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Vatican asking for parish level input for upcoming Synod on the family? – UPDATED October 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, Papa, sadness, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, the return.
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UPDATE: Silly me, I fell for the progressive propaganda. I said below this kind of thing was unprecedented.  Rorate pointed out it is not.  For those criticizing, did YOU know this was regular procedure before Rorate’s post?  I didn’t know these procedures were common knowledge.

Rorate is funny, they’ll post one or fewer a day for a week or two, and then suddenly throw out 3 or 4 in a day.  It’s easy to fall behind.  I try to be consistent – 3-5 posts a day Monday through Friday save for absences, which I generally announce ahead of time.

Now the original post:

Pope Francis made some waves when he announced a major Synod, including bishops from around the world, on the family for next October 2014. Now it has been revealed, via the Distorter so no link, that the Vatican has sent a letter and questionairres to national episcopal conferences asking for input on what appear to me to be rather loaded questions regarding marriage, family life, and all the associated Doctrines.  I say loaded, because the survey asks a number of very obvious questions whose answers are easily knowable in most countries (but, then again, this is a worldwide Church). and they might – to a jaundiced eye like mine – give the appearance of driving towards a certain conclusion.  Apparently, the US bishops have decided not to disseminate this questionairre down to the parish level, instead relying on bishops to provide the input.  In this case, I think I have to agree with the USCCB.  Apparently, the bishops of England and Wales have set up an online survey to gain the needed inputs, available to all the lay faithful.  That was apparently, according to NCR, what Rome desired, or something like that.

Some of the questions:

  • How the church’s teaching on “the value of the family” is understood today. “In those cases where the Church’s teaching is known, is it accepted fully or are there difficulties in putting it into practice?” the document asks. “If so, what are they?” [Have there ever NOT been difficulties in putting it into practice?  This is what I mean by loaded.]
  • Whether cohabitation, the problem of divorce and remarriage, and same-sex marriages are a “pastoral reality” in their church.  [I think the answer in every developed or semi-developed country is known.]  “Does a ministry exist to attend to these cases?” the document asks. “How is God’s mercy proclaimed to separated couples and those divorced and remarried and how does the Church put into practice her support for them in their journey of faith?”  [This could mean anything, but does it point in a certain direction?]
  • How persons in same-sex marriages are treated and how children they may adopt are cared for. “What pastoral attention can be given to people who have chosen to live these types of union?” it asks. “In the case of unions of persons of the same sex who have adopted children, what can be done pastorally in light of transmitting the faith?”  [Good grief.  Pray they convert.  Pray for these poor children?]
  • Whether married couples have “openness” to becoming parents and whether they acceptHumanae Vitae, an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI that prohibited artificial contraception use by Catholics. “Is this moral teaching accepted?” it asks. “What aspects pose the most difficulties in a large majority of couple’s accepting this teaching?”

I could give an answer, but it would probably not redound to my virtue.  But most Catholics, even practicing ones, have been formed to believe that acceptance of the clear opposition to contraception – which opposition stretches far, far back before Humanae Vitae – is completely optional.  We can only guess what folks, worldwide, will say here.  I find it stunning to now ask the opinions of Catholics on this matter, after the worst multi-decade failure of catechesis in modern history.

You can read the questionairre here.  I’m not sure what to make of this, only that it is unprecedented for the Vatican to ask for survey inputs on issues of Doctrine.  All of the matters above are matters of settled Dogma, and yet some of the questions seem to imply they are up for debate.  One thing I note, is that the questions lead with a preface that assumes only conciliar and post-conciliar sources have any relevance for catechesis.  There is no mention made of the pre-conciliar Magisterium on this front.

Words of the Fathers, pt 3: Congar and de Lubac October 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, priests, religious, scandals, secularism, self-serving.
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In part 3 of an occasional series on the words of some of the most influential fathers of Vatican II, I’m going to re-visit Fr. Yves Congar, the protestant whom I’ve covered already, and add Fr. Henri de Lubac, leader of the soft modernist wing favored by……..nah, I won’t say it.  You read and figure it out.

First up, a true whopper from Congar, wrong on all possible fronts.  All quotes in this post taken from Fr. Dominc Bromaud’s 100 Years of Modernism:wid_1_18_08_rahner+kard_de_lubac

“Luther rethought all of Christianity and was truly a man of the Church because he was incapable of receiving anything which did not come from his own experience.”

In my previous post, I noted that during the Council, Fr. Congar knelt at the tomb of St. Paul and invoked Luther.

How doth Congar err?  First, by stating that Luther did not “receive” anything that did not come from his own experience, Congar is highlighting the modenist rejection of miracles and other scientifically “unprovable” phenomenon.  But Luther did believe, in a fashion, in the Real Presence. Is that not an enormous miracle?  Thus, Congar was wrong on that front.  Luther did not specifically reject all miracles, he just vehemently hated Marian and Saintly miracles as contradictions of his made up theory of justification.  He hated the concept of living a truly virtuous life, as that was not his preference.

I guess Congar was right in that Luther did “re-think” Christianity with his disastrous philosophy of private judgment dominating all, but all that has presaged for the Church and the entire world is unremitting woe and disaster.

Another whammy from Congar:

“God saves the souls of infidels without their knowing the Gospel. Othewise, we should all have to leave for China.”

Thus, Congar embraces universal or near-universal savlation, apparently out of a personal distaste for the missions. I don’t think I have to point out just how ludicrous a claim this entire statement is.

Now, some statements from Fr. de Lubac:

“By an extension of the dogma [sic]  of the communion of the saints, though they themselves are not in the normal way of salvation, infidels can be saved because they are an integral part of humanity – which is to be saved.” [Ergo, universal salvation, or else God is a great big blue meanie]

“What precisely is this living tradition? It is the simple expression of dogmatic relativism automatically rejecting all dogma received from without in any set form.  The ulterior beliefs of the Church need not necessarily be logically tied to what she has always explicitly believed, starting in the first centuries.”

Wow. A lot to unpack there.  First, “living tradition.” This is the modernist conception that tradition – one of the twin pillars of Divine Revelation – can not only grow and change over time, it can explicity contradict itself, and mean different things to different people. “Dogmatic relativism” is a frightening term, enshrining the only dogmatic belief the modernists had – that everything is relative to person, place, and circumstance, and nothing truly definitive. In that second sentence, de Lubac then goes on to counsel all believers to reject ANY Dogma of the Faith that they do not have personal experience of.  So, if you did not personally see the Resurrection, reject it. If you don’t see Christ’s Body in the Eucharist, reject that, too.  Essentially, nothing then is left of the Faith save a very worldly watered down liberal protestantism of good intentions and groovy feelings.  No wonder this stuff sold so well in the 60s.

The final sentence just wraps up the preceding ones – “living tradition” means the Church does not have to believe any longer (why?) what the early Church Fathers did. It is thus the direct contradiction of the entire conception of Christianity, which has always been founded on being handed down by the Fathers who received the Faith from the Apostles, and they from Christ Himself.  That is what made the Faith Divine. None of that for Fr. de Lubac.

A final quote:

“In a more general way, I liked thus discovering on all sides the historical symbolism, and the symbolic history, that already characterize the Gospels. The Fathers of the Church teach that the same words express two meanings signifying two distinct realities, one human and the other spiritual.”

Please.  They can only quote ONE father that said such, and he wound up a condemned heretic (Origen).  de Lubac and others tried to prove a “medieval” Catholic practice of dual belief, but it was utter bunk and involved totally misquoting various Church Fathers, save Origen, or taking them radically out of context.  Modernists favor two (or more) “meanings” to Scripture and Tradition so they can go along pretending that one can believe in a “Christ of history,” who was just a man, and the Christ of faith, who was God, sort of.  Maybe.  Or pick whatever other Dogma you chooose.


Non Sequitur – wingless bodies and the flying flatiron October 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Admin, Basics, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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During one brief moment of down time during the move, I stumbled across a book I’ve missed for a while.  It concerns all the X-planes that have been flown.  It’s a great book, written by a guy from Arlington named Jay Miller.  He’s an aviation expert.

During the 60s and into the 70s, NASA and the Air Force began considering ways to develop a spacecraft that could land like a normal airplane on a runway.  The capsules at the time splashed down in the ocean on a ballistic arc that offered only limited control of destination, although over time they got pretty good at landing within a few miles of the recovery ships.  NASA, foolishly in my opinion, judged this system wasteful and expensive, and desired to produce a reusable spacecraft that could land like a regular airplane. As these ideas coalesced in the 1960s, they began to taste various shapes for spacecraft that could land like an aircraft.  But one huge problem was the aerodynamic heating that would occur on reentry.  A craft with conventional wings would pose severe heating problems, and the wings would also be just extra weight that had to be boosted into space.  What was needed was something entirely new – a craft that could generate lift from its fuselage or body, the so-called lifting bodies.

NASA began developing various lifting bodies in the early 60s, first producing wooden mockups towed behind trucks at Edwards AFB to determine if they could be controlled.  They could, and over time began developing more and more advanced models that could be dropped from height by a B-52 mothership.  Eventually, around the turn of the decade, these involved into rocket-powered models that could ascend to high altitude and relatively high speed (about Mach 1.5-1.8), and then land like the proposed reusable spacecraft would.

There were several of these rocket powered models, most built by Northrop or Martin.  These included the M2-F2, M2-F3, HL-10, and finally the X-24A and X-24B.  None of these craft had wings.  An extensive manned flight test program was carried out from roughly 1965-1975, with the HL-10 reaching the peak altitude and speeds for the program of over 90,000 ft and close to Mach 2.  These flights were not without risk, Bruce Peterson was almost killed in a crash of the M2-F2 (which crash was made famous when in served as part of the intro for the 70s TV show The Six Million Dollar Man).

Below are some videos on the various lifting body programs. You can see why the X-24B, the final (and most stable) testbed was called “the flying flatiron.”  The test pilots are to be commended, some of the early lifting bodies in particularly were radically unstable and extremely difficult to fly, but there was only the one disastrous landing.  These aircraft flew their approach at close to 300 mph and landed at over 200 mph, with only a last second flare reducing speed.

The below has some good info on the overall lifting body program.

The XLR-11 rocket engine that powered the lifting bodies was the same motor that powered the X-1 and Chuck Yeager through the sound barrier. Around 0:55-1:00 in the video above you can see brief footage of the Douglas F5D Skylancer in action – a rare video of a great “could have been” in aviation history.  The F5D was a Mach 1.5 replacement for the subsonic F4D Skyray.   I know of no other video footage of the Skylancer in flight.  After the Skylancer program was cancelled, NASA used it as a test and chase aircraft for a while, as you can see.

Below is the X-24B flying flat iron.  A buddy of mine who spent decades working in defense once saw me looking at a photo of the X-24B and said “that thing could never fly!”  He was shocked to learn that it did, indeed, fly, and quite a few times.

I had nothing to do with the soundtrack.  Uff da……..

In the end, NASA in a sense chickened out, as it did a great deal there in the early 70s (managerial fear of potential future crew losses if Apollo continued played a huge role, possibly a decisive role, in its termination), going with a more conventional winged shape for the shuttle than a true lifting body.  That was one of many compromises made to the shuttle design that insured it would never live up to its billing as a reliable, truly reusuable means of accessing space.  But, the lifting bodies did prove it was possible to fly a spacecraft down to a pinpoint landing and the landing methods worked out with the lifting bodies were later used on the shuttle. Today the lifting bodies are almost totally forgotten, another small aspect of the incredible aviation advancements made by the US between 1945 and 1975.  Sadly, those advancements are now just a part of history, for the most part.


Federal judge overturns Texas anti-abortion law October 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, asshatery, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Wow, that was quick. And this is sure to exercise DDLG.

Only a few months ago, in high drama the Texas legislature passed a rather significant bill limiting abortion in Texas.  The most important of the measures was the requirement for abortion mills to meet minimum health and safety standards, and the ban on abortion after 20 weeks of fetal development.  Those limitations do not appear to have been judged unconstitutional by Bush 43 appointee Judge Lee Yeakel.  Instead, he struck down provisions requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, and limits applied to “medically necessary” abortions:

Moments ago, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas issued an opinion striking down two key parts of an abortion restriction the state passed earlier this year.

The decision halts two key provisions of House Bill 2: A requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a local hospital and another  barring medical abortions.

“The admitting privileges provision of House Bill 2 does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the State in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health and, in any event, places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her,” U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in the opinion.

On the medical abortion ban, he wrote, “Although the medication abortion provisions do not generally place an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion, they do if they ban a medication abortion where a physician determines, in appropriate medical judgment, such a procedure is necessary for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

Please, that “life of the mother” jazz is so tiresome and so abused by pro-abort and crooked doctors, of whom there are plenty.  All a woman has to do is get an abortion friendly doctor to say her abortion is “medically necessary,” and not only does she get it, but we often pay for it via Medicaid.  I’ve spoken with dozen of completely healthy women who claimed paying for their abortion was no problem as Medicaid was covering it as “medically necessary.”  This is such a scam.  But it’s the bugaboo pro-aborts use to get most of the public to keep supporting legalized abortion. I would wager that not even 1 in 40 “medically necessary” abortions truly involve  a threat to the life of the mother.

The Washington Toast is trying to spin this into some great pro-abort victory, but it’s really pretty small.  The major limitations remain in place, although the admitting privileges could well have put a lot of these discredited, otherwise unemployable abortionists out of business.

The judge cited Casey. vs. Planned Barrenhood in making his negative decision in the case – you can thank Katholyc Justice Kennedy for that one.  And, oh, yes, in spite of his numerous votes contrary to the Dogmas of the Faith, Justice Kennedy annually receives the Blessed Sacrament from the very hands of Cardinal Wuerhl in Washington, DC.  No wonder 1 Cor 11:27-29 doesn’t appear anywhere in the Novus Ordo Mass.

Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.  But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord

How propaganda works October 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, sickness, Society.
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Amazing story via Creative Minority Report on how propaganda works.  The propaganda in this case being two-plus decades of relentless “multiculturalism,” which in reality is simply another leftist vehicle to attack traditional Western Civilization (and, of course, its foundation, Christianity) and undermine people’s ability to reason based on first principles.

If you think multi-culti propaganda is bad here in the US, it is much, much worse in Britain and most of Europe.  There, the state-run media is openly and avowedly so leftist that contrary opinions rarely break through.  The same applies to Canada.  The onslaught of criticism of Western Civilization, glorification of the “other,” and constant calls for unreasoning non-judgementalism have reached such a crescendo that now Britons are incapable of condemning the barbarism of female genital mutilation (for those who don’t know, this is an involuntary clitorectomy, so to deny females most sexual pleasure) for fear of criticizing another culture.  No wonder British youths are flocking to islam:

A Londoner who suffered female genital mutilation has warned that political correctness is hampering the fight to stamp it out after asking people to sign a fake petition in its favour.

Leyla Hussein, 32, said many were scared to speak out against FGM because they were worried about criticising another culture.

She decided to conduct an experiment to see “how crazy political correctness has become” but was left in tears by the end.

Approaching shoppers with the petition supporting FGM, she told them she wanted to protect her  “culture, traditions and rights”.

In only 30 minutes 19 people signed it with some saying they believed FGM was wrong but because it was part of Ms Hussein’s culture they would add their names. Only one person refused to sign.

That bolded bit is the very definition of moral relativism.  Oh, yes, I think it’s wrong – for me.  But you, do whatever you want!  Abort that baby!  Mutilate that 12 year old girl!  Beat one of your several wives!  Heck, kill one for converting to Christianity!  It’s all good!  Whatever makes you happy!

Just another indicator of a culture not just in collapse, but in free-falling implosion.  All courtesy endarkenment rationalism and the leftism that is its inevitable outcome. That, in addition to the loss of hundreds of millions of souls, is the reason why the Church opposed the endarkenment, the rationalists, the liberals, and the modernists all those years.  And that is why the Church is now also in grave straits, as it has ceased its strident, unrelenting oppostion to the errors of the modern world.  To the extent the Church (and that includes you and me) has ended its fight against worldly errors, and even in some ways embraced them, that has terminated a massive influx of Divine Grace, which absence has produced all the dire statistics we read about.

We are being chastised, no doubt.


Gain Plenary Indulgences for the Holy Souls in Purgatory! October 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, sanctity, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
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This is a most important work.  In a certain sense, perhaps the most important work, save for praying for our own salvation and that of all we know.  The Holy Souls in Purgatory are suffering horrifically.  They have all the torments of hell, save for the great knowledge that they know they are saved.  We must help them!  And if we help them, they will help us!

Here is how you can earn plenary indulgences for the Holy Souls:

Taken from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
Indulgences for the Poor Souls

I On All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2) a plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Poor Souls, is granted to those who visit any parish church or public oratory and there recite one Our Father and one Credo.

II On all the days from November I though November 8 inclusive, a plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Poor Souls, is granted to those who visit a cemetery and pray even if only mentally for the departed.
Conditions for both indulgences:
1. Only one plenary indulgence can be granted per day.
2. It is necessary to be in the state of grace, at least by completion of the work.
3. Freedom from attachment to sin, even venial sin, is necessary; otherwise the indulgence is only partial. (By this is meant attachment to a particular sin, not sin in general.)
4. Holy Communion must be received each time the indulgence is sought.  [This is one a lot of people forget. You have to go to Holy Communion to obtain the indulgence for each day.]
5. Prayers must he recited for the intentions of the Holy Father on each day the indulgence is sought. (No particular prayers are prescribed. One Our Father and one Hail Mary suffice, or other suitable prayers.
6. A sacramental confession must he made within a week of completion of the prescribed work. (One confession made during the week, made with the intention of gaining all the indulgences, suffices.)

Help the Holy Souls!  They will pray for you!

Thanks to FA for noting my goof on the original title.