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Should I Even Bother? A Catalog of Recent Atrocities from the Bishop of Rome July 5, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Papa, Revolution, Sacraments, scandals, self-serving, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
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Yes, I said atrocities.  What else can you say when the man given the office of the Chair of Peter, chosen to be Christ’s sweet vicar on earth, accompanied by unimaginable torrents of Grace if he would only avail himself of them, instead of adhering to his own, stupid will, says that priests should butt out of people’s moral lives?

At a general audience after the conference, the Pope was asked about how to balance Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage while welcoming Catholics who are divorced and remarried.

Francis replied that neither “rigorism nor laxity” was the right response. “The Gospel chooses another way: welcoming, accompanying, integrating, discerning, without putting our noses in the ‘moral life’ of other people,” he said.

Is that not an atrocious statement?  Is it not, at some fundamental level, a profoundly anti-Catholic statement?  No amount of burying our heads in the sand or attempts at explanation can even begin to limit the damage a statement like this causes.

In a sense, however, Francis is forced into such statements by his own ideology.  If the divorced and remarried – living, in many cases, manifestly immoral lives, which much blame for the original divorce, and thoroughly lacking any real repentance in that regard – are to be allowed to receive the Blessed Sacrament, to carry on as if they ARE attempting to lead solid, moral lives, then of course priests would have to totally ignore the myriad moral failings of many of their sheep, and simply pretend that all is just peachy.

This is not Catholicism, however.  It is straight up protestantism, as we saw last week.  In order to continue his great project in remaking the Church in the light of Martin Luther and Immanuel Kant, such statements become inevitable.  Confession goes out the window, unless it is “confession” for fashionable, worldly “corporate sins,” like poverty or supposed environmental degradation.

We also see just how banal and morally corrupt this “accompaniment” proclaimed by Francis really is.  It’s nothing but “I’m OK You’re OK We’re All OK” encounter therapy writ large – a perfect embodiment of the progressive zeitgeist of which Francis is so fervent an acolyte.

But that’s not all!  After all, there are seven days in a week, and Francis can apparently hardly let one go by without some assault on the Faith or another.  To that end, Francis declared how he decapitates opposition from “ultraconservatives” and had some – for a change – interesting things to say about Pope Benedict’s unprecedented abdication:

When asked how he was getting along with the “ultra-Conservatives,” Pope Francis – without challenging this depreciative description of the ostensibly orthodox part of the prelates – claims that “they say ‘no’ to everything” in relation to his own proposed reforms. As reported by La Nacion, he more specifically says:

“They do their work, I do mine. I want an open and understanding Church which accompanies the wounded families. They say ‘no’ to everything. I continue my path without being sidetracked. I do not behead people [sic]. I never have liked it. Let me repeat: I reject conflict.” He [Pope Francis] concluded with a conspicuous smile: “You remove a nail by applying pressure upwards. Or you tranquilize them, put them to the side, when they reach retirement age.” [emphasis added] [Or you force them out, on thoroughly specious, if convenient, grounds, as in the case of Bishop Robert Finn, among others]

At least he had the wherewithal to admit, though not in so many words, that he views the most orthodox, “conservative” prelates as his ideological opponents, to be anesthetized as events permit.

Now, to those comments on Pope Benedict:

He was a revolutionary. In the meeting with cardinals, shortly before the March 2013 Conclave, he told us that one of us was going to be the next pope and that he did not know his name. His generosity was unparalleled. His resignation brought to light all of the Church’s problems. His resignation had nothing to do with personal issues. It was an act of government – his last act of government. [emphasis added]

Here, Francis appears to be slamming the door on the hypothesis of Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Benedict’s long-time aid, who recently posited that maybe there was a sort of duarchy working in the papacy with his boss’s abdication.  That is, Francis was the “active” pope, while Benedict was the contemplative one. This is, of course, nonsense, and would completely obliterate the notion of papacy as it has always been understood by the Church. I was really shocked to read such doctrinal shlock from a guy like Ganswein who is supposed to be very bright and at least fairly orthodox – it only confirmed for me either how desperate the guy is, or how deep the rot has become.

Now, regarding Francis’ claim that Benedict’s abdication had nothing to do with personal issues – that certainly fits in with my surmise from the moment this abdication was announced. I also agree the abdication was a revolutionary act, in at least two senses.  It was unprecedented,  yes (Pope Celestine was a very different case), but it was also revolutionary in what it subsequently unleashed.

One could almost read from the above that Pope Benedict’s abdication was a final, deliberate surrender to the forces he had opposed for 40+ years, ever since the young, radical theologian at Vatican II realized the chaos and destruction he had helped unleash (thus, the “generosity”).  From Francis’ standpoint, Benedict’s relative orthodoxy would have been the source of all the Church’s problems. His abdication, then, revealed the total failure of the restorationist project, in Francis’ mind, perhaps.  Of course, it is very convenient for Francis to imply that Benedict’s last act was, indeed, a surrender to the progressive faction of the Church.

We’ll see if there are subsequent revelations.  One thing progressives love to do is to gloat when victorious.  That’s how we found out about the “St. Gallen group” in the first place.  Is the above a little bit of revelation from Francis, or him just talking nonsense again?  I have my own beliefs, obviously, but ultimately I leave it to you to decide.

I have another question for you readers – do you find the coverage of Francis helpful, maddening, pointless, or?  I’m of two minds – while I feel we now know this man to a T, and further revelations may only serve to aggravate, at the same time, it’s hard to turn away from a car wreck,  you know?  Plus, it is important, at least for the record, for someone, anyone, to say “this is wrong,” or “this is not Catholic.”  But, I don’t want to be boring, beat you down, or, God forbid, cause people to lose faith.

This is an important point, maybe too important to leave appended to the end of a long post. I may repost this as a stand alone tomorrow.  I do appreciate your input.  I can’t guarantee it will result in any change, but I will absolutely consider your comments seriously.

Every week a new low for Francis June 17, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, disaster, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, pr stunts, Revolution, Sacraments, scandals, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
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Sorry I’ve been away from the blog all week.  That could not be helped, for a variety of reasons.

I guess I waited till the right day to blog (or maybe the wrong one) given Francis’ twin disastrous statements of yesterday, June 16.  In them, as I’m certain you’re already aware, Francis both declared that the great majority (60%, 70%, 80%, 99.999%?!?) of sacramental marriages are null, and that many cohabitations are “real marriages.”  As he did a week ago, Francis has inverted the truth and elevated falsehood in its place:

Pope Francis said Thursday that the great majority of sacramental marriages today are not valid, because couples do not enter into them with a proper understanding of permanence and commitment…….

……“We live in a culture of the provisional,” the Pope said in impromptu remarks June 16. After addressing the Diocese of Rome’s pastoral congress, he held a question-and-answer session……

………“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say “yes, for the rest of my life!” but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”……

………He said that in Argentina’s northeast countryside, couples have a child and live together. They have a civil wedding when the child goes to school, and when they become grandparents they “get married religiously.” [And what did Francis do to break this pattern, as primate of Argentina?  Or did he just blithely go along, as a force somehow not only out of his control, but one to be co-opted to the end of radically changing the Church along the leftist-inspired lines he has always sought?]

“It’s a superstition, because marriage frightens the husband. It’s a superstition we have to overcome,” the Pope said. “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity, but there are local superstitions, etc.

Look at what he’s saying: sacramental marriage = falsity/unreality, cohabitation = reality/genuineness/truth.  Gotcha. It hasn’t taken as long as I thought for the mask to fully drop.

There has been a flood of commentary already, some of it edifying, some of it embarrassing in still refusing to see the truth of this papacy, which is evolving – sorry, has evolved – into nothing short of a direct, open assault on the entire Doctrine of the Faith (as traditional critics have maintained from the very beginning, and for which they have earned nothing but opprobrium from neo-Catholics).

I do find Rorate’s coverage particularly helpful, in that they show how previous documents of the pontificate of Franky George Bergoglio have paved the way for exactly the kind of outrageous, one might even say diabolical, statement made yesterday.  Not only that, but Rorate provides a concrete example of how Francis has put this error into practice in the past, basically encouraging a family member to contract a scandalous, adulterous civil union outside the Church with a man who was part of a valid Church marriage.

I also found this summary from One Peter Five very powerful:

If the pope’s view is that 50 percent of Catholic marriages are invalid, it is not just an insult to our natural human ability to marry, but also an insult to St. Paul, who said that the moral law is written on men’s hearts. And it’s an insult to God’s grace to imagine that our own age is somehow different, that we cannot depend on God’s help to live out the vocations He gives us.

How many insults can we stand?  Last week, Francis turned the Magisterium on its head by declaring clear doctrinal formulations to be heretical, this week, he does the same for the Sacrament of Marriage.  This man is ripping the Doctrine of the Faith to shreds, and at the same time, encouraging the mass spread of moral misery by working to convince those in troubled marriages to give up.  How many will go ahead and get divorced now, who might have fought through, because of these horrendous statements?  As always, it is the children who will suffer the most for leftist folly.

One must wonder if a fair number of US bishops and diocesan courtesans are not now jumping up and down for joy, seeing their process of declaring virtually every marriage that ends in civil divorce annulled vindicated?  The horror is, what was once clearly recognized as an abuse even a few short years ago, is now preached from the housetops of Sancta Marthae in Rome as the Lord’s own truth, even though it isn’t, and never could be.

I don’t know what will be left of the Church by the time this man and his successor(s) are finished, but it wont’ be much.  If we didn’t have Our Blessed Lord’s promise to always preserve the Church, I would be given to despair.

And so the process started at Vatican II drives towards its inexorable conclusion.  May God have mercy on us all.

Comments closed on this post.  Just because Francis is nuts and likely evil doesn’t mean he’s not the pope – but even if that were somehow in question, who, precisely, can make that judgment?  And don’t quote Bellarmine to me, you are still the one doing the judging.  Elevating oneself to his formal judge (not just of specific acts, or even agendas, but of what he is, what he constitutes, what office he holds or loses) is something I will never arrogate to myself.  You may disagree………but not here. At least not anymore.  I will not allow this blog to be a vehicle for sede propaganda, and would rather shut down all comments or cease blogging than allow it to become so.

First, last, and only warning, or bannings will begin.  I don’t care what you think about my policy, that’s it.

Query: is it possible for traditional parishes to become too large? May 10, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, Sacraments, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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We have been blessed by a particular “problem” at our local FSSP parish.  This church has grown like wildfire since it moved out of the convent and into its own facility, a converted Korean Methodist church that was rundown when bought but which has been restored to something quite nice.  Since that time, roughly the beginning of 2010, the parish has at least doubled in attendance, with a fourth Sunday Mass added recently and more and more new faces showing up every week.

I don’t have updates on the latest Sunday attendance figures over Holy Week but I’m quite certain they are now surpassing 1000 souls per Sunday.  That’s quite small by typical NO parish sizes, but makes our local parish perhaps the largest, in terms of weekly attendance, traditional parish in the world.

Mind, this is after two priests were permanently assigned to a parish in Fort Worth, 30 miles away, and two priests are also in Tyler, 90 miles away.  The three priests at our parish are swamped, and there is talk of bringing in a fourth.

Which gets to my question – is there an optimal size for traditional parishes?  Traditional Catholic parishes are much more than just the Mass, they are the community, they are the intimate involvement of the priests in every level of catechesis, they are Sacraments always offered by priests and not deacons, they are communities where the priests try to visit the homes of every parishioner at least once (and generally, more than that).  This is to say, a priest at a traditional parish is a true father to the souls in his charge, attempting to know all the families at least a little bit and taking great concern over the state of their souls.

As such, at a certain size, no matter how many priests are assigned, can a traditional parish not outgrow itself?  Would it not be better to build a new parish to split some of the congregation off?  Is that not what the Church did for centuries?  And weren’t most parishes, outside the largest urban areas, smaller in attendance than the (it must be said) ludicrous situations we have today, where two priests supposedly supply pastoral care to a notional 15,000 families?

To me, the situation in Dallas is getting to the point where serious consideration for a second traditional parish should be underway.  It is not unforeseeable that the current parish could have 2000 people assisting on a given Sunday within a decade, after the new church gets built (as we’ve outgrown the one acquired in 2010).  Even with 3 confessionals, can you imagine the lines?!

Add to that the factor that many souls drive 20, 30, 50, even 100 miles to assist at Mass.  Much of the parish attendance comes from the northern suburbs, and I’m positive that should a second Fraternity or other traditional parish open in Plano or McKinney, there would be no problem with attendance or funding.  But would Bishop Farrell allow it?  I keep hearing the words of a local diocesan (non-FSSP) priest ringing in my ears – “the Traditional Mass will never be offered  in this diocese outside Mater Dei.”

What do you think?  Do you agree that traditional parishes are best if they don’t grow beyond a certain size?  Believe me, this is not a “I want this to myself” complaint, I constantly invite folks to Mater Dei, but I’m concerned that much of what makes a traditional parish special can be lost if it becomes too much of a behemoth. I think there is also a practical benefit in having more than one location, as there are more than a few folks who would assist at a TLM were it 10 minutes away, instead of 45 minutes to an hour.  Might not four priests spread among 2 parishes not result in more folks assisting at the TLM than four priests at one parish?  Isn’t bringing more souls back to the traditional practice of the Faith, and giving them the best shot at Heaven, the point of it all?

But really, it’s mine all MINE and I want you OUT!

Francis to extend SSPX faculties for Confession? April 13, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, Interior Life, Sacraments, Spiritual Warfare, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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Beats me.  Nothing would surprise me anymore.  It has long been said of Cardinal Mahony that while he is crazy liberal, he operated his diocese in a kind of “do what feels good” manner that also permitted some freedom of action even to orthodox Catholics.  Perhaps Pope Francis is the same.  While the below does not come from an unbiased source – it comes from the leader of the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay – it is now reported that Francis intends to extend the faculties of the SSPX for Confession beyond the scarifying Year of Mercy:

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the SSPX,  celebrated the Mass for Good Shepherd Sunday with his two Assistants General.

A few days earlier he had met with Pope Francis during a very positive meeting which strengthened ties between the Holy See and the Society founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Despite the publication of the Post-Synodal Exhortation, which “makes us cry,” he revealed some “happiness” from the interview

The Pope confirmed that the SSPX was Catholic in his eyes

He confirmed that he never would condemn it

He confided that he wishes to expand the faculties of the SSPX, starting with the authorization of its priests to validly hear confession.

Finally, during the talks in Rome, Bishop Fellay was encouraged to establish a seminary in Italy.

Are heads exploding among the SSPX-SO? I have no idea.  If Francis is succeeded by a similarly progressive pontiff, will he be as inclined to a go-go mentality?  The concern of the SSPX-SO has always been that any “deal” with “modernist Rome” would inevitably lead to an undermining of the SSPX’s mission and immediate attempts at co-opting by the forces of modernism.  Given the experience of Campos, that’s not a totally unfounded fear, but we’re still miles away from that.  I have heard from a number of folks, however, who wonder if it might not paradoxically take a very liberal pope, one not “hung up” on doctrinal definitions and issues of authority and mission, to bring about a reconciliation with the SSPX.

Wonders never cease, I suppose.  Or weird stuff happens.  h/t reader Tim

Hugh Owen giving talk on traditional Catholic approach to marriage Tues Mar 16 March 13, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, Revolution, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Hugh Owen of the very good Kolbe Center for the study of Creation is going to give a talk at Mater Dei parish in Irving, TX from 7-9p this Tuesday, March 16 2016.  The talk will be titled “Marriage Made in Heaven: The Creation of Adam and Eve and the Foundations of Holy Marriage.”  Knowing Owen’s work, it should be a highly informative evening.  I also expect that the ongoing attacks on marriage and the errors from which these attacks stem will also be at least a tangential topic addressed.  There should be some powerful material presented to help comprehend how to resist the attempted destruction of marriage and the family and develop and even stronger conception of God’s intent, as revealed through the Church, towards marriage and the family.

I hope to see you there!

Papal rescript on annulment “reform” permits no recourse from quickie annulments January 14, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, different religion, disaster, episcopate, family, General Catholic, horror, Papa, Revolution, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
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Early last fall, Pope Francis issued a motu proprio substantially revising the Church’s law regarding the issuance of annulments.  One of the most controversial provisions was a new “quickie” route to annulment, requiring bishops to decide decrees of nullity within 45 days of application.  Given how busy our bishops like to ask, it seems such a short period would lead to the most cursory of reviews, at best, and simply an annulment factory, at worst.

Even more disturbing, according to Christopher Ferrara, is that the formal guidance, of rescript, issued on the motu proprio by Pope Francis last month now leaves absolutely zero recourse to the defendant in a quickie decree of nullity, meaning spouses seeking to abandon their partner and shack up with a new one will have the potential ability to “pull fast ones” from which the abandoned spouse cannot appeal so seek any other redress:

In the rescript Pope Francis has issued “regarding the implementation of the recent reforms to the Church’s marriage law,” there is a provision whose immense significance has not been lost on canon law experts.  Here it is:

“No recourse is allowed before the Roman Rota for a Nova Causae Propositio (N.C.P.), after one of the parties has contracted a new canonical marriage, unless the injustice of the decision is manifestly established.”

What this means in simple terms is that if one party to marriage obtains a quickie annulment at the diocesan level, the party opposing the annulment cannot even introduce a new cause or grounds for contesting the annulment in the Roman Rota, to which decrees of nullity from the dioceses are appealed, if the other party has rushed into a new Church wedding. [This entirely short-circuits the entire process of appeal, basing a decree of nullity entirely on a possibly flawed diocesan decree]

In essence, a new Church wedding while the matrimonial proceedings are still pending effectively ends the proceedings by establishing the finality of the diocesan annulment merely by the actions of the other party — rather than through exhaustion of the annulment process itself, which is supposed to be based on the search for the objective truth about a marriage whose validity has always been presumed under Church law. [Objective truth is so pre-conciliar!  Get with the program, man, it’s all about feelings and will to power now!]

In an article entitled “It’s Liftoff for the New Procedures for ‘Failed’ Marriages. But Such Confusion,” Sandro Magister presents an Italian language commentary by a respected canonist, Guido Ferro Canale.  Canale warns that the net effect is to leave the party contesting the annulment of his or her marriage based on some newly discovered grounds…..effectively in the position of someone challenging an already final judgment under Church law, even if Francis’ rescript does not say so explicitly………

……….The implications are devastating.  For example, a cheating husband married for many years could abandon his wife and children, obtain an annulment and then immediately have a Church wedding with the new partner of his choice — in the same diocese that granted the annulment![And all in the space of 7 or 8 weeks!] He would thus effectively bring to a halt the wife’s effort to defend the marriage bond on appeal to the Rota.  She would have been given the classic bum’s rush out of the marriage, along with the children. [Isn’t it interesting, that for all the progressive paeans to empowering women and overcoming the dread effects of the bad old patriarchy, that almost all of their prescriptions wind up leaving women, and especially children, in a dramatically worse position than they ever were before?  Feminism reduces single women to floozies that a succession of men hit, quit, and forget leaving them empty, broken, angry, and often pregnant or diseased.  Divorce has left many women and children lonely, much poorer, and demoralized. ]

This outcome, Canale observes, “is equivalent to saying that the new union is entirely meritorious in itself, without even a reference to the good faith of the contracting parties. To the point of precluding the ascertainment of the truth concerning the preceding union.” As he concludes: “It has never been licit to take an action where there is doubt about whether it is sinful; otherwise, to accept the risk is equivalent to committing the sin itself” — in this case, the sin of adultery. [That’s oldthink!  Badthink!  Arrest that man!]

In his rescript Francis declares that his “reforms” of the Church’s marriage laws are aimed at “the multitude of those who live the drama of marital failure…” Marital failure?  But a decree of annulment is supposed to mean only that there never was a marriage and thus no marriage to “fail.” Indeed, because a sacramental marriage is indissoluble and the parties to it are unalterably configured to Christ in Holy Matrimony, to speak of “marital failure” at all — much less a multitude of “marital failures” — is to suggest precisely what critics of these reforms fear: the advent of “Catholic divorce.” [Of which many innocent men and women, but especially children, will get to pay the ultimate price.]

And I think that little slip there at the end might be entirely revealing, that Francis has fully bought into the idea of divorce as a real and valid thing (remember his admiration for protestant thinking), and thus sees marriage as something transient that can fail, and be replaced/repeated, perhaps several times.

But, thank God, Cardinal Maradiaga has said that Pope Francis would never permit pseudo-sodo-marriage, as being something a bridge too far.  As with all progressive promises, however, certainly this one comes with an expiration date.  It’s too far, for now.  For this generation of modernists.  Probably not for the next, though.

Reminds me of this goofy old song:

New Franciscan “gospel of mercy” yielding predictable results: impiety, hardness of heart January 13, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, catachesis, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, Papa, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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Sandro Magister has an article at Chiesa that includes a letter he received from an Italian priest.  That priest relates how souls are now using the new, false gospel of mercy to refuse correction in the confessional, and, even more, express an unrepentant, almost proud attitude towards their sins, even very grave ones (including abortion).  They basically go into the confessional now expecting absolution (and approval to receive the Blessed Sacrament, which is odd) irrespective of their lack of contrition or their total lack of purpose of amendment.  And they often directly quote Pope Francis in defense of their new-found reprobate sense.

Magister prefaces that letter with a number of statistics…….the attitude that Pope Francis is instilling in souls is bearing its inevitable fruit.  When people are told that ancient, cherished beliefs, fought for and defended for so long, no longer really matter, and that God is just a cosmic Pez dispenser of endless forgiveness and salvation in spite of our sinfulness and lack of faith, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that many souls will conclude all this religion stuff is a bunch of hooey, and that they are just as well blowing it all off and watching football on Sunday.  IOW, when the hierarchy attacks the Doctrine of the Faith, the faithful respond by falling away in huge droves.

First, some of Magister’s statistics:

At the Wednesday general audiences there was a drop from 1,199,000 visitors in 2014 to 704,100 in 2015. While for the Sunday Angelus the fall was from 3,040,000 to 1,585,000.

…….Other revelations are much more indicative in this regard. For example, the official figures that ISTAT compiles every year in Italy on the daily life of a gigantic sampling of citizens, made up of almost 24,000 families, for a total of 54,000  individuals residing in 850 cities large and small.

In the most recent annual report made public, relative to 2014, the “percentage of persons over the age of 6 who go to a place of worship at least once a week” turned out to be 28.8 percent……..

…….During the seven years of the pontificate of Benedict XVI, this same indicator was consistently above 30 percent in Italy, on average around 32-33 percent. Decisively higher than in 2014, the first full year of the pontificate of Francis and the one in which his popularity reached its peak. [So can it be inferred that Francis is directly responsible for a ~5% falloff in Mass attendance in a single year, a HUGE figure and one that represents an enormous tragedy for hundreds of thousands of souls?]

Now to excerpts from the priest’s incredible letter:

The facts are these. Since the opening of the Holy Year backed by Pope Francis and on the occasion of the Christmas festivities of 2015 – as also since Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been sitting on the throne of Peter – the number of faithful who approach the confessional has not increased, neither in ordinary time nor in festive. The trend of a progressive, rapid diminution of the frequency of sacramental reconciliation that has characterized recent decades has not stopped. On the contrary: the confessionals of my church have been largely deserted. [The priest earlier related that he makes an effort to offer Confession frequently]

I have sought comfort for this bitter consideration by imagining that the basilicas connected to the Holy Year in Rome or in other cities, or the shrines and convents, have been able to attract a larger number of penitents. But a round of phone calls to some fellow priests who regularly hear confessions in these places (using the opportunity of the Christmas wishes that I extend every year) has confirmed my observation: lines of penitents that are anything but long, everywhere, even less than at the festivities of past years…….[Doctrinal indifference leads to sacramental indifference, and soon, a total collapse of faith]

…….Distrusting the value of the numbers, because even the salvation of one soul has an infinite value in the eyes of God, I reviewed the “quality” of the confessions I have heard and I asked – while respecting the secret of the confessional concerning the identity of the penitent – for news from a few fellow confessors of long experience. The picture that presents itself is certainly not a happy one, both concerning the awareness of sin and in reference to the awareness of the prerequisites for obtaining God’s forgiveness (in this case as well, I know that the term “forgiveness” is giving way to “mercy” and is in danger of being mothballed soon, but at what theological, spiritual, and pastoral cost?). [An incalculable one, to be sure]

[Now for the amazing tales…….] Two examples stand for all. One middle-aged gentleman whom I asked, with discretion and delicacy, if he had repented of a repeated series of grave sins against the seventh commandment “do not steal,” of which he had accused himself with a certain frivolity and almost joking about the circumstances, certainly not attenuating, that had accompanied them, responded to me with the words of Pope Francis: “Mercy knows no limits” and by showing surprise that I would remind him of the need for repentance and for the resolution to avoid falling back into the same sin in the future: “I did what I did. What I will do I will decide when I go from here. What I think about what I have done is a question between me and God. I am here only to have what everyone deserves at least at Christmas: to be able to receive communion at midnight!” And he concluded by paraphrasing the now archfamous expression of Pope Francis: “Who are you to judge me?” [Simply one instance of this kind is an incredible damnation of the errors people are absorbing from this pontificate. Words and actions have huge consequences at times.  Off the cuff statements can be incredibly damaging.  We now have souls falling into the gravest of sin, and, even worse, assuming titanic presumption regarding their status with regard to salvation and God’s infinite mercy, and infinitesimal justice. Each one of these souls represents a human tragedy of infinite proportions, and experience shows that those invincibly convinced by Church authorities (and this from the very highest) of erroneous beliefs are almost impossible to persuade otherwise, because they have heard what they have always wanted to hear, they have been confirmed in their sin from an authoritative source. That is the tragedy of this pontificate on an individual level.]

One young lady, to whom I had proposed as an act of penance connected to the sacramental absolution of a grave sin against the fifth commandment “do not kill” [almost certainly an abortion] that she kneel in prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament exposed on the altar of a church and perform an act of material charity toward a poor person to the extent of her means, responded to me with annoyance that “no one must ask for anything in exchange for God’s mercy, because it is free,” and that she had neither the time to stop at a church to pray (she had to “run around doing Christmas shopping downtown”), nor money to give to the poor (“who don’t even need it that much, because they have more than we do”). [Do you see the kind of titanic hubris, a veritable permanent antidote to humility, that is being created?]

It is evident that a certain message, at least as received from the pope and come down to the faithful, easily lends itself to being misunderstood, mistaken, and therefore of no help in the maturation of a sure and upright conscience in the faithful concerning their sins and the conditions of their remission in the sacrament of reconciliation.

I haven’t much else to add.  These are souls who may well never find their way back to the life of Grace.  And I’m certain they are not the only two examples possible, I would wager there are tens or hundreds of thousands like them around the world right now.  They have been taught that the Blessed Sacrament is a “right,” not an incredible gift of which we shall always remain completely  unworthy, even if our practice of the Faith and virtue by of enormous sanctity.  And I imagine these folks are waltzing their way out of the Church, waltzing to Francis’ tune.  There really are not words for this, it’s really an unspeakable tragedy.

Thanks to reader FM for the link.

 

Cool idea, or going a bit far? Diocese of Lafayette rolls out mobile confessional December 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, priests, Sacraments, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Reader D sent this to me.  The Diocese of Lafayette, under the leadership of Bishop Charles Jarrell, who has taken one of the strongest stands against the enormous evil of Supreme Court imposition of pseudo-sodo-marriage of any US prelate, has rolled out a converted ambulance as a mobile confessional (annoying auto video play at link).  I’m all for making the great and underused Sacrament of Confession much more available.  I think this idea has some merit in theory, but I have to wonder if this will not come off as a bit gimmicky?  What do you think?

The Lafayette Diocese has created a new and easier way for outreach with the Catholic Church.

They’ve converted an old ambulance into a mobile confessional called a spiritual care unit. With a  picture of Jesus and Bible verses on the side, the new unit is for spiritual emergencies, specifically remodeled for prayer and confessions.

“It’s a way that we can give some pride and public expression of our Catholic faith that is not just meant for the walls of the church, but on the streets,” Father Michael Champagne, a priest at Lafayette Diocese, said. [OK.  I can see that. There may be some merit.  BTW, Fr. Champagne wears a cassock.]

The unit is  part of Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy that begins on December 8. Thanks to an anonymous donation, it took two weeks to complete the unit that Champagne calls a church on wheels. 

“We need to go to where people are. People come to the church as a center of worship and pray, but we also have to do outreach,” Champagne said.  [I’m warming to the concept.]

Not only is the vehicle a way to bring more people to the Catholic church, but it makes going to confession easier for people with busy schedules.

“Pope Francis is asking us to go out of to the peripheries of the church and now we have the means to do that,” Bishop Michael Jarrell said. [Almost a bit cheeky, but this is a response to the Year of Mercy I could get behind, so long as the Sacrament is not cheapened in any way.  Making Confession more available is to me such a huge necessity.  I think it should normally be accomplished by vastly increasing the hours priests are available for Confession (like, 2 or so every day, minimum!) and by priests and bishops stressing the great importance of this Sacrament in sermons and other efforts throughout the year.  But a mobile confessional is far from the worse expression of mercy we’ll see in the coming year, I imagine]

Inside the unit there are Bibles, rosaries and even holy water. It’s fully equipped to spiritually care for others.

“There’s no sin in the world that’s too big for God’s mercy,” Champagne said. “We want to extend and preach the gospel of mercy to our people.”

The spiritual care unit will make stops around Acadiana beginning on December 8, for the beginning for the holy year of mercy. 

And as a relatively large diocese with a widely dispersed rural population, and surely a paucity of priests as everywhere, this is not a bad way to get folks into the confessional.  Overall, I think this is a good idea, and a way of implementing the upcoming Year of Mercy that stresses the traditional, sacramental practice of the Faith while also going out to those peripheries.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of those roll in the Diocese of Dallas!  Just about anything that gets souls into the confessional, that great locus of conversion and true application of mercy (and not the false mercy of the world and the worldlings in collar), is something I can get behind.

Good job Bishop Jarrell. Pretty neat idea.  I’m interested to see if it really gets used a lot and does get more souls into the confessional.

Some Random Good Quotes from a 19th Century Catechism October 29, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, priests, reading, Sacraments, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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OK, the version I’m quoting was actually updated about 1905, but the bulk of the book was written in the 1880s.  I simply don’t have time to post any long excerpts right now – though I sure have some good material I’d like to upload – so I’m just going to put out some random quotes from The Catechism Explained by Spirago-Clarke as I wind up reading the book.  It’s as good a Catechism as I’ve read in many regards, though I’d say in certain areas This Is the Faith by Canon Ripley and My Catholic Faith are better.

Anyway, I’m running out of time (work again), so here goes:

Confession is profitable to the individual insomuch as he derives form it self-knowledge, delicacy of conscience, interior peace, strength of character, and moral purity.

By comparing all that he has done or left undone with the low of God’s commandments, the penitent learns to know his own heart. His conscience also speaks more clearly.  By frequent confession the Law of God is more deeply impressed on the heart of man; when tempted to sin, the commandment he is about to break presents itself to his mind.  The mere thought of confession also acts as a deterrent from sin; some persons abstain from sin because they could not bear to tell it to the priest. [I know that works with me! That’s a powerful argument in favor of having a regular confessor]  Experience proves how great a relief confession is to the mind of one who has committed a grievous sin.  The impulse to confess one’s misdeeds is inherent in human nature; confession answers to this feeling, and the assurance of pardon affords the greatest consolation. Confession also increases strength of character, for by it we learn to overcome ourselves. Moreover the Holy Ghost enlightens our understanding and fortifies our will, and the more steadfastly the will is inclined to what is good, the more strength of character we shall possess.  Confession, being it itself an act of humility, cannot fail to make a man humble, and humility is the foundation of all moral perfection.  Proud people have the greatest aversion to confession.  It is a means of freeing ourselves from the fetters of the devil, for by telling the truth when it would be so easy to deceive, and the temptation to conceal is often experienced, we throw off the yoke of the father of lies, and turn to Him Who is eternal Truth.  And the less power the devil has over a man, the more easily he will draw nigh to God. The first step in amendment of life is to go to confession.  “Before applying thyself to good deeds,” says St. Augustine, “confess thy misdeeds.”

If anyone should relapse into mortal sin, let him forthwith repent and go to Confession; for the longer penance is delayed, the more difficult, the more uncertain conversion will be. [And the longer we remain with a number of venial sins on our conscience, and allow those sins to gnaw at our character, the greater the chance of falling into mortal sin]

It is the opinion of the Fathers that as almighty God has appointed beforehand the number of talents to be confided to each individual, so He has fixed the number of sins which shall be forgiven to each; when this number is complete, there is no more pardon to be found. St. Augustine says that the long-suffering God bears with the sinner up to a certain point; after that he cannot obtain forgiveness. [Both St. Thomas and St. Alphonsus, perhaps the two greatest moral Doctors beside Augustine, say exactly the same]

“The Christian,” says St. Augustine, “will be questioned not about the beginning, but the end of his life.” 

The more good work we have done, the less we must fear damnation.

Unremitting prayer is an excellent means of persevering in justice.

An indulgence is by no means a remission of mortal sin and the eternal punishment due to it; these must already be remitted before an indulgence can be gained. It is not absolution from sin, but the remission , partial or plenary, of satisfaction due to sin.  It is not a means of evading the Sacrament of Penance and rendering sin easy; on the contrary, it obliges us to a real conversion of life. 

Without suffering no man can be saved; even the Immaculate Mother of God, who was free from all sin, had no small measure of suffering as her lot on earth.

Confession should precede Extreme  Unction, because the recipient of the Sacrament should be in the state of grace. Extreme Unction is a remedy; and as medicine is for the living, not the dead, so this Sacrament is of no utility to those who are spiritually dead.  [Which causes me to shake my head at how the “Sacrament of Anointing” is received en masse by every single person at these regular communal services so many parishes have these days. How many of those receiving this Sacrament are in reality spiritually dead?  Does anyone call for Confession before the reception of this Sacrament, which is handed out in a manner strikingly similar to the abuse of the Blessed Sacrament, with long lines and indifferent reception?]

All men cannot be priests (Eph iv:11, I Cor xii:29).  Yet we frequently find all the faithful spoken of as priests (I Pet ii:9), inasmuch as they ought to accomplish to the glory of God good works which are in a certain measure a spiritual oblation; they are priests insofar as they immolate themselves in the service of God as spiritual victims.  In the same sense the faithful in general are spoken of as kings, because they ought to rule over their fleshly lusts.  [We hear progressive priests and others in the Church call for the diminution of the sanctity of the priesthood and the devolving of sacred roles – like distributing the Blessed Sacrament – to lay people under this mistaken notion of the “common priesthood of the people of God.”  This explanation explodes that myth.]

Our Lord say: “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He send laborers forth into His harvest” (Matt ix:38).  Remember that a priest is the salvation or the perdition of his flock.  In the Old Testament we read that when other scourges were of no avail to turn the people, hardened to sin, from their evil ways, God sent upon them the heaviest scourge of all, wicked and corrupt priests. [We must be so very, very wicked.  Lord, have mercy and convert us to virtue and faithfulness!] Let us therefore make it our continual prayer, that we may have good priests.  The Ember days are appointed specifically for this purpose. [Do you observe the fasts and penance of the Ember days?] Special prayer should be offered to the Holy Ghost, for unless a priest is enlightened by the Holy Ghost we may apply to him the words: “If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.”

——–End Quote——–

There is a lot of other gold I hope to get to in the coming days.  That’s all I have time for tonight.

A most un-feminist catechesis on the Duties of the Married from a 19th century catechism October 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, manhood, Sacraments, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I have long held a concern that feminist rhetoric has resulted in silent downplaying of, and even deviations from, what was once widely accepted Church Doctrine on many matters related to relations between the sexes.  The exerpts below from the Spirago-Clarke Catechism of the 1880s Eastman-Johnson-Christmas-Time(updated in the 1900s) may be very controversial to some, but I believe they were completely normal and acceptable to virtually all in the Church in the time in which they were written.  Given that, perhaps we should all carefully consider the degree to which we may have, inadvertently or no, come to accept certain claims of radical feminism over the past several decades.  Certainly this catechesis is a marked rebuke to things like the readings of the Novus Ordo, which were carefully crafted to excise such “problematic” portions of Scripture such as St. Paul’s direction to women in I Corinthians and Ephesians.

Some of the below may appear pretty strong. It may make some mad.  But I have to say that only illustrates my point, even as realize that I, as a man, may still hold certain “liberated” ideas.  You may also note how strongly the very counter-cultural (for today) catechesis below is supported by Sacred Scripture.

Consider the below a tonic for the noxious emanations of the modernists at the Synod:

The following are the duties incumbent on married persons: It is the duty of the wife to obey her husband, as the man is the head of the family, the representative of God.

That a man is superior to the woman is shown by the fact that he was created first, and the woman was only created of his flesh, and as a helper for him (I Cor xi:9).  The man being the head of the family, the woman is subservient to him, as the members of the body are to the head.  The Apostle says: “As the Church is subject to Christ, so also let the wife be to the husband in all things” (Eph v:24) [You sure won’t find THAT anywhere in the Novus Ordo readings!] The woman is commanded to cover her head in the church, to indicate that she is under the dominion of the man; whereas the man uncovers his head, because there is no one over him but God (I Cor xi:10). [Well, this is one of many reasons for veiling given by St. Paul]  The wife ought to fear her husband (Eph v:33), that is to show him the deference due to him.  After the Fall, God ordained that the woman should be under her husband’s power, and should yield him obedience (Gen iii:16), because Eve lusted after power, and ate the apple first.  The husband therefore has every right to rule his wife, but he ought to rule with kindness, gentleness, and leniency, for she is in one sense his equal, having been made out of flesh taken from his side.  Therefore St. Ambrose bids the husband to remember that his wife is not to be treated as a servant, that he must not make his authority felt to be a burden.  Besides the woman, being the weaker, can claim to be gently treated (I Pet iii:7)…….As the representative of God, the husband has the right of controlling the household.  The angel did not appear to Mary, but to Joseph, when the flight to Egypt was to be made, because the husband’s duty is to rule and govern.  [Even given the most exalted wife ever possible!]

The husband and wife owe to each other love, fidelity, and mutual aid in all circumstances of their life.

Husbands ought to love their wives, as Christ loves the Church (Eph v:25), as their own bodies (Eph v:28), as themselves (Eph v:33).  The love of cheney familyhusband and wife ought not to be purely natural love, like that of the lower animals, nor a purely human love, like that of the heathen, but a holy and supernatural affection, like that of Christ for the Church, and of the Church for Christ.  Hence they ought each to bear with the infirmities of the other patiently and indulgently, or generously close their eyes to them……The wife will influence her husband for good far more effectually by silence, meekness, and prayer than by reproaches.  St. Augustine tells us that his mother did more for the conversion of her husband Patricius by the saintliness of her life, than by her words.  Dissensions between husband and wife ruin their happiness; without peace at home nothing pleases, even amid all the luxuries wealth can command.  Married people owe fidelity to one another (Heb xiii:4).

They ought scrupulously to guard against every appearance of unfaithfulness, and avoid familiar intercourse with persons of the other sex.  For where jealousy enters, all conjugal happiness is at an end.  St. John Chrysostom is of the opinion that the direst poverty, the most incurable malady, fire and even sword, are lesser evils than jealousy.   The Jews used to stone the unfaithful husband or wife, for they considered adultery a no less heinous crime than murder (Lev xx:10).  St. Paul declares everlasting damnation to be the portion of adulterers.  The married must not defraud one another of the conjugal rights (I Cor vii:1-5), but they must abstain from excesses inconsistent with the sanctity of their state (Tob vi:17), and only More_famB_1280x-g0keep in view the object indicated by the angel to Tobias (Tb v:22), otherwise the devil will prevail over them (Tb v:16).  To the duty of mutual aid it appertains that husband and wife should live together, and that neither one nor the other should avail himself or herself, if contrarieties or calamities overtake them, of any pretext to leave the other; they are bound to assist each other in the training of their children, to succor each other in illness, to aid each other to bear more easily the ills of life, and to perform their religious duties with greater facility.

Eve was created for the sole purpose of helping Adam; for God said: “It is not good for man to be alone, let us make him a help like unto himself” (Gen ii:18).  It is, however, a sad misfortune when the wife is not a support but a cross to her husband; when instead of lightening his burdens, she only adds to their weight.  Almighty God declares that a really good woman is a treasure of inestimable price (Prv xxxi:10), far above the most costly jewels.

———End Quote———

So…..will some folks take issue with that? I never quite know.  Sometimes things I think will be very controversial pass by with nary a comment, and things that I think are inoffensive, even obvious, attract a lot of controversy.  We’ll see, I guess.

Note also the rebuke of so many modernist proposals at the Synod.