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Flightline Friday: My Favorite piston-engined aircraft, the Able Dog March 28, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, silliness, Society.
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The AD Skyraider was a product of that pinnacle of piston-engined aircraft design and manufacture that occurred at the close of WWII.  A number of extremely capable, rugged, reliable types were produced in the closing days of the war, or just after: advanced models of the F4U Corsair, the F8F Bearcat, the P-51H and P-47N, in Britain the Hawker Fury, and the creme de la creme, in my opinion, the Douglas AD Skyraider.  Powered by a big Wright 3350 radial, the Skyraider saw service from 1946 until 1972 in the US, and longer in other countries.  It was an incredible versatile workhorse that performed a huge number of missions: long range strike, medium bomber, airborne early warning, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, even carrier on-board delivery.  3180 Skyraiders were produced in a great number of variants from 1945 to 1957.  The Navy phased it out in favor of the A-6 Intruder in 1968, while the Air Force used it until 1972 in the search and rescue CAP role in Vietnam.

Just too late for WWII, the AD, or A-1 Skyraider was a workhorse of both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and may have flown in combat in third world nations until about 1980. It was the product of 40 years of piston engine design and one of the peaks achieved in that design medium.  Soldiering on in a time when jets were replacing almost every other piston engine type, the Skyraider had unique capabilities that jets of the 50s could not match.  It’s range and payload would not be equaled until the A2F (A-6) Intruder entered service in the early 60s.

I don’t have much time to post more details, so here are some videos of the glorious “Sandy,” “Able Dog,” “Spad,” “Hobo,” “Fat Face,” “Flying Dumptruck,” “the Destroyer,” – “Mr. Attack Aviation” Ed Heinemann’s A-1 Skyraider:

A-1H of VA-25 "Fist of the Fleet" prepares to fly a mission in 1965 with a special purpose bomb, outfitted with an 'E' award for battle efficiency, aboard CV-41 "Magic" Midway.  This bomb was actually flown and dropped on a mission as a joke. The North Vietnamese actually accused the US of "bacteriological" warfare because of the stunt.

A-1H of VA-25 “Fist of the Fleet” prepares to fly a mission in 1965 with a special purpose bomb, outfitted with an ‘E’ award for battle efficiency, aboard CV-41 “Magic” Midway. This bomb was actually flown and dropped on a mission as a joke. The North Vietnamese actually accused the US of “bacteriological” warfare because of the stunt.

A short video of two restored A-1’s having fun:

Discovery Wings episode Able Dog:

Here is a nice “ride along” video from onboard a Skyraider:

Low-res video of the retirement of the Skyraider from the USN in 1970:

Here is a low-res vid of USAF combat search and rescue operations deep in indian country in Vietnam featuring CH-53 Jolly Greens, A-1 Skyraiders, HC-130 Hercules, and OV-10 Broncos.

That’s all for now.  Have a blessed weekend.


Federal appeals court upholds Texas abortion law March 28, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Our Lady, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Victory.
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I’m certain Planned Barrenhood will appeal to the Supreme Court, but the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the very fractious law passed last summer that saw so many satanic and unhinged demonstrations at the Capitol.  This is also tremendous news, it’s very unlikely the Supreme Court will overturn this judgment, so the very effective limitations on abortion will stand:

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld parts of a Texas abortion law pertaining to hospital privileges for physicians who perform abortions and protocols for abortion-inducing drugs, a decision that drew starkly contrasting reactions on both sides of the debate.

A U.S. district court previously struck down those provisions in the Texas law, which were challenged in court by lawyers for Planned Parenthood. But the 5th Circuit Appeals Court later issued a stay of that decision “pending appeal,” meaning it would not go into effect.

The U.S. Supreme Court also weighed in, with a majority refusing to stop the law’s implementation. In the ruling opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that an appeals court stay could not be vacated “unless that court clearly and ‘demonstrably’ erred in its application of ‘accepted standards.'”

Thursday’s ruling means the provisions will remain valid in the state of Texas, until or unless the U.S. Supreme Court rules otherwise or legislators in the state act to modify the law.

Supporters of such legislation cheered the ruling. Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser applauded the judges “for upholding this commonsense measure to safeguard women.”

“The people of Texas have spoken through their elected leaders and in support of protecting the culture of life in our state,” said Gov. Rick Perry, a conservative Republican. “Today’s court decision is good news for Texas women and the unborn, and we will continue to fight for the protection of life and women’s health in Texas.”

Not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood had an opposite reaction, with President[demon lady] Cecile Richards characterizing the decision as “a terrible court ruling.”

“The latest restrictions in Texas will force women to have abortions later in pregnancy, if they are able to get to a doctor at all,” Richards said. “This court ruling is not the last word.”

So it sounds like Planned Barrenhood plans to appeal. As the article notes, Texas is not the only state to implement the requirement for admitting privileges, but it is by far the largest, most important state to do so.  I’m sure PB will make their appeal, but I have a suspicion the Supreme Court won’t hear the case.  They might, in which case, I tend to think it will stand, but something tells me that they won’t even bother to hear the case.  This requirement is only “onerous” to abortionists because they are the lowest rung of “doctors” around, a big step below the pill pusher, cash-payment only types I was familiar with at one point in my life.

Good news on the pro-life front today!  God be praised!  I am certain Our Lady had much to do with this, during the week of the great Feast of the Annunciation!  Ave Maria, gratia plena!

h/t to reader skeinster for the link

Our Lady of the Expectation

CLARIFICATION: University General Hospital pulling Robinson’s privileges March 28, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Society, Victory.
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I wrote in a post  Tuesday that abortionist Lamar Robinson – one of two murderers in Dallas who kill babies up to 24 weeks – had obtained privileges at a hospital in South Oak Cliff called University General Hospital.  I wrote that a protest was planned outside this hospital next Tuesday.

Well, the president of the hospital has been contacted by pro-lifers and he confirmed today that he is going to pull Robinson’s privileges, the only thing that keeps his abattoir open.  Apparently, some other local abortionists have also gotten their privileges through this hospital, and he is pulling those, as well.  This could be an event that has enormous impact on the availability of abortion in DFW.  It is very possible two mills will close, at least until they find another hospital to grant them privileges, which we’ll then have to pressure not to do so.

I think the president/head of this University General Hospital is to be enormously commended. He said he wants his hospital to be 100% pro-life and that it will not allow abortions nor associate with abortionists.  That is great.  I must say, to dampen the enthusiasm this a bit, none of this is confirmed to the point of Robinson’s mill shutting down, but all signs right now are great.

I am guessing the planned protest for next Tuesday outside UGH (what an unfortunate acronym, btw) will be cancelled. Or maybe, it should turn into a demonstration of support?  I’m not sure how the leaders plan to play it, if the Kukla’s or someone can let me know, that would be helpful, I’ll try to post an update, even on the weekend.

For now, offer some prayers of thanksgiving!  If this development holds, we’ll see two mills close in the next week or so!

Oh, and I also got news of something really untoward and seedy that happened at Robinson’s mill very recently, totally unrelated to his state mandated admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.  Charges are being filed, that’s all I’ll say for now. Hopefully I can reveal more, soon.

A follow-up on episcopal palaces March 28, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Christendom, disconcerting, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
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I posted yesterday on the scandal of the cash-strapped Archdiocese of Atlanta spending nearly $5 million on residences for Archbishop Wilton Gregory and three cathedral priests.  My wife made a really good point last night that I thought worth sharing.

I think many faithful have the sense that situations like this – and they are legion* – are indicative of an episcopate that has really lost its way.  My wife noted this, and said how upside-down and inside-out things are: “we” the Church used to have glorious, beautiful churches and humble priests and bishops who lived very simply, now we have ugly “humble” churches and bishops (and some priests) who live in great opulence and extravagance.  

That says a very great deal.  It speaks to the worldliness that has crept so very deeply into the Church.  It reveals a highly disordered materialism that is extremely difficult to reconcile with the kind of interior life one would expect a faithful bishop to have.  And it shows how utterly misplaced priorities are, where parishes are often built to the lowest possible cost point with no thought of how to truly sacrifice and scrimp to make something lasting and magnificent, while lavish lifestyles are reserved for Amchurch’s local branch managers.

Some might think this is belaboring the point, but I don’t think too big a deal can be made out of this.  It is scandalous in an age of parish and school closures, declining attendance, and massive dysfunction in the Faith for such huge sums to be wasted on episcopal residences of this type, and, again, there are a LOT of them

In fact, there is a close correlation between how liberal a prelate is, and how auspicious his style of living.  See Robert Lynch, Joseph Bernadin, et. al., for details.

* – There are also opposite examples of bishops selling mansions and adopting very simple manners of living. They are to be applauded for this.


We live in a new age of iconclasm March 28, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, reading, Saints, scandals, secularism, Virtue.
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And, to that, I say, phooey.  Here’s some art of that great fighter of heretical iconoclasts, St. John Damascene, for all the iconoclasts out there to get all twisted off about.  But first, some words from Dom Prosper Gueranger on the horrid heresy of iconoclasm:

The faithful have not forgotten that on the first Sunday of Lent the Greeks keep one of their greatest solemnities, that of Orthodoxy.  History proves that the Church of Constantinople, the new Rome, did not share the indefectibility of that of the old Rome, for it passed through a cycle of heresies on the dogma of the Incarnation.  It rejected successively the consubstantiality of the Word, the unity of Person in Jesus Christ, and the integrity of His two natures. It seemed as though there were nothing left for heretical emperors and patriarchs to deny.  Yet there was one more error to proclaim before the measure of false teaching was filled up.

Christ enthroned in Heaven could not be belittled, but His images might be proscribed on earth.  Heresy was powerless to touch the King even in these pictorial representations, but schism could at least shake off the yoke of His Vicar, and this last denial rolled the stone to the door of the tomb which the Crescent was one day to seal.

The heresy of the iconoclasts or image-breakers represents the last phase of Oriental error with regard to the Incarnation of the Son of God.  [They still hold errors regarding the Trinity, viz., the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father AND the Son]  It was right that the feast which commemorates the restoration of the holy images should receive the glorious name of the Feast of Orthodoxy.  It celebrates the last blow struck at Byzantine dogma, and recalls all those delivered by the councils of the Church between the first and second of Nicaea.  A peculiar solemnity was given to this feast by the fact that all the anathemas formulated in previous times against the adversaries of revealed Truth were renewed in the Church of Saint Sophia, while the Cross and the holy Images were exalted in triumph and the emperor stood at his throne.

Satan, the sworn foe of the Word, showed clearly that he looked upon the doctrine of the Iconoclasts as his last resource.  There is no heresy which has caused more martyrdoms or more destruction. Nero and Diocletian seemed to be reincarnate in the baptized Caesars who defended it………The edicts of persecution, published in defence of the idols of former times, were renewed for the destruction of the idolatry which was said to defile the Church.

In the early days of the heresy, St. Germanus of Constantinople reminded the crowned theologian of Isauria that Christians do not adore images but give them a relative honor, which is due to the persons of the Saints whom they represent.  The imperial pontiff replied by sending the patriarch into exile.  The soldiers, whom the emperor charged to carry out his will, gave themselves up to the pillage of churches and private homes.  On all sides venerated statues fell under the hammer of the destroyers. [Just as occurred in the protestant revolt, and even, to some extent, today.  How many gloriously outfitted churches in Europe or North America have been turned into cold, modernist shells, almost totally devoid of art?  We have an abundance of iconoclasts today, the modernists]  Mural paintings were covered with chalk, vestments and sacred vessels mutilated and destroyed on account of images in embroidery or enamel.  Masterpieces of art, which had nourished the devotion of the people, were publicly burnt, and the artist who dared to represent Christ, Our Lady, or the Saints, was himself subjected to fire and torture together with those of the faithful who had not been able to restrain their sorrow at the sight of such destruction.  The shepherds bowed beneath the storm and yielded to regrettable compromises, and the reign of terror was soon supreme over the deserted flock. [Again, the similarities to today are striking.  But in our case, the shepherds haven’t been compromising with a civil authority threatening destruction if they do not accept the authority’s will, we see the shepherds themselves often leading the charge of destruction of immensely valuable public works of art in Catholic parishes.  Modernists hate Catholic imagery because it is offensive to protestant sensibilities.]

————-End Quote————-

Interestingly, a remnant of iconoclasm has remained in the Byzantine Churches to this day.  They still allow only painted art, in icons or parishes, with almost no statuary permitted, nor other forms of art.  This is due at least in part to a lingering misconception of the nature of imagery and the kind of respect given them.

Now, some good good Icons:

(c) Ferens Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation




ladder of the cross

Bishops failing to enforce Canon 915 mortally sinful March 27, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, Basics, contraception, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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So much for not being topical?

A Father Vincent Fitzpatrick, of whom I am totally unfamiliar, has penned a piece for the American Life League that castigates all that great swath of bishops in this country who, for more than 40 years, have refused to enforce Canon 915 by denying the Blessed Sacrament to sinful pro-abort politicians.  According to Fr. Fitzpatrick, enforcement of Canon 915 is not just a duty, it is not an option, it is so mandatory that failing to do so is gravely sinful.


Fr. Fitzpatrick (I add emphasis):

Here is the text of Canon 915: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

Several American bishops have made statements to the effect that a bishop must exercise “discretion” regarding whether to “impose the penalty” of denial of Communion. Among them: Chaput, Dolan, O’Malley, and Wuerl.

All bishops who refuse to “impose the penalty” are participating in a lie. Namely, that denial of Communion is a penalty.

Denial of Communion is NOT a penalty.

So? What is the import of this fact?

It means that denial of Communion is not an option that MAY be chosen. It is MANDATED by Canon 915. No bishop, priest, or other minister of Communion is free to disobey Canon 915, for the simple reason that the action Canon 915 forbids is ALWAYS gravely sinful.

It needs to be emphasized that Canon 915 is NOT a canon that may be “applied” or “not applied.” Canon 915 can only be obeyed or disobeyed. And disobeying Canon 915 is always gravely sinful.

Canon 915 exists precisely because giving Communion to a person “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” is always gravely sinful. Doing so is always to give grave scandal, and to participate knowingly in a sacrilegious act.

Let that sink in. Always gravely sinful.

In terms perhaps more familiar to the laity: To give Communion knowingly and deliberately to ANYONE delineated in Canon 915 is ALWAYS a mortal sin.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has been the most outspoken of those bishops who refuse to obey Canon 915, but all of them are on record, as he is, as endorsing the commission of MORTAL SINS by their priests and other ministers of Communion. Cardinal Wuerl has even punished those who have obeyed Canon 915.

Of course, this is something he has no right to do, because no bishop has the authority to command anyone to commit a mortal sin!

I believe he is absolutely correct in this.  Canon Law is Canon Law, and Canon 915 is crystal clear.  For a prelate to so fail in duty that he abrogates a very significant portion of Canon Law is objectively mortally sinful if only from the standpoint of the massive scandal it causes alone.  But add to that fact the reality that the Blessed Sacrament is thus received unworthily, and you add sacrilege and blasphemy on top of the grave scandal.  It seems a pretty clear cut case of objective mortal sin, to me.

Unless one wants to argue that our prelates are so badly formed they are ignorant of the nature of the Blessed Sacrament, scandal, sacrilege, and all the rest.  One might actually have an argument there, which is a scandal of the first rank in its own right.

But really, these men have been corrected so often on this matter, from above and below (including the relegating of then Cardinal Ratzinger’s instruction to enforce Canon 915 by Cardinal McCarrick to the memory hole), that claiming ignorance is to extend a charitable appreciation of the matter beyond the breaking point.

One more point from Fr. Fitzpatrick:

It is said by many, including Cardinal Wuerl, that Communion should not be used as a political weapon.

Absolutely true. And the reception of Communion is being used as a political weapon—by pro-abortion politicians. As long as they are permitted to receive Communion, the bishop (e.g., Cardinal Wuerl) endorses their claim to be “ardent Catholics” whose promotion of abortion is NO SIN.

Again, I totally agree.  There is no question in my mind that it is the pro-abort sinners and their episcopal enablers who are politicizing the Blessed Sacrament.  They are also committing sins more severe than even the worst heretics of the past.

One sad fact is that the article lists Fr. Fitzpatrick as a retired priest.  Of course, no active priest could write a missive like this because they would be cashiered instantly.

He does recommend raising a ruckus to Rome about this scandal.  I heartily agree. You can either send a letter directly to the Holy See, or to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, DC.  The address is as follows:

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vignano
Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States
3339 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20008

Tel: (202) 337-0619

As always in such matters, be forthright, straightforward, and polite.  Very polite. But make your point firmly. You could even just copy Fr. Fitzpatrick’s article and mail that in.

Former communist states refuse to have sodo-marriage imposed on them March 27, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, true leadership.
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This is a good and interesting article via Tancred at Eponymous Flower on how many formerly communist eastern European countries are refusing to allow Western perverse interest groups to foist their immoralities on them.  Said differently, more and more East European countries are formally defining marriage as being between only a man and a woman in their constitutions, and some countries, like Hungary, have given Christian belief special emphasis in those constitutions.  There is an interesting comment below I think is the key to this phenomenon:

In Slovakia an historic agreement between the political left and the political right has been made. “We will anchor in the Constitution that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman,” says Jan Figel, Vice President of the Slovak Parliament. “It is a response to the attempt to seek to impose gender theory on us.”.

Last 24 February  the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and the Christian Democrat, Jan Figel (KDH) agreed on a constitutional amendment. The two leaders of the Socialists and Christian Democrats were considering to establish  marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the Constitution. “The constitutional amendment prohibits the legalization of marriage between same sex people,” said Figel…… [And it seems likely to pass, at present, 96 out of 150 members of parliament are in favor]

…….Already in 2012, the electoral program of the socialist-led government focused on supporting the family. Even then,   marriage was enshrined as a union between a man and a woman in the election program. With this line, which is different from that of the socialist president of France, Fico had success to date.

The Eastern Central Europe thus defines an open counter-position to the west. Croatia decided in a referendum to enshrine marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the Constitution. Romania recently rejected “gay marriage”. Slovakia wants also to change  its Constitution in this sense. The corresponding amendment has been introduced by Fico.

…..Figel is of the opinion that the former Communist countries are more sensitive to ideological monopolization. It can not be that a certain ideology should be imposed on all. “We have a clear idea of ​​marriage and family,” said Figel, “and we do not want to be lectured to from outside”.

But it seems we here in the wild wild west have forgotten what it is that made all these “rights” and “freedoms” we are so enamored of possible – the family, children, hard work, and above all the Christian Faith.  I pray we start to remember before it is too late.

This also shows how persecution and martyrdom tends to provide the seeds of future renewal in the Church. The Church was horribly subjugated for decades in Eastern Europe, but how there seems to be a new flowering, still quite nascent and threatened by all the errors afflicting the Church (relativism, indifferentism, coldness of heart…..), but there nonetheless.

Maybe the next great restoration will come from the eastern portion of the Church.  It would be fine with me….

But yes, I know, not something to hold one’s breath over.

Accepting humiliations key to developing humility March 27, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I don’t know about you, but being humiliated is about the most painful thing I can experience, at least emotionally.  But Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen argues persuasively in Divine Intimacy that acceptance of humiliations is very necessary for growth in true humility, the virtue that underlies charity and all the others.  Can we learn to accept humiliations not only passively, but with a thankful heart?  See what you think after reading the below:

Many souls would like to be humble, but few desire humiliation; many ask God to make them humble and fervently pray for this, but very few want to be humiliated.  Yet it is impossible to gain humility without humiliations; for just as studying is the way to acquire knowledge, so it is by the way of humiliation that we attain to humility.

As long as we only desire this virtue of humility, but are not willing to accept the means thereto, not even are we on the true road to acquiring it.  Even if in certain situations we succeed in acting humbly, this may well be the result of a superficial and apparent humility rather than of a humility that is real and profound. Humility is truth; therefore, let us tell ourselves that since we possess nothing of ourselves but sin, it is but just that we receive only humiliation and scorn.  If we were really convinced of this truth, we would find it very just that all should humiliate us, treat us without consideration, and despise us. In fact, what honor and consideration does one deserve who has offended his Creator, when a single sin- even a venial one – is more deplorable and worthy of of more contempt than the most miserable earthly condition, the poorest and lowest estate?  The Saints were so firmly convinced of this truth that they never found the humiliations which came to them too painful; they considered them, on the contrary, always less than they deserved.  “I never heard anything bad said of me,”  said St. Teresa of Jesus, “which I did not clearly realize deserved, and even more, If I had not offended God in the way proffered, I had done so in so many other ways.  I felt they had treated me far too indulgently in saying nothing about these.” (Way of Perfection, 15)

Bear your humiliations patiently, for man is tried in this crucible as gold in the fire (Sir, II:4,5). If we feel the weight of our pride and wish to be rid of it, we must accept humiliations calmly-through them the Lord will crush our pride.

Before seeking humiliations on our own initiative, we should prepare to accept those which will come to us against our will. Whereas subtle pride might work its way into the lowly acts we impose upon ourselves – for example, the desire to appear humble, ostentatiously riding the bus instead of taking the episcopal car, constantly noting our great humility in public – this danger is absolutely excluded from those which come from others in spite of ourselves.  However, even in this case they must be willingly accepted in order to bear fruit.  It is not the humiliation itself which makes us humble, but the act of the will by which we accept it.  St. Bernard teaches that being humble and being humbled are two different things.  We can say that everyone, in one way or another, receives humiliations in this life. Not many, however, become humble because very few accept humiliation and submit to it patiently. 

What profit do we draw from humiliations, if instead of accepting them, we oppose and resist them with resentment and vexation and become angry with the person who gives them to us?

It is true that these occasions are not agreeable to our proud, sensitive nature; nevertheless, although we feel their bitterness, we must force ourselves to accept them graciously……If, in spite of all the repugnance and resistance of nature, we accept a humiliation by an act of the will, and assure God that we want to be content with it and to savor it thoroughly, we will gradually become humble.  The hard, bitter bread of abasement will become, little by little, sweet and pleasant, but we will not find it agreeable until we have been nourished by it for a long time. Moreover, the most important thing is not the sweetness, but the willingness to accept everything that is humiliating. “Allow thyself to be taught, allow thyself to be commanded, allow thyself to be enslaved and brought into submission and despised, if thou shalt be perfect!” (St. Juan de la Cruz, Spiritual Maxims, II, 33).

St. Teresa of Jesus: “O Lord, how can a person like me, who deserves to be tortured by demons for eternity, be insulted? If I am badly treated in this world, is it not just? Really, Lord, I have nothing to offer You in this regard……I know that I am so guilty in Your eyes that I feel that those who insult me are treating me too well, although they think they are offending me, not knowing me as well as you do.” (Way of Perfection, 36).

—————End Quote————-

I am obviously not one who takes humiliations well!  This is a very, very difficult thing to learn, but I think Fr. Gabriel is right that it is also very necessary.

Do your best. Practice mortification.  And above all, pray.  In time, if we understand what is required of us to lead a virtuous life, and we pray to do so, we will.  God will mold us if we let Him.

How different we are from what we are called to be!  I pray we have far more shepherds who will help mold us in true virtue and real practice of the interior life!


Atlanta bishop builds perfumed palace while Holy See removes high-living German prelate March 27, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
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Scandal has apparently broken out in the Archdiocese of Atlanta over close to $5 million being spent on residences for the Archbishop, Wilton Gregory (former head of the USCCB) and a lavish home for the cathedral priests.  The bishop’s new home is 6000 sq ft and $2.2 million, ostensibly for a single man living alone:

The Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead hopes to begin renovations next month on a newly acquired rectory for its parish priests at a cost, including purchase of the property, of $2.2 million.

The residence once housed Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who heads the Archdiocese of Atlanta, but he recently moved into a new, 6,196-square-foot home on Habersham Road in Buckhead. The archdiocese built that home at an additional cost of $2.2 million.

The money for these expenditures came from a $15 million bequest from Joseph Mitchell, nephew “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell. How that cash was used has touched off debate within the parish and archdiocese. [Was the money given specifically for that purpose?]

Some parishioners think Joseph Mitchell’s wealth should have been used for schools and the poor – that clergy leadership needed to follow the example of Pope Francis, who’s made international headlines with his admonitions to Catholics to live simpler, more frugal lives.

I would have no problem if $15 million were put into truly beautifying and restoring a wreckovated church, but spending 1/3 of that money on residences for a bishop and 3 priests is pretty ludicrous.  I note that the exposes on unfaithful same-sex attracted priests noted their propensity for high living.  There may be no connection here, but it bears mentioning.

How has Gregory justified this lavish expense for a bishop?  He claims, contrary to reason, that having these very high tone digs will allow him to “smell of the sheep” better by having more backyard bbqs and what not:

Gregory also said he thinks the new home would have the pope’s blessing.

“He wants his bishops to engage with his people,” said Gregory, who was installed as archbishop in Atlanta in 2005. His new home, he said, allows for larger groups to visit; the grounds also are good for cookouts and other outdoor activities. In this way, said Gregory, he can follow the pope’s admonition to “smell like the flock” — to be close to parishioners.

Oh please.  Oh please oh please oh please!  Good luck getting even 5 minutes with the bishop in his office, let alone his home, unless you are donating in the 6 figures or have some overwhelming evidence of a grave scandal and are threatening to go to the press.  Then you might get a few minutes in the office.  Invitations to the bishop’s residence are almost exclusively reserved to a couple official functions a year – if there are any at all (most have none) – or are limited to the highest of high rollers of money or power  who constitute perhaps the upper 0.01% of Catholics in a given diocese.   It is an utter crock to think Gregory is going to suddenly invite 500 families from the barrio to invade his lavish, perfect home with their low manners and squealing kids. Give. me. a. break.

At least, that’s how it plays here.  Our own bishop has a residence valued at $1.5 million or so in the ritziest part of town – I guess by comparison, he’s a model of episcopal restraint.

I think the whole “smell of the sheep” angle has been overplayed and overwrought, nevertheless, bishops who think the call to modest living doesn’t apply to them might want to check out what’s just happened in Germany, where Pope Francis cashiered another high-living prelate:

Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the bishop of Limburg, whose extravagant spending on renovations for his personal residence angered his congregation and ran afoul of the pontiff’s message of humility and modesty for the Roman Catholic Church.

The Holy See accepted the German bishop’s offer to resign, “given that it has come to a situation in the Limburg diocese that prevents Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from fruitfully carrying out his duties,” the Vatican said in a statement on Wednesday.

After mounting criticism over spiraling costs, the Limburg diocese confirmed in October that Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, 54, had poured at least 31 million euros, or about $43 million, into the renovation of his residence and church buildings. The costs had originally been estimated at €5.5 million.

I wonder what kind of renovations those churches received?  Traditional or wreckovations?  Well, it’s Germany, so……

It used to be, up until Vatican II, that bishops lived in their dioceses and rarely left.  But with the proliferation of bureaucracies that VII promoted, bishops now rarely spend even half their time physically present in their dioceses.  I know people who have worked at the chancery for years and saw Bishop Farrell, for instance, only a handful of times.

So why would a man who spends most of his time living in hotels need a mansion?  Why would a single man, called to be the highest example of virtue for his priests and the laity need such luxury?  It speaks to the profound disorder in the episcopate, where bishops seem to view themselves as CEOs of regional branches of McChurch, Incorporated, and not as shepherds of souls.  Most bishops behave far more as administrators and accountants, whose highest priority is to stay out of the news, rather than being – or at least appearing – deeply concerned over the state of souls.  Giving example of mortification for most bishops seems a sad joke.

It’s so much easier to play at politics, act the manager, and hope that universal salvation will do your job for you.

Again, I think the whole “smell of your sheep” angle is likely going to lead to a bunch of abuse in its own right – showy displays of concern that mean little, etc – but there is a profound derangement in episcopal life in the West, and maybe Pope Francis’ call to humility and simplicity will net some changed behaviors.

Help shut down an abortion mill – next Tuesday March 26, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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Lamar Robinson runs his mill in a pretty shady part of Dallas, and has for years.  After the state legislature passed a law last summer banning abortion beyond 20 weeks and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, Robinson’s “Abortion Advantage” mill shut down for a while as he sought the privileges.  He reopened some months ago, and we actually thought for a while he may have done so even lacking the required privileges. However, investigation has shown that a hospital with a less than sterling reputation in South Oak Cliff – University General Hospital – has given Robinson his much sought-after privileges.

Their management has been contacted but seems uninterested in disassociating the hospital from a notorious abortionist. As such, local pro-life warriors are planning on stepping up the pressure, beginning the first in a series of “informative pickets” outside University General Hospital next Tuesday, April 1 at 9:00 am.  This hospital is located at 2929 South Hampton Rd in the South Oak Cliff section of Dallas.

It is hoped the hospital will not want the negative publicity that will surely come from being associated with a character as notorious as Robinson.  He has long been one of the latest term abortion providers in Texas, routinely killing viable babies up to 24 weeks.  Not that viability makes abortion any worse, all abortion is an evil straight out of hell.  But it does serve to indicate the extremity of Robinson’s acts, and the hospital’s complicity in them.

Hopefully many souls will be able to come out and witness for life.  And hopefully only one such demonstration will be necessary to get the hospital to revoke these privileges.

Please come out if you at all can.  Defending life is both a spiritual and a corporal work of mercy, as is doing penance for the hideous sin of abortion.

“We know so strict is divine justice that no sin will go unpunished; it must be expiated in this world or in the next. Far better is it for thee, O sinner, to atone for thy sins of thy own accord in this world than to leave it to the just Judge to chastise thee for them in the next.”