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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Catholic Schools: This Is Embarrassing

Well, this is embarrassing.

“According to data from the Annual Church Statistics given at the press conference, the number of students in Catholic schools has risen from nearly 55 million in 2008 to around 58 million in 2011.”

Now these are worldwide numbers - throughout the entire world, there are around 58 million children in Catholic schools. What can we use to scale that number and give it a little more meaning?

According to the figures found here and herethere were 53 million school-aged children in the US in 2008, i.e., 53 million children between 5 and 17 years of age. 23% of America is Catholic, so assuming Catholics have families the same size as everyone else, that makes for about 12 million Catholic children in the United States alone. 

Now, I'll grant you, the United States is the third most populous country in the world. That means about 21% of the Catholic child population in the world resides here. But less than two million of those children are in Catholic schools - indeed, American Catholic schools tend not to have 100% Catholic student population in this country.  

So, with over 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, only 58 million school children are in Catholic schools? Really? 

That means, world-wide, Catholic schools barely teach the total student population alive in the United States. 

Yet people still insist that Catholic schools are critical to the transmission of the Faith? Really? 58 million kids out of 1.2 billion Catholics? And we're relying on Catholic schools to fix this. Hmmmm.... 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Unbaptized Children and Heaven

The priest in this video is incorrect.

It is NOT the case that the Church teaches that we KNOW all unabaptized people go to hell.

Rather, the Church has always taught that we DO NOT KNOW any way, through our work here on earth, any way by which we can bring to those who die without baptism the grace they need to enter heaven. So, from our point of view, we cannot do a thing to help them avoid hell.

However, the Church DOES NOT teach that souls who have not received water baptism descend into Limbo (the outer fringe of hell). Limbo is not mentioned in either the Catechism of Trent nor in the Universal Catechism that followed Vatican II. It is NOT a concept taught by the Church in a formal way.

A Catholic can believe in Limbo if s/he wants, but no Catholic is under obligation to accept Limbo because the Church does not formally teach that such a place exists.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1261: "As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism."
We hope, not with human hope, but with DIVINE hope, that these children enter heaven. Human hope accomplishes nothing at all in terms of salvation, so having human hope alone is stupid and pointless.

Liturgy is not a human work, it is a divine work done by human hands. Liturgy instills divine hope, not human hope. Only divine hope holds out the possibility of heaven to the unbaptized, and that divine hope is instantiated in the Church's liturgy, as the Catechism attests. So, if that hope is present in the Church's own liturgy, then it must be present in us as well.

We do not pray for the devil because he cannot benefit from our prayers - no one can be prayed out of hell. But we do pray for the unbaptized, that God grants them the grace to enter heaven. The fact that this prayer is not only permitted, but enshrined in the Church's own liturgical prayers demonstrates that those who die unbaptized die with the possibility of entering heaven through means known only to God.

This grace is all the more pertinent on the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Their parents knew nothing of Christ, they knew nothing of Christ, they knew nothing about dying for Christ, yet they DID die for Christ as mute witnesses to the goodness of God. And who can look on an infant without seeing the goodness and glory of the life-giving God? Every infant is a testimony to the Life-giving God Who is infinitely Good.

We cannot know with certitude that these children enter heaven, but we can hope with divine hope that they do, and the Church requires us, through Her liturgy, to maintain in prayer this divinely-founded hope.

The FSSP teaching on this is quite, quite wrong.
Pray for every FSSP priest, that they may one day begin to teach what the Church teaches on this point.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Catholics Created the World

Phillip Carey has an interesting non-Catholic commentary on Genesis, but one of the side-points he makes could be elaborated on in another way:
"In something close to a pun, the curse falls not on Adam but on the adamah, Hebrew for the ground. Humanity is not cursed because of Adam’s sin."
That is certainly the Jewish and Muslim understanding (neither system accepts original sin), but that is most certainly NOT the Christian understanding. Because Adam was made from the clay of the earth, not only did this sin affect the ground, it affected everything which finds its origins in the ground - both Adam and all of creation.

Precisely because the sin mars the ground, it mars Adam, who came from the ground; Eve, who came from Adam; and all of their descendants. In fact, it mars the entirety of creation. Which is why St. Paul points out that the whole universe is groaning with anticipation for the redemption.

As an historian, I am often asked why we say Columbus "discovered" America, given the irrefutable facts: the American Indians and the Vikings were here first. 

My answer: Columbus discovered the Americas in the sense that he put them into communication with the rest of the world. No one before him did that. In fact, we can say that Christianity discovered the entire world because it was European Catholics who first sailed around the whole world and put all peoples into communication with each other. We did some nasty things while we were accomplishing this feat, but in this sense, at least, there is no question that Catholics created the world as we know it, just as there is no question that Catholics created most of the major languages that the world's citizens speak.

What is true of Christianity and the modern community of nations is also true of creation as a whole. The universe may have existed prior to man, but it's existence had no meaning until man appeared and "discovered" it. In that sense, it is proper to say that the universe comes into existence when man does. Precisely because God chose to give the universe a particular meaning by creating and placing man into it, man's sin affects not only himself, but all that has meaningful existence because of him.

Great Quotes From Bishops

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote about the orthodoxy of the Faithful during the betrayal of the Faith by bishops during the Arian crisis. He wrote:
‘ THE episcopate, whose action was so prompt and concordant at Nicæa on the rise of Arianism, did not, as a class or order of men, play a good part in the troubles consequent upon the Council; and the laity did. The Catholic people, in the length and breadth of Christendom, were the obstinate champions of Catholic truth, and the bishops were not. Of course there were great and illustrious exceptions; first, Athanasius, Hilary, the Latin Eusebius, and Phœbadius; and after them, Basil, the two Gregories, and Ambrose; there are others, too, who suffered, if they did nothing else, as Eustathius, Paulus, Paulinus, and Dionysius; and the Egyptian bishops, whose weight was small in the Church in proportion to the great power of their Patriarch. And, on the other hand, as I shall say presently, there were exceptions to the Christian heroism of the laity, especially in some of the great towns. And again, in speaking of the laity, I speak inclusively of their parish-priests (so to call them), at least in many places; but on the whole, taking a wide view of the history, we are obliged to say that the governing body of the Church came short, and the governed were pre-eminent in faith, zeal, courage, and constancy.
This is a very remarkable fact: but there is a moral in it. Perhaps it was permitted, in order to impress upon the Church at that very time passing out of her state of persecution to her long temporal ascendancy, the great evangelical lesson, that, not the wise and powerful, but the obscure, the unlearned, and the weak constitute her real strength. It was mainly by the faithful people that Paganism was overthrown; it was by the faithful people, under the lead of Athanasius and the Egyptian bishops, and in some places supported by their Bishops or priests, that the worst of heresies was withstood and stamped out of the sacred territory.’
About A.D. 360, St. Hilary says: “I am not speaking of things foreign to my knowledge; I am not writing about what I am ignorant of; I have heard and I have seen the shortcomings of persons who are round about me, not of laymen, but of Bishops. For, excepting the Bishop Eleusius and a few with him, for the most part the ten Asian provinces, within whose boundaries I am situate, are truly ignorant of God.” De Syn. 63.
A.D. 360. St. Gregory Nazianzen says, about this date: “Surely the pastors have done foolishly; for, excepting a very few, who either on account of their insignificance were passed over, or who by reason of their virtue resisted, and who were to be left as a seed and root for the springing  up again and revival of Israel by the influences of the Spirit, all temporized, only differing from each other in this, that some succumbed earlier, and others later; some were foremost champions and leaders in the impiety, and others joined the second rank of the battle, being overcome by fear, or by interest, or by flattery, or, what was the most excusable, by their own ignorance.” Orat. xxi. 24.
A.D. 361. About this time, St. Jerome says: “Nearly all the churches in the whole world, under the pretence of peace and of the emperor, are polluted with the communion of the Arians.” Chron. Of the same date, that is, upon the Council of Ariminum, are his famous words, “Ingemuit totus orbis et se esse Arianum miratus est.” In Lucif. 19. “The Catholics of Christendom were strangely surprised to find that the Council had made Arians of them.”
St. Hilary speaks of the series of ecclesiastical Councils of that time in the following well-known passage: “Since the Nicene Council, we have done nothing but write the Creed. While we fight about words, inquire about novelties, take advantage of ambiguities, criticize authors, fight on party questions, have difficulties in agreeing, and prepare to anathematize each other, there is scarce a man who belongs to Christ. 
A.D. 382. St. Gregory writes: “If I must speak the truth, I feel disposed to shun every conference of Bishops: for never saw I Synod brought to a happy issue, and remedying, and not rather aggravating, existing evils. For rivalry and ambition are stronger than reason,—do not think me extravagant for saying so,—and a mediator is more likely to incur some imputation himself than to clear up the imputations which others lie under.”—Ep. 129

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why Yoga Became Popular

The Huffington Post has an article that attempts to explain why yoga has become so popular. As usual it gets everything backwards. 

Yoga is a chick thing. 83% of yoga practitioners are women. Yoga is also highly linked to sexual activity - it was initially designed to increase sexual appetite. According to the New York Times, yoga began as a sex cult.

80% to 90% of American women are on hormonal contraceptives.
Hormonal contraceptives almost uniformly decreases libido

So, for all those women whose libido has been reduced by the Pill and other artificial hormonal chemicals, yoga is the only way to stay sexually interesting enough to snag a man. Thus, the marketing of yoga via the young, slim, sexually desirable woman.

The popularity of yoga really demonstrates nothing more than women thinking with their gonads.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Pope Francis Prophecies About America

56. ...A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits....

Here is America's debt as a percentage of GDP over the course of its history:

What comprises America's debt:


Here is America's government debt as a percentage of GDP, compared to other countries:

America, Europe, Canada, Sudan, Eritrea: how long do you think we can keep this up?

Woman, Meet Reality. Reality, Meet Woman.

Some interesting facts:
So, women deliberately create their own hells. They create the single-parent environments that impoverish and victimize them. 

Women raise their own rapists. 
Women raise their daughters' rapists. 

A woman, especially a mother, needs a man like a fish needs water.
A woman needs a man like a breathing creature needs oxygen. 

Without men, women commit long, slow, painful suicide.
They really aren't very good at being independent.
Those are the facts.