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I need something nutty January 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, silliness.
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After the heavy issues of Fr. Rodriguez and Michael Voris, I feel the need to post something light.  This is a video of an S-2 Tracker anti-submarine warfare aircraft being launched off the deck of USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14) in fairly heavy seas, I would guess sometime in the 60s.  I’ve never seen this before – an aircraft flying into heavy wash coming over the deck and coming through it!

Awesomeness!

Here’s an LSO named ‘Bug’ Roach guiding an A-6 into a barrier landing on CV-61 Ranger in 1987:

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Reminder – 2012 Dallas March for Life this Saturday January 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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The atrocity of abortion on demand continues to haunt this nation.  Abortion on demand began in Dallas (at least, as a court case), and I pray that it may end here.  Shuttle buses depart the Cathedral at 7:30 for a prayer vigil outside the Routh Street mill.  That vigil lasts from 7:45 until 8:45. The Roe Memorial Mass is at 10 am, but if you want a seat, I suggest getting there 1 1/2 to 2 hour early.  The March for Life begins at noon. 

I shall be there for the march, God willing!  I pray I see many there – let’s set a new record!  10,000 last year, let’s have 15,000 this year!

St. Paul could be writing today……. January 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society, Tradition.
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………from the First Chapter of Galatians, verses 1-10, Douay-Reims version:

Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead, [2] And all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia. [3] Grace be to you, and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, [4] Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present wicked world, according to the will of God and our Father: [5]To whom is glory for ever and ever. Amen.

[6] I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. [7] Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. [9] As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. [10] For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

What St. Paul was arguing for, in essence, in his Letter to the Galatians, was that the private revelation of various Jews who wanted to impose the Pharisaical law on the new converts of Galatia was wrong, mortally wrong, and that the church of Galatia must hold fast to the Gospel that had been transmitted to them by St. Paul – to hold fast to the nascent Church, in essence.  For Judaizers, quoting Scripture privately, had come to separate the Galatians from the Church and return them to the slavery of the old law. 

Paul would have none of it.  For freedom does not come from private interpretation of Scripture, but through submission to the Church, which is the only Body divinely instituted by Christ to disseminate and interpret Scripture for right understanding of the same.  And that interpretation forms the other aspect of divinely instituted Authority – Tradition.  Slavery comes through sin, which we engage in when we place ourselves above the Church and determine that WE can decide which portions of Divine revelation we wish to adhere to through our private interpretations.  Thus, the young man in the video below has things exactly backwards, as so many in our culture do today.  It is not through a private love of Jesus that we become free, but through submission to all that Christ has revealed through His Church.  How many great Saints, with holiness and charity orders of magnitude above the ‘rapper’ below, can attest to this?

Protestantism is in the end stages of the splintering it has undergone constantly since it emerged as a revolt against the Church 500 years ago – the large majority of young ‘believers’ feel that they don’t need a church or a “religion,” that they can get by just fine with a Bible and their own preconceived notions.  I think that explains why an increasing number of young protestant evangelicals behave in a manner which is indistinguishable from the world, up to and including the embrace of oxymorons like ‘gay marriage.’   It also explains the increasing spread of “house” churches that are nothing more than groups of 5 or 10 people who happen to share the same views on Scripture.  How many “denominations” will there be? 

Of course, the same applies within our Church, where many want to shuck Tradition and portions of Scripture they find unpalatable.  Perhaps all of us do that to some extent, but there is a difference between having an unconscious bias that may lead one to underappreciate a certain aspect of Doctrine, and a conscious, willful dismissal of the same.  I pray constantly that I do not do this.  It can be a tough thing, with so much scandal and disappointment ongoing. But I strive to differentiate between the individual members of the Church – even the leaders – who may disappoint or sow confusion, even error, at times, and the eternal Body of Christ that the Church is in essence.

I love Jesus, but hate religion January 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness, silliness, Virtue.
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Surely, one of the  more asinine thoughts to gain popularity in our culture is the idea that one can ‘love Jesus,” but hate religion.  There is apparently quite a buzz over this video on Youtube, with many people “liking” it, but also many pointing out the utter fallacy of the claims made:

It’s so easy to “love Jesus and hate religion,” when you make both a creation of your own mind, totally disjointed from reality, and use this so comfortably characterized “Jesus” to align perfectly with your own preconceived notions.  The factual fallacies are constant:

  1. Jesus did not come to abolish religion – he came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (and he told Peter he would build His Church on this rock – him)
  2. This constant refrain of the agnostic/indifferentist/modernist secular pagans that “religion has started so many wars” is just false, especially with regard to the Christian religion.  Atheistic, materialist communism killed more people in the 20th century than all religious wars combined.   Christianity has started some wars, but islam has started far more.  And let’s face it, the “religion” he is attacking is Christianity, not islam or buddhism or whatever.
  3. Then there is the  meme of religions being very rich, but not feeding the poor.  The ignorance expressed in this statement, especially regarding the Catholic Church, is breathtaking.  First of all, should we not give glory to God?  Can we not build structures that show our love for Him and the incredible Gift He has given us in His Son, His Church, etc.?  And the Catholic Church does more to aid the poor than any other group on earth.
  4. He then goes on to claim that religion makes you a slave, but Jesus ‘frees’ you.  Again, its all based on a fundamental ignorance and misconception – if you don’t have the Church, you can turn Jesus into whatever caricature you want, which is what he’s done.  You can also turn the Church, or religion, into a boogeyman. 

I don’t t know a thing about this guy.  I don’t know if he “really” loves Jesus or not.  I wonder if this is where the increasingly splintered ‘evangelical’ movement is headed – a billion self-defined Jesus lovers, with no church to speak of. 

However, out of this dark comedy of error and ignorance, came some good, to me.  A young diocesan priest discussed this video in a sermon last Friday afternoon, and pointed out that, while the young man is hopefully arguing thusly from ignorance, he is not on a path to salvation.  He will be damned if he persists in his errors.  That is a magnificent statement of Truth – we cannot force “Jesus” into some box of our own making and expect salvation – and he pointed out that far too many Catholics do the same thing (Lord, have mercy on me!).  It was a really good thing to hear, and very necessary, for we all tend to fall into this trap.  That is why we have the Church – to keep us from creating a caricature of Jesus that…….miracle of miracles!…….just happens to conform perfectly with our preferences and desires. 

And that is what so much of the conflict within the Church over the past 50 years has been about – whether we will be a Church focused on serving God and the Truth He has revealed, or something of our own creation, much more, or entirely, human-focused.  The Cult of God vice the cult of man.  It is the perennial battle the Church has fought for 2000  years.  We must all choose.

Some additional updates on Fr. Rodriguez January 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, priests, Saints, scandals, Society.
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The very sad saga of Fr. Michael Rodriguez, a traditionally minded and highly orthodox priest of the El Paso Diocese, continues.  There was a truly execrable article in the El Paso Times on the subject, which, while initially stating that there were ‘alleged’ financial improprieties at San Juan Bautista, then proceeded to fly off into ridiculous unsubstantiated claims and even accuse the Diocese of not sufficiently prosecuting Fr. Rodriguez by not calling the police.  Could it be that the police were not called because this is not at all a criminal matter, but a matter of whether funds were spent in accord with Diocesan approval?  There is a yawning gap in culpability between someone actually stealing money, of which Fr. Rodriguez has not been accused, and a dispute over approvals for certain expenditures.   The article then goes on to try to link Fr. Rodriguez to previous sex abuse cases, when absolutely no such link exists.  As I said, the entire article was a hit piece from beginning to end and reveals the animus that exists among certain elements – very influential elements – of the City of El Paso against Fr. Rodriguez.

Fr. Rodriguez also issued a further press release, which you can read here.  It’s not so much a specific refutation of claims made by Bishop Ochoa, as it is a defense of his character.    

This entire issue is being blown radically out of proportion, and the lawsuit is simply, to my mind, a form of persecution against Fr. Rodriguez for his forthright defense of Church Doctrine, especially with regard to homosexuality.  What is at issue is whether Fr. Rodriguez followed Diocesan norms for all donations received.  There is no issue of theft – good Lord, Fr. Rodriguez lives as simply as can be imagined, he doesn’t even have his own phone.  But San Juan Bautista was a very poor parish in a very poor neighborhood.  It was also in a Diocese with much corruption and abuse ongoing.  Normally, monies received for capital improvements must go to a general Diocesan fund, where they could be spent, theoretically, as money is fungible, on other parishes.  Perhaps a donor of some means was very loathe to have that occur.  Perhaps they insisted on finding a way to only fund activities at San Juan Bautista, without the diocesan assessment, or without being put in the Diocesan trust?  I don’t know this to be the case, but it seems possible.   Many priests around the country have great problems with this funding scheme which has come into being in almost all US dioceses over the last several decades, where rigid approvals have to be sought and given for even minor repair work (I know of one parish locally that had to wait months, even though it had the money available, to put a desperately needed new roof on the church, because the diocesan business office refused to give approval for a normal building repair).   Speculation aside, this entire lawsuit turns on whether Fr. Rodriguez followed proper protocol – certainly, this is an extreme step for any bishop to take on such an issue.

In a related matter, a lay staff member of the Diocese of Kansas City, Mo, already dealing with enough problems, has filed a lawsuit stating he was repeatedly sexually harassed by another lay staffer and a member of the clergy at the chancery, who made unwanted advances of a homosexual nature.  The article is grievously explicit, I warn all readers that the topics discussed are revolting and, if these allegations are true, reveal the hideous nature of the degeneracy which has reached even into so many of our chanceries (to think that a priest ordained to God made one of the statements in the article is heart-breaking).  This homosexuality, actively practiced within the priesthood, is really at the core of the ‘treatment’ Fr. Rodriguez has received, to my mind. 

But I think we all knew that already. 

The action of the Archdiocese of Detroit against RCTV is nonsensical and unjust – UPDATED January 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, blogfoolery, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, scandals, sickness, Virtue.
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I have been doing much research in regard to Real Catholic TV (RCTV) and the Archdiocese of Detroit’s claims that RCTV is “not authorized to use the name Catholic.”  The Archdiocese can claim that all it wants, but these claims amount to little more than harassment and a public relations campaign aimed at undermining RCTV’s moral authority and influence.

As I will show in detail in the following timeline, Real Catholic TV is a corporation owned by Marc Brammer of South Bend, Indiana.  Michael Voris does not own this corporation.   The Archdiocese of Detroit’s “demand” to Voris, declared in an invalid Precept issued in July 2010, that he stop using the term “Catholic” with regard to Real Catholic TV is nonsensical and disingenuous.  How is he to force another company, a company he does not own, to change its name?  It’s a bit like the federal government demanding GM to stop calling itself Ford – even though GM does nothing of the kind.

The Diocese of South Bend, Indiana, apparently has no problems with Real Catholic TV.  As JoeK at Defend Us In Battle pointed out last week, this entire ‘canonical’ effort is nothing more than a PR campaign aimed at smearing RCTV and Michael Voris – a campaign against Voris that long, long predates the existence of Real Catholic TV.  The willing accomplices in the ‘professional Catholic’ world are eagerly piling on, and ‘curious Catholics’ are floating all kinds of bizarre theories – it’s time to set the record straight.

The timeline below will detail the ‘treatment’ the AOD has given Michael Voris dating back over 6 years.  All data below has been culled from various sources close to these events and some public record data, all of which the Archdiocese of Detroit has been aware of for years:

  • In late 2005/early 2006, after a reversion to the Faith, Michael Voris sets up St. Michael’s Media.  He acquires a property, equipment, and begins producing a catechetics series – The One True Faith.    He had previously started a different production company – Concept Productions – in 1997.  So, as of early 2006 he owned two production companies – one a non-profit 501(c)3, St. Michael’s Media, and the other, Concept Productions, a for-profit enterprise.  St. Michael’s Media was self-financed by Voris.
  • By May ’06, St. Michael’s Media is fairly well stood up and is engaging with various Catholic broadcasters on carrying the One True Faith series (which still exists – you can see these episodes on Real Catholic TV).  Voris began to engage with the Archdiocese of Detroit after a staffer suggested they contact the Diocese.  He had cordial talks with several archdiocesan officials, who toured the Saint Michael Media (SMM) facility, had dinner at Voris’ house, etc.  All was fine…..it seemed.
  • But, in October 2006, when SMM was about to get it’s first major client (Archdiocese of Boston), the Archdiocese of Detroit intervened in order to stop Boston from using the One True Faith series on their diocesan TV network.  Voris tried repeatedly to get in touch with AOD sources, but had no luck for some time.  When he finally did, he was treated derisively and told SMM had not followed proper ‘protocol’ (this in spite of the fact that AOD officials had met with Voris several times and never mentioned this ‘protocol’).  Suddenly there was a demand that St. Michael’s Media procure a ‘theological review committee’ to insure they didn’t promote any error or heresy.  Voris pointed out that Michigan Catholic Radio, in the office next door, did not have such a committee, and was met with silence
  • So, over the next several months, Voris put together this ‘review’ committee, including Dr. Martin Brenner, while also pursuing his STB from the Angelicum in Rome.  Brenner, who holds an STD and SSL in theology, assured the AOD that Voris’ programs were perfectly orthodox.  In a meeting on the subject of this ‘review committee,’ AOD representative Fr. Robert McClory was rude, condescending, and generally hostile.  No “approval” was given to St. Michael’s Media.
  • It should be noted that while all this was ongoing , RCTV did not exist.  The above period stretched through 2007 and into 2008.
  • By early 2008, AOD stonewalling has just about run SMM out of money (the point of the exercise?).  However, the One True Faith had run in a few places, and Michael Voris got contacted by Marc Brammer, who was interested in starting up a Catholic apologetics website, after Brammer saw an episode.
  • Brammer paid for development of a website, and started his own company referred to as ‘Greenstar.’  He provided a contract to Concept Productions – Voris’ company – in summer ’08 to provide content for Brammer’s new website – Real Catholic TV.
  • Real Catholic TV is a private, for-profit corporation, located in South Bend, Indiana, where Brammer lives.
  • RealCatholicTV launches in September ’08 in order to comment on the coming presidential election.  Real Catholic TV contracts with the for-profit Concept Production for politically oriented content, and with Saint Michael’s Media for non-political apologetic and formational content.  They also contract with other production companies.
  • This is very similar to how most TV networks run – different production companies sell content to TV networks, who then broadcast it.
  • Throughout this period, there was a constant campaign of back-biting, nasty allegations, and general harassment from the AOD, directed at Voris.  The hostility began with the formation of Saint Michael’s Media in 2006, but grew in intensity as RCTV grew.  It really exploded, however, when……
  • ………in April 2010, Voris produced a RCTV expose and Catholic Investigative Agency (CIA) episode on the relationship between the bishops, Alinsky-ite organizations, and the CCHD.  There was a swift and severe response- The One True Faith program, which had been continuing all along, was pulled out of two major markets within 48 hours of the Alinsky video being released.
  • At roughly the same time began a string of official communications between the AOD and Voris regarding RCTV’s use of the word ‘Catholic.’  Voris pointed out repeatedly that he could not change the name of a company he did not own, but the AOD did not seem to understand or care.
  • July 2010 – a precept is issued against Michael Voris/RCTV by the AOD regarding the use of the term ‘Catholic.’  But, the precept was all wrong, it did not follow the proper format (which consists of an allegation of some problem/heresy/etc., followed by a demand that the problem stop by a certain date, accompanied by a statement of specific action which will be taken against the recipient if the Bishop involved is not satisfied with the reply – like excommunication), it simply consisted of a demand that the word ‘Catholic’ be dropped from RCTV’s name, and that’s it.  There is no threat of some action by the part of the AOD, so there is no way to go to a canon law court.  That really reveals how this entire exercise is just a PR event, an attempt to turn public opinion against RCTV.
  • In response to this precept, Voris replies, again, that he does not own RCTV and cannot change it’s name.  All along, Brammer and Voris had engaged with several noteworthy canon law experts, advising them on their use of the name RCTV.  All these experts have stressed that they can continue to use the name, and that the AOD’s demands are nonsensical and do not rise to the level of a canonical court case.
  • June 2011 – another notification from the AOD to Voris, demanding that “he” stop using the name Catholic, not only for RCTV but also for the ‘Catholic Investigative Agency,’ which is the name of a program.  Will AOD now start issuing precepts against books with the word ‘Catholic’ in the title?
  • Voris again engages with AOD, but gets no reply for 7 months, until Dec. 23 when the AOD issues its press release claiming that RCTV is “not authorized” to use the word ‘Catholic.’
  •  Marc Brammer, owner of RCTV, asks to meet with Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit, but is referred to the previous press release.
  • A further press release is issued on Jan. 3, 2012, timed with posts by Ed Peters and with banner headlines on New Advent and other sites.  Professional Catholics hop on the Voris-bashing bandwagon.  When the Diocese of South Bend, through their judicial vicar (a canon lawyer), state that they feel they have responsibility for the RCTV enterprise, as it resides in their diocese, and have no problem with it, the headlines are not so big.

That pretty much brings us up to today.  I need to stress two points – first, all along, AOD has known that RCTV is based in South Bend, and that Voris does not own it and has no ability to control it or its name.  Secondly, all along RCTV has been advised by top canon lawyers (several of them), who see no problem with their use of the term ‘Catholic’ and who feel that AOD simply has absolutely no canon law case to make – if they had, they would have made it by now, whatever Ed Peters says notwithstanding.

It is the opinion of this author that AOD’s constant hostility to Voris and ALL of his enterprises dating back years before the existence of RCTV is due solely to the orthodox, faithful nature of the content, which the denizens of the chancery in Detroit, home of Call to Action, gay porn in the seminary, collapsing attendance, and other wonderfully Catholic things, simply cannot stand.  It doesn’t suit their purpose, whatever that purpose is.  And since they have no canon law case, they are now striving to do via public relations what they cannot do via canon law – ruin RCTV and Michael Voris.  The manner in which they are going about this effort is nonsensical.  But the persecution itself is unjust.

UPDATE: Steve Kellmeyer has a very interesting analysis of the situation, and especially Ed Peter’s role in it, on his blog.  I think you could safely say that Steve is not impressed with Peter’s arguments that this is a canon law issue.