Saturday, September 27, 2003

OENGUS' CHALLENGE In comments below, Oengus indicates that I have come upon misinformation regarding the necessity of speaking in tongues for Pentecostals. I trust, since he says that he is AOG, that he will recognize the name Vinson Synan? For the benefit of others reading here, Vinson Synan is a highly regarded historian of the Pentecostal and charismatic renewal movements. He has written over ten books, including The Century of the Holy Spirit: 100 Years of Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal, has pastored two Pentecostal Holiness churches and served as a denomination's General Secretary, Assistant General Superintendent, and Director of Evangelism. He is currently Dean of the School of Divinity at Regent University. He earned his Ph.D. deg. from the University of Georgia. In The Century of the Holy Spirit in the chapter titled "The Worldwide Holy Spirit Renewal," he writes: Pentecostal denominations hold the distinctive teaching that all Christians should seek a postconversion religious experience called baptism in the Holy Spirit, and that a Spirit-baptized believer may receive one or more of the supernatural gifts known in the early church: instantaneous sanctification, the ability to prophesy, to practice divine healing through prayer, to speak in tongues (glossolalia), or interpret tongues, singing in tongues, singing in the Spirit, dancing in the Spirit, praying with upraised hands, dreams, visions, discernment of spirits, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, emphasis on miracles, power encounters, exorcisms (casting out demons), resuscitations, deliverances, signs, and wonders. From 1906 onward, the explicitly Pentecostal denominations, by comparison with holiness/perfectionist denominations, has been the single addition of speaking with other tongues as the "initial evidence" of one's having received the baptism of the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit), whether or not one subsequently experiences regularly the gift of tongues. Most Pentecostal denominations teach that tongues-speaking is mandatory for all members, but in practice today only from 5 percent to 35 percent of all members have practiced this gift either initially or as an ongoing experience. p. 395 That, Oengus, is the source of my contention that speaking in tongues is the evidence of validity. I've given ample evidence in this blog in the past of my opinion of this phenomenon, so I won't go into it again. Having said that, I will add that the one Christian who stands out in my experience as the most dedicated to living the Christian faith of anyone I've ever known is a member of AOG. That doesn't, however, cause me to change my opinion of speaking in tongues. I'm not trying to offend you Oengus. But neither will I compromise my position that Catholics should not be taking up this practice. Also allow me to remind you that the initial Azusa Street event which kicked off the Pentecostal Movement in America involved primarily speaking in tongues. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE TELEVISION GOD or more accurately the way that God is portrayed on television, is duscussed by Teresa Blythe at Beliefnet. She makes the television God sound a bit like a "do it yourself" project. Looks like Manichaeism is getting strong billing. CarrieTomko@aol.com

A SMIDGE OF GOOD NEWS from John Allen's Friday commentary. The more I move around on the lecture circuit, the more confident I become that despite the trauma of the sexual abuse scandal, the polarization of the church, and any number of other challenges, the Catholic community in North America also has tremendous resources. They include an educated laity that cares deeply about the future of the church, and institutions (such as Catholic universities and Catholic media) engaged in creative ways with social and ecclesiastical issues. Seeing these resources at work is a reassuring experience, especially for reporters who in the last 18 months have been overwhelmed with bad-news stories about the Catholic church. May it not be just wishful thinking! CarrieTomko@aol.com

ZENIT INTERVIEW WITH FR. CANTALAMESSA Papal preacher and charismatic Fr. Cantalamessa comments on the Charismatic Renewal and its impact at a gathering oc charismatics from 73 countries. (Click the "No Need to Fear Charismatic Renewal link.) Taking into account Protestant, evangelical and Pentecostal denominations, and some members of the Orthodox Church, it is estimated that 600 million Christians have had the charismatic experience. So, what would the number be if the non-Christian tongue speakers were added on? CarrieTomko@aol.com

DID YOU SAY THAT? YEAH. SO WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM? Would someone please deconstruct the politics of this latest Vatican disagreement for me? NEW YORK (CNS) -- Favorable comments made by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, about Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion," were "purely personal" and carry "no official status," according to the president of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews. "As we have not yet had the chance to view the film, which is in fact still in the final stages of production and not yet released, we have decided not to make an official statement," said Cardinal Walter Kasper in a letter. CarrieTomko@aol.com

LEON PODLES PULLS NO PUNCHES with this commentary on bishops and pro-abortion politians, particularly with the closing statement: As Neuhaus goes on to point out, the Vatican is implicated in this, because the American bishops see that nothing is done about pro-abortion European Catholic politicians. The situation is not happy; the Vatican has shown more political energy in opposing gay marriages (a bad thing) than in opposing abortion ( a horrendous thing). All is not right in the Church. While it is true that everything has never been entirely right in the Church, we still have the duty to oppose abuses, especially when the victims are the millions of aborted children and the millions who will be grown in fetal farms for spare organs, all made possible by Catholic politicians in good standing with the Church and on very friendly terns with the bishops. Scrolling down a bit further, I discovered Lee Penn's Christian Challenge comments about Bishop Swing's visit to Rome. CarrieTomko@aol.com

DALLAS CATHOLICS' LETTER CALLING FOR A NEW BISHOP is analysed for compliance to Canon Law by Canon Lawyer Dr. Edward N. Peters, who says that the signatories are well within their rights. (Yeah, I know. It's old news. I found it interesting nevertheless. What can I say...?) CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, September 26, 2003

IFGENE The International Forum for Genetic Engineering, Ifgene, is the Science Group of the Anthroposophical Society. The Articles Index Page offers an overview of the sort of research the organization is engaged in. Is there a scientist out there who recognizes any of these names? Richard C. Lewontin is familiar. So are some of the others since they took part in "The Future of DNA" conference sponsored by Ifgene. CarrieTomko@aol.com

AN ANTHROPOSOPHICAL ICON Our Lady of the Cosmos. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ANTHROPOSOPHICAL MEDICINE is one of the fields into which Rudolf Steiner's teachings have been funneled. Trendy alternative healthcare is at home here. Think massage, herbal medicine, acupuncture, etc. Much to my surprise, the field also includes tantra. Tantra is sacred sex practices in some yoga. Here is an Anthroposophic medicine website that offers courses in tantra. It has been said of Steiner that he was never caught in sexual scandal. This is not typical of other occult groups. For example, Aleister Crowley's O.T.O. (affiliated with the Gnostic Catholic Church) engages in sexual rites in the upper degreeas. Crowley, himself, was a notorious reprobate, self-proclaimed "The Beast" and "666." His practice of tantra with prostitutes drove them to the insane assylum according to some accounts. Theosophy, too, includes tantric practices. Here in this Theosophy Library Online - Great Teacher Series - is an entry for Taranatha which discusses the history of tantra. Here, from Blavatsky Archives is the teachings of the Jonangpa School which include tantra. Richard Cavendish's encyclopedia Man, Myth and Magic says of tantra: Acts that cause the moral degradation of the ordinary man, by those very acts does the wise one obtain salvation. Vol. 20, p. 2780 Naturally it is necessary to define the word "salvation" here. The kundalini is key to tantra. As the encyclopedia describes it: The basal chakra is inhabited by the mysterious kundalini, which is likened to a tiny snake, normally lying curled and asleep near the tail-bone. Its arousal is the goal of an elaborate technique taking many years to master requiring the personal guidance of a guru. When aroused, the serpent begins its upward ascent, piercing the gates of the chakras one by one until it reaches the summit. Vol. 20, p. 2780 Or as Steiner puts it: Now we grasp what is represented by the Tree of Knowledge. The serpent is what winds itself upwards in the backbone as spinal marrow. p. 258 Some New Age groupsskip all of the esoteric philosophy that Theosophy offers and get right to the fun and games. If you look carefully at the list of links at this website, you will see one for SIECUS. The practice of tantra could become inconvenient without the abortion safety net. The Hieros Gamos, a ritual celebration of sacred sex, was described in The Da Vinci Code and depicted in the movie Eyes Wide Shut. Cavendish describes the tantric circle: To the adept it makes no difference whether his sexual partner is a Draupadi (a volumptuous heroine or the Mahabharata) or a dombi (a low-caste untouchable woman). Beauty is a snare and an impediment, and in order to avoid its attraction it is necessary to overcome the obstacles of conventional revulsion. To avoid all possibility of desire entering into the rite, the true adept often insists that his partner be an old or ugly woman. In the tantric circle worship it therefore becomes important that no claim should be made on any partner, and that no personal preferences should be allowed to decide the selection. Various means are used to ensure that the partners should pair not by choice but by chance. One method is for each woman on entering the sanctuary to deposit her bodice in a box, and at the end of the preparatory ceremonies for each man to pick one and take as his partner for the occasion the woman to whom it belongs, be that woman his wife, another's wife, his daughter, sister or even mother. Vol. 20, p. 2783 Yoga, reiki, and tantra go together like the proverbial feathered birds. They somehow have made their way into the Catholic environment. From the website: Catholic Hospitals Many seriously ill patients in hospitals are exposed to occult techniques, including Reiki, without full knowledge or consent. While in a weakened and vulnerable state, �volunteers� perform Reiki magic over them as described in the following: According to William Lee Rand, in his web article, �Reiki in Hospitals�,: �The Reiki Clinic at the Tucson Medical Center (TMC) in Arizona has a team of Reiki practitioners who give Reiki to patients in their rooms�The TMC program started in May 1995...The program first began in the Cancer Care Unit, but has since expanded to many other areas in the hospital. At first, the attending physician had to give permission for Reiki to be provided. This has changed, and now the attending nurse makes the request. Reiki sessions are given by two-person teams as this creates a feeling of safety and confidence for both the patients and the practitioners. A patient must sign a consent form and sessions are given in their rooms while they are in bed. It is up to the Reiki team to explain Reiki to the patient before giving the treatment. They have found that this usually works best by first taking a few minutes to introduce themselves and get to know the patient, then explain the work they do. They have also found it best not to use the word �Reiki� at first when describing how they can help, but to talk about healing energy. They explain how healing energy exists in the body but is depleted when a person is sick, and they describe their work as helping to increase the patient�s healing energy supply. Later, after trust has been gained, they explain more about the technique and that it is called Reiki. They also play special healing music during the Reiki session. It has also gotten into Catholic retreat facilities. At least one Catholic nun apparently practices reiki on the residents of a nursing home. One hopes that the sexual aspect of reiki is omitted from these Catholic activities, but in light of the Catholic stories making the headlines, one can hardly be sure. It would seem that Catholicism and Anthroposophy have found some common ground for the moment in a kind of "sacred sex." And so I will close once again with the question, "Where is the bishop?" CarrieTomko@aol.com

NEO-GNOSTICISM TODAY is explained at this O.T.O. website as follows: St Augustine writes 340 ad: What one now calls the Christian religion existed long before Jesus Christ appeared with the ancients. The New Testament of the Christian Bible contains countless passages confirming the old "Christos" (Apollo-,Mithras-,Sun-) cult, and which prove that the conception of the Mithras-Christos cult still formed the basis of the new Jesu teaching even after the foundation of the christian-nazarene Church. Christianity as created by the Church Fathers, which still prevails today, is not the Christianity of the original Christians, the first Christians c all primitive or also gnostic Christians but a pseudo-christi anity. The Gnostic Templar-Christians (Neo-Christians, Primitive Christians, Neo- Gnostics) do not seek to found a new religion, but they only desire to clear away the debris which the reigning pseudo-christianity of the Church Fathers heaped on the original Christian religion, so that the true "Christos" doctrine & the religion of the original Christians, the Christian Gnostics, will once more come into its own. The Gnostics are Johannite Christians, not so-called nazarene Christians (Jesus of Nazareth). The Gnostics condemn the doctrine of Original Sin. The Gnostics of the Neo-Christian Church, also called Brethren of the Light of the Seven Churches in Asia or Order of Oriental Templars, make known to misled and suffering humanity the glad tidings of FREEDOM, JUSTICE, LOVE. Freedom in & before God, that is the liberation from origianl sin, through which the reigning christian-nazarene Church has enslaved to their priests humanity from birth.... The website also contains this description of their church: The Gnostic Catholic Church. The Gnostic Catholic Church (Eglise catholique gnostique universelle) pursues the aim of re-establishing the pure original Christianity, of making known to their adherents the unfalsified glad tiding of the true Christos, and of unveiling to same the secret holy miracle of the sacrement of the Eucharist. The gnostic catholic Church does not fight any of the other churches or religions. It respects every honest conviction. But it demands the same tolerance from adherents of the other churches & religions. Does that sound at all like the new ecumenical Roman Catholic Church? CarrieTomko@aol.com

ST. JOAN OF ARC PARISH the home of the dissident resource list that is the subject of a blog below, has turned up in Dale Price's blog as well. It seems an award for the DRE who is living in a committed sexual relationship with another woman has been withdrawn. At least in this case no one has to ask "Where is the bishop?" Archbishop Harry Flynn was on the job this time. CarrieTomko@aol.com

KASPER <----- ----->RATZINGER--AT ODDS WITH THE BEST A reader sent this account of the ongoing debate between two princes of the Church that doesn't promise to reach compromise any time soon. Destructive thinking in this debate is niftily summed up in this passage from the article: This particular way of emphasizing history and Scripture strikes me as a familiar replay of the old Protestant historical-critical tradition, whose presuppositions about history and Scripture furnish a surefire recipe for deconstructing the historic Christian Faith (by reinterpreting "history") in order to reconstruct it again in one's own image (by reinterpreting "Scripture"). History serves as the playground for scratching up doubts about certain areas of the Church's traditional teachings, and Scripture serves as the toolbox for cobbling together a new version of the Faith modeled after the personal preferences of the cobbler. This is exactly what happened in German theology within a few generations of Luther's death. The key players in this development belong to a long line of German theologians (Reimarus, Michaelis, Semmler, Herder, Eichorn, Schleiermacher, Strauss, Baur, Wellhausen, Harnack, Gunkel, Bultmann, et al.) stretching all the way from the 17th century up to our own day. These stepchildren of the Reformation summarily undermined the traditional "Christ of Faith" by subjecting the "Jesus of history" to demythologizing reinterpretations based on the anti-supernaturalist bias inherited from the so-called Age of Reason. But as Albert Schweitzer mercilessly showed in his celebrated Quest for the Historical Jesus (1906), the historical Jesus "discovered" by such liberal Protestant theologians was nothing more than a Jesus they "constructed" as a mirror image of themselves. He was not God Incarnate, but simply a "great moral teacher," whose morals just happened to look like Kant's or Hegel's. Closer to our own time, similarly, Jesus is "discovered" to be a gentle healer, a hippie-sage, a charismatic prophet, a founder of self-esteem and self-realization movements, a proto-Marxist, or a champion of feminism and political correctness. "Demythologizing," "historical-critical tradition," "deconstructing," --these are not words from the lexicon of the average Catholic in the pew, but increasingly those same Catholics must learn to address them if the bastion of faith in their hearts is going to continue to influence the thoughts in their heads. How the principles of the Jesus Seminar could find a home in Roman Catholicism is beyond comprehension. Yet here it is, raising its deceiving head in the upper eschelons of Church governance. It doesn't bode well for the future of the faith. How does one emerge from such a debate with a working knowledge of Jesus Christ--who He was, what He wants from us--that is consistent with the faith of our fathers? Will those of us in the pew be heard if we plead for mercy? Recent evidence of abuse of the laity's children seems to indicate that we will not. After all, it's not about God, stupid, it's about ego. Humility as a guiding principle was abandoned some time around 1965. The article goes on to speak of "form criticism" and "redaction criticism" --what the blazes are those? Once the revisionist historian finishes his work, there is no longer any basis for identifying the truth. Tradition becomes whatever it is said to be by whomever is in a position to call the shots. Think The Da Vinci Code here. There is no longer a basis on which to rest the belief that my truth will also be my great grandaughter's truth, or your truth either, for that matter. Jesus becomes whatever we want Him to be. And each generation of Catholics must begin with the basic question of "Who was this man called Jesus?" Nothing can be taken for granted. Once these ideas gain a foothold, any theology is possible. Perhaps that is the primary motivation. The Latin Vulgate/Douay Rheims grounded our faith in fact for centuries, but how many rewrites of Scripture have been made since Vatican II? This is a perscription for chaos. And "chaos" is the word chosen by Father Paul Marx, OSB, emminent defender of life who founded Human Life International, and who travels around the Church often enough to know what he is talking about. As Fr. Marx put it to Michael McGrade, "the Church is in total chaos." McGrade does not let Rome off the hook: And so we ask ourselves why Rome does not act with the same zeal as Pius X to combat the Modernists; to at least discipline them if not drum them out of the Church? We repeatedly ask the question yet in our hearts we know the answer well enough: that Pope Paul's famous "smoke of Satan" - the pyscho-spiritual corruption of priestly souls rooted in doctrinal, moral and liturgical dissidence - has penetrated the Church at every level. Above all, it has laid waste to bedrock Catholic teachings on "authority" and "obedience." The bishops themselves have been to the fore in that corrosive process, undermining their own authority through active or tacit complicity in a million-and-one scandals and daily nose-thumbing in the direction of Rome. At the same time, Rome has contributed mightily to the decay by not only failing to act against episcopal transgressors but often, instead, preferring to honour even the worst of them. What if Malachi Martin was right? What if the unthinkable happened. What if an enthronement took place? What if Pope Leo XIII was correct in adding the Prayer to St. Michael to the prayers at the foot of the altar after the Tridentine? Apparently that prayer protected us for decades until it was abandoned, at the Councill, opening the door to the spirit of chaos. We are supposed to be salt and light. We are supposed to oppose the culture. How can we oppose the culture while at the same time embracing it? And how badly has the culture deteriorated precisely because we the Church have failed in our duty to oppose it, causing us today to ask questions about how we can exist within the culture while at the same time existing within the faith. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, September 25, 2003

HERE IS A LINK to the CNS news brief about the state of reporting on the Iraqi war that Oengus referred to in a comment. (scroll down--it's the last entry on the website) LONDON (CNS) -- An Iraqi Catholic bishop has accused Western media of lying about the postwar state of his country. Auxiliary Bishop Andraos Abouna of Baghdad said he believed media were running a propaganda campaign to discredit the American-led coalition that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and now runs Iraq. Bishop Abouna, a Chaldean Catholic, told The Catholic Herald in London that the situation in Iraq was steadily improving rather than descending into a morass resembling the Vietnam War, as often depicted by media outlets. "It's getting better but still there are many problems," Bishop Abouna said. "The first problem is that they need security, then they need water and electricity -- and all these things are getting better," the bishop said. "The media are exaggerating a lot of things. They should be realistic about the situation in Iraq. Newspapers and television are saying a lot of things that aren't true. When they go there they can see everything (is changing)," he said. Now Oengus can comment here instead of upsetting Yoko's fans! :) (Art and English, Oengus??? I would never have guessed!) CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHY WE HAVE EXTRA EMBRYOS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THEM is the topic of an article in the premier issue of The New Atlantis which Fr. Bryce Sibley has linked. The article focuses on this recent technology and the moral questions it raises, one of the hot topics in bioethics. It goes on to ask what this has to do with empire. How ironic the title of the magazine considering that the concept of creating life outside of the marriage act which we are seeing as revolutionary late 20th century technology was being discussed in Rosicrucian circles in the early 1900s. Returning to The Temple Legend... Quote: Before the system of two sexes originated, there was a king of bisexuality, a single [combined] sex, in so far as in each individual both sexes were represented....Then came the civilisation of the second cultural epoch; this was pre-eminently a spiritual culture having two sexes. Dualism then appered--Ormuzd and Ahriman, Good and Evil. ...in the beginning, before there was a separate male and female sex, there was a two fold sexuality within each single individual....the sex--if I may call it that--which immediately preceded our own, outwardly and physically resembled not the male but the female gender. So that, before the outward separation, we have thus both sexes in one individual that outwardly--in physical expression and in all perceptions and being--was female. Therefore at the begining of the human race, we have to do with a bisexual individual tending towards the female. Only later did the male sex follow....in this individual, which had both sexes in it, a fertilising agent, or male seed, was also present. Woman contained man within her.... The division of the two sexes came about through the separation of the physical organs, and the other sex was now endowed with the possibility of fertilisation. Two individuals appeared, one with physical feminity and the other with physical masculinity. p. 234-236 There will come a time, however, when sexlessness will again be reestablished and the struggle is about which of the two sexes will first attain this state of sexlessness. Hence Freemasonry endeavors to make the male sex--or, to express it better, the male spirit--outlast the female and attain to the state of sexlessness. Now there is an occult connection between the power of speech and the power of sexual production. The Word has made everything. Originally it lived in man. Then man lost it. He can no longer create independently because he no longer has the Word. Only someone who was present at the Creation can know it.... Whoever wants to regain the power of procreation must gain possession of the Word. The truly creative power must unite itself with the Word. The Word will bring forth the man of the future.... Fire, the Divine Power, will then establish itself in a new way. A new race will replace the old. In the ancient Hebrew language there is a Word, a Mantram, which, it is said, will create the world if uttered sufficiently strongly. Man will thus beget spiritual man by means of speech itself once the Word has developed sufficiently. p. 258 Now aren't you guys all glad that you're Catholics instead of Anthroposophists? :) It's difficult to place Steiner's eopchs within historical time as we know it. He doesn't offer many reference points. It is possible that he is here describing angels which are often said to be sexless. Certainly Genesis indicates humans were male and female from the beginning, and the idea that we were at one time bisexual is in direct opposition to that passage from Scripture, "male and female they were created, and God saw that it was good." In any case, according to Steiner Anthroposophy awaits a time when sexless reproduction will once again be the norm. Fertilization in a petrie dish is the work of one scientist, though arguably it is either a man or a woman who does the creating. Scientists are attempting to create artificial wombs, which would further dispence with the need for human reproduction as we know it, making it possible for one man or one woman to create life independent of anyone else, provided, of course, that fresh enbryos or fresh eggs and sperm are available at the local lab. Since Theosophical philosophy has its source in communication with higher worlds or channeled spirits, is it possible that those same spirits were whispering into the foggy thoughts of man the seeds of IVF back in 1905? In theory, at least, it could be so. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MAUREEN MULLARKEY UNDRESSES YOKO ONO'S PEACE PLAN in this commentary for Studio Matters picked up by Mark Sullivan. (Scroll down. It's the second part of the article.) Thanks, Mark. The commentary is too good to miss. If I ever decide to strip for the cause, I'll be sure to do it when Maureen is busy elsewhere! CarrieTomko@aol.com

New article from Lee Penn HACKER GETS TO DIOCESE OF CALIFORNIA WEB PAGE Commentary Report By Lee Penn The Christian Challenge September 16, 2003 On September 9, I visited the web page of the Episcopal Diocese of California to research a new story for The Christian Challenge magazine. I know what to expect at the web site: fancy design, labyrinths, and lots of liberalism. Imagine my surprise when I went to http://diocal.org/ and found an all-black page with just a little text--including profanity and a rather confused message. The "clean" part of the text said, "NoNick Was Here Inside Your Linux Red Hat � Shadow Boys Against The War and Bush � Free World Rules !!!!" Some of the rest of the text was a message in Portuguese, along with a few expletive-laced English sentences. The hacker, who calls himself "nonick_defacer," left his e-mail address and an Internet site, irc.brasnet.org channel: #Shadow_boys, for those who wish to discuss matters further with him. It's ironic that the hacker appears to be anti-war - and he/they defaced a web site of a diocese that vehemently opposed the recent war in Iraq. It was stupid, tasteless vandalism. The diocese acted quickly to restore the site, but if the long arm of the law can reach the miscreant, he should do some time. The sad reality, however, is that the actual diocesan web site offers no more of an authentic Christian perspective than the hacked one. CarrieTomko@aol.com

PAPAL WORD TO THE JESUITS from a Zenit story from Steptember 22: Addressing the Jesuits who have gathered to decide if they will convoke a new general congregation, the order's highest convocation, and to review the role of the Society, the Holy Father said: "This is an opportune occasion to better discover, starting from its origins, the charism that joins you intimately to the See of Peter." "St. Ignatius' inspiration to foster 'greater devotion to obedience of the Apostolic See' retains its full value at the beginning of this third millennium," he added. And the sooner they get back to Job 1, the better. But what are the consequences if they do not get back to Job 1? If there are no consequences...? CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHERE IS THE CHURCH GOING SPIRITUALLY? I ask that question when I look at a resource list such as the following one. It belongs to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Minn. Here is their parish website. And here is the resource list in their website, which contains these titles among others: Chalice & the Blade, The Eisler, Riane Science / Social Science Catholic Social Teaching 1891 � Present Curran, Charles E. Catholicism Building the Earth de Chardin, Pierre Teilhard Stewardship Birth of Christianity, The: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus Crossan, John Dominic Church History Becoming Partners: Marriage and Its Alternatives Rogers, Carl R. Psychology Appearance of Man, The de Chardin, Pierre Teilhard Science / Social Science Ageless Body, Timeless Mind Chopra, Deepak Science / Social Science Consciousness: The Bridge Between Science and Spirit Russell, Peter Videotapes � Educational Community of the Beloved Disciple, The Brown, Raymond E. Scripture Consciousness Revolution, The, A Transatlantic Dialogue (2) Russell, Peter, with Ervin Laszlo & Stanislav Grof Spirituality Creative Mythology: The Masks of God (2) Campbell, Joseph World Religions Divine Milieu, The (2) de Chardin, Pierre Teilhard Spirituality Dreams Jung, C.G. Psychology From Science to God Russell, Peter Science / Social Science Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition Bateson, Mary Catherine Science / Social Science Future of Man, The de Chardin, Pierre Teilhard Theology � � � Gaia & God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing Ruether, Rosemary Radford Stewardship Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition Bateson, Mary Catherine Science / Social Science Future of Man, The de Chardin, Pierre Teilhard Theology � � � Gaia & God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing Ruether, Rosemary Radford Stewardship Good News According to Luke, The Rohr, Richard Scripture Heart of the Enlightened, The: A Book of Story-Meditations de Mello, SJ, Anthony Stories Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography Crossan, John Dominic Theology Jesus: Miriam�s Child, Sophia�s prophet: critical issues in feminist Christology Fiorenza, Elisabeth Schussler Gender Studies Now if those titles were in there because the church was using them as examples of what not to believe, I'd say "good job"! But what if that isn't the reason they are in there...? But why do I have a problem with them, you may ask. Well-- Raine Eisler's The Chalice and the Blade is reviewed here at Amazon. Take a look at the customer reviews. Charles Curran and Teilhard are self-explanatory. John Dominic Crossan, a Catholic and member of the Jesus Seminar. Carl Rogers, the downfall of IHM sisters. Depak Chopra and Stanislaw Grof, a well-established New Age author. Peter Russell, member of Club of Budapest which is associated with the Theosophical Lucis Trust, and Ervin Laszlo, founder of Club of Budapest. Ray Brown, controversial theologian. Mary Catherine Bateson, member Lindisfarne Associates which promotes Gaia, as does Mary Radford Reuther, a dissenting Catholic. Richard Rohr, a dissenting Catholic theologian. Elizabeth Schussler, dissenting Catholic feminist. And I only got through the titles beginning with "A" - "J". Where is their bishop? CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

A FUNNY STORY BEFORE I GET BACK TO RUDOLF STEINER This comes from Family magazine, a publication of Focus on the Family. The scene: An elderly lady was sitting by the aisle in the front pew. Behind her, a gentleman with a poorly fitting hairpiece. Behind him, a young woman battling a cold. The pastor was well into his message, when the lady in row three exploded an enormous sneeze. The man in front of her jumped up in surprise, causing his hairpiece to catapult over Granny's head and land squarely in her lap. Her screams of "It's a squirrel!" caused the entire congregation to erupt in laughter. --Virginia Olive, Cochrane, Alberta CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE TEMPLE LEGEND: FREEMASONRY & RELATED OCCULT MOVEMENTS by Rudolf Steiner Lecture 18 "Freemasonry and Human Evolution II" (Only for women) Berlin 23rd October 1905 An example of anti-Catholicism in Theosophy: Quote: When the Old Testament began to gain power through the priests, a tremendous opposition to this priestly book arose in the Freemasonry brotherhoods, for a particular reason. To be sure, this opposition has always been there, and it was necessary. p. 248 Steiner describes cultural epochs, or "Root Race" of which there have been five. Quote: Lemurian Root Race [the third Race], when humanity was still of one sex only, and then became two-sexed.... Fifth Root Race: Division of spiritual evolution into male and female spirit, into Jehovah worship, or priesthood, and Freemasonry. p. 249 He says much more on the topic which I will skip for now. As is known, the man {Adam--ct} having two sexes was forbidden to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. The power with which Jehovah had invested mankind was: to make his wisdom work in the woman. 'Thou shalt not eat of the Tree of Knowledge' means the same as 'Thou shalt not separate off the force of fertilisation and make it independent.' For Jehovah's power, the fertilising power, would thereby be lost to the woman. When woman ate from the Tree of Knowledge, she thereby laid the basis for becoming independent in respect of wisdom, thereby ceasing to remain a mere tool of Jehovah as he had planned. But thus she lost, along with Jehovah's power, the power to fertilise herself through wisdom as well. By eating [from the Tree of Knowledge] and giving the apple to man, she wiped this power out. Thus woman became dependent on man. It was Lucifer who led mankind along this path in order to make him independent. Jehovah was against this, and forbade man to eat from the Tree of Knowledge for that reason. However the woman did eat and gave to the man. The man ate too, so that the punishment decreed by Jehovah ensued. New bodies have to come into existence, which will work out the Karma of previous existence; death and [re-]birth come into the world. Woman is now no longer fertile through herself, but has become barren. And with fertilisation coming from outside, the possibility of this kind of death enters the world. p. 252 Why men and women do not meet together in the lodge: This battle against the wisdom of the priests expressed the opposition of the Freemasons. Those who took part in it had to be kept free of every influence of the female wisdom. This battle was concerned with physical evolution, and it was therefore necessary for the Freemasons to avoid any contact with the female sex as far as their work {in the lodge--ct} was concerned. They knew that their opposition to the female spirit could only be carried through if they were undisturbed by female thinking... Freemasonry thus created the Temple Legend as an answer to the Bible Legend. This was to be the sword of battle against the priesthood. p. 254-255 Forces also existed which wanted to reconquer the world for the ancient priestly wisdom; an Order was thus founded with the aim of winning the earth back for the old priestly wisdom. This Order [the Jesuit Order] chose the ideal male in contrast to the Cult of Mary. It used occult powers to erect something like a dam to hold back the whole stream of independent life, and to conserve what seeks to cling to the Cross. It championed the male principle, the Cross by itself, without the roses. However another Order added roses to the Cross, and new life sprang out of them...These are the Rosicrucians. The theosophical movement grew out of this current; it springs from the newly flourishing scion of the rose, which must mature in the future.... Our task is to bridge the gulf between the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians. p. 263 CarrieTomko@aol.com

COMMUNION CONTROVERSY SOLVED April 29, 2003 entry at St. Jerome's Library News. (scroll down) I don't know who wrote it. Fr. Wilson sent it to his mailing list, and a reader forwarded it to me. This is not to be missed if you want a good laugh. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ELECTRONIC PAPER TECHNOLOGY may provide us with walking movies on the backs of the people in front of us? Ananova has a story about an emergent paper technology that will make this possible: A new electronic colour paper capable of showing moving pictures could give rise to "cinematic suits". Scientists in the Netherlands have developed a thin flexible display that switches rapidly from one colour to the next. It operates fast enough to make moving images possible, setting it apart from previous electronic paper technology. The system works at low voltages and could have a wide range of applications, say the researchers. One future possibility might be clothing or wearable devices that can show movies. Imagine the affect of wearing Mel Gibson's Passion to the next abortion facility prayer vigil. Just so they don't put it into raincoats! CarrieTomko@aol.com

CATHOLIC CORNELL STUDENTS AND DANIEL BARRIGAN an update on the exploits of an opponent of the Viet Nam draft, thanks to a reader's email. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BERNARDIN'S BOYS OR "THE BOYS CLUB" An article from International News Analysis - Today discusses the clergy abuse scandal. This is probably old news for some of you, but I'm posting it here because of my topic of the occult. I'm surprised more stories like this have not come out. From the website: According to the information obtained from the girlfriend, Pellegrini had a homosexual relationship with one of the priests involved in The Boys' Club, but was in the process of leaving the priest-lover and marrying her. Before completely severing ties with the priest, however, Pellegrini discovered that The Boys' Club was involved with far more than homosexual relations. Tied closely with their sexual exploits was ritualistic satanic worship and the regular abuse of young children from low income, ethnic families. Pellegrini informed the Chicago Archdiocesan Chancery, and scheduled a meeting with one of the Archdiocese's top officials. The day before the meeting, Pellegrini was brutally murdered in his home, which showed no signs of forced entry.... The full extent of The Boys' Club influence in Chicago - and beyond - still remains unclear, as does the extent of ritual abuse associated with clerical assaults on children.There is however, ample evidence that ritual abuse does occur, and is most obvious in the case of "Agnes. "In the opening pages of his best-selling book, Windswept House (Doubleday), Fr. Malachi Martin describes a satanic ritual carried out on a young girl. Although Martin used a degree of literary license in the description of the event, there is a real individual behind the story, and an actual instance of satanic abuse. "Agnes," a pseudonym for her actual name, met Fr. Charles Fiore some years ago, for assistance with spiritual guidance and counseling for the long term effects of cult abuse she suffered at age eleven. "Agnes" has consented to and passed several polygraph (lie detector) examinations, and is now married with a family in a southern city. "Agnes" has made her accusations in sworn affidavits, written statements to Vatican officials, and has directly confronted those whom she has accused. Among those "Agnes" has implicated in the attack upon her was a young, rapidly advancing priest named Joseph Bernardin. "Agnes" states that in the fall of 1957, in Greenville South Carolina, with her father present, Bishop John Russell of the Charleston Archdiocese and his chancellor, Bernardin, raped her as part of a Satanic ritual, which included, as a RCF report stated, "a perverted, sacrilegious use of a [consecrated] host." According to Catholic teaching, a consecrated host is the true and total body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. "Agnes" also became acquainted with Steven Cook, another individual who accused Bernardin of abuse. Cook accused Bernardin of coercing him into homosexual acts while he was a seminarian and Bernardin was archbishop in Cincinnati, Ohio. While the media have consistently reported that Cook "recanted" his accusation against Bernardin, Cook, who was dying of AIDS, simply stated that he could "no longer trust his memory." CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

CROSSING OVER: SIGNS FROM THE 'OTHER SIDE' an article from Southern Cross, a paper from the Diocese of South Africa, discusses the New Age phenomenon, giving the authentic Catholic perspective. Some excerpts: Noted biblical scholar and expert on Church doctrine Fr Harrie Hovers of St Michael�s parish in Rondebosch, Cape Town agrees that many individuals are receptive to paranormal or supernatural phenomena, although they do have an obligation to harness these gifts in a way that is not offensive to Church teaching.He mentioned the great saints, such as St Teresa of Avila and the recently canonised St Pio of Pietrelcina (the Capuchin stigmatist Padre Pio), who had an extraordinary ability to convey to people what God desired of them�mediated, of course, by the Church�especially since it led them to an increase in holiness, which in turn led them to God�s truth. It may well be possible to engage with the spirit world, Fr Hovers said, but the Church has warned that there are dangers associated with this activity. "It is possible, for instance, that the spirits communicated with may well have evil origins." CarrieTomko@aol.com

LORD HAVE MERCY! From the January 2002 issue of Christian Order: Ecclesiastical Freemasonry Episcopal dissidence of this sort may not always produce a Reg Cawcutt or a Daniel Ryan - who couldn't lie straight in bed - but it is the first sign of a bankrupt spirituality. And it is because dissent from on high has been tolerated by Rome for so long that corruption has deepened and broadened. This passivity in response to the chaos, allied with the mixed-messages and contradictions pouring out of Rome for several decades, is clearly rooted in fluctuating power-plays within the curia, about which outsiders can only speculate. It appears, however, that the Modernist likes of Cardinal Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Re, Prefect of the Congegation for Bishops, may currently hold the upper-hand over Catholic Cardinals like Ratzinger and Hoyos. The interlocking influence of the homosexual network and ecclesiastical Freemasonry is never far from such speculation and, certainly, Bishop Daniel Ryan is not the first clerical deviant who seems to have had someone fighting his corner both at home and at Headquarters. After what they had endured for 15 years, who could blame the Catholics of Springfield for drawing their own conclusions when the first act of Ryan's successor, Bishop Lucas, straight after his installation, was to hold a reception at the local Masonic Temple. Suspicions heightened after a subsequent meeting between Stephen Brady and the Bishop, where Brady asked him why he would not end the liturgical abuses which had become commonplace in the diocese under his predecessor. Bishop Lucas replied: "I choose not to." This issue of Christian Order carries an article that provides an insight into the apparently baffling phenomenon of ecclesiastical Freemasonry in the Vatican. But what of England and Wales? One can only say that anecdotal evidence of deep-rooted clerical Masonry here is compelling. I am aware of a senior priest of the Westminster diocese who has been approached more than once about joining the Brotherhood by Lodge members who take ecclesiastical Freemasons for granted. I know, too, of at least one parish priest recently forced to receive into the Church a known Mason - a friend of the bishop - following severe pressure from diocesan curial officials. Which is not to say that the bishop concerned is necessarily a 'paid up' member of the Lodge. But at the very least it is indicative of the complicitous and corrupting mindset presently overseeing Catholic faith and praxis in these Isles. There is more at the link, including: Closer to home, the consecration last month of England's Bishop Peter Smith as Archbishop of Cardiff is the latest glaring example of Vatican contradiction in this country. "I am an orthodox Catholic believer and a bishop," stated Bishop Smith on his elevation. Well, he is a bishop. Beyond that, however, he is plainly deluding himself. His track record of not only failing to defend orthodoxy but publicly supporting purveyors of heresy and heterodoxy has been made well known to the powers in Rome, who themselves forcibly intervened to correct him on one occasion. Then again, Archbishop Smith's appointment is only the latest in an endless line of similarly dismal decisions in this country. The Protestantised state of disrepair in which Cormac Murphy O'Connor left his former diocese of Arundel and Brighton and the undermining of basic tenets of Catholic doctrine during the ARCIC talks he oversaw - which the Vatican itself was required to point out and correct at length - hardly constitutes a record worthy of promotion to Westminster. Yet for his woeful efforts, not to mention his repeated acts of negligence in the Fr. Michael Hill paedophile scandal, which should have earned him at the very least a token suspended sentence (like that recently handed out in France to the Bishop of Lisieux for similar complicity), he was further rewarded with a red hat. What on earth has the Pope been doing? He certainly hasn't been shepherding the flock! Why? CarrieTomko@aol.com

UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD is the chief work of the Theosophical Society, according to this timeline from the Society (see entry for 1900). Blavatsky saw the Jesuits, the Roman Catholic Church, as the obstacle which prevented this Universal Brotherhood from becoming a reality. Her hatred of Catholicism and the Jesuits in particular is evident in her book The Secret Doctrine. One example of this hatred appears in Volume II, p. 475, Section A. "The Evil Spirit: Who, and What?", which opens with: Our present quarrel is exclusively with theology. The Church enforces belief in a personal god and a personal devil, while Occultism shows the fallacy of such a belief. Near the bottom of the page she says: If our modern philosophers--preceded by the mediaeval scholars--have helped themselves to more than one fundamental idea of antiquity, theologians have built their God and his Archangels, their Satan and his Angels, along with the Logos and his staff, entirely out of the dramatis personae of the old heathen Pantheons. And on the following page: When the good St. Augustine and the fiery Tertullian called the Devil "the monkey of God," this could be attributed to the ignorance of the age they lived in. It is more difficult to excuse our modern writers on the same ground. The translation of Mazdean literature has afforded to the Roman Catholic writers the pretext for proving their point in the same direction once more. They have taken advantage of the dual nature of Ahura Mazda in the Zend Avesta and the Vendidad, and of his Amshaspends, to emphasize still further their wild theories. Satan is the plagarist and the copyist by anticipation of the religion which came ages later. This was one of the master strokes of the Latin Church, its best trump-card after the appearance of Spiritualism in Europe. Though only a succes d'estime, in general, even among those who are not interested in either Theosophy or Spiritualism, yet the weapon is often used by the Christian (Roman Catholic) Kabalists against the Eastern Occultists. Steiner was somewhat less vindictive toward Catholicism. Instead, his method of attack was to use and pervert Catholic language. Both Blavatsky and Steiner opposed the Jesuit order in particular. Here is the perception of Vatican II from the pov of a Theosophist: Perhaps nothing is more indicative of the onset in 1879 (or thereabouts) of the new age of the Archangel Michael than the difference in nature and consequence between Vatican I (1869-1870) and Vatican II (1962-1965). During the life of Rudolf Steiner it would have been hard to imagine greater mutual antagonism than existed between his anthroposophy and the Jesuits. Yet Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), only twenty years Steiner's junior and ordained a Jesuit priest in 1911, began his paleontological missions to China in 1923 that led eventually to his magnificent The Phenomenon of Man (PHEN). The three quotes from it in the "Evolution" essay above splendidly articulate anthroposophical principles. It is no surprise that his superiors not only frustrated his own teaching efforts but prohibited his publication of this priceless work. He could only avoid violating his vow of obedience by arranging for its posthumous publication in 1955. He was followed by another freethinking Jesuit priest, Karl Rahner (1904-1984). Since Vatican II, a new spirit of ecumenism in biblical study and outreach seems clearly to be emanating from a significant segment of Roman Catholicism. It has been matched in this impulse by a significant segment of Protestantism, and both have opened active dialogue with other religions in recognition of the common bond of all human beings.8 CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, September 22, 2003

LIBERAL CATHOLIC PROTESTING Conservative Catholics, remember all of those times when you told a liberally minded parishioner that you were so offended by what happened in the service that you felt like walking out? Remember what the liberal always said...something to the effect that it would be rude to walk out. That you would offend God if you walked out. That it was totally unacceptable to walk out no matter how upset the goings on during Mass made you? Something along those guilt tripping by-ways. Well, it seems that the liberals forget very quickly their concern about walking out when something displeases them about the Mass. Read the story for yourself, here. So much for the liberal high ground. How quickly they fall when they're not getting everything their way. Ironically, the priest is a neo-catechumenal. They've just earned some points. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE NEW RELIGION American monument destroyed when it represents religion...erected (no pun intended) when it represents sexuality. This is no monument to heroism. This is a monument to sin. The new American religion. Here's an ironical juxtaposition that hardly anyone is reporting. Even as Alabama gives a monument to the Ten Commandments the boot, California is showing off an exclusionary and divisive new monument to homosexual and "transgender" war veterans. Homosexual activists are celebrating Tuesday's unveiling of a foot-long marker "In Honor of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Veterans Killed in Action" at Capitol Park in Sacramento, the first of its kind in the nation. Foot long, huh. My, my... Would that be measured from the ground up? If these folks want exclusive recognition, how about putting all of them into their own special brigade. Call it the GLBT Company of Sodomite Patriots. While they are so busy concentrating on making sure that no one mistake them for a normally oriented man or woman, an enemy soldier who is more interested in shooting the foe than wondering who he goes to bed with might just get the advantage of them. Making more heroes for the monument, I guess. CarrieTomko@aol.com

LAY EXORCISM Does it work, or is it a temporary fix? Does the Rite of Exorcism provoke manifestations, or are the manifestations an integral part of deliverance? Does this charismatic approach begin to explain why the Rite of Exorcism has been changed to a formula that Fr. Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of Rome, has indicated will not work? CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE POPE IN SLOVAKIA beatified two martyrs whose stories are told by John Allen in his most recent column. He tells another story about Catholics in Slovakia who might better be left unmentioned. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BACK TO RUDOLF STEINER (The Temple Legend: Freemasonry & Related Occult Movements by Rudolf Steiner, London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1985 -- for anyone who is new to this forum) Some quotes from Lecture 16, "The Relationship of Occultism to the Theosophical Movement", Given at the conclusion of the General Meeting of the German Section of the Theosoophical Society) Berlin, 22nd October 1905: Occult brotherhoods are the guiding brotherhoods of mankind. They have the task of preparing the things of the future. Everything which is to happen in the future is indeed preparing itself now, is finding its expression now, as an idea, as a plan, and will then be realised in the future. p. 214 ...a person begins to understand that in nature there are higher forces than thought, that there is something outside of him, which cannot be expressed in contemporary thought.... When the pupil is this far, he can learn now in another way than has hitherto been possible for him. He thereby experiences something very special. A spiritual being confronts him in the supersensible world: he meets that individuality with whom he was once, formerly, very close. It is a great and significant mystery, when particular stages of our existence recapitulate themselves. We rise consciously from Manas to the higher forces; we once descended from spiritual worlds, and at that time this same being implanted something in us, whom we now meet again at the level corresponding to that point in the past at which he was with us. It is the teacher, the so-called guru.... And if we descend still further we meet with the spirits who shared in our creation aeons ago. We meet with the Twelve Spirits: the Spirits of Will, the Spirits of Wisdom, the Spirits of Form, the Spirits of Movement, the Spirits of Personality or of Egoism, the Spirits of Warmth or Fire, the Spirits of Dusk or Twilight, and so on. All of this offers itself to our spiritual sense through this descent into the universe, through this pilgrimage. And this alone makes it possible for us to gaze into the future, makes it possible to anticipate what 'shortly' - as the writer of the Apocalypse puts it - will happen. That is the task of occultism....There are movements in plenty which are idealistic, which are ethical. But the movement called theosophy distinguishes itself from the others, in that occultism consciously comes to expression in this movement. With that, the connection between occultism and theosophy is made clear. The Theosophical Society can never want to be an occult brotherhood. What must give it the strength to fulfil its task, what must give it life, can only be the things that emanate from occultism. Therefore the Theosophical Society will thrive if the cultivation of occult teaching and occult life is understood. That is still not a demand that the members themselves should be occultists. But if the Theosophical Society were to forget that this blood pulses in it, then it might remain an interesting society, but what was intended for it by the sublime powers who assisted at its birth would not be achieved. Whoever understands this will never want to take away the Theosophical Society's occult character.... When one talks about the outward Theosophical Society, one must never, however, even mention the occult personalities who stood over its inception.... When it concerns the propagation of occult life, it is the Masters who speak. When it only concerns the organization of the Society then they leave it to those who are lving on the physical plane. That is the distinction between the occult current and the framework of the theosophical organisation. p. 228-230 Channeling? Sounds like it to me. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, September 21, 2003

GIRM Some of you hang around the blogs and may have seen Amy Welborn's blog on the GIRM changes in the Cleveland Diocese as they were discussed by a reporter. It caused rather a flak apparently, because Bishop Pilla has issued a multi-part instruction to be included in parish bulletins to clarify the teaching, and Father indicated this resulted from misinformation spread by a reporter. No. 1 was in today's bulletin. It's written by Rev. J-Glenn Murray, SJ. The opening paragraphs following a quote from GIRM, under the heading "What is Liturgy?" describe the nature of liturgy, saying in part: There is nothing that we do that is more important. It is no wonder, then, that the Church guards so great a treasure--an experience with the Living God whom we glorify while the LORD comes to save and set us free in his sacrificial meal, made real and present by the power of the Holy Spirit. So is "sacrificial meal" the terminology that has replaced "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass"? At least in this instruction it seems to be. It conveniently avoids that bloody experience on the cross and concentrates on the satisfaction of human desires, namely eating. But hey, it could be worse. The word "sacrifice" wasn't completely eliminated. He goes on to describe the nature of GIRM as an instruction on the Sacramentary, and then goes on to quote Sister Joyce Ann Zimmerman, CPPS saying: We've all had this experience: we buy a new phone or computer or whatever, and the first thing we look for when we open the box is the instruction book. I guess I must be odd. When I buy a phone or a computer or whatever, the first thing I look for is something familiar. We bought a new phone recently. I took it out of the box, looked for the little plug for the jack, the little plug for the answering machine, the box that plugs into the wall socket. And I started plugging stuff in. Because it was familiar, I knew where things belonged. It had a couple of new features, and when I couldn't figure out how they worked, I glanced at the instructions, but for the most part it works like the old phone. Which is exactly what I expected it to do. Had it not worked like the old phone, I would have been much more likely to box it back up and take it back to the store. I have very little patience for relearning new technology on a daily basis. And I tend to buy familiar things so I don't have to. Now comes Sr. Zimmerman to tell me that I'm supposed to look to the instruction book to understand how to attend Mass. I've been attending every Sunday and a lot of weekdays for my entire life. I don't want to resort to an instruction book to find out how to attend Mass next Sunday. In the past when the changes came Sunday after Sunday, I got mighty upset with the Mass and the Church and even with God. So this is not a good way to hook me in to her point of view. But she tells me that GIRM is supposed to help us to ...function as better, more committed Christians. So if I do it her way I get an "atta girl" from the man upstairs? But she goes on to say: Its purpose, then, isn't to lock us into a kind of check-off list for doing Mass or to bind us by so many rules and regulations that we can't celebrate Mass in a prayerful way but rather feel we are caught up in "getting it right" Ok, I'm trying to give her the benefit of a doubt. Maybe she really does get out the instruction book first when she brings home a new phone. We are all wired differently after all. The teaching goes on to explain that there are 399 paragraphs in the GIRM, "26 are clarifications, 10 are options, and 8 are new changes. Of these, only four (4) directly effect the actions of the entire liturgical assembly." It lists these four, ending with: 4) Each communicant should bow his or her head before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ (GIRM 160). Father has been working on this for the last few weeks, putting announcements in the bulletin and talking about it from the pulpit. A few of us have been bowing from the waist, including one of the EMs. A couple of people have attempted to bow their heads but it turns into a 3/4 bow because they don't have time to completely finish bringing their head up before looking back down at the Host being placed in their hand. It's a little glitch in this procedure that has been overlooked. Or was the idea to make this gesture as insignificant as possible? Anyway, what I find interesting is the actions of the EMs up on the altar when they receive. Some of them bow from the waist as I said, some of them attempt to bow their heads and it doesn't work out very well, and some of them just skip it altogether. Wouldn't you think they should be setting the example? So I've watched the congregation. The congregation is not getting it. At least very few seem to have figured out how to accomplish this bow of the head in a way that is recognizable. Or else they are simply not doing it. One or two still genuflect. It's going to take some time for this to catch on. CarrieTomko@aol.com

DO WE KNOW WHAT WE'RE DOING IN THE MID-EAST? Lee Penn emailed this story implicating some members of Congress in a scheme to promote WWIV. What I want to know is just how much sympathy the Holocaust can continue to generate even if the Israelis are in fact war mongers? From the website: The root of the Middle Eastern problem is Israel�s uncanny ability to manipulate American public opinion and US foreign policy. This unique power means Israel doesn�t have to compromise. Instead, the Israelis escalate and involve us ever more deeply and one-sidedly in their disputes with Arabs. Do we believe that Israel can do no wrong and that it is not pc to challenge them on any policy, or do we judge the Israeli government by the same criteria that we use to judge Iraq or Iran? CarrieTomko@aol.com

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