Saturday, September 04, 2004


Lee sent in the following report while my computer was out of order. Since URI came up yesterday in connection with the Parliament of the World's Religions meeting in Barcelona, I'm blogging it now. - ct


Amidst the celebrations in the Episcopal Diocese of California on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Bishop William Swing's consecration, Swing is giving lots of interviews .... like this one:

Money quote:

"Also, I'm a conservative person. I'm a Republican. I voted for George W. Bush. Yet I am seen as a raving liberal throughout the church. I'm very conservative about marriage. I'm very conservative about hard work. I'm very conservative that you celebrate the sacraments; if you're going to preach, you say your prayers, and you read the Bible and you do your homework. Inside myself, I have an awful lot of conservative tendencies, and I serve a constituency that is primarily liberal, and we get along just fine. And so, I'm really glad I'm not a raving liberal in San Francisco, because I think we'd all go off the deep end."

Bush likes Swing, too. He praised Swing and the URI in the fall of 2001. Here is the letter, on the occasion of an award to Swing from the International Diplomacy Council:

At the end of the letter, Bush said, "Both the United Religions Initiative and the International Diplomacy Council exist to foster a greater understanding among peoples. I salute these organizations for their roles in facilitating interaction among people and nations."

Meanwhile, I have not uncovered any evidence that the Clintons or Al Gore have endorsed the URI, or participated in it.

Go figure .......



Fr. Rob Johansen has posted in his blog the exit procedure found in Terri's file at the Hospice. It describes the process of death by starvation-dehydration, and the medications used to make it appear painless.


They are from the Fraternity of Jesus, and are replacing the Benedictines. They support themselves through farming. They have Ratzinger's full support. And in another parish in Rome, they are replacing the Jesuits.

So reads the lead in to a story at Chiesa by Sandro Magister.

Then nothing. The basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls, second only to St. Peter's among the great basilicas of Rome and of the world, has fallen from its peak of importance and prestige. The Benedictine monks who officiate there are down to barely a dozen, always older and more run-down, the masses are half-deserted, the territory has been dismembered and annexed to the adjoining parishes.

The Vatican has by now come to the conclusion that there's no other solution for revitalizing the basilica than that of dismissing the monks who have reduced it to this state and entrusting it to the care of a newly founded monastic community, a lively, young one blossoming with vocations, already pacing the earth a few miles from Rome.

This new community is called Monastic Family Fraternity of Jesus. It was established on an eighty-acre patch of countryside below the Castelli Romani, between Lanuvio and Velletri, with a tower and a few old shacks. It has neither abbey nor cloister, the church is a large arched tent like the ones used for sporting facilities, and the cells are prefabricated houses left over from the 1976 earthquake in Friuli.

It appears to be very good news. May they help to revitalize the Church in Europe. But good news has turned out to be not so great within the Traditional movement that once looked so promising. So I'm skeptical. Even more so because of this:

at Vallechiara the novices abound: there are now about seventy professed monks and nuns from various countries. And in the Vatican, this is an impressive figure.

Yes, an impressive number. But only one location is mentioned. Given the contemporary heartbreak of Roman Catholicism, is this "monks and nuns" aspect playing with fire?


From Catholic News Agency:

GREENWOOD, USA, Sep. 02, 2004 (CNA) - Police are baffled by an arson that took place in a local Catholic church. An intruder broke into Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish church in the early morning of Aug. 31, poured a flammable liquid at the altar's base and set it ablaze.

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


The sad story of the Russian school shoot-out is covered, together with pictures, in my local paper. My heart breaks for the parents who have lost children to this atrocity. May God grant those who died eternal rest in His kingdom, and may He grant a measure of solace to those who grieve.

May He also have mercy on those awaiting Hurricane Frances.

Friday, September 03, 2004


was held in Barcelona in July. National Catholic Reporter summarizes the event, including these comments from a former nun, and an announcement of an award for Hans Kung:

“An encounter with the stranger is an encounter with the Divine,” said British author and former Catholic nun Karen Armstrong on the eve of the weeklong gathering. Armstrong was among several international presenters at the gathering.

Since the events of 9/11 she has been a frequent panelist and media guest on both sides of the Atlantic, bringing her scholarship on Islam and fundamentalism as well as her work on Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism to an ever-wider audience. Although hostility toward Islam has grown in some sectors of society, Armstrong noted that the case for interfaith dialogue has moved from optional to essential in the new global age.

The concept of toleration is insufficient -- it “sounds grudging and half-hearted,” she said. It is time to advance and to appreciate the scriptures and traditions of other people and their religion. The author urged believers to return to the duty of compassion and respect for the sacred rights of others as envisioned by sages, prophets and mystics of old.

In recognition of his work for interfaith understanding, Fr. Hans Küng received the seventh Juliet Hollister Award given by the Temple of Understanding, a New York-based organization dedicated to interfaith education and peace. The award noted Küng’s 50 years of loyalty to the church as a Catholic priest, scholar and reformer.

Barcelona was Küng’s third parliament. At the second parliament, held in Chicago in 1993, the Swiss theologian drafted the “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic.” The document has become the charter of the Germany- and Switzerland-based Global Ethic Foundation, of which Küng is president. The Hollister award came with a $5,000 grant to the Global Ethic Foundation.

Karen Armstrong should be familiar with anyone who likes the work of the Jesus Seminar. On Marcus Borg's website she gives a recommendation of his book:

"Borg's analysis is profound, challenging and engrossing; it will enable readers to use scripture creatively once again and truly make it a bridge for the divine." - From Karen Armstrong, author of The History of God and The Battle for God

Pictures of the 2004 Jesus Seminar show her at the podium, along with Robert Funk, John Shelby Spong, Karen L. King, Elaine Pagels. Pagels is most familiar for her book on The Gnostic Gospels.

The Temple of Understanding is heavily involved in the promotion of United Religions Initiative and the World Conference on Religion and Peace.

Hans Kung has been censored by the Vatican. He is now seeking reconciliation according to Catholic World News which indicates Lehmann and Sodano are talking with him. This must be an old article. Although there is no date on it, Lehman is not referred to as "Cardinal."


A commenter below mentioned this website which was also sent in by a reader.

It comes from Catholic News Agency and discusses the Mexican National Meeting of Exorcists which Fr. Gabriel Amorth is attending.

The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, inaugurated this week the first National Meeting of Exorcists as a means of combating the spread of Satanism. Among those participating in the event is Fr. Gabriel Amorth, founder of the International Association of Exorcists. Addressing the more than 500 participants, including exorcist priests from various dioceses in the country, the Cardinal emphasized that “this is a crucial moment for the Church” and that the Church “must denounce with the Word everything that is against God,” particularly witchcraft, occultism, magic, fortune telling, tarot cards and masonry, among other things.


sent in by a reader and written by

Daniel Helminiak...[an] Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of West Georgia. He is a former Catholic priest and author of What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality, The Human Core of Spirituality, and Religion and the Human Sciences. Haworth Press will publish his Queer Quest: Gay Identity and Spiritual Growth.


Sorry, I forgot to put in this link when I blogged this earlier today.


all mixed with Facism in an outrageous editorial from the Friends off Creation Spirituality website -- Matthew Fox's website -- sent in by a reader.

Fox would like us to forget original sin and embrace original blessing while we take up Meister Eckhart's theories and abandon a religion of sadomasochism and Christofascism.

Fox makes no apology for promoting Spiritualism. In this editorial he references Ernest Holmes:

Mel Gibson ought to read the great spiritual genius Ernest Holmes who writes: “The will of God is never toward suffering. Man must constantly reaffirm his belief in the Infinite Goodness if he expects to exclude the idea of evil from his thought….God’s Will is always toward Life and more Life…the life within you is God”. Holmes got Jesus’ message right. But the slogan Gibson invokes, “Dying was Jesus’ reason for living,” sick as it is, tells the true story about this film and the piety behind it. What we have here is a clear case of religion as necrophilia. From this movie we learn that necrophilia (love of death) is more important than biophilia (love of life).

Holmes is connected with New Thought. His book is "highly recommended" on the Spiritualism and Healing website. This is the heresy of Gnosticism clear and simple. No longer is Fox hiding his tendencies.

He misrepresents the meaning of the term "necrophilia"--defined by Websters as "erotic attraction to corpses"--so as to claim that the Christians are practicing it, when in fact it is the occultists who practice it. This redefining of terms so as to mischaracterize Christianity is nothing new.

Make no mistake about what Fox promotes here. Channeling is offensive to the Living God, forbidden by Scripture and the CCC.


The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles has an article up on their website that discusses teaching the Holocaust to Catholic High School students--the need to do it and how to go about it.

The article discusses the Christian capitulation to it, and contains this statement:

With Pope John XXIII’s admittance of the church’s anti-Semitism and failing to help the Jews during the Holocaust, as well as Pope John Paul II’s recognition of the State of Israel, the Vatican has legitimized Catholics’ responsibility to learn about the Shoah and the religious group’s moral failure during that time period.

There has been a lot of research done to prove that Pius XII was a great help to the Jews during the Holocaust. But perhaps the statement is directed at German Catholics who did capitulate. Too bad there is no indication in the article as to which statement of Pope John's they refer to.

In any case, if this type of persecution comes around again, I suspect that observant Catholics and Jews will find themselves side by side in the available lifeboats and gulags. Come to think of it, Catholics and Jews found themselves side by side in the concentration camps the last time, too. The author of the article doesn't seem to be aware of that. What isn't clear at all is where the secular Jews will be standing if, God forbid, we are faced with Holocaust 2.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


an article in the current NOR written by Vincent A. Droddy.

Here are the quotes I promised. (I got the bushes trimmed, by the way.)

(Droddy is working on his M.A. in Theology and already has an M.S. and a M.A. in other areas.)

Is there a single, overarching conspiracy that rules the world? Catholics can answer this simply: Yes, and it is led by Satan. But among human institutions, is there such a thing as a single shadow-government? That seems highly unlikely, given the human tendency to stab co-conspirators in the back for slight advantage. There are probably countless conspiracies - overlapping, intersecting, and competing.

Droddy claims that he has "no special knowledge of any particular conspiracies...Still it is relatively easy to reason about conspiracies." His powers of reasoning are right on target! Never, never underestimate the conspiracy of Satan and his ability to persuade humans to act in his interests!

By their very nature, conspiracies are hard to prove when they're taking place - if they were out in the open, they would not be conspiracies, by definition. But those who flatly deny that conspiracies exist should be regarded as gullible.

Nicely put and accurate.

The American two-party system is an example of "false competition." The Republican and Democratic parties, two *apparently* opposing groups, take turns in power, with little change over the long term. Both parties work to the same end: further concentration of power in Washington, D.C. The two major parties deliberately create "problems" and "crises" to get the public to accept a never-ending stream of new expenditures, which never solve problems but are always just about to, with a bit more money.

Chaos magick. Sounds about right. The next one is especially insightful:

Therefore, the media engage in self-censorship, and "allowable disagreement" shrinks to very few areas. If someone steps out of line, the media rush to condemn the errant opinion and to return the range of argument to politically and economically acceptable ideas. The attacks are usually *ad hominem*, questioning the intelligence, sanity, or motivation of the person who presented "unacceptable news." In this way, the substance of the matter is avoided. The uninformed public, not wanting to be labeled "goofy" by association, hurry to repudiate the unacceptable opinion. The public, mesmerized by a constant barrage of "breaking" or "startling" news reports, quickly forgets the unacceptable opinion and is lulled back to sleep.

The diversity of potential conspiracy theorists, including some who truly are nutty, enables the media to have free rein in labeling any particular view as eccentric, and therefore something which serious-minded people ought not consider.

For most of us, there is little we can do to limit the power of conspirators. Yet, just as we have a civic responsibility to report a conspiracy to commit murder, we also have a responsibility with regard to larger conspiracies. We are obliged to educate ourselves so as not to contribute to the crimes committed by these conspiracies.

We have to mine conspiracy theories for truth, and if we find it, we can't just ignore it.

Truth is one. True science, for example, can never contradict the Catholic faith. Likewise, there is only one morality, the same for individuals in or out of government. In opposition to truth and morality, which are from God, stands the lust for power, which is of Satan. Do not abet Satan's plans.

I loved this part:

...consider the feminist movement. Who benefits from it? Certainly not women, who are plagued by abortion, divorce, eating disorders, and who, because of "free love," have been reduced to "sexual appliances" to satisfy the urges of their men, and then be cast off. It is the rich men who have benefited enormously from the feminist movement. By telling women that they had to work outside the home to have any value, they effectively doubled the work force, driving down real wages to about half. You can trace the benefits a step further, seeing that children of broken families, medicated with antidepressants, make docile workers. So, if the feminist movement were really a "women's movement," why have so few of the benefits accrued to them, while so many have accrued to the giant corporations that fund the movement?

He recommends that we avoid prejudice and bitterness while doing our homework:

If we rooted out all the conspiracies now in existence, new ones would pop up overnight. We cannot eliminate conspiracies. But we ought to go after them, and limit their opportunities. ...

And yes, there have been conspiracies within the Church throughout her 2,000 year history, and there will be conspiracies within the Church until Christ returns. We have no guarantee that the Pope will not sin -- indeed, as long as he remains on earth, we know he will. Yet, we have Jesus' promise that He will preserve His Church in truth, and that the Pope, in his magisterial teachings, will only proclaim truth.

The forces behind conspiracies are sin and Satan, who lose in the end. Stand firm on the winning side.

There are a couple good one-liners...

Whenever you see power concentrated, you will find unscrupulous individuals. ...

A key to uncovering conspiracy is to determine who benefits. ...

It was a pleasure to read the article and know that some people out there really do understand!


arrived today. Good article on Ave Maria College/Ave Maria University that details all of the things that are going wrong with Tom Monahan's grand scheme. It's written by Andrew Messaros who teaches at Ave Maria College. Michael Rose has reported some of this at Crux News.

Then there is the article on conspiracy theories by Vincent A. Droddy. I'm going to quote from that one when there is more time. (Right now the shrubs out front want trimming and it's already September!)

But the piece that sent me to the computer to post this blog appears under New Oxford Notes. It's the first item, in fact, and it concerns a certain blogger's reaction to the NOR piece on Scott Hahn. Joseph is going to like this one, I think. Sure hope he subscribes! In charity, I'll censor my itching fingers and refrain from quoting from this one. Restraint here has got to be worth at least a decade off Purgatory, so I hope, God, that You are paying attention!


an article from the AP, is posted on Patrick Sweeney's blog. Patrick is taking part in this outreach according to a post he made at Open Book.


From an article at Zenit reporting on the Sept. 1, 2004 audience:

After this merciless criticism of the idols, the Psalmist makes a sarcastic remark: " Their makers shall be like them, all who trust in them." (verse 8). It is a wish expressed undoubtedly in an effective way to produce an effect of radical dissuasion before idolatry. Whoever adores the idol of wealth, power, success loses his dignity of human person. The prophet Isaiah said: “Idol makers all amount to nothing, and their precious works are of no avail, as they themselves give witness. To their shame, they neither see nor know anything; and they are more deaf than men are.” (Isaiah 44:9).

Go to your Bible and read Isaiah 44. Nowhere does it equate an "idol" with "wealth, power, success." The passage is wholly concerned with the construction of idols, especially out of iron and wood, that are then worshipped. For example:

The smith fashions an iron image, works it over the coals, shapes it with hammers, forges it with his strong arm. He is hungry and weak, drinks no water and becomes exhausted.

The carpenter stretches a line and marks with a stylus the outline of an idol. He shapes it with a plane and measures it off with a compass, making it like a man in appearance and dignity to occupy a shrine.
(Isaiah 44:12-13)

One could apply this passage to any non-Christian god image. One cannot apply it to power, wealth, and success without additional passages that make that connection.

It's interesting to note that Masonic symbolism equates methods of construction and building tools to personality traits, using them to remind members of the moral traits they are to pursue. An example of this from "A Dictionary of Freemasonry" by Robert Macoy:

CHISEL. The chisel, though a small instrument, is calculated to make a permanent impression on the hardest substance, and the mightiest structures are indebted to its aid. It morally demonstrates the advantages of discipline and education. The mind, like the diamond in its natural state, is unpolished; but as the effects of the chisel on the external coat soon presents its latent beauties to the view, so education discovers the latent virtues of the mind, in order to display the summit of human knowledge, our duty to God and man.

The Trent Catechism devotes a very brief reference to health and wealth in the 15-page section on the First Commandment. Under the sub-heading "Sins Against this Commandment" is this reference:

...those who, despairing of salvation, trust not in the goodness of God; and those who rely solely on wealth, or health and strength of body. But these matters are developed more at length in treatises on sins and vices. (p. 369)

More to the point of Isaiah 44 is the following passage from the same section of Trent, subheading ":They Forbid Idols and Representations of the Deity":

When, therefore, the Lord had forbidden the worship of strange gods, He also forbade the making of an image of the Deity from brass or other materials, in order thus utterly to do away with idolatry. (p. 374)

Turning to the Baltimore:

A. 1141: By strange gods the commandment means idols or false gods, which the Israelites frequently worshiped when, through their sins, they had abandoned the true God.

A. 1142: We, in a sense, may worship strange gods by giving up the salvation of our souls for wealth, honor, society, worldly pleasures, &c., so that we would offend God, renounce our faith or give up the practice of our religion for their sake.

A. 1148: We offer God false worship by rejecting the religion He has instituted and following one pleasing to ourselves, with a form of worship He has never authorized, approved or sanctioned.

A. 1149: We must serve God in the form of religion He has instituted and in no other, because heaven is not a right, but a promised reward, a free gift of God, which we must merit in the manner He directs and pleases.

By the time the Baltimore Catechism was written, a shift from idols in material form to idols of the mind had already occurred, and was presented in conjunction with the requirement that non-Christian religions be rejected because they amounted to idol worship.

The CCC still retains references to worship of idols but they are emphasized less than in the Baltimore. CCC 2112 says in part:

Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. (p. 512)

In 2113 the mental aspects of idol worship are highlighted:

Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon." Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast" refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God. (p. 513)

The shift in Catholic thinking from the worship of idols formed of earth's materials to idols of the mind is completed in a service such as the Hindus performed at Fatima. Approval of that event in essence says that idol worship can only take place in the mind and cannot have anything to do with a pagan image, or a religion that does not honor the Trinitarian God. The act in Fatima is justified by claiming that it is the Blessed Virgin being honored by the Hindus, in spite of the fact that they call her a "Divine Mother."

This same shift in thinking is reflected in John Paul II's interpretation of Isaiah 44 in his audience yesterday.


Spin from Asia Times on reason for and meaning of the Iraq war:

Pan-Arabism holds that a common Arabic heritage is the natural basis for a cohesive, strong and prosperous Arabic world. It perceives the division of the Arab world into 22 states as the unhappy and unnatural outcome of deliberate efforts by Western imperialism to prevent the re-emergence of Arab greatness, a strategic theme stressed repeatedly by many Arab leaders, including Saddam, who stressed the popular theme in public statements all through his two decades of power. In a press conference on November 10, 1980, Saddam said, "[Foreign] powers are still trying in every possible way to divide these 22 parts into at least another 22 parts."

There is ample evidence that Israeli policy on Arab resistance has picked up this extension of the old "divide and rule" strategy of the imperialist West. Oded Yinon, an Israeli foreign policy advisor, in an article in Kivunim, February 1982, singled out Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for further division. An Israeli official was quoted in the July 26, 1982 issue of Newsweek: "Ideally, we'd like to see Iraq disintegrate into a Shi'ite, Kurdish and Sunni community, each making war on the other."

The British had successfully practiced the "divide and rule" strategy in British India, and to perpetuate British influence by fanning the India/Pakistan divide after independence in 1947. Malaysia and Singapore became two nations as a result of British decolonization policy. The US has also employed this geopolitical strategy all over Asia for almost six decades after World War II, with North and South Vietnam, North and South Korea and China and Taiwan, behind the disingenuous ideological mask of democracy versus communism, even though neither true democracy nor true communism were practiced in these artificial political entities divided primarily on the basis of superpower geopolitics.

In Europe, the case for a divided Germany was based on the geopolitical aim of weakening Germany's prospect of dominating Europe in the post-war world.


has other problems as well according to Ananova:

A controversial Irish priest who sabotaged the men's Olympic marathon by leaping on the race leader has appeared in court on indecency charges.

Fr Neil Horan, 57, also known as Cornelius, will stand trial on October 25 accused of two charges of indecency with a child.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between September 1990 and April 1993.


The Jesuit school complaint was a hoax, folks. A lot of people took it seriously. The integrity of Jesuit run biology classes has been rescued.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Mark Shea has this website linked in his blog.

Would a parent really buy something like this? Or if it's not meant for parents, who is it meant for?


Especially the source. Mark Shea and Stephen Hand will object loudly if they see it. Nevertheless, at least some of this is also reported in the Pope's biography, "Witness to Hope" written by George Weigel, and in James Webb's "The Occult Underground." Webb is the recognized authority on the occult revival.


- John Paul II's visit to the Metorella sanctuary is described by Weigel on p. 271, connecting this visit with Adam Mickiewicz. Weigle spells out the Mickiewicz influence on young Wojtyla on p. 34-35.

- Mickiewicz's Paris involvement with Hoene-Wronski, Eliphas Levi, Towianski, are documented in Webb on p. 305-312. He mentions Lamennais on p. 307-312. - Slowanski's prediction of a Polish pope is mentioned by Weigle on p. 35.

- Mickiewicz's Messianism is mentioned on p. 312 by Webb.


who your father is has been judged superior to the right of sperm donors to remain anonymous in Holland, Sweden and the UK. This is causing a shortage of sperm donors, with the consequence that women are crossing borders to get pregnant, as the BBC News article sent in by a reader explains. If this idea catches on, it may reduce the bank account of doctors who are in practice to artificially inseminate, among other things. In Holland and Sweden there has been a significant drop in sperm donations. Doctors living just outside the borders of these countries are experiencing an upsurge in their practice.


A reader sent in this story from Talon News:

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (Talon News) -- A shocking web site apparently based in McLean, Virginia appears to advocate the burning down of churches. The web site, www.churcharson.com, says that burning churches is "one way people get involved with activism to end the abusive practices of Judeo-Christian religions (and nations, such as Israel).">br>
Apparently voicing his thoughts on a burning church, the writer says, "As it burned and the smell of dusty planks and charring parchment filled the air over the meadow, and the heat and the like piqued our senses incongruous in the swelling boundless darkness, our faces remained calm but our hearts were secretly glad for the end of its dominance, its guilt, and the paranoia that had been in the town for as long as the wood of the church."

One page in the website describes the philosophy behind the website...the reason they hate Christianity. The Whole website is worth the time to take a look at the level of hatred expressed.


I've just discovered my review of William H. Kennedy's book Lucifer's Lodge is up at this website which appears to be a part of Amazon.com. I have no idea how it got there. The review was blogged on May 21, 2004. I guess someone took it from my blog. I see that the book has sold 55,357 copies.

Well, I'll be darned...it's on this website as well. It's a small world in blogland afterall!

Here it is again.

And again.


This story is linked at EnvoyEncore. It make a semi-credible claim that the plane crash on November 12, 2001 - two months after Sept. 11 - was really an act of terrorism, not an accident as we were told.


by walking onto train tracks in front of an oncoming train. Both girls were involved in Wicca according to the police, but it has not been revealed if their spiritual activities were connected with the suicides.

Another article on the suicides indicates police believe the internet played a part in the involvement in Wicca, and that there was a suicide note which indicated the girls wanted to reincarnate.

It is frequently stated that Wicca and a belief in reincarnation does not lead to suicide. However, this story indicates otherwise.

The article also quotes a Wiccan High Priestess:

Anne Chesnutt is a Wiccan high priestess. Chesnutt practices witchcraft, but she's shocked at the teens' suicides.

"It bothers me tremendously. I’m sure they got a great deal of misinformation."

Namely, Wicca supporting suicide. "One of our greatest laws is whatever you do, comes back to you three times over. So if you go out and hurt somebody, you're going to be in a world of hurt yourself."

Chestnutt won't teach teens Wicca because it's so complex but she realizes curiosity about the occult can lead teens astray.

"A lot of teens are involved unfortunately, because they have no guidance, they get stuff off the Internet which may or may not be right. There's just so much garbage out there and so much that's off the track."

The Catholic belief that we live only once is a vital belief to communicate to any child who has read Harry Potter books since they promote witchcraft, and an investigation of the material they contain can easily lead to a belief in reincarnation.

$54,000 TO A PSYCHIC ?

A psychic in McAllen, Texas had some lucrative clients!

Former La Grulla (GROO'-yah) mayor Diana Cortez and town bookkeeper Sandra Lopez are accused of converting municipal funds to their own use.

The federal indictment unsealed in McAllen today alleges they paid a psychic almost 54-thousand dollars for consultations -- "including but not limited to tarot card readings."

This KLTV story was linked at Spirit Daily.

Psychics in business and government is also a concern in St. Louis, where a consultant to a nonprofit pro-business organization was fired when the organization learned that he and his family are all psychics, and the consultant was using his psychic and clairvoyant powers in his business. A made a hefty $1.4 million from the organization before they caught on. The Denver Post also ran the story and indicates that the nonprofit was the Regional Chamber and Growth Association.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


John Vennari was challenged recently for his criticism. The premise of the challenge was that Vennari was not present, while Msgr. Guerra was present in Fatima when the service took place. Vennari responds to that challenge here.

Another article on interfaith activities at Fatima offers this comment:

The proposal to turn Fatima into a multi-faith shrine may have been inspired by ‘Catholics’ communicating with other ‘Catholics’ who ultimately took their cue from the organization known as "World Conference on Religion and Peace" (WCRP). This organization is controlled by Russia and is linked with two others promoting ‘unity between the world’s religions’, namely the United Religions Initiative (URI) and the Gorbachev Foundation (GF).

The origins of the WCRP go back to 1961 when four Americans — Dr. Dana McLean Greeley (Unitarian) along with a leading Rabbi, a Methodist minister, and a Catholic Bishop — set up an organization called ‘Religions for Peace’. This became WCRP in 1970.

The origins of the WCRP in 1961 coincided with when the Russian Orthodox Church took part in the World Council of Churches (WCC) and used ‘ecumenism’ to promote Soviet policies.

In many ways the WCRP now fulfils the WCC’s objectives, in that it promotes a ‘one world religion’ as a means towards a ‘one world state’. Significantly in recent years the WCC also promoted syncretism (a kind of blending of all religions). Thus at its 1983 Assembly it gave voting rights to pagan religions, equating them with Christianity, and it employed pagan ceremonies at its gatherings. Thus in this respect the two bodies are similar.

Iain Colquhoun doesn't have the whole story as he tells it here. WCRP was formed out of a Unitarian organization called International Association for Religious Freedom. It celebrated its 100th anniversary on May 27, 2000. The general secretary of IARF, Dr.Robert Traer, has other international connections as this newsletter from the International Interfaith Centre, Oxford, indicates. IARF is at the very heart of Unitarian-Universalism UUA flows out of the Socinians. Socinians were formed out of the Polish Brethren.

The Unitarians have a strong presence on Beacon Hill, where John Kerry's church is located, and adhere to the same syncretism that is typical of Freemasonry, as becomes apparent from this article.


Amy Welborn has this story linked over at Open Book which would be a good place to go for conversation about it.

I've linked it here for Steve.


Crux News is down and being revamped. So is Santificarnos. Crux e-mail explains what is taking place over there:

Both the Cruxnews.com weekly edition and the Daily Feed will return on September 15, 2004.

We are currently hard at work on our global-cyber-B2B-eCRM interweb presence. Over the next two weeks Cruxnews.com's streamlined midi- cholorians are being stored in n-tier flux capacitors and e-layered in such a way that the positronic nets allow all best-in-breed 6th generation receptive units to de-potentiate them (irrespective of their matrices' m-configuration).

With our EBS continuum modulators, anti-virtual SAD/ESPs, ABCs, 123s and sub-super mediators, we are working to advance our presence and influence techno-global marketplace.

In short, Cruxnews.com is being overhauled and expanded. Thank you for your patience!

The only sentence I understand is the last one! I feel so incredibly out of touch after reading this. Is there a dictionary somewhere that defines words like "n-tier flux capacitors" and "e-layered"?

I think I need to go back to school. Cripe...I don't even know what course would teach this stuff!


If "life is what happens when we are making other plans", why waste time making other plans?


at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in Cleveland an image of the Virgin Mary on the altar is releasing a holy oil.

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


Scotsman.com continues to fulminate against Cardinal O'Brien for opposing a most reasonable sex ed program. After all, according to the article:

First Minister Jack McConnell has already pledged that sexually explicit material will not be shown to nursery pupils and morning-after pills will not be made available by schools to those under 16.

Health minister Malcolm Chisholm has promised that sex will not be taught mechanistically, but with reference to emotions and relationships. Yet the row continues.

How could a cardinal object?

The closing lines of the piece are curious:

Cardinal O’Brien’s views should be heard.

They should be listened to, if reasonably expressed. But, like any minority group, the Catholic Church cannot dictate policies for the majority.

One wonders if Peter MacMahon expresses the same sentiment on the subject of homosexuals dictating to the majority? I wouldn't bet on it!


Pop diva Britney Spears is reportedly planning to ditch her Kabbalah faith on her wedding day by saying 'I Do' to her dancer fiance Kevin Federline in a Catholic ceremony.

The 'Toxic' star and Federline have been having secret meetings at a Catholic monastery in California at the request of their Christian parents, who were upset with Britney's plans to go for a typical Kabbalah marriage.

Heck, Britney, why not go for the whole bash...invite Rabbi Yahuda Berg to co-officiate and find a nice red garter to match your red bracelet, since blue is traditional, you obviously are not, and this is probably about publicity anyway.


German students get all the way to college without being able to tell the difference between eating and that other recereational activity so popular in Austrian Catholic headlines. Someone needs to check up on their biology professor! He is apparently Jesuit, after all, and some remedial education seems to be called for.

St. Blasien Jesuit College students object to the candy wrappers of Maoam candy because the fruit is being depicted in sexual positions.

On what basis did they come to the conclusion that the lemon is female? There aren't even so much as eyelashes for the sour puss to put mascara on.

The problem is obviously not subtle sexual messages. The problem is that the candy company is promoting cannibalism as pleasurable ritual. I mean, look at that green thing! How could anyone doubt that it is contemplating lunch with enormous glee? In the second picture it clearly intends to eat the cherry children! Cannibalism is a far worse idea to sell to the youth than sexuality, and no company which markets to kids should be allowed to promote it.

Monday, August 30, 2004


His protest against the planned sex education program met with resistence from several quarters.


Communists for Kerry that I found linked over at Irish Elk.

Mark also has a blog up on the expose of the Legionnaries of Christ and the sexual abuse scandal...Berry and Renner's book. Which brings up something that has been bothering me lately. How does a Catholic determine where to put charitable donations in this age of scandal on the right and on the left, and bishops who are not viewed as universally trustworthy in dispensing funds intended for the poor? Has anyone come up with guidelines they are at peace with? It doesn't take long for the Catholic mailbox to fill up with pleas for financial help. (Who puts us on everyone's mailing list, anyway?) I've reached the point of putting everything in the round file that is connected with clergy and religious. But that policy carries with it a huge load of guilt every time I do it. As Deal Hudson has shown us, the laity is hardly guilt-free. It's dispiriting to find out an organization has promoted heresy or sexually abused minors, with the help of funds we have provided them.


Catholic World News reports that 12,000 children have been kidnapped in Uganda since June 2002 according to a UNICEF report. The children are being forced into slavery or used as child-soldiers.


CNN's Tom the Foreman interviews independent priest, Fr. Michael Moore who has instituted Confession housecalls and is angry with the Pope.


There has been an ongoing discussion across the blogs about when forgiveness is appropriate. This story is a good example of when it is, even though, sadly, it ends with a parishioner refusing to do so.


A reader named "Steve" challenged me to run this story from Amy Sullivan at The Washington Monthly.

The so what is that, for whatever reason, journalists listen to these guys. Remember last spring, when John Kerry couldn't take a step without some reporter trying to examine his molars for evidence of unswallowed communion host? The issue of whether or not Kerry should, as a pro-choice Catholic, take communion was pressed by conservative Catholics with a partisan agenda and it was wholeheartedly accepted as a relevant story by most major news outlets.

How many reporters do you think are going to ask Rudy Giuliani or George Pataki or Arnold Schwarzenegger if they should refrain from taking communion? Or will call up the bishops of these men and ask whether these PCRCs should be denied communion? Shouldn't it be a story that Republicans get a pass for the sole reason that they are Republicans? And that certain conservative Catholic organizations only care about abortion when they can use the issue to knock around Democrats?

The silence coming out of the Catholic League regarding the prominence of a bunch of heretical babykillers at the GOP Convention is simply deafening. Perhaps they're still busy defending Hudson, who -- according to a press release issued by the group last week -- has been unfairly maligned when all he did was have sex with a "drunk" who was clearly asking for it. Nice.

(Heck, Steve, running this is no challenge. Truth is truth, whether is't Republican, Democrat, or Generic. Of course this is not going to persuade me to vote for Kerry.)

So what say the rest of you? Are the Reps as bad as the Dems on the Abortion plank?

I think the pols mentioned in the story are not important enough for Catholic reporters to make a big deal about them. Only those in Calif. care about Schwarzenegger's position on abortion. As for Pataki, the same reason applies, just fill in the appropriate state. There might be a good case for trickle down effect, but it makes much more sense to start with the most prominent pro-abort politician since he is in the position to have a lasting effect on the entire nation, not just one state in 50.


From the Edinburg Evening News

FIRST Minister Jack McConnell was today trying to head off a bitter row with the Catholic Church after Cardinal Keith O’Brien launched a scathing attack on plans for sex education in schools.

Cardinal O’Brien claimed the Scottish Executive’s new sex education proposals were tantamount to the state-sponsored abuse of children, but Mr McConnell insisted the criticisms were based on a "misunderstanding".

But Cardinal O’Brien, Scotland’s leading Catholic cleric, responded by saying that his comments were made following a "lot of preparation".

Cardinal O’Brien revealed this weekend he was planning a high-profile campaign against the forthcoming national sexual health strategy. He aimed particular criticism at proposals to give sex education to nursery children and provide the morning-after pill to teenagers without parental consent.


A former priest has been given a 12-month suspended sentence after gatecrashing the men's Olympic marathon.

Cornelius Horan, 57, a former Catholic priest who now lives in London, appeared before a Greek judge this morning.

Horan, originally from Kerry, Ireland, dashed from the sidelines to attack the marathon front-runner during yesterday's event.

Horan told police he staged the disruption to "prepare for the second coming".


A full-page ad will appear Tuesday in USA Today reminding the faithful that Catholic teaching forbids them to vote in favor of abortion, gay marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning, and euthanasia.

And that extends to politicians who don't oppose those issues.

``It's a serious sin to vote for moral evils, especially those that are so clearly opposed to the church's teachings,'' said Karl Keating, founder and president of Catholic Answers, the organization that placed the ad.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


the empty pews.

Specifically at noon Mass today. The attendance at noon Mass has been sparse in recent weeks, but the number of pews that were half full or less today was especially noteworthy. Was something going on in televised sports that kept 'em all away?


The "Russian Orthodox Church Criticises French Headscarf Ban" in this article sent in by a reader.


A reader sent in a link to this pdf file. The potential is real, unfortunately.


A reader sends this story link for a one-act play being presented in a Chicago Catholic parish:

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) August 27, 2004 -– Can a vote be a sin? "THE ANSWER" may surprise you. Set and performed in a Catholic church, this one-act play with music explores the dilemma of a Catholic Democrat under fire for supporting pro-choice legislation. Written and directed by Delle Chatman, an author and artist turned theology student, "THE ANSWER" moves to a score of gospel, jazz and sacred music performed by the nationally renowned choir "Choral Thunder." It will be performed October 1-3, Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m. at St. Gertrude’s Catholic Parish in Chicago, 1420 W. Granville Avenue, Chicago.


Dear Friends,

The Scranton Times is almost three years late in giving serious coverage to the Society of St. John scandal, but, as the old adage goes, better late than never. The two articles linked below appeared today on the front page of the "Perspective" section of the Sunday Times, including photographs from our protest against Bishop James Timlin at St. Peter's Cathedral on February 2, 2003.

The two articles, entitled "Society of Silence" and "Deposition Excerpts," together give the reader a good summary of the complex story of the SSJ scandal, including the cover-up by Bishop Timlin. The excerpts from Timlin's deposition provide an illuminating, if not comical, self-indictment.



The only glaring gap in the Scranton Times' coverage is the absence of any reference to the affidavit of the latest victim to come forward, another St. Gregory's graduate who last July became the fourth young man to make a formal accusation of homosexual molestation against Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity.

The Scranton Times has also let Bishop Joseph Martino off the hook insofar as the Times fails to point out that Martino is now playing the same legal games as his corrupt predecessor.

Pax vobiscum,

Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond


An editorial at AllAfrica.com describing the problems with youth in Ghana involved in occult and secret societies and the need to put an end to them.


Matthew Fox's favorite witch, Starhalk, talks about her involvement with New York protest demonstrations for the Republican National Convention at Infoshop News - Starhawk: RNC Update Number Two: Power and Anarchy"

And anyway, being a Witch was becoming downright respectable! ...

And meanwhile, things are coming together. We have a ritual space at St. Mark's in the yard for our Full Moon Ritual on Saturday, August 28. (8:30 PM, 2nd Ave. and 10th St. everyone welcome.) We have a schedule of direct action trainings (see below) and spaces to hold them. UFPJ is moving ahead with its lawsuit to get Central Park for a rally, and we have a plan to have roving groups of trainers doing on-the-spot nonviolent direct action trainings at the gathering point or at the rally itself.

Now I'm heading to the Life After Capitalism conference--expect a report on that sometime this weekend.

For the United for Peace and Justice March on 8/29 see: http://www.unitedforpeace.org/ For the A31 Day of Action see http://www.A31.org/ . Also check the website for a full schedule of trainings.

Starhawk's books are all available on her website, http://www.starhawk.org/ .

Direct Action Trainings Scheduled for the RNC (These are being offered by RANT, the RNC Clearinghouse Trainers, and War Resisters League. I'll undoubtedly do some of them, but not sure which.)

Fri 8/27, 3- 5 pm Street Magic, 4th Unitarian Church, 76 and Central Park West, Magical techniques for working our intention and staying safe in the streets. Workshop will cover grounding, wide awareness, anchoring, shielding, de-escalation, staying connected to the group, street spells, raising and focusing energy and spiral dancing in the streets. Contact RANT at 802-999-5275

The article indicates they have also scheduled a "teach-in on anarchy. Otherwise known as "chaos magick", I presume. One of the suggestions presented in the article is "that anarchists might cover ourselves with gunpowder to distract explosive-sniffing dogs from REAL terrorists." (I wonder if they smoke?) Their sessions, or some of them, are conducted in St. Marks Church Yard on 2nd Ave and 10th St. Perhaps Lee could fill us in on what denomination this church belongs to?

It does not help my peace of mind to know that the witch who is promoting peace under the direction of Bishop William Swing and Matthew Fox, is talking about teach-ins on anarchy and meeting in a church yard. Is this their version of "peace"? Stop the war in Iraq...bring it home to America??

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

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