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Shortest Flightline Friday ever – A-7F “Strikefighter” February 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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I know most will be applauding, I have no time, so here, go read this article about a great aircraft that died due to the end of the Cold War, the Vought A-7F “Strikefighter.”  I think the article raises a very valid point, could the military save money in total by switching back to more role-specific aircraft like the A-7 for ground attack, rather than spending hundreds of billions on “do everything” multi-role types.  Experts argue the latter are always cheaper, but with F-35s coming in at $200 million a pop, that argument is wearing pretty thin.

If interested, let me know what you think.  And anyone know what happened to Blaine?  Is he on deployment?  Blaine, if you’re out there, you’re missed, leave a comment or send me an e-mail!

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Pope Francis says “Reform of the Reform” mistaken, Traditionalist seminarians often have “moral problems” February 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Papa, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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The following text comes via Zenit, as reported by Rorate Caeli, and contains comments from Pope Francis’ recent meeting with the clergy of Rome.  It is reported that some of the priests present either took notes or recorded portions of the talk, so the report is purported to be accurate.

In the report, Pope Francis describes the “Reform of the Reform” as “mistaken” (a point on which I might agree, but probably for very different reasons), and that traditionalist seminarians are often unbalanced souls with grave moral problems. Pope Francis warned bishops from accepting them into their dioceses (does this statement point at the Franciscans of the Immaculate, or at events in Paraguay, where a very orthodox bishop unfortunately did accept a priest who presented himself as traditional and devout, but had a long history of abuse allegations?).  Given the context, and bearing in mind these appear to be yet another in the constant stream of “off the cuff” remarks, I do find the comments below quite incredible, and surely at least something of a rebuke to the Pope Emeritus:

Through the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum, published in 2007, the now Pope Emeritus allowed the possibility of celebrating the Mass according the liturgical books edited by John XXIII in 1962, notwithstanding that the “ordinary” form of celebration in the Catholic Church would always remain that established by Paul VI in 1970.

Pope Francis explained that this gesture by his predecessor, “a man of communion”, was meant to offer “a courageous hand to Lefebvrians and traditionalists”, as well as to those who wished to celebrate the Mass according to the ancient rites. The so-called “Tridentine” Mass – the Pope said – is an “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite”, one that was approved following the Second Vatican Council. Thus, it is not deemed a distinct rite, but rather a “different form of the same right”. (sic) [Yah, that should be “Rite.”  Are these comments significant?  Thus far, Pope Francis has rather pointedly refrained from criticizing either the TLM directly or Summorum Pontificum.  Thank God.]

However, the Pope noted that there are priests and bishops who speak of a “reform of the reform.” [Indeed, the former pontiff Benedict XVI spoke of this frequently]  Some of them are “saints” and speak “in good faith.” But this “is mistaken”, the Holy Father said. He then referred to the case of some bishops who accepted “traditionalist” seminarians who were kicked out of other dioceses, without finding out information on them, because “they presented themselves very well, very devout.” They were then ordained, but these were later revealed to have “psychological and moral problems.” [So it is mistaken because there have been a handful – and truly a handful, compared to the broader population of priests – of bad apples?  There is no other justification given.  So the Reform of the Reform, which means allowing the TLM to influence the Novus Ordo (and pray God not vice versa) to improve the solemnity and reverence with which the Ordinary Form of the Mass is offered. But this is “mistaken?”  As far as is reported, this is just a bald assertion.]

It is not a practice, but it “happens often” in these environments, the Pope stressed, and to ordain these types of seminarians is like placing a “mortgage on the Church.”  [I would argue against the idea that having bad traditional priests “happens often.”  There have been a few, it is true, but I would bet my house they are far fewer percentage wise than “regular” priests who have had the same problems. Most of the traditional priests I have met are very fine, upstanding men and this is really a very unfortunate calumny directed against traditional priests in general]  The underlying problem is that some bishops are sometimes overwhelmed by “the need for new priests in the diocese.” Therefore, an adequate discernment among candidates is not made, among whom some can hide certain “imbalances” that are then manifested in liturgies. In fact, the Congregation of Bishops – the Pontiff went on to say – had to intervene with three bishops on three of these cases, although they didn’t occur in Italy.

Is that the problem we’ve seen?  That bishops are so desperate for priests they are ordaining whatever crazed, perverse traddy priest they can get their hands on?  Or is the situation actually quite the opposite, at least in the Anglo-sphere, that many, many good, devout young men who probably had valid calls to the priesthood were deliberately blocked from being able to even come close to ordination by an organized plot of hostile intent to block such men from the priesthood, in order to force a “crisis” that would do away with the all-male, celibate, ordained priesthood and give way to female “priests” and lay people running “Mass?”  And what of the influence of the perverse themselves, who most often held dominant positions of authority in most seminaries and actively directed events so that only their own “kind” could be ordained, or at least only those, and those who gave absolutely no indication of orthodoxy during seminary?

And did the Congregation of Bishops “have to intervene,” or were they directed to intervene?  I do bear in mind that Pope Francis is from South America, and the few reports I know of such problematic “imbalanced” traditional priests come almost entirely from that region.  So perhaps he has been unduly influenced by his provincial experience.  But I would take the final comment as at least a bit of a reminder, if not a threat, to bishops to be careful not to ordain “too many” (or any?) priests with traditional leanings.  If such were truly acted upon, we would very quickly be back to the disastrous days of the 50s-80s when so many unworthy men were indeed ordained, and whose subsequent actions wrecked such havoc on the Church.

What say you?  What do you make of these comments?

Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell on board with Cardinal Wuerl’s shot at Cardinal Burke? February 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disconcerting, episcopate, error, General Catholic, persecution, pr stunts, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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I don’t know if this is a big deal or not.  I do know that Cardinal Wuerl’s controversial blog post, wherein he decried “dissenters” whose “interview and article” indicate they are less than enthusiastic about Pope Francis.  We’ve already examined both this blog post and the fact that major Catholic figures like Fr. Thomas Rosica also understood it as a shot against Cardinal Burke.

What was news to me until today, but which you can see for yourself below, was that Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell apparently thought highly of this blog post.  At least, he said so:

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Click on the image to see his approving comment, second one made.

Now, Bishop Farrell has deep ties to the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.  He was at least something of a protege of Cardinal McCarrick, who has been present here in Dallas for some priestly ordinations. He has long been viewed as wishing to return there. I don’t know if we can assume that Bishop Farrell was commenting on the dig at Burke, but if we read the post, we can see that the entire thing is really a justification for the dig made earlier.  Exploring the post a bit more, I found this comment rather surprising:

I will not belabor the point by going through the critiques, challenges, disapproval and dissent that faced so much of what Pope Benedict XVI taught and published during his pontificate. Again, I find myself greatly perplexed at the negative critique of him whom I saw as such a good, brilliant and holy Shepherd of the Church.

So good and brilliant, that you ignored his order as Cardinal Ratzinger, speaking in the name of Pope JPII, to desist from providing the Blessed Sacrament to politicians who openly reject the Faith through support of grave evils like abortion. Oh……but where would we get our billions of dollars for Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services if we make the pols mad?  Not your “pastoral style,” I understand.  What a frivolous comment to such a deadly serious issue – if you believe in things like hell, judgment, and damnation.

Look, we’re seeing politics in the Church on a grand scale. There is an enormous struggle ongoing between those who hold a progressive, even modernist vision of the Church, who feel the Church must shuck, at least in practice, much of that tired old Dogma so offensive to the world so that we may be “relevant,” and those who say that no, Christ filled the Church with His Doctrine and we must adhere to it no matter what the world, the flesh, and the devil say.  I’m sure there are many in between, torn this way and that by competing priorities (and don’t think that funding mentioned above is not a key one), but for the most part, the struggle is just a continuation of the same one we’ve seen that has dominated the Church since those fateful days in July 1789.  What has been different over the past 50 years, compared to the first 150 years of that struggle, is that so many in high positions in the Church advocate for the embrace of the revolution, for the “counter syllabus,” for the wisdom of the world.   It is an unprecedented switch and an enormous abandonment of duty in the eyes of many, including this blogger.  And this episode of Cardinal Wuerl’s blog post is just one small event in a much broader war for the soul of the Church.

The only really effective response to this crisis is through prayer and penance.  This is the perfect season to focus on that.

“Catholic Carbon Fast” is an offensive panoply of worldly, left-wing concerns February 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Lent, sadness, scandals, secularism, silliness, Society, the return.
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Commenter “H-Town” (poor soul, living there) posted a link to the “Catholic Carbon Fast,” a really problematic effort by the “Catholic Climate Movement” (which involves various arms of the USCCB) to get Catholics to perform acts of “carbon self-denial” all during Lent.  So you can mix in your two favored religions, leftism and Catholicism, all in the same liturgical season!

I say it is silly – and really offensive to 2000 years of Catholic piety – because of the political agitation that is promoted as being an acceptable form of penance for Lent.  All in the same direction, of course, towards the much hoped-for secular utopia.  A few selected suggestions from the carbon-fast calendar:

  • Buy local!  Eat with ingredients only from “your area” (is Kansas in “my area,” since I own a farm there?)
  • Use a smaller plate, you will have leftovers to eat later
  • Is your Catholic parish’s “catering services” using styrofoam?  Burn, heretic!
  • Commit to fasting and praying to assuage the burning rage of holy Gaia for the climate at least once a month.
  • Keep your car tuned up!  What is this, 1978?!  Most cars never need a tuneup until well past 100,00 miles anymore, anyways.
  • Car pool!
  • Don’t use styrofoam, you heretic!
  • Don’t buy a lawnmower or ladder, borrow your neighbor’s.  Oh, they’ll loooove you for that!

Geez louise, this is just ridiculous.  Look, some of these items are fine and sensible and if you feel moved to buy local for whatever reason, or eat “free range” chickens (hey, guess what, they are still in a very small pen, just a slightly larger one!) or whatever, that’s not necessarily objectionable.

But this kind of worldly, materialist emphasis is really inappropriate for Lent, which should be primarily about improving our spiritual sides.  Certainly there can be corporal aspects to Lent, but they should not be primarily corporal.  They also should not be so overtly political, or from such a one-sided political perspective, nor should they have such an overwhelmingly worldly focus.  I was actually surprised I did not see on the calendar “picket outside a nuclear power plant” or “lay your body down on the tracks in front of a coal train.”

What is most objectionable is the stated purpose behind the “fast,” which they don’t tell you till the end:

This Lent Fast for Climate Justice urges Catholics to unite on climate change and it also calls for decisive action for a fair, ambitious and legally binding global agreement in the COP 21 summit at Paris to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5 degree Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels.

This is ludicrous on several fronts.  First, there is presently very little evidence the world is warming at all, even with CO2 emissions continuing to increase. Secondly, the world has been both far warmer, and far colder, than it is at present.  This includes relatively recent history like the Medieval warm period and the “little ice age” of 1600-1850.  Thirdly, we cannot remotely trust the data from land-based thermometers, the data is being altered and cooked to an incredible, shocking degree in order to produce the desired result.  In fact, even with this massive manipulation of the data, they still show only a trivial, within the margin of error “increase,” and satellite data, which cannot be so easily manipulated, shows no increase at all.  So this is all based on a left-wing moral panic and is a false chimera.  Fourthly, while leftists in developed countries wring their hands and pretend savage cuts in our standard of living and economic output are absolutely required to forestall disaster, they would allow China and India (and Russia) to continue to emit massive plumes of CO2, orders of magnitude greater than emissions from the developed West already.  So we would incur a massive cost, a huge reduction in our standard of living, and only have a trivial impact on CO2 emissions, so long as China and India remain largely exempt from the rules.

But we all know, this is not about “saving the planet,” its about taking control over the levers of production.  It’s about watermelons, communists/leftists who have adopted environmental scaremongering as their preferred vehicle to obtain power. It’s about the manipulation of science for political ends, something that’s gone on for so long I openly wonder why we listen much to what scientists have to say.  And it’s also about materialist penetration even into the Catholic Church, the institutions of which, we sadly know, are eager to jump onto whatever left-wing secular bandwagon happens to come along.

But it’s not about Lent, in the traditional sense, nor is it about drawing closer to God, necessarily. It could be conducted in such a manner, but if one just followed the prescriptions of the calendar straight up, it would be very possible to conduct the entire “climate fast” without any reference to God.  Which fact shouldn’t surprise us, since those who drew this thing up probably have a very disordered and worldly conception of God, anyway, to the extent they even believe in Him.

And I’ll repeat for the 400th time, things like this are a major reason why I refuse to support the USCCB or even Catholic Charities in any way (Catholic Charities is tied in with this and many other problematic “movements” within the Church bureaucracy).  They are offensive to Catholic sensibilities.

Fr. Volpi admits lies and defamation against Fr. Manelli of the FIs, must pay restitution and apologize? UPDATED Again February 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return, Tradition, Virtue.
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This is coming from Rorate, but I personally will hold back from counting this report as fact just yet.  An anonymous priest ostensibly close to Fr. Stefano Manelli (founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate) and his family is reporting that a “Mediation Organism of the Roman Tribunal” has elicited an admission of guilt from Fr. Videnzio Volpi, commissar installed to direct “reforms” at the FIs, as to his falsehoods and defamation of Fr. Manelli, and also assessed a substantial fine. The lies and falsehoods were surrounding Fr. Volpi’s now thoroughly refuted insinuations that Fr. Manelli had enriched family members (and possibly himself) through immoral transfers of FI property and assets.

The report of an apology and fine is coming from an Italian website, via Rorate. It’s a heckuva report, but also totally unconfirmed at present, as far as I know:

Rorate Caeli contributor Francesca Romana has translated the first report from Chiesa e post concilio reporting that Fr. Volpi will pay the family of Franciscans of the Immaculate founder Fr. Manelli a large cash sum for his “defamation and lies” and make public apologies on all websites he runs and in a letter to all FI friars and nuns.

For regular readers of this blog, you know that Fr. Volpi was brought in for just one reason: to crush one of the fastest-growing, traditional-minded religious orders in the world — but not on his own: as he admitted in the past, at least in his words, he was specifically ordered by the Vicar of Christ,” Pope Francis to carry out his mission.

The original Italian report:

I have never involved myself too much regarding the situation of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, but a sentence emitted by the  Mediation Organism (Organismo di Mediazione forense) of the Roman Tribunal[Tribunale civile di Roma] on the 12th of February is just too juicy!

Then are outlined Fr. Volpi’s outrageous claims of abuses by Fr. Manelli), followed by a brief description of the conclusion of the mediation between Fr. Volpi and the Manelli family, the result of which would, if true, be distinctly embarrassing to Fr. Volpi:

[…] Well then, for these lies Father Volpi,  [after] negotiating with the entire Manelli Family, whose honour was damaged, and consequently having admitted the felony [reato] of defamation and lies [menzogna, also: falsehood] on February 12th 2015, as fair compensation, will have to pay 20,000 Euros to the Manelli Family, plus all legal expenses, the publication of a public apology on internet sites run by him, as well as circular letters to all of the friars and nuns.  

UPDATE: I meant to add originally, but in haste failed to do so, that what is reported above is second-hand reporting of an anonymous source.  So take that for what you will.

If this report is true, it is really important, because it would amount to the formal repudiation on the part of commissioner Volpi of the sole substantial allegation of malfeasance against the former FI administration ever made, aside from that notorious and nebulous “drift.”  Other sites, some quite close to the FIs themselves, have already disproven Volpi’s false accusations, but until they are formally renounced by their source, they sort of hang in the air as a vague threat.  A formal repudiation would bring the entire intervention down to one matter, which is the one anybody paying attention knew it was about all along: that terrible, horrible, awful, doubleplus ungood “crypto-Lefebvrian drift.”

Which is to say, ideology, or progressivism vs. Catholicism?

Also via Rorate Caeli: Bishop Schneider visited the SSPX seminary in Winona, MN last week.  This visit is being reported as part of a continuing series of more informal doctrinal talks under the auspices of Cardinal Muller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as opposed to the formal and structured ones that occurred (and failed) under Pope Benedict.  Bishop Schneider was apparently there to discuss the liturgical revolution of the 60s and the doctrinal assumptions of the Novus Ordo.  I can’t imagine Bishop Schneider and the SSPX would find too much to disagree on that topic?

These drifts, they’re contagious!  You never know who might catch a bad case of drifting next!

UPDATE II: A popular Italian blog has a copy of the court order.  Via Rorate, again:

Corrispondenza Romana has a copy of the court record and is reporting that Fr. Volpi has a deadline of March 3 for paying the damages to the Manelli family and making public apologies. In addition to the numerous ways he must publicly apologize, listed in our original report below, he must also now issue a press release distributed through AGI (the Italian news agency).  [Wow. Is such a public retraction typical in Italy?]

Corrispondenza Romana also asked if Fr. Volpi will resign. We believe there is a more critical question: Why hasn’t Pope Francis publicly fired him and ended this unjust and unwarranted commissioning that he himself started?

UPDATE III: Two commenters, including Fr. Angelo Geiger, FI, thought I remiss in not posting Fr. Volpi’s strong denial of aspects of the claims made above.  He says they are a fabrication and that far from apologizing he is renewing actions against the Manelli family, apparently for breach of contract in publicizing in a negative way the terms of the deal that had been agreed to, and, according to Fr. Volpi, the slandering he has subsequently experienced in the publishing of false reports.  The text of the rebuttal in the form of a public letter to the  members of the Franciscans of the Immaculate is probably already known by most to be at Rorate.  The link is here.

And now this whole matter has exploded into a bone of contention of its own, with rebuttals Fr. Volpi’s letter (mostly in Italian) and counter-rebuttals.  It’s, at the very least, another big mess.