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It is not “gossip” to have concerns over the Synod April 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, error, General Catholic, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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So says Christopher Ferrara in the video below.  Certainly he is known as a most outspoken traditional Catholic, but what he says is neither traditional nor liberal, neo-Catholic nor orthodox.  It is simply the truth.  It is not a gossip to express concern over public events!  It is not gossip to have concern over the direction of the Church.  It is also not gossip to look at public statements that are gravely concerning and wonder what they mean, especially since so many of them seem to point to radical changes to the Church’s perennial practice and thus, inevitably, her belief – just as Fr. Rosica said:

7:00 – 8:20 is to me the key.

I was reading Fr. Carota yesterday, and he said the following:

Good traditional Catholic news.  No, the pope has not converted.  Let us keep praying for that miracle.

Father Carota is no extremist.  He is a regular diocesan priest.  He certainly has great affinity for the Traditional Mass and the Faith as it was practiced and proclaimed for many centuries, but he is also very far from being a sede vacantist or in any way “irregular.”  And yet he, among many others, sees this pope as needing conversion.  Is that not significant?

I know some may not be comfortable with this post or Ferrara’s analysis.  But I do not think it can be simply dismissed on that basis.  Yes Pope Francis certainly does make orthodox statements on a daily basis, but it is not those statements that give concern or scandal. It is his forming of this Synod, his direction of the first portion of it including the production of the mid-term Relatio and its release even though it had been seen by not a single synodal bishop nor approved by the body at all (and was in fact rejected, or failed to receive sufficient positive votes), and it is his constant very leading statements on this subject, such as that addressed above, which cause grave concern, confusion, and even scandal.

We can pull the wool over our own eyes and simply look away, or we can, in great charity not just for this Pope but for the entire Petrine office and, even more, the entire bi-millennial Church, point out the truth as we see it.  It is certainly easier to pretend all is well and that, if there are problems, they are caused by subordinates for some reason allowed to run amok, but that is not in consequence with the facts as they present themselves.

So, I will continue to speak out and bring things like this to the fore, even while I pray, like Fr. Carota, for Pope Francis to be the leader the Church desperately needs, rather than the one we deserve.

Explosive claim: liberation theology not only created by KGB, but by Patriarch Kirill himself April 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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WOW!  So……on a certain level, this makes a great deal of sense.  First, the fact that Kirill was an agent of the KGB – this is almost certain.  The KGB and internal security service (GRU) penetrated and dominated the Russian Orthodox Church from the early 20s until the collapse of the Soviet Union.  One could not be a rising star priest or prelate in the Russian Church without being very tight with the KGB. Further, reflect how Putin has both a KGB background and has aligned himself, in a sort of obviously superficial way, with not just the Russian Orthodox Church, but Patriarch Kirill in particular.  Those two have a very close working relationship which many Westerners (including trads) find very attractive and hopeful, but which could have an entirely different side – and makeup.

I am quite certain the KGB was behind the creation of liberation theology.  They probably paid and/or coerced various Christians, especially Catholics, to support communism.  They also directed the activities of home grown commies within the Church like Gustavo Gutierrez.  How deep and how complete that direction was is the only question.  And isn’t it interesting that when the FSU collapsed, support for liberation theology collapsed with it, until, about 7-8 years ago, communists began re-emerging in positions of great power and influence all over the world, and all of a sudden liberation theology came roaring back a few years later.  Isn’t that interesting?

Make of the below what you will, I would not be surprised if someone is not directing this resurgence of both leftism and liberation theology in the West, and it is certainly possible there is some Russian connection.  See what you think:

Liberation theology, of which not much has been heard for two decades, is back in the news. But what is not being mentioned is its origins. It was not invented by Latin American Catholics. It was developed by the KGB. The man who is now the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, secretly worked for the KGB under the code name “Mikhailov” and spent four decades promoting liberation theology, which we at the top of the Eastern European intelligence community nicknamed Christianized Marxism.

Liberation theology has been generally understood to be a marriage of Marxism and Christianity. What has not been understood is that it was not the product of Christians who pursued Communism, but of Communists who pursued Christians. I described the birth of liberation theology in my book Disinformation, co-authored with Professor Ronald Rychlak. Its genesis was part of a highly classified Party/State Disinformation Program, formally approved in 1960 by KGB chairman Aleksandr Shelepin and Politburo member Aleksei Kirichenko, then the second in the party hierarchy after Nikita Khrushchev.

In 1971, the KGB sent Kirill — who had just been elevated to the rank of archimandrite — to Geneva as emissary of the Russian Orthodox Church to the World Council of Churches. [Did Kirill have a background role at VII?]  The WCC was, and still is, the largest international religious organization after the Vatican, representing some 550 million Christians of various denominations in 120 countries. Kirill/Mikhailov’s main task was to involve the WCC in spreading the new liberation theology throughout Latin America. In 1975, the KGB was able to infiltrate Kirill into the Central Committee of the WCC — a position he held until he was “elected” patriarch of Russia, in 2009. Not long after he joined the Central Committee, Kirill reported to the KGB: “Now the agenda of the WCC is also our agenda.” [If these claims are true, it would mean the Russian Orthodox Church is still dominated by the security services of Russia. But there is more!]

…...Pope John Paul II, who knew the Communist playbook well, was not taken in by the Soviets’ liberation theology. In 1983, his friend and trusted colleague Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), who at that time was head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, discarded as Marxist the liberation-theology idea that class struggle is fundamental to history. The cardinal called liberation theology a “singular heresy” and blasted it as a “fundamental threat” to the Church.  Of course, it was and remains a threat — one deliberately designed to undermine the Church and destabilize the West by subordinating religion to an atheist political ideology for its geopolitical gain.

Now names — like Oscar Romero and Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann – not heard since the 1980s, when the Soviet Union was still en vogue, are again making international news. And here we are. The promoters of a KGB-inspired religious ideology, which once embraced violent Marxist revolution, are now denying its link to Marxism and to the KGB.

Each society reflects its own past. Down through the ages, everyone who has sat on the Kremlin throne — autocratic tsar, Communist leader, or democratically elected president — has been preoccupied with controlling all expressions of religion that might impinge on his political ambitions. When Ivan IV — the Terrible — had himself crowned in 1547 as Russia’s first tsar, he also made himself head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Tsarism and Communism may have been swallowed up by the sands of time, but the Kremlin continues this tradition.

This brings us back to Kirill/Mikhailov. In 2006 Archbishop Kirill’s personal wealth was estimated at $4 billion by the Moscow News. No wonder. In the mid-1990s, the Russian Orthodox Church’s Department for External Church Relations, managed by Kirill, was granted the privilege of duty-free importation of cigarettes as reward for his loyalty to the KGB. It did not take long for him to become the largest supplier of foreign cigarettes in Russia. [This is no small prize.  Russians have some of the highest smoking rates in the world, and native Russian cigarettes have been known for decades for their atrocious quality.  Thus, foreign cigarettes are wildly popular with those who can afford them.  This likely translates into billions of dollars in profits.]

A few years ago, while Kirill was visiting Ukraine as the new Patriarch of Russia, a newspaper published a photo in which the prelate could be seen wearing a Breguet wristwatch, the price of which was estimated at 30,000 euros. The Russian newspaper Kommersant accused Kirill of abusing the privilege of duty-free importation of cigarettes, and dubbed him the “tobacco metropolitan.” Kirill denied having such a watch. He said the photograph must have been altered by his enemies, and he posted the “real” photograph on his official website. A careful study of this “real” photograph, however, shows that the Breguet watch had been airbrushed off his wrist, but its reflection is still clearly visible on a table surface beneath his arm.

Mikhailov and his KGB, rechristened FSB, are now doing their best to airbrush out the apron strings connecting them to liberation theology. Let’s not allow them to succeed.

Well, at the very least, this certainly casts a new light on a hoped for reconciliation with the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and especially the Russian Orthodox Churches. It also shows how much these bodies have been corrupted by nationalism and the domination of secular political leadership – just exactly the problem that generated so many early Church heresies out of Constantinople and led to the eventual Great Schism.  The more things change, the more they stay the same, no?

IF – and it’s a big if, even though the author was the highest level Soviet defector ever to the West – these claims are true, then it both explains a lot and is yet another condemnation of the ecumenical effort and the leftist spawn that is the World Council of Churches, a veritable font of modernism.  This would make ecumenism with the Russians, at least, a total sham and simply a political exercise.  But with the Church in Constantinople constantly shrinking to the point they may no longer have sufficient souls to produce a priest and thus a Primate, Russia’s suzerainty over the Eastern Churches is only likely to grow.  If this report is anything like accurate, however, ecumenism with the Russian Orthodox Church is like signing a pact with the KGB.

I’ve always been quite immune to conspiracy theories, but my goodness, is not the extreme corruption and leftism of prelates in Churches throughout the world, including our own, quite terrifying?  I don’t tend to believe in things like New World Orders and one world religions and all that, but this is pretty damning evidence that many of the ecumenical efforts and bodies of the world are hopelessly corrupted. That only increases my disdain for these efforts.

Well…….discuss.

I know you don’t care, but it’s my blog and I can waste time if I want to: A Flightline Friday EXTRAVAGANZA!!! April 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, Society, technology.
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I found all kinds of assorted goodies this week, which I will inflict upon the poor unwilling readers of this blog like the uncaring self-absorbed neo-promethean Pelagian I am.

This one below is very interesting, from a historical standpoint. Anyone who went to UT or lived in Austin in the period from the late 50s to the mid-90s probably has heard of, or knows, Cactus Pryor.  He was a sort of local media celebrity at KTBC-7 CBS affiliate in Austin for many years.  He also used to announce all the UT home football games.  I guess in order to meet his desire to be a real journalist, KTBC produced a number of programs with Pryor as the star, if you will, sort of news specials or coverage on various topical items.  The one below is interesting as it covers something I still remember as a kid – hearing sonic booms from military aircraft.  While rare by the mid-to-late 70s in a populated area, I know I did hear several while growing up.  That was legislated out of existence by our increasingly mamby-pamby culture before I was 10, but back in the early 60s when this was made, it was a very common phenomenon, and folks didn’t much like it.  They would complain of broken windows and other home damage (unlikely but maybe possible on occasion) and being scared by the loud booms.  They were especially common when the supersonic B-58 Hustler was in service.

One little giddy part – see the sparsity of traffic on I-35 @ 0:57 – 1:01.  Sheesh!  That would be nice!  I-35 in Austin is a parking lot during just about any daylight hours nowadays.  That’s the brand new section of I-35 put in south of the Colorado River.  The view looks north from just south of Oltorf to Riverside Drive and downtown Austin.  Look at the southbound lanes, there’s like 3 cars over a mile stretch! That must have been nice:

The Hustler was designed, and did, fly at Mach 2 for long periods of time, and overflight over almost every area of the country was allowed.  So there was something of a “sonic boom problem” for a while.  Now you have to be within a specific military operating area (MOA) or, even more likely, out in the ocean, to hear one.  There are regions of the Gulf south of the panhandle of Florida, for instance, where the Eglin and Tyndall AFB training ranges are, where sonic booms are common.  You can also hear them off the Florida Keys.

OK, more Vietnam footage below. Truly sorry that this is silent. This is footage of MiG-killing Phantoms of the 8th TFW at Ubon Ratchathani returning to base in spring 1967.  Shown are the awesome Robin Olds, Daniel “Chappie” James (in khakis), Bill Kirk, Dick Pascoe, Norm Wells, and many others.  Sure wish it had sound, what a group of men (even though silent, the video is high resolution with good color):

Look at those Phantoms smoke!  That problem was not fixed until the early 70s.  The enemy could find a Phantom from miles away because of that smoke trail.  But in so many respects that was one of the greatest aircraft ever built.

Dick Jonas’ song about Robin Olds.  Jonas was a “GIB” (guy in back – weapons system operator) with the 433rd TFS “Satan’s Angels” in 1967 while Olds commanded the 8th TFW.

OK, last one then I’ll try to do one more “real” post before I go.  This is pretty interesting but exceedingly arcane. It’s a training video on Navy Electronic Warfare techniques and equipment from the early 60s.  Many of these systems would get a thorough workout in the skies over Southeast Asia just a few years later, and in general be found to be wanting.  But the Navy was in much better shape than the Air Force at this point in time – almost no Air Force tactical aircraft had any EW systems of any kind at that time!  That later proved to be a severe embarrassment.  Pods and other equipment had to be quickly developed and incorporated, and it wasn’t until the ALQ-101 came along about 1970 that a really effective jammer was available to USAF.  The earlier ones were just too low powered.  But, USAF did learn its lesson and by the 80s had a good range of quite capable EW systems – but then the lesson was lost again, and USAF in particular but all services have basically fallen a generation behind again in EW equipment.  The Russians have some pretty good kit, so if we do get involved in something stupid in Eastern Europe, we may learn to our cost what endless deployments over the sandbox and failure to reinvest in critical technologies has wrought.  The Navy is once again generally in better shape, but even there they have retired many very capable systems without replacement, and that whole “skip a generation” thing applies to them as much as USAF:

Beautiful witness on staying faithful in an abandoned marriage April 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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Skeinster sent me the link to the article excerpted below, and I am very grateful that she did.  Via Voice of the Family, a woman abandoned in her marriage, to which she has remained faithful, shares with us the great Grace that faithfulness has brought to her own life, and how vital it is that the Vatican honor and support these people who truly conform to the ideal of the Sacrament (faithful to the end), as opposed to those who seek to find happiness or an end to loneliness in non-sacramental replacement “marriages.”  There is much good to quote below, this was actually a letter the woman in question sent to Cardinal Muller some time back. I add emphasis and comments:

I married at the age of 21. I had until that time been raised in a large Catholic family. My parents had a deep commitment to their marriage, to us and to the Church. My assumption was that once sacramentally married my husband would have that same commitment. [Incredibly, far too many people today do not.]

After three years of marriage, my husband left for the first time for about 3 months returning shortly before the birth of our second child. Shortly after the birth of our third child who is profoundly disabled, my husband left for a few years. This son now in his thirties still lives with me. Following his return we enjoyed a long period of stability until my husband again left when our youngest child was 2 years old. He has been gone since. [In my semi-public role, I learn of a great many troubled marriages. A number of people have sought me out for counsel, which I generally refer to others (mostly priests). People have such deranged ideas of marriage now. The culture has utterly perverted that understanding, convincing people that marriage should be about thrills, excitement, passion, and the like. But this is utterly unrealistic.  It is very difficult to keep the fire of passion over decades. In the past, people knew this – they knew that long marriages had a beautiful habit of transitioning from the passion and excitement of youth to the deepest of friendship and companionship in old age.  Of course, separating the marital act from its primary end, procreation, has played a huge role in helping reshape the understanding of marriage as a lifelong thrill ride.  And here we have to say that too many in the Church have had a hand in this, in their attempts to elevate the unitive aspect of marriage up to, and even over, the procreative in importance. This has had profound consequences.]

Though at each desertion there were those who would see an end to the marriage and a new man in my life as the obvious solution, I trusted the Church’s teaching on marriage and knew that my vow was for life and doggedly insisted that a new relationship was not possible because “I was married”.  [God bless this pious woman]

Looking back, I am amazed at the strength of this conviction which must have been a grace because at the time of those early separations I was frightened, ill, impoverished, heartbroken and lonely. I am particularly thankful for my “Penny Catechism” training which had provided me with simple formulas about matrimony, sin, sacrament and “avoiding the near occasion of sin” as these were lifelines in these times of crisis when deep reflection was impossible.

What became clear to me as each emotional storm passed is that I was not alone. I began to appreciate that the Holy Spirit was there, ever present, ever faithful to the marriage. That He, as well as my husband and I, had entered a covenant on the day of our sacramental marriage. That God will remain in the sacrament until my death or my husband’s death and that even if one spouse deserts, even if both desert, the marriage, Jesus would remain, waiting, watching for our return like He does in the tabernacle of a locked church. As this became clear to me, fidelity to the marriage became easy. What man, what security could ever be worth walking away from God? [This woman truly understands marriage, and understands spousal love. She still loves her spouse because God joined them together forever.  I have seen some folks who have remained faithful in the face of abandonment who have become very bitter and angry, especially when the Church tells them the marriage they remained faithful to never existed in the first place. That is surely incredibly painful, and this woman probably lives in a country where diocesan annulment mills are not a reality, but the anger and bitterness are not helpful or healthful to the poor abandoned soul.  And yes it is incredibly easy for me to say that and I pray I am never in that position.]

What have I discovered since?

God is not to be outdone. He provides abundantly. How I don’t know but there is always enough….things always work out……..

………I am so grateful for the decision to be faithful (which could so easily have been different) because God has graced my life and that of my family out of all proportion to my feeble “yes”. In all of this, I have come to an appreciation of the beauty and strength of the Sacrament of Matrimony. It has increasingly dawned on me that I might never have known this had my marriage been stable. It has been a privilege I do not deserve to experience the Fidelity of God to the sacramental bond even when that bond has been broken. So wonderful is the Divine Fidelity that this is a truth I would love to see communicated to all sacramentally married people regardless of their situation.

I am surrounded by friends who have made the other decision, the decision to try to heal their broken hearts through replacement relationships. I am not in their hearts nor can I see their souls but observing from the outside, listening to them and watching as the years pass, it seems that the problems they sought to solve became compounded and the future they sought to secure has fallen short and in many cases has led to more heart ache. [This may sound harsh, but in at least some cases, especially those involving folks who have been divorced two or three or more times, the problems remain because they reside within themselves, because they haven’t accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts.]

The sad thing about the push to allow people who are divorced and remarried to receive Holy Communion is that Jesus, waiting within their sacramental marriage, is forgotten. If they would return to Jesus, He would welcome them and they could truly receive Him. In effect people want to receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist but not in the Sacrament of Matrimony and so an impossible contradiction arises.  In fairness to most of these unfortunate people they do not know, such has been the inadequacy of catechesis especially in marriage preparation. Communicating the “real presence” of God in Marriage seems to me to be the heart of the question that the bishops must address in the synods on the Family 2014 and 2015 in relation to your Instruction. [This woman has a profound understanding of marriage and the reasons for the broken state in which this most sacred institution stands. And she is entirely correct in diagnosing the problem, a near total lack of meaningful catechesis on the subject, as on so many others.  Friend and reader SB has lamented to me many times that the bishops, some relatively rare exceptions aside, have continually over the past several decades abrogated their responsibility to catechize the faithful, and in response to the manifest problems this failure engenders, then turn around and seek quick fix solutions to it, solutions often at apparent odds with the Doctrine of the Faith, such as this latest push to admit the divorced and remarried to Communion.  As this woman so clearly demonstrates, with a proper understanding and openness to Grace, it is possible to remain happy, healthy, and fulfilled, even in the face of such a cruel abandonment.  And yet the Synod threatens to abandon these brave and faithful spouses yet again.  How heartbreaking that must be for those who have struggled to remain faithful]

When people in a non sacramental remarriage feel the call of Christ to come to Him they do not understand that His call is coming from His dwelling in their sacramental marriage where He keeps faithful watch no matter how long ago the marriage has been abandoned. I would hope and pray that the bishops would help the people of our time to understand this beautiful truth.

Again, God bless this good woman. She should be an inspiration and model to so many, especially our Church leaders, for her faithfulness in the face of enormous challenges.  In fact, it is souls like this that should be held up as the exemplars at the Synod of how to live in a culture more and more hostile to, and deranged from, the Faith.  As Dietrich von Hildebrand says in The Trojan Horse in the City of God, souls such as this should be the bishop’s pride and joy, instead of being uncomfortable reminders of a faithfulness they themselves no longer xtol, and quite likely, no longer share.

This post is already long enough, so I’ll shut up, but I thank skeinster for sharing this again, this is probably the best single work on this subject I’ve seen.

I did not excerpt all of it – probably about half. Do go read the whole thing.