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Leader of Dissidents Appointed Secretary General of the Franciscans of the Immaculate? September 9, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, error, General Catholic, martyrdom, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, self-serving, shocking, the return.
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Well, this will just about write the book on the Franciscans of the Immaculate, if true.  If this guy is who the German Catholic site Katholisches (via Eponymous Flower, with Tancred’s translation from the German) say he is, the Congregation for Religious has determined to radically altar the direction of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, to basically dispossess the founder of his order, and to make the traditional practice of the Faith at best a sidelight, at best, in the FIs – all criticisms and concerns numerous Catholics expressed when they first learned of this apostolic intervention (I add emphasis and comments):

The Apostolic Commissioner for the Franciscans of the Immaculate has appointed Father Alfonso Bruno as the new Secretary General of the Order. With this he has completed the first step toward rebuilding the traditional Order, as the historian Roberto de Mattei feared he would, as the decision of the Congregation of Religion became known to the faithful and growing Order placed under the coming under provisional administration. 

Father Fidenzio Volpi, OFM Cap was the Commissioner appointed by the Holy See, with the sole power of decision, made Father Alfonso Bruno to his right hand and highest representative of the Order on the 5th of September. The new Secretary General immediately sent a statement to all the brothers of the Order, as he announced himself, that it is the responsibility of the Secretary, the Commissioner to help “the members of the Order and to the outside” help, “to handle all correspondence sent by the Apostolic Commissione, to publish all of the minutes of meetings set by the Apostolic Commissioner, to manage the General Archives of the Order and to update the statistics. The General Secretary shall act as the sole spokesman of the Order during the period of provisional administration.”  [I’m sure it goes rather farther than that.  So, how many Franciscan of the Immaculate monasteries or priests have sought and received permission to offer the TLM?]

The Neapolitan Father Alfonso Bruno is 44 years old. Until July 2013, he was the head of the media office of the Order and was mainly related to some incidents there. He was responsible of his website of the Order Mediatrice.net which published some dubious articles by Mario Castellano, where it praised the government of Mario Monti and the Eurokratenstaat EU. [I don’t know what this means.  Favoring left wing politics, statism?]  The same Castellano is close to Father Bruno, was known elsewhere through his articles in favor of Islam and for the construction of mosques in Europe. [That seems rather contrary to Tradition, or a traditional practice of the Faith]

While the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception actively supported March for Life in Italy and marched in it as an Order, Mediatrice.net was deathly silent in both 2012 and 2013.  [Well, who knows.  We need more than damning by failure to act]

The website recently published an exuberant praise of the Jesuit Paolo Dall’Oglio, who was kidnapped on 27 July 2013 by Islamists in Syria. Dall’Oglio, was murdered by Jihadists according to the report of an Arabic website on the 12th of August, but could be neither officially confirmed nor denounced accordingly, was active until his abduction in a dubious “inter-religious” role in Syria. First of all because of his self-confession as “Catholic and Muslim.” Secondly, because of his call to the Syrian rebels to use chemical weapons against Assad’s government soldiers.  [I would say, if true, that Fr. Bruno has staked himself out as a rather far flund progressive and devotee of fruitless, often indifferentist ecumenism. But that would seem a bit far fetched for any FI I’ve ever met.  Nevertheless, the end met by the “Catholic Muslim” is sadly ironic.  Islamists don’t care much for progressive ecumenism. Convert, or die.]

Father Alfonso Bruno is Known for His Aversion to Traditional Catholics and the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception

Father Bruno controls the Facebook page of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. There he mainly made known the fact that he himself gladly engaged in contradiction with the general attitude of the Order…….. [It is interesting to me, that several of those who apparently greatly desired this intervention, this change in leadership, and this turning away from much of where the founder wanted to go (the traditional practice of the Faith), were involved in active media apostolates.  Fr. Angelo Geiger certainly was here in the States, as were a few others with blogs or other media presence that also seemed to side with the intervention.  Not sure why that would be.]

His aversion traditional Catholics is also known to be raised against the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, the female religious branch, which he accused of an “intransigent” attitude.  It was he who,by misleading information to journalists, reported on the provisional government of the Order, which was known only to him, trying to steer in a certain direction against the Order’s direction and against the Old Mass. [Yes, it was this same Fr. Bruno who DID try to represent himself as the official spokesman for the Order when the intervention was announced some weeks ago.  He tried to say that a large number, even a large majority, of the FIs favored this intervention.  He was slapped down by the then still active old administration of the order.  So, he’s been complicit in this move against the Founder and former administration for some time?  How does that square with vows of obedience?]

Father Alfonso Bruno is regarded as the real head of the then six-member dissident group who turned to the Congregation of Religious and then apparently was offered a welcome opportunity to intervene against the religious leadership. On 30 August, the most recent meeting between the Commissioner and the Apostolic Order took place with the displaced leadership. With the appointment of Father Alfonso Bruno as General Secretary and spokesman of the Order, it appears to be entering into what de Mattei predicted, that the Commissioner is acting according to the interests of the antagonists of tradition in the Order and delivering the administration of the Order by the provisional government to the dissidents.

The leniency of the Founder with his ambitious pupil is taking a heavy toll. The picture shows Father Alfonso Bruno, who sat at the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, with Pope Francis. The change of pontificate seems to have delivered the decisive prerequisite for the action against the Order.  [Well, we are told the investigation began under the previous pontificate, but that doesn’t mean very much. I have no doubt the severe limitations imposed on the Traditional Mass and other traditional practices of the Faith (Breviary, etc), would not have occurred had Pope Benedict still held that exalted office. It would simply be too counter to Summorum Pontificum, Universae Ecclesiae, and the whole direction of Pope Benedict’s papacy.  Pope Francis, wonderful though he may be in so many regards, simply has not evidenced any great love for the Traditional Mass, and seems to have more “Novus Ordo” views regarding the Liturgy.]

“The Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception, commencing with Father Manelli, run the risk of finding themselves outside of their Order,” said Corrispondenza Romana.  [I think what may well happen, is that large chunks of the FIs may break away and reconstitute themselves, possibly in some connection with the SSPX.]

———–End Quote———–

In spite of the plaintive cries of some FIs to the contrary – cries very possibly mixed with a certain amount of self-interest – this apostolic investigation/administration looks more and more like a coup, or takeover of the Order.  It looks like the Order will change direction rather severely, with the Traditional Liturgy far less prevalent, if it is present at all. I also think it ludicrous to try to claim that this action against the FIs does not have broader implications for the Church as a whole, regarding the Traditional Mass.  At the very least, those bishops who are unfriendly towards the TLM have all the encouragement to remain so, while those who may have been ambivalent now have good reasons to defer any move towards making the TLM available.

Time will tell just what impact this has, but for now, I think the accumulating evidence vindicates those who were concerned that this act against the FIs did not bode well for the TLM in the life of the Church. I think another certainty is that the vocations that were flooding into the FI are now likely to dry up, at least while all this uncertainty remains, but quite possibly for much longer than that.

Finally, on the plus side, FI Founder Stefano Fr. Manelli now joins a long list of canonized founders of religious orders (he has not been, but could well be) who suffered unjust persecution for their convictions and attachment to certain disfavored spiritual and liturgical practices.

Another Catholic Church burned in Syria September 9, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, the enemy.
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Just for the record, even if we just lob a few MGM-109 Tomahawk missiles from ship to shore, it’s very probable some collateral damage like this will result. Catholics make – or made – up about 1/8 of Syria’s population prior to the start of this civil war, with Orthodox and other Christians making up a little less than another 10% of the population.  Millions have fled Syria, and many if not most of those are Christian. I can see why, a beautiful church, who knows how old, destroyed:

There have been Catholics in Syria since a few years after Our Blessed Lord’s Ascension!  2000 years!  St. Paul was converted a few miles sout of Damascus.  Antioch in Syria is where the name Christian was first coined!

 Will the madness of US policy not stop until the Mideast, which has been Christian far longer than it was ever muslim, is totally denuded of children of the Light?


Disturbing photo below.  Young girl, reported as being a Catholic girl brutally abused and then murdered by islamists:

Syrisches-Christenmaedchenl_400px (1)

Sure, I’d love to see this stop, I want nothing more. But US involvement will not make that happen, especially with our current muslim in chief.

Seeing the above just makes me so sad.  The girl on the right almost looks asleep, but for the gore.  How often have I seen my children in that pose?

It is constant, non-stop atrocities like this perpetrated by muslims against Catholics for 1350 years that also make me view progressive ecumenism with contempt.

Funny but sad – the impossibility of ecumenism with protestant sects September 9, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
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I have made no attempt to disguise the fact that, as a convert to the Faith from a protestant background, I hold the efforts, by certain highly placed progressive types in the Church, to engage in ecumenism with protestant sects in contempt.  I do so because I know from close experience that the umpteen-thousand protestant sects out there all beleive rather different things, often radically different things, and that any effort to draw some accord with one, will only wind up alienating another.  And all such efforts will wind up alienating the Eastern Orthodox, who are still of the Church but in schism.  The only way such “important” accords between the Church and protestant sects can be arrived at, is by redefining language, violating the principle of non-contradiction, muddying theological definitions, and in general engaging in one huge exercise in indifferentism.

Last Friday, I posted an excerpt from Fr. Arnold Damen’s little treatise on the Church and the Bible, focusing on What it means to be Catholic.  Today, a furhter exerpt from this very handy little booklet, regarding just a few aspects of the numerous and contradictory beliefs held by a small number of the more well known protestant sects:

There are now throughout the world three hundred and fifty different   denominations  [this was written 150 years ago. Today, with the explosion of 20th century “evangelical” protestantism, there are tens of thousands of denominations, all based on the same error – private interpretation] …..and all of them say the Bible is their guide and   teacher. And I suppose they are all sincere. Are all of them true churches? This   is an impossibility. Truth is one as God is one, and there can be no   contradiction. Every man in his senses sees that every one of them cannot be   true, for they differ and contradict one another, and cannot, therefore, be all   true. The Protestants say the man that reads the Bible right and prayerfully has   truth, and they all say that they read it right. 

Let us suppose that here is an Episcopal minister. He is a sincere, an   honest, a well-meaning and prayerful man. He reads his Bible in a prayerful   spirit, and from the word of the Bible, he says it is clear that there must be   bishops. For without bishops there can be no priests, without priests no   Sacraments, and without Sacraments no Church. The Presbyterian is a sincere and   well-meaning man. He reads the Bible also, and deduces that there should be no   bishops, but only presbyters. “Here is the Bible,” says the Episcopalian; and   “here is the Bible to give you the lie,” says the Presbyterian. Yet both of them   are prayerful and well-meaning men.  [Certainly. And we should always remember that when dealing with individuals. But when speaking of protestantism in general, heaping scorn on their constant, multiplying divisions and internecine doctrinal divisions is, I think, appropriate, even necessary.]

Then the Baptist comes in. He is a well-meaning, honest man, and prayerful   also. “Well,” says the Baptist, “have you ever been baptized?” “I was,” says the   Episcopalian, “when I was a baby.” 

“And so was I,” says the Presbyterian, “when I was a baby.” “But,” says the   Baptist, “you are going to Hell as sure as you live.” 

Next comes the Unitarian, well-meaning, honest, and sincere. “Well,” says the   Unitarian, “allow me to tell you that you are a pack of idolators. You worship a   man for a God who is no God at all.” And he gives several texts from the Bible   to prove it, while the others are stopping their ears that they may not hear the   blasphemies of the Unitarian. And they all contend that they have the true   meaning of the Bible.  [Unitarianism was an early attempt to amalgamate liberal political/cultural views with Christianity.  The result?  The chucking of Christ.  Unitarianism was simply an early version of modernism, which is a more recent attempt to “reconcile” Christianity and leftist socio-political views.  The end result has always been the same, as it must: the leftism crushes the Christianity, and all that remains is a shrunken, dead husk of religiosity masking the leftism.  Thus, so many Katholycs.]

Next comes the Methodist, and he says, “My friends, have you got any religion   at all?” “Of course we have,” they say. “Did you ever feel religion,” says the   Methodist, “the spirit of God moving within you?” “Nonsense,” says the   Presbyterian, “we are guided by our reason and judgment.” “Well,” says the   Methodist, “if you never felt religion, you never had it, and will go to Hell   for eternity.”  [That’s just so great. Nails it]

The Universalist next comes in, and hears them threatening one another with   eternal hellfire. “Why,” says he, “you are a strange set of people. Do you not   understand the Word of God? There is no Hell at all. That idea is good enough to   scare old women and children,” and he proves it from the Bible. 

Now comes in the Quaker. He urges them not to quarrel, and advises that they   do not baptize at all. He is the sincerest of men, and gives the Bible for his   faith. 

Another comes in and says: “Baptize the men and let the women alone. For the   Bible says, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot   enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” “So,“ says he, “the women are all right, but   baptize the men.”  [This is actually really key……..see below]

Next comes in the Shaker, and says he: “You are a presumptuous people. Do you   not know that the Bible tells you that you must work out your salvation in fear   and trembling, and you do not tremble at all. My brethren, if you want to go to   Heaven shake, my brethren, shake!” 

—————End Quote—————-

I promised myself I would do shorter posts this week, so I’ll try to be brief.  As one can see above, what protestantism has always done is to elevate certain bits of Scripture – whatever happened to exercise their founder, for instance – at the expense of others, the result being the great disfigurement of the whole.  This is inevitable when men are set loose on the Bible without some Authority to guide them and determine the relative meaning and import of all the tens of thousands of verses of Scripture each on their own, and over and against each other.  That is the great Grace of Tradition, which has served as that guide.

I find it more than slightly important that all the ancient Churches, whether in union with the Holy See or not, understand that a Church must have a central source of Authority to determine matters of Doctrine and judge what constitutes true practice of their faith.  The Catholics and Orthodox of course believe such, but so do the Nestorians, Copts, and all the other ancient churches that sadly split off from the Catholic Church in the first millenium.

It was not until the 16th Century of Our Lord Jesus Christ that the Bible as “sole rule of faith,” interpreted privately by each believer, was even put forth as an idea, let alone accepted by many.  Christendom has never recovered from this shattering, utterly novel blow.


Latin Mass tonight at St. Mark September 9, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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I have missed the Monday Night Novus Ordo Mass at St. Mark for two weeks!  God willing, I’ll be back tonight!

Mass at 7pm.  I pray I see many new faces there!  If you read this blog and have never been to the Mass, you should come by and check it out. One frequent reader who normally only goes to TLMs went recently and was quite favorably impressed.

Dominus vobiscum!


On powderkegs September 9, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, horror, persecution, pr stunts, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
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I see with dismay that the Obama administration, pathetically casting about for something to rebuild his credibility, and, I think, his self-image, continues to advance, painfully slowly and as foolishly as can be imagined, a case to attack Syria over alleged chemical weapons use (by whom, to what end, what kind, on what evidence, etc?).  Certainly, our Holy Father’s call for prayers and fasting to stop this politically motived, un-strategic, unsound, and unserious dilettante from murdering untold numbers of mostly innocent non-combatants could not be better timed.

In thinking about how the Obama Administration has been playing this out, with so much visible hand-wringing and waffling indecision over what will (I hope) probably amount to nothing more than the profligate waste of a few dozen cruise missiles on targets of highly dubious Syrian_Civil_War_svgimport, I was reminded of the fundamental emotionalism and base incapability virtually all great liberal politicians over the past 50 years have evidenced when they took part in strategic nuclear warfighting exercises.  Back in the Cold War, very serious, very high level, very involved nuclear crisis wargames were conducted on an ongoing basis.  Scenarios were gamed out, the reactions of different parties were assessed, technologies and strategies were developed and refined, etc.  The participants were mid-to-senior level military officials, representatives from think tanks, civil service employees, while the leaders of the “red” and “blue” factions were most frequently senior US politicians.

Now, you won’t find a book about this.  All of this is still very classified.  But almost all the top national level politicians were cycled through these exercises – and let me tell you, these exercises were so realistic, so detailed, that even though all knew they were “just” exercises, enormous passions would become involved and the participants would frequently leave utterly drainted.  These wargame/exercises involved the politicians, staffs, military personnel, etc., being put through a realistic crisis situation with escalating tension, which would often go to full scale strategic nuclear warfare.  There is an old saying in “the business” – if one (nuke) flies, they all fly.  That was borne out in hundreds of these increasingly refined wargames over 30+ years.

The reason I’m prattling on about this is that there was one salient feature of these exercises that remained constant from the 50s through the W87_MIRVend of the Cold War, and up until today, I’m certain (because the wargame/exercises still go on today in modified form).  The one constant feature was this: the more liberal the politician/leader, the greater the likelihood they would unilaterally start a nuclear war, at least in these exercises.  Now, you might say, well, they knew it was an exercise, so we can’t read too much into this, but these things were taken very, very seriously, and, even still, conservative types tended to react very differently.  Conservatives rarely let their passions rule their decisions, even if they, too, frequently made many mistakes.

But  liberals have an inbuilt set of assumptions about how other people should act, and they take it as a personal affront if their adversaries don’t act/react the way they expect them to.  Thus, many Kennedy’s and O’Neil’s would claim they were “forced” into launching 7500 strategic nuclear warheads in a coordinated, surprise counterforce strike…..the other guy just wouldn’t do what the liberal expected/demanded!  It was virtually a shibolleth of “the business” that great liberals would have a crisis escalated to end of the world status, for no real reason, other than they got their feelings hurt.  Quite literally, that is much of what occurred in the Cuban Missile Crisis – the Kennedy administration went into a blind panic over a threat that was inevitable but imminently workable – the dreaded “6 minutes” warning of missiles from Cuba that ostensibly caused the crisis would be, in a year or two, replaced by “5 minutes” warning or even less from submarine lgm118_6launched ballistic missiles in international waters.  But there was no great crisis over that development, which reveals the daft silliness of the first “crisis.”

The point being, liberals are more dangerous than even their public records would give one to believe. And I think this horrific proxy war in Syria between two different sets of radical islamists, one sunni, the other shiite, fighting over the corpse of one of the last regimes in the Mideast to not overtly persecute Christians, is just the set of circumstances for our military involvement to set in train an unimaginable set of consequences.  What if Obama’s strikes kill a few hundred of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that is known to be operating in Syria? Do we think Iran will do nothing?  What has the history of our involvement in the Mideast shown over the past 12 years, and especially the past 5, but massive miscalculation, hideous suffering caused by our interventions (such as, the virtual destruction of the Chaldean Catholics of Iraq), and the disastrous effects of our god-like picking of sides and choosing radical islamists as the winners (in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt……).

In short, all of our upsetting of the status quo ante in the Mideast going back to 1990 has only made moderately bad but relatively benign b-52-stratofortress-cockpit-920-49situations much, much worse.  And I think with this totally narcissistic amateur in the White House, we have the makings of a crisis that could easily evolve into something of truly nightmarish proportions – with the least qualified, least equipped Commander in Chief in US history there to “deal with it.”

I think that’s why our Holy Father Pope Francis made his plaintive cry for prayer and fasting.  I think Pope Francis, if he is anything, is a very serious, studied man, who knows human nature and knows how use of force can lead to disaster, as it did in Argentina for so many years of its sad, secularist history.  I think this situation in Syria has all the makings of a powderkeg which will cause a conflagration which, if set off, may not stop at the Atlantic Ocean.

If we wanted to be smart, we would be threatening to forever block Turkey’s entrance to the EU and cutting off all military aid.  They are so

Nagasaki, 08/09/45, 5 miles away

Nagasaki, 08/09/45, 5 miles away

plainly behind this effort to set up a Wahhabist puppet state it’s not even funny.  If we intervene on the side of the sunni jihadists against the Assad regime, look for now massively destablized Jordan and Lebanon to go next.

If I gave Obama any credit for skill at foreign affairs, I would almost be forced to think our first muslim president was deliberately trying to help bring about a new Caliphate.  But I think it’s really just down to his utter incompetence and preening narcissism, and that of his cadre of “smart set” progressive advisors.

Victor Davis Hanson utterly eviscerates Obama below:

How did Obama get himself into this mess? It was bound to happen, given his past habits. All we are seeing now is the melodramatic fulfillment of vero possumus, lowering the rising seas, faux Corinthian columns, hope and change, the bows, the Cairo speech, and the audacity of hope. Hubris does earn Nemesis……

……After five years of this, the world caught on, and sees juvenile and narcissistic petulance in lieu of statesmanship—and unfortunately a sinister Putin takes great delight in reminding 7 billion people of this fact almost daily. In terms of geostrategic clout, Obama has nullified the power of his eleven aircraft-carrier battle groups, Putin through his shrewd insight and ruthless calculation of human nature, has added five where they didn’t exist.

And don’t exist, literally, but they may as well, for how Putin has crushed the out of his depth neophyte Obama, just as Krushchev did to a similar narcissist in Vienna 52 years ago.