Friday, November 12, 2004
LOGE MACONNIQUE DE SAINT-JEAN FIDELITE ET PRUDENCE
This lodge is part of Grande Loge Suisse Alpina Obedience of Grand Orient Freemasonry. It was linked in the Rene Guenon website, and presents links (click "liens" on the left) to Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon and De l'Orient et d'Occident where there is a reference to Louis Massignon. Whether this is the same Louis Massignon who linked my blog, or someone else, I can't determine because the website is not in English.
The link for Schuon features the same picture (which Schuon painted) of the Virgin Mary that is included in the ReligioPerennis website.
This website makes it rather clear that at least some of the lodges in the Swiss Obedience are dedicated to the work of Rene Guenon and the Perennial Philosophy.
RAMA P. COOMARASWAMY ON THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY
It is generally assumed that there is no room within Christianity for accepting the concept of Sanatana Dharma, or what in the west has been called philosophia perennis or priscorium. This Sophia perennis, to use a phrase preferred by Wolfgang Smith holds that certain metaphysical truths, and hence access to a knowledge of the divine, have always been available throughout history and are to be found within the framework of every valid religious tradition.
First of all it should be clear that such a concept in no way contradicts the principle Extra eclesia nulla salus - that outside the Church there is no salvation. If one understands this principle in the way the Church has always understood it, one accepts the fact that there are individuals who, as Saint Pius X put it, belong to the soul of the Church. Such individuals are “invincibly ignorant” of the manifest Church, and certainly before the coming of Christ, the ark of salvation had to take other forms.
It is also necessary to consider history, not as a progressive advance from primitive times to the present “enlightened” era but more realistically as a continuous degeneration from a former golden age. Adam’s fall from paradise is a paradigm for understanding the present situation. God did not abandon His creation and Adam found regeneration, and is indeed considered by the Church to be a saint. In ancient days, saving revelation, in accordance with man’s more “direct” apprehension of truth, was appropriately more “simple. With each succeeding “fall,” God provided more stringent requirements for man to follow if he sought to reverse the process of degeneration, until the time of Moses when the rules required encompassed every aspect of life. This is well reflected in the Sacrifice of Abel, followed by that of Abraham, and finally by that established through the medium of Moses. Yet throughout all this we have the Sacrifice of Melchisedech, renewed once again in Christ.
Such an attitude is not a carte blanche for every religion that comes down the pike. If salvation is possible outside of the formal structure of the Church, as must have been the case at least before the coming of Christ, one must remember that one cannot be saved by error. It is Truth alone that saves. And so it follows that salvation comes to us by the Divine Logos which Logos exists and existed from the beginning of time, for “in the beginning was the Word.” 
The early Church fathers were faced with the plethora of old religious forms which were degenerate in the extreme. They followed one of two courses. They either declared that Christianity had the fullness of the Truth and that therefore there was no need to look elsewhere, or they held that all truth, no matter where it was found, belonged to the integrity of the Faith, and was therefore to be accepted, absorbed, and embraced. As St. Thomas Aquinas said, quoting St. Ambrose, “all truth, no matter where it is found, has the Holy Spirit for its author.” In a similar manner, St. Jerome all but adopted the Buddha’s life story and Christianized it as we have in the hagiographical account of.St Josephat. ...
And so it is that it is possible for a Catholic to hold to the position usually described as "perennial or universal philosophy." The only requirement is that he hold to it as a Catholic who accepts all the teachings of the Church as encompassed in the traditional Magisterium, and this for the simple reason that if one steps outside the Matgisterium and entertains one's own personal opinion as being "true," one contradicts all that the sanatana dharma holds sacred. ...
The Perennial Philosophy claims that all religions have the same basic truths at their heart. Catholicism claims that Catholicism alone is the one true faith.
THIS IS CERTAINLY UNUSUAL
Isn't Bishop Rifan the bishop of Campos? As in very traditional Catholic diocese? So what are we to make of this?
The pictures are bizarre. It's obviously a Black Madonna, but one woman looks naked above the waist, and that tabernacle would fit in better with some U.N. adventure than with Traditional Catholicism.
Can anyone explain?
JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO'S LATEST ARTICLE
is up at the Front Page website...title, "The Vatican (Slowly) Awakens to Jihad."
Thursday, November 11, 2004
STILL NO COMPUTER
In case anyone is still checking in here, I still don't have a computer and haven't heard anything as of late yesterday. The 14 days will be up on Saturday. Then I'll start to nag them. In the meantime, I've been getting a lot of other things caught up, including some reading.
I'll try to link the good stuff some of you have sent once I get back to blogging as usual.