Saturday, January 17, 2004

WHO SPEAKS FOR THE POPE? The question is important particularly in light of the fact that the Holy Father's speech is often said to be "slurred." Additionally, much of what we learn about Rome comes via the voice of someone whom we trust is in communion with the thinking of the Pope. That may not always be the case, as this article from Catholic News Service points out: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A phantom papal quote about Mel Gibson's new movie has thrown a spotlight on a growing problem at the Vatican: For such a hierarchical organization, it has a muddled way of divulging information. Particularly in recent months, it seems that Vatican officials are not always working from the same script. On issues as diverse as events in Iraq and the morality of condom use, the universal church seems to be speaking with more than one voice. The article goes on to give details of the mixed messages we have heard in recent days, and then closes with this statement: When journalists seek official clarification on these kinds of questions at the Vatican press office, they often go away empty-handed. The Vatican is not like the White House, where daily press briefings are routine. The papal spokesman, Navarro-Valls, rarely appears in the journalists' room of the press office, and it is not easy for most reporters to get him on the phone. The press office handles a huge flow of papal speeches and Vatican documents. But for candid commentary reporters are increasingly forced to rely on anonymous sources and "don't-quote-me" insights -- in the hope that they're not self-serving. CarrieTomko@aol.com

COMMENTS I've finally learned what happened to the comments. In a nutshell, BlogSpeak went "Poof!" "due to hosting troubles", whatever that means. Anyway...HaloScan is picking up BlogSpeak comments. All that's needed is to retrieve the code and put it into the template. Tomorrow. When I'm awake enough to do it without destroying the template! Hopefully. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, January 16, 2004

AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM Stephen Brady's publication, came today. I began reading it before lunch, and continued to read it while eating. I've had to stop if I want to keep my lunch down. The centerfold of the magazine offers pictures from Chicago's Gay Pride parade, including a portion of the float donated by AGLO (Archdiocesan Gay & Lesbian Outreach - part of the Diocese of Chicago). The nudity in the parade is covered by black boxes in the pictures. A couple of quotes from Brady's publication: * September 29, 1996 a flyer was passed out at OLMC (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel) Parish advertising the 25th Anniversary Celebration for the militant homosexual organization "Dignity." The flyer passed out at OLMC Parish included "Blessings" for sodomite couples. * In the May 20, 1998 issue of _NightLines_, a "Quintessentially Queer" weekly, Chicago-based publication for homosexuals, you will find an advertisement for AGLO and OLMC Parish. Along with AGLO's ad you will also find many xxx-rated ads for live sex shows, adult movies, leather bars, dating services, messages and more. * Read June 17th, 1999 _Wanderer_ article titled: "Cardinal George Endorses AGLO's Marching In Gay Pride Parade." "Thus our participation in the gay parade not only represents our community of faith--sharers but also the Catholic hurch" [sic] (OLMC AGLO Church Bulletin). * In the October 3, 1999 issue of the _Catholic New World_, the Chicago Archdiocese's newspaper, appears an article titled "AGLO offers parishes a vision for outreach." Steve Berg of AGLO was interviewed for the story. What is most offensive is the fact that Cardinal George's newspaper claims that AGLO is a "working model for success to dioceses across the country." Once you read our report on AGLO's activities and view our centerfold on their participation in Chicago's "Gay Pride Parade," it becomes clear that this so-called gay ministry could only be considered a model for other dioceses if the purpose of the "ministry" was to undermine Church teaching foster dissent, and promote perversion. That is only a small portion of the material presented. Interestingly enough, I mentioned Fr. John J. McNeill yesterday in my blog, quoting material he preached at Sunshine Cathedral. Brady offers a quote from John J. McNeill's book which appeared in the OLMC parish bulletin: * The October 25, 1998 OLMC/AGLO Parish bulletin "The Blaze," contained the following quote from a book by John J. McNeill. "We gay people must risk believing that God is not homophobic, even though the human church is. We must learn to accept our gayness as a gift from God..." The same bulletin also advertised a retreat titled: "Sons of Earth--A spirit Day for Gay & Bisexual Men. "AGLO member Bro. Joe Kilikevice guides a journey of integrating spirituality and sexuality..." But the bombshell in this issue is the headline of Brady's editorial: Are the Sodomites in Control? No help from Rome -- The Vatican is the problem In this editorial Brady states: RCF, through Fr. John Hardon and Cardinal George, was in contact with the former Papal Nuncio and Vatican officials whom we offered all the proof they needed to act against Ryan. The Vatican did nothing! While I am not aware of all the power struggles that are going on within the American hierarchy, I can say that there is no excuse for Rome's inaction against Ryan. It becomes clear that Cardinal George, the Papal Nuncio, Ratzinger and Vatican Officials had betrayed the faithful. There is not enough memory on my computer to share all the information I have regarding Ryan and Rome. In my opinion, to not publicly protest and denounce the current Vatican Leadership is unacceptable and immoral. They have left known rapists in power to save embarrassment, thereby enabling them to continue to rape and destroy all in the name of respect for higher office. A Vatican official, cardinal, bishop or priest, who willingly and without so much as a word of public warning, knowingly places children (or souls under his care) at such risk is a disgrace. Earlier in the editorial Brady says: Now from time to time, I do receive a complaint or two regarding my so-called "attacks" on the hierarchy. Some of the statements made to me are; "The Pope doesn't know," "The Pope is kept in the dark," "He is surrounded by bad people," "The Vatican works quietly behind the scenes," and so on. To this I say, if the Pope didn't know he should have known. If he is surrounded by traitors--he should replace them with people he trusts. He has been Pope for 25 years which, I would think, is plenty of time to implement his plans and put his people into key positions. If the Church's existence is about saving souls, then look at the present condition of the Church. If this is a great Pope, what condition would the Church be in if he was a bad Pope? Why are these things happening in the Church? Why does there seem to be no remorse coming from the Bishops for the shameful incompetence they have displayed? Why do they still believe they can force programs on the children in their parishes which violate the teachings of the Church by overriding the parental wishes, as is happening in Arlington? There are countless "Whys" and no answers forthcoming. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CHARISMATIC RENEWAL - PENTECOSTALISM - OR MONTANISM? A very brief debate developed this afternoon between Carl Olson and myself at the Envoy blog. (Scroll down to the blog titled "Disingenuous Dispensationalist Definitions".) The following blog reflects some further thinking and web surfing on the topic we discussed. In a response to a letter to the editor of Catholic Faith Magazine, which challenges the assertion that "baptism in the Holy Spirit" is an authentic Catholic practice, the editor responds: "It is part of a larger claim by some charismatics. They say the Church of the future will be the Church of the Holy Spirit and no longer the Church of the hierarchy and the sacraments instituted by Christ." Fr. John Hardon seems to confirm that statement. He writes: What is called the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" is variously interpreted by charismatics. The most common interpretation is the belief that some people receive what is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These would be persons who receive certain extraordinary gifts, such as those received by the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday. This claim is purely gratuitous. It is part of a larger claim by some charismatics. They say the Church of the future will be the Church of the Holy Spirit and no longer the Church of the hierarchy and the sacraments instituted by Christ. I'm not a charismatic and so I have no way of knowing how prevalent this assumption might be. Certainly as we face the shortage of priests, our churches will be administered by lay people, and Communion services will replace Sunday Mass. Unless something turns our empty seminaries around, this charismatic conception will be correct. But this is hardly a new concept. Montanus had a similar notion. The website of St. Hilarion Orthodox Monastery speaks of "Counterfeit Christianity", saying: The Montanists rejected the Church's hierarchy to emphasize spectacular spiritual phenomena and preached a new age of the Holy Spirit. That was the idea of Joachim of Fiore as well. And it is the idea of Frather John J. McNeill, who preached at the Sunshine Cathedral on Pentecost, 2002. He said: A prophetic Cistercian abbott in Italy named Joachim of Flores in the early thirteenth century foresaw the total transformation of the Christian Church as it existed in his time, and the dawn of an extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit....He said that the third stage will be the age of the Holy Spirit, when the "hierarchical Church, becoming superfluous, would in time dissolve." Attaining this third stage has much to do with the present crisis in the Roman Catholic Church and also affects all of us who claim to be part of the Christian community. I don't know Fr. McNeill's standing in the Church, but seem to recall someone indicating he had had a falling out. In any case, if he is involved in the Pentecostal Movement, it is reasonable to assume that he may influence the charismatic movement. The two cannot be separated even in doctrine. This is an ecumenical movement. A private Roman Catholic website also makes the statement near the bottom: We are now in the era, or age of the Holy Spirit, just as Old Testament times was the era of the Father, and New Testament times the era of the Son. At the very least there is serious confusion regarding the future of our Church. Joachim spoke of a time in the future when Catholics would be living in monastery-like settings...living like monks. Look at the new ecclesial communities. Living there is frequently communal, quite similar to monasteries and convents. And these are the future of the Church in the mind of John Paul II. This is where he places the hope for the Church. And this is where the seminaries are filled, i.e. the seminaries attached to the new ecclesial communities. The Montanists lived by the concept of a "New Prophecy": The birth of the "New Prophecy" can be traced to Montanus's baptism, when he was filled with the Holy Spirit and announced that: As the dispensation of the Father had given way to the dispensation of the Son, so the dispensation of the Son had now given place to the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, for [he maintained] Christ's promise of the Paraclete had now been fulfilled. In giving a brief history of Montanism, the above linked website also states: As the Christian Church grew in numbers and prosperity the fire that had driven it on began to burn low. The heresies of Marcion and the Gnostics had been halted, but only at a cost. Increasing moral laxity and formalism produced fertile ground for a re-assertion of holiness and freedom in the Holy Spirit (things that the Gnostics had depreciated). Montanism is often described as a reaction against the increasing authority of the Bishops... Based on that statement, the RCC is fertile ground for reviving the Montanist Heresy. We are certainly reacting against the authority of the Bishops since the sexual abuse scandal erupted. We have a Pope who allowed this to happen. We have Bishops who have allowed this to happen. These are not foolish men. They surely know what they are doing. And surely they could see what they were doing to the Church. Yet they proceeded in activities that were destined from the beginning to undermine the laity's faith in the hierarchical Church. Why? CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, January 15, 2004

EVER DREAM OF A REALLY CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH YOUR COMPUTER? Nanotechnology is leading the way. Skip that extra box of Godiva and save your pennies, folks. A dollar to a donut says it's gonna be expensive! CarrieTomko@aol.com

ECUMENICAL POTENTIAL OF JOACHIM OF FIORE I've already pointed readers to a Tarot website that cites Joachim. He seems to be influencing the Catholic Church at present as well, since Mickiewicz was influenced by Joachim and subsequently influenced Karol Wojtyla. Joachim is also at home in Protestant Pentecostal circles. Melvin E. Dieter cites Joachim in his online essay, "The Development of Nineteenth Century Holiness Theology" at the Wesley Center for Applied Theology website. The Holiness Movement was a direct forerunner of the Pentecostal Movement. In fact the concept of Baptism in the Spirit developed in the Holiness Movement long before Azusa Street was a thought in the mind of Charles Parham or William Joseph Seymour. Some facts brought to light in the article: * Controversy was to be one of the primary contextual elements within which the theology of the Holiness revival was to develop throughout the century.... ...the chief concern of the special efforts was the promotion of Christian perfection, the central and special doctrine of the Wesleyan movement merely intensified the doctrinal confrontations which accompanied the revival throughout the century. Not surprisingly, the controversy still accompanies this movement wherever it goes. * Phoebe Palmer, a prominent lay person in the burgeoning movement, played a pioneer role in modeling and defending the right of women to a place of public ministry in the church. The Catholic renewal movement coming out of CTA also pushes women's ministry to the forefront, though I'm not versed in how closely CTA and the Charismatic Movement are connected, if at all. * The experience of Christian perfection as the beginning of the life of growth in holiness rather than the culmination of its mature graces became the focal point of the Christian life. In other words, once you spoke in tongues you were holy. * The ideal of Pentecost and the certainty that the revival marked the beginning of a new "age of the Spirit" eventually became the dominant force in shaping the vision of the movement and its mission. Pentecostalism and millennialism went hand in hand. * Holiness revivalists believed that in the renewal of the Pentecostal experience and gifts, the Church and world were experiencing the final stage of history before the consummation of all things in Christ...."The Age of the Spirit," had come in which the one invisible Church, hidden among the many sects of the time would finally be revealed as the one true visible "Church of God." It had been organized by the Spirit and not by human devices. Their understanding of the church as the dwelling place of the Spirit, their emphasis upon Spirit Baptism, upon the primacy of Spirit leadership and organization of the church, their insistence that men cannot ordain those who have been called by the Holy Spirit but rather, merely recognize the Spirit's sealing of the individual, all are indications of an ethos which pervaded the revival. * ...the stream of authentic Wesleyan continuity which allowed Pentecost and Spirit baptism to become so significant an element in holiness theology flowed from [Wesley's colleague, John - ct] Fletcher's writings rather than Wesley's. * Dieter discusses Joachim's 3 ages of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, indicating that all three are active in each age, but that one is dominant in each age. He indicates the ages : reflect growth, saying: The first of boys, the seconf of men, the third of the aged... Pope John Paul II has referred to the "third age" in reference to the elderly as well, saying: "Precisely as persons of the third age you have a specific contribution to make to the development of an authentic 'culture of life,' witnessing that each moment of existence is a gift from God... He said that to 40,000 pilgrims who attended the Third Age Jubilee. Turning to Vinson Synan's history of the Pentecostal movement (The Century of the Holy Spirit, Thomas Nelson, 2001), Synan says: Although the Pentecostal movement had its beginnings in the United States, much of its basic theology was rooted in earlier British perfectionistic and charismatic movements. At least three of these--the Methodist holiness movement, the Catholic Apostolic movement of Edward Irving, and the British Keswick "Higher Life" movement--prepared the way for what appeared to be a spontaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit in America. (p. 2) The Catholic Encyclopedia says of the Irvingites (the Catholic Apostolic Church, followers of Edward Irving): The sect arose from certain extraordinary "manifestations of the spirit" -- tongues, prophecies, healings, even raising of the dead...They worship apart, indeed, because they believe that they have a special call to do so. They accept the Apostles' Creed, and the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. It is their form of church government and liturgy which are peculiar to them....Each congregation has at its head an "angel", or bishop, who ranks as a "pastor", and who has under him twenty-four priests and seven deacons. The ritual is exceedingly elaborate, resembling in many ways the most splendid functions of the Catholic Church. At Matins and Vespers they have "Proposition" (Exposition) of the Sacrament. On Sundays and holidays they have solemn celebration of the Eucharist with lights, incense, and vestments. They use oil and water in their ritual observances. The sect, however, did not survive the death of the last of Irving's apostles. Apparently their holy spirit was inadequate for a long-term relationship. Irving was a well-known preacher, especially among those with an interest in end-times ideology. His church on Regent Square had among its regular attendees members of Parliament, authors, insurers, bankers; and leading religious figures in the United Kingdom would visit there when they were in London. His students spoke in known tongues, but as always the movement divided the congregation. He was thrown out, and founded the Catholic Apostolic Church. According to Unity Publishing's paper "What Spirit Is This?", the tongues in Irving's church "was virtually identical to what passes for 'the gift of tongues' in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements." Today The Catholic Apostolic Church For All Nations Luthern Church is attempting to carry on the tradition of the Irvingites' branch church which was founded in Germany. Their homepage features a symbol of the rosy cross, or Rosicrucians. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

FR. THOMAS DOYLE AT NCR IS STILL ASKING WHY? and not getting any answers. Why did the bishops cover up sexual abuse by Catholic clergy for so many years and why did it take a tidal wave of devastating publicity, an endless squall line of high-profile lawsuits and a massive drainage of dollars to wake them up? They are still on the defensive and denial is still at towering heights. We can never forget that there have been two significant parts to this nightmare: the countless instances of sexual abuse of children, minors and adults by Catholic deacons, priests and bishops and the concerted efforts at cover-up, deception, stonewalling and re-victimization by the church�s leadership. It is the cover-up and not the abuse that has caused the erosion of trust! He is still asking Why?, but there isn't even a hint that his question is going to be answered any time soon. His Why? is confined to the abuse scandal. It could be extended to a Why? for all of the turmoil since Vatican II. Why are there no explanations? How can we recover until the Whys? are answered? The question just continues to haunt. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

THIS IS THE WEBSITE where you can get the latest information on the condition of Fr. Benedict Groeschel. He is currently in critical but stable condition, with many injuries. May God grant us the healing of Fr. Groeschel. He is needed here. Pray! CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHERE HAVE THE COMMENTS GONE? They disappeared last evening and haven't been around all day. Well, they weren't getting much use in recent days, so I'll wait until later to worry about that. Who knows, they might fix themselves! CarrieTomko@aol.com

OLD FRIENDS STOPPING HERE WILL RECOGNIZE the man at this website from ancient battles. He hasn't changed his style. Click the essay "The Mythos, Faith, and Culture" to see what I mean. It seems that prayer failed to effect any improvement in his attitude toward Catholicism. He is still the same old Marc. From the essay: The corruption of Christian rhetoric, the exercise since the Protestant Reformation of intentional religious-cultural amnesia, the practical apostasy from ecclesiastics and intellectuals, Catholic and Protestant, who advance secular conceits disguised as Christian truths, undermine the lex credendi - doctrine-, no less than ersatz liturgical innovations since Vatican II (1963-68) in Catholicism truncate the lex orandi--the experience of piety traceable to earliest times. Both corruption and truncation destroy the continuity of faith. Unlike the language of the old debates, though, a standard dictionary would probably get the reader through this essay. There are still times when I miss the skirmishes. It kept the web time lively. If he were around today, I'd ask him for a definition of Phenomonology. He'd have one. And it would probably make more sense than any definition I've read anywhere so far. For folks I haven't known that long, Marc and I had a few disagreements back in the 90s on a Catholic message board. I lost a lot of them, but some believe finally won the ultimate battle that sent Marc surfing into new territory permanently. Last I knew he was considering joining the Coptic Church. One thing I learned from him. Culture is shaped by religion. Take the religion out of the culture and the culture either morphs or dies. Nothing I've read since those debates has changed my opinion on this. Which is why I find the movement toward Gnosticism so disturbing. CarrieTomko@aol.com

AN AMUSING TALE OF ADVENTURES BY PLANE from Paul Hein at LewRockwell.com, is well worth the time to read it, especially if you fly a lot and can sympathize. This was my laugh for the day: The airplane is a flying bus, and the motley passengers reflect that fact. My first airline flight, at age sixteen, was aboard a Constellation, and I just naturally wore a suit and tie. Everyone was dressed as though for Church. Come to think of it, though, passengers are still dressed as if for Church: blue jeans, T-shirts: whatever falls out of the closet. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN BURLINGTON, CO WAS DESECRATED BY VANDALS and fires were set on Friday, according to the story in the Denver Post. "Begone, Satan," Quezada ordered during the exorcism Monday at St. Catherine of Siena, Burlington's Catholic church. The statue of St. Catherine, the patron saint of firefighters, was knocked from its stand in the rear of the church early Friday morning after vandals set fires inside the church. They also destroyed pages of scriptures, tore down the 14 Stations of the Cross and attempted to set afire wooden statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Jesus. In addition, Quezada's vestments were set on fire and the holy Eucharist was taken from its tabernacle and thrown about the church. The fire started sometime between 2 and 4 a.m. Friday. The town is small and part of the population is Hispanic. Trust in this community was so great that several dozen parishioners had keys to the church. "This is an explicit attack against Roman Catholics," Quezada said. The town's resident priest for 1 1/2 years, Quezada said he wondered whether the attack was also directed at Hispanics, not just Catholics. "Am I the first Hispanic leader in this community? Yes, I am," he said, adding that shortly after his arrival he began saying Mass in Spanish for the area's bilingual and Spanish-speaking residents, something rare in rural communities. There is a hint in the story that some foreign element has moved in and is active after dark: Just a 10-minute drive from the Kansas border, Burlington exudes small-town hospitality during the day. But after nightfall, it's a different story, Police Chief Randy Millburn said. "There are some bad people in this town, and I am not sure why," said Millburn. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BISHOP MULDOON HAUNTS CHICAGO RECTORY according to the account given by former priest Rocco Facchini in his book about it that has become popular with Chicago area priests. His description of Muldoon's activities in the rectory are dramatic, but perhaps embellished? Then again, the story of St. John Vianny would rival this one for theatrics, and it's true. The Roman Catholic Church has no official doctrine or dogma about ghosts, said the Rev. Jeffrey Grob, associate vicar for canonical services in the Chicago archdiocese. The church does teach, however, that after people die, their spirits go to heaven, hell or purgatory -- a kind of in-between where souls work off leftover sins before entering paradise. The church also teaches that souls in the spirit realm can interact with the physical realm, said Grob, who is writing his doctoral dissertation on exorcism. "We say that there have been apparitions of the saints, and if they're declared saints the presumption is that they're in heaven," he said. "Maybe the church has been cautious in not making some dogmatic declaration [about ghosts], but the parts of it are all there, in terms of faith is concerned." Scripture certainly has something to say about ghosts. The biblical Book of Deuteronomy warns against "consulting ghosts" or "oracles from the dead." The Book of Isaiah talks about "ghosts and familiar spirits that chirp and mutter," and the Book of I Samuel tells the story of how King Saul got himself in trouble by asking the Witch of Endor to conjure the ghost of the prophet Samuel. So the idea that Muldoon's ghost could have haunted St. Charles parish does not contradict any explicit Catholic teaching, Grob said. CarrieTomko@aol.com

WESLEY CLARK REDEFINES GOD Does your mom want you? If Wesley Clark has his way, she had better, or she may never decide to give you life: Clark flashed his extreme pro-abortion credentials by saying that, "until the moment of birth, the government has no right to influence a mother's decision on whether to have an abortion," the paper reported. "Life begins with the mother's decision," Clark said. Clark told the Union Leader that he would discern a potential judicial candidate's position on abortion not with a litmus test, but by sifting through previous cases and legal decisions. "I don't believe people whose ideological agenda is to burn the law or remake the law or reshape it should be appointed whether they are from either side," Clark said during an interview with editors and reporters from the paper. The comments are upsetting to many who are pro-life, and Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America said Clark was "catering to the extreme edge to win the Democratic primary." "Clark goes beyond Roe v Wade. There is no medical or legal precedence for saying life doesn't begin until a woman decides. It would be difficult for him to find people that extreme to fill all the judicial slots," Wright told LifeNews.com. What an utterly stupid statement. If women can play God by creating life, they certainly can't run for political office. We could never cast a vote for God, after all. Hmmmm. Can I say that he is anti-feminist? (Women, after all, are harmed by having an abortion. Some of them even die during the procedure.) No, probably can't make the label stick, but it's tempting. Surely the Democrats can find something better than this to offer the public! CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, January 12, 2004

THE SECRET PAUL VI - A BOOK BY JEAN GUITTON which I have not heard of until now, is referenced at this The Crisis of Faith" website. The following quotes come from the book: "There is a great uneasiness, at this time, in the world and in the Church, and that which is in question is the faith. It so happens now that I repeat to myself the obscure phrase of Jesus in the Gospel of St. Luke: 'When the Son of Man returns, will He still find faith on the earth?' It so happens that there are books coming out in which the faith is in retreat on some important points, that the episcopates are remaining silent and these books are not looked upon as strange. This, to me, is strange. I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging." "Are we close to the end ? This we will never know. We must always hold ourselves in readiness, but everything could last a very long time yet." "What strikes me, when I think of the Catholic world, is that within Catholicism, there seems sometimes to predominate a non-Catholic way of thinking, and it can happen that this non- Catholic thought within Catholicism, will tomorrow become the stronger. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be".Pope Paul VI - 1977 The Christus Rex website also offers these quotes. And it is here as well, in an abbreviated form, in this Humane Vitae website. Has anyone read it? Barnes and Noble out-of-print books doesn't have a copy. Perhaps it was never translated into English? CarrieTomko@aol.com

AN INTERVIEW WITH CARDINAL GODFRIED DANNEELS for 30 DAYS. In speaking about reform, he says some things that sound so sensible: 30 DAYS: On that occasion you also described the shadow that has fallen on the concrete application of the liturgical reform. DANNEELS: It happens when those who should be in the service of the liturgy seem to become its owners. The true subject seems no longer to be Christ himself, but the person or the community performing a rite of self-celebration. Instead of performing a gesture already given, they multiply discourses, they give out teachings. I know of one priest who does this, surely with the best of intentions. Yet it can be annoying. DANNEELS: For example, a condition for a real reform is patience, a certain patient sense of time, whereby the Church does not reform itself by revolution, but through organic processes. There are no abrupt and violent turns, there are no wrenches. 30 DAYS: With the criterion of the salus animarum, let�s pause to consider some possible prospects of reform. Starting from lay believers. In the Church, when the laity are spoken of, what is meant, almost without noticing it, are people belonging to organized movements. DANNEELS: I have no objections to the movements, but something needs to be kept in mind and that is that charisms pass away. Perhaps keeping that in mind would suffice so as to remain in humility and avoid shutting in on oneself. And then those who really have the gift of a charism usually aren�t aware of it, they don�t notice it. Others in the Church notice it, and the person isn�t always very happy with the recognition. DANNEELS: One ends up forgetting that all our priestly and episcopal titles belong properly to Christ and to him alone, and we bear them merely by analogy. Perhaps there ought to be a new Epistle to the Hebrews to remind us that Christ is the only priest. And that the secret of our joy lies wholly in the free gift of being able to do what we do in persona Christi. A new Epistle? Surely he's not serious. But having a Cardinal speak of in persona Christi has got to be positive. DANNEELS: There is this everlasting stream of paper� We are submerged every day by very long documents, instructions, vademecum. A downpour of pronouncements that, since they come from the Roman departments, always have an authoritative, normative character without there being any co-ordination to show what�s important and what less so. And the local bishop then has to pass a good part of his time in his own diocese acting as relay for this input from the Vatican or from the episcopal bodies. Perhaps there should be a moratorium at all levels to help simplification. Perhaps there should be a moment of calm in the Church, to give us a breather. Alas, perhaps not just for Cardinals. A span of stability, a time with no changes, a moment of tranquility, might just be very welcome for everyone. DANNEELS: Collegiality is not a matter of a balancing of powers. It has a theological valence. It has to do with the very nature of the Church. I�ve already said that we need a strong successor of Peter and a strong episcopate. It�s not a matter of diminishing the influence of the Pope or that of the other bishops, at the expense of each other. And in any case it will be always a non-obvious balance, something to strive for with patience. Because I think it will only be after the coming of Christ that we resolve the problem of collegiality. And not just with collegiality. We must remember that perfection this side of the Second Coming will never be ours, and get over the tendency to think that at some point we "have arrived" so to speak. DANNEELS: The humility of the person himself. Or at least a certain good nature, a willingness to relativize one�s own importance, not to value oneself too highly. A bit like John XXIII, who when he read a document someone else had written for him, every now and again commented: �It�s worthless, even I could have written that�. DANNEELS: The Pope is first and foremost the Bishop of Rome. He exercises his primacy while remaining bishop of his diocese. And the present Pontiff, among his many characteristics, has honored that feature by visiting nearly all the parishes in Rome, as no other Pope had done. Certainly, the task of dealing with the large issues of the universal Church make it hard to follow the daily affairs of his own diocese. But this could be a key to rediscover in new forms, in the third millennium. The prestige of the Pope should be a prestige, let us say, of inner strength, rather than of officialdom. In other words, the pope must be holy? Isn't that a given? DANNEELS: They are the apostolic sufferings of which Saint Paul speaks. At the beginning of his mission, when something didn�t succeed or went wrong, Saint Paul thought he was to blame. And immediately tried to mend things, to get back on his feet, even by going to preach in another city. Then, later on in years, he understood that there can be things that don�t succeed, not because of one�s own limitations, but as a mystery of participation in the suffering of Christ, which had no cause on his part. In apostolic suffering there is an inexplicable mystery of conforming to the gratuitous passion of Jesus. �Oderunt me gratis�, says the psalm. They hated me without reason. They had no reason, no reason at all for hating Jesus. In my experience also, as in that of many priests and bishops, something analogous to what happened to Saint Paul has occurred. At the beginning, faced with something that hasn�t worked, one thinks: I should have done this in some other way, I set about it without sufficient forethought. In the end one sees that one�s own limitations and sins, that also have their weight, are insufficient to explain everything. Nothing is mechanical, nothing is inevitable. In the same way, I believe that even if we were all saints from the Pope down to the last believer, if our witness were clear and our mission meritorious, it�s not said that everybody would for that reason impatiently come to crowd the doors of our churches, to get inside. Perhaps they would hate us more. As they hated Him, without reason. Something to think about. We get caught up in the Pope's infallibility. Sometimes we make almost a god of him. Cardinal Daneels seems to be presenting a somewhat different picture. He suggests a man who is allowed to be human and still be entitled to wear the papal robes. Are we willing to let the Pope be human, when to be human is to make mistakes? Must he wear the cloak of the inerring Holy Spirit always on his shoulders, or is there also room for the real man who fills the office to be himself? Being Pope must be incredibly difficult. Can we assess what he has done, see that it was inadequate on some level, and still love, respect, and honor him while not overlooking the obvious shortcoming? We seem to be faced with just such a situation over the abuse scandal. It makes no sense to affirm that the Pope was acting with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit when he made the decision not to get involved. Is there room in our understanding of the papacy to say he didn't handle this well at all, yet still love him and forgive him? I really think honesty demands that we come to that position, even though we don't necessarily want to. Saint or sinner, right or wrong, there is only one Pope and only one Chair of Peter. CarrieTomko@aol.com

IT WAS A LONG TIME COMING, BUT BETTER LATE THAN NEVER... In his message to the Vatican's diplomatic corps, the pope also urged all countries to forswear terrorism and violence. "The important thing today is that the international community help the Iraqis, who have been ridded of an oppressive regime," he said in his written speech to the diplomats, who included representatives from both Washington and Baghdad. Thank you, Holy Father. I've been waiting to hear that. CarrieTomko@aol.com

A DIFFERENT SLANT ON ECUMENISM IN FATIMA from Spirit Daily. Spirit Daily: Does ecumenism play into the new designs for the basilica? Mgr. Guerra: Not at all. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ROSA MYSTICA A title of the Blessed Virgin? We call her the "Mystical Rose", are they one and the same, or is this a name with a slightly different connotation? One seer promotes this title along with the M.A.N. Foundation which she created. She has visited Pope John Paul II, and there are pictures of him greeting her on the website. Judging by the Pope's appearance, they appear to be recent. More disturbing is this website which talks about this same title for the BVM, but also talks about the Prophecy of Nostradamus. But skip the preliminaries. Scroll down to the prophecy that concerns Princess Diana, and her replacement, "Sophia." There are pictures. Now what does that "Sophia" bring to mind? The Da Vinci Code? The Priory of Sion? Will an attempt be made to claim that the Prince of Wales is in the bloodline of the Merovingians? There is an email forum at the bottom of the website dedicated to "John Paul II and the Rose Prophecy." Move over Dan Brown. Dan Sewell Ward is here, bring with him The Library of Halexandriah. Some people take the Priory of Sion quite seriously. This website is dedicated to it. From the website: Sion's grand masters are therefore alleged to have comprised a continuous succession of Jeans and Jeannes, from 1188 to the present. This succession was clearly intended to imply an esoteric and Hermetic papacy based on John, in contrast (and perhaps opposition) to the exoteric one based on Peter. ... Whatever the answer, the last grand master that we have record of was Jean Cocteau, who appeared as grand master under the name Jean (John) XXIII, and was apparently grand master as late as 1959. This was also the year that Pope Pius XII died and the assembled cardinals elected as their new Pontiff Cardinal Angelo Roncalli of Venice -- who then caused considerable consternation by choosing the name John XXIII. The name John had been implicitly anathematized since it was last used in the early fifteenth century by an Antipope! Moreover, there had already been a John XXIII -- the Antipope who abdicated in 1415. Thus the selection by Roncalli of the name Pope John XXIII was unusual to say the least, and raised many questions. One answer was suggested in 1976 by a book called The Prophecies of Pope John XXIII. The book was allegedly a compilation of obscure prophetic prose written by the Pontiff. In addition, the book also maintained that Pope John XXIII was secretly a member of the Rose-Croix, (a subtitle for the Prieure de Sion) with whom he had become affiliated while acting as papal nuncio to Turkey in 1935. Furthermore, it was suggested that Cardinal Roncalli, on becoming Pope, had chosen the name of his own secret grand master -- so that, for some symbolic reason, there would be a John XXIII presiding over Sion and the papacy simultaneously. Another striking coincidence is one occasioned by a twelfth century Irish monk named Malachai, who compiled a series of Nostradamus-like prophecies which enumerated the Pontiffs who would occupy the throne of Saint Peter in the centuries to come. For each Pontiff, Malachai offered a species of descriptive motto. In Pope John XXIII's case, the motto is "Shepherd and Navigator". "Navigator" is also the official title of Sion's alleged grand master. (Incidentally, according to both Malachai and Nostradamus the next and last two popes of the Roman Catholic Church -- following the death of Pope John Paul II -- will be named Clement XV and Peter II.) Pope John XXIII was not only responsible for reorienting the Roman Catholic Church and bringing it into the twentieth century, but he also broke with two centuries of entrenched tradition and pronounced that a Catholic might be a Freemason. Freemasonry is the well known exoteric (known to the many) title and/or organization's name for the esoteric (known to the few) Prieure de Sion. Thus Freemasonry is a descendent of the line going back to the Templars and the Ordre de Sion of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. And Pope John XXIII broke with the tradition which argued that Catholics could not belong to secret societies, and pronounced that they could. The deeper I probe, the more bizarre it all becomes. When Christ returns, will He find any faith on the earth? CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, January 11, 2004

ARE YOU CHARISMATIC OR CATHOLIC? asks Raymond Taouk at a Catholic Apologetics website: The Origin of the present day Charismatic Movement can be traced back to the �holiness movement� which was began in the late 19th century in the united states by the Protestant preacher Charles fox Parham who began preaching (1901) to his topeka congregation that speaking in tongues was objective evidence of baptism in the spirit. After the Los Angeles mission of Parham's apostolic faith sect became the center of a great revival (1906) the movement quickly spread around the world. Over the next two decades the movement split along doctrinal and racial lines. Today the Charismatics generally go by the name of �pentecostalist� although the term �Charismatic� is the more generally used since this sect doesn�t limits beliefs to is own denomination. The Charismatic movement gained its influence into the post Conciliar Church with the efforts of various individuals such as Cardinal Suenens and Kevin Ranaghan who helped deceived a number of well meaning Catholics into thinking this would be a great way of being united with those outside the Church while learning to �experience the holy spirit�. The Catholic Promoters of this Pentecostal movement have been moved far from orthodox in their faith (2 Thess 2:14). That is why Archbishop Dwyer, of Portland, Oregon, in a scathing criticism of the charismatic movement, warned in 1974: "We regard it bluntly as one of the most dangerous trends in the Church in our time, closely allied in spirit with other disruptive and divisive movements threatening grave harm to unity and damager to countless souls." Charismatic Movement and Ecumenism Let us also be greatly aware that this Charismatic Movement in the Catholic Church is founded on a sin against the Faith. As Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, S.T.D points out, "A Catholic sins against Faith by taking part in non-Catholic worship, because he thus professes belief in a religion he knows to be false." This is because participation in Non Catholic worship has always been forbid (See Canon�s 1258,1063,2319,1325 of the 1917 code of Canon Law). Yet by the admission of Catholic Charismatic pioneer, Kevin Ranaghan, the movement began with Catholics performing the grotesque ritual of seeking a spiritual blood transfusion from the dead corpse of Protestantism, and proclaiming that God "filled them to overflowing with the spirit" for doing so. Such collaborating and "seeking the holiness of the Holy Spirit" from anathematized heretics cannot be a religious movement truly of God but rather diabolic Movement of deception. While no one claims that those who belong to this Movement are necessarily all evil or persons of ill intent, yet this is beside the point. Since the movement itself is founded on principles that contradict the Faith. Strong words from Bishop Morrow. Yet they match closely the information that I've been posting. The abbreviated history given here matches the extensive history provided by Vinson Synan in his book chronicling the history of the Pentecostal movement. Rosemary Radford Reuther, too, cites Joachim as a source of inspiration for promotion of women's issues: Perhaps the boldest effort to bring the female into redemption is found in a couple of little-known female leaders of sectarian movements in the tradition of Joachim of Fiore. The Joachimites believed that the Second Age of the Son, represented by the clerical church, would be superseded by a Third Age of the Spirit, which would bring redemption to perfection. This notion allowed many dissatisfied groups in the late mediaeval world to express their disaffiliation with the existing ecclesiastical and feudal hierarchies. Most Joachimites did not see the vindication of the female as a part of their agenda. But one such group gathered around Prous Boneta, founder of a Proven�al Beguin sect. They believed she was the incarnation of the Holy Spirit, the new Eve who would bring final salvation to all humanity.(l7) It does seem that following Joachim's theories will tend toward a belief in the destruction of the institutional Church. The prophet Kurt Eggenstein predicts just such a collapse: The church will disintegrate before something new can arise. The new church of the spirit will not lack form, for it, too, will require organization and form, but that will not be the form of an established church with a hierarchic order that rules, uses pressure, condemns, and loses itself in ceremonial and superstition. And it will take to heart the words: "Take no gold nor silver" (Mt 10, 9). Following the transformation of the ecclesia carnalis - as Joachim of Fiore has called it - into an ecclesia spiritualis, the marvellous words given in New Revelation that are like a parable will come to apply: "See, the wise man goes to the lumber room and often finds there great treasure, covered in ceremonial. He wipes away the dust and puts the pure gold into his treasury. Go and do the same."* (Hi 1, p. 99, 15) The leaders of the church know that the Catholic Church is facing its judgement and its end. Such are the tributes made to this new holy spirit in his disloyalty to Jesus Christ. What spirit can be the source of such a disloyalty? Bishop Christine Payne-Towler presents The Underground Stream, Esoteric Tarot Revealed," whence comes this quote: [Tarot] presents in symbolic form the concentrated doctrine of heretical, dualist Christianity, particularly Catharism, though it is also associated with the Gypsies, and through its 22 Trumps which correspond to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, with Cabbalistic Judaism. In such circles, astrology was held in high esteem, and systems, like that of Joachim of Flora, which predicted the coming of the age of the Holy Spirit, were closely studied....But to see Gnosticism principally in terms of divination and proGnostication is to fail to understand it. When examined from the standpoint of depth psychology the account it presents of the mystery and tragedy of life is far from ridiculous. Perhaps Gnostics might prefer the term "height Psychology', but then 'altus' in Latin means both 'deep' and 'high'." Not only does she discuss Joachim, she also discusses Ean Begg's Black Madonnas, but also the Cathars and Mary Magdalene. Paul Likoudis has an excellent paper on "The Pentecostalism Controversy" online. It's too long to do a thorough job of covering his topics here, and well worth reading in full. Here are a few quotes: * ...these novel "charismatic" happenings in the Church--for whatever they are--affect all Catholics one way or another because the authenticity of pentecostalist phenomena outside the visible communion of the Chair of Peter may be said to call into question the very credibility of the Catholic Church as the one true Church of Jesus Christ. True. They make a traitor out of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Quoting Fr. John Hardon, S.J., he writes: * "There are those who say we should just allow the Pentecostal movement to go on and then see what happens. But that is not in the best tradition of Christian prudence. If, as I personally believe, latter-day Pentecostalism is in the same essential stress with Gnosticism, Montanism, and Illuminism, we do not pass moral judgment on people but prudential judgment on an ideology." The saddest aspect of this controversy is that the Catholics involved with the Charismatic Movement are those who are making the greatest effort to do God's will. Charismatics are sincere believers, true worshippers, the kind of people we need in Church. The prime targets of he who opposes Christ's Church. * A major point that needs stressing is that absolutely no evidence has ever been provided that the tongues spoken at [any] Pentecostal gatherings are intelligible foreign languages spoken on this planet. But such intelligibility is an essential requirement of Scriptural teaching! Likoudis elaborates further on this in the paper. Simply said, glossolalia is not xenoglossia; and it was xenoglossia which took place on Pentecost. * Oftentimes, they fail to understand that Satan is quite able to produce "signs and wonders" to mislead even the elect (Matt. 24-24) and create the illusion of spiritual good to achieve his evil ends. But what is most disturbing to this writer who has investigated the occult is the following statement. Quoting a Russian Orthodox monk [Fr. Seraphim? - ct]: * Can any...sober Christian possibly confuse these dangerous psychic games with the gifts of the Holy Spirit? There is nothing whatever Christian, nothing whatever spiritual here in the least. This is the realm, rather, of psychic mechanisms which can be set in operation by means of definite psychological or psychical techniques, and "speaking in tongues" would seem to occupy a key role as a kind of "trigger" in this realm. In any case, it certainly bears no resemblance whatever to the spiritual gift described in the New Testament and, if anything, it is much closer to shamanistic "speaking in tongues" as practiced in primitive religions, where the shaman or witch doctor has a regular technique for going into a trance and then giving a message to or from a "god" in a tongue he has not learned...(This) comparison with shamanism will not seem terribly far-fetched, especially if we understand that primitive shamanism is but a particular expression of a "religious" phenomenon which, far from being foreign to the modern West, actually plays a significant role in the lives of some contemporary "Christians": mediumism [emphasis in the original - ct] In closing, Likoudis states in part: In conclusion, it may be recalled that Archbishop Robert Dwyer of Portland, Oregon, not too long ago in various columns affirmed his belief that the ancient Gnostic heresy had been revived in the spiritual pretensions of Catholic Pentecostals....Furthermore, if the phenomenon of "tongues" may in some cases be pathological or demonic in character, the spiritual welfare of those involved in Pentecostal activities is gravely endangered. CarrieTomko@aol.com

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