Saturday, July 17, 2004
A DALLAS NEWS STORY THAT SO NEEDS A HAPPY ENDING
about a teenage girl who has been orphaned when both of her parents died 22 months apart. After caring for her dieing mother, Gina Rodriguez was left homeless and on her own. Her greatest wish is for a headstone for her parents grave...something she does not believe she will be able to afford for a long time. A reporter at Dallas News tells her story and has tried over nearly a year to help her.
Gina is a Catholic, but she is turning to Wicca because she can't accept that the God she knows would allow her parents to die.
The marker would require $500 to cover the expense of the grave plot, and an additional $850 to cover the most inexpensive marker. When I think about the large amounts of Diocesan monies that have gone down the scandal rabbit hole, and see these numbers where a little would make a big difference, it makes me really sad.
The article doesn't list a place to send money. If Rod Dreher happens to read this blog, perhaps he could look into this story and find out if there is some way St. Blogs could help? It would be something positive to counteract all of the negative Catholic news.
RED HAT SOCIETY
Old women acting silly, wearing unusual clothes, and having fun at a nice restaurant with good food and pleasant waiters. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.
Anyone else out there a Red Hatter? My chapter met for lunch today at a well-known local restaurant where the veal scallapini (sp?) was delicious--even better than the chocolate mousse and raspberry cake.
At each meeting it seems that the hats become more elaborate than the one before it. I'm learning creative ways to make hat accessories that can be pinned on and taken off for any occasion. Wore the nice large red feather and the purple rose on my hat this afternoon. Now if I could just find a way to keep the hat from falling off, I'll be right in style.
The latest fashion trend in red hat attire is feather boas with shorts. It makes a stunning costume for the light at heart, especially when the boa is red and purple. A bit hot for a summer afternoon, though, so plan to wear it only in air-conditioning. (I left my feather boa on the hatrack today. It's been raining and red tends to run when it gets wet.)
One of the neat finds at yesterday's end of season clearance was a nice little red felt hat for $6 that will go to a meeting this winter. All I need is the $100 suit to go with it. Maybe at the winter clearance sale...
Next year's convention will be in Las Vegas. (Do they allow hats in the casino?) One of the ladies already has her purple pajamas for the trip. I'm told that red luggage is stylish but not essential--especially since there is so much of it around that distinguishing your own bag from someone else's can be challenging. Purple would be nice, if one of the mfgs made it.
Well, time to go shuck these red hat earrings and put on something that actually goes with this purple pantsuit, cause I'm going to Mass.
CRISIS MAGAZINE - E-LETTER
The Marriage Amendment Fails... For Now
July 16, 2004
Last time I wrote, I promised to keep you up to speed on the developments with the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). Well, as you probably already heard, an initial cloture vote -- to end debate on the bill and send the amendment to a final up-or-down vote -- was held on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the motion failed by a 48-50 margin.
It's a serious setback to the FMA's progress, to be sure, but not a death blow. We'll just have to keep plugging away and redouble our efforts to support the bill in the future.
And as far as support for the bill goes, I want to commend the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). I had my doubts, but they did prove their commitment to this issue in these crucial past weeks. USCCB president Bishop Wilton Gregory published a personal letter to his fellow bishops, urging them to support the amendment and encourage their senators to do likewise, and the USCCB itself issued a statement declaring their support of the FMA. Furthermore, USCCB general secretary Monsignor William Fay and the Office of Government Liaison's director Frank Monahan did their part by attending the press conference of Matt Daniels, the president of the Alliance for Marriage and sponsor of the FMA, showing that the USCCB is willing to give visible support to the amendment along with its written support.
While it didn't end up changing anything, we can't blame the bishops' conference. After all, who is it who votes emphatically pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage Catholic politicians into office if not the Catholic voting public? Until we stop sending these men and women to Congress, we can't complain when they don't vote in line with Church teaching. And we certainly can't expect the bishops to come in and single-handedly clean up our mess.
Look, I criticize the bishops conference when it fails to fully uphold the faith. But we also have to be fair. The fact is, they did their part for the FMA, and we need to acknowledge that.
And now for the voter breakdown.
Last time I told you that there were 14 Catholic senators against the FMA, 5 in favor, and 5 undecided. Fortunately, four of those undecided Catholic senators did the right thing in the end and voted "yes" to the cloture vote on the amendment. Only John Sununu, a Republican from New Hampshire, went the other way and voted "no." That's a big disappointment.
(By the way, the most famous Catholic of the bunch, John Kerry, didn't vote. Big surprise.)
Some of the names on the opposition list are not surprising -- Ted Kennedy, Barbara Mikulski, and Tom Daschle, to name a few of the usual suspects. A couple of the names, though, are kind of funny. Dick Durbin of Illinois, for example, who created the infamous Catholic senator "score card" that ranked him the second most Catholic senator on the Hill. Who would have guessed that the most Catholic senators in Washington are all ignoring the bishops conference and casting votes in favor of gay marriage?
Anyway, here are the rest of the senators who voted against cloture:
Joseph Biden (D-DE)
John Breaux (D-LA)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
John Reed (D-RI)
As you can see, there's still a lot of work to be done, and much will depend on our individual efforts.
I'll write more next week. Right now, the office is closing a little early since Ann Guppy, one of the CRISIS staff, is getting married this evening. Please join me in praying that God grants her wedding and marriage every blessing.
Have a great weekend,
To learn more about CRISIS Magazine, visit http://www.crisismagazine.com/subscribe.htm
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK - E-MAIL FROM LEE PENN
This story, from the British Medical Journal, was released in June. I do not know what has occurred since.
bmj.com Lenzer 328 (7454): 1458
I wonder, though .... why would the Bush people push another expensive program when the budget deficit is already out of control? And the BMJ headline seems incorrect ... the story talks about mental health screening for all students, not (yet) the whole population.
Nevertheless, consider the possibility .... that the people who brought you the Patriot Act might want to test your mental health, or that of your child.
BMJ 2004;328:1458 (19 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7454.1458
Bush plans to screen whole US population for mental illness
Jeanne Lenzer New York
A sweeping mental health initiative will be unveiled by President George W Bush in July. The plan promises to integrate mentally ill patients fully into the community by providing "services in the community, rather than institutions," according to a March 2004 progress report entitled New Freedom Initiative (www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/newfreedom/toc-2004.html). While some praise the plan's goals, others say it protects the profits of drug companies at the expense of the public.
Bush established the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in April 2002 to conduct a "comprehensive study of the United States mental health service delivery system." The commission issued its recommendations in July 2003. Bush instructed more than 25 federal agencies to develop an implementation plan based on those recommendations.
The president's commission found that "despite their prevalence, mental disorders often go undiagnosed" and recommended comprehensive mental health screening for "consumers of all ages," including preschool children. According to the commission, "Each year, young children are expelled from preschools and childcare facilities for severely disruptive behaviours and emotional disorders." Schools, wrote the commission, are in a "key position" to screen the 52 million students and 6 million adults who work at the schools.
The commission also recommended "Linkage [of screening] with treatment and supports" including "state-of-the-art treatments" using "specific medications for specific conditions." The commission commended the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) as a "model" medication treatment plan that "illustrates an evidence-based practice that results in better consumer outcomes."
Dr Darrel Regier, director of research at the American Psychiatric Association (APA), lauded the president's initiative and the Texas project model saying, "What's nice about TMAP is that this is a logical plan based on efficacy data from clinical trials."
He said the association has called for increased funding for implementation of the overall plan.
But the Texas project, which promotes the use of newer, more expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, sparked off controversy when Allen Jones, an employee of the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General, revealed that key officials with influence over the medication plan in his state received money and perks from drug companies with a stake in the medication algorithm (15 May, p1153). He was sacked this week for speaking to the BMJ and the New York Times.
The Texas project started in 1995 as an alliance of individuals from the pharmaceutical industry, the University of Texas, and the mental health and corrections systems of Texas. The project was funded by a Robert Wood Johnson grant—and by several drug companies.
Mr Jones told the BMJ that the same "political/pharmaceutical alliance" that generated the Texas project was behind the recommendations of the New Freedom Commission, which, according to his whistleblower report, were "poised to consolidate the TMAP effort into a comprehensive national policy to treat mental illness with expensive, patented medications of questionable benefit and deadly side effects, and to force private insurers to pick up more of the tab" (http://psychrights.org/Drugs/AllenJonesTMAPJanuary20.pdf).
[Go to the website to read the rest of the story. - ct]
BISHOP OPPOSING BISHOP, FAKED LETTERS, RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COVER-UP
John Allen reports on a Cardinal at the center of heated controversy who is accused of assassination of his predecessor. All of this is coming to light in Peru where Opus Dei Cardinal Cipriani says he is a victim of a smear campaign that the Vatican wants to sweep under the rug.
It boggles the mind that this is taking place in a Christian organization. Sounds a lot more like the Mafia than the Church. Well, on second thought, reflecting on Church history, maybe not. Looks like the powers that be are getting desperate. I hope the Dallas Morning News and/or the Boston Globe saw this.
More from John Allen at The Word from Rome, including comments about Cipriani and Krenn plus an Italian scandal which is given only a short airing.
Blogger credit to a reader.
INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE in the news at Catholic World News. The article discusses an entry in Civilta Cattolica.
However, the Jesuit magazine emphasized, Christians cannot compromise on the understanding of Christ's central role in the faith. The editorial denounces the perspective of some Christian theologians who suggest "that all religions are true, and all lead to God, in their various ways." These theologians, Civilta Cattolica remarks, find it necessary to "demythologize" the claims of Christianity, including the claim that Christianity is the single true faith.
That approach, the editorial says, undermines the central claims of Christian faith. And since the theologians who make such claims are not true representatives of the Christian tradition, their work undermines the real purposes of inter-religious dialogue.
Civilta Cattolica concludes that in discussions with representatives of other faiths, Christians need not demand that the others accept Christian doctrine; nor should Christians be expected to accept the criticisms of other faiths.
Thanks to a reader for sending this story.
DAN DURY, SEMINARY STUDENT AT THE JOSEPHINUM in Columbus talks about life in the seminary. Answering the call, Dury enrolled at the Pontifical College Josephinum, the only Vatican-run seminary in the western hemisphere. "It's a lot different than Ohio State," he laughed. Waking up in the early morning hours for prayer, attending Mass in the middle of the day, taking classes and closing out the day with evening prayer, Dury rendered life at the seminary as "structured." He is currently in the process of completing a 10-week internship under Father Jim Black of St. Peter's Parish in Chillicothe, where he spends his days observing communion with the sick and spreading God's word. "I've loved it here," said Dury, who has just one week remaining in his internship. "It enforces in me that this is what I'm called to do."
Friday, July 16, 2004
DISCUSSION CONTINUED FROM AMY'S BLOG
In response to my challenge to find the passage in Scripture where Christ forgave the Scribes and Pharisees, Mark replied:
In your struggle to avoid the clear command of Jesus Christ, you are now playing mere word games and fundamentalist proof texting. There is no passage where Jesus tells a Pharisee "I forgive you of your sins" to an unrepentant Pharisee because the implication would be, of course, that it was possible for a sinner to profit from the mercy of Christ without receiving it.
What more do I need to say? Have the bishops indicated repentance?
But that does not mean that Christ did not *extend* that mercy to the unrepentant Pharisee.
But of course it won't due to put words in His mouth that He didn't speak, will it? You have condemned others for claiming to know the mind of God. Based on that, I'm afraid you are stuck with using the words we have recorded. Christ said plenty of negative things about the Scribes and Pharisees. He didn't say a word of forgiveness about them.
"God commends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5 is your proof text, along with essentiall all the rest of the New Testament. "All day long I hold out my hands to an obstinate people" is another such text.
No Scribes and Pharisees, though. And up above you objected to proof texting.
Unless you wish to contradict the dogmatic teaching of the Church and say that Christ died only for the elect and not for every human being without any exception whatsoever (including the scribes and Pharisees) then you have to face the fact that Christ's whole *life* was an extension of mercy, even to those who plotted his murder and never ever repented. That they did not receive the mercy makes no difference. He nonetheless offered it and he commands us to imitate him.
We were talking about the words He spoke. You can argue that He died for them and I won't disagree, but He did not pronounce words of forgivness for them for all of the offenses that He enumerated about them. He itemized their offenses and left them hanging.
Actually imitating Him would be not speaking the words of forgivness of the priests and bishops as He did not forgive the Scribes and Pharisees. He apparently put them into a different category, since we have His words of forgiveness of His torturers.
Stop making exuses and attempting to avoid the clear teaching of Christ and do as he commands. If you have nobody against whom you are bitter, then stop trying so hard to give as many excuses and escape hatches for disobedience as possible to those who do.
Well, the clear teaching of Christ seems to be that religious figures have been singled out and are not as easily forgiven. What's more Christ did not hesitate to point out their sins repeatedly. He was quite disgusted with them.
I believe people like Rod Dreher are doing the Church a service by not allowing business as usual. Someone has to do it. There will be no correction unless the laity forces the bishops to make corrections. We see injustice perpetuated by our leaders. We are powerless to do anything about it. All there is to combat the injustice is loudly proclaiming it from the rooftops until enough people get upset enough to force them to change. But you come along and insist we should be forgiving so that they can pretend it has all gone away. No, Mark, sorry, I don't buy the forgiveness line. A time will come for peace and tranquility to return. It isn't here yet.
SATANISM IN ITALY
"has created a market for consecrated hosts" according to Fr. Aldo Buonaiuto, in an article posted on the Catholic News Agency website and linked at Crux News. The article states further:
“A true ‘market’ for consecrated hosts exists. They sell for 80-500 euros, depending on the size of the host, the prominence of the church from which they were stolen, and who consecrated them.”
“The highest price is placed on those that are consecrated in the churches of Rome, above all those closest to the Vatican. They are stolen in two ways: from the tabernacle, but also at the time of Holy Communion,” he said.
It would appear that the Satanists know the true value of a consecrated Host and are therefore willing to spend quite a bit to obtain one.
This article was sent to me by a couple of readers earlier today. I just didn't read it until this evening.
are the subject of Chiesa's report titled "The Seven Capital Vices of the Movements, According to 'La Civilta Cattolica' " which has been sent to me by a couple of readers.
The article outlines the critical areas of concern regarding governance of the movements, along with some of their characteristic "dangers," including:
“The tendency to make absolute their own Christian experience, holding it to be the only valid one, for which reason the ‘true’ Christians would be those who are part of their own movement.”
“The tendency to close themselves off; that is, to follow their own pastoral plans and methods of formation for the members of the movement, to carry out their own apostolic activities, refusing to collaborate with other ecclesial organizations, or seeking to occupy all the territory themselves, leaving scarse resources for the activities of other associations.”
“The tendency to cut themselves off from the local Church, making reference in their apostolic activity more to the methods of the movement and the directives of its leaders than to the directives and pastoral programs of the dioceses and parishes. From this arises the sometimes bitter tensions that can be created between the ecclesial movements and the bishops and pastors.”
At the parish level and in the experience of the general laity, these three cause a lot more problems than the four other concerns the article places primary emphasis on.
THE NEW RELIGIO-SCIENCE
described by a believer at MetroActive.
From the website:
Until relatively recently in the Western world, the answer was no. Back in Galileo's day, 400 or so years ago, dreams, hallucinations, souls, spirits and other metaphysical phenomena were cast out as objects of legitimate scientific inquiry by the Church, which didn't want anyone else cutting in on the God business. What originally evolved out of religious intolerance--scientific method--ironically morphed into its own dogmatic secular religion, nowhere moreso than in the medical sciences. If it can't be measured with instruments-- and so far, no one has built a device capable of detecting, say, a soul--it doesn't exist, as far as Western medicine is concerned. We're living in a material world.
Enter the shaman. For thousands of years, individuals with specialized knowledge of both the natural and the supernatural--sometimes referred to derogatorily as witch doctors, wizards, warlocks and witches by us moderns--have practiced the healing arts. From indigenous tribes in North and South America to practitioners of 3,000-year-old traditional Chinese medicine, such healers approach health problems from physical as well as spiritual perspectives. Now the West, blinded by science for a half a millennia, is finally catching on. Shamanism now pervades everything from complementary medicine to quantum physics. It may even contain the meaning of life.
Looks like it's going to get a lot more difficult in the future to determine what is really real. Questions like "Who am I and why am I here?" are not going to have simple answers like "Child of God," and "To know, love, and serve God." Common belief will make us (a dispensable?) part of the cosmic whole with no individual identity, and no purpose apart from escape into nirvana, whatever or wherever that is. The Shaman cannot be separated from pantheism.
According to the article:
Unlike Western scientific method, shamanism validates such experiences, believing them to be the stuff that ordinary reality is made of. The shamanic technique of flipping back and forth between realities has proven to be a powerful metaphorical tool for understanding diverse complexities ranging from interpersonal relationships to quantum mechanics. Its use has gone decidedly mainstream. The Four Agreements by San Rafael author Don Miguel Ruiz, who trained as a Nagual shaman in the Toltec tradition of his native southern Mexico, remained on the New York Times bestseller list for two years.
Enter the world of Techno-Shamanism:
Dr. Gary Daniel, a Santa Rosa-based motivation and behavioral specialist with 20 years of experience and Ph.Ds in hypnotherapy, hypnotic anesthesiology and transpersonal psychology, approaches shamanism from a more Western perspective, merging sound, light and computer technology with shamanic healing traditions to create a new modality of treatment: techno-shamanism.
"Shamanism Plugs into the Wall," is how Daniel describes it in an essay recently published in the collection The Heart of Healing, edited by Dawson Church and featuring contributions from such luminaries as Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil. Daniel is co-inventor of the NEURO (short for "neuro-imaging optimization") system, a computerized biofeedback system employing vibration, sound and optical lasers. "We're just using high technology to do what the Indians did with drums and fire," he says. "This takes all the guesswork out of it."
His device is the latest addition to a visit to the spa. Now you can go on the cosmic journey into an altered trance state without rituals or drugs. Sit back and relax while the technician flips the computerized switches sending vibrations through your bones. Ultimately the brain wave feedback tells the technician that you are into or out of hypnotic never-never land. In the hands of an unscrupulous operator, this could be very dangerous, yet I see no evidence of regulation. Imagine replacing the tanning beds with such a novel gadget. A person would almost need a bodyguard standing by, considering what sorts of hypnotic suggestions can be planted in the human brain. The "infinite void" or hell on earth? What else could a "mindless divinity" as the story calls it, be?
"Today's healer must overcome the fear from acquired wisdom in the subject by overloading the subject's consciousness and thereby opening the mind at the subconscious level to new ideas and possibilities."
I'll take m y "healer" with a medical license, and instead of "spiritual energy" give me grace.
Blogger credit to a reader who sent in the story.
FREEDOM IS NOT LICENSE...FREEDOM IS FREE ONLY TO DO GOOD
When freedom frees us to do evil, it soon changes to tyrrany. A civilized society cannot long endure freedom to do evil.
We seem to be learning that lesson the hard way.
Over at EnvoyEncore, Patrick Madrid has blogged a story by Wall Street Journal correspondent Annie Jacobsen titled "Terror in the Skies, Again?"
The long article documents the writer's experience on a flight between Detroit and Los Angeles on which a number of Arab men behaved strangely. The flight was terrifying for Jacobsen, her husband and her son. Under the circumstances she describes at the WSJ website, it would have been terrifying for any American.
Envoy asks, for "comments, pro and con, in light of this article, on what you see as the merits or demerits of instituting a strictly enforced policy of racial profiling for airline passengers. Is it something we should do, shouldn't do? Why? Why not?"
No, we should not do racial profiling. If that can of worms is once opened, other categories of individuals will be added. Religion, in light of radical Islam, will be included as part of the war on terrorism. Imagine what such a policy would permit someone who objected to a pro-life position to do. If categories of religion are opened up for profiling, pro-life demonstrators will be targeted. In association with that it will be possible to target those who contribute to pro-life causes. Also consider what might be made of the abuse scandal in relation to profiling religion. It may not be necessary to restrict a priest from flying, but what about other areas of activities such as visiting a public park? There is no guarantee this will happen. Changing the rules on profiling will make it possible.
Yes, we must do racial profiling. There is no other way to make our skies safe for American citizens to travel about to do their business. We cannot be assured of safety unless something is done about Middle Eastern terrorism, and the most sensible way to accomplish this is to profile.
In other words, we are in a no-win situation. Otherwise known as chaos magick.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
A DAY WITHOUT A REASON TO HOPE
It's going on 1 a.m. This post is going up on what is still Thursday for me, even though technically it's Friday morning.
I got up discouraged with the state of the Church. I've been reading news all day. Not one bit of it hopeful. A great lot of it very depressing, and so I will shortly be going to sleep even more discouraged than I was when I got up.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
MICHAEL ROSE DISCUSSES VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE SCANDAL
beginning with Austria, and ranging all across the spectrum. In reading his editorial, two thoughts arise for me:
1. The Austrian expose depends upon the work of a Polish priest who remains anonymous. We don't know why he was at the seminary, or if the camera was kept hidden. While I can understand why he cannot reveal his identity, the lack of a name leaves questions unanswered. One assumes that he was familiar to the seminarians since they acted out in his presence, apparently.
2. Once again this editorial makes it evident that the scandal ranges from right to left in the Church. There is no area of Catholicism exempt from it. Where once the Catholics who adhered to the Tridentine took the high ground, they can no longer do so. Tridentine seminaries suffer just as much scandal as seminaries training priests for the Novus Ordo. If there is going to be a divide over which Catholics face off, it will not be a liberal-traditional divide any longer. It will be a clerical-laity divide. Which means that it will be a challenge to the essential internal structure of the Church Herself.
In a private discussion someone suggested to me that there is not just smoke...the Church is burning down around us. As scandal spreads around the world, we are faced with the real possibility that the Church as we have known Her, will not survive. Perhaps Christ has something new on the horizon, or perhaps we are witnessing the events leading up to His return. Lord spare us from living in interesting times!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Thursday, July 15, 2004
E-MAIL FROM DR. BOND
Today there was yet another report of a Scranton diocesan priest charged with molesting a boy. According to the article linked below, Fr. Al Liberatore "took the boy to fancy restaurants in and around Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, supplied him with alcohol and had him sleep over at the rectory; sleep-overs which authorities said became sexual." Liberatore would have fit in well with the Society of St. John.
Does anyone wonder why the Diocese of Scranton is having so much trouble with deviant priests?
The answer is simple: Timlin. See the evidence at
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
Testing change to template Do the hard returns convert so line spaces?
who commented in a previous blog and says he is a Spanish journalist, seems to be this Robert Duncan. Am I correct?
Your comments concerning Sunday Masses in your area are interesting. You say that your church is full, which disagrees with the article that I linked; and you cited 30% attendance which is typical in the U.S. as well. My own suburban church is full for most of the Sunday Masses, or has been until just recently. We have 5 of them counting the vigil. Yet 33% attendance is typical of my parish. Of course many churches in parts of the city are quite empty, and some are being closed in other dioceses for that reason.
So full churches in your area doesn't guarantee the health of Catholicism in Spain any more than it does here, I would say.
Interestingly, an English poster in another forum used to insist that English churches were full and the faith was alive and well. It directly contradicted media statistics there as well. I'm not sure what to make of the discrepancy. Could be biased reporting as you suggest. Could be that anecdotal evidence is regional in scope. Could reflect diminishing Mass attendance as a population increased, so that numbers in the pew remain static while the population grows.
There does seem to be a rapid change toward non-Christian values in governmental policy since Aznar was voted out. It would not necessarily be reflected in church attendance immediately.
Regarding Opus Dei, their central facility is located in Spain, including the university. The organization was founded there. It doesn't take long in looking at O.D. on the web to realize they have members in high places, culturally and even governmentally, all around the world. That translates to influence. Yet there seems to be a lack of Catholic influence in the current governmental policies being discussed and implemented in Spain. To my thinking that is surprising and noteworthy.
I haven't seen any evidence that the other Catholic ecclesial communities have anything near the influence of O.D.
BLOGGER CHANGED THE COMPOSITION TEMPLATE
this afternoon. I still don't have the new system figured out. Please bear with me until this starts to make sense again.
ARROGANCE ? STONEWALLING ? SOMETHING EVEN DARKER ?
DALLAS - (KRT) - International police say Catholic leaders in Central America are hindering their search for an admitted child-molesting priest who has ties to a prominent papal candidate in Honduras. Meanwhile, prosecutors in Costa Rica are investigating whether Bishop Angel San Casimiro broke the law by aiding the Rev. Enrique Vasquez, who fled a criminal investigation in that country in 1998 and has worked in ministry abroad for most of the time since. "Angel San Casimiro is not cooperating with justice," said Emilio Leon, an investigator with the Interpol law enforcement agency in Costa Rica. "He must know where Enrique Vasquez is." The bishop has previously denied wrongdoing and said he didn't know Vasquez's whereabouts. He did not respond to recent interview requests. The priest vanished in March after working several months in the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Nicaraguan immigration officials say he entered their country by land from Honduras as recently as July 1. Church officials in Nicaragua say that they don't know where he is - and that if they find out, they won't tell law enforcement.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
I hate them. You hate them. America puts off using them as long as possible. Port-A-Pots. Even the name conjures up nightmares. Will it tip over while I'm in there? Will I be able to hold my breath until I finish? Heaven forbid there are flies inside...flies that sat in unmentionable places before lighting on your arm. But an explosion...? Nope, not even in my nightmares. Of course the story might not be true. You be the judge:
BLACKSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) - Warning: smoking in the toilet can be dangerous. A portable toilet exploded Tuesday after a man who was inside it lit a cigarette.
Thanks to a reader for sending in this one.
INTERNET CALLS FOR PETITIONS
There seems to be a lot of them making the rounds. Almost daily we are admonished to write or call or email our Congressmen to save something, stop something, vote for something.
Recently a friend sent me a petition to save NCR from cuts in government funding. As with all of these, I read it and moved on without signing or forwarding. Today in my email is an apology for that request together with a link to this website which gives the history of the NPR petition that has taken on a life of its own. Apparently the petition has already passed at least 8 birthdays and very possibly 9, and it is showing no signs of aging yet!
One passage from the article seems to sum up the fate of all the petitition: First, no one in any position of authority takes email petitions seriously. Electronic "signatures" are meaningless, no matter how many hundreds of thousands may be collected.
I strongly suspect this may also be the fate of phone calls to Washington. They jam up the switchboard for a while and then disappear off the radar screen. Congressmen know that and respond accordingly. In this age of communication, only the entrenched, diligent, persistent, long-term lobbying is going to be taken seriously unless a totally innovative plan of attack is developed. We must be careful to avoid crying wolf every time someone suggests it, lest we find ourselves without a voice when an extraordinary crisis arrives. This tendency to knee-jerk response may be part of the reason the Marriage Amendment was tabled by Congress yesterday.
THE TESTIMONY OF BISHOP MORENO
is the hot topic in Amy's blog today, and it is outrageous testimony, indeed. I won't steal her thunder. Go over and check it out!
DEATH OF CATHOLICISM IN SPAIN
is being written by the hour. The Guardian Unlimited reports on the developments progressing at lightening speed. The oncoming juggernaut seems to be free of even token restraints. This swiftness underlines the loss of faith of those who still claim to be Catholic. Opus Dei seems to have no influence in this nation where it was founded.
Blogger credit to Crux News.
SPINNING THE NEW COSMOLOGY
"God blessed them, saying: 'Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth'." (Gen. 1:28)
The Catholic Telegraph, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, attempts to put a Catholic spin on the new cosmology adopted by women religious:
Last year Sisters of the Precious Blood agreed, between now and 2007, the date of the next assembly, "to embrace a theology adequate for our times."...
"Braving the Future: Creation’s Challenge" was selected as the first theme to help Sisters develop a theology that acknowledges the human connection to — not isolation from — the universe.
But not even a positive spin can disguise this shift from a universe where man has dominion as Genesis tells us to the new cosmology of the nuns:
"One of the shifts happening is a changing understanding of our place in creation," Sister Schreck said. "Through the new cosmology we are beginning to realize that the human species no longer has the dominant place in the order of creation. The changes (and implications) needed to replace our anthropocentric sensibility with a cosmocentric one are immense and diverse."
What Sister Schreck is promoting--a cosmology where man is co-equal with all other creation--is the first step toward pantheism, which will see that all is God.
INTERESTING ANALYSIS FROM THE BARBADOS ADVOCATE
Why is it that after 200 years of Independence, Haiti is still the poorest nation in The Western Hemisphere, plagued and afflicted continuously by tyrannical, despotic, dictators? Why are her people so impoverished and destitute, so void of any real peace and purpose in this life? Who is the god of the Haitian people?
“There is a saying in Haiti that 90 per cent of the people are Roman Catholic and that 100 per cent are followers of Voodoo. (Six of one and half dozen of the other). Voodoo is the traditional popular belief, and it is practiced by many Haitians concurrently and even interchangeably with Catholicism... .Voodoo is strictly controlled by African (and by Catholic) tradition ... voodooists are driven toward full participation in their religion through social ceremony, animal sacrifice, and dance..” (Collier’s Encyclopedia, Vol 11, p.581).
The Haitian populace made a pact through their Voodoo Priests with Satan for their Independence. The Duvalier clan practiced and sanctioned Voodoo, and none other than Roman Catholic Priest Jean Bertrand Aristide, duly elected President of Haiti, recently gave further official sanction to Voodoo. Can Haiti be other than cursed for this virulent practice?
MORE CONSEQUENCES OF THE SCANDAL
MEDFORE, ORE. - Hours after Archbishop John Vlazny announced the archdiocese would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, one of the fund-raisers at a Catholic charity here quit.
It took volunteers more than two years to coordinate the $2.3 million St. Vincent de Paul capital campaign set to start on Saturday.
Now, organizers of the "Beacon of Hope" drive fear that effort will be undermined by last week's bankruptcy filing by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland.
The charity's leaders are acting swiftly to distance themselves from the mother church.
One statement quoted in the article is apt to have unexpected consequences:
"The message I was trying to get across is that we are a Catholic organization, but over 50 percent of our volunteers are not of that faith," he said.
I wonder how their healthcare benefits for full-time employees treat birth control?
Another story on the Oregon Archdiocesan bankruptcy indicates:
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland acknowledged Wednesday that it has nearly $100 million in investment accounts never before disclosed publicly.
In a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing, the archdiocese's chief financial officer, Leonard Vuylsteke, said the organization keeps about $88 million in a long-term investment account and $8 million to $9 million in a short-term account.
The money includes parish funds, cemetery funds, the Catholic Education Endowment Fund, archdiocese funds and others.
"The whole purpose is to create economies of scale," Vuylsteke said in testimony before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris.
One hundred million. I would bet a lot of that money from parishioners gifts and estates was contributed to keep Catholic schools open. And now it may be used to pay for the damage caused by sinful priests. If the judge decides in favor of using it for that purpose, will the declaration of bankruptcy look premature and dishonest?
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
E-MAIL FROM DR. BOND
The many links to articles below demonstrate just how much filth and corruption is emanating from the Diocese of Scranton.
(1) Today's Times Leader reports on the continued confusion with respect to accused priest Christopher Clay. Ex-bishop James Timlin says Clay is fit for duty, but current bishop Joseph Martino is supposedly investigating Clay who nevertheless spent the past year working in a parish in Forth Worth, Texas. Although we do not believe that Clay is innocent, we certainly agree with his attorney that a two-year investigation is ludicrous. The article reports that Clay's attorney is writing a letter to Martino seeking clarification. Good luck, fella.
(2) Yesterday's Times Leader reports that a priest from the Diocese of Scranton was arrested for soliciting sexual favors from a young man. This priest's assignment was listed by the diocese as "leave of absence for reasons of health," yet the diocese admits it had been contacted by law enforcement prior to this arrest. The priest was carrying a duffel bag that contained baby wipes, Vaseline and rubber gloves. When asked what these items were for, the priest told the police, "they are just in there." Certainly this is an answer worthy of a priest who has been operating under the Timlin regime.
(3) The ex-principal of Bishop Hafey High School -- the same high school where Fr. Christopher Clay was a teacher -- is facing a sexual assault charge for having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl over a period of three years. Obviously this principal was too busy indulging his own lust to keep an eye on Clay.
(4) Finally, the Times Leader has reported that the District Attorney of Monroe County has pleaded "no contest" to sexually assaulting his own 10-year-old daughter. Remember that this was the District Attorney whom Bishop Timlin relied upon when judging Christopher Clay's fitness for duty as a priest. You should also recall that this was the same man who was the last official to have the police file on Clay, a file that was reported as missing two weeks ago. Do you see any problems with this picture?
Despite the putrid and foul odor coming from the Diocese of Scranton, we have heard nothing from the Scranton Times except for one article in which Bishop Martino mawkishly praises ex-bishop Timlin for accepting his latest assignment. If you bother to read this article, be sure to have your vomit bag ready.
Suffice it to say that something is rotten in the Diocese of Scranton.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE IN ACTION
Fr. Kevin Hunt Installed as Zen Teacher On April 17, 2004, Fr. Kevin Hunt, OCSO, a Trappist monk of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, and a former member of the MID board, was installed as a Zen teacher (Sensei) in a ceremony held at the abbey. The installation was led by Fr. Robert Kennedy, S.J., who is the only North American Jesuit who is also a Zen Master (Roshi) and who served as Fr. Kevin’s teacher. The installation was witnessed by the abbot of St. Joseph’s and the rest of the monastic community as well as by over seventy guests, including Zen teachers and members of Catholic religious orders from around the country.
Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.
SPANISH GAYS FLEE CHURCH
(Madrid) The tough stand by the Roman Catholic Church on homosexuality and same-sex marriage is driving gays from the Church by the hundreds.
In one protest alone 1500 letters from gays and lesbians were delivered to the Catholic primate of Spain renouncing their faith.
IT'S JUST ODD
Two icons appeared on my desktop when I turned on the computer this morning...icons that neither I nor my husband put there. When I clicked one of them, I was thrown offline and into AOL auto fix. The other one required an internet connection to access a website which I chose not to access. Neither of these icons concerned the kind of material anyone here is interested in.
How did they get there? No one else had access to my computer that I'm aware of. Heck, there was no one else here at my house.
It strikes me that if someone can put icons onto my desktop, perhaps there is a way to put other things into my computer without my knowledge.
Considering how much of the sexual abuse scandal revolves around computer hard drive contents, it's something to think about at least.
at CyberCatholics.com is tracking the Marriage Amendment. He has a blog up on the effect the Republican Rift will have on this bill.
IT'S NOT JUST THE LIBERALS
appearing in the scandal news. A traditinal parish (SSPX? The article doesn't say.) hired a priest who had previously raped a 21-year-old, subsequently promoted her abortion, then molested her again, in addition to killing a 6-year-old in a traffic accident. The priest stepped down, and the parish is split into two warring factions.
Blogger credit to Crux News.
SPINE IN MITER AWARD
to Austin Bishop Gregory Aymond who had gone nose to nose with Planned Parenthood's invasion of the Girl Scouts:
AUSTIN, July 13, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Bishop Gregory Aymond has warned Austin Catholics not to sign their children up for Planned Parenthood's "Nobody's Fool" program. Planned Parenthood had insinuated the sex-ed program designed for pre-pubescent children, into local Girl Scouts and a battle has ensued between the bishop and the abortionists. ...
A statement he sent to Austin-area schools and pastors said, "Scouting troops associated with the diocesan entities will not support, encourage or in any way endorse the activities and programs of Planned Parenthood or any other organization espousing similar beliefs and practices. … Any scouting unit or troop not embracing the above directives shall not be permitted use of parish or school facilities … or indicate association with the Catholic Diocese of Austin. Whether or not we will be able to continue our association with Girl Scouts of America is still questionable."
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily
Statistics at allAfrica.com are certainly sobering:
The report, entitled "Children on the Brink 2004," found that the number of children who have lost either one or both parents to the disease has leapt significantly in just two years, from 11.5 million in 2001 to 15 million in 2003. The report was prepared jointly by the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
The projections of what is to come are more alarming still, said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy at a press briefing. "Our report projects that within six years, sub-Saharan Africa will be home to an estimated 50 million orphaned children -- and that of these, more than a third will have lost one or both parents to AIDS," she said. Significant numbers of children in Africa are also losing their parents in conflicts.
The report also calculates the number of orphans due to all causes worldwide, putting that total at 143 million. The study places a special emphasis of AIDS orphans, because were it not for the epidemic, the total number of world orphans would be declining, according to the research.
What happens to 50 million orphans in a poor continent like Africa? When is the balance tipped into a de-construction of civilization such as occurred in Europe because of the black plague?
TAKING ON POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
Bob Zyskowski challenges the PC mindset at Catholic Herald.
DEFROCKED CATHOLIC PRIEST
sent to prison in San Antonio according to KGBT 4 - TV:
Judge Phil Kazen acted after porn was allegedly found on Lozano's home computer hard drive.
The 47-year-old former dean of the St. Anthony High School seminary in San Antonio was arrested at his Kingsville home in March. The San Antonio Express-News reports Lozano was just three months short of completing his probation when he was arrested.
THE AUSTRIAN TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS FRENCH KISS
According to ABC 7 News:
A defiant Krenn said published photos showing seminary students French-kissing each other were taken at the end of a Christmas celebration and were merely traditional "Christmas kisses."
"It had absolutely nothing at all to do with homosexuality," he said in the nationally televised interview, adding that those involved would not be punished.
Someone posted a link to pictures in Amy's blog yesterday. A picture is worth a lot of words. The link will take you to a slide show. Click "zuruck" on the right bottom to view the slide show.
In any case:
Krenn, however, has refused to step down despite repeated calls for his resignation and for a criminal investigation to determine whether older seminary leaders used their positions of authority to get sexual favors from their young charges.
Perhaps a bit more "prudential judgment" is called for in the selection of bishops.
Krenn, whose close ties to the Vatican led to a visit by Pope John Paul II to his diocese in 1998, was criticized at the time for defending Groer and insisting the cardinal was innocent of the pedophilia charges.
Looks like a fight is brewing:
The Austrian magazine News quoted Krenn on Wednesday as saying the Austrian Bishops Conference, which has pledged to push for a quick and thorough internal investigation, was overstepping its authority.
In other words, this is my diocese and I will do whatever I want with it. I don't need anyone's approval.
Let's think about what this would mean in the light of the Pope's desire for more autonomy for the bishops...
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
MEXICAN HAT MASS ?
The Old Soft Chasuble?
Novus Ordo Watch is the most entertaining site on the web!
HE IS A YOUNG PRIEST - AND TODAY'S REASON FOR HOPE
Fr. Robert Altier isn't a holdover from 1950s Catholicism.
A reader sent me one of his tapes, "The Real Truth Behind The Scandal", which I listened to this afternoon. A tape that says a lot of things that are familiar to me because I've blogged some of them. But hearing a priest say them is riveting, at least for me.
Unfortunately, parts of the tape were badly recorded so that the voice fades out. I was able to hear only part of it. That's the reason for exploring his website. Where I didn't find the tape, but did find a list of his homilies. Including this one titled "The Truth About Demons" which he delivered last February. Now when was the last time you heard a priest say such things? This is the real Catholic cosmology that has been in short supply for 40 years. Here is his conclusion:
There is only one God; anything else is from the devil. The devil is real, and if we want to play with the devil we are going to get burned. You do not play with fire and walk away unscathed. So we need to make a clear choice. We cannot do what Solomon did and say, “As long as I worship the one true God then I can play around with all these other ones.” No, we cannot. We need to get rid of sin, we need to get rid of everything that is not of God, and we need to worship the one true God and Him alone.
With such theology, it's some kind of miracle he made it through the seminary.
I hope he's not saying it too loudly around the ecumenists and interreligious dialoguers. He might find himself out looking for a job!
Count this website as my reason to hope for Wednesday.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
THE FRENCH WOMAN AND BABY ATTACKED BY 6 YOUTHS
supposedly because they thought she was Jewish--a story I blogged yesterday--turns out to be false. The young woman lied to police. There was no attack according to this report in Yahoo News.
Thanks to a reader for finding this report.
SEX CHANGE IN FISH CAUSED BY THE PILL
according to an article at the Telegraph. Apparently we can pass our synthetic hormones along to the acquatic population via the sewer system, where they have an unfortunate effect on the wildlife. Does this give a new meaning to rainbow trout?
Blogger credit to a reader.
COMMENTS FROM JOHN ALLEN - TODAY'S REASON FOR HOPE
Boston’s archbishop has admitted that the nomination of his predecessor, Cardinal Bernard Law, to a Roman job “couldn’t have come at a worse time,” and that “people in Boston didn’t really understand the appointment.”
So much for stating the obvious. At least he is willing to state it. I am grateful for any bit of honesty I can find in messages from the hierarchy. So far O'Malley is looking good.
On other matters, O’Malley told NCR that despite the toll of what he called “a very difficult” first year in office, he believes there is “a lot of movement” in Boston toward healing the wounds caused by the sex abuse scandal.
“People are returning to the church,” he said. “They’re contributing again, they’re getting involved again.
“The depth of the problem is very great, and it will be a long process. The hurt will be with us for a long time,” he said. “But there are signs of hope.
“All the pain and suffering of crisis, not just in Boston but across the United States, has focused Catholics on the essentials of the faith,” O’Malley said. “Catholics who are serious Catholics are even more serious, more committed, because of what we have suffered.”
Wish I could share his optimism. Maybe it will have to creep across the nation as the scandal, first announced in Boston, has crept across the nation. So this might be a hopeful sign. Maybe.
Or just maybe the reason Boston is hopeful again is O'Malley, himself. A new bishop. One who solved the problems instead of one who created them. In which case, the same hope will not inspire other dioceses to look to the future, since most of the bishops who were part of the scandal remain in place.
In any case, this is today's reason for hope:
“I never thought I would be made an archbishop,” he said. “I’ve told the Holy Father that I don’t think Capuchins should be made bishops at all except in the missions. I’m really uncomfortable with all the hoopla.”
Dare we hope that this "affliction" might be catching? Imagine, a bishop who is not into self-promotion! Praise be Jesus Christ!!
ANNULMENT STATISTICS HAVE THE POPE UPSET
30 Days reports:
Every year when the Pope receives the prelates of the Roman Rota in audience he has strong words to say in defense of the institution of marriage and seems to scold the tribunals of the Catholic Church for a certain laxity in recognizing nullity. This year, for example, on 29 January, at the opening ceremony of the judicial year of the Apostolic Tribunal, John Paul II declared that «the tendency to instrumentally amplify nullity, forgetful of the aspect of objective truth», leads to «structural distortion of the entire process».
Statistics follow. They raise more questions than they provide answers. There is an interesting miniature from a codex in the Vatican secret archives pictured at the website.
A MIRACLE ?
From 30 Days
On the 28 May a sudden landslide destroyed the sanctuary of the Madonna of the Grotto in Bombile D’Ardore (Reggio Calabria). The church, a place of pilgrimage, was entirely dug out of the rock. Less than an hour before the collapse, the rector of the sanctuary, Don Alfredo Valenti, had celebrated a mass attended by pupils of the local school and students arrived from Malta on a twinning project. Avvenire reported the following day: « About 7pm a fireman managed to make a hole through the fallen rubble and check with a probe whether there were any signs of life. He then succeeded in looking into the sanctuary: at the far end of the central nave the altar was still standing and the sixteenth-century white marble statue of Our Lady was intact, the fall of earth had stopped just at its feet. The happy news rapidly made the rounds of the parish church where the community of Bombile had gathered to pray».
THE AUSTRIAN SCANDAL
is being covered at Crux News where this story is linked. Looks like there is a real outrage over there, not the least of which is the official dubbing of "silly pranks." It will be interesting to see what the Vatican does with the call for ouster of the bishop. How many ways can we spell "stall"? In any case, it does appear that the ball has been lobbed into the court of the Chief Shepherd.
NEW RITE OF EXORCISM
An article at The Latin Mass Magazine website compares and contrasts the provisions in the New Rite of Exorcism, explaining why it is so often said that the new rite is ineffective.
In reading through the article I thought about John Paul II's attempted exorcism of a teenager during an audience...an exorcism that Fr. Amorth says failed. Was he using the New Rite perhaps?
FRUITS OF SEMINARY FORMATION PROGRAMS ?
reported at abc Eyewitness News 7: The lawsuit says that Monsignor John Wolsey had [88-year-old Rose] Pale sign over $495,000 dollars in cash and stocks over three years. He also advised her on her stock portfolio convincing her to drop her broker of 20 years and use his brokerage firm. All the while, he told Pale not to tell family and friends.
Ok, I know, innocent until proven guilty. Still the story is believable, isn't it? One of the things that helps to make it believable is the number of pieces of Catholic "gimme" mail that arrive in my mother-in-law's mailbox. She would need at least three Social Security incomes to be able to contribute to all of them. The barrage is a daily feature of her life, one that her children worry about.
ANIMATED CAMPAIGN CARTOON
Start your day with a smile.
But, errrr, truthful.
I'm voting for Santa Claus.
Thanks to a reader for sending it in.
Monday, July 12, 2004
AN ARTICLE ON EXORCISM
at The Detroit News tht is interesting. Naturally there are quotes from Fr. Amorth, including this one:
Amorth acknowledged that quite a few people -- including senior prelates in his church -- think all of this is more than a little nutty. It doesn't help, perhaps, that Amorth sees the devil in many places: A couple of years ago he fought to ban publication of the Harry Potter books because, he said, they teach sorcery to children.
I couldn't agree more!
This quote is interesting as well:
Exorcisms made a comeback, spurred in part by the rise of the Catholic charismatic renewal movement, a Pentecostal faction that believes in healing and prophecy, and by the favors of the current pope, who has frequently referred to Satan as a dangerous force in the world.
I do so wish one of these reporters would ask Fr. Amorth about Toronto Blessing and The Vinyard. Would love to hear his take on some of the activities associated with these groups. Possibly, though, he would not feel free to comment, given the leanings of the Chief Shepherd.
SATANISM IN ITALY
This article on Satanism in Italy, written by Atila Sinke Guimaraes, concerns the recent Italian murders in the news which I've blogged. It also contains an interview with Fr. Amorth which includes this question and answer: Question – Could you explain how the Bishops don’t understand anything? Answer – Because they, like all the priests, also studied in seminaries. And for some time the seminaries have no longer been teaching on angels and devils, nothing on exorcism, nothing on the sins against the First Commandment. “You shall not have false gods before Me” – which means the condemnation of Magic, Spiritism, Satanism. Question – And what about the Roman Curia? Answer – The same incompetence. It issued a new ritual that is a disaster for us exorcists. It forbids us to perform exorcisms in cases of spells, when it is known that 90 percent of the cases of possession come from them. It also forbids us to make an exorcism if we don’t have a prior certainty that there is a diabolic action, but we only can acquire this certainty by carrying out an exorcism. We are lucky that the old ritual continues to be valid. I use it, otherwise I would have to quit my job (Espresso, online edition, June 11-17, 2004; see also interview with Fr. Amorth on the new ritual – 30 Giorni, June 2000, reprinted in Christian Order). For me, this impressive Italian case is no less grave than the ritual killing of Sharon Tate by Charles Manson and his group. In view of it, my commentary is this: Vatican II declared that there were no longer heretics, but only “separated brethren.” Along this lines the Conciliar Church indulges voodoo sects and avoids serious combats against the Devil, this “separated angel.” We are seeing that Satan himself is taking advantage of this accommodating tolerance to spread his cult ever more broadly, with rituals that often involve the most macabre violence.
The article comes from the Novus Ordo Watch website, so naturally it will be rejected by portions of St. Blogs Parish. Nevertheless, it is an article that needs to be read.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Novus Ordo Watch has a picture up of Kerry receiving the Eucharist. The picture was published in Time Magazine, June 21, 2004. There is a suggestion that a bloody baby can be seen in the Host. Maybe it can be. But what has me puzzled is that there is any color at all on the Host. It should be white. All white. So what is it that is giving it color? And why does it seem so large?
GIRL SCOUTS INDOCTRINATED IN PLANNED PARENTHOOD THINKING ?
What's with the Girl Scouts?
In Waco, Texas, the Bluebonnet Council allowed Planned Parenthood to use the national Girl Scout logo on posters advertising an annual "sex-education seminar" for fifth to ninth graders and gave a "woman of distinction award" to the executive director of Planned Parenthood of Central Texas.
The Nevada Frontier Council's Website advertised a "feminist conference" starring Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt and a workshop on "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered issues."
The Girl Scout leadership manual recommends visits to Planned Parenthood abortion clinics for Brownie troops. The Brownies program is for girls 6 to 8 years old.
Well, Girl Scout cookies are way overpriced and not that good anyway. I've bought my last box!
Link courtesy of a reader.
THE WORLD GONE MAD
What is wrong with Europeans? This story from Haaretz boggles the mind:
VERSAILLES, France - A young woman and her baby were attacked in a suburban train near Paris on Saturday by unidentified men who drew swastikas on her stomach with a pen in what police said was an anti-Semitic assault.
The six attackers who were armed with knives clipped the 23-year-old woman's hair, and cut her t-shirt and pants before drawing three swastikas on her body.
The men of North African origin also overturned the pram with her baby of 13 months.
Thanks to a reader for sending it in.
PRESIDENT OF ST. MARY'S UNIVERSITY GIVES THE RASPBERRIES TO BISHOP OF WINONA
The subject is up for comments at Bettnet.
From the article:
"Saint Mary's is not ‘church'; rather, we are a teaching institution of higher learning under the sponsorship of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. We are not a church of the Diocese of Winona," DeThomasis said in a written statement.
Moreover, the diocese has little control over who the university honors.
"It doesn't own Saint Mary's and it doesn't control Saint Mary's," DeThomasis said. "Furthermore, it is our board of trustees who determine who will receive university honors and recognitions. The trustees select individuals from all walks of life and all faiths who merit recognition for deeds and accomplishments that manifest traits consistent with our identity and mission."
While Harrington is a member of the board of trustees, he is just one of 36 trustees, DeThomasis said. Part of the confusion may also stem from the fact that other institutions are sponsored by dioceses. For example, St. Thomas University is an institution sponsored by the Archdiocese of St.Paul.
"Of course, we are a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning and we have to listen to not only the bishop of Winona, but all the bishops of the U.S," DeThomasis said.
Furthermore, as a Roman Catholic institution, DeThomasis said Saint Mary's is committed to teaching that "values and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church."
"As part of the intellectual formation of our students, of course, Saint Mary's teaches the Roman Catholic Church's moral imperative as to the intrinsic evil of abortion," DeThomasis said.
Looks like a case of trying to have it both ways. One would think the president of a unversity would know better. Apparent not, in this case. So much for two-faced Catholic higher education. If anyone is sending contributions, they should think twice about sending any more. Needless to say Catholic parents who are paying tuition bills to this institution are not getting what they are paying for. They bill themselves as "Catholic" while ignoring both the teachings of the Catholic Church and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
TODAY'S REASON FOR HOPE
Two of them, actually. Here's the first:
Fr. Wilson's post (scroll down) in Amy Welborn's blog on the seminary scandal in Austria.
Here's the second:
Pete Vere, JCL, will be submitting an article to The Wanderer on the canonical heresy charges being lodged against John Kerry. He has a draft of the article up at the EnvoyEncore website, along with ideas for those who want to help.
RENE GUENON IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
He tried a variety of religions starting with Catholic, moving through Theosophy, Freemasonry, and Hinduism. At the end of his life he was Islamic. His is a familiar name in occult circles.
His main focus, though, was the decadence of the materialistic West which abandoned the spirit in the name of materialism.
The article focuses on a book which explores "traditionalist" thinking, and presents Guenon as an example of it.
RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION ON THE RISE
according to Mullenax News: The ACLU protects the freedom of gay marriage, pedophilia, and abortion, but when it comes to religious freedom, some religious people might find themselves discriminated against.
The U.S. Equal Employment Commission reported that religious discrimination has gone up an overwhelming 82% over the past eleven years.
Religious discrimination has gone up an overwhelming 82% over the past eleven years. This is very scary news for people of all religions.
According to the Mansfield Journal, Sandra Hardy was wrongfully let go because her job demanded that she work on Sundays, a day of rest and worship for most Catholics and Protestants.
According to Liberty Magazine, both a Roman Catholic and a Seventh-day Adventist were fired for keeping their respected Sabbath days holy. Both of these people are no longer living at home as they rely on friends, family, and God for food and shelter.
Admittedly the reporter here is biased, but since his bias is toward religion, I'm posting this anyway.
PRIESTLY SEXUAL ABUSE IN ENGLAND
From Staffordshire: The unit set up to combat paedophile activity among priests in the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales received 62 new allegations of abuse against children last year.
The 62 complaints - the vast majority of them about alleged sexual abuse - were referred to the police after they were made about priests, members of religious orders, employees and volunteers.
The complaints, about allegations of current and past abuse, were reported to the 22 Roman Catholic dioceses in England and Wales and 138 of the 184 Catholic religious orders during 2003.
"FUNDAMENTALIST" MAY NOT BE JUST A RHETORICAL COMMENT ANYMORE
it may be taking on more sinister meaning according to a blog at Christianity Today Magazine:
Following is a quote from the website: Robert Reich keeps calling for a war on evangelicals. Does he really mean it? Writing for the liberal magazine The American Prospect, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich calls for a war against conservative religious believers. "The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief," he writes.
The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face.
That's a remarkable comment, but even more remarkable is that Reich has been calling for—or at least predicting—this war for a long time. In the past, his use of war language has seemed rhetorical and metaphoric—but was it?. "The outcome of the 2004 presidential election will depend partly on what happens between now and Election Day in Iraq and to the U.S. economy. But it will also turn on the religious wars—fueled by evangelical Protestants, the ground troops of the Republican Party," he wrote in December.
Democrats can hold their own in these wars—if they respond vigorously to the coming assault. Democrats should call all this for what it is—a clear and present danger to religious liberty in America. For more than three hundred years, the liberal tradition has sought to free people from the tyranny of religious doctrines that would otherwise be imposed on them. Today's evangelical right detests that tradition and seeks nothing short of a state-sponsored religion. But maintaining the separation of church and state is a necessary precondition of liberty. … The religious wars aren't pretty. Religious wars never are. But Democrats should mount a firm and clear counter-assault. In the months leading up to Election Day, when Republicans are screaming about God and accusing the Democrats of siding with sexual deviants and baby killers, Democrats should remind Americans that however important religion is to our spiritual lives, there is no room for liberty in a theocracy.
The phrase clear and present danger isn't just a cute phrase. It's the phrase the Supreme Court used in the 1919 Schenck v. United States decision, allowing for the restriction of freedoms. In that decision, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "Words which, ordinarily and in many places, would be within the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment may become subject to prohibition when of such a nature and used in such circumstances a to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils which Congress has a right to prevent."
End of quote.
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily. If you are getting a "server too busy" message when you click the link to Christianity Today, go to the Spirit Daily website and click the link in the right column.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
E-MAIL FROM LEE PENN
This story is from CNN ... a mainstream source:
The would-be-dictators in DC are floating a trial balloon for something that did not occur during the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I (and the Spanish Flu Pandemic), the Depression, World War II, or during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.
All they need to pull it off is an arson fire lit by a Communist in the Reichstag. Then we can have law and order under an Enabling Decree ...... and we can all march in line toward the New American Century, a Century that will last a thousand years. Hail Victory! We will build the New World Order! Troublemakers will be sent East for resettlement.
[Key points from the article are copied below. Go to the website for the entire story. - ct] Officials discuss how to delay Election Day
Talks stem from recent fears of terror attack timed to vote
Sunday, July 11, 2004 Posted: 10:42 PM EDT (0242 GMT) WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. officials have discussed the idea of postponing Election Day in the event of a terrorist attack on or about that day, a Homeland Security Department spokesman said Sunday....
Newsweek said the discussions about whether the November 2 election could be postponed started with a recent letter to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from DeForest Soaries Jr., chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission....
Soaries, who was appointed by President Bush, is a former New Jersey secretary of state and senior pastor of the 7,000-member First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset.
Newsweek reported that Soaries expressed concern that no federal agency had the authority to postpone an election and asked Ridge to ask Congress to give his commission such power....
"I don't think there's an argument that can be made, for the first time in our history, to delay an election," said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a member of the Intelligence Committee....
"So what Secretary Ridge has asked the Justice Department to do is, 'Give me a legal memo, tell me what will be necessary. Do we need to go to Congress and get legislation?' "...
Accordint to the Toronto Star, parishioners are bored with Catholic Mass, but they like the media blitz at The Meeting House:
In "The Meeting House Manifesto," Pastor Bruxy Cavey outlines the group's new approach to liturgy. "God's creativity and desire to passionately engage people of different cultures, times, and needs means that Christians must be willing to continually retranslate his message into new and relevant forms of communication." It's not so much what Christians are saying, as how they're saying it. The Meeting House's solution? An unabashed embrace of modern technology and media.
A Sunday morning service includes a five-piece Christian rock band, three industrial-quality television cameras and crews, three movie screens, and a sound system that includes two subwoofers and six house speakers, all housed inside a 627-seat theatre.
I wonder how they handle a "techno-trance-style" crucifixion? People come here to "catch the action." Is that another way of saying "pray"? In any case, the shock of shocks is that this is an offshoot of the Mennonites!
THEY CALL IT A SEMINARY--BUT WHAT WERE THEY STUDYING FOR ?
In a Vienna seminary, extracurricular activities included:
drunken orgies in the seminar building where "Nazi slogans were also heard". Trainee priests had downloaded child pornography pictures.
A computer confiscated half a year ago, which started the affair, had been "overloaded" with sex pages mostly originating in Poland.
ICON GOING HOME TO RUSSIA WITHOUT THE POPE
The Mother of God of Kazan will be returned to Patriarch Alexy II next month by a delegation that will not include the Pope.
WHAT DOES ONE WEAR TO A BEACH MASS ?
Or put another way, is it proper to receive Communion clad in a string bikni?
Since the liberal Bishop of Aveiro is planning to hold beach Masses in August, some will be answering the question in practice if not in theory.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
DALLAS MORNING NEWS FOUND ANOTHER ONE
A Franciscan hiding from 1970s abuse charges in Los Angeles, with Cdl. Mahony's knowledge, according to Rev. Tom West. Cdl. Mahony's spokesman claims "no record or information about him." No surprise there. Just another selective enforcement of the Dallas charter.
Have to admit, though, that IF this friar is kept in an arrangement that truly prevents him from having any access to minors--that promotes a celibate lifestyle in the traditional definition of the concept--I would like to see him remain where he is. I'd also like to see everyone stop falsely denying knowledge of his existence.
SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS IN IRELAND
According to Bloomberg.com. The article blames Ireland's new prosperity.
In my parish bulletin today again is a reference to the laity not providing priests.
DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS
A portion of a book written by a Protestant (I believe), Gary F. Zeolla, titled Parallels Between Charismatic & New Age Movements" presents some interesting questions that may be uncomfortable to anyone involved in the Charismatic Renewal. Here's is one of the toughest challenges in the passage:
Occult researcher Kurt Koch records several cases of his having to cast out demons who first possessed a person when he/she spoke in tongues (pp. 206-210). Ex-charismatic C.S. Butler records an incident of a man who wanted to receive the "baptism" - I let my mind become quite blank and began yielding myself to the external power outside myself that seemed to be pleading for full control of me. At once a feeling of paralysis began to numb my feet. It soon affected my legs...! became alarmed.
"This thing is coming upon me from beneath...." Without a moment's hesitation, I cried out, "May the blood of Christ protect me from this thing!" At once it vanished and I was normal again (p.99).
Unfortunately, most are not this discerning. The man standing beside him "received" the baptism. Compare this story with one from Koch.
He tells of how a hypnotist finally gave up when a group of Christians were praying. The hypnotist announced to the audience, "There are opposing forces present. We will stop the demonstration" (p. 98).
This concept of emptying the mind in order for a spiritual force to enter and take control is precisely what the Rosicrucian Rudolf Steiner taught. He even included it in one of his Rosicrucian Mystery Plays titled "Portal of Initiation." Like the person described in Zoella's book, the character undergoing the initiation in the play was frightened by the entity that was taking over.
The author brings up the questionable practice of speaking in tongues:
Neil Babcox, another ex-charismatic, reports how he learned to speak in tongues and gained fluency through practice (pp. 64-65). I've witnessed this scenario. A seeker is told to repeat sounds the leader makes. When he does, he's told he's speaking in tongues! This is not the way things happened in the book of Acts.
Also, tongue speaking can be a normal religious phenomenon. It has been heard among Muslims, Mormons, spiritualist mediums and various other groups (Flynn, p. 184). Some Christians would say this indicates demonic activity. Personally, I feel in many cases it is simply a psychological event with no supernatural origins. Butler arrives at the same conclusion (p. 86).
Justin has recounted in a comments box that he witnessed a person speaking in a tongue she did not understand but he did. The tongue speaker was cursing God. I have found evidence that Gnostics speak in tongues. This activity is not evidence that the Charismatic has divine blessing. Yet Cardinal Suenens said of Baptism in the Spirit, "would that all Christians would express their faith externally in a joy which speaks and sings - even in tongues - not foreign ones - but in complete freedom of word in deep union with the Holy Spirit, who prays in us by signs beyond all words."
The author indicates it is imperative that Scripture be consulted before any new theory be accepted as the work of God. Phenomena are not sufficient to declare the workings of the Holy Spirit. As a Catholic I would add that Tradition must be consulted. When an activity is in direct contradiction with the Tradition of the Church, it cannot be of God. The Charismatic movement is not consistent with the Tradition of the Catholic Church. It parallels much too closely heresies the Church has rejected in centuries gone by, as John Vannari has pointed out. At the very least, Scripture tells of a "narrow gate", while the Charismatic Movement is growing wildly all over the world, and is often described as a fire burning where it will.
The Charismatic Movement comes much closer to Rosicrucian/Gnostic Christianity than to Latin Catholicism.
TODAY'S REASON FOR HOPE
Went to 10:30 Mass instead of noon. There were no empty pews.
FR. AMORTH RECOMMENDS PRAYERS OF CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL
From an interview with Rome's chief exorcist:
Q. Is the exorcism the highest degree of action against Satan? Are their other means that can come before this last degree?
A. Conversion! The first thing that we ask from people who come to us is to live in the grace of God, to be faithful to an intense sacramental life and to the life of prayer. After this, if it is necessary, we encourage them to receive prayers of healing and of deliverance, as they are practiced in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. After a number of such prayers, the person is either already set free, or the need is evident to do the exorcism itself. Then we do the exorcism, keeping in mind that exorcism is a prayer where the result does not always come immediately. Sometimes, years of exorcism are needed for a person to be delivered.