Saturday, February 21, 2004

OCCULT ROOTS OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION is the title of the website. At the top of the website you will find: Dearest friend, do you not see All that we perceive � Only reflects and shadows forth What our eyes cannot see. Dearest friend, do you not hear In the clamour of everyday life � Only the unstrung echoing fall of Jubilant harmonies. � Vladimir Soloviev, 1892 Further down you will find: A.V. Lunacharsky (1875-1933) and the Russian writer Maxim Gorky (1868-1936), close friends of Vladimir Lenin, were acquainted with a broad spectrum of occult thought, including Rudolf Steiner�s Anthroposophy and Helena Blavatsky�s Theosophy. Both these prominent Bolshevic revolutionaries shared a life-long interest in ancient mystery cults, religious sectarianism, parapsychology and Gnosticism. Maria Carlson maintains that Gorky�s �vision of a New Nature and a New World, subsequently assimilated to its socialist expression as the Radiant Future, is fundamentally Theosophic.�14 Gorky valued the writings of the occultists Emanuel Swedenborg and Paracelsus, as well as those of Fabre d�Olivet and Eduard Schure. And this reference to Rudolf Steiner: Another Russian poet and occultist, Andrei Bely, a disciple of Steiner�s Anthroposophical movement, hailed the Revolution as the first stage of a far greater cultural and spiritual revolution to come. For Bely, as for his contemporary Blok, the Bolshevic Revolution was above all a powerful theurgical instrument. Andrei Bely (1880-1934) saw theurgy as a means to change the world actively in collaboration with God. In spite of the turmoil and bloodshed, for these Russian occultists the revolution served as an instrument of the new creation. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, February 20, 2004

PAPAL INFLUENCES - Conclusion What to believe about our current Holy Father's fondness for two philosopher poets who embraced occult doctrines; a fondness that is ongoing where one of them is concerned? In thinking over the experience of being Catholic, I have to realize that Pope John Paul II has presided over the Church during the 25 years when the clergy have sexually abused minors, when the bishops have enabled them, when the liturgy and theology of most of the sacraments has been altered in subtle or obvious ways, when a focus on man has crept into our hymns, when the influence of other religions has brought alterations to our own, when catechesis has been faulty, when sex ed programs have corrupted our youth. He has presided when the seminaries turned into institutionalized occasions of sin, when a divisive schism has torn the Church apart, when churches and cathedrals have been remodeled in ways that seem to be symbolis of some other system of belief, when nuns who didn't leave their orders have turned to pagan worship, when the shortage of priests has become acute, when a form of mediumship has become common practice in parishes, and when the Pope has formed his own institutions in secret that he openly declares are the future of the Church, institutions that have been so great a source of division in some parishes that bishops have banned them from their dioceses. This same Holy Father came to the conclave that elected him from a nation that was under Russian communistic domination. That domination disintegrated without a struggle, presumably at the behest of a Pope who could not keep his own house in order. This same Holy Father has chosen, for whatever reason, not to correct these many errors, while the laity have made multiple excuses on his behalf. Rather than doing badly needed housekeeping, he has traveled the globe and enjoyed the adulation of a worshipping throng, requiring Catholics from rich and poor parishes alike to pay for it. He has gone out of his way to tolerate and entertain religions that reject Jesus Christ, seeking solidarity with them. He has apologized for the errors of other popes. Now, in looking at what has influenced him, I discover that the major influence of his youth was a poet who was deeply involved in the occult which directly opposes Christ's Church...an influence that seems still to be with him via yet another occult philosopher who developed a doctrine of Sophia, a feminine aspect of the Trinity. This same Holy Father has remained silent while many members of the laity appealed to him for remedy of the difficulties outlined above. Is it wrong to ask for accountability? Must the laity remain silent and accepting of what is destroying the faith in America? St. Paul, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Athanasius did not remain silent when faced with poor judgment or inadequacies at the highest level. Yet who among us can claim to walk in their shoes. Not I! John Paul II is our Pope and will remain our Pope until God calls him home. As difficult as it is to be a Catholic right now, there is nowhere else to go. Christ instituted only one Church and somehow we must find a way to repair it and preserve it, apparently with no help from Rome. When, Lord, will you see fit to grant us mercy? Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

THERE IS A GOOD REASON why there were no new posts here today. Really, there is. My project for the day was only supposed to take an hour or two, leaving plenty of time to play online. It never works out that way, does it? The project is a bedroom that needs to be painted. There was a border near the ceiling that was strippable. Of course it was. It would only take a short while to pull it down. Do I even have to write it...? One rented wallpaper steamer and several hours later, the border is finally down, the glue cleaned off the wall, and the little bits of wallpaper stuffed into a garbage bag. I must have gone up and down the step stood at least a million times, and now I'm tired, but at least the job is done. Tomorrow the ceiling will be painted before I call it a day. It will. Yes, I am determined. The walls will wait till Sunday, however. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, February 19, 2004

STATISTICS ON THE ABUSE SCANDAL are due out on the 27th. Some preliminary numbers reported by CNN are linked at The Llinkup website. The survey, to be released February 27, found that children made more than 11,000 allegations of sexual abuse by priests. The 4,450 accused priests represent about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests who served during the 52 years covered by the study. I can already hear the Catholic spin..."4%...only 4%...that isn't anything to get excited about. The same statistical results would be found if you did a study on any religion", or something like that. For the sake of clarity, let me change things around a bit. Let's say that 4% of priests in the last 52 years had physically abused minors with instruments of torture. Let's say that those physically abused minors had injuries that did not heal completely, and that those injuries interfered with their marriages and other relationships, had made it difficult for them to attend Mass and the sacraments, had given them nightmares that continued to disturb their sleep, in short had altered their entire subsequent life. And let's say that the priests who had done this were still priests in good standing...bishops even...and had enjoyed little interruption in their careers. Let's say that the Pope, upon hearing of these physical injuries to minors by Catholic priests, was little concerned. Let's say that some of the minors had found life nearly unbearable and had died of these injuries. Would there be an outcry? Would we be willing to forgive the way the abuse was handled if the injuries had been physical...had drawn blood? Are the sexual injuries perpetrated upon minors any less significant? Would we be less forgiving to learn that the diocesan lawyers had done everything in their power to protect the priests who had physically injured altar boys and other young people, and turned their families into victims of the legal system? I think if this were not a sexual crime--if this did not involve homosexuality--the Catholic laity would be ready to lynch the bishops who had enabled this to continue. Former Bishop Thomas L. Dupre has hired a prominent criminal defense lawyer, according to the Poynter Abuse Tracker. According to Poynter, the mother of the abuse victims in this case has indicated one child was 13 and another a preteen. My confidence in and respect for bishops has plummeted to zero. Before any of this hit the papers, I had enormous respect for the Pope. That was seriously eroded by the facts which have come out since the Boston Globe broke the story. Reading Berry's and Renner's latest book is severely undermining what respect I had left. This is a difficult time to be Catholic. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

PAPAL INFLUENCES � Part IX There is one more essay in The Occult in Russian and Soviet Culture by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal that I want to discuss before leaving this topic. �Daniil Andreev and the Mysticism of Feminity� by Mikhail Epstein is possibly the most revealing of all 16 of the essays in the book. The essay is online here for anyone who might want to read it. As the above-linked website will show, Mikhail Epstein is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature at Emory University (Atlanta, USA). Andreev�s works were not published until 1989, thirty years after his death, yet his treatise, Roza mira (Rose of the World), is considered a high peak in Russian spirituality, at least by Epstein. Andreev�s work synthesizes �the carnal, paganist, and highly spiritual elements, i.e. the artistic discoveries of Leo Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, respectively, according to an article from a Russian newspaper that Epstein quotes: His legacy belongs to those historiosophical and cosmosophical movements of Russian thought which attempt to synthesize natural sciences, social utopias, and religious inspirations in a kind of occult super knowledge that claims the power to transform the world. It is difficult to establish strict boundaries between the occult, mystical, and eschatological components of Andreev�s teachings. Andreev�s cosmology, his vision of the Rose of the World as a hierarchical system of worlds, both visible and invisible, is the most evident occult dimension of his work�Andreev�s interpretation of the Rose of the World as the �interreligion of the future,� uniting all existing churches as �petals,� has both mystical and eschatological dimensions. On the one hand, the Rose of the World is based on long-standing traditions of European and Russian mysticism, especially �sophiology,� which treats the Eternal Feminine as the Wisdom of God and the soul of the universe. On the other hand, in Andreev�s description, the rule of the Rose of the World as the state of universal theocracy, ends with the accession of the Antichrist who makes use of the �interreligious� doctrines, including the worship of the Eternal Feminine, to perpetuate his own power and to eliminate the Rose of the World. (�The Occult� p. 325-6) In reading that, I can�t help but think of the Rosicrucian rose which appears in so many websites. Does this rose have the same meaning as Rose of the World? It�s a question I haven�t yet been able to answer, but the connection to Sophiology tends to make me believe that it does, since Robert Powell�s Sophia Foundation of North America features the rose symbol on the website. Epstein continues: Russian-Soviet mysticism has several distinctive features. First of all, it usually represents a mixture of Christian and pagan mythological beliefs�Russian pre-Christian mythology, as is well known, survived only in scattered fragments after Russia became Christian in A.D. 988, thus leaving open a large field for mystical conjectures concerning the qualities of Russian deities and their continued impact on the fate of Russia. Very few of these mystical restorations of Russian paganism are openly anti-Christian, but they attempt to combine Orthodox tradition with archaic beliefs or, more precisely, with the restorers� notions of what these beliefs must have been. Another important feature of Russian-Soviet mysticism is its combination of national distinctiveness with universalist claims. Russia�s location spanning Europe and Asia has fueled speculation about the global destiny of the Russian nation, which was to become a keeper of universal wisdom, blending the best spiritual illuminations of both the West and the East. (�The Occult� p. 326) Russian-Soviet mysticism is more social than religious. It�s purpose is to inspire the nation to address contemporary social problems. It includes space exploration and colonization and the need to penetrate invisible spiritual worlds. It includes the messianic belief that Russia �is fated to experience all the suffering and illuminations imposed on the world by the struggle of Christ and the Antichrist on the Last Day.� (�The Occult� p. 326-7) It includes �worship of the feminine spiritual essence of the universe and even the feminine hypostasis of the Divine Wholeness, Sophia.� Epstein further says: All of these features, which can be traced separately through such prominent mystical and occult thinkers as Vladimir Soloviev, Nikolai Fedorov, Dmitry Merezhkovsky, Nikolai Berdiaev, Pavel Florensky, Andrei Bely, Velimir Khlebnikov, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the cosmists, and the Eurasians, are combined in Daniil Andreev�s thought. Undoubtedly he is the most important Russian mystic of the Soviet epoch and perhaps gives the most explicit and integrated expression of the ideas of his predecessors. (�The Occult� p. 327) If Andreev�s thought is the most important of the Soviet epoch, then the divine feminine Sophia must belong to that same Soviet epoch. Have we imported it from Russia into our Catholic religious communities? Goddess worship is prevalent there. Andreev, son of an eminent writer, was raised a Christian. His mother died 3 weeks after his birth, and he was raised by his grandmother, an aunt and uncle. He did not know his father well. His childhood was spent in an intellectual household where he was exposed to accomplished writers, and other artistic elite. He had begun to write by the age of 7, when he attempted a cosmic epic involving travel to other planets. His grandmother caught diphtheria from him when he was six, and died, prompting Andreev to attempt suicide to be with her. He married a journalist, but the marriage did not last. He was captivated by history. His introduction to the Orthodox Church came in 1921. He worked as a newspaper editor, and as a graphic artist designing maps and font styles, while writing at night. In 1937 he met his second wife who was married to his close friend at the time. His novel, written in the late 1930s, included heroes that aspired to change Russian spirituality. One of them designs the temple of the Sun of the World. During World War II he worked as an orderly, and for a funeral detachment. He and his wife were both arrested and accused of a terrorist plot against Stalin, based on his novel. It was during his time in prison that he was most creative. It was also during this time that: Daniil began to hear the voices that dictated his masterpiece, Roza mira. Andreev spent these years �communicating� with the highest spirits in Russian and other national �metacultures� (his term); Lermontov, Dostoevsky and Blok �guided� him in his wanderings through other worlds. During this time, he wrote on tiny scraps of paper, which were invariably confiscated, but he restored his prose and verses from memory and continued to write. (�The Occult� p. 329) Freed from prison in 1957 he was reunited with his wife who had spent her sentence in a concentration camp. The remainder of his life was spent in poverty. He died in 1959. Because he had confessed to believing in reincarnation, he was refused Communion before his death. By the late 1970s his widow permitted his book, Roza mira, of which she had the only copy, to be circulated in samizdat. �Many readers considered it the greatest mystical revelation since the Gospels.� (�The Occult� p. 330) Roza mira was released by the Moscow publishing house Prometei in 1991. His collected works in three volumes were published in 1993. According to Epstein: Liberal Westernizers, who defend religious pluralism and Christian ecumenism, revere Andreev�s legacy as much as neopaganists who draw on the �Aryan� roots of the Russian national spirit and declare Andreev to be the messenger of mythic �proto-Russianism.� Roza mira�s scope of influence stretches from elitist esotericism to stands on topical issues� It is clear that the Soviet system was not merely a political and legislative entity; the ideology on which it was based was informed not only by the theories of Marx as interpreted by Lenin and his successors but by the meta-physical and even eschatological visions of Russian religious philosophers of the Silver Age. The collapse of the Soviet regime left more than a need for governmental reform; it left a metaphysical vacuum. Into that vacuum rushed spiritual and occult teachings that found a ready audience, Andreev�s prominent among them. ("The Occult" p. 331) Is just such a spiritual vacuum catalyzing in American culture today? Is Andreev�s work a warning to America? In Roza mira, Andreev uses terms and expressions not found in the dictionary that he claimed were introduced by supernatural voices in his consciousness. Though these words cannot be attributed to any language, their roots appear to have Russian and Sanskrit sources. Among the wide range of social, moral, environmental, historical, and theological questions that Andreev addressed, one of the most prominent is the feminine element in the universe. Many Russian visionaries and intellectuals have emphasized the feminine element in Russian popular culture. The philosopher Gregory Fedotov argued that �at every step in studying Russian popular religion one meets the constant longing for a great divine female power.��The fundamental category is motherhood. The Mother of God takes precedence of the Trinity and is almost identified with the Trinity. (�The Occult� p. 332) This preoccupation with the divine feminine supported a corresponding vision of the earth as divine mother. It seems reasonable to speculate that Gaia worship might be a derivative of this stream of thought. Epstein comments: The very idea of divinity, as it was developed in the Russian Church, puts in the foreground elements of corporeality (such as the teaching about Sophia, �divine wisdom�), in which Pavel Florensky identified the originality of Russian, as distinct from Byzantine, Orthodoxy. (�The Occult� p. 333) Epstein continues: One could even argue that the essence of materialism may be traced to the worship of maternity in the form of Mother Nature�.Before materialism became an official doctrine, another female-oriented philosophy had been developing in Russia, the so-called sophiology. At the end of the nineteenth century and in the first half of the twentieth, this concept was elaborated by Vladimir Soloviev, Pavel Florensky, Sergei Bulgakov, and other thinkers who considered the Russian soul to be especially attuned to Sophia, Divine Wisdom. (�The Occult� p. 334) Sophia, or Divine Wisdom, is a mysterious entity that, under various names, is worshiped in several religious traditions: pagan, Judaic, Gnostic, and Christian. In Greek polytheism, Sophia is represented by the chaste goddess of wisdom, Athena, born directly from the head of Zeus. In Christianity, Sophia converges with the image of the Virgin Mary�. Originally the image of Sophia was ambiguous. Thunder, �Whole Mind,� one of the Gnostic works found at Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt in 1945 and probably written during the first century B.C., depicts Sophia as both saint and whore. (�The Occult� p. 335) Andreev attempts to elevate his �pagan� worship of the earth to the highest level of Christian theology�God the Father is God the Holy Spirit�these are two names for the same face of the Trinity��The third hypostasis thus remains vacant. Andreev wants to fill it with the �world�s feminine essence.� The Trinity, in Andreev�s interpretation, is nothing but Father, Mother, and Son. The second, feminine hypostasis simultaneously represents eternal virginity, maternity, spirit, and wisdom. (�The Occult� p. 336-7) Bulgakov did not assert directly that Sophia was the fourth hypostasis of divinity. It is likely that church authorities censured sophiology as heresy because it seemed to pattern the trinity after a trivial family union and it introduced seductive sexual elements into the dogmatic core of Christianity. Indeed, the mysterious essence of the Trinity is undermined when the Mother of God is substituted for the Holy Spirit. The concept of the Holy Spirit may have derived from the concept of Hokhma, or Divine Wisdom, in the Old Testament. But when the �second� hypostasis of the Son was incorporated into the concept of God in the New Testament, the �third� hypostasis had to be revised and purified of any feminine elements in order to avoid any associations with an earthly family structure. Thus the divine wisdom of the Old Testament became the Holy Spirit of the New Testament. (�The Occult� p. 337) The highest manifestations of the Eternal Feminine are found in the works of Vladimir Soloviev, though he failed to find a more compelling concept for this mysterious entity than the ancient Gnostic notion of Sophia. In Andreev�s view, Soloviev is not compatible with the Trinitarian dogma of Orthodox Christianity. This is why he expressed his vision of Sophia in a long poem�whose mystical illuminations are deliberately limited by the framework of a slightly humorous autobiographical sketch, in order to conceal their potential heretical implications. In addition, Soloviev was afraid to introduce the feminine principle into the religious sphere, where it might be mixed with sexual elements, thus leading to the practice of some Russian orgiastic sects, such as the Khlysty. These fears, Andreev continued, made Soloviev especially laconic and cautious about revealing his sophiological insights, but they became reality in the works and fate of Aleksandr Blok who considered himself a spiritual disciple of Soloviev. Blok addressed his first book of poems to the Beautiful Lady, a personification of the feminine soul of the world, but in his subsequent creative work, he fell into the abyss of the demonic feminine, following the steps of the fallen Sophia, who appeared to him as an �unknown woman��a seductive combination of virgin and whore. (�The Occult� p. 339) In the Latin Church today, we find goddess worship creeping in, and we are in the midst of a major sexual scandal. Coincidence? It seems reasonable to wonder why John Paul II does not address this heretical element in Soloviev�s philosophy when recommending Soloviev�s promotion of East-West unity. Andreev was also a syncretist: �the Rose of the World, which he defines in the glossary as �the coming all-Christian church of the last centuries that will integrate in itself the churches of the past and will connect in a free union all religions of Light. In this sense, the Rose of the World is interreligious or pan-religious. Its main goal is to save as many human souls as possible and to deliver them from the danger of spiritual enslavement by the coming anti-God�As Andreev conceived it, the Rose of the World will become the highest manifestation of the feminine soul of the universe. (�The Occult� p. 341) Despite Andreev�s extremely positive and optimistic view of femininity, the underlying ambiguous image of Sophia as virgin and whore unconsciously penetrates his thinking. Andreev�s pan-religious system contains an inner drama and inherent paradox: what he glorifies as the Rose of the World is strikingly similar to what he vilifies as the kingdom of the Antichrist. The Rose of the World is the ideal state-church of the future, embracing all existing religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, under the rule of one world government and one spiritual leader. (This idea is reminiscent of Soloviev�s utopia of global Christian theocracy led by tsar and pope, but in Andreev�s vision the future �supreme instructor��integrates two roles.) According to Andreev�s prophecy, however, after several generations of peaceful rule, the Rose of the World will inevitably fall into the hands of the Antichrist, whose kingdom will finally be crushed by the second coming of Christ, thus ending the current eon of world history�.the conceptual system underlying his description leads one to conclude that the Rose of the World, the kingdom of God on earth, is implicitly the kingdom of the Antichrist, or at least its antecedent�. In Andreev�s eschatological vision, the kingdom of the Antichrist releases the sexual drives and raises them to the status of a religious cult. Andreev uses the name of Lilith, an apocryphal female demon and Adam�s rebellious first wife, to designate the feminine counterpart of the Antichrist� (�The Occult� p. 342-3) For Andreev, the replacement of the Holy Spirit by the female aspect of divinity is the �decisive theses� of his book, though he acknowledges that he dares to break with the �foundation of foundations,� the Holy Trinity preached by the Christian churches�Femininity, as a new dogma crucial for the religion of the Rose of the World, is also realized in the specific hierarchy of the female priesthood� Unconsciously Andreev reveals the demonic side of his utopia: his reverence for a sexually bipolar divinity lays the foundation for the sacrilegious practices of the Antichrist and the eventual doom of the Rose of the World. The Antichrist�s main project, and the source of his power over humanity, is sexual permissiveness, for which he will offer religious justification� (�The Occult� p. 344) Andreev understood perfectly that �the intrusion of ideas about the difference of divinely male and divinely female principles into religious organizations and cults is fraught with exceptional dangers�[the loosening of] the sexual element, to the blasphemous identification of cosmic spiritual marriage with sensual love and, in the final analysis, with ritual debauchery�.As soon as the desired synthesis of all-comprehensive femininity is achieved in the project of the Rose of the World, it becomes subject to a new doubling, to the materialization of a demonic and purely sensual femininity in the kingdom of the Antichrist, and it is this theoretical irony that ultimately undermines Andreev�s theocratic utopia. (�The Occult� p. 344-5) If it is true that Russian philosophy has spread to America and infected the Latin Church with goddess worship and sexual license, is it reasonable to believe that the Pope's consecration of the world to the Immaculate Conception fulfilled the Fatima request? It may be that this condition will continue to develop in the Church until Russia is consecrated specifically by name. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

VOWS OF SILENCE: THE ABUSE OF POWER IN THE PAPACY OF JOHN PAUL II by Jason Berry and Gerald Renner. My copy came today. After reading the first hundred pages, I have only one question... John Paul II has been quite good at apologizing for the mistakes of former Popes. When will he get around to apologizing for the mistakes of the current one? Sigh. This is not a good day to be Catholic. CarrieTomko@aol.com

SEATTLE CATHOLIC REPORTS on another bishop who is stonewalling inquiries: Well, another Bishop Ryan, the Most Reverend Sylvester Ryan, the Bishop of Monterey, California, is apparently stonewalling a set of questions. These questions deal with Ryan's support for a measure, Proposition Q, that proposed to raise the sales tax by half a cent in Monterey County to support services provided by Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, California, to indigent patients. Overlooked in Bishop Sylvester Ryan's newspaper column urging Catholics to support Proposition Q was the fact that Natividad Medical Center dispenses contraceptives and kills innocent preborn babies. These are among the "services" provided to indigent patients there. Ryan's omission of these facts was the basis of an article, "Omissions of Fact Meant to Mislead the Faithful," that was published on the Seattle Catholic website in late December of 2003. Information was provided to this writer from inside the Diocese of Monterey after that aforementioned article had been published that indicated the situation was even worse than I had known. Specifically, my informant told me that a Dr. Marc Tunzi, who heads a family practice residency program at Natividad Medical Center that evidently trains medical residents how to kill babies, serves on the Diocese of Monterey's "sexual abuse advisory panel." Membership on the panel is supposed to be secret. However, this particular bit of information was leaked to me in an effort to discover the truth... The questions are listed in the copy of a letter Thomas Droleskey sent to the Diocesan Director of Communications. The questions remain unanswered. The article goes on to indicate that no help from Rome is expected. This paragraph follows the reference to Rome: Thus, as I noted on this site in "Time for Plain Talk" nearly two years ago, the ultimate responsibility for these scandals and outrages rests with Pope John Paul II himself. Bad, irresponsible bishops know that the Holy Father is a prisoner of the collegiality he helped to promote at the Second Vatican Council and has praised during his pontificate. It took a veritable revolution on the part of committed lay people in France ten years ago to effect the ouster of a diocesan ordinary who openly supported the human pesticide, RU-486. The bishop was not removed until January of 1995. The novelty of episcopal collegiality, an outgrowth of the egalitarian spirit of the Protestant Revolt, has spread like a cancer, destroying the Faith, swallowing up souls, and emboldening those in the hierarchy who are personally engaged in acts of unrepentant evil or who countenance the same in others. The Holy See and the world's bishops never learn. Stonewalling reports of the sodomite crisis in the Church, which began to surface in The Wanderer in the 1980s and thereafter, did not prevent these scandals from festering and then exploding in the secular media, which relished the opportunity to attack the Church for a self-made crisis. The stonewalling by chancery officials in the wake of the complaints lodged by earnest parents and relatives of victims did much to alienate people from the practice of the true Faith. The hard-ball legal tactics used by diocesan attorneys and attorneys for insurance companies holding diocesan liability policies were meant to occlude the precepts of both charity and justice. Stonewalling has failed the Church over and over again. As long as the Pope himself, though, refuses to govern the Church and to discipline and remove bad bishops, the stonewalling of men like Bishop Sylvester Ryan and his minions will continue unabated. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

GEORGE SOROS PROMOTES HOMOSEXUALITY ? From the LifeSite website: NEW YORK, December 8, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A revealing report by Zenit news service over the weekend details the central role that billionaire George Soros played in overthrowing the President of Geogia, Eduard Shevardnadze. Soros, known as one of the world's foremost funders of abortion, homosexuality, contraception, feminism, euthanasia, and legalized soft-drug use, has also announced his aim to topple U.S. President Bush. CarrieTomko@aol.com

PAPAL INFLUENCES � Part VIII Cosmology. A lot of people don�t really know what it means. Cosmology is the particular philosophy that explains to us how we got here, why we are here, what our human history has been, whether or not there is a God, and if there is, how He relates to humanity. Michael Hagemeister addresses �Russian Cosmism in the 1920s and Today� in Chapter Eight of The Occult in Russian and Societ Culture. Rosenthal describes Hagemeister as �Assistant Lecturer at the Lotman Institute for Russian and Societ Culture at the University of Bochum, Germany. He is the author of Nikolaj Fedorov: Studien zu Leben, Werk, und Wirkung (Munich 1989) and of articles on Pavel Florensky, Aleksei Losev, Eurasianism, utopian thought, and apocalypticism. He is currently working on Sergei Nilus and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (�The Occult� p. 452) Hagmeister writes: �Russian cosmism� and �Russian cosmic thinking� are terms indicative of a broad intellectual movement in contemporary Russia which has scarcely been noticed in the West�.based on a holistic and anthropocentric view of the universe which presupposes a teleologically determined�and thus meaningful�evolution; its adherents strive to redefine the rule of humankind in a universe that lacks a divine plan for salvation, thus acknowledging the threat of self-destruction�.Cosmic evolution is thus dependent on human action to reach its goal, which is perfection, or wholeness�.the active unification and organization of the whole of humankind�into a single organism is said to result in a higher �planetarian consciousness� capable of guiding further development reasonably and ethically�changing and perfecting the universe, overcoming disease and death, and finally bringing forth an immortal human race. (�The Occult� p. 185-6) Simply put, Russian cosmism says that man can and must save himself. The specifically national character of this worldview is said to be rooted in the uniquely Russian archtype of �all-unity��Related thoughts are found in the philosophical conceptions of Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900) and Pavel Florensky (1882-1937). Nikolai Fedorov (1828/29-1903)�is considered to be the founder of this tradition. Russian cosmism is, to be sure, an unconventional way of interpreting our world (perhaps justly described by the Soviet philosopher Vladimir Filatov as an example of an �alternative science�). To call it occult would seem an exaggeration. Yet the cosmists have always shared points of contact with occult and esoteric thought and tendencies�. The idea of self-perfection and self-deification, including the realization of immortality and the revival of the dead, has a long occult and Gnostic tradition�. �it is possible to localize the contacts between Russian cosmism and occult and esoteric tendencies: the city of Kaluga was a center of both cosmic thought and the Russian Theosophical movement. (�The Occult� p. 186-7) It�s not difficult to recognize in our New Age movement the same concept that is contained in Russian cosmism. Since the Theosophical movement and Russian Cosmism intermingled in a central location, it would be reasonable to conclude there was cross-influence. One of the concepts of Russian cosmism is �God-building.� If you don�t believe in a transcendent God, you make your own god. The object is to obtain �all-unity� and vanquish death while perfecting the universe. When this has been accomplished, when man can raise the dead, man will also need to have conquered the universe so that populations can expand into space. Hagemeister says: �men will overcome all borders of space and time, becoming not just omniscient and omnipotent, but also omnipresent and immortal. (�The Occult� p. 190) Thus man will have eliminated the need for god as a direct result of not believing in him. How many American scientists subscribe to a similar belief? Consider the cloning debates. To be continued� CarrieTomko@aol.com

REMEMBER THE AUSTRALIAN GODDESS WORSHIPPING NUNS ? that I reported several days ago? According to this CruxNews entry, we've got them here as well: Last week's front page report on the "goddess cult" in the Catholic Church in Australia brought a number of emails, including this from New York: "Is the Archdiocese of New York far behind Brisbane -- just slightly. "The nun who runs the catechetical office in NYC and, hence, her 'women' are all of a like mind with the nuns mentioned in your article -- the prime difference is that they have not gone as public (to my knowledge) as your articles describes. "How about an American Indian blanket as the center piece with a Bible at every regional meeting in Manhattan. How about an annual Mass (three years ago - I cannot attend them any longer) where when an Indian Chief (keep in mind that we do have Indian Reservations in the Archdiocese) sang a song in his language, and we were to follow him as he turned and prayed to the god of the east, the god of the west, the god of the north and the god of the south. I told my catechists that during this pagan display I would close my eyes, bow my head and say a Hail Mary. They all followed me but between 500 and 600 catechists followed the head nun and her Indian Chief. This is only one of the most blatant disregards of our Faith -- but they do it all the time. The segment ends with "Where are bishops"? Sound familiar? Notice how e don't get an answer? Sure sign there is approval somewhere for the travesty. The saddest thing of all is that this goddess worship dovetails so neatly with the theology of Vladimir Soloviev. CarrieTomko@aol.com

UNEXPLAINED FIRES AN ITALIAN village was evacuated yesterday as investigators attempted to explain an outbreak of spontaneous household appliance combustions, which have left locals fearing for their safety. Fridges, cookers, televisions, washing machines, mobile telephones and furniture have burst into flame for no apparent reason at a dozen houses in the Sicilian village of Canneto di Caronia near Messina. Authorities initially suspected the fires were caused by overhead cables on a nearby railway line, but the outbreaks continued even after the village�s electricity supply was cut off, leading some locals to blame supernatural forces.... Father Gabriel Amorth, the Vatican�s chief expert on exorcisms, said: "With cases of demon behaviour it is normal for domestic appliances to be involved and for demons make their presence known via electricity." CarrieTomko@aol.com

PRIEST WHO ALLEGEDLY ACCUSED BISHOP HOWARD FOUND DEAD He met with Bishop Howard to deny any knowledge of the incriminating letter. Then he was found dead. CruxNews has several reports of the his death and the related controversy. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, February 15, 2004

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE... A story about a camel and a horse... A camel and a horse Were the greatest friends of course, When wandering around the lady's pasture. But the horse was taken home And no longer left to roam, And the camel thought that it was just disaster. So the camel took a hike In the snowstorm, down the pike. Drivers started calling for police assistance, While the camel owners friends Led the camel to the pens, And the camel went without the least resistance. Swedish camel's not the least Of inculturated beast Making habitat in somewhat foreign Edens. Still this reader'd like to know Why this beastie in the snow Is making time with horses up in Sweden? CarrieTomko@aol.com

AN INTERESTING STATEMENT FROM GEORGE WEIGEL which he makes in an essay titled "Europe's Problem--and Ours" which appears at the website of OrthodoxyToday: Over the course of twelve years of research and teaching in east-central Europe, I�ve been impressed by what might be called the Slavic view of history. You can find it in a great thinker who lived on the borderland between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, Vladimir Soloviev, with his religious and moral challenge to the fashionable nihilism and materialism of the late nineteenth century. You can find it in the novelists, poets, and playwrights of Polish Romanticism�Henryk Sienkiewicz, Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Slowacki, Cyprian Kamil Norwid�who broke decisively with the Jacobin conviction that �revolution� means a complete rupture with the past, insisting by contrast that genuine �revolution� means the recovery of lost spiritual and moral values. You can find it in Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, and in such intellectual leaders of the anti-Communist resistance in east-central Europe as V�clav Havel and V�clav Benda�all of whom believed that �living in the truth� could change what seemed unchangeable in history. Certainly lost Christian values are always in need of recovery. But are all "spiritual and moral values" Christian? And if they are not, then are they still in need of recovery? St. Paul�s in defiance of the Nazi blitz, St. Paul�s confounding the leader of Soviet communism, and St. Paul�s become an architectural museum: these three vignettes come to mind when I try to understand what has happened in Western Europe and what has happened to Western Europe in recent decades�and when I try to understand why Europe�s approach to democracy and to the responsibilities of the democracies in world politics seems so different from many Americans� understanding of these issues. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, and particularly in the debate that preceded the Iraq War of 2003, Americans became acutely aware that there is a �European problem.� (Interestingly enough, so do at least some Europeans, including some European intellectuals, among them, as we shall see, two prominent French political philosophers.) Could it be that Europe's problem is that the spiritual and moral values that were lost, were lost precisely because they were not Christian while masquerading as such? It's at least a question that deserves considering. Over the past year, the most widely discussed American analysis of America�s European problem and Europe�s America problem has been that advanced by Robert Kagan in his book Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (Knopf, 2003). In a line from his book that he may have subsequently come to view with a measure of chagrin, Kagan argues that �on major strategic and international questions today, Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus.� Perhaps...just perhaps America has not yet caught up with the "spiritual and moral values" that Europe embraced at the hands of secret societies. I keep coming back to the prophecy--"Russia will spread her errors around the world." We have assumed that those errors were summed up in communism. But what if communism had little to do with it? Heaven would be concerned with spiritual values. Perhaps the errors being spread were much closer to the ideas fostered by the occult revival, i.e. "man can save himself," which is what the occultists are in the business of attempting. Freemasonry is as well. In other words, God is no longer necessary. Soloviev does not say this. It is in his followers that the theories are fully developed. But Rosenthal's book indicates the seeds were there in Soloviev's philosophy. The temptation of knowledge is as old as Eden. We are still searching to know the difference between right and wrong for ourselves apart from God, and to find a way to be a god. "New Age religion" is old religion indeed. Soloviev promotes the notion of "Godmanhood." But is it really a possibility? Certainly not in Western theology. God remains always and essentially "Other." The indwelling Holy Spirit is never one with us in the sense that He is of the same substance as mortal man, and our salvation and sanctification is hopeless apart from that "Other." Original sin forever places a barrier between us and God, and the occult error is believing that the barrier can be rendered non-existent here on earth, whether by magic formula or sacred ritual. That complete pre-Fall unity can be completely restored within our temporal state. Scripture won't get us there. For this idea to flourish, occult knowledge is essential. Soloviev developed this knowledge out of his three encounters with the being Sophia. Was Sophia of God, or was it a deceiving spirit? Considering the fruits, my sympathy lies with the latter. CarrieTomko@aol.com

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