Friday, March 14, 2003

Recently I was pleased to discover that Fr. Michael Graham, President of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, had decided to stop the production of the Vagina Monologues on his campus. It seemed that at last there was a glimmer of hope that decency might once again be returning to the faith. Today I read in The Cincinnati Post that it is not to be. There is no moral leadership in Catholic colleges after all. Why am I not surprised? It seems that sinking to a new level of decadence is preferable to searching for goodness, truth and beauty at our Catholic colleges. And the students lead the way. Let me rephrase it...the students lead the college president around by the nose. I am sickened by what I find Catholics promoting, and ashamed to say that I'm Catholic at this particular moment. Parents, save your kids' faith, send them to public university! From the website: Xavier: Professor can stage play By Kevin Eigelbach Post staff reporter Xavier University President Michael Graham, who earlier this week banned a student production on campus of "The Vagina Monologues," won't try to block a professor who is including the performance as part of her class. Through a spokesperson Wednesday, Graham called the professor's move "a legitimate exercise of academic freedom" that puts the play "in a suitable environment of debate and discussion." Ironically, the show will go on at the same time and place as originally scheduled -- the Gallagher Student Center theater at 8 p.m. Friday, and at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday. "The three meeting times will accommodate Dr. (Nancy) Bertaux's already large classes and any (other) students who wish to attend," Graham said. Moved by what students said at a Tuesday meeting, where Graham discussed the Xavier executive committee's decision to cancel the play, Bertaux, an economics and human relations professor, took a copy of the play home and read it. Then, on Wednesday, she offered to have the Xavier Players present the play as part of a class she teaches on discrimination and power in America. It fits in with her discussion of gender issues. "I was inspired by our students," she said. The words of Natasha Hamilton, the president-elect of the Student Government Association, especially moved her, she said. Hamilton said she faulted the university for acting out of fear. "A Catholic institution, that fundamentally has God on its side, can't operate on fear. We have to be bold in our stand, and provide a forum for intellectual conversation," Hamilton said. Bertaux said she read things in the play she wouldn't want her daughters to see, but felt there was nothing an adult couldn't handle. "Ninety percent of it is really heartwarming and moving and not in any way offensive," Bertaux said. "It's surprising for us to talk frankly about women's bodies and sexuality because it's all been so submerged. "That's what the play is all about -- trying to get us to unearth that, and get it all out where it can breathe." One student told her that they see much more disturbing things on HBO, on their own dormitory televisions. The faculty overwhelmingly supports the production, Bertaux said, as well as the concept of artistic and academic freedom "regardless of what your views are." Eve Ensler wrote the play based on her interviews of more than 200 women about their vaginas, which led to discussions of often disturbing topics such as rape, incest and genital mutilation. Then she adapted the interviews into a series of monologues. Although the play will go on, the issue of censorship hasn't been settled. "What the university has stated is that academic freedom is limited to faculty members and the classroom experience," Hamilton said. "What they have said is that as students, you don't have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression." That concerns her, she said, because it might affect other student groups that want to address controversial issues. Students still plan to rally at 3 p.m. Friday in front of the student center, Sims said, because the issue is bigger than just the play. "This is about students having a voice on the campus, and our voice being heard," she said. She sees the controversy as a turning point in the university's history. "It's the first time in a long time that the students have had such a strong voice," she said. That student activism started about three months ago, Hamilton said, with students speaking out about a lack of policies and procedures on campus. "One reason students are speaking out is that Father Graham is open to hearing us," she said, even though they disagree over this issue. "In the past, students haven't spoken out because they didn't feel they had anyone to speak out to." The initial decision to cancel came as a surprise to Student Activities Council member Chris Sims said, because the university has produced plays that dealt with sexuality before. Last month, the Xavier Players presented "Cyclops" -- which Sims said included a giant penis as part of the set -- and "Drag Queens on Trial," a comedy about three cross-dressers who must defend themselves against society. Cincinnati itself, of course, is no stranger to cries of censorship. Fr. Graham, you not only make me ashamed to be Catholic, you make me ashamed to be a woman! CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Windswept House mentions the OTO once, but refers to Rosicrucians many times. The OTO is a Rosicrucian or Neo-Rosicrucian group, of which there are many others. This website lists several of them together with a short description of each. Four of them include the name of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. Other prominent names mentioned in one or several of the group descriptions include Theosophist Annie Besant who founded Co-Masonry, the branch of Freemasonry which includes men and women in the same lodge; Gerald Gardner, father of modern Wicca; Peter Cady, founder of Findhorn; Albert Pike, well-known member of Scottish Rite Freemasonry; L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology; and several other familiar names. The nature of Rosicrucian groups is that they form around a charismatic leader, a disagreement developes over a point of philosophy or ritual, a schism develops, and a new group is formed out of the schism. This happens repeatedly. Another characteristic of these groups is that they take on the beliefs of the person in the leadership role. Thus a group which believes and practices one thing under its founder can take up new beliefs and practices when a new leader takes over. Both of these characteristics can be seen in the OTO, and it is for this reason that when Crowley became Outer Head of the Order, he completely restructured it to match his own conception of the OTO, founding in the process the inner order called A:.A:. and the Gnostic Catholic Church. Members who disapproved of Crowley's direction broke away and formed their own OTO organizations. In Rosicrucian orders, infighting and schism is a way of life. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Windswept House opens with a satanic ritual which enthrones satan. The ritual takes place in South Carolina and simultaneously in St. Paul's Chapel in the Vatican. Martin claimed the book was "faction"...that is, fiction based on facts. Stephen Brady, of Roman Catholic Faithful, claims to have interviewed the woman who, at age 11, was raped when this ceremony took place. Here's the link to the RCF story: Later in the book Martin mentions the OTO as one of the involvements of a Globalist who is working with those in the Vatican who wish to overthrow the faith. (p. 125) The OTO is an organization founded by well-known satanist Aleister Crowley. A branch of the organization is the Gnostic Catholic Church. Crowley wrote the ritual for the Gnostic mass. That ritual is online at this website titled "Masonic Symbolism in the Gnostic Mass." CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Msgr. George A. Kelly has an article at Catholic World News that I found worth reading. He describes the nature of two opposing forces which can be found in governments, both civil and religious, and applies the principle to the current situation in the Church. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, March 10, 2003

Martin uses the word "Rosicrucian" frequently in Windswept House in referring to the enemies of the Church. Typical of Rosicrucianism is that the theology/philosophy of Theosophy is translated into Christian terminology. Rosicrucian teaching is not always obviously non-Catholic. Take a look at the prayer at this link. I can give it a Catholic interpretation. Yet obviously the prayer is not Catholic. That is the danger in Rosicrucianism for any Catholic who encounters it. CarrieTomko@aol.com

A good article from John Vannari of Catholic Family News. CarrieTomko@aol.com

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