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Our planet doesn’t face an ecological crisis, but a spiritual one August 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, different religion, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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That’s the thought that jumped to mind when I read Dallas Bishop Farrell’s latest blog post, wherein he repeats without criticism or caveat the sacred shibboleths of the “green” movement, that humankind is destroying the world, that “global warming” is significant and caused mostly by man, and much else besides.  He also attributes to skepticism on the part of some well-informed individuals, and recalcitrance on the part of governments, to being owned by the “polluters,” I guess through nefarious financial incentives (and where else have we heard that recently?).

But as one looks around most of the world, except for those locales where utterly unaccountable socialist governments hold sway or have recently, environmental standards have substantially improved in many areas.  In fact, standards keep getting made more and more stringent in many categories of pollutants in order to justify continued, massively expensive intervention.  Western countries have led the way in implementing these increasingly stringent standards, so that while some unfortunate exceptions remain, the air, water, and soil are generally much cleaner than they were 40-50 years ago.

Bishop Farrell acknowledges none of this.  From this blog post, one would have to conclude there has never been much of anything done to improve the environment and that the world stands at a most dangerous precipice (my emphasis and comments – if you want to skip the fisking, maybe just jump down to the conclusion.  I do go a bit long in my comments below):

As politicians and other wannabes pussyfoot around the two-ton gorilla that is the ecology crisis for fear of losing the financial support of the polluters, religious leaders of many faiths are playing a prophetic role in naming the gorilla and calling out those who created it. [I’m sorry, I think this is a cheap and gratuitous insult to millions of concerned souls and, yes, scientific experts, to claim that all that don’t share Pope Francis’ (or whoever’s) fears and policy prescriptions (whatever they are) are beholden to the fossil fuel industry.]

In earlier blogs I have written of the partnership between Pope Francis and Bartholomew, the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch that has resulted in the Pope endorsing and adopting the Orthodox observance of a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which will be celebrated for the first time on September 1, 2015. Other religious leaders, less impeded by political correctness, are also raising their voices[I’m sorry, Bishop Farrell, but what color is the sky in your world?  In my world, where the sky is blue, those who most prosecute souls with politically correct tyranny are the very same who hold the most extreme, doomsaying environmental views]

Indeed, a world-wide chorus of concern that our planet is on the threshold of a catastrophic climate change has arisen among leaders of world religious bodies, Christian and non-Christian.  On Tuesday Muslim leaders issued an Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, which observed that, “Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward of the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that we are in danger of ending life as we know it on our planet.”…… [This is an utterly unsubstantiated viewpoint.  There is absolutely ZERO basis for this claim in science, and yet Bishop Farrell saw fit to include it in his post, which ought to tell us a thing or two.  I think islam ought to spend all its energy curbing the murderous extremists in its midst rather than thundering on prudential issues of science they plainly do not comprehend]

……..Earlier this year, in anticipation of the publication of the Holy Father’s encyclical Laudato Si’, a group of 403 rabbis signed a Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis which noted, “Although we accept scientific accounts of earth’s history, we continue to see it as God’s creation, and we celebrate the presence of the divine hand in every earthly creature. Yet in our generation, this wonder and this beauty have been desecrated — not in one land alone but ‘round all the Earth.” [First of all, the “Shalom Center” is an extreme left wing org. Secondly, they have been roundly criticized by more orthodox Jews for many of their stands.  Third, 400 rabbis is a tiny fraction of the number in the US today. Fourth, if you read the statement at the link you will find it is riddled with factual errors, utterly unsubstantiated claims and extremist rhetoric.  Finally, appeals to authority and numbers are logical fallacies, without which Farrell’s blog post falls to pieces]

The rabbis point out that, “The worsening inequality of wealth, income, and political power has two direct impacts on the climate crisis. On the one hand, great Carbon Corporations not only make their enormous profits from wounding the Earth, but then use these profits to purchase elections and to fund fake science to prevent the public from acting to heal the wounds. On the other hand, the poor in America and around the globe are the first and the worst to suffer from the typhoons, floods, droughts, and diseases brought on by climate chaos.” [The linked declaration contained dozens of paragraphs, but this one, full of little but leftist fever dreams and utter calumny, this is the one Bishop Farrell pulls out to select.  Yes, Bishop Farrell is telling us some very important things, but not the ones he thinks.  I think we can very easily discern which way the wind is blowing in the Church.]

In May, A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change was published stating that, “Today we live in a time of great crisis, confronted by the gravest challenge that humanity has ever faced: the ecological consequences of our own collective karma. The scientific consensus is overwhelming: human activity is triggering environmental breakdown on a planetary scale.” [Is Bishop Farrell encouraging Catholics to accept the heretical concept of karma, which is the diametric opposite of Grace?  Isn’t at least some kind of caveat needed here?]

Calling for significant changes in the structure of economic systems, the Buddhist declaration points out that, “Global warming is intimately related to the gargantuan quantities of energy that our industries devour to provide the levels of consumption that many of us have learned to expect. From a Buddhist perspective, a sane and sustainable economy would be governed by the principle of sufficiency: the key to happiness is contentment rather than an ever-increasing abundance of goods.” [Look, that last bit in particular is reasonable and fine – it’s about the most reasonable thing in the entire piece, which ought to send us screaming in terror. The point is, Bishop Farrell, and the rest of these groups, are not telling the full story and they are engaging in the worst kind of scare-mongering and propagandizing.  They do not say: “Oh by the way slashing fossil fuel consumption would cause prices of basically all items to skyrocket, even on the order of 400 percent or more current levels, would likely precipitate mass starvation and greatly decreased life expectancy worldwide – all of which suffering the poor would bear disproportionately (which is suffering that can be accurately forecast, not fake projections of nebulous bad effects from gerbal worming.  They pretend the choice is between evil oil profiteers and saintly enviros, without mentioning the COST of their favored policy prescriptions, nor the very close relationship between the environmental movement’s leadership and dedicated communists (they are one and the same).]

Prophets are never popular because they dare to speak the truth. [No really, HE REALLY SAID THAT!  Worldly statements for worldly political ends from false religions are now “prophetic!”  And the Baby Jesus cries every time a well is fracked. Even more, once again, reality is inverted.  Radical enviro-advocacy is one of the current shibboleths of the dominant left-wing elite around the world, it has the backing of powerful governments, the UN, many huge NGOs, wealthy individuals, and more.  In fact, calling for reason and true science (science by consensus has always been a complete fallacy, virtually all scientists once believed in the efficacy of leeches, that there was no such thing as germs, and that heat was transmitted by a mysterious substance known as “ether”) is the non-conformist, counter-cultural position.  Global warming claims, in point of fact, have never been less supported and under more attack within the scientific community than they are now. For instance, Michael Mann, inventor of the totally discredited “hockey stick” graph upon which so much global warming alarmism depends, has been all but totally discredited. Any experience with non-propagandist/warmist literature would make the flimsiness of warming claims abundantly clear]

Such dire warnings from across the religious spectrum echo the words of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, the earth “now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will [I would simply add that neither Francis, nor any of those quoted above, have any knowledge of science or charism to comment with authority on these matters.  I’m waiting for Pope Francis to dogmatically declare that ]

 

All the above is really beside the point, however.  Environmental studies, environmental controls, remediation, research, “offsets,’ and the like are already a multi-trillion dollar a year industry worldwide.  These topics get constant attention in the press.  But what does not get constant attention, what more and more souls (including, it seems, even within the hierarchy of the Church) almost entirely forget, is the moral pollution that afflicts the vast majority of people and the enormous spiritual crisis that is rapidly leading mankind to a most cruel reckoning.  There are very few voices in Church officialdom who will bring these topics to the fore with the kind of energy and fervor that Bishop Farrel displays above, and yet there is no more grave crisis facing the world today than that of the mass apostasy of peoples and nation’s and God’s growing wrath.

I must really ask, both in respect to Bishop Farrell’s missive and Laudato Si, where is the faith?  Where is the idea that God will always provide for us if we are faithful to Him in the context of what the Church has always prescribed for sanctity?

If we spent more time encouraging souls to be truly virtuous and, by some great miracle, could work a great conversion on the culture, all these purported worldly crises would disappear into the ether. Environmentalism doesn’t make souls holy, but being holy by default would produce souls who have all the necessary characteristics to insure proper care for the environment.

Instead of conversion and trust in God, what we are confronted with, generally speaking, in the above is a vision of an enraged Gaia preparing to smite mankind for our offenses against her.  It is amazing that the same men who can hardly find a breath to criticize fornication, pornography, contraception, etc. – that is, real sin – can get so exercised over imaginary ones like this.  But really, I shouldn’t be amazed at all, because it’s entirely the point.

I’ll just repeat, Bishop Farrell’s words above are most revealing, but not for the reasons he may think.  Those with eyes to see, let them see.

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NO prayer vigil this week and another important update! August 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, Society.
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Men, there will be no prayer vigil outside the “Men’s Club” this week.  There is another event scheduled that some participant (including me) would like to attend on Wednesday.  I originally planned to move the vigil to Friday, but given the holiday weekend many may be out, so I am deferring the vigil to Wednesday September 9th.  I will try to send a group e-mail to this effect.

Secondly, I’ve received a number of requests for updates on how my wife is doing with her pregnancy.  The answer is we’ve had a couple of scares but she’s still pregnant and the baby seems OK.  We’re really missing her former OB who retired after our son was born.  Please continue your prayers, we are convinced they are making all the difference!  I am very gratified I chose to enlist your aid, in the past I was more reserved.

 

Late Flightline Friday: Dangerous lapse in OPSEC allows ISIS to track coalition flights August 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, error, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, huh?, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Just for Woody, who I never knew has such an attachment to Flightline Friday, a brief post looking at another serious failing of the politically-limited and highly ineffectual US/Western intervention against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  It appears many combat aircraft are flying missions without turning off their transponders, which means they can be tracked by flight tracking software.  Thus, all ISIS would have to do to put, say, a battery of SAMs or AAA directly under the flight path of an Air Force tanker or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft is to pull up the internet and see who’s flying where:

In October 2014 we highlighted the risk of Internet-based flight tracking of aircraft flying war missions after we discovered that a U.S. plane possibly supporting ground troops in Afghanistan acting as an advanced communication relay can be regularly tracked as it circles over the Ghazni Province.

The only presence of the aircraft over a sensitive target could expose an imminent air strike, jeopardizing an entire operations.

Although such risk was already exposed during opening stages of the Libya Air War, when some of the aircraft involved in the air campaign forgot/failed to switch off their mode-S or ADS-B transponder, and were clearlytrackable on FR.24 or PF.net and despite pilots all around the world know the above mentioned websites very well, transponders remain turned on during real operations making the aircraft clearly visible to anyone with a browser and an Internet connection.

During the last few months many readers have sent us screenshots they took on FR24.com or PF.net (that only collect ADS-B broadcast by aircraft in the clear) showing military planes belonging to different air forces over Iraq or Afghanistan: mainly tankers and some special operations planes.

We have informed the U.S. Air Force and other air forces that their planes could be tracked online, live, several times, but our Tweets (and those of our Tweeps who retweeted us) or emails have not had any effect as little has changed. Maybe they don’t consider their tankers’ racetrack position or the area of operations of an MC-12 ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft a sensitive information…

Pics of military flights being tracked in combat zones below.

There are potential operational explanations for this, but I don’t think many of them would redound to the credit of the military effort against ISIS.  For one thing, non-tactical aircraft (cargo aircraft, recce, tankers, etc) may be squawking Mode C because there is no AWACS coverage over much of the battlefield and it is felt necessary to run with transponders on to reduce chances of midairs.  A second allied explanation would be to held civilian air traffic control de-conflict airspace containing both military and commercial flights.  But that again is a function AWACS can perform.  There certainly are AWACS deployed in the theater, there have been for 25 years continuously now, but there may not be enough of them to cover the large region from the Med to Iran, Turkey to Jordan/Saudi.

Or, it could simply be sloppy practice and further indication of the half-heartedness fo this “air campaign,” which is more a series of pinprick attacks than a real, concerted effort to destroy ISIS.  It was reported over the weekend that US/Allied aircraft are not attacking ISIS’ dozens of training camps, which are turning out 1000 crazed islamist fighters a month, because of inordinate concern of collateral damage.  This, when we already know that ISIS itself has slaughtered tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocents itself, far, far more than would be threatened by striking the training facilities.

My personal belief is that Obama doesn’t want ISIS destroyed and is only conducting this very limited campaign (the US is attacking only about 15 targets a day, many of them empty desert.  Contrast that with Desert Storm, when a thousand or more targets were struck in the first 24 hours.

Obama cares not whether ISIS grows or dies, he only cares about his already tattered legacy.  And, quite possibly, doing all he can to aid the ummah.

MC-12-over-Iraq

MC-12 over Iraq

Special Operations aircraft in region

Special Operations aircraft in region

Canadian tanker over Iraq

Canadian tanker over Iraq

Another voice crying in the wilderness for PEACE among traditional Catholics August 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, different religion, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, sanctity, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Coupled with the post I did on Friday but especially Father Rodriguez’ response, I found Michael Matt’s own plea for peace quite providential.  It seems to have come out a bare day or so after my post, I have no idea whether there is a cause/effect relationship there, or not.  Nevertheless, it was timely and makes a helpful companion to Father Rodriguez’ own call for civility and relative peace among the different tribes of traditional Catholicism:

Once again, I really don’t want to see the comments on this post descend into exactly what Mr. Matt, Father Rodriguez, myself, and many others are trying to prevent – a circular firing squad among traditional Catholics.  That would be most contrary to the spirit of cooperation, true tolerance and understanding we are all trying to foster.  Just a reminder, this blog has never been a “free speech zone.” I’m generally pretty tolerant of comments, even hostile ones, but I’ve always maintained that this blog is primarily MY place for MY ideas and I retain the right to terminate commenting on a given post or subject at any time.

I know a lot of people like a good internet no-holds barred throwdown.  We all have a certain tendency, even need, to justify the conclusions we’ve arrived at.  But let’s start thinking more about traditional Catholicism as a broader movement, as Mr. Matt expresses (and I think Father Rodriguez, who has suffered so much for the good of souls, agrees).  I don’t mean to be repetitive or boring but I think this point has got to be stressed with more and more fervor.  Traditional Catholics as a unified group are starting – maybe barely starting – to attract enough numbers to have a marked influence on the course of the Church.  Divided, however, we are still all probably too small to have an effect. That is exactly what the modernist-progressive cabal – our real opponents in the Church – want to see.  They want us divided and focused as much or more on fighting ourselves as on fighting others.

That is of course not to say that we cannot make necessary distinctions and point out problems and limitations with each traditional group from time to time, in the appropriate context, and always with as much charity as possible.  One signal triumph of the modernists alluded to by Father is that ALL the traditional groups have various problems or compromises attendant to their current mode of existence.  I personally find it very difficult to say that this group’s compromise is less problematic than that group’s irregularity, or vice versa.  What we should all be doing is working towards demanding an end to any compromises or irregularity, rather than shouting at each other about the other guy’s perceived failings.

There, I’m done.  Sorry if I’m thumping the tub real hard on this but I think recent experience indicates this is a subject that needs a lot of reinforcement.

Yes, I get it.

Father Michael Rodriguez on the divisions among traditional Catholics August 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, different religion, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Latin Mass, manhood, persecution, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, unity, Virtue.
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I was blessed to receive the following, very supportive and edifying communique from Father Michael Rodriguez with FatherMichaelRodriguezregard to my post pertaining to CMTV last Friday. I had mentioned in Friday’s post a certain priest being “the best” I’ve ever met – well, Father Rodriguez is surely in that same category but I’m still yet to meet him face to face!  Someday I will, even if only in Heaven, should we be so blessed.

I am in full agreement with every point made below, and I thought the sentiments conveyed were of such grave import and so helpful that they should be shared.  I was elated when Father Rodriguez agreed to let me post his comments.  I pray you find them as consoling and edifying as I did (text begins immediately below, all emphasis in original, if I have any point of disagreement with Father Rodriguez, it is in his praise of the author):

Blessed be Jesus Christ and His most pure Mother!  I want to thank you for the excellent post which your wrote today, “A cry of the heart towards my friends at CMTV.”  Excellent work, TB, may God give you the graces necessary to continue along this narrow path.

I thought your words were prudent, charitable, conciliatory in the best sense, sincere, heartfelt, and TRUE.  I think it is extremely important to get the message out as often as possible that traditional Catholics should not be fighting and attacking each other.  I am convinced that such infighting does not come from God. We do not have to agree on what is the best concrete path to resolve the extremely difficult dilemma of maintaining fidelity to the perennial lex orandi, lex credendi of Holy Mother Church, while also maintaining fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium (both perennial and present), but we should respect and support the fact that many (traditional Catholics) are giving it their best effort.  There are no easy and simple answers to the Gordian knot of fidelity to the Faith vs. obedience, which is one of the things which makes the current Church crisis so nefarious.  Hopefully, one thing is clear:  the real enemy of the Church today is not the FSSP, nor the SSPX, nor the sedevacantists.  The real enemy are the modernists and heretics who have infiltrated to the highest levels of the Church, and those whose disordered passions itch for novelty after novelty, and those wolves who seek to alter the timeless worship and doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. [One comment: I think this is the key to my point of view – there is so much chaos and confusion in the maxresdefaultChurch today.  Surely I may disagree with the decisions some folks have reached in terms of which approach to Catholicism they feel works best for them, and just as importantly, the souls in their charge, but I am loathe to castigate them strongly for reaching a different conclusion from my own.  So many of these matters are hotly debated even at the highest echelons of the Church that I think it preposterous that lay people attack each other for being of a different tribe. And I do have a strong concern that tribalism is a significant factor in all the conflict among traditional Catholics]

I think all traditional Catholics should  focus their energy on:  (1) doing everything possible to restore the Traditional Latin Mass, and reach out to “Novus Ordo” Catholics to help them appreciate, love, and understand better what has always been the Mass of the Catholic Church, (2) doing everything possible to restore AUTHENTIC Catholic doctrine, especially with regard to ecumenism, religious liberty, the social Kingship of Jesus Christ, collegiality, sexual morality, the nature and proper exercise of Church authority, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Priestood, the Four Last Things, the primacy of the supernatural (vs. the natural), and the primacy of the salvation of souls (vs. saving the earth, social work, ending world hunger, etc.), and to reach out to “Novus Ordo” Catholics to help them appreciate, love, and understand better what has always been the doctrine of the Church, (3) prayer and fasting, (4) promoting the true Message of Our Lady of Fatima, which includes the, as yet undone, Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in union with all the Bishops of the world.

If fellow traditional Catholics disagree on how best to carry out (1) and (2) above, then I strongly urge these Catholics to focus even more energy on (3), and then, after working with renewed energy at (1) and (2), to dedicate, if necessary, a minor amount of time and energy to discussing their respective differences with patience, charity, understanding, and trust in God’s Providence.

 

Thank you again, TB, I think you made many, many excellent points in your piece, points which are deserving of serious reflection by all those who sincerely wish to do God’s Will and serve–not themselves, not their own agendas, not their own particular “groups,” but rather–Holy Mother Church.

We are first and foremost Roman Catholics, not adherents to this or that particular “traditionalist group.”  We will do well to remember this, and to be forever grateful to God for opening our minds and hearts to the marvelous treasures of Sacred Tradition.  Fostering this gratitude will keep us humble. [OK, I’ll make one more comment. Some people have been blessed to be born into traditional Catholicism.  Most of us, however, have had to find it ourselves.  We must always remember that, a) not everyone is at our exalted level of personal perfection, and b) not everyone will necessarily arrive at the same end point we find just right for ourselves. That doesn’t mean they are less Catholic or bad people, for some, they may greatly exceed us in time (or now), for others, we trust that God knows that some other end point is best for them.]

I hope and pray that CMTV, the FSSP, and the SSPX do their utmost to adhere to points (1) and (2) above.  May God bless them all in this work.  TB, may God bless your work and efforts . . . thanks again!

Ad Iesum per Maríam,

Fr. Michael Rodríguez
Diocese of El Paso

———–End Quote————

TB = Tantumblogo, not tuberculosis.  Just so we’re clear.

Responses to Friday’s post have run the gamut from very supportive to very hostile.  Closer proximity to CMTV seems to correlate strongly with hostility, which, duh.  In which case, the post has failed, because the hope was not to stir up still more hostility but to engender a step back and reappraisal.  Judging by the responses received thus far, that seems unlikely to happen, but I will continue to pray.

Whatever failures of memory or charity I may have had in my post, focusing on those I think misses the point. The point is that a goodly number of longtime CMTV viewers, supporters, friends and allies generally share my sentiments. And if it were me, that would be a cause for worry and reexamination.  I know from seeing comments from very far afield dating back many moons that the concerns I expressed have been conveyed by many others in many other contexts.  So, I think I am far from alone.

At any rate, the core of what I was hoping to convey is really put forth much better by Father Rodriguez.  I don’t mean to re-open old wounds by this post, but to close them, and to that end I’m announcing two things:

  1. I have said my peace regarding CMTV and regard the matter as closed. I will happily broadcast any positive developments
  2. I will terminate commenting on this post if it descends into a pro/anti SSPX fracas.  

The very point of this post, and the next one, is to prevent #2 from occurring.  I was away over the weekend as is usual and comments took an unfortunate turn.  No mas.