Saturday, October 02, 2004


Dear Friends,

Another nail has been driven deep into the coffin of the Society of St. John and its perverted leaders, Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity and Fr. Eric Ensey, both of whom have been sued by John Doe for sexually abusing him.

On March 23, 2004, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ordered Urrutigoity and Ensey to turn over their psychosexual evaluations for review by John Doe's attorney, James Bendell. In an effort to keep these undoubtedly damaging reports out of the courtroom, Urrutigoity and Ensey appealed this decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has now DENIED Urrutigoity's and Ensey's petition to appeal.

The SSJ's delaying tactics have continued, however. The SSJ has now filed a Petition for Hearing En Banc. An En Banc appeal means the SSJ is requesting that all of the judges of the Third Circuit hear the appeal to see if they will disagree with the decision of the original three-judge panel. Such an appeal is rarely granted.

Pax vobiscum,

Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond


I have been an ecumenist for years. The time seems to have come, however, to look at the fruits of ecumenical activities and recognize they are walking us out of the faith.

In the days before Vatican II, we were taught by the nuns never to go into non-Catholic churches or take part in non-Catholic services. I remember that because I still recall how curious I was about what was behind the doors of my friend's Methodist church. I never did find out.

The source of that teaching was never mentioned. A few times I've looked for it in various places, particularly the catechisms; but have never found it. I tried to find it in Canon Law, but couldn't find it there either.

However, there is an article in the current issue of "Latin Mass" magazine that discusses ecumenism. In that article is a reference to the Encyclical of Pope Pius XI titled "Mortalium Animos." Point 10 in that encyclical makes it clear that what I was taught as a child reflected the mind of the Church:

10. So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest.

Item 11 spells out what is expected:

... Let them therefore return to their common Father, who, forgetting the insults previously heaped on the Apostolic See, will receive them in the most loving fashion.

The article indicated that "This teaching was repeated emphatically in the 1949 admonition of Holy Office, which referred to "the Catholic truth" and "the teaching of the Encyclicals of the Roman Pontiff on the return of the dissidents to the Church."

That doesn't leave much room for Hindus on the altar. So how did we get from there to "Unitatis Redintegratio" or the Decree on Ecumenism from Vatican II, when Vatican II was considered a "Pastoral Council" that did not promulgate any new doctrine? This Decree on Ecumenism says:

All in the Church must preserve unity in essentials. But let all, according to the gifts they have received enjoy a proper freedom, in their various forms of spiritual life and discipline, in their different liturgical rites, and even in their theological elaborations of revealed truth. In all things let charity prevail. If they are true to this course of action, they will be giving ever better expression to the authentic catholicity and apostolicity of the Church.

On the other hand, Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren. It is right and salutary to recognize the riches of Christ and virtuous works in the lives of others who are bearing witness to Christ, sometimes even to the shedding of their blood. For God is always wonderful in His works and worthy of all praise.

This is hardly a mentality of invite them to return. It is rather a mentality of fishing in other ponds to see if there is anything worth catching there.

If Encyclicals teach authoratatively, and one contradicts the other, there is no clear path for a Catholic to follow and feel they are serving God as He desires. In which case, it seems more prudent to err on the side of conservativism rather than liberalism. Particularly when we are told to judge the fruits, and the fruits I see appear to be either so green they are not edible, or so overripe as to be rotten. There is no center on this issue. And there is no adherence to the doctrine of Pope Pius XI.

What's more, we don't even seem to have a clear handle on what ecumenism really is or where it is going to take us. We seem to be walking blindly.

As the article puts it:

Perhaps the best evidence that no one knows exactly when ecumenism means, or exactly where it is leading us, is the Pope's own declaration to some Protestant ministers on October 5, 1991 during an "ecumenical prayer service" in front of St. Peter's tomb: "Ecumenism is a journey which is made together, but we are not able to chart its course or its duration beforehand." ...Before the Council, the course toward Christian unity was well marked out by repeated papal teachings: the dissidents must return to the one true Church. Catholics, on the other hand were not expected to make a "journey" anywhere, as they were already residing in the ark of salvation, which others had left or failed to enter.

We seem to be traveling an uncharted course--uncharted in the history of the Church, and uncharted in the plans of Her contemporary leaders.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Friday, October 01, 2004


From Front Page:

A newspaper report published this week states that the Vatican is one step away from assuming full control of Portugal’s holiest religious site. While no official measures have been taken, the Correio da Manhã (CM) newspaper on Wednesday alleges the Vatican’s disapproval of the Dalai Lama and a Hindu priest praying at the Fátima Sanctuary on two separate occasions to be at the centre of Rome’s reported intentions for Fátima. But Portuguese clergymen have been swift in their response to these reports, arguing either that they are false, or that the Vatican gave its blessing for the interfaith gatherings, or that financially-powerful international groups are responsible for these reports.

Go to the website for the rest of the story. The confusion I refer to will come at the end of the story.

Thanks to a reader for sending this in.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


seems to be headed toward legalizing sex with children with his so-called "Pedophile Protection Act" according to this WorldNetDaily article sent in by a reader:

Authored by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the new law drastically reduces requirements for mandatory reporting of the known or suspected sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children.

Opponents, who are urging constituents to contact the governor, also say it creates a loophole for abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, to be exempted from reporting statutory rape, molestation and sexual abuse and gives molesters greater opportunity to be involved with the caregiving of children.

In addition, the new law changes the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act's definition of "sexual assault" to exclude consensual oral copulation, sodomy and sexual penetration between two minors who are both 14 years or older.


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Bishop William Franklin says the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport lacks the financial resources to compensate victims of alleged priest abuse and warned a settlement could force the church into bankruptcy.

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily


From Reuters:

Anne Catherine Emmerick, a sickly German mystic nun who lived from 1774 to 1824, has been called "Mel's Muse." It was her book, "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ," that gave Gibson some of the most grisly details.

Although Gibson said his hit film "The Passion of the Christ" was true to the Gospels, he clearly turned to the what the "Maid of Muenster" saw while gripped in visionary ecstasy.

The episode where Mary mops up her son's blood after his sadistic scourging is pure Emmerick. No Gospel mentions a hooded devil inciting Jews as they demanded Christ's crucifixion or following him as he carried his cross.

Jewish groups condemned the film, saying it would spur new forms of visceral anti-Semitism. They now fear that moving Emmerick closer to the glories of the altars, as sainthood is known, will only make matters worse.

"I think the timing of this is unfortunate and particularly damaging," said Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, director of inter-faith activities for the Anti-Defamation League.

"Had this happened 5 or 10 years ago, only those in the know would have noticed. But now, after Gibson's film, Emmerick's anti-Semitic writings have spread to a much wider audience," he told Reuters by telephone from New York.

Jewish leaders say the film and Emmerick's new popularity will resurrect deicide charges against Jews which, had been officially repudiated by the Second Vatican Council in 1965.

The article also addresses the controversy over beatification of Karl I:

His defenders stress how he tried to lessen the burden of the war for soldiers and civilians by recalling from the front fathers who had lost sons and banning bombing raids on cities.

Detractors counter that the Austrian army under his command, which fought alongside Germany, used poison gas in the war.

"He was not an especially bad character, but no model figure either," said Austrian political scientist Anton Pelinka, who called the event "a beatification bordering on the absurd."

After the 5 beatifications scheduled for this weekend, the pope will have beatified 1,340, more than all of his predecessors combined.

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily


From Zenit Reflections on Psalm 44:

The canticle in the Psalm is a song which "exalts the beauty and intensity of the gift of love between the spouses," the Pope said. He summarized it with an expression from the Song of Songs: "My lover belongs to me and I to him."

The Holy Father pointed out that the Psalm highlights in particular "the beauty of the bridegroom, sign of an inner splendor and of divine blessing," when it states: "you are the fairest of the children of men."

"Precisely on the basis of this verse, Christian tradition represented Christ in the form of a perfect and fascinating man," he added.

Thursday, September 30, 2004


and their worldwide scope are explained in a bit more detail in this website. Again Russia and the Russian mafia are mentioned.

I have only one question--did this ring operate in Austria? So far only Australian arrests are being mentioned.

(To get to the story click "search archives" and type "Fatima" in search window. When the screen comes up, scroll down to "A Catholic Bishop who rejected John Paul II". Sorry there isn't a better way in.)

The book, Fatima and the Abyss, by Arai Daniele, gives an account of the late Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer of Brazil, who rejected Vatican II, and continued to say the Tridentine Mass:

In ‘Fatima And The Abyss’ Daniele describes how in the 1980s de Castro Mayer worked tirelessly to convince Catholics that the new church created by the Second Vatican Council was the embodiment of the warnings given at Fátima. On many occasions when interviewed by Brazilian TV and national newspapers he stated: “The church of John Paul ll is not the church of Christ.”

Before his death in 1992 Bishop de Castro Mayer published several books on the subject. These included ‘The Church of Man’ and ‘The Schism of Vatican ll’ in which he challenged John Paul ll to demonstrate how the teachings of the council conformed to Catholic teaching. In Daniele’s assessment the bishop was convinced Fátima represented a missed opportunity whereby mankind has turned its back on the warnings of Almighty God and chosen instead to tread the path to perdition. It is expected that the English version of ‘Fátima and the Abyss’ will be on general release by May 2003.


The JPEG flaw affects various versions of at least a dozen Microsoft software applications and operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Office XP, Office 2003, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, Project, Visio, Picture It and Digital Image Pro.

Looks like downloading pictures will be a no-no for the near future.


and already owns a significant portion of FOX.


Pravda reports:

On September 1, the day of the Beslan tragedy, passengers of a Moscow-bound flight from Sharm el Sheih (Egypt) refused to fly with two Muslim women in traditional clothes onboard. This time, another flight from Moscow to Khurgada has been delayed.

"Two Egyptian women were set to fly aboard a TU-154 airplane of "KrasAir" departing for Khurgada," stated RIA "Novosti"s" spokesman.

A group of five students from Dagestan were the last ones to board the aircraft. Among them were two Egyptian women dressed in black.

"Considering the recent events, security services searched them thoroughly. Their documents were fine; nothing was wrong with the luggage either. However, due to such time-consuming security check, they were the last ones to board the plane. This in turn caused major uproar among the passengers. People demanded them to be taken off the flight," added he.


Pravda reports:

A mysterious fire tornado that ripped through the jungles had torn out trees in some areas, while leaving the vegetation untouched. At night of 14 September 2004 many people got a chance to witness the fall of a fire object near the southern Argentinean town of Ushuaia. Further searches in the region yielded fascinating results: the area of approximately 150 sq meters had absolutely no trees. At first sight, it appeared as though the trees were chopped down; however, all the vegetation remained untouched. More so, according to the Argentinean media, scientists were unable to find any traces of the mysterious fire object that had "melted down" the woods. The next day, on September 15th, another fire object was spotted in that same region. Currently, researchers are trying to determine the nature of such mysterious phenomenon. It is likely that it has got something to do with the kind of research work many scientists from all over the world have been preoccupied with for ages. In particular, Sandia National Laboratories hosted a workshop in August of this year which was dedicated specifically to such kind of unexplained phenomena involving descending burning objects.

Messages from the approved Akita apparition spoke of fire falling from the sky.


From Correio da Manha.

A reader sent in the link. It's about Fatima. It has something to do with homosexuality. I would sure like to see a translation of this one!


is online at the Orange County Register. Unfortunately it requires registration.

The article title is "The decline of political journalism Insular media won't take some claims seriously, rushes to judgment on others." It begins:

The controversy surrounding CBS and the now-discredited memos concerning President George W. Bush's service in the National Guard and the confrontation between Sen. John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth reflect a dangerous trend.

Both dramatically illustrate the ongoing collapse of dispassionate, substantive political journalism.

The article contains this interesting comment:

"If you are in the press corps at a presidential televised news conference, by definition you are kind of a cool kid," Fallows told PBS' "Front- line" in 1998. "If you ask a substantive question - what are you going to do about paying for X or Y or Z in the future? - it just marks you with a big N for nerd on your forehead. And I think that is enough of a tribal custom to deter a lot of people fromdoing it."

Joe goes on from there to ask a series of questions, placing the "N" squarely in the middle of his thinking. Fortunately, political correctness is not yet epidemic.


with leads to the Russian mafia; and unfortunately it involves a Catholic school.

In Western Australia, a police officer and two teachers -- from private Catholic schools St Brigid's Primary School in Middle Swan and Iona Presentation College in Mosman Park -- were among the 24 men charged.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Bishop Kurt Krenn, 68, confirmed his resignation to the Der Standard newspaper, but said he was stepping down voluntarily and not under pressure from the Vatican.


A reader sent in the link. The website merely links the Portugese paper that I've linked below, and without comment from the editor.


in the Sept. 30 edition of Correio da Manha.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


A reader sent in the link to this New York Times Op-Ed piece. Reading through it, I realized how much we take for granted that is granted to us by the culture we live in, and that we could easily lose.

About the time we start to congratulate ourselves for our advanced civilization, we need to consider the words of some popular rap music that treats women no differently than this commentary describes.


Earl Appleby emailed me to ask that I post a link to his statement on behalf of Terri Shiavo. I trust he will not mind if I post the full statement here as well:


Thursday, September 23

Kangaroo Courts Are Killer Courts

Citizens United Resisting Euthanasia (CURE), America's oldest network devoted exclusively to combating euthanasia without compromise or exception, has issued the following statement in the wake of today's 7–0 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court striking down Terri's Law.

Kangaroo Courts Are Killer Courts

Berkeley Springs, WV (September 23)—Anyone familiar with America's long and shameful history of indifference and hostility to persons with disabilities will not be greatly surprised by the death sentence imposed on Terri Schindler Schiavo by the Florida Supreme Court.

Anyone with an ounce of decency, however, should be outraged. And anyone who cares in the least about his life or the lives of those he loves should be alarmed.

While those seeking to murder Terri have denied her the opportunity that she deserves for rehabilitation and while they have distorted Terri's condition in their Goebbels-style campaign to dehumanize her, this battle has never been about the medical facts.

Nor should it be! The life of a person living in coma deserves no less protection than the healthiest TAB (temporarily able-bodied person). In fact, it requires and deserves greater protection, and any civilization that has transcended the jungles of social Darwinism would provide it.

If the life of every innocent person does not enjoy the full protection of our laws and courts then no man's life is safe from the tyranny of unjust courts like those that have repeatedly provided legal cover for Terri's impending murder as they have once again done today.

Kangaroo courts are killer courts, and their ultimate victim is civilization itself. Defend life! Defend Terri! In doing so, you are defending the noblest ideals of our once great nation.

Posted by: Earl / 10:44 PM


He also asked for a permanent link to CURE's blog which I will try to do, but may not be able to accomplish. I've tried on several other occasions to add additional links over there on the side, but for some reason I can't seem to get the template to accept them.


Patrick Madrid has blogged two statements by Texas Bishops upholding the position that pro-abort politicians are not eligible to receive communion.


Mark Shea has the link to this story blogged.

Would it be premature to break out the Hosannas and Alleluias? God guide them in their choice for replacements!


A reader sent in this link to a story in Portugese ? about the changes in administration in Fatima. If anyone out there reads the language, can you confirm John Vennari's report from the above linked story?


Some time ago I was introduced to the architecture of Duncan Stroik and was immediately captivated by Holy Family Chapel which he designed. In the age of modernism and pop art, his concentration on the classics is so refreshing.

Dr. Stroik teaches at Notre Dame, as does Dino Marcantonio, a practicing architect who has an article in the current edition of Latin Mass magazine in which he lays out his philosophy which boils down to "tradition, tradition, tradition," for those of us who are not schooled in the varieties of architectural expression.

He compares the classics to modern architecture:

Modernist architecture is analogous to non-representational art in that it seeks to avoid recognizable forms (or types) as far as possible and to avoid substantive content in favor of emotional evocation. Take for example Le Corbusier's famous chapel at Ronchamps, Notre Dame du Haut. It specifically avoids the church type, that is, it avoids what we in the West are accustomed to seeing in our mind's eye when we think of a church. Le Corbusier suggested that the form...might remind one of praying hands, or a nun's wimple, or even a duck. But the form has no objective substantive content on its own. The subject, the viewer, is entirely responsible for bringing content to the form. The form's job is done if it has evoked a subjective response in the viewer. ... The believer is forced by the architecture to "look into his own heart" to know the reality of things. ...[a] problem arises...when there is no content, when the viewer is prodded into an emotional state and then left on his own to provide the content of his own choosing. ...Modernism militates against the construction of a coherent city.

(Marcantonio doesn't mention it, but Le Corbusier was a Theosophist.) He develops his theory more extensively in the article, of course, and compares this modernist perspective to the Christian perspective based on the Incarnation.

At the end of the article he gives his web address, so I stopped in for a visit. (Be patient, it loads slowly.)

His Chapel, New York is stunning. (Unfortunately the only way to view it is to click through his website. A separate link to the chapel doesn't work.) Is that a communion rail by any chance? Whether it is or not, some elements of Orthodox/Byzantine Christianity seem to be present. The rail acts as a type of iconostasis. The sanctuary is cordoned off from the main body of the chapel, giving the distinct impression that to enter the sanctuary is to enter a realm not wholly of this earth. The artwork above the altar symbolizes the heavenly city gathered around the altar. In the third picture of the chapel the tabernacle can be seen with an onion dome on the top, reflecting Byzantine symbolism. The picture following these three is one of a proposed Byzantine church, rectory, and community center.

If you have the time to view them, his renderings of a memorial for those who died at the Pentagon on 9/11 are in his website as well.

The website also contains a drawing which is included in the article. It "explains the fundamental way in which buildings relate to one another and convey meaning."

When Catholicism seems to be a mass of discouraging headlines and statistics, finding these architectural designs which speak of the splendor of the faith is a wonderful antidote to discouragement. We are not defeated yet, so long as one school of architecture can convey symbolically the grace that life in Christ has to offer.


Jimmy Moore announces the Priests for Life get-out-the-vote campaign which will make prominent the issue of abortion as fundamental to all human rights:

A pro-life priest organization has launched a pre-election education campaign designed to inform church-goers about the various candidates running in the upcoming November elections.

National Pro-Life Religious Council President Father Frank Pavone, who is also the national director for a group called Priests For Life, announced this voter effort last week designed to be an "all-out campaign" to educate and inform voters who go to church about the candidates who support the right to life.

The campaign will focus not only on the Catholic vote but also on Protestant church goers, according to the article.

Boasting of 1 million visitors to the Priests For Life web site per month, Pavone said election materials are featured prominently on the front page as well as two spinoff web sites located at ChristianVoter.org and ProLifeVoter.org.

Although this campaign will cost over $1 million to implement, Pavone said it is worth getting the word out about the importance of voting pro-life.

"Catholics who regularly attend Mass have been shown to favor pro-life candidates when voting," Pavone concluded.

Mark Shea has blogged a statement from Fr. Pavone explaining why a pro-abortion position undermines all other claims for human rights. It's a good argument for a world so caught up in human rights.

Fr. Pavone also presents an argument at the EWTN website that equates abortion with terrorism and asks:

If a candidate who supported terrorism asked for your vote, would you say, "I disagree with you on terrorism, but where do you stand on other issues?" I doubt it.

In fact, if a terrorism sympathizer presented him/herself for your vote, you would immediately know that such a position disqualifies the candidate for public office -- no matter how good he or she may be on other issues. The horror of terrorism dwarfs whatever good might be found in the candidate's plan for housing, education, or health care. Regarding those plans, you wouldn't even ask.

So why do so many people say, "This candidate favors legal abortion. I disagree. But I'm voting for this person because she has good ideas about health care (or some other issue)."

His statement includes the words of the Pope:

Pope John Paul II put it this way: "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination" (Christifideles Laici, 1988).

I came to a pro-life position kicking and screaming, so to speak, because I'd seen up close the difficulties of raising a Downs child. It wasn't until partial-birth abortion was described in detail in something I read, that I concluded it was murder pure and simple. Prior to learning about this barbarity, I saw life as beginning at birth when the baby drew a first breath, but how can one distinguish between a baby who first breathes and a baby who could breathe if it were outside of the womb? I had no answer for that question. There didn't seem to be any distinguishing characteristics between potential and reality apart from the arbitrary decision of the baby's mother.

A baby who could survive outside of the womb was alive in every sense of being alive that I could define. And so the point of no return for me became the point of viability. Then the question that arose was how does one distinguish between the day of earliest viability and the day before that? What makes one a real live human being and the other merely tissue that may be dispensed with? Once again there was no acceptable answer. It was at that point that I became pro-life.

Not long ago I had an occasion to test my defensive arguments in a discussion with a close friend who is pro-abortion. What I found so amazing is that she was giving me the argument that I once would have given her. There are some babies whose life is so miserable it would have been a mercy to them to abort them.

But how do you know that, I asked? How can you know that the unborn baby would choose death as preferable to a difficult life? How can you make such a decision about another human being's rights? And if you can make this decision, what other rights can you decide to take away from another human being? Is it acceptable to end the baby's miserable life after the baby is born and you can see that it will be difficult? How about the day before his first birthday, as some are now proposing? The slippery slope became obvious then. She had no answers.

There is an answer, but no one wants to give it. The answer is that the mother can play God. But any decision she makes is a selfish one based not on her child's desires about the worth of the life that will be lived, because she can't ask her child. Rather the mother must make her decision based upon her own determination of what life is worthy to continue and what life is unacceptable. If she does not want the baby, for whatever reason, it is an understatement to claim that she is biased in making the decision. Would we give anyone the power of life and death over us knowing when we did that they didn't want us around? Obviously the decision would be prejudiced.

If we believe our life belongs to God, if we believe we are here in service to others, there is no room for abortion. But if we believe that we are in total control, that we hold the power to alter our circumstances, that we create our own future, a baby that is inconvenient hasn't got a prayer.


He's been having trouble with his blog, but he's gotten it up and running sans comments. For the moment.

Between fighting with Halo Scan sessions he's been trolling here, as well.

He's put my blog into good company, linking it with Amy's. I'm not sure at all that Amy will be pleased about that, though. She just might think that Mark is "Guilty, guilty, guilty!"


giving the pros and cons of the new ecclesial communities can be read here. (Scroll down.)

Those are in your forthcoming book, huh? I think it's going to be an interesting book. It's primarily about the URI, right?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


This is the first time I've ever heard of a person creating a collection of objects possessed by ghosts and demons. What makes it even more strange is the fact the man is Roman Catholic. He even has some objects surrounded by religious medallions because he is afraid of them. Still he keeps his collection in the basement of the home he shares with his wife and three children.

Thanks to a reader for the link to this weird story...I think...


A reader sent in this link to a story from The Independent:

A gay couple have been formally recognised as parents by the French state, setting a precedent that could eventually apply to an estimated 200,000 children living in homosexual families in France.

Carla and Marie-Laure, and their daughters Giulietta, 10, Luana, seven, and Zelina, five, have been declared one family by the French courts - the first family with parents of the same sex to be officially endorsed.

The ruling could have far-reaching consequences for the survival of legal barriers against homosexual marriage, adoption and artificial insemination.


A reader sent in this link to a Washington Times story:

An English professor at the University of North Carolina illegally subjected a student to "intentional discrimination and harassment" because he was "a white, heterosexual Christian male" who expressed disapproval of homosexuality, the U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights has ruled.

Professor Elyse Crystall violated student Timothy R. Mertes' civil rights, the agency said, by improperly accusing him of "hate speech" in an e-mail sent to students after a class discussion in which Mr. Mertes said he was a Christian and felt "disgusted, not threatened" by homosexual behavior.

OH SACRED TREE SURROUNDED... Sorry. I couldn't resist.


Over at Novus Ordo Watch a series of pictures of the Pope being entertained by a series of events and participating in inculturated Masses poses questions about modesty. I disagree with them in that he does seem to be practicing "custody of the eyes" where the bare-breasted natives take part in the Offertory procession. I notice that the priest (bishop? cardinal?) with him does not practice the same custody. When a tourist attends an audience with the Pope there are dress standards:

Vatican Dress Code

Be aware that Vatican dress code requires no shorts or tank tops. Women's shoulders must be covered.

eHow describes the dress required for a private audience this way: 2. Choose a dark suit for a private or semiprivate audience with the pope, if you're a man. 3. Select a dress that covers your shoulders and reaches near your knees, if you're a woman. Dress pants are acceptable these days, but were not in earlier times.

Here is another website that confirms this dress code. (That is one awful picture of the Pope!)

That is the code for the general audience where a visitor is just another member of the crowd. What is the purpose of a dress standard for tourists who will hardly be noticed individually, when the Pope entertains performers who dress in leotards, with a lot more bare than shoulders, who command his particular attention? Shouldn't the dress standards apply to more than tourists? This looks like just another mixed message being given to the world.

This is the Pope who is considered most holy. Yet he is the only modern Pope that I know of who has invited spectacles for his entertainment such as are pictured at Novus Ordo Watch. The dots are not connecting here.



Diane Moczar is a writer and historian now teaching at Northern Virginia Community College. She studied at Columbia University, Catholic University, and the University of Paris.

In the current issue of "Latin Mass" magazine, she tells a story she read to her students when they finished the Hellenistic world in their history survey course. She asks them what country they think it is describing. Here is the description:

The country began to expand at the expense of its neighbors and to conquer native peoples. It developed cities and an urban culture, and began to use slave labor to an increasing degree. It became very wealthy, and as it came into contact with other cultures it took in ideas and influences from all over the world. People began to say it was losing its own identity. The early religion declined, and many people took up exotic cults from the East, while intellectuals tended to atheism. The old republican virtues broke down. There was a civil war. Birth control, abortion, infanticide, divorce, and homosexuality became common. There was a women's liberation movement. People stopped reading, except for digests and popular science, and the language became debased. There was a craze for spectator entertainment: sports of all kinds, but also other spectacles, which grew more obscene and violent as time went on and the jaded popular taste demanded new thrills.

Pollution was widespread and many people died of a mysterious new disease. Economic problems developed, including inflation and high unemployment. But what many citizens feared most of all was terrorism and war from ruthless barbarian powers to the East.

I expect historians out there to know the answer. Everyone else should be able to make a pretty good guess. The similarity to America is eerie.


In the UK, the official aid agency associated with the Catholic bishops' conference, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), has come under scrutiny for its endorsement of the use of condoms, in contravention of Catholic moral teaching, for the prevention of AIDS.

In a long editorial article, an abridged version of a paper presented at an AIDS conference in Bangkok, and published in the liberal Catholic paper, The Tablet, on September 25th, CAFOD calls the Catholic teaching on sexuality 'over-simplistic solutions for an idealized world."

The article, which is posted on CAFOD's website on their policy page, goes on to propose "a third, middle-ground approach known as 'ABC'- 'abstain, be faithful, use a condom.'" The article claims that this 'third way' is supported by Catholic moral theology and makes an oblique reference to the principle of double effect. "Traditional moral theology allows for an approach in which individuals subscribe to clearly identified ideals but sometimes have to make choices that fall short of these."

However, none of this will be surprising to those who attended a Mass to celebrate "25 years of friendship and commitment to justice," for two prominent 'Catholic' homosexuals, Martin Pendergast, a former Carmelite priest and current head of the Roman Catholic Lesbian and Gay Caucus and Julian Filochowski, a director of CAFOD.

The article on the CAFOD website is a litany of sins that have lead to this "third way" policy. At this point it seems to be nearly impossible to sort out what is legitimate Catholic teaching in the circumstances and what is a perversion of Catholic faith. When life deteriorates to the level described here, high ideals are a fantasy. Society in these countries has evidentally completely disintegrated.


where Lee posted it in response to a comment of Rod Dreher's, and I hope that both Amy and Lee will forgive me:

Lee wrote:

Now Rod, the Vatican is just using prudential judgment on deciding who should get these awards. Isn't it disrespectful to question this?

Watching Vatican diplomacy is like watching the making of cheap sausage.

The Pope gave a knighthood to Kurt Waldheim in 1994. To refresh everyone's memory on this:

From Jonathan Kwitny's bio of the Pope, "Man of the Century":

"Kurt Waldheim, the secretary-general who had first brought John Paul to the UN, was identified as a Nazi war criminal. Files from the UN War Crimes Commission showed that as an Austrian officer in Hitler's army, young Waldheim had sent Jews and war prisoners to their deaths." (p. 550)

"April 27, 1987, the US government had placed Kurt Waldheim, now president of Austria, on its no-admittance list because of his bloody Nazi collaboration as a young officer. Defending this decision, Secretary of State Shultz and Attorney General Edwin Meese said that even that year, Walsheim had lied to the United States about his record and defended Hitler's wartime murder of prisoners. All this was a powerful slap in Waldheim's face - which the pope then did what he couold to ease by welcoming Waldheim to the Vatican two months later and praising him for a lifetime's work for peace. The ceremony was boycotted by diplomatic envoys from the US, Italy, and many other countries. Why John Paul was so eager to help Waldheim that he would invite worldwide rebuke remains unclear. In 1994, he bestowed yet another honor on Waldheim, a knighthood." (pp. 568-569)


Am I tilting at windmills again, or are there parallels between knighthood and sainthood? Are both being used for political ends when they--or at least--canonization, are intended for other purposes? Can the propositions of faith be turned into political tools without consequences? Also, isn't doing so terribly cynical and utilitarian rather than a sign of holiness?


We hear a lot about ecumenism, especially with the Orthodox. A reader sent in this link to an Inter-Orthodox Theological Conference website. I don't know any of the names, but the topics sound interesting.

It would be even more interesting to compare and contrast ecumenism as the Orthodox perceive it with ecumenism as the Roman Catholics perceive it. I'd be willing to bet the chocolate donuts that there is a significant divide running between them!

The subject on which Fr. John Reeves is speaking in Session 8 (first entry) gives me some idea of how our ecumenical approach sits with the Orthodox. And the topic immediately following his - Ecumenism and Universality - is a topic which Roman Catholic promoters of ecumenism need to address but don't.


PARIS — The transgender sportscaster wears a miniskirt, the porn is gay, lesbian and bisexual, and Wonder Woman will be on every night at seven.

France's first gay television channel, PinkTV, is an eye-opener. And that's the point. Pink's founders believe there's a ready audience for the channel, and not just among France's estimated 3.5 million gays.

Pink's "a giant leap for television, a small step in high heels," said presenter Eric Gueho in a promotional clip shown at the channel's unveiling Tuesday, which was feted with pink champagne.

"Gays are speaking to the French. But not all French speak to gays. But it will come."

Well, maybe. This at times surprisingly conservative and largely Roman Catholic country is still divided when it comes to homosexuality.

France has in recent years made big strides, legally recognizing gay couples and electing a gay mayor for Paris. Homophobic remarks will be punishable with prison and fines under a draft law expected to be debated in parliament before the year's end.

According to the article, the first French gay marriage was performed by on June 5 by a mayor who was subsequently suspended for the action. The marriage was annulled by a court, but the couple plan to appeal it to the European Court of Human Rights.

Pink is the first nationally broadcast gay channel of its kind according to its founder, Pascal Houzelot.

"Pink is coming at the right moment," he said. "There's an evident change in mentalities. We've seen society changed. We've seen the law change ... In France, we can clearly say that gays have gone from the era of tolerance to the era of legality, which simply means equality."


Austrians are displeased with the Pope's decision to beatify Karl I of Austria.

VIENNA, Austria - Some think he's already a saint for seeking a peaceful end to World War I. Others think he's a scoundrel for commanding troops who used poison gas and for mounting two bloody comeback attempts.

On Sunday, Pope John Paul II is to beatify Karl I, but the Vatican's decision to put Austria's last reigning emperor on the road to sainthood has triggered a spirited political and religious debate at home.

Austria's government has come under fire for its plans to send a high-profile delegation to Rome. And the Roman Catholic Church has been ridiculed for the miracle it attributes to Karl: a Brazilian nun whose varicose veins were healed after she prayed to the monarch.

"As an active Catholic, I protest the beatification of Emperor Karl," said Rudolf Stanzel, among believers who think the Vatican is making a mistake. "The church is standing on the side of wealth and power."


LifeSite has picked up coverage on Hunte's knighthood.

Crux News has linked LifeSite's coverage.

Carribean News offers some additional details:

A Vatican statement said Hunte, an Anglican, was selected for the knighthood, because during his presidency, “he upheld values espoused by the Holy See at the United Nations, especially as regards the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

The honor has, however, been greeted with opposition by anti-abortions in St. Lucia, who have called on the pope to rescind the decision in light of Hunte and his government’s support for legalizing abortion in cases of rape or incest and to protect the mother's health or life. – Hardbeatnews.com

Do the facts that he is Anglican and that he has voted for abortion in only the most desperate cases in any way exonerate the Vatican? Technically, they do not, of course, but in the public eye, I suspect that they would.


In a web search, these turned up:

From Zenit:

ROME, APRIL 11, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The theologian who directed this year's Lenten retreat for the Pope says the accusation of anti-Semitism against "The Passion of the Christ" is unfounded.

From 30 Days:

On some of the judgments expressed in the interview by the Patriarch Bartholomew, 30Days sought the opinion of one of the best known and universally respected Catholic theologians, called this year to preach the spiritual exercises of the beginning of Lent to the Pope and the Roman Curia. Bruno Forte was born in 1949 in Naples. Ordained priest in 1973, he is professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy. He spent long periods of research in Tubingen and Paris. He is known and admired all over the world for the lectures and papers given in many European and American Universities and for his refresher courses and spiritual exercises on the various continents. He is a member of the International Theological Commission, and in it presided over the work group which drew up the document Memory and reconciliation: the Church and the faults of the past (February 2000). His main works (many of which are translated into the influential European languages and many others) are Simbolica ecclesiale (San Paolo Editions, Milan), in eight volumes, and Dialogica (Morcelliana, Brescia), in four volumes.

Speaking on Dominus Iesus in an interview:

There has always been a tendency in the Church to separate Christology and pneumatology, the incarnate Word and the Holy Spirit. We can say that a certain disregard for the action of the Holy Spirit has encouraged what Fr Congar called — "Western Christomonism". On the other hand, however, where the value of the incarnate Word is forgotten and the action of the Spirit exalted, there is a danger of falling into forms of Pentecostal spiritualism which are no less misleading with regard to the Christian norm and measure. This is why we need to keep Christ and the Spirit together; it is only by keeping them together that we can explain the role of both of them. Christ is the only mediator among us human beings, he is the fullness of divine revelation; the Spirit is the one who actualises the praesentia Cristi in time, he is the actualising memory of God, he is, as the theologian Walter Kasper says, the historical dimension of the Mystery. It is thanks to the Spirit, the Spirit of truth and therefore of divine fidelity, that Christ is alive and present for us today. Therefore the role of Christ and the Spirit, although distinct, can never be opposed. Indeed we could say that the Spirit is totally at the service of the economy of Christ and that Christ is totally oriented to the economy of the Spirit. This is why, keeping this dual and unique profession together, it is possible also to recognise where the Spirit works in the light of the criterion for this recognition which is Christ.

From the Tablet article by Michael Paul Gallagher:

And there is another surprise to be mentioned. Trinity for atheists translates the title of a recent book by the Italian theologian Bruno Forte, where he enters into spiritual dialogue with unbelievers on the theme of God as Trinity. Of course Forte is not alone in his insistence that Christians have fallen into the temptation of defending a "sub-Trinitarian" God. As far back as 1970 Karl Rahner quipped that most Christians were "mere monotheists" in their spirituality and that if the doctrine of the Trinity were dropped it would make little difference to them – in spite of the fact that official Christian prayer is so Trinitarian in shape: with Christ, in the Spirit, to the Father. ...

[Forte] also explores the interplay between Silence and Word in how we experience a tripersonal God. There is the Silence of the Father as origin, the eloquent Word of the Son as saviour, and and intimate Silence of the Spirit, guiding us towards our end in love.

To speak of the Trinity in this way is not simply a matter of correcting false images of God. It confronts both believers and unbelievers with a challenging surprise – provided they can go beyond jaded concepts. They will discover, as the late Catherine LaCugna put it, that "divine life is therefore also our life": the Trinity is not about the nature of God "in isolation from everything other than God, but a teaching about God’s life with us and our life with each other".


a history.

Monday, September 27, 2004


Finally someone speaks up!


carried at Crux News says in part:

John Wilkins, the recently retired Editor of Britain’s prestigious liberal Catholic weekly, The Tablet, is "a very confused Catholic." So says Fr. Richard John Neuhaus in First Things (March, p. 62). How so? Because Wilkins supports "contraception, the ordination of women, and the moral acceptance of homosexuality."

Confused? That doesn’t seem to be the right word, for Wilkins knows very well what he wants.

Fr. Neuhaus was quite annoyed, and understandably so, to learn that Wilkins was awarded a papal knighthood by the Holy See at a V.I.P. ceremony in London attended by Britain’s Papal Nuncio and the Archbishop of Westminster. At the ceremony, Wilkins said, "The Tablet under…my editorship…has been engaged in the search for true orthodoxy."

Neuhaus retorts: "There is little likelihood that a papal knighthood is in the works for, say, Father Joseph Fessio…. [who] is not engaged in the search for true orthodoxy. He thinks he has pretty much found it in the teaching of the Church." Touché!

But would that Fr. Neuhaus were more like Fr. Fessio. You may recall our New Oxford Note, "The One-World Church," where we quoted Neuhaus as saying: "When the prayer of Jesus in John 17 [‘that they all may be one’] is fulfilled, it will not be a matter of Baptists or Presbyterians becoming Roman Catholics. There will be but one Church, and it may well be that distinct traditions of theology and practice, now embodied in separated denominations, will continue…." We also quoted Neuhaus as saying that ecumenism is "a road of…openness to the fact that we will all be changed by our reunion…."


Crux News links this story from Scotsman.com News:

AUSTRIANS are leaving the Catholic Church in droves in disgust at two high-profile sex scandals involving child pornography and allegations of the molestation of young boys, Church leaders said yesterday.

More than 10,000 people have left the Vienna archdiocese in the last few months, with thousands more leaving parishes across the country.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Austria’s top churchman, said he could not blame people for leaving after a summer of scandal including the discovery of up to 40,000 lurid images, including child pornography, on computers at a seminary in the diocese of St Pölten.

This month, a second scandal hit the Austrian Church when officials disclosed they were investigating one of the country’s best-known priests after several people alleged he had sexually molested them when they were youths in the 1980s.

"We’ve had these unending icy rains the entire summer: more and more scandals, negative headlines, and from many people, cries of ‘We’ve had enough!’," Cardinal Schönborn wrote in a commentary for this Sunday’s edition of a Vienna church newspaper.

The cardinal appealed to Austrians to remain faithful to their local parishes, saying he hoped the Church would forge a new beginning after putting the affairs behind it.


Where is the outrage?

I've been trolling St. Blogs and Catholic news for two days now, hoping to find some anger, or at least some acknowledgement of John Allen's discovery. It's not there.

We have been talking about the need to withhold the Eucharist from pro-abort politicians for weeks. It has made Catholic headlines repeatedly. You would think that Allen's story would be big news and just as much the topic of blogging as Deal Hudson's downfall.


It's not there.

I've brought up this incredible action on the part of the Pope in the comments boxes of two separate blogs. Neither blogger has taken it up. No one wants to talk about it. Not even LifeSite is covering it. No one finds it outrageous.

The only way St. Blogs can defend the Papacy this time is to invoke a code of silence, and that code has obviously been invoked. It isn't like St. Blogs is ignorant of Allen's report. That weekly report is discussed here so frequently that I know all of the main bloggers have read it.

Bloggers, does your silence indicate complicity? Are you so grounded in defense of the pontificate that you will not utter a complaint in the face of this grevious hypocricy? Where is your outrage? You can't claim to be pro-life while letting this one pass.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


I am still reeling from John Allen's column announcing the papal knighthood of an abortion-promoting politician, and time is not lessening the shock.

For a few years now, I've been saying that John Paul's words are orthodox but often his actions are heterodox. I had not read that in print before yesterday. It was a personal conclusion.

Yesterday I found this John Allen column from Nov. 8, 2002 "National Catholic Reporter," in which Allen says virtually the same thing I have been saying. The article is titled "Papal deeds speak louder," and he gives examples of this type of behavior that I find so disturbing, concluding with this analysis:

To understand what the pope is trying to communicate, therefore, sometimes it's a good idea to keep the pictures but turn down the sound.

If he is correct in his analysis, and I believe that he is, the faith will continue to head further into liberalism because the Pope has appointed bishops and cardinals who will continue to lead once he is no longer with us.

Following closely on the reading of Allen's startling announcement is the editorial of Fr. James McLucas in the current issue of "Latin Mass" magazine. He says in part:

...read the interview in this issue with three priests who are in the process of making plans to transition from the New Rite to the Traditional Roman Rite. These are men of pastoral and priestly zeal. The debacle in Denver [the agreement of the Bishops to disagree over whether a pro-abortion politician may receive the Eucharist - ct] is crystalizing for them and for others like them their fundamental incompatibility with the post-conciliar Church structure.

I asked each of the priests off the record, "Didn't you know what you were getting yourself into when you joined the seminary? Most of the post-conciliar revolution had already been completed. What did you expect?" Their answer, to a man, was simple and straight-forward: "We thought that the good bishops would permit us to restore orthodoxy." They no longer believe that. ...

Speaking of "vindictive": consider another scandal that has yet to break (but it will) which indicates the malicious capabilities of the ecclesiastical "managers" within chancery walls. Throughout the course of the post-conciliar years, priests - how many is anyone's guess - who opposed the revolution within the Church have been sent for "psychological evaluations" at various facilities throughout the United States.

Fr. McLucas goes on to describe this "ecclesiastical 'gulag' system," telling the story of a victim who was a member of the audience when Father spoke on the subject, and subsequently got up to talk. As the article explains:

When he finished speaking, grown men were in tears. ...an attempt was made to strip him of every traditional notion of priesthood that contributed to the formation of his vocation - including making available pornographic material to assist in easing his "hang-ups" regarding sexuality. The bishop who sent him to this "gulag" was present in Dallas in the summer of '02.

Adding even more bad news to the above, in the same issue of "Latin Mass," Alessandro Zangrando's column on "Roman Landscape" describes the rise of Bruno Forte, who "is rumored to be a likely successor of Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...he is a student of Cardinal Kasper and is an eager reader of Karl Rahner's work...

Forte's complex thinking is based on the notion of a vague and changing truth, which requires a continuous adaptation of the way the truth is formulated. Forte's assessment of Vatican II is that much remains to be done for its full acceptance. He believes that this requires not only a continuous updating...and a reform of the ecclesial community, but also a missionary commitment on the part of the people and an ecumenical approach. On the possibility of a new Council, Forte says that it is desirable and that it will certainly happen.

I wonder, when a man of this mind gets hold of the faith, will it be possible to even recognize anything of Roman Catholicism in what results?

Then their is Zangrando's speculation about Cardinal Sodano's replacement. Among those he proposes is the favored of Cardinals Kasper and Lehman, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, whom Cardinal Sodano has placed in charge of foreign affairs at the Secretariat of State.

It wasn't long after acknowledging that Kasper and Lehman keep coming up that the memory of their support of abortion came to mind. And now it seems that the Pope is promoting an abortion-supporting politician, while the bishops are soft on a pro-life witness.

Are the broad outlines of a new church in formation appearing in these unrelated incidents? One that accepts abortion? What else will it accept? And what will it make of orthodox beliefs? If Fr. McLucas is correct, it will make anathema of them. But if the Traditions become anathema, what takes their place will be nothing more than a passing whim. It will have no roots, no authority on which to stand. No foundation. And therefore no claim to anything more than the fancy of the moment taken up by those who have the power to do it. Pluriform truth as opposed to a religion of absolutes. A religion of man who finds it convenient to eclipse God in the bargain.

I see no cause for hope in any of this.

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