Friday, January 14, 2005


Dale Price has blogged this Pagan website which offers prayers similar to the ones the Archdiocese of San Francisco had on its website but has revised due to protest from the laity. What is happening within the Church that such a thing could take place?

Bettnet has this website linked. It offers another prayer to the four directions. Seems to be the Catholic Education Offices of the Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens. So there is verifiable heresy on both coasts.

The Pope, himself, has been a party to a prayer to the four directions:

With a Prayer to the Four Directions Mr. Birgil Kills Straight from Kyle, SD, on August 13th opened the ceremony of Journey to Holiness for 4,000+ men, women and children gathered in the Arena at Sioux Falls.
The Prayer Ceremony was the opening event of the Catholic celebration of the Millennium in the Diocese of Sioux Falls.

Mr. Kills Straight is an internationally known Sioux Prayer Leader. In 1985 in a sacred Sioux ceremony with the Pope, the Dalai Lama and leaders from the Major Religions of the world Mr. Kills Straight prayed for Peace among all God’s Peoples.

There is this Christian Witchcraft website offering candles with pictures of Catholic saints for sale. Scroll down to the bottom of the website to learn how to "read the candle" as it burns.

The Catholic Education Office of the Diocese4 of Wollongong also has the prayer to the four directions on its website. In this instance it's named the "Four Winds Prayer."

And on that discouraging note I'm going to sign off for the weekend. Till Monday...

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


A reader sent in the Michigan Catholic list. It's a long one.


Here is a booklist sent in by a reader. Not sure what to make of this one!


at Beliefnet. Raised an atheist, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck becomes a Catholic, partially through the influence of Malachi Martin and his own experience with performing two exorcisms which he recounts in the interview.

Thanks to a reader for sending in this one.


A reader sent in this story about a ritual Tantric murder of an 8-year-old boy, the second such incident in a month.

As she said in her email, "Remember, all religions are equally good." Hmmmm...


I probably should send this to "New Oxford Review" since I can't resist responding to a letter in the January NOR. But they don't accept email, and I'm lazy. So here goes...

First the letter, since it isn't online:


A New Oxford Note (Oct., pp.13-14) quotes and expands upon the contention of Bryce Christensen that most children now in effect have two fathers: the male one, and the female one who "now flexes her muscles" as co-breadwinner and mimics the male role to the detriment of traditional motherhood. I would like to add to that.

A woman's femininity is also lessened (and with this, her motherly and wifely aura) by her dressing like a man. This has become such a part of our culture that she gives no second thought to choosing slacks, jeans, and pantsuits over skirts and dresses. If a man is seen in a dress, we immediately recognize it as a perversion. I witnessed this on a public bus in this liberal city of Ann Arbor when a man stepped onboard wearing a summery, printed dress. The driver, a woman, gasped, as did many of the riders.

To some extent, immeasurable though it may be to our eyes (but not to God's), women who commonly wear pants have brought a change to the feelings of men toward women. Imitating men brings neither respect nor the softer feelings of gentlemanliness. This mimicking of men's wear can set her up as a competitor, and projects her as being hostile even to her own nature. It changes the dynamics of sexual attraction. A woman in a skirt presents herself as a mystery. In pants she is a crotch and buttocks. The first can suggest romance; the second, a cruder familiarity.

I would also claim that it affects the romance of a marriage. Am I unusual when I say I feel a tenderness toward my wife when I see her dressed expressly as a woman, much more than when she wears blue jeans or slacks? Every cell of our bodies proclaims us either male or female. We are different physically and psychologically. God made us that way for a purpose. We should enhance what we are, not hide it (I do not mean our physical nakedness, but our human sensitivities).

My plea to Christian women is this: Bring back your femininity by how you dress. Be distinctively women outwardly, as you are in the secret of your cells. By this return, you will again allow men their own distinctive outward identity, which has been muddied. And let us be done with the foolishness the feminists have foisted upon us. We are different. Find joy in our differentness (dare I say "diversity"?). Bring pleasing aesthetics back to your person, in color and contour and pleats and print. Bring back beauty, as only a woman can do.

Donald C. Wilcox
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Well--from my vantage point of sitting before my computer screen in blue jeans...

First of all - Jesus

In a dress.

Like Mary's.

(Ok. She has a veil. But still...)

Does wearing a man's garment make Mary less feminine? Less motherly? Less wifely? Or is it that Jesus is wearing a woman's garment, in which case Jesus is...?

Clothing is culturally conditioned. It's not a part of our DNA. You can look at my cells all day long under a microscope, and I guarantee you none of them are wearing dresses.

I checked with my husband--does wearing slacks and jeans make me less feminine? He just laughed and wanted to know where I got such a notion. After he read the letter, he wondered how a man could look at a young woman in hip huggers and a cropped top and find her masculine. (He had some other things to say, too, but I'd better not put them here!)

My husband did take note of the fact that ladies in dresses climbing stairs are much more appealing to men's vulgar instincts than are ladies doing the same thing in slacks. The letter writer, too, reveals those coarser instincts in his comment about "crotch and buttocks," indicating that the crotch "suggests romance." (Give me a break! There is no "romance" in the mind of a man gazing at that particular portion of a woman's anatomy!)

It would be interesting to get the writer's reaction to Indian clothing. Are these women less feminine because they are wearing pants?

Does this woman look masculine?

Skirts are no guarantee of femininity, though a Lei might be, but not always.

Pants have not always been male attire. Once they wore stockings instead. Today a lady wears stockings. Does that make her masculine?

Let's face it, pants are here to stay. When the little old ladies who grew up in skirts adopt a closet full of pants and shove the dresses out of the way, you know the trend isn't going anywhere soon. This culture has declared pants to be feminine when they appear on a female body, and the letter writer would do well to get used to it.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Much laughter over in Fr. Sibley's blog over the ladies and the labyrinth. As of a few moments ago there were 70 suggested captions. This one has to rank right up there with the Episcopal women's nude breasts in the pew calendar.

Then there are Amy's and Dom's blog of the San Francisco Archdiocese "Oneness" webpage. What god are they worshipping in SF, anyway? Worldly Jesus?

The SF webpage seems to be making the rounds in email as well. Lee sent in a link to it last night.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Faith is that basic. All of my choices are conditioned by my faith. I'm not unique in this. The same can be said for every member of the human race. As we believe, so we act. As we act, so we are. All that changes is the belief system chosen. When we speak of religion, we speak of the very center of our existence, of the reason why we are here and what we expect to accomplish in our alotted time.

Since our belief system is this foundational to our well-being, we tend to fight for it, even to the point of death in some instances. To threaten our faith is to threaten our very existence--our very sense of self.

And so conflict arises when belief systems clash. As the world shrinks, religions collide since we can no longer create a closed faith-world insulated from all others. Error--heresy--lives within our midst. There are no longer any uncharted territories to which we can run when religious intolerance becomes unbearable. Either we find a way to co-exist in peace or we die trying.

This is the central premise of Charles Upton's THE SYSTEM OF ANTICHRIST: TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD IN POSTMODERNISM & THE NEW AGE. As he says it:

It has become impossible effectively to defend a single religion against all others by declaring the rest anathema without exception; to persist in so doing...is a little like attempting to maintain the Ptolemaic system against the evidence of verified and verifiable astronomical facts. (p. 502)

But what is the alternative? Traditionalism is Upton's prescription for what ails us.

Traditionalism posits a core set of beliefs at the heart of all authentic religions--a Truth that we can no longer discern in its entirety--a Truth that is transcendent, that only God can completely comprehend. He sees a reflection of this Truth in Islam first of all since he states that he is a Sufi and writes from that perspective; but he claims that it is also there in Christianity, in Judaism, in Hinduism, in Buddhism. In the latter portion of the book he even makes convincing comparisons between the doctrines of these different faiths. And these comparisons are striking. There does seem to be a commonality between faiths, yet the differences are enormous and often irreconcilable, though Upton glosses over these differences, while at the same time denying that he does.

Upton is a consumate ecumenist. He believes in unity in diversity. As he says it:

...the outer expression of the 'esoteric ecumenism' of the Transcendent Unity of Religions, which understands the very uniqueness and particularity of the authentic religious traditions as the transcendent basis for their unity--is not a syncretistic amalgam or a diplomatic glossing-over of doctrinal differences, but a united front against a common enemy: that unholy alliance of scientism, magical materialism, idolatry of the psyche and postmodern nihilism which is headed, with all deliberate speed, toward the system of Antichrist. (p. 492)

I would suggest that what he proposes is just a version of Pluriform Truth, since we must be willing to accept that there are many truths, as all authentic religions are a reflection of Primordial Truth, even though they are in conflict. Yet believing in multiple truths requires that we adopt a schizophrenic approach to religion, an approach that will permit us to believe two opposing concepts at the same time. The alternative is to believe that God is a deceiver who pits religion against religion in some insane delight to witness conflict. Neither concept is acceptable.

Upton gets beyond this dilemma by proposing that each individual pick a path and stay with it. If you are a Christian, then BE Christian. If you are Muslim, or Jewish, or Hindu, or Buddhist, then BE Muslim or Jewish, or Hindu, or Buddhist. Focus up--on God--instead of sideways on your fellow man. He gives an example of this focus in his described difference with his wife over choice of faith paths:

I can look sideways from my Muslim doorway, and see my wife Jenny, kneeling in the light streaming through her Christian doorway, but that light will always be, for me, a reflected light. For her, Jesus is the Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of a virgin and destined to return at the end of the age to slay the Antichrist; but he is not the Son of God, since according to the Koran, 'He [Allah] neither begets nor is He begotten.' So do we then disagree about the nature of Jesus? If we spent our time looking 'sideways' in religion, we would have to disagree. Jesus would have to be either a great prophet, or the Son of God; he could not be both. But the essence of religion, which is the spiritual Path, does not move sideways. It travels only from whatever place on the circumference of our circle we happen to find ourselves, according to the imponderabilities of race, culture, religion, place of birth, individual psychology and personal destiny, and straight toward the Center, toward the One God. And that God is so great, so embracing of all conceptions of Him, and at the same time so fundamentally independent of all conceptions of Him, that every view of Him, if it is indeed directed toward the Center along an unbroken ray emanating from the Center, produces a unique and incomparable vision of God's Reality which, far from being relative to other views, is blessed and confirmed by the Absolute, and partakes of its nature; this is Schuon's doctrine of the 'relatively Absolute'. Each view of God--whether it be that of a revealed religion, or of an individual within that religion, or of a moment within the life of that individual--is unique and incomparable, since it is a vision of God the Incomparable, God the Unique. While I am contemplating that God, I have neither the time nor the perspective to compare my doctrine with that of another; while I am comparing and contrasting doctrine, I am not contemplating God. (p. 483)

All well and good until the birth of the first baby. Then the choice becomes "Your Path or mine?" Because we really do not believe in "relative absolute." What we believe in is the God that springs from our faith. A unique absolute. One that we wish to pass on to those we love.

Upton describes the multiplicity of religions as the spokes of a wheel which all lead to the hub which is God. (p. 482) How long would the whole wheel remain intact if one spoke were 5 inches long and another 12? Yet that is what we are talking about here. All religions, unlike the spokes of a wheel, are not equal.

Upton even admits that. There are only a limited number of spokes. There are some gods he does not admit to the structure. Like Guenon Upton casts New Age Paganism into the outer darkness:

The false ecumenism of Neo-Pagan, New Age culture is the seed-bed for that 'world fusion spirituality' in which fragments of every spiritual tradition are promiscuously thrown together, to their mutual corruption. (p. 492)

Along with New Age and Paganism one would then place Theosophy and its brainchild, United Religions Initiative, seeking as it does to create a world scripture.

Presumably taking Transcendent Unity one step further by stating what that unity consists of apparently would be anethema to Upton. Yet to a limited extent, that is precisely what he does in a large part of the book, by comparing one religion to another. Somewhere there must be an arbitrary line in Upton's mind. Go this far and no further on the comparative religion road. He does not indicate where that line is drawn.

He lays out his refutation of New Age doctrines beginning on page 149 where he states:

I do not intend this refutation of New Age doctrines as in any way a judgement upon the sincerity or spiritual attainments of those who believe in them; since the state of someone's soul is a matter between the individual and God, I have neither the right nor the power to look into it. Christ's parable of the Good Samaritan was not intended to invalidate doctrinal orthodoxy, since 'I come not to destroy the law but to fulfill it.' But it was intended to present the state and destiny of the human soul first of all in terms of 'by their fruits ye shall know them.' (p. 149)

Here he does not argue from Sufi doctrine, but rather he argues as a Christian.

If the "spiritual attainments" of New Age cannot be judged as bad, why exclude New Age from the Transcendent Unity of Religions? Yet exclude them he does, saying:

The channeling of 'spirit guides' is perhaps the most central manifestation of the New Age spiritualities. It's a practice which, while not always strictly evil, is profoundly dangerous; the majority of these 'entities', when they are not simply figments of the individual imagination, are at best ambiguous, and in many cases actual demons, whose demonic nature is more clearly revealed with each passing year. And by no means the least destructive aspect of this channeling is that it represents not a simple delusion, but a counterfeit of traditional doctrine. (p. 149-150)

Counterfeit according to what standard? By what criteria does Upton claim that New Age channeling is beyond the pale? By the standard of the Transcendent Unity which is known only to God? How then, can he invoke it against channeling? I would suggest that the only way to make a judgment call on any religious practice is to do so from within another religious practice which condemns it. But if there is no absolute Truth, there is no standard by which any spiritual practice can be condemned. Yet Upton clearly condemns them:

Not every fish in the sea is a shark--but beware of sharks. Frithjof Schuon and Seyyed Hossein Nasr speak of magic, for example, as a traditional science and Schuon will allow that there is such a thing as white magic, which is interaction with 'those Jinn who are Muslim' for the purpose of doing good, though he also cautions against becoming involved with it. ...Traditional practices such as exorcism do show certain affinities with white magic. True exorcism, however, applies Spiritual power to the psychic plane, where as white magic pits beneficent psychic powers against evil ones--something which should never be attempted outside a traditional context such as veridical shamanism, supposing that any of us possess the criteria by which true shamanism could be distinguished from its degenerate or counterfeit rivals. (p. 150)

Catholic cosmology has no problem with this. We call them angels and devils. The "psychic plane" of Upton's statement is the angelic realm. But it is from the Catholic cosmology that Upton's statement makes sense. It is not traditional white magic. It is the spiritual power of God active in an exorcism. That is not shamanism, which is much closer to channeling than it is to exorcism because prayer is not shamanism. One would get the impression from the above quote that veridical shamanism would be welcome in the Transcendent Unity of Religions, though he does not say that. He does say this:

The Abrahamic religions, whatever differences they may have had among themselves, and whatever lapses in the direction of Paganism they may have fallen into, shared a clear and deliberate opposition to it [Paganism], just as the Pagans, by and large, opposed the Abrahamic religions. The two different camps believed different things, knew it, and said so. (p. 153)

Now it would appear that we are getting somewhere. That we can apply some criteria to include and to exclude. That there is, afterall, some absolute Truth and a place for anethema in spiritual practice. But wait--he continues:

On the other hand, the Abrahamic religions share with the Egyptian religion, and with the archaic Orphic-Pythagorean roots of classical Paganism, a relationship to what Guenon and the Traditionalists call the Primordial Tradition. (p. 153)

In other words, the Abrahamic religions are not all that far removed from New Age. So much for a basis of sound judgment.

In order to make exclusions, there must be a foundation Truth on which to build an exclusion, yet the Primordial Tradition looked to by the Traditionalists will not provide such a foundation.

Upton disagrees with himself in this way throughout the book. Sometimes he argues as a Catholic. Sometimes as a Sufi. Sometimes he speaks admiringly of doctrine in other religions. It would seem that Upton has rejected his own advice--that he has not chosen a path and stuck with it. Upton does not seem to know what he believes nor even that he believes opposing truths at the same time. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that Upton believes in the religion of Charles Upton...that Upton has become his own god.

There is no "Transcendent Unity of Religions" though there does appear to be borrowings. There is truth and there is falsehood.

What the Traditionalists are doing has been done before. They have merely lifted a page from Albert Pike's book of wisdom. MORALS AND DOGMA is over 800 pages of comparative religions which finds similarities between a great variety of beliefs.

In Chapter XXV, "Knight of the Brazen Serpent", Pike speaks of Osiris, Isis, Horus, Cybele, Adonis, Venus, Maimonides, Seth, Job, and more. In chapter XIV, "Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason" the reader will find:

Masonry labors to improve the social order by enlightening men's minds, warming their hearts with the love of the good, inspiring them with the great principle of human fraternity, and requiring of its disciples that their language and actions shall conform to that principle, that they shall enlighten each other, control their passions, abhor vice, and pity the vicious man as one afflicted with a deplorable malady.

It is the universal, external, immutable religion, such as God planted in the heart of universal humanity.
(p. 219)

On page 576 Pike says:

While all these faiths assert their claims to the exclusive possession of the Truth, Masonry inculcates its old doctrine, and no more:....That God is ONE...that all evil and wrong and suffering are but temporary, the discords of one great Harmony... (p. 576-577)

In Chapter XXVII, "Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept, Pike writes:

Bal, representative or personification of the sun, was one of the Great Gods of Syria, Assyria, and Chaldea, and his name is found upon the monuments of Minroud, and frequently occurs in the Hebrew writings. (p. 590)

In Chapter XVII, "Knight Rose Croix", Pike writes:

In no other way could Masonry possess its character of Universality; that character which has ever been peculiar to it from its origin; and which enables two Kings, worshippers of different Deities, to sit together as Masters... (p. 276)

And further:

Chrishna, the Hindoo Redeemer, was cradled and educated among Shepherds. A Tyrant, at the time of his birth, ordered all the male children to be slain. He performed miracles, say his legends, even raising the dead. (p. 277)

The similarity with Christ is obvious, though unsaid.

Speaking of the Hindu Vedas, Pike quotes from it:

"He whom Intelligence cannot comprehend, and He alone, say the sages, through whose Power the nature of Intelligence can be understood, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores." (p. 279)
adding one more god to the pantheon.

In the same chapter Pike rejects judgment:

To be trustful, to be hopeful, to be indulgent; these, in an age of selfishness, of ill opinion of human nature, of harsh and bitter judgment, are the most important Masonic Virtues, and the true support of every Masonic Temple. (p. 288)

In fact there are countless examples throughout MORALS AND DOGMA of the same sort of comparison of religions that Charles Upton has written. The Primordial Truth or Transcent Unity of Religions is reflected in Pike's claim "Before the world grew old, the primitive Truth faded out from men's Souls." (p. 583) It can be seen again on p. 598 where Pike refers to the "pure, primitive, undefiled religion," and again with this passage:

These were the ancient ideas as to this Great God, Father of all the gods, or of the World; of this Being, Principle of all things, and of which nothing other than itself is Principle,--the Universal cause that was termed God.

As irony would have it, that last quote appears on page 666 of MORALS AND DOGMA.

On page 213 Pike admits Masonry is a religion: "Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion."

It is small wonder that Grand Orient Lodges are comfortable with Traditionalism. It is their own philosophy, Masonic Universalism wrapped up with a brand new bow. Idries Shah is correct in claiming that Sufism--assuming that Upton correctly describes Traditionalism as Sufi in origin--is a forerunner of Freemasonry. Sufism too, as Guenon and Upton present it, adheres to this same philosophy of universalism. It is sad to see that under the guise of ecumenism it appears to be finding a home in Orthodoxy via Bishop Kallistos Ware, and is making inroads into Catholicism via Huston Smith.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Symphony No. 3 by Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)

That was the first segment of last Saturday's Cleveland Orchestra concert at Severence. The three movements are titled "Dies irae", "De profundis clamavi", and "Dona nobis pacem." If you are familiar with Latin, you will recognize the words as portions of Catholic liturgy. Richard E. Rodda describes this symphony with the following words:

The depth of Honegger's feelings incited by the War were inevitably given voice in an orchestral work that he began soon after the hostilities ended. "My Symphony is a drama," he said, "in which three characters–real or symbolic–play: misery, happiness and man. It is an eternal problem. I have tried to face it anew." He titled this new Symphony, his third, Liturgique, and headed each of its movements with a phrase from the Roman Catholic liturgy: "Dies irae" ("Day of Wrath," the terrifying depiction of the Judgment day in the Requiem Mass); "De profundis clamavi" ("Out of the depths Have I Cried," Psalm 130, used in the Office for the Dead); and "Dona nobis pacem" ("Grant us peace," the last section of the Mass Ordinary). Honegger did not quote the chant melodies associated with these words, but used the movement titles instead to indicate the general expressive progression of the Symphony as it reflected his experience of the War. The opening of "Dies irae" suggests chaos, barbarity and destruction, and "De profundis clamavi," anxiety and exhaustion made bearable only by hope; the two-part "Dona nobis pacem" begins with a stern march reflecting mankind's struggle against violence, and ends with a hymnal apotheosis of peace. Though Honegger never gave a more detailed program for the piece than that implied by its titles, Charles Munch, the conductor for whom it was written, thought that the Symphony "poses the problem of humanity vis-à-vis God" in broaching the subject of man's revolt against, and final submission to, a higher will. The Belgian critic Arthur Hoéreé found the Liturgique to be the expression of "a spirit in search of serenity amid all the unrest which is our present state," a comment as appropriate today as it was upon the Symphony's premiere in 1946. That Honegger could find a positive, life-giving and hopeful close to the War-impelled Symphonie Liturgique shows not only of his renewal of the expressive tradition of the Romantic symphonic apotheosis in distinctly modern terms, but also of his belief in the inextinguishable spirit of mankind.

I was looking forward to hearing the symphonie, foolishly expecting something liturgical. What a shock! Dies irae, especially, is simply jarring. It presents the kind of cacophony that one would expect on the streets of New York City at rush hour. But the longer I listened, the more fascinated I became. I had to keep reminding myself these were musical instruments making this noise, not cars and busses and people shouting at each other. But why the liturgical reference? Why not call it by a name that reflected what it sounded like, the noise of destruction?

In any case, it's interesting the sorts of artistic endeavor inspired by Catholicism.


A reader sent in this article from DailyPress.com, Hampton Roads, VA. It's a stomach churner.

Blair, 21, is charged with three felony counts of indecent liberties with a child under 14 years old and will face a judge in a preliminary hearing on March 11.

The senior airman was assigned to Langley Air Force Base four months ago after serving at RAF-Lakenheath in England for about two years, said Capt. Jeff Glenn.

Glenn said the Air Force will work with local officials investigating the case.

Found on the premises was a 13-year-old runaway hiding in a closet. She had met Blair in an internet chat room. Also found were more than 42 items including occult books, leather sex toys, an open box of scalpals, a book titled "The Satanic Rituals, A Companion to the Satanic Bible", leather masks, "The Vampire Bible," women's underware, pornographic tapes, and a black T-shirt with a satanic symbol, according to court documents filed Monday in Newport News Circuit Court.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


sent in by a reader.

Some time ago I reported on the phenomena of recording disembodied spirits on tape recorders, as reported in Konstantinos' book _Contact the Other Side_. Here is Mark Macy's website, another promoter of this activity. It seems to be associated with Global Oneness--some sort of new religion?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!




Looks like the Church is starting to move off of "thou shalt not use birth control" to a positive message about sexuality.

A reader sent in information about a program on the topic--information she received in an email and gave permission to use:

You and your readers may find this interesting: on Sunday, January
16, Father Thomas J. Loya will begin a series of radio programs on "The
Theology of the Body". I refer to our radio program, Light of the
East, which airs on Relevant Radio in Chicago (WCSN-AM 820) every
Sunday at 11:30am. For those of your friends outside Chicago, the
radio program is archived and streamed the next day (Mondays)
starting in the afternoon. The Website address is www.byzantinecatholic.com

By the way the show is going really well...we have been going strong
since October 3rd!

Father Thomas Loya brings a bit of an Eastern Catholic Church
perspective to this topic but be assured, he is Magisterium.

There is a website dedicated to the Theology of the Body. It includes Fr. Loya in the National Forum on the Theology of the Body. There are videos and CD's available there. A source for a parish Lenten program?


From the interview:

I’ll tell you a good little story that Count Capponi told us at our general assembly of Una Voce. Cardinal Kasper went on an ecumenical mission to Athens last year.

JB: Cardinal Kasper? Oh he is the German.

MD: Yes. He and his fellow German, Lehmann, were made Cardinals. You see there is no chance of Cardinal Ratzinger being made Pope. The job of Kasper and Lehmann is to go to the conclave and stop anyone Ratzinger supports from being made Pope. It is interesting, Pope John Paul II wouldn’t appoint Kasper and Lehmann at first and a week later he did.

JB: Yes. Their appointment came as a shock to a lot of orthodox Catholics.

MD: Well do you know where the pressure came from? The Polish hierarchy. Because they get so much money from the Germans. So Kasper and Lehmann said, ‘You scratch our backs and we’ll scratch yours.’

JB: Is that genuine? An inside story?

MD: Oh yes definitely. The Polish hierarchy put the pressure on. But anyway Kasper went on this ecumenical mission to Athens, attended the Greek Orthodox liturgy in the morning and in the afternoon he was having lunch. Then the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Athens, who is a good friend of Count Capponi and Una Voce, asked his Eminence how he had enjoyed the liturgy in the morning. "Oh wonderful, wonderful," said the Cardinal, "I thought I was in heaven." Then the Archbishop said that he thought perhaps that they should make some changes to the Greek liturgy because, perhaps for modern people today, some of it is too mystifying. Kasper said, "No that would be a mortal sin. You mustn’t change a thing. Keep it exactly as it is." And the Archbishop said, "Then why did you destroy your liturgy which was the equivalent of ours?"

Monday, January 10, 2005


At Catholic Family News.

Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.


From Digital Freedom Network:

For the first time since the fall of Communism, Russia is listed as “Not Free” in the Freedom House’s annual survey Freedom in the World. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assaults on free speech and capitalism, as well as his government’s interference with free elections in the Ukraine all contributed to the demotion. In a press release from Freedom House, Executive Director Jennifer Windsor said, “Russia's step backwards into the Not Free category is the culmination of a growing trend under President Vladimir Putin to concentrate political authority, harass and intimidate the media, and politicize the country's law-enforcement system."

Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.


is described in this article linked at Novus Ordo Watch. Is this our future here in America?


after arranging for her cloister to see his movie.

Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.


of tsunami devastation.

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


The original request for an apology came from Tim Acheson of Hertford. An Iranian news source is running a story, which cites the Guardian as the original source, of an encounter with Acheson in Hertford and an unusual claim:

"The vast majority of Templars either escaped, or didn't escape, but survived," Acheson says. So how did they end up in Hertford? History records that a number of them were imprisoned in Hertford Castle, but how did Hertford become a centre of operations? "I can't really tell you that. All I can tell you - it's going to be quite vague - is that they flourished in western Europe." He explains that there is a stained-glass window in St Andrew's Church, just down the street, that contains a clear metaphorical allusion to the Holy Grail, and a cryptic hint that it might be hidden in Hertford. In the picture, Acheson adds, Jesus and Mary Magdalene are looking at each other "in a very meaningful way". (Later, I find the window, interrupting local parishioners who are decorating the church for Christmas. I think I can see what Acheson means about Jesus's expression, although mainly he just looks a bit depressed.)

And this one:

The notion that "things are about to happen" recurs throughout the Templar conspiracy theories that clog up the internet. Seemingly, 2000 had been awaited as a watershed, the moment the Templars' secret knowledge would cascade into the public domain. It didn't happen, of course.

So what sort of "things" is Acheson talking about?

"I can't tell you."

Of course there may not be anything to tell. We can hardly know unless he tells us. But he certainly does seem to be fostering a conspiracy theory.

Meanwhile there is a report at The Daily Record of tremendous increase in tourist traffic at Rosslyn Chapel, so large, in fact, that there is fear for the destruction of the building.

Regarding the accusations against the Templars, Wikipedia offers this explanation:

Others argue that these accusations were in reality due to a misunderstanding of arcane rituals held behind closed doors which had their origins in the Crusaders' bitter struggle against the Saracens. These included denying Christ and spitting on the Cross three times, as well as kissing other men's behinds.

According to some scholars, and recently recovered Vatican documents, these acts were intended to simulate the kind of humiliation and torture that a Crusader might be subjected to if captured by the Saracens. According to this line of reasoning, they were taught how to commit apostasy with the mind only and not with the heart. As for the accusations of head-worship and Templars trying to syncretize Christianity with Mohammedanism, some scholars argue that the former referred to rituals involving the alleged relics of Saint Euphemia, one of Saint Ursula's eleven maidens, Hughes de Payens, and John the Baptist rather than pagan idols. The latter they ascribe to the chaplains creating the term Baphomet through the Atbash cipher to mystify the term Sophia (Greek for "wisdom"), which was equated to the concept of Logos (Greek for "Word"). This is a controversial interpretation, and is partly based on conjecture.

There is that reference to Vatican documents again, and a tie in with "Sophia", as well as an indication of Christian-Islamic syncretism.

The same claim is made at this Knights Templar website.

You can read it again here at this Irish/Masonic website.

It can be found on this Graham Hancock website.

And it's here at this Bigpedia website.

All of them seem to be using the same original source. I was not able to find it in any Catholic website. Indicating, perhaps, that the Church is reluctant to talk about it since it will create yet another scandal. Alternatively it could reflect a fabrication/example of wishful thinking on the part of the Templars. Without confirmation from a Catholic website, I remain skeptical.


Real Dominican sisters who are once again winning souls for Christ in classrooms! They even mention Him in their website, and not a "spirit of" anywhere to be found!

Thank you, Lord!

The lead to this website came from Fr. Bryce Sibley's blog.


by Vladimir Soloviev, together with a brief introduction from the September 2000 issue of "Touchstone", written by Fr. Addison Hart.

Interesting that it is online at last. The book from which this is taken, called _Three Conversations_ in the website and also known as _War, Progress and the End of History: Three Discussions_, was rather boring IMHO, until this final section.


This Orthodox website seems to indicate that Sophiology was held more in the hands of the Russian Diaspora than within Russia itself:

The proud mind could not agree that up to now it had stood on a false path. There arose strivings to make Christian teaching agree with the previous views and ideas of the converts. Therefore there was a whole series of new religious-philosophical currents, often completely foreign to Church teaching. Of these currents, especially widespread was Sophiology, which is founded on the recognition of the value of man in himself and expresses the psychology of the intellectual class.

Sophiology as a doctrine is known to a comparatively small group of people, and very few actually subscribe to it openly. But a significant part of the Intellectual class of the emigration is spiritually akin to it, for the psychology of Sophiology is the worship of man, who is no longer the humble slave of God, but is himself a small god who has no need to be blindly submissive to the Lord God. A feeling of refined pride bound up with faith in the possibility for a man to live by his own wisdom, is very characteristic of many people who are "cultural" in the modern sense, who place above everything else the conclusions of their own minds and do not desire to be in everything submissive to the teaching of the Church, looking upon it favorably in a condescending way. Thanks to this the Russian Church Abroad has been struck by a series of schisms which have caused it harm up until now and have drawn away into themselves even a part of the hierarchy.

* * * * *

This Rutledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry doesn't address the idea of a communist component of Sophiology, but it does speak of "All-Unity" which is a component of Sophiology, apparently.

Russian religious philosophers tended to see themselves as prophets, pointing the way to the regeneration of human societies through the spiritual transformation of individuals. Vladimir Solov’ëv (regarded by many Russians as their greatest philosopher) believed that his country’s mission was to bring into being the Kingdom of God on Earth in the form of a liberal theocracy, which would integrate knowledge and social practice and unite the human race under the spiritual rule of the Pope and the secular rule of the Russian tsar. His metaphysics of ‘All-Unity’ was a dominant force in the revival of religious and idealist philosophy in Russia in the early twentieth century, inspiring an entire generation of thinkers who sought to reinterpret Christian dogma in ways that emphasized the links of spiritual culture and religious faith with institutional and social reform, and progress in all other aspects of human endeavour. Among them were leading Russian émigré philosophers after 1917, such as Semën Frank, Bulgakov (who sought to create a new culture in which Orthodox Christianity would infuse every area of Russian life), Berdiaev (who was strongly influenced by the messianic motifs in Solov’ëv), and Hessen, who offered a Neo-Kantian and Westernist interpretation of the notion of ‘All-Unity’.

It appears that "All-Unity" is not only a Sophiological but also a Russian philosophical concept. It turned out to be a dead end in Google, however.


Our visiting priest today talked about the importance of relationship with God. First time I've heard that spoken of in church for a long time. He talked about worship being our reason for attendance at Mass, too. What an excellent homily!


Dear Friends,

The Scranton Times has reported that the federal sex abuse lawsuit against Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity and Fr. Eric Ensey may go to trial as early as the spring. That assumes, of course, that the Society of St. John forgoes any further delaying tactics.

In the meantime, despite their suppression by Bishop Martino, the priests of the Society of St. John continue to celebrate a mass attended by families, and Urrutigoity and Ensey continue to appear in collar and cassock in open violation of their suspension from public ministry. Those who falsely assume obedience on the part of these perverted priests need only look to the recent pictures posted on the SSJ's own web site.

The SSJ has also continued to send out appeals for money, claiming that the SSJ is carrying on its God-given mission despite Bishop Martino's suppression. Given the SSJ's pomposity and hubris, it will be no surprise when the SSJ relocates to Argentina and proclaims itself the one true church with Urrutigoity as self-anointed pope. How else can this farce end?

Pax vobiscum,

Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond


A January 7, 2005 press release by The Most Reverend Gary Beaver, Archbishop - Primatial See, Interdenominational Church of the Holy Lands, claims that the Chinon parchment contains a papal exhonoration of the Templars from Pope Clement V who wrote "We hereby decree that they are absolved by the church and may again receive Christian sacraments." The Pope's failure to make this public resulted from his concern that it would arouse extreme passions and he feared a church schism. The press release sends "Those interested in finding out more about the OSMTH Magistral Grand Priory of the Holy Lands should visit The Official International Knights Templar Website.

I'll believe it when it appears in official Catholic news sites, not before.

* * * * *

The York Rite USA website makes the same claim. It's dated March 2002 and attributed to Richard Owen.


It appears to be a game of sorts, buying and selling shares of blogs. I see that my blogs have made the top 100 list 4 times as of 11:45 p.m. Sunday night. Should I be happy about this or writing a letter of complaint?? Any "investors" out there?

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