Saturday, January 10, 2004

"THE STEM AND THE BRANCHES; JOACHIM OF FIORE AND HIS NINETEENTH-CENTURY MYTH" Dr. Virginia M. Hyde, Professor of English Literature at Washington State University, has written a paper with the title headlined above, describing Joachim's influence over the centuries. Some facts from the paper: * Joachim and his followers liked to depict the development of historic movements by means of "genealogical" trees and charts. These designs diverge significantly from the more familiar Jesse tree, which portrays the Old Testament patriarch Jesse as the stem of a tree with David and other descendants as branches and Christ as the flower; Joachimite versions generally place Adam at the base and represent the final flowering of the tree not in the age of Christ but in a future age of "spiritual men." That passage would explain the strange drawings, linked below, at the International Center for Joachimist Studies. Who are these "spiritual men" that replace God? * ...he has been associated (rightly and wrongly) with Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, the French Revolution, Comtean Positivism, the Third Reich, Marxism, and other diverse movements. That appears to be a nice catalogue of the sources of movements that draw people away from the Trinitarian God. * Joachim has been termed a "false prophet" (along with Merlin and Nostradamus)--in fact, both Nostradamus and Paracelsus drew on pseudo-Joachimist prophecies... A really bad sign. Paracelsus was an occultist. * His name has appeared in lists of Catholic saints and in catalogs of heretics...for Joachimism left its traces among Franciscans (and certain other orthodox thinkers) as well as among occultists... Those Franciscan Spirituals who took up his prophecies eventually found themselves excommunicated. * Joachim held that history unfolds in three states (status), reflecting the pattern of the Trinity in time... Apparently Jesus didn't know that, because He didn't pass that information along to the Apostles. * ...one of his views, a doctrine of the Holy Ghost which he had advanced in opposition to Peter Lombard's, was condemned in 1215 without challenge to his personal piety. * The renewed interest in Joachim, though partly anticipated...centered in nineteenth century France...with Sand as perhaps its major popularizer...[he]associates the "liberty, fraternity, and equality" of the French Revolution with the third age... That, unfortunately, places this third age clearly in opposition to the Church and in agreement with Freemasonry. * ...[the] Vintrasian Cult of the Paraclete--apparently influenced somewhat by Joachimist thought--as well as Rosicrucianism and Satanisme. Yeates, too, who knew the same milieu, not only wrote of Joachim but also joined hermetic and theosophical groups while including French Luciferian elements in some of his early essays... This clearly moves Joachim's thoughts into the occult universe. * Henri de Lubac wrote La Posterite spirituelle de Joachim de Flore, a 2-volume composition about Joachim. With such unusual and dubious connections, with some of his theology condemned, with much of his material "rare and untranslated" as Dr. Hyde indicates in her paper, one would expect Joachim to be an obscure footnote; yet he seems to have had and continues to have a major impact on Christianity, the occult, and Catholicism. Some evidence of the extent of that influence is displayed in an Easter 1999 Pastoral Letter by Bishop Paul Tchang-Ryeol Kim, of Cheju Diocese, Korea. Bishop Kim says: A visionary who lived in the 12th Century (Joachim of Fiore) classified the history of salvation into three ages: the age of the Father, the age of the Son, and the age of the Spirit....Of course, the entire work of salvation is a common work by the three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity. The work of salvation does not just belong to the Father and the Son but to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. By the action of the Holy Spirit, our salvation and the life of Christianity can reach their peak. Therefore, we cannot regard as groundless the words of that visionary that the age of the Holy Spirit would be the climax of salvation. Can a new age that is not mentioned in Scripture be a greater "climax of salvation" than the death of Christ on the cross at Calvary? All of salvation history is oriented to the Good Friday through Easter Sunday events. These, particularly Easter Sunday, are the primary feasts on the liturgical calendar. Pentecost is important, but it does not outshine Easter Sunday. Our faith teaches that revelation is closed. Chapter Two, Article III of the CCC indicates, "God has said everything in his Word." "There will be no further Revelation." Passage 67 in Chapter Two states: "Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history." Yet what we see in Joachim of Fiore is new doctrine. Nowhere in Scripture is an Age of the Holy Spirit set forth. Adding to revelation is extremely questionable. Even more so when some of the work of the mystic of choice has been condemned. Bishop Kim's letter continues: The Second Vatican Council was an important council for several reasons. I think the major significance of this Council can be found in that it provided momentum for the Second Pentecost. Soon after his installation, Pope John XXIII received a revelation that the Church needed reform....As he was summoning the new Council, the Pope offered a special prayer for the grace of a new descent of the Holy Spirit. He invoked fervently a new descent of the Holy Spirit as another Pentecost so that the Church, which had become stagnant, lost vitality, become rigidified, and lost fervor, might restore vitality, vigor and warmth....it was God Himself who gave the revelation to the Pope. This was how the Second Vatican Council became a council of the Holy Spirit. After the conclusion of the Council of the Holy Spirit, the Church revised the missal before anything else. What has this Holy Spirit given us in the days since the Council that leaves us with no doubt that Bishop Kim is correct? Full churches? A flourishing clergy? Well educated youth? Catholics faithful to the magisterium? Holy priests and faithful bishops? Devotion to the sacraments? Rather instead, the fruits seem to be less than satisfactory. How then, is it the work of the Holy Spirit in a Third Age? Rather, considering the fruits, what spirit is it? The bishop says: "...the charisms should be welcomed with gratitude and a feeling of consolation for the growth of the Church..." The Church has grown since Vatican II? Perhaps Korea is having different experiences than the U.S. is having. Yet why is the Holy Spirit effective there, if He is, and ineffective here? He goes on: In a broad sense, private revelations are the graces and privileges that any of the faithful can receive. Who can lead a life of faith without private revelations? It will not be possible. One cannot live as a Christian without inspirations and revelations. If this is the Second Pentecost as the Bishop indicates, then apparently many people have been leading lives of faith over the centuries without private revelations. Or is he suggesting that faith died out for 2,000 years only to be revived at this late date? The Bishop tells us that "Without private revelations I would not have anything to say as a pastor." Really? He has nothing to say to his people about Scripture and the teachings of the Church? Further along he continues: Therefore, to view private revelations as taboo is to turn one's face away from the graces of the age of the Holy Spirit, which is the climax of the history of salvation. He says that in spite of the fact that he also says that there have been "persistently recurring false private revelations and their harmful effects." There are no guidelines given to determine what is true and what is false. One could read this Letter and come away eager to hear voices--any voices. Perhaps he tells us more than he intends with this passage near the end of the Letter If the charismatic movement has not spread and become popular, could it not be because of you yourselves? Think about whether it has been you who have made those who had been hesitant about opening their hearts to the Holy Spirit become even more closed. If the forms of devotion that you have adopted look strange and even disgusting, how can the graces be distributed widely among all classes of God's people? Many of the clergy and laity have become disgusted with your imprudent behaviors and eventually become resistant toward the Holy Spirit and even behave rudely toward Him. How can you be of any service to God and the Church, as long as you are perceived as unorthodox groups? Perhaps the problem is not with the people but rather with the "spirit" that the Bishop is offering them! False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. Matt. 24:24 CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, January 08, 2004

INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR JOACHIMIST STUDIES The scholars are taking Joachim of Fiore seriously it seems. The charts on this page in the website are intriguing, colorful, and unfamiliar to this Catholic. SODALITIUM It's published in Italian. Its archive only goes back to #52. I would like to read No. 48, April 1999 in English, but can't find it anywhere except here, which is not a good source, and here which isn't much better. Nevertheless, these sources claim to offer a reprint from this issue of the magazine. And in this article is the following: Father de Lubac does not hesitate to classify Mickiewicz as part of the "spiritual posterity of Joachim of Fiore," even if further on he defends Mickiewicz�s orthodoxy, just as he defended Father Teilhard de Chardin�s, with whom he explicitly linked Miekiewicz. (8) A desperate attempt in both cases. Thus, through Lubac, we deepen our knowledge of Mickiewicz. And: what caused Lamennais to fall into the abyss which led him into apostasy was the brochure that Mickiewicz had given him. Lamennais "had admired Mickiewicz�s booklet: �Such a pure expression of the Faith and liberty in one place is a marvel in our servile and unbelieving century�� And: Although Mickiewicz no longer saw one heretic (Lamennais), he did see another one, worse perhaps: Andrzej Towianski (1799-1871), with whom he had studied in Vilna. Towianski had gone to Paris in 1841, "He cured from a distance" Mickiewicz�s wife, who had been hopitalized in a mental hospital, and so, for Mickiewicz, became like "a messenger from God." �For the next three years, the last two being spent at the College of France, Mickiewicz made himself the herald of Towianism." (pp. 253-25) [sic] Towianski was an adept of "messianism," a current begun by Ho�n�-Wronski (1778-1853) "who wound up believing that he was charged with announcing �the end of Christianity.�" Lamennais broke with the Church late in life and died unrepentant. But most likely you are wondering why this matters. And who was Adam Mickiewicz? To best answer that question, turn to George Weigel, Witness to Hope where he says: In the weeks after his inaugural Mass, John Paul II regularly broke out of the gilded cage that was now his home and office. On october 29, he went by helicopter to the Marian shrine at Mentorella, cared for by the Resurrectionist Fathers, a group of priests whose nineteenth-century founding was inspired by Adam Mickiewicz. p. 271 According to Weigel, Mickiewicz, a renowned Polish poet, had been a significant inspiration of Karol Wojtyla's Rhapsodic Theater. He memorized Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz (p. 34-36) And when the news that Cdl. Wojtyla had been elected Pope, reached Poland, the Polish people placed his picture on Adam Mickiewicz's statue in Krakow. In June of 1979, when Pope John Paul II visited Poland, he began his sermon at Jasna Gora by quoting from Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz (p. 309) Turning to Credo, an article about the "New Springtime inspired by the Holy Spirit" by Bishop Carl Mengeling, ends with this passage: "From chaos there arises the world of the spirit." These words of Adam Mickiewicz, written at a time of great hardship for his Polish homeland, prompt my hope for you: may your art help to affirm that true beauty which will transfigure matter, opening the human soul to the sense of the eternal. The "New Springtime" arises from chaos. And this "New Springtime" is inspired by the Holy Spirit. In other words the "New Springtime" is synonymous with the charismatic revival? And the phrase "New Springtime" came from Adam Mickiewicz, who was inspired by Joachim of Fiore? It's worth thinking about. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FR. WILSON'S TRIBUTE TO FR. WEINBERGER in his column at Crux News asks some questions at the end that have no answers--questions that need answers: So, Father Weinberger packs up and moves on. Good priest that he is, he will settle into St William�s in Greenville and it will soon be a beehive of activity. But, not for the first time, we are left wondering: why do so many in positions of authority in the Church find it so hard to foster the good? Must every parish in America be a mass-produced Amchurch product? Why can�t we rejoice in and foster the work of a Priest who helps others to love God? Why? How many times can we keep asking it without getting reasonable logical answers instead of silence from those who must answer? Fr. Weinberger's parishioners asked the Bishop why, and got no response. Fr. Weinberger asked why, and got no response. Good and faithful Catholic parents have written the Pope asking why the sex ed programs were corrupting their children, and got no resonse. And abused minors and their parents looked for an admission of wrongdoing, a sympathetic ear, a word of apology and encouragement, and got no response. I think we all know how to get a response. Mouth the party line. Listen to what prevailing voices are saying and repeat it loudly and often, and we will get lots of response. But we dare not have a mind and a voice to express our thought processes. We dare not depart from the prevailing mantra. To think...to read Church history...to read papal documents and take note of major changes in doctrine is to cross the line. And once we cross it, silence is our reward. We become outcasts. Anethema. Untouchable. There are certain things a priest may not do, as Fr. Weinberger found out. He may not use Latin and chant which his parishioners love and the Council documents promote. If he does, silence and banishment will follow. He may not have a vibrant traditional parish, a true community, a congregation focused on God. Only the "parish community" that says "vibrant" often, and celebrates itself, while marginalizing traditional members, is acceptable. But a priest may abuse minors and be in good standing for years. A bishop may enable an abuser to abuse again. A priest may spout heresy from the pulpit and never be questioned by those in power. A theologian may teach it. A charismatic may look down with disdain on the average parishioner, knowing in his heart that his faith is vastly superior to that of the common Catholic rabble. Our children's religion textbooks may be empty of content or contain apostasy, and no one will address it. A parochial school teacher may teach birth control to an eighth grade classroom of boys and girls without censor even though it violates what our Church claims is doctrine. A Catholic politician may vote for abortion. A bishop may kiss the Koran. And the Whys? will just continue to echo in the silence. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ROMAN PROMOTIONS AND CONTRADICTIONS from Chiesa: ROMA � Among the notable recent nominations, there are a few that are wholly and entirely the work of Pope John Paul II. He personally planned, willed, and effected them. And they seem to be mutually contradictory. The first nomination is that of a cardinal. His name is Tomas Spidlik, 84, a Jesuit from Moravia, and he has spent his whole life studying and teaching the theology and spirituality of the Christian East. In 1995, John Paul II asked him to preach his Lenten retreat in the Vatican, a sign of great favor. In 1996, he entrusted to him the work of remodeling, in his own way, the largest of the private papal chapels in the Vatican. The result was a masterpiece of Christian art (a detail is shown in the photo) with a strong Eastern flavor, in the heart of the patriarchate of Rome and of the West. It may be the greatest act of ecumenism in the pontificate of Karol Wojtyla. The second nomination is that of an archbishop, Carlo Caffarra, promoted on December 16 from Ferrara to Bologna, replacing a front-ranking cardinal, Giacomo Biffi, who resigned due to age. Caffarra is also one of the pope's favorites, and has worked many times as his ghostwriter. Caffarra, too, is a theologian, like Spidlik and Biffi himself. But how different he is from both of them! His favorite themes are the family, procreation, and sex. His argumentation is mathematical and dialectical. If Biffi brings to mind St. Ambrose, and Spidlik Mount Athos, Caffarra recalls instead Monsignor Umberto Benigni, an implacable enemy of the modernists of the early 20th century. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE MORE I LEARN ABOUT POPE JOHN PAUL I the better I like him. Here is a discourse on prayer which he gave in January of 1965, while he was still Bishop of Vittorio. It's titled "I'm no mystic." Wish he had lived longer. If I'm ever fortunate enough to get to heaven, I hope I might get a chance to know him. CarrieTomko@aol.com

HOW DID DECEMBER 25 COME TO BE CHRISTMAS DAY an article from the December Touchstone Magazine by William J. Tighe, is now online. If you're curious, check it out. Turns out the Pagans DIDN'T have the holiday first. In fact: the pagan festival of the "Birth of the Unconquered Son" isntituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the "pagan origins of Christmas" is a myth without historical substance. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

NEW LITURGY DOCUMENT EXPECTED According to Catholic News, the new document that has been expected since Ecclesia de Eucharistia was released last April is expected to be made public soon. The article indicates there will be nothing new, but rather a formalization of the changes in GIRM that we have already seen. But it goes on to make this statement: "From an excessively rigid framework, we have passed over to an excessive freedom," the Civilta Cattolica article argued. The article spoke of "spontaneity without restraints" in liturgical celebrations. But it also warned against "a nostalgic return to formalism." The Jesuit journal made the argument that "abuses are best regulated not by reprimands," but by proper instruction and formation in proper liturgical celebration. "Excessive freedom"? "Spontaneity without restraint"? That is the opposite of what we were given this fall, when so much emphasis was placed on everyone assuming the same "posture." CarrieTomko@aol.com

JOACHIM OF FIORE The similarities between Joachim's pope and the current occupant of the Chair of Peter are striking. 1. Joachim's pope rules after prolonged sufferings endured by Christians. John Paul II tells us that there were more martyrs in the 1900s than there had been altogether up to that time. 2. Joachim's pope is "holy and full of gentleness." That certainly describes John Paul II. 3. Joachim's pope shall reunite the Eastern and Western Church. John Paul II has tried mightily to accomplish this. 4. The highest potentates bow down before the presence of Joachim's pope. The potentates of the world visit John Paul II to seek his opinion. 5. Under Joachim's pope all men return to the primitive Church. There has been a lot of talk about returning to the primitive Church during John Paul II's pontificate. 6. Joachim's pope breaks the weapons and scatters the fighting hordes. John Paul II tried to break the weapons and scatter the combatants of the War on Terrorism. 7. Joachim's pope preaches the gospel in every country. John Paul II has traveled around the world preaching the gospel. 8. Joachim's pope rules during a time when the faithful sing hymns of thanksgiving to the glory of the Lord because everything succeeds so well. John Paul II forecast a "new springtime," and certainly appeared to expect such a glorious new time for the Church at the Jubilee.. 9. Joachim's pope reigned during the age of the Holy Spirit, after the age of God the Father and the age of God the Son had passed. John Paul II declared a Year of the Son (1997), a Year of the Holy Spirit (1998), and a Year of the Father (1999) in preparation for the Jubilee year 2000. The order of progression was not the same, but the charismatic community which he applauds does believe that we have reached an age of the outpouring of the graces of the Holy Spirit. Such an outpouring is not really Scriptural, however. This outpouring, according to Scripture, began at Pentecost and will continue until the world ends. Of course not all of the prophecy seems to be fulfilled in John Paul II, but enough of it to make me curious about Joachim. What else is attributed to him? I found an article reprinted from a 1994 issue of 30DAYS, No. 3, titled The Tam-Tam of the Spirit" by Gianni Valente, which contains this information: JOACHIM AND THE LODGES The Calabrian Mason Franco Galiano, lecturer at the University of Naples, has recently published with Brunner his THE ESOTERIC INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY IN JOACHIM DA FIORE, a neat little book which has been immediately translated by renascent Masonic circles in eastern Europe. In the preface by Ettore Loizzo, former assistant Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy, the revival of Joachim is hailed as the indication of a hoped-for spiritual change: "After a series of debates on the triumphs of secularization and pleasure-seeking materialism, it seems that there is a decisive reemergence of mysticism and esoteric inquiry as the central elements in intimate and direct experience." And Galiano told 30DAYS the reasons for the fatal attraction of Joachim the Lodges feel: "Joachim lived centuries before the founding of Masonry but he is also a would-be Mason. His conception of life as mysticism entirely corresponds to that mystico-esoteric quest which is the point of the task in the Masonic workshop. His vision of history as the progress of the three ages coincides with the Masonic belief in human perfectibility, in the self bettering of man and the yearning for the creation of a just society. Joachim may become a bridge between Catholics and Masons, not least because of his ideas about the reform of the Church." The article also speaks of the millenarian preparations for the year 2000: A "Slav" inclination to millenarianism which Accattoli [Vatican expert Luigi Accatoli] dates to the years spent in Cracow {already in his book THE SIGN OF CONTRADICTION the future Pope was speaking of a "new event" in the history of mankind), but which has heightened over the last two years. That was written in 1994. The article appears at the St. Benedict website. A Sede website, I believe. However, 30DAYS is not a Sede publication to the best of my knowledge. Cdl. Ratzinger also wrote about Joachim of Fiore according to this article from NCR. It was to be the book length contribution to research required of German doctoral candidates after they have completed the dissertation: Ratzinger then focused on Bonaventure�s conflict with the �Spiritual Franciscans.� That branch of the Franciscan movement had been inspired by the apocalyptic visionary Joachim of Fiore to expect a third age of history, an era of the Holy Spirit, in which the poor would be liberated and the rich torn down. Bonaventure, Ratzinger argued, rejected this expectation of a dramatic intervention by God inside human history. The reign of God, in other words, had to wait for the next world. Ratzinger put it this way: Orthodox belief �tears eschatology apart from history.� Thus when Ratzinger began investigating liberation theology in the 1980s, he thought it had a familiar ring. The liberation theologians too, Ratzinger felt, wanted redemption inside history, and he saw their hopes as equally false. In taking on liberation theology, Ratzinger saw himself picking up Bonaventure�s argument against the Spiritual Franciscans from several hundred years before (he also, according to friends, saw echoes of the Marxist-inspired 1968 student revolts in liberation theology). There is also this reprinted article from 30DAYS, "Joachim and His Spiritual Sons" by Massimo Borghesi, again available at the St. Benedict website. Some quotes: From the Church visible to the Church of the spirit. From the historic Gospel to the eternal one. Not "anti-" but "trans-Catholic ". The passage via Hegel which has made the standpoint of the Calabrian monk important today in the crossing from Pelagianism to Gnosticism. The "Age of the Spirit" is believed to be here in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Renewal. Christian time splits in two: the era of the letter and that of the spirit, of the bodily Church and of the spiritual one, of Christ and the Spirit. The outcome is an eclipsing of the presence of Christ and, in parallel, a "messianism" which...no longer has the Messiah as its object but the Spirit in the concrete shape of that eschatological 'spiritual order'". A "messianism of the Spirit" which necessarily takes on the figure of a utopian prospect ... But there is no Age of the Spirit in Scripture. In Scripture Jesus Christ is our salvation. Returning to the article: ...the Council constituted a watershed in the history of Christianity, a point of rupture between a still "bodily", earthly, dogmatic and institutional Church, and a "spiritual" Church, tolerant, animated by freedom and the desire for peace. It was supposedly an epochal passage, mediated by the Spirit, from a "constantinian" Christianity connected to the defence of "Catholic" particularity to an open, ecumenical Christianity and universal because latent in all men. A cosmic panchristism here encounters a "pneumatic" theology generating the theory of "anonymous Christianity' [sic] whereby the "Church visible" can only have a purely extrinsic and residual function. As regards Augustine, this means a sharp rejection of the dialectic between the two "cities" in favor of the Origen-Joachim schema of the unification of the world within a single spiritual ecumene (the contrast between the Origen model and the Augustinian one... The age of the Spirit, as the time of the "dialogue" between the Church and the world, is no longer characterized by the tension between grace and sin, supernatural and natural. This tension is resolved into another, altogether of this world, between the spokesmen of the "new order", of progress and the primacy of the future, and those who instead remain tied to the past and the preserving of it. The secular, enlightenment, version of Joachim's thought thus imposes itself on the Augustinian theology of history. Given the great influence he exerted, a key figure in this transition between the two visions is Teilhard de Chardin....In fact Teilhard was one of the great "visionaries" of the age of the Spirit in our century. "The idea has come to me," he wrote in 1929, "that one could write an essay entitled _The Third Spirit_, that is, the 'Spirit of divinization of the World', as against the over-simplistic alternative of 'Spirit of God' and 'spirit of the world' '.... As in Joachim we are no longer looking at an anti-Catholic position but a trans-Catholic one, a trans-interpretation of Christianity. Somehow I don't think trans-Catholicism is quite what Christ had in mind. From Robert Sungenis, who will immediately get me labeled "integrist" I suppose, but whom I will quote anyway: During this time, Joachim of Fiore (1132 -1202) initiated a spiritual revival that influenced the whole of the later medieval period. Joachim attacked the Scholasticism of the period and accused its adherents of denying the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A subsequent group called the Joachimites became the source for most of the mysticism of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 15th and 16th centuries, groups under the name of Illuminati, which included such mystics as John of Avila (1500 - 1569), Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582); John of the Cross (1542 - 1591), and Ignatius Loyola (1491 - 1556), write of many miraculous phenomena occurring in their lives, including tongues (Laurentin, pp. 138-142). In his work Spiritual Journal, Ignatius makes daily mention of "loquela" (ecstatic speech) that came to him in prayer. Yet he also writes that he was not sure whether the experience was caused by God or a demon (Ibid., pp 84-85). There is only one word for all of this...YIKES! Our Pontiff's fascination with Soloviev, which I used to think was very wise, is beginning to take on a new appearance. The CCC addresses this vision of the future in one small passage, #676: The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatalogical judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism. CarrieTomko@aol.com

NEW JERSY APPROVES CLONING for therapeutic purposes. The governor says "today we celebrate a great day for families...." How is killing children a "great day for families?" It's an oxymoron. Consider this from the article: "The New Jersey law is designed to encourage government-sanctioned 'human fetus farms,'" said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, in a statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. So, if you were created at the fetus farm (from one of my skin cells as the article indicates) instead of being created in your parents bedroom, your tissue can be harvested to serve my purposes. The fetus farm produces second class humans with no rights. Ah-ha...you are my slave! I can have my way with you. Give me your liver! Give me your heart, your lungs, your eyes! You are mine to do with whatever I please. Mine to destroy. This article on the bill spells out my rights over you: the bill "would not only allow the cloning of human beings for research purposes, but would also allow cloned human embryos to be implanted into a woman's womb, allow the cloned human to develop to the fetal stage, and then use this human child for research where he or she could be killed for their 'spare parts.'" When I'm finished with you, you will die. You will never see the light of day. Rest easy in the womb that shelters you. Little do you know about your fate. I might consider demanding legislation that will bring you to term, so that you can service my needs. You can cook for me, you can clean for me. I can turn you into a sex slave. You are not human even if you think that you look human. You are expendable! You are nothing! You have no value! Welcome to the Brave New Families of New Jersey's Future. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

RETURNING TO JOACHIM OF FIORE WHOM DR. O'NEILL DISCUSSES IN HIS STUDY ON THE TAROT... Joachim, a Catholic Abbot whom Dr. O'Neill discusses in "Catharism and the Tarot," as indicated in a post below, is included in the old Catholic Encyclopedia where he is listed as Joachim of Flora," (1132-1202) In that entry it is stated that "The holiness of his life is unquestionable; miracles were said to have been wrought at his tomb, and though never officially beatified, he is still venerated as a beatus on 29 May." Pope Lucius III warmly approved of his work in 1182. Urban III, in 1185, and Clement III, in 1187 approved it as well, though the latter asked him to submit his work to the Holy See for judgment. But there is also the following concern: "Although certain doctrines of Joachim concerning the Blessed Trinity were condemned by the Lateran Council in 1215, his main teaching does not seem to have excited suspicion until the middle of the century. Many works had meanwhile come into being which were wrongly attributed to Joachim....Joachists went far beyond what the abbot himself had taught. They held that, about the year 1200, the spirit of life had gone out of the two Testaments and that Joachim's three books themselves constituted this "Eternal Gospel," which was not simply to transcend but to supersede, the Gospel of Christ. The Catholic priesthood and the whole teaching of the New Testament was to be rendered void in a few years. This work was solemnly condemned by Alexander IV, in 1256, and the condemnation involved the teaching of Joachim himself. His central doctrine was confuted by St. Thomas in the Summa Theologica (I-II, Q. cvi, a. 4)" In other words, Joachim's work raises difficulties. So what did he teach? According to the Encyclopedia, "The interpretation of Scriptural prophecy, with reference to the history and the future of the Church, is the main theme of his three chief works...The mystical basis of his teaching is the doctrine of the "Eternal Gospel," founded on a strained interpretation of the text in the Apocalypse...There are three states of the world corresponding to the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. In the first age the Father ruled, representing power and inspiring fear, to which the Old Testament dispensation corresponds; then the wisdom hidden through the ages was revealed in the Son, and we have the Catholic Church of the New Testament; a third period will come, the Kingdom of the Holy Spirit, a new dispensation of universal love, which will proceed from the Gospel of Christ but transcend the letter of it, and in which there will be no need for disciplinary institutions. Joachim held that the second period was drawing to a close, and that the third epoch...would actually begin after some great cataclysm which he tentatively calculated would befall in 1260." The prophecy, however, proved false when, in 1260, there was no cataclysm. Ronald Knox in his book Enthusiasm says "The notion that the Church had failed, and the Divine revelation had been entrusted to a faithful remnant, was fostered, beyond doubt, by the millenarian speculations of the time. It is not necessary...to decide the question how much Abbot Joachim, how much his editors, were responsible for this apprehension of impending Judgment; he was an author singularly rich in pseudepigrapha. But he had certainly commented on the Apocalypse; and every commentator on the Apocalypse is liable to stir up a hornets' nest....Joachimism contrived to leave the world in suspense; the Abbot died in 1201, but, less impatient for quick results than most prophets of doom, he only announced the coming of Antichrist for the year 1260. It can hardly be a coincidence that that was the year in which Dolcino refounded the Apostolic Brethren, and that 1259 saw the beginning of the Flagellant outburst. But, much more significantly, Joachim seems to have been the patentee of those speculations about world-history which are for dividing [the world] into three separate Dispensations, that of the Father, that of the Son, and that of the Holy Ghost....to the heretic, Cathar or Waldensian, who felt the loneliness of his significant protest against the religious solidarity of Europe, it was a timely comfort to feel that his movement was the coming thing, whereas the Catholic Church was only the corpse of a great tradition." (p. 110-111) Dr. O'Neill writes "From the beginning of the 13th century through the 16th century, there was a general impression that a new age of the Holy Spirit was dawning and the world was soon to end. Joachim's vision is very much a part of this development...Joachim's ideas were readily accepted into the syncretism of the Renaissance because their vision of a new classical golden age fit well with the emergence of an Age of the Spirit." And, "Although Joachim offered a complete theory of history, it was his prediction of the immanent transition to a new age that attracted the most attention." Turning to Rev. R. Gerald Culleton's book The Prophets and Our Times I found one long prophecy from Joachim on p. 146-147. It says in part: After many prolonged sufferings endured by Christians, and after a too great effusion of innocent blood, the Lord shall give peace and happiness to the desolated nations. A remarkable Pope will be seated on the pontifical throne...Holy and full of gentleness, he shall undo all wrong, he shall recover the states of the Church, and reunite the exiled temporal powers. He shall be revered by all people, and shall recover the kingdom of Jerusalem. As the only Pastor he shall reunite the Eastern to the Western Church, and thus one only faith will be in vigor. The sanctity of this beneficent Pontiff will be so great that the highest potentates shall bow down before his presence. This holy man shall crush the arrogance of religious schism and heresy. All men shall return to the primitive Church, and there shall be one only pastor, one law, one master--humble, modest, and fearing God. The true God of the Jews, our Lord Jesus Christ, will make everything prosper beyond all human hope, because God alone can and will pour down on the wounds of humanity the oily balm of sweetness....This Pope shall break the weapons and scatter the fighting hordes. He will be the joy of God's elect. This angelic Pope will preach the gospel in every country. Through his zeal and solicitude the Greek Church shall be forever reunited to the Catholic Church. Before, however, being firmly and solidly established in the Holy See, there will be innumerable wars and violent conflicts during which the sacred throne shall be shaken. But through the favor of Divine clemency, moved by the prayers of the faithful, everything will succeed so well that they shall be able to sing hymns of thanksgiving to the glory of the Lord." It sounds like a "new springtime" coming at the end of a period of time devoted to each of the persons of the Blessed Trinity, doesn't it? If manifestations of the presence of the Holy Spirit begin to appear during a period of time that seems to correspond to this prophecy, would one be tempted to see that as the fulfillment of the prophecy? But the prophecy was condemned. This teaching was found to be heretical. A prediction for the year 1260 did not come to pass. So as I said, Joachim's work raises difficulties. CarrieTomko@aol.com

OH BOY! One little typo...a "b" instead of an "i" in one post can screw up the entire weblog. I think I have the italics fixed. But won't know for sure until this post and the one I just fixed appear on the blog. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MAD COW DISEASE AND PRIONS A breakthrough from North Carolina State University: Research by North Carolina State University scientists, in conjunction with scientists from the Netherlands and BioResource International, an NC State spin-off biotechnology company, has shown that, under proper conditions, an enzyme can fully degrade the prion � or protein particle � believed to be responsible for mad cow disease and other related animal and human diseases. These transmissible prions � believed to be the cause of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the technical name for mad cow disease, as well as the human and sheep versions, called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and scrapie, respectively � are highly resistant to degradation, says Dr. Jason Shih, professor of biotechnology and poultry science at NC State. But the new research, which tested the effects of a bacterial enzyme keratinase on brain tissues from cows with BSE and sheep with scrapie, showed that, when the tissue was pretreated and in the presence of a detergent, the enzyme fully degraded the prion, rendering it undetectable. The research was published in the Dec. 1 edition of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Michael Brown proposes an interesting theory on this subject at the Spirit Daily website. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MORE NEWS ON THE FATIMA SHRINE AND INTERRELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES A little more news has arrived from Portugal on Fatima's new pan-religious venture, this time from the Fatima Shrine's own journal, Voz de Fatima. The November 17 issue of this newspaper ran two short pieces about the Congress, both of which give the appearance that the pan-religious program at Fatima is the way of the future. The alleged plan to turn Fatima into an "Interfaith Shrine" received no mention; neither confirmation nor denial. Yet tragically, the journal spoke in glowing terms about the Interreligious Congress, and about Fatima's new ecumenical orientation. The first article entitled "Specialists Point Towards Sanctuaries as Examples of Growth in Faith," summarized the closing remarks of the Fatima Congress. Voz de Fatima said, "The example of the presence of representatives of several religions at this meeting was highlighted ... by the organizers, considering that 'interreligious dialogue is not a favor or a yielding up of something, but rather a necessity of faith itself'."[2] This is extremely grave. Here the Fatima Shrine's official newspaper tells its readers that the novel concept of pan-religious dialogue, which by the Congress' own definition means that we do not try to convert non-Catholics to the Catholic Church, is a "necessity of faith itself". How could it be a necessity of "faith itself" that Catholics no longer attempt to convert to the true Faith those who are in the darkness of false religions? Voz de Fatima then writes, "Msgr. Luciano Guerra, Rector of the Fatima Shrine, expressed the same opinion comparing dialogue to bridges, in this case between different religions. 'We intend to analyze the foundations of the bridges to find out if we can count on them in the future,' he affirmed. In his opinion, Fatima plays an 'essential role' in the strengthening of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue." This statement is similar to what Not�cias de F�tima attributed to Msgr. Guerra, where he said, "It's the first step. We are like the engineers in Portugal who begin by examining the structures of the bridges to see if we can trust them in the future." We may assume that despite Msgr. Guerra's alleged "caution" about "testing the structures," the Fatima Shrine, according to the Shrine's official journal, is now embarked on the ecumenical program.... The second article in Voz de Fatima quotes the Vatican's Archbishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Fitzgerald was also a speaker at the Congress, and praised Father Dupuis' heretical speech wherein Dupuis denounced the Council of Florence. The article entitled, "Dialogue Between Religions Progressed Much with John Paul II," opens: "The President of the Council for Interreligious Dialogue, during the proceedings of the International Congress at Fatima, praised the actions of John Paul II in opening up to other religions, pointing out that Catholicism has changed its manner of viewing them." "The missions still remain and we announce Jesus Christ but the manner in which we do so is different," now that the Church is beginning to "recognize signs of the sacred in other religions, points of discussion that, before John Paul II and Vatican II, were not raised." There is a break with our tradition (our Tradition?) here that certainly borders on heresy if it doesn't cross the line. The idea that "signs of the sacred" are contained in other religions, particularly when those religions don't flow from Catholicism, as Protestantism, for example, does flow, will require us to accept all religions. The Masons have been preaching this mantra since the organization was founded. Eight popes told us we could not accept the teachings of Freemasonry. Now a representative of John Paul II is telling us that we can accept at least this part of Masonic philosophy. So whom do we trust? Eight previous popes or the current one? Because we must choose. The two ideas are incompatible. The decision must be made in the light of the Book of Revelation. In the light of that book, this change is not convincing. We are talking about adherence to the First Commandment here. The one that talks about "strange gods" indicating that there are such things. Since they cannot be found in our own religion, they must be conceiled in other religions. How then, can we embrace the teachings of other religions and not violate the First Commandment? John Vennari has quoted some papal teaching in this article. A Catholic should be aware of what he is saying and what is happening and how it fits into our history and our Tradition. It isn't reasonable to simply dismiss Vennari as an "integrist." Not when he is quoting the teaching of previous popes. The issue MUST be addressed. This is a new faith that is being proposed. Maybe it's the work of God, but maybe it's the work of His enemy. And our eternal fate depends upon our making the right decision. We simply cannot be faithful to the First Commandment when we place other religions and thus other gods on the same level with the Trinitarian God. We can't be Catholic and still claim that all gods are equal. I want to trust our Pope in all of his decisions. But how can I do that when previous popes have taught a different lesson? Development of doctrine cannot be stretched to cover this novelty. It is an either/or proposition. And the weight of Catholic Truth rests with the previous teaching. What's more, if we truly believe in the message of Dominus Iesus we are being deceitful when we take part in a religious ecumenical activity that carries the message that another person's god which is not the God of Judeo-Christianity, is the same god as the one we worship. We should not be lieing to our fellow man...not by our words nor by our actions. Deceitfulness is the work of the enemy of Christ. The article contains an interview with Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Jose de Cruz Policarpo, in which these critical questions are asked. The interview apparently ended when the Cardinal did not know how to answer the questions put to him without denying the faith. It's an interesting exchange. It resulted in the young people asking the hard questions being placed under "guard" and not permitted to ask any further questions. Is that the way of the future of Roman Catholicism? Must freedom to question and reason be denied to us if we are to be "good Catholics"? Christ asked of the apostles, "Who do you say that I am?" He is still asking that question of each and every one of us. And we must answer it. On the answer to that question our future, our eternal fate, rests. We must consider very carefully before we answer it. Our Lady of Fatima pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHY THE CHURCH BELIEVES FATIMA IS A LEGITIMATE APPARITION is spelled out in this St. Austin Review (STAR) article. Our Lady of Fatima Pray for Us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

POYNTER CLERGY ABUSE TRACKER MOVES TO NCR Beginning today, you�ll find the Tracker at www.ncrnews.org/abuse, hosted by the National Catholic Reporter on its website. You�ll find a detailed announcement of the switch here (http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=46&aid=58415). Archived pages of the Tracker back to March 2002 will continue to be accessible via this page. The archives include thousands of Feedback comments contributed by users and attached to articles through Dec. 31, 2003. Poynter will not be archiving either articles or feedback posted after that date. Poynter will send the final e-mail edition of the Tracker today. You can sign up for a daily e-mail reminder of new Tracker posts from NCR: http://www.ncrnews.org/abuse/signup.php. To read the rest of the story, click "Related web links" on the left at the above website. Then click "Clergy Abuse Tracker." CarrieTomko@aol.com

PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY REVIEWS "MONA LISA SMILE" a movie released during the Christmas season that was supposed to transmit once again feminist propaganda. Here is the tail end of her comments: The neatly dressed and bright Wellesley students have more self- confidence and self-esteem than the professor. But the movie caricatures them to look smug and old-fashioned. The movie ridicules the notions that a wife would delight in displaying her new automatic washing machine and dryer (remember, this was the fifties), or take pride in keeping a kitchen clean. The movie showed a wife who didn't even look oppressed when she was mopping or vacuuming! Irrelevant advertisements from the fifties for Dutch Cleanser, an ironing board, and a girdle were what passed for humor during the dreary two-hour movie. The audience is supposed to be unsympathetic to the student who had a big traditional wedding and soon discovered her husband was cheating on her. The audience is supposed to think it served her right because she was dumb to choose marriage. On the other hand, the audience is supposed to sympathize with the lesbian nurse who was fired for giving contraceptives to college students in violation of state law. The audience is expected to empathize with the student who was outrageously promiscuous. Despite enormous advance television publicity, the message of "Mona Lisa Smile" isn't selling. When Oprah featured the movie cast on her program with a live student audience, the final comment came from a student who rejected her mother's feminist ideas and said she wants to be a wife and mother. What's out of date today is not the fashions of the fifties but university-imposed political correctness of the nineties. To enjoy the smiles you didn't have while watching "Mona Lisa Smile," I suggest you rent a video of the 1988 movie about another stereotypical feminist professor. The movie is called "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" and stars Bill Maher in the "politically incorrect" role of his life. See...political incorrectness is catching on! I guess that means that I'm right in style. Perish the thought! :) CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, January 05, 2004

CATHARS AND TAROT CARDS I've been blogging about them and about the Albigensian Heresy. It doesn't take long for a study of the subject to bring up the Tarot. In this case, it also brought up Robert V. O'Neill. O'Neill has a website devoted to "Special Studies in Tarot." One page in this website is titled Catharism and the Tarot. This website, incidentally, includes the "Eye of Thelema," a version of the Eye of Horus first used by Ordo Templi Orientis. Dr. O'Neill is the author of more than 240 publications according to his bio. He is a Senior Research Scientist and Corporate Fellow, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. One of his specialties is Ecological Theory. Another of them is, obviously, the Tarot. His analysis of imagery in Tarot cards was published in the Journal of the International Playing Card Society in 1982. He is the creator of 60 unpublished Tarot decks. Another bio of O'Neill is carried on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory website. This one involves his environmental work exclusively, listing his awards. Dr. O'Neill is something else, as well--a Catholic. He studied for the Catholic priesthood. Apparently he left off that study and moved on to Buddhism and an "interest in mysticism across the breadth of human cultures." Dr. O'Neill offers a paper online, "About Tarot", subtitled "Secret Societies and the Origins of Tarot". Then there is his new Tarot deck interview plus an extensive report on the iconology of the arcana. In Dr. O'Neill's study of Catharism and the Tarot you will find Part V: Joachim of Fiore. Keep that name--Joachim of Fiore--in mind, because I will get back to it later. CarrieTomko@aol.com

DISNEY HIRES EX-PRIEST AS GREETER Catholic World News blog has linked this article at the Boston Herald website: Once defrocked, a priest would be unlikely to receive retirement or health benefits and would be forced to move off church property and find other means to support himself, Doyle said - a prospect that even victims and their advocates find troubling. ``You cut these guys loose, where are they going to go?'' plaintiffs lawyer Carmen Durso said, noting most accused priests have not been criminally convicted. ``While I don't like the church paying them, so long as they're under their jurisdiction we know where they are and what they're doing,'' he said. Even without being defrocked, priests who have been removed from ministry due to abuse allegations have been foisted on an unsuspecting public, Durso said. Among those are the Rev. Robert Kelley, who ran a Back Bay flower shop until his imprisonment last year, and the Rev. Robert Morrisette, now a concierge at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Defrocked priest Hugh Behan of Missouri was later employed as a greeter at Disney World. ``If they just laicize them, they can become school teachers, soccer coaches or Boy Scout leaders,'' Durso said. ``They've got to find a medium security monastery and put them in a place where they can't offend.'' Lee Penn suggested a monastery many months ago, and the wisdom of his suggestion was immediately apparent. We have a responsibility for our troubled priests. We can't foist them on the general public. Find a nice desert monastery where they can be fed, clothed and sheltered. Don't put them in a prison where the inmates will kill them, and don't push them off on an unsuspecting public to abuse again. We will not have heard the end of this scandal when all of the facts are known. The next headlines will be "Defrocked priest abuses 12-year-old paperboy" or something similar. CarrieTomko@aol.com

SCHOOLS CHOOSING TO "RE-EDUCATE" CHILDREN WHILE DISREGARDING PARENTAL WISHES The Catholic World News blog is discussing it. A story in San Francisco Faith about a program to override parental instruction about homosexuality. Here is a link to the Cootie Shots website. Just a couple days ago that report on Transnational Progressiveism that I linked below indicated that schools were doing things like this. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, January 04, 2004

PART 2 OF CARL OLSEN AND SANDRA MIESEL'S REVIEW of The Da Vinci Code is up at the Envoy website. They've done an excellent job of digging out the facts. If you have an interest in this controversy, it's well worth reading. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CATHARS were the subject of a Guardian Unlimited article written by Stephen O'Shea. In the article he paints a picture of the Languedoc at the end of the nineteenth century: Thanks to Peyrat, the faith of the Cathars, further bowdlerised by enthusiasts, went on to enliven turn-of-the-century seances, jazz age Orientalist fantasies, Nazi musings, Languedoc separatist diatribes, hippie literature, treasure-hunter tall tales and other alternative writings. "Esclarmonde of Foix" began showing up in Paris as a disembodied voice at seances frequented by intellectuals and socialites disgusted, at least for an evening, by 19th-century materialism. The Cathar Perfect were ideal interlocutors for such groups. Fin-de-si�cle France also saw an explosion of theosophy - a rediscovery of the religions of the east. Among the occult salons and secret societies, Peyrat's Cathars prospered. They went from being proto-liberals to inheritors of a line of eastern wisdom. A neo-Gnostic Church was founded by a man who declared himself the gnostic patriarch of Paris - and, significantly, of Monts�gur. Peyrat's treasure of Monts�gur became a cache of ancient knowledge in a theory advanced by an influential occultist, Jos�phin P�ladan. His friends - Charles Baudelaire, Joris-Karl Huysmans and others - called him Sr, as befitted his self-proclaimed status as descendant of the monarchs of ancient Assyria. P�ladan-Sr pointed out that Montsalvat, the holy mountain of Wagner's Parsifal and Lohengrin, had to be Monts�gur. This led to the myth of the Pyrenean Holy Grail, the elusive secret behind western civilisation hidden in the mountains between France and Spain. After the calamity of the first world war, which led to a continent-wide interest in the paranormal, the call of the Cathars was heard beyond France. British spiritualists descended on Monts�gur, where occultists were busily embroidering Peyrat's narrative, among them D�odat Roch�, a notary from a town near Carcassonne. Roch� was a disciple of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, which promised its followers direct immediate contact with the spirit world. Roch�'s Cathar-tainted anthroposophy was open to all influences - Hinduism, druidism, gnosis. CarrieTomko@aol.com

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