Saturday, March 27, 2004

JANET JACKSON FALL-OUT that isn't flesh colored. It isn't off-color anymore either, thanks to the new guidelines imposed on radio DJs as a result of the Jackson stunt. In Denver, specifically they are: � Virtually everything you hear on Denver airwaves now is either prerecorded or tape-delayed. � DJs feel muzzled by new restrictions on what they can say. They've been told to keep it clean or else. � Rock songs that have been played for a quarter-century are suddenly being pulled and re-edited. � Songs that already have been censored with editing equipment are being re-edited to make them even cleaner. � From here on out, DJs have to sign contracts personally taking the blame for any indecent material on their shows. The article at Rocky Mountain News goes on to indicate: Even KBCO's hallowed Studio C - the bastion of rock tastefulness - is put on a four-second delay now on the unlikely chance that Dave Matthews or Lyle Lovett will take off on a profane rant if they break a guitar string. "It has swept the country so fast everyone is reeling from it. It's a brave new world out there and we have to figure out how to navigate it," says Mark Remington, vice president for Clear Channel Radio, which owns KBCO-FM (97.3), KRFX-FM (103.5, the Fox), KTCL-FM (93.3), KBPI-FM (106.7) and a host of AM stations in Colorado. It's like punishing your kid because a kid three states away did something wrong, but broadcasters feel their hands are tied. Even as radio professionals think it's unfair - and privately they seethe about the hypocrisy of it all - they're scrambling to leave nothing to chance. So, does this mean a reversal has begun? Or is it just a blip on the radar screen? Somehow Jackson's stunt didn't strike me as a signal that the bottom had been reached. Perhaps we have the bishops one-strike policy to thank for this change. It's been in the news a lot, and so perhaps in people's thinking. "Even for one violation, if it's bad enough . . . you can lose your license. For a general manager, that's a death knell. Nobody wants to be the scapegoat," Remington says.... "They've [the FCC] been waiting for something to happen to create an environment where they could go after these jocks," Pollack contends. Even though it's apples-and-oranges - a singer on a sports halftime TV broadcast during prime time versus radio shows designed for adults - Jackson's stunt pushed all the buttons.... But you knew someone was going to get out the old tried and true defense, didn't you? "Yes, (radio talk shows) go over the line once in a while. Of course they do. You slap them for that. But is this the case for the mass hysteria we're seeing around the country?" says Pollack. "The whole question is if I'm disgusted, I can turn off the radio. I don't like the government telling us what they perceive as being decent or indecent. CarrieTomko@aol.com

REINSTATING THE DRAFT From NCR: Reinstating the draft is not part of current U.S. war plans, analysts say. At least not yet. But two recent bills in Congress indicate conscription is back in the public discussion. At the beginning of this year, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., along with Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced the Universal Service Act 2003, a bill requiring two years of compulsory military or alternative civilian service from all American men, women and legal permanent residents ages 18-26. The president would determine the number of people needed and the means of selection. Deferments would be limited to those completing high school, up to the age of 20, with no exemptions for college or graduate students. The bill, introduced in the Senate by Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., remains in committee and is unlikely to come to a vote in the near future. Anyone know what the current state of this bill might be? CarrieTomko@aol.com

POLICY OR JUST A MISSTEP ? From LifeSite: On February 20, the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) dissented from definitive Catholic teaching by endorsing homosexual marriage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that �homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered�[and] under no circumstances can they be approved.� The �Catholic� lay operated national newsweekly said, "The ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts allowing same-sex civil marriage is a beneficial step along the path of human understanding and human rights." CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE FEAR OF MARCIONISM RESURFACES From Chiesa: The Vatican is not just worried about relations with Jews. It is even more so with regard to losing faith in the historical realism of the four Gospels. It fears a revival of an ancient heresy � Marcionism � which eliminated politically incorrect pages from the Bible. ROMA � A huge controversy with the Jewish community has been provoked by �The Passion of the Christ�. Mel Gibson�s film is now showing in movie theater across half of the world, in North and South America and in the pope�s homeland of Poland. Starting in Holy Week, April 7, his epic film will hit Roman and Italian cinemas as well. However, Gibson�s film has provoked another problem now brewing inside the Catholic Church. This particular issue has irked the Catholic community so much so that the pope�s very own Pontifical House preacher, Franciscan Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, dedicated his entire March 12 Lenten sermon to discussing the problem. And he did so while speaking before John Paul II himself and other members of the Roman Curia at the Vatican�s �Redemptoris Mater� chapel. Both issues deserve even more serious attention not in terms of how they affect the reception of Mel Gibson�s film. The movie is debatable as is any artistic work and cinemagraphic production. The real polemic is about the very telling of Christ�s passion, the ancient and fundamental core of the four Gospels.... John Paul II�s intimate circle of top Vatican officials have made constant claims that there is a close correspondence between the passion recorded in the Gospels and the �The Passion� as told by Mel Gibson. For example, last December both the pope�s personal secretary, archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, and Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said John Paul II exclaimed �It is as it was!� after a private screening of the film. Then both denied the pontiff said such words in obedience to a warning from the Vatican secretary of state to keep the pope out of the film�s controversy. The other reason was to avoid jeopardizing in any way the pope�s second visit to Rome�s Jewish synagogue, an event scheduled to take place this year. At any rate, more than a mere stalemate in Jewish-Catholic relations, the Vatican fears a frontal attack on the historical accuracy of the Gospels. This criticism has been explicitly formulated by Leon Wieseltier, a Jewish philosopher and chief editor of the cultural section of �The New Republic� magazine. �It is said that this film reports exactly what is told in the Gospels. But the Gospel accounts are not sure and reliable historical documents,� he said. According to what Fr. Cantalamessa preached on March 12, certain members of the Christian camp have lined up to dilute the �letter� of the Gospel accounts of Christ�s passion. Cantalamessa explained that "letter" means �what happened� or �really occurred� as narrated and described by eye witnesses. He sees certain controversies raised by Mel Gibson�s film as signs of a breakdown in the faith�s sense of realism. Catholic faithful still say in the Creed that Jesus Christ �suffered under Pontius Pilate� and during Holy Week there is still the Gospel reading of the Passion. But faith in the historical accuracy of the Gospel accounts has been seriously weakened, as the �spirit� is much more accepted than the letter of the Gospel accounts. In the end, neither Cantalamessa nor Di Noia have said it outright. Yet, inside the Vatican it is believed that Marcion�s heresy looms close behind the polemical duality of interpreting the letter and spirit of Sacred Scripture. Marcion was a 2nd century Greek philosopher and theologian who attempted to eliminate the entire Old Testament and various books and passages from the New Testament. The books and verses he sought to ban from the Bible were those which, in his judgment, were expressions of a violent and evil God as opposed to the good and kind divinity found in Jesus. This was the way Marcion saw things � just like some of today�s Catholics seek to purge the Bible of all verses they personally believe to be inaccurate or offensive. The most recent instance of neo-Marcionism in Italy is found in the opinions of Enrico Peyretti, leader of Catholic pacifism and founder-chief editor of the Turin monthly, �il Foglio�. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CHILD PORN RING INCLUDES PRIEST AND CATHOLIC CAMPUS MINISTER From ABC News.com, via Spirit Daily: W A S H I N G T O N, March 26 � Federal agents launching the largest investigation ever into Internet child pornography have discovered a vast underground market involving thousands of customers. But equally alarming is that many of those charged have direct access to children. Those arrested so far include a campus minister at a New Jersey Catholic school for girls; a seventh-grade teacher in Fresno, Calif.; a New Jersey Boy Scout volunteer and substitute teacher; a New York Catholic priest who stored child porn on the computer in the church rectory; and in Las Vegas, a Mormon camp counselor. Federal agents also arrested Chicago pediatrician Dr. H. Marc Watzman. Police say he had more than 3,000 images of child pornography stored on his computer. ... The investigations began in Minsk, Belarus, last year when U.S. investigators began targeting Regpay, a company they suspected of selling child pornography over the Internet. Customers from around the world had used their credit cards to pay as much as $60 for access to the child porn Web sites. There is also the story about sexual abuse in Oslo that Cardinal Ratzinger is investigating. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, March 26, 2004

THE SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS BEGAN IN THE 1950's From Zenit via Spirit Daily, Russell Shaw, press secretary for the U.S. Bishops Conference from 1969-1987, comments on the sexual abuse scandal in the U.S.: Shaw was critical of the U.S. bishops' institutional response to the sex abuse crisis, and found fault with Vatican timing vis-�-vis the recent release of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice investigative reports. "I don't think the policy that the American bishops adopted in 2002 is a very good policy," he said. "I think there are some serious things wrong with it, and if the Vatican shares that view, as apparently it does, then the Vatican and I are of one mind in having severe reservations about the American sex abuse policy. But the policy is up for review this year and they are going to get another shot at it then. "Against that background, I thought it rather odd that as the American bishops were preparing to release the new half-century study on the incidence of sex abuse in the U.S., the Vatican chose just that moment to release word of a forthcoming new compilation of papers. Non-Catholic authorities: psychiatrists and sociologists and so forth, who are highly critical of just the sort of policy that the American bishops have put in place. "Sometimes I take the Vatican side in these arguments and sometimes I take the American bishops' side. This time I take the bishops' side. "This is supposed to be a fraternal and collegial Church but, intentionally or not, that sort of thing struck me as rather unfraternal and uncollegial." "The Church has been hurt very badly by this affair," Shaw continued. "It has been hurt over here [in Rome] and back where I come from, and a lot of the damage has been done by officials in the Church. Sometimes I intuit that the view over here is: 'Those crazy Americans, why don't they just shut up?'" "That's not a view that is universally held, I know, but I think that view is present here in the Vatican and it's an attitude that has prevailed for a long time here about the Church in the United States. "So as a concerned Catholic laymen I feel I have a right and an obligation to speak up and say to my leaders: 'Come on guys, stop sniping at each other. It's the interests of the Church which are at stake.'" I can understand the point. A priest who abused a long time ago, at a time when he was being told it was no big deal, and who did not do it again, is now being tossed out of the priesthood. Retroactive penalties are unfair, and especially so when the rules have changed. Minors abused by priests is abominable. We know that now. Apparently we didn't know that in 1950. One strike and you're out is good policy for the future. Everybody knows the consequences. There are no excuses. But I can see the priest's viewpoint on what happened 50 years ago. CarrieTomko@aol.com

TURMOIL IN TAIWAN COULD SPARK INVOLVEMENT FROM CHINA From Yahoo News via Lee Penn. BEIJING (Reuters) - China, in its strongest statement yet on the political crisis convulsing Taiwan since its controversial election, warned on Friday it would not stand idly by if the situation on the island spirals out of control. "We will not sit by watching should the post-election situation in Taiwan get out of control, leading to social turmoil, endangering the lives and property of our flesh-and-blood brothers and affecting stability across the Taiwan strait," Beijing's policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement. It reiterated that China was paying close attention to events on the island, which has been racked by protests and political paralysis since President Chen Shui-bian, who favors Taiwan independence, won re-election by the thinnest of margins on Saturday. The opposition immediately contested the result and demanded a recount. The statement gave no further details. Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province and has threatened to use military force to bring it back to the fold. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE LATEST INSANITY FROM ROME Lee Penn sends comments on John Allen's column. Lee, I beg your tolerance. I've kept in the article only the material you emphasized in order to adhere to copyright laws. ----------------------------------------------------------- John Allen is a treasure, and his column is always worth reading. He uncovers stories like this: AOL link: The Word From Rome March 26, 2004 Text URL: http://www.calottery.com/nc/games/superlottoplus/winningnumbers/pastwinningnumbers.html The whole column is worth reading. I call your attention to these two items specifically: ========================= Item 1: ========================= Canonist criticizes U.S. bishops sex abuse norms; Martyrs of the Oriental Catholic churches in 20th century Europe; A conversation with the former Archbishop of Canterbury; John Paul's latest book By JOHN L. ALLEN JR. It�s no secret that many canon lawyers in the Catholic church are not wild about the American Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, which spell out the process for removing priests from ministry after one act of abuse. Canonists charge that the norms fail to respect the due process rights of accused priests, ... Fr. Joaqu�n Llobell, a Spanish Opus Dei priest and professor of canonical procedure, delivered a paper on Thursday, March 25. Llobell sits on the apostolic signatura, a tribunal of the holy see, and is a judge on the appeals court of the Vatican City State. ... Llobell opened by asserting that respect for the rights of the accused is an �absolute necessity � In arguments that cut against the �zero tolerance� policy of the American bishops, Llobell said that canon law has a bias in favor of rehabilitation of the offender, and that it seeks proportionality between offense and punishment ... Llobell�s criticism, however, was not reserved to the far side of the Atlantic. He also expressed reservations about Vatican policy. For example, he criticized revisions to sex abuse norms for the universal church approved by John Paul II in February 2003, which removed the statute of limitations, allowed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to defrock a priest using non-judicial means, and prevented appeal of a CDF decision. ... Llobell is no liberal reformer. He wonders aloud why bishops don�t prosecute priests who tolerate birth control in the confessional, and he applauds American Archbishop Raymond Burke�s denial of communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians. * * * ========================= Got that? This Opus Dei canonist is criticizing current American and Vatican policies for dealing with pedo-priests as too harsh, while he want to prosecute priests who are too lenient in the confessional about artificial contraception. My revulsion knows no bounds. But then, those of you on my list know that I consider Opus Dei to be a dangerous cult. But wait, there's more ..... ========================== Item 2, from the same column: ========================== John Paul�s pop star-style reign as �king of all media� continued this week, with the release of a new CD and the gala announcement of a forthcoming book. Multimedia San Paolo, a division of the media-savvy Paolini religious community, published the CD, entitled Alza la voce can forza (�Raise your voice with strength,� a phrase from Isaiah 40:9). It�s a collection of 25 readings from the Bible, mostly psalms, set to music, with the voice of the pope commenting on each text. This is the second papal CD produced by the Paolini. The first, Abba Pater, was issued in 1999. Meanwhile John Paul�s new book promises to be a major global publishing event, judging by the gala news conference staged by the Italian publishing giant Mondadori at Rome�s Exclesior Hotel on March 24. A decade ago, Mondadori published the pope�s Crossing the Threshold of Hope, which sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. On Wednesday, officials said they hope to equal or surpass that mark this time around. Navarro said the pope wrote the book between March and August of 2003, jotting some of it in his own hand and dictating other parts. ... Mondadori refused to say how much it paid the Vatican publishing house for the worldwide rights to the new title. �We never reveal the details of our contracts,� Gian Arturo Ferrari of Mondadori told a crowded ballroom full of reporters. �Given that we normally don�t do this, we certainly are not going to do it with the pope.�... Because the late founder of Mondadori, Leonardo Mondadori, was an admirer of Opus Dei, the same Catholic group to which Navarro belongs, some observers speculated that ties between Mondadori and Opus Dei might explain the Vatican�s decision to award them the contract. Aside from the fact that both parties deny any such relationship, however, the hypothesis seems improbable given that Mondadori was the Italian publisher of the Da Vinci Code. ================================ There are several Really Weird items here: 1. The Pope supposedly wrote the new book last year, between March and August of 2003. Do the rest of you remember what his condition was then? Can you believe that he was able to do a book ... while being so weak that he could hardly stand or speak at Mass? 2. The publisher of the book is Montadori, a publishing house whose founder was an admirer of Opus Dei. This same publishing house is publishing the anti-Catholic screed, The Da Vinci Code, in Italy. Can we say incoherence ... or is this chaos magick? Pray for God to have mercy on all who are involved in these travesties. Lee ------------------------------------------------------- Not only do I not believe that John Paul II wrote the book, I also do not believe that a man with slurred speech can make a recording of readings. So who wrote it and who recorded it? Just how many popes do we have over there in the hallowed halls of Vatican City? How convenient it is that John Paul is stooped. We can't see his face when he gives an audience. His speech is slurred. His face is supposed to be a frozen mask, anyway. All of the markers of recognition have been withdrawn. Popely robes and trappings are easily acquired. I wonder what Rod Dreher would make of this latest Vatican myth in light of the experience of "It is as it was"? The Emperor has no clothes? Perhaps its the clothes that have no Emperor! CarrieTomko@aol.com

ROSICRUCIAN HOMILIES Interesting website - Gnostic Homilies by Rev. Steven Marshall. I found it when looking for Gnostic website that promoted the title of Co-Redemtrix and Mediatrix for the Blessed Virgin (which I didn't find). This website offers among others, a homily for "The Annunciation to Our Lady" I'm posting this to give you some idea of how much Gnosticism can overlap orthodox Catholicism. From the website: The popularity of this feast day in the traditional Church is most likely due to the emphasis on the divine feminine in the image of Mary to which many people related as the familiar mythological image of the woman or goddess who gives birth to the Divine Child. If the image of Mary embodies such a potent archetype, why is so little importance given to her in the Gnostic writings, and why then have we, as modern Gnostics, begun to honor her festivals? The early Gnostics are not particularly interested in the physical or even metaphysical mechanisms of Jesus� conception and birth for two basic reasons. 1) The Jesus of the Gnostics is a post-resurrectional mystery figure, the living Jesus, and is primarily a spirit, a pneuma. The Gnostic Jesus was not a person who died and disappeared, never to be heard of again, but an ever present reality in the inner life of his Gnostic followers, the ever coming and redeeming Logos. Therefore historical descriptions or theological speculations regarding any physical phenomena of conception and birth are of little consequence to the religious experience of the Gnostics. 2) In contrast to the dominant paradigm about women in early times the Gnostics do not view maternity as the principle value of the feminine. By the importance given to Mary Magdalene in the Gnostic writings, we can see that women signify the conceivers and birth givers of a deeply spiritual process in the life of the Gnostic, a role far transcending their biological role of conceiving and bearing children. Also, the Gnostics tend to view conception and birth as more of a tragedy than a joyful event. Many Gnostic writings identify incarnation with death and ignorance, as opposed to life and consciousness. In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus says, �...for my mother gave me death, but my true Mother gave me the Life.� The following paragraph from the homily explains how opposing conceptions can find a place in a Gnostic's cosmology: To the Gnostic the conception of Jesus is a mystery, the same mystery that forms the background of our own existence. The evidence of this mystery, indeed, any mystery, is that a mystery can never be limited to one reality, and so we must approach this mystery of the Annunciation and the conception of Christ as multi-layered and multifaceted. Is this another way to say, as Episcopal Bishop Spong (I believe it was him) says: "Pluriform truth"? Here seems to be a good account of the belief behind "Sophia". To further point us in the direction for discovering the pneumatic reality, the Gospel of Philip intimates that something is missing from the conventional creed of the mainstream Church about the conception of Christ: �Some said Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit. They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive of a woman.� Not only does this passage affirm that the Holy Spirit is a female power but it also acknowledges that a masculine polarity is necessary for the conception to occur. When our nuns become involved with "Sophia" this is what they are tapping into. Soloviev certainly tapped into it. Which is why unqualified approval of Soloviev by the Holy Father is so problematic, particularly when coupled with obliviousness to the activities in the female religious communities. Those who followed in Soloviev's footsteps made a fourth person of the Trinity out of Sophia. And then there is this telling sentence: An intellectual conception or interpretation, no matter how appealing to our minds, is still only a mental construct�only experience can transform us. Phenomonology? I wish MichiganCatholic were here to tell us. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Joseph, At the risk of being branded a "RadTrad" or even worse at the very great risk of being dead wrong, this is what seems to be the current situation: #1 The miracles you speak of...they are only necessary in the flesh, not after death. The time after the death (or banishment) of antiChrist belongs to Jesus. In the occult groups, there have been reported raisings from the dead, manifestations of spirits, and other phenomena. The way that the Baptism in the Spirit is spread is through a laying on of hands and even by a mere touching of one who has received it. One could be said to "catch" it by being around it. There are phenomena involving electricity. There are healings. So the requisite miracles are not a hindrance. #2 Military influence. That would come via the U.N. The army is already in the formative stages. The emperor who would serve antiChrist would be the leader of the U.N. I believe the Pope could govern the bishops if he wanted to. I believe he has chosen not to. I don't know why. #3 Multiple antiChrists. Yes. There have been many wrong judgments. I am saying that the groundwork is being laid to elect a Pope who does not serve the Trinitarian God. It is being laid through the reinterpretation of the boundaries of the Church done via a new explanation of the theology "Outside the Church there is no salvation," and in the near future via a reinterpretation of the meaning of apostolic succession. I believe John Paul II is cooperating with this process, most likely for reasons that have nothing to do with antiChrist, but rather that are associated with Messianism. His choice of Soloviev is especially interesting in light of Soloviev's last writing which is the story of antiChrist. There are two possible interpretations for the Pope's actions that I could consider: 1) he believes he can effect a mending of the various schisms that have divided the Body of Christ...that he can heal the Church. 2) he believes that the antiChrist lies in the immediate future and he is attempting to put in place a structure that will provide a measure of security for Catholics and that will parallel the structure of the servants of antiChrist. The third possibility is that he knowingly serves the enemy. I don't believe that is the case because his documents are orthodox, and he knows those documents will survive after he is gone. Or fourth, there are two popes, which is merely wild speculation. I also believe that those who would serve antiChrist have influential positions in the hierarchy and are able to effect change to their own purposes, at times with the Pope's perhaps unwitting cooperation. My source for that opinion is Pope Paul VI's "smoke of satan" speech. Ok, that's where I am at the moment. It is naturally subject to change as events unfold. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

IT DIDN'T GO OUT WITH VATICAN II Mark Shea's essay about which Rich Leonardi asks: Since some of you have gone to considerable lengths to denounce Mr. Shea, would any of you care to address the points he makes in the attached? My own experience and viewpoint... I believed that most of Catholic theology had been jettisoned with Vatican II, during the days when I was a member of a liberal parish in the Cleveland Diocese. When I realized that that liberal parish would soon have succeeded in destroying my faith, I got out, taking my family with me. We found a parish that was and is Catholic. But there was still that disheartening belief that the baby and the bath water were both gone. Then the time for my daughter's Confirmation rolled around. It was impossible to enroll her in the parish program because we had to be out of town when the program took place. I talked with my pastor who agreed that she could go through the RCIA program if I would attend the classes with her. The priest who taught the program taught the faith I had grown up with. He gave it all back to me, and so this RCIA program was a Godsend in many ways. I still belong to that parish. Outside the Church there is no salvation. We interpreted this in a narrow sense before the Council. Salvation depended upon membership in the RCC. We believed that we had no way of knowing who was not saved, that God could do as He pleased, and that we were not to judge the salvation or damnation of another soul, apart from the Church's judgment that someone was a saint. And now I would say that all salvation flows through Christ, through His sacrifice, and that we have no way of knowing to whom it flows because only God can judge hearts. However, this is not to say that other religions, other theological systems with gods of their own, provide salvation. Only Christ can save man...any man and every man...and judgment about who is saved and who is damned still resides with God alone. Where is the Church? This question has become almost impossible to answer. Prior to the Council that was not the case. Before the Council we defined the Church in terms of the Pope. Out of communion with the Pope was out of the Church. Today that has turned into a very fuzzy line of demarcation. The Church today seems to be whatever someone decides it is. Bishops can claim that the Jews have their own covenant with God that circumvents the salvation of Christ. The Pope can arrange a prayer service that places all faiths and all gods on an equal playing field. And a cardinal kisses the Holy Book of a religion that dishonors Christ. This question of Where is the Church? has muddied the waters of Catholicism to the point that they are unrecognizable. And the hierarchy is not finished with it yet. There are plans afoot to further cloud the outlines of the Church. CarrieTomko@aol.com

JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH...! ! ! This is a blog called Thoroughly Modern Mary produced by Sister Mary Biko, PhD which pml linked in the comments box. Is this a Catholic nun? She has blogged the story of the woman who left the Sisters of Chrity in order to become a Reverend in her own Church of Spiritualism which I blogged below. (You have to scross down in Sister Biko's blog to see it) Sister Biko has added a comment of her own below the article: What I do not understand is why Rev. Janet Nohavec thought it necessary to leaver [sic] her order. Maybe the Sisters of Charity are not as future oriented as my own order. We would hve no intrinsic difficulties with a spiritual alignment such as hers. all directed paths of a spiritual nature have their end in a god/deity/imagination flux. When you've picked your jaw up off the desktop, take a look at what she has to say about the Corporal Works of Mercy, and then tell me we do not have some alien new church in our midst! CarrieTomko@aol.com

ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS IN CROATIA in Croatia. This is the website of an O.T.O.Lodge. O.T.O. is Aleister Crowley's Egyptian Rite Masonic Lodge. I'm posting it here because this is the first time I've seen a reference to teaching Yoga, at least so far as I can recall. That is interesting in light of the priest in the Cleveland Diocese who was growing marijuana in the rectory and had his own Yoga students. From the website: The aims of the O.T.O. can only be understood fully by its highest initiates; but it may be said openly that it teaches Hermetic Science or Occult Knowledge, the Pure and Holy Magick of Light, the Secrets of Mystic Attainment, Yoga of all forms, Gnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakta Yoga, Tantric Yoga, and Hatha Yoga, and all other branches of the secret Wisdom of the Ancients. There is an O.T.O. Lodge in the Akron, Ohio area called Black Sun Oasis. The O.T.O. motto as the Croatia Lodge website indicates, is "Do what thou wilt shalt be the whole of the Law." I guess a priest growing marijuana in the rectory was practicing the Law of Thelema even if he didn't know it! The organization claims that Moreover, it possesses a Secret capable of realizing the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man. CarrieTomko@aol.com

SOME THOUGHTS AFTER SLEEPING ON YESTERDAY'S DISCUSSION Steward, you and I are in basically the same position. Right now we have a church and a parish. Right now we are in communion with the Pope. But the future is clouded. I don't see being fortunate enough to continue to have a reverent Novus Ordo if or when my pastor retires or when his health dictates new arrangements. Our seminaries in Cleveland are empty. My parish that had three priests when I joined it now has one. Our parish leaders are preparing for priestless Sunday liturgies. In the present state of the Church, a Host consecrated somewhere else, outside of a Mass I had attended, would offer no assurance of validity. Which means that all we could count on is spiritual communion from these priestless liturgies. FutureChurch was formed and continues to enjoy welcome in my diocese. That fact alone speaks for the thinking in the chancery. And there is the matter of toleration of homosexual ministry that does not uphold the teachings of the Church being promoted on the diocesan website. In addition, we are still generating scandalous headlines in the sexual abuse crisis periodically, which seems to indicate a lot is still covered up. Some of the words of the La Salette prophecy are nearly identical to the passage in the CCC on homosexuality. I find that noteworthy. Specifically, for those who do not normally lurk here: La Salette: "The sins of those dedicated to God [priests] cry out towards Heaven and call for vengeance..." CCC 1867: "The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites..." Justin, I hear what you are saying, but I also recall that not so long ago the person who taught me the meaning of "lex orandi, lex credendi" said that Byzantine Catholicism is preserved from corruption by the Divine Liturgy. Now you tell me that the Jesuit bi-ritual pastor of your former Byzantine parish has blessed a lesbian union and is on leave to work for the Rosicrucians in San Jose, taking his priestly faculties with him, with full knowledge of his superiors. And there he is in the announcement from the museum that I've linked below. Fr. Seraphim Rose is a voice of sanity in a religious world gone crazy. But I also note that the Russian Orthodox Church sold out to the communists. I probably don't need to reiterate that Rosicrucianism is Gnostic. That it uses the Kabbalah and comes out of theology that was rejected in the 1600s, that it blossomed in the French occult revival. No Pope prior to Vatican II would EVER have blessed such an endeavor. I find this scandalous on the level of the abuse scandal, if not greater. And to add insult to injury I find Cardinal Kasper toying with the idea of changing the definition of apostolic succession in such a way that the occult groups which claim the word "Catholic" in their title will be able to consider themselves in communion with the Church of Rome. Satanism belongs to these groups. We are talking here about the development of the religion of antiChrist. And Rome seems to be silent, and thus acquiescent if not complicit. Adding to this picture is the increasing acceptance of United Religions as Lee has reported. This is the religion of the last days, and it seems to be a done deal. Rome fiddles while Catholicism burns. The faith is not being polarized. The faith is being atomized. Collegiality will further fragment the Body of Christ. Rome seems to be hell bent on collegiality, and blind to the invasion of Jungian-style thinking and even Wicca in the religious communities, spiritual retreat centers, and even parish programs. Jung, I hasten to mention, was an occultist, as Dr. Noll has pointed out. Pentecostalism, which Paul Likoudis has called mediumship, has the encouragement of the Pope. This is heresy of an astounding nature! It is being promoted by Catholic groups that are more and more frequently being called cults, again with the backing of the Pope. These groups are extremely secretive and look so much like the inner circles of the occult groups (and they all have inner circles) as to be indistinguishable from them. They, or some of them, have their own liturgies, but anyone who wants to attend the Tridentine liturgy finds roadblock after roadblock. The familiar Church of centuries is being morphed into some new structure with new theology. It is not clear at all that this is consistent with the teachings of Christ. The Pope has beatified the founder of the European Union--the same EU that is refusing to even acknowledge that Europe is built on Christian roots. And this same Pope supports the U.N., a body that fosters anti-Catholic values. The state of the Roman Catholic Church is mind-boggling. I see nothing hopeful for the future of the faith apart from the return of Christ. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CARDINAL MURPHY-O'CONNOR SPEAKS FOR THE CONTINGENT ON THE LEFT by expressing a demand for more collegiality and more change in this Reuters article. He doesn't hint at the changes being proposed in apostolic succession, but does call for more collegiality. How many supporters in the College of Cardinals does he have? CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, March 25, 2004

DOES LA SALETTE REFLECT THE CURRENT STATE OF THE CHURCH Mark Shea and I have debated this in Amy Welborn's blog. She has closed her comments, so I am responding here. The specific question that I've asked and that no one has yet answered is, "If you came to believe that La Salette were coming true, that Rome had become the seat of Antichrist, what would you do?" You can read previous comments by both Mark and me at Open Book. This is the post to which my comments are directed: Carrie: I'm afraid of heresy, apostasy and schism, which you are advocating. It's what any Catholic in his five wits should fear since it endangers souls. It is a denial of Catholic teaching to say that the See of Peter will become the Seat of Antichrist. It is a sin to agitate for apostasy. And it's silly to say that there are two Church, pre and post Vatican II. The Church is indefectible. I respond: If pre-Vatican II documents on inter-religious activities state that we are not to enter the churches of other denominations because what they believe is actually a heresy, and post-Vatican II documents on inter-religious activities condone and promote entering the churches of other denominations, and redefine a heresy so as to make it partially or wholly acceptable, you have something to be afraid of. It can't be both ways, Mark. Either Protestantism is a heresy or it is not. Either the Eastern Orthodox are in schism or they are not. Either the teachings of Jacob Boehme, whence comes Pentecostalism, are a part of the Gnostic Heresy or they are not. No Pope before Vatican II would ever have approved of Pentecostalism. This redefinition not only undermines what the Church taught in the past, it also undermines what the Church currently teaches. If truth is relative, there is no truth. Pluriform truth only works for liberal Episcopalians. What's more, the Pope appears to be doing this to promote a kind of unity arranged by man, or more accurately arranged by the Pope. It violates CCC 675-678. And to add insult to injury, the Pope is offering us as an example a philosopher who also promoted this kind of ecumenism, studied the Kabbalah with the intent to embrace it, promoted Sophia worship that becomes the fourth person of the Trinity in the theology of those who carry on his tradition. This philosopher that the Pope promotes studied the beliefs of Mickiewicz, as did the Pope himself, and both look favorably upon the beliefs of this member of the French occult revival. The Pope does not discipline sexual abuse in the clergy and even among the bishops, condones a cover-up, remains oblivious to heresy in the religious communities, permits parish churches to be converted to a symbolism that speaks of a theology that is not Catholic in the words of Duncan Stroik, ignores the fact that catechesis is abysmal, and that bishops are treating his teaching indifferently. And if all of that isn't enough, Cardinal Gagnon openly admits that the Church is in schism. There is much here to be afraid of, but pretending that none of this exists is the most dangerous thinking of all because it will lead you to accept what is truly not of God. John Paul II is the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He is not Christ. He is not infallible in all of his activities. We will be held accountable for sins against the First Commandment even if a Pope leads us to commit them. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MICHAEL ROSE has written an editorial critiquing the proposed chapel at Ave Maria University, titled "A Hothouse Chapel in Hurricane Alley." His comments are excellent. I'm not going to quote him. Go read what he says. If the folks at Ave Maria think this is going to generate contributions, they should guess again. As one poster in Amy Welborn's blog on this chapel commented, "I can hear the sound of wallets snapping shut." Who wants to pay for the disposal of all that glass when the hurricane is through with it? Somebody down there needs a brain transplant! CarrieTomko@aol.com

UPDATES FROM LEE PENN As you may recall - from a story that I wrote for The Christian Challenge in early 2002 - President Bush has praised the United Religions Initiative. Here's the story, as it was published then: ==================================================== UNITED RELIGIONS "ENCOURAGES A LOWERARCHY" Bush Praises URI Initiative By Lee Penn January 5, 2002 The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC) Was it a Freudian slip, or just a coincidence? It's hard to say. But a lot of Christians reading the current issue of the URI Update, the official newsletter of the United Religions Initiative, might be surprised to learn that "a lowerarchy, not a hierarchy" was recommended as a structural model for the URI--the controversial interfaith venture founded by California Episcopal Bishop William Swing. Attentive readers of C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters may remember that Screwtape, a senior demon, tells his nephew, Wormwood, that some strategies for tempting people are "decided for us by spirits far deeper down in the Lowerarchy than you and I." The eye-catching reference appears in an article in the latest URI Update about selecting the URI Global Council (the board of directors). Its author, Sally Mah�, noted that: "At the 1999 URI Global Summit, 100 participants offered their highest vision for the URI Global Council. Some comments: 'Encourages a lowerarchy, not a hierarchy.' 'Service of love, not power.' 'Inspires spiritual citizenship.' Visions like these have inspired and carried the URI into being." Organizational activities apparently according with this "vision" in the U.S. and overseas show what the URI means by its stated mission to "create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the earth and all living beings." In one of them, the URI "Cooperation Circle" (local chapter) in Asheville, North Carolina "held the Council of All Beings for people to experience being part of a ritual where the human species is only one voice among many." It was not disclosed whether the non-human participants in the ceremony were animals, plants, rocks, spirits, or all of the above. MEANWHILE, TCC has learned that President George W. Bush has lauded the URI and Swing--who was recently in the news for blaming all religions for fostering terror, albeit with a sterner eye toward Christianity than Muslim extremism. In a November 6 letter from the White House, Bush congratulated Swing for receiving the 2001 Citizen Diplomacy Award from the International Diplomacy Council, a private organization that works closely with high-level State Department officials to assist overseas groups who visit the US. At the end of the letter, Bush said, "Both the United Religions Initiative and the International Diplomacy Council exist to foster a greater understanding among peoples. I salute these organizations for their roles in facilitating interaction among people and nations." Gray Davis, the Democratic governor of California, joined Bush's tribute. In a November 14 letter from his office in Sacramento, Davis said, "By promoting peace and tolerance through the United Religions Initiative, you have made a positive and lasting impact. Your outstanding dedication to fostering international goodwill is an inspiration to us all." Frank Damann, manager of membership for the International Diplomacy Council (IDC), said that the Secretary of State is familiar with the work of IDC; in addition, George Shultz, Secretary of State in the Reagan administration, is a member of the IDC Advisory Council. It appears that Bush's commendation of the IDC and the URI was at the suggestion of senior officials in the State Department. It was not clear that the President was aware of Swing's post-September 11 statements claiming that the terrorists did not hold a corrupted view of Islam, since all religions foster terror, a view Bush would be unlikely to endorse. URI staff did not return phone calls asking for comment on these developments. ----------------------------------------------------------- The letter from Bush praising the URI is - as of March 25, 2004 - on the Internet at http://www.diplomacy.org/idc11140101.html Sources for this story also included ch. 20 of C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, and issue 10 of the URI magazine, URI Update, pp. 1,3, 7, and 8. ========================================================= A Federal agency, the US Institute for Peace, gave a training grant to the URI: AOL link: Grant Awards: April 2002 Issue: PeaceWatch: U.S. Institute of Peace Text URL: http://www.usip.org/peacewatch/2002/4/grant2.html The Web site lists this grant: "United Religions Institute, San Francisco, Calif. "United Religions Initiative Peace Building Training Program." Barbara Hartford. $30,000." ========================================================= Note well that the URI has been in existence since 1995. Nevertheless, the Clinton Administration never gave the URI the public praise and public grants that the Bush administration has done. Why is a Republican administration doing this, despite its putative debt to the Evengelical Religious Right? Some people have offered me a soothing explanation: that Bush and his administration know nothing about the URI, and heard a little bit about it, and since it sounded nice ... they made some polite gestures in behalf of the URI. The reality may be far more serious: that the URI and other ventures in religious syncretism are consistent with Administration plans in the War on Terror. For evidence, see the following link to a recent story in a neo-conservative magazine, The Public Interest. AOL link: The Public Interest Text URL: http://www.thepublicinterest.com/current/article2.html The story is long; it is worth reading for any traditionalist. It gives us an idea of what we are up against. The URI-relevant part of the story is at the end: "The American project in Iraq exceeds anything Lincoln could have imagined. By the same token, it both implies and demands the abandonment of the link on which he so relied between liberal Christianity and liberal democracy. For it is crucial to our victory in the forum of world opinion (including, crucially, Muslim opinion) that we not couch our global project as akin to Christianity in any way. Mr. Bush learned shortly after September 11 not to dub his campaign against terrorism a crusade. He could hardly have done worse to call it a jihad. By its deeds, not merely its words, this administration has exceeded all previous ones in rejecting the dependence of democracy on Christianity. It has adopted the premise that just as Confucianism, historically anything but liberal or democratic, has posed no insuperable obstacle to the democratization of East Asia, so Islam will pose none to that of the Middle East. ... [of] all Republican presidents since McKinley, Bush appears to be the most concerned with living a Christian life. All the more ironic, then, that in the most important policy and riskiest gamble of his presidency, Bush has embraced willy-nilly the view that liberal democracy is one thing, Protestant Christianity (or Christianity of any sort, or even Judeo-Christianity) entirely another. He has chosen to present America to the world not as the Christian nation for which his religious supporters take it, but as the universal sponsor of liberal democracy, which as such is impartial in principle as between Christianity and Islam. Thus must Bush present America not just to the world but to itself. It is said that John Foster Dulles helped desegregate American society by persuading a reluctant Eisenhower to send federal troops to Little Rock lest inaction hand the Soviets a propaganda windfall. Bush finds himself similarly trapped in the glare of global headlights. However trying the struggle with Islamism may prove, whatever sacrifices it may demand, he cannot revive Lincoln�s appeal to Christianity, no matter how nondenominational that appeal would be. His religious rhetoric must be �inclusive,� anodyne, and sterile. His administration must become America�s first genuinely Methodist Taoist Native American Quaker Russian Orthodox Buddhist Jewish (and Muslim) one. And so the challenge of Islamic terror will collaborate with other forces to drive official America to ever greater lengths of secularism or syncretism. Copyright of The Public Interest, Issue #155 (Spring 2004), National Affairs, Inc." In other words, the URI's syncretism may fit perfectly with the Bush Administration's agenda in the war for the Middle East. Kyrie eleison Lee __________________________________________________________ To that I would add that it seems that President Bush and John Paul II are in agreement that the war on terror must not be conceived of in a religious framework. And on another note, Lee also sent the following comment: AOL link: Mercury News | 03/20/2004 | A winning team Text URL: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/living/religion/8229688.htm The story speaks for itself. If anyone needs more proof that the URI promotes religious syncretism, here it is. For even more dark fun, visit this web site to see the winners of the design competition. AOL llink: Interfaith Sacred Space Design Competition Awards Text URL: http://www.pipsqueak.com/competition/ Kyrie eleison. Lee CarrieTomko@aol.com

ROSICRUCIAN RARE BOOK EXHIBIT runs through August 15 at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose. Metroactive Arts describes the exhibit: IN THE CULTS of Zoroaster there is represented the chalice with a flame. The same flaming chalice is engraved upon the ancient Hebrew shekels of the time of Solomon and of an even remoter antiquity. In the Hindu excavations of the periods of Chandragupta Maurya, we observe the same powerfully stylized image. Upon Tibetan images, the Bodhisattvas are holding the chalice blossoming with tongues of flame ... Not in imagination; but in realities are being interwoven the great teachings of all ages, the language of pure Fire!" So wrote the Russian mystic painter Nicholas Roerich in 1926 in his Banners From the East. Roerich, a Rosicrucian, played an influential role in the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as he was the mover and shaker behind FDR putting the Great Seal of the United States and the all-seeing eye on the back of the $1 bill. The eye is a Masonic and Rosicrucian symbol dating back centuries. Included in a folio volume, Banners From the East is part of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum's "Rare Books of the Rosicrucian Library" exhibit. The books are all behind glass cases, as many are too fragile to be handled. Stephen Armstrong of the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) leads me through the exhibit. It was not that long ago when even suggesting that such books existed would bring on comments about "black helicopters" and conspiracy theories. Now these books make the Arts news. Times they are a-changing! I love the closing paragraph: We then come back to Roerich's volume and discuss the Great Seal of the United States and the all-seeing eye. I mention it's amazing that it took so long for the seal to make it onto the back of the dollar, and that I wonder why George Washington and crew didn't put it there from the beginning. "Yeah," said Armstrong. "Considering they were all Masons." They might even have a plastic model black helicopter lodged in an inconspicuous corner, just for fun! ;-> UPDATE From Justin in the comments box. I'm putting it here because it's important. He wrote: Steven Armstrong is a bi-ritual Jesuit who is on a leave of absence--has faculties and still in vows. He is the former pastor of the parish Lee belongs to and that I used to attend. Lord have mercy on his soul. Oh, and yes his superiors are aware of what he is doing. Here is a lilnk to the museum's website. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

THE FATIMA CONSECRATION was the subject of the Holy Father's March 24 audience in St. Peters: VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2004 (Zenit.org).- At a time of "violence, terrorism and war," John Paul II again consecrated the world to the Blessed Virgin Mary. During today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope renewed the 1984 act of consecration of humanity to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, "responding to what Our Lady had requested at Fatima." The Holy Father previously had asked bishops worldwide to carry out the 1984 act of consecration to Mary in their respective dioceses. Sister Lucia, one of the visionaries of the Marian apparitions, confirmed later that the solemn and universal consecration corresponded to the Blessed Virgin's wishes. "Humanity was then going through difficult times, of great concern and uncertainty," John Paul II recalled today. "Twenty years later, the world continues to be fearfully marked by hatred, violence, terrorism and war." The request, though, was not to consecrate the world. The request was to consecrate Russia specifically. If the consecration has been done according to Mary's request, why is the world still "fearfully marked by hatred, violence, terrorism and war"? The promise associated with the consecration is a period of peace. CarrieTomko@aol.com

HUBRIS ? Or ignorance? Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. calls it "lack of shame." Yeah, that works for me, too. CarrieTomko@aol.com

SUPERCOMPUTING AND FINDING THE GOD PARTICLE Check out the cutting edge atom smasher being built to find it: Specifically, the Higgs boson, the most elusive speck of matter in the universe. Often called the God particle, it's supposed to be the key to explaining why matter has mass. Physicists believe that Higgs particles generate a kind of soupy ether through which other particles move, picking up drag that translates into mass on the macroscopic scale. The Higgs is the cornerstone of 21st-century physics; it simply has to be there, otherwise the standard model of the universe collapses. To find it, requires new technology, and that new technology will change the way computers are interconnected. It's expected to be operational in 2007. CarrieTomko@aol.com

OUR FRUSTRATION WITH LITURGY COULD EVAPORATE IN THE FACE OF AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM NASA From Yahoo! News via Spirit Daily: An unprecedented asteroid scare in January had astronomers worried for a few hours over a rock that had a 1-in-4 chance of hitting Earth during the next few days. At the time, some of the scientists were unsure who should be notified. The event has prompted NASA (news - web sites) to set up a formal process for notifying top officials in the future of any impending impacts, SPACE.com has learned. The plan, which has existed on an informal basis for months but was not known to all the key scientists involved, could be put out for review this summer and finalized by the end of the year. If they are formulating a procedure, they are taking the threat seriously. If ABC Evening News announces there is a 1 in 2 chance that an asteroid will hit the earth on Saturday, I suspect we would quickly recover our sense of sin and get into the confession line, and then recover our sense of reverence at Mass on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And I bet the liturgists would be leaving the clown suit at home! CarrieTomko@aol.com

PRIESTS BEING TRAINED TO DO EXORCISMS In the Archdiocese of Genoa, according to this Zenit article linked at Spirit Daily. GENOA, Italy, MARCH 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Genoa Archdiocese is undertaking the formation of a team of priests to care for possible cases of exorcisms. It is also establishing a "school of confessors." ... The cardinal announced that progress is being made in the establishment of a diocesan team "specialized in the support of people who are suffering symptoms that are difficult to interpret, whether from the spiritual or psychological point of view, or in the framework of problems of exorcism." Emphasizing the need for "prior discernment" in this delicate matter, the cardinal said that in the case of diabolic possession, "the person in question will be supported by an exorcist who will pronounce the prayers of the rite." The cardinal said the names of the exorcists will not be published. He said the archdiocese will offer people the possibility of a preliminary contact, to discern those in real need, who will then be put in touch with "one of the priests in charge of this ministry." CarrieTomko@aol.com

POSTSCRIPT ON APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION Cardinal Kasper is in the catbird seat for changing the theology of Apostolic Succession. Christianity Today, in an article titled "Vatican's New Ecumenical Officer May Smooth Relations with Protestants", dated March, 2001, explains: Walter Kasper, a newly appointed German cardinal, has been appointed head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Vatican's ecumenical department.... Cardinal Kasper has had wide experience as a theologian, coming into contact with some of the most gifted theologians of his generation. From 1961 to 1964, Walter Kasper was assistant to Hans K�ng at the University of Tubingen, and from 1970 to 1989 he was professor of dogmatic theology. He has written many books on theology, and in 1989 he was appointed Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. In 1979, he was chosen by the Vatican as one of a dozen Catholic theologians to sit on the World Council of Churches' Faith and Order Commission, which has been described as "the most comprehensive theological forum in Christendom." In 1994 Cardinal Cassidy appointed Kasper as co-chairman of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity. If Cardinal Kasper brings Hans Kung's beliefs to this Commission, I would expect him to support the United Religions Initiative which Hans Kung supports. Thus, he might view favorably the beliefs of Theosophists, including those of the Liberal Catholic Church, who claim Christ but redefine Him in a Gnostic way, as he views favorably the beliefs of Protestant denominations who redefine Christ's Church in such a way as to be included with it. I have sometimes seen it written that the Church of the future is going to change. Perhaps this is an early salvo of the revolution being planned. CarrieTomko@aol.com

APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION Continuing with the theme of the opinion expressed in the blog immediately below, I've done a bit of investigating into apostolic succession as it is viewed today, and Cardinal Kasper's viewpoint on the subject. A priest describes the Church in this article from Valley News Dispatch: When we ask "What is church?" we must understand all of the elements that make up the church, says the Rev. James Wehner. Among them, he says: the role of Peter, apostolic succession, the sacraments and discipleship.... Roman Catholics believe that the church involves a baptized people who are in communion with the successors of the apostles (the bishop), who himself is in communion with Peter (the pope). "People gather to celebrate the Eucharist, which was instituted on that Holy Thursday when the Lord commanded his apostles to 'Do this in memory of me.' " Apostolic succession is an important verification that any bishop or priest is truly in communion with the Church of Christ. Apart from apostolic succession, anyone who says they believe in Christ can claim membership in His Church. This new independent Catholic denomination in the process of forming, is fully aware of this necessity: A new independent Catholic denomination has been formed with some interesting differences from the Roman Catholic Church. Yet they consider themselves to be in close relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and hope to be in communion with Rome someday. (PRWEB) February 28, 2004--A new independent Catholic denomination has been founded by Archbishop Robert Niznik and his Chancellor, Fr. David Beaman. Both men are former Roman Catholics and were validly ordained by independent Catholic bishops in Apostolic Succession. The new denomination will remain autonomous, but both Archbishop Niznik and Fr. Beaman hope to eventually be able to enter into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Canon Law of the new denomination is very similar to Roman Catholic Canon Law with some significant differences. They recognize the Holy Father in Rome as first among equals and give him all due respect in that role. However, they are not under his authority. They are under the authority of their own primate, their Archbishop, whose symbolic relationship to the Pope can be likened to that of St. John to St. Peter. Additionally, their priests have the option to remain celibate or to marry; and their priests may use any valid form of Catholic liturgy to suit the pastoral needs of their congregations. However, choice of liturgy must be based on what is best suited to the congregations and not on personal preferences of the priests. The most common liturgies used are the Novus Ordo, the Tridentine, and the Catholic version of the Anglican. We would say that they hope in vain. But if the SSPX article is correct, we would have then to add a qualifier of "but perhaps not necessarily in vain." Knowing whether this is the future direction of the Church would require verification of Cardinal Kasper's beliefs concerning apostolic succession. In a paper titled "A Vision of Christian Unity for the Next Generation," May 24, 2003, Cardinal Walter Kasper offers this interpretation of apostolic succession: As I see the problem and its possible solution, it is not a question of apostolic succession in the sense of an historical chain of laying on of hands running back through the centuries to one of the apostles; this would be a very mechanical and individualistic vision, which by the way historically could hardly be proved and ascertained. The Catholic view is different from such an individualistic and mechanical approach. Its starting point is the collegium of the apostles as a whole; together they received the promise that Jesus Christ will be with them till the end of the world (Matt 28, 20). So after the death of the historical apostles they had to co�opt others who took over some of their apostolic functions. In this sense the whole of the episcopate stands in succession to the whole of the collegium of the apostles. To stand in the apostolic succession is not a matter of an individual historical chain but of collegial membership in a collegium, which as a whole goes back to the apostles by sharing the same apostolic faith and the same apostolic mission. The laying on of hands is under this aspect a sign of co-optation in a collegium. This has far reaching consequences for the acknowledgement of the validity of the episcopal ordination of an other Church. Such acknowledgement is not a question of an uninterrupted chain but of the uninterrupted sharing of faith and mission, and as such is a question of communion in the same faith and in the same mission. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com # posted by Carrie : 12:21 PM Comment (0) CarrieTomko@aol.com

FROM ECUMENISM TO SILENT APOSTASY a declaration by the SSPX which points to the changing winds in Rome with regard to separated Christians. It culminates in item #16 which is the point which explains the title of the essay: 16. According to Cardinal Kasper, this proceeding does not suffice. One must overcome the obstacles present in the separated communities, for example the decreed invalidity of Anglican orders. The course that he proposes for this is a redefining of the concept of Apostolic succession, no longer �in the sense of a historical chain of the imposition of hands going back centuries to the Apostles � this vision would be a very individualistic and mechanical� but rather as �a collegial participation in a college which, as a whole, goes back to the Apostles by a sharing in the same apostolic faith and the same apostolic mission.� Such abandonment, in conjunction with the outlined ecumenical policies which proceed it in this essay, will open the door to all peoples who claim Christ, no matter what they believe about Him. As I read that, I tend to reflect on the long lists verifying apostolic succession in the occult websites. They are super-conscious of the need to establish this link, unlike Western Catholics who tend mostly to take it for granted. Here is a listing of the Apostolic Succession for the Gnostic Catholic Church (scroll down). Here is the list for the Liberal Catholic Church, the church of the Theosophists. (Click the link for Apostolic Succession, and then choose one of the three choices to view a list.) If, as #16 proposes, apostolic succession is going to be fudged, to be made less important or insignificant, or abandoned altogether, it will open the doorway to admission of occult groups such as the Liberal Catholic Church of the Theosophists, or the Gnostic Catholic Church, the church created out of the Ordo Templi Orientis, an organization often associated with Satanism, since Aleister Crowley, the man who called himself "666", gave this church shape. There will no longer be a reason to cite as to why occult churches are not part of the Catholic Communion. By the ecumenical policies established by this papacy, they will be part of the Catholic Communion. Considering the restoration of the Nestorians, this is not wild speculation. Rather it is a clear and present danger to the faith. The prophecy of La Salette which was discussed below contains one red flag that I did not include in my attempt to discover parallels between the prophecy and present day reality. It is this one: Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist. An alarming prediction from a prophecy that has the approval of the Roman Catholic Church, at least in part...a prophecy that is showing evidence of being accurate. If apostolic succession is abandoned as item 16 above implies it will be, we will no longer need to wonder if the prophecy has been fulfilled. We will know. Perhaps there is good reason that God has engineered the SSPX schism. It is just conceivable that this tiny organization is the lifeline for the preservation of Christ's Church on earth. Perhaps the reconcilliation so desired and not achieved is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

CATHOLIC PARENTS ONLINE Whenever we have a concern about something that takes place in the parishes, we are always told to speak to the pastor, and if that does not produce a remedy, to contact the bishop. President Colleen Perfect would like to know why Archbishop Harry Flynn, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, does not censor liturgies which are dedicated to the homosexual group Inclusive Catholics, since they do not affirm the teachings of the Church on homosexual sex. Following the oft prescribed procedure, she has written a letter to him which she has also put up on her website. You can read it here. The letter also includes a link to pictures of the Mass in question. She asked friends and supporters of the organization to write as well. Apparently the Archbishop was annoyed. This is his response which I'm posting with her permission. _________________________________________ >Dear Friends of CPO, > > Today I received a large envelope in the mail from Archbishop Harry Flynn in > response to my Open Letter of March 17, 2004. I was truly shocked and very > deeply saddened when I read his letter. In addition to his letter, he > enclosed 34 copies of letters (including one from a large Catholic > organization) which were sent to him by you on March 17th and March 18th. I > assume he will be sending me more. > > Here for you to read is the Archbishop's letter I received today. > _________________________________________________ > March 19,2004 > > Colleen Perfect > Catholic Parents On Line > PO Box 130815 > St. Paul, MN 55113 > > Dear Ms. Perfect, > > From now on I am sending to you all the letters which assault my office > because of communications which you have made. > > I must remind you that I am the Archbishop and choose to influence in a > different manner then you and many of the people who would write to me. I > think it is totally unfair of you to engage others in these letter writing, > e-mail campaigns. So, since it is you who have contacted these people, you > are the one who will receive all of their responses. > > I would ask further that you not call and ask for an appointment concerning > this. > > With good wishes, I remain > > Sincerely yours in Christ, > > Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn, D.D. > Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis > _________________________________________________ > > Friends, a few of the reasons I am shocked at the tone of Archbishop Flynn's > letter is because: > > 1. All the letters from you, the faithful, which he included with his > letter to me (with the exception of one) were very polite and respectful of > the office of the Archbishop. In my estimation they didn't even come close > to an "assault" on his office. These were letters simply asking for his help > as our Shepard, your letters were filled with truth, pain, confusion and > love. > > 2. The Archbishop says, "I think it is totally unfair of you to engage > others in these letter writing, e-mail campaigns". Honestly, I really do > not understand his reasoning here. CPO began contacting him 6 years ago - > trying our best to communicate and inform him (always in a positive, > respectful manner) about the many serious abuses taking place in our beloved > churches and schools. He did once, in the past, explained that he is doing > his best to correct any error. We trusted his word and waited and prayed. > Nothing has happened. The dissident parishes continue to host events > sponsored by groups who not only teach contrary to our Catholic Church > teachings, but now have become so bold as to organize additional heretical > groups. They display sick literature, such as "Queering Christ: Beyond Jesus > ACTED UP" - and just this week disgracefully proclaimed, "We will oppose any > legislation or amendment that curtails civil rights, including that which > would limit marriage or it's ! > legal equivalent to the union of one man and one woman." > http://www.stjoan.com/bulletinfr.htm > > 3. The Archbishop wants no more contact with us, he want us to be silent. > He stated, "I would ask further that you not call and ask for an appointment > concerning this". This is not only shocking, but absolutely tragic that he > will not listen to us, his flock. We need to ask WHY? Especially when he > does take time to meet with those who continue to abuse the teaching of the > Magisterium. He graciously met with the people of St. Joan of Arc parish to > listen to their concerns as to why they could not have Mel White, who > promotes sodomy , give the homily at a Mass last year. He also honored the > request of Kathy Itzen, from St. Joan of Arc, and met with her due to her > distress that Catholics spoke out against the fact that she was to receive > an Archdiocesan Education Award, even though she publicly expressed actions > and behavior that conflict with the teachings of our church. > > To all of you who love and cherish our Catholic faith as handed down to us > from Jesus Christ and our forefathers - please remember the blessed words of > St. Padre Pio, "Strong and generous hearts are not grieved except for > serious reasons; and then do not allow such motives to penetrate to their > inmost heart. Let us ascend Calvary, burdened with the Cross but without > tiring. And let us be convinced that our ascent will lead us to the heavenly > vision of our sweetest Saviour. > > As I said in my previous letter to Archbishop Flynn. ".with all due respect, > as faithful laity, we won't go away and we will not be silent." I ask that > together we continue on, with a steadfast faith, to "Maintain the Truth > lovingly and always love truthfully". > > Sincerely in His love, > Colleen Perfect, President > Catholic Parents OnLine > > P.S. May God reward you for all the excellent letters that have been written > to Archbishop Flynn. If I may have your permission to post them on our site, > please let me know. Thanks! > CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

FROM CATHOLIC NUN TO SPIRITUALIST MEDIUM From the Salt Lake Tribune comes an article about a former Sister of Charity turning to Spiritualism. WAYNE, N.J. -- The Rev. Janet Nohavec, wearing a long purple velvet dress and a strand of pearls, is doing what she does every Sunday. During the Journey Within Spiritualists' National Union Church's weekly service, the former Sister of Charity demonstrates her power as a medium, after three decades of hiding it. "When my parents came here [from a displaced persons camp in post-war Germany], they brought no pictures of any of these people," says the medium, who is of Czech and Polish heritage. Her mother considered the manifestations a bad omen. As a result, Nohavec ignored the spirit people she continued to see. At 25, she joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station. Five years later, she left before taking final vows. She embraced her gifts two years after leaving the convent. At the invitation of a friend, she attended a circle (a group of people who contact the dead). "That night was the first night I heard a spirit person," she says. She began attending a Spiritualist church. Eventually, she trained at Lily Dale, a Spiritualist enclave in New York, and with the Spiritualists' National Union in England. The SNU's teachings "resonated with me. Just live by the Golden Rule," she says. Still, she had her doubts. "Once I started to hear the spirit people . . . I can remember just praying to God: 'Are you sure you want me doing this?' The reply was a clear yes." With that certainty, nine years ago, Nohavec founded the Journey Within. A longer article about Janet Hohavec can be found at the New Jersey Monthly website. Credit for finding this story goes to Spirit Daily. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE CLEVELAND CATHOLIC DIOCESE Book Resource List from the Office for women in church and Society. I wonder who composed this thing. Joyce Rupp is on there. Three of her books are recommended, including The Star in My Heart: Experiencing Sophia, Inner Wisdom Rosemary Radford Reuther is there. Richard Rohr, too. I see Leonard Swidler's book, Women Priests: A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican. In fact, I see that women's empowerment in one form or another is a popular topic on this list. Mostly the titles don't sound religious, though some are "spiritual." Monika Hellwig, Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza, Fran Ferder, Joan Chittister, Lisa Cahill, Anthony DeMello, Matthew Fox, Megan McKenna, Bridget Mary Meehan, Diann Neu. These are all authors who have made the Dissenting Authors and Speakers List of Our Lady's Warriors, Apirl 2001. The list is no longer online, but the section of the website dedicated to dissent can be found here. Just click the "Dissent" lilnk on the left. Yet these authors are all included on the list of books for women in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese website. So does a Catholic in the Cleveland Diocese take from this list an assumption that Bishop Pilla approves of those who dissent from Church teaching enough to recommend that we read their books? Seems like an odd thing for a Bishop to approve of. Thanks to a reader for providing the link to the Diocesan list in a comments box. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, March 22, 2004

HERE WE GO AGAIN... From EWTN News: Vatican, Mar. 18 (CWNews.com) - On the anniversary of the beginning of last year's war in Iraq, the Vatican newspaper has offered new criticism of the conduct of the American-led war on terrorism. In an editorial for the March 19 edition, L'Osservatore Romano questioned the motivation for current US policy. The editorial remarked: "Behind the talk about the need to spread justice, liberty, and equality, there may be a hidden intention of enlarging one's own spheres of political and economic influence." CarrieTomko@aol.com

AUSTRALIAN WITCHCRAFT INCREASING From The Age: In the 1996 census, 1849 people identified themselves as either witches or wiccan; in the 2001 census, the number had grown to 8755. Identifying under the umbrella term of "pagan" (including witches, druids, heathens and shamans), the 1996 census numbers were about 10,000, compared to 20,000 in 2001. "It is clearly growing in popularity," says Dr Douglas Ezzy, senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Tasmania. Regarded by many to be one of the foremost local experts on the subject, Dr Ezzy was the editor of a book compiled by modern-day witches, Practising the Witch's Craft, an overview of the various witchcraft traditions in Australia. As an academic who has studied witchcraft for about 10 years, Ezzy says that the misrepresentation of the practice is something that he is particularly sensitive to and that the definition of a witch has become more varied. "Witchcraft used to be about people who followed the rituals and practices of the Gardnerian witchcraft Book of Shadows (a book of rituals sort of like the Anglican book of prayer). But now there is a huge variety of people who call themselves witches," he says. "But, in the same way that there are different versions of Christianity, there are different traditions within witchcraft. Some of these traditions have strict criteria for who can or cannot claim to be a member of their tradition." And the charm of witchery? According to Ezzy "in this increasingly fast-paced and materialistic world, followers can reclaim the sacred and spiritual aspects of their lives". Dr. Ezzy compares witchcraft rituals to Mass: "The witches on Buffy or Charmed or The Craft place a great deal of emphasis on spells and fighting demons. Most real witches don't do these things. Witchcraft is much more about self-development and self-understanding," he says. "The other media image of witchcraft as a dangerous 'cult' is based on medieval stereotypes and Monty Python. In my opinion going to a witchcraft ritual is no more dangerous than going to a Catholic Mass, a Pentecostal prayer meeting, or to watch the football. There are dangerous people in all walks of life, and witchcraft is no exception." Gavin Andres, the state co-ordinator of an umbrella group called the Pagan Aareness Network, says "he developed an interest in the occult when he was a teenager and found the history of witchcraft far more fascinating that 'sitting in church singing doleful hymns'." Paganism is so alien to Christianity that clashes of philosophy seem to be inevitable. Not all in society see such beliefs as positive. In June last year City of Casey councillor Rob Wilson, who was last week elected mayor, issued a press release accusing witches of trying to attack and "take over" the municipality in Melbourne's south-east. Naming a local witch in his press release, Wilson suggested that the witch's religion made her a threat to the community. Wilson also called on local churches to hold a day of prayer to ward off the forces of darkness. Letters to the local papers revealed a deep divide in the community. There are differences in ritual when witches are located in the Southern Hemisphere: Australian witches have had to re-jig some of the information in the most widely-read witchcraft tomes in order to cater for our Southern Hemisphere differences. "Most cast their circles anti-clockwise. In the Northern Hemisphere it's the other way. Real witches in Australia celebrate Halloween at the end of April but most people would think of it as being in October," he says. Today is International Witches Meetup Day. A website devoted to the day helps witches arrange to get together with others of like mind. The website claims that 23,375 witches worldwide have signed up. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, March 21, 2004

SOPHIA As in "prayers to" ala Joyce Rupp. From the website: "Prayers to Sophia is the perfect companion to The Star in My Heart. Ten years later (and not a moment too soon), it is a deep, bold, evocative book of prayers to Divine Wisdom. Conscious, personal, and reminiscent of Rumi, Joyce Rupp helps open us to the Divine Feminine within us all." Ah yes, just another New Ager doing her thing. Right? Well, she likes to do her thing in Catholic retreats. She's coming to Cleveland. Check out Brother Solanus's website where you will discover her seminar has been announced in his parish bulletin: This morning's parish bulletin informed me that New Age radical feminist, Joyce Rupp, "will present 'The Liberated Heart, An Inner Journey, Day of Retreat' on April 3 at St. Joseph Center, 3430 Rocky River Drive...Sponsored by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph, Sprituality Committee. For more information and/or to register, call Sister Joan Keating, CSJ, at (216) 252-0440." Thank you Sisters of St. Joseph for this wonderful bit of heresy. Where is Bishop Pilla? CarrieTomko@aol.com

ATTENDEES AT SSPX IN OREGON BARRED FROM ATTENDING DIOCESAN PARISH MASSES KLAMATH FALLS � Baker Bishop Robert Vasa has written a letter to Catholics in Klamath County, warning them against associating with a schismatic community based in the small town of Keno. Members of the Society of St. Pius X reject the Second Vatican Council, hew to Latin liturgies and do not recognize ties to the pope. The group holds services in Portland, Eugene and Keno. �Since the members of the society have rejected union with the Holy Father, no Catholic may attend or participate in Masses offered by priests of the Society of St. Pius X . . . without embracing the same schism which the society itself embraces,� Bishop Vasa wrote in a Feb. 26 letter placed in parish bulletins.... The bishop said that those who affiliate with the Society of St. Pius X may not attend Mass and receive Communion in Baker Diocese parishes. How can the Bishop prevent someone from attending Mass? Even atheists are welcome to attend Mass. Non-Catholics are never barred. So how can a Catholic be barred simply for attending an SSPX Mass? CarrieTomko@aol.com

OUR LADY OF LA SALETTE Since Thursday, I've been working on this post, off and on. Because of the message my pastor has included in today's bulletin, I'm posting it here unfinished, and his message after it. La Salette is an older apparition than those of Fatima and Lourdes. It took place on September 19, 1846. The Church approved it through the work of the Bishop of Grenoble in 1851. The story of the apparition is told at this website. The message of the prophecy given here is brief. There is a longer version, and it is controversial. You can read the longer version of the message here. If you do read it, you will see why it sparked controversy. One quote from the longer message: "Melanie, what I am about to tell you now will not always be a secret. You may make it public in 1858." "The priests, ministers of my Son, the priests, by their wicked lives, by their irreverence and their impiety in the celebration of the holy mysteries, by their love of money, their love of honors and pleasures, the priests have become cesspools of impurity. Yes, the priests are asking vengeance, and vengeance is hanging over their heads. Woe to the priests and to those dedicated to God who by their unfaithfulness and their wicked lives are crucifying my Son again The sins of those dedicated to God cry out towards Heaven and call for vengeance, and now vengeance is at their door, for there is no one left to beg mercy and forgiveness for the people. There are no more generous souls, there is no one left worthy of offering a stainless sacrifice to the Eternal for the sake of the world." There is much more in the prophecy. "The sins of those dedicated to God cry out towards Heaven..." These words are used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. CCC 1867: "The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites,..." (Italics are in the CCC.) I have a copy of the booklet this version of the message replicates. The entire text of the booklet is online at a Nostradamus website. (No, I am not recommending the prophecies of Nostradamus.) The controversy over the prophecy is spelled out at the EWTN website: Maximin's secret is not known, for it was never published. Melanie's was inserted in its entirety in brochure which she herself had printed in 1879 at Lecce, Italy, with the approval of the bishop of that town. A lively controversy followed as to whether the secret published in 1879 was identical with that communicated to Pius IX in 1851, or in its second form it was not merely a work of the imagination. The latter was the opinion of wise and prudent persons, who were persuaded that a distinction must be made between the two Melanies, between the innocent and simple voyante of 1846 and the visionary of 1879, whose mind had been disturbed by reading apocalyptic books and the lives of illuminati. As Rome uttered no decision the strife was prolonged between the disputants. Most of the defenders of the text of 1879 suffered censure from their bishops. Maximin Giraud, after an unhappy and wandering life, returned to Corps, his native village, and died there a holy death (1 March, 1875). Melanie Calvat ended a no less wandering life at Altamura, Italy (15 December, 1904). It seems reasonable, in light of this controversy, to assume that whatever portion of the prophecy has come true, is likely to have been accurate. From the prophecy: The Vicar of my Son will suffer a great deal, because for a while the Church will yield to large persecution, a time of darkness and the Church will witness a frightful crisis. From John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente: �In our own century the martyrs have returned, many of them nameless, unknown soldiers as it were of God's great cause�. These words of the Holy Father in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente (TMA 37) introduce our commentary on Pope John Paul II's teaching on the martyrs of the 20th century. They are men and women who, according to the words of the Holy Father, �have followed Christ in the various forms of the Christian vocation� (ibid). History helps us to unveil the cruelty of persecutions in our century, in particular persecution at the hands of the Nazi and Communist regimes - regarding Christian bishops, priests Religious and lay people - which caused a great sowing of martyrs in many nations of old Europe and on other continents. Are we in a "frightful crisis"? A thread in Amy Welborn's blog seems to indicate that we are. From the prophecy: The mischievous would attempt his [the Pope's] life. The Guardian Unlimited documents one attempt. There have been others. From the prophecy: France, Italy, Spain and England will be at war. World War II. This is as far as I've gotten with verifying the truth of the prophecy. Today in my parish bulletin, my pastor has included a long comment about the state of the Catholic Church as he sees it. I hope he doesn't mind...I'm going to post it here. I will not include his name or the parish because I'm afraid it might incite the chancery to go after him, as we see happening in Albany. Here is what he wrote: (Quote) OP-ED piece from Your Pastor (Suitable for the New York Times Sunday Edition) 1) First of all: From the Constitution of the United States -First Amendment to the Constitution - the Bill of Rights. 2) "Congress shall make no low (sic) prohibiting.......the freedom of speech......." 3) Aside from matters of doctrine, the teaching of Christ and the Church in matters of Faith and Morals, Catholics are also guaranteed the right of free speech - and no Church authority can take that away. 4) I am an American citizen, and I now claim my right of free speech. 5) The following free speech comments regard the trauma that Holy Mother the Church, in its humanness, has been experiencing, especially the last two years regarding the clergy, Religious, and lay Church workers' sexual abuse of minors controversy - real and hyped-up, imagined by the media and other sources. 6) First of all, the real incicents of immoral, illegal and inappropriate behavior of a few is shocking and disgusting, and another example of the effects of the Original sin of Adam and Eve. 7) The real reports of such behavior have been used by the media and the enemies of the Church in such a way as to increase the inherent anti-Catholicism which is so rampant, and as some commentators have stated, that anti-Catholicism is still the most potent force in American life. Basically, they HATE US because we proclaim that there is a corpus, a body, a collection of truths that are always unchangeable. The present moral climate in our country and elsewhere around the world, which is a result of false philosopohies going back hundreds of years, including the Protestant Revolt, are operative on every level of life and action. 8) Contemporary Church functionaries, many of whom are infected by the heresy of MODERISM (sic) (refer to Pope St. Pius X's (Pope from 1903-1914) documents, Pascendi Gregis Domine and Lamentabile Sane----as well as Pope Pius XIII's (sic) encyclicals - and Pope John Paul VI's (sic) statement that the "smoke of Satan" has entered the Sanctuary of the Church) have caused great harm to the Church and its people. 9) Many of the troubles in the humanness of the Church can be traced to these "functionaries" who have taken over many aspects of Church life - and are responsible for, to a great extent, the present crisis. 10) Just ONE EXAMPLE/ These functionaries have promoted and forced their AGENDA on the Church. ONE aspect of the agenda is that the priests and religious were too distant from the people - were impersonal --- were on a pedestal --- and that the Priests and Religious should "get out" and be more chummy with the laity - and just be "one of the guys and gals" --- in dress, speech, and demeanor. We were now supposed to be more "open and relevant." 11) There certainly is nothing wrong with the Clergy and Religious being a part of the people of God, friendly, approachable, helpful --- loved by the lay people etc. etc. However the extreme - FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT. 12) This OVER familiarity, pushed through by these certain functionaries --- and sanctioned by the "leaders" - in general ---has taken many forms. The Clergy and Religious were encouraged to dress like the laity - thus breaking down natural safeguards. We were encouraged to become more "touchy/feely" --- hugging people, adults and minors, at so many of the so called "renewal programs". We, the Clergy, were forced into "face to face: confessional rooms - where many emotional people ---and confessors --- in an effort to be personal --- were put in inappropriate situations. (If it were up to me, we would go back to the "old confessionals" --- promoted first by the Jesuits in Rome in the 16th Century). 13) We were encouraged to visit peoples' homes and be their friends - by itself, no basic problem --- until it, in certain cases, became uncomfortably difficult. (One of my "old pastors" --- who is still alive and I think the oldest priest in the Diocese --- always told me--- "Don't fraternize with the parishioners - maintain your distance." At the time I thought he was nuts ---but now I see how wise he was, generally speaking.) 14) The "new Liturgy" itself encouraged a certain OVER Personalism --- priest as promoter of community. (Not bad by itself) but leading to priest as ACTOR, STAGE MANAGER, ENTERTAINER of the community. 15) I could go on and on regarding the general breakdown of safeguards and legitimate lines not to be crossed --- but it would take too long. ---BUT YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. It has happened, not only in Church situations, but in EVERY OTHER ASPECT OF SOCIETY ON ALL LEVELS --- THE OVER CASUALIST movement in DRESS, SPEECH, HUMAN RELATIONS AND DEMEANOR. 16) As one can see, some things have been beneficial - BUT other things have caused nothing but GRIEF for the humanness of the Church and society in general. 17) not to BORE you, but now is the time to reevaluate the many things that have dragged the Church and society to its present state of sadness and disrepair. As an American Citizen, under the Constitution, I hope my thoughts will lead to a discussion among our people, especially families, about the direction we must go for the future. By the way --- If I wrangled about all I really wanted to: a) It would take a book --- remember my book? b) I would be exiled to the remotest place on the planet. c) And by the way --- all of the above ---and much more - relates directly to the "present crisis." (Close Quote) CarrieTomko@aol.com

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