Saturday, August 30, 2003

DID A FREEMASON ALMOST BECOME POPE? Craig Heimbichner asks in an article subtitled "The Story of Cardinal Rampolla." The link will take you to the Catholic Family News website where you can click on the title. Citing historian Peter R. Koenig, who has done extensive research into the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis), Heimbichner claims there is good evidence that Rampolla was indeed a member of O.T.O., but admits it is controversial. A reference that he submits in evidence is the Manifesto of the O.T.O., Liber LII. The article is reprinted from the August 2003 edition of Catholic Family News. CarrieTomko@aol.com

COVINGTON DIOCESE BECOMING TRANSPARENT? If this report is accurate and if it accurrately reflects the current attitude in the Covington Diocese, it appears those in charge have ended all cover-up. Meanwhile a long story in The Cincinnati Inquirer spells out the decline in attendance at Mass, the waning faith in clergy and bishops, the drop in collections, and the falloff in parents who want to raise their children Catholic. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, August 29, 2003

LONDON IN THE DARK Power was lost in London today in a disruption that looks a lot like what happened in the U.S. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MARK SULLIVAN BLOGGED PART OF MY MASONIC SYMBOLS STUFF and included a link to St. Marks in Santa Barbara with its mural of the Cosmic Christ which he picked up from Bill Cork's blog. ChristoGuernica. They call that art? I think I see an elephant head, ears, and trunk in there. No Christ, though. CarrieTomko@aol.com

URI AND PAGANISM Lee Penn sent this update on URI activities: In the recent Christian Challenge story about the United Religions Initiative (URI), I noted that URI founder Bishop William Swing had participated in a Wiccan "foundation ceremony" at the end of the June 2000 URI Global Summit in Pittsburgh. This finding appears to be of widespread interest. Where did it come from? From a document on Neopagan interfaith work prepared by Donald Frew, a Neopagan leader of the Covenant of the Goddess. Frew was elected in 2002 to a 3-year term as one of 37 members of the URI Global Council, its board of directors. It's an honor he earned - given the great extent of his acticity in the URI as far back as 1999 (as shown in the document at the end of this e-mial.) AOL link: 1999-2000 Interfaith Report Text URL: http://www.cog.org/interfaith/cogdf00.html Here is the money quote. I have added the color and bold text for emphasis; note also that a "CC" is a Cooperation Circle, a URI chapter.: Frew says: " In June, I flew to Pittsburgh for the 2000 Global Summit of the URI. The conference was a week long, but the highlight was the signing of the URI Charter. (A full report, like my previous URI Summit reports, is forthcoming.) 300 delegates representing over 40 faith traditions came from 44 countries to participate. By the end of this conference, the URI Interim Global Council had approved 85 local and regional founding CCs around the world. The Spirituality & the Earth CC met several times during the Summit, and almost doubled our numbers! We are now 19 individuals from 5 countries representing 10 faith traditions. A highlight for me was being asked to perform a "traditional Wiccan foundation blessing" in the closing ceremony, to which I said "Sure!" and went back to my room to write one. What made this special is that, up 'til know, we had always used fairly generic terms like "Lady" and "the Goddess" in our public interfaith blessings. In this one, I specifically invoked Hekate and Hermes by name, and Bishop Swing was right there raising his arms in invocation with the rest of the Circle! We have, indeed, come a long way." We all have, indeed, come a long way. Kyrie eleison. Lee --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here is the entire web page text. "CoG" refers to the Covenant of the Goddess, Frew's group. I have added bold for emphasis. Any typographical or spelling errors in the following text are from the source document. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1999-2000 Interfaith Report from Don Frew, Elder and CoG National Interfaith Representative, 21 July 2000 I have represented CoG on the Board of the Berkeley Area Interfaith Council (BAIC) for over 15 years. My main project with them has been arranging their Interfaith Thanksgiving Services. The BAIC is currently discussing the idea of reforming as a CC of the URI. Last Fall, I was invited to join the 300-member Parliament Assembly, in preparation for the upcoming Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR) in Cape Town. (Deborah Ann Light had been a member since 1993.) As a member of the Assembly, I was asked to answer the Millennium Questions, posed by Dr. Gerald Barney in his "Threshold 2000" report. These were 32 questions about the state of the world and what our faith tradition has to offer to make it a better place. Only 34 members of the Assembly replied; our answers will be published as a book sometime this year. In early October, Rowan Fairgrove and I represented CoG in a "Gathering of Blessings - Sharing Our Blessings" ceremony, rededictaing the Interfaith Center at the Presidio (ICP) on the anniversary of its founding. In November, I worked with NorCalCoG (NCLC) to host a reception for the international Board meeting of the United Religions Initiative (URI) at the ICP Chapel. Rachel Watcher, Anna Korn, and Laurel Olsen arranged a marvelous spread for the very tired delegates, funded by NCLC. Rachel's bilingual abilities were very helpful, as the Native representative from South America spoke no English. The URI was very appreciative and we scored major points with both them and the ICP. In December, I attended the PWR with several other Pagans, including CoG members Deborah Ann Light, Rowan fairgrove, Catherine Starr, and Adrienne of Coven labyrinth Dancing. I won't repeat my 8 online reports here. Suffice to say that 7500 people from all over the world attended 800 programs over 9 days. Pagans were well represented. CoG gave financial assistance to myself, Rowan Fairgrove, and Catherine Starr, making it possible for us to attend, for which we are all deeply grateful. A highlight for me was being part of a panel on the Millennium Questions, moderated by Dr. Barney. (My comments are available online at http://members.xoom.com/Muttonhead/pwr.html) Another highlight was the meeting of the Parliament Assembly, composed of 300 invited global "leaders" from the worlds faith traditions and many participant observers. During the Assembly, I created a new interfaith project called the Lost & Endangered Religions Project (LERP). The Assembly was very enthusiastic about this project. The LERP is just getting off the ground, but 34 people and 4 native tribes have already asked to be involved and it will soon be incorporated. (More info on LERP at www.crseo.ucsb.edu/~frew/private/lerp/) Later in December, I worked with the URI and the ICP to develop programs for the "72 Hours for Peace". The "72 Hours" involved over 200 projects around the world during the period from Friday, December 31st 1999 to Sunday, January 2nd 2000. I coordinated the participants with daily email updates. In San Francisco, we had a very full schedule and CoG was well represented: Friday Tea Ceremony & Chinese exercises at the ICP Chapel Interfaith Peace Walk to Fort Point (the site of the first Spanish presence in San Francisco) then to the wet land restoration project at Crissy Field (overseen by local Native Americans) Community Services (1-hour each) Buddhist service at the Chapel Wiccan Service (led by Rowan Fairgrove, Catherine Starr, and myself) Jewish Service Christian Service Sufi Sacred Offering Brahma Kumaru Meditation Interfaith Meditation at Midnight Saturday New Millenium Celebration at Chapel (music, prayers, etc. including a Wiccan blessing by me) human peace sign around flagpole in center of Presidio Sunday Interfaith New Year's Service preaching by Bishop William Swing (URI) Wiccan prayer by Catherine Starr Pagan music by Deborah Hamouris & Robin Dolan In January, I was invited to join the Board of the ICP. The Board of the ICP meets monthly. Currently, we are very focused on a $2.5 million fundraising campaign to "rehabilitate" the chapel building that houses the Center. The Main Post Chapel at the Presidio was built in 1931 by the Sixth Army. As a government building, it managed to avoid being brought up to code, until the Presidio was decommisioned as a military base and handed over to the US Park Service in 1992. Now, with a mandate from Congress to be "self-supporting", the Presidio is requiring that all of its buildings be brought up to code and expecting the tenants to foot the bill. Local CoG members have already contributed to this effort and we seem certain of reaching our goal. (You can see the Chapel at the ICP website, www.interfaith-presidio.org, and please email me if you are interested in helping with the rennovation.) When NCLC had trouble finding a location for our Janurary meeting, the ICP stepped in a donated the use of the Chapel. They said that "Pagans are always welcome at the ICP" and hoped that we would do more programs there. Shortly after joining the ICP Board, I was asked to become Secretary of the Board. This means that I am on the ICP Executive Committee, which also meets monthly, independently of the Board. In February, Rowan Fairgorve, Catherine Starr, and I gave a presentation on the 1999 PWR at Pantheacon 2000 in San Francisco. NCLC, aided by National Officers Rachel and Garth, sold extra copies of the special Parliament issue of the CoG Newsletter at the NCLC booth, raising $110 for CoG. In March, I attended a program at the ICP bringing together attendees of the 1999 PWR (and folks who wished they had been there) for a sharing of memories and stories. In subsequent meetings, this group decided to become the Bay Area Friends of the Parliament CC of the URI (BAFo/tP). The BAFo/tP currently meets every few months. In April, the URI held another international Board meeting in San Francisco. The URI asked if I would arrange another reception. NCLC had no more funds to contribute to this, so Rachel and I funded it ourselves. The reception was another success! The major purpose of this Board meeting, we found out only the day before, was to approve founding Cooperation Circles (CCs) of the URI. In a flurry of international phonecalls and emails, I worked with Betsy Stang of the Wittenberg Center to contact the folks who had attended our "Pagan Lunch" at the URI Summit in 1998. We pulled together enough people (11 people on 3 continents representing 7 faith traditions) to create the Spirituality & the Earth CC of the URI, the only founding CC focused on the Earth. The S&ECC meets by primarily by email, which I coordinate. (I can email info on the S&ECC to anyone interested.) In May, I was asked to revive and Chair the ICP's Program Committee. We are developing and will coordinate programs that will serve the dual function of advancing the interfaith goals of the ICP and helping to raise the $2.5 million. The Program Committee meets monthly. I also serve as Chair of the Liturgical Subcommittee, meaning I coordinate all events that are focused on interfaith worship. Therefore, the needs and interests of the Earth-based religions are represented in these programs. In June, I flew to Pittsburgh for the 2000 Global Summit of the URI. The conference was a week long, but the highlight was the signing of the URI Charter. (A full report, like my previous URI Summit reports, is forthcoming.) 300 delegates representing over 40 faith traditions came from 44 countries to participate. By the end of this conference, the URI Interim Global Council had approved 85 local and regional founding CCs around the world. The Spirituality & the Earth CC met several times during the Summit, and almost doubled our numbers! We are now 19 individuals from 5 countries representing 10 faith traditions. A highlight for me was being asked to perform a "traditional Wiccan foundation blessing" in the closing ceremony, to which I said "Sure!" and went back to my room to write one. What made this special is that, up 'til know, we had always used fairly generic terms like "Lady" and "the Goddess" in our public interfaith blessings. In this one, I specifically invoked Hekate and Hermes by name, and Bishop Swing was right there raising his arms in invocation with the rest of the Circle! We have, indeed, come a long way. CoG assisted me financially by paying for my URI conference registration, for which the membership has my sincere thanks. In early July, I was asked to serve on the Planning Committee of the BAFo/tP. We hope to function as a bridge between the URI and the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions (CPWR). The Planning Committee meets monthly. In mid-July, the CPWR asked me to come to Chicago for a small one-day meeting to work on how the CPWR could best serve the interfaith projects developed in the Assembly at Cape Town. I was one of four folks outside the CPWR staff who attended. (A full report on this is also forthcoming.) The meeting was very productive and will lead up to a two-day meeting with a larger group this coming October, hopefully at the ICP Chapel. The next day, I had a private meeting with Jim Kenney, Director of the CPWR, acting as a liason from the BAFo/tP. We explored ways that the URI and CPWR can best work together. This, too, was a very productive meeting, but will require substantial follow-up. Tomorrow, I leave for Southern California to attend the annual meeting of the North American Interfaith Network. As a member of the BAIC, CoG is technically a member of NAIN. NAIN is primarily oriented towards interfaith staff people. As my bookstore is very likely going out of business soon, this is a field that I might someday enter professionally. Certainly, it would help with some of the considerable personal financial outlay involved in doing interfaith and would end the problem of constantly getting days off from work to attend meetings. There are several folks in Southern Califonia who are doing interfaith and will be at the NAIN conference. I look forward to introducing them to the many frinds I have made in the interfaith community. The more of us involved, the more effective we can be. Once again, my heartfelt thanks to the Covenant for its continuing support for CoG's interfaith efforts. It is a privilege and an honor to serve the Covenant in this end. CarrieTomko@aol.com

KUCINICH FOR PRESIDENT? U.S. editor of Share International a publication by the group with the same name
has interviewed Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Congressman and Democratic candidate for President. Share International is a Theosophical organization that promotes the reappearance of Maitreya, the world leader who speaks through Benjamin Creme until the reappearance takes place. The organization promotes farm cooperatives that are almost identical with Catholic farm cooperatives such as Genesis Farm. It speaks frequently of the need to help the poor in the language similar to the Catholic social Gospel. But it serves a different god. Some excerpts from the interview that Lee Penn has noted in his transmittal comments about this interview: DK: My view of the world is a holistic one. I view the world as being interconnected and interdependent. All things have a way of expressing their identity through one powerful immanent reality. As each one of us makes a choice, that choice impacts the world. We can then come to a realization of the power that each individual has, and the tremendous expressiveness and potential of our existence. The principles that animate my life and involvement have to do with this understanding of the essential interconnectedness of all humanity. Therefore, we should be aware that we affect others in the choices that we make. We affect not only other people, we affect other species as well. So we must take care to be respectful of this planet and of all those who participate in the life of this planet. Such a view is consistent with a Theosophical world view. It reflects a pantheistic cosmology. All is one. It is consistent with the worship of Gaia. SI: How did you arrive at such a profound view of the world? Was it a particular experience that you had, or did your views evolve over time? DK: My views are consistent with the strains of thinking that created this nation, the thoughts about human liberty of Thomas Jefferson, the American Transcendental movement, the English Romantic poets, certainly my own connection to Catholicism, but beyond that, to all religions. All this results in a kind of synthesis, leading to a world view of the possibilities of human unity and human potential. Indeed, the American Transcendental movement is Theosophical in its concepts. It is quite at home with spiritualism. This view is not consistent with Catholicism, however. In fact it is the opposite of Catholicism which worships one God who is apart from the universe and totally "other." Kucinich has made a "synthesis" of two separate world views which are opposed to each other. That is a perscription for chaos magick. Lee has also included this link to another Share International article in his email, from which the following quote is taken: In recent times, the USA, under the banner of �the war against terrorism�, has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, causing thousands of civilian deaths and great physical damage to their infrastructures. The Taliban, fanatical and rigid but, in the main, uninvolved in terrorism, are dispersed but are now regrouping, training in the skills of terror. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein is no more, but a terrible legacy of deprivation and suffering, lawlessness and chaos, has replaced his baleful regime. Now the attention of the US administration has turned to Syria, Iran and North Korea; they are warned to change or face the wrath and might of the upholders of �peace�, and the champions of �liberty� in the world. Thus does America plunge the world into the atmosphere of stress and fear, and thus do these give fruit to epidemics and natural disasters, which, in turn, serve to increase the fear and stress. Dangerous What can be done to stabilize this dangerous situation? How can the nations keep America in check? If Dennis Kucinich is elected President, will it become his job to "Keep America in check"? Or will he be another American President which fits Share International's concept of our leaders? From the website: Firstly, the world must realize the true nature of the problem: the USA today is led by men responsive to a nefarious energy which prompts their actions and puts peace in jeopardy. It stimulates their glamour for power of an international extent, and threatens the peace of the world. It has outposts in Israel and Eastern Europe, Israel being the major focus. This destructive energy derives, though in diminished potency, from that which plunged the world into chaotic war during the twentieth century and which, men thought, was safely put to rest. It can be seen, therefore, how necessary it is that there be peace in the Middle East; how necessary it is that the Palestinians have true justice and a viable homeland. This is the most important problem facing men today. Failure to solve it would be disastrous for the world. Share International views America as the nation which "puts peace in jeopardy." And Dennis Kucinich seems to be speaking their language. When he was Mayor in Cleveland, the government was in constant turmoil. Cleveland government made nightly news repeatedly. It took years after his administration for things to settle down. The word "demagogue" was associated with his name by some reporters. At the conclusion of his term many believed his administration had been a nightmare. He didn't have a snoball's chance in hell of getting re-elected in Cleveland. Now he wants to be President. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, August 28, 2003

MASONIC SYMBOLS IN CATHOLIC CHURCHES - PART IV (CONCLUSION) I am not an architect. This is strictly a view from the pew. As bleak as this prospect looks, God raises up defenders of the Church and the Faith in every age. In the process of writing this essay, I've exchanged email with one of the Church's champions, Dr. Duncan Stroik. Dr. Stroik's designs are Catholic--blessedly recognizably Catholic. Click the pictures for a larger view. Holy Family Chapel makes me want to walk in and stay a while. God hangs out in places like this. Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity chapel is a fitting example of a sacred place for a faith based in Tradition. The interior of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe compels you to look toward the altar, toward Christ. Dr. Stroik knows Catholic symbols and uses them liberally. His designs tell a story of Catholic faith. Dr. Stroik is Dean of the School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame, and founder of the magazine Sacred Architecture. He reviewed my theory about contemporary churches and indicated that I "may be onto something," though more evidence that renovators or architects were consciously looking at Masonic spaces would be needed in order to prove a derivation in the field of art or architecture history. As Dr. Stroik put it, "The crucial argument you are making I agree with fully: that the spirituality undergirding much of new and renovated Catholic architecture is not Catholic." He mentioned an article he had read on the web which talked about Theosophy in architecture. Google brought up Architronic the webzine of the Kent State University School of Architecture, which contained a series of articles by university affiliated experts on the subjec: Susan R. Henderson, guest editor; Ken Lambla; Alfred Willis; and Graham Livesey. Each dealt with a different aspect of the topic. Henderson introduces the series by saying: ...a strong current of occult and mystical thought, Gustav Pehnt's "non-religious religiousness," permeated much of modernist discourse at the turn of the century....In architecture, it was echoed in the mystique of geometry as espoused first by Berlage and Behrens, then by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe as they sought to elevate their architectural philosophies beyond rank functionalism through the validating expository power of esoteric ideas. Thus Modernism in architecture is closely associated with occult and mystical thought, both of which are characteristic of Theosophy. In an article for Adoremus Bulletin, titled "The Roots of Modernist Church Architecture" Dr. Stroik indicates Le Corbusier, is known to have designed Catholic buildings. He says: Also under the patronage of Father Couturier, the French architect Le Corbusier designed perhaps the two best-known churches of this century: the pilgrimage church, Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp and the Dominican Monastery, Ste. Marie de la Tourette. Le Corbusier made it very clear from the beginning that he was not a religious man and undertook the projects because he was given freedom to express his ideas within an open landscape. Ronchamp is the epitome of the church as abstract sculpture and was likened by Le Corbusier to a temple of the sun. La Tourette, on the other hand, is a severely orthogonal building with a tomb-like concrete chapel and a cloister that can not be used. The monastery had many problems, including a high incidence of depression due to its prison-like cells and oppressive spaces which forced it to close. (For a time it became a retreat center for architects). Father Couturier, believing that all "true art" is "sacred art," argued that it was better to have a talented atheist making Christian art or designing churches than to have a pious artist who was mediocre. This premise was the opposite of the historic view of the church as a "sermon in stone," a work of faith by architect, parish and artisans. Did La Corbusier project his Theosophical beliefs into a building that caused depression in the monks who tried to live in it? Returning to the Adoremus article Dr. Stroik further stated: Rudolf Schwarz also designed Catholic churches using abstracted geometries and the flowing space of the "International Style." Schwarz and Bohm were both associated with the liturgical movement in Germany and produced abstract spaces for Catholic worship long before Vatican II. After World War II, the Modernist movement was embraced world-wide as an expression of the technological triumph of the war. Many pastors followed the lead of government and big business by building abstract, asymmetrical and futuristic churches in modern materials. Was Schwarz influenced by Theosophy? Steven Schloeder says that he was. "From Mission to Mishmash: How Modernism Has Failed Sacred Architecture," an article in Nexus Journal online by Steven J. Schloeder, a registered architect in the States of Arizona and Oklahoma, author of Architecture in Communion: Implementing the Second Vatican Council through Liturgy and Architecture, and co-founder of the Fra Angelico Guild of Catholic Artists and Architects says of the time period: The deliberately ahistorical functionalism of the Bauhaus brought to the fore a new set of values for the articulation of sacred architecture. In brief, these new values were (1) reductionism, (2) liturgical centralization, and (3) architectural transparency. The Bauhaus modernists had their own eclectic and syncretic version of a religion--a stitched-together religion combining elements of Mazdaism [Zoroastrianism], Neo-Platonism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, and Masonry, along with the writings of Lao-Tze, Acquinas, Swedenborg, and Rilke, with their own mythos, liturgical expression, and ascetical practices. The urge toward reductionism, a search for "first principles" upon which to base a new architecture, can be seen most clearly in one of the earliest expressions of functionalism applied to the question of religious architecture, the 1920s church of Corpus Christi in Aachen Germany, by Rudolf Schwarz, a noted architect and student of the priest-philosopher Romano Guardini. This impulse toward pragmatic functionalism, and away from the vast tradition of Christian architectural styles, unleashed an iconoclastic pogrom across Europe. Returning to Architronic, in her paper, "J.L.M. Lauweriks and K.P.C. De Bazel: Architecture and Theosophy," Susan R. Henderson, Syracuse University, describes Lauweriks design of a house: The house was identified by Reyner Banham years later as that of Johann Thorn Prikker, the Theosophist painter. It was built for him by the patron Karl Ernst Osthaus and designed by J.L.M. Lauweriks. Part of the shell colony "Hohenhof," the house was perhaps the most complete expression of his Theosophically-based, systematic method of design. Le Corbusier was likely told of the settlement by Peter Behrens during his stay in the latter's studio. His encounter with Lauweriks's work was prescient, at the very least. Some propose that it had a lasting influence on his own propositions regarding modular systems.... Le Ccorbusier was influenced by the Theosoophical community of Hohenhof. Henderson continues: In 1885 the architect J.L.M. Lauweriks (1864-1932) worked alongside K.P.C. de Bazel (1869-1923) in the office of the Dutch master P.J.H. Cuypers. For neither of the young men was work in Cuyper's employ the primary aesthetic compass in their lives. Like many of their generation Lauweriks and de Bazel viewed the approaching century with a revolutionary spirit, and they were increasingly impatient with the narrow historicism proffered by their mentor. The two stayed at Cuyper's employ for eight years, from 1886 to 1895, until their Theosophical beliefs led to an inevitable collision with Cuyper's Catholicism. In 1895 they opened their own office. Henderson goes on to describe their role in the Theosophical Society: ...in 1897 they introduced a course of study at the Lodge on the subjects of design, art, history and aesthetics. Reportedly, the course concentrated on systems of proportion and their Theosophical bases, though not always with reference to architecture. They taught the course to paying students in the room generally reserved for the architectural society "Architectura et Amicitia" at the old American Hotel in Amsterdam. Following the departure of Lauweriks and de Bazel in 1900, the architect and Theosophist H.J.M. Walenkamp carried on with the course through 1902.... The millennial aspect of Lauweriks and de Bazel's work was in separating such theories from rationalism, instead linking them to the occult.... One can follow an early phase in which they evolved a highly symbolic and iconographic language--most notably in their furnishings and woodcuts--then shifted away from this explicit vocabulary towards attempting a direct pathway to enlightenment through abstraction.... They also absorbed the work of P. Desiderus Lenz (1832-1928), a Benedictine monk who instituted the so-called School of Beuron. Lenz's attempt to renew Christian art led him to similar studies to the Theosophists', to mysticism and ancient art, in this case of Egypt, Greece and the early Christians. Ken Lambla, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, writes on "Abstraction and Theosophy: Social Housing in Rotterdam, the Netherlands." The paper deals with the work of Theosophist and architect Michiel Brinkman's design of a Dutch housing project in Rotterdam, 1918. Lambla says of Brinkman: Michiel Brinkman was a long-standing member of the Dutch Theosophical Society, and rose through its ranks to be elected to the national board and was nominated for the national presidency. In the July 1903 issue of the publication Theosopische Vereeniging: Nederlandsche Afdeeling [Theosophical Society: Netherlands Section], Michiel Brinkman is first listed as the chairman of the Rotterdam Lodge. His role, however, is not simply one of presider, since he conducted "study-classes" on Friday evenings on H. P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine (1888). Records show that Brinkman maintained the position of chair of either the Rotterdam or Besant Lodge, Rotterdam, through at least 1919, while he was designing Justus van Effenstraat [a Dutch housing project in Rotterdam]. During this period Brinkman presented lectures to broaden people's understanding of Theosophy such as "The Study of the Consciousness" (1908), and "General Theosophical Study" (1910), as well as hosting meetings at the Rotterdam Circle between 1918 and 1920. In 1916, Brinkman is listed as a possible juror, along with Mondrian, for a new cover for Theosophia. In designing his housing project he put a bath and laundry house in the center of a space enclosed by the housing units. Lambla writes: For Brinkman, the courtyard, with the communal bathouse at its center, was seen as an inside full of life-sharing, connected parts in which "brotherhood"--the Theosophist's ultimate goal--could be demonstrated. Brotherhood is also the ultimate goal of the Masonic Lodge. All members are referred to as "Brother." In Co-Masonic Lodges, the women are "Sister" or "Soror." Lambla continues: The method Brinkman applies he has learned from his studies in Theosophy. Madame Blavatsky acknowledges Hegel's reliance on mysteriousness to explain the relation between subject and object, inner and outer, and self and world. Turning to The University of Calgary, Graham Livesey's contribution, "The Van Der Leeuw House: Theosophical Connections with Early Modern Architecture": The question arises, what specifically about the modern architecture of the 1920's may connect it to Theosophy? I would suggest that the universalist, spiritual and transcendental nature of Theosophical belief was well accommodated by the new architecture, with its emphasis on space, light, color and internationalism, building upon developments and realizations made by modern painters such as Kadinsky and Mondrian only a few years earlier. Given the tenets of modern architecture, it may be going to [sic] far to suggest that buildings such as the Theosophical Headquarters in Amsterdam incorporated sacred geometrical or numerical systems, and certainly architects of the movement rejected the incorporation of representational symbolism. Some of the strongest connections between Theosophy and the new architecture, lie in their shared allegiances to contemporary scientific thinking and to notions of universalism. Helena Petrova Blavatsky argued that all religions spring from a single source, the so-called "Secret Doctrine," and concepts of 'oneness' and universal brotherhood underpin the Theosophical movement. The universalist polemic of Theosophy is similar to the aspirations of many early modern architects to establish a universal architecture, one that transcended historical styles and regional conditions. The trend toward ecumenism established at Vatican II may be manifesting itself as a reflection of this universalist thinking. The last paper is by Alfred Willis, University of California, Los Angeles. It offers "A Survey of Surviving Buildings of the Krotona Colony in Hollywood," which describes the architecture in a compound that served as the Theosophical Society headquarters for a period of time. He writes: In 1875 in New York City, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott, and a few fellow occultists founded the Theosophical Society to promote a particular synthesis of irrationality, spiritualism, eastern religion, Masonic lore, and scientific speculation all bound up in a purportedly logical discourse of revelation. Through lectures and publications (most notably the major books by Blavatsky herself, Isis Unveiled of 1877 and The Secret Doctrine of 1888), organized Theosophy in the United States gained a considerable number of converts over the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Among these converts was one Albert P. Warrington.... He joined the Society in December 1896 and began to study Theosophy in earnest in 1898. Over the next several years he formed personal acquaintances with Olcott, C. W. Leadbeater, and other Society leaders during a troubled period of schism in the Society's organization. In 1906, his faithful work on behalf of its administration headquarter at Adyar, Madras, India, was rewarded by admission to its Esoteric School (or "Section"). Through spiritual techniques such as meditation, members of the Esoteric Section developed their higher faculties, which could then be used to direct spiritual energy to the accomplishment of the Theosophical Society's goals and, more generally, the evolution of humanity toward unity. Through his membership in this inner circle of Theosophists, and with the indispensable support of his spiritual guide, Annie Besant (the Outer Head of the Esoteric Section who, in 1907, became the International President of the Theosophical Society), Warrington was able to advance his dearest project from idea to reality. Warrington's dream became the reality of the Krotona Community in Los Angeles. The community included "a large temple dedicated to the unity of religions atop a rise to the northwest," called the Grand Temple of the Rosy Cross where the Krotona Service ritual was enacted, an inn with classroom facilities and sleeping quarters for the students who came to attend lectures, and housing for both the wealthy and the less well-to-do. His mentor, Annie Besant, founded the first Co-Masonic Lodge in England after being initiated into the Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise Mixte de France , a branch of Scottish Rite Masonry associated with French Grand Orient. As these papers indicate modern architecture was significantly influenced by Theosophy and its exoteric and esoteric teachings, its push for "brotherhood." And that same modernism was at work in the building and renovation of churches, and continues to the present day. In an article by Tom Worrel, Past Master, Hirams Valley On-Line, titled "Esoteric Freemasonry and Spiritual Materialism" he speaks of the hidden aspect of Masonry, making it clear that there is an aspect of it that is not acknowledged by all. He says: A day came when the organization itself [Freemasonry] became more important than the secret recipe entrusted to its care. As it receded from its true purpose its secondary activities became more important and as such those who cared only for that increased in number and power. Thus did this great esoteric fraternity begin its path to a spiritual materialism. The materialist Masons are the ones familiar to most Americans, since Masonry in America is primarily a fraternal organization at the most visible level which is the Blue Lodge, or first three degrees, associated with Grand Lodge of England (GLE) Freemasonry. It ends in the third degree which is Master Mason. If a man wishes to continue, he then looks for one of several Masonic obediences which offers advanced degrees. The English Royal Arch is the advanced degree worked in England, according to John Hamill, Librarian and Curator of the United Grand Lodge of England. (Hamill, p. 99). Five more degrees and Orders are worked in England. (Hamill p. 115) There are also the irregular lodges, a class to which Co-Masonry, Scottish Rite Freemasonry and Grand Orient Masonry belong, and there are others. The irregular lodges (so designated by GLE) may issue the first three degrees, or they may accept candidates who have already earned the degree of Master Mason from the Blue Lodge. In closing I'll return to C. W. Leadbeater who says of the Supreme Hierophant of the Mysteries of ancient Egypt: In Co-Masonry we refer to Him as the Head of all True Freemasons...He often selects pupils from among the Brn. [Brethren] of the Masonic Order, and prepares those who have fitted themselves in the lower mysteries of Masonry for the true Mysteries of the Great White Lodge, of which our Masonic initiations, splendid though they be, are but faint reflections, for Masonry has ever been one of the gates through which that White Lodge might be reached. Today but few of His Masons acknowledge Him as their Sovereign Grand Master, yet the possibility of such discipleship has ever been recognized in the traditions of the Order. (Leadbeater p. 14-15) ...when the W.J.W. says: "May the light of beauty make manifest our work", and the I.P.M. declares: "His light dwelleth ever in our midst," We must not attach to these thoughts the old, and I think false, idea of prayer--that we need to beseech the attention of T.G.A.O.T.U. [The Grand Architect of the Universe]. We know that He is always sending down His force; it is our business to open the channel. His symbol down here is the sun, which is always pouring out light and life and glory without being asked to shine. In the utterance of these words, therefore, we are only seeking to make ourselves and the Lodge channels for His service. (Leadbeater p. 127) REFERENCES Whalen, William J., Christianity and American Freemasonry, Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1961 (First published 1958) Dillon, DD, Mgr. George E., Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked, Palmdale, CA: Christian Book Club of America, 1999 (First published 1926 from a series of lectures delivered in 1884) Wilmshurst, W. L., The Meaning of Masonry, New York: Gramercy Books, 1980 ISBN 0-517-33194-2 (First published 1867) Pike, Albert, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States and Published by Its Authority, 1871 Leadbeater, C.W., The Hidden Life in Freemasonry, Wheaton, IL: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1998 ISBN 81-7059-106-6 (First published 1926) Hamill, John, The Craft: A History of English Freemasonry, Great Britain: Acquarian Press, 1986, ISBN 0-85030-460-1 (All websites were active as of August 28, 2003 when this research was completed. They may, in the future, be moved or deleted entirely from the web.) CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Wednesday, August 27, 2003 MASONIC SYMBOLS IN CATHOLIC CHURCHES - PART III There are two more troubling aspects of renovation that have begun to appear. The labyrinth is the newest technique for meditation. Chartres Cathedral is often cited as the Catholic source of this walking meditation, but Catholic use of the labyrinth was intended to fulfill a vow to visit the Holy City of Jerusalem at some time in a Catholic's life. The Crusades made this vow impossible to fulfill, hence a pilgrimmage to a church with a labyrinth was used as a substitute. After the middle ages this use of the labyrinth fell away. At the Chartres Cathedral chairs had been placed over the labyrinth. Today the Chartres labyrinth is being used again occasionally in accordance with the teaching of Lauren Artress. The present revival of labyrinth use comes from the Veriditas Project at Grace (Episcopal) Cathedral in San Francisco spearheaded by Lauren Artress who learned about labyrinths at Jean Houston's Mystery School. The following link will take you to the Cathedral website, a portion of which is dedicated to the Labyrinth Project. Here is a link to the website for the Concerned Clergy and Laity of the Episcopal Church which has an article about the Labyrinth Project by Lee Penn. C. W. Leadbeater says of the Labyrinth: Quite recently extensive archaeological researches have been made in the island of Crete, and among other things discovered there was this emblem of the double axe, which there also stood for the Deity. In the outer courts of the temples of the great kingdom of Knossos there were many statues, but when one penetrated to the Holy of Holies there was no statue, but the double axe was there set up as a symbol of the Supreme, and was called the Labrys. This is the origin of the word labyrinth; for the first labyrinth was constructed in order that this sacred figure might be put in the middle of it, and the way to it was confused in order to symbolize the difficulty of the path which leads to the Highest....Until these recent discoveries the Greek word "labyrinth" was marked as a foreign word of unknown derivation. The gavel of the Master of the Lodge has descended from that, and it is held by the Master because, in his humble way, in the symbolism of the Lodge, he is representing the Deity. (Leadbeater p. 89-90) Albert Pike mentions the labyrinth in Morals and Dogma, Chapter 25, "Knight of the Brazen Serpent" (25th degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry): The celebrated Labyrinth was built in honor of the Sun; and its twelve palaces, like the twelve superb columns of the Temple at Hieropolis, covered with symbols relating to the twelve signs and the occult qualities of the elements, were consecrated to the twelve gods or tutelary genii of the signs of the Zodiac. (Pike p. 459) Labyrinths have become commonplace on the grounds of Catholic retreat centers in recent years. Now there is at least one renovated church which has a labyrinth surrounding the altar. Corpus Christi University Church, Toledo, Ohio Magus Books offers Leadbeater's book Ancient Mystic Rites which they describe as an "in-depth study of the mystery schools of Egypt, Greece, Judea and Europe in the Middle Ages, up to the emergence of Co-Masonry in the twentieth century." Mystery Schools are not Catholic, but their philosophy fits into the philosophy of Co-Masonry as Pike and Leadbeater describe it. Why has the Catholic Church adopted rites of a Masonic Mystery School? Another characteristic of Masonic Lodges which has appeared in at least one church is the starlit ceiling, of which Leadbeater says: The ritual tells us that the covering of a Freemason's Lodge is a celestial canopy of divers colours. This may very well symbolize the star-lit heavens which canopy the true temple of humanity, when we regard the Lodge as universal; but the reference to divers colours indicates another meaning, for the vault of the sky is not of various hues, except at sunrise and sunset, but is blue. (Leadbeater p. 43-44) A poem describing the Lodge over a store in a restored town at the Colorado Springs Lodge website contains these lines: The walls that had such a dingy look were turned celestial blue, The ceiling changed to canopy where stars were shining through. In a description of a Lodge in Lynchburg which burned down, a reference is made to the starlit ceiling: Geraline Robertson remembers how it was decorated with stars in the ceiling. "When you were in it in there, they cut the lights down," she said. ""These blue lights came on in the ceiling and it was like you were in heaven". Some Lodges have starlit ceilings. At least one Roman Catholic church does as well--the Cathedral of St. Andrew, Grand Rapids, Michigan. There is one last Lodge picture with which I will end this part of the investigation. The Grand Lodge of Japan is a stunning example of the symbols of Freemasonry. It would appear that the Alta Vendita was prophetic, that the Lodge has made itself at home in the Roman Catholic Church. How did this happen? Should we be looking for Lodge membership of architects and liturgical designers? Or is it a reflection of the liberal philosophy which permeates our Church and Western Society as it permeates the Masonic Lodge? More tomorrow... (All links were active as of Aug. 27, 2003. There is no guarantee that they will remain active in the future.) CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHAT'S WRONG WITH NC-WAY? a reader wants to know. Lee has given the answer in email, by quoting from Mark Sullivan's blog. The link to Mark's blog is at the beginning of Lee's email. Thanks to Mark for a good job researching this. If you want to comment on it, you can do that at the link. -------------------------- From Lee's Email: AOL link: Irish Elk Text URL: http://mcns.blogspot.com/ Earlier today, I sent you the interview with Cardinal Stafford, with my own snarky comments interspersed. Visit Mark Sullivan's blog, scroll down, and you will find much more about the Neo-Catechumenal Way and the other "new ecclesial" cults. Click on the links to visit the associated articles. Kyrie eleison Lee ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How do NeoCats play in Peoria? They're thought to be Jehovah's Witnesses. It's an easily mistake to make, though comparisons to Scientologists and Moonies as readily spring to mind. A pair of extensive features archived at Free Republic (here and here) give a thorough rundown on the oddball theology and liturgy of the NC Way, as does an article titled "Cult Fiction": They have patrons in high places, including the Holy Father, and Rome has recently given them its formal approval. But then Rome has also given traditionalists its formal approval by setting up the commission, Ecclesia Dei, and the prelature of the Association of St Jean Marie Vianney. Rome has always been a deal more catholic and liberal than it detractors would give it credit. However, the faithful may be excused in these confusing times for taking such ecclesial approval with a very large pinch of salt. After all, it is just a couple of decades ago that l�Arm�e de Marie was enthusiastically and officially approved by the Church; only a mere decade later to be formally suppressed by an embarrassed Episcopacy which had finally woken up to the fact that its foundress was claiming to be the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary and was, what many of the laity had been trying to tell them all along, as barmy as a box of frogs� How has [guitar-strumming founder] Kiko [Arguello] managed to so comprehensively con the Holy Father? He has managed to con the Holy Father by using a very simple sales technique used by all professional salesmen, known in the jargon as "pressing hot buttons." What are John Paul II�s hot buttons? That�s easy: the gospel of life, evangelization and youth. So when ever Kiko and his cohorts are in the presence of the Holy Father they work these three hot buttons like professional salesmen. Firstly, they continually stress in his presence their movements opposition to abortion, artificial contraception and sterilization etc. - that�s the gospel of life hot button pressed. Secondly, they reel out statistic about their rapid world-wide expansion - that�s the evangelization hot button pressed. Finally they ensure that at any youth gathering, their youth are up early and at the front of the crowd waving Neocatechumenate banners - that�s the youth hot button pressed. That�s all there is to it really, all quite simple. Kiko doesn�t of course say to the pope, "Oh by the way Holy Father, behind your back we refer to you as a pagan because you offer sacrifices, the alleged sacrifice of the Mass, every day." Nor does he say, "Oh by the way Holy Father, I�ve completely rewritten the Church�s liturgy to exclude all reference to sacrifice, redemption, atonement etc. Do you mind?" And he most certainly doesn�t tell the Holy Father that his movement's apologists are trained to talk every week for sixteen weeks in parishes without once mentioning the Catechism of the Catholic Church� If you embrace the Way, you must logically accept that the Church for the last sixteen centuries has got most of her doctrines hopelessly wrong. See also past articles from the Guardian (here and here) and a piece from The Tablet found at the Rick Ross cult-watch site. Consider that while a universal indult has yet to be granted the Old Mass, this quackery is not only given the green light to flourish, but endorsed at Rome's highest levels. Indeed, the NeoCats and their like are considered by Cardinal Stafford just the thing to renew the Church (news no doubt pleasing to the NC editor and staff of the Pilot). Cardinal Stafford has done as much as anyone to advance the NeoCats, already having given us World Youth Day. John Allen places the Cardinal in the anti-liberal school, an interesting perspective, given the Cardinal's promotion of sects and youth rallies that revolve around manipulation and the cult of personality. When historians get around to chronicling the present crisis in the Church, one wonders at the place Cardinal Stafford will assume. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

JUST RECEIVED EMAIL FROM LEE PENN with his permission to blog it. Here it is: Quote: Call to Action and Voice of the Faithful are not the only groups with radical ideas on re-organizing the Church. AOL link: Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome Text URL: http://zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=39931 It is a long interview. Here are the key quotes, with a few of my comments inserted in square brackets. The Vatican is giving full approval to "new ecclesial movements" and proposing the deconstrcution of the life of the Church as it has been traditionally lived. Kyrie eleison Lee -------------------------------------------- BOSTON, Massachusetts, AUG. 23, 2003 (Zenit.org).- American Cardinal James Francis Stafford believes the current Church crisis is a crisis of parish life. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity explained his views in this interview with Antonio Enrique, director of the Archdiocese of Boston's weekly newspaper, The Pilot. The interview was first published on Aug. 8 and is reprinted here with permission. Q: You work very closely with the Holy Father at the Vatican. Can you tell us how aware the Holy Father is of the crisis of the Church in Boston and in the United States in general? Cardinal Stafford: The Holy Father himself initiated the meeting in April of 2002 between the American cardinals, himself and members of the Roman Curia. He was present for each of those meetings and heard it firsthand. Cardinal [Bernard] Law frequently brought the Holy Father up to date, together with other members of the Roman Curia. Bishop Lennon did the same, especially through Cardinal [Giovanni Battista] Re, and through the apostolic nuncio here in the United States. My sense is that the Holy Father and the membership of the Curia, the leaders of the various Roman dicasteries, are very aware of what has been happening in the United States and, more specifically, in Boston. [My comment: Rome is stating that it KNOWS, and has known, what is occurring in the US regarding the pederasty scandal. No one can now apologize for the Vatican by saying that the Authorities did not know what has been happening here, or that they were too busy governing a billion-member Church to monitor events in one country.] Q: You are the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the dicastery that assists the Pope in all matters concerning the contributions the lay faithful make to the life and mission of the Church. How do you see the role of the laity in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis? Cardinal Stafford: The most significant positive development since the Second Vatican Council has been the flourishing of lay movements within the Church. That doesn't mean that there were not lay movements before. We obviously have analogous groups such as the Knights of Columbus and the confraternities, which go back to the Middle Ages, but the unique expression of that, through the various associations of the lay faithful, has only developed since World War II and after the Second Vatican Council. [My comment: the new ecclesial movements are part of the "fruits of the Council" - the Cardinal says as much himself.] They have arisen to meet very specific needs of the laity -- the need for a deeper spirituality which, in many ways, they do not feel the parish has been able to meet. And secondly, the need of the laity to give greater evidence of their own desire for evangelizing the world -- the world of economics, the world of politics, the world of the university, the world of unions. These new lay movements illustrate the desire of the laity for a greater commitment to the discipleship of Jesus, in the world and in the Church. [My comment: compare the state of politics, culture, and morality in the West in 1963 and 2003, Has there been improvement or decay. That's one measure of the fruits of these new movements of activism in the world.] More specifically, these lay movements assist the lay people especially in living out their sacramental commitment to Christ in baptism, confirmation and marriage. Of course, that means through the ongoing living of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus through the Eucharist. They do that within a commitment to community, to community life. Those communities really live the vision that Jesus expressed in Matthew 18, where he speaks of the challenge of forgiveness within the Christian community. Peter asked, "How often are disciples to forgive one another? Seven times? And Jesus responded, "Seventy times seven times." I sense that living forgiveness, that love, which is a tough love, to be very present in the ecclesial movements in a way that I don't sense them as strongly in the parishes. Also, the vision of the early communities after the ascension of Jesus, as expressed in Acts 2 and 4, are better expressed, better realized, in the new lay movements than I sense in most parishes. [My comment: the parish and the diocese have been part of Christian life for 2000 years; the Cardinal is denigrating parish life and upholding the "ecclesial movements" in their stead. Can you say "radical"?] So, the new lay movements are, as a matter of fact, a commitment to a deeper "koinonia" [communion], a living out of community with one another and with the presbyterate in a way that assists them in living and experiencing the meaning of the beatitudes in their lives, especially as married men and women. Secondly, they experience great tension in living out the commitment of the Gospel in their daily life, as in work. These new lay movements assist them again to live out the poverty of spirit that is the beginning of all discipleship, which is, of course, the first of the great beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew as expressed by Jesus. So the new lay movements have many things to offer the Church: a deeper sense of community in the Holy Spirit, of fellowship in the Holy Spirit, of communion in the Holy Spirit, and a deeper sense of commitment to Christ in the workplace. They also experience a great reinforcement of their life as married men and women. [My comment: And as a result, the faith is firmer everywhere, and the Church goes from strength to strength. Yeah, right.] Cardinal Stafford continues: "Many of the problems that we are experiencing in the priesthood, I think, especially the sexual abuse, are due to a crisis, not just an acute crisis, but a long-term crisis in the parish and in the community of the parishes that is lived out. Part of it is rooted in the fact that people do not really experience love within the parish; it is a place in which they really do not trust one another enough to be able to experience the forgiving love of Jesus as that is mediated by the community. A restructuring, a renewal, a rediscovery of the "Ordo Poenitentium," for example as in the early Church, would be an opportunity in which priests and people would recognize their sinfulness, would be willing to surrender in their vulnerability to the tough love of the community in making known their weakness, their sinfulness, and asking for a public penance. But this would not be true just of the priests; this would be true of lay men and lay women in their own experience of fidelity or infidelity within marriage, or as parents, or their lack of witness, or their sinfulness in their work, in their business, in their unions, in their university setting, so that their parish really is a community in which people experience the forgiveness of Jesus." [My comment: maybe the new Order of Penitents will adopt flagellation and the cilice, as practiced by one of the New Ecclesial Movements. And it's fascinating to see the Cardinal blame priestly pederasty and episcopal cover-up on a crisis in the "community of the parishes." Blaming the victims and their families?] Q: The Pontifical Council for the Laity is working to give formal recognition to some of those new movements and ecclesial communities. Among them, your dicastery has recently given formal recognition, for the first time, to a post-baptismal catechumenate. How useful can the Neocatechumenate be as a tool to bring that renewal into the parishes? Cardinal Stafford: There are many lay movements within the Church that have been called by the Spirit to bring about a renewal of communities, of parishes. They may not call it "mystagogia" but, nevertheless, it is a "mystagogia," it is a catechesis in the forgiving love of Jesus, a catechesis in which the parish learns to be a community of loving forgiveness. In my judgment, and I've been a bishop now since 1976, the Neocatechumenate is one of the strongest expressions of that capacity within the Church that the Spirit has given to us that has the ability to create a forgiving community, the capacity to create a community of tough love that is rooted in the cross of Jesus. I have known the Neocatechumenate since 1980. I invited them into the Archdiocese of Denver and we established a Redemptoris Mater seminary there. I have become much more familiar with the Neocatechumenate since I have gone to Rome. In my judgment, it is one of the best expressions, one of the best proclamations of the paschal mystery that the Spirit has given to the modern Church. The bishops and the priests of the United States must first face the fact that this crisis that surfaced in 2002 is a crisis in parish community life, not just in the priesthood but in the way in which priests relate to people in the parish communities. They must recognize that the parishes are facing a crisis in the United States, and that crisis has been [shown] not simply by the abuse issue but also by the generational decline -- since 1967-68 -- of the vital sacramental signs of the Church. The vital signs also have declined in terms of the number of ordinations to priestly ministry within the Church in the United States. Having recognized that crisis, the priests, bishops and the lay people of the Church must then begin to ask themselves, "What is the Spirit calling us to do in reforming the Church?" I think one of the instruments that the Spirit has given to us would be these new lay communities, including the Neocatechumenate. Despite the fact that so many find objections to the Neocatechumenate in the United States, I am convinced that the means for renewal within the Church rests with the new communities and it also rests with the Neocatechumenate. [My comment: Hey, why not go all the way and canonize the founder of the Neocatechumenate? Just reform the canonization process again, and start sainting people while they are alive.] CarrieTomko@aol.com

RENOVATION OF THE SAN FERNANDO CATHEDRAL in San Antonio seems to be a mixed bag. The new retablo is lovely. But what about this: Of great disappointment is the� altar that has been moved at least thirty feet into the nave of the church with seating on three sides.� People on opposite sides are forced to view the distractions of others during the holy sacrifice of the Mass.� The plunging of the altar so far into the nave of the church has taken away valuable seating.� The only way to recover that seating would be to resort to the disgraceful practice of placing people in chairs in the old colonial portion of the cathedral with their backs to Our Lord in the tabernacle. There is that altar surrounded on three sides by the laity, making it an altar of community rather than an altar of sacrifice. Which is contrary to what the Church teaches. There are more reasons for concern. What does a Catholic make of this ceremony? More information on the San Fernando Cathedral can be read by using these links. It would seem that the strange doings in the Cathedral reflect the strange doings in the community. A reader sent this article from the Catholic Citizens of Illinois website: The San Antonio Current for August 21-27, 2003 has an unsettling article describing the Lilith Fund, a 501c3 and so-called 'reproductive equity' group, and their efforts to train abortion assistants. Lilith is a prominent figure in demonology and Jewish folklore. Is it demons and witches presiding over child sacrifices, or the 'right to choose', or both?The San Antonio Current for August 21-27, 2003 article stated, "The Lilith Fund, a non-profit, abortion assistance organization is holding volunteer training for its hotline today from 1-3pm and August 26 from 6:30-8:30pm at San Antonio Reproductive Services, 5838 Joiner Ave. Prospective volunteers need to attend only one of two trainings. Info: 877-355-1463 or melissas_dehaan@hotmail.com" The article challenges the chancery to take note: How Lilith came into the world, and what she has been up to since allegedly being driven from Eden supports what many Christians have suspected for years - that there is a (growing) link between Satanic service, demonology, child sacrifice, and the next best thing, abortion. It is not only possible, but highly probably that the practioners of witchcraft and servants of Lilith would gravitate to the place where the sacrificial blood flows freely: the local abortion mill. We wonder how this information will sit with the chancery, or if they even notice. The article also refers the reader to this website. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MASONIC SYMBOLS IN CATHOLIC CHURCHES - Part II Another symbol that is essential to Freemasonry is the altar where the Sacred Book of the Law is placed and where the Mason takes his oaths. Unlike a church altar, the Masonic altar is never approached alone, but rather in company of Lodge brothers, making it an altar of fellowship where a Mason learns the truth in the company of his fellow man. As Joseph Fort Newton says in a "Short Talk Bulletin," "Masonry brings men together in mutual respect, sympathy, and good will, that we may learn in love the truth that is hidden by apathy and lost by hate." Newton's essay on the Masonic Altar appeared in The Masonic Service Association of the United States "The Short Talk Bulletin", Vol. 2, July 1924. Newton says further in that essay: In English Lodges, as in the French and the Scottish Rites, it stands in front of the Master in the East. In the York Rite, so called, it is placed in the center of the Lodge - more properly a little to the East of the center - about which all Masonic activities revolve. It is not simply a necessary piece of furniture, a kind of table intended to support the Holy Bible, the Square and Compasses. Alike by its existence and its situation it identifies Masonry as a religious institution, and yet its uses are not exactly the same as the offices of an Altar in a cathedral or a shrine. Here is a fact often overlooked, and we ought to get it clearly in our minds. The position of the Altar in the Lodge is not accidental, but profoundly significant. For, while Masonry is not a religion, it is religious in its faith and basic principles, no less than in its spirit and purpose. And yet it is not a Church. Nor does it attempt to do what the Church is trying to do. If it were a Church its Altar would be in the East and its Ritual would be altered accordingly. That is to say, Masonry is not a religion, much less a sect, but a Worship in which all men can unite because it does not undertake to explain, or dogmatically to settle in detain, [sic] those issues by which men are divided. Beyond the Primary, fundamental facts of faith it does not go. With the philosophy of those facts, and the differences and disputes growing out of them, it has not to do. In short, the position of the Altar in the Lodge is a symbol of what Masonry believes the Altar should be in actual life, a center of union and fellowship, and not a cause of division, as is now so often the case. It does not seek fraternity of spirit, leaving each one free to fashion his own philosophy of ultimate truth. C. W. Leadbeater describes the altar: The altar should be in the middle of the square nearest to the R. W. M., [Right Worshipful Master], though this differs in different Obediences. In the Grand Lodge of England working there is generally no altar at all, or at the most only an appendage to the Master's pedestal; so that when the candidate is taking the O. [Oath] he kneels before the pedestal of the R. W. M. In some Lodges the altar is a little east of the centre of the floor, and in others it stands in the middle of the floor. On the altar, or close to it, or hanging above it in the middle of the eastern square, there is in Co-Masonic Lodges a small light burning, usually enclosed in ruby-coloured glass. This light symbolizes the reflection of Deity in matter, and it corresponds exactly to the light in Catholic churches which burns always before the Altar on which the Host is reserved. (Leadbeater, p. 44-45) Continuing with his description, Leadbeater quotes from Mackey's Lexicon of Freemasonry saying: The proper form of a Masonic altar is that of a cube about three feet high�having spread open upon it the Holy Bible, Square, and Compass, while around it are placed in a triangular form and proper position the three lesser lights [candles]." (Leadbeater, p. 45) The altar holds whatever Sacred Book of the Law that is revered by the majority of Lodge members. Hence a Lodge consisting mostly of Christian men would have a Bible on the altar. A Lodge consisting of Muslim men would have a Koran, etc. Some Lodges have more than one Sacred Book of the Law to accommodate a variety of beliefs represented by Lodge members. Today in Catholic churches we often see the rectangular altar replaced by a square altar. The rectangular altar represents a coffin, reminding us that Masses in the Early Church were said in the catacombs on the tombs of saints who were buried there. What is the square altar a symbol of? Traditionally, Catholic altars were placed symbolically in the "East," which was the meaning of the sanctuary or apse of the church, while members of the congregation facing the altar symbolically faced Christ, looking for His return from the East at the end of the world. Today in renovations we frequently see the altar situated in the midst of the congregation, no longer looking for Christ's return at the end of salvation history, but rather looking now for Christ in our fellow man. This change reflects the philosophy of the Masonic Lodge concerning altar placement. According to the online edition of "Adoremus Bulletin" Vol. VIII, No. 10, February 2003, James Hitchcock, writing about the Orthodoxy of Modernism in church architecture says: The theological basis for this argument [the argument of the Modernists] is the claim that traditional worship was individualistic and so completely centered on the Real Presence of Christ in the eucharistic elements that it failed to understand that Christ is primarily present in the worshipping community itself. Modern church architecture is designed to remedy this, perhaps its most important achievement being that it molds the parish into a true community. The Masonic philosophy of fellowship and fraternity which is the symbolical meaning of the Masonic altar has been adopted by modern Catholic Church designers. Instead of an altar of sacrifice which reminds us of the price Jesus paid for our salvation, we now have an altar of "community." Let's look at some pictures. First the Masonic altars with candlestands on three sides or 3-branched candelabra: Warpole Lodge Trinity Valley Masonic Lodge The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania offers several thumbnail photos which can be clicked for a larger view. Notice the placement of the chairs and benches and of the candlestands in these lodge pictures. In King Hiram's Lodge, Provincetown, Mass. Notice the high-backed presider's chair for the Grand Master at the end of the hall. Now for some Catholic churches: Here is the proposal drawing for the San Fernando Cathedral renovation Here is the finished renovation. Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee St. Benedict's Monastery, Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Joseph, Minn. St. John the Evangelist Church West Chester, Ohio The renovations which have come to our churches since Vatican II, and which have profoundly disturbed the laity, have made our churches conform to Masonic philosophy. (All links were working as of Aug. 26. There is no guarantee they will remain active at a future date.) Part III tomorrow. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, August 25, 2003

SOME OF YOU LIVE IN THE CLEVELAND DIOCESE Apparently there is a showdown in the making over the changes in GIRM. Check out Amy Welborn's blog for the details. So, do we all stubbornly stay on our knees with our face in our hands, giving God our thanksgiving and praise and talking over with Him our most pressing concerns? Or do we make the bishop happy. Seems to be an either/or proposition. SIGH! CarrieTomko@aol.com

MASONIC SYMBOLS IN CATHOLIC CHURCHES - PART I It's a topic I touched on briefly some months ago and have expanded over the summer. I'll post the results of my investigation in several parts during the next few days. "The race of man�'through the envy of the devil,' separated into two diverse and opposite parts of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth." With that thought Pope Leo XIII opened his encyclical Humanum Genus in 1884--13 single-spaced pages of condemnation of Freemasonry. Seven additional popes condemned Masonry as well: Clement XII who wrote the bull In Eminenti in 1738, 20 years after the organization of modern Freemasonry, was the first to issue a warning. Following his lead were Pius VII (1821), Leo XII (1825), Pius VIII (1829), Gregory XVI (1832). Pius IX issued six bulls on Freemasonry (1846-1873). His 1865 Allocution says: "Among the numerous machinations and artifices by which the enemies of the Christian name have tried to attack the Church�must undoubtedly be reckoned that perverse society of men called Masonic�" (Whalen p. 105) Pope Benedict XIV asked Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, to disband the Lodge in Vienna. Benedict's second bull reiterated Clement XII's penalty of excommunication for lodge membership. On November 26, 1983 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued the "Declaration on Masonic Associations" to clarify the Church's unchanging negative judgment regarding Masonic associations, despite changed wording in the new Code of Canon Law, which is that those "who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Communion." Cardinal Ratzinger issued the declaration under the direction of Pope John Paul II. Many ask "Why?" believing that the Masonic Lodge is merely a fraternal organization which does charitable work. According to the above cited "Declaration," "their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden." In his book, Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked," Msgr. George E. Dillon quotes portions of the "Alta Vendita," a Masonic document of the Italian Carbonari, which surfaced while he was investigating Freemasonry in response to Humanum Genus. It says: You wish to establish the reign of the elect upon the throne of the prostitute of Babylon? Let the clergy march under your banner in the belief always that they march under the banner of the Apostolic Keys. You wish to cause the last vestige of tyranny and of oppression to disappear? Lay your nets like Simon Barjona. Lay them in the depths of sacristies, seminaries, and convents�you will give yourself a draught of fishes more miraculous than his. The fisher of fishes will become a fisher of men. You will bring yourselves as friends around the Apostolic Chair...marching with Cross and banner--a Revolution which needs only to be spurred on a little to put the four quarters of the world on fire�. That of the secret societies will be accomplished for the most simple of reasons, because it is based on the passions of man." (Dillon p. 94-95) Pope Leo XIII was so pleased with Dillon's book that he had it published at his own expense. If the Alta Vendita was successful in accomplishing its purpose, there should be evidence of it that we can pinpoint. For this reason I began looking for Masonic symbolism in renovated churches and cathedrals. W. L. Wilmshurst, P.M. 275, Past Provincial Grand Registrar (West Yorks), in his book The Meaning of Masonry says of Masonic symbolism: It is well to emphasize then, at the outset, that Masonry is a sacramental system, possessing, like all sacraments, an outward and visible side consisting of its ceremonial, its doctrine and its symbols which we can see and hear, and an inward, intellectual and spiritual side, which is concealed behind the ceremonial, the doctrine and the symbols, and which is available only to the Mason who has learned to use his spiritual imagination and who can appreciate the reality that lies behind the veil of outward symbol. (Wilmshurst p. 21) There are a few symbols that are universally known to be Masonic. One of them is the square and compass pictured almost everywhere that Masonry is active. Another symbol that is less well known by non-Masons but familiar to everyone who has gone through initiation into the First Degree is the Masonic pavement--the black and white checkerboard pattern. Wilmshurst describes the meaning of the checkered floor: The Floor, or groundwork of the Lodge, a checker-work of black and white squares, denotes the dual quality of everything connected with terrestrial life and the physical groundwork of human nature--the mortal body and its appetites and affections. (Wilmshurst p. 95-96) Eminent Masonic philosopher and scholar Albert Pike describes the Masonic pavement this way: The pavement, alternately black and white, symbolizes, whether so intended or not, the Good and Evil Principles of the Egyptian and Persian creed. It is the warfare of Michael and Satan, of the Gods and Titans, of Balder and Lok; between light and shadow, which is darkness; Day and Night; Freedom and Despotism; Religious Liberty and the Arbitrary Dogmas of a Church that thinks for its votaries, and whose Pontiff claims to be infallible, and the decretals of its Councils to constitute a gospel. (Pike p. 14) In the website for the Grand Lodge of British Columbia, an essay on the Tracing Boards says of the Masonic pavement: In many of our Lodge Halls, for example, 8th & Granville, Marpole, and Kamloops, there is nothing on the flooring that indicates the requirements of the First Degree Lodge, i.e. Masonic pavement and indented skirting that surrounds the pavement. This can be found in the First Degree lecture on page 42 of the Canadian work and similar wording can be found in the Senior Warden's First Degree lecture on page 47 of the Ancient Work. Why the flooring of these Lodge Halls is missing the Mosaic pavement or the indented skirting is not for me to speculate. I know in my Lodge hall in Richmond both these two items are there and in the Langford Lodge hall on Vancouver Island there is an actual Mosaic pavement, and in the newly refurbished Kerrisdale Lodge there is a wonderful carpet with Mosaic pavement. The Masonic pavement is also described in an essay titled "Tests of a True Mason" by VW Cesar L. Go, Past Grand Orator, which was delivered during the 82nd Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines, and which was reprinted from "The Cable Tow," Vol. 75, No. 1: Most Wor. Bro. Rafael Palma, our Grand Master in 1920�. said: "Human life could not be better symbolized than by the Masonic pavement which covers the floor of our Temples and is emblematic of how checkered our existence is with good and evil, grief and joy, suffering and happines. Theosophist, 33 deg. Mason, who assisted with the founding of Co-Masonry, a spin off of French Grand Orient, C. W. Leadbeater describes the checkered pavement in his book The Hidden Life in Freemasonry. In the chapter titled "The Fittings of the Lodge" he says: The mosaic pavement is the beautiful floor, which is composed of squares alternately black and white, and is explained in the Craft ritual as the diversity of objects which decorate and ornament creation, the animate as well as the inanimate parts thereof. Its alternate squares, however, symbolize not only the mingling of living and material things in the world, but even more the intermingling of spirit and matter, or life and matter, everywhere. (Leadbeater p. 74-75) Leadbeater's book includes a foldout picture of a furnished Masonic lodge which has a checkered floor. A picture is worth many bytes. Here are some examples of the Masonic pavement which can be seen on the web: West Toronto Masonic Temple Grand Lodge of Texas (Scroll down to the picture of the main entrance doorway) A drawing of the Masonic pavement at the Edmond Masonic Lodge website: The George Washington Masonic National Memorial George Washington's Masonic Apron There are even Masonic cufflinks made with the checkerboard pattern A symbol used this prominently can hardly help but remind those in the know that a Mason has been involved. Why then, when the checkerboard design has no Catholic meaning, has this design turned up in renovated cathedrals and churches? Here are some examples: St. James Cathedral, Seattle, Washington The picture on the left shows the aisle prior to the renovation. This is a Fr. Richard Vosko design. Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit (Scroll down) Here the checkered pavement appears in the sanctuary and in the front and south apse. Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Oakland, California Apparently the previous renovation incorporated the checkered pavement and the latest renovation kept it. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Memphis, Tenn. It appears that the cathedral had the checked aisle prior to the renovation. St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio added three paintings high on the wall against which the altar once stood, behind the present altar. The checkered design is prominent in each painting. Here is a picture of the cathedral with the new baldichino but without the paintings St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans As the website indicates, this Cathedral was remodeled in 1850, when it would seem that the checkered floor may have been installed. Finding a checkered floor dating from previous decoration was surprising. I didn't know what to make of that until finding a possible explanation in Christianity and American Freemasonry: Daniel Carroll, brother of the first American bishop, was active in Masonry and apparently Bishop Carroll did not consider the papal ban applicable to this country until sometime after 1800. For example, the bishop discussed the various censures of the Holy See on the lodge question in a letter to a layman in 1794. He added, "I do not pretend that these decrees are received generally by the Church, or have full authority in this diocese." A convent of nuns in Nantes sent a Masonic apron to George Washington as a present. Masons laid the cornerstone for St. Mary's church, first Catholic church in Albany and first cathedral of that diocese. Catholics in Louisiana Territory were likely to be members of the lodge and Father Sedella, pastor of the New Orleans cathedral, was buried in Masonic regalia. (Whalen p. 103-104) Not only might that passage explain why the New Orleans Cathedral has a checked floor, it also provides evidence that priests have joined the lodge. I found further evidence that at least one bishop was a Lodge brother. The Grand Lodge of Costa Rica has a museum in which they proudly display the mitre of Bishop Bernardo August Thiel. (I have checked these links on 8-25-03. They are all working links. There is no guarantee, however, that they will remain active at a future date.) More on this tomorrow. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, August 24, 2003

CRISIS MAGAZINE ARTICLE ON THE DEATH OF JOHN PAUL I "John Cornwell has just written an expose accusing Pius XII of anti-semitism. But Cornwell's book is a tissue of half-truths, exaggerations, in short a hoax." With those words Inside the Vatican Staff opened their October 1999 review of John Cornwell's book Hitler's Pope. Cornwell is no friend of the Vatican. Yet John Cornwell is the author Sandra Miesel has chosen to believe over the assertions of author David Yallop in her essay on the death of John Paul I in the July edition of Crisis magazine. Inside the Vatican further states: "In the 1980's Cornwell persuaded Vatican officials to grant him special access to Vatican sources to study the death of John Paul I. They hoped he would refute the thesis of David Yallop's book In God's Name that John Paul I had been murdered. The account that emerged, A Thief in the Night, concluded "the smiling Pope" had not been murdered. Rather, it suggested, ineptness and in-fighting had left the Pope without anyone to properly care for him, and so he had died, isolated and alone, at the heart of a cynical and uncaring Vatican...Moreover, the book was shot through with snickering depictions of ecclesial foibles and sins. The feeling in Rome was that Cornwell had exploited his carte blanche Vatican pass to mock the Church. Yet Ms. Miesel argues that Cornwell, not Yallop, got the death of John Paul I right. Hitler's Pope and A Thief in the Night are not the only books Cornwell has written to discredit the Church. His novel about the Jesuits, Strange Gods, described a Jesuit priest who kept a mistress, and in The Hiding Places of God Cornwell wrote of his days in the seminary, of which he said, "I took delight in attempting to undermine the beliefs of my fellow seminarians with what I regarded as clever arguments..." according to a Catholic League report by Ronald Rychlak titled " '60 Minutes' on Pius XII." Church Historian Dr. Peter Gumpel did a point by point refutation of contentions in Hitler's Pope. John Chuman, Visiting Professor of Religion at Columbia University, said of Cornwell that he characterizes John Paul II as "...a traditionalist autocrat as despotic in his management of the Church as Pacelli ever was." In discussing Cornwell, Fr. Pier Blet, co-editor of a 12-volume work composed of documents of the Holy See during the Second World War says of Cornwell that he makes "very serious accusations without any real proof." If he falsely discredits Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II, why would we have any reason to believe he gave an accurate rendering of the death of Pope John Paul I? With such a reputation, how then, are we to take Cornwell's claims about the death of John Paul I as anything but a fabrication intended to address an anti-Vatican agenda? In order to accept Ms. Miesel's thesis it is necessary to believe that Albino Luciani was a "pathetic" man who "huddled in a fetal position" from fear over some dropped papers, that he was a "gauche and incompetent figure of fun" who was "overwhelmed" by the responsibilities of the papacy. This apparently incompetent man was, appointed Pro Vicar General in his diocese in 1947, awarded a doctorate in theology in 1950, appointed Bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1955 and Patriarch of Venice in 1969, given the red hat in 1973, and elected pope on the second day of balloting. He was an Italian. Therefore, he was known by the prelates in Rome. Dr. Margaret Tierney, Promulgator of the Cause of Beatification of John Paul I, says on her website: "To the Best of my knowledge, Pope John Paul I was murdered." I have read David Yallop's book. I have not read John Cornwell's, and I don't plan to read it. With a reputation such as he possesses for untruth, inaccuracy, and an anti-Catholic bias, it would be foolish to cloud judgment with his questionable evidence. CarrieTomko@aol.com

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