Saturday, April 24, 2004

JPII'S POSITION ON VISITS TO JEWISH SYNAGOGUES according to John Allen. Allen comments on the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Jewisy synagogue in Rome. The Jewish hopes that the pope would visit the synagogue as he had in 1986, but their hopes are not to be realized. Allen speculates as to why. And in response to that speculation a senior Vatican official made this statement: As for a papal loss of interest, the senior official said it�s exactly the opposite. John Paul wanted his 1986 visit to remain singular, the official said. He didn�t want it to become yet another stop on his standard itinerary and hence lose its significance. He wants the texts and gestures of that day to be studied for the next generation, and hence doesn�t want to compromise their uniqueness. This official said John Paul fully expects that synagogue visits will become standard practice for future popes. Breaking with the 2000 year tradition of the Cathlic Church. Hmmm. Well perhaps future popes will have other ideas. In any case Allen then outlines the real reason why there was no second visit, and naturally the reason is political. chiesa offers Sandro Magister's perspective on the synagogue visit. CarrieTomko@aol.com

DOES A PERSONAL POSITION ON ABORTION DEFINE THE CATHOLIC ? A reader sends in this article from Yahoo News, Catholic Church Focusing on Abortion in which Cardinal Arinze upholds the position Bishop Raymond Burke has taken toward Kerry, stating that he "would refuse to give Kerry Communion." From the website: "People are concerned that if you say you are Catholic, you identify that way, that you be truly Catholic," he said. "This is not a time for the cafeteria Catholic." David Gibson, author of "The Coming Catholic Church" and a former Vatican radio newsman, said internal church battles between conservative and more liberal Catholics are also a factor. Conservatives have put enormous pressure on bishops to punish lawmakers who defy church teaching. "It's one of those identifiers of where you stand in the culture wars within Catholicism," Gibson said. "It's not just abortion or abortion rights. You want to deny pro-choice politicians Communion. That puts you on one side or another in the internecine battles." CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE URSULINE SOPHIA CENTER offers Reiki to poor women from their location in one of the wealthiest suburbs in the Cleveland area, called Pepper Pike. Blogger credit for this and other stories in today's blog to SpiritDaily CarrieTomko@aol.com

NEW DOCUMENT ON THE EUCHARIST Redemptionis Sacramentum is up at the Vatican website. I haven't read it. I haven't read even a part of it. Maybe it's just spring fever, or a bad attitude, but I don't expect it to have any impact, and it's l--o--n--g. So, as I said, I haven't read it. Zenit has comments on the document. On several occasions, the document repeats the spirit of this expression: "The Mystery of the Eucharist is too great for anyone to permit himself to treat it according to his own whim, so that its sacredness and its universal ordering would be obscured" (No. 11, see No. 8). When presenting the instruction today, Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, explained that the Church must give clear norms as otherwise each priest would celebrate Mass in his own way. The cardinal added that the instruction is intended to avoid "abuses" that take place, which at times "threaten the validity of the sacrament." "All abuses regarding the Holy Eucharist are not of the same weight," he said. "Some threaten to make the sacrament invalid. Some are manifestations of deficiency in Eucharistic faith. Others contribute to confusion among the people of God and to growing desacralization of Eucharistic celebrations. They are not banal." I wonder what they have in mind? I wonder if Mass in a baseball stadium might be a fitting exmaple of irreverence? Or how about a pagan annointing ceremony practiced on the chief celebrant...would that constitute irreverence? Aztec warriors taking part in the Mass? Hula dancers in the midst of Western European Culture, would that do it? The second chapter addresses "The Participation of the Lay Christian Faithful in the Eucharistic Celebration," and seeks to avoid the "clericalization" of the laity, an idea on which the Holy See has insisted for years. "The community that gathers for the celebration of the Eucharist absolutely requires an ordained Priest, who presides over it so that it may truly be a Eucharistic convocation," No. 42 explains. "Accordingly, terms such as 'celebrating community' or 'celebrating assembly' � and similar terms should not be used injudiciously." And just what will happen when these terms are used injudiciously? Or better, let me ask if anything at all will happen? Words without action to back them up are merely an empty and meaningless waste of time and trees. I've seen grand words out of Rome before. Put the pen down. Put the computer keyboard away. Show me the actions behind the words. Show me examples of consequences. Then maybe I'll take your words seriously. UIntil such a time as Rome stops making empty promises to the laity, Rome is irrelevant. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ST. MICHAEL DEFEND US... Priest accused of murdering a nun in the sacristy of a Mercy Hospital chapel in Toledo. From the website: Twenty-four years after an elderly nun was killed in the sacristy of a Mercy Hospital chapel, the priest who presided over her funeral service was arrested and charged last night in the slaying. The Rev. Gerald Robinson faces a charge of murder in the death of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. The 71-year-old woman, who belonged to the Sisters of Mercy of the Union, was found dead April 5, 1980. It was Holy Saturday. Sources described her death as part of a ritual slaying in which Sister Margaret was strangled, then covered with an altar cloth, and stabbed several times along the neck and torso. Police yesterday said she was stabbed 27 to 32 times, with most of the wounds inflicted after she died. Her body had been posed and it initially appeared that she had been sexually assaulted, though authorities offered no details last night. "We're very saddened by the whole experience," said the Rev. Michael Billian, Episcopal vicar of the Diocese of Toledo. "It certainly saddens the diocese that any one of its ministers would be in this situation." The human condition is sinful and priests are human, Father Billian said. Yes, the human condition is sinful. Human beings do terrible things up to and including murder. But we are not talking about just murder here. We are talking about ritual murder. On Holy Saturday. In a chapel. Using an altar cloth. This kind of evil is not a product of sinful human nature. This kind of evil has only one source. There is more to the story at the website, together with pictures of the priest and nun. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! UPDATE From the PhillyBurbs.com: TOLEDO, Ohio - A Roman Catholic priest charged in the 1980 strangling and stabbing of a nun whose body was found in a hospital chapel had always been a suspect in the killing. Police never could gather enough evidence, though, until they reopened the case about five months ago. On Friday, police arrested the Rev. Gerald Robinson, who performed the funeral for the 71-year-old nun.... Pahl was strangled and stabbed about 30 times on April 5, 1980. Her body was found surrounded by lit candles with her arms folded across her chest in the chapel, where she was the caretaker. It was described by some investigators as a "ritualistic" killing. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, April 23, 2004

THINGS ARE HOT IN ALBANY Two Midwestern conservative activists determined to unseat Bishop Howard Hubbard -- and any other Catholic bishop they believe is actively homosexual -- make a return trip to the Capital Region on May 8. Stephen Brady of Illinois, president of Roman Catholic Faithful, and Paul Likoudis, of the Minnesota Catholic newspaper The Wanderer, will speak at a daylong conference sponsored by the Coalition of Concerned Catholics of the Albany Diocese. The event is called "Agony in Albany -- Leadership in Crisis." "It's kind of a pep talk; where we go from here ... how we hope to accomplish Hubbard's removal," Brady said Thursday in telephone interview. In February, he and Likoudis led a contentious forum at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Albany that drew about 200 people. The meeting took place just days after the Rev. John Minkler committed suicide at his Watervliet home. Stephen Brady minces no words: Brady countered: "The abuse is the most horrific result of this crisis. But the crisis is not based in clergy misdeeds. It's the bishop's loss of faith and inactivity at the root of the problem -- the cancer." CarrieTomko@aol.com

NEW LEGISLATION IN AUSTRALIA IS CREATING WORK FOR LAWYERS From CNS News When the Racial and Religious Tolerance Bill was under consideration, many Christians in Victoria opposed it, fearing that it could be used to stifle freedom of expression. Some Christian groups which made submissions to parliament argued that offenses such as slander and defamation were already adequately covered by common law provisions. Nonetheless the legislation passed into law, coming into effect in early 2002. Critics' concerns were borne out several months later, when the state's top Islamic body and three individual Muslims brought a complaint against two pastors, accusing them of vilifying Islam during a seminar. The case eventually ended up in the VCAT, where hearings began last October, and continued earlier this year, drawing attention around the world. The judge's decision is pending, but not excepted before June. In another controversial use of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, a witch has brought a complaint against a Christian city councilor who warned his community about occult activity. That hearing is due to begin next month. Imagine how this would play out in America with our religious diversity. No one would be able to get along with anyone since every religion defines itself in relation to other religions. CarrieTomko@aol.com

AGAPE PRESS reports on the comments about Gene Robinson's appointment made by former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey: ...The former spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglican Christians says the church is "in danger" because of divisions over homosexual clergy. Lord George Carey -- who retired as Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002 -- says the American branch of Anglicanism -- the Episcopal Church USA -- went too far in consecrating openly homosexual bishop Gene Robinson. Carey says the consecration of Robinson went "beyond the scripture and the Christian tradition." The archbishop was in Colorado Springs for a summit called by the conservative Anglican Communion Institute, which outlined a series of proposed punishments for ECUSA. The three-day summit ended Thursday. [AP] CarrieTomko@aol.com

BUDDHISM IN POUGHKEEPSIE I've read the claim that Buddhism is more philosophy than religion. Yet this article indicates "hundreds of dieties." Can you have dieties without religion? Hmmm...I don't think so. From the outside, the entrance to the Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery in the Town of Poughkeepsie looks deceptively simple with two long paths, one made with dirt and the other made of asphalt. Once travelers follow the paths to the monastery tucked away on a hill overlooking the Hudson River, they are greeted by prayer flags, which attract good luck and ward off evil, and the stupa, a dome and pyramid-shaped monument symbolizing the steps toward enlightenment and the four elements. Inside the altar room, decorated with a large golden Buddha statue and hundreds of other deities, Buddhist nuns and monks -- called anis and lamas -- chant twice a day and light lamps while offering water and ceremonial cakes. Despite the elaborate adornments and rituals, Buddhism is often viewed as more of a path or philosophy. Its core lies in the basic understanding that life, a cycle of death and rebirth, is full of suffering caused by craving. The ultimate goal is to eliminate suffering and achieve nirvana, ultimate happiness, through virtuous acts. Helping others is key ''Religious people want to make peace, better life, improve others,'' Lama Norlha Rinpoche, the monastery abbot, said with the aid of a translator. ''True religion means to help others.'' Buddhism began more than 2,500 years ago in a part of India that is now modern-day Nepal. The impact on the mid-Hudson Valley has only been felt since the 1970s with the founding of Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery in Woodstock and Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, Ulster County. Other nearby communities include Chuang Yen Monastery in Kent, Putnam County, and groups in Hyde Park, New Paltz, Newburgh and Rhinebeck. Buddhism became familiar in America during the 19th century through the transcendentalist and theosophy movement, which sought belief through intuition and the mystical, said Kristin Scheible, a Bard College religion professor. At the same time, Asian immigrants brought the religion as they entered the United States. Catholics are sometimes drawn to Buddhism. The article indicates this Buddhist center works with Marist College. Offering classes? Isn't Marist College Catholic? It also says: Ani Yeshi Palmo, formerly Peggy Turco, said she grew up in a Catholic household and was a naturalist before she took her vows eight years ago. She admired the openness she found at the monastery and liked how the religion tied in with respecting the environment. ''I was quite young, but I had questions about the meaning of life and they were very open to help me with that curiosity, and I hadn't found that attitude anywhere else,'' she said.... This Buddhist doesn't hesitate to call it religion: Keith Luck, 35, a visitor from Portsmouth, Va., said the religion makes sense because it requires him to question his teachers and see if their ideas were valid. ''You don't just accept on faith,'' he said.... In Woodstock, Tom Schmidt, director of operations of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery, said he became interested in meditation and eastern philosophy while studying engineering and jazz during the 1960s. Schmidt was raised as a Roman Catholic, but he found Buddhism appealing because it allowed him to keep his prior beliefs. ''Being a Buddhist, one doesn't have to throw one's past away. That doesn't mean we have any disrespect or disbelief in the religions we believed in,'' he said. Westchester County, Vassar College, Scarsdale, Hyde Park...a Chinese immigrant who gave land and money for one Buddhist center and donated the land for the San Francisco Zen Center...can we assume Buddhism is not the religion of choice of the common class? It rather looks as though this is the cadillac of new religious movements in the U.S CarrieTomko@aol.com

DIOCESAN PROGRAMS DIRECTED AT SEXUAL ABUSE I've just received email from a member of Catholic Media Coalition regarding a program being used in the pre-school program at a local parish. Pre-school. As in under age 5?! I'm posting this CMC open letter to the bishops here in my blog for anyone who may not have read it at the CMC website. If this is being promoted in your parish, ask lots and lots of questions! It would make so much more sense to have a program for parents to educate them on the dangers to their children, the techniques predators use, the way kids get roped in. Let the parents decide what is appropriate for their own children. The Church teaches that parents are the primary educators of their children. The Church needs to act on this belief. ================================================ CATHOLIC MEDIA COALITION For Immediate Release April 12, 2004 Open Letter to the United States Catholic Bishops: Keep �Touching� Programs Off Our Children http://www.catholicmediacoalition.org/touching.htm Your Excellencies, Many dioceses have in place or are planning �safe environment� classroom programs for children from kindergarten through sixth grade. Parents oppose this for good reason. As you may know, criticism of Good Touch Bad Touch (GTBT) in the Diocese of Arlington and Talking About Touching (TAT) in the Archdiocese of Boston addressed not only problems in program content which are significant, but the fact that classroom curricula on sensitive sexual issues violate both parental rights and Church teachings. �Touching� programs introduce graphic and upsetting ideas and images to little ones during the latency period, what our Holy Father calls the �years of innocence� from about age five until puberty. Having a facilitator (often a stranger) present sexual information in a mixed sex classroom is seriously problematic and potentially damaging. Under the definition of sexual abuse in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, �A child is abused whether or not this activity involves explicit force, whether or not it involves genital or physical contact, whether or not it is initiated by the child, and whether or not there is discernible harmful outcome.� Many of the elements of �touching� programs qualify as sex abuse by this definition. Since the bishops excluded themselves from the Charter�s coverage, pastors, principals, and teachers will be the ones facing any charges of abuse related to these programs. The Vatican document, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality (TMHS) clearly warns against giving explicit sexual information to young children: This period of tranquility and serenity [i.e., the �latency period�] must never be disturbed by unnecessary information about sex�.At this stage of development, children are still not capable of fully understanding the value of the affective dimension of sexuality. They cannot understand and control sexual imagery within the proper context of moral principles and, for this reason, they cannot integrate premature sexual information with moral responsibility. Such information tends to shatter their emotional and educational development and to disturb the natural serenity of this period of life. Parents should politely but firmly exclude any attempts to violate children�s innocence because such attempts compromise the spiritual, moral, and emotional development of growing persons who have a right to their innocence. (TMHS, N.78 & N. 83) How will introducing sexual issues during the latency period in a classroom setting affect children�s attitudes toward sexuality? Will placing sexuality in a context of abuse and distrust teach children to fear? Will they see sex as dirty? Will they question every touch? Will they �act out� disturbing ideas and images by inflicting �bad touches� on younger children? These are serious questions. To say, as some bishops have, that materials selected will be �age-appropriate� begs the question. By whose standard? Surely not the secular sex-educators who developed these �touching� programs in the first place. According to some bishops, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People approved by the bishops at their 2002 meeting in Dallas mandates �safe environment� programs for children. That is true. However, the Charter says nothing about implementation. It does NOT require classroom programs and is silent on who should present the material. Church teaching, on the other hand, is crystal clear: Each child is a unique and unrepeatable person and must receive individualized formation. Since parents know, understand and love each of their children in their uniqueness, they are in the best position to decide what the appropriate time is for providing a variety of information, according to their children�s physical and spiritual growth�. [emphasis added] Therefore, the most intimate aspects, whether biological or emotional, should be communicated in a personalized dialogue�. Experience shows that this dialogue works out better when the parent who communicates the biological, emotional, moral, and spiritual information is of the same sex as the child or young person. (TMHS, N. 65 and N. 66) Classroom Programs Not Mandated by Charter: In view of the confusion about what the Charter actually mandates and the apparent contradiction between classroom programs on sexual abuse and Church teachings, Mary Ann Kreitzer, President of the Catholic Media Coalition, called Kathleen McChesney, Executive Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). In a brief telephone conversation on March 23 Kreitzer asked whether classroom programs are mandated by the Charter. McChesney replied that the Charter requires each diocese �to have a program for children,� but acknowledged that it does not call for a classroom program. Kreitzer specifically inquired whether there are backup documents mandating classroom programs. McChesney said no. Kreitzer then asked if parents could teach the material to their own children. McChesney saw no reason why they couldn�t, saying there had to be a program but the form it takes is �up to the bishop.� Since McChesney�s office has oversight responsibility and produces the annual report on diocesan implementation of the Charter, her opinion is particularly relevant. Bias of �Safe Environment Classroom Programs: Your Excellencies, many dioceses seem to be approaching the issue of �safe environments� from the bias of secular child protection agencies which presume that parents abuse their children. In fact, some chancery officials have said those outside the family should teach these programs because �parents might be abusers.� What an offensive premise! There isn�t a single case in the Jay report of parental abuse. On the contrary, the report documents abuse by clergy, the overwhelming majority of which is homosexual in nature. So the shift to blaming parents is unreasonable and unjustified. Some parents have questioned whether keeping their children out of these offensive programs will bring accusations of neglect by diocesan lawyers if their children are abused by diocesan employees in the future. Those questions remain unanswered. The safest environment for children is an intact family. Studies indicate that �Children of divorced or never-married mothers are six to 30 times more likely to suffer from serious child abuse than are children raised by both biological parents in marriage.� (Patrick Fagan, The Child Abuse Crisis: the Disintegration of Marriage, Family and the American Community, Heritage Foundation) An intact family with a dad in the home is a proven deterrent to all types of abuse. Most of the cases in the Church sex scandals involved vulnerable families whose children were easy targets for predators. There is no evidence that �safe environment� programs would have prevented or interrupted the abuse. Efforts to strengthen the family are the surest way to protect children. In closing, we respectfully ask you to abandon implementation of any classroom program addressing the sensitive issues of sexual abuse. Instead, a home-based program for use by parents with their own children should be developed, one that is sensitive to the needs and temperament of the individual child. Parents are those most concerned about the safety of their children and are the natural teachers of this delicate subject. Every diocese is blessed with many well-educated and qualified parents who would welcome the opportunity to assist in developing a program for use in the home. We look forward to the opportunity to serve Holy Mother Church and assist you in your most challenging task. Mary Ann Kreitzer President, Catholic Media Coalition SIGNERS: Mary Ann Kreitzer President, Les Femmes Woodstock, VA Diocese of Arlington www.lesfemmes-thetruth.org kreitzr1@shentel.net Donna Steichen author and speaker Ojai, CA James Fritz Fred Paschall Defenders of the Faith, Inc. Berkley Springs, WV Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston www.thedefender.org J. Hallett Diocese of Oakland www.supportourdiocese.com Michael and Donna Marek Ogdensburg, NY Diocese of Ogdensburg Michael F. Brennan Diocese of Rochester News and Views Coalition in Defense of Church Teaching Rochester, New York 14621 585 467-1745 Laurie Balbach Taylor Called to Conversion newsletter Hope of Saint Monica, Inc. Milford, Ohio Archdiocese of Cincinnati Georgene Sorenson Romans in the Desert Green Valley, AZ Diocese of Tucson Cecilia H. Martin Editor, The Catholic Advocate Jacksonville, FL Diocese of St. Augustine The Orlando Truth PO Box 495 Tangerine, FL 32777 Diocese of Orlando Susan Malley, Editor www.domusdei.com Diocese of Springfield, MA Katherine A. Parker Women at the Cross Birmingham, AL Diocese of Birmingham Mike Hargadon Baltimore Truth 3618 Granite Rd Woodstock, Md 21163 Archdiocese of Baltimore/Passaic Eparchy Karl Maurer Catholic Citizens of Illinois www.catholiccitizens.org Pete Palumbo KIssimmee FL Diocese of Orlando Valerie Lubitz Los Pequenos de Christo Albuquerque, NM http://www.lospequenos.org/ Archdiocese of Albuquerque Cate Taylor Deo Gratias Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin Allyson Smith Writer San Diego, CA CarrieTomko@aol.com

HI CHRISTINE, This started out in a comments box, but isn't going to fit. So one of the privileges of the blogger is using the blogger screen when I want to yak. :) If you are from Cleveland, I presume you have visited Holmes County. One of the most impressive sights of Spring is driving down the backroads and seeing the teams of horse drawn plows tilling the fields when the ground is still too wet for mechanical plows to approach them. The silence, the jingle of harnesses, and sometimes even the smell [ :( ] is from another age. It seems so peaceful, and maybe even so safe. The Amish do come from a Christian sect. Their history lies in one of the heresies--the Albigensians, I believe. And they have the problems you have cited. The Mennonites have exchanged their buggies for cars. To some extent that has brought on commerce and with it the accidents that are so heart rending. I've driven down a hilly road behind a semi that is trying to hold back all that power because he is following an Amish buggy. It's a prescription for disaster. The Mennonites are intermingled with the Amish in Holmes County. But even the Amish have factories that are larger than most who have not experienced it would expect. Another problem is their large families. When the young men are ready to leave the family and establish a family of their own, they need either a business or a farm to support it. The community has run out of land, and that is part of the reason factories are sprouting. They also cater to the tourist trade in a number of ways, and that brings a lot of traffic to the same roads the buggies rely upon. For any readers who have not been in an Amish area, the roads show the effects of horse drawn conveyance. Down the center of each lane is a rut about two feet wide where the horses have traveled. All of the back roads have this interesting phenomenon. My husband used to do business with an Amish factory. When he needed to visit them, we would make a day of it because it was a treat to spend a day down there. The factory was located on a farm. I would sit in the parking lot while he did business, and watch Amish life. There would sometimes be wash hanging on the line, because their house and their baudy house (is that the correct term?) was located right there by the factory. The vegetable garden was picture perfect and magazine worthy. Modern fertilizers don't compare to cow manure. The ageing parents were still part of the life of the family they had raised, and still involved with the business. They were next door to their children if they needed help. When one of the daughters was ready to get married, a Wednesday was chosen and the factory was shut down for two weeks, cleaned out, and the wedding preparations were made, right there in the building where the furniture was normally made. Sometimes the factory doors would be open. Near the door was a glue machine that made large pieces out of smaller ones. (oversimplification, but I have no idea what the thing is called) Two young Amish girls were manning the machine on one occasion. They never stopped, and they didn't talk. They just tended to the job at hand. Work stopped early in the afternoon, and conveyances would arrive, like taxis, to drive the workers home. The factory telephone was located at the end of the driveway, by the street, in a little booth. You don't do business by phone with the Amish, which means that everything takes longer since it's done by mail. This annoys a lot of businessmen who buy from them. So does the Amish habit of stopping work to help out a neighbor. It tends to delay delivery dates. A woman writer who has left the Mennonite community has written a few books describing their life. These stories give a view from the inside. I bought them for my daughter and ended up reading them myself as well. They are sold in Charm at Keim Lumber company across the street from the Homestead Restaurant, where Amish food was always a treat to look forward to. There are problems. How to provide for the younger generation is a big one, and as you mentioned Christine, the young men do drink. They don't join the church officially until after their wild youth is spent, or so I've read. But when I think about the difficulties our young people face in modern culture, the Amish way of life looks like a better way. The women seem to have it the hardest due to lack of electricity. In the factories, steam power can do just about anything electricity can accomplish, but in the homes things are more primitive. Amish women work hard. Keim Lumber has a whole line of alternative power woodworking equipment, and the furniture shops in Holmes County are modern and efficient despite the lack of electricity. There are gas powered refrigerators and washing machines in the homes, but that is all I know of modern equipment for the homemaker with a large family. The laundry still must be hung out to dry, and the gardens and yards are usually women's work. No way of life is perfect. There are drawbacks to the Amish lifestyle. But as a whole, I think there is an awful lot to recommend it, and I think it is closer to what God had in mind when he created Adam and Eve. Many years ago when I had something published for the first time, it was this poem which appeared in a small magazine that stopped publication about a year later, called the Christian Poetry Journal. HOLMES COUNTY, OHIO Amishman! In your buggy ahead of me. Do you know my engine longs to devour you? You choose the center of our yellow-striped lane. Frustration mounts behind you, Engine closing down on canvass. Does my horn disturb your solitude? Does my radio intrude? Do you smile at my frustration As the yellow turns to white and tires scream past, And I am gone, while you are still there. I will arrive, depart, and meet you Again on my return journey. While still you are going to, But my trip is over. My day is twice filled with your activity. I double your words, your sights and sounds. Do I double your existence? Or do you double mine? Wisdom grows mid peaceful trees In peaceful fields and quiet houses. But what need have I for wisdom? I have machines. I have motion. I have a continent, while you have twenty square miles. You are a mystery to me. Am I a mystery to you? I think your quiet wisdom Has told you I'm a fool. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, April 22, 2004


THIS WEEK'S CRUXNEWS IS UP In an article titled "What's wrong with this picture?" the following example of an ideal economy is presented: "It is to be affirmed that a society can be in a stable and healthy condition when its manufactures rest on a foundation of agriculture and home-produced raw material and its commerce on a foundation of native manufacturers; and when its people share a common life in the family, the guild and locality. This is an ideal that can never be attained in practice, except under the most primitive conditions; for no society can be entirely self-supporting according to the standards of civilization. Nevertheless, it is an ideal to be followed as closely as possible, since if this principle is disregarded a nation will tend to become economically and psychologically unstable. It describes an Amish community rather accurately. Lots of agriculture. Lots of small business based on farm and woods products. I had an opportunity to get to know a little bit about Amish life some years ago. One of its most appealing aspects is this home based economy. Furniture production might take place in a building erected on the family farm. Or perhaps there is a buggy wheel shop. The local quilt store makes room for the Amish quilters guild. It becomes a novelty for the tourists who can stand in the shop and watch a large group of Amish ladies sitting around a quilt frame sewing and talking in a language only they understand. It's a social event. But it's also a money making event. The quilts are sold there in the quilt shop, as is the fabric used to make the quilts. There is a lot to be said for this sort of small town life. The rules of society are enforced by default. Those who deviate too seriously from the expected norm are simply shunned. It's a powerful deterrent. The kids are persuaded to tow the line by the knowledge that if they don't mom and dad will find out sooner rather than later. It has its downside, of course, because gossip goes with it, and there are no secrets, even if you have family problems that you would rather the whole town didn't know about. We Catholics talk about helping each other. The Amish just do it. I happened to be on an Amish farm where a sizable furniture factory was running efficiently when a fire started on another farm across the way. One man climbed up the silo to take a look. Soon a van arrived, and several of the workmen piled in. Work in the factory halted while the men of the village fought the fire. If it was a barn that burned, and they didn't get it out, there would be a barn raising. This sort of community life is very appealing when seen from the outside. CarrieTomko@aol.com

GRAHAM HANCOCK The Grand Lodge of Iowa A.F.&F.M. list one of Hancock's books in their booklist titled "A Revised Reading Course of Freemasonry." In attempting to research Knights Templar/Knights of Malta, it became apparent that there are several groups with these names, and some of them are even Catholic. Nevertheless, this is a rather strange collection of books headed up by the double eagle symbols of Scottish Rite Freemasonry at the top of the website which apparently belongs to The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller British Grand Priory Under the Spiritual Protection of His Holiness Aleksey II, The Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. What is he doing sponsoring this? Graham Hancock makes the list. So do Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas, Stephen Dafoe. Baigent, as most of you probably know from my previous blogs, is the editor of the magazine "Freemasonry Today." Several of the books are published by Kessinger Press, a primary source of Masonic books. Scottish Rite Freemasonry has several knighthood degrees: 15 deg. Knight of the East 17 deg. Knight of the East and West. 18 deg. Knight Rose Croix 22 deg. Knight of the Royal Axe or Prince of Libanus 25 deg. Knight of the Brazen Serpent 27 deg. Knight Commander of the Temple 28 deg. Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept 29 deg. Scottish Knight of St. Andrew 30 deg. Knight Kadosh In the York Rite there are: 10 deg. Red Cross Knight 11 deg. Knight of Malta 12 deg. Knight Templar York Rite is a Christian rite of Freemasonry. Not Catholic, however. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THIS IS A TERRIFFIC EDITORIAL Too bad the majority of conservative and orthodox Catholics will reject it without reading it because they've been taught that "RadTrad" is anethema! My husband wanted us to watch a movie together yesterday. He had gone to the library and collected some of what passes for men's movies. I let him choose which one to watch, and he picked "Internal Affairs" with Richard Gere and Andy Garcia. Congratulate me! I made it to the end. If it hadn't been so important to him that we watch a movie together, I wouldn't have. By the time I'd seen half of it my stomach was already in knots. That's what happens when you don't watch TV and spend a lot of time in computerized religious circles. Your values get warped. You start to care about people and look for the best in them. You start to value the things that matter--like purity for instance, and honesty, and concern for your fellow man. So when you are confronted with a movie such as this one, there is a major disconnect. It doesn't fit anywhere in the world you know. It doesn't make sense either. There were so many illogical propositions in that movie...like policemen can go around killing other cops without upsetting their superiors enough to take action. The strung out search for "proof" reached the absurd. And there were all those broken relationships. No one had a solid one. Everyone seemed to expect disloyalty. I got a sense that it was being taken for granted by all but one cop, and he was clearly going off the deep end when he reacted to it. Then there was the technical aspect. The set was dark. Every set was dark. At one point I just hollered "Someone turn on the lights for goodness sake." That was during the last scene when even a moron would have been looking for the lightswitch. I hate being reminded of what passes for entertainment, knowing as I do that life often imitates art. And so the upset stomach accompanied the nagging thought that this might even be a reality somewhere. And more frightening, it might be a reality in a lot of places. And then, of course, it has the potential of someday being my reality. Truly the stuff of nightmares. And that brings me back to the article in the Remnant, where all of this absurd disconnect-- where the fascination with guns and sex and drugs and death are the daily fare of the hypothetical teenagers in Michael J. Matt's editorial. Except his teenagers are not so hypothetical. His teenagers are the real thing in the houses in the community where I live. His teenagers belong to the people my husband works with whose parents work the kind of long hours he works in order to pay for the MTV, the video and stereo equipment, the computers, and the DVDs that keep their kids entertained so they can work long hours. It's absurd. Like the movie. And like the life of the kids in the Remnant editorial. CarrieTomko@aol.com

NEW BOOK DISCUSSES THE DONATION OF CONSTANTINE reviewed at www.chiesa Constantine 1700 Years Later: The Imperial Church of John Paul II Centuries later, the polemics against the �Constantinian� Church are still active. Their latest version is the accusation of reducing the faith to a civil religion, allied with the powers of the world. A book of Giovanni Maria Vian CarrieTomko@aol.com

DOES BLACKMAIL EXPLAIN IT ? Catholic Citizens suggests that perhaps blackmail explains the reluctance of bishops to speak out on politicians like Kerry: In Illinois, several Catholic law makers have indicated that for decades, pressure has been placed on Illinois Catholic Bishops by pro-abortion politicians in response to threats of sanctions or excommunication. In a state where both the Democratic and Republican parties are dominated by liberals who openly endorse abortion and homosexual "rights", political retaliation can come in several painful ways: mandatory distribution of abortifacients in Catholic hospitals, mandating handicap accessible elevators in Catholic churches, elimination of public funds for book programs in Catholic schools, as well as the constant threats of eliminating tax related exemptions. What else can explain the hierarchy's silence as pro-abortion "Catholics" Dick Durbin and Mayor Daley sit in the front row of Old St. Pat's on Sunday? Maybe we don't want to know... Internet writer and conservative Rod Dreher thinks there's more to the story than just politics, and speculates that based on the homosexual scandals in the church, numerous bishops are likely to be compromised by past homosexual activities. Blogger credit Seattle Catholic CarrieTomko@aol.com

SCRATCH THE CATHEMOSQUE IslamOnline reports: CAIRO, April 20 (IslamOnline.net) � The Islamic Cultural Center of Madrid (ICCM), Spain's largest Islamic organization, has not lodged a request with the Vatican to pressure the Catholic Church into allowing Muslims to pray in Cordoba Cathedral, which sits in the center of an ancient mosque complex, an ICCM member said Tuesday, April 20. "This is nonsense�I myself have prayed there for many times. We don't need to ask for the Vatican's intercession, since it [the Cathedral] is a historic site," registered with UNESCO, Munir Al-Musiri told IslamOnline.net over the phone from Madrid. "If we peruse the annals of history, we find that all mosques [in Spain] have been changed into churches. Why the Cordoba Cathedral in specific?" he wondered. The Guardian reported Monday, April 19, that the Islamic council of Spain has appealed to the Vatican to intercede on their behalf with the Catholic Church. It quoted Zakarias Maza, the imam of the Taqwa mosque in Granada, as hoping the Vatican would give a "gesture of tolerance." The vice director of the Vatican Press office, Father Chiro Bamadattimi, was not available to verify or deny the report. In the eighth century, the church was originally the largest mosque in Cordoba, which used to be a centre of Islamic art and scholarship. The city was re-conquered by the Christians in the 13th century, who added inside the mosque's complex a cathedral known as the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real). There's more to the article. At the end is a statement that may hint the source of the original story may have been outside of religious circles. There is also a picture of the inside of Cordoba Cathedral. Looks like an Arabian tent. There are a few more pictures of Cordoba Cathedral at this website. Scroll down, and then click the picture to enlarge it. Blogger credit, Seattle Catholic CarrieTomko@aol.com

UNIVERSALIS This is a website devoted to the liturgy of the hours. It gives the prayers for Lauds and Matins and Compline for each day of the week. The website was linked in the Malta website on satanism and the occult which I've linked below. Since I haven't been in it before, I am only assuming that it will change each day of the year to cover the appropriate prayers for each day. CarrieTomko@aol.com

IS KERRY GOING AFTER THE ANTI-CATHOLIC VOTE ? I suppose the answer to that question would rest upon how deeply one considered anti-Catholicism to be entrenched. Is there a voting block that is more devotedly committed to anti-Catholicism than they are to the pro-abortion position? Pro-abortion vs. pro-life is an old dividing line that has been overworked. It hasn't proven to be successful to vote for those who take the pro-life position because those who have earned votes with this stance have proven to be unfaithful to their own cause. At least I think that is the current perception in pro-life circles, whether true or not. Coming out pro-life may or may not generate Catholic votes. It's certainly not a guarantee. So perhaps a more subtle strategy is at work here. By this time the word is out that Kerry is on the wrong side of this issue if he is going for the Catholic vote. If his motivation were obvious, he would have backed away from the abortion debate and touted out his strong stand on some other Catholic issue. I don't know...maybe "family values" or something equally ephemerous, in order to retrieve his flagging support. Kerry is not doing that. Instead what he seems to be doing is rubbing every Catholic's nose in his dissenting position. After all, the whole receive/not receive debate is getting him the headlines a pro-life or pro-abortion position would not likely generate. Has Kerry turned our schizophrenia into a campaign strategy? What I suspect is that his association with the Paulist Center is not grounded on the fact that they will not refuse to give him Eucharist, but rather on the fact that they are advertising their "new Catholicism." Kerry, it would seem, is telling Catholics that he supports the ARCC position; a position that lets him claim the title while trashing the tenets. A position that is all too familiar within the Church in the last 25 years. Thus he not only gains the progressive Catholic vote, which may not be all that large, but also the anti-Catholic vote, which he may perceive to be significant. Which, I suppose means that a Catholic who is Catholic has been evaluated by his campaign strategists to be simply an anachronism. But hey, what do I know about politics? CarrieTomko@aol.com

DIOCESAN COMMISSION ON OCCULT AND SATANISM - MALTA a newly launched website. Some of the webpages are still under construction. They use an unusual transition between webpages that is sort of fun to watch take place. This page in the website lists the priests who will serve on the Commission and gives the statement of purpose. The Diocesan Commission on Occult and Satanism celebrates a "Liberation Mass" on a monthly basis. These are the themes for these Masses that are currently up on the website: February 4th - Liberation from Occult April 14th - Liberation by the power of Risen Christ May 26th - Liberation with the intercession of Our Lady Immaculate June 30th - Liberation from spiritism July 28th - Liberation from negative bondings with family tree August 25th - Liberation from satanism September 22nd - Liberation from negative emotional feelings October 13th - Liberation from witchcraft (maghmul) and curse (sahta) November 3rd - Liberation from negative bondage with deceased persons December 1st - Liberation from sin CarrieTomko@aol.com

GRAHAM HANCOCK Most likely you haven't heard of him. I ran across him for the first time while researching the Association of Research and Enlightenment (ARE), the membership arm of the organization that was formed to promote the writings of clairvoyant Edgar Cayce. Hancock is an author, journalist, and historian according to TheFreeDictionary.com His current project is an attempt to uncover a secret chamber in the Sphinx which is thought to contain information on civilization on Atlantis prior to the great flood. Hancock's efforts are recounted at this website. Hancock makes several statements about ARE in this website, including this one: "It is impossible to study the monuments at Giza and the people involved with them without coming across The Edgar Cayce Foundation and its offshoot, The Association for Research and Enlightenment, ARE -- which Hancock together calls the Edgar Cayce Organization -- and the prophecies made by Edgar Cayce. What is interesting about Edgar Cayce is that he talked about the Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza on repeated occasions. He said that the Sphinx had been built in 10,500 BC by survivors of the vanished civilization of Atlantis, and that in the bedrock under the Sphinx they had built a �Hall of Records� containig all the wisdom of that civilization," says Hancock. And then there is a link to Edgar Cayce's ARE on Graham Hancock's official website, where he says: Graham Hancock gave a lecture at the ARE headquarters in August 1999, and the Edgar Cayce Foundation is mentioned in Keeper of Genesis (The Message of the Sphinx). Check out their web-site. Edgar Cayce himself was a medium and prophet of the first half of the twentieth century, whose huge following still exists today. This site has a new quote from one of his readings put up each day. And then there is Hancock's newsletter where he also talks about the Edgar Cayce organization: The team was largely financed by Dr. Joseph Schor, an American multi-millionaire and life-member of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE). This association, based in Virginia Beach in the US, is a multi-million-dollar organisation that exists to promulgate the teachings of the American psychic Edgar Cayce. Prominent among Cayce's pronouncements were many statements to the effect that the Sphinx had been built in 10,500 BC by the survivors of Atlantis who had concealed beneath it a "Hall of Records" containing all the wisdom of their lost civilisation and the true history of the human race. Cayce prophesied that the "Hall of Records" would be rediscovered and opened between 1996 and 1998. He connected the opening with the second coming of Christ and asserted that the contents of the Hall would not be shared with the general public until many years after it had first been entered by "three who would make of the perfect way of life." In fact, it would seem that absent the prophecies of Edgar Cayce there would be no reason at all to dig under or around the Sphinx. At least that is the conclusion that this commentary from the director of antiquities at the Giza plateau says: Next year will see the Second Coming and Zahi Hawass [the director] is distinctly unhappy about it. He has to thank as the source of his ire one Edgar Cayce, a visionary and healer who dreamt of past civilizations and who, though a Christian, believed in reincarnation. Cayce died over half a century ago but he left behind a legacy of novel theories about God, the universe and everything that continues to plague the excitable director of antiquities at the Giza pyramids. Hawass is not complimentary toward Hancock: Even though Hawass won't name them, I guess that two of the Pyramidiots are authors Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, whose recent book The Message of the Sphinx propagates the theory that the Sphinx and the Pyramids were built by someone other than the ancient Egyptians. "Let's not fantasize. Let's look at the evidence," says Hawass. "Not a single object or fragment has been found at Giza that can be interpreted as having come from a lost civilization. Hancock is mentioned in Earthquest News, spring 2003. So is the author of Mary Magdalene, Christianity's Hidden Goddess. and the author of The Templar Revelation. And there is discussion of Gnostic Sects, Grail writers, Knights Templar, Rosicrucians and Freemasonry. This article announces a Questing Conference, "QuestCon03" Hancock's co-author is one of the presenters at this conference.. So why does any of this matter? Well... Hancock was involved in a search for the lost Ark of the Covenant prior to his fascination with the Sphinx. He even wrote a book about it. Raymond Matthew Wray, the Associate Publisher of Crisis Magazine, has written an article for the magazine in which he cites Hancock as an expert. Now does Graham Hancock look like an expert a good Catholic would turn to? I suspect that Deal Hudson doesn't know anything about Hancock apart from what appears in Wray's article, since he has just sent out a mailer that features this article along with four others, that will be put into a special edition, "The Best of CRISIS Magazine!" with the hope of increasing circulation. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

RUSSIAN "DEMOCRACY" Email from Lee Penn: The New York Times > International > Europe > Letter From Europe: Give Me Liberty, but Not Too Much: This Is Russia Repression and centralization are usually part of war preparations .... Kyrie eleison Lee ================================================== April 21, 2004 LETTER FROM EUROPE Give Me Liberty, but Not Too Much: This Is Russia By SETH MYDANS MOSCOW, April 20 - Tanya Lokshina, a leading human rights campaigner, gathered her staff together some months ago and told them what to do if they were visited by the secret police. Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, Russia's richest man, had just been arrested by masked police shouting, "Everyone on the floor or we'll shoot!" Among the civic organizations he helped support was Ms. Lokshina's group, the Moscow Helsinki Group. "If you have visitors from you-know-what, don't talk to them,"' she said she told her staff. And then: "I'm listening to myself talk and I realized that what I was saying was being said by many people many years ago. It's troubling. Things are starting to repeat themselves." These are certainly not Soviet times and dissidents are not being jailed as they were then. But even before the arrest of Mr. Khodorkovsky, who remains in jail awaiting trial on charges of economic crimes, the air in Russia had started to grow a bit chillier under President Vladimir V. Putin. The arrest was the strongest of a number of recent signals that the government is tightening its grip on society and becoming more unpredictable in its exercise of power. In an echo of the past, some people are thinking twice about what they say in public or on the telephone. The notable thing is the degree to which much of the public has accepted - even embraced - new limitations on their freedoms. It is a truism here that the wild post-Soviet 1990's gave democracy a bad name and seem to have led to a yearning for order and stability, which people now equate with strong leadership. ============================================================= There is more in the article at Lee's link, including the new vocabulary that describes a democratic dictorship such as seems to be developing over there. Where is "solidarity" now? Where is the New Springtime promised by John Paul II? Back in 1989, when the iron curtain came down, I was on the mailing list for the Crying in the Wilderness Newsletter published by the Most Holy Family Monastery, in Berlin, N.J. Each of these newsletters dealt with a particular topic. The Autumn 1989 issue was titled "Seeing Through Glasnost: The Biggest and Brightest 'Strategy of Smiles' in History." Under the sub-heading "The Strategy of Two Steps Forward, One Step Backwards" is this explanation: Consider two common tools, the screwdriver and the hammer. A screwdriver keeps pushing and turning the screw into the wood until it is completely driven in, but a hammer does not. It is necessary to swing the hammer forward to strike the nail, and then backwards to prepare for the next blow. Most people expect the Communist to act like a screwdriver, continually twisting and thrusting forward until they have realized their objective. But the Communist strategy is not like the screwdriver, but like the hammer - a constant forwards and backwards motion - a seemingly endless series of advances and retreats. As the backward swing moves the hammer away from the nail, so too the Communists often approach their object by moving away from it - by seemingly going in the opposite direction. But it is obvious that the backward motion of the hammer is as essential to the advancing of the nail as is the forward thrust. The vital strategy, of which the average Western man has no concept is the prinicple of two steps forward, one step backwards. Lenin himself wrote the textbook Two Steps Forward, One Step Back. Chinese schoolchildren are taught to do the dialectic march of three steps forward and two steps backward. The point is that the Communist goal is fixed and changeless - it never alters one iota from their objective of total world domination, but if we judge them only by the direction in which they seem to be going, we will be deceived. Communist aggression followed by peace talks and conciliatory gestures is merely the principle of the dialectic in operation - war and terrorism followed by overtures of peaceful co-existence and concessions. These concessions or "good will gestures", however, will never be made unless they are meticulously calculated ultimately to further the advancement of Communism at a later date. One example among many is the "military aid" of soldiers and tanks that were shipped to Afghanistan as a "gift" during the 1970's period of "peaceful coexistence". These are the same tanks and soldiers that were then used in the barbaric suprise attack against the Afghans on December 17, 1980, in which the President as well as 17,000 Afghanistan citizens were slain in a single evening. The military strike would not have been possible without the essential groundwork prepared by "peaceful co-existence". The next section in the newsletter is under the sub-heading "The Great Glasnost Backstep." The last page of this issue is headlined: "The Communist Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Clergy." Today we see a hierarchy that arranges a conference at Assisi and then promulgates Dominus Iesus. A forward thrust, followed by a retrenchment. In the conclusion of this newsletter are these words: There is not a single aspect of Catholicism whether it be liturgy, catechisms, seminaries, sacraments or anything else whatsoever that has not in some way been changed, watered-down, subverted or removed since the so-called Vatican II "renewal". It is obvious that "An enemy has done this"...the enemies of the demons unleashed from hell referred to by our Lady of LaSalette operating through the organism of Communism warned of by Our Lady of Fatima. Since we have willfully turned our back on God, He is now allowing us to be scourged by the very demons of hell whose evil and immorality we so willingly embrace in our modern age. Our Lady of Fatima gave us the answer, if only we are willing to listen. She said, "Russia will be the instrument chosen by God to punish the world for its crimes...man must cease offending God." Therefore, it is only by man giving up sin, turning back to God, learning God's revelation, living his faith and fulfilling the requests of Our Lady of Fatima that peace, sanity, order and holiness will ever return to our Church and our world. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE COLUMBINE MURDERS EVALUATED 5 YEARS LATER From The Daily Camera.com Under the gun Five years after Columbine, is pop culture any less violent? By Matt Sebastian, Camera Staff Writer April 18, 2004 An image from recent movie 'Never Die Alone.' About a month after Columbine, Camera reader Leslie Blanton sat down and dashed off a brief letter to the editor. She opened with a simple, haunting, query: "What's gone wrong?" Like so many others stunned by the mass murder at Littleton's Columbine High School five years ago this week, the Boulder resident tried to find an answer to that seemingly innocuous, yet staggeringly complex question. To Blanton, the blame laid squarely on the manufacturers of ultra-violent video games, people, she wrote, who recklessly teach young boys the glee of "killing for entertainment." It was a common refrain at the time: Pop culture and mass media � from bloody, shoot-'em up video games and gory slasher films to voyeuristic newscasts and the pseudo-gothic rock of Marilyn Manson � must have helped turn Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris into cold-blooded killers. Within days of the April 20, 1999, slayings, people like Blanton were demanding that Hollywood clean up its act. So what's happened in these five years? "Not much," Blanton says on the eve of Columbine's anniversary "There's still too much violence in entertainment. Kids are still being exposed to these terrible images. There was never any attempt to tone it down, because it's all about the money � and that'll never change." Erich Toll, another Boulder resident, echoes those feelings. "The music I listened to growing up, it made you want to make out with your girlfriend," he says. "The music I hear now, it makes you want to go out and kill someone. I don't think Columbine changed anything."... "If anything, the level of violence in entertainment is worse today than it was before Columbine," says James Garbarino, author of "Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them." CarrieTomko@aol.com

UNDERCOVER MUSIC Undercover announces the release of a new album titled "Living Loud - Mr. Crowley." "Mr Crowley was written by Ozzy, me and Randy Rhoads" he says. "Ozzy came up with the title; it was about Alistair Crowley, a black magician. It was all kind of a bit sad. That song was trying to add a positive note to it. "Mr Crowley won't you ride my white horse", white horse being a symbol of strength and purity. It was saying to people into Satanism and dark stuff "hey wake up to yourself". Living Loud will be released next week through Liberation Records. "Mr Crowley was written by Ozzy, me and Randy Rhoads" he says. "Ozzy came up with the title; it was about Alistair Crowley, a black magician. It was all kind of a bit sad. That song was trying to add a positive note to it. "Mr Crowley won't you ride my white horse", white horse being a symbol of strength and purity. It was saying to people into Satanism and dark stuff "hey wake up to yourself". Living Loud will be released next week through Liberation Records. What will American teenagers learn by listening to this album a few thousand times? CarrieTomko@aol.com

WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? They seem to be blowing up their own. CarrieTomko@aol.com

MICHAEL BROWN DISCUSSES CATHOLIC GODDESS WORSHIP The occult continues to make inroads and is infiltrating the Catholic faith itself, often in the guise of self-help psychology or meditation. We receive constant reports about this. In Ohio there is a movement for a "future church" that would accent feminine spirituality and a mother goddess. A banner of the goddess has even been hung in a church. At a Catholic school in Indiana -- advertised as the nation's premier Catholic college for women -- there was an account of freshmen introduced into witchcraft during a literature course, where they were tested on a book by a witch named "Starhawk." We have a report that an altar was set up in the front (when a pagan priestess dressed in robes was invited to address the class). For opening ceremonies at the school -- according to the same report -- the college removed statues from a church and replaced them with a shrine to the earth, where a "circle of blessings" was conducted. Meanwhile a Midwestern Catholic publisher -- based in Notre Dame -- offers a book called Prayers to Sophia, an allusion to the "goddess of wisdom." These are but some of the most blatant examples. In Colorado were reports of nuns who prayed to the east and west each morning -- a New Age invocation geared to the gods of nature -- and in New York rumors that a crystal had been placed by a nun in a Blessed Sacrament chapel. In Minnesota nuns long have been indoctrinated into what can only be called the New Age. There's more. Check it out. For anyone who is tempted by any of these spiritual practices, the last sentence of Brown's essay is worth noting: Some of these practices are spiritually dangerous to say the least. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CHRISTOPHOBES Pete Vere at Envoy has blogged the homosexual interruption of the fundraiser in Canada that I blogged yesterday. He has a letter written by Rev. Stephen Boissoin up on the blog, which describes the event. This is Pete's concluding statement: Here's the accompanying video footage. As I mentioned to a number of conservative political and reglious commentators, from both sides of the border, today, Christians in Canada are quickly losing our religious freedom and civil liberties. More and more we're coming to ressemble the most liberal of European countries. For the first time in my life, I actually dread going home to Canada, and am seriously debating the possibility of skipping out on my doctoral studies and simply staying south of the border where I could seek U.S. citizenship. After some time passed yesterday, the video came up on my computer screen and I was able to watch it. I came away from the video clip with a new word, "Christophobia," and a vivid impression of the appropriate Christian response to such an incident. This anti-Christian attitude in our culture can only be addressed by grace. The powers of man are inadequate to deal with it. The power of prayer was obvious in the video. CarrieTomko@aol.com

SETON HALL IS SORRY Amy Welborn has blogged the apology. This is the story she links. From the website: Yesterday university spokeswoman Natalie Thigpen said: "As we have always stated, Seton Hall's commitment to the gospel of life is absolute. The conferral of awards to people who publicly espouse views that are contrary to the university's fundamental Catholic identity is a serious lapse. "There will be a thorough review of all aspects of this matter, and the policies involved." Thigpen would not say if the 11-year-old award in O'Connor's name will be discontinued, nor would she otherwise elaborate on the statement. This is not the first time the award has led to controversy. Past recipients include Hillary Rodham Clinton and Christie Whitman, both of whom favor abortion rights. Um, if you were the president of a college where an award presented by students had sparked controversy in the past, wouldn't you be tuned in to who, what, where, and when this award was going to be presented again? Of course you would, especially when names like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sandra Day O'Connor were being tossed around. You would have the award under a magnifying glass. Getting someone of that stature to appear on your campus is a photo op to gladden every fund raiser's heart, even those who operate on a Catholic campus. It backfired. So Seton Hall is sorry. To which I would say, ok, prove it. The laity will be watching. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CATHOLIC MORAL CONFUSION by Joseph D'Hippolito, Jerusalem Post From the website: Martino, the Vatican's observer at the UN for 12 years before becoming president of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice, believes the UN can repeat its master stroke in resolving Kosovo, as well as its stunning success in the Middle East. This is particularly poignant in the light of the Orthodox church pictures I blogged yesterday, which show the church being used as a latrine. It would seem that UN "success" is particularly bad for Christianity. Are they wearing blindfolds in Rome, or is this some new agenda we haven't yet awakened to? Be that as it may, I don't see how America, standing alone in the world, with even Spain now apparently opposed to American politics in the Mid East, and with Christianity being the new target of choice in persecution circles, how the Vatican position can do anything but contribute to our downfall. But then, politics is not my strong suit. On April 5, Bishop Javier Echevarria, the prelate of Opus Dei � an organization fervently loyal to the papacy � told the Zenit news service that Christians should love terrorists by praying for their conversion and redemption. Let's dump the word "love" and substitute the word "charity" so that the sexual overtones can be eliminated. Yes, in charity our faith calls us to pray for our enemies conversion and redemption. It does not, however, demand that we lay down and play dead. Previous popes found no conflict in this concept. The current administration...? Civilita Cattolica, the official magazine of the Vatican's secretariat of state, perfectly reflects the intellectual schizophrenia among Rome's elite. The hierarchy is schizophrenic on lots of issues. This is only one of them. I guess they will come off looking good no matter who wins. This side of eternity at least. They could fill the coffers by giving doublespeak lessons, most particularly on the subject of sexual abuse. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

FR. JABLONOWSKI An Associated Press article about the strange rituals of this priest: Several men have told investigators that roughly 20 years ago they allowed themselves to be stripped, blindfolded, suspended upside-down, whipped and have cords tied tightly about their genitals while praying for penance with Father Anthony Jablonowski at St. Anthony Catholic Church. The ritual was supposed to intensify their prayers and help them get closer to God. But three men said the ordeal was more sexual than religious, and a prosecutor was ready to file sexual abuse charges until a plea agreement was reached. Until now, church scandals seemed far removed from Guernsey, a southeast Wyoming town of 1,147. This article also indicates this priest is currently in the Steubenville Diocese and that he has formed his own order of priests called Carmelite Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. THE MARIETTA TIMES ARTICLE ON JABLONOWSKI Marietta is in the Steubenville Diocese. At the sentencing Thursday in Wyoming, Jablonowski denied the charges on the basis of the spirituality of the practices, which Jablonowski refers to as "penitential prayers." Despite his denial of any wrongdoing, Jablonowski accepted the no contest plea. A no contest plea means a person is not contesting the facts of the case even if they don't agree with them. His attorney said Friday Jablonowski maintains his innocence but said the former priest couldn't speak in his own defense because of an oath he took as a priest. "Penitential prayers are secret and can't be revealed," said Dallas Laird, the Casper, Wyo., lawyer representing Jablonowski. "He gave the people involved an oath that they (the penitential practices) couldn't be discussed." "A person who's willing to undergo a penalty to preserve these kinds of things, he showed he was a man of honor, in my opinion." There are two separate concerns in this case. One is the sexual abuse of a minor, and the other is using religious rituals to excuse S&M with adults. These articles bring Opus Dei's use of the celice to mind. MARIETTA TIMES ARTICLE FROM MARCH 24 A former priest at St. John's Catholic Church in Churchtown, who still lives at a Waterford monastery, is the subject of an ongoing sex abuse investigation in Wyoming and last year was disciplined by the Steubenville diocese. Anthony Jablonowski left St. John's Church in 2002 to devote more time to the Carmelite Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, a religious community he established in Waterford. Since then, accusations of sex abuse stemming from Jablonowski's time as a priest in Wyoming surfaced, and the Steubenville diocese has ordered Jablonowski to no longer affiliate himself with the group or serve as a priest in any way. Jablonowski is accused of inappropriate sex acts during the 1980s. He was disciplined by the diocese last year but has not been criminally charged. A prosecutor in the case said this week the investigation continues, however. The discipline orders from Steubenville Diocese Bishop R. Daniel Conlon directed Jablonowski to no longer engage in public ministry or to identify himself as a priest. But Jablonowski answered the telephone at the monastery Tuesday, raising the question of whether he is complying with the diocese's order. He denies any wrongdoing THE AKRON BEACON JOURNAL ALSO HAS THE STORY You have to register. This one words the incidents a bit differently: CHEYENNE, WYO. - A former Ohio priest will serve 15 months to seven years in jail for molesting a teen-age boy in a case that also involved allegations of ritual beatings and torture, his lawyer said Sunday. Anthony Jablonowski, 69, pleaded no contest in a Wyoming district court last week to one count of taking indecent, immodest or immoral liberties with a minor, attorney Dallas Laird said. The priest denied taking part in any rituals but told authorities the sex act was for spiritual reasons and not sexual gratification. DIOCESE OF CHEYENNE WEBSITE Has a statement on Jablonowski from which this is taken: Jablonowski has been in Steubenville, Ohio since 1997 pursuing the establishment of a religious community of men called the Carmelite Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. The community consisted of four members who resided in a monastery near Steubenville, Ohio. He will, also, no longer be associated with this community. A monastery with four members. And I just blogged a monk in S.F. who had his own monastery and his own brand of "activities". The statement seems to indicate that he moved around a lot, with short assignments wherever he went. This is sordid. Just blogging it makes me feel creepy. PHOTO OF FR. JABLONOWSKI From a Benedictine newsletter titled Saint Vincent Seminary Scroll down to the entry for "Group Photo 1" in the Steubenville Diocese. It's the very last link at the bottom of the Steubenville entry. Fr. Jablonowski is on the left. JABLONOWSKI'S ORDER WEBSITE He says he established this order in Wyoming. This website is orthodox - traditional - in its appearance. I wonder if they said the Tridentine. They claim to be dedicated to: "re-evangelizing Catholics, and teaching the truths of the Catholic Church, both Western and Eastern, to non-Catholics and the un-churched." At this rate we are not going to be able to trust any priests, liberal, middle of the road, traditional. We need to get to the bottom of this--to get all of the sordidness out in the open--and then with God's grace try to put it behind us. So long as there is even one of these cases waiting in ambush, we cannot move past this. CarrieTomko@aol.com

FR. JABLONOWSKI An Associated Press article about the strange rituals of this priest: Several men have told investigators that roughly 20 years ago they allowed themselves to be stripped, blindfolded, suspended upside-down, whipped and have cords tied tightly about their genitals while praying for penance with Father Anthony Jablonowski at St. Anthony Catholic Church. The ritual was supposed to intensify their prayers and help them get closer to God. But three men said the ordeal was more sexual than religious, and a prosecutor was ready to file sexual abuse charges until a plea agreement was reached. Until now, church scandals seemed far removed from Guernsey, a southeast Wyoming town of 1,147. This article also indicates this priest is currently in the Steubenville Diocese and that he has formed his own order of priests called Carmelite Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. CarrieTomko@aol.com

CHRISTOPHOBIA At the Truth and Justice Network Canada website: April 2004- Calgary, Alberta, Canada-Reverend Stephen Boissoin legal fundraiser by Concerned Christian Coalition crashed by "gay Militia" calling themselves the "Queer Invasion"! If you go to the website, there is a link to a RealPlayer clip of the event. I was not able to play the video clips, but the audio is eye-opening. Thanks to a reader for sending it in. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE FATE OF PRISTINA CHURCH from ERP Kim Info-Service The Information Service of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija has managed to obtain photographs recording the unprecedented scene in the very center of Pristina. The still uncompleted Orthodox cathedral of Christ the Savior with its consecrated foundations and cross, where Holy Liturgy was periodically served before the war while it was still under construction, has been turned into a public toilet, while the property around the church has become the squatting ground of Roma emigrants from the Republic of Albania who are, strangely enough, tolerated by the Kosovo Albanians, unlike Kosovo Roma who are persecuted and expelled. Is this what's known as "sharing the worship space"? CarrieTomko@aol.com

I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO TITLE IT A reader sent this in... From the Denver Post - Crisis of the Cloth During the investigation, authorities learned of [Fr.] Jablonowski's involvement in sacred rituals and penance prayers. Alden said Jablonowski would take men to the basement of the church and ask them to strip naked, gag and blindfold each other before beginning the ritual. The men said they would be hung "upside down from the ceiling, have their genitals manipulated to induce extreme pain - all while praying," Alden said. Jablonowski's attorney, Dallas Laird, said the priest did not admit to the rituals. He can't talk about what goes on in prayer and confession because he took an oath of confidentiality, Laird said Saturday. Our Lady of Fatima, pray very hard for us! CarrieTomko@aol.com

ANTI-CATHOLICISM IN AKRON, OHIO We have had an exhibit at our convention center from March 16 to April 18, of Dead Sea Scroll fragments and antique Bibles. Running simultaneously has been a very curious story of the exhibit curators' infighting that has been taken to the Federal Court. When I toured the exhibit, the anti-Catholicism was obvious to me before the 20-minute video that is shown prior to entry to the exhibit hall was concluded. The impression didn't change as I toured the exhibit, and so I did some investigating. and wrote the following piece, not really knowing what I would do with it. I've decided to blog it this morning, after finding the website of one of the principal actors in this drama which makes the anti-Catholicism blatant. Here is the passage from the website: By the 1580's, the Roman Catholic Church saw that it had lost the battle to suppress the will of God: that His Holy Word be available in the English language. In 1582, the Church of Rome surrendered their fight for "Latin only" and decided that if the Bible was to be available in English, they would at least have an official Roman Catholic English translation. And so, using the corrupt and inaccurate Latin Vulgate as the only source text, they went on to publish an English Bible with all the distortions and corruptions that Erasmus had revealed and warned of 75 years earlier. Because it was translated at the Roman Catholic College in the city of Rheims, it was known as the Rheims New Testament (also spelled Rhemes). The Douay Old Testament was translated by the Church of Rome in 1609 at the College in the city of Douay (also spelled Doway & Douai). The combined product is commonly referred to as the "Doway/Rheims" Version. In 1589, Dr. William Fulke of Cambridge published the "Fulke's Refutation", in which he printed in parallel columns the Bishops Version along side the Rheims Version, attempting to show the error and distortion of the Roman Church's corrupt compromise of an English version of the Bible. It seems that a Catholic reporter in Dallas agrees with me. Bronson Havard is editor of the Texas Catholic newspaper. Havard says the exhibit presents a skewed view of Bible history and has more than a "hint" of anti-Catholicism." In any case, here is what I've found... THE HISTORY OF THE BIBLE FROM THE PROTESTANT PERSPECTIVE An exhibit of Dead Sea Scroll fragments and antique Bibles ran in Akron, Ohio, from March 16 to April 18. I toured the exhibit on April 16. The conception of this exhibit was credited to Murfreesboro, Tennessee medical doctor William Noah, whose long-standing fascination with the history of the Bible prompted him to put an exhibit together in his hometown last year. The popularity of that effort led Dr. Noah, together with California antiquities expert Lee Biondi, and Akron area resident and millionaire collector Bruce Ferrini, the only private individual in the world to own Scroll fragments, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, to form a company to oversee the traveling exhibit. Dr. Craig Lampe, said to be a Bible Historian in the video that accompanies the exhibit, identified himself as the �father of 26 children with a doctorate in genetics.� He runs the Bible Museum, a collection of rare Bibles on permanent display in a Hampton Inn & Suites in Goodyear, Arizona. Lampe, who claims the pieces he loaned to the exhibit were on loan to him, was not a part of the company formed by Noah, Biondi, and Ferrini, called �HisStory LLC,� formed for the purpose of making �From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Forbidden Book�, into a road show. The exhibit had an ambitious goal, �To present to the public for the first time, a comprehensive history of the Bible, using original texts to illustrate the evolution of the book." It appeared in Dallas, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama, before coming to Akron. A tour of the exhibit began with a video in which Biondi and Lampe participated as experts along with Biblical Archeologist Dr. Randall Price and Biblical Hebrew Scholar, Dr. Frank Seckins, both of whom contributed a few early scenes to the video. Biondi and Lampe along with a man named Douglas King produced the video, which was for sale along with an accompanying booklet, and several other books and videos, in the gift shop. The project was ambitious, but did a good job of covering the topic from the bias of the presenters�namely a Protestant bias. They did credit the Latin Vulgate. The Douay-Rheims was not mentioned in the movie, but a Douay-Rheims New Testament was on display. There was no Douay-Rheims Challoner Bible in evidence nor was it mentioned in the movie, but the booklet which accompanied the exhibit did mention it as well as the original Douay-Rheimes. The Haydock Douay-Rheims was not in evidence anywhere. Also on display were examples of the Wycliffite Bible in English, a Gutenberg Bible, the First Tyndale New Testament, Martin Luther�s Bible, the �Matthew�s� Bible, a First Edition of the Miles Coverdale �Great Bible�, the �Geneva� Bible, the �Bishops� Bible�, the Casiodoro de Reina Spanish Bible, the King James Bible, the first Bible printed in America, the Saur Bible, the first Bible printed in America in English, and the Lunar Bible, along with small fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a strip of cloth from a mummy with an inscription from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, some Russian icons, ancient pieces of pottery and lamps, a Jewish ossuary box. Some of these items were offered for sale. The story presented in the video, which was viewed on the way into the exhibit hall, centered on John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, attempting to set the theme that these two and others were persecuted simply because they desired to translate Scripture into English. This was the theory behind the �Forbidden Book� portion in the title of the exhibit. In the video, Wycliffe is referred to as a �giant of a figure� and �the morning star of the Reformation� and the �greatest theologian of the 14th century� by Dr. Lampe, who credits Wycliffe with producing the first hand written Bible in English. A point was made of the fact that Wycliffe�s bones were dug up and burned for heresy 42 years after his death, implying that the heresy in question was the translation of the Bible into English. The Catholic Encyclopedia paints a somewhat different picture of Wycliffe�s heresy for which his bones were indeed burned. According to that source, Wycliffe incurred the charge of heresy because he denied the doctrine of Transubstantiation, making Wycliffe and his followers a people apart, believers of a doctrine somewhat like Lutheran consubstantiation. Wycliffe also held the belief that no monks or clergy could hold temporal possessions without sin, and that it was lawful for kings and princes to deprive them of what they held. The Peasant Revolt of 1381 may have been partially incited by Wycliffe�s ideas. Wycliffe�s followers, the Lollards, were forced to make retractions. Wycliffe began to treat the Bible as the exclusive standard of faith. His teaching on the Eucharist was condemned by an Oxford council of doctors in 1381. According to Msgr. Ronald Knox, writing in his well-researched book Enthusiasm, Wycliffe taught that �a priest in mortal sin could not validly consecrate the Holy Eucharist.� The Waldenses had been preaching this heresy on the continent 100 years before Wycliffe taught it. Knox also indicates the heterodoxy of the Lollards developed after Wycliffe�s death. (R. A. Knox, Enthusiasm, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950, p. 88) The Catholic Encyclopedia entry cited above states that �Old-fashioned Protestant writers, who used to treat medieval heresy as a continuous witness to the truth, found in Wycliffe a convenient link between the Albigenses and the sixteenth-century reformers�� as did the compilers of this exhibit who, along with Wycliffe, placed emphasis on William Tyndale, following a brief reference to Martin Luther, during which Lampe referred to Luther as �a giant of a man in his accomplishments as a result of great price�Thousands would perish, including many of Martin Luther�s personal friends for this desire for God�s word to go free.� When Lampe makes that statement, drawings of people being burned at the stake are flashed across the screen. No mention of Martin Luther�s burning of the Pope�s bull and a copy of Canon Law, nor his objections to indulgences (Thomas Bokenkotter, A concise History of the Catholic Church, Image Books, 1990, p. 196) was made. According to the curators of this exhibit, Luther was persecuted only for translating the Bible into a common language of the people, As Lampe moves on to Tyndale, he speaks of �contraband books� and �forbidden books.� He speaks of those who risked their lives to make the works of Luther and Erasmus known, and adds: �It was against the law to distribute the Bible in any language other than Latin. It was against the law to be caught with a Bible in any language but Latin. It just didn�t matter that only 5% of the population or less knew the Latin language.� The video does not give any indication what percentage of the populace was literate nor does it give any indication what percentage of the populace could afford to buy a copy of the Bible. Could the reason why the Catholic Encyclopedia has no entry for William Tyndale be Lampe�s statement from the video that: �With the Greek and Latin of Erasmus, and with the German of Luther, Tyndale literally translated the New Testament into Hebrew. And out of Hebrew he forms the English.� I could find no other reference for this claim. Another bit of information conveniently left out of the video is the fact that Tyndale was a Catholic priest. The curators do not make clear the connection between Luther�s justification by faith and Tyndale�s following Luther�s lead. Prior to England�s break with the Papacy, associating with Luther who was considered a heretic, would have put Tyndale in opposition to the Catholic Church. At the time Tyndale�s New Testament was published, 1525-26, the relations of Henry VIII and the papacy were about to deteriorate over the issue of Henry�s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and his desire for a divorce. By 1534 England had detached herself from the pope�s jurisdiction and the English church then answered to the King of England. Among those who refused to swear allegiance to the king was St. Thomas More, who was beheaded in 1535. (Bokenkotter, p. 210) Between 1535 and 1540 Henry dissolved the monasteries.(Bokenkotter, p. 211) It was a time of transition in England, and Tyndale was a victim of the times. When he began his work of translation English Catholicism was subject to the Papacy. Since Tyndale�s efforts were contrary to the desire of the English hierarchy, and since Tyndale was a Catholic priest committed to obedience to Church authority, his enthusiasm for Martin Luther�s theology meant that he incurred censure from church authority. Shortly after he was burned at the stake, Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church. Consequently Tyndale�s associates were able to finish what Tyndale had begun, now with the blessing of the King of England, who was the authority for the newly emerged Anglican Church. Thus Tyndale�s translation became the basis of the King James Bible. Had Tyndale been able to avoid his captors and remain in hiding on the continent for another year, chances are he would have received a welcome reception in England. Tyndale published his translations from the continent. He was arrested and tried in Belgium, and put to death in 1536. In the video Dr. Lampe says he was �mercifully strangled� before the funeral pyre was lit, because death by burning could take days.� While lamenting Tyndale�s fate, Lampe conveniently overlooks the persecution of Catholics in England during the same century, including the beheading of St. Thomas More. Biondi says of Tyndale that he �illuminated and released the young English language, in the process building a language that has never failed. His work is responsible for the English Renaissance. Without Tyndale, no Shakespeare.� According to Lampe, within a year of Tyndale�s death, Henry VIII issued a license to print the whole Bible in English.� This would have been in the year 1537 after the break with the Pope and thus with Catholicism was complete. Lampe then recounts a short time period when the Bible was available in English until �Mary�Bloody Mary�came to the throne and the Marian persecution ensued. Finally the Catholic Church in 1582 authorized the New Testament in English. What heretofore they had burned people at the stake by the tens of thousands (sic) they now were permitting to be printed in the language of the people.� He conveniently fails to note that a Catholic English translation was made in France in the cities of Douay and Rheims, whence English Catholic refugees had fled to escape English persecution. According to an article in Our Sunday Visitor written by Sidney K. Ohlhausen, (May/June 1999) a total of 930 Catholics books in English �were printed on the continent or secretly in England from 1558 to 1640.� The Catholic Encyclopedia entry for �Douay Bible� states: �Many Protestant versions of the Scripture had been issued and were used largely by the Reformers for polemical purposes. The renderings of some of the texts showed evident signs of controversial bias, and it became of the first importance for the English Catholics of the day to be furnished with a translation of their own, on the accuracy of which they could depend and to which they could appeal in the course of argument.� Biondi closes the video by saying the King James Bible �still maintains over 80% of Tyndale�s wording�William Tyndale gave us the Bible in English.� To which I would respond that the Catholic Church gave Fr. William Tyndale the material he worked with. The William Tyndale website lists his 7 �crimes� or heresies which include a denial of Purgatory and a claim that neither the Virgin nor the Saints should be invoked by us. It also indicates that the Lollards smuggled Tyndale�s works into England. It also discusses Tyndale�s controversy with St. Thomas More. Tyndale incurred the disapproval of the Church for a lot more than merely translating the Bible into English. But the story of this exhibit doesn�t end there. It seems that the contributors and curators of the exhibit have gotten into a dispute over the ownership of artifacts and have also left Dallas with unpaid bills, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Within weeks of the exhibit closing in Dallas, Dr. William Noah filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Akron against his business partners Ferrini and Biondi, claiming nearly $400,000 he had personally invested in the fledgling company cannot be accounted for, �according to an article in the Akron Beacon Journal which appeared at Ohio.com on March 18. Noah also claims Ferrini will not release the company�s financial records. Additionally Noah and three creditors filed separate papers in February throwing the company into U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron. A federal bankruptcy judge issued a temporary injunction that put a trustee in charge of the exhibit, per the Beacon Journal article at Ohio.com on April 8. U.S. District Judge John Adams and U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Marilyn Shea-Stonum are currently both involved in the litigation. On April 14 Ferrini was taken into custody for contempt of court after interfering with the trustee�s operation of the exhibit, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. On April 16 Judge Adams attempted to sort out who owns what and what percentage of gift shop receipts, estimated by the Beacon Journalto be in the neighborhood of $200,000 by the last week of the exhibit, as well as what part of ticket sales, belongs to whom. Adams said that �the exhibition�s lack of written documentation of who owns what amazed him,� according to the local paper. The exhibit was scheduled to travel to Pittsburgh when it closed in Akron. This apparently will not be happening, since the plan of the Court was to dismantle the exhibit on the day after it closes. At some point in time since the original company was formed to oversee the exhibit, a new company appears to have taken over with the title of �The Scrolls, LLC.� Look for the fine print in the upper left corner of the website where you will see the new name of the company. The nagging question that keeps recurring, after seeing the exhibit, reading the press coverage, and looking for back-up information on the web, is whether this exhibit is legitimate or a fraud. I have not been able to answer that question, yet. It doesn't look at this time as though the days of the exhibit are numbered. This anti-Catholicism may be coming to a town near you. (All websites were current and accessed on Tuesday, April 20, 2004. The future of websites is always subject to change.) CarrieTomko@aol.com

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