Saturday, April 03, 2004

PALM SUNDAY What do you do with the plams once you get them home? Over the last month I have rounded up all the stray palm branches, some from many years ago, cut them up and buried them. Time to start fresh. I gathered them from over the top of picture and mirror frames, and from under the mattresses. That is the extent of my creative ideas for using palm branches. Can anyone help me out here with a creative way for using them? CarrieTomko@aol.com

MORE TALES FROM THE INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT Fr. Tony Begonja likes Colin James III about as much as Fr. Monty does. I wonder if Fr. Tony Begonja has a twin? Take a look at this website of the Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington. Scroll down to: Catholic Organizations/Ministries. Beneath this you will find the Institute for Christian Ministries, Tacoma, WA. Notice Fr. Tony Begonja listed there? Unfortunately the link doesn't work. Someone else that Fr. Monty doesn't care for is Victor Prentice. Prentice is affiliated with The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America (American Orthodox Catholic Church). Scroll down to the bottom to see his name next to the copyright. Victor Prentice doesn't care for Fr. Monty either. I think the Independent Movement needs a pope. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MORE ON THE INDEPENDENT BYZANTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH Here is the Patriarch's home page. This one has a street address. Here is the Mark I. Miller family website. The picture of Mar Marcus I is in here. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, April 02, 2004

FR. DONALD PIERCE WEEKS, OSB of St. Patrick's Abbey in Oakland has some interesting connections. I blogged his problems with the law, as reported in the press, the other day. He appears in the Anglicana Worldwide Independent Episcopacy Listings Update, Edited by Fr. Monty. I blogged that the other day as well. (At the link scroll down approx. 1/3 of the website to find him.) He also appears at the top of the website where he is pictured. If you click the picture, you will get Fr. Monty's article titled "Wants Wicked Weeks Wreaked". From the website: Happy to see that the Oakland P.D. has finally collared the clerically-collared sham that Donald Pierce Weeks truly is. For years Mr. Weeks has been conning the City of Oakland and those foolish enough to buy his story on the Internet out of funds, claiming to be an Archbishop/Abbot of a Benedictine Abbey. Although he was once,to the shame and discredit of his Consecrator, a priest and Archbishop, he is no longer affiliated with any Old Catholic Synod. I personally had the pleasure years ago of having him removed from the last synod which did recognize him. His hovel which he calls an abbey is nothing more than a playpen for homeless gay males hiding under the cover of church/abbey. Fr. Monty's website also referenced the Gnostic Catholic Ecclesia (scroll down): A Historical Brief of The Gnostic Catholic Ecclesia: Part II The Gnostic Catholic Ecclesia in the Americas. The Krumm-Heller Order http://www.geocities.com/ega_church/hist2.html There is something else interesting on this same webpage. Fr. Monty has written a piece titled "Old Catholic Skulker: Jorge Rodriguez-Villa." His words are uncomplimentary. He does not want to be associated with this person. Perhaps this is the reason why: Jorge Rodriguez-Villa is listed at Gnostique.net as a member in the line of succession in 5 of the Gnostic organizations listed, including: Old Gnostic Elusinian & Old Gnostic Apostolic Gnostic Therapeutic Sempiesta Gnostic Catholic Apostolic Gnostic Kabbalistic of Memphis-Misraim Spanish Albigensian Gnostic If you look through the membership of the various groups, you will also find another name that I've blogged in recent days, Michael Paul Bertiaux, the Chicago Martinist who has blended Haitian VooDoo into Martinism. For some reason none of this appeared in any of the press coverage of Weeks arrest. I wonder if St. Benedict has petitioned God for a name change. CarrieTomko@aol.com

AN INDEPENDENT BYZANTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH This one seems to be a no nonsense congregation. Check out the Holy Tribunal page at the link on the left. This is the first independent Byzantine Catholic Church I've found. There are a lot of independent Orthodox Churches. In fact the list of independent churches is a long one. Take a look. They seem to run the gamut where discipline is concerned. Check out the explanation at the top. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE ISRAELI WALL Lee Penn sends this article from the Chicago Sun Times: There is hardly a more resolute supporter of Israel in Congress than Rep. Henry Hyde, the venerable chairman of the House International Relations Committee. That is why his March 25 letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell is so important. It is a plea to deflect Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's wall around the Holy Land from its planned position blocking the Scriptural pathway of Jesus Christ. ''I fear that important religious sites will become museums for commercial purposes and will no longer be maintained as places of spiritual worship shared by billions across the world,'' Hyde, a prominent Roman Catholic layman, told Powell. As Holy Week approaches, he asked the secretary's help to ''ensure that the Stations of the Cross are not cut off from each other, preventing the normal celebrations of Easter and the commemoration of the last days of Christ.'' That raises the question of whether the Bush administration will confront Israel on this issue. Sharon's government last year abruptly cut off negotiations with the Vatican. U.S. Catholic clergy and laity, inspecting the deplorable conditions for Christians in the Holy Land, have found the attitude of the Israeli military and bureaucracy ranges from uncooperative to hostile. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC CHURCH an independent catholic diocese with parishes in Tampa, Ft. Myers, Winter Haven, Spring Hill and Land O'Lakes, Florida. They're not just for practicing Catholics...in fact they really are for non-practicing Catholics, and everyone is welcome. They believe: If you wish to remain Catholic, but can't receive the sacraments because: � I'm divorced and remarried. � I'm divorced, plan to marry and would like to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony. � I believe women should be priests. � I wasn't married in "the Church." � I'm living with my lover, unmarried. � I'm gay or lesbian. � I intend to use my God-given conscience, reason and intelligence. There is a meaningful alternative. There is a Catholic Church where you can receive the Sacraments and be accepted, even if you checked any of the above statements. Perhaps Senator Kerry would like to know! CarrieTomko@aol.com

LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE DIDN'T DO HER HOMEWORK This link will take you to the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, Pennsylvania. This is the links page in their website. Scroll down until you get to the St. Benedict Center. When you click it you will get this St. Benedict Center--that's the infamous St. Benedict Center that a RadTrad would quote. Which would mean that they are a traditional community of nuns, one would think. Ok, but what about the next link on the page which will take you here to the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict that I have been writing about. Monks from the Old Catholic-Independent Catholic (as in NOT Roman Catholic) order. I suspect they were attempting to provide a link to these nuns. But even this group of nuns can raise eyebrows. Take a look at their description of their community. Their community is Christian and ecumenical. As in not Catholic. So they would have little to nothing in common with the St. Benedict Center which supports traditional faith. St. Benedict himself must be having difficulty keeping it all straight up in heaven. CarrieTomko@aol.com

A STORY OF THE ROMANIAN GULAG told by a priest who endured it, is the subject of a recently released book that the press is ignoring. Titled Faith and Martyrdom: The Eastern Catholic Churches in Twentieth Century Europe, it was written by Fr. Tertulian Ioan Langa: It is a collection of presentations at a historians� convention on the persecution of the Churches in the East, held in the Vatican in 1998. The book was printed in 2003 by Editrice Vaticana. But it is almost unavailable in bookstores. Even Amazon.com is ignoring it. And yet it is a decidedly unusual book. Its presentation was even more unusual, it too passing under an unmerited silence. To understand this, it is enough to read the text reproduced here below, which was read by its author during the presentation of the book at the Vatican. The author is an elderly priest of the Greek-Catholic Church of Romania, who spent sixteen years in the communist prisons. The account of his imprisonment is both spiritual and very concrete � part Solzhenitsyn, part ancient martyrology. It unfolds between the mystery of iniquity, pressed to the limits of the imagination, and the mystery of grace, with the �Holy Providence� that works through the hands of the unsuspecting jailers. Go to Chiesa to read a portion of the book. Here is a small part of the story: I was already aware of the firm stance of the Catholic Church�s magisterium against communism, which it defined as inherently evil. So there was no place in my conscience for compromise. I renounced my university career and retreated to the countryside as a farm worker, but that was not sufficient, because I was already known among the faculty as a militant Catholic and anti-communist. An accusatory dossier was quickly improvised against me, and as the accusations were founded on circumstances not yet criminalized by the penal code (relationships with bishops and with the nunciature, lay apostolate), my dossier was grouped with those of the big industrialists. After interrogations accompanied by atrocious treatment, the procurator declared, with perfect communist logic: �There is no proof of the guilt of the accused in his dossier, but we nonetheless ask for the maximum penalty: fifteen years of forced labor. After all, if he were not guilty, he would not be here.� I objected: �But it�s not possible for you to condemn me without proof!� And he: �It�s not possible? Here�s how it�s possible: twenty years of forced labor for having protested against the justice of the people.� And this was the sentence. This happened before the Greek-Catholic Church of Romania had been outlawed. It was taken for granted that my arrest, and the tortures applied to me, would succeed in transforming me into an instrument for the future incrimination of bishops and priests of the Greek-Catholic Church and of the Vatican nunciature. I will recount just a few of the moments from my interrogation and my imprisonment in the communist extermination camps. The story that is recounted at Chiesa is almost unbearable to read. We do so much complaining here about the state of the Church. Then someone who has really suffered for Christ tells his story and mocks all of us with a true tale of suffering. It puts our complaints into perspective. It's a story of courage and endurance that seems almost beyond belief, yet other stories like it have come out of the communist era. This is an age of martyrs for the Church. This man is a living martyr. Yet his book receives little to no recognition. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

APPLYING A LITTLE SOAP TO THE OPERAS AND BAPTISMAL WATERS TO SIN An FCC clean-up of the Soaps may come in the near future. From the Washington Times Soap operas have become a potential target in the Federal Communications Commission's crackdown on broadcast indecency, according to a key official who said the programs might be too "steamy" for daytime television. Michael J. Copps, the FCC commissioner who has led the agency's campaign against adult-oriented radio programs, told reporters Wednesday that the FCC should review whether soap operas violate the agency's indecency prohibitions, according to Television Week, an industry trade publication. Do people still watch these programs? Catholilc News Service says 150,000 new Catholics will join the Church on Holy Saturday. Blogger Credit to Spirit Daily for both stories. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, April 01, 2004

REV. DONALD WEEKS of the Oakland St. Patrick Abbey, who has been charged with sexual misconduct, and subsequently hospitalized after having two heart attacks and a diabetic event, appears in a number of websites. You can read a note he wrote here at the Directory of Independent Anglican, Old Catholic, Episcopal, and Orthodox bishops website, which says in part: The Abbey conducts Holy Angels Anglican Chapel, a 1928 BCP Service. Small gathering, but spiritual and together in thought and deed. Father Dennis McKay, who is now on his own, but a friend is helping us design a new webpage. As to my problems with the Oakland Police Department, we are still in court over the matter and I should receive about $10,000 in the matter. I have tried to stay away from the gossip, evil doings and just plain nasty people of the OC/IC movement. I am happy being an Anglican and I believe in Anglicanism. I do not need other prelates telling me that I am sinning or that I am going to hell. I want to let that up to Jesus and His Father. I am getting older and all of this fighting and bickering is not good for my health or high blood pressure. None of the people who write evil about me have spent anytime at the Abbey and if they say they did they lied. I found him in another webpage at this website, as well. This entire website seems to belong to Fr. Monty. Here is another page in his website where you will find this: A Historical Brief of The Gnostic Catholic Ecclesia: Part II The Gnostic Catholic Ecclesia in the Americas. The Krumm-Heller Order http://www.geocities.com/ega_church/hist2.html This webpage also features the typical sort of squabbling that characterizes the esoteric movements, of which The Gnostic Catholic Ecclesia is just one. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MORE ON KERRY from NewsMax.com: Rev. Thomas Reese, editor of the Jesuit magazine "America," comments on Kerry: As NewsMax.com has reported in Vatican Worries About Kerry, the Rev. Thomas Reese, editor of the Jesuit magazine America, is quoted in Time magazine as saying, "All you need is a picture of Kerry going up to the Communion rail and being denied, and you've got a story that'll last for weeks." Deal Hudson also wades into the controversy: That demand of excommunication for Kerry is made by Deal Hudson, editor of Crisis magazine, the nation's leading intellectual Catholic journal. Hudson is a respected Catholic layman, and his views are often sought by national media and government officials, including the Bush White House.... Hudson left no doubt that in the absence of action by their bishops, individual Catholic priests should still turn Kerry away from Communion. "Absolutely, they should," he said. The publicity given to this matter is sufficient, I would think, that bishops will speak their message whether by making a statement or by keeping silent. The opportunity to remain neutral, to avoid the controversy on the issue, is evaporating. Silence from the chancery will amount to complicity. I should think it would be better if all of the bishops made a unified statement, and then all of them enforce the decision. The laity will be watching and awaiting the bishop's teaching either way whenever Kerry attends Mass. CarrieTomko@aol.com

SEN. JOHN KERRY'S CATHOLICISM From The American Spectator: "Catholics are definitely a constituency we are courting," says a Kerry adviser in Washington. "Here we have a practicing Catholic, who is in line with the majority of American practicing Catholics. Rome may not be thrilled with the Senator's position on some of the social issues, but the pope doesn't have a vote in this election. But there are probably millions of pro-choice Catholics who do, and Kerry is their man." The Kerry campaign was said to be surprised at the coverage their candidate received for attending Mass while on vacation in Idaho. "You saw conservatives all up in arms that he was receiving communion, when most American Catholics do the same thing and live a life very similar to the senator's: divorced, pro-choice, etcetera," says the Kerry adviser. "It just highlights how out of touch the right wing is with America, and we can play to that." To that end, according to other sources inside the Kerry camp, aides are attempting to identify a Catholic diocese, and perhaps even a specific priest and church, where Kerry could attend a Mass with reporters present, and be turned away at the altar attempting to receive communion. Under Roman Catholic doctrine, a priest can withhold communion from someone who is known to be either in a serious state of sin, or who should otherwise be disqualified from receiving the sacrament. It is a rule that is almost never invoked, and almost certainly has never been used as a political ploy, either by the church or a politician seeking some kind of photo opportunity. In other words a set-up for some poor priest who is going to get his picture in the paper either way. Sweet. And this man wants to be president? I don't think I'd elect him for dogcatcher with a campaign strategy like that. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ROBERTO CALVI An update on the murder investigation from BBC News. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FIREBALL FROM THE SKY IN AUSTRALIA Something lit up the sky, fell to the ground causing the ground to shake, and created a loud bang in the Australian outback. New Kerala.com is carrying the story. So is WorldNetDaily. Apparently the space watchers missed this one. Or maybe they didn't and didn't know what to do about it and so remained silent. In any case, it reminds me of the Akita prophecy (which has the approval of the Church) that fire would fall from the sky. Blog credit to Spirit Daily. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

IS HE OR ISN'T HE CATHOLIC - UPDATE Below is a blog on Rev. Donald Weeks, a Benedictine monk who ran a halfway house in Oakland for drug and alcohol abusers. Rev. Weeks apparently has had two heart attacks and a diabetic reaction and is currently in the hospital after being charged with sexual abuse by a former priest who worked for him. Also below is a link to the White Robed Benedictines who are not Roman Catholic, together with my suspicion that Rev. Weeks might belong to their order, and that the order might have Rosicrucian affiliation. From a Yahoo discussion group: I am often asked with surprise, Old Catholic Benedictines? The American Congregation of Saint Benedict is an Old catholic Congregation of monks who follow the Rule of Saint Benedict and who work in an urban ministry in Oakland, California. The Congregation was founded in 1909 as part of the Polish Old Catholic Church at Saint Dunstan's Abbey, Waukegan, Illinois. For further information about our work and ministries, please go to our webpage at: http://stpatabbey.hypermart.net If you have questions are would like personal contact, please contact our Abbot at: AbbotDWeeksOSB@aol.com. The American Congregation of Saint Benedict is included on this Old Catholic website. Scroll down to near the bottom where The American Congregation of Saint Benedict can be found side by side with the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict. Both belong to the Old Catholics. But there is more of interest at this website. The apostolic succession of the Old Catholic Church is given. Some Bishops are pictured. Joseph Rene Vilatte is one of them. James I. Wedgwood is another. This is not the only church that traces its apostolic succession through Vilatte and Wedgwood. The Gnostic Catholic Church (Aleister Crowley, Ordo Templi Orientis) also traces its apostolic succession through Vilatte. There is something else on this webpage as well. The Liberal Catholic Church. From the website: The LCC requires its clergy to accept the basic tenets of Theosophy (reincarnation, ascended masters, etc.) as well as Catholic Christianity... The Liberal Catholic Church is also associated with Co-Masonry, the off-shoot of Grand Orient Freemasonry as the Grand Lodge of British Columbia website indicates. Evidence of it can also be found at the website of American Co-Masonry: Eventually, the young Order became an international Order through the efforts of pioneers of the Theosophical Society such as Brothers Annie Besant, C. Jinarajadasa, Henry Steele Olcott and others who joined their ranks. Henceforth, wherever they took Theosophy, they also introduced Co-Masonry. In 1903 the first Co-Masonic Lodge was instituted in the USA. Theosophy is associated with Rosicrucianism according to Rudolf Steiner. But there is more. One of the bishops listed on this website--Rimothy Storlie--has an interesting bio. including his membership in the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict. This is an interesting website. Keywords--tarot, grail, magic, freemasonry, sophia, gnostic, Mary Magdalene, it's got something for everyone with an occult interest. This website appears to be a listing of Catholic religious orders. The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict are included. Another Catholic website of links lists the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict. This Nestorian website links the monks. CarrieTomko@aol.com

IS HE OR ISN'T HE A CATHOLIC ? The Rev. Donald Weeks, the Benedictine monk embroiled in controversy for inviting repeat sex offender Cary Verse to live at the Oakland halfway house he runs, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of numerous counts of unlawful sexual activity. Oakland police served warrants at St. Patrick's Abbey at 3700 East 12th Street Tuesday morning and arrested Weeks on suspicion of ``multiple counts of sex crimes,'' Lt. Mike Yoell said. Weeks, whose program has been under fire for providing shelter to Verse and for operating without city permits, had to be taken to a local hospital following his arrest. Some kind of Catholic, right? It sounds like a Catholic monastic venture. The abbey has operated in obscurity for five years. It has a chapel on the second floor. But the story ends with this: Weeks is not a Roman Catholic priest, and has said he is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland. The story also mentions that this abuser was moved to San Jose. Interesting coincidence. San Jose is the home of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum where a priest from the Byzantine Catholic parish in S.F. is currently working. I wonder if there are Rosicrucian Benedictines? Blog credit to Spirit Daily. Could this monk be a member of the White Robed Benedictines? WHITE ROBED BENEDICTINES They don't claim to be Rosicrucian. They claim to be Catholic. But take a look at their website where they indicate: The Monks, in the traditional spirit of Benedictine hospitality, offer without question the Word and Sacraments to everyone who requests them. The Monks appreciate that Jesus never really said No to anyone. The Monks maintain simplicity. They are not institutionalized nor very bureaucratic. They are an independent Catholic jurisdiction in the tradition of the Old Catholic Church The Monks webpage on incardination is helpful: The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict (WRBs) serve those who generally no longer find Roman Church Law, specifically, and to a lesser extent institutional religion, in general, a relevant issue in their personal lives. (Some of these people may be known as Contemporary Catholics.) Yet, these people appreciate the sacraments and spiritual life. A goal of the WRBs is to be present to the laity and offer them what they seek, without question, in the spirit of compassion and non-judgment. The WRBs' appreciation of Christ is that he never turned anyone away who sincerely came to him seeking his assistance. Some Catholic clergy (bishops, priests, deacons) in transition wish to continue their priestly ministry. They do not have an ecclesial context within which to function, some being without a bishop others wishing to serve in a spiritual rather than institutional context. (Some may question the sacramental integrity of their ministerial functioning if they serve others sacramentally without episcopal acknowledgement, given the historical sacramental bond between deacon/priest and bishop.) The WRBs offer three types of incardination: Regular (explained below), In Pectore and Sub Rosa Incardination for those serving in another public venue (such as Rent-a-Priest) wherein regular public incardination status with the WRBs might bring political or other type of difficulty to the petitioner. Rent-a-priest priests. And what else? Priests who have been tossed out of the Roman Catholic Church for sexual abuse? After all the White Robed Benedictines reject all the rules. They even offer incardination to a priest who chooses not to join their order. I don't know if the Oakland halfway house is associated with these White Robed Benedictines, but it would be interesting to find out. CarrieTomko@aol.com

TERRI SCHIAVO Fr. Rob Johansen has blogged an update on Terri's case. It's not going well for the Schindlers. Judge Greer, George Felos, and Michael Schiavo are still working to prevent care for Terri. The battles are still being waged in court, presumably with the funds which were intended for Terri's care: But nursing homes are a lot more expensive than a hospice, and a look at the summary of expenses from Terri's trust fund (which is solely controlled by Michael), shows that the vast majority of that fund has gone to pay for Michael's lawyers, particularly George Felos. Michael's high expenditures on legal fees explain the apparent need for economies elsewhere. One economy was placing Terri in a hospice which provides only minimal care as opposed to a nursing home which provides a higher level of care. When the trust fund is gone, will Michael walk away from the lawsuit and any involvement with Terri, or will he use his own funds to pursue the case? I have my own opinion, but will leave all of you to come to your own conclusions. Blog credit to Amy Welborn. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A READER REQUESTS INFORMATION ON VIRTUS CMC is doing research on this....and I'm the one that volunteered to get as much first hand knowledge about it! I need everyone that has participated in this "workshop" to collect their thoughts---and put it down on an email for me so that we can study this and make a report. CMC is Catholic Media Coalition. Email her at kparker0@bellsouth.net CarrieTomko@aol.com

MARK SHEA ON CONSPIRACY THEORIES About which I will offer no comments at all. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ROSAE CRUCIS - ROSE CROIX - AMORC In the website for Volume 6, 1997, of the Scottish Rite research society journal, "Heredom" is an article titled "The Lausanne Congress of 1875" by C. John Mandleberg, 32 deg. This passage comes from that article: All the early members of the English Supreme Council were Knights Templar who had had, in addition, the Rosae Crucis and Kadosh Degrees conferred upon them. Many of the members of its early subordinate Chapters had attained one or both of these degrees. Surviving rituals of the Rosae Crucis Degree are not dissimilar to the earliest rituals of the 18th Rose Croix Degree of the A.&A. Rite used by the English Supreme Council, although in some respects they display marked differences. However, these two degrees appear to have been deemed to be virtually equivalent; the recipients of the explicitly Christian Rosae Crucis Degree evidently did not consider that the Degree of Rose Croix, and, indeed the whole of the recently patented rite, could be otherwise, still less that those who were admitted to it did not believe in a Personal Being, the Great Architect Of The Universe, the "Deus" of the Rite's motto, something upon which the United Grand Lodge of England steadfastly insisted in all candidates for Freemasonry. This passage establishes that the Rose Croix Degree is the equivalent of the Rosae Crucis Degree, and that these degrees are Christian and require belief in the Trinitarian God. The article also establishes that these are "upper degrees" and not associated with the Blue Lodge of the first three degrees of Masonry. AMORC also uses the words "Rosae Crucis" in its name, the "Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis." Its ties to Freemasonry appear to be outlined in the article from "Heredom" linked above. This is the organization that owns the Egyptian Museum in San Jose, Calif. It is the organization that the former Jesuit pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Russian Catholic Center in S.F. now works for, with full knowledge of his superiors, according to two parishioners who read and post in this blog. Fr. Stephen Armstrong is mentioned in this article from Metroactive Arts. This Rosicrucian History website places Eliphas Levi in the Rosicrucian Order. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE VIRTUS PROGRAM IN THE CLEVELAND DIOCESE A reader has emailed me asking for my comments on the Cleveland Virtus Program. This is the first I've heard of it. Nothing has been said in my parish bulletin about this program, and I'm not involved with the school. The reader is also a blogger who has described it in an archived blog where it appears to be the program for parish volunteers who work with children. You know, the ones who were never guilty of anything in the first place, but who have to bear the brunt of the failings of the hierarchy. She has also blogged her observations and written exchanges with the Diocesan representative here. Take a moment to read through the correspondence. Would someone please tell me I have misunderstood !! ? As I see it, Bishop Pilla is still in denial. Apparently chancery policy wants us to talk about pedophilia; to talk about heterosexual abuse. Has Bishop Pilla read the Sexual Abuse report from John Jay College? Has Ms. Albertone? It sure looks like they have skipped doing their homework and are living in la-la land. Either that, or there is one whopping giant of a heterosexual abuse problem they have not yet told us about! Perhaps now is the time to tell, seeing as though we can hardly recover from this failure until we know the extent of it. Just in case they haven't read the report, and for anyone else who wants to look at it again, here's a link to the study at the college website. The sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in America was the work of homosexual priests. Don't expect the laity to clean it up. The buck stops at the Bishop. He has some work to do. It will go a lot smoother if he first defines the problem correctly. How about a step in the right direction...make sure that all...get that ALL...programs for homosexuals in the Diocese adhere to the Church teaching on homosexuality. Which means that just like unmarried heterosexuals, homosexuals are not to engage in sexual activity. It's not that hard to understand. It is Catholic teaching for centuries. It is not subject to change at the whim of a bishop. Once you get that matter corrected, move on to cleaning up the seminaries. Goodbye, Good Men, and Amchurch Comes Out have left little to no wiggle room for bishops who would still like to evade our problem. Bishop Pilla, the laity know what has happened, and they have some idea why it has happened. We have seen the statistics and the evidence presented by these and other books written on the current state of Catholic priesthood. So stop offering delusional solutions. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION A reader sent this report from John Allen, listing the new appointments to the International Theological Commission. I confess, I don't know any of them. Does anyone else? Since these people advise the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, their Church politics are important. Progressive? Traditional? Orthodox? I also note that this same Allen report indicates Karl Rahner is getting a green light and a fresh coat of white paint. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MITHRAISM AND FREEMASONRY HAVE MANY COMMON ASPECTS Interesting article from "Heredom: The Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society." From the article: The fraternal order that focussed on the worship of the ancient Iranian god Mithra was probably formed in Iran, Armenia, and Pontus (the southern coastal region of the Black Sea in eastern Anatolia, present-day Turkey). Travelers and colonists from these countries, and Roman soldiers stationed in the East, brought the cult of Mithra into the Greco-Roman world, where it was very widespread. Mithraism and Freemasonry have many common aspects. Though the lines of historical continuity are extremely difficult to trace, it is possible that some aspects of the ancient fraternity were transmitted to and survive in the Craft of today. The charter of a fraternal order that existed in the city of Erznka, in medieval Armenia, has Christian features identical to some of those encountered in Freemasonry. It is possible the structure of the ancient Mithraic brotherhoods endured, and changed, in a manner parallel to what we encounter in the evolution of Masonry in the West. There is another interesting article from Heredom titled "Astronomical Symbols in Albert Pike's Ornamentatio of the Lodge." It talks about the stars in lodge ceilings. There used to be a picture online of the blue ceiling with stars at St. Andrew Cathedral in Grand Rapids, Mich. which was renovated with the help of Richard Vosko. He has changed the picture in his website. It no longer shows the ceiling. The Grand Lodge of Japan has an interesting blue ceiling with what appears to be a celestial representation. CarrieTomko@aol.com

PHENOMENOLOGY A reader sends a link to this Una Voce website where phenomenology is described thus: The constructionist worldview is what we can thank for the direction so called science is now taking. These are one of the wonderful fruits of the new constructionist view of psychology that is infiltrating the profession. The constructionist view claims there is no objective moral truth to be attained. There is only the world, as you want to construct it to be. Reality is not some stable organization of facts that exist independently out there. Reality is only what I feel and know at the time it appears to me to be. The constructionist view complements another philosophy called phenomenology. Phenomenon is simply a fancy word meaning appearances. You can only know truth as it appears to be to you and I can only know truth as it appears to me to be. The dangerous bottom line to this kind of philosophy is that neither of us knows the full truth. We are only aware of our individual perceptions of what it appears to be. This is known as phenomenology. What is scary is the Pope is a strong advocate of this philosophical view? This may explain why he pushes for more traditional liturgies and yet promotes and defends the growth of liberal ideas within the Church. As a phenomenologist he believes the truth is being partially conveyed by both the liberal and the more traditional views of the Church. Phenomenology will permit holding two opposing "truths" at the same time, apparently. This philosophy would easily accommodate a Slavic mind that chose to do the same thing, as it was pointed out in Rosenthal's book on occultism in Russia: In the Russian way of thinking...two opposing concepts can hold sway simultaneously, so that rationality was mysticism and mysticism was rationality. "The Russian does not have the slightest understanding of what Westerners call 'reasonableness.' He is accessible to what could be termed 'revelation.' Basically, he will accept and integrate into the contents of his soul anything he owes to a kind of revelation." (THE OCCULT IN RUSSIAN AND SOVIET CULTURE, edited by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, p. 155) This is hardly different from Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold's "pluriform truth." David Virtue describes this concept in his commentary on Bishop Griswold: Apparently I am not allowed to have my "truth" and tell you about it. Selective truth-telling is perfectly acceptable as long is has nothing to do with THE truth, but only Frank Griswold's idea of "truth" and Lesbigay "truth" - now the reigning dogma in ECUSA. Pluriform truth is fine as long as it supports Frank Griswold and the 70 or so liberal and revisionist ECUSA diocesan bishops' concept of truth telling. If anyone, for a moment, suggests that his truth might in fact be untrue, nay verily a lie, then you are labeled mean- spirited, nasty, uninclusive, fundamentalist, etc. Furthermore if one dare suggests that it is Frank Griswold and pluriform Primates like Carnley (Australia) and Peers (Canada), that are out of step with the vast majority of the world's primates then that is tantamount to betrayal of ECUSA's formal acceptance of pansexuality. Pluriform truth seems to be what our Bishops practice as well when it comes to sexual abuse. They seem to think sex with minors, even in the church, is someting to wink at. Or they did, until the press educated them. Can it be said that this attitude goes all the way to the top? Rome is still chanting the "evil press" mantra. Meanwhile, there is the pastor of the S.F. Byzantine Catholic church who provided a blessing ceremony for a Lesbian couple. And there are the priests and nuns who are aiding and abetting the practice of homosexuality within the Catholic Church, apparently with the help of the Cleveland Diocesan website. Phenomenology at work in Cleveland? It trickles down, as I found out last Sunday in church, listening to a homily that was inevitable, I guess. Will phenomenology eventually be morphed into pluriform truth in the Roman Catholic Church as well? There doesn't seem to be much choice but to stay tuned. (Ok, blogland, get out the "RadTrad" label for Runningoff now. I've probably qualified yet again. Over and out to Mark and Stephen.) CarrieTomko@aol.com

YELLOW BAMBOO, OR MAGIC BALINESE STYLE Linked by a reader in the comments box, this is the website of a Westerner, a man with two doctorates in psychology and hypnotherapy...a man who believed science explained everything, until he retired to Bali. From friendships formed there, he discovered Balinese magic called Yellow Bamboo. He explains it this way: Eventually I was introduced to the local master of Yellow Bamboo in our village by the name of Pak Nyoman. It was kind of funny because I had seen Pak Nyoman around before and he seemed a very powerful being. He exuded a power I just could not put my finger on....Pak Nyoman explained that Yellow Bamboo is the key to all success in life and that the powers you develop must be used only for good for yourself and others. He then gave me an article which was printed in the British magazine "Kindred Spirit" and also a video documentary about Yellow Bamboo. When I first watched the video with some friends and saw Yellow Bamboo practitioners knocking down attackers from a distance I really did not believe it. It seemed impossible to believe but I was hooked. I had to learn this magic for myself to see if I could do it or not. Dr. Donovan decided to learn the practice, even though foreigners were not typically interested. The power he has seen evidenced on the video drew him in. He wanted it for himself. He met with the founder of Yellow Bamboo, Pak Serengen, who was impressed that Dr. Donovan was a daily practitioner of Yoga and meditation. He was admitted, and the initiation ceremony followed. Next the initiation began with all of us singing the Gyatri mantram. The entire atmosphere changed dramatically once this happened. Next one of the priest began chanting special mantrams and at this stage I felt a white energy coming into the top of my head in waves of pure energy. This was the first time I have ever felt such a powerful pure energy. Once the chanting was over we all took off our t shirts, except for the ladies. We then approached the altar for the holy water and rice. The priest pours holy water onto your hands. The first time you put the water onto the top of your head. Second you put the water on your forehead. Third you drink the water and last you put it all over your body. Then you are given 5 kinds of rice to eat and before you know it you are done. The next day is a day for fasting. You are allowed to eat only white rice and drink plain water. Before eating the rice you ask god to give you nourishment from the rice. The day is spent in quiet contemplation of the power of god. Then in the evening you begin the first of your daily mantra repetition and breathing exercises. Following the initiation, the initiate attends classes. Each class ends with an exercise called a "test of personal power." After the third class, Dr. Donovan was able to disable his attackers. Healing is also one of the skills of Yellow Bamboo. Here Dr. Donovon describes learning the process: He first taught me the 4 steps of Yellow Bamboo healing. Step one is to pray to God to heal the person, either in front of you or from a distance. The next step is to physically or in your imagination to put your hand on the afflicted part of the person you are healing and to burn the poison for a minimum of 5 minutes. Then you pull out the poison from the person and put it into the ground. Follow-up by putting a protection energy on the person. He first practiced healing on a man who had been bitten by a poisonous snake. It took 20 minutes to effect the cure. Dr. Donovan closes his description of Yellow Bamboo with this: Yellow Bamboo is for those who are interested in healing and protecting themselves of others and for those who are interested in a rapid and cohesive spiritual development. Over the past years I have graduated to higher and higher levels and each level has been more mysterious and wonderful than the last. Now I am a certified teacher at level 12 and will graduate to level 13 at the next full moon ceremony. Maybe you would like to join me there? Dr Alvin G. Donovan III is the author of the best selling self help book "Make More Money NOW" and has served on the faculty of most of the worlds largest management institutes all over the world. Add Yellow Bamboo to the list of techniques for obtaining power over your surroundings. Just the opposite of the surrender of all power to God that the Catholic believes is necessary. The links on the left side of the website provide an index to the various subjects explored in Yellow Bamboo. Some of them are familiar to Westeners who practice Anthropposophy/Theosophy. "Spirituality and Science," "Sacred Geometry and Sacred Space," "Spiritual Healing," "Spiritual Dance" (we would call it "liturgical dance"), "Spiritual Healing" (we would call it "Reiki" and the nuns practice it). And there is the ever present "Women's Spirituality." Further down on the list is "Alternitive Medicine," "Native American Spirituality," and "Spiritual Enlightenment." Whatever Yellow Bamboo is...whatever power is being tapped...Catholics are tapping it as well in ever-increasing numbers. I clicked the "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" link and ultimately landed in this website where I found: "NLP is not about therapy, it is not about marketing, it is not about hypnosis!" "NLP is about freedom!!" Freedom from all the conditioning and learned beliefs that are governing our lives. There it is again. Empowerment. Taking charge of your life. Having control. The opposite of surrender. Crowley's mantra fits this practice: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." Crowley, too, wanted empowerment. There is no room in the practice of magic for "Not my way but Thine be done." I notice something else as well. Along with the focus on freedom is a focus on happiness: To be happy for no good reason at all is our birthright... This focus on happiness has crept into Catholicism as well. Members of Catholic new ecclesial communities are taught to appear happy whenever they confront the world. But what do we learn from the prayer, "Hail Holy Queen"? That we are "banished children" who "send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears." Life on earth is not a happy festival, as the prayer to Our Lady shows us. The spiritual retreats page is interesting. Here is where money comes into the picture through courses, spiritual retreats, festivals. They also have a world university. How would the experiences witnessed at the Experience Festival fit into the philosophical concept of phenomenology? It's worth considering. This website matches the formula given to us in the Scripture verses telling us about Christ's temptation in the desert. Power and money are big ticket items in the bag of tricks of the gods of the New Age. Christ rejected the temptation of power over the world that is being offered here. This is another typical New Age organization website. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, March 29, 2004

SKELETONS IN THE CONCILIAR CLOSET by Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., an article linked at Seattle Catholic, originaly from The Remnant: In the article, Fr. Harrison unpacks some Council decisions, pointing out inconsistencies and contradictions. One quote: Another discovery I have made in the Acta Synodalia is relevant to the scandal provoked nearly two years ago when Cardinal William Keeler announced that, as far as he and an important committee of American theologians were concerned, the Catholic Church no longer believes it necessary, or even legitimate, to try and convert Jews to Christianity. Cardinal Keeler was soon backed up (with perhaps a minor nuance or two) by the top Vatican official entrusted with ecumenism and dialogue with Jews, the German Cardinal Walter Kasper. Well, what, if anything, did the Council itself say in this point? In researching the textual history of the Vatican II Declaration on Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate (NA), I have found that the original draft of article 4 in that document was actually quite up-front and positive about Catholic hopes for Jewish conversions to the true faith. It included this passage: �It is important to recall that the integration of the Jewish people into the Church is part of Christian hope. For, according to the Apostle�s teaching (cf. Rom. 11: 25), the Church awaits with unshakable faith and deep longing the entry of this people into the fullness of the People of God, which has been restored by Christ� (AS III, VIII, p. 640, my translation). In the biblical verse cited here, the Holy Spirit, through Saint Paul, speaks of the �blindness� of the unbelieving Jews as being temporary, and prophesies in the next verse the salvation of Israel as a nation, after the �fullness of the Gentiles� has come into the Church. Now, readers will probably agree that this original draft of NA #4, together with its biblical citation, doesn�t sound exactly in the �spirit� of Their Eminences Keeler and Kasper. Come to think of it, have you ever heard any post-conciliar Pope or Vatican official declare that he is awaiting with �unshakable faith and deep longing� (fide inconcussa ac desiderio magno) the massive entry of Jews into the Catholic Church? And as for their present �blindness�, why, any official mention of that would now be out of the question! For it would of course be immediately drowned in worldwide howls of indignant media protest at such a recrudescence of top-level Catholic �anti-Semitism�. In fairness, it should be added here that the new Catechism of the Catholic Church does present us with St. Peter at Pentecost preaching to the Jews their need for conversion, and continues to teach the revealed truth that Israel, after her present �hardening�, will eventually recognize Christ as her Messiah (see #674). Also, the Church in her post-conciliar Liturgy of the Hours, or Divine Office, still prays for the conversion of the Jews several times during the year (at least in the original Latin edition that I use � I can�t vouch for the generally more liberal English version). But, of course, we never hear any modern Church leaders publicly draw attention to these little-known official texts supporting the traditional doctrine. Nor do we hear any Vatican praise and encouragement for those few remaining Catholic individuals and small groups who actually make some concrete effort to evangelize Jews. Obviously there were changes, and the original wording didn't make it to the final Council documents. Of course those who do not want to believe that the Council changed the faith, will simply level charges of "integrism" against Fr. Harrison rather than actually addressing what he says. How many times do we multiply this example of morphing one faith into another on certain subjects? Want to know when "proselytism" became a pejorative label? Read Fr. Harrison's article. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FR. PAUL MANKOWSKI, S.J. TELLS US "WHAT WENT WRONG?" at the Free Republic website. He is too right with this analysis: The housewife who complained that Father skipped the Creed at mass and the housewife who complained that Father groped her son had remarkably similar experiences of: being made to feel that they themselves were somehow in the wrong; that they had impugned the honor of virtuous men; that their complaints were an unwelcome interruption of more important business; - - that the true situation was fully known to the chancery and completely under control; that the wider and more complete knowledge of higher ecclesiastics justified their apparent inaction; that to criticize the curate was to criticize the pastor was to criticize the regional vicar was to criticize the bishop; that to publicize one's dissatisfaction was to give scandal and would positively harm discreet efforts at remedying the ills; that one's duty was to keep silence and trust that those officially charged with the pertinent responsibilities would execute them in their own time; that delayed correction of problems was sometimes necessary for the universal good of the Church. This picture was meant to describe the faithful's dealing with the normally operating bureaucracy, in which the higher-ups are largely insulated. Occasionally someone manages to break through the insulation and deal with the responsible churchman himself. In this case another maneuver is typically employed, one I tried to sketch eight years ago in an essay called "Tames in Clerical Life": In one-on-one situations, tames in positions of authority will rarely flatly deny the validity of a complaint of corruption lodged by a subordinate. More often they will admit the reality and seriousness of the problem raised, and then pretend to take the appellant into their confidence, assuring him that those in charge are fully aware of the crisis and that steps are being taken, quietly, behind the scenes, to remedy it. Thus the burden of discretion is shifted onto the subordinate in the name of concern for the good of the institution and personal loyalty to the administrator: a tame must not go public with his evidence of malfeasance lest he disrupt the process -- invariably hidden from view -- by which it is being put right. This ruse has been called the Secret Santa maneuver: "There are no presents underneath the tree for you, but that's because Daddy is down in the basement making you something special. It is supposed to be a surprise, so don't breathe a word or you'll spoil everything. And, of course, Christmas never comes. Perhaps most of the well-intentioned efforts for reform in the past quarter century have been tabled indefinitely by high-ranking tames using this ploy to buy their way out of tough situations for which they are temperamentally unsuited. What I've put before you are two scenarios in which complaints of abuses are brought to those in authority and in which they seem to vanish -- the complaints, I mean, not the abuses. One hoped that something was being done behind the scenes, of course, but whatever happened always remained behind the scenes. As the weeks went by without observable changes in the abuse and without feedback from the bureaucracy, one was torn between two contradictory surmises: that one's complain had been passed upstairs to so high a level that even the bishop (or superior) was forbidden to discuss it; alternatively, that once one's silence had been secured and the problem of unwelcome publicity was past, nothing whatsoever was being done. Now the remarkable thing about The Crisis is how fully it confirmed the second suspicion. It didn't matter whether the question was invalid matter used for the sacrament, or sexual abuse. The bishops' ears and eyes were closed for all practical purposes, until the press did the looking for them. The doctrinal abuse and the sexual abuse received the same treatment. In fact the doctrinal abuse amounted to a dry run in preparation for the scandal. From Fr. Mankowski: First, being an honorable station in life, the clerical life provided high grass in which many villains and disturbed individuals could seek cover. I would estimate that between 50 and 60% of the men who entered religious life with me in the mid-70s were homosexuals who had no particular interest in the Church, but who were using the celibacy requirement of the priesthood as a way of camouflaging the real reason for the fact that they would never marry. I've suspected that based on the huge amount of disruption in liturgy and theology in the parishes, but here it is in print! He also indicts collegiality as a factor in preventing fraternal correction since Vatican II: The model of episcopal collegiality in place since the Council has not increased the mutual good-will of the bishops, but has, paradoxically, made the appearance of good-will obligatory in nearly all situations. And Rome is proposing more, not less, collegiality; so will sexual abuse cover-up and a similar recourse for the disposition of scandal be tolerated in the future in the name of collegiality? One hopes not, but the push for more of same does not bode well. Father discusses the built-in failure of formal inspections of religious orders or seminaries: Intermediate reform measures like seminary visitations are doomed to failure for the same reason; there simply is no possibility in the present disposition for a hostile inspection, where the visitators try to "get behind" the administration and find the facts for themselves. To do such a thing would be to imply lack of trust in the administration and hence in the bishop responsible for it, and such an imputation is utterly impossible. Why, then, is cash wasted on this travesty? The picture painted in the article is one of an autonomous bishop, a petty potentate ruling his diocese with an iron will and no reign on his activities and decisions. Absolute power corrupts. Father continues: A priest official in a Vatican dicastery whom I trust told me that the needed reforms will never take place unless the Church undoes Pope Paul VI's restructuring of the Vatican curia, whereby the Secretariate of State has become a kind of super-bureaucracy -- no longer charged simply with the Holy See's relations to other nations but with de facto control over the relations of the Vatican dicasteries to one another of the Holy See to its own bishops. In practice the Secretariate of State not only sets the tone for the Holy See's dealings but often sets the agenda as well, ensuring that the diplomatic concern for appearances will prevail over the need for reforms involving unpleasantness, and exercising indirect influence over the selection of bishops, characteristically men of diplomatic demeanor if not experience. This profile goes far to explain why telling the truth is a problem for a large number of bishops, many of whom seem baffled and hurt when their falsehoods are not taken at face value. This does make the Secretariat of State appear more powerful than the Pope. But the Secretariat of State hardly comes up at all in discussions of sexual abuse. All embassies, moreover, have a high number of homosexuals in their staffs, and the Vatican diplomatic corps in no exception. The combination of the physical comforts attendant on diplomatic service, the skill at bureaucratic manipulation and oblique methods of pressure, the undercurrent of homosexual decadence, and the alacrity with which truth is sacrificed to expediency do not make an environment conducive to reform. Considering the homosexual degrees of the O.T.O.... Considering Malachi Martin's charges... Well, you connect the dots. And as if this weren't enough, Father goes on to talk about blackmail. Perhaps they had a homosexual encounter with a fellow seminarian; perhaps they had a brief heterosexual affair with a fellow theology student. Provided they did not cause grave scandal, such men were frequently promoted, according to their talents and ambition. Many are competent administrators, but they have time-bomb in their past, and they have very little appetite for reform measures of any sort -- even doctrinal reforms -- and they have zero appetite for reform proposals that entail cleaning up sexual mischief. In some cases perhaps, there is out-and-out blackmail, where a bishop moves to discipline a priest and priest threatens to report the bishop's homosexual affair in the seminary to the Nuncio or to the press, and so the bishop backs off. Yesterday at Mass, our visiting priest gave the "Christianity requires that we forgive them and let them stay" homily. After talking along those lines for awhile, he qualified it that there must be boundaries. Gee, how nice. Lots of sympathy for the perps. Not a word said about the suffering of the victims. I was not moved. My husband was furious. And so reading an article like this one, one day later, tends to turn my stomach even more. Note: sexual blackmail operates far beyond the arena of sexual misconduct. When your Aunt Margaret complains about the pro-abortion teachers at the Catholic high school, or the Sisters of St. Jude worshiping the Eight Winds, or Father's home-made eucharistic prayer, and nothing is done, it is eminently likely that the bishop's reluctance to intervene stems from the consciousness that he is living on borrowed time. In short, many bishops and superiors, lacking integrity, lack moral courage. Lacking moral courage, they can never be reformers, can never uproot a problem, but can only plead for tolerance and healing and reconciliation. Or to put it in other words, the system is corrupted from the bottom up to the top. There is little to no reason to believe it can be reformed from within, and the reform from without, ala VOTF, will generate huge problems of its own which will further undermine the faith. We need a miracle. Perhaps what we need is the consecration of Russia. Considering that La Salette predicted a nightmare and Fatima called for the consecration promising remedy would follow, what could it hurt? The Russian Orthodox have no intention of healing the schism anyway. Give the Blessed Virgin a shot at fixing this mess. We don't seem to have any hope of fixing it ourselves. Father goes on to discuss the. practical aspect of the crisis as it related to the money at parish priests' disposal--the amount and its source. And then he adds this: I may be unfair to Thomas Merton in laying the blame at his feet and I don't insist on the name, but I think you all can recognize what I mean: the sea change in the model of contemplative life, once aimed at mortification -- a death to self through asceticism - now aimed at self-actualization, the Self has taken center stage. Ah yes. Thomas Merton. And Jungian psychology. He's got my vote! Where monastic life is healthy, it builds up even non-monastic parts of the Church, including and in particular the lives of priests in the active apostolate. Where the monastic life is corrupt or lax, the loss extends to the larger Church as well -- it's as if a railing is missing one side of a balcony. A Byzantine Catholic once said something very similar to me. That uncorrupted monastic life is part of an essential balance. That it is considered essential in Eastern Orthodoxy. We used to value it as well. But something changed that. The same thing that emptied the convents. But looking at the lives of my contemporaries one of the things most obviously lacking is an appetite for prayer fed by good habits of prayer, habits which are usually the product of a discipline we never had. The same is true of asceticism and self-denial generally. When laypeople enter priests' living quarters today, they rarely seem to be impressed by how sparse and severe our living arrangement are. They rarely walk away with the impression that the man who lives here is good at saying no to himself. Yet monks are, or used to be, our masters at saying no to the self. Something went wrong. Father doesn't think sending sexual abusers to a monastery would be a good solution because there is no one in the monastery who would have the determination to enforce penance. His conclusions are not encouraging. He ends the article with this: I believe that reform will come, though in a future generation, and that the reformers whom God raises up will spill their blood in imitation of Christ. In short, to pilfer a line of Wilfrid Sheed, I find absolutely no grounds for optimism, and I have every reason for hope. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

FROM LEE PENN... IF THEY PROJECT IT, HE WILL COME Or so they hope. Can't rebuild the Temple in its ancient location because the Dome of the Rock is already there? No problem. Just project it. Up there over the mosque. Floating in cyberspace to intice the Messiah to come down. You can even see a picture of it here. Lee wrote... This article is in WIRED magazine, a techno-geek/futurist magazine that watches emerging technical trends. (I use it myself to look over the horizon at new technology.) Read it and pray .... Obviously, from an orthodox Christian perspective, what the article proposes is a Really Poor Idea ... a setup for a lethal spiritual deception. The idea that we ought to do anything to hasten the Apocalypse is sheer blasphemy. Kyrie eleison Lee CarrieTomko@aol.com

VOODOO ART From GM Today: Latino Arts Inc.�s annual and popular exhibit on voodoo runs through March 19. Called "Carnaval Exhibit: It Must Be Voodoo," the exhibit features the work of Latin American artists exploring spirituality, said Zulay Oszkay, artistic director of the Latino Arts. That exploration will include voodoo, Oszkay said, but will also help clear up misconceptions about this expression in art. The exhibit opened Feb. 20, she said, to coincide with Carnaval, which Oszkay said means "to put away the meat" and is a celebration of dance and music held before Lent. The celebration begins the last week of February and extends through March. "The exhibit is tied only in that the works of the artists deal with some sort of spiritualism," she said. The artists whose work is featured in the exhibit represent various countries, including Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. "They�re regional, national - even international," said Oszkay. Some, too, are from the Milwaukee area. "We have some emerging artists," she said. The article goes on to describe some of the artwork, and indicates that a serpent is commonly features in the work. The art is growing in popularity. Will this, too, become part of Catholic enculturation? CarrieTomko@aol.com

VOODOO, MICHAEL BERTIAUX, AND ARISTIDE ? WARNING...SOME OF THE FOLLOWING WEBSITS MAY BE DISTURBING. Amy Welborn has blogged a topic she titled "Aristide's Real Sin". I noticed it last night but was too tired to pursue it. She has included this link: An article from South and Central America at iol paints a more superstitious picture of the situation in Haiti. From the website: Voodoo is an integral part of Haiti's culture, and a vast majority of Haitians believe in or perform voodoo in one form or another. Most Haitians are also Catholic. And from the Globe and Mail article Amy linked: To outsiders, it may seem far-fetched that Mr. Aristide, a former Catholic priest, would follow such a spiritual path... "You are a priest forever according to the Order of Melchisadek (sp?)" If, as the interview I linked yesterday indicated, the Eucharist is a part of Martinist rites, Aristide is a former priest (Can he still consecrate?), and Voodoo is part of his activity, did Michael Bertiaux learn Voodoo from a practitioner associated with Aristide? And was Bertiaux associated with Cdl. Bernardin, since he is in Chicago? Also does Aristide use Martinist rites in his Voodoo...rites that include the Eucharist which he, as a former priest, can consecrate? Now consider this new trend in Catholicism, "enculturation". Enculturation of Voodoo into Catholicism? You can see the potential for this "development of doctrine" right here. There is an occult practice called "Chaos Magick" which appears to be operative in Haiti. In essense it amounts to disrupting the social order sufficiently that the population will clamor for order at any price. Once that is accomplished, the door is open to enforce whatever system those who have caused the chaos desire. The concept is truly diabolical. Austin Osman Spare is credited with the concept of chaos magick. As you can see from the website, Spare is associated with The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, with Anthroposophy, and with Aleister Crowley. He also met with Kenneth Grant, another member of a different O.T.O. lodge according to Koenig, and with Gerald Gardner, the father of modern Wicca. Scroll down to the very end of Spare's website and you will find the Rosicrucian cross. Is homosexuality a part of these rituals? Yes, it is. Rock music is as well. Here in this industrial rockwebsite from Coil you will find: Traversing the fecund grounds of psychotropics, homosexuality, the Ordo Templi Orientis, and Chaos Magick, Coil is one of the few post-industrial bands that can still truly be considered pioneers. Drawing on samples, cut-ups, ambient growling, and house rhythms, Coil continually redefines itself. Notice the reference to "psychotropics"? Would the marijuana grown in the Akron area rectory qualify as a psychotropic of the variety desired by occultists? Remember, I have linked a website in the past few weeks that shows an O.T.O. group teaching yoga. The dots tend to connect more reliably as more and more information becomes available. Has this gotten into the Church? Is this Malachi Martin's dark secret? Is it Pope Paul VI's Smoke of Satan? You be the judge. Something is terribly wrong in Rome Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, March 28, 2004

RAMBLING THOUGHTS AFTER READING THROUGH THE COMMENTS The Holy Father's statements are long, wordy, frequently too obscure for me to understand. I assumed this was typical of gifted theologians, and should come as no surprise to one who is not educated in theology. Then I read some of the statements of other popes. Much to my surprise I found them quite easy to understand, not nearly so wordy, and not obscure. In making a comment about this on a message board, I was enlightened by a priest who posted there that to understand John Paul II I would need to understand phenomonology. And so I tried to learn more about it. The more I read, the more I realized that each person who defines phenomonology has a new and unique definition of it. The experts don't seem to know what it is. And perhaps that is because phenomonology depends so heavily on the experience of the moment that it is subject to change moment by moment. Which apparently means that a lot of various ideas can be collected under the philosophy of phenomonology. And then there is the matter of visions. The same priest who introduced me to the idea that John Paul II is a phenomonologist also introduced me to the fact that one of his favorite theologians, von Balthasar, was strongly influenced by the visionary Adrienne von Speyr. I don't suppose I need to add that the idea of a visionary dictating theology raises a lot of red flags for me. And knowing that von Balthasar spoke favorably about Meditations on the Tarot added warning trumpets to the forest of flags. The Rosicrucian groups are referring extensively to von Balthasar's approval of the book. The Hermetic Order of the Morning Star has this to say about it: This book, which was out of print for some time, is over 600 pages. The author, whom some claim was Valentine Tromberg (the head of the Martinist Order during the 40's and 50's), takes the reader deep into Qabalah, Hermeticism and Christian mysticism. This book is selected as strongly recommended study for Second Order Brethren of the Hermetic Order of the Morning Star. Expect a lifetime of use and spiritual value from this book. Think about this for a while. The Martinists use a form of Catholic Mass. Take a look at this interview with Michael Bertiaux, a Chicago Martinist. (Be patient, it loads slowly.) In this website you will see that he has combined Voodoo with Martinism. From the website: The French occult connection in Haiti derives from two eighteenth-century mystics, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin and Martinez de Pasqually. The latter was a Rosicrucian disciple of Emanuel Swedenborg, and the founder of an occult group cailed the Order of the Elect Cohens. He was inspired by Gnosticism and the Kabbalah, and believed that one could oniy gain spiritual salvation by tontacting the Divine Source of All Being, and by participating in an initiation ceremony to invoke one's Holy Guardian Angel. Saint-Martin joined de Pasqually's order in 1768 and after the leader's death in 1774 became the dominant figure in the group. Collectively they became known as Martinists. There were Martinist orders in several different regions of France: in Foix, Bordeaux, Paris and Lyons - and by the end of the eighteenth century, also in Haiti. However here the tradition tended to blend with Voodoo. This is the heart of the French occult revival. This is what Eliphas Levi started, and Adam Mickiewicz was involved with. This is channeling. As the website indicates: After a period in abeyance, Martinism revived in Haiti in the 1890s and between the two world wars the so-called Neo- Pythagorean Gnostic Church came into being. This church advocates the invocation of angels and planetary spirits, is highly ritualistic, and regards the Eucharist as the central initiation. Members of the clergy claim to be clairvoyant, often have visions during the Mass, and speak in a mystical language which - as Michael Bertiaux later explained - is a type of 'Slavonic Voodoo', resembling the Pent�costal speaking-in- tongues. Notice the reference to speaking in tongues? How can von Balthasar's involvement with such activity be Catholic? And how can the Pope be enthusiastic about a theologian who can write his approval of such activities? Notice the date of Bertiaux's initiation...August 15. He has worked for the Theosophical Society. Notice the reference in the interview to the involvement of the Eastern Orthodox. Notice this statement in the Interview: "Certainly, the role of the dead and risen Christ remains central to the cosmology, but the spiritual atmosphere is quite different from that in Christianity." Is the Theosoophical Liberal Catholic Church the equivalent of the Liberalism or Modernism within the Roman Catholic Church? I honestly don't know, but am more and more wondering if this isn't actually the case. It would explain von Balthasar's approval of Meditations, and I surely can't think of any other explanation for it. Notice in this interview the reference to "spirits of possession." Now would anyone care to guess what spirits he is speaking of? Malachi Martin had no doubt. Notice the reference to "powers of visualization" and then check out the retreats offered by Catholic religious where visualization also plays a part and empowerment is a big ticket item. Martinism is associated with the Ordo Templi Orientis through Theodor Reuss. The Gnostic Mass is the ritual of Aleister Crowley's lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis. P. R. Koenig, incidentally, has done extensive research into the occult. It appears that the Vatican is or was using his research. There is a cult investigator in Italy, Massimo Introvigne, who runs Cesnur. Cesnur was started by a Catholic bishop or bishops. It is odd, then, to find Michael Bertiaux associated with Massimo Introvigne. Yet TFP claims that Introvigne has some strange friends including Bertiaux. Have they gotten it wrong? If they have gotten this right, what in the dickens in going on in Rome? CarrieTomko@aol.com

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