift beyond measure. And one that, in spite of herculean efforts on the part of modernists, cannot be taken away.
This Stinks: Gene Cernan dead at 82 January 16, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Four Last Things, General Catholic, history, manhood, sadness, Society, technology, Victory.
The old Apollo guys are going to their reward one by one. Who is left at this point that walked on the moon? Buzz Aldrin, Al Bean, Dave Scott, John Young, Charlie Duke, and Jack Schmitt. All are in their 80s.
But today the last man to walk on the moon died. Gene Cernan, who lived outside Kerrville, was 82:
Gene Cernan, an early NASA astronaut who was the last man to set foot on the moon, died Monday, NASA announced in a tweet. He was 82.
Cernan was the commander of Apollo 17 in December 1972 – the last lunar mission and one of the final Apollo flights. When Cernan stepped out from lunar module “Challenger” he became the 11th person to walk on the moon. His lunar module pilot, Jack Schmitt, was the 12th. But as commander, Cernan was the last to re-enter the module, making him the last person to walk on the lunar surface.
Cernan had previously served as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 10 and was a pilot on the Gemini IX mission.
Cernan logged 566 hours and 15 minutes in space, of which 73 hours were spent on the surface of the moon, according to NASA.
Cernan was one of only three men to travel to the moon twice. The other two were Jim Lovell (still alive) and John Young.
There was a big row in NASA in the first half of 1970 when Nixon foolishly decided to gut the Apollo program (although, in his defense, most all of NASA management wanted it gutted, too). After it was announced that Apollos 18-20 would be cancelled, even though the hardware was already almost entirely built (everything but the LMs for Apollo 19 and 20), the scientific community got all fired up because the then-current crew rotation would mean that no scientist would fly to the moon if Apollo 17 was the last mission. The first scientist scheduled to go was Jack Schmitt to the Tycho Crater on Apollo 18 with Commander Dick Gordon. No Apollo 18 meant no scientist on the moon.
But not so fast. The science guys raised a big enough ruckus that NASA management was “encouraged” to change the crew rotation. Gordon and Schmitt had been training together for 6 months at that point so Gordon hoped the entire crew for 18 would just replace Gene Cernan’s crew for 17. That would have left Cernan out in the cold. But instead, the awesomely skilled former X-15 pilot Joe Engle was bumped as LMP from Apollo 17 in favor of Schmitt, and Dick Gordon had to watch his chance to be the somewhat famous last man on the moon go up in smoke.
Gene Cernan was a bit of an anomaly among early Apollo astronauts in not being a test pilot. He was an attack aviation guy in the Navy, flying Skyhawks, when he found out he had been accepted into the third round of astronaut selectees. Cernan was generally viewed as a competent straight shooter who perhaps had the flaw of being a bit aggressive in his self-promotion. There was quite a bit of that among the Apollo astronauts, of course. After his time in NASA and almost de rigeuer collapse of his first marriage, Cernan became a bit of a sad creature, a sort of a caricature of his salad days version of himself, always Captain Cernan, always the former astronaut, not Geno or Gene anymore.
Still, they rarely make men like this anymore. We’re much too soft to produce such steely eyed missile men as those who flew to the moon in a delicate, lowest-cost government-run contraption. Engineering was done on slide rules back then, with no 3-D solid modeling and with less computing power in the entire NASA basement than one smart phone today. And yet they did it, and the engineers of back then were probably far, far better than those of today, man for man.
Gene Cernan was at least a nominal Catholic most of his life. Not sure if he died one. I pray for the repose of his soul.
Few know Cernans’s most dangerous mission was not Apollo 17, was not on Apollo at all, but was on Gemini 9A. During the mission he was to perform only America’s second spacewalk, the first since Ed White briefly flew outside Gemini 4. What most people did not know at that time, is that White barely made it back inside the spacecraft. His inflated pressure suit did not want to fit in the cramped capsule and he and commander Jim McDivitt struggled mightily to get it closed. As a result, White got quite severely overheated.
Well, White’s walk lasted perhaps 20 minutes, whereas Cernan’s was scheduled to last several hours. However, he also ran into problems with inadequate cooling in his spacesuit, especially when in the 250 degree temperatures on the sunny side of the world. Physical exertion, of which there was plenty, made him sweat profusely. Then, when the capsule went around the night side of the earth, all that moisture inside his suit froze. His visor was almost completely frosted over and Cernan was blind. He barely managed to make it back inside the ship, and probably had a heat stroke trying to get the hatch shut.
Cernan and Stafford repeated their two-man team on Apollo 10, when another accident could have killed them both. An incorrect setting on a guidance computer caused their Lunar Module to tumble out of control while practicing the landing maneuvers that Apollo 11 would perform on the first lunar landing. The telemetry showed the LM “Snoopy” doing three 360s before Stafford flipped the switch to go from backup abort guidance to the Apollo Guidance Computer. That fixed it.
Czech Gov’t to Citizens on How to Fight Islamist Terrorists – Shoot Them Yourselves January 13, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Ecumenism, family, firearms, General Catholic, Immigration, Restoration, Society, the enemy.
That’s a novel approach, especially for Europe:
A couple of months ago, Czech President Milos Zeman made an unusual request: He urged citizens to arm themselves against a possible “super-Holocaust” carried out by Muslim terrorists.
Never mind that there are fewer than 4,000 Muslims in this country of 10 million people [that’s supposed to be a bad thing?!? Good for the Czechs from keeping the invading hordes of military-age males out of their country]— gun purchases spiked. One shop owner in East Bohemia, a region in the northern center of the Czech Republic, told a local paper that people were scared of a “wave of Islamists.”
Now the country’s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists. Proponents say this could save lives if an attack occurs and police are delayed or unable to make their way to the scene. To become law, Parliament must approve the proposal; they’ll vote in the coming months.
The Czech Republic already has some of the most lenient gun policies in Europe. It’s home to about 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 people with gun licenses. Obtaining a weapon is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record. By law, Czechs can use their weapons to protect their property or when in danger, although they need to prove they faced a real threat.
This puts the country at odds with much of Europe, which has long supported much more stringent gun-control measures. In the wake of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France pushed the European Union to enact even tougher policies. The European Commission’s initial proposal called for a complete ban on the sale of weapons like Kalashnikovs or AR-15s that are intended primarily for military use. Ammunition magazines would be limited to 20 rounds or less.
That bill subsequently passed in slightly modified form over the Czech government’s opposition, meaning that this vote is more than a bit of kabuki theater – the EU’s laws will supersede whatever laws the Czech government puts in place. it also means a great many weapons currently legal in Czech and some other nations will soon be illegal. If I were the Czechs, I’d be working towards a Czexit right now.
Most of Europe has long been much less free with basic human rights – like the right to self defense – than this nation has been. While Europeans will giggle and say that’s why Europe has a lot fewer firearms deaths than the US, I would retort that the US also hasn’t ever had a concentration camp nor an endless cycle of totalitarian regimes. The Czechs used to live under one of those. That has more than a little to do with Czechs’ desire to own firearms, which is something I’ve seen personally (though I think the number of firearms and firearms owners listed above severely under-represents reality).