Saturday, October 23, 2004
WAS THE POPE INFLUENCED BY MASONIC PHILOSOPHY ?
A reader sent me the pdf file "The Place of Kabbalah in the Doctrine of Russian Freemasons" by Konstantin Burmistrov and Maria Endel, which appeared in Aries Vol. 4, no. 1. Accessing the article requires registration which I have not done and so can't link the pdf file, but anyone interested in reading the article can obtain a copy for free.
Burmistrov is associated with the Centre for Oriental Philosophies Studies of the Institute of Philosophy, Moscow.
Endel is working on her doctoral dissertation which is devoted to Kabbalah and its impact on Russian Freemasons.
The paper is heavily footnoted and includes more than 130 titles in the Bibliography. I take this to be reliable.
This is the conclusion drawn from their investigation:
It is obvious that the interest of Russian masons in Jewish mysticism was far from superficial, as might seem to be the case at first glance. They looked on Kabbalah as a tradition that preserved invaluable gains of ancient wisdom, true knowledge which had been granted to mankind through revelation. In addition, Kabbalah, pari passu with Magic and Alchemy, was an integral part of the masonic doctrine. It elucidated the structure of divine and terrestrial worlds and the relationship between them, and assisted in revealing the hidden sense of the Scriptures. Moreover, masonic enthusiasm for Kabbalah was aimed at rather practical purposes. Kabbalistic concepts of the universal man (Adam Kadmon) and global improvement (tikkun ha-olam) served as an ideological basis for the masonic program of radical reformation of social, political, moral and religious conditions in Russia.
It is known that the masonic teaching, in general, and its kabbalistic elements, in particular, played a significant role in Russian literature, and not only in the writings of "masonic" authors like M. Kheraskov and S. Bobrov but also in the work of V. Odoyevski, N. Gogol, A Stepanov, D. Begichev, etc.
Even more important was the influence of masonic ideology on the Russian public conscience. Thus, social and politic concepts of mystical masonry became an ideological basis for 18th century Russian conservatism. In the early 19th century when rationalist masonry was expanded anew, the Rosicrucians typified the conservative ideals. Their religious and political views exerted a great influence on the development of Russian Romantic philosophy and social utopianism in the first half of the 19th century as well as of the Slavophile movement. Obviously enough, these ideas remained very important in Russian religious philosophy of the late 19th - early 20th century (V. Soloviev, S. Bulgakov, P. Florenski, N. Berdyaev). Thus, as a component of masonic outlook, Kabbalah has become an important factor in Russian history and culture. (emphasis mine)
To put it succinctly, Russian philosophers were influenced by Masonic philosophy.
Now consider this passage from George Weigel's biography of John Paul II, Witness to Hope:
As Pope, Karol Wojtyla nurtured his interest in Russia and the Russians through numerous channels. He read deeply in the writings of Vladimir Soloviev, the late nineteenth-century Russian philosopher and theologian, a prophet of the reconciliation of Eastern and Western Christianity with a marked millennial strain in his thought. John Paul also became familiar with the work of Russian religious thinkers, once convinced Marxists, who had abandoned Marxism between the 1905 and 1917 revolutions while warning both the government and the Russian Orthodox Church about the impending catastrophe: Nicolai Berdyaev, Sergei Bulgakov, and Simon Frank. These thinkers, and the work of theologians like Pavel Florensky and Georges Florovsky, whom he read in French or Polish translations, familiarized the Pope with the religious core of Russian culture and convinced him that Russia had much to give the world. (p. 568-569 - emphasis mine)
To sum it up, Russian philosophers and theologians influenced by Freemasonry subsequently influenced John Paul II.
TRADITIONALISM AND THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY
Defining "Traditionalism" can be difficult since in its current incarnation, it includes many different religions. The list offered by "The Crisis of the modern World, the New World Order and Kali Yuga" website that I linked in a blog below does not include Freemasonry as a category, but Freemasonry does subscribe to the Perennial Philosophy. Leon Zeldis offers this recommendation in his website article titled "Esotericism & Freemasonry":
Three books are recommended to begin the study: The Kybalion by Three Initiates, a small book that contains an excellent introduction to Hermetism; Mystic Initiations by Mircea Eliade, that contains a wealth of information on initiation ceremonies in various times and places; and The Perennial Philosophy of Aldous Huxley, a panoramic view of Esotericism.
Zeldis has written for the journal of Ars Quatuor Coronati, the premier Masonic research lodge.
In an article titled "The Lost Sacred Feminine of Freemasonry" by Wayne M. Chiapperini 32 deg., posted on the website of "American Mason," a Masonic webzine, he writes:
Aldous Huxley expounds on this idea that there are basic and root truths which have been a part of humanity’s thoughts since the beginning of consciousness. He calls these the Philosophia Perennis...
He notes that rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. From the beginning, humanity has assigned symbolism to the Perennial Philosophies (which has also come to be identified to us as the Mysteries), for symbolism is a form of identification which can be applied to anything that serves as an outward sign of something else, usually spiritual or immaterial.
In the website of The Cornerstone Society, a Masonic group, an article by W. Kirk MacNulty titled "A Philosophical Background for Masonic Symbolism" states:
This idea of "interior work", of turning within and seeking to experience the presence of an indwelling Deity, is as old as human civilization. It recurs periodically throughout the world’s history in various cultural idioms and has been referred to as "the perennial philosophy". I will suggest that the Masonic symbolism, as represented on the Tracing Boards, reflects these principles and the Hermetic / Kabbalistic idiom from which they are derived. It is in that sense that I suggest Freemasonry to be a codification of the philosophical essence of the Renaissance.
The Perennial Philosophy, in other words, is the heart of any and all religions; and it is the ultimate source of syncretism. If all religions contain basically the same core teachings, all religions are equally valid, and are merely different expressions of the ultimate truth. This is the teaching of Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma.
This appears to be the book that fathered the concept of "perennialism."
Thirty-third degree Mason Manly P. Hall spoke of the "ageless wisdom" in his lecture on ancient philosophy titled "Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins":
This high priest after an ancient order must realize that those before him are not merely a gathering of properly tested men, but the custodians of an eternal lore, the guardians of a sacred truth, the perpetuators of an ageless wisdom, the consecrated servants of a living God, the wardens of a Supreme Mystery.
"The Ancient Wisdom" is the title of a paper on metaphysics at the Cornerstone Society website. (Notice while you're in there that there are several papers by Michael Baigent, author of the magazine "Freemasonry Today" and co-author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail from which Dan Brown fashioned The Da Vinci Code.
This concept of "Ancient Wisdom" and "Perennial Philosophy" has not appeared in Catholic theology historically (however, the "Ancient of Days" is a recognized name for God the Father taken from Judaism).
This website equates "ancient wisdom" with "perennial philosophy," suggesting that this is the "modern thought." (Notice that the author is New Ager Stanislav Grof, and that this is a homeschooling website.)
Catholicism historically has condemned Freemasonry. Numerous popes starting in 1738, 21 years after the founding of the Craft, have spoken out against it. The Church today opposes New Age beliefs. Yet ironically, the latest issue of AMDG which exposes the heretical activities in the Los Angeles Diocese presents the following quote taken from the 2001 diocesan Religious Education Conference. In a talk given by Megan McKenna (who appears on Our Lady's Warriors Dissenting Authors and Speakers list):
As members of the audience shouted out their various feelings in one or two words, McKenna elaborated on their feelings, expressing such thoughts as this in response to the answer, "It tells us ancient wisdom": "First woman wrote the laws....Again, matriarchal cultures - you know - they're the ones who have real laws...they're the ones in touch, they're the ones who can articulate...all major native writers are women...women articulate the basic core of the ground we stand on...."
McKenna is discussing a myth she claims is a Navajo story, and asking her audience to react to it by expressing the feelings it engenders.
Freemasonry will be quite at home with this new concept of Traditionalism that is emerging, since it is simply a new label for Freemasonry. Will Catholicism also fit in? To do so, essential changes must be made in our understanding of who Christ was and what the nature of the Catholic faith has been and is. It must become a new religion if it is to join forces with this movement of Traditionalism. Are we prepared to go there? Is this what the Pope is leading us to with his ecumenical programs? Is the long history of opposition to Freemasonry to be brought to a close?
Returning to the list of Traditional websites, I notice that a number of those listed are Catholic. This website is one of them. Does it get any more traditionally Catholic than this website? Not really. This is another linked site which is ultra Catholic. As is this one. What do any of these Catholic websites have to do with New Ager Stanislav Grof and Freemasonry? Yet they are being presented to us as though they share the same perennial wisdom as the esoteric websites.
Most important of all, where does Christ, the sole and only begotten Son of God, the source of salvation of the world, fit into perennial philosophy as presented by Freemasonry?
LOOKS LIKE AN INTERESTING BOOK
I've never heard of the author before, but this book is on the newest booklist from Catholic Treasures which came today.
Friday, October 22, 2004
AMDG HAS INCLUDED THIS STATEMENT FROM NOVUS ORDO WATCH
on the last page of the current AMDG. The Siri thesis has been around for as long as I've been online, and the question has always been how to prove it. I'm not sure what to think here, but the book does exist since the link goes to Amazon's listing of it.
EARL APPLEBY REPORTS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN TERRI'S FIGHT FOR LIFE
at Life Matters! It doesn't look good.
WHO IS MINDING THE STORE ?
I've been asking the question for a long time already, but it becomes more urgent every day.
Maybe some of you have noticed that there has been a steady trickle of books by the Pope lately. So, I've been wondering, just who is writing them. The Pope has trembling hands. The Pope has slurred speech. How is he communicating? And if he is not communicating, who is speaking in his name?
Add to the trickle of books a flood of papal documents issued in his name. Hardly a day goes by without some statement or other of Papal theology. Who is writing those?
Sandro Magister discusses this subject in an article at Chiesa linked at Crux News. And what he has to say does not inspire confidence.
LUTHER WROTE THE THESES ON THE JOHN
and now the archeologists have found it! Eureka!
(Has anyone here ever read "The Motel of the Mysteries"?)
Apparently it has been known for a long time that the Reformation began in this most humble of surroundings. It was just that no one knew where it was located until now. It has been unexpectedly unearthed in the preparation for a garden which I presume will now never be planted.
Luther had a valid complaint. The traffic in indulgences was outrageous. He fomented a revolution in his sincere effort to reform the Church. Luther was not a sede. He just wanted a return to holiness. But look what he wrought. Look how revolution can go wrong.
Think about it...the reformation was born a mere few feet above the sewer. What would we have today if he had accidentally dropped the papers down the hole?
Whenever the call for revolution is raised, the threat of schism, heresy, and apostasy looms. Once begun, a revolution takes on a life of its own.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Blogger credit to Crux News for the link.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
THE CRISIS OF THE MODERN WORLD, THE NEW WORLD ORDER AND THE KALI YUGA
Numerous groups have sprung up supporting "Traditionalism," or "Perennialism" as it is sometimes called. It appears in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It can be found in occultism. An extreme view expressed by Evola, is Nazi.
This website will take you to a very long list of websites devoted to Traditionalism.
There seems to be a common denominator. Traditionalism goes hand-in-hand with metaphysical experiences, be they apparitions, visions, locutions, clairvoyance, automatic writing, channeling, Freemasonry, satanism, or what have you. "Initiation" is another common denominator. No matter what system is employed, there is a method or ritual used to "initiate" contact with the transcendent god or spirit in whatever incarnation he is perceived. Each tradition has a means to identify who is being contacted. Perennialists believe that this contact is as old as mankind.
"Alchemy" is associated with the "Perennial Philosophy." It's the philosophy of the Rosicrucians, the Theosophists, the Martinists, the Albigensians, the Gnostics, the Manicheans. You will find it in any form of mystical religious practice though it might not be labeled as such. Thus, in Juidaism, it can be found in Kabbalism, and before that in Merkabah Mysticism, and also in Hasidism. There is a corrupted form of it in Sabbateanism. In Islam, you will find it in Sufism. In Christianity, it lies in Pentecostalism. In Catholicism look for it in apparitions. The Alchemical Wedding spoken of by occultists is a union of God and man.
There are as many varities of belief as there are groups devoted to it. Apart from the mystical experience, they may not have much else in common. What they do share is a rejection of materialism as an exclusive concentration. Perennialists know there is something beyond our material world and they seek contact with it..
Harry Potter is a good example of literature written to expose a form of the Perennial Philosophy to children. The Da Vinci Code takes it to the adult level.
It is subject to deception as devotees of extraterrestial experience demonstrate. It is easily corrupted morally, as in Sabbateanism and Tantra. The alchemical wedding often does become a sexual rite, such as the Hieros Gamos, through it is not always seen as such. In Catholic tradition, the Song of Solomon is an example of the alchemical wedding.
The philosophy concentrates on the "brotherhood" of mankind and tends mostly to be charitable until it is taken up by Satanic groups.
If you look at the above-linked list, you will find Rama Coomaraswamy's Catholic writings. You will also find occultist Jakob Boehme, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, Charles A. Coulombe, Father Alexander (Schmemmen), Father Seraphim Rose, and a Latin Mass organization. You will also find Guild of the Grail, San Graal School of Sacred Geometry, Emmanuel Swedenborg, The Alchemy Web Site, and The Hermetic Library. You will find Aryan Paganism that includes Celtic Dieties and Myths, The Pagan Federation, The British Druid Order. In fact, much of the material I've blogged will qualify as Traditionalism.
In the section of the linked website titled "People" you will find Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Fredrich Nietzsche, and G. K. Chesterton. There is even an Ashram Vidya Order Founded by Rahpael as channel for the Primordial Tradition. What is significantly missing from the list is every mainline church. Traditionalism, like a red thread used to mend a black garment weaves in and out of all of the other threads.
There is something else that will not fit very well with Traditionalism--the Tradition of the Catholic Church. It doesn't fit because it is a scholarly approach to religion, while Traditionalism tends to be antinomian. Traditionalism breaks the rules, because it takes its doctrine from the God-man experience. It looks to the phenomenon for guidance far more often than it looks to written texts.
For this reason, a Catholic can be a Traditionalist to only a very limited degree, or else must toss out countless writings down through the centuries of Catholic doctrine. Numerous Popes condemned these practices. Where it survived in Catholicism was in monasteries primarily, where there was very strict control placed upon it. We have seen an upsurge of it since Vatican II. Prior to that there were less apparitions. We have also seen monumental growth of it in our culture, via the New Age Movement. Where once it was an underground phenomenon, it has emerged into the daylight because western civ. has found rationalism to be lacking in spiritual satisfaction. It appears to be the trend for the forseeable future, and it appears to be gaining popularity and acceptance in the Church. Whether it can be guided into the strict Tradition of Catholicism, or will prove to be a renegade that can undermine the faith remains to be seen. It is rapidly replacing the left-leaning Call to Action and VOTF types.
One of the largest difficulties with Traditionalism as this newly emerging theory conceives it, is the need to determine how to draw lines of demarcation--how to hedge in beliefs acceptable to the Tradition and exclude that which is antithetical to it is the burning question with no workable answer in sight.
Handled carefully, this return to the transcendent could be a blessing, but as Evola demonstrated, it can just as easily be a curse.
came today. The publication of Roman Catholic Faithful. I've only had time to read a little of it. Thomas Droleskey, Paul Likoudis, Chris Ferrara, and Marian T. Horvat all have articles in this issue. Interesting. Anyway...
Stephen Brady has once again pointed the finger of guilt directly at Rome. In an editorial titled "Facing Reality - The Destructive and Demoralizing Lack of Leadership From Rome," he writes:
After almost 30 years to put his people and policies in place, this Pope has helped create the "New Church" ...
It was the late Frs. John Hardon and Alfred Kunz who first convinced me that indeed Rome was the problem. Hardon made it clear it was up to the laity to save the Church (because Rome would do nothing) and Fr. Kunz was adamant that you could not find justice within the Church today. Our own investigations have proven that the leadership in Rome is indeed protecting and enabling perverted, faithless bishops to destroy one diocese after another. ...
Rome will not, or does not have the courage nor the faith to take corrective action. In fact, it is the hierarchy in Rome that makes it possible for the likes of Cardinal Mahony to destroy the diocese of Los Angeles in California. ...
And Rome does nothing! DIRECT YOUR RIGHTOUS ANGER TOWARD ROME! ...
This pope knows! He has the information he needs to act or he knows how to get it. This Pope and his hand-picked staff are a big, if not the biggest, part of the problem. There is no denying that. The ones with authority over bishops are not exercising that authority. One cannot help but wonder if they are not all cut from the same cloth. ...
These bishops have an agenda and it is not Catholic. They are self destructing. ...
We don't need another "pastoral letter" or "papal document." We need faith in action. We need a leader. (Emphasis in original.)
This issue is devoted to unmasking Cardinal Mahony. In briefly flipping through the issue, it appears they have done a thorough job.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Robert Duncan has blogged on St. Death over at Santificarnos. (There's a link over on the right.) This article makes clear that promotion of this cult is outside of the Catholic Church, but I haven't been able to learn anything else about it.
WHEN DID SEXUAL INDISCRETIONS BECOME A QUALIFICATION
for the job of Secretary-General of the United Nations?
OPEN LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
from a journalist at Pravda, ends with this:
Voting for Bush is voting for a war criminal and a mass murderer.
In the name of the world community,
For the Love of God,
Respectfully and in friendship
This journalist for Pravda wants us to vote for Kerry who votes for a woman's right to choose, but is not a "mass murderer" like Bush since unborn babies don't count.
MILOSEVIC HAS BEEN SILENCED
at his war crimes trial according to a report in Pravda. Go read the article and get a sampling of justice at the hands of a world court. The last line is the clincher. The good ole USA gets the blame for Kosovo. Along the way a picture of deception, inciting violence, and a few other cheerful activities were employed. In other words, chaos magick at work in the Balkans. If we can believe Pravda, that is.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
THE NEW LABEL OF CHOICE IS "HOODWINKED"
as in Balestrieri "hoodwinked" the Vatican.
Talk about being hung out to dry for having the courage to defend the faith! I guess this is the new form of martyrdom, uphold Catholic moral values and get your measure of opprobrium from Rome and the news media. We should take note of the fact that the Pope told us to prepare for it.
I wonder who is piloting this ship?
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
CARDINAL MARTINO COMMENTS
on the "New Inquisitions, Full of Money" in an article at Zenit linked at Spirit Daily. Well, it would help the Catholic cause if the Vatican were not so inclined to defer Catholic moral authority to money and political power. If you're willing to play the game, you can't complain when the opposition wins.
APOLOGIES FROM BUTTIGLIONE
In a letter to the incoming European Commission head, Jose Manuel Barroso, Buttiglione wrote:
"I did not intend in any way to offend the feelings of anybody," he said in the letter to Barroso, who was seeking a compromise with European Union lawmakers to secure their approval for his new Brussels team in a vote due next week.
Buttiglione also said he "deeply regrets the difficulties and the problems that have arisen as a consequence of my hearing". ...
In his letter, Buttoglione offered to give up some of his powers, which would normally be included in his portfolio, specifically those concerning discrimination and sexual harassment.
Apparently apologies for being Catholic are the new obligation since the Pope set a precedent by apologizing for historical Catholicism. Sad.
At the end of an uninteresting story about a gay Belgian political aide quitting his job after it was discovered that he had appeared in a porn movie is the following comment:
Belgium, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, legalised gay marriage last year.
We hear about Spain but I don't ever recall hearing about Belgium.
IF YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE SENSE
out of the Vatican's position on Balestrieri's questions regarding Kerry's self-excommunication, check out the articles at Crux News and at Dom's blog where the discussion is taking place. (The links are over there on the right.)
Incidentally, if you actually do make sense out of the Vatican's position, you might win yourself a Pulitizer Prize in journalism by writing an editorial.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
JOHN ALLEN'S COMMENTS ON THE POPE AND THE EUCHARIST
A reader reminded me that I hadn't yet read John Allen's column from last week. The first item on his mind is the recent Papal statement on the Eucharist. He offers this bit of analysis:
Again, while asking that Catholics make a special point of reaching out to the poor of the developing world during this Eucharistic year, John Paul writes:
“We mustn't deceive ourselves: it’s from our reciprocal love and, in particular, from the concern we have for those in need that we will be recognized as true disciples of Christ (Jn 13:35; Mt 25:31-46). This is the criterion on the basis of which the authenticity of our Eucharistic celebrations will be confirmed.”
In terms of papal speech, this is fairly explosive stuff. John Paul is suggesting that the “authenticity” of the Eucharist, a word historically reserved to proper execution of the rubrics, actually refers to how worship translates into social concern. (By the way, it’s not that the pope is a sloppy celebrant; he calls on priests to perform the rites with fidelity in his letter. The point, however, is that following rules is not enough to make the Eucharistic celebration “authentic” in the deepest sense).
If the Eucharist is dependent for authenticity on the social gospel, where does that leave a parishioner who is trying to determine if the Mass he is attending has gotten so far off the rubrics track that he is wondering if it is valid? Even if it is valid in terms of rubrics, it may not be valid in terms of the social response of the priest?--of the parish?--of the specific parishioner who is in attendance?--of the Church in general? Once again the Pope has managed to blur and confuse the doctrine that he is trying to maintain and elucidate. This altruistic qualification of a sacrament is not reflected in any of our written documents. It is ambiguous in the extreme.
ECUMENISM ON THE MOVE
A reader sent in this link to this story on ecumenism at Worldwide Faith News:
The preparation of the 2005 edition of the Week of Prayer for Christian
Unity has led to a new stage in collaboration between the World Council of
Churches (WCC) and the Roman Catholic Church.
For the first time, the text that will inspire the Week of Prayer has not
only been jointly prepared but also published jointly by the WCC Faith and
Order commission and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Calling it a "further, small step in the direction of Christian unity," WCC
general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia and the secretary of the Pontifical
Council Bishop Brian Farrell suggested in the foreword that the joint
publication of the liturgical resources will, hopefully, usher in the
"birth of a new era of collaboration" between the two bodies.