Friday, December 31, 2004
ONE FINAL WORD...
Before leaving you for the weekend, I have just one final comment...
SAINT-MAKING - EMAIL FROM LEE PENN
The auto-demolition of the Roman Catholic Church proceeds, it seems.
Church in the World
(I had heard of this several weeks ago from the Washington Times - but did not want to spread a story from that Moonie paper. However, the story I am sending today is from a mainstream UK Catholic paper, the Tablet.)
The story is below, after my commentary. The key parts of the story are in bold type.
(1) the idea that miracles are not required for canonization comes from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). To me, this indicates that the CDF is lacking in ... faith.
(2) So Cardinal Bertone says that miracles are "anachronistic"!?! Again, this sounds like an unbeliever with a red hat ... the Cardinal is talking like ECUSA's atheistic Bishop Spong.
[On Spong: here is the text of his "Twelve Theses" from 1998.
A Call for a New Reformation
Two of Spong's "Twelve Theses" were these:
"5. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity." and
"10. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way."]
(3) The Masters of the Temple have revolutionized almost everything else about the Roman Catholic Church since 1962 - so why not do another "revolutionary" thing and get rid of the miracle requirement?
(4) A part of the 1983 "reform" of the saint-making process was getting rid of the "devil's advocate," whose job was to be an in-house skeptic and to challenge claims of sanctity or miracles made on behalf of a candidate for sainthood. But then, maybe if the "devil's advocate" were still on the job, the founder of Opus Dei would not have been raised to the altars.
(5) Note very well that one of the candidates who might be canonized after the miracle requirement is dropped is Robert Schuman, a founder of the European Union. Robert Muller, a prominent supporter of the New Age movement and the United Religions Initiative, is a strong supporter of canonizing Schuman.
"Idea 75 ~ 23 September 1994
I hope that saintly Robert Schuman, my compatriot from Alsace-Lorraine who founded the European Union will be canonized before the end of this century. The world needs badly political saints. I am glad to be a member of his canonization commission."
"Idea 495 ~ 17 November 1995
Given the opposition and reluctance of some governments, especially the big ones to strengthen the United Nations, the novel, more innovative, far superior and stably well financed European Union should now become the foundation, cradle or model of a true, sorely needed World Union. I pray our Father in heaven and the saintly soul of Robert Schuman, the founder of the European Union, to fulfill this most important dream at the end of our century and millennium. The European Union should take an early decision to engage in this process."
But then, Muller wants to be canonized, himself.
" Idea 1340 ~ 12 March 1998
If I should ever be proclaimed a saint by the Catholic religion or by the United Religions Organization, I would like to be named or known as:
Saint Robert of Mount Rasur."
(6) Hey, why wait till the candidate is dead before canonizing them? With another reform, we can canonize the head of the Legionaries and of other "new ecclesial movements" while they are still alive.
The Tablet story begins here:
[I have included only the portions of the story Lee has emphasized. To read the entire story, go to the website. - ct]
Vatican may abolish miracles for saint-making.
Pope John Paul II is reported to be considering a proposal to abolish miracles as requirements for sainthood. The claim comes from a highly credible source, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, who, until two years ago, was secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, from where the proposal originated.
Cardinal Bertone told the Genoa newspaper Il Secolo XIX there is a growing feeling that the key requirement for sainthood is a life of “heroic virtue” and that miracles are “anachronistic”.
An official of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints refused to discuss the issue, but indicated that doing away with the miracle requirement would be little short of revolutionary. ...
John Paul II streamlined [the process of naming saints - ct] in 1983 by cutting the number of miracles required from four to only one for martyrs and two for other candidates. ...
Abolishing the miracle requirement could open the door to sainthood for candidates whose cause is stalled because they lack the kind of charisma that attracts prayer. Foremost among them are Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who is still at the venerable stage, and Robert Schuman, the post-Second World War French foreign minister who was a founder of the European Economic Community.
Peggy Polk, Rome
MORE EMAIL FROM LEE PENN
Lee sent in the link to a story in the "Tablet" about Opus Dei, written by Michael Walsh, the author of a book that has recently been reissued, titled _The Secret World of Opus Dei_.
Opus has changed since I published The Secret World of Opus Dei in 1989. One can now study its constitution. And despite the coyness regarding Ruth Kelly and her connections, it is less secretive than it was. What is most alarming in recent years is that other Catholic organisations have come to prominence which are far to the right of Opus: the Legionaries of Christ the King, and Tradición, Familia y Propriedad. In the aftermath of the Hanssen affair there was much criticism in the United States of Opus Dei’s secrecy. The organisation struck some commentators as a perfect breeding ground for espionage. But the riposte was direct. “We have just built a 17-storey headquarters in New York,” said an Opus spokesman. “How can you operate a secret society from a skyscraper at 34th and Lexington?”
True enough. But, one may wonder why, in a Church dedicated to the preferential option for the poor, a religious institute is building an HQ on what is surely some of the most expensive real estate in the world? Not to mention a skyscraper which has separate entrances for males and females. Opus has still much to learn about public relations.
A LOSS IN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY
The Chemistry Department at Ohio State University was shocked to learn that a professor emeritus died in the tidal wave in the Pacific. From This Week, a Columbus area community newspaper:
Mr. (sic) Sundaralingam, 73, was a professor emeritus at Ohio State University's Department of Chemistry. A native of Malaysia, Sundaralingam received his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh in 1961. After a postdoctoral stint in the University of Washington-Seattle's Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, he was appointed research instructor in the Department of Biological Structure in the same school.
Sundaralingam held a number of prestigious positions throughout his career, including as a research associate in biophysics at Harvard University Medical School, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and as a visiting professor at the University of Sao Paulo in San Carlos, Brazil. ...
He was among the top 300 of the 1,000 most-cited scientists for work published from 1965 to 1978.
I've been told this was the first time they had visited their homeland in 20 years. They believed it would be safe since the civil war was no longer a threat. They were staying at a hotel on the beach. Their daughter and son-in-law, also Columbus residents, were visiting a mainland city when the tsunami hit and thus escaped the destruction.
TSUNAMI DISASTER RELIEF
Amy Welborn has linked a report by CNEWA a papal agency for disaster relief, where you can read a report on the incredible devastation caused by the tidal wave, including:
29 December 2004
To: All donors and friends
Re: Tsunami disaster relief
This morning I called our regional director in India, Thomas Varghese. He has already been working with our church network – bishops, priests and nuns – to help the victims of the tsunami disaster.
The bad news is that it’s worse than we heard. Bodies of men, women and children and livestock are floating in the canals – transportation is paralyzed – electricity is out – the water supply is polluted.
The good news is that with your help we can do something.
Right now, church institutions are distributing food, water and medicines. After that we will face the enormous task of rebuilding all those institutions – churches, clinics, convents and schools – that have been destroyed.
I know you want to help. Let CNEWA connect your good heart to the heartbroken victims.
Send me whatever you can.
I will rush these funds to our office in India. They will be put to use right away. God bless and reward you for whatever you can provide.
Chorbishop John D. Faris
Note: Please do what you can. The situation is critical!
Following the letter is a list of agencies taking contributions.
DIVINE FEMININE IN ISLAM
This is a continuation of my post from last Wednesday that reported on an article at crescentlife.com that reported on "Islam and the Divine Feminine". Here is the author's website sent in by a reader. Certainly paints a novel picture of Sufism.
Here in one of the webpages linked you will find the article "The Return of Lilith: Reintegration, the Dark Feminine, and Sufi Islam" which says in part:
These days, one of the most powerful archetypes being revived in feminist religion is Lilith, archetype of the "dark" inner feminine. For ages she had been cast aside and denigrated by patriarchal religion as a demoness, but now she is being looked at with renewed interest. To anyone following Lilith's career, it would be interesting to learn how she already had been rehabilitated centuries ago in Islamic Sufi guise. She is known to Muslims as Layla — of Layla and Majnun fame.
In Christianity and Islam, something went wrong. Jesus and Muhammad were very kind to women and tried hard to remove patriarchal oppression of them. But after them, their followers reinstated patriarchal misogyny full force. However, feminist mystics like me can still retrieve the original feminist spirit from the source of the religion and bring it back to the forefront.
The good news is that Sufism has recovered and reintegrated the Dark Feminine side in the person of Layla, whose name comes from the same Semitic root as Lilith, meaning 'night'. Layla is the name for God as a beloved Woman in Sufi poetry, and Her name shows the embrace of the positive side of the night as the Dark Mother, the love that overwhelms and heals the fear of the darkness. Kali means 'black' and Lilith/Layla refers to the blackness of night, the power of the ultimate Divine Feminine to dissolve all forms.
We must adore the Divine Feminine in all women and must never give into the temptation to demonize women.
Is this the modern face of Sufi Traditionalism? My, my...I bet this author would be very much in tune with Cheryl Rose's Black Madonnas tour. She would certainly find kinship with China Galland and her book _Longing for Darkness: Tara and the Black Madonna_.
She mentions the Traditionalist author Henry Corbin in her article:
In Sufism, the "darkness" of Layla does not come across as something nefarious or threatening. It can even be luminous-the experience of the "Black Light" (see Henry Corbin, _The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism_).
When a religion dips into sacred sex, temple prostitution is a logical arrangement so that Tantra can be practiced. The author has a link on her home page for an article on "Islam and Tantra". Aleister Crowley demonstrated where the practice of Tantra takes faith. The article itself is an example of comparative religions, and in this case Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Sufism are all discussed. This kind of interreligious dialogue has the potential of uniting Traditional religions into a degenerate worldview.
Thanks to a reader for sending in the link.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
VATICAN RAPS ISRAEL FOR 'DENYING DISASTER'
Thanks to a reader for providing this link to a Jerusalem Post story about Vatican reporting of Israel's lack of participation in humanitarian aid to the victims of the tidal wave. To say that it's a bit different from that presented by L'Osservatore Romano is something of an understatement.
Calling for "a radical and dramatic change of perspective" among people "too often preoccupied with making war," L'Osservatore Romano singled out Israeli military leaders for declining a request for emergency medical help.
Contrary to the Vatican report, an Israeli plane carrying 80 tons of food and medical supplies worth $100,000 was set to depart for Sri Lanka Wednesday morning. At the request of the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, a team of some 150 Israeli medical and security personnel aborted their planned trip to the island nation Tuesday night.
It would certainly seem that a correction from the Vatican paper is required. The link to the story that I blogged below came from Catholic World News. I hope they have this one as well.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
ROSICRUCIAN ARTIST CHERYL ROSE
a San Francisco artist whose studio is located at the base of Mt. Shasta, has recently been featured in eight London newspapers according to the Mt. Shasta Herald. Her work was also featured in a 4-month exhibit at the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose.
Pictures of her paintings can be viewed at her website where her bio indicates that her work is collected by Jean Houston, Gary Zukov, and Neal Donald Walsch. Her inspiration is drawn from psychic impressions and visions. The most striking feature of her art, apart from its unworldliness, is the eyes of her subjects which appear to be gazing on something haunting. As you explore her website, don't miss the paintings of Templars. Those would be the men wearing a red cross.
In addition to painting, Rose has worked with a travel agent to create a Black Madonna Tour of Southern France and a Templar Code - Mysteries of Scotland tour which includes Rosslyn Chapel according to the Upcoming Events listing at her website.
Rose's work provides the artistry (Notice the nun?) for Spiritual Clairvoyant Psychologist Dr. Doreen Virtue's Goddess Oracle Deck published by Hay House. Take a moment to read the bio for Dr. Virtue:
Doreen Virtue, Ph.D., is a spiritual doctor of psychology and fourth-generation metaphysician who works with the angelic, elemental, and ascended master realms. She is the author of22 books on mind-body-spirit themes, including Healing with the Angels, Divine Guidance, Angel Therapy, The Lightworker’s Way, and Archangels & Ascended Masters. Dr. Virtue is the founder and former director of WomanKind Psychiatric Hospital at Cumberland Hall Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, and she served as an administrator at Woodside Women’s Hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both all-women psychiatric hospitals specialized in treating women's psychological issues. Dr. Virtue also directed three outpatient psychiatric centers, including an adolescent drug & alcohol abuse center. Dr. Virtue has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Good Morning America, The View with Barbara Walters, Donny & Marie, Roseanne, and many others.
Rosicrucianism has gained mainstream acceptance in America; and as Rose's website and Virtue's bio at Hay House make clear, involve clairvoyance, channeling, divination. There does not seem to be any effort of discernment in their aproach. As any Catholic knows, angels come in two varities. What guarantee can these women offer that they are not contacting fallen angels?
"Catechism of the Catholic Church", No. 2116:
All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
A reader spent some time exploring Rose's website and sent in this link to Our Lady of Medjugorje. Traditional Catholics, take warning.
METROPOLITAN ANTHONY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAID TO REST
A Worldwide Faith News press release reports on the details of the funeral.
Eternal rest grant unto Metropolitan Anthony. May he rest in peace. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
THE HORROR UNLEASHED BY A TSUNAMI
Destruction of entire villages, 114,000 dead, corpses rotting in the tropical sun, 50 aftershocks renewing terror, the threat of epidemics set off by lack of clean water, and now hungry crocodiles washed ashore threatening the people who have survived. This is truly a scenerio from hell that is reported by Guardian Unlimited.
ANGELS AND DEMONS TOURS
Following on the heels of the Paris Da Vinci Code tours are the Angels and Demons tours of Rome, based on the Dan Brown novels. Catholic World News provides the details. The article closes with:
The new book-based tourism sweeping Paris and Rome is proof scientists and fictional sleuths aren't the only people digging for the truth. Now "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" tourists have added themselves to the ranks of adventurers scouring for deeper meanings hidden in Europe's artistic treasures.
Ah yes, those deeper treasures are Catholic treasures for the most part. Perhaps Dan Brown has given birth to a revival!
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
DIVINE FEMININE IN ISLAM
an article at crescentlife.com. From the article:
Islam and the Divine Feminine
So often has Islam been portrayed as an exclusively masculine, patriarchal faith that many have never suspected the central importance of the Feminine in Islam and would be astonished to realize that it has been there from the beginning. Perhaps in part due to the metaphysical interiority of the Feminine, this aspect of Islam has lived a largely hidden existence — but it is no less vital for that. In recent years there has been much discussion and controversy over how to reshape Christianity to include the Feminine on the divine level, but in Islam that has never been an issue, for the feminine element in Islam has always been present, especially in Sufism.
Although both masculine and feminine equally have their origin in the Divine, I would like to take a special look at the feminine in Islam to help redress the balance because the feminine side of Islam has been mostly overlooked so far. Moreover, in the sources of Islam and in the Sufi tradition growing from there, we find a distinct, explicit preference for the feminine aspect of Allah, especially the nature of ultimate Divine Reality as essentially feminine. ...
Feminine Terms of Divinity
Some of the key terms associated with the Divine are in the feminine gender in Arabic. Three of them are essential to understand the feminine dimension in Islam. One of Allah's names is al-Hakîm, the Wise; Wisdom is hikmah. In Arabic to say, for example, "Wisdom is precious," you could repeat the feminine pronoun: al-hikmah hiya thamînah, literally "Wisdom, she is precious." This has resonance with the forgotten Christian mystical tradition, in which Wisdom is personified as a woman, the divine Sophia, associated with the Virgin Mary. The second term is rahmah (mercy), related to the most important name of God after Allâh: al-Rahmân, the All-Merciful, related to the word for 'womb', rahim, the source of life. The source of life is the Divine Mercy and the feminine aspect of it is very evident. The third, the most remarkable of all, is the word for the Divine Essence itself: al-Dhât, which is also feminine. In that the Divine Essence is Beyond-Being, unmanifest and transcending all qualities, it may be understood as Feminine. The renowned Sufi master Najm al-Din Kubra wrote of the Dhât as the "Mother of the divine attributes." According to a commentary on Ibn al-‘Arabî's Fusûs al-hikam, a hadith of Prophet Muhammad "gave priority to the true femininity that belongs to the Essence." Ibn al-‘Arabî himself wrote that "I sometimes employ the feminine pronoun in addressing Allah, keeping in view the Essence."
Sophia as a feminine apparition was the source of Soloviev's theology. Today heretical material is being passed off to Catholics as orthodox based on the idea that wisdom is a feminine form of divinity, and calling it "Sophia." This feminine divinity is not the Holy Spirit of the Trinity. She is a construction out of a faith that has traditionally been opposed to Catholicism. It would seem that Eastern Orthodoxy stands somewhere at the midpoint between Catholicism and Islam on this concept of Sophia.
Here is a website that demonstrates the problem.
NICE SOURCE FOR WORD DEFINITION
Eddie Russell/Blaze Magazine Online is the last place I would normally look for information on understanding the varities of mysticism that are coming at us like baseballs in a batting cage. Russell is the leader of a Catholic Charismatic Community in Australia; and if you read my blog, you know what I think of Charismatic/Pentecostal activity.
Nevertheless, his article giving the definition of words associated with mystical practices in various religions highlights the dangers in pursuing them. If you are drawn to pursuing mystical techniques, "What's in a Word" is a good read. This is the passage that drew me to the article:
Let us take the word of the popular author, George A. Maloney S.J. from his book "Inward Stillness."
"Many today are discovering the healing power of deep, transcendental prayer, found in the prayer disciplines of the Far Eastern Religions, such as Hinduism, Zen Buddhism, and the modernised version of Transcendental Meditation [TM] as taught by Mahirishi Mahesh Yogi. Sufism, Eastern Christian Hesychasm, and Mind Control Techniques have their devotees...
Such techniques are not prayer in the Christian sense... To pass beyond the superficial levels of our own controlled consciousness in order to pass into the innermost core of our being, great discipline is required. But as one does pass through layers of psychic experiences, danger zones rear up... Repressed material that has been drowned in the unconscious can rise threateningly to disturb the one in prayer. Sexual feelings can arise, even influencing our whole body and bringing us close to move over to see strange faces of the demonic that flash now brilliantly, now darkly from within."
A visionary. A book about her has been published by SteinerBooks. The translator is John Hill, of whom the website says:
John Hill was educated in Dublin and at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Zurich, where he also lectures at the C.G. Jung Institute. He is the author of numerous articles on Jungian themses.
Here is a website devoted to her. There seems to be a Melkite priest quoted approving her visions:
“I tell you frankly that personally I have never been attracted to apparitions, private revelations and charismatic utterances. I feel best in the sobriety of faith. But I admit fully that God can bestow such graces and he does it always for a purpose. It may be a grace for the person itself and for many others. I share fully Joa Bolendas’ hope for a more Johannine Church. The sober and beautiful wording of her revelations bear all the marks of authenticity.“
- Jacob Willebrands, Catholic Melkite Community of Lavra Netofa, Israel/Palestine
The Anthroposophists who were associated with the book I've linked above are also quoted. She is ecumenical and Protestant.
Nancy Parsons is quoted. Bob and Nancy are BIG supporters of Anthroposophical Waldorf Schools and have their own bookshop website.
One of Bolendas' books appers on the Lindisfarne Books website as well.
Therese Schroeder-Sheker, a contributor to both books, seems to be an "Artist and Clinician in Residence, The Catholic University of America, School of Nursing and Benjamin T. Rome School of Music." I wonder if she is teaching any "spirituality" courses at the Catholic University of America? She is an Oblate and some of her activities are funded by Fetzer, a funder of the Anthroposophical program associated with genetic engineering called Ifgene. She conducts Benedictine annual retreats according to the website.
So are we Anthroposophists now?
It appears from material I've read elsewhere and the Melkite priest's statement here that Johnnine Christianity is visionary Christianity. In this case Protestant visionary Christianity. Oh wait...we're wearing our ecumenical hat now. That makes it syncretistic visionary Christianity, I guess.
Here is Bob and Nancy's Bookshop. This is the same Nancy who recommended the book on Joa Bolenda at the website linked above. Bolendas books are featured here as well. Scroll down the list, and take a look at Rosicrucian Christianity, the emerging new theology based on visionary experiences. Meister Eckhart/Matthew Fox books are near the bottom. Thomas Merton is there. Father Murray Bodo is on the list. Is he familiar to anyone? Tessa Bielecki's books are there. She is the Mother Abbess of the Carmelite Spiritual Life Institute, in Crestone, Colorado, Maurice Strong's interreligious community experiment in the mountains. This Carmelite community consists of both men and women religious.
If you have time while you're in Bob & Nancy's Bookshop, check out the Christian "community" link where you will find several books on the holy grail. You will also find the cassette set "Saints Alive!" Here is the list of saints:
In addition to Joan [of Arc], Saints Alive! introduces us to:
Pericles - responsible for the Golden Age of Greece
Holy Lady Ammal - who showered miracles upon the needy when they called her name
Jesus - the master of masters
Sathya Sai Baba - who performs miracles so that others may believe
Our Lady of Fatima - an aspect of Mary whose prophecies shook the world
St. Therese of Lisieux - whose "little way" has become a great light
Krishnamurti - the teacher that "truth is a pathless land"
Sri Nityananda - one of India's greatest modern saints
St. Martin de Porres - a black man born in 15th century Chili, known as the "flying brother" who brings healing wherever he goes
Sri Ramakrishna - a revered saint of India, said to have come like a comet and left with a light that never dimmed
St. Colette - who consecrated herself to simplicity
Yogi Ramsuratkumar - a virtually unknown beggar saint whose profound acts of service were believed to have global effects on the material plane. "By simply putting a stone down, he changed the world."
George Washington Carver - "the man who talked to plants" and is still leading a people (and the world) out of slavery.
Once you meet these saints, they will always live in your heart. Thank you, Hilda!
But I was investigating Joa Bolendas...
Here is a vision of her angel.
Her books can be found at Therese Schroeder-Sheker's website along with a recording of Therese's described as:
Inside the Miracle includes Therese Schroeder-Sheker's rare recording of "The Prayers from the Four Directions," for voice and shruti box, the Indian hand-held bellows she always takes on tour. The prayers she sings are Hindi, Israeli, Irish and Latin.
Is this what an Oblate teaches at Benedictine annual retreats? Prayers from the Four Directions?
Joa Bolendas music is available at several websites including this one. She seems to turn up on recordings that include Byzantine and/or Gregorian chant.
* * * * * * *
"For a time will come when people will not tolerte sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
"For a time will come when people will not tolerte sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
ASSOCIATION FOR CONTEMPORARY CATHOLICS - LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
Robert Blair Kaiser is a member of this Council. It seems to be composed mainly of ex-Catholic priests who are married with children. John Shea was associated with ICEL at one time.
L'OSSERVATORE RAPS ISRAEL FOR DECLINING DISASTER RELIEF
Catholic World News Reports:
Vatican, Dec. 28 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican newspaper has denounced a decision by the Israeli army to deny emergency help to disaster victims in Sri Lanka.
Calling for "a radical and dramatic change of perspective" among people "too often preoccupied with making war," L'Osservatore Romano singled out Israeli military leaders for declining a request for emergency medical help. The Vatican paper observed that in what "should be a time for unconditional solidarity," some world leaders seem incapable of escaping a "small-minded approach that restricts their horizons."
PACIFIC JUSTICE INSTITUTE'S "LEFT COAST'S HALL OF SHAME"
for 2004 is up on The Conservative Voice website.
KENTUCKY'S CONTRIBUTION TO INTERFAITH DIALOGUE
The Kentucky Lake Times Independent Press reports on a Bible based interfaith group that welcomes those who wish to return to the state of the Early Church, concentrating on "return to the basics of the Bible within the Historical and Ancient First Century Christian/Messianic Church of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, Our God and Our Savior". Their target audience is the "Baptist, Catholic, Messianic, Nasrani, Orthodox, etc., [who] wish to see the entire Body return to the Biblical Faith... "
I wonder where they are learning the required languages?
JAMES PORTER IS AT DEATH'S DOOR
The notorious pedophile priest remains in prison. He has incurable cancer of the leg and hip and is not expected to live more than a couple of weeks. Meanwhile his nun/wife says their marriage is forever. You can read the details at The Sun Chronicle.
Monday, December 27, 2004
DR. BRUCE MACLENNAN
In researching Sufism I came upon the paper of Dr. Bruce MacLennan titled "Dante and the Fedeli d'Amore."
Before delving into the paper, a little on the writer. MacLennan, Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee, teaches in the Computer Science Department. Among his subjects is an Honors Seminar,"Goethe, Faust, and Science," scheduled for Spring 2005. Among the references he provides for his students is the Biblioteca Arcana.
There is enough material in the Biblioteca Arcana to turn a typical Catholic student into an atheist in one semester. Not only is a lot of history of occultism included, so are the rituals...rituals that I will not read when doing research because I believe they are dangerous to faith. Among them, the "Olympic Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram," the "Exercise for Unity (Tantra LITE)," and "The Labyrinth Ritual." There are also "Selected Charms from the Carmina Gadelica." There is a hymn "To Gaia, Mother of All," a "Liturgy of Love," and a "gnostic myth about Sophia." There is a "Searchable Indices of Spells." Who would expect their son or daughter to encounter such information in a computer class?
Regular readers of this blog know that I have been researching Rene Guenon's Sufi Traditionalism, which has followers who promote Catholic Traditionalism in addition to Sufis, most notably Charles Upton, editor of Sophia Perennis Press. The Orthodox scholar Bishop Kallistos Ware also looks kindly upon Sufism as the book _Paths to the Heart: Sufism and the Christian East_ makes clear. Hanging in the background is the enthusiasm with which Grand Orient Freemasonry has embraced Guenonian Traditionalism.
I have still to read the last 100 pages of Upton's book on Antichrist. Material from the book led me to the web to discover if there was a relationship between Sufism and the Catholic heresy Montanism. The short answer is yes, there is.
More to the point, however, is the relationship between Sufism and Catharism which emerged in this morning's research.
To begin -
- The website "History for Kids" entry on Sufism indicates, "Sufis wanted to experience the greatness of God within themselves, through meditation or through ecstatic dancing or in other ways." It suggests that "whirling dervishes" use dance to induce a "frenzy that helped them have a personal experience of God", and that poetry is another path in the Sufi teaching. It also suggests that this same desire is "present in other faiths as well" and suggests a comparison of Sufism "with Buddhism, or Taoism, or the early Christian heresy of Montanism."
- The bbc.co.uk website h2g2 entry for "Manicheism, Catharism and the Heresy of the Free Spirit" indicates:
Early in the development of Christianity and Islam, Gnosticism and Sufism became marginalised and persecuted as heretical beliefs. Gnosticism and Sufism themselves inspired two of the more interesting 'heresies' of the Middle Ages.
Under Manicheism, this quote can be found: "In southern France, the Cathar sect formed around the town Albi."
Catharism, then, indicates that "sexual promiscuity was encouraged. The Cathars believed only the heart and mind contributed to one's soul (the only bit of Good in a person) and thus it was impossible to sin below the waist. The enemies of the Cathars in northern France termed them the Bulgars or Buggers."
Moving on to the section "Heresy of the Free Spirit" the article indicates "The roots of this heresy lies in Sufi Islam - the mystical populist off-shoot of Islam. ...Sufism entered Europe through Spain." It further says that in the heresy of the Free Spirit, "any behaviour we are capable of, is a reflection of the divinity of God. Sufism emphasises the oneness of all Creation - that is, the Universe and Everything are parts of God and vice versa", and that "Sufism entered Europe through Spain" where "The Sufis of Seville began the Heresy of the Free Spirit movement - with followers undergoing an initiation of blind obedience to their master for several years before enuoying total freedom of action."
According to the article, this Free Spirit Heresy includes three major tenets:
*All is Divine *There is no afterlife *To know of God renders one incapable of sin.
It says further that "United with God, the individual was above all laws, churches and rites." This accurately reflects material on Sufism from Idries Shah who says the Sufi "knows that 'Paradise, hell, all the dogmas of religion are allegories - the spirit whereof he alone knows'." (_The Sufis_ p. 297) Hazrat Inayat Khan also speaks of this concept when he says that a Sufi, "...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 synangogue, 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." (_The Inner Life_, p.10-11)
Curiously the article on "Manicheism, Catharism and the Heresy of the Free Spirit" linked above also indicates the Heresy of the Free Spirit influenced the Anabaptists, the Quakers, and libertarian politics; and also that there are "strong parallels to the thoughts of Nietzsche and the Counter Culture of the 1960s."
This will be continued...
YOU TELL ME AND THEN WE'LL BOTH KNOW...
Lindisfarne Books has published _Earth Friendly: Re-Visioning Science and Spirituality through Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Rudolf Steiner by Sister Adrian Hofstetter, a Dominican. Go to the website and read the reviews, including one by Jean Huston, founder of her own mystery school, and one by a Notre Dame professor.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph...! Where is a good Bishop when you need one? Where is a good Pope when you need one?
Our Lady of Fatima, where are you?
The Foundation for Traditional Studies publishes the Sophia Journal.
The School of Spiritual Psychology also publishes Sophia Journal. You will find it referenced at the "School" link.
Christopher Bamford writes for Sophia Journal. As indicated at the bottom of the article, Bamford is editor-in-chief of SteinerBooks and Lindisfarne Books, and is a Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association. He is listed as a co-author on several books by Rudolf Steiner.
The Lindisfarne Association was developed by William Irwin Thompson in 1972 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It is now located in Crestone, Colorado, an interfaith community associated with Maurice and Hannah Strong. This group is associated with United Religions Initiative.
How odd that both the Foundation for Traditional Studies and the School of Spiritual Psychology have a journal with the same title, considering that both groups deal with esoteric topics. In researching Sufism this morning, both of these groups came up in connection with Cathars, grail questing, and Goethe. In fact, it's difficult to tell them apart, since they both seem to be involved with the same concepts, i.e. syncretistic lumping of religions. The Traditionalists do not accommodate the Theosophists, but seem to be open to Steiner's Anthroposophic concepts which were taken from Goethe. Steiner, too, opposed the Theosophists after being a member of them and founding the German branch, he broke with them and started Anthroposophy, giving Christian terminology to the Theosophical concepts.
There is something very odd here. Are both of these groups Anthroposophists? Certainly the journal Bamford writes for must belong to the Anthroposophists or be in sympathy with them. Are the Traditionalists as well? It does look as though they are.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Oh my goodness...
Look at the correspondence courses for The School of Spiritual Psychology. This is a mystery school. It is associated with grail questing. It teaches the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner and grail questing. Readings include Wolfram von Eschenback and Parzival. Also Steiner's "Knowing Higher Worlds." I presume this is about channeling. Matthew Fox's material is included in the readings of another course. One course uses the Book of Revelation. One talks about seeking the spirit vision, a way of describing shamanism.
You are looking at the material of Rosicrucianism. A kind of Catharist heresy. A kind of Freemasonry. A kind of Montanism. Expect to see lots of Catholic terminology with a peculiar twist. Expect to see new definitions of the meaning of Scripture.
This seems to be taking ever greater hold in our culture.
LEBANON HAS BANNED _THE DA VINCI CODE_
according to a story at "Egypt Today"
SOUTHERN AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN EARTHQUAKE AND TIDAL WAVES
Reports of death and destruction are escalating. The destruction is massive. A Catholic priest describes his experience of the event in a report here. The articles also include addresses of charities taking donations.
CNN reports on the tragedy here.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Adeste fidelis, laeti triumphantes
Venite, venite in Bethlehem
Natum videte, regem angelorum
Venite adoremus, venite adoremus
Venite adoremus, dominum.
Since this is officially the Christmas season now, and since we sang it at Mass this morning, in Latin and English, I've blogged it. Does Christmas get any more Catholic than this? If you haven't sung Adeste Fidelis in Latin, you are not yet finished celebrating the birth of Christ.
The Catholic Encyclopedia describes it:
A hymn used at Benediction at Christmastide in France and England since the close of the eighteenth century. It was sung at the Portuguese Legation in London as early as 1797. The most popular musical setting was ascribed by Vincent Novello, organist there, to John Reading, who was organist at Winchester Cathedral from 1675-81, and later at Winchester College. The hymn itself has been attributed to St. Bonaventure, but it is not found among his works. It is probably of French or German authorship. It invites all the faithful to come to Bethlehem to worship the new-born Saviour.
The same snowstorm that made the trees sparkle also brought the power lines down in places in Ohio. So many of them, in fact, that power was not restored for Christmas in some places. This is more than an inconvenience when the thermometer dips to 0 deg. and below as it did here. Without electricity, furnaces don't run. Without heat, pipes burst. It was a sad Christmas in makeshift shelters for some Ohio residents.
Meanwhile, I received email yesterday from a relative in Corpus Christi, Texas who was just thrilled with their 5 inches of snow. She wasn't alone, apparently, as many got out and played in the white stuff. While visiting a nursing home, she made snowballs and brought them in for the residents to feel. According to her email, it was the first time snow had fallen there since 1800. I'm assuming she meant the first time it had fallen there on Christmas, though snow in Corpus is rare, indeed.
My husband loves to watch the birds. He started with one feeder and is now up to five. The squirrels hang around below to scarf up the leavings, and strap on their "wings" on occasion to feed at the source. One way to keep them out of the feeder is to give them peanuts. I've been tossing them out on the deck. They caught on quickly and now sit on the deck railing peering in the window with a forlorn look that is irresistable, of course. They also get a daily ration of field corn, some off the cob, some on. It's delightful to watch a squirrel try to "squirrel" away an ear of corn that is bigger than he is. Grab it in the jaws, run two feet, drop the corn. Pick it up, run two more feet, drop the corn. One managed to get an ear 15 feet up in a fir tree and lodge it on a branch. It's been up there for days. Today as we returned from church, there were ten squirrels and many birds actively pursuing dinner. We sat in the car to watch for a while, then my daughter couldn't resist hitting the car horn to chase one squirrel out of the feeder. All ten ran for cover faster than an eyeblink, providing the best laugh of the day. While we were watching the hawk made two passes but apparently wasn't hungry.
IN BETHLEHEM CHRISTMAS SERVICES WERE CROWDED
unlike in previous years prior to the death of Yasser Arafat when they have been sparsely attended.
SPANISH BISHOPS SPEAK UNEQUIVOCALLY ON HOMOSEXUALITY
The bishops published on Sunday a statement entitled "Man and Woman Created He Them", charging that "homosexual tendencies, even if not a sin, must be considered objectively as troubling."
"One cannot choose between man and woman," the bishops said, adding that "sexual difference is given to us" and the concept of "sexual orientation" is "erroneous."
"Homosexual behaviour is always ethically reprehensible even if individual culpability must be judged with prudence," the statement said, calling such behaviour "intrinsically bad from the moral point of view."
Marriage is "always and solely the union of a man and a woman," the bishops said. "Two people of the same sex have no right to contract a marriage. The state, for its part, cannot recognise this right which does not exist, without acting in an arbitrary manner."
The government plans "must be opposed clearly and incisively", the statement said, and the right of adoption by gay couples rejected.
It was not clear to me from the article whether this will put them on a collision course with the Spanish government, or whether a "technicality" would be found to avoid an outright conflict.
IT BOGGLES THE MIND !
CONCORD, California (AP) - A Roman Catholic religious order has agreed to pay US$6.3 m to settle lawsuits brought by three former students who were sexually abused by counsellors and teachers at an elite private school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The largest of the three settlements, at US$4 m would be one of the biggest in California for a plaintiff in a clergy sexual abuse case, attorneys and victims advocates said Friday.
The abuse occurred when the plaintiffs, now in their 30s and 40s, attended the Concord school operated by the Christian Brothers religious order.