Saturday, June 19, 2004
A reader sent in the link to this new blog.
On the website is an explanation of who Malachi," referred to in Helen Westover's blog, is; and a picture of him.
That tape measure in the picture is 20" long. That's a full-term baby. Imagine what civilized people would say if a full-term breathing baby were reduced to this condition by a doctor! What a difference a breath makes.
INTERPRETATION OF THE BISHOP'S STATEMENT
by Reuters.com. Vote was 183 to 6.
RE THE BISHOPS MEETING
After sleeping on the outcome of the Bishop's meeting in Denver, and their statement linked below, I've come to this conclusion:
Military strategy: Divide and conquer.
Episcopal strategy: Each bishop is sovereign in his own diocese.
Catholic strategy: Upon this rock I will build My Church.
CCC 877: "...it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a collegial character...their fraternal unity would be at the service of the fraternal communion of all the faithful: they would reflect and witness to the communion of the divine persons."
The bishops do not reflect and witness to the Trinity.
The bishops have given us a prescription for chaos in the Church. An abortion-supporting politician can now pick a cooperative diocese and make a public event of receiving communion. In other words, cafeteria Catholicism fostered by the bishops.
Our Lady of Fatima, you predicted a time when bishop would oppose bishop, pray for us!
DALLAS MORNING NEWS ARTICLE
on the scandal is up at their website.
Now that I've read through the report, a few comments.
1. They have a world-class webmaster!
2. The intro indicates "more than 200," meaning less than 300 worldwide. Since there are 13,500 Salesians working worldwide, this is a small percentage. It's important to keep that in mind.
3. Cardinal Maradiaga places abuse of children into the category of "professional secrecy" of priests, which in essence makes the category itself invalid, rather than defending the priest.
4. Cardinal Bertone, in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, admits to the gravity of the situation.
5. Fr. Carlos Peralta -- What is the comment "he is not watchful at night" code for?
6. Since Fr. Carrera was bishop Gonzalez's personal secretary, is Bishop Gonzales being blackmailed? What motivates Bishop Jaurez to protect Carrera?
7. Fr. Juan Manzo -- Dorm supervisor at their children's home!? Talk about providing victims...they acted as pimps for crying out loud!
8. Fr. Enrique Vasques -- Interpol is looking for him. Bishop Rodriguez hid him in 4 different countries.
9. Fr. Horacio Macal - Did the "molestation" include rape?
The credibility of bishops in the U.S. has been compromised. The evidence presented here indicates that the credibility of bishops worldwide may be compromised, at least in the religious orders.
It is one thing to forgive. God does indeed forgive us. What He does not do is dispense with the temporal consequences and punishments due to sin. We must take our human punishment when we earn it. Confession does not provide a "get out of jail free" card. It would appear that bishops do provide such a card, however. The scandal here is once again with the organizational structure of the Church rather than the individual criminal priests, themselves.
We become angry with international corporations that are above the law. Now we are seeing that the international Church also operates above the law. That is the scandal that the Dallas Morning News is uncovering.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Friday, June 18, 2004
A SAN DIEGO NEWS SOURCE REPORTS ON THE NPR INTERVIEW
regurgitating the same material that has been making its way around st. blogs, with one exception...this sentence:
Vatican officials declined comment Friday on the report.
Hmmm. Who "declined comment" to whom?
THEY GOT THEIR WISH
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- While the nation's Catholic bishops are meeting to decide whether pro-abortion lawmakers will be prohibited from taking communion, a pro-abortion "Catholic" group has released a poll that it says shows American Catholics oppose denying the Christian sacrament.
The poll, sponsored by Catholics for a Free Choice, surveyed 2,239 Catholics. It showed that 76 percent disapprove of Catholic bishops denying communion to Catholics who support legal abortion.
KERRY'S NEW STRATEGY - SILENCE
The The Washington Times reports:
"The mood now is to shut up about it," said Father Drinan, who teaches at Georgetown University Law Center. He said the Communion debate "is a nonissue" in the Kerry campaign and simply a tool of the Republican Party. Mr. Kerry's detractors "are dying for him to say something. But he won't take them on," the priest said, adding that he was part of a "kitchen Cabinet" to advise the Kerry campaign on religious matters.
After looking at the Bishop's statement linked immediately below this post, and then reading this report, I tend to wonder was a deal struck?
Well, so much for "teachable moments."
THE BISHOPS NEEDED A WHOLE WEEK TO FORMULATE THIS "NO COMMENT" ?
On the USCCB website:
Our obligation as bishops at this time is to teach clearly.
Uh yeah, we know that. Is anyone planning to do that anytime soon?
The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action. Nevertheless, we all share an unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times.
The polarizing tendencies of election-year politics can lead to circumstances in which Catholic teaching and sacramental practice can be misused for political ends. Respect for the Holy Eucharist, in particular, demands that it be received worthily and that it be seen as the source for our common mission in the world.
Uh huh. I suspect that the "polarizing tendencies" of the de facto schism within the USCCB is showing. In any case, their credibility certainly isn't. Puts me in mind of my one-time 4-year-old playing with her friends in the sandbox, when they couldn't decide who would get to use the yellow shovel first. It ended when they threw sand in each other's eyes and all went home.
I am running out of sighs.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Helen Westover describes her experiences on the pro-life frontline. I confess, though, that I don't know who (or what?) "Mal" is. How about a picture?
ROD'S COMMENTS AT BETTNET
I still can't get the comments box to accept my post over there, so I'll comment here. Guess they must be extra busy today again.
He brings up the "ratlines" used to spirit Nazi's to South America to avoid the law. Interesting he brought that up. I thought of it as well. Could there be some sort of overlap between Operation Paperclip and this scandal?
If RICO is brought into the legal process, targeting bishops for prosecution for interstate criminal activity, I bet Rome will be calling them home to escape it. Marcinkus, afterall, was shipped to America (Arizona) to avoid prosecution in Rome over the Vatican Bank scandal.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
IF YOU MISSED THE MORNING EDITION REPORT
at National Public Radio, you can hear it here.
COMMENT BY A POSTER
in Amy Welborn's blog: Out of the woods? You haven't even SEEN the forest yet! Mafioso Extraordinaire Anthony Cardinal Bevilaqua and his protoge Rigatoni were slapped with a lawsiut yesterday detailing HUSH payments LAST NOVEMBER. With tuition money. For a religious who is now in a undisclosed location. This is the story in the Philadelphia Inquirer to which he refers.
GOOD COMMENTARY ON FEMINISM, RABBI BOTEACH
SPIRITUALISM AT THE MASONIC CENTER
From Watertown Tab & Pess:
Summer solstice meditation
The Greater Boston Church of Spiritualism will host a Summer Solstice Meditation and Spiritual Message Circle Monday, June 21, 7:30 p.m., at the Masonic Center, 32 Church St. Following meditation, student psychic mediums will provide spiritual readings. A $10 donation is requested.
On Saturday, June 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the GBCS will hold a Medium's Day at the Masonic Center, 32 Church St. Private spiritual/psychic readings and spiritual healing will be offered, along with a book sale to benefit GBCS.
For more information, call 617-923-4334.
VATICAN CALLS FOR PRAYER FOR PRIESTS THIS WEEKEND
From The Manila Bulletin Online:
The Vatican yesterday urged the faithful all over the world to offer their prayers for the sanctification of priests on the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus tomorrow, June 18, Friday.
Thanks to a reader for the link which is also up on the Spirit Daily website.
THE UPCOMING DALLAS MORNING NEWS RELEASE
Has anyone out there taken note of the fact this this news related to the scandal of the Roman Catholic Fathers is going to be released on Father's Day? This is coincidence, I presume.
There is nothing up on the DMN website now.
A TALE OF BLAVATSKY AND THE CRUSHED MASTER
for your discernment, compliments of UFO Roundup, Volume 8, Number 15. and email from a reader. Fact or fantasy? You be the judge. From the website:
On Lansdowne Road, in South London, is a small villa with a very mysterious history. For it was here that one of the Nineteenth Century's foremost mystics, Elena Petrovna von Hahn Blavatsky, better known as Madame Blavatsky, spent the last years of her unusual life.
"On Saturdays, starting in the afternoon and often lasting till the wee hours, Madame would hold forth on the elements of the Secret Doctrine, imparted to her telepathically by the spiritual masters of Tibet. Madame orated in a stentorian voice, audible for blocks in that quiet neighborhood, to rapt audiences of her followers, her soon-to-be-enemies, and those who attended to the latest fashion."
"Next to Queen Victoria, no other woman commanded the allegiance of so many respectable men."
On this particular April Saturday in 1888, a group of wannabe Adepts had flocked to Madame's for the weekly get- together. Present this day were British psychic Elisabeth Morgan and her Belgian protege, Alexandra David, two famous Irish authors, William Butler Yeats and George Russell (better known by his pen name AE), Polish mystic Julianna Glinka and Charles Johnson, founder of the UK's Hermetic Society. Plus the usual complement of new people interested in joining Madame Blavatsky's Theosophical Society.
One of the newcomers was Major Learner, formerly of Her Majesty's Horse Guards. The major, a rather portly fellow, made the wooden stairs creak as he entered the villa's enclosed porch, presented his card, and was told that the discussion groups would begin shortly, and would he care for some Turkish coffee beforehand?
Major Learner would have much preferred a "spot" (whiskey--J.T.), wondered how far it was to the nearest pub, decided that he would rather not tire himself out searching for one, and retired instead to Madame Blavatsky's library.
What ancient wisdom do we have here? he mused, running his pudgy forefinger along the books stacked on the middle shelf. He settled on one volume with a gilt- edged spine--the Kama Sutra.
Capital! he thought, Why, I haven't seen one of these since I left Peshawar. He looked around eagerly. Now, if only I could find a place to take a load off...
Still a newcomer to Theosophy, Major Learner was unaware that Madame had "an inner sanctum ruled off-limits to the profane. There the initiates conversed with Instructors, higher beings from the astral plane who were otherwise invisible."
Opening a side door, he saw a small, ornately- furnished parlor with two divans facing each other. The divan on the right contained Miss Holmwood, one of Madame Blavatsky's most ardent disciples. She was quite a sight. Try to picture a well-dressed Victorian lady with pince- nez, a woolen blazer with leg-o-mutton sleeves, and ankle- length skirt sitting in a lotus position on the small sofa. Chin upright, eyes closed, legs crossed, hand knuckles at rest on her knees, a transcendent expression on her heart-shaped face.
The divan across from her was empty.
Perfect! Major Learner thought, and, striding into the parlor, he parked his massive cavalryman's rump squarely on the cushions of the divan. And then he thumbed open his book to begin reading.
Miss Holmwood's eyes popped open. She "pointed to him and uttered a horrified cry. All eyes fell on the poor man."
"Learner, get up!" Miss Holmwood ordered, in a tone she might have used with one of her own students at the boarding school. "You are sitting on an Instructor!"
,br> "Are you barmy!?" he exclaimed, his Kitchener moustache bristling in indignation. "There's no one here but me!"
"You bloody fool! You're sitting on Damodar!"
"Even the Gnostics couldn't see him, except for the agitated Miss Holmwood. She flung herself down in front of the sofa, quickly deserted, and wrung her hands in pitiful abnegation. Now two others 'saw' the Instructor, while the rest peered hopefully through the customary volutes of blue (smoke)."
One of the witnesses made an expression of sorrow. Removing his hat, he swiftly covered his cravat.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Major Learner did not remain long with the Theosophical Society. When she heard what happened, Madame Blavatsky sighed, shook her curly- haired head and said of Learner, "What a flapdoodle!"
Willam Butler Yeats, who was there, wrote about the incident to his fellow Irish poet, Katharine Tynan: "A sad accident happened at Madame Blavatsky's lately, I hear. A big materialist sat on the astral double of a poor young Indian. He was sitting on the sofa and he was too material to be able to see it. Certainly a sad accident!"
Although some might dismiss it all as an illusion on the part of Miss Holmwood, there was a curious happenstance in India the following day, a Sunday morning. Adjusting for time zones, it happened at the same moment Major Learner occupied the supposedly empty divan in the parlor.
Hindus at the Vadakkunathan Kshtram temple in Thrissur, near Madras, saw a young maharishi sitting in the lotus position near the fountains, facing west. He appeared to be in a state of samadhi. All at once, he snapped out of it, looked upward with an expression of horror on his face, and cried out...in English!
"Sir! No! Don't do it! Don't sit down!"
Go to the website to find out what happened in India.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
ANOTHER THEOSOPHICAL GROUP
World Unity and Service outlines its beliefs in The Brotherhood and the Gaia Hypothesis at the "Brotherhood of the Earth Link." The link "About World Unity and Service Trust" spells out the relationship with Alice Bailey's Theosophy, and the Tibetan Master, Djwal Khul. The "Process of Initiation" link spells out the "mechanism of magnetic powers or energies within himself [the body of the disciple] which constitute channels of activity and modes whereby he may acquire that which is the privilege of the initiate to own and to use." H. P. Blavatsky quotes are included on this webpage.
At the "Recommended Books" link an address is given. They are located in St. Paul, Minn. They are also located in England and South Africa. On the "Links" page they link the Lucis Trust "New Group of World Servers" At the Lucis website, they are listed under the "Esoteric" groups of the New Group of World Servers. The "Art and Music" link speaks of "Art and its influence through disciples." Lucis Trust is an organization founded by Alice and Foster Bailey, originally named "Lucifer Publishing Company."
Thanks to a reader for sending in the link.
KERRY'S DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS OUTREACH
is Mara Vanderslice. NewsMax.com reports that she has spoken "at rallies held by ACT-UP, the anti-Catholic group that disrupted Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1989 by spitting the Eucharist on the floor. She took part in the protest against the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 2000. She helped in the attempt to shut down Washington, D. C. in a protest against the IMF and the World Bank." Seems like a rather strange choice.
JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO'S COLUMN
in the OCRegister in which he summarizes the varying positions taken by the bishops regarding pro-abortion politicians receiving communion.
At the end he asks "More importantly, would one unborn child be saved?" if pro-abort politicians were all denied communion by their priests.
In response to the question,I would say that if not directly, I think lives would be saved indirectly. The controversy puts before Catholics and non-Catholics alike the heavy weight of this difference of opinion. The controversy itself places before the eyes of Catholics an issue they may have chosen to avoid. It is just possible that someone who had been considering abortion would realize how grave an act this is and have second thoughts. In that way perhaps some lives will be saved.
But even if not a single life is saved, the teachings of the Church are being defended in a way they have not been defended since Vatican II. The defense is public and loud. This is no longer quietly being swept under the pew. Now the abortion question is front and center. The Eucharist is the line in the sand, so to speak. It is even remotely possible this will be a turning point culturally.
Something else the article brings to mind...the approved apparition of Akita, Japan which says in part:
The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres ... churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God.
This prophecy reiterates the Fatima prophecy, as World Net Daily points out in this article published in 2000.
THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED DMN REPORT
which Rod Dreher leaked to Domenico Bettnelli, as posted in his blog, is still a hot topic. The question came up over there of what could be in the report. Since his website won't accept my registration, I'll post my thoughts here. Someone over there suggested the homosexual activity between priests is an aspect of the scandal that has not been revealed.
Some possibilities in addition to homosexual activity between priests:
- heterosexual activity between priests and young girls
- ritual activity associated with priestly ephebophilia and pedophilia, including group sex
- S and M either between priests or with priests and minors
The most important question is will this finally expose all, or is there more to tell. We will not recover from our current state of disgust until there is nothing more for the press to discover and reveal.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
And while you're over there at bettnet, check this morning's post on the Boston scandal. Looks like the RICO act may be brought into the mix. In which case, would Cardinal Law have to return from Rome to stand trial?
TEN DOLLAR REAGAN ?
From the York Daily Record:
There's talk of, among other things, putting Ronald Reagan on the $10 bill, replacing Alexander Hamilton, one of the guys who founded this nation.
That's just one idea that Mike Argento mentions in this column. Here's another: Take for instance the notion, gaining some popularity in liberal circles, of naming soup kitchens after Reagan. The idea is that Reagan's policies created so many people in need of soup kitchens that it is fitting to attach his name to them.
And in a way, it's a good idea. Reagan vilified the poor — remember his stories about welfare queens picking up their checks in Caddies — and cut a lot of programs intended to help them. Under Reagan, the rich got richer and the poor got a lot poorer. Remember, this was the greed-is-good '80s.
After reading the column, I'd have to go for naming the latter and leaving Alexander Hamilton alone. I have a memory etched in granite of Regans' offshore jobs policy, and the corporate raiding during his administration. Akron used to be the rubber capital of the world. Now they're turning rubber company property into incubators for small business. It will be a long time before the jobs market recovers from the Reagan presidency. The good times reported in the evening news in the years since Reagan have largely been a fabrication for far too many families, so his name on a soup kitchen sounds exactly right to me!
REFORMED CATHOLIC CHURCH
advertised in the NCR Classified. Vocations REFORMED CATHOLIC CHURCH, progressive and inclusive. Valid orders. Tutorial seminary. Personalized ministry. PO Box 725, Hampton Bays, NY 11946. Phone: (631) 728-2633
This is the last of the entries under the Vocations subheading--the one I didn't get to last night.
The group came up briefly in an article on Marvin Kucera's Refuge Centers/Fr. Ryan Patrick Scott which I blogged a short time ago, and in which murdered Fr. Kunz was mentioned briefly.
The Church claims apostolic succession via the Joseph Rene Vilatte (succession claimed by the Gnostic Catholic Church), and the James I. Wedgwood (succession claimed by the Liberal Catholic Church) lines.
No address is given in the website, but this seems to be the web home of the/or "a" Reformed Catholic Church. There is one difficulty, however. The expose on Ryan Patrick Scott is dated 1996, while this church claims to be incorporated in the year of the jubilee, 2000. Which may mean that it operated for a period of time before incorporation, or that this is an entirely different organization.
On their current news webpage, there is an indication that Rev. Phillip Zimmerman, S.J. was appointed to the Office of Monsignor. S.J. as in "Society of Jesus"? They list an Order of St. Dominic and an Order of the Holy Innocents on their Religious Orders page, but no Jesuits. They list a "Holy Cross Catholic Seminary" in Columbus, Ohio on their Seminary webpage. There too, the church is referred to as the "RCC" which could easily be mistaken to be the Roman Catholic Church. This statement appears on that same webpage:
This sense of excitement is due to a feeling of “liberation” that abounds in the communities of the church. Our clergy and lay communities are free to retain, express and promote their Catholic identity. All without artificial barriers to sacramental access, and as part of a larger faith community that is inclusive and compassionate. What a joy!
"Inclusive and compassionate" usually means "ignoring sexual orientation and marital status." True to form the Principles page states:
To The DIVORCED, We Say That YOU CAN BEGIN AGAIN WITH GOD ON YOUR SIDE;
To The HOMOSEXUAL, We Say That YOUR LOVE IS SACRED, YOUR UNION IS BLESSED;
With a seminary in Columbus, it's a good bet that this parish is a part of the same church the seminary serves...St. Sebastian Parish, A Catholic Community. Confirming that assumption is the fact that Rev. Phillip Zimmerman, S.J. is the "Diocesan Bishop". This church claims to be part of the Old Catholic churches. This webpage indicates they offer open communion for all baptized Christians. I find it nearly impossible to avoid thinking of St. Sebastian's Angels (the internet cabal exposed by Stephen Brady) when I look at this website.
Out in Columbus The Lavendar Phonebook lists St. Sebastians together with a rather long list of other welcoming GLBT churches. I thought the symbols were interesting. Would you expect "The Green Faerie Grove" to be male oriented, for instance?
Under "General Announcements" in the Dignity/Boston|News website, the Reformed Catholic Church is mentioned: Celebrate An Ordination: All members of Dignity/Boston are welcome to share in the ordination of Rosemary A. (Dignity/Maine) on Thursday evening, June 17, at 7p.m. The celebration will be in Wells, Maine. (Exact location and directions will come later.) Rosemary has been studying with the Reformed Catholic Church, she was ordained a deacon in February. Just so Rosemary and Janet will have some idea of how many may be coming, please RSVP to Janet (firstname.lastname@example.org). Let us keep Rosemary in prayer during these months of preparation.
This appears to be a message board for independent Catholic priests to share comments. One of them is from the Reformed Catholic Church.
This website offers some indication of the name changes the Reformed Catholic Church has been through, although it isn't accurate for the church and seminary in Columbus:
Sites pertaining to the Catholic Church Universal, formerly the Catholic Reformed Church and, before that, the Reformed Catholic Church. It is an independent communion in the catholic tradition. The Church of the Beatitudes is another Reformed Catholic Church affiliated with St. Sebastians in Columbus. This one is located in Pennsylvania. They claim affiliation with the Old Catholic Church tradition and valid sacraments recognized by the Roman Catholic magisterium.
On another webpage: As Old Catholics we believe that the Council of Bishops meeting in General Synod, rather than the Bishop of Rome, has been the unerring guide promised by Christ in founding His church. This was universally recognized through the first millenium of church history and has only been partially rediscovered in the Second Vatican Council. We recognize this belief as the promise of Christian unity. It is our great hope that we may by prayer and example breathe the Holy Spirit back into Christianity and restore Christ's church in love, peace and justice. We pray and work for a reunified Church reponsible always to the faithful and made up of all God's people....humanity. We have a priesthood of married and single men and women. The church stands primarily for peace and justice. Somehow I don't think they would welcome a homily on Catholic morality or the Ten Commandments. They seem to be in favor of making it up as they go along, and giving the Holy Spirit the blame.
Their Links Page is interesting. Pax Christi is on there. So in Mary Rammerman's church. If you click the Spiritus Christi lilnk, you will see a picture of her giving out first communion.
There are many more websites for the Reformed Catholic Church, but it's late, and so I will stop here. Suffice it to say that this church, advertised on the NCR website, is hardly Catholic in communion with the Pope. This investigation into what NCR supports by providing it publicity, indicates that NCR only pretends to be Roman Catholic because Roman Catholic is the best source of revenue and publicity for their deviant adherents. And yet, John Allen, who reports for them, is solidly Roman Catholic to the best of my knowledge. In any case, take what NCR offers with a large garnish of skepticism.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
CATHOLIC SCANDAL - SECOND WAVE ABOUT TO HIT THE BEACH
Check out Bettnet for Rod Dreher's advance notice.
HIT COUNTER RESET ITSELF
The hit counter was at 6380 at 4:36 this afternoon. When I opened the website tonight it was at 6. Odd.
I just might be tempted to help it increase rapidly later on tonight.
LIFE AT CONCEPTION ACT
The National Pro-Life Alliance is supporting legislation that would declare the beginning of life to be at the moment of conception.
Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave is supporting this legislation and has sent out Citizen Petitions to Reverse Roe v. Wade, meant to be signed and sent to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and in Ohio, Senator Mike DeWine, Senator George V. Voinovich and Congressman Steven C. LaTourette.
One American Life League Newsletter mentions this act, but the focus at ALL seems to be on the Human Life Amendment. (At the website, click "action alerts" and scroll down)
I've read Musgrave's letter which arrived yesterday promoting the Life at Conception Act. It sounds feasible as a means to outlaw abortion. But I'm not a lawyer. Can anyone shed any light on these two pieces of legislation? Specifically, I'd like to know which has the better chance of becoming law and so is the better choice to support.
E-MAIL FROM LEE PENN
Several Lawmakers Ambushed For "Coronation"
Of Unification Church Leader, Wife
Report/Analysis By Lee Penn
The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC)
June 15, 2004
YOU MAY NOT KNOW IT YET, but a pair of Messiahs is among us, and has recently been crowned as such at a federal building in the nation's capital.
One U.S. Congressman, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Illinois), helped to crown Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife as "True Parents" of mankind at a March 23 banquet held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C.
Photos from a video of the event produced by Moon's church show Rep. Davis as one of the two people carrying a crown toward the Rev. Moon and his wife, as a prelude to their dual coronation.
When interviewed by The Christian Challenge, Davis confirmed his role in the event. He said, "I was attempting to provide an accolade to the Rev. Moon and his wife for promoting visions of world peace," as well as for their "visions of family structure." He added, "From my vantage point, it did not have anything to do with religion. I am a practicing Baptist, and have been a Protestant all my life."
Not all participants were so willing, however.
Moon's organization claimed that two U.S. senators and nine U.S. representatives were involved in, and supportive of, the coronation gathering. But it is evident that the organization was not totally forthcoming about its intentions for the event, and has its own view of what happened there. For starters, the gathering was billed as a function of the Interreligious and International Peace Council--which, however, is one of Moon's groups..
At this writing, the Challenge had interviewed staff for one senator, and spoken to seven representatives (or their employees) said to have backed the event. Only one, Rep. Danny Davis, supports Moon; TCC found that the rest of the legislators whom the "Moonies" claim as backers want nothing to do with him or his cult-like church.
A knowledgeable source on Capitol Hill said that some legislators attended the March 23 banquet without knowing the real sponsorship and intent of the gathering. "There was a mass exodus from the event as soon as folks realized that it was a Rev. Moon event, and that he was there," the informant said.
The Moonies claim in a video of the banquet that, in all, "81 U.S. senators and members of Congress...26 ambassadors to the United States...and some 450 leaders from various fields...came to participate in an Ambassadors for Peace Awards...and Crown of Peace Ceremony." If this is true, it would account for the "mass exodus" when assembled legislators realized whose party they were unwittingly attending.
Moon has been promoting himself and his wife as "the Messiah and True Parents of all humanity" since August 1992. (His conviction and 13-month imprisonment in the 1980s for tax evasion in the U.S. evidently was not a disqualification for this exalted role.) According to a Moon follower, the couple's role is to finish the mission that Jesus failed to complete.
When Moon and his spouse were "crowned" as "True Parents" on March 23 at the Dirksen Building, Moon claimed that even infamous deceased figures like Lenin and Hitler had found strength in his teachings and been reborn.
He told the Dirksen gathering that: "A new era has arrived today. The number of people around the world who have received my teaching and are standing resolutely for the sake of building the Kingdom of Peace is growing by leaps and bounds...
"But in the context of Heaven's providence, I am God's ambassador, sent to earth with His full authority. I am sent to accomplish His command to save the world's six billion people, restoring them to Heaven with the original goodness in which they were created. The five great saints and many other leaders in the spirit world, including even Communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin, who committed all manner of barbarity and murders on earth, and dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons. Emperors, kings and presidents who enjoyed opulence and power on earth, and even journalists who had worldwide fame, have now placed themselves at the forefront of the column of the true love revolution. Together they have sent to earth a resolution expressing their determination in the light of my teaching of the true family ideal. They have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent. This resolution has been announced on every corner of the globe."
Rep. Danny Davis told the Challenge that he heard this speech, but "the notion of a decreed Messiah is a little bit out of context. I don't believe that there are earthly Messiahs; the only Messiah that I know is Jesus the Christ."
Davis added that Moon's speech "was similar to a baseball team owner telling team members that 'we are the greatest team on earth'" just before a game. Davis' reason for supporting Moon is that "if we try to bring people from different races, religions, and ethnic groups back together, this becomes good for the world order...I don't agree with many of the social positions of the Washington Times," which is owned by Unificationists, "but I don't think that is a reason to distance myself from them," Davis said. "I have never had one of Moon's organizers try to convince me of positions contrary to what I would take myself."
According to a document issued by the Unificationists, the six "Congressional co-chairs" for the "Host Committee" of the March 23 banquet at which Moon was crowned included Davis, Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-Tennessee), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland), Curt Weldon (R-Pennsylvania), Chris Cannon (R-Utah), and Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia).
On March 24, the Washington Times coverage of the event listed the same six Congressmen, as well as Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), as "assisting at" the banquet.
When contacted by The Christian Challenge, one senator and three congressmen acknowledged attending part of the event, but they (or their staff) firmly denied that they were involved in planning the event, or that they knew in advance of Moon's planned coronation, or that they attended the coronation ceremony itself, or that they accepted Moon's messianic claim.
One, Rep. Ford, denied attending the event at all. Only one, Rep. Davis, acknowledged supporting Moon; he said that he has seen other legislators "at events of this kind."
At press time, the Challenge had not yet received a reply to its questions from the office of Rep. Cannon.
Sen. Mark Dayton's press secretary, Chris Lisi, said that the senator attended part of the banquet because some "very distinguished people from our state were being honored there." She said that the meeting planners "were not being up front as to who was sponsoring the event. We would never have been there if we knew what the event really was."
Michael Conallen, the chief of staff for Rep. Weldon, said Weldon was at the banquet for "5 or 10 minutes" to speak about his recent trip to Libya; Weldon neither saw Moon at the event, nor witnessed the coronation, nor heard his Messianic speech. About Moon's purported Messianic status, Conallen said, "in no way does Cong. Weldon share that belief."
Rep. Bishop said that he received an "international peace award" at a banquet, but got there late, "just before it was dismissed." Bishop added, "The Messiah in my life is Jesus Christ...I am not a Moonie, and I do not believe that Mr. Moon is a messiah. The Washington Times has never spoken to me; they have no authorization to say that I am affiliated with this."
Rep. Bartlett's press secretary, Lisa Wright, said that Bartlett received an "Ambassadors for Peace Award" from the Washington Times Foundation for his work in Congress, and attended part of the banquet. She added, "this was the sum total of his participation...His attendance in no way reflects an endorsement of what the Rev. Moon said or did at that event, or at any other time."
Mark Schuermann, a staffer for Rep. Ford, said that Ford did not attend the event, and did not participate in planning it. Schuermann also said that if Rep. Ford was on the Host Committee, "he was not aware that it had any affiliation with the Unification Church," and that Ford "does not accept Moon's claims to be messiah."
The Moonies' Interreligious and International Peace Council claimed other prominent sponsors for the March 23 event, those whom they listed as members of the "Invitational Committee." These dignitaries included Dr. Stephen Covey, a well-known motivational speaker who has also made presentations for the State of the World Forum, Rep. Philip M. Crane (R-Illinois), Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Virginia), Rep. Eddie B. Johnson (D-Texas), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).
As of this writing, the Challenge had interviewed employees of two of the four federal legislators that the Moonies claimed were on the "Invitational Committee." Both denied any involvement whatsoever in the Moonie event. John Townsend, a staffer for Rep. Johnson, said, "They contacted us" but "we didn't even go."
Tami Stough, a staffer for Rep. Crane, said, "We have checked [Crane's] schedule, and he was nowhere near the Dirksen Building" at the time of the banquet. She added, "we can say without equivocation that Rep. Crane was not there, and had no knowledge" of it, nor was he (as the Moonies claimed) on any invitational committee.
Other Capitol Hill sources say that it is a common practice among special interest groups in Washington DC to invite VIPs to events, and then to claim - without further evidence of support - that the invitee endorses the special interest group's agenda.
The Christian Challenge has not yet been able to confirm or refute investigative reporter John Gorenfeld's report in mid-April that Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-New York) wrote a statement hailing Moon.
Reportedly, Rangel wrote that: "I, CHARLES B. RANGEL, Member of Congress, 15th Congressional District, by the power and authority vested in me, this 16th day of April, 2004, do recognize you as 'True Parents' exemplifying self-giving service and leadership and of 'King of Peace' in the key areas of reconciliation and peacemaking over 50 years."
-Left And Right-
WHILE MOON NOW SEEKS followers on the left and right, the Unification Church until recently had a reputation as a right-wing organization. It was a staunch, hawkish opponent of Communism during the Cold War. It has endorsed Republican politicians in the U.S., and military rulers in Bolivia and Honduras, and the right-wing nationalist Jean-Marie le Pen in France. Unificationists own the conservative Washington Times, as earlier noted, and Tiempos Del Mundo, a major Latin American paper based in Buenos Aires. The church and its allies have created a bewildering array of front groups, each with its own acronym; several of these organizations promote interfaith dialogue.
One of his groups, the World Alliance of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO), gave an "Interreligious Cooperation Award" to Episcopal Bishop William Swing of California and his United Religions Initiative (URI), in October 2002. Members of Moon's church have been active in URI's local chapters since 1997.
The day after his March 24 coronation in the Dirksen Building, Moon told members of his church, "Yesterday the Crowning Ceremony was a great historical turning point." His lamentation about moves toward gay marriage, which he called "Satanic," was apparently the inspiration for his insistence that it was "time for women to go to the front line"; that "192 nations must become one" and that "Christianity must rise up and embrace Islam and Judaism."
"God loves Christianity, Judaism and Islam. America must stand up to unite these three...Yesterday the Senate and House together offered the Crown as Peace King to True Parents," he said.
Last year, Moon also blamed the Jews for the Holocaust, demanding they follow his form of "Christianity": "Who are the Jewish members here, raise your hands! Jewish people, you have to repent. Jesus was the King of Israel. Through the principle of indemnity Hitler killed 6 million Jews. That is why. God could not prevent Satan from doing that because Israel killed the True Parents. Even now, you have to determine that you will repent and follow and become one with Christianity through Rev. Moon."
Despite Moon's animus toward homosexuality, an ecclesiastical member of the "Invitational Committee" for the March 23 crowning event was Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings, who has a colorful past. As Jason Berry, an expert on the Catholic sex-abuse scandal, reported: "In 1989, The Washington Post began coverage of the flamboyant George Stallings, who quit the [Catholic] priesthood rather than follow Cardinal Hickey's request to enter a treatment facility after abuse accusations by former altar boys. He, too, was never prosecuted. Stallings launched his own religion, with drums, dancing, and stem-winding sermons that bestirred a tongue-in-cheek profile by 60 Minutes's Morley Safer." Accusing the Roman Church of racism, Stallings founded the Afro-centric Imani Temple in 1989 in Washington D.C. He is, among other things, the chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), a Unificationist organization. Stalling and the group have lately been involved in a crusade, inspired by Moon, to remove crosses from Christian churches, partly as an interfaith gesture and because of its alleged negative connotations.
Unificationist spokesmen claimed that 300 Christian congregations had removed the cross from their churches between April and August 2003.
Moon claims to have had the late North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung among his supporters. According to the Unification Church, "Risking his life, Reverend Moon traveled to North Korea in December 1991, and met with President Kim Il Sung, under whose regime he had been tortured and sent to a labor camp. … The North Korean ruler, who had suppressed religion for 40 years, completely welcomed Reverend and Mrs. Moon."
Since then, Moon has strengthened his ties with the Stalinist regime - including establishing an automobile plant in North Korea. A South Korean newspaper reported in August 2003 that there is a "strong relationship between the North Korean government and the Unification Church, or Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. The church, which owns Pyonghwa and such companies as the Tongil Group, the Washington Times, and UPI news service, among others, has had close ties with the North. The church and its business empire have engaged in not only North Korean business projects, but also many inter-Korean cultural exchange programs since the early 1990s. They have held inter-Korean art exhibitions, scholarly exchange programs and sports exchange programs. Recently, the Moon empire has established a hotel, a park and a church in the North."
Credit is due to John Gorenfeld, a San Francisco-based investigative reporter who first brought the March 23 event to public attention. He provides valuable links and documentation about the Moon cult at his web log, http://www.gorenfeld.net/blog/.
This story is based on an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Lee Penn, False Dawn: The United Religions Initiative, Globalism, and the Quest for a One-World Religion, to be published this summer by Sophia Perennis Press.
To learn more about THE CHRISTIAN CHALLENGE, please visit: http://www.occfgroup.org/tcc
EUROPE WITHOUT CHRISTIAN ROOTS
From a link at EnvoyEncore to an article at InterestAlert:
The European Union has rejected the requests of some member nations to recognize Christianity in its new constitution.
Checked them again tonight. I found a couple of retreats that looked on their own website like they may be authentically Catholic. I found this one as well:
MONTH-LONG “PRAYER OF THE HEART” retreat in beautiful Oregon. Live in a monastic setting and enjoy break days to beaches and mountains. June 30-July 30, $2,295. Also, private retreats anytime. Contact: Dorothy Pulkka, OSB, Shalom Prayer Center, 840 S. Main St., Mount Angel, OR 97362. Phone: (503) 845-6773. E-mail: email@example.com Web site: www.open.org/shalom
The "Prayer of the Heart" retreat looks Catholic on their "Scheduled Programs" webpage. This one doesn't though:
The Hurley/Donson Breakthrough Enneagram® Seminar
Rooted in ancient wisdom, the Enneagram is an updated method of self-understanding and spiritual growth. Come learn your pattern number and how it affects your way of perceiving and living your life. This is a full day of teaching with time for questions and clarification. Presenter Jo Morton, OSB, is a Hurley/Donson Certified Advanced Enneagram Teacher.
October 16, 2004
Saturday, 9am - 4pm
$60, $30 deposit
Register by October 12
Enneagram. An occult practice. Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada has a website dedicated to exposing the problems. From the website:
Who is George Gurdjieff, and why is he having such a massive indirect impact on our churches today? Why in particular are ‘post-charismatic’ Roman Catholics, especially well-meaning nuns, becoming caught up in his questionable practices?(1) The Rev. Dr. Robert Innes, Lecturer in Systematic Theology at St. John’s College: Durham, England, tells us that the man credited with bringing the Enneagram to the West is George Gurdjieff, a Greek-Armenian from what is now the Republic of Georgia. While still a teen, Gurdjieff became immersed in occultic practices such as astrology, mental telepathy, spiritism, table turning, fortune telling and demon possession. Gurdjieff claimed that while he was in Afghanistan in 1897, he visited a monastery of the esoteric Sarmouni sect where he learned their mystical Sufi dancing, psychic powers and the Enneagram.
The recognized expert on the occult establishment, James Webb, discusses Gurdjieff, saying:
Just before the outbreak of the First World War, this enigmatic figure had appeared in Moscow and St. Petersburg and gathered around him a band of disciples drawn chiefly from the illuminated intelligentsia. ... Gurdjieff's system...probably originates in a combination of Western occultism and certain Oriental doctrines. ...the man through whom Gurdjieff was to become most widely known...[was] P. D. Ouspensky...[who] had been intimately connected with the Theosophists. (The Occult Establishment, p. 179-180)
So what is Enneagram doing at a Catholic retreat house? And why is NCR running their classified? Well, for a magazine that advertises for vocations for the (Theosophical) Liberal Catholic Church, perhaps this retreat is right in line with their thinking.
Before leaving the NCR classified for tonight, I checked their Vocations entries to see if the ad might be back for the Liberal Catholic Church. No, it's not there. This one is, though:
STUDY ONLINE FOR valid Holy Orders in Apostolic Succession: www.InclusiveChristians.org
The link takes you here. While you're on that webpage, click the link for "The Ecumenical Catholic Church". (It's near the bottom of the website.) This is what you'll get. They are so "ecumenical" that they are agitating for same-sex marriage.
NCR classified is a veritable heresy directory! Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission mentions this church.
Delvaux, formerly a priest of the archdiocese of Los Angeles (serving as associate pastor at St. John Fisher in Palos Verdes and St. Patrick Church in North Hollywood) left the priesthood and went into business. About ten years later he met Bishop Peter Hickman of the "Ecumenical Catholic Church" in Orange and "realized that maybe Catholic ministry was still possible. He eventually became associate pastor at Hickman's St. Matthew's church in Orange. On October 1, 1995, Delvaux was consecrated bishop by Bishop E. Paul Raible, the pastor of Good Shepherd American Catholic church.
All of the priests of Good Shepherd (except Raible) are former Roman Catholics. Two of these, George Lesinski and Mariano Tomaszewski, were ordained Roman Catholic priests. Tomaszewski, like Delvaux, was a priest of the archdiocese of Los Angeles, assigned, first, to St. Vibiana's Cathedral and then to St. Philip's in Pasadena. He left to marry. Jack Kearney, another priest at Good Shepherd, was a Vincentian deacon, who left because, said Delvaux, he wanted to continue a ministry he had started with alcoholics. On February 7, 1999, Kearney was ordained priest by Raible.
The same article mentions another church, too:
Established in England in 1916 as a reorganization of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain, the first priests of the Liberal Catholic Church were Theosophists. Today, though all Liberal Catholics are not Theosophists, Theosophical ideas still play a large part in the church.
"Theosophy," according to Robert Ellwood, a Liberal Catholic priest in Altadena, "is a kind of philosophical position that emphasizes the inner workings and the inner meanings of the divine, seeing things in the outer world as shadows and symbols of the archetypes and things in the divine." Ellwood, who had been an Episcopal priest and a Quaker before joining the Liberal Catholics in the early '90s, had also been a member of the Theosophical Society.
Somehow that word "Theosophy" just keeps coming up when I do a little searching on the material NCR decides to run on its classified web page.
There is one more entry under NCR's "vocations" listing:
CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH in North America -- Marital status and gender not an impediment to holy orders. Phone: (212) 923-1901. Web site: www.cacina.org
This church traces it's apostolic succession through the Costa line. If you want to be a bishop of this church, here is how you go about it. Their "Principles" page outlines their beliefs, including:
Following the guidance of Bishop Duarte-Costa, CACINA respects "...freedom of thought in matters...religious, civil, political, scientific, and philosophical ... not permitting any person to be questioned under any pretext in relation to his beliefs, so that his rights and obligations are not conditioned or limited in any way" (quotations from the English translation of the Statutes of ICAB (1945).
CACINA, therefore, leaves to the informed conscience of our people matters which are properly theirs to decide before God. ...
CACINA welcomes all people, regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation, to participation in the life and Sacraments of the Church; asking only moral conduct which is appropriate for all Christians.
There is one more organization listed under vocations, The Reformed Catholic Church.
REFORMED CATHOLIC CHURCH, progressive and inclusive. Valid orders. Tutorial seminary. Personalized ministry. PO Box 725, Hampton Bays, NY 11946. Phone: (631) 728-2633
A quick Google indicates this will take too much time to research tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Preliminary investigation seems to indicate they trace their apostolic succession through the Old Catholics, but it needs further checking.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
VATICAN SUMMIT AIMS TO COMBAT "ALTERNATIVE" RELIGIONS"
A reader sent in this link to a story at the UK Independent:
Catholics from more than 25 countries are in Rome this week to hammer out a strategy for combating the threat posed to Christianity by "New Age" religions and fads. ...
New Age is getting a grip on Christians because many are failing to find authentic spirituality in the Church. They are failing to find, as the report put it, "the importance of man's spiritual dimension and its integration with the whole of life, the search for life's meaning, the link between human beings and the rest of creation, the desire for personal and social transformation, and the rejection of a rationalistic and materialistic view of humanity."
While one of the two "pontifical councils" involved in taking up the challenge is that for "inter-religious dialogue", suggesting that the New Agers be dealt with on a similar footing to Muslims, Jews, and indeed Anglicans, the Pope himself appears to see the issue as a simple matter of right and wrong.
"We cannot delude ourselves," he says, that "this return of ancient Gnostic ideas" "will lead toward a renewal of religion." It is, he said, "a way of distorting His Word ... in distinct, if not declared, conflict with all that is essentially Christian".
The time for a decisive battle is clearly fast approaching. And the message to faithful in the report is plain: quit "shopping around in the world's fair of religious proposals."
SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT
At New Wine International, of International Charismatic Bible Ministries, affiliated with Partners in Harvest, Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship
FBM International Ministry, South Africa
Signs and Wonders at Wellspring Church of all Nations. At a revival in the Philippines, "as Pastor Stover preached there were 12 fire balls that flew from his hands" at various times during the service.
Foundation Ministries Taylorsville, KY (scroll down for several pictures)
The Catholic version. (scroll down)
WHAT IS HE DOING ?
other than trying to set his vestments on fire, that is...
And this one??
Does the boy in this picture have a cigarette? He seems to be enjoying it rather more than common tobacco would warrant. Maybe it's something else.
It doesn't appear to be a Mass. Maybe this is the new liturgy for consecrating candles? The church looks nice. Lots of Catholic symbolism in evidence, though I would expect that Novus Ordo Watch (where I got these links) probably wouldn't agree. Anybody out there read German who can tell me what this is about?
From the Telegraph website:
A Roman Catholic priest in Argentina has published memoirs recounting his sexual exploits with women and a frustrated gay liaison.
The autobiography, No Beating About The Bush, The Life of a Priest, tells of the life and loves of 77-year-old Fr Jose Mariani during his 53 years as parish priest to an affluent community in Cordoba, Argentina's third largest city.
The book, not surprisingly, has triggered a national debate about celibacy in Argentina via talk radio.
This comment from a priest must be raising eyebrows!
Another Cordoban priest, José Amado Aguirre, said: "The Roman catechism which speaks of sins upon sins has to be burnt. Christ's code is one of love. It is not a penal code."
I wonder if he plans to write his own?
has been studied, and the results are being made public. An article at the UK Telegraph offers the opinion that it was not as bad as we have believed:
Church officials said that statistics and other data demolished myths about the Inquisition, including that torture and executions were commonly used.
"For the first time we studied the Inquisition in its entirety, from its beginnings to the 19th century," said Agostino Borromeo, a professor of history of Catholic and other Christian confessions at Rome's Sapienza University. Prof Borromeo said that while there were some 125,000 trials of suspected heretics in Spain, research found that about one per cent of the defendants were executed, far fewer than commonly believed. Many of the burnings at the stake were carried out by civil rather than religious tribunals.
MATT C. ABBOTT ON THE SEAMLESS GARMENT
The Straight Guy with the Catholic Eye tackles the "seamless garment" approach to abortion and a priest who expresses it, and goes on to describe the Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church sponsored by American Life League--a walking band of young people who are trying to change the Nation. He says in part:
Fr. Collins, and those of like mind, subscribe to the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin's "seamless garment" philosophy, which basically places opposition to abortion in the same moral category as opposition to a host of other social ills. According to this philosophy, it isn't that bad if a pollitician suports abortion, as long as he or she is "right" on the other issues.
Well, I say the emperor looks better with no clothes than wearing the see-through "seamless garment."
ST. BLOGS' FR. BRYCE SYBLEY
YEA FATHER...and YEA SENATOR ROMERO !
Austin Ruse sent out e-mail this morning passing along the following article:
CULTURE & COSMOS
June 15, 2004
Volume 1, Number 45
Priest's Meeting with Politician Results in Change of Heart on Cloning
A meeting in Louisiana between a Catholic state senator and a parish priest resulted in the lawmaker changing his position in time to cast a crucial vote against "therapeutic" cloning, the creation of cloned human beings to be used and destroyed in medical research. The lawmakers' openness to guidance stands in stark contrast to a number of prominent Catholic politicians who advocate policies on human cloning, abortion and stem-cell research that deviate from the Church's fundamental teaching on the duty to protect innocent human life, and yet still claim to be in full communion with the Church.
On May 17, the Louisiana Senate considered a bill that would have banned some types of cloning, but not therapeutic cloning. When an amendment to the bill was offered that would have also banned therapeutic cloning, Craig Romero, a Republican representing the 22nd state senatorial district, voted against it.
Father Bryce Sibley, who is pastor of St. Joseph Parish, a church located in Romero's district, learned of Romero's vote and took immediate action. He harnessed the political power of the Catholic laity, admonishing parishioners from the pulpit to inform Romero that they did not agree with his vote.
His parishioners took up the challenge, and after Romero's office had received numerous calls of complaint, Romero decided to contact Father Sibley to discuss the matter. Father Sibley told Culture & Cosmos that Romero "was confused on what therapeutic cloning really did. He told me that a bunch of doctors were brought in who said allowing such cloning would save children's lives and that he only wanted to help sick children." Father Sibley said he explained to Romero that such research, even if it were successful, would amount to killing one life to save another. "The senator said 'No one explained it to me. Now I understand.'" The meeting ended with Romero's assurance that when the senate took up the question again he would oppose all forms of human cloning.
On May 25, when the senate considered another bill that banned all types of cloning, Romero voted for it. More importantly, when an amendment was offered that would have allowed for therapeutic cloning Romero, true to his word, voted against it. The amendment failed by a margin of only two votes, making Romero's opposition essential. The legislation now awaits the signature of Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat who is also a Catholic, who has sent mixed signals regarding her position on the topic.
Father Sibley said his actions were a function of the teaching office entrusted to him by virtue of his ordination and his office as pastor. Addressing concerns about mixing Church and state, Father Sibley said, "Even though a priest is not to get directly involved in politics he has to be able to inform his people. We don't oppose therapeutic cloning primarily because the Church says so. It's natural law. I can explain it to anyone regardless of whether or not they believe in the Catholic Church."
The most important lesson Father Sibley said he gained from the episode was how easily it was to advance the culture of life "I was amazed to think that here I was, one little priest with a country parish in the middle of rural Louisiana, and we were able to turn around this vote. Think if we had more people in the Church being proactive on life issues."
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ABORTION AND THE EUCHARIST
Last Sunday I posted the 4 points from the homily at Mass, that were made in reflection on whether a Catholic politician who votes for Abortion should be denied the Euchrist.
Today a reader has sent in a link to Fr. Anthony Mary's June 12, 2004 homily on the same subject. The homily is on tape at EWTN. Fr. Anthony's homily is No. 3 on the list. He makes his points emphatically just as the priest at my parish did, but his understanding of the issues is exactly opposite that which I heard at Mass. He says:
* First we must inform our conscience as to what the Church teaches.
* It is a sin to vote for a candidate who votes for abortion.
* Life issues are not a seamless garment. Some issues are more important than others because some lives are more innocent than others. * The Pope sets apart for special consideration the innocence of pre-born life, and makes a distinction for the unborn child.
* A politician's voting record is available to anyone.
* Voting for abortion is a grave sin.
* We are not eligible to receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin.
* Shepherds have a responsibility to lead even when the issues are difficult.
Fr. Anthony clarifies each of these points in his homily which runs approx. 25 min. If you are pressed for time, skip the first segment on the scale. In about 15 min. you can get the meat of his homily.
After hearing both homilies...one opposing denial of Eucharist and the other approving it, the truth appears to me to be on the side of denial. A drastic measure to be sure, and not one to be embraced as a first response. But we are way past the first response. Legal abortion has been with us for decades and the numbers keep going up. It's time to take drastic steps to defend innocent life.
UNIFICATION CHURCH IN SOLID WITH SENATE ?
From WorldNetDaily, sent in by a reader:
Dressed in a floor-length cape, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon was dubbed the king of peace at a coronation ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building attended by several members of Congress.
NEW DOCUMENT ON NEW AGE
is in the works at the Vatican according to an article at Zenit sent in by a reader.
ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT ON DENIAL OF COMMUNION
an interview from the Denver Post sent in by a reader. In light of the point made in Sunday's homily that I blogged, i.e., that we cannot focus exclusively on abortion, but rather must focus on all life issues, I note Chaput's response: Q: Some Catholics are worried that if the church's leaders focus on certain issues over others, they appear partisan. Do you share that concern?
A: No. That's almost always code language for telling the Church to be quiet about abortion. There are many, many people of both major parties, Republicans and Democrats, who work for the Church in Colorado. The Church is never partisan. Here in Denver, both of my senior legislative advisers are active Democrats. More than 80 percent of our state lobbying efforts and the vast majority of our Church's financial and personnel resources go to social issues that have nothing to do with abortion. But that doesn't change the fact that abortion is the central social issue of this moment in our national history - not the only issue, but the foundational issue; the pivotal issue. For Catholics to ignore it or downplay it or "contextualize" it would be an act of cowardice.
FR. TOM DOYLE - AT THE SNAP CONFERENCE IN DENVER
From Rocky Mountain News Thomas Doyle, trained as a canon lawyer, pumped the crowd by calling the Catholic system hopeless, as in: "Trying to figure out the Catholic Church," he said to laughter, "is like going to Neptune and trying to figure out the sewer system."
Thanks to a areader for the link.
Monday, June 14, 2004
This organization does radio spots in the Columbus, Ohio area, promoting sexual abstinence before marriage.
SATANISM IN ITALY
From an article at Chiesa.
Another case of the interweaving of truth and propaganda is that of Marco Dimitri, the founder and head of the “Children of Satan,” in Bologna. Appealing, as if to his spiritual instructor, to the English sorcerer Aleister Crowley, who called himself “the wickedest man in the world,” Dimitri exalts a Satan more symbolic than personal: “money, orgasm, music, lesbianism, and betrayal.” His rites take place between broken-down hovels and city apartments, with black curtains, skulls, and diabolical designs. His adepts are signed with the 666 of the Great Beast, written in blood. Unbridled sex is the rule, including incest. In 1992, the military police interrupted a rite in full swing. Trial, acquittal, and publicity. Dimitri became a guest in high demand for the television talk shows: the only self-declared, public satanist in Italy, the number of his adepts jumped from a few dozen to two hundred. But he is also more closely observed than before. In 1996, he was accused of acts of sexual molestation against a woman and a boy, and of human sacrifice. He was arrested, tried, and acquitted for these crimes, but was convicted for tax evasion: he charged admission for his rites, and pocketed the money without issuing any receipts. In 1999, there was another police investigation. Dimitri accused Catholic anti-cult groups of persecuting him unfairly, and the anonymous libertarians of Bologna who sign themselves as Luther Blisset came to his defense. Today, his “Children of Satan” are still the most organized and numerous of the satanic groups in Italy, but the number of his adepts has fallen to fewer than fifty. Publicity was for him a two-edged sword, and worked more against him than in his favor.
There is a high and a low satanism. The former is organized, with centers, publications, and newspapers. In Italy, apart from Dimitri’s cult, there are two Churches of Satan in schism with each other, and a handful of miniscule groups. In all there are just over two hundred affiliates, and thousands of them throughout the world. It is the most elaborate form of satanism, but also the one easiest to control. This is the form that goes into the history books, beginning with its debut at the court of the Sun King, in the middle of the 1600’s. It was a Parisian aristocrat, Catherine La Voisin, who invented the black mass, a perverse parody of the Catholic mass, with sexual practices and child sacrifices on the altar. It was demolished by Louis XIV’s frosty police chief, Nicholas de la Reynie. ...
It is not high satanism, but the low form that most worries the Church: the disordered and wild satanism that has no organizations, addresses, or ideologies, but permeates circles of pedophiles, criminal gangs, sadomasochist clubs, and above all groups of young people. It is not the satanism of Charles Manson, but rather that of his namesake, Marilyn Manson. Not that of the black masses, but of black metal music.
Wild satanism knows nothing of the elaborations of occultism. It surfs the internet, lives in the discotheques, uses drugs, and listens to and reproduces a very particular kind of music. It is the music of the Dark Wave, “Gothic,” which began in the 1970’s in England and the United States with Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath, and immediately became a subculture dripping with blood, death, and the macabre, with its own slang, its own style of dressing all in black, its magazines like “Propaganda” and “Ghastly,” its horror fiction, like that of Anne Rice, its music groups. One of the most successful of these last is Venom, with the compilation “Welcome to Hell,” from 1997 ...
John Paul II caught a glimpse of this shadowy, infernal cloud when he decided at the midpoint of his pontificate, almost as if by instinct, to dedicate himself body and soul to the young masses. The World Youth Days are his crusade against the smoke of Satan, in defense of the purity of the new generation. The children of light against the children of darkness. He has scant following within the Church; the devil and hell have fallen into disuse, and exorcisms are fewer than few. But here, too, the pope holds the torch up high. He practices exorcisms himself, and not in secret. That the world may know.
There is also an interview with Fr. Amorth at the website, from which the following are taken:
Q: What links the possessed with satanists?
A: “It frequently happens that a person becomes possessed after entering a spiritualist or satanic cult. There are few of these in my care, because only repentant satanists ask for exorcism. But I think there are many more among them. It is easy to enter the satanic cults, but extremely difficult to get out. In some cases, one risks one’s life.”
Q: Apart from the pope, what is belief in the devil like in the Church?
A: “Very diminished. And the devil is extremely content with that, because that frees his hand to do his work. The Church has gone from one extreme to the other. To correct the folly of witch hunting, who instead of being exorcised were burned, it has erased everything, both devil and exorcism. The result is that entire Catholic regions no longer have even a single exorcist: Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland. I admire the Italian bishops. They don’t understand anything about it, but at least they appoint exorcists. Last year there was a meeting of the Italian exorcists: there were one hundred and seventy of us.”
Q: Explain better; in what sense do the bishops not understand anything about this?
A: “Because they, like all priests, have studied at the seminary. And for a long time, the seminary has taught nothing about angels or demons, nothing about exorcisms, nothing about the sins against the first commandment, ‘You shall have no God but me’: magic, spiritism, and satanism.”
Q: And the Vatican curia?
A: “The same incompetence. They approved a new ritual which, for the exorcists, is a disaster. It forbids acting in the case of a curse, when this is the source of 90 percent of the cases of possession. It forbids acting if there is no previous certainty of diabolical action, when this can be understood only in the course of action. Fortunately, the old ritual is still valid. I use that one; otherwise, I would have to quit.”
FROM THE DIOCESE OF LINCOLN, NEBRASKA WEBSITE
What is the religion called Theosophy
Theosophy is a strange religion invented by Helena Blavatsky. It combines elements of Hinduism, spiritualism, pantheism, reincarnation, clairvoyance, beliefs in astral body influences, etc. Madame Blavatsky was succeeded in 1890 as the head of this religion by Annie Bresant, who had previously been an Anglican and an atheist. Sometimes theosophists link up with a group called the "Liberal Catholic Church," which mimics some of the external rites of the Catholic Church, but in reality is an occult and evil sect.
Reprinted July 4, 1997
POLITICS OF THE EU
from BBC News: They aim to be the Trojan Horse that brings down the fortress of a federal Europe from inside. They are now within the gates, though heavily outnumbered. They comprise a mixed band of political warriors - the Eurosceptics, the nation-state sovereignists and the anti-corruption fighters. They are about to claim their seats in the European Parliament, an institution which they deride. Will it end in a rout, like in A Bridge Too Far? Or in a triumph against the odds, as in The Guns of Navarone? The next five years will tell.
... In Poland, the Catholic, anti-EU League of Polish Families won second place among the parties and 10 seats. Maciej Giertych, one of their leaders, says Poland must quit the EU to enjoy real independence. His group is sworn to stop the birth of a "Federal Republic of Europe". Another band of seven Poles from the Self-Defence of Poland party also oppose Poland's terms of EU accession and the "Brussels system".
And in Sweden, another new-born Eurosceptic group, the June Movement, captured 3 seats.
FREEMASONRY AND THE DA VINCI CODE
from a neutral source.
ST. JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA PARISH
An Apostolic Johannite Church, which meets on Wednesday at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This is the church linked on the website giving the Bio of Rev. Father Ken Madden, Vicar General, The Apostolic Johannite Church, that I've linked below. Rev. Madden is a Mason, as his bio. makes clear, and a Grand Lodge Officer in the Alberta jurisdiction.
The Unitarians are the only "Christian" denomination that I've found that meets in Masonic Lodges. Here is an example of that (scroll down to near the bottom):
Sugarloaf is growing. Our old Fellowship Hall in Gaithersburg is no longer big enough on Sunday morning. We are happy to report that we have found a larger space in the Germantown Masonic Lodge for our Sunday services. We are just across from the entrance to the Germantown campus of Montgomery College. Please come visit us in our beautiful new worship space.
For those who have read The Da Vinci Code the name of the church is significant in that Joseph of Arimathea was said to have brought Mary Magdalene to France after the Crucifixion, when she was carrying Christ's child.
The Catholic Encyclopedia entry for Joseph of Arimathea says of this claim:
Likewise fabulous is the legend which tells of his coming to Gaul A.D. 63, and thence to Great Britain, where he is supposed to have founded the earliest Christian oratory at Glastonbury. Finally, the story of the translation of the body of Joseph of Arimathea from Jerusalem to Moyenmonstre (Diocese of Toul) originated late and is unreliable.
and Freemasonry. Below is a portion of the bio. for the Bishop of The Apostolic Johannite Church. The association with Freemasonry is obvious here. From the website:
In addition, while in Kamloops, Ken joined a Lodge of Freemasonry.
Upon moving to Calgary, AB, he realized that his search for a more personal Spirituality was not easily to be found in the various Church's that he visited in that city and that he could not 'go back' and find the warmth and acceptance of his earlier congregation in Kamloops.
He chose instead to find a Tradition that incorporated his beliefs of openness, acceptance of various Faith Traditions and personal contemplative spirituality. He started investigating the Western Mystery Tradition roots that are likely one root stream of Freemasonry and found the Gnostic Christian path and eventually met with his Eminence, the Most Reverend, +Shaun McCann. (Scroll down to McCann. Stephen Hoeller, a major influence, is also on this list.)
He has undertaken and completed the Apostolic Johannite Church's Formation program, while serving in Minor Orders. He was the 1st Initiate to the Ordo Equitum Arcani Iohannis and is a member of the Friary among other Orders
As a Freemason, he has been accorded several honors, to which he now attempts to live up to: firstly as a Grand Lodge Officer in the Alberta jurisdiction, as a 2X Master of his Lodge, and as an Elected Representative to the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Jurisdiction until June 2006.
Ken+ lives with his wife and children in Calgary, AB and works in the computer field when not working for the Church and the Lodge or otherwise volunteering.
He currently presides over services at the Parish of St. Joseph of Arimathea.
While this denomination is miniscule, the concept is growing. If or when all of these gnostic groups are ever able to come together, they will be a force that must be reckoned with, particularly considering what is inside of our own Roman Catholic Church, a represented by what is happening in Fatima.
HERE SHE IS AGAIN
Scroll down to the bottom of this website where "magical items" are offered to sale. Aren't those images a saint and Christ?
We must really be onto something...they all want to copy us!
CARE TO JOIN THE FREE CATHOLIC CHURCH ?
* Freedom from Binding Dogmas (hmmm, like the Ten Commandments, for instance?)
* Sacraments free from conditions (John Kerry, call your office!)
* Interreligious Gnostic Freedom (Fatima Rector, call your office!)
* Eucharist, Catholic, Para-orthodox
* Ritual Meditation for Selfknowledge
* A Liberation "Yoga" of Christ
* God Says "Set At Liberty"
* Proclaim Release to Catholic Souls
* Recover Sight to Blind Souls
At the very least, they really need a new web designer.
HAVEN'T FIGURED THIS ONE OUT YET
but you might want to take a look. Christo-Heathenry ? ? ? ? ?
LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH SPRING NEWSLETTER 2004
A dispute has arisen in the Liberal Catholic Church which has divided the church into two factions. This newsletter spells out the reason why this does not affect unity, the following being the chief reason:
As Liberal Catholics, we are the Church and as long as we choose to remain in it, we will be a part of it.
Same strategy the liberal Roman Catholics use. Change it from within, instead of leaving and forming your own church. Here's another strategy from the newsletter that sounds familiar:
The Bishops always took great care to include in Canon Law only those rules absolutely necessary to manage the Church, leaving latitude to the Regionary Bishops to adapt the government of their provinces to the local cultures and customs.
That has been the strategy of Rome since Vatican II, but particularly under the present Pontificate, though admittedly our Code of Canon Law is extensive. Let the Bishops govern as they wish. Let one bishop oppose another bishop over Abortion and the reception of the Eucharist, for instance. Let no direction be imposed from the top.
The newsletter continues:
Following the meeting of the General Synod of the Liberal Catholic Church in St. Albans (2000), conservative Bishops began to introduce increasingly restrictive provisions in Canon Law, in an attempt to slow the process of adaptation of the Church to the changeing modern society. Although the discussions were focused mostly on the position of women in the Church, this issue was only a symptom of the deep social differences existing in the various parts of the Liberal Catholic Church.
Again, the similarities between this dispute in the Liberal Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church are striking.
The newsletter also indicates that ledership in liberalizing the ordination of women to Minor Orders started in the Netherlands. The Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands has been in the vanguard in travel down the slippery slope into liberalism.
ANOTHER AD IN NCR CLASSIFIED
is for the Redondo Retreat Center.(Scroll down to "Quiet Mountain Retreat")
QUIET MOUNTAIN RETREAT in New Mexico -- Redondo Retreat Center in the sacred Jemez Mountains, 80 minutes from Albuquerque, pine forest with hiking trails, access to natural hot springs and breathtaking views and a labyrinth. Options include sabbatical, guided retreats, privacy, reiki, massage, Native American-guided sweats and sitting meditations with the local Zen Mandala Center.. Other options include: ceremonies, shamanic journeying, drumming circle and day trips to Santa Fe, Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde, Colo. For more information write, call or e-mail: Sharon Palma, 7 Oso Place, Jemez Springs, NM 87025. Phone: (505) 829-3185. E-mail: email@example.com
This retreat center is owned by a member of the Sisters of Loretto community (nun? former?) who has adopted and raised 16 children. She has some curious interests that she incorporated into her retreat center. Along with a labyrinth, you will find: Healers themselves have been drawn here because of the beautiful mineral hot springs, sacred sites and the gathering of like-minded people. We are blessed to be associated with a number of these "Jemez Healers,", who are available for a variety of services. These include counseling, body work, energy work, emotional and mental clearing, herbal medicine, prayer circles, oracle readings, guided meditations and many other modalities. Services are available on an individual basis, in groups, workshops, and on guided tours to special places in the area.
Oracle readings?? I'm not sure what you'd call her retreat center, but the word "Catholic" doesn't seem to apply. Redondo's Spiritual Journeys presents a hodge podge of spiritualities including:
The labyrinth is a symbol representing the whole Universe and is a guide to the non-dualistic world, where one meets "the Divine Mother, the God within, the Goddess, the Holy in all of creation." It is a silent walking meditation, connecting us with our core selves, the Godhead. Ours has been patterned after the Hopi style containing seven concentric rings.
There is also an Ancestor's Prayer Pit, and
we are pleased to offer a variety of activities that blend Native American, Creation/Earth Spirituality and Celtic teachings at various times throughout the year.
Also you will find
Ceremonies are performed throughout the year, including Full Moon, Solstice, Medicine Wheel, Vision Quest, and the Drumming Circle. We invite you to join us in these activities. Drumming activities and shamanic journeying are also available for anyone interested in participating.
Rather than Catholic, what seems to apply here is "Syncretistic." Albert Pike would be so proud of her.
After reading this page in the website, perhaps even "Syncretistic" is stretching it. Perhaps the name "resort" would better fit what this lady is offering, and she is just trading on the word "retreat" in order to sound superior to the vacation trade.
Then there is the Service Program for Students set up to facilitate the 30 hours of service projects for high school and college students. On this webpage Sharon Palma claims to be a member of the Sisters of Loretto community, so would these students be Catholic? If they are, their Catholic parents need to be vigilant here since the students:
participate in spiritual exercises designed for individual and group interaction, take part in a sweat lodge guided by a couple from the Pueblo, and perform in a drumming circle as a ceremony of connection to Great Spirit and Mother Earth. Students are also introduced to Celtic Spirituality, which is very close in essence to Native American Spirituality, and also learn about the labyrinth of ancient roots.
This is what passes for Catholic at National Catholic Reporter? John Allen, call your office!
CLASSIFIED PAGE CLEANSED
Tonight the NCR Classified page under the heading "vocations" has eliminated the ad for the Liberal Catholic Church. Here is what is up tonight:
REFORMED CATHOLIC CHURCH, progressive and inclusive. Valid orders. Tutorial seminary. Personalized ministry. PO Box 725, Hampton Bays, NY 11946. Phone: (631) 728-2633
STUDY ONLINE FOR valid Holy Orders in Apostolic Succession: www.InclusiveChristians.org
CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH in North America -- Marital status and gender not an impediment to holy orders. Phone: (212) 923-1901. Web site: www.cacina.org
Sunday, June 13, 2004
NOW THERE ARE SEMINARS ON THE DA VINCI CODE
To debunk the book and answer questions about Christianity, Bible scholars are presenting seminars on "The Da Vinci Code' throughout Southern California. A June 3 seminar at St. Joseph's Conference & Evangelization Center in Alhambra had an audience of 240 people, a record for such meetings. At La Canada Presbyterian Church, a recent seminar attracted about 500.
SEX ABUSE SCANDAL HAS FOREVER CHANGED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
a commentary at MichNews.com. by freelance writer Connie Lynne Carrillo. A very good commentary. She is disillusioned with the Church and places the reasons why in juxtaposition to an old prayer book, falling apart and forgotten, that she discovered at the bottom of a full drawer.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
POLITICAL ABORTION SUPPORTERS AND THE DENIAL OF THE EUCHARIST
was the topic--the only topic--covered in this morning's homily by our visiting priest. He delivered what he had to say in a firm voice, and he stopped talking when a baby started to cry, until the mother took the child out of church--something not done before at my church, to the best of my knowledge. I took his demeanor to mean that he wanted us to hear every word he had to say. This homily was significantly contrary to the norm. After reminding us that Bishop Pilla has not spoken publicly on the topic (not touching on the fact that Dennis Kucinnich, a Catholic presidential candidate from Cleveland who has recently switched from a pro-life to a pro-choice position), he made four specific points that he told us we should keep in mind when entering into debate on this topic. They were: 1. In the miracle of the loaves and fishes, a precursor to the Last Supper, Christ fed the entire crowd. Eucharist is food for the hungry. He did not ask who was hungry before passing out food.
2. Christ fed all who were hungry. He also gave His Body and Blood to all of the Apostles at the Last Supper in spite of the fact that He knew Judas would betray Him.
3. We are not to judge others, but only ourselves. There was no judgment of worthiness at the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. All were fed. No one is truly worthy of the Eucharist.
4. All life must be defended, from cradle to grave. We may not be one issue Catholics who single out just one aspect of a pro-life agenda and stand behind that issue.
He did not state his personal opinion. I concluded by the end of the homily that he does not believe the Eucharist should be denied to politicians who vote for abortion, but it was my conclusion rather than his direct statement.
Since he gave us these guidelines so that we could come to the debate informed, I will respond to them.
1. While it is true the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes foretold the Miracle of the Eucharist, Christ did not say the words he used at the Last Supper which effect Transubstantiation. Therefore the Loaves and Fishes were not Eucharist. Worthiness to receive the Eucharist is not the same as worthiness to eat the family dinner. We incur no additional sin by eating bread and fish in the state of mortal sin.
2. The fact that I will commit a mortal sin tomorrow does not bar me from the Eucharist today. Sin committed yesterday or on my way to Mass, however, does. Some argument can be made here for Judas' intention to sin, however. Yet this would not be public, and therefore would not give scandal. A politician who has voted for abortion and expressed publicly his intention to continue voting for abortion gives scandal and challenges the Church to speak out against him. If the challenge is not met, if there is no response to the public denial of the teachings of the faith, it is the equivalent of giving approval of what the politician is about to do. If we say that the Eucharist is not for a person in mortal sin, and still give Euchrist to a person who claims publicly that he is in a state of mortal sin and intends to remain in that state, we sin through lack of charity.
3. We are not to judge others BEFORE we have similarly judged ourselves. If judgment were not permitted, we would not be given directions on the proper carrying out of this judgment in John 7:24. 1 Cor. 6:1-11 would not discuss judgment. 2 Thes. 3:14-15 would not tell us to admonish brothers and not to assiciate with those who reject the teachings of the faith. Col. 3:16 directs us to admonish one another. Again in 1 Thes. 5:14-15 we are told to admonish the idle (which we cannot do unless we have first judged that they are idle) and to see that no one returns evil for evil (requiring yet another two judgment calls). In 2 Thes. 3:6 we are told to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received, and in 2 Thes. 3:14 we are told if anyone does not obey, take note of this person not to associate with him, that he may be put to shame. Thus in Thessalonians we are told to judge and to express that judgment in a way that shames the sinner. While it is true that we must take the plank out of our own eye before removing the splinter from our neighbor's, we are not told to avoid removing the splinter. We have responsibility to encourage each other in the practice of the faith and to challenge each other when we see deviation from that practice.
4. Indeed all life is worthy of defense. However, all life is not equal. The innocent have a greater claim for our defence because they have not incurred the temporal punishment due to sin. If, instead of killing an unborn baby, abortion were a means by which we killed a 6-month-old baby, would anyone have any doubt that this innocent life had a primary claim for our defense? In addition, abortion is the field in which the most lives are being taken. The numbers in other pro-life issues simply don't come close. While every area of the pro-life debate must be considered, we must put our effort where the most lives--and the most innocent lives--can be saved. Abortion is the gravest offense because it is the most frequent offense and it targets those who have gathered no guilt unto themselves.
An additional comment... This claim that we must avoid judgment, while not being consistent with Scripture, is the claim made by Rudolf Steiner. He makes this claim in trying to overcome the natural Christian revulsion to attuning to disembodied spirits. In teaching the methods to be invoked for initiation (lerning to channel) he says: One should obliterate within oneself the gauge of good and bad, of stupid or clever, which one is accustomed to apply, and try without this gauge to understand persons purely through themselves. The best exercises can be made with people for whom one has an aversion. One should suppress this aversion with all one's power and let everything that they do affect one unbiased. Or, if one is in an environment that excites this or that judgment, one should suppress the judgment and, free from criticism, lay oneself open to impressions. One should allow things and events to speak TO ONESELF rather than speak oneself about them. And one should extend this even to one's thought world. One should suppress in ONESELF that which prompts this or that thought and allow only what is outside to produce the thoughts. -- Theosophy, p. 202, emphasis in original.
And one additional thought... Many traditional Catholics have experienced being denied Eucharist because they chose to kneel to receive. Have the bishops intervened to stop that denial? If they have given tacit approval to denial of Eucharist because the kneeling position of the communicant expressed too much reverence, how can they justify not denying Eucharist to a poilitical candidate who has voted and intends to continue to vote for the killing of children?