Saturday, June 21, 2003

ACCORDING TO THE AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN expects all 116 parishes in his Youngstown, OH Diocese to comply with the requirement to kneel spelled out in the New General Instruction of the Roman Missal. He is giving parishes without kneelers two years to comply with the requirement. Some parishes expect compliance to cost tens of thousands of dollars. From the Diocese website: Pastors of parishes that are truly prevented from kneeling because of a lack of kneelers are to contact Bishop Tobin with a request to temporarily continue the practice of standing. They are also to submit a plan to address this concern as soon as possible but within the next two years. This does not extend to those parishes that, although they have had the practice of standing, do have kneelers. CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHLE HARRY POTTER SALES GO THROUGH THE CEILING a revolution in Bobbleheads is taking place. Specifically, Moses, Samson, Noah... CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE HARRY POTTER CELEBRATION IN HUDSON, OHIO made the front page of the Akron Beacon Journal today. The celebration was held on main street in this upscale neighborhood where some of the houses are big enough to get lost in, and some of them are fashionably past their 100th birthday. When you have a Hudson address, you never forget to use the return address label. With that kind of financial backing, the party was bound to be memorable. Police prepared for 5,000. They were under staffed and had to call out the fire department to help keep order. There was a protest as well, small but determined. Anti-Potter activists held their ground and tried to warn parents that the boy wizard would lead their children against God. One 17-year-old was outraged that people who objected were permitted to voice their opinion. The party was organized by the little Learned Owl bookshop in downtown Hudson. Other shops were open as well. Adults came in costume. Some of them were planning to read the book. Candle-lit lanterns lit the parade and owl balloons kept the participants company. At midnight the Learned Owl was overwhelmed with sales. CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHY WOULD AN OPUS DEI PRIEST DISAGREE WITH THE POPE'S ECUMENISM? I thought Opus Dei was the pope's personal defense organization, and that is the reason they have a personal prelature. This just seems odd. An article from L'espresso online reviewing a book by Enrico Maria Radaelli which calls ecumenism a heresy and criticizes the pope not only for Assisi, but also for inserting a paper in the prayer wall in Jerusalem. From the review: John Paul II is also subjected to criticism. One could have anticipated the indictments against his interreligious meetings in Assisi. Less foreseeable, but even more harsh, is the criticism Radaelli makes of the Pope�s �going Jewish� in Jerusalem, with the gesture he made at the Temple wall; after all, �how can we upbraid the Jews for not believing in the New Temple of Christ, if we ourselves run to pray at their dead, empty, and by now merely idolatrous temple?� Just as Manicheanism and Pelagianism threatened the Church during its first centuries, so does Radaelli see the great new heresy of ecumenism threatening the Church today. And Antonio Livi agrees with him in his introduction to the book. He asserts the author�s absolute right to dissent from the Church�s modern teachings on ecumenism. This is because these teachings, he says, are by their own admission �pastoral, not dogmatic,� and therefore subject to dispute, while infallible dogma is to be found in the Great Tradition � that of the apostles and of the fathers of the Church � which Radaelli invokes on every page of his book. And Livi is no small figure. He is a priest of Opus Dei and a regular professor and dean of the faculty of philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University, whose chancellor is Camillo Cardinal Ruini. CarrieTomko@aol.com

DIABOLIZING THE PONTIFF an article in The American Prowler by George Neumayr, Published 5/23/2003 12:02:00 AM, asks: Will the international community one day imprison popes for "hate crimes"? The question isn't as outlandish or idle as it sounds. In April, the United Nations debated a resolution that calls upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights "to pay due attention to the phenomenon of violations of human rights on the grounds of sexual orientation." The vote on the resolution has been postponed until next year, due to rancorous debate. But what if it passes? Would a pope teaching that homosexual acts are sinful be targeted as a violator of human rights? A Vatican cardinal, not seeking attribution, recently said he could foresee a day when a pope is arrested as a hate criminal for teaching Catholic moral doctrine. The ancient pagans chained St. Peter; the modern pagans in the European Union may one day handcuff one of his successors. Many European politicians already view Catholicism as one big hate crime. Several Dutch parliamentarians have been campaigning for several years to kick the Holy See out of the United Nations. Netherlands politician Joke Swiebel -- actual name -- is leading the charge. "The main question is: Do we want 'true believers' of any religion to use the power of the state to force their ideas and prejudices on others?" he says. It goes on to explain why this is not as unrealistic as we might think. Other popes have been arrested and confined. Neumeyer lists them. He suggests that the "Rights of Man" might come to include anything that those in power decide to include. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FOR THE SKEPTICS WHO THINK THE OCCULT IS ON THE FRINGES of our society and not worth being concerned about, I offer Esoterica: The Journal, a peer-reviewed academic journal sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters, Michigan State University. On the welcome page of this website is a link for "dissertations" which will bring up a screen offering choices of topic which include "Alchemy" and "Freemasonry". Clicking the "Alchemy" link brings up abstracts of Ph.D. dissertations from University of Toledo, California Institute of Integral Studies, New York University, Boston University, Duke University, Princeton, Johns Hopkins and more. "Freemasonry" dissertations come from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Duke, Ohio State, Brown Univ. and more. This is not exactly a topic which dwells on the fringes. The Esoterica page in the website offers numerous links to websites related to the occult. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FOR THE SKEPTICS WHO THINK THE OCCULT IS ON THE FRINGES of our society and not worth being concerned about, I offer Esoterica: The Journal, a peer-reviewed academic journal sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters, Michigan State University. On the welcome page of this website is a link for "dissertations" which will bring up a screen offering choices of topic which include "Alchemy" and "Freemasonry". Clicking the "Alchemy" link brings up abstracts of Ph.D. dissertations from University of Toledo, California Institute of Integral Studies, New York University, Boston University, Duke University, Princeton, Johns Hopkins and more. "Freemasonry" dissertations come from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Duke, Ohio State, Brown Univ. and more. This is not exactly a topic which dwells on the fringes. The Esoterica page in the website offers numerous links to websites related to the occult. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, June 20, 2003

HARRY POTTER HAS BEEN A HOT TOPIC ON THE ENVOY BLOG TODAY as well as on Mark Shea's blog. Talk about controversy in the Christian world...! And over a children's book no less. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE NEW HARRY POTTER BOOK is called "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." While this Masonic Lodge is dedicated to Phoenix Masonry. Nice eye in the emblem. One of the characters in "Order of the Phoenix" is called Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody because of his magical eye. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ACCORDING TO MSNBC Soaring Pagan numbers have churches worrying and calling for stricter controls on cult TV programs and films that celebrate sorcery like �Harry Potter,� �Buffy the Vampire Slayer� and �Sabrina the Teenage Witch.� It never ceases to amaze me how articles like this one can appear, calling HP what it is, while solid Christians can still be deluded into arguing that HP is innocent children's fun and a good way to get them to read. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ANOTHER OPINION OF HARRY POTTER Michael Brown, with whom I do not always agree, is right in sync with my thoughts this morning: But in fact just as anything representative of holiness can bring a feeling of God's grace, something that represents the dark side -- however "innocently" -- can invite darkness. I say this especially as we get ready for another great onslaught of Harry Potter. A new book based on the young wizard is ready to hit the stores, as well as a flood of� memorabilia -- too much of which, unfortunately, bears a direct connection to the occult. As one newspaper reports, "when the fourth book in the wildly popular Harry Potter series went on sale three years ago, children, parents and bookstore clerks contrived homemade robes, glasses and wizard hats to dress for the occasion. This time, merchandisers are leaving nothing to the imagination. When the next installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, goes on sale midnight Friday, fans can buy officially licensed paraphernalia like a Harry Potter robe with built-in 'fiber optic lights,' a battery-powered magic wand with flashing lights and sound effects, and forehead-scar makeup." Harry Potter is everywhere, even ads for Coca Cola. This is a classic case whereby the occult is deemed acceptable, even by many practicing Christians. That's because they have never personally investigated the occult (or the process of spiritual deliverance). They do not have first-hand experience. Anyone with such experience can sense it. The problem in our society is that we have turned over the ministry of spiritual healing to psychotherapists and others who have no belief or knowledge about the presence of actual metaphysical evil and so discount the actual root of problems that neither psychology nor psychiatry can solve. This even occurs among priests who have not delved into exorcism. Those who have (such as the official exorcist of Rome) warn of the risks. There is no question that Christianity forbids wizardry, astrology, necromancy, and witchcraft, all of which are now abundant in our culture. CarrieTomko@aol.com

I HOPE THE REST OF YOU are not having as much trouble accessing my blog as I am having! I can only get it to load about half of the time. CarrieTomko@aol.com

IS THE PENDLUM SWINGING back to modesty in dress? A group of junior high and high school students and parents who produce fashion shows for modest but stylish clothing seems to think so, and "Pure Fashion" shows are catching on. One, co-organized by Nalepa, drew more than 600 mothers and daughters. Hosted by Challenge Clubs of Michigan, a Catholic youth organization, the show featured club members - girls in junior and senior high - modeling modest, but trendy, clothing. The Michigan show was just one of many. Since Pure Fashion was launched in Minneapolis five years ago, Challenge Clubs in nine states have put on scores of similarly styled events under the Pure Fashion banner. One of the best pieces of news to come out of the shows lately is that they�re at-tracting audiences not only from Catholic youth groups but also from a widening swath of the general public. Pure Fashion is proving successful because it "speaks to virtues that are very necessary in today�s world, modesty and purity," says Tammy Grady, a Regnum Christi consecrated woman who provides spiritual formation to members of Challenge Clubs in the Midwest. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FRIDAY - ANOTHER DREARY RAINY DAY IN NORTHEAST OHIO The grass needs to be cut, but it's too wet to use the mower. Comments are still down apparently. A story is making its way around the web about the charity of J. K. Rowling given to a dying child--a cancer patient. It was in my mailbox this morning. It's on Mark Shea's blog. Fr. Wilson found the story "very moving" according to my email. And so it is. A real heart strings puller. Guaranteed to raise magic to heavenly levels? It certainly has the potential for that, and Mark has been convinced. Call me callous. The story doesn't speak to me. I don't find human kindness an adequate substitute for honoring the First Commandment. Rather, I see that, as Pope Leo XIII said in HUMANUM GENUS: Quote: Those who sustain themselves by the labour of their own hands, besides being by their very condition most worthy above all others of charity and consolation, are also especially exposed to the allurements of men whose ways lie in fraud and deceit. Therefore, they ought to be helped with the greatest possible kindness, and invited to join societies that are good, lest they be drawn away to others that are evil....as it befits our pastoral office that we ourselves should point out some suitable way of proceeding, we wish it to be your rule, first of all, to tear away the mask..., and to let it be seen as it really is, and by instructions and pastoral letters to instruct the people as to the artifices used by societies of this kind in seducing men and enticing them into their ranks, and as to the depravity of their opinions and the wickedness of their acts." Pope Leo recommended dissemination as widely as possible so as to unmask it, of a document which contains these passages: Quote: ...it is necessary to fashion...a generation worthy of the reign of which we dream. Leave on one side old age and middle life, go to the youth, and, if possible even to infancy... In order to reap profit at the home of each family, in order to give yourself the right of asylum at the domestic hearth, you ought to present yourself with all the appearance of a man grave and moral. Let each act of your life tend then to discover the Philosopher's Stone. The alchemists of the middle ages lost their time and the gold of their dupes in the quest of this dream. That of the secret societies will be accomplished for the most simple of reasons, because it is based on the passions of man. Let us not be discouraged then by a check, a reverse, or a defeat. Let us prepare our arms in the silence of the lodges, dress our batteries, flatter all passions the most evil and the most generous, and all lead us to think that our plans will succeed one day above even our most improbable calculations. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, June 19, 2003

COMMENTS ARE DOWN AGAIN They were down all afternoon as well. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MEDIA ADVISORY Revised June Meeting Schedule is up at the NCCB website. The revised schedule includes this notation: "ALL DAY FRIDAY: NOT open to news media. This is a change. The whole day will be devoted to the "Day of Prayerful Reflection for the Bishops," with no other business conducted." There are undefined executive meeting slots where liturgical dance may be discussed, perhaps, but nothing noted in the schedule about Kathryn Mihelik's paper on the subject. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE COVENANT WITH ISRAEL is symbolized in marriage JPII said in an address at a General Audience. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT WILL EXEMPT CHURCHES from same sex marriages according to this Beliefnet article. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THE SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL are looking like a relative failure according to this article in USA Today indicating that Roman Catholic bishops' yearlong campaign to drive sexual abuse out of the church and rebuild credibility is failing, said leaders of two groups � one supporting victims, the other advising accused priests. Both the victims group and the accused priests group are disillusioned with the policy of zero tolerance which does not appear to be working. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE SAD CONCLUSION of an embarrassing situation for Arizona Catholics. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CATHOLIC BY THE NUMBERS Ken Jones, Author of Index of Leading Catholic Indicators, interviewed by Una Voce says that I can only agree with what Cardinal Ratzinger said: �We find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence. ... It is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Catholic Church.� Since Cardinal Ratzinger made these remarks in 1984, the crisis in the Church has accelerated. In every area that is statistically verifiable � for example, the number of priests, seminarians, priestless parishes, nuns, Mass attendance, converts and annulments � the �process of decadence� is undeniable. The statistics he reports in this interview are not a surprise to any Catholic who has been around to watch this disintegration, but it's nice to have the facts in a book that can be referenced. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

A READER SENT THIS STORY ABOUT CDL. MAHONY from the Los Angeles Times: Just before the United States Catholic bishops' meeting 20 years ago, I was part of a dinner with then-Bishop Roger Mahony of Stockton, Calif. In those days, he stood out as one of a new breed of bishops. Achieving stature for his support for Cesar Chavez's farm workers, he had also become a supporter of the nuclear freeze, a movement that was rattling both the Reagan administration and Cold War Democrats. Early on in the dinner, a colleague asked the bishop what had led him to adopt the stance and he replied: "One morning a year ago, I was shaving and heard Alexander Haig [then the secretary of State] declare that the U.S. just might have to lob a nuclear weapon at the Soviets to show them we were serious. I realized that he meant it and that something had to be done." As a result, Mahony had moved to the fore in an effort to make the U.S. government accountable for the morality of its words and its actions. What a difference 20 years makes. Now Cardinal Roger Mahony, having ascended to one of the most visible Catholic seats of authority, has made his name and his office synonymous with resistance to any real accountability on the part of bishops, to their flock or to the public at large. With his cross-country twin, Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, this prince of the Roman church is engaged in a campaign to retain the centuries-old prerogatives that shield the Catholic hierarchy from oversight... The higher they go, the harder they fall... CarrieTomko@aol.com

MASONIC RITUAL ITEMS are displayed at the website of the Diligent Lithuanian Masonic Lodge. Click the arrow on the left of this webpage and you will get a screen with three small pictures. Click the pictures for an enlargement. In this first picture, notice there are two implements which look like a ciborium and one that looks like a chalice. These items are housed in the Museum of the Vilnius University Library, according to the website. The only explanation offered at the website is the following: The first Masonic Lodges appeared in Lithuania at the end of the XVIIIth C. They were headed by the provincial great lodge, called the Union Parfaite de Lithuanie (The Great Union of Lithuania). Certain of the professors and subordinates of the Vilnius Royal University, Lithuania's clergy, aristocracy, and artists were members of the Gorliwy Litwin Lodge. The Lodge was shut down in 1822 by decree of Czar Alexander I, its documents confiscated and taken to St. Petersburg, and its property handed over to a Vilnius Charity Society. One Grand Lodge with a lot of interesting material on their website is the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. Under the heading "Irregular freemasons" on this page in their website is a link for C. W. Leadbeater. Going to that link brings up a short bio. of Leadbeater. where this appears: February 16, 1854 - March 1, 1934 Ordained an Anglican priest in 1878, theosophist and associate of Annie Besant, Charles Webster Leadbeater was consecrated a bishop in the Liberal Catholic Church in July of 1916. He wrote, among other books, The Science of the Sacraments and Glimpses of Masonic History.... His initiation into International Co-Masonry on June 12, 1915 by James Wedgewood, his association with many of the "fringe masons" and his subsequent writings on masonic themes have led anti-masons to mistakenly assume he speaks with some masonic authority and often quote, out of context, his writings on theosophy and the occult. Co-Masonry is an extension of the Theosophical Society which was founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a strange Russian woman who wrote The Secret Doctrine. Annie Besant was one of her followers, as was Leadbeater and Alice Bailey. Co-Masonry is an extension of Grand Orient Freemasonry, according to their American website which gives the history of Co-Masonry. A couple of excerpts: American Co-Masonry traces its lineage to 1879 when twelve dissatisfied lodges separated from The Grand Orient of France and founded the Grande Lodge Symbolique de France.... Eventually, the young Order became an international Order through the efforts of pioneers of the Theosophical Society such as Brothers Annie Besant, C. Jinarajadasa, Henry Steele Olcott and others who joined their ranks. Henceforth, wherever they took Theosophy, they also introduced Co-Masonry. In 1903 the first Co-Masonic Lodge was instituted in the USA.... On April 11 of 1994, the Supreme Council of American Co-Masonry, The American Federation of Human Rights, was formed by Thirty-third Degree members of the Order. American Co-Masonry became an independent Obedience remaining with its Headquarters in Larkspur, Colorado. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ACCORDING TO THEIR JUNE 13 FRIDAY FAX Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute has uncovered the real truth behind the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which is the enforcing arm of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a document which has been ratified by every country on Earth except Somolia and the U.S. According to the Committee's interpretation of children's rights, parental involvement in their children's decision to use contraceptives is considered invasion of privacy. CarrieTomko@aol.com

WILLIAM DONOHUE, Catholic League's intrepid defender of the Catholic Church, didn't mince words in his spring 2002 interview with Beliefnet's reporter Deborah Caldwell as he points out the failings of our shepherds, saying: One of the fundamental problems with the clerics in the United States is an astounding lack of courage. They�ve gone soft. They�ve bought into the therapeutic movement. They flip-flopped 180 degrees from the rigidity of the Catholic Church of the 1950s and 60s to being kinder and gentler to such an extent that anything that was judgmental was wrong, they downplayed discussions of sin and hell. Everyone was to be loved. Anybody with a malady can be cured. We can save people. While there are obvious kernels of truth and goodness to what I�m saying here, it�s also true that if you make that the mainstay of your philosophy, where feelings triumph over reason, and where you don�t have the courage of your convictions to say this guy has to go... That kind of unmanliness is deeply ingrained in the Catholic Church. But you can find someone who is friendly and affable and at the same time accountable. I know many priests like that. There is a time to defend the Church and a time to recognize reality. Donohue seemed to have a clear vision of the need to recognize the reality of failure of our hierarchy in this interview, in spite of his usual defensive bias toward the Church. Ultimately truth must be served, as Donohue has exhibited. CarrieTomko@aol.com

KEATING'S RESIGNATION LETTER and Bishop Wilton Gregory's response are online at the Beliefnet website. CarrieTomko@aol.com

KEVIN MICHAEL GRACE senior reporter for The Report, a Canadian news magazine, wrote a column on Sept. 2, 2002 about the abuse scandal and Rod Dreher's reporting of it, that came up in a web search yesterday. He is not complimentary to the Pope, who, he says, had knowledge of Fr. Paul Shanley's doings from the first year of the pontificate but chose to protect Fr. Shanley with the help of Cardinal Medeiros as well as Cardinal Law. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, June 16, 2003

FREEMASONRY Just saying the word seems to bring out the worst division in traditional Catholicism. The Masons have done their job well! How many popes have opposed Freemasonry? Yet today I find Catholics who do not think that it is a problem. Who see it as a fading club whose purpose has evaporated. To some extent they are right, because Freemasonry has gone mainstream in the New Age Movement. The occult and esoteric societies no longer hide. They are plainly visible on the web and gaining in acceptance. You will not be seeing any more of my articles in Stephen Hand's TCR website. He and I have once again reached an impasse. He believes that I am superficial in my understanding of Catholicism, an innocent with regard to the interpretation of the writings of JPII, and that I've been influenced by the integrist simplicities. He will no longer consider anything I write for his website. The booklet that brought us to this impasse is small and short. It discusses a document that fell into the hands of Pope Gregory XVI by accident. Pope Pius IX requested Cretineau-Joly to publish the material contained in these papers. Pope Pius IX guaranteed the authenticity of the document. It is contained in Msgr. George E. Dillon's book Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked which I read a couple of years ago and which was first published in 1950 with a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur. Christian Book Club of America republished it in 1999. The papers in question are called the Alta Vendita If you want a copy of John Vennari's booklet, go to this website for information. Here is an excerpt from the document taken from Vennari's booklet: Our ultimate end is that of Voltaire and of the French Revolution--the final destruction of Catholicism, and even of the Christian idea... The Pope, whoever he is, will never come to the secret societies; it is up to the secret societies to take the first step toward the Church, with the aim of conquering both of them. The task...may last several years, perhaps a century; but in our ranks the soldier dies and the struggle goes on. The document goes on to describe how the Church will be subverted, saying in part... Leave old people and those of a mature age aside; go to the youth, and if it is possible, even to the children. What do we see now in our Church? Poorly catechized youth who do not know their faith. These are the Catholics of tomorrow. The plan outlined in the Alta Vendita has been successful in supplanting the faith of the youth. Just recently there was in the news a report of the total failure of the Church in Italy to keep the youth. Everywhere we turn there are youth who, while perhaps attending church, do not hesitate to remake the moral laws of the faith to their own liking, ignoring what the official Church teaches. We have lost the youth, and in that loss we have emptied our seminaries. That is just one example of the fulfillment of the Alta Vendita. Until this morning when I took the time to read this booklet, I was not familiar with John Vennari's investigations or activities. Therefore it was with shocked surprise that I found this book that he has written on the web when I began to look into his activities after his name caused such a reaction in Stephen Hand. I will be ordering the book, because reading Msgr. Ronald Knox's book Enthusiasm caused me to question the Charismatic Movement myself. Vennari also mentioned Rudolf Steiner in his booklet on the Alta Vendita. I have investigated Steiner independently for an article I wrote on him some time ago. A very interesting coincidence. CarrieTomko@aol.com

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