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Surgical Abortion Rate Falls to Lowest Level in Over 40 Years, But Is This Good News? January 18, 2017

Posted 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.
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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.

ab

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, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, North Deanery, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Society, true leadership, Virtue.
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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, 2017

Posted 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

Begin quote:

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………

————-End Quote————-

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.

 

More and More (Curial) Priests Apparently Can’t Stand Francis January 13, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, priests, Revolution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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That’s what Damian Thompson says, anyway. Some interesting observations below – some revelations as to Francis’ character.  It might even be considered a bit psycho-analytical. I was not aware of Francis’ scandal in reinstating a scandalous progressive boy-raping priest that Benedict had previously defrocked.  That’s a damning indictment that Francis’ mercy extends only to perceived ideological allies, and not those whom he is most charged to shepherd and defend:

On 2 January, the Vatican published a letter from Pope Francis to the world’s bishops in which he reminded them that they must show ‘zero tolerance’ towards child abuse. The next day, the American Week magazine published an article that told the story of ‘Don Mercedes’ — Fr Mauro Inzoli, an Italian priest with a passion for expensive cars and underage boys.

In 2012, Pope Benedict stripped Inzoli of his priestly faculties, effectively defrocking him. In 2014, however, they were restored to him — by Pope Francis, who warned him to stay away from minors.

Then, finally, the Italian civil authorities caught up with this serial groper of teenagers in the confessional. Last summer Inzoli was sentenced to four years and nine months in jail for paedophile offences. The Vatican, under ‘zero-tolerance’ Francis, refused to supply evidence that prosecutors wanted…….. [I doubt he was guilty only of “groping,” and I hate how the media continues to soft-pedal these men’s crimes.  They, painfully and cruelly, rape young boys, destroying their irreplaceable innocence and scarring them for life. Those who suffer childhood sex abuse are never quite right again.  Reducing that to “groping” is yet another example of why so many of us have no respect for the media.  As for Francis, his “zero-tolerance” depends entirely on whether one is seen as an ally or not.  Leftism is always about power – those perceived as aiding that pursuit of power can never do any wrong, those who oppose it can never do any right.]

……A man who, when he took office, seemed endearingly informal — paying his own bill at his hotel, refusing to live in the Apostolic Palace, making surprise phone calls to members of the public — now cuts a less sympathetic figure.

He has broken with a far more significant papal tradition than living in the papal apartments or travelling in limousines. He has defied the convention that a pope, once elected, ceases to play nasty curial politics. [I’m shocked, shocked that a convicted Peronist would behave like a…..convicted Peronist]

Pope Benedict respected this convention. [Probably too much. It undermined his ability to effect any change – if he even wanted to.] Liberals who were worried that the ‘Rottweiler’ would harbour ancient grudges watched in amazement — and relief — as he turned into a virtual hermit. This created the factional chaos that led to his resignation — but right up until the end, Benedict was always ‘the Holy Father’.

That title has almost dropped out of use inside the Vatican under Francis, at least in everyday conversation. And, when you hear it, there is an edge of sarcasm. For example: ‘As the Holy Father so wisely says, we all have a natural tendency to eat shit.’

The priest in question is no fan of Francis. But the fact is that the Pope did say it — in public. Last month, he told the media to stop spreading fake stories because ‘people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia’. Which means eating excrement.

Why did he say it? The traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli suggested that ‘ageing or an underlying medical issue’ was responsible for his ‘persistent anger, rancour, vituperation, use of uncouth words (which is known to be increasingly frequent in private)’. [Nah.  It’s just who he is. It’s who he’s always  been.  This is a severely intemperate man.  This is a man who is not in control of his appetites. Humility is what gives us the moral strength (and grace) to practice penance and limit our appetites.  Francis may or may not limit his physical, material appetite, but his appetite for more ethereal things like obeisance and the gathering of power appears voracious.]

Again, this is an opponent speaking. There is no evidence that the Pope is mentally ill. However, plenty of Vatican employees will testify to his outbursts of temper, rudeness towards subordinates and vulgar language. [Again, intemperance.  Intemperance also speaks to a lack of solid interior life driven by humility and devotion to prayer.]

He can also be genial, funny and compassionate. But this side of his personality is increasingly reserved for his inner circle and his allies.

All popes have inner circles, it goes without saying. What distinguishes Francis from his recent predecessors is the nature of the alliances he forms. He is far more brutal in the exercise of his power than, say, Pope John Paul II, who certainly had an authoritarian streak in him. [Indeed.  Some say Francis is even more authoritarian than Pius XII, the supposed epitome of the “bad old Church.”]

‘Bergoglio divides the church into those who are with him and those who are against him — and if he thinks you’re in the latter camp then he’ll come after you,’ says a priest who works in the curia. [Think that had much impact on the Franciscans of the Immaculate?]

‘Bergoglio’, note: he doesn’t even call him ‘Francis’. Tellingly, this priest used to be a fervent supporter of some of the Pope’s administrative reforms and he doesn’t look back nostalgically at the reign of Benedict, whom he blames for neglecting his papal duties.

But, like so many Vatican employees, he’s sick of Francis’s habit of telling the entire Roman curia that they are modern-day Pharisees — an analogy that casts the Argentinian pontiff in the role of Jesus. [Convenient, that.]

Clearly Francis believes that relaxing the rules on communion for Catholics in irregular marriages is an act of Christlike compassion. [Could there be more to it than that?  As a point of attack against the entire moral edifice of the Church, a more insidious one could hardly have been chosen.  I don’t think that’s accidental in the slightest.] This is also the view of the venerable liberal cardinals who campaigned to elect him. It is often said that he is enacting their agenda — and it’s true that Francis is well disposed to liberal demands for women deacons and married priests. [Thus the upcoming terror of Synod 2018.  Lord, please prevent this from taking place.]

He is not, however, their instrument. In the words of a Vatican observer who held an important position in Rome for many years, ‘He hasn’t taken on the old progressive mantle so much as created his own personality cult.’ Theological niceties bore him. Personal loyalty obsesses him — ‘and if the cardinal electors had done due diligence they would have discovered that he was an extraordinarily divisive figure among the Argentinian Jesuits’.

It’s not hard to detect a Latin American flavour to the deal-making and settling of scores that has become blatant over the past year. Most Catholic bishops had thought Francis was a plain-spoken and perhaps touchingly naive reformer. Instead, they are confronted by a pope who is simultaneously combative, charming, bad-tempered, idealistic and vengeful……..

Oh, I think the naivete is an act.  I think he – as the scion of those who elected him – knows exactly what he is doing and the impact it will have.  This is a man bent on remaking the Church in his own ideological image.  Niceties mean nothing to him, all that matters is the end result.

He’s a leftist Borgia, minus the appetites against the 6th and 9th Commandments.

Cardinal Burke Offering Mass of Reparation in Dallas 01/22 January 12, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, contraception, Dallas Diocese, different religion, Eucharist, General Catholic, priests, Sacraments, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Virtue.
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It would be awesome if it were at a TLM Mass – which would of course mean Mater Dei – but then again, I wasn’t one of those who put in what I am quite certain was most significant effort in inviting Burke and making arrangements for his travel, etc.  So good for the folks in the “Catholic Action for Faith and Family” who pulled this off.  The Mass is at 10:30am at Mary Immaculate Parish in Farmers Branch.  This is a Mass of Reparation for the sin of abortion, marking of course yet another sad anniversary of this nation’s genocide against it’s own young.

I don’t plan on assisting at this Mass, as grateful as I am for Cardinal Burke’s relative orthodoxy and his stand against the increasingly unhinged and egregious errors and abuses emanating from the pontificate of Francis.  I will note in passing that Mary Immaculate is one of a number of parishes in this diocese with only one hour of Confession a week.  I do pray that Cardinal Burke’s presence and example encourage a much more generous attitude on the part of Fr. Michael Forge and Daniel Rendon to this most vital of Sacraments.  It is a metaphysical certitude that there are numerous souls receiving Communion weekly and even daily at Mary Immaculate in a state of mortal sin, and who have not availed themselves of Confession in years if not decades.  And why should they, when it is evidently of such low priority to those with the solemn duty to pastor their souls to Heaven?

I am a bit reticent to introduce this rant into a post on what is really a different subject and should be a happy occasion, but I must wonder how many souls who may assist at what will surely be a glorious event in the life of this parish (and a significant statement on the part of the clergy in hosting Burke) do not have unconfessed involvement in the deliberately willed termination of perfectly innocent life on their conscience, and who will receive the Blessed Sacrament, in an act of terrible sacrilege, without a second thought?  I’d be willing to bet it’s more than a handful.

Please God that I am wrong, but I strongly suspect I am not.

Lazy Video Post, Hong Kong Flu Edition January 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, Restoration, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I started with a little sore throat Friday, which transitioned to a cough yesterday, and today is full blown Hong Kong Phooey Flu. All you get today is two vids, but they’re both really good, one on the Jezebel spirit and wives rebellion from their husbands……….:

…….and the other from that priest many of us had missed so much these past 2-odd years, on Epiphany, the Holy Family, and the Errors of Russia.  I believe this is new content, from 2016:

There are so often really good book recommendations embedded in this priest’s sermons.

That will be all for today, barring a miraculous recovery, not sure about tomorrow, either.  When I get a high fever, I’m a wimpy as they come.

Any recommendations for home remedies? Pretty sure it is actual influenza, maybe with bronchitis on top.

Your prayers are most appreciated. God bless you!

A Very Positive Appraisal of Dallas’ New Bishop Edward Burns    January 9, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, Society, true leadership.
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One reason I’ve been behind the curve with regard to soon-to-be Dallas Bishop Edward Burns is because I was completely offline and out of town in North Carolina when the announcement was made. I missed out on a great deal of coverage, also, because I am not on social media. So, I was very glad to receive an appraisal from a local person who happened to have some interaction with Edward Burns on the day the announcement of his appointment as Dallas’ next bishop was made, essentially the only day he has been in the Dallas Diocese so far.

This individual was very impressed.  They indicated Bishop-elect Burns is very prayerful.  In fact, in spite of having an extremely busy day of travel, introductions, and press conferences/media interaction, he insisted on having a Holy Hour the night of the announcement.  Some folks thought, it’s too late, it’s been a long day, but Bishop-elect Burns was determined to have a Holy Hour of prayer for thanksgiving and for Grace for his upcoming role, and so he had one.  The impression my contact gained of Bishop-elect Burns is that he is a prayerful man, something that even I have been well aware was not an exactly overwhelming characteristic of either of his predecessors.

Bishop-elect Burns also showed a welcome pastoral touch.  Even though he met hundreds of people on the day of his introduction to the Diocese, at the end of the day he thanked many involved by name.  He had involved conversations with many local Catholics, from diocesan staff to lay people who had hurried to the presser to meet him, and all came away very impressed.  He seemed to be happy to make time for local Catholics, to hear their views and any concerns they might have, and did not seem to be in a hurry to get away to more pressing engagements.  That’s again a bit of a change from what has been the experience of local Catholics in recent years.  I know I am far from the only involved local Catholic who found Bishop Farrell a man who was essentially impossible for most laity to reach, even well-connected, involved ones who had serious business to discuss.

It’s too soon to tell where Bishop-elect Burns lands on the matter of the Liturgy and Doctrine, but my contact is very hopeful there, too.  I did get further feedback from local pro-life leaders that they are very excited and expect good things from Burns.  Their brief introductions apparently gave them substantial hope for even more diocesan support of local pro-life, anti-abortion efforts.

Another hopeful sign is this: a local priest who has longed for years to offer Mass Ad Orientem is again doing so.  This priest had introduced Ad Orientem at Mass in 2008, intending the change to be permanent, but he was apparently forced to desist after only a few weeks.  You guys are well-informed readers, you can do the math from there.  I know this priest very well and dearly love him, and am so glad he is again able to offer Mass facing the tabernacle as has been the default practice in the Church for 15 or 16 centuries.

Well, praise God, it looks like Dallas will have a bishop that is, if not a hero of orthodox doctrine, at least approachable, possessed of a solid prayer life, and seems to bend at least somewhat conservative.  I know there are a few indications that have given some folks pause, but for now I will remain hopefully optimistic and give our new Bishop-elect Burns the benefit of the doubt, as he rightfully deserves.  Never a Pollyanna, I’ll certainly be watching his actions with interest and will call things as I see them, but until then, I’ll take these positive assessments from people I know and pray they play out into reality over the next few years.

People often tend to want to give the newcomer, especially an authority figure, the benefit of the doubt, until evidence proves out the contrary, but I think there is a reasonable expectation of hope here.

A New Miracle at Fatima, and the End of the World January 5, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, error, family, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, sickness, Society, The End, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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A sermon in two parts from the priest whose online presence is most warmly welcomed back.  He discusses the original Miracle of the Sun in 1917, and a new one that occurred this past year in Fatima, which was witnessed by about 100 pilgrims to that great Marian shrine.  The sermons are fairly long – the first, 38 minutes, the second, almost 43.  So, you’ll be investing quite a bit of time, in spite of the priest’s fast speech.  A huge amount of catechesis is contained herein, though much of the history of the original apparitions and miracles at Fatima may be review for most readers.

Regarding the new miracle that occurred, it happened on May 4, the day the Novena for Our Lady of Fatima typically starts.  It happened in the 99th year since the original Miracle of the Sun.

 

Sadly in these times almost all people, including Catholics, have very little Faith in Our Lady, take very little heed of the warning present in the Miracle of the Sun, and basically dismiss any thought that they will be held strictly accountable for their actions in their lives (Catholics even more strictly so), either at their individual judgment or when this world will cease to exist.  I am not as concerned as the priest is that Fatima, Francis, and other things point to an imminent Parousia.  But the message he conveys is just as valid whether the world is scheduled by God to end in 10 months, or in 10,000 years.

An absolutely chilling recounting of the horrors of dying in the Flood, and even surviving it in the Ark, closes out the sermon.  It’s worth listening to if only for that.

Moving on to part 2. Father leads off this second half of the sermon with a reassurance that, simply because many signs and portents may point to a relatively imminent end of the world, we don’t need to freak out and lose our sense of peace over that.  More than likely, every one reading this will face their individual judgment before the Last Judgment occurs, but even should the Last Judgment occurs in our lifetimes, what, precisely, should we be doing differently than what we should already be doing?  Be in the state of Grace, remain obedient, practice virtue, perform your vocation in life to the utmost of your ability, try to reach out to souls in charity by giving good example, etc., etc.  The point of the warnings is to make sure people know they REALLY REALLY REALLY need to be doing their duty, because the time is probably much shorter than they think, but that applies whether the Parousia is happening this year or not.  I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, whereas the Church has always declared that anyone who tries to fix a particular time for the end of the world is in error and cannot be believed.

Having said that, Father goes through the Apocalypse and various writings of Fathers and Doctors to explain how the end times will go down, starting with the Great Apostasy, which will occur within the Church toward the end of days.  He notes that most Church Fathers believe the Great Apostasy will start within the clergy and bishops, and from there spread out to the faithful, corrupting the vast majority of souls.

I’ll not steal any more of Father’s thunder and reveal how the sermon ends, but I think you will find it as edifying and helpful as yesterday’s.

Please say at least three Hail Mary’s for the priest.  He’s been relocated out of Texas.

So, While I Was Away, Dallas Got a New Bishop January 4, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, history, huh?, priests, secularism, Society.
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Edward Burns from, of all places, Juneau, AK, was named to replace departed <giggle> Cardinal <snort> Farrell about three weeks ago, while I was in beautiful but cold North Carolina.  This is a real under-the-radar kind of appointment.  Burns is not as young as I feared (59, meaning Dallas won’t be saddled with one man, great or disastrous, for thirty years, like Albany and Rochester have been), and he’s led a fairly low profile heretofore.  I’m not entirely certain, but there’s a good possibility that his former Diocese, Juneau, is the smallest in the nation.  Heck, it’s 6000 Catholics are smaller than probably 2/3 of the parishes in this diocese.

I’ll admit this appointment happened a great deal sooner than I thought.  Bishop Cardinal Farrell had said, before departing, that a replacement would be named within 2-3 months.  I scoffed at that, since other dioceses have waited 18-24 months to get replacements, but he was obviously better informed than I: the replacement was named just over 3 months after Farrell departed for his new sinecure in Rome.

New Bishop Burns hails originally from Pittsburgh, and got some love from Pope JPII (via Ratzinger) in being appointed one of the co-chairman of the apostolic investigation into the (deliberately engineered) vocations crisis in the US, and later was appointed to the Vatican review of US seminaries.  After that, however, he was sent back to Pittsburgh to the post he had held before he had been elevated to the USCCB in 1999, as rector of the diocesan seminary in Pittsburgh.  After an additional year in that role was apparently sufficient purgatory and he was then consecrated Bishop of Juneau by Benedict XVI in early 2009.  I don’t know if these moves signify a rising or falling star or are simply the vagaries of Church assignments for a man being groomed for the episcopate.  Beats me.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh under Bishop David Zubik is generally seen to be somewhat on the conservative side, I think, at least relatively speaking by 201X American standards.  What that means for our new Bishop Burns in Dallas is uncertain.  This guy does not have much of a paper trail, though he has been fairly reliably pro-life, at least in a few public pronouncements.  He doesn’t seem to be a screaming liberal, but I could be fooled.

I’m also uncertain what Burn’s appointment means for the Diocese.  It does seem something of a step down, from receiving the consummate insider (and clearly a man on the rise) in Farrell, who had been a protege of the notorious but highly influential Cardinal McCarrick, a big player in the politically important Archdiocese of Washington, DC, and a deeply committed USCCB apparatchik, to this guy, wonderful though he may be (or may not be) from the Diocese of North Pole.  Does that say something about how Dallas is perceived within the Church? Under Farrell, Dallas went from being something of a backwater with a scandalous recent past (the boy-rape scandals and decadent seminary situation being Farrell’s two biggest repair priorities in office) to being a destination, from being a place that received bishops from elsewhere to one that exported many into leadership positions in nearby dioceses.  Or is it a situation where a diocese in crisis merited an admittedly sharp administrator (if hardly an inspiring, doctrinally strong shepherd), and now that the crisis is supposedly past (though things continue to be buried), someone of a lower profile could be named as replacement?  I do not say any of this as a criticism of Burns, it’s simply comparing the very disparate past histories of two different men.

Some local pro-life folks have apparently met with Bishop-elect Burns and came away heartened.  So maybe he’ll be awesome.  My guess is that very little will change, practically speaking.  There isn’t anything in his background, that I have found, that indicates he might have a innate hostility towards Tradition, over and above what most men formed in his time and place have.  Of course, it’s difficult to say, most of this is just speculation off of a few thread of evidence.  If you have found documentation that indicates reasons for concern or elation, please share them.  My research has been limited to an afternoon and an evening during the break.  I admit I am mostly just spitballing in this post.

One thing that has changed, and I imagine this was planned under Farrell, is that the local pro-life Mass and march will be split into two days, and the march will be little more than a short stroll from the convention center to an empty parking lot on deserted, weekend downtown streets (the last bit being per usual, unfortunately).  This isn’t a major change, formerly held on one day with a Mass and a mile or so long march through downtown Dallas, the local pro-life March has, over the years, degenerated into a self-congratulatory spectacle garnering precious little media coverage and accomplishing mostly mutual back-patting. I don’t criticize those who participate, it’s certainly fine to get some reinforcement for one’s pro-life beliefs, but the March reaches basically no one who is not already converted and I don’t think it accomplishes a great deal in the defense of life in any concrete sense. As such, we’re going to just pray/counsel outside a mill, instead of participating in the March.  Unfortunately, in the wake of the court’s overturning of Texas HB2, mills that had closed down due to the bill are re-opening, like the notorious Northpark mill which is nearly complete.

As the World Grows More Wicked, It’s Time for Justice January 4, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, horror, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’m very heartened to see that the priest presenting the sermon below is back with an online presence.  Per SOP for these priests, I cannot mention his name though I certainly know him.  Something occurred towards the end of 2014 that somehow prevented this priest’s sermons from being presented online anymore.  While his personal website has not been updated since that time, starting about 3 months ago sermons from this priest began to appear on Sensus Fidelium.  Please, let’s not get into “name that priest” in the comments, nor expostulate on the reasons for his absence.  Let’s just be glad he’s back, and he’s in top form in the sermon below.  In fact, this priest, known rather well for his moral conviction and (very appropriate) righteous indignation, is about as morally offended in this sermon as I’ve ever heard him be.

The reason for that moral outrage has to do with the goings on at that highest levels of the Church, including the monstrous new Vatican website for “Catholic” sex education that features images and content the priest believes to be pornographic.  This website, which is intended to be the standard reference point for all Church catechesis in this morally fraught area, sort of slipped under the radar with all the other atrocities that have come to light over the past several months.  Yes there was coverage, but I don’t think the intensity or degree of concern was equal to the scandal this website should cause (due to its content, I’ll not be linking to it).

As he is wont to do, this priest presents a grand historical sweep, demonstrating in great deal concrete instances of God’s Justice in action against past societies that have fallen into the exact same kind of moral sewer we see around us today.  He exhorts souls to pray with great devotion for God’s mercy on us all, since we live in a time where the offenses against God have reached such a volume, and such extremes of action, that it seems inconceivable that God’s hand of righteous justice can be stayed much longer.

I pray you enjoy the sermon, and I apologize for my long absence.  I hoped to blog some over the break, but circumstances did not permit it.  Very glad to be back.

I hope to post more sermons from this priest in the coming days.