Saturday, May 29, 2004


Family activities starting tomorrow are going to keep me busy through Monday night, so there won't be any new posts here until Tuesday.

Hope everyone has a restful and relaxing holiday weekend.


has been the archpriest at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, and it is he whom Cardinal Law will replace. His credentials are given here at this website of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem of which he is the Grand Master.

There are a few other interesting details in the document. He is "Member of the Council of the Second Division of the Office of the Secretary of State, of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, of the Congregation for Bishops, of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples and of the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals for the I.O.R." The I.O.R., or "Institute for the Works of Religion" is the proper name for the Vatican Bank.

It appears that he was an ecumenist according to this news clip from Vatican Information Service presented at the CINTUUS Archives:


VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 1998 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received the participants in the meeting of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, led by Grand Master Cardinal Carlo Furno. "Innerly strengthened by devotion to the Cross of Christ," he told them, "you will know how to spread all around you love for the land where the Redeemer lived during his earthly life."

Referring to their "precious service for the unity of believers," the Pope spoke of the importance of "being committed promoters of ecumenism, creating fitting initiatives of cooperation with other Christian confessions, as well as seeing to the attentive and useful dialogue with followers of other religions, under the guidance of bishops, so as to fortify peace in the Land of the Prince of Peace, in Jerusalem which is the symbol of eternal happiness."

John Paul II encouraged them to make the Holy City "the goal of your spiritual path of penance and conversion. In such a spirit, approach the Holy Places and be promoters of pilgrimages to Jerusalem, whilst recommending the Way of the Cross to those who cannot go there."

"Belonging to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre," he concluded, "will thus be a stimulus for personal ascesis focussed on meditation of the profound lessons which come from the Cross."

Another website lists the history of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Near the bottom of the website there is a list of officers and members. Michel Sabbah is second in command. There is also a picture of the Holy Sepulchre on the website with a checkered floor in front of it. Hmmm.

Under "Achievements" the website indicates the Order takes care of the material needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Interestingly, in researching the Desposyni, one of the issues the Hebrew Christians had with Pauline Christians was that they expected the Church to provide for the material needs of the family members in Jesus bloodline whom they expected would be the chosen hierarchy of the Church--both bishops and Pope. The pope refused their request. It's an interesting coincidence.

This organization reports directly to the Pope.


A reader sent in two reviews of the new book Rediscovering the Realities of Jesus at this website.

Without reading the book, it's unclear precisely how Jesus is being redefined. The reference to the "Ahmadiyya Sect" would indicate that survival of the crucifixion must be part of the redefinition. No doubt marriage and children are in the mix, since one of the reviewers mentions Mary Magdalene. Sources being cited for the redefinition of Jesus are the Codex Sinaiticus, Dead Sea Scrolls and Gnostic Gospels.


Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington asks whether America can survive the multi-cultural decisions that fragment society rather than acting as a cohesive agent.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Samuel P. Huntington's 1996 book "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" became a best seller. Its thesis was that in a post-cold war world, conflicts between cultures would replace conflicts between nation-states and conflicts between ideologies.

Mr. Huntington's portentous new book looks at the flip side of that thesis: if peoples and countries with similar cultures (that is, values, traditions, religions) are coming together, then countries made up of different cultures are in danger of coming apart. He argues in "Who Are We?" that multiculturalism, diversity and bilingualism in the United States are strengthening racial, ethnic and other "subnational identities" at the expense of an overarching national identity, while global business ties, global communications and global concerns (about matters like the environment and women's rights) are increasingly promoting "transnational" identities among American elites.

As a result, Mr. Huntington suggests, the United States is not only undergoing a profound identity crisis, but it may eventually find its very existence threatened: "Historically the substance of American identity has involved four key components: race, ethnicity, culture (most notably language and religion), and ideology," he writes. "The racial and ethnic Americas are no more. Cultural America is under siege. And as the Soviet experience illustrates, ideology is a weak glue to hold together people otherwise lacking racial, ethnic, and cultural sources of community. Reasons could exist, as Robert Kaplan observed, why `America, more than any other nation, may have been born to die.' "

Blog credit to Crux News


to homosexuals coming up for Communion wearing the rainbow sash: CHICAGO, IL?Cardinal Francis George issued a memo to priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago, ordering them to summarily deny communion to openly gay Catholics wearing rainbow sashes in church this Sunday, the Chicago Sun Times reported Tuesday.

If you go to the website, take a look at the pie chart survey on the right. Are Catholics really that misinformed, or was this a survey taken in the homosexual community?

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily

Friday, May 28, 2004


What an odd painting. Click the thumbnail for a larger view. There are also some links in the website to studies for this painting.


Here are more accounts and analyses from on-scene reporters about Cardinal Law's new Roman appointment. It really is the case, contrary to what some of the Vatican's more slavish defenders in the US are saying in the Catholic blogosphere, that the Vatican intends to honor Law with this appointment. And they know perfectly well what he has done.

Among my list members are those who say that they do not want to see Law punished further, given the evil actions of Cardinals and Bishops who are currently still in the fullness of power and prestige. However, what I am protesting here is not leaving Cardinal Law where he was, as a chaplain to a religious community in the US, but the bestowal of a new honorary position upon him by Rome. Law is still a cardinal, can still vote for the next pope, and still sits on 9 curial departments. Holding all those positions - still, after all he had done - is hardly punishment.

So here is a roundup of stories.


The Word From Rome May 28, 2004

John Allen, the Vatican reporter for National Catholic Reporter, says:


"On May 27, Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston who resigned over his handling of sex abuse allegations, was named Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. The nomination means that Law, 72, will now reside and work in Rome.

I reported that such a move was under consideration in "The Word from Rome" on Feb. 13.

Each of the four major partriarchal basilicas in Rome has a cardinal-archpriest who is the administrator of the facility. Typically it is a quasi-honorary post given at the end of someone's career.

In Law's case, the dynamics were different. In effect, this amounts to a recognition that Law cannot play a public role in the church in the United States, nor could he head a major Vatican agency given both his age and his baggage. This appointment allows him to be part of the Roman scene, continuing to serve as a member of the seven congregations and two councils to which he already belongs, and performing whatever other informal functions might be asked of him.

As I wrote on Feb. 13: "I suspect that Rome is in some ways a more comfortable environment for Law than the States; he is not stalked by TV cameras here, and, rightly or wrongly, many Roman observers regard him with sympathy, believing Law was unfairly made the scapegoat of the American sex abuse crisis."


AM - Sexual abuse victims outraged over Vatican appointment


"Richard Owen is The Times newspaper's Rome Correspondent. He says the appointment is an effective solution to the problem.

RICHARD OWEN: Not a big decision-making job or anything like that, it's a billet and it's an important one with high status.

ALISON CALDWELL: Some people have said in the past that when the Catholic church is confronted by scandals like this one, that instead of actually dealing with the individuals they just move them to another position, out of sight, out of mind. Does this go into that category?

RICHARD OWEN: Well I suppose in the sense this illustrates that point. I don't think that's how the Vatican would see it. They would say that being an archpriest of a major basilica is an important job, you need a senior churchman to do it. The sex abuse scandals in the United States have been highly regrettable, but I think the Pope himself feels that he's as it were, drawn a line under them, and that Cardinal Law has suffered and doesn't really deserve to suffer more."


Boston.com / News / Local / Pope names Law to ceremonial position in Rome


"The appointment, which will indefinitely provide Law with a job and an apartment at the heart of Rome, infuriated critics who blame Law for the clergy sexual abuse scandal and believe that the ensuing crisis in the church led to the need for the sweeping parish closings announced this week.

"This appointment is intended by Rome to honor Cardinal Law for his hard work for the church," Stephen J. Pope, an associate professor of theology at Boston College, said in an e-mail from Rome.


John L. Allen Jr., Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, said in a telephone interview that he has seen apartments at the basilica, although not the apartment of the archpriest, and said of the quarters: "They're spacious and well appointed, but this is not Donald Trump penthouse living. And there is a staff to make life easy."

Allen said the appointment could be viewed as an "act of compassion" by the ailing pope and that there was no significance that it came two days after the parish closings announcement. He said the current archpriest, Cardinal Carlo Furno of Italy, was ready to retire.

"The idea was to find a position in which his baggage would not bog things down, but give him a job which allows him to set up shop here, where he's still treated with deference and respect, in part because he's a cardinal and in part because some people [at the Vatican] think he got a raw deal," Allen said.


BostonHerald.com - Local/ Regional News: Law's Roman holiday: It's home sweet basilica for the disgraced cardinal


"Where Law will live is unclear. The basilica includes an apartment, but Americans who recently returned from Rome said Law already has an apartment in the city. "


And then there are the juicy details in this New York Times story

The New York Times > National > Cardinal Law Given Post at Vatican

This information is directly contradictory to the apologists who are saying on some Catholic blogs that Law is being put on the shelf. or being discreetly disciplined with "Romanita" via this maneuver.

Money quotes from the New York Times story:

"A statement released in the Vatican's daily bulletin announced that Cardinal Law, who resigned in 2002, would become the archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica, a church in a downtown neighborhood of Rome that is under direct Vatican jurisdiction.

The statement said that Cardinal Law, 72, would succeed the 82-year-old Italian Cardinal Carlo Furno, but it did not say when. It made no mention of Cardinal Law's new responsibilities, but a Vatican official said that "now he will be responsible for one of the four most important basilicas" in Rome. "He will be in charge of the administration of the priests and anything related to the basilica," the official said of Cardinal Law. He added that the post "is not a position of power."


"Despite his resignation in Boston, Cardinal Law has remained a powerful American figure in the Vatican. He has posts in as many as nine Vatican congregations, or departments, including the one that determines church leadership worldwide by nominating candidates for bishop. He is a member of the Congregation for Clergy, which has a role in handling sexual abuse cases that are sent to Rome."

and this capstone to it all:

"The appointment could be financially lucrative for Cardinal Law. His predecessor in the job, Cardinal Furno, received a 10,000 euro monthly stipend, or about $12,000, said a former Vatican official who is a friendly acquaintance of Cardinal Furno. Cardinal Furno lived in a palatial apartment alongside the right flank of the basilica that is reserved for the archpriest, said the former official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"It's the classical Roman apartment with frescoes on the wall," the former official said. Cardinal Furno paid for costly renovations, he said, adding, "It's endless."

The appointment is also likely to make Cardinal Law one of the most influential Americans in the Vatican."

[Comment: Law already has plenty of influence, as evidenced by his Curial posts. I am not sure how the addition of this basilica appointment, which another Vatican official says is "not a position of power" will make him MORE influential than he is now.]

and finally this:

"And the job will give him considerable autonomy. While at the Maryland convent, he was technically under the authority of the local bishop. Now, "he answers to no one but the pope," the former Vatican official said."

If the hierarchy wants to be respected, they should act so as to deserve it.

Can we say "golden parachute"? I knew that we could.

I further add: if the Catholic Church wants to bring upon itself a new Reformation, they are acting to bring it about, soon. If, or when, it comes, it will make 1517-1648 look like a garden tea party at the Queen's Palace.

Kyrie eleison.



Catholic Charismatic and promoter of Jungian concepts, (see my April 29 blog) has turned up once again.

A reader found Morton Kelsey in the website of Lucis Trust.

That link will take you to a study titled "The Problems of Humanity: Study Six The Churches and Organized Religion". Kelsey's topic: "Authority, Reason & Western Materialism" p. 4.

There are some other names on the list that might be familiar. Matthew Fox; Alice Bailey, of course; David Spangler; Rupert Sheldrake.

Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios is also there. Perhaps Justin can fill us in on who this man is, if he happens to read this blog.

World Goodwill is an outreach of Lucis Trust,
and is prominently identified on the cover page of the study.


according to the Associated Press report on John Paul II's visit with U.S. bishops:

Pope John Paul II warned several U.S. bishops Friday that American society is in danger of turning against spirituality in favor of materialistic desires, giving way to a "soulless vision of life."

To fight this, the pontiff argued, the U.S. church must study contemporary culture to find a way to appeal to youths. He made his remarks to bishops from Indianapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee who were making a periodic visit to the Vatican.


of the Diocese of Worcester, Mass. has upset the homosexual community with his statement in a newsletter:

The note was in response to Worcester City Clerk David Rushford's public statements that allowing same-sex couples to marry was in line with church teachings on inclusivity.

After recognizing homosexuals as "brothers and sisters in the human family,'' the bishop's note ends: "Moreover, it must be pointed out that Catholics, especially public officials, who willingly and with approval facilitate the legal sanctioning of same-sex unions are involving themselves in cooperation with evil.''

Blogger credit to Crux News


In the midst of the fuss yesterday about Cardinal Law's new appointment, something may have been overlooked.

The Pope has made it clear he does not place the kind of emphasis on the sexual abuse scandal that America places on it. He has claimed it is largely a press-manufactured crisis.

In looking at this new appointment, journalistic focus yesterday was on the juxtaposition of the appointment to the condition of the Boston Diocese under Cardinal Law. In that context the appointment has been condemned as sending the wrong message and offensive to abuse victims. From the American perspective this makes good sense.

But stop for a moment and consider the appointment from the Vatican perspective. Consider the appointment from the viewpoint of that chief concern which has occupied Rome throughout the present Papacy. Ecumenism.

Cardinal Law's last major act before leaving the office of Archbishop was a visit to a mosque on Ramadan where he knelt and bowed his head to the carpet. A story about that event at India New England makes the point:

Introducing Law to the crowd, Chaudhry praised the cardinal's efforts in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Cardinal Law was one of the most prominent religious leaders to embrace Muslims," something others were not willing to do, said Chaudhry.

"What a gift it is tonight for us to be gathered here together tonight," said Law. "Praise be to God for this."

The cardinal emphasized what Catholicism and Islam have in common - in particular the belief in one God.

The two religions also share a reverence for the "beautiful message of Christ," he said, with Islam viewing Jesus as a great prophet.

"Having the cardinal come is very significant," said Amin Rathore, a member of the Wayland mosque for over a decade. Rathore said that, after the Sept. 11 attacks, Law was generous to the Muslim community and had emphasized "that the religion itself has nothing to do with the atrocity."

The church for which Cardinal Law has been given oversight is one of the four basilicas that belong to the Vatican and are closely associated with the Pope. It is just possible that the plans in Rome are to turn this basilica into an interfaith center similar to what is being discussed for Fatima. That plan may have been announced to the world yesterday by the appointment of Cardinal Law.

Thursday, May 27, 2004



Upon further analysis, the story of Cardinal Law and Rome gets darker.

Boston.com / News / Local / Vatican appoints former Boston archbishop head of a Rome basilica

Money quotes:

"The pope's appointment of Cardinal Bernard Law to a ceremonial but highly visible post in Rome was met with both outrage and enthusiasm in the archdiocese Law left in disgrace at the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal. ... Jack Shaughnessy, a Boston businessman and longtime friend of Law, said he was delighted by the appointment, adding that Law has borne too much blame for the scandal, in which church officials nationwide, including Law, shifted pedophile priests between parishes for decades while keeping allegations of sexual misconduct a secret. ... Since his resignation, Law has served as resident chaplain at a convent in Maryland. Law has kept close ties with Rome, serving on nine Vatican congregations and councils. He also retained the title of cardinal, leaving open the possibility that he could take another church post and retaining the right to vote in papal elections until he turns 80. ''There's no question Cardinal Law is held in high esteem and affection by the Holy Father,'' Shaughnessy said. ''This (appointment) gives public affirmation of that.''

How do you like them apples? Law's "longtime friend," at least, does not think that the Cardinal has been disciplined or "put on a shelf" with this appointment.

Cardinal Law still has voice and vote in the councils of the Vatican. A firmly orthodox Catholic priest has told me just now that Law's positions with the Curia remain significant - far more significant than this honorific appointment announced today. Law's positions include membership in the Congregation of Bishops. That means that he gets a say in who is selected as Bishop, worldwide. The same priest told me that Law has recused himself from voting on American bishops, so as to avoid scandal. But, of course, the abuse scandal is worldwide - contrary to the spin put forth by today's inveterate apologists.

And, if a new Conclave comes before Cardinal Law turns 80, he'll have a vote on the next Pope. Does that make you feel warm and toasty, or what?

Unlike the Vatican - and the Pope - the abuse survivors are still connected to reality on this matter.

SNAP Statement on Cardinal Law Appointment

"Statement On Cardinal Law's New Position
by David Clohessy, SNAP National Director

"Why can't Vatican officials see that any position or honor afforded to Law will inevitably and needlessly cause more pain to hundreds who have been abused and have already suffered enough? The insensitivity of top church leaders in Rome continues to be alarming.

But then - as I have noted previously to some recipients of my posts - there may be a simple explanation of Rome's actions.

Read the oath of office that Cardinals take. This came from Zenit, the Legionary-affiliated news service in Rome, last October:

ZENIT News Agency--The World Seen from Rome


Code: ZE03102101

Date: 2003-10-21

Cardinals' Oath on Receiving Biretta

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Below is a translation of the oath of fidelity and obedience to the Pope and his Successors, pronounced today by the 30 new cardinals to whom John Paul II handed the biretta, or cardinal's hat.

* * *

I [name and surname], Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear to be faithful henceforth and forever, while I live, to Christ and his Gospel, being constantly obedient to the Holy Roman Apostolic Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, and of his canonically elected Successors; to maintain communion with the Catholic Church always, in word and deed;
not to reveal to any one what is confided to me in secret, nor to divulge what may bring harm or dishonor to Holy Church; to carry out with great diligence and faithfulness those tasks to which I am called by my service to the Church, in accord with the norms of the law.

So help me Almighty God.

[Translation of the Latin original by ZENIT]


Got that? Read the "not to reveal ... nor to divulge" clause again. This is, on its face, a general vow to keep secrets; it is not limited to keeping the secrets of the Papal Conclave. It appears that covering up "what may bring harm or dishonor to Holy Church" is part of the Cardinals' job.

In techie terms: the cover-up is not a bug in the system; it's a feature.

It seems that we have the explanation of why cover-up bishops and cardinals are, as a rule, not deposed by Rome.

Here are some relevant Bible quotes:

Ezekiel 34: 1-10:

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ho, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? 3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the wild beasts. 6 My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.

7 "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8 As I live, says the Lord GOD, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep; 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10 Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.

and this ...

Jeremiah 23: 1-4

1 "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" says the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: "You have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. 3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says the LORD.

and this ...

Isaiah 56:9-12

9 All you beasts of the field, come to devour--all you beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. The shepherds also have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all. 12 "Come," they say, "let us get wine, let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure."

and this, from the Gospel, when Jesus warned the religous authorities of the "Vatican" of his own day:

Matthew 23: 23-35:

23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! 25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. 26 You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechari'ah the son of Barachi'ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

We laymen cannot depose the bad bishops and Cardinals, but we can pray, and we can tell the truth about the situation.

Pray ... for the victims, and for the conversion of the perpetrators and of the malfeasant authorities.

Kyrie eleison.



planned for this Sunday according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press:

This Sunday at the Cathedral of St. Paul, a 1960s liberal anti-war activist turned orthodox church layman plans to stand ? literally ? in the way of gay Catholics and their supporters to prevent them from taking Holy Communion.

"I've never seen such an event unfold in a Catholic Mass, and I'm 50 years old,'' said Brian McNeill of Minneapolis, who helps organize the annual gay-rights presence at the Cathedral on Pentecost Sunday.

David Pence's plan has startled leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

It also shocked members of the Rainbow Sash Alliance in the Twin Cities, who have joined others in a worldwide movement the past several years by wearing sashes to Mass on Pentecost Sunday. They say they wear the sashes as a plea for "a conversion of heart'' toward the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics.

Thanks to a reader for sending this story in.


According to Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., Chancellor of the Florida university, eleventh hour negotiations have been launched to pursue an alternative plan: in fact, to "merge" Ave Maria College into Madonna University. Located twenty miles from AMC, it currently has a student population of 4,500 students, only 52 percentof whom are Catholic, according to its website.

The term "merge" here is something of a euphemism since Ave Maria, like St. Mary?s, would likely be absorbed into Madonna into what amounts to a corporate takeover. No consultations have been held with the Ave Maria faculty, staff or students. While Madonna University has long been well-respected for technical programs run by the Felician Sisters, what is it going to do with another high-powered liberal arts college shoved under its roof?

The ramifications of such a "merger" for Ave Maria Michigan?s students, faculty, and staff are potentially devastating. Students who have graduated in the past two years, for example, wonder if their diplomas will be accredited. Staff members, some of whom made great sacrifices to take up employment at Ave Maria, fear being turned out of a job, and professors, most of them lured away from lucrative tenured or tenure-track positions at other institutions, face having to re-enter the already over-bloated academic job market. The reward for their previous sacrifices would effectively be a hammer to the kneecaps.

Read more on this at the CruxNews website, including this bit of commentary from Michael Rose:

Ave Maria College, founded in 1998, was once the flagship of Tom Monaghan?s educational empire. When he decided to lead his Ave Maria Foundation down to Florida?s Big Cyprus Swamp in hopes of building a Catholic Xanadu, less than half of the faculty and staff volunteered to follow the emperor and his money.


From a report dated July 2003, at International News Analysis - Today:

Clerical abuse against children, charges of Mafia-style cover-ups, and the destruction of Catholic moral teaching are tearing at the Catholic Church, and turning the 2,000 year-old faith into fodder for lowbrow comedy.

An affidavit recently obtained by INA Today attributes the Catholic Church's present state of collapse to a calculated attack beginning decades ago, with initial successes appearing in the 1960s.

The affidavit affirms that Communist Party organizer and high Party official, Bella Dodd, made public statements during the decade of the 1960s declaring that the Catholic priesthood was infiltrated by numerous Communist agents, whose mission was "to destroy the Catholic Church from within."

Dodd later returned to the Catholic Church and published a book about her experiences, entitled School of Darkness (out of print at present).

The book is available through interlibrary loan for anyone who is interested in reading it.

Although the precise extent of Communist infiltration of which Dodd spoke remains unknown, the effects are recognizable. Today, traditional Catholic beliefs, practices, and morality are not merely questioned, but are denounced and scorned by many of those who should protect and profess Church doctrine.

Mrs. Leininger, who confirmed Dodd's statements, told INA Today that she knows of several priests who faithfully taught the Catholic religion until they became bishops or were promoted to other influential posts, and then immediately exhibited hostility to that same faith which they had previously professed.

Leininger described these priests as "sleepers," a term designating individuals or groups who carry out their espionage function only at a selected time. Before becoming active, the "sleeper" will refrain from any espionage or subversive functions.

Dodd's infiltrators -- those who lost or never actually held the Catholic faith -- would have been the mentors of the present generation of Catholic priests and bishops, in effect conducting their own "School of Darkness."


A reader found the Lucis Trust website announcing this event.

World Invocation Day is a world day of prayer when men and women of every spiritual path join in a universal appeal to divinity and use the Great Invocation. Together they focus the invocative demand of humanity for the light, the love and the spiritual direction needed to build a world of justice, unity and peace.

As we begin the new millennium, we face the fact that materialistic values have led humanity to a state of profound crisis. Our very survival is threatened, not only by militarism, but by our lack of wisdom and will to feed the hungry, to share our plentiful resources, and to solve the many other critical problems which confront the human family.

The Great Invocation also appears in fine print on the right-hand column at the website. If anyone knows of plans in your community for this day to be commemorated, would you please email the information to me.

(original version)

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men ?
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.


Truth is stranger than fiction.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette Online - APN

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Vatican appoints former Boston archbishop head of a Rome basilica

The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY- Pope John Paul II on Thursday gave Cardinal Bernard F. Law an official position in Rome, naming the former Boston archbishop who resigned in the sex abuse scandal as head of a basilica.

Law will have the title archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica, a largely ceremonial post often given to retired prelates.

The 72-year-old Law resigned Dec. 13, 2002, to quell an outcry over his handling of sex abuse cases. He was the highest-ranking church leader to lose his job over the scandal that began in Boston and spread to Roman Catholic dioceses across the U.S., plunging the church into an unprecedented moral and financial crisis...

[go to the website to read the rest of the story]

In case you have forgotten about Law's accomplishments, read this book, a summary of the Boston Globe's coverage of the Scandal:

Amazon.com: Books: Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church

and for details about what the hierarchy did about the Scandal in the mid-1980s to early 1990s, read this:

Amazon.com: Books: Lead Us Not into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children

and to see the story about the Scandal and the Legionaries of Christ - which is highly favored by the Pope - read this:

Amazon.com: Books: Vows of Silence : The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II

The sex abuse scandal goes right up to the throne of the Pope; his newest action confirms this.

Kyrie eleison.



A reader sent in this Share International essay titled "The Path to the Sun" by the Master -, through Benjamin Creme:

The time is coming when humanity will learn the truth of the immeasurable service rendered to them by those from our sister planets using craft we call UFO's.


Crux News has linked a story about a priest, arrested at an interstate rest stop in a police sting, who has undergone "treatment," the nature of which will not be revealed, and is now being considered for assignment to three parishes by the Archbishop of Indianapolis. There is a picture of this priest at the website, showing him wearing a rainbow stole.

"Forgiveness" is the theme, but what does that rainbow stole tell parishioners? The message seems to be that the priest still identifies with those whose homosexual lifestyle includes sexual contact. As such, it can't help but bring to mind the sexual abuse of minors. At the very least it is a defiance of the teachings of the Church on homosexuality.

Lurking in the background is also the threat of AIDS which dogs the active homosexual. Will some parishioners be revolted by the communion cup when their priest is advertising his proclivities during Mass?


"ordered 25 cases of Kabbalah Water [??] blessed and positive energy-charged with Jewish mysticism - for backstage at Monday's opening night of her Reinvention World Tour."

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily


in an interview with Zenit, wherein he explains the reasons for the document "Instruction on Eucharist":

The Eucharistic celebration is not an ecumenical celebration because it is an internal celebration of the Catholic Church.

It is the highest celebration of the Church by Catholics who have full communion of faith and morals with the Pope and with the bishops in communion with him.

An ecumenical celebration is a good thing when duly approved by heads of the Christian religious communities involved. An example is a prayer or Bible service by Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and Presbyterians. An ecumenical celebration is very different from a Mass.

It is clearer still that the Eucharistic celebration is not a service for Jews, Muslims, Hindus and followers of traditional religions. What we believe guides how we pray.

With this guideline in mind, drawing a sharp line between what is permissible for ecumenical services and what is anethema--specifically that the Eucharist must be guarded in every way from profanation via interreligious services--perhaps the impression of syncretism and even blasphemy in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue could be avoided.


was the topic chosen by the Pope for his general audience yesterday. His remarks were given in Italian and are translated at Zenit. The Canticle is about the last days of the reign of Satan and Christ's final judgment. A summary of his remarks wass given in English and appears at the end of the article:

The canticle that we have just heard is a hymn of praise to God, the Lord of history and the world, who is ready to establish his kingdom of justice, love and truth. God is both Judge and Savior. He condemns evil and rewards faithfulness; he is just, but is not lacking in compassion.

Satan, the Accuser, is cast out, and he has no more power over the righteous. The heavenly hosts are invited to sing out in joy for the salvation that has been wrought. We too add our voices to this great hymn of thanksgiving, and we are filled with hope as we continue our journey toward glory.

[The Holy Father then greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

I am pleased to greet the English-speaking visitors present at this audience today, in particular the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Chicago led by their archbishop, Cardinal Francis George. Upon all of you, especially those from England, Ireland, Sweden, Indonesia and the United States of America, I cordially invoke an abundance of grace and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.

This can be read as either just another pius general instruction, or it can be read as a warning and message of hope because he believes many people living now will see the actual last days of the world. Of course the faith teaches that all days since the resurrection are the end days. Nevertheless, there will come an actual time when the world comes to an end. It's an interesting choice of topic at any rate.


BOSTON (AP) - A member of a Roman Catholic religious order has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted eight altar boys at a Boston church in the 1960s and 1970s.

Franciscan brother Fidelis DeBerardinis, 76, entered his plea in Suffolk Superior Court on Tuesday after a judge last week ruled that he was competent to stand trial.

"The strong evidence developed by our office and the Boston Police Department allowed us to hold this man accountable for the physical and emotional harm he inflicted on children to whom he served as an authority figure," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


LONDON - England's Roman Catholic Church officially distanced itself Wednesday from Vatican doctrine on the "evil" of same-sex unions, declaring that some "remedy by law" might be necessary to remove barriers to gay partnerships.

The softer position on gay rights emerged Wednesday in a new, 103-page teaching document, "Cherishing Life," outlining the views of the Catholic Church of England and Wales on life, morality and many of the controversial issues confronting modern society.

Endorsed by the church's head, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the document adds heft to the pronouncements of senior Catholic officials in Spain and Belgium that the church needs to recognize same-sex relationships.


I brought up the term in Amy Welborn's website, and it got the usual jeering response, so I dug up the following and posted it there. And making good use of research time demands that I post it here as well. So here is my response to the "unbeliever":

I know it's popular to make fun of things like this, however something is sparking books such as Da Vinci.

Dr. Richley H. Crapo, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah, speaks of the Desposyni in his online paper titled "An Anthropologist Looks at the Judeo-Christian Scriptures" where he says:

Thus, leadership of the movement continued to be held by kinsmen of Jesus. In fact, Eusebius quotes (Ecclesiastical History 4.22). This passing of leadership to other relatives is reminiscent of the same dynastic pattern that is seen later in Islam. The kinsmen of Jesus held a special reverence in the early church. They were known as the desposyni, a Greek term meaning "beloved of the Lord."

Robert M. Price, Drew University, cites Robert Eiseman's book James the Brother of Jesus. He indicates:

His working hypothesis is that the confusions, alterations, and obfuscations stem from an interest in covering over the importance, and therefore the identity, of the desposyni, the Heirs of Jesus, who had apparently functioned at least for Palestinian Christianity as a dynastic Caliphate similar to the Alid succession of Shi'ite Islam or the succession of Hasmonean brothers.

Price implies that this is new material from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Wheaton College Graduate School, in their Distance Learning website "Glimpses of Jewish Christianity from the End of Acts" says:

Symeon was succeeded by "a certain Jew named Justus" who does not appear to have been a member of the Desposyni. The phrase applied to Justus, "one of many thousands of the circumcision who by that time had believed on Christ," is reminiscent of the language of Acts 21:20. It probably indicates the continued presence in the Jewish Church of those Jewish Christians who desired to remain close to Jewish customs.

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, has an entry that mentions the Desposyni.

If you Google Desposyni, you will get 837 hits. I think that's a few more than your Didyaceaum sect will produce. Eusebius is usually cited as a source for this information. Is there something in the Dead Sea Scrolls find that has brought this on?


Some food for thought in an article from the Editor of NCR, sent in by a reader:

In this new era some bishops seem intent on applying absolute rules and attendant punishments. It is fast becoming clear, however, that not all bishops hold the same absolutes in common. So John Kerry would be denied Communion in St. Louis and Philadelphia, but be welcomed in Cincinnati and Los Angeles; he and his followers presumably would be turned away in Denver and Colorado Springs but permitted to receive in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Word has it that another East Coast bishop will announce on the side of tolerance sometime soon. Where would the pope land in this discussion? After all, as John Allen reported in his Jan. 2 column and as America magazine points out in its May 24 editorial, the pope himself, in February 2003, gave Communion to England?s Prime Minister Tony Blair, a pro-choice politician and an Anglican.


A reader sent in a Masonic history timeline. It appears on the website of Cessnock & Maitland - Freemasonry District 45 of New South Wales.

At the "About This Site" link you will find:

This site is created and maintained by Wor Bro Andrew J. Bradley, Secretary of Lodge Paxton, and was compiled with the assistance, and for the benefit, of each Lodge and Order in District 45 of the UGL of NSW & ACT. I must, however, accept any responsibility for errors and omissions. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated and can be sent to me. This site was launched on 10th October 2000 at Lodge Paxton's 847th meeting and is ? Lodge Paxton (No 608, UGL of NSW & ACT).

There are some interesting entries on the Masonic History timeline:

967 BC * The building of King Solomon's temple begins.
960 BC * Construction of King Solomon's Temple completed.

* At the time of Christ, there exists in Palestine three religious sects - the Essenes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees. The Essenes are the strictest with a high moral code, a secret ceremony, and a great similarity in character to the Craft today. It is sometimes argued that Christ was a member of the Essenes in his formative years up to manhood when he commenced his general preaching. He never spoke against the Essenes, but did against the Pharisees and Sadducees.
* Upon the fall of the Roman Empire, many Collegia migrate to the island of Como and preserve the Stonemasons' art. They later emerge as the Comocine Builders to construct the many Cathedrals during the Middle ages from 500AD until 1390 AD. This subject is still very much debated.

1278 AD * The use of the word "lodge" appears in the records of the Vale Royal Abbey.

1376 AD * The Freemason and Mason Company of London is in existence, probably as a craft Guild.
* The first known use of the word "Freemason" is recorded in the City of London Letter Book H dated 9th August. The word is later stricken off and replaced with the word "Mason".

1598 AD * William Schaw, who became Master of the Works in Scotland in 1584 AD, promulgated two sets of rules - the first (in 1598) regulating the Masons of Scotland, the second (in 1599) giving the Lodge of Kilwinning (No 0, GL of Scotland) supervisory powers over the Lodges of West Scotland. It also uses the term "Fellow of the Craft".

1600 AD * The first record is made of the admission of a non-operative Mason in a Lodge in Scotland. John Boswell, Laird of Auchinlech, becomes a member of Lodge Edinburgh.
* The York Manuscript No 1, commonly called the York Rolls (now in the possession of York Lodge No 236) contains the word "Freemason"

1963 AD * Knoop, Jones, & Hamer publish Early Masonic Catechisms (2nd ed).

1964 AD * On 29th Dec, Bishop Mendez Arceo of Mexico, expresses his view at Vatican II that Roman Catholics should make peace with the Freemasons of the World.
* Alec Mellor (a Roman Catholic) publishes Our Separated Brethren - The Freemasons. He later becomes a Freemason and a member of Phoenix Lodge of Research No 30 (GLNF).

1968 AD * Bro Harry Carr meets with Cardinal Heenan in London on 8th March to discuss the relationship of Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Church. As a result of these discussions, the anti-Masonic tracts sold in Roman Catholic churches in London are removed from the stacks.

1971 AD * Bro Harry Carr has several more conferences with Cardinal Heenan. This leads to a friendly relationship developing between the Craft and the Roman Catholic Church. On 26th April it is rumoured that the Church is about to change its rule about barring Masonic membership to its members.
* King Solomon's Temple in the Masonic Tradition by Alex Horne is published.

1974 AD * The Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (as the Roman Inquisition was renamed by the Pope in 1965) sends a letter to the various Episcopal Conferences on 19th June informing them that Cannon 2335 prohibiting its members from joining Freemasonry is to be interpreted to apply to such groups as are opposed to Church.

1979 AD * Pope John Paul II visits Chicago while the Grand Lodge is in session. The Grand Master and Grand Wardens, by special invitation, attend a Mass conducted by the Pope in Grant Park.


former member of the Process Church, is mentioned in this article at U.S. News about biotechnology:

What if, by taking a drug, you could possess an IQ of 250? Or by tinkering with your genes, have the athletic prowess of a decathlete? Or by injecting yourself with stem cells, live to be 160? Would you do it? Would these enhancements make you less human? If everyone did this, would the world become a paradise full of self-actualized superpeople? Or a dystopian Stepford society devoid of essential human values such as compassion for the less blessed?

What seems like fodder for a science fiction potboiler has become a matter of deadly serious debate among scientists and ethicists. In a speech last year before a gathering of enhancement advocates, William Sims Bainbridge, a deputy director at the National Science Foundation who studies the societal impact of technology, warned that "scientists may be forced into rebellion in order to carry out research prohibited unnecessarily by powerful institutions."

Are you thinking about the implications of having a satanist working in biotechnology and holding the deputy director's position at the National Science Foundation?


gets good press in this Examiner News guest editorial.

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is working with shelters and rescue groups nationwide to bring about a time when there will be no more homeless pets. Best Friends operates the nation?s largest sanctuary for homeless animals, provides adoption, spay-neuter and educational programs and publishes Best Friends, the nation?s largest general-interest animal magazine.

Kathi McDermott is community programs manager for Best Friends Animal Society.

No one would know the Process Church lurks in the background.


Planet Out has an opinion piece written by The Most Reverend Michael Seneco. The piece discusses a murder of two gay men in Macon, Georgia. What I found most interesting about the piece is the bio. of the author:

Abp. Michael Seneco is president of The National Conference of Independent Catholic Bishops (www.ncicb.org ), which represents liberal Catholic bishops who are not under control of Rome or the pope. He is associate rector of the Cathedral of Saint John the Beloved in Washington, D.C., where he resides with his husband, Human Rights Campaign staffer Alfredo Alvarez.

It's the first time I've seen "resides with his husband". How is the designation "husband" determined? Or could it just as well say "wife"?


From the Globe and Mail:

So Canada's Roman Catholic bishops are getting involved in the election and have outlined 13 key issues they are asking Catholics to consider when deciding how to vote....

The top five issues are certainly conservative and include abortion, reproductive technologies, and same-sex marriage. As you go down the list, you move to the centre of the political spectrum and over to the left, covering health care, "Star Wars" and nuclear weapons, poverty, aboriginal equity, affordable housing, refugee rights and foreign aid. Indeed, on refugee rights, churches have given sanctuary to desperate claimants, some of whom are not Catholic....

This is a high-stakes battle for the church. It may lose many younger, more socially progressive members, but may strengthen the undying loyalty of an older, more multiethnic demographic -- the people who go to church every Sunday.


From LifeSite:

WORCESTER, May. 24 (CWNews.com/LifeSiteNews.com) - A Massachusetts bishop has warned Catholics that they should not be involved in the legal recognition of same-sex unions.

Just a week after his installation as head of the Worcester diocese, Bishop Robert McManus issued a strong statement teaching same-sex "marriages" are "clear and serious violations of the law of God and moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church."

City and town clerks in Massachusetts began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples on May 17: the day after Bishop McManus assumed his new episcopal duties. Referring to the court decision that authorized same-sex unions, the new bishop said: "The judicial decision of a court can never make morally right what is by nature morally wrong."


From Boston.com:

CHICAGO -- Cardinal Francis George has told priests in the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago to deny Communion to gay members of the church who show up for services Sunday wearing a rainbow sash, the symbol of a protest organized by a group pushing for the church to accept homosexuals.

In a letter sent to the archdiocese's 375 priests last week, George writes that the protest organized by the Rainbow Sash Movement (USA) signals "opposition to church teaching" and that the sash is an overt statement that the wearer is in conflict with Catholic teachings.

"The Rainbow Sash Movement wants its members to be fully accepted in the Church, not on the same conditions as any Catholic, but precisely as a gay," George wrote. "With this comes the requirement that the Church change her moral teaching, which is from the Lord and His Apostles."


living in La Crosse:

With Gregorian chants playing in the background and a fragrant pipe tobacco smoldering like incense in a bowl, the Dead Theologians Society of La Crosse gathers each week in a limestone basement chapel to read by candlelight the writings of the early church fathers or ponder the lives of saints. Advertisement Advertise Info. Directory "I enjoy it. I enjoy the people. I enjoy learning what we learn," said Andrea Thompson, a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student who has been meeting with the college-age group since it started last summer at Youthope Center, 1353 Caledonia St.

The learning, interspersed with prayer, discussions of Roman Catholic Church teachings and personal sharing and reflection, covers the gamut of early church leaders from popes such as St. Clement of Rome to more recent leaders such as St. Therese of Lisieux, the "Little Flower of Jesus." Therese, a French Carmelite nun who died at age 24 in 1897, left an autobiography recording her journey of faith.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


Faela is 13 years old; Joseph is just under six months. Sitting on the dusty ground in Bunia's largest camp for internally-displaced people (IDPs), she cradles Joseph in her arms, and talks about how she ensures that she and her son are fed.

"If I go and see the soldiers at night and sleep with them, then they sometimes give me food, maybe a banana or a cake," she says, looking down at her son. "I have to do it with them because there is nobody to care, nobody else to protect Joseph except me. He is all I have and I must look after him."

It is a story that might not sound out of place in any part of the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo but for one thing: the soldiers Faela is talking about are not from the rebel groups who have devastated Ituri province, in the north-east of the country, during the past four and a half years of conflict. Rather, they are part of the United Nations peacekeeping force, Monuc (UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo), and are stationed on UN orders next to the IDP camp in Bunia.

Blogger credit to Crux News


A priest at Saint Patrick's Church in Portland, Mich., was arrested by Warren police Monday after he allegedly arranged a meeting with someone he thought was a teenage girl.

Rev. Shamaun Beas, from Pakistan, is a visiting priest at Saint Patrick's. Police say he drove from Portland to Warren where he arranged a sexual encounter with an undercover officer who posed as the girl.>br>
Warren police were waiting for Beas when he arrived....

Beas is charged with eight counts, including child sexually abusive activity, using a computer to commit a crime and using a computer to distribute obscene material.

Blogger credit to Crux News


William Kennedy indicates in his online paper about the Desposyni that there is a close tie between Mormonism and Freemasonry. In fact, he devotes one section of the paper to this topic. In that section he discusses the hierarchy of the Mormon priesthood, of which the Melchezidek Priesthood, the highest rank, "has the authority to give the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands."

Speaking in tongues is a language of its own according to this Mormon website:

Brigham Young prophet, seer and revelator of the Mormon church, spoke "in tongues". Speaking in tongues means talking Adamic.

"As soon as we arose from our knees the brethren flocked around him, and asked his [Brigham Young's] opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me. He told them it was the pure Adamic language. "

"The members of the branch in Pennsylvania were the first in the Church who received the gift of tongues."

"Brother Alpheus Gifford commenced speaking in tongues. Soon the Spirit came on me, and I spoke in tongues, and we thought only of the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles were clothed upon with cloven tongues of fire. "

" We exhorted them and prayed with them, and I spoke in tongues. Some pronounced it genuine and from the Lord, and others pronounced it of the devil."

"He called upon me to pray; in my prayer I spoke in tongues."

" I found the Saints in confusion; they had the gift of tongues among them, and the interpretation, and they were so ignorant of the nature of these gifts that they supposed that everything which was spoken in tongues was immediate revelation from God; a false spirit had therefore crept in, and division was the result."

This Mormon website gives the chronological history of speaking in tongues in the Mormon Church. It begins in December, 1830, and moves on to Mennonite speaking in tongues in June 1831.

A University of Virginia website gives some history of Mormon women. It has this to say about speaking in tongues:

However, whether or not to be baptized would not be the only challenge Mormon women faced in the early days of the church, and manifestations of the spirit changed as the trek out West grew longer. In an effort to find strength while confronting adversity, Mormon women relied on the "gift of tongues," or inspired religious dialogue spoken in another language other than English and then interpreted. Although Smith discouraged the use of the gift of tongues in 1839, the practice continued to flourish among women, reaffirming their faith as they encountered obstacles such as polygamy. Eliza R. Snow's trail diary is littered with references to speaking in tongues such as, "I spoke & she interpreted," "Moth. Cutler receiv'd the gift of tongues," etc. (Snow 176-177).

This Brigham Young University website gives the biography of Brigham Young citing his first experience of glossolalia:

That fall, after Miriam's death, Brigham, his brother Joseph, and Heber Kimball, traveled to Kirtland, Ohio, where he first met the twenty-six-year-old Prophet Joseph Smith. Invited to evening prayer in the Smith home, Brigham was moved by the Spirit and spoke in tongues, the first speaking in tongues witnessed by the Prophet.


From the California Freemason On-Line:

Mormonism and Freemasonry are so intimately interwoven and interrelated that the two can never be dissociated. Mormonism was born in the throes of the holocaust provoked by the Anti-Masonic Morgan affair of 1826. What I shall attempt to cover is the period from the beginning of Mormonism is the 1820's, with its early Masonic ties, through social and political upheaval in New York State tied into the so-called Morgan Affair, the establishment and marriage of Freemasonry and Mormonism in Nauvoo, Illinois; the assassination of Joseph Smith by members of the Masonic Fraternity, the subsequent exodus to Utah by Brigham Young, the rejection of Mormonism by Utah Freemasonry, and finally the coming of universal Freemasonry to Utah.

From lds-mormon.com:

The temple ordinances are the same as those practiced thousands of years ago. The reason for the similarities to the Masonic rites is that the Masons carried on a practice that gradually became corrupted which Joseph Smith restored as the 'true endowment' after learning about Masonry.

From the Gnosis Archive, "Joseph Smith: America's Hermetic Prophet". A link on that website will take you to "Joseph Smith and Kabbalah: The Occult Connection".


I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg


Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?


From Pravda. I'm not going to quote. You have to read the whole article.

Thanks to a reader for sending the story in.


Yeah, I know. I hadn't heard the word either, until reading Lucifer's Lodge. Kennedy explains it this way:

The most hallowed name, desposyni, had been respected by all believers in the first century and a half of Christian history. The word literally meant, in Greek, "belonging to the Lord." It was reserved uniquely for Jesus' blood relatives. Every part of the ancient Jewish Christian church had always been governed by a desposynos, and each of them carried one of the names traditional in Jesus' family--Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Simeon, Matthias, and so on. But no one was ever called Jesus. Neither Sylvester nor any of the thirty-two popes before him, nor those succeeding him, ever emphasized that there were at least three well-known and authentic lines of legitimate blood descent from Jesus' own family....
This was the last known dialogue with the Sabbath-keeping church in the East led by the disciples who were descended from blood relatives of Jesus the Messiah.

Desposyni believed they were the body, blood, and spirit of Jesus Christ and that they had the right to marry, to have children, to run the Church, and pass on papal leadership to their offspring. This heresy may have been where Celsus received the notion that Jesus was a sex fiend. Most likely this belief was a Desposyni tenet, which they used to justify their own sexual practices. Martin believed that they died out in the fourth century, but some may have survived and their congregations could have easily kept these sexual teachings alive in the Church by going underground.

According to J. H. Burns in The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought (1988), Pope Paul I (757-767) bestowed up (sic) the Merovingian House of France the designation minister dei (divine leaders), anointed their aristocracy as "Davids" and "Solomons," and declared their kingdom a "New Israel." Employing a rarely used theological power called translatio imperii, the Holy Father transferred the divine right rule of the House of David to the Franks.

This measure may have been employed because of
Desposyni intermarriage with Merovingians. (p. 98-99)

If he is correct, this may be the source of the claims made by the book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail. It might start to explain Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. It might also shed light on the Albigensian Heresy.

Kennedy references Malachi Martin's discussion of the Desposyni in his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church. He then goes on to make speculations about some possible connections between this early group of Jewish Christians and sexual abuse in the Church.

Kennedy has a paper online titled "The Orbis Enigma: Do the 'Descendants' of Jesus Christ Seek to Rule the World?" which develops this idea further.


From the Catholic Herald:

Two weeks ago in this space I wrote about a courageous young priest who led a pro-life counterdemonstration during the "March for Women?s Lives" in Washington (See "Descent into Hell," 5/13/04, page 4). Karen A. Torres, a pro-life woman from Manassas, attended the march with her two daughters. She described in horrid detail the venom spewed forth from the pro-abortion marchers toward a priest who was holding a crucifix and praying the rosary. Torres requested help from our readers in identifying the priest so she could thank him for his courageous witness. "Despite having the worst verbal abuse directed toward him," Torres said, "the priest never lost his calm or prayerful focus. He exhibited patient compassion in the face of unremitting hate."...

It turns out the "mystery priest" is Father John K. Nesbella, parochial vicar of Prince of Peace Parish in Northern Cambria, Pa., in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Father Nesbella, who was ordained in 2002, led a busload of 35 parishioners to Washington for the march. He also serves as chaplain of the Blue Knights Homeschool Group in Northern Cambia....


From the Kansas City Star

DETROIT - (KRT) - On the roof of the Al-Islah Islamic Center in Hamtramck, Mich., a tall post with three loudspeakers stands ready to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer.

The installation is simple, but the issues surrounding it have grown far more complex than anyone expected.

They have thrust a city known for its Polish Catholic heritage - a city once visited by Pope John Paul II - into a nasty war of words over religious rights and the standing of Islam in America.

Not only does there seem to be controversy over the call to prayer, it also appears that the reporter is trying to make it a Catholic vs. Muslim debate.


As president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, John Giles is no stranger to a pew. Yet he remembers well the time he got lost in a Roman Catholic church.

"I couldn't even follow the order of service, it was so foreign to me," Giles says of that day some six years ago.

Since then he's found his way and a new home in the Roman Catholic church - a home that might seem foreign to the overwhelmingly Protestant church population of Alabama.

"I have to admit to you that the whole time that I was in that church service, I was reduced to tears, and I couldn't explain it," Giles said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press.

"In fact," he jokes, "you would have thought I had been spending the whole weekend down at the House of the Rising Sun down in New Orleans, that I had all this sin in my life that I had to get out."

In any case, Giles and his wife, Deborah, were received into the Catholic Church at St. Peter's Parish in Montgomery on Easter Sunday.


From the New York Post Online Edition:

May 25, 2004 -- A 11-year-old Queens fifth-grader was booted from her Catholic elementary school for blowing the whistle on a bizarre sex-bracelets game....

Megan said getting the boot was unfair, but her mother, Michelle, 33, was much angrier.

"I'm outraged," she declared.

Michelle said school officials claimed she slandered Holy Child by allowing her daughter to be photographed by The Post in front of it wearing bracelets and rings that represent different sex acts.

"I didn't slander anybody," said Michelle, after her daughter's expulsion was reported on Fox News. "But what they did today - throwing my daughter out of school - that's slander."

It appears that no one is denying that this bracelet activity is taking place. It's not the fact that this sort of immorality was occurring in Catholic school that has upset the administration. It is the fact that the girl was on the front page of the Sunday Post.

"They said I did an un-Christian thing," Michelle said. "They said if there was a problem, I should have reported it to them first. But I feel I was right to let other parents know what their children are doing."

Has Sister Diane Androvich, the principal, been taking bishop lessons?


is the faith practiced in the Catholic Diocese of One Spirit in Clifton, VA. They have just ordained a woman priest whose husband is an ordained Unitarian minister.

The newly ordained has been a resident chaplain at two hospitals in Colorado and three in California. I wonder if she was called when a Roman Catholic priest was not available?

Monday, May 24, 2004


In recent weeks, what Fr. Andrew Greeley has labeled "the fringe of the hierarchy" has been busy overtime. The theological offspring of the peculiar ways of Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., (where the real cathedral is a football stadium), and their spiritual kin, many newly in bishops' robes, have been grabbing headlines.

Bruskewitz is famous for, among other things, excommunicating Catholics in his diocese who belonged to a reform group that counted among its members several other bishops and hundreds of priests and nuns.

It is all rather embarrassing for many Catholics who wouldn't mind their bishops mixing it up in the public square with reasonable arguments. But when the fringe captures the spotlight by using the Eucharist as a political bludgeon, few in the media pay much attention to the more senior members of the hierarchy (and a few with red hats) who speak in more moderate tones.

"Where did these guys come from?" novelist Greeley asks about the fringe in his May 21 column for the Chicago Sun-Times. "Never in my wildest moments could I come up with these high jinks for one of my stories. They're not typical, I hasten to add, but they're out there just the same, making the church look terrible."

They may not be typical, but they are in favor in Rome.

That's how Archbishop John H. Myers, who grew up in rural Illinois and was formerly bishop of Peoria, Ill., ended up in Newark, N.J. Myers fits this papal administration's template for upward career mobility. Staunchly conservative, he is a prolific pastoral letter writer, a soldier in a campaign against the prevailing culture and someone for whom, given the nature of those letters, there are no unanswered questions or shades of gray.

Looks like the white gloves are coming off!

Thanks to a reader for sending in the link.


I've just learned that Catholic education uses this concept of the four temperaments. It's the first time I've encountered the idea anywhere outside of Anthroposophy, and so finding it in Catholic material was quite a surprise. When did this become a Catholic concept?

This blog is an effort to answer that question.

The Neumann Press publishes a book to be used for home schooling titled Home Education Guide: Keeping it Catholic Series Volume I the Foundations. At the website the book is described this way:

HOME EDUCATION GUIDE Keeping it Catholic Series Volume 1 The Foundations. By Marianna Bartold. AT LAST!! The first of its kind for Catholic homeschoolers. Features educational tips, details and reviews of products, programs, publishers and other homeschool suppliers. The entire series creates a complete family resource guide that helps you customize your own Catholic curriculum, select a Catholic home study program and everything else you need to provide a Catholic education in your home. In this Volume 1 "The Foundations", you will find: The Four Pillars of Catholic Education, Understanding the Catholic Conscience, Church Teachings on Catholic Education, The Four Temperaments: Foundations of Character, Learning Styles: The Theories, A Catholic Overview of Popular Methods, Reviews of Parent Help Resources, The Expanded Red Flag List, and much more. The author (a homeschool editor, publisher, internet moderator and teacher) is a well-known expert in the Catholic Homeschooling field.(bolding mine)

Evidence that this is used in Waldorf Education and is thought to have been developed by Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner:

Here is a Waldorf School website which claims that this concept is what makes it a Waldorf School.

This website--The Common Vision: Rudolf Steiner--talks about the four temperaments under the subheading "Steiner's Vision of Human Becoming."

Here at OpenWaldorf.com is a chart depicting the four temperaments.

In fact, no Waldorf School would call itself Waldorf without using the four temperaments in its curriculum.

PLANS (People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools, Inc.) is the parents group formed to fight Waldorf Schools, particularly as they have become state financed Charter Schools. A PLANS Press release has this to say about the four temperaments:

Public school teachers were taught at the Rudolf Steiner College to categorize school children and make decisions about them according to the Anthroposophical belief in the medieval doctrine of "The Four Temperaments." They were taught to associate the child's temperament with signs of the Zodiac.

At Blavatsky.net you will find this passage:

And �liphas L�vi:

The Astral Light is saturated with elementary souls which it discharges in the incessant generation of beings. . . . At the birth of a child they influence the four temperaments of the latter: the element of the Gnomes predominates in melancholy persons; of the Salamanders in the sanguine; of the Undines in the phlegmatic; of the Sylphs in the giddy and bilious. . . . These are the spirits which we designate under the term of occult elements (Rituel de la Haute Magie, vol. ii. chapter on the "Conjuration of the Four Classes of Elementary").

There are many more occult websites that speak of this concept.

Bob Jones University mentions it too.

Returning to the Catholic use of the concept:

The Angelus Press website offers a book by Rev. Fr. Conrad Hock titled The Four Temperaments.

Catholic Apostolic Press offers The Four Temperaments with a Nihil Obstat, an Imprimatur, and an Imprimi Potest. There is a date here of June 1934. Did this book copy Steiner's teaching?

Traditional Catholic Magazine offers Successful Parenting: The Four Temperaments by Sr. Mary Cabrini, O.P.

The Catholic Encyclopedia includes the four temperaments in its entry for Character. This puts it back to 1903. A passage from the entry takes it back even further:

The original endowment or native element in character with which the individual starts life is practically identical with what the Ancients and the Schoolmen recognized under the term temperament. From the times of Hippocrates and Galen they distinguished four main types of temperament: the sanguine, the choleric, the phlegmatic, and the melancholic.

Did Steiner get it here rather than from clairvoyant access to the Akashic Record, whence comes most of his concepts?

The eighth chapter of the book, Rudolf Steiner on Education: A Compendium by Roy Wilkinson, Hawthorn Press, 1993, is titled "Temperaments" and lists the same four.

A UNESCO: International Bureau of Education publication presented a text on Rudolf Steiner wherein the four temperaments are explained this way:

In the anthroposophical approach, human nature is presented as a genetic combination of four cosmic forces or elements: the physical body which alone is visible and in which the mechanical laws of the mineral kingdom apply; secondly, the hidden ethereal or living body in which the forces of growth and propagation are active just as they are in the vegetable kingdom; thirdly, the occult astral or sensitive body which bears the animal forces of instincts, desires and passions; and, fourthly, the individual human body which is constantly reincarnated and refines and explains the other elements through its own essence.

These four bodies, essences or force fields hold the most important key to the anthroposophic understanding of man and the world. Many phenomena are attributed by anthroposophy to the action of the four and therefore seemingly explained, e.g. the four elements, the four seasons, the four temperaments, the four stages of knowledge, etc.

Are the four temperaments common knowledge as the five senses are common knowledge? It's certainly possible, but why has this idea recently resurfaced in Catholic education?

The four temperaments are not in the curriculum for high school teachers in the College of Education at Kent State Univ. according to my daughter who received her degree in education there.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Are both the Catholic concept of the four temperaments and the Anthroposophical concept identical?


From www.chiesa

"I mention this to recall that, over a period of centuries, the cultural and spiritual heritage of Europe was formed and defended even at the cost of the lives of those who believed in Christ and those who, in their religious creed, hearkened back to Abraham. A reminder of this seems to be necessary in the context of the constitutional foundations of the European Union, into which Poland has recently been integrated. The blood of our countrymen that was shed at Monte Cassino is, today, a persuasive argument within the discussion about what spiritual form Europe should be given. Poland cannot forget this, and it cannot avoid recalling this to those who, in the name of the secularism of democratic societies, seem to forget Christianity?s contribution to the building of their own identity."

From these words of John Paul II one gathers that:

- the spiritual identity of Europe must also be defended today ?even at the cost of life itself;?

- this identity is both Jewish and Christian, as Christians and Jews have been the ones who historically have formed and defended Europe, even with weapons;

- and this identity must be reaffirmed forcefully in the face of those who would now erase it ?in the name of the secularism of democratic societies.?

The pope doesn?t say it in so many words, but the allusion to the ongoing discussions on the new constitution of Europe is clear.

Well, he seems to believe it is a life and death issue at stake when it comes to acknowledging the Christian contribution to European culture in the EU constitution. I'm not sure whose life he is putting on the line, though. I wonder if these words will have any impact?

Blogger credit to CruxNews.


Kennedy indicates there are several organizations branched off from the original Process Church of the Final Judgment:

These spin-off organizations share some of DeGrimston's original beliefs, but have formed their own theology. One of these churches, which appears to be an animal rights group, seems to be mostly secular. Some of the original members went on to found an animal charity that solicits donations from celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Ron Howard, Robin Williams, and Bill Maher. This charity allegedly mistreats the animals in its care, and the official history of the organization, called Best Friends, does not even mention the Process Church...A small group of wealthy Processeans roamed Europe for a while even attempting to set up a world headquarters in Aleister Crowley's old Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, Sicily. (p. 84)

The endnote to that passage is a reference to a Boston Globe article. I've tried twice to bring up the website. Both attempts failed. This is the website:


Take a look at this whistleblower website sent in by a reader. There is a list here of "People associated with Best Friends Animal Society." On the list you will find:

James Barstad: (Virgil James, Virgil Barstad, James Gilbert Barstad (?), Barstad Virgil, Father Jeremiah) Works with Fripp in accounting. Violinist/composer. Active in the Episcopalian Church. Married to Mary McDonald. (California)

Margaret Astor-Drayton: (Margaret C Prayton, Mother Maia, Maia Astor-Drayton, Maia Drayton-Wyllie, M.D. Wyllie) - Heiress to the Astor fortune (Waldorf Astoria) (Massachusetts)

Frank Monetti: Cousin of Francis Battista. Works in cat adoptions at the sanctuary and travels to SLC and Las Vegas on adoption weekends. Member of a bikers group. Pictures Scroll down the page for pictures of Monetti - caution: x-rated.

Nathania Gartman: Clown ministries, died in Spring 2003. Was in charge of Humane Ed. Worked with Children.

There is also a list of Process Church members not living at the sanctuary, where these names appear:

William Sims Bainbridge: Member for 5 years from 1970 to 1975. Also studied Scientology and The Family a.k.a. Children of God. Deputy Director of Information and Technology with the National Science Foundation. His stated goal is for new scientistic religions to take over present faith-based religions. Head of nanotechnology and a outspoken proponent of cloning.

Charity Rennie: (Mother Rhea, Rev. Rhea Benedict, Isabel Nasr, Charity Benedict) London?s Royal Theater and BBC actress. Mother to Judah Nasr-Battista. Judah escorts her to Best Friends functions. Ran prison ministries in Atlanta from 1979-1981 (or so) with John Fripp. Friend of Sharon St. Joan (Gretchen Lawrence) and Maia Astor-Drayton. (London)

John Markham: Attorney and Assistant US Attorney under Boston US Attorney William Weld. In 1975 he was with a NYC firm called SHEARMAN & STIRLING. He was also with Lillick, McHose, Graydon & Staring and the Morris and McVeigh law firm.

And then there is the list of Key Associates:

Robert Mapplethorpe: Erotic photographer . Died from AIDS on March 9, 1989


A bit of good news for a change...

Several countries are not willing to let the reference to Christianity be left out of the EU Constitution:

...the vague reference to a religious heritage is not enough for many on Europe's powerful Christian Democrat right or countries with a strong Catholic tradition.

Critics of a more specific EU endorsement of Christian values point to over 200-years of the European "enlightenment", changing demographics and plans for Islamic Turkey to join Europe's club.

At a Monday meeting in Brussels the foreign ministers for Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Czech Republic and Slovakia will promise to keep the pressure up for God during constitution talks.

"This issue remains a priority for our governments, but also for many representatives of the European Parliament and of national parliaments, as well as for millions of European citizens," states a letter to the Irish EU presidency.

"We therefore propose to pay further attention to a reference to the Christian roots of Europe in the existing text of the preamble."


(LOUISVILLE, May 24th, 2004, 11 a.m.) -- A special service at the Holy Spirit Church Sunday tried to join Catholic church leaders and victims driven apart after decades of sexual abuse in the clergy. It was meant to be a first step in the long road to reconciliation. WAVE 3's Frances Kuo reports.

For those attending Sunday's services at the Holy Spirit Church, entering its doors was like a trip into the past -- a past many would like to forget but can't. And that was the point of the service of healing.

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