Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tradition, Family, Property: Good group or bad group?


“The Church Must Protest Against Laws Favoring Homosexuality” (Crusade, September/October 2010)
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I've read some terrific things written by TFP's Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira - I'm not certain if he founded TFP or was simply a spokesman/contributor to the organization, but I have referred often to his lives of the saints and history of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The only personal contact I've ever had to TFP members were a couple of people I worked with at a religious goods store in St. Paul.  They are TLM traditionalists, home-schoolers, and faithfully Roman Catholic - no sedevacantists.  Their political views are rather conservative, nothing wrong with that of course, although some people may find them a little too much so.  Although one idea I heard from TFP member which struck me as rather novel for a Yankee, was that the South should have been the victor in the Civil War; another concept I'm not accustomed to is their apparent preference for monarchism.  Again, nothing wrong with that, in fact I find the idea interesting, if not attractive some days.
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Anyway, my friend Thom posted on how the church he attends inserted TFP literature into the Sunday bulletin, presumably with the pastor's permission.  The literature offended Thom's sensibilities as it concerned Church teaching on homosexual behavior, or to be more exact, the manner in which Church teaching was presented as well as an apparent inaccurate statement, stating homosexuality is an acquired vice.  It is true the Church doe not define it that way at all.  In fact the Catechism and document regarding the orientation states that the origins, reason for same sex attraction are unknown.  The upshot of the TFP document is that it came off as narrow minded, offensive and hostile against same-sex attracted persons.
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I've actually made similar statements to what the TFP handout states - but I was primarily addressing behavioral issues and addictive tendencies within gay culture, as well attempting to defend Church teaching against the propaganda of militant gay activists, always trying to respect the dignity of individuals in the process.  Naturally homosexual persons are offended whenever the tone becomes degrading and aggressive, and I have long tried to tone down my rhetoric so as not to offend in charity.  As my readers know, I've not always been successful. 
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That said, Church documents, as well as the Catechism presents the authentic Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality with charity, sensitivity and clarity, therefore it seems to me it ought to be given priority in religious instruction over literature from non-canonical lay organizations.   
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Aside from that, I was most surprised to read negative comments regarding TFP.  I know they are connected to America Needs Fatima, but I'm not sure if I mix up that group with the Fr. Gruner group.  I also realize that on another of their websites I link to for biographies of saints or devotion to the Blessed Virgin, are several posts one might label reactionary, anti-Vatican II, but I was sure these people were faithful Roman Catholics.  Anyone able to advise me on this?
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23 comments:

  1. Stay the hell away from TFP.
    For more info: check into:
    http://www.culturewars.com/.
    This group is very strange and insidious; it might look good on the "outside" but the "interior" is just horrid and can be sede-vacantist.
    Just sayin'...

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  2. Another helpful link on TFP:
    http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archives/2010/07/i-still-think-p.html

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  3. And:
    http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=48d48e0a68a48ae1ab6e40d8e6d44a18&topic=2649714.msg25491502#msg25491502
    Very enlightening.
    Okay, I'll shut up now!!:<)!

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  4. I've subscribed to their internet newsletter for at least three years now and I have never seen anything remotely like what has been said here about them.

    I have thought that they are something like our Net Ministries that mobilizes young Catholics to evangelize other young Catholics on college campuses, mostly in Eastern U.S. areas.

    But their time commitments are something like occasional weekend ministries.

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  5. Never heard of the group but the handout in the bulletin was rather nasty sounding and completely inappropriate. (IMO)

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  6. I read a book by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on the origins of revolution several years ago and I had to agree with much of what he said. I can't recall details right now, but I think he traced it back to the Renaissance through the Protestant reformation to our times - revolution is a process always in motion. Revolution is not Catholic - so as a former arm chair radical from the Woodstock generation, that was quite a revelation in itself for me... many years ago of course.

    But I was never sold on Roman Catholic Latin American politics - the little I knew about it, that is. It seemed to me Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira kinda/sorta represents the upper-ruling class who seem to have no problem with the majority of their mestizo underclass living in poverty.

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  7. Oh my.

    I often link to the Professor's articles on certain saints. He does have good insights on some of the more puzzling ones - Joseph of Cupertino comes to mind.

    On the one hand, I don't want to lead people astray, even inadvertently.

    On the other hand, I'd like to believe that readers of my blog are adults capable of critical thinking (not that they need a whole lot on my blog).

    Then again, there was the Election of 2008...

    What to do? What to do?

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  8. You may find the following of interest: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/mar/08032701.html

    In my observations of TFP, they provide an effective means for lay Catholics to truly be the Church militant, in opposing corruption within the Church and society. They are counter-cultural, defend the Magisterium, and particularly support the teachings of every Pope since the 1850's on the evil of socialism.

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  9. Mrs Rudd - thanks very much - that is why I often link to the prof.'s articles as well.

    Daniel - Thanks for the link.

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  10. http://www.sunlituplands.org/2010/08/what-popes-have-to-say-about-socialism.html

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  11. So, the bulletin quoted a Latvian Cardinal and his attitudes regarding homosexuality, and in particular what he perceives as the actions of those trumpeting the cause of expanded rights for homosexuals. First - a flier in a bulletin is not Magisterial, nor are the comments of a Cardinal. They may reflect the beliefs of a particular priest, or they may not - they may simply have been included to provoke some thought on a subject where too many have been cowed by the dominant culture into a kind of subservient acceptance of what we are told is good. The simple fact of the matter is, we don't know what causes homosexuality, any more than 'we' don't know what causes my favored vice, addiction. We have some theories, we know there may be certain causalities, but no one is certain what is the main determining factor, if any. The Cardinal appears at odds with Church doctrine on whether or not homosexuality is a matter of choice or depravity, but I'm not sure the nature and cause of homosexuality (or addiction, which he also referred to) is something Catholics are required to believe as a matter of Faith. So, I'm sorry your friend got offended, but I think this particular deviation from Church doctrine just happened to get him exercised, for whatever reason. Would he flip his lid over a Bishop Gumbleton essay in the bulletin decrying the United States as essentially the greatest force of evil in the world (not saying Gumbleton has said exactly that, but close)? Or from an insert from the pastor stating that Summorum Pontificum was ridiculous and he would never implement its provisions?

    Anyway, I don't know that one should condemn an organization for one small part of its published work we find offensive or challenging - if we did that, who would remain Catholic?

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  12. Just as an addendum:
    From what I have read about TFP (never had personal contact), the "inner workings" are very strange, and sometimes just wrong (praying to Plinio's mother with changing the words of the "Hail Mary"? Venerating the hat of Plinio which rests upon a chair?).
    They may hit the target on many issues; I, also, read their blog.
    But their relationship with the Church is very questionable; and their "communal life" (unfortunately, as in many of the Spanish/South American communities)
    is based upon secret pledges and an almost antagonistic attitude towards the hierarchical authority; if memory serves me, even the Bishop consecrated illicitly by Archbishop LeFebvre from Brazil repudiated them because they were so disobedient and strange,
    Just my opinion.

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  13. Just as an addendum:
    From what I have read about TFP (never had personal contact), the "inner workings" are very strange, and sometimes just wrong (praying to Plinio's mother with changing the words of the "Hail Mary"? Venerating the hat of Plinio which rests upon a chair?).
    They may hit the target on many issues; I, also, read their blog.
    But their relationship with the Church is very questionable; and their "communal life" (unfortunately, as in many of the Spanish/South American communities)
    is based upon secret pledges and an almost antagonistic attitude towards the hierarchical authority; if memory serves me, even the Bishop consecrated illicitly by Archbishop LeFebvre from Brazil repudiated them because they were so disobedient and strange,
    Just my opinion.

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  14. My sister and her hubby were tricked by this group during the 40 Days for Life campaign they were doing in their area. When we investigated them, we found lots of red flags, among them, the fact that the bishops of Brazil banned them from that country, for all that info is worth. Unity Publishing has some info on it, which you can also take with a grain of salt.

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  15. Thanks, Terry, for not "editing" me...the NCReporter evidently is not in with "free speech"...jerks!...I cannot get a comment on there with all their frickin' garbage...
    Amerika...yeah, that's it...

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  16. The TFP's relationship with the Church is not "questionable" at all. In fact, quite the contrary, there are many members of the hierarchy (priests as well as bishops and cardinals) that have praised their work. According to the TFP's website: "the American TFP is a private association of faithful formed by a free agreement among some of the faithful (canon 299 §1) exercising their right to freely found and govern associations for charitable or pious purposes or to promote the Christian vocation in the world (canon 215), to imbue and perfect the temporal order with the spirit of the Gospel (canon 225 §2), or to animate the temporal order with the Christian spirit (canon 298 §1). It works so that the divine message of salvation becomes known and accepted by all persons throughout the world (canon 225 §1)."

    Also, from the diocese of Harrisburg: "Catholic Answers recently contacted the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for an update on the status of Tradition, Family, and Property (the organization that sponsors America Needs Fatima), and was told that this group - their national headquarters is located in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania - has a good relationship with the diocese. To the knowledge of the person we spoke with, the diocese has not received negative reports about their activities. We also were told that once a year the Bishop of Harrisburg grants TFP permission to use a local parish for the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass. The spokesperson added that the presider is a Maronite priest, who is in good standing with the Diocese of Brooklyn." http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=2747852&postcount=44

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  17. Accusations against the TFP is nothing new. The most "serious" of the bunch is about the bishops of Brazil "banning" them from the country. Do you bother to ask if this was unanimous to all the bishops of Brazil? Do you even know what the reputation is of many of the Bishops in Brazil, who are notoriously leftist of the socialist and communist ilk? So, some Bishops in Brazil (it was not unanimous) opposed the TFPs action against Socialist Land Reform. It would be a badge of honor for any Catholic activist worth anything to be condemned for defending the Church's position regarding land reform. This is the truth but why does only the first part of this truth always the part that's repeated. It's always about the TFP being "condemned." But the reason they are "condemned" is suspiciously missing. When this attitude becomes so constant, what becomes obvious is ulterior motives.

    To nazareth priest, seriously, if you have an accusation to make, state them clearly and in the affirmative. And, judge the TFP by Catholic doctrines not "catholic suspicions." Don't couch cowardly behind "in my humble" opinion and "I heard" type of gossip.

    Truthfully, there is nothing worst than people involved in idle gossip.

    "Outer workings" and "inner workings"??? Fruit=Tree? Remember Our Lord's parable. If there are any heretical stances of this organization, then let's have it out. Why cast a suspicion on the interior if EVERYTHING on the exterior is good. No further comment necessary on that.

    Relics of the founder and his mother: Do you even know who they were and how they lived and died? The last act of the mother of the founder before she laid her hands to rest (and I mean that quite literally) was to make a solemn sign of the cross. What a way to die? Which also points to the way she lived. The founder, well, his life is public and all one needs to do is pick up any of his biographies to prove how he lived and died at the service of Holy Mother Church. Why couldn't any body consider them as saints and within the caution of the Church regarding private venerations, pray to them as such.

    Regarding the homosexual vice: we need to differentiate between vice and inclination. All men are born with original sin and automatically have varying forms of bad inclinations whether it is to violence, anger, laziness, gluttony, vanity or rumor mongering. An inclination doesn't turn into a vice UNTIL a person acts upon it and develops BEHAVIORS that are compatible to it. A "vice" is automatically a sin. An inclination is not. A sin is automatically condemned and reject by the Church.

    How is it that people who seem to be tolerant and understanding of homosexuals, also seem to be intolerant of the TFP? What sin did they commit that makes them so rejected by you, nazereth priest.

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  18. Thanks everyone - I just heard via email that our Archbishop Nienstedt wrote an introduction to one of their books - I don't have the exact details, but I suspect there must be many bishops who look favorably upon the organization. Like I said, I often reference their Tradition in Action site for many things - sometimes for photos of liturgical abuse and such.

    As St. Paul noted in his letter to the Corinthians, "there have to be factions among you, in order that those who are approved among you may become known." 1 Cor. 11:17-26

    Works for me.

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  19. Fwiw, I met with my pastor for dinner. We talked, and it was good. He didn't read the interview closely enough before he included it in the bulletin, and he doesn't subscribe to their materials- they just send them.

    Huge load off of my mind.

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  20. Well that's quite wonderful now isn't it Thomnus! Now aren't you sorry you started such a ruckus?

    ;)

    Just kidding - I feel so British these days, with the Pope in the UK and all.

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  21. LOL

    Certainly not.

    If I were to be British, I'd like to be Thomnum. I think a house in the hollow of a tree and hot tea and British food would be a lovely life.

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  22. Dear Terry -- could you change the photo at the top of this post? It is not an image of TFP and is misleading.

    Many thanks to you and prayers for a blessed upcoming Christmas season!

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  23. Dear Nazareth Priest, I would like to respectfully recommend you to learn about the TFP directly from them... I am surprised that a religious figure of the clergy would make his statement based on "from what I heard about them". As Catholics we know that the 8th Commandment is very serious and the sin of detraction is not cleared only by confession, but we have to go and pursue all those who we contacted spreading calumnies. My recommendation to anybody in any situation if you want to know about somebody LOOK FOR THEM and ask THEM, WHO THEY ARE, WHAT DO THEY THINK, WHAT THEY BELIEVE, WHO IS BEHIND THEM, after you can take your own conclusions and be serious about what you comment.

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