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EWTN excommunicates itself right out of the Church March 4, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, episcopate, General Catholic, Grace, Latin Mass, religious, sadness, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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At least, that’s what some might say, for daring to give positive coverage of an SSPX-affiliated organization without absolutely castigating the Society as more evil than satan?

Those reactionaries, they’re insidious.  Trending liberal for years, suddenly an organization like EWTN will just burst out in revaunchist reaction!  Deplorable neo-prometheans Pelagians!  Or was that neo-Pelagian prometheans?!?  Pretty soon they’ll have “Bishop Williamson LIVE!”

I thought the coverage given to the SSPX’s situation with respect to their canonical standing was pretty forthright, accurate, and fair.  I thought the Bishop Ochoa interviewed gave a nice summary: “their hearts are in Rome.”

“Rome is our home.”

Rome is the external expression of the spiritual Church, which materializes so to speak, here, which becomes tangible around the Pope and the relics of St. Peter.”  That’s really beautiful.  And what a beautiful nun.

I know some may take strong exception with the expressions of unity made above, but I don’t think they can be summarily dismissed.  Yes there are grave problems, and I have expressed concerns to the extent of my limited understanding of the situation, but I do know there are a number of people of good will on both “sides.”  But the gap remains wide.

There are so few alternatives for women’s traditional religious orders.  Seeing these nuns gives me great hope for an eventual reconciliation.

And if you haven’t figured it out yet, this post, especially the title, is a lighthearted take on a matter that often makes too much blood boil.

Good resource on divorce, annulments, and like matters March 4, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, Virtue.

A commenter some weeks ago offered to send me a report prepared by the organization Mary’s Advocates on the matters of the Church’s current handling of divorce, separation, and annulment. I had seen a bit of material from Mary’s Advocates before, and knew they approached these subjects from an orthodox Catholic perspective.  I received the report several weeks ago, and I would like to thank Mary’s Advocates for sending it.  It is a really valuable resource.  Unfortunately, it’s much too detailed and informative to cover in a blog post, but if you are interested, you can see it all online here.

Mary’s Advocates is a group of Catholics dedicated to defending both the sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage as well as the rights of married people confronted with a spouse seeking separation, divorce, and/or annulment.  I think it fair to say that Mary’s Advocates sees great problems and gross injustices in the present manner in which the Church (in this country in particular) handles divorce and subsequent annulments.  I think it also fair to say that Mary’s Advocates sees in these proceedings frequent injustices, and grave ones at that, against spouses who want to remain faithful to their marriage even after their spouse has “moved on.”  Too often in the Church in this country, the doctrinal and “pastoral” approach is oriented towards regularizing divorce proceedings by obtaining annulments, and encouraging the abandoned spouse to similarly “move on.”  This can be a crushing blow to spouses who recognize their marriage as valid from the start and who reject (or strongly doubt) the validity of the decrees of nullity almost always granted when requested (and almost always overturned by Rome when a spouse has the gumption to appeal their case to the Roman Rota).

Mary’s Advocates had hoped their report and broader concerns would get a hearing at the Extraordinary on the Family this past October.  Of course, the focus of the Synod was predominately in the opposite direction.  Nevertheless, this news report on their hopeful efforts last fall sheds a lot of light on the group and its aims:

Rev. Chuck Zmudzinski, a canon lawyer, has recommended the observations offered by Mary’s Advocates. He hopes that they succeed in their efforts to find Catholics bishops willing to speak up for the rights of spouses who want to protect their marriages from divorce and uphold the validity of their marriages in nullity proceedings conducted by church tribunals.
Mary’s Advocates quoted Fr. Zmudzinski as pointing out “the possibility that the Church is actually promoting divorce by ignoring the canonical requirement that a spouse obtain the bishop’s permission before approaching the civil forum for a decree of separation or divorce.” [This is a huge source of scandal.  So often, the way the Church in the US handles divorce today actually encourages it, because instead of the Church doing everything in its power to prevent the dissolution of marriages, they basically stand back and let the spouses separate and divorce, demanding a civil decree of divorce before annulment will even be considered (a positive encouragement of divorce, right there),  and then, after the marriage is already shattered, try to find grounds for why it was invalid in the first place.  At each step, the bias is towards normalizing, and not opposing, divorce]
In the Observations’ introduction, Bai Macfarlane of Mary’s Advocates writes, “From a layperson’s point of view, there is a notable difference between the pastoral care described in the Catechism and the Canon Law, in contrast to the prevalent pastoral practice in the United States. Simply put, many of the faithful believe that divorce is a morally neutral occurrence, and many diocesan staff personnel seem to agree—separation of spouses, the break-up of marriages, and divorce are things that ‘just happen.’” See Observations here.[I think that a pretty accurate description]
Macfarlane also wrote “Chanceries appear to have no system to assist bishops in weighing the special circumstances of a marriage before a spouse files for divorce or separation in the civil forum. This weighing of circumstances is required by canon law as described herein. Numerous faithful do not know or do not care that forcing divorce—outside of specifically limited circumstances—is immoral, contravenes the moral law, and is a grave offense against the natural law.” [Well, decades of handling the epidemic of Catholic divorce (with among the highest rates of any religious body in the US) with a wink and a nod have certainly helped encourage the perception of divorce as “morally neutral.” The entire setup of the annulment system in most dioceses conveys the strong impression that all marriages are only conditionally valid until the spouses are separated by death.  This is an intolerable situation for the Sacrament to endure]
She went on to say, “… For those who withdraw from marriage for no morally legitimate reason, if bishops would authoritatively instruct them of their obligation to restore common conjugal life, then a number of families could be saved from no-fault divorce. The person deserting the marriage could choose to work with those experienced in helping marriages, rather than hiring divorce lawyers.”……. [That’s the approach one would think the Church would take, if the prime interest was in maintaining the sanctity of the Sacrament and not seeing souls devastated.  It would take a huge shift in emphasis and pastoral concern for this to occur, however.  For one, most bishops very strongly convey the notion that meeting with lay people (save for insiders/major donors) on any kind of a regular basis is among their lowest priorities. Second, many bishops are so rarely in their dioceses (or are reported by the chancery staff to be so rarely in their diocese) that logistics for this kind of effort would be  quite difficult. It would require bishops be “at home” much more often, which many, like Blaise Cupich, are loathe to do.  It should be noted, however, there are a handful of bishops who do perform such vital pastoral care]
…….In the Mary’s Advocates Observations, a ruling by the Vatican Signatura (or high court)  about the so-called Denial of the Right of Legitimate Defense in marriage annulment proceedings is discussed, while the tribunals that appear to have violated church law are also listed. Mary’s Advocates finds that when a spouse who has no morally legitimate reason for separation, forces a divorce on his or her family, the Catechism teaches that said person has committed an immoral, grave offence against nature. Judges in the Civil Law forum, thanks to no-fault divorce, do not inform parties of their obligation to keep their marriage vows. Mary’s Advocates asks whether those forcing unjust divorce should be corrected officially by the Church: “A diocesan hands-off policy with respect to separation and divorce gives scandal to everyone because everyone, understandably, concludes that there is nothing wrong with leaving one’s spouse.
I would just add this bit in conclusion.  There are many apologists for the approach taken by the vast majority of dioceses in this country regarding divorce and decrees of nullity.  They say the system is as fair as can be given the climate of acceptance of divorce in this country (which climate the Church does almost nothing, publicly, to oppose).  They also say the current structure demanding finalized civil divorce before consideration of nullity is the only realistic option.  I would counter by saying, if this is truly the case, why do there remain some dioceses in this country where obtaining an annulment is all but impossible (Colorado Springs and Lincoln are some examples)?  Catholics divorce in those dioceses, too, but the local bishop takes seriously his responsibility to uphold marriage and not operate an annulment mill.  And, of course, we also know that the United States alone generates about 80% of all the annulments in the world, whereas other countries where divorce is just as rampant have annulment rates orders of magnitude less than that in the US.  So, it is quite apparent that the US practice is both singular, and quite contrary to the understanding of the Church in the vast majority of countries – one might even say, of the universal Church.
If you are a Catholic facing the terrible situation of abandonment and pursuit of divorce by your estranged spouse, do check out Mary’s Advocates.  For those who honor their marriage vows in the face of such abandonment, you have my admiration and my prayers.

Washington state crushing elderly woman financially for refusal to serve perverse marriage February 25, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, rank stupidity, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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A 70 year old florist who had provided services to a man fallen into the sodomite lifestyle for years has been sued by him for refusing to provide flowers for his state-recognized simulation of marriage.  Under current Washington law that crushes religious belief in preference for the desires of those with these perverse inclinations, the case was a slam dunk for the man and the woman incurred serious fines.  As a result, her financial future (at a point in life where recovery is nearly impossible) is tossed into turmoil and she will likely lose her business.

A judge in Washington state ruled this week that a 70-year-old florist who declined to make flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding violated the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. [Consumer protection laws?  Really?]

In a phone interview with The Daily Signal, Barronelle Stutzman said the decision—and its accompanying fines—will put her flower shop out of business, or worse.

After the fines and legal fees, “There won’t be anything left,” Stutzman said.

“They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet.” [And I suspect that is exactly the case. Early opposition towards the imposition of the demands of sodomites (because, really…..does anyone have a right to a florist, or to demand anyone provide a service for them? Only this group, the sodom-gomorrists, are so narcissistic that they would actually believe they are owed someone else’s services as a right) over the rights of religious believers to freedom of conscious must be crushed if the new cultural orthodoxy is to succeed, and so examples have to be made.  A few dozen examples like this, and the vast, vast majority of people will get the message and quietly knuckle under, no matter how much they might be personally opposed (and most won’t be, at all).  This is beyond scary, it is positively Orwellian]

…….But in March 2013, when Robert Ingersoll asked Stutzman to design floral arrangements for his same-sex wedding to Curt Freed, she declined, citing her Christian faith.

“I put my hand on his and said, ‘I’m sorry Rob, I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman said. “We talked a little bit, we talked about his mom [walking him down the aisle]…we hugged and he left.”

Stutzman enjoyed a close relationship with Ingersoll, serving him for many years, and never expected what would happen next……..[she got sued by her long-time “friend.”]

…….“Religious freedom is a fundamental part of America. But religious beliefs do not give any of us a right to ignore the law or to harm others because of who they are. When gay people go to a business, they should be treated like anyone else and not be discriminated against,” said Sarah Dunne, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington legal director…….[Please, a florist turning someone down “harms” someone?  Give me a break. The fact of the matter is, this customer was not discriminated against, until he came to this woman and said “I want you to endorse by your actions my selfish act destroying marriage and helping obliterate right moral conduct in this country.”  If anyone is being discriminated against, it is the florist, who faces the poisonous choice of violating her religious convictions or being crushed economically. So, what the above really means is that leftists place next to zero value on religious conviction, and hold sexual affiliation as being infinitely more important. As our culture continues its long, strange slide into leftism, religious conviction (save for islam, the de facto religion of the Left) will be crushed under more and more onerous limitations]

…….In the meantime, Stutzman faces a fine of up to $2,000 for violating Washington’s anti-discrimination law and a separate fine of $7.91 (which Ingersoll and Freed say is the cost of driving to find a new florist).

What’s likely to cripple her, though, are attorney costs and fees, which Alliance Defending Freedom estimates to be seven figures…….

Stutzman’s lawyer told The Daily Signal that the ruling violates her client’s right to free expression and speech.

“She’s having to use her heart, her mind and her hands to create something that’s unique to celebrate same-sex marriage,” said Waggoner, adding:

The government telling you that you have to be quiet is one thing. It’s not a good thing. But the government telling you that you must speak—that you must express a message—that is frightening. And it will affect everyone whether they’re religious or not.

And that is the point, and the truly chilling part.  Business owners and Christians generally around the nation are being told, through myriad, always coercive ways, that you will endorse this perversion no matter what you claim to hold dear. This is the officially approved orthodoxy (though virtually always opposed by a majority of voters) and you will toe the line, or we will crush you by hook or by crook.  And it is amazing how insidious these means can be.

Take, for example, a corporate policy that formally endorses the sodomite lifestyle, provides benefits, etc.  Policies like that are almost always written to say that the corporation in question also will not do business with anyone who offends against the policy.  So you run a medium sized business, you’re a faithful Christian of some stripe, and somehow you gain notoriety for being opposed to government recognition of fake sodomite marriage.  Well, you can watch your business fold, as former corporate clients drop you because you now violate their policy.  These policies are so universal, they extend down to even very small operations.  They all tend to come from the same legal boilerplate dreamed up by pro-sodomite activist groups.

You can see how the above would quickly proliferate to create a situation where those holding to traditional religious conviction – which everyone but extreme zealouts and sodo-partisans held until 10 or so years ago! – will be forced to become impoverished, second class citizens. And that is the very point of seeing these policies adopted, which is why the so-called Human Rights Campaign and so many organizations of the sodomite cause go to extreme lengths to pressure, even bully companies into adopting them.  That adoption, coupled with government coercion, can easily cause 90% or more of people to acquiesce, at least publicly, no matter what they may believe in private.

A final point: tension between religious practice and the concerns of the state were more or less cooked into this nation at its founding under the Constitution.  Were the Constitution as written literally adhered to, it would not be too great a problem, but leftists have spent the last century-plus getting legal decisions and writing laws the deliberately contradict the plain meaning of key elements of the Constitution.  So now we have a situation where “freedom of religion” in this country comes to mean less and less, and affords less and less protection.  This end was probably inevitable, in that this country was not founded as a deliberately, visibly Christian – it should be Catholic – country.  Even then, problems would likely remain, but with the Constitution we actually have, it was probably almost inevitable we should come to this point.

Get your knees good and calloused.  It’s going to be a long, tough ride.

Rare and unseemly descent into avarice February 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, farm, fun, huh?, non squitur, sadness, silliness, Society, technology.
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A new full size two door SUV, a new Ford Bronco you say.

Oh, me wantee.




Too bad it’s fake.  Ain’t gonna happen.

Instead, they’re going to give us this freakishly ugly thing:


Oh, great, an ugly Jeep made by Ford.  Some of us have already had the real thing, and this ain’t it.  At least it’s 2-door, short wheel base and has a live rear axle.  I don’t like the new long Jeeps.  That’s not what you want for off-road, really.  Still, ugly:


Can you get it without all the plastic frou frou?  Needs to be replaced with a real bumper, anyway:


Yeah baby, made in Shiner, TX, I am a huge believer in Ranch Hands, not only because I’ve had three collisions and it didn’t even dent the bumper, but also because I’ve had one on my truck for 10 years, parked outside every day, and there is still zero rust on it.  That is rare for an aftermarket accessory.  Look them up.

That’s no joke about their powder coat/paint.  Their coatings literally lasts forever, or nearly so.

“Catholic Carbon Fast” is an offensive panoply of worldly, left-wing concerns February 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Lent, sadness, scandals, secularism, silliness, Society, the return.
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Commenter “H-Town” (poor soul, living there) posted a link to the “Catholic Carbon Fast,” a really problematic effort by the “Catholic Climate Movement” (which involves various arms of the USCCB) to get Catholics to perform acts of “carbon self-denial” all during Lent.  So you can mix in your two favored religions, leftism and Catholicism, all in the same liturgical season!

I say it is silly – and really offensive to 2000 years of Catholic piety – because of the political agitation that is promoted as being an acceptable form of penance for Lent.  All in the same direction, of course, towards the much hoped-for secular utopia.  A few selected suggestions from the carbon-fast calendar:

  • Buy local!  Eat with ingredients only from “your area” (is Kansas in “my area,” since I own a farm there?)
  • Use a smaller plate, you will have leftovers to eat later
  • Is your Catholic parish’s “catering services” using styrofoam?  Burn, heretic!
  • Commit to fasting and praying to assuage the burning rage of holy Gaia for the climate at least once a month.
  • Keep your car tuned up!  What is this, 1978?!  Most cars never need a tuneup until well past 100,00 miles anymore, anyways.
  • Car pool!
  • Don’t use styrofoam, you heretic!
  • Don’t buy a lawnmower or ladder, borrow your neighbor’s.  Oh, they’ll loooove you for that!

Geez louise, this is just ridiculous.  Look, some of these items are fine and sensible and if you feel moved to buy local for whatever reason, or eat “free range” chickens (hey, guess what, they are still in a very small pen, just a slightly larger one!) or whatever, that’s not necessarily objectionable.

But this kind of worldly, materialist emphasis is really inappropriate for Lent, which should be primarily about improving our spiritual sides.  Certainly there can be corporal aspects to Lent, but they should not be primarily corporal.  They also should not be so overtly political, or from such a one-sided political perspective, nor should they have such an overwhelmingly worldly focus.  I was actually surprised I did not see on the calendar “picket outside a nuclear power plant” or “lay your body down on the tracks in front of a coal train.”

What is most objectionable is the stated purpose behind the “fast,” which they don’t tell you till the end:

This Lent Fast for Climate Justice urges Catholics to unite on climate change and it also calls for decisive action for a fair, ambitious and legally binding global agreement in the COP 21 summit at Paris to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5 degree Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels.

This is ludicrous on several fronts.  First, there is presently very little evidence the world is warming at all, even with CO2 emissions continuing to increase. Secondly, the world has been both far warmer, and far colder, than it is at present.  This includes relatively recent history like the Medieval warm period and the “little ice age” of 1600-1850.  Thirdly, we cannot remotely trust the data from land-based thermometers, the data is being altered and cooked to an incredible, shocking degree in order to produce the desired result.  In fact, even with this massive manipulation of the data, they still show only a trivial, within the margin of error “increase,” and satellite data, which cannot be so easily manipulated, shows no increase at all.  So this is all based on a left-wing moral panic and is a false chimera.  Fourthly, while leftists in developed countries wring their hands and pretend savage cuts in our standard of living and economic output are absolutely required to forestall disaster, they would allow China and India (and Russia) to continue to emit massive plumes of CO2, orders of magnitude greater than emissions from the developed West already.  So we would incur a massive cost, a huge reduction in our standard of living, and only have a trivial impact on CO2 emissions, so long as China and India remain largely exempt from the rules.

But we all know, this is not about “saving the planet,” its about taking control over the levers of production.  It’s about watermelons, communists/leftists who have adopted environmental scaremongering as their preferred vehicle to obtain power. It’s about the manipulation of science for political ends, something that’s gone on for so long I openly wonder why we listen much to what scientists have to say.  And it’s also about materialist penetration even into the Catholic Church, the institutions of which, we sadly know, are eager to jump onto whatever left-wing secular bandwagon happens to come along.

But it’s not about Lent, in the traditional sense, nor is it about drawing closer to God, necessarily. It could be conducted in such a manner, but if one just followed the prescriptions of the calendar straight up, it would be very possible to conduct the entire “climate fast” without any reference to God.  Which fact shouldn’t surprise us, since those who drew this thing up probably have a very disordered and worldly conception of God, anyway, to the extent they even believe in Him.

And I’ll repeat for the 400th time, things like this are a major reason why I refuse to support the USCCB or even Catholic Charities in any way (Catholic Charities is tied in with this and many other problematic “movements” within the Church bureaucracy).  They are offensive to Catholic sensibilities.

Fr. Volpi admits lies and defamation against Fr. Manelli of the FIs, must pay restitution and apologize? UPDATED Again February 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return, Tradition, Virtue.
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This is coming from Rorate, but I personally will hold back from counting this report as fact just yet.  An anonymous priest ostensibly close to Fr. Stefano Manelli (founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate) and his family is reporting that a “Mediation Organism of the Roman Tribunal” has elicited an admission of guilt from Fr. Videnzio Volpi, commissar installed to direct “reforms” at the FIs, as to his falsehoods and defamation of Fr. Manelli, and also assessed a substantial fine. The lies and falsehoods were surrounding Fr. Volpi’s now thoroughly refuted insinuations that Fr. Manelli had enriched family members (and possibly himself) through immoral transfers of FI property and assets.

The report of an apology and fine is coming from an Italian website, via Rorate. It’s a heckuva report, but also totally unconfirmed at present, as far as I know:

Rorate Caeli contributor Francesca Romana has translated the first report from Chiesa e post concilio reporting that Fr. Volpi will pay the family of Franciscans of the Immaculate founder Fr. Manelli a large cash sum for his “defamation and lies” and make public apologies on all websites he runs and in a letter to all FI friars and nuns.

For regular readers of this blog, you know that Fr. Volpi was brought in for just one reason: to crush one of the fastest-growing, traditional-minded religious orders in the world — but not on his own: as he admitted in the past, at least in his words, he was specifically ordered by the Vicar of Christ,” Pope Francis to carry out his mission.

The original Italian report:

I have never involved myself too much regarding the situation of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, but a sentence emitted by the  Mediation Organism (Organismo di Mediazione forense) of the Roman Tribunal[Tribunale civile di Roma] on the 12th of February is just too juicy!

Then are outlined Fr. Volpi’s outrageous claims of abuses by Fr. Manelli), followed by a brief description of the conclusion of the mediation between Fr. Volpi and the Manelli family, the result of which would, if true, be distinctly embarrassing to Fr. Volpi:

[…] Well then, for these lies Father Volpi,  [after] negotiating with the entire Manelli Family, whose honour was damaged, and consequently having admitted the felony [reato] of defamation and lies [menzogna, also: falsehood] on February 12th 2015, as fair compensation, will have to pay 20,000 Euros to the Manelli Family, plus all legal expenses, the publication of a public apology on internet sites run by him, as well as circular letters to all of the friars and nuns.  

UPDATE: I meant to add originally, but in haste failed to do so, that what is reported above is second-hand reporting of an anonymous source.  So take that for what you will.

If this report is true, it is really important, because it would amount to the formal repudiation on the part of commissioner Volpi of the sole substantial allegation of malfeasance against the former FI administration ever made, aside from that notorious and nebulous “drift.”  Other sites, some quite close to the FIs themselves, have already disproven Volpi’s false accusations, but until they are formally renounced by their source, they sort of hang in the air as a vague threat.  A formal repudiation would bring the entire intervention down to one matter, which is the one anybody paying attention knew it was about all along: that terrible, horrible, awful, doubleplus ungood “crypto-Lefebvrian drift.”

Which is to say, ideology, or progressivism vs. Catholicism?

Also via Rorate Caeli: Bishop Schneider visited the SSPX seminary in Winona, MN last week.  This visit is being reported as part of a continuing series of more informal doctrinal talks under the auspices of Cardinal Muller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as opposed to the formal and structured ones that occurred (and failed) under Pope Benedict.  Bishop Schneider was apparently there to discuss the liturgical revolution of the 60s and the doctrinal assumptions of the Novus Ordo.  I can’t imagine Bishop Schneider and the SSPX would find too much to disagree on that topic?

These drifts, they’re contagious!  You never know who might catch a bad case of drifting next!

UPDATE II: A popular Italian blog has a copy of the court order.  Via Rorate, again:

Corrispondenza Romana has a copy of the court record and is reporting that Fr. Volpi has a deadline of March 3 for paying the damages to the Manelli family and making public apologies. In addition to the numerous ways he must publicly apologize, listed in our original report below, he must also now issue a press release distributed through AGI (the Italian news agency).  [Wow. Is such a public retraction typical in Italy?]

Corrispondenza Romana also asked if Fr. Volpi will resign. We believe there is a more critical question: Why hasn’t Pope Francis publicly fired him and ended this unjust and unwarranted commissioning that he himself started?

UPDATE III: Two commenters, including Fr. Angelo Geiger, FI, thought I remiss in not posting Fr. Volpi’s strong denial of aspects of the claims made above.  He says they are a fabrication and that far from apologizing he is renewing actions against the Manelli family, apparently for breach of contract in publicizing in a negative way the terms of the deal that had been agreed to, and, according to Fr. Volpi, the slandering he has subsequently experienced in the publishing of false reports.  The text of the rebuttal in the form of a public letter to the  members of the Franciscans of the Immaculate is probably already known by most to be at Rorate.  The link is here.

And now this whole matter has exploded into a bone of contention of its own, with rebuttals Fr. Volpi’s letter (mostly in Italian) and counter-rebuttals.  It’s, at the very least, another big mess.

The professional perverts running public schools February 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, unadulterated evil.
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Reason number 8,987,999,999,805 for homeschooling:

The former Ontario deputy education minister who oversaw the development of a controversial sex-ed program before facing child sex charges will plead guilty to a number of those charges.

Benjamin Levin, born 1952, was arrested in 2013 in the wake of an international child porn sting that led to his North York doorstep. He was not only accused of making and distributing child pornography, but also of arranging for a sexual offense with a child, and with possessing and accessing child pornography. [So he was actually raping children to make child porn. Male children.]

Levin’s lawyer Clayton Ruby confirmed Friday in court that his client will plead guilty to some of the seven charges, without clarifying which ones, reported the Toronto Star. Ruby also indicated that a guilty plea means there will be no trial. Levin will be sentenced in March

Under his watch as Ontario’s top education official from 2004 to 2009, Levin oversaw the development of an update to the provincial sex-education curriculum. Critics immediately slammed the proposal for encouraging the early sexualization of children and promoting a homosexual agenda. [Ummm……hello!  Is this a big surprise?  Is this also not the same program that the Canadian bishops knuckled under to accept, allowing clubs for those with perverse inclinations in their Catholic schools and also the teaching and normalization of this kind of behavior?

Under the umbrella of “sexual diversity,” the curriculum teaches children to question whether they are a boy or a girl, about masturbation, oral sex, and ‘diverse’ family structures. After strong backlash from outraged parents the curriculum was shelved by then-Premier Dalton McGuinty in 2010

After Levin’s arrest, Premier Kathleen Wynne, herself an open lesbian, tried to distance Levin from the sex-ed curriculum, saying at the time he had no direct role in writing it. [Horse crap.  Do you see what they are trying to do with the schools, constantly putting these kinds of people in charge?]

Critics expect the latest sex-ed curriculum proposed by Wynne to largely resemble its shelved predecessor.  [Go figure] Wynne has stated that the curriculum, slated for all publicly funded schools next fall, will teach children about giving “sexual consent” and what she calls “healthy relationships.” . . .

How many examples like the above do we have to see before we can say “grooming” is a reality?  And if it is, what are the implications for giving people like this levers of power to impose their twisted desires on millions of youth?

When I see examples like the above, I have to agree that placing kids in public schools (or Catholic schools, for that matter) poses an incredibly grave moral risk and can even be seen as a dereliction of parental duty.  Obviously some localities are better than others, some schools are better than others, and I know I’ve ranked public schools ahead of Catholic schools in terms of the danger they pose to the faith of the children that matriculate therein, but the difference is slight, and local realities can make public schools a deadly danger to the Faith.  I think as we move forward (barring some incredible miracle, like the restoration of Catholic schools en masse), that danger is only going to grow, and homeschooling is going to increasingly be the only real option for Catholic parents.  I’m very proud of families I know that have undergone tremendous suffering and self-denial in order to homeschool their children.  I know some folks just can’t do it, or feel it’s beyond them, but we really need to have eyes to see what is going on around us and do the very best we can by our children.

To do otherwise is to expose them to the ministrations of the Levin’s and Wynne’s of the world.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Tom Rosica calls Cardinal Burke a “dissenter” February 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, scandals, foolishness, asshatery, sadness, disaster, Papa, horror, episcopate, priests, persecution, error, secularism, self-serving, martyrdom, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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I mentioned in my previous post that it was possible some recent activities by the progressive faction in the Church might be coordinated.  The bit below, also via Vox Cantoris (yes, I am trying to support them as much as possible), I think dramatically increases the likelihood of a coordinated response.

Fr. Rosica re-tweeted Cardinal Wuerl’s blog post denouncing Cardinal Burke, and straight up called Burke a “dissenter,” which is rich, coming from him:

rosica again

Some commentary from Vox Cantoris:

Father Tom Rosica is a spokesman for the Vatican. One would presume that someone in such an important and sensitive and influential position would be prudent with his personal opinions and the use of social media. It leaves one to ask an honest question; Is this his own opinion? Is it that of Father Lombardi’s and the Office of Social Communication? Is it the Holy Father’s? Or is it an attempt to smear and obfuscate the truth. I’ve written elsewhere that the tactics of Saul Alinsky are not unknown to this cleric.

……..How disingenuous is it of Cardinal Wuerl to suggest that Cardinal Burke is a dissenter, which would include your writer and probably you as well. There was a time when the word meant someone that dissented from the truth of the faith. Now it seems to mean that it is someone who upholds it.

Well isn’t that the very point of it all?  Is that not the traditionalist critique, boiled down to a nutshell?  The critique is this: at and after Vatican II, a modernist cabal aided (or permitted) by the popes in charge conducted a literal coup against the Church, turning doctrine and practice inside out, elevating error and novelty to Doctrine, and rendering the 2000 year old Doctrine down to maligned heresy, or at least “out of date” practice.  No, this was not really codified by “changes” to Doctrine (although there are plenty of problems with the documents of VII themselves), but in practice, emphasis, promotions, demotions, ordinations made and ordinations blocked a new order was installed in a frighteningly short period of time.  The media played an immeasurably important role in this process, which is why former Pope Benedict XVI alluded to “a council of the media.”

These guys are just telling us the way things are, to them.  After a long interregnum of 35 years when they had to be somewhat cagey about their ambitions to remake the Church into a church of man, for man, worshiping man (I’m not saying the pontiffs of 1978-2013 were totally hostile to that vision, but they toned some excesses down while encasing others in the stone of long, approved practice), they have apparently felt liberated like no time since the mid-70s.  They are telling us who they are, who they think we are, and what they think they have accomplished, or very nearly have. And Vox is right, in this new paradigm, faithful Catholics are the dissenters.  They seek to put us outside the Church, while installing their errors, heresies, novelties, abuses, etc., as the normative, required belief and practice of the Church.

Anyone who lived through that trial of 1965-1980 or so knows that is exactly how things were portrayed back then.  Back then, to be a faithful Catholic who desired the Traditional Latin Mass and doctrinal cohesiveness (with the past) was to open oneself up to harsh rebukes and claims of even being a “heretic” or unfaithful.

Are we not hearing some things like that today?  No, the trend is not nearly so advanced as it became in, say, the 70s, but it is still around, and it seems that the likes of Fr. Rosica and Cardinal Wuerl want to resurrect it in full force.  I’m sure readers have been told they are “disobedient” for refusing to put their kids in parish CCD for Confirmation or for using the Baltimore Catechism for First Communion.  Or that they are just trying to call attention to themselves by wearing a chapel veil.

The fact that we’re building towards the second session of the Synod on the Family adds meaning and emphasis to rhetoric like “Cardinal Burke is a dissenter.”  I have a hard time seeing this denunciation as incidental, I think it almost certainly part of a broader plan.

If I am right, rhetoric of this kind will be repeated and amplified in the months to come.

One more point – as Vox notes, Fr. Rosica is a man with a high profile office at the Vatican.  He is the English-language spokesman for the Vatican.  When he says something, it is generally taken as speaking for the Vatican and even the Pope.  Is that what he meant to do here, imply the Vatican and Pope Francis view Cardinal Burke as a “dissenter” from the new progressive orthodoxy?  Or was he implying nothing, is that the “Vatican’s” (and even Pope Francis’) view of Cardinal Burke?  Said another way, is this an underhanded way to attack a faithful prelate’s credibility?

When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself February 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Liturgical Year, manhood, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself.

So said the great Dom Prosper Gueranger, author of the authentic liturgical reform and the great teacher and apostle of the Liturgy. Even more, Gueranger notes that failing to oppose and excoriate error in the Church – NO MATTER FROM WHENCE IT COMES – is a massive failure of justice and charity, even if that leads us to the highest authority in the Church. The quotes below come from Volume 4 of the The Liturgical Year, Septuagesima, pp. 379-380, 382-383, dealing with St. Cyril’s opposition to the Nestorian heresy:

When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself.

It is usual and regular, no doubt, for doctrine to descend from the bishops to the faithful, and those who are subject in the faith are not to judge their superiors.  But in the treasure of revelation there are essential doctrines which all Christians, by the very fact of their title as such, are bound to know and defend.  The principle is the same whether it be a question of belief or conduct, dogma or morals. [Dogma and practice/application cannot be separated!] Treachery like that of Nestorius is rare in the Church, but it may happen that some pastors keep silence for one reason or another in circumstances when religion itself is at stake.  The true children of Holy Church at such times are those who walk by the light of their baptism, not the cowardly souls who, under the specious pretext of submission to the powers that be, delay their opposition to the enemy in the hope of receiving instructions which are neither necessary nor desirable.  [Dang right!  Because, as we have lived and seen for 50 years, error can run amok for decades without effective challenge, and how many millions of souls have fallen into hell during that time?]

…..As it always happens, there were pacifists who, though not sharing Nestorius’ errors, thought it would be best not to answer him for fear of embittering him, increasing the scandal, and wounding unity.  Cyril thus answers that singular virtue which fears the affirmations of the Christian Faith more than the audacity of heresy: “What! Nestorius dares to suffer men to say in public and in his presence that he who calls Mary the Mother of God is to be anathema!  He hurls his anathema, through his partisans, at us, at the other bishops of the Universal Church and the ancient Fathers, who in all ages and all places with one accord have acknowledged and honored the holy Mother of God!  And have we not the right to repay him in his own coin and say, “If anyone denies that Mary is the Mother of God let him be anathema??“……..

Men of another type, also represented in all ages, revealed the true motive of their hesitation when, after insisting on the advantages of peace and their ancient friendship with Nestorius, they suggested timidly that it would be dangerous to oppose so powerful and high-ranking an adversary.  “Could I but satisfy the Bishop of Constantinople, and heal the wounded spirit of my brother by suffering the loss of all my possessions,” was Cyril’s reply.  “But the Faith is at stake.  The scandal has spread through the Church, and all men are inquiring about the new ‘doctrine.’ If we, who have received from God the office of teacher, fail to remedy such great evils, will there be flames enough for us at the Day of Judgment?  I have already been struck by insult and calumny – let it pass.  If only the Faith be safe, I will yield to none in my love of Nestorius. But if the Faith suffers through the deeds of some – let there be no doubt about it – I will not risk my soul even if instant death threatens me.  If the fear of some disturbance is stronger than our zeal for God’s glory and prevents us from speaking the truth, how shall we dare in the presence of the Christian people to celebrate the holy martyrs, whose glory lies in the very fact that they carried out in their lives the worlds: “Even unto death fight for justice” (Eccl IV:33).

—————End Quote—————-

The situation we find ourselves in today as Catholics, is that our leaders have, almost to a man, abrogated their duty to publicly defend the Faith from the manifest errors that have abounded over the past several decades.  Yes there are some leaders more willing to do so than others, Cardinal Burke has been in the forefront of those, but I would have a hard time saying even he has risen to the level of a Cyril or an Athanasius in terms of being willing to clearly and unequivocally promote the constant belief and practice of the Faith.  I suspect part of that is because all of us, even great Cardinals, even the most well-formed Trads, carry with us some modernist baggage.  That is the great evil of our time, the errors are so noxious, often so subtle, and so profuse, that few if any of us can escape having some of the garbage we swim in sticking to us.

And even among those who recognize the crisis and oppose it, there are more than a few who fear wounding unity more than promoting Truth, and so they either allow the error to go uncorrected, or they stop short at criticizing certain promoters of that error.

This is no small quote. In it is contained a truth that is at the center of a significant debate that has been afflicting faithful Catholics for many months, going back to March 2013: to what degree may one express concern with, or even criticize, a sovereign pontiff?  Some decide that prudence and unity must prevail, and that criticisms must be greatly muted, if made at all.  Others feel the Truth must be defended no matter the source of error, and that the scandal of error far outweighs any potential wound to unity, any threat that souls will be “scandalized out of the Faith.”  They are being driven out of the Faith, already, and into error that mark them, even if they maintain some association with the Church, as being outside it!  And of course there are many more who have formally left the Church, not so much through being scandalized at seeing error promoted (although that certainly does occur), but by accepting that error as truth, and so they embrace some deficient, heretical religion.

I have long felt this great fear that “Oh, if we criticize the Pope, if we do this or that, souls will flee to the SSPX!” has been a chimera, for many reasons. What of the souls becoming invincibly convinced of error, or the millions more who are silently deciding that if the Church can change her 2000 year Doctrine on marriage, She holds no Truth to be inviolable, and has absolutely nothing to offer anyone?  I fear the latter far, far more than the former, and the statistics are all on my side.  There is no evidence, not even slight anecdoctal evidence, that the SSPX has experienced great growth over the past two years. I have actually checked around about this, and, no, there has been no surge in growth.  Has the trend been over the past 40 years for souls scandalized by rampant error in the Church to fly into the SSPX?  Indeed, a very small percentage has……but far, far more, orders of magnitude more, have left the Faith entirely, or done so tacitly through open embrace of heresy.  In the great panoply of “threats” to the Church, the SSPX doesn’t fall in my top 50, if they even be one (and arguing that endless point of contention is not the point of this post).

We must confront error when we find it.  Reluctantly, painfully, but we must do it, even if it takes us to the highest levels of the Church.  Yes the Church is not a democracy, yes it is hierarchical and obedience is absolutely key, but that does not mean we can simply abrogate our duty to defend the Doctrine of the Faith because the source of an error is a highly placed Church authority.  The military runs on obedience. Without obedience, the military cannot function.  But even in the military, one does not always have to follow orders. There are clear, black and white situations, where an order may be illegal, where a command may be so blatantly evil or beyond the pale that it does not have to be followed.  Indeed,there are cases when an unlawful order must be resisted.  If a commander orders his troops to just start shooting every person they see on sight, whether they are combatants or not, that would be an immoral order that not only could be, but must be, disobeyed.  Well, the Church is the army for the salvation for souls, and our eternal destiny is far, far more valuable than even human life on earth.  What is being promoted in the Church today will mean the death of millions of souls, not just in life, but for all eternity.

Should we go along with that kind of order, or should we resist?

The real scoop on Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago February 16, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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A while back, I got the impression that commenter Steve (where have you gone? I did not intend to run you off entirely, I was just asking that you dial back your comments from 11 to, say, 5) thought I was being too harsh in some of my judgments regarding Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago.  I have known and read about Bishop Cupich ever since this blog started, and what I have learned has been almost universally negative.  He took some quite heavy handed actions against the traditional practice of the Faith and pious works like priests praying outside mills while in Rapid City, SD, and continued similarly in Spokane.  I knew he was the most outspoken “peasnjustus” bishop at the USCCB in some time.  And I knew a number of other things.

But Carl Olson at Catholic World Report has examined Bishop Cupich’s record, especially in Spokane, in some depth, and has come to the conclusion that the smiling, happy, liberal, “smell of the sheep” Cupich has been given since his promotion is not especially supported by actual facts.  In the report, Cupich comes across as much more insular, heavy handed, aloof, and possessed of questionable judgment, than promoters like John Allen have revealed.

It’s a good article, I recommend you read the whole thing, I provide some excerpts below. One of the main revelations made is that the Katholyc’s description of a “Francis bishop” as a simple man of the people is not the case.  If Cupich is any indicator, a “Francis bishop” appears much more to be a Church-climbing technocrat insider, devoid of a true pastoral sense and much more at home with a room full of lawyers and accountants than souls needing guidance.

I start with quotes regarding Cupich’s strange lawsuit against the Catholic law firm that had represented the Diocese of Spokane for years in sex abuse cases, suing the law firm for millions, and its subsequent settlement in the law firm’s favor shortly after Cupich’s departure.  Pretty scandalous stuff, really, and in the inexplicable conduct of the case, so typically progressive (I add emphasis and comments):

…….”Recent interviews,” the piece noted, “in Spokane with people on both sides of the issue, as well as court documents and legal experts, reveal how betrayed some felt by Cupich’s actions. [The lawyers involved – a very mom and pop organization – speak of feeling so scandalized they have very nearly lost their faith. They tried to contact Pope Francis over this apparent persecution, but received no response. Go ahead and score the easy layup, commenters] They also show how the bishop struggled to handle a painful crisis that threatened his diocese’s future.” There’s no doubt that Cupich, when he arrived in Spokane in 2010, faced serious challenges, and any bishop in that situation was going to be criticized, fairly or not. He decided, as the Tribune reports, to file “an explosive lawsuit against the law firm that handled the bankruptcy on behalf of the diocese and had helped establish the original $1 million victims’ fund.”……..

………If the lawsuit seemed “explosive” when filed in 2012, it appears curious and even confounding now that the Diocese has agreed to quietly settle the matter. On January 23rd, the Diocese issued a joint statement with Paine Hamblen that said, in part, that the “settlement does not constitute an admission of wrong doing by either side; rather, it is a resolution of differences in an amicable manner which allows the parties to move forward with the important work that each conducts in the service of the common good.” It also stated, “There will be no further press releases or public comment by either party or their attorneys.” That apparently resolves the legal part of the matter, but it doesn’t answer questions about the wisdom of pursing the lawsuit, about Cupich’s leadership and decision making, and what all of this means, directly or indirectly, for both the Diocese of Spokane and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

After all, if Cupich believed strongly enough in the lawsuit to pursue it despite going directly contrary to the pastoral approach and legal strategy of Skylstad, why settle the lawsuit now? Was it simply because he had moved on to greener pastures? If so, what does it suggest about his sense of pastoral responsibility? Was it because he and his new legal team in Spokane recognized, in the end, that they had little to stand on and risked embarrassment in court and bad press to follow? “On its face,” theNBCChicago.com report stated, “the settlement would appear to be a resounding vindication for the firm…” From what I know of the situation, that is an accurate assessment. [So at the very least, this very strange lawsuit (read the full story at the link) is indicative of questionable judgment and leadership, at best.]

……The overall sense, expressed in varying degrees of detail, is that Cupich’s time in Spokane was quite disappointing and frustrating, especially for those looking for vibrant, clear, and accessible leadership. Those familiar with Cupich’s schedule and activities say that he was often out of the diocese for long periods of time, even more so than the amount of time Skylstad traveled while president of the USCCB. When Cupich was in the diocese, he was not readily available, rarely meeting with diocesan priests, especially not on an individual basis, although he apparently met often with certain, older Jesuit priests at Gonzaga……. [Except for the very last bit, wow does this tale sound familiar.  Sounds rather exactly like our own Bishop Farrell here in Dallas, unless he’s changed a whole bunch in the past year or two]

…….The seminary situation is noteworthy, since prior to Cupich’s arrival, it was thriving, with over two dozen seminarians. Following the removal in 2011 of Fr. Darrin Connall, co-director of vocations and rector of the seminary since 2000, the number of seminarians has fallen to less than a half dozen.[So, go figure – progressive bishop comes to town and in 3 1/2 years wrecks 20 years of work and destroys the seminary. It is so much easier to destroy than to build]  In addition, Kries notes that Cupich “had no interest in involving himself” in “direction of Gonzaga’s core curriculum,” a statement confirmed by others with direct knowledge of the situation at the Jesuit school, which has, to put it simply, been shedding its Catholic identity with determined efficiency (as Kries describes)……..

…..”What I find to be very interesting in the Francis affect [sic] as people call it,” Cupich told O’Donnell, “is that people do have a sense that the church is listening to them, and also that he is speaking to their deepest desires.”  [No, those being listened to are the aggrieved, the disaffected, those lost in grave sins, etc.  The most faithful, devout, observant Catholics have been studiously ignored] Does that include listening to his predecessor or listening those who desire to pray quietly in front of abortion mills? While Skylstad had strongly endorsed the 40 Days for Life campaign of praying in front of abortion clinics (reportedly saying, in 2008: “I commend this effort and pray that abundant fruits flow from it”), Cupich discouraged priests and seminarians from participating and the diocesan newspaper stopped allowing 40 Days for Life to run advertisements. [I blogged on this matter, in fact, in 2011.  As so many progressives evince, Bishop Cupich pretended at the time that the matter was “too polarizing” to be discussed publicly, or involve public displays by priests, and should preferably be handled in private. He also said saves are rarely made outside mills, but, first, that’s wrong, babies are saved outside every single mill just about every single day, and often multiple times, and, second, what is the worth of one human life?  For a bishop to speak so cavalierly of human life……who could imagine?]

———–End Quote————

Again, the full article is worth your time.  It examines in depth both the deliberate media construct of both Cupich as a “Francis bishop” and thus a “caring, closely involved man of the people,” and the reality regarding that construct.  Check it out.


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