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Italian Report: new apostolic overseer of FSI nuns a dissatisfied liberal feminist May 30, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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Oh, I’m sure she’ll fit in great, then.  Just two minutes to throw this out, I’m sure many people have already seen the report on Rorate (and I thank them for their continuing coverage of this tragic subject), but it appears the female religious “overseer” installed to work revolution on the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate has love for gender theory and other feminist notions radically at odds with a traditional religious vocation.  I found the final paragraphs of the Italian report especially revealing:

She doesn’t stake out her territory, doesn’t feel the need to make any distinctions, doesn’t hold back, doesn’t express any whys or wherefores; the danger – a very real danger – is that the whole order of things will be changed, and cheap sociology will take the place of transcendent faith. According to the Italian news agency Adnkronos, Sr. Barbiero, President in 1998 of the Pontifical Institute Regina Mundi, was asking for some very loose and ill-defined “overall reform” in the life of Nuns, and was asking the Nuns themselves to “set out on a path of liberation,” using a language more commonly found in feminist tracts than in convents.

In that article in 2012 she more or less preached the same mantra, shining the light of sociology on the life of Nuns and bringing out “women’s questions” with references to an ongoing “difficult period of transition.” The life she spoke of was one of alienation, frustration, and unsatisfied desires so far away from the spiritual fullness and internal calm of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate.

That statement “The life she spoke of was one of alienation, frustration, and unsatisfied desires….” is a brilliant summation of so much of what is wrong with religious life today.  So many religious, women religious in particular, are horribly confused as to what their vocation is.  They are lost, really.  They have been sold a false and wicked bill of goods regarding radical, worldly theories of “empowerment” and what service means, and their orders have suffered death and destruction as a result.

And now the poor Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate are going to have such a wonderful, empowering “vision” imposed on their peaceful, fruitful, faithful communities.  It is an epic tragedy and I do not believe this could possibly happen in a remotely healthy Church.  But the Church is not healthy.  She is dying, at least in the earthly sense.  From all appearances, it seems the tormentors of the Mystical Body from within seek to make Her suffer still more.

I am having such a hard time not having really ugly thoughts about one of the prime instigators of this nightmare. This individual clearly should have just left the order, instead of  making hundreds of thier confreres – male and female – suffer so horribly. This person is utterly assured of their invincible righteousness.  But I would not want being associated – and let’s say it was only a distant association, which I don’t think was the case, but I’ll even grant that – with causing so much gut-wrenching, soul-tearing suffering in so many good and faithful people. Even if, no, especially if ,I disagreed with those people on a whole range of very important matters.

It is an excellent demonstration of what pride run utterly amok can do.  It is also a useful reminder to me as to how blind adhering to an ideology can make a person.

Weekend Reading: “Ecumenism is the Church’s Bad Dream” May 30, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return.
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I am running low on time so I must be brief, but I have been planning on linking to Boniface’s post at Unam Sanctam Catholicam on modern ecumenism all week.  It’s a lengthy post but one very much worth reading.

Most people are probably aware that a major purpose of Pope Francis’ recent trip to the Holy Land was to advance ecumenical notions on a broad front.  But perhaps the most important of these was his meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew of the Orthodox Church.  However, as Boniface documents extensively, modern ecumenism is not oriented at all towards a return to true unity – that is, a return to Rome, an acceptance of the Primacy of Peter and a submission to the Doctrine of the Faith – but is in fact entirely about feel-good messaging and worldly conceptions of peas and happiness.

I think the main thrust of the post is pretty well encapsulated in this quote below, which also contains an explication on ecumenism from former Cardinal Ratzinger:

In the 2003 book God and the World, then Cardinal Ratzinger reveals that the “unity” the modern Church is seeking through the ecumenical movement is radically different from the concept of “returning to Rome” as traditionally understood. In the book, which is in the format of a lengthy interview with journalist Peter Seewald, Seewald poses the question: “The Church prays for Christians to be reunited. But who ought to join up with whom?” Cardinal Ratzinger’s reply is revolutionary and flips on its head the traditional understanding of what it means to belong to the Church:
The formula that the great ecumenists have invented is that we go forward together. It’s not a matter of our wanting to achieve certain processes of integration, but we hope that the Lord will awaken people’s faith everywhere in such a way that it overflows from one to the other, and the one Church is there. As Catholics, we are persuaded that the basic shape of this one Church is given us in the Catholic Church, but that she is moving toward the future and will allow herself to be educated and led by the Lord. In that sense we do not picture for ourselves any particular modes of integration, but simply look to march on in faith under the leadership of the Lord – who knows the way.” (God and the World, Ignatius Press, 2003, pp. 452-53)
“We go forward together.” Where do we go? Who knows, for “we do not picture for ourselves any particular modes of integration”, nor do we even will a formal reunion, because “it’s not a matter of our wanting to achieve a certain process of integration.” Ratzinger, speaking ten years after Balamand, agrees that formal reintegration is neither fathomable in its mode nor even desirable in the modern Church.
Ratzinger’s comment that “the Lord will awaken people’s faith everywhere in such a way that it overflows from one to the other, and the one Church is there” is particularly revolutionary, as it locates the Church not in an objective reality but in an exchange – a relationship. The concept of ‘Church’ for Ratzinger is more about becoming than being – it is located in the interplay between the various “churches”. It is fundamentally a dynamic reality predicated on relationship. 
This novelty is not surprising, given the centrality of change, relation and evolution to Ratzinger’s thought (see here). James Larson has also written convincingly on the centrality of the concept of “relationship” in the theology of Joseph Ratzinger………

A “different mode of being a church”, something based on a “new understanding”, located not in a physically identifiable body on this earth, but “in the dynamism of the Word” – the relationship of the people with God. This is the sense in which the concept of “Church” overflows between the various Christian groups, and in the interchange of these groups – what Cardinal Dulles called “an ecumenism of mutual enrichment” – “the one Church is there,” to quote Ratzinger. This is the ecumenical thought of the ‘Pope of Christian Unity.’
Ratzinger is no fool. He knows that this is a novel concept. Cardinal Dulles recognizes it as well. In the same article quoted above, Dulles paints a sharp contrast between ecumenism pre- and post-Vatican II:
Vatican II, therefore, represents a sharp turn away from the purely negative evaluation of non-Catholic Christianity that was characteristic of the previous three centuries…Regarding the ecclesial status of non-Catholic Christians, Pius XII had taught as late as 1943 that they could not be true members of the Church because the Body of Christ was identical with the Catholic Church. Such Christians could not belong to the body except by virtue of some implicit desire, which would give them a relation that fell short of true incorporation.From a different point of view, Vatican II taught that every valid baptism incorporates the recipient into the crucified and glorified Christ, and that all baptized Christians were to some extent in communion with the Catholic Church…Relying on the new ecclesiology of communion, Catholic ecumenists now perceived their task as a movement from lesser to greater degrees of communion. All who believed in Christ and were baptized in his name already possessed a certain imperfect communion, which could be recognized, celebrated, and deepened” [Dulles, First Things, Dec. 2007].
The meeting between Francis and Bartholomew is an expression of this “new ecclesiology of communion”, which proposes no “particular modes of integration” but simply speaks of moving towards an ill-defined unity grounded in mutual understanding which will somehow result in the Church becoming present in the dynamism of the faith-filled exchange between us. 

————–End Quote————-

Sorry, Boniface, I like what you have written so much I stole a whole bunch of it.  Forgive me.  But there is much more at Boniface’s site, I haven’t posted even third of it.

“The Church becoming present in the dynamism of the faith-filled exchange…..”……..this is nothing but modernism, pure and simple.  This is a complete and total redefinition of what it means to be the Church, and does a massive disservice to souls within and without the Church in its overwhelming novelty and doctrinal sterility.  I can think of so many problems with this “definition:”  who defines the exchange as “faith-filled?”  What faith?  Whose faith?  If there are such radical differences in belief and practice, how can we claim we are exchanging anything alike?  How does a nebulous “exchange” become efficacious of Grace?  How do you control the process?  Who defines the process?  If the process is the “Faith,” doesn’t it merit careful definition, and not nebulous pablum?

What in practice this means is that the Catholic Church comes down off its doctrinal high-horse and settles for the lowest common denominator, a very worldly, unitarianesque conception of faithiness.  This is one of the most foundational problems of Vatican II, and yet virtually no one in any real position of authority seems prepared to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

Please do read all of Boniface’s analysis.  It is very worthwhile, and should give us much fruit for prayer.

Flightline Friday: FlugabwehrkanonenPanzer Gepard! May 30, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Flightline Friday, fun, General Catholic, history, silliness, Society, technology.
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Also known as FLAKPanzer Gepard……..which is just such an awesome name, how could I not blog on it?  There is one thing for certain, the German language is uniquely well suited for martial purposes.

In this Flightline Friday, we’ll look at one of the other sides of the airpower coin, land-based air defense against air attack.   The systems outlined in this post were all developed from the mid-60s on as mobile air defense systems intended to accompany units in the forward battle area and protect them from air attack.  They represent just one subset of such systems, in this case, armored air defense vehicles with guns as their primary armament.

Such vehicles were initially developed during WWII, developing from a few machine guns mounted in the back of a half-track to armored enclosures mounted on tank chassis with 20 or 30 mm cannon armament.  The Germans, as they so often did, led the way in the development of many of these systems, since having a forward based air defense made eminent sense with their doctrine of armored spearheads and quick penetration into an enemy’s rear areas.

After the war, development of such systems languished a bit, as priority shifted to surface-to-air missiles as seemingly a much more capable alternative.  However, combat quickly revealed the limitations of even “mobile” surface to air missile systems (and most of them were only mobile in theory), and interest in gun armed air defense vehicles surfaced again.  By that time, advances in radar, microprocessors, communications, and other technologies meant that these mobile air defense systems, instead of being aimed optically by a gunner, could incorporate all-weather radar directed fire control and a much higher probability of kill.

One of the first of these radar-directed mobile air defense systems was the Soviet ZSU-23-4 “Shilka,” a weapon system that when introduced into combat in Vietnam in 1972 caused quite a few surprises.  While Shilka was not really an all-weather system, it was radar directed and pretty danged accurate when it worked.  The Soviets built thousands of them and they are still in use all around the world.

Shilka, while not the most capable system in the world, is cheap and fairly effective.  Some are even in use in NATO countries, like the Polish units training below:

Developed at about the same time as the Shilka, but in many ways much more capable, is the main subject of this post, the Flakpanzer Gepard, or Leopard.  Developed from a Leopard 1 tank chassis, and incorporating a 3-D search radar and a danged good tracking radar, Gepard represented quite an advance when it first appeared in the early 70s.  One of the best aspects of Gepard is its armament, consisting of twin Swiss Oerlikon 35mm cannon each capable of firing about 650 rounds per minute.  35 mm is a pretty beefy anti-aircraft round, bit enough to permit the use of proximity fuses and hard-hitting enough to also serve in a limited anti-armor role on land.  The Oerlikon cannon is one of my favorite features of Gepard:

Good point in the video above, the guns are stabilized so Gepard can technically prosecute targets on the move.

A couple of videos of Gepard firing at targets.  It is pretty incredible to see guns so big firing so fast.  35 mm is about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.  The Bundeswehr upgraded the Gepard fleet by adding a box launcher for a couple of Stinger missiles on the side of the turret.  That’s what you see being launched below.  And sorry for the terrible music:

This last one of the Gepard has maybe the best footage but a horrible soundtrack.  German metal, Uff Da:

So what about the US Army?  If the Russians and Germans have systems like this, what must the world’s number one army of one have developed?  Laser cannons?

Actually, the US Army has for decades given short shrift to air defense of its own forces.  Today it’s particularly bad, there is basically nothing aside from long range Patriot/THAAD batteries (and very few of them) and shoulder fired Stingers.  But back in the 80s, perhaps feeling a bit behind the curve with all these other self-propelled armoured anti-aircraft guns (SPAAGs) in service, the Army did try to field an American equivalent.  Supposedly using “cheap,” off the shelf technology including the proven (if slow firing) Bofors 40 mm cannon and the radar from the F-16A, the M247 “Sergeant York” turned into a development nightmare that never produced even a remotely functional system.  There were all manner of high-profile embarrassing failures of the system, perhaps the worst of which was an attempt by the Army to impress reporters from the 60 Minutes news show, only to have the Sergeant York (also known as “DIVADS – divisional air defense system”) fail to hit even a helicopter in hover less than a mile away.  Pathetic.

The video below doesn’t really show the failures of Sergeant York (and what a shame to mix up the name of a great hero with such an abysmal failure), but I can tell you what conclusion was reached – the early 60’s vintage optically aimed M167 Vulcan gun air defense system and the Chaparral missile (using antiquated AIM-9D Sidewinders, only useful for firing AFTER the aircraft had passed over the missile launcher) were judged to be far more capable than the Sergeant York, and the latter was scrapped.  This was due mostly to the fact that the Sergeant York simply rarely worked as advertised.  There was quite a press witch hunt against it, but it simply had terrible reliability and frequently failed even very basic tests.

So there you go.  The awesome Gepard and the sad Sergeant York.

Some Pentecost Novenas for you May 30, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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A really nice lady named MJD sends me (and many others) all kinds of Novenas from time to time.  Yesterday she sent out several Novenas for Pentecost.  All start today, Friday May 30.  From what she sent, I have chosen two to post here.  One is brief, included below.

O Holy Spirit, You are the Love of The Father and The Son. Inspire me always in what I should think. Inspire me always in what I should say and how I should say it. Inspire me in what I should keep silence about and how I should do it. Inspire me in what I should do for God’s Honour, for the good of souls and for my own sanctification. Holy Spirit grant me understanding to understand and recognise. Grant me a capacity to remember everything. Teach me the ways and grant me the ability to learn always again. Grant me the acumen to interpret and to discern correctly. Grant me the grace to speak efficaciously. Holy Spirit, grant me confidence and certainty at the beginning. Guide me and lead me during the accomplishment and grant me perfection at the completion. Amen.

The other one is a typically looong EWTN Novena.  Too long to copy and paste here, go to the link.

But the longer the prayer is, the more merit there is in praying it, I suppose.

Pray a Novena with your family!  Develop in your children a love for this great traditional practice!

If you have Fr. John Hardon’s Catholic Prayer Book, there is also a Novena to the Holy Ghost there, on pp. 309-10.  Lots of other prayer books have their own versions.

Dominus vobiscum!