Saturday, June 05, 2004


St. Mary Magdalene is often portrayed with an egg, as Justin pointed out below in a comments box. The Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Mary Magdalene website tells the story:

Over the iconastasis - the eastern orthodox partition which separates the prayer hall from the sanctuary - is an enormous canvas by Ivanov. It illustrates a popular legend in which Mary travels to Rome to tell Emperor Tiberius of Jesus' unfair trial and unjust sentence. It is said that Mary held an egg in her hand, representing life. But it turned red when she handed it to the emperor, thus becoming a living symbol of Jesus' blood and the Resurrection. Quite possibly, the Christian custom of dying eggs on Easter is related to Mary's presentation of a red egg as a tribute to the emperor.

If you visit the website, you'll see a picture of the church as well, with 5 onion domes, one of them in scaffolding. When I look at them, I always wonder what the dome looks like on the inside.

RussianArts.com offers an egg with a picture of St. Mary Magdalene painted on it. You won't be putting this egg in the cake mix!

There is a Robert Lentz's icon of St. Mary Magdalene holding an egg. This icon was commissioned for Grace [Episcopal] Cathedral in San Francisco.

The goddess worshipers use a lot of images of Mary Magdalene. The one by Richard Stodart is a favorite.

The Rent-A-Priest website also features Mary Magdalene. An article by Margaret Starbird titled "Mary Magdalene: The Beloved" offers this explanation of the egg:

()-shape or “seed” identified with the "sacred Feminine' in the ancient world.6 This symbol, the "vulva," has obvious attributes of feminine regeneration and the "doorway" or "portal" of life--the "sacred cauldron of creativity." It was a very ancient, even archetypal, symbol for the Goddess. It was called the "holy of holies" and the "inner sanctum." Almonds were sacred to Venus, and Mary Magdalene is often depicted holding an egg. The symbol abounds in cave art of ancient peoples discovered in shrines where the fertility of the earth and the female was honored. It was no accident that the epithet of Mary Magdalene bore the number that to the educated of the time identified her as the "Goddess in the Gospels."

Moving on to "A Gnostic Commemoration of Mary Magdalene," the ritual presented at this website lists a "Red-colored egg" in the list of tools.

The Alchemy Web Site presents a paper from A. E. Waite's Collectanea Chemica, 1893, titled "On the Philosophers' Stone." An egg is mentioned in Chapter VIII, which speaks of a "mystical marriage":

The seed and its earth being thus prepared, nothing remains but a judicious conjunction of them together; for it too much moisture prevails, the philosophical egg may burst before it can go through the heat necessary for its hatching.

A Theos-Talk website speaks of the Auric Egg which seems to be generative:

"Literally "the Golden Egg" or "the Egg of imperishable matter", the "Auric Egg" of a universe, a solar system, a planet . a god, or a human being. Hiranyagharbha is a compound of hiranya---golden, and garbha----womb. Legend, which is verily history of the hoary past says that Brahman, the Universal Divinity, cast a seed into the waters of space. From this seed, which became Hiranyagarbha or the golden egg which shone like unto the sun, was born Brahma the Solar Self. The Auric Egg of any being is that radiant sphere which is the source of the being on all planes.

In "The Great Work of the Sanctuary, Catechism 4 for the Gnostic Mass" of the Gnostic Church the Philosophers' Stone is presented as representing sacred sex. This, is the alchemical wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. The egg is discussed in connection with the act. Those who practice these rites say they are "Christian," that is "Gnostic Christian." (If you look at the website, take note of the checkerboard floor and the two columns. Also notice what looks to be three circles around the altar. Reminds me of the altars on circular pedestals in renovated Catholic churches.)

Pursuing this line of thinking takes me into websites that deal with ritual sex. Frankly I'd rather not go there, because the spam visiting those websites generates is offensive.

A note to parents--Harry Potter seeks the Philosophers' Stone. The Philosophers' Stone--the alchemical wedding--is something you certainly don't want your young children pursuing, so be careful about their online time if they are into Harry Potter terminology.

Another popular book, The Da Vinci Code takes the Gnostic approach to Mary Magdalene, making her a carrier of the seed (egg) of divinity, as Jesus' wife pregnant with His child. Roxanne Roberts, a Washington Post Staff Writer, makes this connection in her article "The Mysteries of Mary Magdalene: 'The Da Vinci Code' Resurrects a Debate of Biblical Proportions."

This claim is also made in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, one of the authors of which is the editor of Freemasonry Today.

The symbolic associations that grow out of Mary Magdalene and her egg are interesting and far-reaching.


FYI; I am sending this to everyone who received my prior stories about Cardinal Law's new appointment in Rome.

The Word From Rome June 4, 2004

The Vatican is saying, contrary to what the New York Times reported earlier, that +Law is getting a salary of 4,000 Euro per month, not the 10,000 Euro that the New York Times reported previously. And this "must cover not only his personal expenses, but also the costs of a car and driver as well as the living expenses of two or three religious sisters who will run his household." Not as plus as I thought before ... but still a lot nicer than a jail cell.

And, Allen has some interesting things to say about Church politics in the next 25 years.

We'll see what happens next.

"Fasten your seat belts; it's going to be a bumpy flight"!

Kyrie eleison.


President Bush and the Pope; Preview of John Paul's Swiss trip; The next 25 years


June 4, 2004

National Catholic Reporter


The Vatican has denied that Cardinal Bernard Law will receive a stipend of $12,000 a month in his new Roman job, as reported May 28 by the New York Times.

Instead, Law's monthly allotment will be $5,000, which must cover not only his personal expenses, but also the costs of a car and driver as well as the living expenses of two or three religious sisters who will run his household.

Law was appointed May 28 as Archpriest of St. Mary Major, one of four "patriarchal basilicas" in Rome. The post is considered relatively low profile, since its chief responsibility is routine administration of the basilica located near Rome' main train station.

Citing an anonymous "former Vatican official," the Times reported that the outgoing Archpriest of St. Mary Major, Italian Cardinal Carlo Furno, received a monthly stipend of 10,000 Euro (roughly U.S. $12,000). The story suggested the post could thus be "lucrative" for Law.

On May 31, however, Vatican spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls told NCR that Law's stipend would be 4,000 Euro a month (roughly $5,000), the standard figure for a cardinal serving in the Vatican. That amount, Navarro said, must cover the expenses noted above.


Last week I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the convention of the Catholic Press Association. It's a gathering of writers, editors and other staffers representing the nation's diocesan publications, and I had been asked to share a panel with Fr. Richard John Neuhaus of First Things. Our topic was the next 25 years in the life of the Catholic Church.

We were introduced by Matthew Bunson of Our Sunday Visitor, and Greg Erlandson of the OSV offered some concluding remarks. (One purpose for the panel was to promote OSV's annual Catholic Almanac, which is surely carrying coals to Newcastle, since this is a publication that sells itself)....


Go to the website to read the rest of the article. - Carrie


A reader sent a link to a book about manna (which is linked at the bottom of this website, too) that led me here to Entheogens And The Roots Of Christianity, the work of Michael Hoffman. Here you will find:

With the most recent scholarship in entheogens and the roots of Christianity, Jesus can now be recognized as the king and paradigmatic example of the drug policy reformers. Let us hope that our success at making psychedelics freely available for everyone comes sooner than his success has so far.

The other one is Patriarchy and Drug Propaganda, by Dan Russell. This explains the transition from very common psychedelic plant usage to the rise of the authoritarian Catholic Church, which persecuted users of entheogenic plants.

Both explain the psychedelic origin of Christianity, and the tension between those who want everyone to access psychedelics, and the exclusivists who only want the elite power wielders to access psychedelics. There is now a strong case for psychedelic allusions in the Bible. Also Barbara Thiering's Jesus The Man. Together, these books imply the strong hypothesis that Jesus was crucified for providing ergot-bread directly to everyone for free, making an end-run around the artificial scarcity and controlling power of the priests. Common between the priest family who ran Eleusis, the Jewish temple priests, and perhaps even the Catholic priests: they took free access to psychedelics away from the people. "Mystery" means "keep your mouth shut about how to make ergot, or we'll get rid of you."

Now see, you never knew about Jesus and the magic mushroom, did you? Uh huh, those priests have been keeping secrets from the laity. Hey, Fr. Arko knew--he had his closet greenhouse, after all, and right here in Akron, Ohio under my very nose, so to speak.

Well, it's not in the Host. And it's not in the Precious Blood. So what else have they got up there on the altar? I don't see anything that looks like a magic mushroom, do you? Maybe we need to peer into the sacristy cupboards. Yeah, I bet that's where they keep it.

Do you suppose that Michael Hoffman had been sampling a bit of his subject matter before writing this? Maybe next time he should ingest a little less. It appears to be rather potent. :-)


A WorldNewDaily article by Dr. Kelly Hollowell answers the question:

"The church and its leaders surely should focus on the gospel message of Christ – that is the Great Commission, but that is only half the story. The second half is discipleship, which is teaching Christians how to live in a fallen world and that requires participation in the public square.

"Who can convincingly argue that the state of our nation and its current moral depravity is not intimately linked to the secular mantra that 'Christians should practice their religion in a closet, i.e. STAY OUT of the public square?'

"If church leaders don't provide the rudder and the motor on these issues, who will? We are all so busy running our every-day lives, few have time for plugging into information and action groups outside the church."

Blogger credit to a reader for the link.


I had written a blog on the relationship of the egg to Mary Magdalene and to the Philosopher's Stone which was nearly ready to publish when AOL froze, all of the windows went blank, and I had to dump the AOL program to get out. Naturally the blog sailed off into cyberspace.

Since I have company coming tomorrow, I may not get the time to rewrite the blog this weekend. Sigh.


FYI; our President shows how to win friends and influence people ...

Yahoo! News - Bush Late for Vatican Meeting With Pope

Can we say, Oooops?



Bush Late for Vatican Meeting With Pope

Fri Jun 4, 5:21 PM ET

By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer

ROME - President Bush (news - web sites) arrived 15 minutes late for his meeting with Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II — unusual for a president who makes no secret of his impatience when others keep him waiting.

It was a rare breach of protocol in Vatican (news - web sites) City, too, and raised eyebrows in the papal delegation.

"The president is 15 minutes late," John Paul's secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, pointed out to Vatican reporters.

White House aides blamed Bush's tardiness Friday on a longer-than-expected preceding meeting with the Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

Friday, June 04, 2004


Some of you may remember Sulpicius Severus from the comments in here. He has his own blog now--as he says, "the only Traditional Catholic in the blogosphere." Well, it's about time!


In the comments box below Ian Levy cites this website where a picture drawn by Aleister Crowley looks like the typical UFO in America 2004, and is apparently a picture of the entity Aleister Crowley and others call "Lam." According to the website:

Lam, (whose name derives from the Tibetan word for "way" or "path") later became the subject of a portrait by Crowley, drawn from life and imbued with a haunting inner quality of its own. The original was first exhibited in New York in 1919 and has been reproduced several times since then, most recently in the third issue of Starfire magazine. Although lacking the crude power of Crowley's more extravagant canvases and murals, it is nevertheless a remarkable piece of work. The subject is depicted in extreme close-up and appears somehow dwarfish, despite the fact that there is no indication of scale in the overall composition. The head is large, smooth and hairless, tapering to a pointed chin. The mouth is slitlike; the eyes extend partways around the sides of the face. There is no suggestion of clothing beyond what appears to be a cloak buttoned at the neck, nor does the entity have any ears. In short, Lam resembles nothing so much as a typical UFO occupant of the "examiner" type (what Americans would call "greys".)

Lam = Way. I'm always interested in the uses of the word "Way." For example, we have Neucatechumenal Way or NC-Way. Then there is the "Gathering of the Way" - a non-denominational egalitarian church based in Pacific Grove, California, founded by ordained Catholic priest Fr. Charles Moore. The Gathering of the Way website which I printed on January 16, 2003, is apparently no longer online, but Fr. Moore is mentioned in this website:

In November I had the privilege of listening to Fr. Charles Moore, a Roman Catholic Priest, speak on the Coast to Coast radio talk show. Moore, an obvious maverick among the Catholics, also talked about the Anunnaki and his belief in their control over the human race.
,br> It is Moore's opinion that the Anunnaki come to Earth to mine gold. He said gold is an element that cannot be found on Niberu. The Anunnaki use a form of alchemy to refine gold into a liquid that they consume. When done correctly, Moore claims the metal makes the consumer young and healthy, gives them great mental powers, and assures eternal life in this body and in this dimension.

The website also mentions channeler Barbara Hand Clow, former owner of Bear & Co., the publisher of Matthew Fox's books.

Fr. Moore has a radio program and a website to go with it. You can find him here.

Returning to the Crowley/Lam website...

The Remainder of The Lam Statement deals with the practicalities of invocation and banishing in a ritual context. Some parts of the text are esoteric, having to do with the Cabala and other such difficult matters (my knowledge of occultism is largely theoretical; I have very little practical experience); others are remarkably straightforward.

Recently I was in a discount bookstore and picked up a book called The Way, primarily because of the title, which is written by Michael Berg of The Kabbalah Centre. This, apparently is the source of Madonna's new fascination with Kabbalah. I haven't read any of the book yet.




I am penning this letter a few days after the feast of the great Athanasius, a saint who suffered much from the vacillation of Rome. In my opinion, however, the present historical situation is far worse than that faced by the Bishop of Alexandria. Rome seems determined to continue the policy of abdicating vital prerogatives of governance. Witness the recent press conference releasing the document that was supposed to address the liturgical abuses of the present-day Church. The spokesman for the Holy See was asked whether or not Catholic presidential candidate John Kerry should be denied Holy Communion because of his pro-abortion stance. Answer? Figure it out for yourself. On the one hand, the Cardinal-spokesman states that the teaching is clear that pro-abortion politicians should not receive Holy Communion. Does this apply to John Kerry? The same Cardinal answers: it's a decision to be made by the American bishops.

This is a recipe for chaos....

This developing imbroglio is less important in itself than the point it makes: the governance of the Church is falling into complete disarray - and the faithful are suffering because of it. Only Peter can restore order.

Space constraints prevent me from addressing other troubling developments in this very "fluid time" born of an ever-intensifying vacuum of authority. Suffice it to say that perhaps at no other period in the Church has it been more crucial for us to heed Our Lord's command that we be "wise as serpents and simple as doves."

From the pen of Fr. James McLucas, Editor
Latin Mass Magazine, Vol. 13, No. 2
Page 3

Apparently I'm not the only one who recognizes the developing chaos. And where is this chaos intended to lead us? What will fill this "vacuum of authority"? The god of the state? The occult gods of the Theosophists? Chaos is their tool of choice. It appears that the Church is in a very dangerous situation.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


A reader sends this story from Front Page online. (To read it, click "Main Stories" and it should be the top story on the next webpage you see.)

From the website:

Spokesman for the Portuguese Air force, Colonel Carlos Barbosa revealed to the Lusa News Agency that defence radars recorded “a target” for a period of time ranging between 120 and 180 seconds. He adds “it cannot be classified as an aircraft”.

The phenomenon, described by eye-witnesses as being a “large and intense white light, dispersing smoke but noiseless as it moved through the night sky” was also detected by air traffic controllers in Beja and Montijo, while emergency rescue staff at Lisbon’s international airport also confirmed the sighting.

Scientists say it was not an astronomic phenomenon since it lasted too long and didn't make any noise. The U.S. Defense Department confirms that it was not a falling satellite or piece of one, since nothing in space has been lost recently. The National Weather Bureau cannot explain it. The European Space Agency has no explanation.

The sighting was confirmed by several unrelated sources.


better known as ghosts, are pictured atThe International Survivalist Society website. If you click on the photographs, you will get a larger view and an explanation of what you're looking at. Regarding an explanation, your guess is as good as mine!

Thanks to a reader for the link.


From the Boston Herald:

Brockton authorities are probing an alleged junior high prostitution racket, including whether to charge a 13-year-old girl accused of pressuring her mentally impaired friend into turning tricks for as little as $5.

Thanks to a reader for the link.


Angry villagers in Jharkhand, in eastern India, burnt alive a sorcerer who had tried to sacrifice a 22-year-old man by cutting his wrists, arms, forehead and other parts of his body to appease a local deity.

While the occult practitioner Dharidhar Karmakar is dead, Kamal Dutta is in a critical condition in a hospital in Jharkhand's East Singhbhum district.

Police officials said the gruesome incident took place Wednesday at East Singhbhum's Mohuliaa village, 170 km from here.

Villagers who arrived at the scene when a seven-year-old girl who was at home with the 22-year-old and was drugged by the occultist recovered and raised an alarm. The occultist was doused with kerosene and set afire. The victim is expected to live. The article closes with a statement indicating that "Superstition is rampant in tribal dominated Jharkhand and more than 700 people have been sacrificed by occult practitioners and witchdoctors."

The New Age religion invading our culture is not alien to the possibility of such practices.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Thanks to a reader for sending the link.


VOWS OF SILENCE suggests that the Vatican is still into denial, secrecy and cover-ups, and that this attitude starts at the very top with the Pope and the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger.

Veteran American journalist Jason Berry and Hartford Courant reporter Gerald Renner show that John Paul II, a colossus in standing against communism and for human rights, has been a moral pygmy in protecting human rights within the church, that is, the rights of abuse victims. The Vatican's over-arching concern has been to protect clerical power and authority. Ironically, nothing could so have undermined it....

The second [part of the] narrative is the story of Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ, a reclusive, cultish international order based in Mexico. It is the story of a group of victims, who portray Maciel as a serial abuser over decades, and their futile attempt to get the Vatican to take them seriously.

After years of obfuscation and rebuff, they finally managed to bring the case to the attention of Cardinal Ratzinger. The powerful cardinal called it "a delicate matter". Father Maciel had done so much good for the church by bringing large numbers into the priesthood - was it "prudent" to raise it now? So the case sits at the Vatican, in limbo....

The authors suggest that the Pope's obsessions - opposing communism and the Vatican II left turn towards a more modern and liberal church - blinded him to structural decay. He and the bishops turned a blind eye to a gay-priest culture that arose in the 1970s, "cynical about celibacy, riddled with hypocrisy and narcissistic behaviour". The Pope's response to sexual corruption, they say - adopted by prelates - is "keep quiet, deny, apologise if necessary, and when in doubt attack the messenger"....

As John Paul leaves the stage, the extraordinary achievements that ensure his role as one of our greatest popes must be weighed against the human suffering wrought by internal corruption on his watch."


in gathering the data base of American Catholics who work with children. To date 25,000+ have been trained in methods to prevent sexual abuse, while 13,000 will complete the training before school begins. According to the Plain Dealer article:

[August 1] is also the deadline for fingerprinting and criminal-background checks on all church volunteers and employees who work more than once a month with children. From the ashes of one of the most damaging scandals in American church history, the diocese is one of the first in the nation to comply with a national mandate to provide training on sex-abuse prevention, and is one of a handful to implement education on ways to prevent, recognize and report abuse, officials said.

The program is lauded by Donna Albertone, the diocesan director of the VIRTUS program, while Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, a researcher at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire admits that such programs are unusual.

According to the article:

The program...requires all church workers and volunteers - from catechism teachers to people who work at the concession stands at school athletic events - to attend a special three-hour training program and to receive twice-monthly updates on recognizing and responding to potential abuse.

This data-base being gathered would serve well anyone who wants to target Catholics, whether for advertising purposes or for something more nefarious. Who has access to this data-base?

The article indicates that "the first thing church workers and volunteers are taught when they suspect abuse is to call civil authorities." At first reading this sounds good. On further reflection, the number of calls to Social Services reporting non-existent abuse or neglect, made by someone bent on causing trouble, comes to mind. I know of one case where an incorrigible teenager called Social Services on his mother. Will a "good Catholic" call Social Services when she sees a parishioner spank her own child?

This is what we have come to:

For example, Albertone, who led the St. Clarence discussion, talked of how, while waiting alone for a parent to pick up a child from church on a cold evening, she placed the child in her heated car. To avoid being alone in the car with the child, she stood outside the car waiting for the parent.

"When all of us change our behavior, the behavior of the abuser stands out," she said.

In other words, it is no longer prudent to be alone with a child, even in an enclosure with glass walls that anyone can see through. How would the adult respond if the child were upset? Would the crying child have to be left alone in the car anyway out of fear of prosecution? Have we developed a fear of children and become that paranoid of each other? Is leaving a child alone in a running car even legal?

Certainly the child involved in this scenerio was fully aware of what was happening. What message does this fear of being seen with a child send to our kids? That all adults are not to be trusted? That children must avoid adult company? And if adults are that dangerous, what does this do to the child's thinking about authority figures? The message sent by this program is warped. It is the message of a barbarian culture, because only a barbarian culture would prey upon its children.


according to a report at C-FAM. While the Church ignores or tolerates Her dissidents, UNFPA uses them to gain credibility, particularly in South American countries where the population is largely Catholic.


in eight high schools plan to sue the Archdiocese of Boston in an effort to force recognition of their union bargaining agreements.

The complaint to be filed in U.S. District Court will accuse the archdiocese of breach of contract, said Allyson Every, a spokeswoman for the Boston Archdiocesan Teachers Association. ``They don't want to recognize the union.''

Administration of the schools is being restructured, making them semi-independent of the Diocese. While the union contracts are being voided, the teachers are invited to reapply for their teaching assignments as individuals. Is this a form of union busting, or did other factors motivate this organizational change?


Just did a hasty read-through of Mark Shea's blog followed up by a hasty read-through of Heart, Mind and Strength. And now the word "clone" is running through my thoughts. Hmmm.........But which one?

Thursday, June 03, 2004


says Attorney Sheila Schreiber-Parkhill of Bismarck, North Dakota, or you will be as guilty as the bishops you berate, since you also know what has been going on, according to your own words, and you have done nothing to stop it. Her letter to Fr. Greeley can be read in Matt C. Abbott's column at Crux News.


A reader sent in the link for this article at Chiesa - an interview with Bishop Mazzolari, of Rumbek, Sudan. He disagrees with the American and Vatican hierarchy that Islam worships the same God:

According to bishop Mazzolari there is a world of difference between Islam and Christianity: Allah is not the same God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit....

When asked about Christian-Muslim dialog, the bishop responded: “One day they came and asked me to speak with Muslims, that is, to do the impossible.”

He speaks of the suffering of Christians under Muslim rule, but opposes voilence and revenge. This is how he opens the interview:

As he speaks bishop Cesare Mazzolari fixes his gaze on a map of Sudan, his most beloved and troubled adopted homeland. Only once he raised his eyes, filled with tears, to look at me. It was then when he told me he would die a violent death: “The time to be martyred is drawing near. I hope the Lord grants us the grace to face such bloodshed. There’s a need for purification. Many Christians will be killed for their faith. Yet a new Christianity will arise from the blood of these martyrs.”

I asked him if and when the infernal frenzy we have been sucked into since September 11, 2002 would ever end. The bishop said in response: “God will send us a person with charisma capable of opening up a new way toward reconciliation or will allow for punishment, a measured test leading us to wisdom. We live in a blind and deaf world. We need to be really shaken up. We no longer listen to prophets. Of the few that have remained, we have eliminated from society.”

The bishop then burst into tears, which he could no longer hold back.

In response to a question about poverty and its relationship to terrorists, Bishopo Mazzolari says:

“Bush cannot boast in front of anybody that he’s the world’s protector of human rights. I lived in the United States for 26 years. I was even ordained in San Diego, California. I worked among blacks and helped Mexicans mine-workers. I know that the rights of the poor and minorities are systematically stepped on in the United States. I always tell my Sudanese acquaintances thinking of heading across the Atlantic in search of prosperity: ‘Here you experience poverty in terms of food and culture. In America you’ll experience the worst misfortune that could ever befall you There you’ll understand what it means to be a slave.’ ”

Responding to a comment about Muslims being allowed to use chapels as mosques, he says:

“It will be the Muslims who convert us, not the other way around. Wherever they settle down, sooner or later they end up becoming a leading political force. The Italians are intent on welcoming them in an easy-going manner. But soon they’ll realize that the Muslims have taken advantage of their good-natured spirit, allowing ten times more to arrive than what was originally permitted. They are much more clever than we are. They knock my schools down and you leave your church doors wide open for them. If someone is a thief, you don’t give them a room in your apartment, because sooner or later you’ll find all your furniture gone.”


It never fails that about the time it seems that the worst offenses the shepherds can generate have been exposed, a new and worse offense surfaces. So it is with the Spring 2004 edition of AMDG--the newsletter of Roman Catholic Faithful, and its founder, Stephen Brady. This issue is titled "Agony in Albany Revisited." A large part of it has previously been published in The Wanderer. Not being a subscriber, this material was new to me.

Perhaps the best way to report on this extensive content is to give selected quotes. Much of the first 35 pages is devoted to background material. The second half of the newsletter contains the shockers.

On page 70 Paul Likoudis writes: "The lay people The Wanderer spoke with [find] their greatest source of frustration is that they are convinced that Vatican officials at the highest level are well-informed of the "Agony in Albany," but that Bishop Hubbard is protected from critics and from correction." Once again it appears that the chief shepherd allows the sheep to fend for themselves as best they can. Albany is the Diocese of recently deceased Fr. John Minkler, who feared for his life because of a report on the Diocese that he had written for Cardinal O'Connor.

With that introduction, here are some quotes from the newsletter:

Describing a "college Mass" at St. Mary's in Oneonta where Bishop Howard Hubbard was the celebrant:

* Sign on the church door--"If you want to be an extraordinary minister, show up 15 minutes before Mass"

* "Six women...danced around the altar"

* "bread used at Mass was made by the parishioners and included sugar and honey" (all from segment on this mass found on pg. 4)

"Cardinal O'Connor was frustrated because of the fact that Rome would not remove Hubbard" (pg. 5)

* "...'Howie' Hubbard, who would become Albany's 'boy bishop,' after a well-publicized, even glamorous, career as a 'street priest'..."

* "He returned from Washington and was asked to develop a storefront ministry...a refuge for drug addicts and prostitutes....There was no effort to teach the faith. But he did have a coterie of close friends who were moving into powerful positions." (from pg. 26)

* "Bishop Hubbard had a vocations director who used to tell people he didn't believe in the physical Resurrection of Christ." (pg. 33)

* "...if their liturgies were not sufficiently 'progressive' [orthodox priests] were assigned a deacon or a radical nun to ensure Masses were creative and innovative..." (pg. 36)

* Father "O'Shaughnessy was sent by Hubbard to study at Matthew Fox's Creation Spirituality Institute...and to bring Fox's teaching back to Albany." (pg. 37) * "...Fr. Joseph Girzone, who resigned from the active ministry...is now earning hundreds of thousands of dollars for his popular Joshua series of books...is frequently the...guest homilist at Masses throughout the Diocese." (Pg. 37)

* "...the view taken by many priests is that Bishop Hubbard is 'intentionally out to destroy the priesthood'." (pg. 37)

* "The radicals think they have a mandate to do whatever they want" said one priest, "and you can't tell me this isn't allowed to destroy the Church." (pg. 43)

* "Fr. Richard Vosko, then director of the Diocesan Liturgy Center (and now a priest who operates his own architectural firm which specializes in renovating churches throughout the United States)..." (pg. 43)

* "People who go to the Diocesan Consultation Center for counseling are brain-washed into New Age beliefs...the retreat and prayer centers are totally New Age indoctrination centers. The Bishop is always sending priests to study at Fr. Matthew Fox's institute in California, and adults in the RCIA program are sent to New Age programs at the Omega Center in Rhinebeck--at parish expense." (pg. 50)

* "As the Diocese continues promoting New Age beliefs and practices, and Catholics encounter them in parish bulletins, church services, retreat centers, and Catholic newspapers, many Catholics are educating themselves on the history of the New Age. They are circulating writings of major theosophists, thinking this will provide a key to understanding what is happening in Albany." (pg. 53)

* "...parish vitality and viability will be determined...'according to the number of parishioners who contribute to the annual Bishop's Appeal'." (pg. 54)

* "The Bishop also demands one-third of all money raised for parish heat funds and building projects...'If my priest gets an estimate from a roofer that it's going to cost $10,000 to repair the roof of the church, he has to raise $15,000 so that the Bishop can get his cut." (pg. 55)

* "An invitation announcing a celebration marking the temporary profession of Sr. Peggy Ann Hoerburger in May, 1985 had on its cover a detailed sketch of a woman's sex organs, with a circle of women dancing around the opening of the vagina." (pg. 59)

* "...ex-Jesuit Fr. Joseph O'Rourke, a former priest from Albany and one-time president of Catholics for a Free Choice, told a television audience in 1980 that Bishop Hubbard 'is a supporter of free choice on abortion'." (pg. 60)

* "Bishop Hubbard's good relations with Jews has been a hallmark of his episcopacy, and a priority since his installation." (pg. 62)

* Regarding Jews and the Nazi Holocaust, Hubbard said, "From the beginning of the common era, Jews and Christians have lived in an atmosphere of conflict and confrontation. The Gospel of John, for example, witnesses to the bitter opposition that enabled the evangelist to equate 'the Jews' with 'the enemy,'..." (pg. 62)

* "Another candidate in training for the Albany priesthood is a man from the New York City area who was once married with children, and who left his wife to pursue a homosexual life-style. After a short time, he decided to become a priest for the Albany Diocese, and was accepted." (pg. 67)

* "The information became too overwhelming, too sickening, too depressing. Spiritual advice was sought. This reporter contacted a Catholic priest and moral theologian with an unsurpassed reputation for holiness, and confessed all the reservations and doubts he had about doing such a story. Almost certainly, he told the priest, the series would be viewed as an attack on a Bishop, the reputations of Catholic officials would be at stake, and the Church in Albany would be discredited....
The priest's suggestion was to 'tell the truth,' but to do it in an objective manner." (pg. 68)

I confess that after reading these 71 pages I was also sickened, and flirting with the idea that the situation is hopeless and its time to give up the struggle. It took several hours away from the material and my computer to recover from the depression this material generated.

The report also discusses Bishop Hubbard's charisma:

* "People who meet him once say, 'he's such a nice man,' and the Bishop makes a point of meeting everyone at least once. 'He's a master at the Dale Carnegie method of pleasing people'..." (pg. 63)

Much of the material reported took place in the 80s and 90s. The difficulties in Albany are certainly not all recent. Yet John Paul II does not act to rescue the faithful. Speaking to crowds in stadiums around the world is a poor substitute when bishops such as this one are left to ravage the flock.

The back cover of the newsletter shows pictures of a clown ministry in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, North Bennington, Vermont, as the church is cited at the top of the cover. A program called "The Way of The Cross, in the company of Clowns, Lenten Schedule 2004," appears to be the explanation for the pictures of clowns in church. A portion of what appears to be the church schedule of events has this clown program highlighted in yellow marker. Above this schedule appears "Rev. Edward Howard, S.J., Pastor." In the bottom right corner of the back cover this comment appears: "An unrepentant sinner has a distorted view of the Church. They deny the truths of the Church while turning to "Social Justice" to ease their conscience. They use "ministries," "programs," "parties," liturgical abuse, and even clowns in an attempt to bring back or hold on to a following. They represent themselves as something they are not. The proof of their corruption is the result of their works. Look at the Church today."

Is making a joke of the Passion, then, the legacy left by Bishop Hubbard?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


An article at Business Week online discusses the working poor. It's guaranteed to put a damper on your morning, since it denies most of the conventional stereotypes. There but for the grace of God...

I was talking with a friend the other day, and as usual we were discussing our children. She mentioned that her college educated daughter is working as a security guard. I wanted to say "Oh, I'm sorry...", but caught myself in time. Lots of college educated people in their 20s work at jobs beneath their level of education. And it doesn't necessarily end with the 30th birthday.

There was a time when that diploma brought a measure of prosperity. In the 50s, being college educated was still viewed as a privilege. Then came Viet Nam, and the entire picture changed. With Viet Nam, college became the ticket to extended living, and the male half of the population between the ages of 18 and 26 signed up.

Some didn't survive what were then still stringent grade requirements. A visit during the prof's office hours with a sad story about being drafted would sometimes postpone flunking out and the inevitable greeting from Uncle Sam. College professors were not always insensitive to the fate they were assigning their failing students.

Then, too, colleges geared up to meet the demand, and building programs, once begun, require financing. You must not flunk the cash cow. A friend and college professor became so disillusioned with the requirements to pass students in spite of inferior performance that he retired early and now spends his time pursuing a hobby which does not require a college education. He's one of the lucky ones who can afford to answer to no one but God.

A generation ago a college diploma was not a requirement for the position of security guard. Not that the job itself requires advanced education; but rather most likely the company can get the warm college-educated bodies, so why settle for less. We have simply upped the requirements a notch, without commensurate compensation. Security guard is still a minimum wage position as the linked article indicates. Only now it comes complete with payments on the college loan. Just another factor in the postponement of childbirth. If you can barely afford to pay your own bills, adding a child to place in daycare is hardly an option. In any case, the longer workweek too many Americans endure leaves little time for parenthood.

One thing hasn't disappeared...the American work ethic. We still try to outwork each other, to the delight of our employers. Those who put in extra hours are those who are promoted so they can put in even more extra hours. It's an unspoken requirement of many jobs. The good employee is the employee who doesn't take a lunch hour. Family life doesn't just suffer in this environment, it disappears. The community that working people belong to is the workplace community. The Catholic Parish Community is largely a myth. Most Americans still place priority on the community of the home, and spend what time can be salvaged from the workplace community on the one that really matters.

And so we find ourselves come full-circle, back to the days before labor unions bought us a measure of freedom. If there is to be any relief for the working poor, labor unions would seem to be essential. The sacrifice of too many of our ancestors who fought for unions has been brushed aside and forgotten in an effort to one-up the neighbors on a global scale. We have embraced our enslavement in the name of a faster computer, a later model car, a house with enough rooms to get lost in. What we are losing is each other and the wisdom to be human.


Those are the words Cardinal George spoke to the Pope during his recent visit to Rome. His assessment of the attitude of the culture toward the Church, as reported by Zenit, is sobering and accurate. He said further:

"The scandal of the sexual abuse of minors by some priests and the failure of adequate oversight by some bishops has brought with it a more overt expression of the anti-Catholicism which has always marked American culture," Cardinal George said Friday.

"In this context, courts and legislatures are more ready to restrict the freedom of the Church to act publicly and to interfere in the internal governance of the church in ways that are new to American life. Our freedom to govern ourselves is diminished," he lamented.

"The Church's mission is further weakened by her inability to shape a public conversation that would enable people to understand the Gospel and the demands of discipleship," the Chicago archbishop said. "The public conversation in the United States speaks easily of individual rights; it cannot give voice to considerations of the common good.

"Matters that should fall outside the purview of law in a constitutional democracy with a limited government -- the nature of life, of marriage, even of faith itself -- are now determined by courts designed only to protect individual rights."

"In this culture," the cardinal said, "the Gospel's call to receive freedom as a gift from God and to live its demands faithfully is regarded as oppressive, and the Church, which voices those demands publicly, is seen as an enemy of personal freedom and a cause of social violence.

"The public conversation in the United States is often an exercise in manipulation and always inadequate to the realities of both the country and the world, let alone the mysteries of faith. It fundamentally distorts Catholicism and any other institution regarded as 'foreign' to the secular individualist ethos. Our freedom to preach the Gospel is diminished."

Cardinal George continued: "The Church's mission is threatened internally by divisions which paralyze her ability to act forcefully and decisively."

"On the left," he said, "the Church's teachings on sexual morality and the nature of ordained priesthood and of the Church herself are publicly opposed, as are the bishops who preach and defend these teachings. On the right, the Church's teachings might be accepted, but bishops who do not govern exactly and to the last detail in the way expected are publicly opposed."

"The Church is an arena of ideological warfare rather than a way of discipleship shepherded by bishops," the cardinal observed."

That is a description of fully operational chaos magick, whether planned and intended or merely circumstantial. The Catholic Church in America has been thrown into a condition of chaos by the sexual abuse scandal, coming as it has on the heels of 30+ years of internal strife resulting from the changes of Vatican II. We are self-destructing, and now the culture is helping us to do it. We can no longer respect ourselves. Is it any wonder, then, that the culture is following where we lead?

Is there a solution? Can we salvage what is left? Or are we too far gone? We have the promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail over the Church. We do not have a promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail over the Church in America.

Since America is the purse of the Church, how will the Church maintain Herself in other nations if the cashflow from America ceases? Perhaps it will soon be time to address that question.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


From MSNBC There appears to be some confusion in the minds of the couple in Photo No. 1. A normal wedding requires a man and woman. A homosexual wedding requires two people of the same sex. But these are two people of the same sex dressed like participants in a normal wedding--sort of. They don't appear to have it all figured out yet; though, since the color of red is frequently associated with sexual sin, they have part of it right.

I would remind the people in Photo No. 2 that they all do have the right to marry. But when you embrace an institution, you must abide by the requirements of that institution. As the couple in Photo No. 1 demonstrates, the institution of marriage requires a man and a woman.

What does the smile on the face of the Deputy Commissioner in Photo No. 3 mean? Hmmm.

Photo No. 4. Guy on your left is pregnant.

Photo No. 5. Which one delivered the kid? The one in pants?

Photo No. 6. Ditto question No. 5.

In Photo No. 8, those babies demonstrate that these men are not genetically homosexual. Their body parts work in the normal manner. That is the message of the babies unless we are to assume that they just borrowed them, which brings up the question, to what purpose? And the answer to that question that first comes to the mind of a Catholic who is watching her Church self-destruct over a sexual abuse scandal, is ugly, indeed.

Ditto Nos 5, 6, 9 and No. 11. Eleven requires a reading of the caption to get the message that this is not a traditional wedding, making it obvious that both parties know what a wedding is, while choosing to mock the ritual.

Photo No. 10 - What will their status be if the courts rule against homosexual marriage?

Thanks to a reader for sending the link.


from one of his priests. Don't be fooled by the wallpaper at this website. It looks like the Vatican website, but it really is the website of the Rainbow Sash Movement.

A reader sent in the link.

Fr. Nicholas R. Desmond has taken Cardinal George to task. Here are some excerpts:

I am disappointed by your memo concerning the rainbow sash movement....

Cardinal, your decision also presumes judgement upon these people's moral readiness to participate in the Eucharist. Whether they agree or disagree with the Church's teachings, and whether or not that is publicly known, can you say with moral certainty that they are active homosexuals, that they have not confessed and received absolution, that they are not truly worshipping but are simply trying to disrupt the worship of others? Since I have a number of gay people who regularly come to church here, what if one them, a regular worshipper, shows up wearing a sash? Am I to all of a sudden deny them Communion when the entire congregation sees them receiving other Sundays? If the sash says nothing of itself, then I will be the one making the statement for them. And what of their parents and straight friends, who also worship and feel the Church should change its teachings? If one of these "straight" people come to me wearing a sash, are they to be denied also because they have "disrupted" the service, even though most people are unaware? Quite honestly, until you mentioned it at the Presbyteral Council, I would have thought nothing of it had people come to Mass with a sash on. I would presume they are going somewhere after Mass.

Oh please...If the priest truly believed what he writes, he could handled the situation by simply having made a statement before beginning Mass, to the effect that Cardinal George has announced that Communion will be refused to anyone wearing a rainbow sash when he or she comes up for Communion. The homosexual would then have chosen either to remove the sash prior to Communion, or to refrain from presenting himself or herself for Communion. At that point, anyone presenting themself for Communion would be engaging in a challenge which could then have been met with refusal as the Bishop had commanded. The priest, in doing this, would have made it clear precisely what the Church in the Chicago Diocese takes the rainbow sash to mean. There could then be no equivocation about possible interpretations.

This letter is pathetic. The priest concludes with:

Finally, Cardinal, your memo speaks of the freedom of worship. Are these rainbow sash people, or the women's ordination people, or the Call to Action people, or any other people also free to worship and practice their faith? If their presence is not disruptive to the worship of the Church, then are you not denying them a chance to worship with us?

There is little doubt that those who make public statements contrary to the faith are failing to "practice the faith." This is not private conscience struggling to conform to the teachings of the faith. This is dissent. Mislabeling it or relabeling it will not change its nature. It is offensive to those who accept the teachings of the Church, and that makes it disruptive.

He has equated worship with receiving a sacrament. Worship does not require reception of Communion. Worship is praying. I can do that in my livingroom. Those who attend Mass worship, whether or not they receive. This statement of the priest mixes apples and plums and calls the result grape jelly. This sort of manipulation does nothing to convince us of his sincerity or advance his cause.


From Zenit:

Code: ZE04053121
Date: 2004-05-31

Beatification Process for Robert Schuman Clears One Phase

METZ, France, MAY 31, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The diocesan phase of the process of beatification for French statesman Robert Schuman drew to a close over the weekend.

Schuman (1886-1963) was one of the fathers of European integration that gave birth to the European Union.

"The abundant documentation collected with care, classified and studied, will be sent immediately to the Congregation for Sainthood Causes," said Bishop Pierre Raffin of Metz. He said that to date he knows of no miraculous events attributed to Schuman's intercession.


Survivors of clergy sexual abuse will have their say. A "citizens' grand jury" will take place beginning today to give the victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Cardinal Roger Mahony a chance to air their grievances. Fr. Tom Doyle and Richard Sipe plus two prominent victim attornies will testify at this event. The three-day event is sponsored by SNAP and will take place in the Southwestern University School of Law mock courtroom.


The group calling themselves "Ushers of the Eucharist," attempted but failed to stop wearers of the rainbow sash from receiving Communion at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Blogger credit to Crux News


Holy Rosary Abbey offers a very traditional looking atmosphere. Their website indicates they offer the Tridentine Mass.

A Directory of Traditional Catholic Sites in the English Speaking World lists Holy Rosary Abbey under "Traditionalists not presently or formerly associated with the SSPX.

Another website, Tradito also lists Holy Rosary Abbey. Under the heading:

Mass Sites of the United State, by State, in zip code order

you will find this listing:

Holy Rosary Abbey & Retreat Center 407 Ueland Street, Powers Lake, ND 58773, holyrosaryabbey.com Fr. Ryan St. Anne, OSB, (701) 464-6458, abbatia@oddpost.com Independent (Traditional Benedictine), SU 9:15 am, M-F 7:15 am

Apparently Fr. Ryan St. Anne has two Holy Rosary Abbeys--one at 313 N.E. 5th St., Pocahontas, IA; and another at 407 Ueland St., Powers Lake, ND.(click the "Declatory Statement" link to see Fr. Ryan's name at the bottom of the webpage) Perhaps he bi-locates.

The claim is frequently made in Traditional Catholic circles such as Una Voce and even the SSPX that restoring the Traditional Latin Mass will solve the problems in the Church. Fr. Ryan St. Anne proves them wrong.

International News Analysis--Today has a report on the web titled "Demonic and Criminal Activity" Plague Catholic Church in America" dated October 28, 2003, in which Toby Westerman writes:

No area of the nation is safe from the plague ravaging the U.S. Catholic Church, even Powers Lake, North Dakota and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Prairies, for years considered a haven for traditional Catholic family life. An individual earlier associated with Marvin Kucera's now defunct "refuge movement," Ryan Patrick Scott, now runs the shrine, presenting himself as a Roman Catholic priest....

Scott impersonated a Catholic priest in the Wisconsin area during his association with Kucera. The Bishop of the LaCrosse Diocese, Rev. Raymond Burke, in November 1996 issued a statement denying that Scott was a Roman Catholic priest. Burke indicated that Scott had been ordained by a group referring to itself as the "American Catholic Church" or the "Reformed Catholic Church in America," according to E. Michael Jones in his book, "The Medjugorje Deception.

INA Today has learned that Scott now identifies himself as "Abbot Ryan" of Our Lady of the Prairies.

A Unity Publishing website offers the following on Fr. Ryan in a website titled, "The 'Fruits' at Medjugorje":

Another fake priest who most Medjugorje enthusiasts never heard about is a "Father" Ryan Patrick Scott from Wisconsin. He was Marvin Kucera?s spiritual director and is a convicted child molester. Ryan Patrick Scott was ordained in the "American Catholic Church" (not Catholic), but he was so bad that even they kicked him out. Marvin Kucera received the spirit of the Gospa from "Father" Steve Barham. Marvin Kucera is an admitted homosexual.

On May 27, 2004, I accessed a website titled "Sedevacantist Unity" at http://www.geocities.com/st_gabri99/sedeunity.html. Within that website was a list of names of priests, "Ryan,St AnneScott, USA" among them, with a link below the names "Contact each other." Today the website is no longer active. His name does, however, appear on This website along with many other names. William H. Kennedy's name appears on this list as well.

At some point apparently the murdered priest, Fr. Alfred Kunz, must have been associated with Ryan Scott, since a letter at the Newsletter of Discernment website, addressed to Bishop Burke, which outlines the odd activities at Marvin Kucera's Our Lady of Guadalupe Refuge Center in Snowflake, Arizona, indicates Fr. Kunz was contacted in an effort to verify that Ryan Scott was a priest. Fr. Kunz vouched for him.

An entry at Poynter.org by Matt C. Abbott indicates:

"Father" Ryan Scott. Or, as he is currently known, Father Ryan St. Anne, O.S.B. You see, Fr. Scott/St. Anne is an independent priest. In Church-speak, he is schismatic - not in communion with Rome. And whether he is a validly ordained priest is, well, debatable....

Fr. Scott/St. Anne has made some very serious allegations against archbishop-elect Burke. At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) November 2002 meeting, during the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal, Fr. Scott/St. Anne gave a presentation at a press conference held by The Linkup organization for survivors of clergy abuse (www.thelinkup.org). The following are excerpts:

"On Saturday, October 26, 2002 I stood before Archbishop Timothy Dolan?s Listening Panel for Victims of Sexual Abuse by members of the Catholic Clergy in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. As I did so, one of the thoughts that ran through my mind was: "Why am I here - begging you for help?" I wondered if I had sunk so low as to finally seek help from those who abuse and cover-up. My answer was clear - No. I am here because I have hope!

"As you can see, I am a Priest. My name is Father Ryan St. Anne. I am a Benedictine Monastic Priest, but I am also a Victim of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Clergy in an incident that occurred in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Thanks to a reader for the tip on Ryan Scott.


I attended Mass at the cathedral of another diocese over the weekend, and came away wondering what religion was being preached.

The Mass was orthodox. The choir was wonderful. Some of their selections were Latin chants.

The church, itself, was mostly orthodox, though the tabernacle was not visible.

But the homily?? Pentecost brings to mind such concepts as sanctifying grace and actual grace; the gifts of the Holy Spirit; the birth of the Church. But the homily wasn't about any of these. It was about the arrival of the Holy Spirit bringing a variety of opinions that often cause the faithful to disagree with each other. There was no suggestion that this might include some the effects of sin. No, this disagreement was precisely the gift of the Holy Spirit according to the homilist. A sort of expansion of horizons, so to speak. God the Holy Spirit brings strife as His particular gift to mankind. Very odd homily.

Discussion in the car after Mass came to the conclusion that we had heard a liberal priest, and it was best not to take what he said to heart.


From Free Republic:

Vatican, May. 31 (CWNews.com) - Cardinal Dario Castrillion Hoyos, the Vatican official charged with relations with traditionalist Catholics, believes that traditionalist often do not receive enough respect from Church leaders.

The Colombian prelate told he Italian daily Il Giornale that traditionalists should never be treated as second-class citizens in the Church. He admitted that the Church sometime shows more consideration in dealings with Protestant and Orthodox groups than with traditionalist Catholics. At the same time, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos suggested that some traditionalists should avoid "types of exasperated criticism" of Church leaders.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, is also chairman of the Ecclesia Dei commission, set up by Pope John Paul II (bio - news) to supervise the implementation of the papal indult authorizing a "wide and generous" accommodation of Catholics who prefer the traditional Mass. The cardinal also has been delegated by Pope John Paul II to handle negotiations with the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, in an effort to bring that traditionalist group back into full communion with the Holy See.

Perhaps Cardinal Hoyos could arrange a meeting with Msgr. Guerra, of Fatima, Portugal; and Archbishop Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (see Lee's email below), in order to work out exactly what the Church believes. It not only seems as though the right Vatican hand doesn't know what the left Vatican hand is doing; it also seems as though neither of them care. The faith being practiced in Fatima and the faith being discusses by Cardinal Hoyos are two different faiths.

Hindu religious ceremonies are welcome in Fatima. The Tridentine Mass is not. The Tridentine Mass was the Roman Catholic Mass for centuries. It was the Mass of the seers of Fatima.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Monday, May 31, 2004


Report/Analysis By Lee Penn
The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC)
May 30, 2004

Ideas of "mingling" and "converging" religions are hardly new, but it is startling to find them at Portugal's famed Roman Catholic shrine at Fatima.

Nonetheless, such ideas appear to be taking hold at Fatima, despite official denials and claims that hardline traditional Catholics are stirring unfounded controversy over Fatima. Even more surprising, perhaps, is that the trends do not appear to be opposed--so far--by Pope John Paul II.

Fatima is the site where the Catholic Church says an Angel of Peace and the Virgin Mary appeared to three children on several occasions in 1916 and 1917, giving them messages for the Church and the faithful, and calling all to conversion, repentance, and prayer. Two of the three Fatima visionaries, who died soon after the apparitions, have been canonized by Pope John Paul II. One visionary, Sister Lucy, is still living; she is a cloistered nun.

The controversy surrounding the Roman Catholic shrine at Fatima began in the fall of 2003, when a Portuguese newspaper reported that the site would be remade into an interfaith shrine. Catholic officials denied the assertion, saying that the shrine will retain its Catholic, Marian focus.

But in early May this year, a Hindu priest worshiped his faith's gods at the altar of Fatima's Chapel of the Appartions, and he clothed the shrine's rector and the diocesan bishop in Hindu priests' vestments.

Reporting on the Hindu service on May 5, the Portuguese broadcast news services SIC and SIC Not�cias said that the Hindu priest chanted prayers from the altar, on behalf of 60 Hindu pilgrims who gathered before him, outside the altar rail. A local television reporter explained, "This is an unprecedented unique moment in the history of the shrine. The Hindu priest, or Sha Tri, [prayed] on the altar the Shaniti Pa, the prayer for peace."

Additionally, the news report showed "scenes of the Hindu priest lighting a candle at the shrine while his followers [danced] outside the Chapel of the Apparitions chanting praises to their gods."

The TV broadcast showed that after the service, each of the Hindus was "personally greeted by the [Roman Catholic] Bishop of Leiria-F�tima," who then "bowed to the Hindu priest repeating his gesture of greeting." The Hindu priest then clothed the diocesan bishop and Msgr. Luciano Guerra, the rector of the Fatima shrine, with a Hindu priestly shawl. The reporter told his viewers, "On the shoulders of the highest representatives of the Church in Fatima, the Hindu priest [placed] a shawl with the inscriptions of the Bagavad Gita, one of the sacred books of Hinduism."

The two Catholic dignitaries explained these events with rhetoric reminiscent of that used by Frank Griswold, the Presiding Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church. Fr. Guerra said during the broadcast that: "These meetings give us the opportunity to remind ourselves that we live in community." And the diocesan bishop, D. Serafim Ferreira e Silva, told a local newspaper: "We don't want to be fundamentalist, but sincere and honest." The only Griswoldian buzzwords they forgot were "reconciliation" and "inclusive."

A CONFERENCE sponsored by the Fatima shrine last October 10-12 demonstrates that the Hindu service was hardly an inadvertent event. Titled "The Present of Man--The Future of God: The Place of Sanctuaries in Relation to the Sacred," the conference was attended by an array of prominent Catholics. They included Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Cardinal Jos� da Cruz Policarpo, the Roman Catholic patriarch of Lisbon; Fr. Jacques Dupuis, professor of theology at Rome's Gregorian University; and the aforementioned Bishop Silva, and Msgr. Guerra, rector of the shrine.

The event occurred at the Paul VI Pastoral Center adjacent to the shrine, and was opened by Bishop Silva. The rector of the shrine said in December 2003 that the meeting was inspired by "the reading of the message of Fatima - within the spirit of Vatican II."

Adherents of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), traditionalist followers of the excommunicated Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, protested at the meeting site. Msgr. Guerra said in a January 2004 interview that the SSPX demonstrators "behaved very badly. Instead of listening first and talking later, they began immediately distributing leaflets."

But some Catholics will think the Lefebvrites had reason to protest. The Belgian Jesuit theologian Fr. Dupuis told the conference October 11 that "we should not refer to the other religions as 'non-Christian', since this is a negative term that describes them by what we think they are not. Rather - we should refer to them as 'the others'."

Dupuis added that "Christians and 'the others' are co-members of the Reign of God in history," and that "the Holy Spirit is present and operative in the sacred books of Hinduism or of Buddhism," as well as in "the sacred rites of Hinduism."

"The universality of God's kingdom permits this," he declared, "and this is nothing more than a diversified form of sharing in the same mystery of salvation." Dupuis predicted that "The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all."

An eyewitness to the conference, John Vennari, a traditionalist Catholic, reported that almost everyone present, including the Catholic hierarchs, vigorously applauded Dupuis' speech. This occurred despite a 2001 warning by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican theological watchdog, that a recent book by Dupuis on religious pluralism erred with certain ambiguities and inadequate explanations relating to five doctrinal points.

The next day, Sunday, October 12, Archbishop Fitzgerald praised Fr. Dupuis' speech, saying the cleric had "explained the theological basis of the establishment of relations with people of other religions."

Fitzgerald averred that "The Church is there to recognize the holiness that is in other people, the elements of truth, grace and beauty that are in different religions," and "to try to bring about a greater peace and harmony among people of other religions."

These novel statements on the Church's mission are significant, since they come from the head of the Vatican department in charge of inter-religious dialogue.

Many of the conference speeches were in Portuguese, but the speeches by Dupuis and Fitzgerald were in English. These two speeches were recorded in person by Mr. Vennari.

On the same day that Fitzgerald spoke, "Father Arul Irudayam, rector of the Marian Shrine Basilica in Vailankanni, India ... rejoiced that, as a further development of interreligious practice, the Hindus now perform their religious rituals in the church," according to Vennari.

In his November 2003 report on the conference, Vennari accurately predicted that "it is only a matter of time before this blasphemy takes place at Fatima."

DEBUNKERS of the reports about interfaith excesses at Fatima have noted that stories of these activities have appeared in a little-noticed Portuguese English-language weekly, Front Page Online, and in traditionalist Catholic publications that are vehemently opposed to the direction taken by the Catholic Church since Vatican II.

But Vennari pointed out that the October 24, 2003, issue of "the local Fatima weekly newspaper, Not�cias de Fatima, which is friendly with the Fatima Shrine," reported on the interfaith conference "under the headline, 'Sanctuary of Various Creeds'...The front page featured the caption, 'The future of Fatima must pass through the creation of a Shrine where different religions can mingle.'" The statement paralleled one attributed to Shrine Rector Msgr. Guerra by Front Page Online last November.

Page 8 of the same issue of Noticias de Fatima ran the headline, "Sanctuary Opens Itself to Religious Pluralism" followed by the subheading: "The Shrine of Fatima Assumes a Universalist and Welcoming Vocation Towards Different Religions."

Not�cias de Fatima then quoted Msgr. Guerra as saying that: "This proposal of coexistence - also in Fatima - of a religious pluralism is still embryonic. It's the first step. We are like the engineers in Portugal who begin by examining the structures of the bridges to see if we can trust them in the future." This assertion by Guerra also was included in the Front Page Online coverage.

According to Noticias de Fatima, Msgr. Guerra further pointed out that the very fact that Fatima is the name of a Muslim and Mohammed's daughter is indicative that the shrine must be open to the co-existence of various faiths and beliefs. "Therefore we must assume that it was the will of the Blessed Virgin Mary that this comes about this way," he was quoted as saying.

Traditional Catholics in opposition were described by Guerra as "old fashioned, narrow minded, fanatic extremists and provocateurs."

Church spokesmen have blamed recent controversy over Fatima on publicity-seeking by Fr. Nicholas Gruner, a traditionalist Catholic priest who was suspended by the Vatican in 1996 for disobedience, and who continues to publicly state that the Catholic hierarchy has ignored or falsified the requests made by the Virgin Mary in her Fatima apparitions. Additionally, according to the rector of the shrine, "the great majority, perhaps the totality, of the reactions received is the result of a long orchestration, centered in the United States, by people bitterly opposed to Vatican Council II, specifically to what pertains to a wider opening of the Church, with emphasis on the ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue." However, reporter John Vennari, who acknowledged that he visited the October 2003 interfaith conference at the behest of Gruner's organization, said that "no one from Fr. Gruner's organization had anything to do with the articles" that appeared in Front Page Online and in Not�cias de Fatima.

And, since word of the interfaith trends at Fatima first emerged last fall, attempted reassurances by officials at the Vatican and the shrine have been undercut by clearly contradictory messages, and no one has denied or retracted the statements attributed above to Dupuis, Guerra, and Fitzgerald during the October interfaith conference.

Archbishop Fitzgerald described the October 2003 conference as "part of an ongoing reflection" on the sanctuary's "inter-religious dimension" in the Church and the modern world," and said that "there were no practical conclusions arising from the meeting."

Last November, he declared that "There is no question of the Fatima sanctuary becoming an inter-faith pilgrimage center...This is a place of prayer centered on Our Lady, and everyone is welcome."

But in late 2003, Archbishop Fitzgerald told Zenit (a Catholic news service) that "we must learn to journey together, for if we drift apart we do ourselves harm, but if we walk together we can help one another to reach the goal that God has set for us."

A large new church, conceived in a stark modern style, is being built at Fatima to accommodate 9,000 pilgrims at a time. The design by a Greek Orthodox architect, Alexandros Tombazis, has received the approval of the diocesan bishop, and construction is to begin soon. In a December 28, 2003 statement, the rector of the Fatima shrine said that the new church will be "exclusively destined to be a place of Catholic worship, located not next to the current basilica, but between the Cruz Alta and a national road and, when opportune ... can receive pilgrims of other convictions who wish to fraternally partake in our way of prayer."

On March 9, 2004, the Pope personally gave the rector of the Fatima shrine a stone fragment from the tomb of St. Peter; this relic will be formally placed as the cornerstone of the new basilica on June 6. Thus, the new basilica is proceeding with the highest blessing from the Vatican.

In an interview with Zenit, published on May 13, 2004, the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima said that the new church at the shrine "will be a Catholic one, much like the Pius X Church in Lourdes ... As with any Catholic church, it will be open to all, but the services held there will be Catholic." The Bishop dismissed concerns over interfaith worship at Fatima as "a controversy caused by a few foreigners."

But in his December 28, 2003 communiqu�, Msgr. Guerra asserted that the Fatima apparitions included "at least two implicit calls to the exercise of the spirit of dialogue with persons of other convictions." These calls included "the message of the Angel of Peace," regarding the Oriental, Orthodox, and Catholic Churches, and, "in regard to the Islamic religion, in the name itself that God chose for the town where Mary would one day appear: Fatima."

It was Guerra who earlier assured an interviewer that: "We are very far from having Hindus or any Muslims pray in Fatima, except if they do it in private - not in public liturgies or other such services."


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Catholic World News : Cardinal Law given ceremonial posting in Rome

Those of you who read the posts I sent last week about Cardinal Law might have wondered about a reference to the nine posts that he holds at the Curia in Rome. Wonder no more; according to this story from Catholic World News:

"Cardinal Law remains a member of several different congregations of the Roman Curia: the Congregations for Bishops, the Clergy, Divine Worship, Evangelization, Religious, Life, the Eastern Churches, and Catholic Education; he is also a member of the Pontifical Councils for the Family and for Culture. He remains eligible to vote in a papal election. "

[I think that the story includes a misprint ... without the extra comma, it should read ... Evangelization, Religious Life, the Eastern Churches ... ]

Count them ... 7 congregations and 2 Pontifical Councils.

Plus an honorary post as Archpriest of one of Rome's four most important basilicas.

Not bad, considering the Cardinal's "accomplishments" in Boston.

Kyrie eleison.



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