Saturday, August 09, 2003

ENTERTAINMENT AT DISNEY WORLD What did the kids think? �Disney should be ashamed for allowing this perverted activity to take place at their parks. But to threaten to have me arrested for taking pictures -- something clearly legal at Disney World -- while allowing homosexuals to publicly fondle one another just goes to show how warped the minds of Disney officials have become,� said Mr. Mawyer. Strange twist of priorities--it would seem Disney has no problem with guests engaging in activities on the grounds that they obviously know will cause a scandal since they objected to having those activities filmed. CarrieTomko@aol.com

A NEW CORNER TURNED IN THE ABUSE SCANDAL Con't. The original post is too far down the screen, so we can continue the topic here. In response to comments... Charlie, I can't think of any other Pope who has this sort of following. Certainly none that drew the youth as this one does. One article I read indicated that the youth at WYD come mostly from the new ecclesial communities without which these gatherings would probably not take place. And, of course, when I explored the new ecclesial communities via Tapia's Beyond the Threshold and Urquhart's The Pope's Armada I found real true cults as these two authors describe these communities. Particularly Tapia. And of course I learned that these communities have 100% backing of the Pope, and are relatively free from any interference of local bishops. Or at least Opus Dei certainly is. Now there are two ways to look at that. 1. If the situation in Rome is as Malachi Martin presented it, it would be reasonable and logical for the Pope to establish such communities which were free of interference, in the hope to preserve the real true faith from the general apostasy. That assumes a Pope who is dedicated to preserving Christ's Church. 2. But what I find is that frequently these communities subscribe to this Baptism of the Spirit. When I look at pictures of the churches of one of the ecclesial communities (NC-Way) I see the visual impact of the baptismal font rivaling the altar. I find that these cults are caught up in personality to a large extent, adhering not so much to the words of Scripture but rather to the words of their founder. If whoever is in control in Rome wants to insinuate a new religion into the church, it might be their strategy to use a two-pronged attack of a) destroying the present structure by scandal while at the same time b) creating a new structure which will move in and take over as soon as the old structure crumbles. And this new structure would have to be preserved from censure since is will have heretical elements tied up with orthodox elements. And that is what I seem to find in the charismatic movement, since the whole movement is borrowed from what used to be called the Protestant heresy. Since the movement is intolerant of the old Catholicism in parishes and tends to split the congregation just as it did in the Prot. churches. There are similarities to Pauline Catholicism contained in so-called Johannite Christianity. There are certainly similarities in terms, though the meaning may not be the same. But there are serious deviations as well, and the Gnostic heresy covers a lot of these deviations. In other words, it looks to me like a form of Johannite Christianity could be vieing for a takeover in the Catholic churches, and is winning to a large extent. Then I consider that our seminaries are empty, while the seminaries of the ecclesial communities are full. That when we have no priest, we would most likely be glad to take a priest from the new ecclesial community if he were offered. If the new ecclesial communities are orthodox, they can rescue the Church. If the new ecclesial communities are heterodox, they can destroy the Church. Does this make ANY sense? _______________________ Oengus and Joe, It may be an understatement to say that "Something is wrong in Rome." But I really don't know what is happening. Only that something isn't right. That the facts are not adding up. That something irrational is taking place. So I don't know who or what to blame. I know only that something is wrong. Some of the approved apparitions indicate that Rome will lose the faith. La Sallette particularly emphasizes this, if I remember correctly. I think there are hints of this in Anne Catherine Emmerick's prophecies. As for the next pope, it will depend upon what faction is in control in Rome, I think. Of a greater concern is how the Papacy will be changed. There is rumor afoot that there are plans to change it. To reduce it to "first among equals" so to speak. In other words to largely strip the Pope of any power over the Church. Which is hardly Traditional, not to mention Scriptural. CarrieTomko@aol.com

COMMUNISM VS. CATHOLICISM In 1973 the English edition of a small book, AA-1025 was published in Canada. The book was subsequently published by Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. in 1991. The book tells the story of a young Communist who entered a seminary for the purpose of learning how to corrupt it. Bella Dodd, one time Communist who was converted to Catholicism by Bishop Sheen, told the same story in testimony before a Congressional committee. Her book describing the events which led up to her conversion is online, the link sent to me by a reader who got it from Fr. Bryce Sibley's websit. The book is titled School of Darkness. This possibility has been discussed in traditional Catholic circles for a number of years. When the discussion arises, usually someone will pooh-pooh the idea as just another conspiracy theory. Now that we see what has happened to our seminaries, it's time to rethink the possibility. Christian Order magazine's November 2000 edition carried a story, "The Greatest Conspiracy," written by the editor. In that story he outlines essentially what AA-1025 claims, that the seminaries have been infiltrated. It specifically quotes Dodd saying "In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within." And it cites another Catholic convert, Douglass Hyde, as making the same claim. According to the story the Jesuits were targeted. Is it any wonder, then, that we have seen that order decline? Dodd recounts how, as a young intellectual college professor, her idealism prompted her to join up with the Communists who were posing as an organization set up to help the downtrodden, to work for justice, and to work for peace. When the organization coldly turned against her, the veil began to lift and she saw the power hungry grasping motivators behind the leadership with whom she had contact. It was at this point that she began her search for meaning within the Catholic Church. As she drives to her first appointment with Fulton Sheen, she reflects on her own silence about the persecution of the Church and wonders what sort of reception she will receive from a priest. She writes: A thousand fears assailed me. Would he insist that I talk to the FBI? Would he insist that I testify? Would he make me write articles? Would he see me at all? And then before my mind's eye flashed the cover of a communist pamphlet on which was a communist extending a hand to a Catholic worker. The pamphlet was a reprint of a speech by the French Communist leader Thorez and it flattered the workers by not attacking their religion. It skillfully undermined the hierarchy in the pattern of the usual communist attempt to drive a wedge between the Catholic and his priest. By what right, I thought, was I seeking the help of someone I had helped revile, even if only by my silence? How dared I come to a representative of that hierarchy? The meeting went well. They made arrangements to meet again. Later she reflects on the meeting: On my way to the airport I thought how much he understood. He knew that a nominal Christian with a memory of the Cross can easily be twisted to the purposes of evil by men who masquerade as saviors. I thought how communist leaders achieve their greatest strength and cleverest snare when they use the will to goodness of their members. They stir the emotions with phrases which are only a blurred picture of eternal truths. In my rejection of the wisdom and truth which the Church has preserved, and which she has used to establish the harmony and order set forth by Christ, I had set myself adrift on an uncharted sea with no compass. I and others like me grasped with relief the fake certitude offered by the materialists and accepted this program which had been made even more attractive because they appealed for "sacrifice for our brothers." Meaningless and empty I learned are such phrases as "the brotherhood of man" unless they have the solid foundation of belief in God's Fatherhood. When I left Monsignor Sheen I was filled with a sense of peace and also with an inner excitment which stayed with me for many days. I flew back to New York late that night, a beautiful moonlight night. The plane flew above a blanket of clouds, and over me were the bright stars. I had my hand in the pocket of my blue wool coat and it was closed over a string of beads with a cross at the end. All the way to New York I held tightly to the rosary Monsignor Sheen had given me. This concept of "brotherhood" is central to Masonic philosophy as well, as is the idea that all religions are essentially the same, and all gods are summed up in the Grand Architect of the Universe. The idea of self-sacrifice, too, is taught in the Lodge. The Anti-Apostle AA1024 in Marie Carre's book also speaks of this blending of all religions: I calmly explained: "You must drive into the head of men, and particularly into the head of Churchmen, to search for, at any price, a universal religion into which all churches would be melded together. p. 17 To emphasize the last prayer of Jesus of Nazareth, a prayer that was never heard: "Be ONE as my Father and I are ONE." To cultivate a growing remorse in this regard, particularly among Catholics. To stress that Catholics are responsible for the division among Christians, because by their refusal to compromise, they caused schisms and heresies. To come to a point that every Catholic will feel so guilty that he will wish to atone at any price. To suggest to him that he must himself endeavor to find all the means capable of bringing Catholics closer to Protestants (and also to others) without harming the Credo. To keep only the Credo. And again...attention: The Credo must undergo a very slight modification. The Catholics say, "I believe in the Catholic Church." The Protestants say, "I believe in the Universal Church." It is the same thing. The word Catholic means "universal." At least, it was so at the origin of the Church. But in the course of ages, the word "Catholic" took a deeper meaning. It has become almost a magic word. And I say that we must suppress it from the Credo, for the best interests of all, that is, the union with Protestants. That word, "universal", has appeared elsewhere as well. Malachi Martin, in his novel Vatican used it: "My Brothers, I read to you from the Bargain, the statement of its purpose for both sides: 'to enable two enemies, the Holy See and the Universal Assembly, to engage in mutually profitable business ventures, and still remain enemies. "What was guaranteed by this Bargain? Again, my Brothers, I read to you: "The Universal Assembly guarantees the Holy See all the facilities, easements, favors, privileges, and equality now enjoyed by members of the Assembly. "The Holy See guarantees that every act of access to such facilities, etc., will be taken only over the signature of one man: the eldest male issue of the same family in each generation, and known to the Universal Assembly. Also guaranteed: two prelates from the Holy See's Secretariat of State, not lower than Monsignore in rank, will be formal members of the Lodge." p. 654 Vatican is a novel. "Universal Assembly" is a reality. At the website of American Co-Masonry, The American Federation of Human Rights, an off-shoot of Grand Orient Freemasonry with headquarters in Larkspur, California, you will also find the term "Universal Assembly" in this passage: "The constitution, as well as the general and judiciary rules, have been formulated and revised with a view to assure the regular functioning of the various bodies of the Order and are based upon the Constitutions of 1762 and upon the Great Constitution drawn up by the Universal Assembly of Supreme Councils at Lausanne, September 22, 1875, and adopted by most of the Supreme Councils on May 1, 1876." The Theosophical underpinnings of Co-Masonry are spelled out at this webpage from the website of the American Federation of Human Rights. There you can read the history of this organization, including the work of Annie Besant and Henry Steele Olcott, and its relationship with Grand Orient Freemasonry. At this webpage "The Secret Tradition" is spelled out: The second great purpose of Freemasonry is to construct channels through which spiritual forces evoked in the ceremonies may flow out to the world for the helping of all men. This is accomplished by the cooperation of the angels who have been assigned to this work. In Co?Masonry (sic) these Angelic Brethren are recognized, thus enhancing the effectiveness of the channels created. In other masonic systems the channels are less effective because of the ignorance of the members even though the unseen Brethren of the angelic world strive to carry out the work to which they are called in the opening ceremony of every masonic lodge. Wherever a Co?Masonic (sic) Lodge is working, this important service to the world is performed. Through the Heavenly Man which is the Lodge, the forces evoked by the magic of the ritual are sent out into the atmosphere of the world. Did you get that? Co-Masonry, which has as its governing body a "Universal Assembly," and which was founded by Theosophist Annie Besant, practices a form of channeling with the intention to "help mankind." The same intention that suckered Bella Dodd into Communism. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, August 08, 2003

LITANY FOR THE CHURCH IN OUR TIME (for private use only; not approved by the Catholic Church for public services) Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, Divine Founder of the Church, hear us. Christ, Who warned of false prophets, graciously hear us. God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us. God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God have mercy on us. Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us. St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us. St. Michael, Defender in the day of battle, pray for us. St. Peter, the Rock upon which Christ built His Church, pray for us. St. Paul, Protector of the faithful remnant, pray for us. St. Francis of Assisi, rebuilder of the Church, pray for us. St. Anthony, Hammer of heretics, pray for us. Saint Pius V, champion of the Tridentine Mass, pray for us. Saint Pius X, Foe of Modernism, pray for us. All you Holy Angels and Archangels, pray that we may resist the snares of the devil. St. Catherine of Siena, pray that Christ's Vicar may oppose the spirit of the world. St. John Fisher, pray that bishops may have the courage to combat heresy and irreverence. St. Francis Xavier, pray that zeal for souls may be re-enkindled in the clergy. St. Charles Borromeo, pray that seminaries may be protected from false teachings. St. Vincent de Paul, pray that seminarians may return to a life of prayer and meditation. St. Terese of the Child Jesus, pray that religious may rediscover their vocation of love and sacrifice. St. Thomas More, pray that the laity may not succumb to the Great Apostasy. St. Francis de Sales, pray that the Catholic press may again become a vehicle of truth. St. John Bosco, pray that our children may be protected from immoral and heretical instruction. St. Paschal, pray that profound reverence for the Most Blessed Sacrament may be restored. St. Dominic, pray that we may ever treasure the Holy Rosary. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let Us Pray Jesus our God, in these dark hours when Thy Mystical Body is undergoing its own crucifixion, and when it would almost seem to be abandoned by God the Father, have mercy, we beg of Thee, on Thy suffering Church. Send down upon us the Divine Consoler, to enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills. Thou, O Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived, Who hast promised to be with Thy Church until the End of Time, grant us a mighty faith, that we may not falter; help us to do Thy Holy Will at all times, especially during these hours of grief and uncertainty. May Thy Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Thy Holy Mother be our sure refuge in time and in eternity. Amen. From A Prayerbook of Favorite Litanies: 116 Favorite Catholic Litanies and Responsory Prayers, compiled by Fr. Albert J. Hebert, S.M.; pp. 318-320. Published by Tan Books, 1985; imprimatur by the Bishop of Baton Rouge, Joseph V. Sullivan, S.T.D. ISBN 0-8955-252-3. Fr. Hebert states that he obtained the litany from "a leaflet of the Christopher House, 2386 Pontiac, Columbus, Ohio 43211." (Acknowledgments, p. xxvii) CarrieTomko@aol.com

FR. RICHARD JOHN NEUHAUS AT FIRST THINGS HAS ISSUED A REBUTTAL to the charges of Jason Berry cited below in Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam against Fr. Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ. Click the link for "Fathers of Scandal" when you get to the webpage. CarrieTomko@aol.com

AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM, SPRING/SUMMER 2003 arrived in today's mail. I've glanced through it. The news is not good. Two small passages stood out from all the rest, for me at least. From page 25: VATICAN SILENT ON SEX ABUSE ALLEGATIONS, The Hartford Courant, Wednesday March 12, 1997, by Gerald Renner and Jason Berry Catholic Church authorities remain silent in the wake of allegations by nine men that the head of an international religious order sexually abused them when they were boys and young men training to be priests. The accused, the Rev. Marcial Degollado, founder and head of the Legionaries of Christ, categorically denies the charges made by the men, who were his former students in Spain and Italy in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. As head of a religious order with ministries in 18 countries, Maciel reports directly to the Holy See, the church's central administration headed by Pope John Paul II. Maciel lives at his order's headquarters in Rome. Only the Holy See can order an investigation into the charges, made public by The Courant in a story Feb. 23. The complaints raise profound questions about how the Vatican bureaucracy operates and -- depending on whether the matter even crossed his desk -- how Pope John Paul responds when a favored cleric is accused of sexual misconduct. ...No response was ever made to complaints sent through church channels to the pope in 1978 and again in 1989 by two priests who said Maciel had abused them when they were boys. The Holy See appears to remain unmoved. Does the coverup begin at the top? The second passage, from page 27: VATICAN CRIME RATE SOARS, BBC News, Wednesday, January 8, 2003 The world's smallest country -- the Vatican -- has one of the highest crime rates in the world. 397 civil offenses -- crime rate of 87.2%; 608 criminal offenses -- crime rate of 133.6%, population: just over 500; Size, 108 acres... The last time a serious crime was committed in the Vatican was in 1998 when a disgruntled Swiss Guard shot dead his commander and his commander' (sic) wife before killing himself. What are these 397 civil and 608 criminal offenses in a population of 500? And who is committing them? Something is wrong in Rome. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE SHOWDOWN AT THE UN OVER HOMOSEXUALITY may be in the process of developing if this group has its way, according to the WorldNetDaily article. I won't quote parts of the story because I can't decide what to leave out. You'll have to read it at the website. As Lee Penn would say...Kyrie eleison! CarrieTomko@aol.com

IS CONTRACEPTION A HARBINGER OF THE TURMOIL IN ECUSA? A Resolution of the Lambeth Conference, 1930, reveals the Anglican position on contraception from that time period: SOME years ago I published a pamphlet on The Prevention of Conception, which has been quite recently reprinted. I had hoped that I might now remain silent on the subject, but the recent action of the Lambeth Conference, giving a restricted sanction to the use of preventives of conception, constrains me to publish a reasoned protest against what seems to me to be a disastrous abandonment of the position that the Conference of 1920 took up. I quote the Resolution (68) of 1920: The Conference, while declining to lay down rules which will meet the needs of every abnormal case, regards with grave concern the spread in modern society of theories and practices hostile to the family. We utter an emphatic warning against the use of unnatural means for the avoidance of conception, together with the grave dangers--physical, moral, and religious--thereby incurred, and against the evils with which the extension of such use threatens the race. In opposition to the teaching which, under the name of science and religion, encourages married people in the deliberate cultivation of sexual union as an end in itself, we steadfastly uphold what must always be regarded as the governing considerations of Christian marriage. One is the primary purpose for which marriage exists--namely the continuation of the race through the gift and heritage of children; the other is the paramount importance in married life of deliberate and thoughtful self-control. We desire solemnly to commend what we have said to Christian people and to all who will hear. Here we have a refusal to go into detail about abnormal 'hard cases,' but a quite general condemnation of contraceptive methods. The recent Conference, on the contrary, has given a restricted approval of them. To be quite fair we will analyse the Resolutions 13--18. Resolutions 13 and 14 are on the lines of the latter part of the pronouncement of the earlier Conference, emphasizing the dignity and glory of parenthood and the necessity of self-control within marriage. Resolution 16 expresses abhorrence of the crime of abortion. Resolution 17 repudiates the idea that unsatisfactory economic and social conditions can be met by the control of conception. Resolution 18 condemns fornication accompanied by the use of some contraceptive as no less sinful than without such accompaniment. It also demands legislation forbidding the exposure for sale and advertisement of contraceptives. But Resolution 15 (carried, it is noted, by a majority of 193 votes over 67, which would seem to imply that there must have been some forty bishops who did not vote), which contemplates cases where 'there is a clearly felt obligation to limit or avoid parenthood,' while giving the preference to the self-discipline and self-control which makes abstinence from intercourse possible, and recording the 'strong condemnation' by the Conference 'of the use of methods of conception-control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience,' yet admits the legitimacy of these methods 'where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence.' The Anglicans took up the practice of contraception much earlier than the Catholics took it up, apparently. Now we see where this liberalizing trend has led them. Is it going to lead us to the same place? Is approval of homosexuality the unavoidable consequence of adopting ABC? And a related question to consider...will the use of NFP have the same consequences, or is a safeguard somehow built into the use of this method which will prevent the sort of consequences we are seeing in ECUSA from occuring in the RCC? Since NFP, while being "natural" as defined by the Church, is still used with the intention to avoid conception, it leaves us with the same possibility that the above statement warns of--the intention to make intercourse an end in itself rather than a means to furthering the race. CarrieTomko@aol.com

A NEW CORNER TURNED IN THE ABUSE SCANDAL Not only were bishops guilty of enabling through transfers, but now we are seeing that fellow brothers in this case, and fellow priests in other cases who knew the abuse was in process did nothing to intervene. St. Charles Academy is a case in point: A Georgia man who claims he was repeatedly sexually molested by the late Brother Roger Argencourt while he was a student at Mount St. Charles Academy in the mid-1980s filed suit Wednesday against the Order of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, which owns and operates the school.... Monat is not accused of molesting anyone, but the court documents claim that that he knew Argencourt had molested another boy at Bishop Guertin School in 1974, years before Argencourt was transferred to Mount St. Charles. "On at least one occasion," the lawsuit says, Monat walked in on Argencourt while he was molesting Jeffrey Linton in his private bedroom in the brothers� residence, adjacent to the school. Monat, the lawsuit says, observed what was occurring, and walked out, leaving Argencourt to continue abusing the boy. "Apparently Monat did nothing about what he had witnessed," a failure which could constitute criminal negligence under New Hampshire law making it mandatory to report child abuse, the lawsuit says. Argencourt abused Linton repeatedly while the student was between 13 and 14 years old, including many occasions which came after Monat�s interruption, the suit claims. "As a direct result of Monat�s negligence, Argencourt remained as a teacher in the Order, apparently was not disciplined, expelled or treated, and as ..a result of which was assigned to work with minor students at Mount St. Charles in Woonsocket, R.I., from 1981 to 1986," the court papers say. From the classroom to the rectory to the chancery to the Vatican, it does seem that nobody got it...that nobody had a clue that the laity value their children, do not tolerate having them turned into sex objects. What were all of these men thinking? That there would never be any consequences? That children wouldn't tell? That parents wouldn't react? That children weren't being harmed? What sort of credibility do our brothers and clergy have after revelations such as this? We exempt them on a one-to-one basis. The ones we know we tend to believe are innocent. But the reputation of the clergy and religious in general is sinking lower and lower. Can the Vatican escape scott free while all the time we suspect that the extent of the scandal was known in Rome? How do you respect a Pope who basks in the adulation of a sea of young people at WYD when you suspect that he knew about this abuse all along and did nothing to stop it? CarrieTomko@aol.com

CHRISTOPAGAN SANCTUARY is a message board for Christopagans. I tried to link it, but the link wouldn't work. Apparently there are people who define themselves this way. Here is the definition of a Christopagan from the forum: This is a sanctuary for all practicioners of the Christian Occult Craft... whether magickal Christians, Christian Wicca, Witch, Christopagan, Christ-oriented eclectic pagan, Gnostic, Esoteric Christian, earth-centered Christian, Christian Occultist, or whatever label or not you choose. If Christ and the Lady are important to your spiritual path as well as Nature, then you are one of us. Blessings and Welcome. This group is for serious and balanced seekers... who are also open to the idea that Christianity is not defined by literal interpretation of the canonized Bible. Spam, Flames, and fundimentalism are not welcome. As of this morning they have 26 members. It was founded June 23, 2003. CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHAT ROSARY WOULD ROBERT POWELL SAY, Justin asks in a comment below. I've never seen anything to indicate his preference. He might use the Catholic version. Or he might say this rosary. If I were to guess, I'd guess that he uses this version, however, because the website has those red roses on it. You will see the Rose at Robert Powell's website as well. The red rose, or at least some form of a rose, appears on nearly all Rosicrucian websites. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, August 07, 2003

TORONTO BLESSING IS LINKED TO THE OCCULT at this website. So also is the Fire/Holiness movement, Azusa Street (the main focus during the establishment of the Pentecostal movement in the Prot. Church), and Kundalini experiences. Not good... I wonder where CTA stands on the Charismatic movement? CarrieTomko@aol.com

TORONTO BLESSING COMPARED TO KUNDALINI Oh my! Kundalini is a term from the practice of Tantra or Sacred Sex. It comes out of an Eastern Religion, and is an aspect of Yoga. This websitecompares the manifestations of Toronto Blessing with the manifestations of Kundalini. They appear almost identical in the comparison. This would not be troubling if Toronto Blessing were strictly a Prot. phenomenon. But Nicky Gumbel, who created a program called Alpha, was a member of the Toronto Blessing. Alpha is a program used in Catholic parishes to draw non-Catholics into the faith. It has a companion, Alpha Youth, which was used recently at my local Catholic Church. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE TURMOIL IN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH brought about by Robinson's election. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BACK TO THE YALE TRANSHUMANISM CONFERENCE FOR A MOMENT Glenn Harlan Reynolds speaks of it in this editorial comment titled "More Than Human?" saying: Would I like to be smarter? Yes, and I'd be willing to do it via a chip in my brain, or a direct computer interface. (Actually, that's already prefigured a bit in ordinary life, too, as things like Google and wi-fi give us access to a degree of knowledge that would have seemed almost spooky not long ago, but that everyone takes for granted now). And I'd certainly like to be immune to cancer, or AIDS, or aging. But these ideas threaten some people, who feel that our physical and intellectual limitations are what make us human. Anyone else? Would you sign up for a chip in the brain? Hmmm...how about this question: Would the chip in the brain be the mark of the beast? After all, supposedly the chip could be connected to a computer somewhere which will program it. Then we would truly be marked to do whatever the programmer wished. I think I'll pass on the chip in the brain, thanks anyway. But of course, it could be mandatory... The article continues: These topics (well, probably not the Irritable Bowel Syndrome) were the subject of a conference at Yale on transhumanism and ethics. The conference was the subject of a �rather good article in The Village Voice, which reports that many in the pro-transhumanist community expect to encounter considerable opposition from Luddites -- and, judging by the works of anti-technologists like Francis Fukuyama and Bill McKibben, that's probably true.� I suspect, however, that although opposition to human enhancement will produce some cushy foundation grants and book contracts, it's unlikely to carry a lot of weight in the real world. Being human is hard, and people have wanted to be better for, well, as long as there have been people. For millennia, various peddlers of the supernatural offered answers to that longing, from spells and potions in the here-and-now to promises of reward in the next world. Soon they're going to face competition from science -- and though they probably won't give up without a fight, their very success in years past suggests that the demand for human improvement is high enough to overcome any barriers they may try to create. Am I mistaken or did he just say that science will trump faith? CarrieTomko@aol.com

HAVE CATHOLICISM AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BECOME INCOMPATIBLE? The National Post seems to think so. CarrieTomko@aol.com

OPPOSITION TO HOMOSEXUALITY IS BECOMING ILLEGAL For some time I've been saying it...that ultimately we will face legal consequences for opposing homosexuality. Looks like my prediction is coming true. Take a look at this Irish Times article which says in part: Clergy and bishops who distribute the Vatican's latest publication describing homosexual activity as "evil" could face prosecution under incitement to hatred legislation. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has warned that the language in the 12-page booklet is so strong it could be interpreted as being in breach of the Act. Published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it states that Catholics have a duty to oppose the introduction and operation of legislation recognising same-sex unions. It identifies politicians as having a duty to vote against any such moves. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

THE USE OF THE NAME "SOPHIA" by the occultists is frustrating for Eastern Catholics who understand it as "wisdom" and do not accept the occultists goddess interpretation, as Justin has indicated in a comment below. A major transgressor of this sort is Robert Powell of the Sophia Foundation of North America. Powell teaches Rudolf Steiner's Eurythmy. He is an author who has translated Valentin Tomberg's MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT. Speaking of borrowing things take a look at the Rosaries in his website. So, I hear you Justin, and sympathize. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

TOM HORN AT RAIDERS has an interesting report at his website covering the increasing penetration of the occult and paganism into our culture. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ARE YOU HAVING TROUBLE ACCESSING THIS BLOG? One reader has had problems loading it. Anyone else? (Of course if you are having problems, you won't be reading this, will you?...so why am I writing it?) The only way I know of to fix it if you are, will wipe out all comments. If I have to do it, I will, but I'd rather not do that unless I have to. CarrieTomko@aol.com

AN ARTICLE AT OUR SUNDAY VISITOR about birth control looks at the predictions Pope Paul VI made when Humane Vitae was issued, and how they have come true. The better argument in favor of NFP that I've been saying we need might very well be contained in this. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE GODDESS PROJECT at Catholic Exchange is worth a look. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, August 03, 2003

STRANGE "DIVERSITIES" (Or, The Episcopal Church Welcomes You) By Lee Penn The Christian Challenge August 1, 2003 STRANGE NEW FORMS OF SPIRITUALITY have gained a foothold within the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA) - the Labyrinth-walking fad, the weird eclectic spirituality practiced at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and the "Creation Spirituality" promoted by Matthew Fox, the renegade Dominican whom California Bishop William Swing received as an Episcopal priest in 1994. All these new movements have set up shop in ECUSA with little organized resistance, and with the open support of members of the ECUSA hierarchy. The leaders of these spiritual ventures all support Bishop Swing's controversial United Religions Initiative (URI). ECUSA's theological troubles, in other words, extend well beyond the sexual issues that are grabbing today's headlines. At the Episcopal General Convention now underway in Minneapolis, today's "Morning of Prayer" included several ways to reflect on "reconciliation," including "an outdoor labyrinth." But Bishop Swing's Grace Cathedral is the center of the modern-day Labyrinth-walking fad that has spread through New Age workshops, mainline Protestant churches, and Roman Catholic retreat centers and convents. The leader of this movement is Lauren Artress, an Episcopal priest who runs Veriditas - also known as the Labyrinth Project. Artress, Canon for Special Ministries at Grace Cathedral, says that she first encountered the Labyrinth in January 1991, when she decided to "return to a Mystery School seminar with Dr. Jean Houston, an internationally known psychologist, author, and scholar whom I studied with in 1985." (In the 1990s, Houston was best known to the public as the guru who helped Hillary Clinton contact the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt.) Artress says, "as soon as I set foot into the labyrinth I was overcome with an almost violent anxiety"; the next morning, she "awoke, distressed from a dream of having a heart attack." Nevertheless, she has devoted herself since then to spreading the labyrinth walk as a "spiritual tool" for all faiths. Labyrinths were built into some medieval Cathedrals in Western Europe before 1500, but no documentation survives to show how - or whether - Catholics used labyrinths as part of their public liturgies or private devotions. After 1500, most labyrinths were removed from cathedral floors; the Chartres labyrinth is one of the few that has survived from the Middle Ages to the present day. It went unused - and was usually covered with chairs for worshippers - until Artress began taking pilgrims to Chartres in the 1990s. Those who resurrect the labyrinth now are making up a new religious tradition in ancient costume, as the Neopagans have done since World War II and as the Freemasons did after 1717. The labyrinth movement has long been intertwined with the URI. Barbara Hartford, a URI staff member in San Francisco, accompanied Artress on her first visit to the Chartres labyrinth in the early 1990s. Artress also acknowledges Sally Ackerly, who has been a URI staffer, as one of those who provided "help in launching the labyrinth." Since 1995, labyrinth walks have been common at URI events - from many of the URI-sponsored "religious cease fire" events held at the time of Y2K, to the most recent URI Global Assembly, held in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2002 (attended by, among others, Canada's Bishop of New Westminster, Michael Ingham, who recently oversaw the first same-sex blessing rite in his diocese). As promoted by Artress, the labyrinth movement is New Age in form and content. In Walking A Sacred Path, her foundational book on the movement, Artress says, "The labyrinth introduces us to the idea of a wide and gracious path. It redefines the journey to God: from a vertical perspective that goes from earth up to heaven to a horizontal perspective in which we are all walking the path together." "When I am in the center of the labyrinth � I pause to honor and bring into my being first the mineral consciousness, then the vegetable, then animal, human, and angelic. Finally I come to rest in the consciousness of the Unknown, which is the mystery, the divine pattern of evolution that is unfolding." She continues, "When walking the labyrinth, you can feel that powerful energies have been set in motion. The labyrinth functions like a spiral, creating a vortex in its center." With Artress' New Age cosmology comes unorthodox theology - as shown by the following lifts from her book: "The labyrinth is a large, complex spiral circle which is an ancient symbol for the Divine Mother, the God within, the Goddess, the Holy in all of creation. Matriarchal spirituality celebrates the hidden and the unseen .� For many of us the feminine aspect of the Divine has been painfully absent from our lives, our spirituality, and our Western culture. The Divine feminine is often the missing piece for which both women and men are searching... "This Yahweh is supposed to have been the God that created all of the natural order, usurping the role of the Mother, the creator of life. Yahweh, God the Father, is the only version of the Transcendent God that is offered in Western Christianity. He is seen as the first cause of all things, the God of history. He is a faraway God whom we do not know personally. He does not seem to want to know us, either... "May we lead a spiritual revolution that includes us all, relies on inner wisdom, accepts the guidance of a wisdom tradition, and recognizes compassion as its guiding principle. Let us allow the Father and Mother God to unite in sacred mystery. Let us build a world community in which all people have the opportunity to create meaning in their own lives." The literature produced by Veriditas (the Labyrinth Project) since 1995 is as heterodox as Artress' book. The project's publications assiduously avoid providing the specific Christian content that anyone could get from the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross (a Catholic walking meditation on the Passion of Our Lord), or the Jesus Prayer. In the Labyrinth Project newsletters published in between 1996 and 2001, there is no mention of the Trinity, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Empty Tomb, God the Father, or God as Lord and King. The words - and the concepts - of sin, divine judgment, heaven, hell, repentance, redemption, and salvation are likewise absent. The Project's newsletters rarely mentioned Jesus. This is no accident; the mission of Veriditas is not to promote a specifically Christian use of the labyrinth. Instead, as Artress said in 1995, "the labyrinth is a universal devotional tool. Anyone from any faith can walk it and find refreshment for the soul and renewal of spirit." In 1996, Artress proposed weekend labyrinth retreats as a way for "all to find healing, self-knowledge and our soul assignments and to continue weaving the Web of Creation." She added that the Labyrinth is "a perfect spiritual tool for helping our global community to order chaos in ways that take us to the vibrant center of our being. You walk to the center of the labyrinth and there at the center you meet the Divine." In 2000, Artress wrote of the effects of this tool: "I'm surprised by how perfect the labyrinth is for our times. It provides a fluid pattern that allows the structure between body, mind and spirit to break down. That is a tremendous offering at this time, because we are so divided in this world. The fact that people who walk the labyrinth can loosen their strictures and soften their boundaries is truly amazing." This all-purpose spiritual tool has the approval of the highest authorities in the Episcopal Church. In 1999, 2000, and 2001, Phoebe Griswold - the wife of ECUSA' s Presiding Bishop - led labyrinth pilgrimages to Chartres Cathedral, under the auspices of the Labyrinth Project; she also published an article on the labyrinth of Chartres in the Winter 2001 issue of Anglican Theological Review. As of 2001, thirteen Episcopal cathedrals had labyrinths, "including St. John the Divine in New York, National Cathedral in Washington and St. Mark's in Seattle." Grace Cathedral, San Francisco--the seat of Bishop Swing--has two labyrinths. One, a large rug with the labyrinth design, is inside the cathedral near the Baptismal font. The other, made of terrazzo stone and open 24 hours a day, is in the plaza outside the cathedral entrance, between the cathedral and the diocesan office. The labyrinth movement has gained many followers outside the Episcopal Church, as well. In early 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "Millions of people have walked 1,800 labyrinths around the country, with 1,100 people trained specifically to teach others how to walk them. Dozens of labyrinths have been built in the Bay Area." Whether they know it or not, these seekers are being led toward the "Divine feminine," and away from God. -More Weird Spirituality- If the labyrinth is not to your taste, how about some Egyptian and Voodoo gods? Another New Age Anglican supporter of the URI is the Very Rev. James Parks Morton, formerly the dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and now president of the Interfaith Center of New York. While at St. John the Divine, Morton said, "The language of the 'Sacred Earth' has got to become mainline." Morton acted on this belief by holding a St. Francis Day communion service in 1993 that invoked the gods Yemanja, Ra, Ausar, and Obatala during a chant just before the bread and wine were brought to the altar; the celebrant was then-New York Episcopal Bishop Richard Grein. (Yemanja is an Afro-Brazilian goddess of the sea; Ra is the Egyptian sun god; Ausar - also known as Osiris and the Green Man - is the Egyptian god of life and death; Obatala is the Voodoo "Father of Wisdom.") It was from the pulpit of Morton's cathedral in 1979 that James Lovelock first publicly announced the Gaia Hypothesis - that the earth as a whole is a living, conscious organism. Morton has worked to spread the Green gospel worldwide; he "co-founded the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, a group that has reached over 53,000 congregations of every faith across America with the ideas of sacred ecology and environmental responsibility." He has also been a board member of the Earth Charter Project and of Global Green, USA - the U.S.affiliate of Gorbachev's Green Cross International. Morton was a co-chairman of the Parliamentary Earth Summit, held in 1992 in conjunction with the UN Conference on Environment and Development; he filled the same role for the "Wisdom Keepers II" conference, held in conjunction with the 1996 UN Conference on World Settlement. -OutFoxed- Last but not least, there are the activities of Matthew Fox, a former Dominican priest who was received as an Episcopal priest by Bishop Swing in December 1994. In 1995, Swing told the Diocesan Convention, "this year Matthew Fox and I are gathering an ecumenical group to create an alternative liturgy for young adults." Swing lent $85,000 of diocesan funds to help Fox establish the University of Creation Spirituality, and joined former Gov. Jerry Brown in dedicating the new university in August 1996. As of the spring of 2003, the school had about 200 students enrolled in its doctor of ministry program. At the 1997 diocesan convention, Swing praised Fox's "total exploration of the power of God in the goodness of creation" at the University of Creation Spirituality, adding that "The experiment is worthwhile and aims at tomorrow and forever." Fox leads syncretic worship services that are consistent with the ideology of the URI, which he also supports. He says, "The Techno Cosmic Mass (TCM) has been up and running for five years in Oakland...By altering the form of worship through taking in the elements of rave celebrations, three things happen: First, new life flows through the ancient liturgical formulas, and second, ravers are relieved of the drug aspect of raves and learn they can get high on worship itself. Third, the priesthood is not projected so exclusively onto a single minister but everyone participates in midwifing the grace of the event (no vicarious prayer!). Because everyone dances, everyone offers the priestly sacrifice� "Themes for the Mass, which attracts not only many kinds of Christians but also Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Taoists, Jews, pagans and goddess people, are chosen consciously," Fox says. "They include: The Green Man; Imagination, Dreams and Visions; the Return of the Divine Feminine (where we dance in the context of 400 images of the goddess from all the world's traditions including of course the Black Madonna and Mary from the West); the Celebration of the Sacred Masculine, Gaia (usually on Mother's Day); the African Diaspora, the Wisdom of Rumi and the Sufi Tradition, Kabbalah and the Jewish Mystical Tradition, Feast of Lights (in December), Celtic Spirituality, Flowers, Plants and Trees, the Holiness of Animals, Our Lady of Guadalupe, The Sacredness of Our Bodies and more. The themes are of universal attraction just as dancing is and worship is. Dancing of course takes us into our lower charkas [sic] where we literally connect with the earth and so this kind of worship truly serves an ecological era." Each month, more than 1,200 people attend these services, which are held in a former ballroom in Oakland, California. Two observers of trends in American religion - one of whom is the San Francisco Chronicle's religion reporter - say that Fox's "creation spirituality" has "found an eager audience among lapsed Catholics of the baby-boom generation." Matthew Fox described the Planetary Mass that occurred at Grace Cathedral on Reformation Sunday, October 29, 1994. There was a sun altar and a moon altar, used in a "Mass" where sin was "renamed:" "It was like being in a forest, where every direction one turned there was beauty and something interesting to behold. This included not only the singers, dancers, and rappers � but also the projections on large video screens, on television sets, on a huge globe suspended over the beautiful altars (one a sun altar, the second a crescent moon altar). On the screens were hummingbirds hovering, galaxies spinning, flowers opening, humans marching, protesting, embracing and polluting (sin was present and indeed renamed for us at the Mass). Life was there in all its panoply of forces, good and not so good, human and more than human." Perhaps it's just as well that Fox did not name the "more than human," "not so good" forces that attended this service. Bishop Swing was present at Fox's 1994 rave liturgy, and loved it. The bishop said, "the Mass reminds him 'of an experience I had as a 9-year old boy in West Virginia, coming to a sense of God through Nature. That gets so layered over by generations of study and theology, but this Mass leads one back toward that great awe.' Swing...bobbing to the techno-music, says it's 'so nice to see the church with a new song and a new language.'" He added: "The whole business of having the Eucharist in the context of Nature, and the planets, and the unfolding of life is a context that has to happen. This is probably around the time of the genesis of liturgies like this, and I'm sure that there will be more and more. It's coming � So we brought a lot of people in their 20s and 30s who don't go to church, and they were struck by this. I love it. I think we're on our way." Fox's teachings have led other Anglican leaders to greater sympathy for New Age beliefs. George Carey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 through 2002, "said he had initially been 'hostile' to New Age ideas but had come to appreciate their emphasis on creation and the environment. He told a conference on new religious movements at the London School of Economics that the Church had much to learn from New Age spirituality. He first thought New Age was a muddle of beliefs at odds with mainstream Christianity until he read Christian writers such as Matthew Fox on the subject." Here follow some examples of the theology supported by ECUSA's Bishop Swing: --- Fox has said that his theological agenda is to overturn Christian doctrine as it has been understood since the first ecumenical Council at Nicaea: "What is the rediscovery of the Cosmic Christ if not a deconstruction of the 'power Christology' that launched the Christian empire in the Nicean [sic] Council in the fourth century and an effort to reconnect to the older, biblical tradition, of Christ as cosmic wisdom present in all beings?" --- Fox quotes Shiva, "creator and destroyer of things" and "lord of the dance," as saying: "The phallos is identical with me. It draws my faithful to me and therefore must be worshipped;" Fox then says, "This is Cosmic Christ language." --- He also identified the Virgin Mary as a goddess: "As far as the Goddess tradition goes, for years I've recognized that the Goddess in the Catholic tradition was, of course, Mary.�Recently, I taught a class entitled the 'Goddess and the City,' about how things were in the 12th century. As Mary, the Goddess sat on a throne, ruling the universe with justice and compassion, as well and the intellectual and artistic life of the medieval European city." (Leave it to a radical ex-Catholic to lend support to the Fundamentalist canard that Catholics worship the Theotokos.) While not (yet) "mainstream," certainly, all of the foregoing is nonetheless included in the "diversity" in ECUSA proclaimed by its liberal leaders. ---------------------------- The foregoing is based on a chapter in a book-length analysis of the United Religions Initiative and the New Age movement, to be published later this year by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a research organization that monitors international organizations' activities from a pro-life, Catholic perspective. The sources used in this story include, among others: Lauren Artress' book Walking a Sacred Path, newsletters and leaflets issued by the Labyrinth Project between 1996 and 2001, documents from the Labyrinth Project web site (http://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth/index.shtml), the spring 1995 issue of Grace Cathedral Magazine, articles from the San Francisco Chronicle about the Labyrinth movement (Don Lattin, "Leader of labyrinth movement builds new empire upon sand," San Francisco Chronicle, May 13, 2001, and Heather Knight, "The peaceful path: In troubled times, more people turn to labyrinths to walk their worries away," San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 28, 2003), Terry Mattingly's report on the St. Francis Day service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1993 ("Liturgical Dances With Wolves 1993: Ten Years As An Episcopalian - A Progress Report," http://tmatt.gospelcom.net/tmatt/freelance/wolves.htm), articles from the Pacific Church News (the magazine published by the Episcopal Diocese of California) from 1996 through 2002, two books by Matthew Fox (The Coming of the Cosmic Christ and Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh), articles from 1995 issues of Fox's magazine Creation Spirituality, and Victoria Combe, "Carey 'has learned' from the New Age," London Telegraph, April 20, 2001, on-line at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/04/20/ncarey20.xml. Another valuable resource on the Labyrinth movement is Mark Tooley, "Maze Craze: Labyrinths Latest Fad for Spiritual Seekers," Touchstone, September 2000 (on-line at http://www.touchstonemag.com/docs/issues/13.7docs/13-7pg46.html). A full list of sources is available from the author. ---- Permission to circulate the foregoing electronically is granted, provided that there are no changes in the headings or text. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THIS QUOTE COMES FROM LEE'S ARTICLE ABOVE: "When I am in the center of the labyrinth � I pause to honor and bring into my being first the mineral consciousness, then the vegetable, then animal, human, and angelic. Finally I come to rest in the consciousness of the Unknown, which is the mystery, the divine pattern of evolution that is unfolding." She continues, "When walking the labyrinth, you can feel that powerful energies have been set in motion. The labyrinth functions like a spiral, creating a vortex in its center." Call it New Age, as most would, but such a concept--that we have, or have had, mineral bodies and plant bodies prior to evolving into our human bodies--can also be found in the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner. In his book AN OUTLINE OF OCCULT SCIENCE, (Anthroposophic Press, Inc., 1972) he says: Just as plants spring up at present out of the mineral soil, so on the Moon the second kingdom--a sort of plant-animal--sprang up, covering and permeating the Moon ground. The substance of this kingdom was softer than the ground mass more mobile in itself. This kingdom spread itself out over the other like a viscous sea. The human being himself may be called a kind of animal-man. His nature contained the essential elements of the other two kingdoms, but his being was completely permeated by an ether and an astral body, upon which the forces of the higher beings emanating from the severed sun were active. p.152-153 Seen physically, a great variation appears in the kingdoms of the Moon described here. The mineral-p;ants, the plant-animals, and the animal-men are differentiated according to groups. This will be understood if we bear in mind that, because certain organisms have remained behind at earh of the earlier stages of evolution, these organisms have been embodied, endowed with the most varied qualities.p. 154 There are, for instance, Spirits of Personality who, even on the Sun, have not yet attained their human stage; there are, however, others who, on the Sun, have retrieved their failure to rise to this stage. Many Fire Spirits, too, who should have become human on the Sun, have remained behind. Just as certain retarded Spirits of Personality withdrew during the Sun evolution from the body of the Sun and caused Saturn to arise again as a special cosmic body, so also in the course of the Moon evolution the beings described above withdrew to special cosmic bodies. The cosmos of Theosophy/Anthroposophy is foreign to a Catholic. CarrieTomko@aol.com

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