Saturday, July 03, 2004
VATICAN TELESCOPE IN ARIZONA THREATENED BY FIRE
approaching from the east and the west, with the $200 million-plus Mt. Graham observatory caught in the middle.
CARDINAL LUSTIGER SAYS CHURCHES ARE NOT EMPTY
in the big cities, but they are abandoned in the countryside. He believes the future of Christianity lies in the great cities of the world.
THE WCC AND THE RCC WORKING TOGETHER
Lest anyone get the idea that we don't have to be concerned about the activities of the WCC because they won't affect us...
WCC Comment on Encyclical on Ecumenism
The World Council of Churches (WCC) warmly welcomes the Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint (That They May Be One) of Pope John Paul II on Commitment to Ecumenism since it clearly demonstrates a strong commitment to ecumenism by the pope and, through him, the Roman Catholic Church.
The WCC is greatly encouraged that the encyclical describes the ecumenical commitment of the Roman Catholic Church as being irreversible.
The encyclical affirms a number of WCC initiatives coming from the WCC/RC Joint Working Group and the WCC Faith and Order Commission in which Roman Catholic theologians have been officially involved since 1964 and 1968 respectively. These initiatives include the work done on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, and Confessing the One Faith.
Roman Catholic Church and WCC Assess Achievements:
At the close of its 6-13 May 2004 meeting in Crete, the Joint Working Group (JWG) between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches (WCC) issued the following communiqué. The JWG report 1999-2005 and the three study documents mentioned in the communiqué will be made public after presentation to the WCC Central Committee in February 2005.
“The future of ecumenism demands a return to the spiritual roots of the movement,” stated the Joint Working Group (JWG) between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches (WCC) at its meeting in the Orthodox Academy of Crete, Kolympari, Greece, 6-13 May 2004.
Formed in 1965 following the Second Vatican Council, the JWG is charged with initiating, evaluating and sustaining the many forms of collaboration between the two parent bodies. Its members, most of whom are involved in pastoral and ecumenical ministries in different regions, are appointed by the World Council and the Holy See following each Assembly of the WCC.
The Ecumenical Movement
Although the Roman Catholic Church has not yet joined the WCC the Second Vatican Council (a meeting of all Catholic Church leaders in 1962), recognised the need to move towards mutual understanding and sends observers to WCC meetings.
I'm not sure what to make of this one from Christian News & Views, but it certainly is surprising to me:
MANY OTHER PROGRAMS AND FACETS OF THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES could be helpfully presented and documented if space permitted. Take Roman Catholicism for example. The WCC has grown so close to the Roman Catholic Church that they now say, "The days of winning converts from each other are over . . . ." Take the question of communism. You will never find the WCC to be anti-communist. In fact, they state plainly, "The story of primitive anti-communism and anti-communist crusades in the Christian Church is a long and sad one." Red Agents and Communist puppet church leaders sit, work and propagandize at all levels of the WCC organization. The WCC and the NCC have been decisive forces in preparing the way for the shameful U.S. recognition of Red China. Though denying charges of pro-communism, the WCC track record is a long and consistent testimony to the fact that they are one of communism's strongest and best allies. The WCC is doing everything possible to indoctrinate young people into the radical, revolutionary ecumenical philosophy. It was reported that four young people, including one WCC staff person, attended the "11th World Festival of Youth and Students" in Cuba in 1978. They reported a "warm and wholehearted welcome from the Cuban people and the freedom to move around the island and to talk to the people." And what was the purpose of this meeting? They said, "These meetings provided opportunities for the Christian Youth to discuss the issues of the festival and the meaning of Christian commitment today, AS WELL AS TO EXPRESS SOLIDARITY IN THE STRUGGLES FOR JUSTICE AND AGAINST IMPERIALISM IN THE WORLD TODAY. "Is there any talk of struggling against Communism? Oh, no, it is only against Imperialism!
GUEST COMMENTARY ON POLITICIANS AND EUCHARIST
at MichNews challenges the bishops to act in accord with each other, the Pope, and Canon Law with regard to denying Communion to politicians who support abortion.
CARDINAL RATZINGER'S STATEMENT TO THE AMERICAN BISHOPS
can be read here.
Several people have sent this article in e-mail, one even going so far as to say that the bishops are now in schism.
The article opens with comments by Sandro Magister:
What he wanted, but didn’t get. In its entirety, the confidential note in which the prefect of the Holy Office establishes the principle of refusing communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
ROMA – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was clear with Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, archbishop of Washington and the head of the “domestic policy” commission of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference. He was more than clear, he set it down in writing: no eucharistic communion for the politicians who systematically campaign for abortion.
Read: no communion for the Democratic candidate for the White House, the Catholic John F. Kerry.
Ratzinger’s memorandum... was sent as a confidential letter, during the first half of June, to cardinal McCarrick and to the president of the bishops’ conference, Wilton Gregory. ...
McCarrick...told the assembly that he had had from the Holy See professions of their trust in the responsibility of the American bishops: thus they may judge whether the refusal of communion is a “pastorally wise and prudent” decision. But there is no trace of any such professions in Ratzinger’s memorandum.
In reading the two notes in parallel – the note of the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and that of the bishops – the impression is one of a clear divergence.
In spite of this strong statement, we are left yet again with orthodox words followed up by non-conforming actions:
But it must be noted that the rigorism of Ratzinger and the Holy See have for years lived side by side, in Italy and the rest of Europe, with a more flexible praxis, even at the highest levels of the Church.
On January 6, 2001, at the concluding mass of the Jubilee, John Paul II personally gave communion to Francesco Rutelli, a practicing Catholic and a premier center-left candidate for this year’s planned elections in Italy.
Rutelli had been, as a member of the Radical Party, one of the most active supporters of Italy’s abortion law, which is among the most permissive in the world. And he continued, as a Catholic, to maintain publicly “pro-choice” positions.
In Italy during the 1970’s, other left-wing politicians even more closely connected than Rutelli with the Catholic sector, such as Piero Pratesi and Raniero La Valle, had given strong support to the introduction of the abortion law. But they were never denied communion. It was never even discussed.
Is it any wonder, then, that the bishops have made the decision not to withhold Communion?
Cardinal Ratzinger's statement lays it out clearly:
5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” , nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.
Yet in spite of this clear teaching, John Paul II does not abide by it. Why, then, should we expect our bishops to abide by it?
This clear evidence of actions diverging from the explicit teaching of the faith has been all too common during the years since Vatican II. The documents may be orthodox, but when the actions contradict the words, what good are the documents? The Chief Shepherd is teaching us to ignore the words. Why then should we be surprised when a priest allegedly suspended because of a sexual abuse allegation in Scranton turns up in a Dallas area church saying Mass, while no one seems to know how he got there? The bishops made a clear statement about the handling of sexual abuse issues in the future. But it would appear that they intend to simply go about their merry business as though nothing has changed.
Meanwhile the reporter who stuck his neck out and called the parish to account is being vilified in two message boards I'm aware of, and possibly more.
But the laity is hopefully waking up in some quarters. Stephen Brady has called bishops to account. Canon lawyers are attempting to sue Kerry for heresy. The Church Christ founded does still have some defenders. God grant that these defenders can mount a rescue effort in America that will turn our situation around.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
moves toward consensus methodology according to Worldwide Faith News.
The Committee reviewed plans for a progressive introduction of a consensus methodology in WCC meetings. The proposals, to be tested during the WCC central committee in 2005, are designed to overcome the traditional divide between majority and minority votes, and to foster a new quality of collaboration. Kobia linked consensus to a search for "spiritual discernment" which could strengthen WCC's efforts in dialogue and advocacy. "Consensus opens the way to a new, more spiritual, culture for WCC," Kobia said.
Several years ago I was a member of the board of a statewide organization that moved from conventional majority voting to consensus methodology. It's probably something that has to be experienced to be understood. It effectively reduces those in opposition to the party in power to a non-voting status. The people in charge take control and work to oust those who disagree. They get away with it because no vote is taken. Whatever matter is at hand is simply tabled until those who disagree come around, while the pressure to arrive at a decision increases. It's a little bit like jury deliberation, except that there is no provision for a "hanged board." In my experience "consensus methodology" is a nice euphemism for "dictatorship."
Concensus methodology uses the Delphi technique described at this website:
The Delphi Technique was originally conceived as a way to obtain the opinion of experts without necessarily bringing them together face to face. In Educating for the New World Order by Bev Eakman, the reader finds reference upon reference for the need to preserve the illusion that there is "Lay, or community, participation in the decisionmaking process), while in fact lay citizens are being squeezed out."
A specialized use of this technique was developed for teachers, the "Alinsky Method".... The setting or group is, however, immaterial the point is that people in groups tend to share a certain knowledge base and display certain identifiable characteristics (known as group dynamics). This allows for a special application of a basic technique. The "change agent" or "facilitator" goes through the motions of acting as an organizer, getting each person in the target group to elicit expression of their concerns about a program, project, or policy in question. The facilitator listens attentively, forms "task forces," "urges everyone to make lists," and so on. While she is doing this, the facilitator learns something about each member of the target group. He/she identifies the "leaders," the "loud mouths," as well as those who frequently turn sides during the argument the "weak or noncommittal."
Suddenly, the amiable facilitator becomes "devil's advocate." He/she dons his professional agitator hat. Using the "divide and conquer" technique, he/she manipulates one group opinion against the other. This is accomplished by manipulating those who are out of step to appear "ridiculous, unknowledgeable, inarticulate, or dogmatic." He/she wants certain members of the group to become angry, thereby forcing tensions to accelerate. The facilitator is well trained in psychological manipulation. S/He is able to predict the reactions of each group member. Individuals in opposition to the policy or program will be shut out of the group.
This technique was used effectively in many Catholic parishes where churches were renovated according to plans that had been decided prior to the parish getting involved. All that was left to do was convince the parish that the pre-conceived plans were its own idea.
On page 24 of Michael Rose's book The Renovation Manipulation he says of the Delphi Technique:
First developed by the Rand Corporation in the 1950's, and later applied for purposes of psychological warfare, it is an effective method of gaining acceptance of a controversial proposal...In group-settings this technique is an unethical method of achieving "consensus." It requires well-trained professionals known as "facilitators" ('change agents'), who "deliberately escalate tension among group members, pitting one faction against another to make a certain preordained viewpoint app0ear obvious and sensible, while making opposing views appear ridiculous.
A change to this technique in the World Council of Churches is a harbinger of a takeover. The church of the New World Order is well on its way, it would seem.
Friday, July 02, 2004
E-MAIL FROM DR. JEFFREY M. BOND
(I have received permission from Dr. Bond to post his emails here. Following are two recently received.)
The Dallas Morning News posted a story early this morning that demonstrates the Dallas Charter has had little effect on the neighboring Diocese of Fort Worth, to say nothing of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Fr. Christopher Clay, who was supposedly suspended by Bishop James Timlin of Scranton, has resurfaced in the Diocese of Forth Worth, Texas. (See the full story below.)
Clay has connections with the notorious Society of St. John, and he has been accused of abusing the young man, John Doe, who filed a federal lawsuit against Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, Fr. Eric Ensey, Timlin, the Diocese of Scranton, the Fraternity of St. Peter, and St. Gregory's Academy.
Like his SSJ buddies Carlos Urrutigoity and Eric Ensey, who are also supposedly suspended from public ministry, but who go and do as they please wearing clerical garb, Christopher Clay has continued to mingle with young people in the guise of a priest in good standing. "He's excellent with the young people," we are told.
The article below also reports that the Vatican has authorized an ecclesiastical judicial process against Urrutigoity, Ensey, and Clay. The Dallas Morning News claims to have a document announcing this move by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faithful. God willing, this will lead to the laicization of Urrutigoity, Ensey, and Clay.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
(Due to copyright restrictions, I have not included the story in this post, but you can read it here.)
Many of you will remember the two National Review articles written by Rod Dreher back in February 2002 when the Society of St. John scandal first hit the national press:
And then there was Mr. Dreher's hilarious post entitled the "Posh Padres" in which he reported that "the SSJ spent like a pack of clerical Clampetts":
Now we are indebted once again to Mr. Dreher for exposing Fr. Christopher Clay. See the story below from today's Dallas Morning News. We will have more to say about this story once we have all the facts about the Diocese of Scranton's role in allowing Clay to relocate in Texas. In the meantime, thank you Mr. Dreher!
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
Dr. Bond included the article "Blowing the Whistle" with his email. Because of copyright restrictions, I cannot include it here. However, you can read the article at this website. ===============================================================
Ex-bishop of Scranton, James Timlin, is back. He was interviewed yesterday concerning his role in allowing Christopher Clay, a Scranton diocesan priest accused of sexual abuse, to engage in active ministry in a parish in Forth Worth, Texas. According to today's Times Leader article, "Timlin said Thursday that the diocese felt it was unfair to prohibit Clay from resuming ministerial duties after police did not file charges." (See http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/9060662.htm.)
Apparently Timlin had nothing to say about the fact - also reported in the Times Leader - that the police folder on Clay has mysteriously disappeared. According to the Times Leader account, the folder was last in the possession of the Monroe County District Attorney who has himself been accused of sexual abuse. (See http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/news/9051355.htm.)
Now let's get this story straight. James Timlin, a bishop of the Catholic Church, deferred to the judgment of a district attorney - who apparently had his own problems with sex abuse - concerning an accused Catholic priest's fitness to serve in a parish. This would make for great comedy were it not so tragic.
For almost three years now we have decried Timlin's decision to default on his episcopal duty to hold his priests accountable to the moral standard of the Catholic Church, not the "statute of limitations" standard of the secular authorities. It is now perfectly clear that Timlin would also allow accused Society of St. John priests Carlos Urrutigoity and Eric Ensey to return to public ministry - or has this already occurred? - if by some legalism they were to weasel out of the federal lawsuit against them.
But wait. Isn't there a new bishop of Scranton? Where is Joseph Martino in all of this mess?
Martino, like a good company man, has simply picked up where Timlin left off. Martino will do nothing until the federal lawsuit against Urrutigoity and Ensey is resolved. (Correction: Martino did submit an affidavit claiming these two diocesan priests were not employees of the Diocese of Scranton.) Thus Urrutigoity and Ensey travel about freely in cassock and collar. In fact, Urrutigoity was last sighted in Dallas in May. The ties that bind.
And what is Martino's position on the Christopher Clay debacle? While ex-bishop Timlin is quoting in today's Times Leader claiming that Clay is fit for duty, Martino's present administration is quoted in today's Dallas Morning News saying that Clay remains "removed from active ministry without faculties as a priest" because of an ongoing ecclesial investigation. (See http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/city/tarrant/stories/070204dnmetpriest.2ab3a.html.)
So who is running the show in Scranton: Timlin or Martino? Or is it the attorneys and the insurance agents?
Some further questions come to mind: Is Martino actually conducting his own ecclesial investigation, or does the quotation in the Dallas Morning News refer to the investigation by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faithful? Are there additional accusations against Clay that the Diocese of Scranton has kept hidden? Why such a stink over Clay when Urrutigoity and Ensey prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls? Is Martino simply hoping that the stench from the cesspool of the Society of St. John will magically dissipate? Stay tuned.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
There is additional information at Dr. Bond's website. Click the first link--"The case against SSJ"--for a list of links to specific information.
UPDATE ON THE STORY IN DALLAS
There has been a lengthy discussion of the latest discovery in Dallas reported in the Dallas Morning News. Rod Dreher has been significantly involved in the discussion at both Mark Shea's blog and Amy Welborn's blog. Victor Morton has been giving a journalist's perspective on reporting coverage of the scandal in Mark Shea's blog. As an example of what he is telling us, he says that he is the editor of the story about Kerry being charged with heresy, but didn't know anything about it until he got to work at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
He has given further details about how stories like his and Rod Dreher's get into the newspaper. It's interesting to learn the insider's perspective on reporting stories on sexual abuse.
"THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST"
Those were the words used by the visiting priest at my parish last Sunday when he distributed the Eucharist.
For some time we have not had, or had only sporadically, distribution from the chalice. This started during the flu outbreak last winter when a lot of churches did it, but it did not stop when the outbreak was over. However, last Sunday was the first time I have ever heard those words used at communion.
Catholics have always believed that both the Body and the Blood were contained in the Host. We just don't mention that before receiving the Host or the Precious Blood.
Has a change in the rubrics been made? I don't recall hearing about it, if it has. Has anyone else experienced this?
Personally, it seems like a sensible change, if in fact there has been a change. I'm just puzzled about why and when.
HINTS OF ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY...
ASHLAND, Ore. – Whooping and hollering greeted Michael Moore's statement that his virulently anti-Bush film "Fahrenheit 9/11" beat out Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."
"I think Jesus had something to do with that," said Moore during Monday's meeting at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Ore., part of a national event sponsored by MoveOn.org.
Moore is a self-described practicing Catholic according to the article, who seems to think Jesus is offended by the film, and so is pleased that it is losing some of its audience.
This paragraph is especially sobering:
"You definitely felt the hostility in the room toward traditional Christians," said Just, a former liberal, now-conservative Democrat – and also a Christian. "At one point, Moore boasted that his film so infuriated one man that he threw his shoe at the image of George W. Bush on the screen."
The organization not only dislikes Christians, it also dislikes Bush.
We have been seeing articles indicating that George Soros was planning a major funding of the anti-Bush campaign effort. Here is one such article in which you will find:
He has often spoken under the banner of MOVEON, a left wing organization partially funded by George Soros, that was responsible for the Bush-is-Hitler ads that the RNC is now using in their ads.
Think back about the last campaign--about that fuss in Florida where the Dems tried everything they could think of to get Gore into office. For some reason that must have been an unusually important campaign. What was at stake then? Whatever it was, it may still be on the table during this campaign. If it has anything to do with MOVEON, it appears it to be anti-Christian, as this article at NewsMax indicates.
Not 12 hours after President Bush was declared the winner of the 2000 election, Jesse Jackson and a number of other leftwing rabble-rousers appeared before the media in Florida, surrounded by throngs of people holding protest placards and mouthing what amounted to the Democratic National Committee’s talking points: “I was robbed of my vote!” “I couldn’t understand the ballot!” “I feel disenfranchised!”
The staged – and obviously preplanned – protests were followed by weeks of desperate Democrats squinting their eyes to determine if a chad was “hanging” or “pregnant” – a spectacle never witnessed before in American history.
But to George Soros – Hungarian-born multibillionaire, American citizen and hedge-fund genius – it was business as usual.
In a riveting exposé of the 74-year-old that was published by NewsMax’s magazine in May, writer Richard Poe – who delved the very depths of Soros’ ruthlessness, greed and Machiavellian nature – revealed him as a man who hates God, hates “American supremacy” and America itself (where he has made zillions) and, above all, HATES President Bush, calling his ouster “the central focus of my life.”
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Thanks to a reader for sending in the lilnk.
O'MALLEY EXPRESSES FRUSTRATION
with feet dragging in the Vatican.
BOSTON -- Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley expressed frustration with the Vatican's pace in resolving the cases of about two dozen Boston-area priests accused of sexual abuse, saying the logjam is unfair to the priests and to abuse victims.
Priests can be suspended by local church officials, but cannot be removed from the priesthood without Vatican permission. O'Malley is among priests who have grown concerned with how long Vatican officials are taking to look at the cases of abusive priests.
"The process has been very slow, and I'm very frustrated by that. The resources here are inadequate to be able to expedite the cases with the facility that we'd like to see," he said.
O'Malley made the comments Tuesday while in Rome to receive a pallium -- a woolen band bestowed on archbishops -- from Pope John Paul II on Tuesday, the archbishop's 60th birthday. He said he planned to meet with Vatican officials to express his worries, and urge the Vatican to allow American canon lawyers to help.
Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.
CHARGES FILED AGAINST KERRY
From the Washington Times:
A Catholic lawyer has filed heresy charges against Sen. John Kerry with the Archdiocese of Boston, accusing the Democratic presidential candidate of bringing "most serious scandal to the American public" by receiving Holy Communion as a pro-choice Catholic.
The 18-page document was sent to the archdiocese June 14, but released to the public only yesterday by Marc Balestrieri, a Los Angeles-based canon lawyer and an assistant judge with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' tribunal, an ecclesiastical court.
The suit was filed by De Fide, an organization composed of canon lawyers dedicated to defending the faith and Church from heresy. They have the "Denunciation of U. S. Senator John F. Kerry for Heresy" posted on their website.
It's getting interesting out there...
Blogger credit to Crux News.
PPOLICE INTERVIEW DRUID IN CONNECTION WITH AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH
There is a very strange story at BBC News:
Detectives investigating the death of a Cornish parish councillor have confirmed they are looking at possible links with the occult.
They believe 56-year-old Peter Solheim, from Carnkie, was interested in black magic.
Police launched the murder hunt after fishermen recovered Mr Solheim's body five miles off the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, on 18 June.
He was last seen launching his dinghy at Mylor Harbour on 16 June.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: "We are aware of his interest in the occult and it is one of a number of lines of inquiry we are following up."
The Arch Druid of Cornwall, Ed Prynn, has confirmed to the BBC that Mr Solheim was also a druid.
It isn't clear from the article what parish Solheim worked for. Anglican? An examination of Mr Solheim's body revealed he had not been in the water long when he was found.
This and the fact that his 18ft fishing boat, the Izzwizz, was found floating in Carrick Roads led officers to start the murder inquiry.
Police said it was "not feasible" that the body could have floated from Mylor to the spot where it was found.
Apparently there were unexplained injuries on the body. The Arch Druid said, "I always teach people not to dabble with the occult, the darker side".
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.
THE BISHOPS, ABORTION, AND COMMUNION
Since the USCCB decided to leave it up to each Bishop to determine what the position on abortion-supporting politicians receiving communion in their diocese would be, the bishops have been stating their decisions, one by one.
Since I live in the Cleveland Diocese, the decision of Bishop Anthony Pilla holds more significance for me than the others. He has made his decision, according to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
I also believe that public officials, especially Catholics, have a moral obligation to support policies and legislation that protect the weakest and most defenseless among us. Moral convictions have no other meaning except to be translated into choices and actions. It is my view that the true measure of a politician is the consistency of that politician’s moral conviction, public expression, and conduct in the policy arena.
Catholic politicians who support abortion rights may decide for themselves whether they are morally fit to receive Communion in the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland.
In a statement Thursday that was also sent to area officeholders, Cleveland Bishop Anthony Pilla chose to align himself with the majority of U.S. bishops who favor persuasion over sanctions in the abortion debate.
Since his method of choice is persuasion, will he be meeting with Dennis Kucinnich, a politician who previously supported the right-to-life position, and recently changed to the pro-choice position, since Kucinnich hails from Cleveland? Doing nothing at all is not persuasive.
He does have a statement posted on the Diocesan website from which this passage is taken:
I do not wish to be misunderstood or misinterpreted about these reflections. I am not suggesting that Catholic public officials are obligated to incorporate all precepts of divine and moral law in civil statutes. Nor am I suggesting that Catholic public officials are not free in conscience to disagree with their bishops on public policy questions. However, the Catholic public official must have an informed conscience and become acquainted with the social and moral teachings of the Church and not act out of political expediency. Catholic public officials are called to “bring together consistently their faith, moral principles and public responsibilities.” (Faithful Citizenship-3). I invite them to view their elected position in the light of their faith and not in spite of it.
The view of refusing communion to politicians who support keeping abortion legal is not part of the pastoral tradition of the Church. Given the longstanding practice of not making a public judgment about the state of the soul of those who present themselves for communion, the pastoral tradition of the Church places the responsibility of such a judgment first on those presenting themselves for Holy Communion. I firmly believe that clear and honest dialogue about moral teaching is always preferred over arbitrary judgments, condemnation or punitive actions. The altar is a place of unity, healing, nourishment and grace. It is not a place for confrontation. ...
When it comes to abortion, we have not reached a national consensus on the basic question of whether it is a public issue and, therefore, to be regulated by law…whether it is a private issue and, therefore, subject only to the dictates of personal conscience. For those who describe themselves as “pro choice” advocates, abortion is a matter of private morality and they assert the State should not control or regulate a women’s choice to have a child. In Catholic moral doctrine, abortion is an issue of public morality. The reason is that for us the issue is not the simple issue of the woman’s right to have a child or not. For us, there are three actors not one. For us, it is an issue of the conflict of rights—the rights of the woman and the rights of the unborn child, and we reason that where there is a conflict of rights, there is a legitimate place for the State to be involved. Our formulation of the issues, then, involves a woman, the child and the State and for us it is an issue of public not merely private morality. The problem we presently encounter in the public discussion of this issue derives at least to some degree from the failure to define the terms accurately. If an office holder believes that abortion is wrong but doesn’t oppose it through the legitimately available democratic processes, then in effect that office holder is saying that he or she believes it is a matter of private morality – a unitary issue of the right of the women to have or not to have a child. But, if an office holder believes that abortion is wrong, that it involves a conflict of the rights of the woman and the rights of the child and that the destruction of the unborn child has a significant impact on the public good, then that office holder, in effect believes that it is a matter of public morality. In this case, logic as well as conscience would indicate that such an office holder should make use of the democratic processes to control and regulate abortion and should use the right of free speech to persuade public opinion in favor of his or her position. This cannot reasonably or justly be alleged as imposing one’s personal views on others for as John Courtney Murray quite rightly stated: “Any minority group has the right to work toward the elevation of public morality in the pluralistic society through the use of the methods or persuasion and pacific argument.”
I think his argument is persuasive. But it has to be made directly to the politician, and not just posted on the diocesan website in the hope the politician will see it.
Well, I await developments.
Blogger Credit to Spirit Daily.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
ACCORDING TO TODAY'S DMN REPORT:
The pastor of St. Mary the Virgin Catholic Church in Arlington has been asked by diocesan officials to tell weekend worshippers that he made a mistake in allowing a Pennsylvania priest accused of sexual abuse to assist at worship over the last year, an official of the Fort Worth Diocese said Thursday.
The unusual action came after an e-mail was sent to church members, apparently by the pastor, the Rev. Allan Hawkins, saying he planned to defend his actions during weekend Masses. The e-mail said Father Hawkins had been assured by officials from the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., that the Rev. Christopher Clay's suspension from ministry had been lifted last year.
The Scranton Diocese said Thursday that Father Clay remains "removed from active ministry without faculties as a priest" because of an ongoing ecclesial investigation. The Fort Worth Diocese banned Father Clay from ministry Tuesday after learning he'd been assisting in Mass at the Arlington church.
Hopefully this will satisfy those who berate Rod Dreher for placing this information into the hands of a DMN reporter.
From the moment that Dreher discovered the accusation made against Fr. Clay, he was in a no-win situation. We rely on our journalists to bring the truth to light. Goodness knows without journalists what corruption we would still be living with.
Blaming the messenger should not look like a better answer than acknowledging there was no good answer here. We want the game-playing in the priesthood and chanceries to be someone's fault, so that we can assure ourselves it will stop. I think that is what motivates Catholics to assign blame.
No one involved in this disclosure, innocent or guilty, will be sleeping well for some time, I'm afraid. That is the nature of scandal...the nature of sin. It is destructive, and often good people get hurt.
ROD DREHER'S DIFFICULTY WITH FR. CLAY
is spelled out in a blog at Bettnet. I won't repreat the whole story here because it's time to make dinner. You can get it by reading the DMN article he wrote and Dom linked at the the DMN website in which he says:
I am left with two lessons: First, the church's child-protection rules are only as reliable as those people whose job it is to enforce them. Catholic parents cannot have faith in bureaucratic procedures.
Second, I have more empathy with those I have denounced. I have never been able to understand why bishops and parents of abused kids would try to handle things quietly. Well, I get it now. The only reason I anguished over any of this was not for the sake of Father Clay, but for trouble publicly exposing his deception would cause innocent people.
In the end, though, kids have to be shielded, and the church has to be liberated from this curse of secrets, lies and clerical privilege. I did what I had to do, and am not sorry for it.
As it turns out, Fr. Clay was saying Mass at the parish where Rod Dreher and his family attend, I presume, after Fr. Paul Weinberger was transferred to a parish in the boondocks. This is the same Fr. Clay that Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond e-mailed about and I blogged about.
I can understand what he is saying. A priest I was very fond of has been suspended for alleged abuse. When it happened I could hardly believe what I was hearing. You always know it's "that terrible priest over in that parish," not the one in your own. What a shock when you know the priest. My reaction was the same as Rod's...isn't there some way to make this go away so this priest I liked so much won't be hurt.
Many other faithful Catholics have reacted in the same way about the priest they know and love who has been accused. It hurts to know you trusted someone who would do something like that. It's no longer statistics in the morning news. Now it's "family." That doesn't make it ok, though, as any parent who knows that their spouse has abused their child must acknowledge. That's the hard lesson for the bishops who have shielded priests who abuse, and that was the hard lesson for Rod Dreher this week.
I'm glad I didn't have to turn in the priest I liked, because I might not have done what Rod has done, but it was the only honorable thing to do.
It does reinforce my belief that the Church should have a facility where a priest in this kind of trouble can go because the office of priest commands the greatest respect since he acts in personna Christi. Which brings back again, thoughts about the monastery Lee Penn proposed when the abuse scandal first broke in 2002.
There is discussion of this in Mark Shea's blog. Scroll down to "A Bloody Mess in Dallas/Ft. Worth."
JUMPSTARTING THE APOCALYPSE IN ISRAEL
by Paul Likoudis, at Crux News.
Overlooked by reporters, including the U.S. bishops' Catholic News Service's John Thavis, is that many of the targets of the inquisition were revolutionary messianists - often ex-priests or monks - who not only threatened the Church, but the very existence of civil society.
A typical inquisition target, burned at the stake in 1325, for example, was Beghards of Cologne, who called himself "the Christ," and was one of the leaders of an "Adam-cult" of Free Spirits.
"This 'Christ,' wrote the outstanding scholar of the millennialist revolutionaries, Norman Cohn in his now classic The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Messianism in Medieval and Revolutionary Europe and its Bearing on Modern Totalitarian Movements (Oxford University Press, 1957), "celebrated some kind of Mass. A naked preacher then arose, and with great eloquence, delivered a heretical sermon in which he exhorted all those present to strip off their clothes and be like the innocent. A banquet followed, with much singing and rejoicing; for those taking part this belonged to the state which had been that of the First Parents in Paradise before the Fall...."
In mid-14th century Europe, such characters as Beghards proliferated. These numerous "Free Spirits" and their tens - perhaps hundreds - of thousands of followers were spiritual and sexual libertines; they believed they were "living gods," and felt free to violate any of the Ten Commandments - particularly those against stealing, killing and adultery - on the grounds that they were "super humans." ...
Such revolutionary chiliastic movements arise most often, Cohn explains, after major economic disruptions, plagues and famines and, especially, after the breakdown of authority - whether of parents or civil and ecclesiastical authority, and of traditional relationships.
Lee Penn found a website dedicated to the Free Spirits which I have blogged some time ago. This research is accurate. It is major societal disruptions that make this possible. In other words, chaos magick. The connection with Messianism is significant in light of the fact that both Adam Mickiewicz, the Polish poet who had the admiration of Karl Wojtyla in his youth, and Vladimir Soloviev, who has the admiration of the reigning Pope, were messianists and preached a Russian and Polish Messianism.
Is John Paul II also a Messianist who believes he can unite all of the religions of the world into a single unit that will make the world ready for the return of Christ? Has he allowed the confusion and sin in the Church that we are witnessing the unfolding of in the daily headlines for a purpose? We have doctrinal, liturgical, moral chaos in our midst. and a vacuum in the leadership positions. And we have a pontiff touting the "New Springtime" as Theosophist Alice Bailey once touted it before him. Returning to the article:
In the conclusion of this unsurpassed study locating both Nazism and Communism in the heretical chiliasm of these medieval and Protestant messianics, Cohn warns that these delusional fantasies are never far below the surface of the modern psyche and modern mass movements. This is what Lee Penn is trying to warn us of when he points out the philosophy behind United Religions Initiative.
Likoudis continues: Millennial fever, as this reporter observed two weeks ago in "Revenge of the Puritans," is raging in the United States today, demonstrated most clearly by the sale of 50 million books in Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series.
But millennial fever is also raging in Israel, as the rising political career of Moshe Feiglin - whom some fear might succeed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - indicates.
Feiglin wants to jump-start the Apocalypse and establish Israel as the world's religious super-power by rebuilding the Jewish Temple on the site of Islam's sacred Temple Mount. On June 14, Israel's leading newspaper, Ha'aretz, asked: "Who will get rid of Feiglin?" Editorialist Yoel Esteron said watching Feiglin's political career is as fascinating as "exposed pus." "We cannot sweep Feiglin under the rug. We must not sweep him under the rug. Because Feiglin is no longer a curiosity. Not after his victory over the prime minister in the referendum on the disengagement. Not after he began to control an important center of power in the ruling party and is courted by reckless politicians.
Go to the website to read the rest of the story.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray very hard for us!
LITURGICAL DANCE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL AN ABOMINATION
when it takes place during liturgy in the Western Church. It is also a violation of the teachings of the Church according to the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship.
For whatever reason, this artform has become known as "praise dance." It is growing in popularity. Recently the religion page in my local paper featured an article on praise dance which explains it this way:
``It's a variety of 20 or 30 styles of dance from jazz to modern to tap, used for the purpose of glorifying God, evangelizing and ministering,'' said Ruth Ann Mayer, who has written two books and launched her own Web site (http://www.christiandance.com/) about praise dance.
Regarding the varities of style, the Beacon Journal article says:
Praise-dance participants are typically preteen and teen-age girls. Routines range from lyrical movements woven into Catholic processionals to upbeat hip-hop or step routines to gospel music in African-American congregations.
In fact the article indicates that "The difference between secular dance and praise dance is intent." How does one judge intent when no words are involved, and when the actions in question appear secular?
At a recent Saturday morning practice at St. James AME Church in East San Jose, California, where she shimmied her shoulders to vibrant gospel music, a 17-year-old assured the reporter that "Praise dancing is a ministry..." What exactly does it minister to, one wonders? Particularly if there are young men in the congregation.
The founder of Dance For His Glory, Debra Crenshaw assures us that "``The Lord is using us through the art of dance to preach the word of God". The concept of "word," however, seems to go better with the concept of "speech" than with the concept of "action."
Lyrica Smith, a minister of dance and religion, taught classes at the International Christian Dance and Movement Ministries Conference in Cincinnati, in May of 1997, as reported in the Cincinnati Post. The article indicates that included at the three-day event were:
... training in jazz and hip-hop praise, reggae and Jamaican folk praise dance, ballet praise dance, warfare praise and worship, ballet praise dance, and ''hoops, streamers and tambourines.''
What is "warfare praise and worship"? And does some church include warfare dance in their services? The next paragraph in the article speaks of "spiritual warfare." Still it conjures up visions wholly unsuitable for Christian worship.
According to the article: "Christian dancers take care to wear appropriate clothing, often called ''garments of praise,'' and to use the appropriate techniques..."
Here is a supplier of praise dancewear. The praise dance skirts certainly look chaste. The second page offers a rather bare torso, but the skirts remain modest. Can't quite decide what to make of the praise dance leotards. Especially the "Over the Shoulder Leotard."
Here is another supplier of praise dance garments. Scroll down to the "V Cut Satin Ephod" and tell me what to make of a man dressed in that, or in the men's pantaloons below it. We already have problems with a feminization of the Church. Will the pantaloons complete the process?
The category "praise dance" produced 5580 Google hits. It's a popular topic across a broad range of denominations. The liberal Episcopalian priest and former Catholic priest Matthew Fox approves of praise dance for his Techno-Cosmic Mass, according to San Francisco Faith which says:
According to the techno cosmic mass website, the "techno" in the name refers to "the sacred use of technology in our worship"; the "cosmic" to "cosmology, the sacred connection of all creation." Mass, to "an ancestral form of ritual." The techno cosmic mass, according to the website, has a certain "flow": a "Via Positiva: Gathering, invocation, Sharing our Story, Praise Dance;" a "Via Negativa: Contemplation, Community Lamentation, Silence;" a "Via Creativa: Community Breathe, Sharing of the Peace, Eucharist;" and a "Via Transformativa: Warrior Dance, Devocation, Co-missioning."
They have a "warrior dance" too. Doesn't seem to be anything about Christ in there, though. Is that because somehow Christ doesn't fit very well into this picture? Sacrifice certainly has no place in it.
Call To Action has no problem with praise dance. Their 2004 conference offered an interactive session on it:
Music Camp: Movement as a Praxis to Spirituality
Melvin John P. Miller and Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe lead this participatory and interactive session, working with us to find ways in which movement can enhance spirituality and accompany the various forms of prayer. Please come dressed comfortably. They also lead morning prayer, “Communing with the Spirit through Dance.” We honor the morning with Melvin and Kuukua as they use movement to connect with the universe and show gratitude for the gift of a new day. Miller is director of dance ministries at The Riverside Church in New York City, and artistic director of A Time to Dance, Inc., employing the “Praise Dance” technique of Lynda Haymond. He is pursuing an M. Div. concentrating on systematic theology and the arts. Yomekpe, formerly known at CTA as Melody-Ann, is a liturgical dancer and choreographer whose work, seen at three previous conferences, is influenced by the culture of her native Ghana, West Africa. She serves CTA on the Next Gen Committee and the Anti-Racism Task Force. Sat. (4.09) & Sun. (12.09), 7:45 AM
Some praise dancing nuns represent the liberal side of Catholicism. Contrary to the teachings of the Church they appeared at Mass according to Independent Catholic News:
The Gospel of the day was the story of Mary's visit to her cousin, Elizabeth and this was movingly re-enacted for us by Sisters Kathleen Hogg and Margaret Brady in a liturgical dance.
Fundamental Baptist Information Service website indicates that "Praise Dance Arose from Radical Elements of Pentecostalism." The article starts out:
At the aforementioned charismatic congresses in New Orleans (1987) and Indianapolis (1990), the worship sessions featured "praise dancing." Women led in this dancing, and it is something which has become very popular in many Pentecostal-Charismatic circles in recent years. It had its origin in the New Order of the Latter Rain in the early 1950s. This movement claimed many unscriptural dogmas: that God would raise up miracle-working apostles in these last days who would perform signs and wonders greater than those of the first century, that some saints would become immoralized before the Rapture, that a worldwide revival would usher in the coming of Christ.
Latter Rain is the Mormons, isn't it? Does this sound like something a Catholic should be involved with?
There are pictures of praise dancing here at the First Apostolic Assembly website. Looks rather tame. It does represent another incident of praise dancing in Pentecostal denominations. John Vennari's paper on Charismatics gives a good indication of the problems with Charismatics. He says it better than I can, so I'll let him do it.
This is a good example of the similarities between the organizations on the left, such as CTA, and the organizations on the right, in the Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement, neither of which follows in the line of Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church.
We are being coerced from both the right and the left. The sexual abuse crisis, too, exists in both the right, via the SSJ, and the left via Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church which promotes acceptance of homosexuality.
Meanwhile the center, the average Catholic in the pew, is watching their parish close, their priests being accused of abuse, the funds in their diocese being paid out to lawyers and victims. Their seminaries are empty, so they are being prepared for priestless parishes. The abuse of liturgy, the lack of catechesis, the corruption of the young via sex ed programs, continues unabated, as does the apostasy in Catholic colleges. Meanwhile the Chief Shepherd goes on tour, while making no effort to govern the Church, and presenting a scandalizing spectacle via his liturgies which are televised to the world.
If that is not a picture of chaos, I don't think anyone is capable of painting one.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
THE HINDU SERVICE AT FATIMA IN PICTURES
presented by Catholic Family News, as linked at Novus Ordo Watch. Yes, folks, it really did happen as we heard, apparently.
Christianity had one great difference from the other cults [in first century Rome]. Its adherents refused to worship the other gods, and even abhorred them as demons. Hence they tended to be exclusive and clannish. They would not attend public festivals or athletic sports or theatrical shows....They avoided joining the army, either because they might, in the course of their military duties, have to attend pagan worship, or because as soldiers of the Lord they could not give their allegiance to a power which they sometimes equated with the Prince of Darkness. (A. H. M. Jones, as quoted in The Da Vinci Hoax by Olson and Miesel, Ignatius Press, 2004, p. 166-167)
That is our history. These pictures of Fatima are our contemporary situation. The disconnect with our past is obvious.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
FR. ALESSANDRO OLIVIERI PENNESI ON NEW AGE
According to Zenit, Fr. Pennesi is professor at the Mater Ecclesiae Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of the Lateran. He gave Zenit an interview on New Age in which he said:
New Age constitutes a great challenge for Christianity. Not only because it is spreading on a global level, but especially because it incorporates elements of Christianity, altering its original meaning. For example, Jesus Christ is no longer recognized as Son of God and only savior of the world.
There is the loss of the concept of truth; we are living in an age of pure subjectivism. God has a thousand facets: cosmic energy, extra-cosmic energy, a Mind, the All, we ourselves are God, etc.
If Jesus Christ is no longer the savior, people go in search of other salvations which become "self-oriented salvation" through methods, meditations, different practices, including magic. The eschatological expectation is devoid of meaning, insofar as salvation is attainable after some or many reincarnations.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle that must be addressed is, undoubtedly, the loss of awareness of truth, which vitiates every attempt to use the paradigms of reason.
In response to a question about "weak thought" and a particularly emotional approach to New Age spirituality being quite widespread phenomena in the Catholic world, he responds:
Some have said that New Age is "a phenomenon that is typical of the postmodern culture, based on weak reasoning, ethical relativism and consumerism." I cannot but agree with this statement.
New Age philosophy is spread in many forms and by many ways in a subtle and almost imperceptible manner, says the Secretariat for Ecumenism and Dialogue of the Italian bishops, and it is presented by highlighting its features of universal love and defense of nature.
This proposal can lead to deceit insofar as it presents some objectives on which it is easy to agree: harmony between man and nature, awareness and commitment to improve the world, mobilization of all the forces for good for a new unitary plan of life.
New Age empties the salvific event of Christ from its truth, singularity and fullness. In fact, according to this line of thought, man can make himself capable, through specific techniques, of experiencing the divine without the aid of divine grace, effecting by his own strength his salvation, on which universal harmony depends.
Need I say "Charismatic Movement" or is it obvious?
There is much more in the interview that is worth reading if you have an interest in New Age. He closes with this statement:
"The gnostic nature of this movement calls us to judge it in its entirety. From the point of view of Christian faith, it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians, while rejecting others. Since the New Age movement makes much of a communication with nature, of cosmic knowledge of a universal good -– thereby negating the revealed contents of Christian faith -– it cannot be viewed as positive or innocuous."
AMEN ! !
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
JOHN PAUL II APPEALS TO ALL CHRISTIANS TO INTENSIFY EFFORTS FOR UNITY
From the article at Zenit today:
The Pope stressed the "irrevocable" commitment to ecumenism, assumed by the Catholic Church with the Second Vatican Council decree "Unitatis Redintegratio."
For his part, Patriarch Bartholomew I confirmed in his homily that "our presence here today expresses with strong evidence our sincere desire to eliminate all the ecclesial obstacles that are not dogmatic or essential."
He has spoken yet again, assuring us that for the duration of this papacy, the sort of liturgies Chiesa has reported, the interfaith and ecumenical activities that have scandalized us, will continue. He will not turn back, apparently no matter what the consequences, and the numbers, especially in Europe, indicate that the consequences are devastating to the Church. The numbers in the priesthood here in the United States are equally devastating. Apparently he sees the future for the Roman Catholic Church solely in Third World Countries. It doesn't appear as though there is any quarter given to First World Catholicism. One does wonder, though, how he intends to finance it. Perhaps the EU or the UN will chip in. And there is always the income from the ecclesial communities and Opus Dei. Or perhaps he will get his wish to forgive Third World debt, bankrupting First World economies in the process. At this point, after the revelations of the sexual abuse scandal, I can believe almost anything of Rome.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
MARK HAS CHANGED THE ATTRIBUTION
Here. You may have to scroll way down.
It now says:
Blog credit goes to Carrie Tomko for this one.
Thank you, Mark, for the change.
TODAY'S E-MAIL FROM DR. JEFFREY M. BOND REFERENCED THIS ARTICLE
in Dallas Morning News, titled "Accused priest led Mass in Arlington: FW Diocese banned him from ministry after learning of abuse link": A Catholic priest removed from ministry in Pennsylvania because of sexual abuse allegations has been living in Dallas and leading Mass at an Arlington parish for at least a year.
Officials at the Diocese of Fort Worth, which encompasses Arlington, said they didn't know about the Rev. Christopher Clay's activities at St. Mary the Virgin Catholic Church until contacted this week by The Dallas Morning News. On Tuesday the diocese's chancellor, the Rev. Robert Wilson, banned Father Clay from further ministry.
"He did this without our knowledge or approval," Father Wilson said.
Father Clay didn't respond to an interview request. No one answered the door of his Oak Cliff apartment.
The priest has not been accused of wrongdoing in Texas. The Diocese of Scranton, Pa., said he remains under investigation there. He was placed on leave two years ago after an allegation of abuse was made by a man in his early 20s who said he'd been molested as a teen.
Father Clay apparently had been leading Masses at St. Mary the Virgin at the invitation of the Arlington parish's pastor, the Rev. Allan Hawkins. Diocesan officials said Father Hawkins never sought permission from them, as required by church rules. Father Hawkins did not respond to interview requests.
David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said many priests removed from ministry under the 2002 sexual abuse charter adopted by U.S. bishops continue to find their way into ministry because of leaders who skirt proper channels. ...
Go to the website to read the rest of the story.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond is President of the College of St. Justin Martyr, which was at one time associated with the Society of St. John, but has severed the ties. According to Dr. Bond's e-mail, Fr. Christopher Clay was suspended by Bishop James Timlin of Scranton, prior to resurfacing in the Ft. Worth Diocese. He is connected with the Society of St. John, and has been accused of abusing the same young man who is suing for sexual abuse Fr. Urrutigoity and Fr. Ensey, both SSJ priests. According to Bond, Fr. Clay continued to mingle with young people, posing as a priest in good standing. Also according to Bond, the Vatican has authorized an eccleastical judicial process against all three priests, which could lead to laicization.
I tried to put this into the comments box below Steward Robbins' comment. But as too often happens my brief comment turned into a mini-essay. So here it is, for whatever worth you think it may or may not have.
This Chiesa article taken together with the Review of Philip Jenkins book paints a very dismal picture.
I think the Pope intends to recreate the Church via the new ecclesial communities, with the help of Pentecostal signs and wonders.
What we don't know is what God will do. Obviously in an eyeblink He can pull order out of chaos. The Church survives today despite overwhelming odds in favor of the opposition down through the pages of history. Somewhere it will continue to survive until Christ returns. My concern is not for the Church's survival. My concern is for the survival of my own faith, the faith of my daughter, and her children if she ever has any. In other words my scope is very limited in time and quite personal.
We have ample evidence in Russia and China of what can happen to the Church in a given time and place. And we have the Book of Revelation telling us that a time will come when a great part of the Earth will succumb to worship of something not of God.
When I attend Mass, I often think about what it would be like not to have a Mass to attend. I think about the fact that this Mass at which I am present may no longer be available to me at some point in my life. Two things flow from that: A greater appreciation of what I currently have, and a prayer that if I and my family are put to the test, we will somehow rise to the challenge and be able to endure. From those two ideas come questions about how much compromise can be made without offending God. Unfortunately, I have no answers.
CRISIS MAGAZINE TARGETS THE HYPOCRICY WITHIN
And they have caught some big-time hypocrites in Catholic higher education. In addition to the Jesuit Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of St. Louis University, who served on the board of hospitals that performed abortions, they throw the spotlight on: • College officials and faculty with ties to pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia organizations, including a Boston College law professor on the board of directors of the Death With Dignity National Center, a Georgetown University philosophy professor on the board of directors of the Compassion in Dying Federation, and two Georgetown University women’s studies professors who are also employees of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
• Pro-abortion politicians serving as college officials and faculty, including Carol Moseley Braun teaching management at DePaul University, Geraldine Ferraro on Fordham University law school’s board of visitors and teaching public policy at Georgetown University, and Leon Panetta teaching political science and on the board of trustees and law school board of visitors at Santa Clara University.
• Pro-abortion student clubs including the Reproductive Choice Coalition at Boston College law school, H*yas for Choice at Georgetown University, Georgetown Students for Choice at Georgetown law school, and a National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter at St. Ambrose University.
Who needs enemies when you've got friends like these?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Thanks to a reader for sending this in.
PAPAL LITURGIES COREOGRAPHED BY BISHOP PIERO MARINI
A reader sent in this link to a story from Chiesa:
The Papal Liturgist, Bishop Piero Marini, is responsible for all of the publicly held Papal Masses. It is Marini who incorporated the "rites of pagan origin into papal ceremonies." Marini considers his "work" to be "a work of cleaning of the encrustations that were superimposed over the centuries." Bishop Marini told La Civilta Cattolica that:
"In the old liturgy, in use before the Second Vatican Council, the role of the master of ceremonies consisted in applying a series of rigid norms which could not be changed. Today one cannot organize a celebration without first having thought: who is celebrating, what is being celebrated, where is it being celebrated... The celebration is the point toward which converge diverse and reciprocally coordinated elements under the guide of that spirit of adaptation that is the soul of post-conciliar reform."
We used to call liturgy "The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." Now we call it a "reciprocally coordinated" "celebration" guided by a "spirit of adaptation" and it must no longer consist of "rigid norms." No wonder the Pope has not corrected the abberations in liturgy that American Catholics have been plagued with since Vatican II. He doesn't want them corrected. He approves of them, as reflected in the views of his chosen liturgist.
The representation of the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary has become a changing stage show with the Pope's blessing. Lex orandi, lex credendi. As we worship, so we believe. If liturgy is constantly in flux, so must our belief be constantly in flux. And so, the Eucharist has become a joke. Something we line up for whether we are Catholic but not in communion with the Church, or even simply not Catholic at all, as the Archbishop of Canterbury is not Catholic.
While the Pope's words speak orthodoxy, his actions promote heterodoxy. Actions have always spoken louder than words. The morphing of the faith into something unrecognizable has the blessings of the Representative of Christ as evidenced by his actions.
Marini, though, doesn't see that there is anything amiss except for the annoyance of the media:
The direction of those celebrations is all his, and he's proud of it. But there's another directorship that escapes him: that of television. And since papal liturgies are seen much more widely on TV than in person, he thinks the problem is serious.
Get that...It's the media. Again. It's not the fault of the faithful servants of the Church who are attempting to do God's will. It's the anti-Catholicism of the media. It's all the Boston Globe, Dallas News, and television's fault that there is such unrest in the Church. It doesn't have anything to do with the actions of the bishops who are undermining the faith. It's just the media who have the audacity to report it.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
CHIESA REVIEWS PHILIP JENKINS NEW BOOK
titled TheNext Christendom. The Coming of Global Christianity, in an article from Chiesa sent in by a reader.
Jenkins gives numbers and the numbers don't look good. The greatest problem is a shortage of priests, both in Western countries and in Third World countries. With no priest, there is no Mass. With no Mass people drift away.
Jenkins, however, describes America as "a country that is overwhelmingly Christian and will continue to be so for decades, in contrast to what is happening in Europe."
The Catholicism of the future, though, is not going to look especially familiar. From the Chiesa report:
The dominant traits of this new Christianity are Pentecostal and Evangelical: a deep personal faith, a demanding and puritanical morality, doctrinal orthodoxy, community ties, a strong spirit of mission, prophecy, healings, and visions. In one image, it is “Fire from Heaven,” the title of a famous 1995 essay by Harvey Cox.
So it contains Gnostic elements. Since it appears to be inevitable, hopefully they will be kept under reasonable control. Pentecostalism has a reputation for splitting congregations in the beginning over phenomena that makes many uncomfortable. The experiences that are so good at drawing people in--speaking in tongues, etc.--tend to halt after a while, at which point people become disillusioned and leave. This could be a flash in the pan. Or not.
In global statistics – for example, in the World Christian Encyclopedia edited by David B. Barret – part of this new Christianity is grouped under the heading of “Independent Churches,” and these represent one fifth of the two billion Christians in the world. But there are also religious forms within the historical Protestant Churches, and even more so within the Roman Catholic Church, in which these features can be found.
That means 35 to 40 million members of "Independent Churches." Such as the Liberal Catholic Church, perhaps? There are many independents. It's a movement to be watched. If they ever found a way to come together and get along with each other, they could not be ignored.
The article closes with "A letter from Brazil" in which this passage appears:
“The faithful are forced to gather in church and celebrate a kind of priestless mass, even in the cities where, like Vila Velha di Vitoria, there is no shortage of priests. But not all of these priests celebrate more than one mass, even on Sundays. In Vila Velha e Vitoria, an adjoining city, there are various religious communities. On Sundays they could disperse throughout the different churches in the city, but they prefer to concelebrate and leave the faithful alone in church, at the mercy of unbridled fanatics – when, that is, it is not the celebrants themselves who are the fanatics, sometimes modifying the liturgical texts to suit themselves because no one is able to understand them, transforming the singing of the Sanctus into a dance rhythm, and failing to commemorate the pope, the bishop, and the deceased.
ANTI-BUSH BOOK TO BE RELEASED IN AUGUST
by Alfred Knopf, according to the Independent:
Mr Baker's new novel, Checkpoint, features two characters who spend much of its 115 pages discussing how to assassinate President George Bush. They don't actually do the deed, or even attempt it, but the book is - according to early snippets - replete with deep-seated anger and elegantly nasty epithets hurled at both the President and his cabinet.
Mr Baker's publisher, Alfred Knopf, plans to release the book on 24 August, on the eve of the Republican National Convention in New York. To call it a provocation would be an understatement. The author and publishers have no intention of giving anybody ideas - to do so would be a criminal offence - but they are certainly playing very close to the edge in a United States that, in the wake of the 11 September attacks, has shown no compunction about locking people up and asking questions later, free speech rights be damned.
I hope they will at least have the courtesy to give the President a copy before the release. Almost makes me think the publisher has a grudge against Bush.
Thanks to a reader for sending it in.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
MARK HAS CORRECTED HIS OVERSIGHT
Here. This is what he added to his earlier blog about the Greek Euro--posted here for the enlightenment of any one of you who may not be familiar with the Christian Charity practiced at "Catholic and Enjoying It!"
Carrie Tomko demands credit for finding this evidence of Sinister Global Conspiracy and I humbly obey. Lots of other sinister conspiracies are chronicled at her site too. If you need reasons to feel worry, fear, paranoia, and powerlessness--as our Lord commanded you to do--make her blog your first stop everyday.
has apparently been visiting my blog again. His opinion of the Greek Euro can be found here. It's about what you would expect. No credit given, so I guess we are supposed to assume that he dug up this bit of research all by himself. Perhaps his visits to my blog have given him a new interest!
(This seems to be making the rounds in email. I got it from a friend with a mailing list. I have no idea who wrote it. It's funny, and oh so true, so I'm sharing it. Enjoy.)
My mother was a fanatic about public restrooms. When I was a little girl, she'd take me into the stall, teach me to wad up toilet paper and wipe the seat. Then, she'd carefully lay strips of toilet paper to cover the seat. Finally, she'd instruct, "Never, NEVER sit on a public toilet seat. Then she'd demonstrate "The Stance," which consisted of balancing over the toilet in a sitting position without actually letting any of your flesh make contact with the toilet seat. By this time, I'd have wet down my leg and we'd have to go home to change my clothes.
That was a long time ago. Even now, in my more "mature years", "The Stance" is excruciatingly difficult to maintain, especially when one's bladder is full.
When you have to "go" in a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women that makes you think there's a half-price sale on Nelly's underwear in there. So, you wait and smile politely at all the other ladies, who are also crossing their legs and smiling politely. You get closer and check for feet under the stall doors. Every one is occupied.
Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter. The dispenser for the new fangled "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook if there was one - but there isn't - so you carefully but quickly hang it around your neck (mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume "The Stance."
Ahhhh, relief. More relief.
But then your thighs begin to shake. You'd love to sit down but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance" as your thighs experience a quake that would register an eight on the Richter scale. To take your mind off of your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you would have tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!"
Your thighs shake more. You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It is still smaller than your thumbnail. Someone pushes open your stall door because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet.
"Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle, and sliding down, directly onto the insidious toilet seat. You bolt up quickly, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly ashamed of you if she knew, because you're certain that her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get."
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, sending up a stream of water akin to a fountain that suddenly sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged off to China.
At that point, you give up. You're soaked by the splashing water. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket, then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past a line of women, still waiting, cross-legged and, at this point, no longer able to smile politely.
One kind soul at the very end of the line points out that you are trailing a piece of toilet paper on your shoe as long as the Mississippi River! (Where was it when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."
As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has since entered, used and exited the men's restroom and read a copy of War and Peace while waiting for you. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?"
This is dedicated to women everywhere who have ever had to deal with a public restroom (rest??? you've got to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked question about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other woman can hold the door and hand you Kleenex under the door.
Here all along I've assumed the "neck hook" for the purse was my own invention, and I've always hoped that no one would open the stall door and find me using it!
Let me add one more memory...stalls with "sanitized" seats that cost 5 or 10 cents to enter. There was a contraption attached to the porcelain that turned purple when the seat was being "sanitized." If there was another woman in the restroom when you were finished and you were feeling generous, you held the door open so the other woman could use it without paying. I think this little dishonesty had something to do with the notion that it was the obligation of the store to provide clean restrooms and no one should have to pay for using them. I've often wondered if there was anything more to the "sanitization" than a pretty purple lightbulb. On very rare occasions, you would enter the restroom to discover that all of the doors had the coin box on them. If you didn't have the requisite nickel or dime, you were out of luck.
Is anyone having difficulty accessing Amy Welborn's blog? All that will come up for me is the left and right columns. None of her postings come up. This began yesterday--the same day that I've found I can't post in Bettnet, even though the system says I'm registered.
I haven't done any computer maintenance since last posting in these two forums, so I'm not sure what happened, but don't think the problem is on my end.
And while I'm on the topic, a reader writes that she has been looking for some time for a forum where a variety of viewpoints are welcome. What she finds is either a liberal slant that will bash traditional Catholic concepts or a traditional slant that will not tolerate any criticism of the hierarchy. She can't find a forum where a Novus Ordo Catholic can express a viewpoint without being politically correct according to the particular slant of the forum.
Naturally she is welcome here, but are there any other places out there where a rank and file Catholic can express an honest opinion without worrying about PC or the particular viewpoint of a person in control of the forum?
If you don't want to answer in the comments box, send me an email.
CATHOLIC LEAGUE'S WILLIAM DONOHUE
frequently uses the "Jewish example" when fighting Catholic bigotry, as in "If a Rabbi said that..." or "If a Jewish congregation were treated that way..." The technique is effective in pointing out anti-Catholic bigotry that is more recognizable when the same incident is worded to be Jewish rather than Catholic.
But this is a new twist. Now Donohue is saying that the Jews are bigoted...against the Catholics.
The issue is abortion and refusing Eucharist, of course. Certain Jews don't think the bishops have any right to do that. I wonder what prompted them to believe they should express an opinion?
Recently someone sent me a link to an odd website linking gays and satanism, that I visited briefly and decided against blogging. Now, according to Pretoria News, the website has been pulled for Acceptable Use Policy Violation. Is this a common practice that I just haven't run into until now, or is this a new direction?
KABBALAH IS HOT
From Marin Independent Journal:
So the "Black Belt Rabbi" Daniel Kohn, a "born-again Jew," has written about his spiritual discoveries in a book titled Kinesthetic Kabbalah: Spiritual Practices from Martial Arts and Jewish Mysticism which he is self-publishing because no publishing house is interested. I guess they don't think the world is ready for this bit of syncretism.
Monday, June 28, 2004
AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY BACKPADDLES ON CHURCH DESIGN
Apparently all of the negative feedback on the glass church in Florida has convinced Fr. Fessio and Tom Monaghan that their analysis of the design is correct. In other words it stinks and wasn't what Monaghan had in mind all along. They've sent the architects back to the drawing board where they will now be working with the concept of "dark and mysterious in stone and copper" at Canon Design.
Someone needs to explain this statement in the article:
The church, which is technically an oratory because it's affiliated with the university and sacraments cannot be performed there, will have the largest seating capacity of any Catholic church in the United States. It was modeled after architectural work from Fay Jones.
A Catholic Church without a Mass? Sacraments are "performed"?
Blogger credit to Crux News.
WYOMING BRAND OF GNOSTIC
University of Wyoming psychologist Leo Sprinkle believes in reincarnation. In fact he helps people overcome their phobias by regressing them to the moment in a past life when they became afraid. Says Leo:
One model of reincarnation...suggests that the Creator is a huge ball of energy, out of which come the archangels, out of which come the angels, out of which come human beings. And Creation is expanding, learning and growing as a result of what we do.
"Some people say human souls are a spark of the divine flame," Sprinkle says. "I like that kind of comment. It makes sense to me."
It makes sense to Madon...ahhh...Esther as well, and It comes straight at ya via Michael Berg's Kabbalah Centre. But what is it doing in Wyoming?
Apparently one thing it has done is get the good psychologist into private practice:
As a professor at the University of Wyoming, Sprinkle says his colleagues thought he was "not only on the wrong path professionally, but also on the wrong path so far as the university was concerned." So in 1989, after 25 years with UW, he left for private practice.
I wonder if "left" was a word lacking in "choice"?
For a resident of Wyoming, Dr. Sprinkle is certainly progressive:
Sprinkle also speculates that this life and reincarnation might not be part of a closed system; in other words, life could be present in many places throughout the universe and take many forms. On planet Earth, we are of a basic mammalian stock, but other places the intelligent species may be of insect, reptilian or even robotic in origin.
I guess California no longer has a corner on Gnosticism. It seems to be insinuating itself even into normal states. On his next journey perhaps the spirits could introduce him to Rudolf Steiner. They're sure to have a lot in common. Christians, of course, take a dim view of this:
Past life experiences might be nothing more than products of an overactive imagination, they argue, forgotten influences from the past, simple lies or even memories not of one's own past lives but from the lives of people now deceased. Some Christian denominations hold that brushes with "past lives" are the work of Satan.
That "S" word keeps coming up. Well, he did, afterall, promise Eve that she would never die. And now he is making good on his promise. Sort of. Some of the Seekers don't even get a glamorous past life:
...contrary to a popular misconception, not everyone who reports evidence for a past life claims they were once Queen Cleopatra or Napoleon Bonaparte. In fact, according to Sprinkle, the research...indicates most people, depending upon the time period, report living lower-class lives in villages under rather harsh conditions.
Gnosticism without the glamour element is seriously deficient. If you're going to be a Gnostic, aim for classy!
Initiating seekers does apparently provide a good living:
Over the years, Sprinkle and his wife, Marilyn, have worked with thousands of people in private sessions and in reincarnation workshops, not for the purpose of persuading, but for the purpose of seeking.
I wonder what a seeker pays for an office visit? If I were advising a seeker I'd recommend that if you don't get a life of luxury, demand your money back. Who wants to go to all that trouble and expense just to get another version of what they've already got?
FOX NEWS REPORTS...
from the Pollitical Grapevine:
Cash for Convicts
Speaking of battleground states, a Democratic organization funded by anti-Bush billionaire George Soros (search) is hiring former prison inmates — some convicted of sex offenses, assault and burglary — to go door-to-door in Missouri, Florida and Ohio registering voters. The organization, America Coming Together, pays the convicts as much as $12 an hour. Though four hired by America Coming Together in Missouri are back in prison for new violations, the organization insists hiring convicts does not pose a threat to the public. Plus, the organization says, "It's important to give people a second chance."
Refusing to answer the door in Ohio...
Thanks to a reader for this one.
12-WEEK FETUS "WALKS" IN THE WOMB
From BBC News:
A new type of ultrasound scan has produced the vivid pictures of a 12 week-old foetus "walking" in the womb.
The new images also show foetuses apparently yawning and rubbing its eyes.
The scans, pioneered by Professor Stuart Campbell at London's Create Health Clinic, are much more detailed than conventional ultrasound.
Professor Campbell has previously released images of unborn babies appearing to smile.
He has compiled a book of the images called "Watch Me Grow."
There are two pictures included in the article, one of the baby "walking" and the other of a yawn. No one can deny that these are human babies in these pictures. If you want more, click the "watch and listen" link on the top right of the website. You will get the video of the baby moving in the womb. It's really amazing what technology can accomplish. And its really hard to understand how a doctor can tear a baby to pieces in an abortion.
The book is due out in October of this year in England, and is not yet listed at Amazon.
THE GAG ORDER
They ask us to trust them. They say they are cleaning up the mess. They do a self-study of the extent of the abuse problem with the help of John Jay College. The report is published.
Confidentiality may have a place in this. Victims must be protected, as must all innocent priests, but I have a hard time understanding the level of confidentiality represented by the requirements at the top of the pdf file linked at Roman Catholic Faithful, where the Victim's Survey requires of participants:
- Any and all notes or scratch paper that you use to complete the work be destroyed at the end of each day.
- That you refrain from any discussion of the work with any person outside of the church or anyone who does not already have access to the files of alleged abusers.
- That if you call the researchers for assistance you prepare to ask your questions of them without using any names or other personal information.
- That no names are included in any material sent to the Review Board.
- That no identifying information that could link an individual to the information on a survey instrument be included when the material is sent to the Review Board.
- That completed surveys be placed first in one envelope with no external markings, then in another envelope for mailing to the Review Board.
- That you will not discuss what [sic] the work you have done on this research study either during or after its completion.
These prohibitions are followed by a statement that if the work becomes overwhelming and you need counseling, you will be provided with a counselor and be removed from the project.
Did they get a security clearance before being given the questionnaire one wonders? Has James Bond been hired to pick up the questionnaires at the post office when they are mailed in? Were the rectory offices bugged?
This is the sort of hedging about of information that one sees with governmental defense work, not with religion. I can't help but wonder what information it is they were guarding so carefully. What haven't they told us yet?
Am I over-reacting here? It seems to me that if the bishops had wanted to set a course of destruction for the Catholic Church in America, they couldn't have done a better job. And then I remember that Rome has indicated that confidentiality is part of the bishops job. I'm appalled. I'm disgusted. I no longer trust the hierarchy, and I've learned to doubt a priest I don't know. Forty years of heresy at the core, coupled with a major sexual abuse scandal within the ranks of those who were thought to be celibate, fostered by bishops who helped the abusers obtain new victims, leaves me ashamed of my Church. And that shame applies to all of the hierarchy, right up to the man on the top of the pile who, to the best of my knowledge, had the power to stop this and did not act.
There have still not been acts of repentence on the part of our leaders that come anywhere close to balancing the scale so that we can move on. Maybe there can't be, and the only hope we have lies in new young priests who are orthodox, the next bishop of the diocese, the next pope. Maybe there really is no way to recover with the current occupiers of the hierarchical positions. Scandal, after all, has long-term temporal consequences.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!