Saturday, October 11, 2003

OF SYMBOLS AND STEEPLES AND DOUBLE ENTENDRE HEADLINES in Cape Town. And they don't even tell us the denomination. I bet it's Episco...uhm, Anglican! CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE STATE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AMERICA from the NCR perspective: The consequence of the attitude of the laity has been a de facto loosening of ties with Rome. This tendency was given a turbocharge by the crisis. A poll last May in The Boston Globe found that 39 percent of Catholics in the Boston area would support the creation of an American Catholic church independent of the Vatican. The news is actually worse, because among Catholics ages 18-39, the proposal for cutting ties with Rome rises to 50.9 percent. Granted that attitudes in Boston are undoubtedly sharper than elsewhere, this finding nevertheless has to be alarming for anyone concerned with the communion that should exist between American Catholicism and the universal church, as embodied by the Holy See. To be clear, a schism in American Catholicism is improbable. Church history suggests that formal schisms are triggered by bishops, and there is no bishop prepared to lead American Catholics in rebellion against the Vatican. There is no Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre of the Catholic reform movement in the United States. But if present antagonisms fester, what may result is a body of American Catholics more and more hostile to any exercise of authority from Rome, and an administration in Rome increasingly irritated with American exceptionalism and assertiveness. The ground is being prepared for a cycle of recrimination and misunderstanding that could last a generation, producing a sort of undeclared rupture such as the Catholic world has already seen in Holland, Germany and Austria. If John Paul has unquestionably been a terrific pope for Eastern Europe, the Middle East and much of the developing world, his accomplishments in Europe and North America are far more in question. Women, theologians, lay ministers, educators, overworked rank-and-file clergy and moderate-to-progressive bishops are among the constituencies in American Catholicism that have tales of woe to tell of their experience of the last 25 years. These are not loose cannons on the ecclesiastical avant-garde, but the very heart of the American church. They are the ones who, week in and week out, do the work of the church. If their alienation grows, the church will have a problem that goes well beyond the bounds of local ecclesial politics. It does seem that John Paul II has managed to alienate everybody who claims affiliation in the Catholic Church in America. Neither side thinks he has governed the Church. I found it ironic that after expounding on the defection from the hierarchy that is taking place, NCR then assures there will be no schism because schisms are led by bishops. Excuse me...?? CarrieTomko@aol.com

FOR CALIFORNIA READERS ONLY Mark Fiore has a message for you now that you've committed the ultimate mortal sin condemning California to the bottom of hell and the Village Voice state list. Enjoy the heat and keep the fan running. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ODE TO ST. CONFUSION from the Village Voice. I think Lori Cole started sampling monastic "grace" a bit too early! CarrieTomko@aol.com

RETURNING FROM PLANET ZIRCON Fr. Wilson provided a return ticket to Earth in the CWN blog passed along to me by a reader. Here is Father's version of the priest's story which makes a lot more sense than that in the news media. Still, it challenges credulity to realize that these men make it through the formation process. But then, a lot of what has passed through the formation process in recent years has been incomprehensible. As a parent, I have to wonder what sort of logic brings those in charge to conclude that a priest who will stress out "normal" priests who have to live with him, is a suitable candidate to teach high school. Adolescents eat, sleep and breathe stress. And pass it around at school and at home. About the last thing they need is a teacher missing some books in the library. It sounds like a volatile combination--stressed students in a classroom with a priest-stressor. And maybe that's the reason he was asked to retire? He had guns in his apartment. Presumably they were working guns and not collector's items? Did he intend to use them? To take them to the school and use them? Clearly revenge was a motivator for him, and the school was the object of his wrath. It sounds to me like a tragedy was averted here in just the nick of time. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, October 10, 2003

EUGENICS makes the news because of a New York Times Ad for Designer Babies: Over the past few months, the New York Times has repeatedly printed advertisements for the Genetics and IVF Institute (GIVF), a Virginia-based clinic that promises parents the ability to choose the sex of their babies. This marks the first time that a eugenics procedure has been marketed openly in a mainstream American publication. GIVF claims that its sperm-sorting sex-selection technique, called Microsort, is currently offered for two reasons, as a method of "balancing" the composition of a family's offspring, as well as to avoid conceiving babies with gender-linked diseases. GIVF charges $2,300 for its services. However, some observers worry that the advertisements signal an increasingly widespread acceptance of eugenics, of efforts to improve the human race through breeding and genetic manipulation. In this regard, GIVF's Web site also allows customers to shop for human eggs based upon race, eye and hair color, and education level of the donors, raising the prospect of a future of "designer babies." A priest who collects Nazi memoribilia and eugenics in the news all in the same evening. Sigh. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ANOTHER BLACKOUT This time in the Czech Republic. Curious. I don't think it's coincidental. CarrieTomko@aol.com

DID I WAKE UP ON PLANET ZIRKON? This is one of those stories you read and do a double take. Like maybe there is a new religion that has "priests" who worship frogs or something. That it can't be a story about a CATHOLIC priest...no really it just can't! Sort of like your children can't pop out having ears like a mule or cat whiskers where dimples are supposed to be. A Queens priest has been arrested for allegedly harassing staff at a Catholic school. When police went to the Reverend John Johnston's apartment they found an unlicensed pistol in his Queens home, along with thousands of dollars that allegedly were stolen from collection plates, as well as Nazi material and gay pornagraphy. The Reverend Johnston will be arraigned in Queens on charges of aggravated harassment, weapon possession and possession of stolen property. I can handle the stolen cash. That seems to be within the realm of possibility. And even the gay porn is something I've learned to take in stride even when I don't like it. But the gun? And Nazi material? What was he doing with those? It doesn't help much to realize that the articles I've been reading recently place occult doings and Nazi doings together. And it doesn't help much to realize that the upper degrees in some occult groups are homosexual acts. Which leaves the gun. I don't want to know what he planned to do with the gun....or maybe I do want to know... Another story about this priest indicates he had not one but three guns, that he made harrassing phone calls to the school as an act of revenge. That he is a former teacher. One wonders what he taught his students besides the english language? CarrieTomko@aol.com

EPISCOPAL RIFT GROWS WIDER WITH JECKO'S DECISION From the Herald Tribune: The bishop for the Episcopalian Diocese of Florida, in a scathing letter to Episcopalian leader Bishop Frank Griswold, rescheduled a consecration Griswold planned to attend and made it known his presence would make the event "a media circus." Bishop Stephen H. Jecko read the letter Thursday at a national meeting of conservative Episcopalians in Dallas concerned over the denomination's growing acceptance of gays. Griswold was due to speak at the Nov. 1 consecration of the Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard as the Jacksonville-area bishop coadjutor. Griswold has said Biblical Scripture does not condemn gay relationships and the denomination's leader plans to consecrate an openly gay cleric, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop coadjutor of New Hampshire on Nov. 2. "We refuse to allow this event to become a media circus, back-to-back with New Hampshire," Jecko said in the letter. John Paul II has stepped into the Episcopal divide with comments issued in a letter to orthodox Episcopalians: Amid increasing moves toward schism, a conference of conservative Episcopalians opposing their church hierarchy for approving a homosexual bishop received a letter of encouragement from Pope John Paul II. The unprecedented move by the Catholic pontiff, bypassing the Episcopal Church hierarchy, is regarded by some as a rebuke of Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and 70 other bishops who voted earlier this summer to make Rev. Gene Robinson bishop of New Hampshire. The letter was read at a national gathering of conservative Episcopalians who voted yesterday, overwhelmingly, to back a declaration repudiating the denomination's acceptance of homosexual behavior. The statement also called on Anglican leaders worldwide "to intervene in the Episcopal Church" at their emergency meeting next week. Cdl. Ratzinger delivered the message from Rome: The pope's letter, sent through Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was read aloud to the conference, sponsored by a church renewal group, the American Anglican Council. Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican's congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote on behalf of the pope, "I hasten to assure you of my heartfelt prayers for all those taking part in this convocation. The significance of your meeting is sensed far beyond Plano, and even in this city from which Saint Augustine of Canterbury was sent to confirm and strengthen the preaching of Christ's Gospel in England." The letter said, "The lives of these saints show us how in the Church of Christ there is a unity in truth and a communion of grace which transcend the borders of any nation. With this in mind, I pray in particular that God's will may be done by all those who seek that unity in the truth, the gift of Christ himself." Virtue commented: "The fact that the Vatican bypassed normal protocols which would have called for a communication to any Episcopalians to be delivered to the presiding bishop, is a message that cannot be missed." Conservatives are angry. They also are calling for a "realignment of Anglicanism in North America," allowing conservative congregations to cross diocesan boundaries and be placed under the care of likeminded bishops who uphold the church's traditional teaching. Will there be an Anglican Church opposed to an Episcopal Church in America in the future? Lesser concerns than this one have caused such a split in other denominations. Public rejection of the presence of the Presiding Bishop at an installation appears tantamount to a split to this outsider at any rate. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, October 09, 2003

OTTO RAHN AND THE HOLY GRAIL The last chapter in the first book of the Harry Potter series is a grail quest. The object is the philosophers' stone--the emerald tablet. This website goes into more detail about the grail quest and the Cathars (Albigensians) of France as the details were presented in the work of Otto Rahn. Yes, the same Otto Rahn of SS fame. It's no secret that the Nazis were involved with the occult, and that the Cathars were heretics. They considered themselves to be Christian. Rahn links them with the Druids. Steiner mentioned both the Cathars and the Holy Grail in his book on Freemasonry and occultism. This is Johannite Christianity, which from a Catholic perspective is the Albigensian Heresy. Interestingly enough, the temple inside the mountain described in this essay sounds very much like the Temple of Humankind in the Federation of Damanhur. From the website: Otto Rahn believed it was possible to trace the Cathars, who guarded the Holy Grail in their castle at Montsegur, back to Druids who converted to Gnostic Manichaeism. The Druids in Britain were forerunners of the Celtic Christian Church. He saw in the culture of the medieval Cathar stronghold of Languedoc strong resemblances to the Druids. Their priests akin to the Cathar Parfaits. The Cathar secret wisdom being preserved by the later Troubadours, the travelling poets and singers of the medieval courts of France. Most Troubadours, according to Rahn, were secret Cathars. Their apparent yearning and longing songs only seldom dedicated to a special woman, their feminine symbolism referred to the Cathar community, the Sophia, the Wisdom of the Gnostics. Julius Evola explains in The Mystery of the Grail: �To make this doctrine inaccessible to the profane, it is hidden in an erotic symbolism, similar to the Grail cycle where it is represented by a heroic symbolism.�... For Rahn the Holy Grail was an emblem set up in opposition to the Catholic Church � indeed it was a truly Luciferian [Light-Bearer] symbol. Lucifer stood in opposition to the god of Darkness, the god of the Church of Rome. Thus Otto Rahn wrote in his final book:�There is much more [Light] than in the houses of god � cathedrals and churches � where Lucifer neither is able nor wishes to enter due to all the sombre, stained glass windows whereon are painted the Jewish prophets and apostles, the Roman gods and saints. The forest, that, that was free!� During his time with the SS Rahn noticed that his telephone was tapped and that he was being spied upon.We know that Otto Rahn fell into disgrace with the Nazi hierarchy in late 1937 and for disciplinary reasons was assigned a tour of duty at the SS run Dachau concentration camp. In the winter of 1938/39 he wrote to the SS Reichsfuhrer requesting immediate dismissal from the SS. A few months later he was dead.Rumours abound concerning Otto Rahn�s departure from the Nazi SS. Some claim that he was a homosexual or of Jewish ancestry, but evidence is lacking. In a conversation Rahn claimed that he had been betrayed and that his life was in danger. In a letter to a friend he openly expressed his concern about the Third Reich:�I have much sorrow in my country. Fourteen days ago I was in Munich. Two days later I preferred to go into my mountains. Impossible for a tolerant, liberal man like me to live in the nation that my native country has become.� Col. Howard Buechner, the author of the Emerald Cup, says that Rahn �let it be known that he opposed the war for which Germany was obviously preparing in 1938. In place of war, he believed that Germany and then Europe, should be transformed into a community of �Pure Ones� or Cathars. In other words, Rahn�s long association with the history of the Cathars and their unjust persecution by the church and the throne of France, had led to his conversion to the Cathar faith. He was also proposing a �New Order� in which the states of Europe, and perhaps all other nations, would adopt the Cathar beliefs in the interest of world peace." The essay quotes Miguel Serrano's Nos: Book of the Resurrection: Quote: **�When we talk about the religion of love of the troubadours, of the initiated knights of the Grail, of the true Rosicrucians, we must try to discover what lies behind their language. In those days, love did not mean the same thing as it does in our day. The word Amor (Love) was a cipher, it was a code word. Amor spelt backwards is Roma. That is, the word indicated, in the way in which it was written, the opposite to Roma, to all that Rome represented. Also Amor broke down into �a� and �mor�, meaning Without-Death. That is, to become immortal, eternal, thanks to the way of initiation of A-Mor. A way of initiation totally opposed to the way of Rome. An esoteric, solar Kristianity. The Gnostic Kristianity of Meister Eckhart. And mine. Because I have tried to teach western man to resurrect Kristos in his soul. Because Kristos is the Self for western man.** This is "solar Christianity," the light--the cult of the Lightbearer. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CATHOLIC-EPISCOPAL PARISH IN VIRGINIA Yes, really. It's being discussed at EnvoyEncore. CarrieTomko@aol.com

HERMETICISM AND FANTASY LITERATURE "Hermetic Imagination: The Effect of the Golden Dawn on Fantasy Literature," a paper by Charles A. Coulombe which appeared in the proceedings of the Tolkien Centennial Conference 1992. The paper opens with a quotation from A. E. Waite, The Book of Ceremonial Magic: Beyond these fields and this borderland there lies the legendary wonder-world of theurgy, so called, of Magic and Sorcery, a world of fascination or terror, as the mind which regards it is tempered, but in any case the antithesis of admitted possibility. There all paradoxes seem to obtain actually, contradictions coexist logically, the effect is greater than the cause and the shadow more than the substance. Therein the visible melts into the unseen, the invisible is manifested openly, motion from place to place is accomplished without traversing the intervening distance, matter passes through matter. There two straight lines may enclose a space; space has a fourth dimension, and untrodden fields beyond it; without metaphor and without evasion, the circle is mathematically squared. There life is prolonged, youth renewed, physical immortality secured. There earth becomes gold, and gold earth. There words and wishes possess creative power, thoughts are things, desire realises its object. There, also, the dead live and the hierarchies of extra-mundane intelligence are within easy communication, and become ministers or tormentors, guides or destroyers of man. There the Law of Continuity is suspended by the interference of the higher Law of Fantasia. (A.E. Waite, The Book of Ceremonial Magic, University Books, NY 1961, pp. 3-4) Coulombe is a Catholic, but the bibliography is sure no list of Catholic sources! I see that one was published by Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul. Specifically, The Golden Dawn: An Account of the Teachings, Rites and Ceremonies by Israel Regardie. A list of Llewellyn Publications' latest releases gives a good idea of what they are interested in. Is there something in the water or the air in Minneapolis-St. Paul? The publishing house was founded by astrologer Llewellyn George. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FR. RENE M. KOLLAR O.S.B. a monk at Saint Vincent Archabbey, wrote a book titled Searching for Raytmond which was released in 2001. From the website: Quote: The title of Fr. Rene's book is taken from a book published in 1916 by Sir Oliver Lodge, whose son, Raymond, was killed on September 14, 1915, in the Ypres campaign of World War I. "Prior to this tragedy," Fr. Rene writes, "Sir Oliver, a leading figure in the Society for Psychical Research, had already become well acquainted with several mediums, and after he received the sad news from the front, some of them began to claim that they had already established contact with the dead son. Skeptical at first, both Lord and Lady Lodge eventually became believers after several sittings with a professional medium." The Lodge book had a tremendous impact, and large numbers of Britons began turning to Spiritualism for answers and consolation due to the tremendous loss of life in the war. British deaths alone are estimated at 772,000, Fr. Rene writes."The number of people killed in the war was phenomenal," Fr. Rene said. "Entire neighborhoods got wiped out, colleges were decimated." He explained that the Anglicans had a difficult time coping with all the deaths. The Anglican Church attempted to help its members deal with the deaths, but Spiritualism seemed to fill the void left by their loved ones. People felt comforted by the fact that they could "talk" to their deceased loved ones and receive "messages" from them through mediums or spiritualists. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

TIME TRAVEL A book by Fr. Francois Burne called The Vatican's New Mystery, released in February 2002, has kept me busy on the web today. Frankly, I can't decide what to make of it. Is it true or is someone trying to pass off a joke in poor taste. The website shows a picture of the December 2002 Fortean Times magazine cover depicting the Pope burning a picture. I can't find another website offering this cover art. Is that the Pope or a good fraud? In any case the book is about a Benedictine monk, Fr. Pellegrino Ernetti. It doesn't take long on the web to turn up the Montauk Project, Enrico Fermi and Wernher von Braun in relation to Ernetti's supposed invention. Blavatsky, Steiner, and Edgar Cayce turn up as well. If this is not a fantastic hoax, there is really something very strange going on in Rome. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

CHRIST MADE PETER A FISHER OF MEN Last Saturday this poster helped his bishop become a hunter of...uhmmm...vocations. Yeah, vocations. (Surely not a hunter of youth, right?) :-) Thanks to Bill Cork for the link. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BLOGGER WRITES BACK In response to my complaint about the way the blog loads: This appears to be a bug.� We are aware of the problem and are working to fix it.� In the meantime, your blog appears to be fixed. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE DA VINCI CODE AT ST. JOAN'S PARISH is a topic being discussed at EnvoyEncore today. Carl E. Olson has linked the parish website where the meeting which took place is described. That meeting took place on Sept. 25, the same day that I blogged the resource list for this parish which included a number of heretical ideas and authors. Minneapolis-St. Paul is the home of some strange Catholic happenings. For one, the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research--Fr. Killian McDonald's institute--is housed at the College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University. Fr. McDonald is a leader in the charismatic movement. This Institute features a labyrinth page in their website. Then there is St. John's Abbey where sexual abuse of minors was a major problem that included a possible murder. The Abbey is affiliated with the college. Global Education Associates-Upper Midwest offices are located in St. Paul. This is a locus of support for the earth based spirituality of the sort presented at the EarthSpirit Rising Conferences promoted by women religious. The September-December 2000 GEA Newsletter, Breakthrough News says of GEA Upper Midwest, "Global Education Associates Upper Midwest is a resource and program center for programs in cosmology, ecology, ecospirituality, and ecofeminism." p. 13 According to the May-August 2000 issue of Breakthrough News GEA-Upper Midwest says of it's upcoming programs: "Brian Swimme's video courses, "Canticle to the Cosmos" and "Earth's Imagination," are ongoing as are solstice and equinox celebrations." p. 13 GEA itself supports a a program called "Earth Literacy" which is located at Genesis Farm. Genesis Farm, a Dominican community, practices "biodynamic farming," (ala Rudolf Steiner) and they support the Earth Charter promoted by United Religions Initiative. And so I would end with my usual question, "Where is their bishop?" CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, October 06, 2003

HERE KITTY KITTY The tiger and alligator found in a Manhattan apartment were sent to an Ohio wildlife preserve on Sunday, while their owner recovered from wounds inflicted by the 425-pound cat, authorities said. Police said the owner, Antoine Yates, would face charges when he recovers from the tiger bites. A team of animal control officers, police and Bronx Zoo employees removed the animals from Yates' fifth-floor apartment in a Harlem housing project on Saturday. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BLOG ACCESS PROBLEMS A reader has emailed me that he is having difficulty loading this blog. It will load only so far as a certain line in the archives and then stops. I attempted to send email back to him, but Mailer Deamon returned it. This problem has been ongoing with my blog; has been experienced by others as well. I've contacted Blogger about it, but they don't seem to be able to resolve it. It happened a few times for me today. When it does, I click the "reload" button. When the blog reloads, the problem is gone. Does this solution work for anyone else? CarrieTomko@aol.com

NEW OXFORD REVIEW The October issue came today, and it's worth the subscription price just to read the letters to the editor. It seems the NOR folks are gutsy but not very pc in their choice of letters to print. Always a refreshing editorial position. Some of the comments they were brave enough to print are: on "Homosexuality Darkens The Mind": Since such behavior hurts the drive for same-sex "marriage," the homosexuals are now hard at work recasting what the word "fidelity" means. [Amy] Fagan writes [in The Washington Times] that, to homosexuals, "Fidelity is not defined in terms of sexual behavior but rather by their emotional commitment to each other." To the homosexual mind, this means they can have all the sex partners they want and still be considered "monogamous" and faithful. on "Out-and-Out Dyke-Nuns" from a teacher who took a year off to teach at a Catholic school: It took only a few days before I realized that the two priests affiliated with the school were both "gay," and that two of the three nuns under seventy were lesbians. It was this second realization that gave me a real jolt, as I had never until this time encountered lesbian nuns. And by lesbian, I do not mean shy, retiring "don't ask, don't tell" types. I mean out-and-out dykes. Although I have no idea whether they attempted to interact with the students on the basis of their "orientation," it begs credulity to imagine that they didn't interact with other adult women, or each other, on this basis. The student body was very aware of this, and would ask all the female faculty whether they were married or not, and if not, which female teacher they were dating. But the best letter of all on the subject is the editor's reply to "An Anonymous Mother of a drug addict, a lesbian daughter, and a gay seminarian" who claims to be a traditional Catholic who drives an hour to get to Latin Mass, and who wants NOR to stop reeking of self-righteousness and Judge not when it comes to "Devious 'Gay' Priests," an article from the July-August NOR. The editor responds: Our New Oxford Note was about an anonymous self-described "gay" priest (writing in Commonweal), who inadvertently revealed that he is an active homosexual. You see that "gay" priest in your "gay" seminarian son, whom you choose to defend. Why, when you call yourself a "devout traditional Catholic," would you do that? Your stance is neither traditional nor devout. You appear to be involved in special pleading and self-justification. Is it possible--given your track record as the mother of a drug addict, a lesbian, and a bugger--that you have been a failure as a mother? We of course have no idea, but if so, we understand why that would be hard for you to face up to. It's much easier to get yourself off the hook by excusing--and thereby enabling--the behavior of your "gay" son. This we do not understand, since you claim to be a "devout traditional Catholic." The letter continues on in that vein for another entire column-plus. Moving on to the subject of the Pope: on "Rome--Paralyzed" a reader writes: ...I read a column by Bill O'Reilly after his recent return from the Vatican, where he spoke to a number of Vatican insiders, and he reports that Pope John Paul II is, unfortunately, a very ineffective pope. He stated that the Pope was "furious" when he found out his directives concerning the pedophile scandal in the U.S. were not carried out, whereupon the Pope then "retreated" to his chapel to pray, which, according to O'Reilly, is what the Pope "mostly does these days." O'Reilly was saying that the Pope has curial officials who pay little heed to his wishes. So instead of calling them on the carpet, he does nothing and goes off to pray. I can only agree with O'Reilly's assessment. O'Reilly also said: "I believe Pope John Paul II is a good man....but he has lost control...," adding that the leadership in Rome is "paralyzed."... Why is it that John Paul is such an ineffectual pope in curbing the abuses that are ongoing in our Church today? Whatever the reason, John Paul is no longer the pope for our time. And in response to a letter criticizing NOR for negative comments about JPII, the editor replies: We did not--and do not--"slam" the Pope. All we said was: "an administrator he is not. He simply does not 'mind the store,' does not attend to the chores of Church governance." This is not just our opinion. We quoted Karl Keating: "What might have happened if, instead of Karol Wojtyla, the conclave had chosen a different man, someone who took the name Pius XIII because he wanted his emphasis to be on ruling and disciplining rather than on inspiring and teaching?...We also quoted Rod Dreher: "Why does such a great and good man [John Paul II]...allow so many American bishops, nearly all of whom he has appointed, to eviscerate the liturgical, catechetical and pastoral life of the Church to the point where we are now living in an undeclared schism?" As I said at the time of Dreher's WSJ article, "Dreher started a snowball that grew to the size of the house in three revolutions." The Letters section finishes up with the topic of the ongoing disagreement with Crisis magazine and Deal Hudson. NOR has included a number of copies of letters to Hudson of subscribers who will not renew their subscriptions because of the way that Crisis has treated Michael Rose over his book Goodbye, Good Men. It looks at this point anyway like NOR (and Michael Rose) is coming out the winner in the debate. CarrieTomko@aol.com

"TALKING ABOUT TOUCHING" that controversial program aimed at preventing sexual abuse of children, comes under fire in the Catholic World News blog which hints at its connection to those pro-gay and pro-prostitution groups that should be the very thing a Catholic school is shielding students from. Apparently the program is being mandated in some parishes as a pre-requisite for the sacraments. If this is a topic that interests you, follow the links to other articles contained in this one. The one at WorldNetDaily includes this paragraph: A prostitute's advocate, St. James explained how she found legitimacy for COYOTE [Call Off Your Tired Old Ethics--ct]: "� a close friend, Jennifer James, an anthropology professor in Seattle," helped take COYOTE international. She coined the word 'decriminalization' and was responsible for getting NOW to make it a plank in their 1973 convention." Today, Jennifer James is on the board of directors for the Committee for Children whose "Talking About Touching" curriculum is described by some Catholic parents as "soft porn" that desensitizes 5-to-8-year-olds. Samples of the lessons for 5 - 7 year olds that are used in the Boston Archdiocese are given at the WorldNetDaily link. Lord have mercy. This sort of material belongs in the home, not in the classroom. If a program is necessary, give the program for the parents and then let the parents teach their own children. This is the best argument for a married priesthood that I've seen yet. If the 5 - 7 year olds were the children of the pastor, I think it would not take long for the pastor to banish the program. CarrieTomko@aol.com

EUCHARIST Russell Shaw's article for the Catholic Herald outlines the Pope's focus on the Eucharist in spite of many other pressing claims on his attention, and attempts to answer the question "Why?": One thing obviously worrying Rome these days is unauthorized "intercommunion" � the practice of giving holy Communion, indiscriminately but knowingly, to non-Catholics in the context of the Mass. This happened at a Eucharistic celebration in Berlin just a month after the new encyclical appeared. By prior arrangement, 2,000 Lutherans and Catholics received.Intentions in such cases are for the most part good � to force the pace of Christian unity. But unauthorized intercommunion reflects a simplistic view of the Eucharist and how it works.Many non-Catholics who receive communion in such circumstances (and perhaps many of the Catholics as well) simply don�t share the Catholic Church�s understanding of the sacrament. This re-presentation of Jesus� covenant-forming act instead is reduced to a symbolic gesture of fellowship. I think something deeper is at work. It isn't our understanding of the Eucharist which leads to abuses, it is rather our understanding of who Christ is which leads us there. There was a time when we thought of Christ as the friend of Catholics. We saw Him as the Great Judge to whom we are accountable, the Redeemer of mankind Who suffered for all who would worship Him. And we saw Him as the enemy of those who do not believe in Him. We saw ourselves as missionaries to the world. That is no longer true. Christ has become for us the warm fuzzy friendly Godling Who looks benevolently on all of humanity, Who will not condemn anyone because of His great love for all. Whose nature is not capable of judgment, and Who forbids us to even entertain the concept. We see Him as too much of a lover to reject anyone, no matter what they have done. It seems to me that in short, we no longer believe we can reject our own salvation. We concentrate on our great unity with all of humanity, emphasizing what joins us and glossing over what divides us. In so doing, we force Christ to recede. We force Him to keep His hands off of our world and our religion and ourselves, and perhaps even our Eucharist; and instead to let us take charge and make things right, correcting in the process what we may have subconsciously come to believe He is incapable of correcting. All of which takes away our free will to choose sin. And so sin must be redefined to be something forced upon us, something that is an inherent part of our nature. Hence we cannot be chaste. We cannot be honest in all circumstances. We cannot always honor our parents and train up our children in holiness. We can even commit murder when not doing so makes circumstances difficult. And we certainly cannot be faulted for missing Sunday Mass when we work so hard all week at trying to save ourselves. In short all of our shortcomings are the result of our victimhood and not of our choice. Maybe we even half believe that our shortcomings are God's fault. And the Great Lover Christ Jesus sees and understands our difficulties and absolves us of our guilt before we even ask. And so why bother with this emphasis on the Eucharist as something exclusive? We have dismissed salvation history as little more than a myth fostered by those who wish to control us in spite of the great freedom we have because of the benevolence of the Great Lover. And so Mass is not about sacrifice. It is instead about the universal banquet to which all are invited to celebrate in joy and all are worthy participants, so no one dare be left out. It's contrary to Catholicism of course. But it goes a long way to explaining intercommunion as it is being practiced today. We share our communion because it would be impolite not to share it, because it would create distinctions and inequality and require judgment if we didn't share it. We cultivate the good will of mankind instead of the good will of God. There is another organization which is dedicated to goodwill and the brotherhood of humanity. An organization which sees all men as equal before God, and recognizes no religious distinctions. An organization which celebrates the ritual and banquet as the event and evidence of unification. Another group that forces God to recede. But it is not PC to name the group. It is not PC to tote out the word and suggest that the group has influenced Roman Catholicism almost to the point that we no longer know who we are. No, it is not correct to suggest that this organization had strong affiliations in the very nation whence comes the theologians of prominence over the last 40 years or more. Those who embrace political correctness search everywhere else for the source of our difficulties. They tote out erroneous philosophical and theological concepts, while pretending that they had no source, that they were grasped from thin air and our own logical deductions. They are willling to talk about the errors in thinking but not about the source of the errors. And so the problem continues to make the rounds and to upset the congregations, while the congregations point fingers at everyone but the guilty. The problem leads us into spiritual practices which damage our faith but foster our brotherhood. We have the social Gospel mastered, but the worship of God has been abandoned. CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHY SO MANY NEW SAINTS? is a question that passes around blogland. John Paul II has named 1,320 Blesseds and 476 saints as of Oct. 5, and more are scheduled. Cardinal Saraiva says the motivation is holiness, that this Pope wants to emphasize holiness above everything else as the lifeblood of the Church. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THERE WILL BE AN END TO STEINER QUOTES...I PROMISE (Just don't ask when!) :) From Lecture 17 "Freemasonry and Human Evolution (First lecture for men only)" Berlin, 23 October 1905 When the reason for the Freemasons having no female members ceases at some point in world evolution to exist, then the time will have come for the work of Freemasonry on the physical plane to be taken over by the work of theosophy. Pro tem, the work of theosophy is preparatory work. Men and women will participate in the theosophical work on the same basis.... Freemasonry is the continuation of very ancient secret societies and brotherhoods. Such secret societies--at least in the form in which they survive in Freemasonry--originated just at the very beginning of our fourth Post-Atlantean epoch, that is to say in the same epoch in which Christianity later began.... Now in the same period as that when the Bible first made its appearance in world history as a document, what is known as the Freemasonry legend also came to be compiled and to be circulated. p. 232-233 Before the system of two sexes originated, there was a kind of bisexuality, a single [combined] sex, in so far as in each individual both sexes were represented. ...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 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 beginning of the human race, we have to do with a bisexual individual tending towards the female. Only later did the male sex follow. Now we must be clear that in this individual, which had both sexes in it, a fertilising agent, or male seed, was also present. Woman contained man within her. p. 234-235 Maybe we should tell it to the feminists? Might be a way to get them to switch to Anthroposophy and leave Catholicism in peace! In this chapter Steiner spells out the Hiram Abiff legend that is central to the first three degrees in Freemasonry. Only when the connection with higher worlds was lost did the consciousness of what was lost fade from Freemasonry too....One watered Freemasonry down, one said that one no longer knew its meaning. One must be clear, however, that everything which existed as symbols, was derived from the old priestly wisdom and that what is implanted therein, in the symbols, must still first come into the open. The true female wisdom is gradually becoming quite lost. Because of that, the so-called Higher Degrees of Freemasonry, which preserved the female wisdom, have been allowed to vanish. All that is still left is what is called Craft Masonry, which only concerns itself with worldly things, and only understands a little about them, in any case....something better can come along again, only when a wisdom arrives which is again asexual, which is connected neither with the male nor with the female wisdom, neither with the female Bible, nor with the male Temple Legend. We find this wisdom in theosophy. p. 244 ...onesided male endeavours must be vanquished in theosophical circles. Throughout the Middle Ages there was a sublime preparation for spiritually engendering the opposite sex in man. Man developed in himself, by concentrating, at first as a thought, what had to become a reality in him later on. Therefore, as a preparation for this, the Cult of Mary resulted during the Middle Ages. This is nothing else than concentrating to engender the female in the male, while for the female the Cult of Jesus served the parallel purpose. The Cult of Mary had its origin in this foundation. You will now see what confusion must result when an Order arose which broke with all this and sought to regain the female wisdom. It is world dominion which is at stake in this; if anyone wants to leave the old wisdom as it is, he will have to conquer the world for the old powers. There is such an Order: it is the Jesuit Order. It has consciously set itself this task. That is why the Jesuits and the Freemasons confront each other so sourly. p. 246 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From Lecture 19 "The Relationship Between Occult Knowledge and Everyday Life" Berlin, 23rd October 1905 The more a person keeps his concepts flexible, so that these can always be dissolved in the surrounding intermediary substance, the more he will understand the other people he encounters. This is why it is so difficult to convey theosophical life to academically trained people. The concepts acquired at university engender structures which are rigid, fixed and enclosed within themselves, which are not easily dissolvable. The academic usually comes to a theosophical lecture full of such structures and is then unable to comprehend theosophical life. p. 269 This is not so easy, especially for those who have acquired higher education and sophistication of a particular kind. The adjustment between the feelings of the individual and the nation is more quickly made in the lower levels of evolution, because at those levels a greater empathy develops between individual sensibilities and the national sensibility. The lower the individual level, the stronger the expression of the national sensibility within him, rather as the animal is an expression of the species. p. 276 In America we have a certain parallel. There, materialism is carried to the extreme, and has been pursued radically in all national perspectives. In modern times, that has led to the spirit itself being interpreted in a materialistic way.... American people took pains to conceive spirituality and the soul in a material way. Thus we find a strongly material spirituality and [indeed] spiritualism among them.... If you seek to see the spiritual with the eyes, it becomes psychic, and the psychic aspect has developed itself very strongly in America.... Thus we have a spiritual national thought in the east and a psychic one in the west.... p. 278-279 If we seek to understand the occult view of the world then the world of phenomena becomes more and more comprehensible as well. Such as occult-spiritual world outlook leaves us no gaps in the comprehension of the world. p. 279-280 Is he talking about phenomonology there? ------------------------------------------------------------------------- From Lecture 20 "The Royal Art in a New Form" Berlin, 2nd January 1906 (Steiner talks about Leo Taxil in this chapter, but the passage is too long to blog. The passage begins on p. 282.) Today there are broadly two trends in Freemasonry. The one is represented by by {sic - ct} far the larger number of those calling themselves masons today. And this majority trend claims now that all masonry is comprised in what it terms the so-called Symbolic or Craft Masonry. Its principal outward characteristic is that it is divided into three degrees, the apprentice, journeyman and master degrees; as for the inward characteristics, we will have something to say presently. Apart from these Craft Masons, there are still quite a number of masons who maintain that Craft Masonry is only a product of the decline of the great universal masonic idea. [They consider] it would be a falling away from this great masonic idea, if it is claimed that masonry comprises only these three Symbolic or Craft degrees; whereas in fact the essence, the fundamental meaning of Freemasonry lies in the so-called Higher Degrees, which are best preserved in the so-called Scottish or Accepted Rite, which, in a particular respect, still conserves [a relic of] what is called the Egyptian, the Misraim or the Memphis Rite. p. 286-287 The Higher Degree Freemasonry traces itself back to the old Mysteries, to the procedures which to the extent possible we have described and will describe, in our theosophy; procedures which have been in existence since primordial times and still exist today, and which have preserved the higher supersensible knowledge for mankind. This supersensible knowledge, accessible to men, would be transmitted [by] those who could attain entry to these Mystery centres; for certain supersensible powers were developed in them, enabling them to see into the supersensible world. p. 287 Freemasonry developed in ancient times as the opponent of the priestly culture. p. 294 Through guilt lies the path to freedom. p. 296 What then is the Holy Grail?...Just as it is so, that man has achieved control over inanimate nature, he has mastered gravity with spirit level and plumb-line, and the directional forces of Nature with the aid of geometry and mechanics; so it is the case that in future man will himself control what he only received as a gift from Nature or the Divine powers--namely, the living. p. 301 Thus, the bond [of the Freemasons] is without doubt a bond of brotherhood. p. 302 Whoever wants to awaken the power of the Grail in himself will gain nothing by asking the powers of the official church whether they can perhaps tell him something; rather, he should awaken this power in himself, and should not question all that much. Man starts from dullness [of mind] and progresses through doubt to strength. This pilgrimage of the soul is expressed in the person of Parsifal, who seeks the Holy Graill. p. 304-305 The first accomplishment of this medieval occultism would have been, consequently, what appeared in so many different movements in Europe: the striving for individuality in religion, the escape from the rigid uniformity of the organised church. p. 305 That last bit sounds like Msgr. Knox's descriptions of Enthusiasts. In the future machines will be driven not only by water and steam, but by spiritual force, by spiritual morality. This power is symbolised by the Tau sign and was indeed poetically symbolised by the image of the Holy Grail. Man is no longer merely dependent on what Nature will freely give him to use; he can shape and transform Nature, he has become the master craftsman of the inanimate. In the same way he will become the master craftsman of what is living. p. 312-313 Certainly, every schoolboy today can demonstrate the theorem of Pythagoras; only Pythagoras could discover it, because he was a master in the Royal Art. It will be the same in the Royal Art of the future. Thus you see that the masonic Art stands at a turning point in its development, and has the closest links with the work of the Lodge of the Grail, with what can appear as salvation in the dreadful conflicts all around us. These conflicts are only beginning. Humanity is unaware that it is dancing on a volcano. But it is so. The revolutions beginning on our earth make a new phase of the Royal Art necessary. p. 313-314 In Freemasonry, a double life was led; the great ideas which came to expression in the Lodges were not to be mixed up with anything connected with the family. p. 315 One of the ways in which occultism will permeate humanity will be through Freemasonry reborn....And although we can only look upon Freemasonry today as a caricature of the great Royal Art, we must nevertheless not lose heart in our endeavour to awaken its slumbering forces again, a task which is incumbent on us and which runs in a parallel direction to the theosophical movement. p.317 That concludes the quotes from The Temple Legend: Freemasonry & Related Occult Movements by Rudolf Steiner, London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1985, ISBN 0-85440 780 4. I was quoting from the copy that belongs to the Ohio State University library. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, October 05, 2003

FORTY HOURS We have it once a year on the first weekend in October at my parish. It closed tonight with vespers. The Knights were there in their capes, plumed hats and swords. Several priests were there as well, sitting in the front pews. And I think that both choirs were up in the loft, though I didn't turn around to look. The sound of their voices was full and beautiful. There was even a trumpet which was appropriately used in the service. The altar was decorated with lots of flowers. One of the arrangements fell over just as the service began. And we sang hymns in Latin from the booklet that was passed out before services began. There was a procession with incense, and litanies. What was lacking was the parishioners. Oh, some were there. But the church wasn't even half full. My pew which seats eight comfortably and ten in a pinch held two. It was typical. The majority there were women. Not many men. Only two children that I saw. Just a lot of us old ladies keeping up appearances and rituals. Last year was different. Last year the church was at least 3/4 filled. Last year there were more priests in attendance as well. What happened between last year and this year? Was there a good football game on TV tonight or something? I remember 40 hours closing devotions from childhood when the First Communion dress came out, when we were given lilies to carry. When we processed around the church behind the priest. When the church was filled. It was always an important occasion. Something seems to be missing now. Or has changed. Or people no longer want to show reverence to the Eucharist. This is a devotion during which we aren't given something, so this is not a devotion about us. It's a moment of worship, solely and completely about God. Is that what keeps people away? Have we heard too often "We are Church" to be willing to spend time reminding ourselves that God is the reason we're there in the first place? CarrieTomko@aol.com

MORE STEINER QUOTES Lecture 12 "Concerning the Lost Temple and How it Is to Be Restored (In connection with the Legend of the True Cross, or Golden Legend)" Berlin, 22nd May 1905 The sacrifice of the Mass was originally nothing else but a great mystery. Mass fell into two parts; the so-called Minor Mass, in which all were allowed to take part; and, when that had ended, and the main body [of the congregation] had gone away, there followed the High Mass, which was intended only for those who wished to undergo occult training, to embark on the 'Path'. In this High Mass the reciting of the Apostolic Creed took place first; then was expounded the development of Christianity throughout the world, and how it was connected with the great march of world evolution. p. 152 Thus proceeded the High Mass, from which all the uninitiated were excluded. It was made clear to those who remained that Christianity, which began as a seed, would in the future bear something quite different as fruit, and that by the name Water Carrier was meant John [the Baptist] who scatters Christianity as a seed, as if with a grain of mustard seed. Aquarius or the Water Carrier means the same person as John who baptised with water in order to prepare mankind to receive the Christian baptism of fire. The coming of a 'John/Aquarius' who would first confirm the old John and announce a Christ who would renew the Temple, once the great point of time should have arrived when Christ will again speak to humanity--this was taught in the depths of the Templar Mysteries, so that the event should be understood. Moreover, the Templars said: Today we live at a point in time when men are not yet ripe for understanding the great teachings; we still have to prepare them for the Baptist, John, who baptises with water. The Cross was held up before the would-be Tamplar and he was told: You must deny the Cross now, so as to understand it later; first become a Peter, first deny the scriptures, like Peter the Rock who denied the Lord. That was imparted to the aspirant Templar as a preliminary training. People generally understood so little of all this that even the letters on the Cross are not interpreted aright. Plato said of it that the world soul would be crucified on the world body. The Cross symbolises the four elements. The plant, animal and human kingdoms are built out of these four elements. On the cross stands: JAM = water = James; NOUR = fire, which refers to Jesus himself; RAUCH = air, the symbol for John; and the fourth JABESCHAH = earth or rock, for Peter. Thus there stands on the Cross what is expressed in the names of the [three] Apostles [and Jesus], while the one name J.N.R.I. denotes Christ himself. 'Earth' is the place where Christianity itself must at first be brought, to that Temple to which man himself has brought himself so as to be a sheath for what is higher. p. 155-156 This struggle to raise oneself up to a proper understanding of Christ, first passing through the stage of Peter--none of the Templars found it possible, under torture, to make clear to the judges. p. 157 We find the same medieval tendency as manifested in the Knights Templars, in two Round Tables as well, that of King Arthur, and that of the Holy Grail. In King Arthur's Round Table can be found the ancient universality, whereas the spirituality proper to Christian knighthood had to be prepared in those who guarded the Mystery of the Holy Grail... When you follow the teaching of the Templars, there at the heart of it is a king of reverence for something of a feminine nature. This femininity was known as the Divine Sophia, the Heavenly Wisdom. p. 158 We have to prepare for the New Covenant, in place of the Old Covenant. The old one is the Covenant of the creating God, in which God is at work on the Temple of Mankind. The New Covenant is the one in which man himself surrounds the divine with the Temple of Wisdom, when he restores it, so that this 'I' will find a sanctuary on this earth when it is resurrected out of matter, set free.... The Rosicrucians are none other than the successors to the Order of the Templars, wanting nothing else than the Templars did, which is also what theosophy desires: they are all at work on the great Temple of Humanity. p. 160 -------------------------------------------------------- Lecture 13 "Concerning the Lost Temple and How it Is to Be Restored" Berlin, 29th May 1905 The Christian Legend about the Cross is as follows: we shall begin with it. The wood or tree from which the Cross had been taken is not ordinary wood, but--so the legend relates--was, in the beginning, a scion of the Tree of Life, which had been cut for Adam, the first man. This scion was planted in the earth by Adam's son, Seth, and the young tree developed three trunks which grew together. The famous rod of Moses was later cut from this wood. Then, in the legend, the same wood plays a role in connection with King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. That is, it was to have been used as a main pillar, in building the Temple. p. 162 The world soul, as it expresses itself in man, is spread out over the Mineral Kingdom. It must raise itself above this, and evolve upwards to the three higher Kingdoms. Hence it must become incorporated in the Plant Animal and Human Kingdoms during the next three Rounds. The fourth Round is nothing else than the incorporation of the human soul into the Mineral Kingdom, the fifth Round into the Plant Kingdom, the sixth into the Animal Kingdom, and finally the seventh Round is the embodiment of man into the Human Kingdom proper, in which man will become wholly an image of the Godhead. Until then man has to take the world body as his sheath three times.... Only when the lowest Kingdom has [become] the Human Kingdom, when there are no more lower beings, when all beings have been redeemed by man through the force of his own life, then he will have arrived in the seventh Round, where God rests, because man himself creates. Then will have come the seventh Day of Creation, in which man will have taken on the likeness of God. p. 171 Thus we have seven Race-cycles [or Great Epochs] in our present Globe: the Polarian, the Hyperborean, the Lemurian, the Atlantean and now the Aryan Race [or Epoch] in which we live. p. 184 Man began to work on his astral body during the middle of Lemurian times. If you could have observed a man at the stage he had attained when the Lemurian Race began, that is, when he was bisexual... p. 187 CarrieTomko@aol.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com