Saturday, December 06, 2003

THE VILATTE SUCCESSION Autocephalous or independent Catholic churches are concerned with identifying their apostolic succession. A lot of them trace their succession through Archbishop Rene Vilatte. At least one of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch - Malabar Rite bishops uses this line of succession. Here is what the website says about it: Archbishop Lowell Paul Wadle received this form for the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist from the Archbishops who preceded him in what is now known as the Vilatte-Antiochean Succession. In its present form it can be traced as far back as Archbishop E.J. Lloyd. The only modification made by Bishop Wadle was the addition of Roman and Arabic Numerals in the margins of the pages. The Arabic Numerals up to 22 refer to the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, which have mystical significance. The Roman Numerals refer to the 10 Sephiroth of the Tree of Life, as understood in the Jewish mystical tradition. Because of Bishop Wadle's membership in the Masonic Order and its Scottish Rite and Lodge of Perfection, as well as the Rose Croix Degree, he came to feel that the Mass fulfilled some of the obligations and ideals of this tradition. And so he always referred to this Guide to the Eucharistic Experience as The Rite of Perfection. By reason of their affection for this great Bishop, the Sons of Wadle, those whom he ordained, this Rite also came to be known as the Wadle Mass, the name we have adopted for its official title. As you can see, this bishop is associated with Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the Rose Croix Degree (18th degree) and The Rite of Perfection. The first several degrees of Scottish Rite are the Lodge of Perfection. Incidentally The Liturgy of the Wadle Mass is displayed at this website. The Vilatte Succession is explained at this website of The Gnostic Catholic Church, which is not part of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch - Malabar Rite as far as I know, but which also uses the Vilatte Succession which involves Old Catholic and Orthodox bishops. From the website: The Vilatte Succession Joseph Rene' Vilatte was born in Paris on January 24, 1854, originally baptized in the "Petite Eglise" and rebaptised conditionally as Roman Catholic. At age 22, Vilatte sailed to America where he attended the college of Saint Laurent conducted by the Holy Cross Fathers where he prepared for the Roman Catholic Priesthood. Vilatte never received the orders of the Roman Church, which he found intolerant and presumptuous. Eventually, Rev. Vilatte received the diconat and prebyterat at Berne, Switzerland from Bishop Herzog of the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht in 1885. Father Vilatte returned to America where he assumed a pastoral post at the Old Catholic Church in Dykesville, Wisconsin. Father Vilatte was enthusiastic in his prebyterat, but having in mind the intent to expand the Old Catholic Church in North America, he would eventually seek the authority of the Episcopate. However, Vilatte would never submit to local Roman Catholic or Anglican authorities, and an Episcopate did not appear forthcoming until 1891, when Fr. Vilatte, entangled in dispute with the Anglican Auxiliary of Fond D Lac, sought and received alliance from Archbishop Vladmir, the Russian Orthodox Bishop of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska, and Mar Julius I (Julius Alvarez,) Metropolitan of the Independent Catholic Church of Ceylon, Goa and India. The latter agreed to consecrate Vilatte as Bishop only after consultation with Ignatius Peter III, Patriarch of Antioch. Alvarez finally received a reply and, in the bull of Election from His Holiness Peter III, signed and sealed from the Patriarchal Palace in the Monastery of Sapran at Mardin of the border of Syria and Kurdistan dated December 19. 1891, the consecration of Joseph Rene' Vilatte was granted for the Arch-Episcopal Dignity, Archbishop Metropolitan in the name Mar Timotheos, for the Church of the Mother of God in Wisconsin, of the Churches of the Archdiocese of America and the Churches "adhering to the Orthodox Faith." The ceremony took place in the Church of Our Lady of the Good Death, in Colombo, Ceylon on May 29, 1892, by Mar Julius and assisted by Mar Paul Athanasius, Bishop of Kattayom and Mar Gregorius, Bishop of Niranom. On June 5, 1892, Mar Julius is said to have presented Mar Timotheos with a certificate of consecration conferring on him the title of Archbishop of the Old Catholic Church of America with full powers to perform all the functions of the Metropolitan, Archbishop Vilatte also received a necessary supply of "Holy Mooron" or oil which is consecrated by the Patriarch alone. On May 6, 1900, Vilatte consecrated a lapsed Roman Catholic priest, Paolo Miraglia-Gulatti as an Old Catholic Bishop of Italy with the title of Bishop of Piacenza. It was Mgr. Gulatti who in turn consecrated Abbe Julio (Julian Houssye) Mar Julio, who ascended to the Primacy of the Gallican National Catholic Church of France. Mar Julio in his turn on June 21, 1911, consecrated as Archbishop, Louis Francois Giraud in the Old Catholic Chapel at Aire, near Geneva, Switzerland. Both Msgrs. Houssaye and Giraud were in extremely close communion with four Gnostic Colleges of France as well as many of the Arcane orders which were in strict concordance with those bodies. There was some concern about giving the bishops who trace their succession through this channel becoming legitimized in the Roman Catholic Church when the St. Thomas Christians (Malabar Rite) were brought back into the Church a couple of years ago through John Paul II's efforts at healing the schism. (Correct me if I have that wrong, Henry.) CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE SHRINE OF THE CHRIST OF DIVINE LIFE one of the Church of Antioch - Malabar Rite churches, is located in Arizona. There is a picture of Fr. Jorge Eagar standing before his altar at the "Fr. Jorge's Message" link. Check out the "home" page link where you will learn that the church offers classes on "magical Christianity, Christic meditation, sacred gatherings, cyclical celebrations, and wedding ministry information." Look at the December 2003 newsletter. They offer the Mass of the Holy Grail, the Divine Liturgy of the East, a Creation liturgy. Our Lady of Guadalupe is pictures on the website for the Dec. 2003 newsletter. She is called the "Divine Mother." And there is more in the newsletter to astound you. This is an excellent example of Gnostic Christianity. The "prayer requests" page has an icon of the Blessed Virgin and Baby Jesus. CarrieTomko@aol.com

WOODROSE OF THE CHANNELS a Church of Antioch - Malabar Rite church listed on the Church of Antioch website is led by Rev. William Buehler, Minister in Charge. This church is located in Crestone, Colorado. Rev. Buehler has given an endorsement to artist Maia at the Spirit Mythos website. (Notice the Masonic pavement in the picture of the man on fire.) He says: In the 30 years I've known Maia she has consistently helped with translations from the higher Akashic and inner planes agencies...I now almost totally use her work as the basis of my own group, temple and earth grid applications originally designed for Metatronic/Christic Ascension of this Continuum. I place a very high value on her friendship and integrity. Another endorsement, immediately above Rev. Buehler's is this one by Berry Dunford, author of "The Holy Land of Scotland: Jesus in Scotland and the Gospel of the Grail." Reminds me of The Da Vinci Code. Each webpage in the Spirit Mytho website shows that the website is "copyright of the Spirit Heart Sanctuary" at the bottom. Spirit Heart Sanctuary is listed under New Mexico on the "Member Churches" webpage of the Church of Antioch - Malabar Rite website. Here are some of the artworks being discussed: Primordial Formations Landed Far Dunes Alien Desert In a website dedicated to Henry Sinclair and Rosslyn Chapel this insight is offered: The "Sixth Dimension" It is a known fact that the craftsmen of Medieval Times created marvelous cathedrals, precisely aligned and miraculously constructed. Mariners, similarly, exhibited remarkable navigational capabilities. While their tools of the trade were primitive from our viewpoint today, it is obvious they had a much more advanced "Sixth Dimension". They were truly "masters", who had learned from long, tedious apprenticeship and focusing of attention. While computers and power equipment have increased our capabilities today, we have outstanding thinkers, too. One such person is William Buehler. He has combined psychic tools and an ability to focus; this is a talent not familiar to most of us. However, his findings certainly capture our attention. Mr. Buehler, an ordained minister and a veteran officer of the US Navy, has focused his study upon energy- consciousness grids. He harnesses locations with scripture, using geometry. One such primary "Earth Grid" includes Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. Another centers upon the region in France where the ancient Templar headquarters existed, in the area of Rennes le Chateau. Another grid is in Westford, MA, at the site of the Westford Carving. Of course, Jerusalem is in a major grid. These energy grids are thought to have been known and understood by the Templar leaders. According to Buehler, "I believe that the Henry Sinclair voyage of 1398 included an important objective of transferring the "New Church" energetically from Europe to this continent by installing the [Rosslyn] grid which stretches from Nova Scotia to Virginia. . . . . The energy pole in the Westford/Boston area is the eastern generating pole . . . . . . This is engrammed into the Knight's stone matrix. . . . . The Sinclairs have in their charge a magnificent tool in the [Rosslyn] Chapel; it has a unique position and function in this half of the planet . . . probably not discovered since the Templars used it long ago." For a more thorough explanation of this geometric and cosmological theory, you may contact Rev. William Buehler, Church of Antioch, c/o General Delivery, Crestone, CO, 81131. Another William Buehler website, dedicated to "Sacred Architecture," also contains material on Rosslyn Chapel. Buehler has provided the information for this "Johannine Grove Ministry," Doorway to the Divine website which also has a Crestone address. There is more of William Buehler's activity here. Channeling is mentioned. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE CHAPLET OF THE HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL at The Beast Bay: Many traditions use a rosary, mala, or prayer beads of some stripe as an aid to meditation, prayer, and magickal working. I've found few experiences as trance-inducing and powerful as that of reciting the (RC) Rosary in the context of a vigil for the recently-deceased, where the prayers are recited many many times over, in a ritual lasting three hours or more. Recently, I became interested in the idea of developing a Thelemic "rosary" -- fully aware that I'm not the first person to try this experiment. I made an in-depth study of as many (again, RC) rosaries and "chaplets" (chaplet being a sort of lesser rosary dedicated to a particular Saint or concept such as the Sacred Heart or the Holy Spirit) as I could find in my research, and extrapolated from them all to develop the ritual that follows. Notice the motto at the website--"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." The Beast Bay is a website dedicated to Thelema, the teaching of Aleister Crowley and the OTO, so the angel would be a fallen one? Thanks to a reader for sending the link. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, December 05, 2003

LUIS T. GUTIERREZ wanted to discuss women's ordination. In 1996 he started his own mailing list and invited participation of like-minded Anglicans, Orthodox, and Roman Catholics. He is still at it. Patrick Madrid reports on E-Mail he received yesterday which is signed by Gutierrez. Gutierrez has a Canon1024 Mailing List where he links to B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) Praying and Working for the Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church which is part of the Roman Catholic web ring. B.A.S.I.C. links to the 1st International Conference of Women's Ordination Worldwide, Dublin Ireland, 29th June to 1st July 2001. The address for BASIC is in Dublin, Ireland. This website links a paper by John Wijngaards. Crisis Magazine mentions Wijingaards in an article that mentions the Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) Conference: WOW organizers admit that they are refining their strategy and tactics in preparation for the next pontificate. John Wijngaards, a laicized priest of the United Kingdom, addressed the WOW conference. Wijngaards explained to CRISIS that while meeting the challenge of the women's ordination controversy may not be the first priority of the next pontificate, "it will be a catalyst to show the problems in the structure of the Church. It will be a test case. Something needs to be shaken up in the way authority approaches this question." But I digress... Gutierrez is the secretary of Catholic Women Priests. In this website Gutierrez directs women interested in ordination to Mary Magdalene the Apostle Catholic Gateway, a website filled with links. Notice at the very bottom that Gutierrez is the "webservant." Clicking the link for Bishop Sharon Hart of the Contemporary Catholic Church brings up this website for the Ecumenical Conference of Independent Catholic Bishops. A picture appears showing the members, including two bishops from the Apostolic Catholic Church of Antioch - Malabar Rite. Go to the website, and there it appears...the rosy cross...the cross with the rose at the center and a triangle below it. The Rosy Cross is an emblem of the Rosicrucians. Check out the ministries at the "Member Churches" link, where you will find Agape Ministries, an ecumenical service mission of COA, which, aside from the fact that the priest is a woman, sounds somewhat familiar in their description of the sacraments. Where "The Church of Antioch at Santa Fe where the associate pastor, Rev. Fr. Daniel Dangarran, is a former Jesuit. Where the Most Rev. Cliff Krosky, co-pastor of the Church of Antioch at Kansas City is a former Roman Catholic diocesan priest. Where the female pastor of the Healing Rose Sanctuary practices a A healing ministry using Angelic and Christ energies. Where there is a "Human Evolution - Church of Antioch" Where The Shrine of the Christ of Divine Life references the Gospel of Thomas and talks about "Christian gnosis" and "esoteric Christic spirituality." Where, near the bottom of the list, you will find the Woodrose of the Channels church which specializes in sacred geometry, temple geometry, earth grids, Hebrew alphabet, reincarnation, chakra, shakti activity, dreams and visions. Gutierrez's letters are linked at the Women's Ordination support website of the San Francisco Bay Catholic Electronic Magazine along with other papers supporting women's ordination. The book, Towards A Catholic Constitution by Leonard Swidler and Andrew M. Greeley (Editor) is also linked. Within Gnostic Christianity women are routinely ordained to the priesthood. CarrieTomko@aol.com

AIDS, THE RAPING OF NUNS, AND THE MAKING OF A LIE From LifeSite: An article by Steve Mosher asks "Are Africans Promiscuous Unto Deeath? AIDS Programs based on 'false' and 'deadly premise' of African promiscuity" The article suggests: --that AIDS in Africa has been transmitted via healthcar--dirty needles and contaminated blood. --That AIDS education was coupled with birth control education and thus fell under the direction of those who would control population growth, and especially African population growth --That Africans are no more promiscuous than Americans and Europeans --That evidence of this was not politically correct and thus was ignored, for the reason that Africans would become fearful of immunization programs --That there is a consistent body of evidence that indicates injections were more highly associated with HIV than was sex --That those of higher socioeconomic status have higher rates of HIV than those of lower status --That the risk of HIV infection from contaminated medical procedures is one in 30 while the risk of transmission for penile-vaginal sex is about one in 1000 --That one of the primary places of transmission is the "family planning programs, where injectable contraceptives such as Depo-Provera, Norplant implantation, and abortion (called �post-abortion care�) by Manual Vacuum Aspirator (MVA) are the order of the day." If this study turns out to be true, condom distribution will not alter the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Priests will not be shielded from HIV by having sex exclusively with nuns. And the devastation of the African population will be largly caused by First World countries who exported unsafe medical procedures to Africa. If the study turns out to be correct, the Catholic Church will be proven right in Her rejection of condoms to fight AIDS. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, December 04, 2003

FR. RON ROLHEISER SPEAKS OF DEVOTIONS TO MARY and their impact on the faith: In a manner of speaking, Marian devotions are the mysticism of the poor. In relating to her, countless people, without the benefit of professional training in theology or liturgy have wonderfully appropriated to themselves deep, essential truths about God's person, presence, compassion and providence. They know and taste God's love through their relationship to Mary. These devotions, according to Fr. Rolheiser, these devotions have always been the centrepiece of Catholic piety. Among other things, those devotions have focused upon various Marian shrines, places where Mary allegedly appeared, Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Medjugorje, among other places. Karl Rahner, studying the phenomenon of Marian apparitions, points out that all these apparitions have one thing in common: In every case, Mary appears to a poor person. Mary has never, it seems, appeared to a Wall Street banker, a major civic or Church leader, nor even to a theologian in his or her study. Devotions to Mary were an integral part of pre-Vatican II Catholicism. After the Council, like toddler's toys outgrown, they were tucked away into the closet we seldom opened. They are resurging into their former place of honor in recent years, and along with Eucharistic devotions and devotion to the Holy Spirit, are the building blocks of what will hopefully be a revival of Catholicism that is so badly needed. CarrieTomko@aol.com

IRISH BISHOP'S REPORT ON CLERICAL CHILD ABUSE has been completed and published. The research was conducted by the Health Services Research Centre at the Department of Psychology of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Key Findings from the report are listed at Independent Catholic News. There are no surprises in the findings listed. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MORE NEWS FROM PLANET ZIRCON...GAY CANNIBALISM Yup! It's not a typo. Diogenes discusses it at the Catholic World News Blog, linking in the process this article from the UK Telegraph and proposing that it's just over the horizon of Western Civ. Here is the opening paragraph in the UK article: A German court was introduced to the secret and sordid world of cannibalism yesterday when a computer technician went on trial for murdering a man he claims willingly offered himself up for slaughter. Well, once sex with chickens passes muster at Princeton (I think Singer is at Princeton, but correct me if I'm wrong) what's left? The barbarians are at the gate and have their sights set on the livingroom. Our Lady of Fatima pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

DEFENSIVE JIHAD From Chiesa: ROMA � Magdi Allam, an Egyptian who has lived in Italy for many years, is a specialist on the Arab and Muslim world. On November 30, he published an important survey in �Corriere della Sera,� the leading Italian daily, of which he is vice-director. In the survey, he transcribes several passages of the sermons delivered by six imams of Italian mosques on November 21, the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, and on November 25, the feast of Id Al Fitr. The sermons given on these dates are the ones with the largest audiences; the halls are packed. Here are some excerpts from the article: From Naples: �Just as the Jews and Christians in the past had divine authorization for their warfare, so Muslims now have divine approval for the actions they believe opportune [i.e. the massacres in Nassiriya on November 12, and in Istanbul on November 15 and 20]. From Fermo: �But the attacks against the British, American, and Italian invaders in Iraq and Afghanistan can be attributed to the defensive jihad, because they respect the dictates of the Koran.� From Bologna: �Martyrdom [of those who fight and die with Mohammed during Ramadan] has been amply rewarded by the Prophet, because these people have died for a just cause... From Milan: �The Muslim religion is a link in a chain that binds it to the other religions. Islam preaches respect for other civilizations and cultures. Islam desires peaceful coexistence with Christians and Jews. Islam is against the terrorism of Riyadh, Nassiriya, and Istanbul. The article continues: Apart from the last one, which is an exception, the sermons cited above legitimize Islamic terrorism in various ways, exalt the holy war and �martyrdom,� and attack the West and Israel.... Last June, similar cadences had echoed beneath the arches of the Great Mosque of Rome, funded by Saudi Arabia and other so-called �moderate� Arabic regimes.... The president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Michael Fitzgerald, when asked about it, minimized the fact: �In the end, these things were said in just one Italian mosque. And by exaggerating local conditions on runs the risk of compromising dialogue.� He was wrong. It was not an isolated case. The imam of the Great Mosque of Rome, Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa, from Egypt, was later removed at the request of the Italian government. And Fitzgerald was removed from the list of the new cardinals John Paul II was preparing to nominate. Subsequent to this the article indicates there has been a change of attitude at the highest level in the Vatican--a change from "dialogue" to "confrontation." This change began to materialize in October of this year. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Yes, I know that one of my posts is up on the website twice. Unfortunately the second one has already disappeared off of the editing screen, so it will just have to stay there. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE WORD-FAITH MOVEMENT a religion to embrace when your ship comes in--at least so long as you don't make any foolish investments! From the website: The Word-Faith Teachers. This is the group that would seek to convince us that Jesus and His disciples were rich, that to be poor is a sin, to be sick is a sin, and that faith is a creative force that we can use to shape our world just like God supposedly created this world and universe that we live in through His "faith"! Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, John Avanzini, Robert Tilton, Fred Price, and Benny Hinn (who at the time of this writing has authored the number one best selling Christian book in America, "Good Morning, Holy Spirit") are just a few that spew out this theological vomit. A Sampling of Error To name just a few of the more outrageous things that have been said by these so-called teachers will stagger the senses: John Avanzini is convinced that "Jesus had a nice big house",(4) "Jesus wore designer clothes",(5) and "Jesus was handling big money".(6) Fred Price also claims that Jesus was rich and that He left us with an example to follow. That is why Fred drives a Rolls Royce; he is following Jesus' example! Mr. Price also communicates one of the more sickening beliefs of the Word-Faith teachers which shocks even those with a mild amount of common sense. He says, "How can you glorify God in your body, when it doesn't function right?....What makes you think the Holy Ghost wants to live inside of a body where He can't see out through the windows, and He can't hear out the ears?"(7) This insulting and insensitive comment regarding the handicapped and crippled among us stirs up anger in even the most hardened of consciences. Yet this statement by Mr. Price is followed by exuberant applause and approval from his congregation (I would like to hear Mr. Price say this to Joni Eareckson, or Tony Melendez). These kind of statements boggle our minds and stagger our senses. It would seem that most people would see the error in these teachings, yet millions follow these men with a militant passion. For some reason the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement has taken it up, at least according to Alan Howe: Evangelicalism is being rent asunder by a new liberalism in the academic world and, in the churches, by the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. The latter, obsessed with theological novelty, has fallen into heresey, most notably in the form of the Toronto Blessing and 'Word Faith' teaching.BeginningsModern Pentecostalism is only about a century old. Outbreaks of Pentecostal or Charismatic-type activity are discernible in church history. These include Montanism in the second century, the Zwickau Prophets in Luther�s day, and Irvingism in the nineteenth century. But these movements have always been on the margins of the church and were decisively rejected by the mainstream. The Pentecostal churches themselves largely arose from the radical wing of the Holiness movement, itself the radical wing of Methodism. From their earliest beginnings, they were characterised by theological divisiveness and heresy. US theologian Donald Bloesch points out that almost one-fifth of American Pentecostals today are unorthodox with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity! Even as recently as the 1950s, Pentecostal churches were regarded as distinctly sect-like because of their novel doctrines and practices. However, all this changed with the rise of the Charismatic movement (from 1960, and known originally as Neo-Pentecostalism) which saw the introduction of Pentecostal-type teachings into the older denominations.Even the Roman Catholic Church (from 1967) was not immune. Within a decade, Pentecostalism had gone mainstream. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MARK FIORE ON GAY MARRIAGE This should be at the end of today's blogs so you would leave laughing! Well, you could save it for last. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE MIESEL - VON HILDEBRAND DEBATE on conspiracy theories and the Catholic response is up on the website of CatholicCitizens.org. The website also carries the speech John Vannari delivered to the Fatima Peace Conference in Rome covering the Alta Vendita. CarrieTomko@aol.com

EXITING CATHOLICISM VIA THE ECUMENAL HIGHWAY ROME, DEC. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum. Q: I went to a Mass once on a retreat at a religious house where one Protestant read the epistle and a Protestant minister helped to distribute the Precious Blood. Is that allowed? -- K.D., Warren, Michigan The answer is a long and circuitous one, when all that was really needed was "No, of course not!" Think about it. Forty years ago we Catholics thought we were unworthy to even touch the consecrated Host. And what did this Protestant minister believe he was doing when he said "The Blood of Christ." Or did he simply skip that phrase since he didn't believe it? CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHAT WOULD CATHOLICS HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS 100 YEARS AGO? Vatican, Dec 3 - Pope John II in a meeting with an Iranian religious delegation and the Papal council members on Tuesday appreciated Iran's endeavors to hold talks among different religions mainly between Islam and Christianity. The Pope expressed his satisfaction with the Iranian delegation in Vatican and marked Iran's performances to hold religious talks as worthy of appreciation. In the fourth round of biannual talks between Islam and Christianity held in Vatican, humanity and spirituality points of different religions and common points among the religions based on justice, truth, love and freedom were reviewed. AND FROM PLANET ZIRCON... where all religions cooperate in celebrating the birth of the Son of God: Rome, Italy, Dec. 1 – A Muslim singer, Algerian Khaled, will sing at the 11th "Christmas concert at the Vatican" which will raise funds for new churches in Rome. CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHAT WOULD CATHOLICS HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS 100 YEARS AGO? Vatican, Dec 3 - Pope John II in a meeting with an Iranian religious delegation and the Papal council members on Tuesday appreciated Iran's endeavors to hold talks among different religions mainly between Islam and Christianity. The Pope expressed his satisfaction with the Iranian delegation in Vatican and marked Iran's performances to hold religious talks as worthy of appreciation. In the fourth round of biannual talks between Islam and Christianity held in Vatican, humanity and spirituality points of different religions and common points among the religions based on justice, truth, love and freedom were reviewed. CarrieTomko@aol.com

U.S. SOLDIERS SACKED COPTIC CHURCH IN BAGHDAD From Independent Catholic News: Christian Peacekeepers in Baghdad, issued a report today, documenting damage at the Holy Mary Orthodox Egyptian Coptic Church caused by US soldiers this summer. The church was built in 1668 and is located in Baghdad's Old City. Members of the CPT team visited the church with a human rights worker and recorded the following interview with the priests's assistant, which has been slightly edited."Old Baghdad was a very dangerous place as the recent war ended this spring. There was no law and order. Looters were everywhere, so four Egyptian men and I were guarding the church. Looters came into the church through the windows one night, but the other guards and I were able to fend them off. Later, we covered the windows of the church with cement blocks to make it more secure."There was a lot of shooting around the church on the evening of July 26, as many looters and gangs are centered in our area. But none of the gunfire was coming from the church. Soldiers from US Forces were nevertheless checking everywhere. They knocked on the door of the church that night, and I let them in. The soldiers immediately rushed in and spread throughout the church. They grabbed and handcuffed all five of us, detaining us together while they searched the entire grounds."Some of the soldiers desecrated the altar by walking all over it with their boots, while others hammered on the brick walls of the church, damaging the bricks."Yet another group of soldiers broke down the doors to several church offices. In one of the offices they pried open a small locked cabinet. They confiscated the passports belonging to the five of us, as well as 4.15 million Iraqi Dinars [$2,075 US] and $5,100 US of church money that was stored there. The money was being saved to buy books for the church library and for the future construction of a new church. [Most Iraqis do not keep valuables in banks due to the current instability]." Our Lady of Fatima pray for us. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

MAINTAINING DIGNITY AT NCR Tom Fox, NCR Publisher writes: As a journalist, I avoid joining organizations. However, I recently felt I had to make an exception. My wife and I earlier this month became members of DignityUSA (www.dignityusa.org). We felt a need to do something more visible in our support for gay and lesbian Catholics. Dignity USA describes itself in this way: "DignityUSA works for respect and justice for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the Catholic church and the world through education, advocacy and support." Its membership numbers 3,000. Gays still face considerable discrimination, not least in the Catholic church. Just last week, the nation's Catholic bishops, citing Catholic teachings, overwhelmingly approved a statement urging states to withhold recognition for same-sex marriages. They insisted they did not intend to offend homosexuals and called discrimination against gays unjust. However, they added they had an obligation to "give witness to the whole moral truth" and reinforce Catholic teaching that gay sex is a sin. Men and women of good will clearly differ on how they look at gay marriages. But coming in the wake of a number of anti-gay statements, the latest statement seemed to many to be yet another attack on gays and lesbians. If a reader didn't know better, it would be easy to get the impression that Dignity is the GLBT Catholic outreach. But the GLBT official Catholic outreach organization is called "Courage," not "Dignity." Courage promotes chastity. Fox argues that he has "a hard time believing a loving God would create a part of the human family only to demand it that it live in physical isolation. Especially when failure to do so might lead to some kind of damnation." So in the name of "love" Fox wants to promote sin. How conveniently he and those making the same argument forget that God is also just. That sin invites punishment. How loving is it to encourage someone to invite eternal damnation by making a sinful act their defining statement? Lest there be any doubt about the full range of options promoted by Dignity, and now apparently also promoted by the publisher of NCR, includes The Defenders, a bridge organization between Catholicism and the "leather community." Yes, there is a reason the website uses chains to separate segments. In today's Catholic Church its important to know the politics of the players, especially in the field of journalism. And now we know the politics of the publisher of National Catholic Reporter. Nuff said. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FR. WILSON COMMENTS ON THE REMOVAL OF FR. PAUL WEINBERGER from his Dallas parish where he has been successful in using the Novus Ordo prayed in Latin to unite a parish that is 70% Spanish speaking and 30% English speaking. This is just another typical sad tale of desire in the chancery to banish anything remotely orthodox...in this case it happens to be the official liturgy of the Latin Church. One could easily conclude from stories such as this one that there is a concerted effort being made in chanceries to destroy the Roman Catholic Church in America. Sounds like Malachi Martin's "Superforce" is roaming the hallowed halls in the Diocese of Dallas. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MAGICIAN ANDRE KOLE ISSUES CHALLENGE to Rev. Dr. Donald Stewart as reported by the Jamaica Gleaner: VISITING MAGICIAN Andr� Kole is offering US$1million to the Rev. Dr. Donald Stewart if he can prove his statement that Satan gives supernatural powers. Such evidence, he said, should be verified by an independent group of people. "If he can't he needs to shut up and quit causing all this problem and superstition about something that is totally unBiblical," said Mr. Kole. Mr. Kole's offer came in the wake of the Rev. Dr. Stewart's article published last Friday on page D6 of this newspaper under the headline 'Mr Kole, you are so wrong!' The Rev. Dr. Stewart, who is pastor of the Portmore Covenant Community Church said in his article "The Christian Bible clearly warns against involvement in all forms of occultic activity, including magic (regardless of how we redefine it) - If magic and the occult world are not really diabolic then it is obvious that the God who created the heavens and the earth has been misled and needs some guidance (possibly some revised theological education) on this matter. If demons and satanic power are not real, but merely illusionary, then someone should have told Jesus." CarrieTomko@aol.com

ECUMENISM IN THE NEWS There is an "Ecumenical Patriarchate" in the Orthodox Church? This is my first exposure to it. Can anyone explain what this is? Here is another brief article concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe there is discussion of an "Ecumenical Charter" at a meeting of representatives of Catholic, Orthodox, Luthern and other Christian confessions. The Methodists and the Lutherans host the Ecumenical Catholic Communities in the Twin Cities. CarrieTomko@aol.com

AIDS IN AFRICA The numbers are given (though some of them don't add up). Southern Africa, in its infection rate, looks to be in an equivalent situation with Europe during the Black Plague. According to Dr. Parry, a 15-year-old youth today in Lesotho has a 74% chance of being infected with AIDS before his 50th birthday. It's almost impossible to comprehend this tragedy. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, December 01, 2003

ECUMENICAL TALKS WITH THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION SUSPENDED over consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, according to the UK Telegraph. Top level unity talks between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches have collapsed after the consecration of Anglicanism's first openly homosexual bishop. In a bitter blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Vatican is preparing to suspend the talks following a final meeting in the New Year. That meeting was only rescued from a Vatican boycott by the dramatic resignation at the weekend of the senior Anglican participant, Bishop Frank Griswold. The liberal bishop, who presides over the American Episcopal Church, split the Anglican Church this month by leading the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. The consecration seriously damaged the Anglican Church's links with Orthodox and Muslim leaders as well as creating the impasse with Rome. CarrieTomko@aol.com

HILLARY C. AND THE NATIONAL ID From Raiders News Update: Sen. Hillary Clinton isn't waiting until 2008 to seek the presidency, says best-selling author Carl Limbacher in his new book, "Hillary's Scheme." Mrs. Clinton will surprise everybody soon with an announcement for the 2004 presidential candidacy. What's more, she'll be bringing a few surprises with her. According to Raiders News Update, one of her secrets is an ambitious national ID card scheme that will contain biometric information on every US citizen. The Democratic party front-runner admitted on WABC Radio recently that she supports a national ID scheme for U.S. citizens to control illegal immigrants and to beef up national security. The picture at the website is worth a thousand words. I always did think there was more to the wrangling over the last presidential election than scrambled balloting in Florida. It looks like the politically correct argument for the national ID is going to be keeping out illegal aliens. Why am I not convinced...? CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE COUNCIL "TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN" and Opus Dei. Startling Revelations from Giuseppe Dossetti. A conversation with Dossetti from 1984 is being published today for the first time. In it, he claims to have reversed the fortunes of Vatican II. And he has scathing words for Opus Dei and pope Wojtyla by Sandro Magister A sub-heading in this article from www.chiesa: �How is This Different From Freemasonry?� I won't summarize it. Just go read it. Thanks to a reader for sending the link. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE NATURE OF FREEDOM IN THE LAND OF MISS LIBERTY From the Washington Times: The growth of new technology, particularly since the September 11 terrorist attacks, has been tremendous and its effect on privacy "absolutely astounding," said civil libertarian Bob Barr. ��� "It seems to have given the green light to every sort of privacy intrusive technology imaginable � it's just an orgy of privacy invasive technology being developed by government and private industry," Mr. Barr said. ��� The Republican former congressman from Georgia said the government and private industry are lax in safeguarding privacy and do not consider it a priority. Never underestimate the power of chaos magick! CarrieTomko@aol.com

IMPLEMENT-THE-CHANGES SUNDAY in the Cleveland Diocese. Today was the day on which the changes in the liturgy were to be officially implemented, although at my parish the laity has been making the changes gradually over the last several weeks. For the most part, the transition has been smooth. Bowing during the Nicene Creed may take awhile to be implemented, but many are already bowing. We have always knelt from the Sanctus to after the Amen at the Eucharistic prayer, so no change was necessary. Hand holding during the Our Father has ceased with the exception of the servers who still held hands on the altar. Some people are using the orans position, but not many. There has been no change in the way we exchange the sign of peace. It appears that we were already doing that as required. Many now bow before receiving communion, though not all have started doing this yet, and a few people still genuflect before receiving. For the first time today, the Extraordinary Ministers did not approach the altar until the priest had received, and they were not involved in distributing the Precious Blood into the various vessels, nor did they go to the tabernacle. This is a welcome change that makes much clearer the distinctions between priest and laity. The periods of silence at various times during the Mass began today. It does appear, however, that the battle lines will be drawn around the posture after receiving communion. Father announced that we were still awaiting clarification on this posture. A notice in the bulletin stated "We are awaiting one more clarification on the congregation's "posture" during the distribution of Holy Communion." The parish continues to kneel at this time. The diocesan website places in bold this passage: And so � all of us who are able � are directed to stand from the Lord�s Prayer until the period of sacred silence which begins only after the priest returns to his chair after all have received Holy Communion. If an individual is not able (because of age or health or personal piety), then he or she may kneel or sit immediately after his or her individual reception of Holy Communion (GIRM, 43, 88 and CDWDS, Prot. N. 855/03/L). GIRM 43 states: 43. The symbol or profession of faith in the celebration of Mass serves as a way for the people to respond and to give their assent to the word of God heard in the readings and through the homily and for them to call to mind the truths of faith before thy begin to celebrate the eucharist. GIRM 88 states: 88. With his hands joined, the priest then invites the people to pray, saying: Let us pray. All pray silently with the priest for a while. Then the priest with hands outstretched says the opening prayer, at the end of which the people respond: Amen. So obviously there is some confusion here. Father mentioned the "dubium" after his homily. The dubium is described in the July-August 2003 Adoremus Bulletin which indicates: "Numerous inquiries" received by the BCL [Bishops Committee on the Liturgy] led Cardinal Francis George, chairman of the BCL, to submit a dubium (doubt, question) to the Holy See's Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) on May 26, 2003. The Dubium stated: Dubium: In many places, the faithful are accustomed to kneeling or sitting in personal prayer upon returning to their places after having individually received Holy Communion during Mass. Is it the intention of the Missale Romanum editio typica tertia, to forbid this practice? According to Adoremus, Cardinal Arinze answered that question on June 5, 2003: Responsum: Negative, et ad mensum [No, for this reason]. The mens [reasoning] is that the prescription of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, no. 43, is intended, on the one hand, to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture within the congregation for the various parts of the celebration of Holy Mass, and on the other, to not regulate posture rigidly in such a way that those who wish to kneel or sit would no longer be free. The article goes on to state "In the implementation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, therefore, posture should not be regulated so rigidly as to forbid individual communicants from kneeling or sitting when returning from having received Holy Communion." So it would seem that Rome has spoken, and that kneeling is acceptable. Which will work very well in my parish where everyone kneels. The evening news covered these changes, interviewing four Mass goers. One objected to the changes in general. One objected to standing after receiving communion. One was indifferent to the changes, being content with it either way. And one liked the changes. So coverage was balanced. The reporter placed particular emphasis on the change in Communion posture. Looks like this disagreement isn't going to go away any time soon. It does seem as though the leadership is determined to make sure we will have to time to spend meeting with Christ on a one-on-one basis. This relationship is being discouraged by this change in communion posture which our bishop seems to be determined to enforce. The "community" is to be given priority over relationship. This is a 180 deg. turn from the way we worshipped prior to Vatican II, and from the way we have been worshipping since Vatican II in at least some parishes. It's impossible not to wonder why a personal relationship with Christ during Mass disturbs some sectors so much. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, November 30, 2003

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND THE DOGMA OF INTOLERANCE an excellent article by James Hitchcock, linked at Michael Rose's website. discusses in simple language the prevailing cultural religious sentiment, saying in part: Ironically, while orthodox believers are now regarded as enemies of freedom, it is actually the secularists who constitute that threat. Those who think dogmatic religion is dangerous often try to inhibit the freedom of orthodox believers. There is respectable liberal opinion that holds, for example, that believers should not be allowed to hold public office (as in the current attempt to block the appointment of pro-life judges) and which even holds that parents should not be allowed to �indoctrinate� their children in the parents� own religions. Of the Ten Commandments, the one most under radical attack for some time has not been the Sixth, as appears obvious, but the First, which for most Christians is not even an issue. In the end orthodox Christianity is feared and disliked because it is monotheistic. It affirms, along with Judaism and Islam, that there is only one God. In that sense it is an inherently intolerant religion, and those who want Christianity to be endlessly �inclusive� forget that it is radically exclusive at its very foundation. Some Christians are attempting to overcome this problem, but in ways which destroy the very essence of Christianity. ��� One is the sentimental belief that somehow all religions are expressing the same truth in different ways. ��� CarrieTomko@aol.com

MORE COLLEGE STUDENTS STUDYING RELIGION according to this Beacon Journal article. Students crowd into two of the University of Miami's Religion 101 classes, the latecomers sitting cross-legged in the aisles. They're the lucky ones: The university had to limit two of its Religion 101 classes this fall to the first 530 who signed up -- as it has had to do in recent semesters. ``Kids are discovering their faith in college and they are looking for any opportunity that comes their way to find it,'' said Jeffrey Shoulson, a assistant professor of English and director of the Program of Judaic Studies at Miami. Religion has become one of the hottest areas of study in campuses across the country. Since the late '90s, members of Generation Y have been taking classes to help explain the world as well as find themselves a religion, often by mixing and matching beliefs. Universities are responding by offering more religion classes, from an overview of the world's faiths to concentrated looks at them. At the University of Akron, student interest has led to two new philosophy minors -- one in world religions, the other exploring the intersection of science and religion. Some students are curious about world religion and others are ``on their own personal religious quest,'' said Philosophy Department Chairman Howard Ducharme. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE AKRON BEACON JOURNAL WEBSITE has the review of The Da Vinci Code from Saturday's edition on its website. Basically the review rehashes the standard defense of Brown and then offers a couple of conflicting viewpoints, one, surprisingly, from a member of the Jesus Seminar who almost defended traditional Christianity: Darryl Schmidt, a Texas Christian University religion professor and member of the liberal Jesus Seminar, said Brown wrote a good novel based ``on what I call folklore'' about the Holy Grail and secret societies. He agreed that Mary Magdalene was an early church leader and that there were hints of a sexual relationship with Jesus. ``But saying they were married and had a family goes beyond any hard evidence that historians could endorse,'' Schmidt said. This comment is good, too: ``It's reconstructionist history,'' said Mark Lowery, professor of theology at the University of Dallas, who said Jesus' divinity was declared and most books of the Bible were chosen before the time of Constantine. Is it becoming politically incorrect to defend Brown's fairy tale? CarrieTomko@aol.com

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