Friday, November 19, 2004
TAKING THE WEEKENDS OFF
It seems that husbands--my husband anyway--tend to lose patience with a wife who is glued to a computer screen. In the interests of peace and tranquility at home, I have agreed to cut down on on-line time.
Consequently there will not be any posts over the weekend in the future.
So this is so-long until next week...
HONESTY OR HARMONY ?
Sometimes they are mutually exclusive.
What happens when a Catholic and a Sufi sit down together at the dialogue table?
To recap recent research...
In an interview for "Psychology Today", Sufi Idries Shah, called "the West's leading exponent of Sufism," tells us:
I have not renounced the Eastern technique of pretending to be interested in what another person is saying, even pretending to be on his side. Therefore, I am able to draw out gurus and get them to commit themselves to an extent that a Westerner, because of his conscience, could not do. The Westerner would not allow certain things to go unchallenged and would not trick, as it were, another person.
The Indian teacher who brought Sufism to the West, Hazrat Inayat Khan, tells us:
The best way of action is to consider harmony as the first principle to be observed; that in all circumstances and situations and conditions one should try to harmonize with one's fellow-creature...A harmonious person can bend...all these attempts will not succeed unless...one realizes that harmony is the most essential thing in life (_The Inner Life_, p. 95-96)
Given these statements, it seems reasonable to assume that in dialogue the Sufi who holds harmony in highest esteem will find reasons to agree and will be offended by points of disagreement. The Catholic, who holds truth as the greatest good and views dissimulation negatively, will assert Catholic truth forthrightly, thus offending the Sufi who, in the interests of harmony, may conceal the fact that he has been offended.
This is a good example of cosmologies in conflict.
To see how Sufi-Catholic dialogue might play out, I turned to the papers of the Sufi and Eastern Christianity conference held at the University of South Carolina, October 18-20, 2001, as reported in _Paths to the Heart: Sufism and the Christian East_, edited by James S. Cutsinger, World Wisdom,Inc., 2002.
The conference focused on "the heart" as a point of agreement. In his paper, "How Do We Enter the Heart?", Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware writes:
Through the frequent invocation of the Name [of Jesus] we are enabled, wherever we look, to see Christ everywhere and to rejoice in Him. The whole world becomes a sacrament. In the words of the Gospel of Thomas, "Split a piece of wood, and there am I; lift up the stone, and you will find me there. (p. 18)
Bishop Ware was apparently so anxious to find points of agreement with the Sufis that he found the heretical Gnostic Gospel of Thomas to be a suitable source of verification.
Syncretism is forever lurking in the shadows of the dialogue table. Scripture tells us:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. (2 Tim 4:3-4)
It would appear that Bishop Ware has given us an example of just such a time.
Syncretism is the heart and soul of Freemasonry. The lodge is the place where all religions are equal - where the Grand Architect of the Universe is the god of choice. In a lodge where members belong to different faiths, the sacred books of all of these faiths are placed on the Masonic altar. The lodge provides ritual and liturgy devoid of doctrine, while transmitting concepts of right action in symbols that can have multiple interpretations. The lodge avoids religious disagreements by denying the superiority of any one faith.
Sufism, too, accommodates multiple faiths. As Hazrat Inayat Khan tells us:
When a person...lives in the presence of God; then to him the different forms and beliefs, faiths and communities do not count. ...If he goes to the Christian church or to the synagogue, to the Buddhist temple, to the Hindu shrine, or to the mosque of the Muslim, there is God. (_The Inner Life_ p. 10-11)
No one can be a mystic and call himself a Christian mystic, a Jewish mystic or a Mohammadan mystic. For what is mysticism? Mysticism is something which erases one's mind of all idea of separateness... (ibid p. 61)
It comes, therefore, as no surprise that Grand Orient Masonic Lodges have embraced Sufism in the form of Sufi Traditionalism. Essentially they are teaching the same thing. And so we discover TraditionalFreemasonry.org, an organization sponsored by Lodge New Isis, within the Grand Orient lodges--a lodge founded by a head of the occult Ordo Templi Orientis, which is no friend of the Trinity.
Neither does it come as a surprise that Idries Shah opens a chapter of his book, _The Sufis_ with this passage:
"Sufi-ism," said Sir Richard Burton, was "the Eastern parent of Freemasonry." Whether Burton was a Freemason or not, there is no doubt that he was a Sufi. (p. 205)
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour is unique among the world religions. This is a truth no Catholic can deny. The truth is divisive. It pits friend against friend, boss against employee, and family member against family member. Saints have been martyred for that truth. We would shame their memory if we denied this truth or swept it into the background in the interests of interreligious dialogue.
To return to our hypothetical dialogue table, it seems reasonable to speculate that at the conclusion of the talks, the Catholic might believe that the Sufi was a genuinely agreeable fellow who is willing to learn from the wisdom of other religions, and presumably will be open to conversion to faith in Christ with a little more persuasion.
The Sufi might walk away concluding that the Catholic is a disrupter of harmony when he defends his faith, but seems to be at least partially open to the wisdom of Sufi mysticism (and the Masonic Lodge) that all religions ultimately ascend to a point where they merge, and that the concept certaily does promote harmony when it is adhered to.
What sort of dialogue has taken place? Have the Sufi and the Catholic reached a new level of understanding, or have they merely sat at a table and talked past each other? If the latter, would it be better not to have these talks at all?
Certaily it is better to talk than to kill. Would it be even more practical to simply agree that the differences outweigh the similarities; but that Sufis and Catholics will pledge to respect their shared humanity and to co-exist in peace, leaving religion for another day when we have come culturally closer to each other by living in proximity? It's at least worth thinking about.
ODDS AND ENDS FROM RESEARCH
* * The Rosicrucians teach the Perennial Pilosophy.
* * There is a Loge Pythagore linked in the Rene Guenon Lodge Website. There is a Loge "Trismegiste" linked there as well. Students of the occult will immediately recognize both Pythagoras and Hermes Trismegistus.
* * Within the Gran Loggia Svizzero Alpina is a lodge that features the ouroboros on their website and speaks of "Tradizione Iniziatica Universale."
* * There is an article on the "Secret Tradition of Islam" on the website of "New Dawn Magazine." The article mentions the Cathars, the treasure of Montsegur, R. A. Gilbert (Canonbury Masonic Research Lodge), Manly P. Hall, Rosicrucians, and this quote:
Some of Europe's leading seekers after ancient secret wisdom were convinced that in the Muslim lands of the Orient could be found a Primordial Tradition transmitted from generation to generation within closed communities of initiates. They sought inspiration in a cultural and religious milieu long denounced as the "enemy" by European Christianity.
There is a section on Sufis that speaks of Jesus being the "Christian Gnostic idea of the relationship between Jesus, representing the exoteric, and the beloved disciple John to whom the esoteric doctrine was divulged." This esoteric doctrine, I presume, is Johannite Christianity.
Another quote: "Running through all Western culture are the threads of an 'underground' Primordial Tradition."
I suspect the magazine is the (or an) organ of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but have not actually checked that out.
* * Lastly, a reader sent the following information but didn't realize she had sent it. Remember the World Wisdom books I blogged about extensively a few days ago, and their relationship with Sophia Perennis and Religio Perennis as publishers of Rene Guenon/Frithjof Schuon? World Wisdom has turned up in another place...The Masonic Restoration Society which is "committed to preserving the traditional values of Freemasonry." Click the top link.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
DR. H. J. WITTEVEEN MAKES THE MASONIC CONNECTION
The author of "Universal Sufism", Dr. H. J. Witteveen, grew up in a family that was deeply involved with the work of Hazrat Inayat Khan, an Indian classical musician and Sufi who attempted to introduce Sufism into the West in the first years of this century.
The pupose of the book is to present an introduction and overview of both Sufism and the life and work of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Chapter One: The History and Origin of Sufism
Dr. Witteveen takes the position that Sufism is a living continuation of the religious tradition of Ancient Egypt, especially the tradition of Toth-Hermes who became known as Hermes Trismegistus in Hellenistic times. He sees Dhul-Nun al-Misti as the connecting link between Islamic Sufism and the Hermetic tradition of Hellenistic Egypt. He quotes Hazrat Inayat Khan as saying that Abraham built the Kaaba after his time in Egypt, and that Abraham concentrated his inner force into the Black Stone of the Kaaba as a memorial of the training he had recieved in Egypt.
Dhul-Nun is of special interest to people in the West because he is the founder of the Sufi school called "The Builders" which was the inspiration of the Masonic Lodges of Europe.
HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN
is a Sufi who founded "The Sufi Order in the West" which is now called the Sufi Order International. According to his biography, he was an Indian Muslim who established a Sufi school in Paris in the early part of the 20th century. A believer in Sufi universalism, he "strongly emphasized the fundamental oneness of all religions" according to the bio. Kahn developed the Universal Worship service that is associated with his Order. His initiations involved an experience of hell which he claimed to have visited while "his consciousness was far removed from the body." He also taught that man must pass through purgatory on his way to the beatific vision in heaven.
According to his bio, one of his disciples was the founder of Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York.
A member of the Sufi Order named Samuel Lewis developed the Dances of Universal Peace. One dance event is scheduled to be held at Grailville in Cincinnati on December 4th. Grailville, according to the Cincinnati Visitor's Guide, is "the largest [center] in the United States based on The Grail, an international movement with roots in the Roman Catholic Church."
The Dances of Universal Peace as described here as "timeless mystic traditions" are a form of liturgical dance.
Khan wrote a book called _The Inner Life_, Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston, MA. A few quotes from the book should be sufficient to see what direction Khan wants religion in general and Sufism to take:
The Sufi message needed a body, as the human soul needs a body to live on this earthly plane. Therefore the Sufi Movement was established and incorporated in Geneva, Switzerland... (p. x)
This vision then leads to understanding the fundamental unity of all the great religions. For these religions have all been brought to humanity by successive messengers in different ages to awaken the feeling and realization of the divine. ...the divine Reality is beyond our limited intelligence and can only be experienced in the depths of our being, our soul, which itself is a spark of the divine light. Then we can see all religions as converging ways to the same goal. To express this idea, Hazrat Inayat Khan created the Universal worship, in which all religions are brought together in a ritual that shows how they are all kindled from the same divine light. (p. xii-xiii)
...he was very progressive...giving women a completely equal position in all activities of his Sufi Movement. During his lifetime his highest initiates were women, who have been among his most important leaders and workers. And in his prayer for peace he addressed himself to the Lord, our Father and Mother. god is one, manifesting himself in duality. (p. xiv-xv)
Some of his statements are Christian:
By "inner life" is meant a life directed towards perfection, which may be called the perfection of love, harmony, and beauty; in the words of the orthodox, directed toward God. (p. 6)
The first and principal thing in the inner life is to establish a relationship with God, making God the object which we relate to, such as the Creator, Sustainer, Forgiver, Judge, Friend, Father... (p. 8)
However some are contrary to Catholicism, such as...
When a person...lives in the presence of God; then to him the different forms and beliefs, faiths and communities do not count. To him God is all-in-all; to him God is everywhere. If he goes to the Christian church or to the synagogue, to the Buddhist temple, to the Hindu shrine, or to the mosque of the Muslim, there is God. In the wilderness, in the forest, in the crowd, everywhere he sees God. (p. 10-11)
It departs even further with this...
I have seen...souls who have attained saintliness and who have reached great perfection; and yet such a soul would stand before the idol of stone with a fellow-man and worship, not letting him know that he was in any way more advanced than other men, keeping himself in a humble guise, not making any pretence that he had gone further in his spiritual evolution. (p. 14)
The humility is good. Worshipping a stone idol, however?
Then there is a form of pantheism...
It does not matter if he is looking at heaven or at the earth, he is looking at the object that he worships. East or west or north or south, upon all sides is his God. (p. 17)
He speaks of Christ and reincarnation. He gives a rather odd interpretation of the meaning of Christ nailed to the cross on p. 23. He speaks of clairvoyance and clairaudience, and man becoming an angel.
[For those treading the spiritual path]their first moral is constantly to avoid hurting the feeling of another. (p. 36)
In other words, above all be nice? What if the truth hurts?
Since mysticism is the heart and soul of this new type of interreligious dialogue, Khan's comments about it are important.
No one can be a mystic and call himself a Christian mystic, a Jewish mystic or a Mohammadan mystic. For what is mysticism? Mysticism is something which erases from one's mind all idea of separateness, and if a person claims to be this mystic or that mystic he is not a mystic; he is only playing with a name. (p. 61)
That pretty much eliminates the Catholics from the dialogue table. But if it didn't, this surely would:
There is one God and one truth, one religion and one mysticism; call it Sufism or Christianity or Hinduism or Buddhism, whatever you wish. As God cannot be divided, so mysticism cannot be divided. It is an error when a person says, "My religion is different from yours." He does not know what religion means. ...It is an error of mankind to say: this is Eastern and that is Western; this only shows lack of wisdom. (p. 65)
To distinguish between occultism and mysticism is also an error...mysticism is the stem which unites all branches...Jesus Christ said, "I am the truth and I am the way." He did not say, "I am the truth and I am the ways"; for there is only one way. ...which is called mysticism. No religion can call it its own, but it is the way of all religions. No church can say that it owns it, for it belongs to all churches. No one can say that his is the only way. It is the same way as all others have to go. (p. 66)
So much for good and evil forces, I guess. Sufi detachment is profound:
He sees from the point of view of each person and that is why he is harmonious with all. A man comes to a mystic and says, "I cannot believe in a personal God, it means nothing to me." Then the mystic answers, "You are quite right." Another man says, "The only way of making God intelligible is in the form of man." The mystic says, "You are right." And another person says, "How foolish of these people to make of this man a God; God is above comprehension." And the mystic will agree with him too. For a mystic understands the reason behind all the opposing arguments. (p. 74)
To believe in everything is to believe in nothing. There are shades of Guenon in the following passage:
...death means a separation from the body which is nothing but a garb covering the sirit...The body which is left on the earth by the spirit is no longer living in the sense we understand life; yet it is living. It is as if there had been a fire in the stove, and even after the fire was extinguished the warmth remained there. There is only the smallest degree of spirit, but there is life in it. (p. 79)
Sufism is only a light thrown upon one's own religion like a light brought into a room where everything one wants is to be found, and where the only thing that was needed was light. (p. 92)
But what is right and what is wrong? No one can stamp any deed as right or wrong. But thereis a natural sense in man which distinguishes between right and wrong, just or unjust, a sense which is to be found even in a child. ...There is a natural tendency in the heart of man, the natural instrument which masons use for building a house. ...The best way of action is to consider harmony as the first principle to be observed; that in all circumstances and situations and conditions one should try to harmonize with one's fellow-creatures. ...There are many true people, but their truth is not always comforting. They may utter a truth which is like a slap in the face to someone. They are just like the palm tree, straight and righteous, yet at the same time not in harmony. A harmonious person can bend, is pliable; he can meet others. There is no doubt that in order to harmonize one has to make sacrifices, one has to bend to people one does not want to bend to; one has to be more pliable than one is by nature, one has to be more clever than one really is; and all these attempts will not succeed unless one makes a great effort, unless one realizes that harmony is the most essential thing in life. (p. 94-96)
Great. Let's all harmonize by repeating after me..."Jesus Christ is Lord!"
There's more, but your eyes are already glazing over. This material is much closer to Masonic philosophy than it is to anything Christian.
MORE ON GUENON
When Lee Penn recommended reading Rene Guenon's _The Reign of Quantity & The Signs of The Times_, I wish that he had suggested I begin with Chapter 25, "The Fissures in the Great Wall". In this chapter Guenon starts to apply what he learned from his days in the French occult milieu.
In Chapter 26, "Shamanism & Sorcery":
There can therefore be no doubt that 'shamanism' is derived from some form that was, at least originally, a regular and normal traditional form; moreover it has retained up to the present day a certain 'transmission' of the powers necessary for the exercise of the functions of the 'shaman'; but as soon as it becomes clear that the 'shaman' directs his activity particularly toward the most inferior traditional sciences, such as magic and divination, a very real degeneration must be suspected...disquieting indictions in that direction, one of them being the connection established between the 'shaman' and an animal...
At last he is defining a differentiation between sound traditionalism and this debased form.
In Chapter 27, "Psychic Residues", he describes this in more depth:
...it must be made clear that the case of the persistent vestiges of a degenerate tradition that has lost its superior or 'spiritual' part is fully comparable to the case of the psychic remains left behind by a human being in passing to another state, for these remains can be used for any purpose once they have been abandoned by the 'spirit'. Whether they be made use of consciously by a magician or a sorcerer, or unconsciously by spiritualists, the more or less malefic effects that can accrue obviously have nothing to do with the inherent character of the being to whom they belonged before; they are no longer anything but a special category of 'wandering influences', to use the terminology of the Far-Eastern tradition, and they have kept at the most a purely illusory likeness to the said being.
I'm poised to start Chapter 28, "The Successive Stages in Anti-Traditional Action."
Using Guenon, organizations may be pushing the limits of Traditionalism to encompass quite diverse beliefs including Luciferianism, but Guenon would not have done so. Chapter 27 makes it quite clear that he makes distinctions.
If religious decide to do what Rene Guenon proposed and adopt the concept of looking for a basic philosophy shared by all religions, so as to find common ground on which to build peace, the Masons will be joining the discussion.
In previous blogs I've shown the European version of Masonic Traditionalism. Now for the American stuff.
TraditionalFreemasonry.org, a site sponsored by Lodge New Isis:
TraditionalFreemasonry.org is the official website of the North American Freemasonic Conference. On 1 August 2003 women and men from diverse Masonic bodies in America, Canada, and Mexico gathered in Los Angeles, California following the message of the Founders of Freemasonry in 1723 to meet together. At that assembly, the North American Freemasonic Conference was established respecting the strength and vitality of difference. It is, therefore, open to all Freemasons.
In _Paths to the Heart: Sufism and the Christian East_, James S. Cutsinger puts it this way:
Schuon, who was a teacher and guide for many people, including both Muslims and Christians, throughout the world, was one of the most forceful and influential voices in our day in describing what he referred to as the "transcendent unity of religions" and in underscoring the importance of an "esoteric ecumenism", a form of interfaith dialogue which, while fully respecting the integrity of traditional dogmas and rites, "calls into play the wisdom which can discern the one sole Truth under the veil of different forms". (p. ix)
Lodge New Isis is not listed in Google, but New Isis Lodge is. It is mentioned in this O.T.O. History:
Grant asserts that Karl Germer was acting improperly when Germer expelled Grant from O.T.O. in the 1950s e.v., and that Grant never recognized Germer as paramount in O.T.O. This assertion is flatly contradicted by Grant's own "Manifesto of New Isis Lodge": "New Isis Lodge i s in accord with the Master Therion (a Past Grand Master of O.T.O.); with the present Master S.'., who is World-Head of O.T.O. in the Outer, and who operates in the United States of America; and with the aforementioned Lodge in Germany controlled by the Master G.'.", p. 6, (S.'. = Frater Saturnus, Karl Germer).
Therefore, Traditional Freemasonry would be compatible with esoteric Orthodoxy and Sufism according to Cutsinger's definition, which may explain why the word "Traditional" is suddenly showing up in esoteric Masonic websites. If you look around the website for TraditionalFreemasonry.org, you will see that these are Grand Orient lodges.
An article in Issue 29 of the magazine "Freemasonry Today," edited by Michael Baigent, titled "Dennis Chornenky Discusses Masonic Decline And The Initiatic Tradition" points out that:
Dennis V. Chornenky is President of the Masonic Restoration Foundation (MRF), a non-profit organization providing education and support for Masons and lodges in recognized US jurisdictions interested in practising traditional Freemasonry and promoting its study and understanding. ... (He) continues to regularly travel throughout the United States and Europe as part of his commitment to gathering accurate information and promoting discourse on the initiatic tradition of Freemasonry.
Nelson King, Editor of "The Philalethes Magazine", a Masonic Research Society publication, speaks repeatedly of Traditional Freemasonry revealing that:
...four years ago this Traditional style of Freemasonry was tried in Australia, and in four years this one Lodge has spawned 2 Daughter Lodges and two other Lodges have changed to the Traditional concept. I know that this style of Traditional Freemasonry is being tried in the USA, and it is working. The response to this Traditional Style of Freemasonry has been over whelming.
According to the Philalethes Society website, the society:
was founded on October 1, 1928, by a group of Masonic students. It is designed for Freemasons desirous of seeking and spreading Masonic light. ...The sole purpose of this Research Society is to act as a clearing house for Masonic knowledge. It exchanges ideas, researches problems confronting Freemasonry, and passes them along to the Masonic world.
Dragon Key Press - Tracy Twyman's publishing house - also speaks of Traditionalism on the website:
Dragon Key Press exists to present the world with new and exciting research into history, esoterica, and Traditionalist thought.
If it shares her religious thinking, Dragon Key Press is dedicated to Liciferianism. She makes no secret of the fact that she opposes Catholicism.
In the first essay in _Paths to the Heart_, Bishop Kallistos Ware says:
The whole world becomes a sacrament. In the words of the Gospel of Thomas, "Split a piece of wood, and there am I; life up the stone, and you will find Me there." (p. 18)
Gospel of Thomas? It's Gnostic. An Orthodox bishop turns to a Gnostic source to make his point. Tracy Twyman and Boyd Rice might find this use of a Gnostic Gospel compatible with their enthusiasm for Grail questing, since the Gnostic Gospel of Philip supports the idea that Jesus married MM, turning her womb into a Holy Grail.
Where, then, will embracing the concept of Traditionalism in interreligious dialogue take us?
John Kerry came under fire during the campaign for claiming to hold the Catholic belief that abortion is wrong while voting for it in his public life because he did not want to deny freedom to those who believe there is nothing wrong with abortion. Catholics across America condemned him.
Now come the supporters of interreligious dialogue who gather round a conference table and claim that they hold fast to a specific tradition while not wanting to deny freedom to those who believe in a different tradition. If Kerry could not think one way and vote another, why is it ok for Christians to support those who deny Christ?
Either Dominus Iesus is true or it isn't. How can it be true in our hearts while the words of acceptance of other religions fall from our lips? It is wrong to kill in the name of God. But isn't it equally wrong to pretend that all religions are equal and humanity needs merely to pick one of them and stick with it? Sure, there are aspects of faith we all share. But it is a very fine line between discussing this commonality and denying Christ.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
A reader sent in this petition from ConservativePetitions.com Since they are trying to get the word out, I trust they will not object to my blogging it.
ALERT: Your calls, faxes and e-mails are having an IMPACT
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DEMANDING that they choose a *conservative* to head the
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nominees will make it to the Supreme Court.
Specter is a LIBERAL, and was responsible for "borking"
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RightMarch.com is leading the charge in the effort to stop
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Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA).
As Timothy Carney wrote recently at RedState.org, "The
activist courts that overreached their rights to force their
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win. But Specter believes in activist judges, having borked
Bork for having a 'too narrow' view of the bench's role and
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that Republicans choose a Judiciary Chairman who is not Arlen
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in its current position of power."
As Carney wrote: "This is Santorum's moment."
But Santorum needs... "encouragement". From US.
TAKE ACTION: We need to FLOOD Sen. Santorum's office with
e-mails, phone calls, faxes and letters, telling him to oppose
Specter as Judiciary Committee Chairman. The position of
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PRIEST DEFENDS CHURCH TEACHING
Tuesday November 16, 2004
Pro-Abortion Legislator Outraged over Priest's Direction to Quit Church
ANDOVER, Massachusetts, November 16, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) -St.
Augustine's Catholic church in Andover has a choir and state Rep.
Barbara L'Italien likes to sing. The pro-abortion politician is a
cantor and head of the parish youth choir and has refused to quit when
asked by Fr. William Cleary, the new priest. She says she will only
leave the volunteer post if she receives the request in writing.
While L'Italien has complained to local papers that she is being
targeted for being a Democrat, Fr. Cleary has denied that it has
anything to do with her party affiliation. "In this particular case,
we're dealing with a person who is against the church's position (on
abortion)," Cleary said. "I can't allow her to be in a public posture
-- to be standing up at the pulpit singing or directing singing."
L'Italien gives the now-standard excuse for supporting abortion as a
Catholic legislator, known popularly as the "Cuomoism". She says she
has a 'private opinion' about abortion but must represent a broad range
of opinion among her constituents and cannot make a decision against
abortion for someone else.
Readers may contact Fr. Cleary by e-mail at: StAugCC@comcast.net
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EMAIL FROM A READER
Many of you may recall three years ago when through the Campaign for Human Development, the Cleveland Diocese awarded a $30,000 grant to a group affiliated with the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). The story received national publicity, and after hundreds of Catholic pro-lifers called and e-mailed the diocese and the CCHD national headquarters, the grant was stopped. See related stories here:
With schools in this diocese closing and solid Catholic and pro-life nonprofits struggling to financially survive, we had hoped the diocese had learned its lesson.
Sadly, it has not.
New information reveals that the Cleveland diocese is again funding a least one organization affiliated with a pro-abortion umbrella group, Community Shares - an organization that includes as its members Planned Parenthood, the Ohio ACLU and the Cleveland abortion clinic PreTerm.
The Diocese recently awarded a $30,000 to the East Side Organizing Project. (Earlier this year, according to the Washington Post, ESOP embarrassed itself by storming the home of Karl Rove in Washington, shouting and knocking on the windows of his home as his young children sat inside.)
ESOP is a member of the pro-abortion umbrella group, Community Shares. Community Shares gives thousands of dollars each year to abortion clinics and other pro-abortion organizations.
A list of members (including PreTerm, Planned Parenthood and East Side Organizing Project) can be found here:
The announcement of the $30,000 grant to ESOP can be found here:
More info can found here:
Please take action immediately be e-mailing Father Robert Vitillo, the Executive Director of the Campaign for Human Development:
And e-mailing the Diocese of Cleveland at:
The pro-abortion grant three years ago was only stopped after a huge public response from faithful pro-life Catholics. Please take the time to speak out on this issue and encourage others to do so by forwarding this e-mail.
While I haven't yet checked through these websites, I do remember the flap a couple of years ago. At that time, after reviewing the stories concerned, I concluded I would no longer contribute to Catholic Charities because of the Campaign for Human Development. I have not changed that position and still choose to make contributions to individual charities rather than to the general fund. Sad to see that history seems to be repeating itself.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
ST. MARY OF MAGDALA POETRY CONTEST 2004
Thanks to a reader for this link...
FutureChurch has up on their website the winners of the MM poetry contest. My vote for the most heretical goes to "The Cup of Magdalen". "The Holy Seed of Wisdom,
Sophia`s quickening, nurtured"...ah yes, that controversial "grail" pregnancy once again. Catharism thrives!
THE GLOBAL POLICE
A reader sent in this story from the LifeSite website:
NEW YORK, November 16, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The United Nations has established a working group on Internet "governance", to prepare for a decision on the issue to be made at the World Summit on the Information Society (second phase), to be held in Tunis in November 2005.
The task of this Working Group is to organize an open dialogue on Internet Governance, and to bring recommendations on this subject to the Summit. ...
LifeSiteNews.com director Steve Jalsevac expressed concern over the development. "The Internet community should monitor this process very carefully considering the United Nation's tendency to impose its ideological views on a global basis," he said. "The UN has no respect for the sovereignty of nations regarding its dearly held ideological positions on life and family and thus will have little concern for businesses, organizations and individuals which contravene UN orthodoxy."
I wonder if Buttiglione is taking odds on the status of politically incorrect religious comments.
DA VINCI FEVER
The Telegraph reports on the curiosity seekers invading Rennes-le-Chateau hoping to uncover what Dan Brown didn't. They arrive with digging equipment and dynamite, apparently, and have tunneled under the church and torn up the cemetary.
Until recently the mayor of the village, Jean-Franois L'Huilier, seemed to be winning the battle against fortune-seekers who tried to disinter bodies and dynamite holes in the walls of its 11th-century church looking for relics.
Now, however, Rennes-le-Chateau has become the latest victim of The Da Vinci Code fever. Since its publication 20 months ago, Dan Brown's heady mix of fiction, fact and legend has sold more than nine million copies in 42 languages.
"The world has gone mad," said Mr L'Huilier. "It's a well-written book but it's a novel, not a historical document. It astonishes me that some readers get to the end and think it's true.
"It's a Philistine minority but they come here and stomp all over the place with no respect for anything or anyone. Last year they even tried to tunnel into the church. It was like something out of a prison escape film. They began digging in the night, put the soil in bags and put the bags in the hole which they covered with a layer of earth so nobody would see during the day. It was only when someone noticed the flower beds moving that we discovered what they were up to."
While I was reading this news clip, I happened to glance at the ad over on the right for an Amazon book titled _The Devil's Apocrypha_. The review for this book gives a brief synopsis of the story, including:
An Amazon.com bestseller, The Devil's Apocrypha is a tale that begins in another universe, before creation, and ends with a chilling prophesy. Here is the truth about the origin of God, his journey to our universe, and the battle for heaven. Discover why God manipulated the flesh of our race, the reason for his commandments…and why one being dared to try and stop him.
A new twist on cosmology to entertain us. Oh joy. As the reader who sent the link to the Telegraph article put it, "There is no end to it apparently."
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
RECENT EMAIL FROM DR. BOND
Fr. Marshall Roberts, whom we long ago exposed as the third homosexual
predator priest in the Society of St. John
(http://www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/MarshallRoberts.html), is once
again functioning as a priest, this time at an independent Latin Mass chapel
in York, Pennsylvania.
The "board" of Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Mission
voted last Monday to bring in Roberts to serve as a priest for an indefinite
period of time. This decision was made despite the warnings members of this
board had received about Roberts' predatory past. Not only were these
warnings ignored, but members of this board also falsely claimed that
certain luminaries within the traditional movement had recommended Roberts
as a priest.
Those who still wonder how predator priests like Roberts are able to move
blithely from place to place need look no farther than York, Pennsylvania
for an answer.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
A new federal lawsuit accuses former Bishop James Timlin of covering up accusations of sexual abuse against Rev. Albert Liberatore, another pervert priest in the Diocese of Scranton. Last July, Liberatore was arraigned in New York City on three felony sexual abuse charges -- first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse -- stemming from a trip to the city with the student who has filed the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims that Timlin had received complaints of inappropriate sexual conduct regarding Rev. Liberatore as early as 1997, but Timlin failed to investigate fully or even notify the boy's parents. According to the complaint, Timlin urged Rev. Liberatore and other priests who learned of the relationship to "put the issues behind them."
If you read the Scranton Times article linked above, you cannot fail to see the striking similarity to Timlin's cover-up for Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity and Fr. Eric Ensey of the Society of St. John.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
JOHN PAUL THE DELEGATOR
In an interview at the Religion Report website sent in by a reader, John Allen responds to questions put by Stephen Crittenden:
I mean ironically, although there certainly is a quarter in the Catholic church that would complain about the kind of imperial papacy, and the centralisation that’s gone on under John-Paul. The truth is, when you talk to cardinals and ask them what is their big beef with this pontificate, granted they’re all admirers, but to the extent they have complaints, what is it? Almost to a man they’ll tell you that this has been a brilliant visionary, and a brilliant evangelist and a mediocre governor. That is, that this is a Pope who from October 16th, 1978, made the decision that he wanted to be both Peter and Paul, that is, he wanted to be this peripatetic preacher and evangeliser who would travel the highways and byways of the world. He wanted to be in dialogue with culture, he wanted to remain a philosopher and a poet and an intellectual. And the price of being able to do all that was that there were large areas of the kind of nuts and bolts maintenance that goes on in terms of the internal dynamics of the church, that has always left in the hands of aides. I mean liturgy is a classic example and the Pope is a very reverent celebrant, you see that when he celebrates mass, but he’s never been personally involved in the details of setting liturgical policy. Clerical discipline: I don’t know that there’s a case file on a priest that he has ever voluntarily read in his 25 year career. Occasionally when he’s had to actually forcibly laicise someone, he’s been compelled, but it’s not the kind of thing he goes looking for. And so the point is that he has always been a delegator, and that has ironically produced a consistent atmosphere for over 25 years in which the papal power structure, if you like, has operated in a fairly autonomous sense.
What’s happened in recent years of course, is that normally that is kept in a rough kind of coherence, people are kept roughly on the same page when you have a strong Secretariat of State who is sort of the Prime Minister in the Vatican power structure. We have at the moment however, a Secretariat of State who is far more concerned with Italian politics and questions of international diplomacy than he is with anything else, which means in these areas the Pope has delegated, so has the Secretariat of State, which means in effect you have heads of agencies that are quasi-autonomous, that is, following their own scripts. Again I come back to this, one of the remarkable things about the present moment is that despite the mythology that the Catholic church is this rigidly hierarchical and ultra-centralised institution, there are probably few institutions of global reach on earth that have less internal co-ordination at the moment than the Roman Catholic church.
SATANIC RITUALS ABOARD ROYAL NAVY SHIP ?
A reader sent in this article from Scotsman News:
The Royal Navy’s decision to officially recognise a non-commissioned officer as a Satanist – allowing him to practise rituals on board ship – was condemned today as “utterly shocking”.
Tory former minister Ann Widdecombe said there should be “no question whatsoever” of allowing naval technician Chris Cranmer to engage in Satanic worship practices at sea.
Ldg Hand Cranmer has become the first registered Satanist in the British Armed Forces after the captain of HMS Cumberland agreed to recognise his beliefs.
“I am utterly shocked by this,” Miss Widdecombe said.
“Satanism is wrong. Obviously the private beliefs of individuals anywhere including the Armed Forces are their own affair but I hope it doesn’t spread.
“There should be no question whatsoever of allowing Satanist rituals on board any ship in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy.
“What they believe and do in their own home is one thing, what they do at work is the business of their employer.
“The Navy should not permit Satanist practices on board its ships.
“God himself gives free will, but I would like to think that if somebody applied to the Navy and said they were a Satanist today it would raise its eyebrows somewhat.”
ONE OF THE MOST LIBERAL EURPOEAN CITIES, ROTTERDAM
appears to be about to erupt in violence against Muslims acording to a Telegraph article that was linked at Crux News:
...40 per cent of Dutch people "hope" that the Muslim population "no longer feels at home here". Eighty per cent of respondents, aged between 15 and 80, called for harsher measures to force immigrants to integrate.
Rita Verdonk, the immigration minister, had already responded to such fears with policies aimed at limiting the influx of immigrants and making them learn Dutch. Still the national mood has turned ugly. ...
At the Naser Mosque in West Rotterdam, they are in no mood for togetherness. As worshippers leave afternoon prayers, several broad-shouldered young men are deployed to guard the street.
They greet any questions with a suspicious glare. "We have been forced to protect ourselves," one of them says, unsmiling. "We show people respect, but we do not get that respect back."
In the most tolerant nation in Europe, it seems that tolerance is rapidly running out.
Closely associated with Traditionalism is Rosicrucianism. Roughly speaking, Rosicrucianism is Catharism. Tracy Twyman, the Exalted Grand Master of the Luciferian Ordo Lapsit Exillis, tracks this at the 21st Century Radio website.
A couple of excerpts from her paper titled "The Real Tomb of God: The Grail, The Ark, the Emerald Tablet, and the Forgotten Father of Mankind":
Interestingly, another group of people were also exploring Montsegur at this same time. This group was known as the Polaires, a secret mystical society (influenced by Rosicrucian and Martinist teachings) that at one time included the author Rene Guenon, another Hollow Earth believer. And what were they looking for at Montsegur? Why, none other than the tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz, which according to a local newspaper, they suspected to be in the nearby ruined castle of Lordat.
If this is not enough to conclude that the Tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz was believed by these occultists to be the location of the Grail, this should tie up the loose ends. The information comes from a remarkable book by Col. Howard Buechner called Emerald Cup - Ark of Gold: The Quest of S.S. Lt. Otto Rahn of the Third Reich. According to Buechner, Otto Rahn did discover something in the caves around Montsegur, just as Parzival had discovered the Holy Grail in a cave near Montsalvat. Buechner says that Rahn found the landscape to parallel exactly Mount Salvat in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, and writes that, "The grotto and certain other rock formations in the story bear the same names as those in a massive cave near Montsegur." This is interesting because it is also recorded that Eschenbach visited nearby Rennes-le-Chateau prior to writing his book. And it was the clues in that book which, according to Buechner, led Rahn to make his first awesome discovery.
I believe this is what lies behind esoteric Freemasonry and occultism. Her paper is certainly worth reading if you want to know what the opposition really thinks.
This is the same Tracy Twyman who wrote the introduction for William H. Kennedy's book LUCIFER'S LODGE, a book being published by Charles Upton's Sophia Perennis press. (Talk to me, Lee!!) The same Tracy Twyman who calls herself a Luciferian on the Ordo Lapsit Exallis website.
The same Tracy Twyman who visited Rennes-le-Chateau with Boyd Rice, and is co-authoring a book with him. Her short bio at the bottom of the 21st Century Radio website says:
Tracy Twyman is the Editor of Dagobert's Revenge Magazine. She is currently writing a book, together with Boyd Rice, on the mysteries of the Holy Grail. They have traced the Grail legend, as well as the royal bloodline of Christ with which it is associated, back to the ancient kings of Atlantis, and a race of "gods" who created human civilization as we know it, perhaps even modern man himself.
In Rene Guenon's book THE REIGN OF QUANTITY & THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES, Guenon speaks often about Atlantis.
Boyd Rice's demon Abraxas is the cover art of Gavin Baddeley's LUCIFER RISING. You can see a picture of this book at the website. From the review you can read there as well:
This book covers the wide spectrum of multi-faceted Satanic beliefs and practices, ranging from the The Church of Satan and Anton LaVey (with interviews) to modern black metal music. It contains interviews with many people involved in Satanism, including:
Boyd Rice, the founder of the Abraxas Foundation and the star of the band Non
You can read more on Rice and Twyman's activities at the Omega Point website.
Monday, November 15, 2004
THIS IS THE NEW CHURCH, FOLKS
A reader sent in this link. This is pure Guenonian Traditionalism in the Catholic pews. Hold onto your rosaries...it's going to be testing your faith. My grandchildren, if I ever have any, will never know the Roman Catholicism that I believe in.
Funny how this seems to be growing like gangbusters now that the Pope seems to be nearly incapacitated.
Jesus the Freemason - a DVD
Was JESUS a FREEMASON - YES - he tells us himself in the Bible
This journey takes us through CHURCHES of all denominations, CATHOLIC, ANGLICAN and UNITING CHURCHES. It continues on to Mosques and on to Synagogues and Temples.
The principles of FREEMASONRY are founded on the choosing of Abraham the Father of Judaism - ISLAM- CHRISTIANITY, to follow the MASONIC path of there being one Creator of the Universe.
For the past two decades the Life of JESUS has been put through the magnifying glass to try to interpret just who he was and what he stood for
A variety of books explain his family History - HIRAM KEY written by Knight & Lomas and more recently THE DA VINCI CODE written by Dan Brown
Various Films such as THE PASSION OF CHRIST and REVELLATION have recently been in the spotlight due to their controversial nature
Watch as JESUS is raised to that GRAND LODGE above.
Links are provided at the website.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
BUTTIGLIONE OUTS HIS REPLACEMENT AS A FREEMASON
From Richard Owen's article in the Times, via a reader's heads-up:
ROCCO BUTTIGLIONE, the Catholic politician and papal adviser whose views on homosexuality and marriage cost him his job as an EU Commissioner last month, yesterday caused further controversy by claiming that his successor was a Freemason.
Signor Buttiglione congratulated Franco Frattini, the Foreign Minister, on his nomination as EU Justice Commissioner, the job for which Signor Buttiglione had been nominated by Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister.
But he went on: “I hope his hearings go well and that nobody asks him if he is a Freemason. If they do they will only be repeating the same injustice that was done to me.”
The article adds some Godiva chocolate icing to this piece of cake:
However, Mario Borghezio, a Northern League Euro MP, said that he hoped Signor Frattini was “independent of the occult powers which control Europe”.
You don't say!!
Well, perhaps that would help to explain why I found the names of Jacques Chirac and Salvador Allende in the Zenit Massoneria website. (Incidentally, there seems to be a new URL for some of the Zenit website--http://www.liberimuratori.org/.)
Remember that curious website I linked not long ago--the one that I found in the Rene Guenon website---www.zen-it.com? The name of the website is "Zenit" but the URL uses a hyphen.
I've found another hyphen, and it has me wondering.
This time the hyphen is in the http://www.sophia-perennis.com/ website. Click the "English" there and you will get the Sophia Perennis index which will quickly acquaint you with the topic of this website--Rene Guenon and the Perennial Philosophy.
Now check out this URL also the Sophia Perennis website. No hyphen. A bland little website with four lonely links. A website that hasn't consumed much time of the webmaster. Are they the same "Sophia Perennis" one wonders. If they are, why two? Surely that little hyphen could be a telltale sign that they really reflect one and the same source. Sophiaperennis (no hyphen) uses a box number in Hillsdale, New York for a contact address.
Some of the links on the first Sophia Perennis links page go to other pages in the website. Several go to the Frithjof Schuon website. One goes to "Sophia: Journal of Traditional Studies" website of the Foundation for Traditional Studies. Titus Burckhardt's biography is part of the World Wisdom website. There is a link to James S. Cutsinger's website at the Department of Relgious Studies, University of South Carolina. Cutsinger is significantly involved in promoting Perennialism. He has a Schuon painting on his website. One link goes to a Hindu website that features a story by Schuon. One link even goes to an Amazon webpage which describes a book about Schuon published by SUNY.
There is one thing conspicuously absent from the website--the link to the sponsor. Nothing here tells the browser who is promoting Sophia Perennis. The only clue as to who might be behind this website is that hyphen so similar to the hyphen in a Masonic lodge website. Something to think about, anyway.
If you go to the French translation of the website, which can be done by clicking the link on the top right, there is a further clue as to where this might be coming from. On the bottom left of the French translation of the Sophia Perennis, Home Page is a link, "Un bon site sur Rene Guenon." Clicking it brings you to this website. Look familiar? You already saw it here in the Loge maconnique Rene Guenon, no. 76 website of the Grande Loge Suisse Alpina. (Remember as you consider this that all Masonic doctrine/philosophy is transmitted in symbols.) There she is again, Frithjof Schuon's Indian Madonna. Notice that URL? Once again we have a hyphen.
I took the hyphen out of the URL, and look what turned up! I will leave exploring this new website for another day.
Back to the Sophia Perennis website again. Down there at the bottom on the left are three remaining links. "Religio Perennis" will take you to the same link that also appears in the Rene Guenon Lodge we just visited a moment ago. "World Wisdom" takes you to Frithjof Schuon's books and bio. "THE COLLECTED WORKS OF RENE GUENON" takes you to Sophia Perennis (the Publisher) where Charles Upton's books for sale are listed. A list that is also included in the Religio Perennis website here where Charles Upton Books includes a list of Upcoming Titles that includes a new book by William Kennedy and one by Lee Penn.
I've been aware that Lee's publisher is Charles Upton for quite some time, but not of the association with Freemasonry that seems to be a cloud hanging over Guenonian Traditionalism. It was Charles Upton who asked me to review William Kennedy's book, "Lucifer's Lodge" prior to release. Until now Lee has never given any reason to think that he believed in a universal religion or supported Freemasonry...just the opposite, in fact. He assures me there is nothing occult in his forthcoming book and that he has had a priest review and approve of what he has written. He has suggested some titles that he believes explain where he is coming from. I've started on the first one - Rene Guenon's "The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times" - and will be blogging a report when I get finished with it. I am quite anxious to see what Lee will have to say about all of this when his book is published, and would gladly blog any comments of his should he wish to make them now.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
A CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE ON PERENNIALISM
In searching the web for any indication that Catholic organizations devoted to interreligious dialogue are sympathetic to the theories of Rene Guenon, I failed to find any. In fact, there is little in Catholic forums that even discuss these ideas. I did find the following...
Peter A. Kwasniewski, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, addresses directly the claims of Guenon, Schuon, and Burkhardt in a paper at Catholic.net, titled "Many Religions, One True Faith":
The other extreme, and a far more dangerous one, is that all religions are equal guardians of "primeval truth," all of them pointing to the one Absolute beyond their competing absolute claims—which, in its simplistic form, is the indifferentism of the 18th century philosophers, but in its sophisticated form is the so-called "perennialism" of a body of 20th century thinkers like Frithjof Schuon, René Guénon, and Titus Burckhardt, who claimed to have glimpsed what they called "the transcendental unity of all religions." According to the perennialist, each historical religion seems to be exclusive and irreducible in its unique content, but in fact, all of the religions are so many diverse mediators or symbolic languages straddling the abyss between man and the Absolute, and may thus be "ranked," as it were, according to the more or less perfect metaphysical insight they contain in a veiled form. Nevertheless, the "Absolute" invoked by perennialism also involves a "leap of faith," but of a peculiarly profane character: it demands faith in a totalizing rationalism whereby one believes that human thought (dressed, it is true, in the beautiful finery of mysticism and symbolism) can attain the ultimate synthesis, can discern from afar the ancient unity behind expressly contradictory statements of great world-religions. This view is a warmed-over presentation of the Hegelian quest for absolute knowledge or gnosis. In the philosophy of Hegel, ontology is reduced to epistemology, to the perfection of human reason divinized into Absolute Spirit, in which man attains salvation after the struggles of the dialectical clash and overcoming of contradictions. The difference between Hegel and the perennialist (and it is enough to deceive even the elect) is that the perennialist dwells in the incense cloud of symbolism and mystical experience, giving a glow of religious authenticity to the skeletal Hegelianism whose fallaciousness is evident to a believer in genuine divine revelation.
Seems to be fairly clear - there is no way that a Catholic can reconcile Perennialism with Catholic theology. They are in direct opposition. One says that Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God, unique in the history of humanity. The other says that the heart of all religions is the same (thus implying that all Gods are equal). That would help to explain why I am finding so much attention being paid to Rene Guenon in Masonic Lodge websites.
Speaking of which, here is another one that - Logia Fraternidad Mediterranea No. 94. In there is a list of "Bibliografia Masonica which includes materials by Guenon has his own section. Others listed include Schuon, Evola, Whitall Perry, Gershom Scholem, and Jocelyn Godwin. There is an "Introduction to Traditional Cosmology" by Arthur Versluis. "Sophia Perennis" is mentioned in the entry for "Manifesto Geosofico".
Interestingly, this website also lists the Grand Masters of the Templars beginning in 1118 with Hugh de Payens, and running through 1838 Bernard Raymond Fabre Palaprat, an occultist mentioned in this website on Martinism.
A Masonic website that is devoted to symbolism includes Guenon as well. You will also find in the list Perennialist Whitall N. Perry's "A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom" as well as Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh's "The Temple and the Lodge." Occultist A. E. Waite also makes the list.