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Less confrontational – Chant November 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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Hopefully, everyone can enjoy this – Dies Irae (Day of Wrath):

Thanks, Msgr. Pope!

I know we’ve now passed the “end times” at the end of the Liturgical year, but I think good chant is something that can be enjoyed at anytime.  Now that we are in the penitential season of Advent, a time of preparation for the great Feast to come, I plan to try to focus more on spiritual topics and less on confrontational issues like this Pope-condom thing, which is really annoying me for a number of reasons (one, I really like this Pope, and, two, I’m just not really in the mood to be so confrontational, constantly).

Here’s another good English version of the hymn composed by that great author of Catholic hymnody, St. Ambrose, Veni Redemptor Gentium (from the same source):

What a great hymn for Advent!

Immaculate Conception Novena starts today November 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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In anticipation of one of the few remaining weekday Holy Days of Obligation, you can start the Novena for the Immaculate Conception of Mary (when she conceived Jesus as a virgin) today.  Thanks to my secret Carmelite link/diocesan insider!

Immaculate Conception Novena – start today

Father all-powerful and ever-living God,
you chose the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
the mother of your Son, to be the mother and help of all Christians.
As she endured her bitter agony
at the cross of her Son, she was consoled by you
with the hope of His resurrection.
Now, in heaven
she consoles with a mother’s love all who turn to her with faith,
until the day of the Lord dawns in glory.
~Pray the Memorare~
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me.
~We pray~
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
we are filled with confidence that your prayers on our behalf
will be graciously heard before the throne of God.
Please mention your intentions 

O Glorious Mother of God,
in memory of your joyous Immaculate Conception,
hear our prayers and obtain for us our petitions. AMEN

Totally non sequitir November 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Society.
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Since all the blogs seem to still largely be in “all Pope condom all the time” mode, here’s a non sequitir sure to bore many, but maybe Colleen will enjoy it.  The air war in Vietnam was incredibly painful, most of all because of a senior civilian leadership deciding within weeks of the start of the conflict that bombing wouldn’t achieve their ends, and then, inexplicably, continuing in that bombing campaign, in fits and starts, for many more years.  The handicaps placed on American airmen were ridiculous – so many high value targets were prohibited, and the North Vietnames proceeded to take every advantage of these self-imposed limitations to build the world’s most formidable air defense network. 

Anyway, one aircraft that fought very hard in that misbegotten conflict was the F-105 Thunderchief, the Thud.  It was designed as a high speed, low level nuclear strike aircraft, designed to take one tactical nuclear device at high subsonic speeds on a likely one way mission into Eastern Europe if the really big balloon had ever gone up.  Instead, they wound up dropping iron bombs over N. Vietnam.  Of 833 F-105s constructed, almost half, 398, were shot down over N. Vietnam.  Many more were so badly wounded or war weary that they went to the boneyard at Davis Monthan immediately after the conflict.  By the early 70s, there were only a couple of reserve wings and one active duty still flying the Thud.

During the Rolling Thunder period, from mid 1965 till mid 1968, F-105 pilots were required to fly 100 missions over N. Vietnam to get a ticket home.  In the thick of this period, it was estimated that a pilot had an almost zero percent chance of flying 100 missions successfully.  In the second video, you’ll see an F-105 pilot with a very hard earned “100 Missions North” patch flying ANOTHER tour. Not sure who that pilot is, but he has cast iron you know whats.

Why am I writing this today?  I guess I’m posting on this because I read a book about Servant of God and Medal of Honor recipient Fr. Vincent Capoddano last week.  He was killed in Operation Swift when attached to the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines near Da Nang in September 1967.  Then, I also got to revel in my wife’s uncle’s stories about his 3 tours in “the Nam.”  He was is a Marine and was in country when Fr. Capoddano was killed, but did not know him.  Uncle Milo (Emilio Rendon) has had a hard time coming to terms with his experiences in Vietnam, but took a trip there this last summer and seems to be opening up a bit.  He has a number of friends whose names are on that wall in Washington, DC.

You can see the 100 Missions North patch on the left sleeve of the pilot at the end of this clip:

Then there is this song by Dick Jonas, a former USAF fighter pilot who flew with the 433rd TFS (Satan’s Angels), 8th TFW, under the famous Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, USAF, Ret., called Thud Pilot:

I’m a Thud Pilot
I love  my plane
It is my body
I am its brain
My Thunderchief loves me
and I love her, too,
but I get the creeps with only one seat
and one engine, too

She’s faster than lightning,
it says on her dials,
to get a Thud airborne,
takes only two miles**,
she’s packed with transistors,
black boxes, diodes
but stay alert
cuz you might get hurt,
when she explodes.

She totes more bombs,
than a B-17,
my F-105,
has a gun and she’s mean***,
but if I hit my hundred,
and I’m still alive,
I’ll have no grief,
goodbye Thunderchief,
my F-105

** – The F-105 Thunderchief was built by Republic Aviation, a company noted for building aircraft that were fast, very tough, but requiring seemingly endless amounts of runway to takeoff.  At maximum takeoff weight, in the hot and humid conditions of SEA, Thunderchiefs routinely had trouble taking off in the 10-12,000 feet provided.

*** – Unlike most aircraft in the Vietnam conflict, especially most versions of the F-4 Phantom II, the F-105 mounted an internal M61A1 20mm 6 barrell rotary cannon (gatling gun).  But the Thud was no dogfighter – with small wings designed to permit supersonic flight at low level, it had high wing loading and could not turn well at normal dogfighting speeds.  But, a few F-105s did score MiG kills during the conflict.

Carmelite prayer vigil this Friday November 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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All Night Adoration First Friday, Dec. 3/4


Pray for Our COUNTRY and its future

Discalced Carmelite Nuns Invite YOU!!

Starts Friday night     come as early as 4 PM

Ends just before 7 AM Mass on Saturday, Dec. 4


First Mass (prayed in Latin) 8:00 PM

there are English/Latin and Spanish/Latin red books at back of church to follow

Food & Drink available in the room next to the chapel. Please help yourself!

2nd Mass (in Latin)  3:00 AM

Leave your personal prayer requests

The Nuns will storm heaven!

The Monastery is at 600 Flowers Ave., Dallas, 75211, off of Jefferson. 

convenient from I-30  and Loop 12.

From downtown:  take I-30 going west, exit LOOP 12 south,

For more information, please see attached flyer or
call 214-704-4541
 Sunday, Dec. 5 from 3:30 – 4:15 PM at the Carmelite Monastery, you are welcome to join the Confraternity of the Holy Face, where we pray the Devotions to The Holy Face and then Deacon Leo leads the Benediction. No dues or fees. You may leave your prayer requests with the Carmelites. For more information:  call 214-704-4541


 take the second exit, which is
Go through the stop light and straight
 drive past 7 or 8 blocks, you will see tire & auto repair shops, then a small church (drive past)
shortly after that, TURN RIGHT ON FLOWERS Street. Address is 600 S. Flowers. Go through the Monastery gates.  park anywhere. 
These events will be ongoing on First Friday’s, see data attached in the flyer below. 
All night carmelites_dec jan feb march 2011

Alleged priest abuser tries to murder victim November 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic.
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Many have probably heard of the story of an ostensible Catholic priest, already charged with child molestation, now facing murder charges after having tried to put out a hit on the victim of his pederasty.  But since I am tied so very, very deeply into not just the local, or national, but the international Catholic community (re: my father in law knows a bunch of priests), I can perhaps add a bit to this story.  Why?  Because not only does my wife’s family have some experience with this “priest”, this “priest” pretty much freaked some of my wife’s family out. 

So why am I putting priest in quotes?  Because, this guy, this John Fiala, showed up at the SOLT facility down in Robstown, TX one day several years ago and claimed to be a priest.  He claimed to have been ordained in the Phillipines, or in Mexico (I think the story changed), and wanted to get on with SOLT.  SOLT asked for his records or ordination, seminary transcripts, etc., and he would not/could not provide them.  On a personal note, he also started hanging out with a member of my wife’s family who had suffered a personal tragedy and during that time Fiala was behaving pretty oddly.  My father in law did not trust the guy at all.  Since he could not provide any of the requested information, he was never a priest with SOLT, although he may have claimed to be – SOLT never approved his joining their order. I guess he eventually went down to San Antonio and convinced them he was authentic, and he got on at a parish in Rocksprings, at the edge of the diocese.  He began abusing a boy some time later.  That odd behavior I mentioned earlier, it did involve his seeming to have an inordinate interest in both women and boys.  He was a very strange person.

And so now he has not only allegedly abused a teenage boy, he then tried to put a hit out on him.

The Pope November 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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I was out of town, but I heard about the Pope’s condom comments.  I don’t know what to think, other than granting a book length interview during a Papacy is both unprecendented and seemingly not very wise.  I pray that one day the Vatican will get a top-notch 1950’s PR team together.  That would be an improvement by about a century. 

UPDATE: This is a complete disaster.  The comments above (I deleted them later) were based on early analysis of events as of last weeked – subsequent “clarifications” have been far, far worse – apparently, women, men, whomever can use condoms at will provided they intend to prevet the spread of VD.  This, although not Magisterial, would represent a HUGE change in Church Doctrine, a disastrous change, because hte Truth cannot change, right?  I think the Pope was trying to speak extemporeanously without causing the firestorm he caused last year with his comments on a flight to Africa, and he appears to have stumbled in to a potentially bigger controversy.  No wonder he looked so lost and exhausted last night at the Vigil for Nascet life. 

Seriously, tell me how this is not a serious problem.  This opens the door hugely wide for contraceptive use, a radical change in Church Doctrine (contraceptive use has been opposed since the inception of the Church, all the Fathers were opposed, vehemently so), and an incredibly muddle-headed moral analysis, to boot.  I’ll have to seriously consider SSPX if this train of “moral theology” continues.  I would say the Vatican-SSPX and Vatican-Orthodox talks just hit an enormous impasse.

UPDATE2:  I don’t know how much blogging I’ll do today – I thought of a number of items over the last week I wanted to cover, but right now I’m not certain I’ll get to them.  I found a copy of the Ratzinger Report at my father in law’s old house, and I’m reading that, and I had some thoughts last night, because in that other book length interview, the Pope seems to indicate exactly the opposite of what he’s saying now, just as he seemed to say a year or so ago on that fabled flight to Africa, when he decried any condom use for AIDS prevention.  But now, it’s apparently a positive moral good to use condoms.  In fact, the Pope’s statement is very hard to wrap one’s head around, as it is worded in some seemingly contradictory manner, but it’s the followup by Fr. Lombardi that I have a very hard time understanding, and that makes me very unnerved:

“I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lombardi said. “He told me no. The problem is this … It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship.”

This is if you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual. We’re at the same point. The point is it’s a first step of taking responsibility, of avoiding passing a grave risk onto another,” Lombardi said

My first problem with the Pope’s statement is the assumption that the use of a condom is a positive good, a “more moral” act than not using one, at least in terms of AIDS prevention.  This is a contradiction compared to what he stated on that flight to Africa.  Secondly, with the expansion of the argument to include not just male on male sex, which would be a limited case and not much affect Church Doctrine since 2 men going at it can’t be fecund, anyway, but including men and women using condoms to prevent AIDS from spreading, this IS a huge change – no Catholic Pope ever in the history of the Church has said there were any circumstances in which a woman and man could use a condom in their sexual activity.  AIDS is not such a game changer that it requires a redefinition of the Church’s stance on this key moral issue – there have been potentially deadly venereal diseases from time immemorial, including syphillis and secondary infections stemming from gonorrhea.  So this expansion of the argument beyond that originally presented in this new book length interview is enormous.  If Fr. Lombardi is faithfully representing the Pope’s views, I do not see how this is not a very significant change – it is being argued that in order to prevent the spread of a disease, male-female couples can use a device that renders procreation impossible.  I pray there will be further clarifications of this (read, retraction).

But think about the current situation, folks – now anyone could justify using a condom to prevent the spread of venereal disease, and have such use seemingly sanctioned by the Pope.  It was stated even married couples can use condoms – so anyone could say “hmm….I did have unprotected sex one time years ago, and while I’m now trying to live as a faithful Catholic, I could have a disease, I better use a condom, and that way, we may not have umpteen kids, too.”  The marriage act is thus frustrated.   

The only good thing about this is that this interview is not a Magisterial pronouncement, but it’s nevertheless not good.

UPDATE3: Many are saying that the Pope’s comments are not being fairly analyzed, or are being taken out of context.  Well, deal with it, that’s the world we’re in, and if one makes statements that are potentially explosive and with unclear or insufficient caveats, then the media will do what the media does, they’ll run with it if there is even a dim chance that their preferred interpretation can be reasonably drawn out from the statement.  It’s foolishly naive to try to argue that the media is somehow being unfair – it’s just doing what it does.  If you don’t want statements taken out of context, don’t make nebulous statements, and don’t have your chief PR officer seemingly take that statement about 12 miles further down the logical road.  Frankly, the caveat is insufficient – “The Church doesn’t regard condom use as a real or moral solution, BUT one could view condom use as a step towards morality if you’re already imbued in the pagan culture.”  Do you really think the pagans aren’t going to take that statement and run with it, seeing as it could be taken to endorse exactly what they want it to endorse?  It seems to make a positive good out of something that has always been declared intrinsically evil, the use of contraceptive devices.

UPDATE4: Unless I see something really interesting, I think I’ll drop it after this.  According to the SSPX commentary on this issue (thanks to commenter Tom), the Pope also, in this interview, described those who adhere as fully as they can to the Doctrine re-emphasized in Humanae Vitae (which did nothing more than re-affirm Church Doctrine since the Fathers) as “deeply convinced minorities” who offer others “a fascinating model to follow,” as if faithful Catholics are an interesting sociological specimen.  Is that a ringing endorsement of Church Doctrine which has been explained and clarified and repeated by Popes from the earliest founding of the Church through to this present day?