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Please, bishops, make fasting/abstinence on Fridays MANDATORY again December 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Well……I was going to do a post on the bishop’s “new” initiative to deal with many threats to the Faith, calling on the faithful to – voluntarily, of course, they couldn’t possibly demand anything! – engage in more acts of fasting, prayer, and penance for the coming year.  But then I thought, this story seems familiar. And then it seemed the dates were wrong.  So, I realized that a blogger got a bit tripped up and was posting the announcement the USCCB made in 2012 – last year – as new news!

And I remembered this effort was given a whole bunch of coverage as part of the Year of Faith, this was going to anchor the struggle against the HHS Mandate, fake homosexual marriage, the whole kit and kaboodle.

But as I read through the list of recommended actions – voluntary actions! – I wondered, how many Catholics actually saw more than 2 of these in their own parishes?  Here is the list, again, from last year, this is a dead, already past initiative:

1. Starting with the Sunday after Christmas (Feast of the Holy Family) and continuing on or near the last Sunday of every month through Christ the King Sunday, November 2013, cathedrals and parishes are encouraged to hold a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.  [Did this happen?  I know it happened in my particular parish, and in a few others, but did you experience this in your parish or Cathedral, and if so, was it focused on this “religious liberty” misnomer or was it part of just a regular routine of Adoration?]

2. Families and individuals are encouraged to pray a daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty in the nation. [No way of knowing, but I sure didn’t see this highly encouraged at the parish level]

3. At Sunday and daily Masses, it is encouraged that the Prayers of the Faithful include specific intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life, and the preservation of religious liberty at all levels of government, both at home and abroad. [Cannot respond, the TLM does not have this mess]

4. Abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays are encouraged for the intention of the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church. [More on this later!]

5. The celebration of a second Fortnight for Freedom at the end of June and the beginning of July 2013 is being planned. This Fortnight would emphasize faith and marriage in a particular way in the face of the potential Supreme Court rulings during this time. The Fortnight would also emphasize the need for conscience protection in light of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, as well as religious freedom concerns in other areas, such as immigration, adoption, and humanitarian services…. [Well, this did happen in some places, but it was much more subdued than in 2012]

————End Quote———–

I want to focus on just one bit, but I’d appreciate hearing your feedback on whether your parish/Diocese highlighted any of the above as the bishop’s desired.

Here is my focus – can we please make Friday abstinence/fasting MANDATORY throughout the entire year again?!?  Why do you insist on treating us as wimps?  Acknowledge our fallen natures, and the fact that most people are lazy, and make it mandatory, on pain of grave sin, to eat flesh meat on Friday!  Most of us just sit at desks all day!  We don’t engage in the back-breaking labor of our forefathers, and yet THEY somehow managed to fast and abstain a heckuva lot more than WE do!  There is absolutely NOTHING in “modern society” that makes fasting/abstinence more difficult than it used to be, aside from the ridiculous super-over-abundance of food we have constantly available.  When I think of how hard people in prior generations worked, and how they fasted and abstained so much more than we do, I am amazed at my own softness!   And let’s make the pre-Eucharistic fast at least 3 hours again, huh?  At least then, we can’t go from downing a taco in our car 5 minutes before Mass and then receiving the Blessed Lord 55 minutes later.

 

Of course! Catholic university prof: “I don’t see a difference between a chimp and my son” December 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
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Ah, yes, the fruit of aggiornamento, where wicked and perverse leftist ideals not only seep into the Church, they get tenure track positions at Catholic universities!  Or should I say, Katholyc?

This professor is from St. Thomas University in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis.  Perhaps the good priest I know up there is praying for this professor’s conversion already.

An adjunct professor at the St. Thomas University (STU) School of Law who once was quoted saying he sees no difference between a chimpanzee and his toddler son, has now filed a lawsuit seeking personhood for chimpanzees earlier this month. [Chimps are not people.  Only the human possesses an immortal soul, and was created in the image and likeness of God.]

Steven Wise, the president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, requested that a New York state court declare a 26-year-old chimp named Tommy “a cognitively complex autonomous legal person with the fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned.”  [First it will be with chimps, then with something else, then maybe dogs, and finally they’ll try to get cattle, chickens, pretty much everything declared sentient and sacrosanct.  Except for humans.  I wish I could find a video excerpt of the Gordon Gekko quote from the film Wall Street where he says “That’s the thing about WASPs, they love animals, but they hate people.]

The lawsuit demands the chimp’s immediate release to a primate sanctuary.  [And why not monetary remuneration?]

In a press release, Wise compared chimpanzees to human slaves. “Not long ago, people generally agreed that human slaves could not be legal persons, but were simply the property of their owners,” Wise continued.  [No, they didn’t “generally agree.”  The Church never agreed, but it tolerated the practice when it was foundational to the economy of, say, the Roman Empire.  But even then the Church counselled radical liberty unheard of for slaves at that time] “Abraham Lincoln put it best when he said that ‘in giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free.’”

At a 2002 book signing event, Wise went so far as to compare his own son to a primate. “I don’t see a difference between a  chimpanzee and my 4 1/2- year-old son,” he was quoted as saying. [And that makes you a very sad person……]

Technically, the Nonhuman Rights Project takes no official position on abortion. But Wise appears to walk a very fine line when discussing the topic in writing.  In one article, Wise said, “There are many reasons to support the argument that a woman should have the legal right to an abortion.” He took issue only with the decision being deemed a “policy” issue rather than one of rights.  [So, he’s for freedom and happiness for some beings he finds sentients, but not all.  Perhaps especially not when they complicate your upscale urban hipster life.]  

He added, “It is hard to dispute that religion has rationalized many forms of subordination, including human rights in general, human slavery, women’s rights, abortion, and the environment.”

According to the Law and Politics Book Review, “Wise argues that Christianity is centrally responsible for the cruelties perpetrated by Europeans against Native Americans, African slaves, and animals.

Typical leftist balderdash.   I could spend a lot of time refuting it.  Leftists try to claim that freeing the immortal souls of millions lost in dark, even demonic religions was some horrific assault. I call it an act of incredible mercy.  As for slavery, the Church with its message of charity and mercy for others destroyed the materialist philosophical underpinnings that led to human slavery in the first place. Only someone completely ignorant of all but a caricature of Christianity could make such a claim.  Naturally, there are loads of such people teaching on ostensibly Catholic college campuses.

It is sad that I’m not surprised that this guy is a Katholyc university professor.  Guys like this are a dime a dozen on most Katholyc college campuses, which is why they are the most dangerous place to send your child, especially after an education in Catholic schools.  Even 40 years ago, Archbishop Fulton Sheen was warning parents that Catholic universities were exactly the place to send your kids if you wanted them to lose their faith.  And yet, so many years later, the scandal remains.

 

 

We had a great Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe December 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, family, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Our Lady, priests, Tradition, Virtue.
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I’m so glad I went to the Mass, procession and party for Our Lady of Guadalupe, even though I was so hungry I about fainted.  We had a blast.  Fr. Gordon really got into it, as the photos will show.  And I learned a whole bunch.  I did not know the history of the pinata!  It turns out, pinatas were invented by Franciscan missionaries to teach children about the Faith.  Traditional pinatas had seven points, one for each of the seven deadly sins.  The child striking the pinata is blindfolded, to simulate the blindness we experience when we are lost in mortal sin.  The children can hear the guidance of those around them, guiding them to strike the pinata, but they cannot see it, just as we have such a hard time seeing our own sins!  It’s a lesson in fraternal correction!

The children strike off the deadly sins, and then eventually, through hard work (prayer, mortification) get to the prize – Heaven, or candy in this case.  Pretty cool!

We also had a Procession, but I didn’t take any pictures.  There was supposed to be a mariachi band, but something must have happened there.  Still, it was a really great celebration.  We need to have fun as Catholics. And it is great to belong to a parish where so many people get involved and know each other.  That is a blessing of having a smaller than average parish, even if it is growing rapidly.  You can get to know most of the parishioners at least a little.  It feels very much like a family, and even more importantly, you are with a group of people who really strive to make the Faith the center of their lives, which in turn causes life to tend to revolve around the parish.

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Father really got into pulling the pinata

Father really got into pulling the pinata

I would like to thank the lady volunteers who provided the food.  We had chicken in mole sauce, rice, enchiladas with quesa fresca, and a bunch of Mexican desserts.  Very good!

I’m not sure but that Father didn’t have the best time of all.  He was really excited.  He also gave a great talk, geared towards the kids, on the history of the miraculous apparition on Tepeyac.  What a great way to honor Our Lady!

Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand on the backfiring of “aggiornamento” December 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, reading, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society.
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Aggiornamento, or “opening up,” was a catch phrase used by Pope John XXIII before Vatican II that caught on like wildfire.  It has been used to justify almost every theological, liturgical, and disciplinary abuse imaginable.  The concept was linked with the boundless optimism of the early 60s in human progress, a mentality that had thoroughly infiltrated the Church and even the highest leadership.  Many in the Church thought 20th century man was somehow a new man, a veritable Nieztchean ubermensch, unbounded from the low concerns of his neo-neanderthal predecessors of a few decades before.  Thus, advanced, “come of age” 20th century man didn’t need any of those stuffy old rules of Dogma and morality that had served as the bulwarks of the Faith for nearly two millennia.

While aggiornamento, it is thought, was only intended to colloquial representation of a rather mild updating of the Church, the word quickly came to mean in the minds of millions that the Church should absorb all the worldly wisdom it could and modify her unchanging, unchangeable beliefs to fit the new times.  This was not what Pope John XXIII, at least, quite had in mind, but by that time, what a Pope said or intended was irrelevant.  The mass media – and their progressive allies in the Church – had their mantra, and they intended to use it to advance their long checked dreams of an entirely new Church.

Writing in 1973, Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand examined this notion of aggiornamento, and the impact it was having on the Church.  This again from The Devastated Vineyard:

Pope John XXIII said that the Church must leave her mark on every epoch and every land – and not vice versa. But  what do we see each day? Aggiornamento is interpreted to mean that the Church must be reformed in order to do justice to the great progress of our times, and to speak the right language to “modern man,” who has “come of age.” Again and again, in sermons, pastoral letters, and lectures of “Catholic” theologians, we hear mention of progress. How enthusiastic was the response of even the highest levels of the Church to the technological progress making the flight to the moon possible, and how weak by comparison is the indignant disavowal of dehumanization. [I will say, Pope Paul VI was positively rhapsodic about the landing on the Moon and what it meant for mankind.  God bless him, he was prone to bouts of what almost appear to be mania, followed by depressive spells.]  What is being done against the scandal of sex education in the schools?  In many countries, the bishops themselves have introduced this criminal mutilation of children’s souls into the Catholic schools.  [And this was written 40 years ago. I wonder what Dr. von Hildebrand would think of today’s “safe environment” Virtus training, which many parents are extremely concerned about?  Sex education in Catholic schools is often leading the general trends in its explicitness] Where is collectivism clearly condemned?  [Or, one might say, leftism overall, as it was so condemned during the period 1780-1950]  Can one find a syllabus such as that of the great Pius IX, in which present-day depersonalization in all areas, and the penetration of collectivism are unmasked and systematically opposed?  [Sad to say, the revolution in the Church is tightly associated with political leftism. I maintain that the heresy of modernism/neo-modernism is nothing but a poor attempt to meld political leftism with Catholic belief, with the leftism always dominant]

No, what we are seeing is not the struggle against the Prince of this world who is present in so-called “progress;” not the attempt to imprint the Church’s image on the age. we are witnessing the very opposite: the poison of our epoch is slowly seeping into the Church Herself, and many have failed to recognize the apocalyptic decline of our time.

———–End Quote———-

Prior to the part excerpted above, Dr. von Hildebrand had extensively shown how so-called modern man, far from being some advanced new creation, is actually more depraved and fallen than any of his predecessors. Modern man is willing to murder babies in their millions for the sake of convenience. He is willing to engage in monstrous “scientific” acts like artificial insemination.  He touts materialism and constant distraction, while millions feel utterly empty inside, to the extent that suicide rates are shockingly high.  Modern man, in his materialist decadence, even comes to see himself as just another thing, to be discarded when not useful or inconvenient.

Dr. von Hildebrand speculated that, if trends of the 60s and early 70s continued, euthanasia might one day be legal!  Well, it is!  And has been for some time in “advanced,” meaning “advanced in decay and de-Christianization” countries like Holland formerly Catholic Belgium.  Euthanasia is engaged in constantly in the US, but not legally, and under cover.  Speak with someone who has had an elderly (or not so elderly), moderately infirm loved one in the hospital, and it’s almost certain you’ll hear horror stories of how they had to fight to keep the hospital staff from killing the sick loved one.  That is how deep the rot has penetrated into our society, that even those who take on professions ostensibly dedicated to always caring for others, are so jaded and hard-hearted they think of nothing of routinely killing their fellow man.

This is not the culture you want to be opening up to.

Flightline Friday 2: Apollo 17 December 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Flightline Friday, fun, silliness, Society.
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Forty one years ago at this time, when I was somewhere between infant and toddler, the last Apollo moon mission was underway.  Apollo 17 was the final mission largely due to NASA managerial exhaustion and ineptitude and the kinds of stupid decisions only governments can make.  The entire Apollo infrastructure, developed at tends of billions of dollars (that’s relatively nice, fat, juicy 1960s dollars, not the Monopoly money we have today) was set to be scrapped and replaced with the “economical” Space Shuttle.  Well, the Space Shuttle turned out to not be so very economical, in many ways it was more expensive than Apollo, and this nation now sits in a position it has not since the late 1950s – we have no manned access to space.

So let’s enjoy some of the sunset days of those glory years, some nice videos from Apollo 17.

Apollo 17 Crew:

Mission Commander: Captain Eugene A. “Gene, Geno” Cernan, USN
Command Module Pilot: Commander Ronald E. “Ron” Evans, USN
Lunar Module Pilot: The Hon. Dr. Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt

Launch date: 12/07/72 05:33 Z
Return date: 12/19/72 19:25 Z

First video, the launch, with Apollo PR pre-launch voiceover followed by the Command Module-Mission Control radio loop after launch.  WARNING: There are some bad words in the audio.  Not very many, but a few.  The crew were rookies except for Cernan, who had previously ridden the massive Saturn V during Apollo 10.  He stays pretty cool, but CMP Ron Evans in particular seems pretty excitable during launch.  The video covers from about T-minus 3 minutes until MET 11 minutes, when the astronauts were riding the S-IVB stage into orbit (“Bob” is Capcom Bob Overmyer):

A short overview of Apollo 17 from a 2008 Discovery Channel film:

And if you really want to kill some time, here is what looks like someone’s home video conversion of some of the TV coverage of Apollo 17 back in 1972:

So, maybe I should do some Faith related posts today?

Flightline Friday, part 1: new hardware December 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday, fun, silliness, Society.
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There was a press release today, to some fanfare, from Textron Systems, Inc, announcing a new combat aircraft.  This bird had been developed in some secrecy, and in a hurry.  The effort apparently only started last year, but has already resulted in a prototype that has made its first flight, apparently just yesterday.

The Scorpion is a private venture between Textron (meaning their subsidiary, Cessna) and something called AirLand Enterprises, which I’ve never heard of.  AirLand apparently contracted with Textron/Cessna to build the bird, which incorporates a lot of parts from Cessna’s very successful Citation line of bizjets.

The aircraft is intended to be a light attack and recon bird with internal weapons bay and twin turbofan engines.  The twin Honeywell TF731 turbofans produce 4000 lbst each.  The Scorpion has a nominal empty weight of 11800 lbs and a max takeoff weight of 21250.  Max speed is 450 kt.  It has a straight wing with a bunch of hardpoints for fuel and munitions.

I am kind of puzzled by the design. We are rapidly exiting Afghanistan (although, “rapid” may not be very accurate, there are more and more reports that substantial forces may remain for a long time), and the Bush/Gates emphasis on focusing hardware development on low-intensity anti-terrorist missions is rapidly becoming passe’ in the military.  The US is looking east, to China, and an increasingly capable and aggressive peer competitor.  The relatively low-tech drones and aircraft used in the pursuit of terrorists (often illegally and immorally) like the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, MC-12W Liberty, etc., are simply not even remotely survivable in even moderately defended airspace (ok, maybe the Reaper, a little, but any kind of serious SAM threat would decimate them).  The USAF in particular has been seeking to shuck these aircraft and their associated missions as fast as possible.

My point is, I’m not sure just what Textron expects this aircraft to do, or, more importantly, who will be interested in buying it. There has been a Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance competition ongoing, but that was decided this year and given to the ludicrously overpriced Embraer Tucano.  I’m not even clear if that program has survived sequester.  USAF has already planned to remove the much more capable A-10 Warthogs from service, claiming lack of funds, so I’m skeptical USAF will ever buy a non-stealthy light attack craft.

The problem for Textron is that, even if they manage to make a profit selling the Scorpion for the intended $25 million flyaway cost, that aircraft will still be much more expensive than competing turboprops and drones.  But, it seems, it will be more capable. It will have a higher top speed, higher ceiling, and somewhat competitive range (5 hours endurance, supposedly).  I don’t see a big market for this, but who knows.  Textron is apparently hanging their hopes on the F-35 buy being massively reduced or certain variants outright cancelled.

USAF does need a new supersonic advanced trainer.  The T-38s are ancient.  Everyone of them is older than me, and I ain’t young.  It is possible Textron is trying to develop a related family on their own initiative, starting with a low-cost attack jet that can then be easily modified into a trainer.  Northrop started with the N-156 design, which became the F-5 and T-38.  They sold over 3000 of the same basic design.  Maybe Textron is hoping lightning will strike twice.

Anyways, to the important part, the pictures:

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The broad fuselage with widely spaced engine nacelles is needed to provide internal space for the ventral weapons bay

The broad fuselage with widely spaced engine nacelles is needed to provide internal space for the ventral weapons bay

 

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Large space between engines provides room for internal weapons bay, also provides additional lift

Large space between engines provides room for internal weapons bay, also provides additional lift

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details

The plan is to equip the aircraft with capable EO/IR sensors, target designators, etc., a la the DAS-1 multispectral targeting system in the MQ-9 Reaper

The plan is to equip the aircraft with capable EO/IR sensors, target designators, etc., a la the DAS-1 multispectral targeting system in the MQ-9 Reaper

A couple more thoughts, based on looking at the design.  There really isn’t much need for it to have two seats.  And the fuselage looks unnecessarily sleek in places.  I am guessing Textron does intend to develop this into a competitor for the T-X competition to replace the T-38.

You can see obvious design compromises.  The straight wing is needed for load and range, but hurts performance.  The canted tails say high performance but the wing says no way, Jose. It seems almost a bit of a kluge.

If you put swept swings on it, it would look alot, from above, like an F-14. That’s what I can almost see this developing into – a sort of cheapo supersonic combat aircraft, without stealth.  Put on swept wings with cambered control surfaces, a couple of 10000 lbst afterburning turbofans, max takeoff weight about 30,000 lbs……you could have a pretty nifty (and hopefully cheap) light fighter.