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REMINDER – Face the Truth pro-life effort TOMORROW 10/01! September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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The Face the Truth campaign for abortion awareness is tomorrow!  All times/locations below:

SATURDAY, October 1st:

STOP 1 – Greenville/Walnut Hill
0800-0930
Park at Hospital parking lot

STOP 2 – Royal/Preston
10:30 – 12:00 noon
Park in strip mall parking lot

STOP 3 – Northwest Highway
Near Northpark Mall entrance
1:00 – 2:30 pm
Park at Borders

STOP 4 – Mockingbird/Abrams
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Park in strip mall parking lot at NorthWest corner

SUNDAY, October 2nd:

STOP 1 – Royal/Greenville
near Southwestern Abortion Mill
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Park at Harry Moss Park

STOP 2 – Mockingbird/Greenville
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Park at 24 Hour Fitness parking lot 

All details at the Pro L ife Texas website.  More info here

I hope to see you at one or more of the locations.  I should be able to participate in at least two of the “tour stops.”

What is poverty? September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, Society, Virtue.
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We often hear many, both in the Church and without, assailing those who adhere to a more conservative or libertarian philosophy, with the notion that Christianity demands that we support endless wealth transfers through the government from certain ‘wealthy’ groups to other ‘poor’ groups.  While I have argued many times that this view is wrong, that the Gospels are far more concerned with our personal acts of charity made voluntarily, and less concerned about economic systems or forced charity under government fiat, it is helpful, perhaps, to have a view of what constitutes ‘poverty’ in this country, in this year of our Lord 2011.  Catholic Vote links to a report I actually saw a week or two ago, but was too busy to post on, done by the Heritage Foundation that looks at the living standard of those who the federal government rates as being in a state of poverty:

Examining the actual living conditions of the poor, authors Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield reached two major conclusions. The poor enjoy amenities that the middle class did generations ago:

• 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
• 92 percent of poor households have a microwave.
• Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.
Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.
• Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.
• Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.

Also, few poor people suffer from true material hardship:

• Over the course of a year, 4 percent of poor persons become temporarily homeless.
96 percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry at any time during the year because they could not afford food. [contrast this with numerous news reports that blare out misleading or outright false headlines that “40% of Texas children hungry!”]
• 83 percent of poor families reported having enough food to eat.
• 82 percent of poor adults reported never being hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money for food.

Some additional data from the Heritage Foundation (which is, of course, a conservative think tank):

I have no doubt that there are very poor people in this country, people that really and truly need help. I have no problem with that.  I highly encourage everyone to give to the extent they discern they can to charitable organizations of their choosing.  I have done several posts listing good charities in the past.  But we must be aware that, already in this country, a massive amount of assistance is provided to those whose monetary income falls below a certain level.  We also face an unprecendented problem of government debt that threatens to destroy or permanently damage the economy of this country.  So, given the material and other comforts those listed as being in poverty presently enjoy, it seems we might be able to cut back in some of these assistance programs without leaving millions of Americans to die on the streets of cold and starvation.  We have a fair amount of flexibility, it would seem.  It would seem some folks could probably get by if government assistance, which is money either taken from other citizens or, increasingly, borrowed, were cut to some degree.  But to hear many in the Church, especially those who work for various organs of the USCCB or certain dioceses, any even marginal cut to these wealth transfers is not only going to lead to complete devastation, but is also contrary to mind of the Church, perhaps even sinful. 

I would remind these folks that we get no individual graces from confiscatory wealth transfers.  Money taken by the government is money some or many of us cannot then use to support individuals in need more directly.  America is the most charitable country on the planet.  Government wealth transfers are horribly inefficient means of  providing assistance to the poor, with as much as half of the monies taken being consumed by administration, waste, lobbying efforts, and just plain squandered.  There is much merit in encouraging all Catholics to be more generous in aiding those in poverty through direct giving.  But I tire of this reflexive rhetoric from the USCCB and certain individual bishops, that even relatively small cuts to their favored programs (which, incidentally, make up a huge percentage of the budgets of USCCB organs like Catholic Charities) equate to a gross violation of  moral virtue. 

I am most tired of socialism, or at least big BIG government liberalism, being the default position of the USCCB.   As Austin Ruse says on the same topic “As Catholics we have an obligation to help the poor, but we are not obliged to indulge in liberal fantasies or to get pushed around by poverty activists – even Catholic ones.”

I used to listen to country music all the time…. September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition.
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……..and I have this great collection of about 1200 “good country” songs on my computer and phone.  But lately all I want to listen to is chant – especially early Roman and Byzantine, but also Gregorian.  It’s TEH awesome!

I know, I have issues!

Bishops supporting young, orthodox theologians? September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition.
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I have some personal experience with this topic, via a young man of my acquiantance. Two articles addressing young theologians appeared recently – one claiming bishops seek their support to help reinvigorate the Catholic identity of many nominally Catholic colleges and other institutions, while the other points to the huge problems that remain.  First the effort to encourage more faithful theologians to gain positions of influence:

Seeking to reverse a generational breakdown in the transmission of faith, the U.S. bishops have targeted a potential ally — young theologians who have just begun to teach undergraduates at Catholic universities. 

In an effort to build bridges between Church leaders and departments of theology and religious studies, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the chairman of the Committee on Doctrine at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, organized a gathering to foster dialogue between two camps with distinct but complementary missions.

“The Intellectual Tasks of the New Evangelization,” a symposium held here at the Washington Court Hotel, provided a forum for 54 untenured theologians from across the country to engage with Church leaders and prominent theologians………….

…At the symposium, Archbishop DiNoia explored related themes in an often passionate address. The work of a Catholic theologian “is not simply an academic vocation. It is an ecclesial vocation,” he stated. The task at hand required an affirmation of the “doctrinal core of the Catholic faith” and a concerted effort to address the “internal and external factors” that impede the New Evangelization. [Uff da…….’new evangelization.’  Alright, fighting through that silliness, what is being talked around is the profound tendency among numerous theologians of a certain age to reject Church Doctrine in their full embrace of modernism]

He counseled his audience not to allow academic specialization and speculative work to lead them to ignore the fullness of the Church’s teaching. [or reject it outright]

 

…….Archbishop DiNoia touched on the sensitive topic of episcopal oversight of theology departments at Catholic universities and colleges. While acknowledging that scholars “have an instinctive allergy with regard to any censorship of thought,” he insisted that the Church had an obligation to confront theological dissent.  [It’s amazing that a statement like that even has to be made.  We have fallen so very far]

He noted that the need for intervention by Church authorities has increased over time: “The more theologians are no longer reliably able to affirm what the doctrine means, the more the magisterium intervenes.”

A central obstacle to the New Evangelization, he asserted, was the “internal secularization of the Church. The enemy occupies our territory.” The steady advance of secularism has fueled doubts about the intelligibility of the faith, resulting in an “apologetic apologetics.”

Boy, that last bit is true.  There are many DREs and others at the diocesan and parish level that seem terribly embarrassed about whole swaths of the Faith.  They try to explain much of it away, while trying to force the Gospel into some washed out, watered down belief acceptable to our increasingly secular, pagan, modernist culture.  It is a massive problem, and one that has trickled down from academia.  When the modernist assault really began about 100 odd years ago, many Catholic theologians immediately surrendered the high ground, acquiescing to ostensibly “scientific” analyses (many since disproved) of Biblical events and other sources of the Deposit of Faith, and backing away from a strong defense of the Faith.  They were almost embarrassed to hold orthodox opinions.  I believe the younger people entering this field are more orthodox overall, but many problems will likely remain for some time. 

For instance…….in the second article, younger, orthodox theologians relate that they desire greatly to uphold the Faith in all its richness and have no desire to twist it into some heterodox, modernist, or protestant deformation, but their problem is lack of support from the episcopate:

the majority of young Catholic philosophers and theologians that I have met through my teaching—in England, Canada, and America—are eager to serve the Church, to imbibe her customs, and to perpetuate her faith. For the most part, where frustration is felt it is not at being restricted by authority; it is at not being confidently commissioned. Being a bishop is not for cowards. Failure of episcopal leadership in the post-Vatican II era has typically not been in the clumsy exercise of power, but in their reluctance to support those who defend authentic Catholic teaching. This trend is passing. 

Is it?  I pray it is, and while there are some positive signs, I would say progress has been painfully slow.   But reading on in the second article, I remain concerned, for even among these ‘orthodox’ theologians, they trumpet theology of the body as a prime tool of the ‘new evangelization.’  There is still an unhealthy focus on humanism.  What I would hope the last 100 years would show to anyone with eyes to see is that we need a focus on God, on serving Him in His Triune Nature and the Church He placed on earth to be both His Body in a temporal sense and the only gateway to spending eternity with Him in Heaven.  While the humanist/personalist approach may seem attractive to many since it seems to ‘play well’ in our current times, I think it is a dead end, or, more, a cul de sac, that will take people back to the same place we find ourselves today – with a Church that is inordinately focused on the temporal.

Back to my personal experience.  I know a young man with an advanced degree from the Angelicum in Rome.  He is thoroughly orthodox.  He went on numerous interviews at a number of nominally Catholic universities for positions in theology departments, and was rejected in all as being “too orthodox,” too lock step with the mind of the Church.  So now he works as a youth minister at a parish in this state.  I have knowledge of other, similar stories, of people being fired as DREs for being “insufficiently pastoral,” or “inflexible” when it comes to the revealed Truth the Church holds. 

We have a very long way to go.  While I believe there are many positive signs, I think there is also much danger that even this new, more orthodox generation can go in the wrong direction if they follow some of the schools of thought that have developed in the last several decades.  That we need bishops to not only support these more orthodox theologians is beyond question.  There should be pressure brought to bear on Catholic universities to accept these orthodox individuals for tenure track positions.  But even more, even though it might be very painful, we need more examples of leadership who will publicly correct, reject, and/or renounce those theologians who consistently either reject the Faith or propose “interpretations” that are strongly counter to the constant belief of the Church.  Hard hearted though it may seem, some of these individuals really ought to lose their positions.  You cannot blend Truth with error.

Happy Excommunication! September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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LarryD at Acts of the Apostasy is a funny guy.  Should he ever come to Dallas, I would happily buy him the non-alcoholic beverage of his choice.  He’s got a blog post with greeting cards for heretics that he made.  They cracked me up quite a bit:

Good lord, what is it with heretics and horrendous vestments?  See the rest here.

There is, after all, a war still going on September 30, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, General Catholic.
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Although often it is easy to forget, there is still a real war going on in Afghanistan (among many other places, sadly).  I don’t know how old this video is, I think it is several years old and I think I’ve seen it before, but it captures some of the incredible nature of combat (language warning):

On one of the runs, the A-10 fired a 7 second burst, which is incredibly long.  The GAU-8/A Avenger cannon in the A-10 produces a tremendous recoil – firing bursts for that length of time can slow the aircraft down sufficiently to stall.  Obviously, “bitchin’ betty” was complaining with altitude warnings.  In addition, the huge amount of smoke from the cannon can also cause an engine flameout.  A 7 second burst even at the GAU-8’s “low” speed firing setting would discharge 245 rounds – each massive round weighs about 1 lb.  At the higher rate, 490 rounds would have been discharged.  That’s alot. 

Obviously alot of shooting going on in the background.  The forward air controller or combat controller displayed amazing cool under fire. 

Just some of the sufferings our troops endure.  They certainly merit our prayers, as do their families, who carry a terrible burden when a loved one is deployed in combat.

On a local note, going to DFW airport to greet the troops is a very noble thing to do.  Simply supporting them and welcoming them home does not imply an agreement in principle with the wars in which they are serving – hopefully, we have learned the lesson of Vietnam and will never treat our returning troops so shamefully again. 

info on greeting the troops – randr

For a feel for how large the A-10’s cannon is:

More plane PrON: