Saturday, April 23, 2005


Amazon is offering a book by Lee Penn titled False Dawn: The United Religions Initiative, Globalism, and the Quest for a One-World Religion. Oddly enough they indicate it was published in October 2004. When I checked a short while ago, a bookfinder service indicated that it had an ISBN number but no copies were available. Hmmm.

Barnes and Noble list it as well, citing a release date of October 2004 and no copies available. Odd.

Religio Perennis still lists it as an upcoming title.

Sophia Perennis Press, the publisher, does not list Lee on their author list, and so appears not to be selling the book.

Incidentally, Sophia Perennis Press seems to have a Director
now. Don't recall finding him when I last did some research on this group. Interesting that he turns up on the Owen Barfield url, Barfield having been an Anthroposophist and all. He is listed among the "Friends of Owen Barfield" at the Owen Barfield website. Click the "Friends of Barfield" link on the left then scroll down to the "Ws" to find Wetmore.

I guess we'll just have to wait until Lee gives us an update.


Crux News links the story:

A Toledo Roman Catholic diocesan priest charged in the 1980 slaying of a nun was accused yesterday in a civil lawsuit of repeatedly torturing and raping a young girl in ritual abuse ceremonies at a north-side church.

An unidentified woman claims she was the victim of bizarre demonizing ceremonies conducted by the Rev. Gerald Robinson and other clergy nearly 40 years ago in the basement of St. Adalbert Parish on Warsaw Street.

The woman and her husband, who are listed as Survivor Doe and Spouse Doe, respectively, filed the lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Father Robinson, who is scheduled to go on trial in October for the aggravated murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl; Gerald Mazuchowski, a former lay minister; the diocese; St. Adalbert Parish; the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales, Inc., and fifteen "John Does" were named as defendants.


Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I have major concerns about the theology behind Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Renewal. Shawn Patrick Thornton is about to demonstrate for you why I have those concerns.

Thornton is the author of a recently published book titled In Defense of the Christ: Why Jesus would Disown Christianity.

Thornton is a lapsed Catholic. As he describes himself in the first of his three part series press release titled “Inside the Mind of Benedict XVI”:

[Thornton] is the author of a 2005 published book entitled, In Defense of the Christ: Why Jesus would Disown Christianity (www.christbestseller.com). Shawn can be reached at www.shawnpthornton@aol.com . Shawn spent 14 years in Catholic schools including a Jesuit high school and university. On February 13,1978, after a long spiritual odyssey Shawn experienced Spirit Baptism and writes from the creative 27 year expansion of that experience.

Ah yes, that “Spirit Baptism” that leads one astray. Thornton is hardly the first to take this path. He will not be the last. There is a long history of just this sort of story throughout the pages of Christianity. "Enthusiasm" is deceptive. But Thornton explains it better than I can. His article will:

demonstrate that Benedict [Pope Benedict XVI] and his Church are in error on these matters [calling condoms, masturbation, married priests, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage, stem cell research, a woman’s right to choose, etc. a sin, making our new pope a fundamentalist Roman Catholic-ct] and that these theological errors will force billions of hours of undeserved guilt and fear upon defenseless children and the theologically naïve.

Is it even worth exploring how "children" are going to divorce and remarry, conduct stem cell research, become a married priest, or chose to abort a pregnancy, and thus suffer "undeserved guilt"? That use of the word "children" here is a shabby attempt at deception.

Where does this fundamentalist Catholic error originate in Thornton’s opinion?

Pope Benedict XVI and his Church view God and man as separate beings.

In the author’s opinion, this is the root and core of the theological errors promoted by Rome. You see every mystic knows that all is one:

If in fact the mystics of all faiths are correct, and man shares the same spirit as God…then man is inherently righteous and doesn’t need the salvation that the Church claims to offer.

So much for Jesus Christ who is no longer necessary in Thornton’s faith.

The fact that there are a multiplicity of gods embraced by searching mankind seems not to penetrate the minds of those who believe all is one. Contradictions in doctrine notwithstanding, those who are so eager to write their own faith are convinced that only the backward Roman Catholic Church has gotten it wrong. Thornton informs us:

In summary, as the people of the United States and of Europe become more theologically sophisticated, the concept of ‘sin’ and ‘punishment’ goes into the trash can and they leave the Church.

Now that man has declared himself god:

The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ”.

This is where Spirit Baptism can lead—to the hubris that we are god. Somehow the author seems to have missed those passages in Genesis where the serpent speaks to Eve offering her the ultimate prize. Thornton does cite the Apostle Paul for his argument, indicating he is not a complete stranger to Scripture, though his interpretation is twisted:

To Paul, the “spiritual man” is a person, sometimes called a ‘mystic’, who has had the spiritual awakening called by Buddhist’s and Christians alike, “Spirit Baptism”. Spirit Baptism gives a person knowledge that they do not possess a separate spirit, but instead that they share the one spirit of God with all of mankind.

Perhaps he was sick on that day in theology class when that other spirit was discussed. He certainly seems to have missed a major portion of cosmology class.

This is one man who has been led astray by Pentecostalism. How many others have already joined him? How many others will he persuade by this book he has written?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Friday, April 22, 2005


The prophecy of St. Malachy is making the rounds on the web. Even Yahoo News has a segment on prophecy surrounding Pope Benedict. The prophecy of St. John Bosco describing the pope's anchoring of the Ship of Church between the twin pillars of the Blessed Virgin and the Consecrated Host has been brought out in some news reports as well. Fatima is never far from the thoughts of many Catholics.

There were more Catholic prophecies down through the centuries. Yves DuPont's book Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement is a collection of many of them. Rev. R. Gerald Culleton's The Prophets and Our Times includes some of DuPont's and adds others. Prophecy is very much a part of Catholicism.

Many of the prophecies concern the time we are now living through. A website out of the UK has gathered up a grouping of these. It includes a more extensive prophecy of St. John Bosco regarding the rescue of the Church. This portion of it almost seems to fit the current death and election:

In blind fury, the enemy takes to hand-to-hand combat, cursing and blaspheming. Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded. He is instantly helped up, but struck a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy, and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that the news of the Pope's death coincides with that of his successor’s election. The enemy's self-assurance wanes.

There is another very curious prophecy on the web, attributed to the "lost diary" of Pope John XXIII which was supposedly found by a cleaning woman. The material is said to have been distributed in Catholic churches in Manilla, and has the backing of a Father DeAngelo. Art Bell is said to have provided an introduction and a closing summary to the prophecies at this website.

In reading through them it would appear they predicted the Viet Nam War, the difficulties in Israel and the rise of Islamic terrorism, the fall of communism, AIDS and other diseases such as the Marburg virus, and the Tsunami. They also predict UFO's which is an incongruous addition. The July 2, 1962 prophecy almost sounds like a description of John Paul II's "New Springtime."

If this prophecy were actually written when it is said to have been written, there would be accuracy up to a point. Another possibility is that it was written at the point in time when it begins to deviate from accuracy. Therefore, it actually reports on past events, though claiming to have been written before they occurred. If this is the case, someone who distributed it has an agenda.

Art Bell is a promoter of UFO activity and UFO activity is part of these prophecies.

Fr. Seraphim Rose has included a chapter on UFOs in his book Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future. In that chapter he writes: "Serious scientists in the Soviet Union speculate that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was due to a nuclear explosion, that "extraterrestrial" beings visited earth centuries ago, that Jesus Christ may have been a "cosmonaut," and that today "we may be on the threshold of a 'second coming' of intelligent beings from outer space." (p. 73-74) Rose attributes this to a belief in science fiction and comments further:

In a word, the science-fiction literature of the 20th century is itself a clear sign of the loss of Christian values and the Christian interpretation of the world; it has become a powerful vehicle for the dissemination of a non-Christian philosophy of life and history, largely under open or concealed occult and Eastern influence; and in a crucial time of crisis and transition in human civilization it has been a prime force in creating the hope for and actual expectation of "visitors from outer space" who will solve mankind's problems and conduct man to a new "cosmic" age of its history. While appearing to be scientific and non-religious, science-fiction literature is in actuality a leading propagator (in secular form) of the "new religious consciousness" which is sweeping mankind as Christianity retreats. (p. 77)

Those quotes come from a chapter entitled "Signs from Heaven" which is what the UFOs appear to be to some people. He offers this as the counter opinion:

In a recent bibliography of UFO phenomena prepared by the Library of Congress for the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the introduction states that "Many of the UFO reports now being published in the popular press recount alleged incidents that are strikingly similar to demonic possession and psychic phenomena which have long been known to theologians and parapsychologists." Most UFO researchers are now turning to the occult realm and to demonology for insight into the phenomena they are studying. (p. 102)

Even the secular investigators of UFO phenomena have seen fit to warn people against their dangers. John Keel, for example, writes: "Dabbling with UFOs can be as dangerous as dabbling with black magic." (p. 112)

An investigation of the Newsday.com article, blogged yesterday, describing the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue that was founded by Neil Bush, Cdl. Ratzinger, and Jordan's Prince Hassan, among others, led to the following information.


I would not expect UFOs to be of interest to the movers and shakers of our planet. Apparently I could be wrong. Donald Ware writes:

I was invited, as a Director of the International UFO Congress, to be one of the 150 people invited to participate in the 16-18 June, 2003 conference in Brussels. I will try to briefly explain why. The full title was “National Sovereignty and World Challenges: Choices for the World After Iraq.” It was chaired by Georges Berthoin, European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission (1975-1992). Patricipants were from three categories; world leaders, think-tank leaders working on issues of interest to the Trilateral Commission, and leaders of international organizations. There were 10 round table discussions and 32 plenary presenters that included:

Pat Cox; President of the European Parliament
Anders Wijkman; Minister of the European Parliament, VP of GLOBE International, Deputy Secretary General UN (1995-1997)
Garth Evans; President of International Crisis Group, Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-1996)
Lloyd Axworthy; Liu Center at University of British Colombia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada (1996-2000)
Jean-Francois Rischard; Vice-President for Europe of the World Bank, Paris
David Sandalow; Executive VP of World Wildlife Fund, former Asst. Sec. of State for Oceans, Environment and Science, USA
His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan
Air Marshall Sir Timothy Garden; former Director of the Royal Institute for International Affairs
James Garrison; President, State of the World Forum and author of America as Empire
Bob D’Amico; Special Assistant to the Chairman of Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon
R. James Woolsey, Director of the CIA (1993-1995), Partner and VP of Booze Allen Hamilton, Inc.

My invitation, as a Director of the IUFOC with an expanded worldview, probably resulted from the following sequence of events. In June 2000 while on a birding expedition on Attu Island, Alaska I told a fellow birder from California that I had been interested in attending a State of the World Forum ever since the first one was held in 1995 in San Francisco. This interest was sparked when, through studying telepathically acquired information, I thought I knew more about the alien presence than I did about those people representing our planet, some of whom worked on joint programs with aliens. By some miracle, the birder found in his mailbox when he got home an invitation for “Forum 2000” held in conjunction with the UN Millennium Summit in September. It was the last of the series.

He forwarded it to me and suggested that I go in his stead.

Further along in the website is Donald M. Ware’s bio. He has an MS in Nuclear Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and retired from the U.S. Air Force at the end of 1982. “He has observed alien vehicles nine times starting with the famous sighting over Washington D.C. on 26 Jul 52. He and his human companions initiated two of these encounters. Since 1989 he has received guidance from some higher intelligence, often through other people with more highly developed paranormal abilities.”

In other words, he uses a channeler.

There is a long section on Freemasonry that includes all of the standard conspiracy theory names and organizations. And there is this:


An article about Pope John, XXIII’s diary was published in the “Manila Bulletin” and reprinted in the “Philippine News” on 10 Mar 93. The Pope died on 3 Jun 63, and his dusty leather-bound diary containing handwritten predictions was found by a Vatican cleaning woman who was sorting through boxes stored in a little-used storage room. According to the Reverend Guiseppi D’Angelo, who studied the diary, “Pope John had periodic visits from both Jesus and the Virgin Mary.”

There is a lot more in the website. It sounds like someone is off his Prozac, but…

I found this website while attempting to research a current Board Member of the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue, founded by Neil Bush and Cdl. Ratzinger, and Prince Hassan of Jordan. Prince Hassan is a member of the Club of Rome. He’s a member of a lot more. And he is a member of that list of people at the State of the World Forum above.

One more bit of the website:

Gorbachev and his staff are reported to have been visited by two Ascended Masters in 1985 which resulted in a rapid reduction in the nuclear threat to the planet and an end to the cold war. They predicted an “accident” at Chernobyl. A report by Vladimir Rubstov in the 1994 MUFON Symposium Proceedings adds support to this story by describing an alien vehicle that reduced the radiation levels from the core reactor #4 by 73% three hours after the explosion.”

I'd like to be able to explain all of this. I really have no explanation. These are dots that connect. Why they connect is the real question. Conspiracy theory? Yes, maybe it is. But there is the Book of Revelation, and there is Fr. Rose's considerably more sinister explanation. And there is Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal's book The Occult in Russian and Soviet Culture which she concludes with:

In present-day Russia, the anti-empirical, antirational mentality that occultism encourages can once again help ensure that political and economic problems remain unsolved. Indeed, as the year 2000 looms ever closer, the occult threatens to fuse with apocalyptic fears in extremist political ideologies. Politically, the occult is dangerous.

Dangerous it is, but there is little doubt that it is catching on, and this is a battle that must be won spiritually, since the combatants are lodged in the spiritual realm.

"If my requests are not heeded, Russia will spread her errors around the world."

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Thursday, April 21, 2005


He says the new Pope is focused on the scandal:

"I went up to him after he was elected, we kiss his hand, and I started speaking in my kind of halting German about promising obedience and love and asking for his prayers in return," George said Wednesday. "And he immediately responded in English -- much better English than I speak German -- that he remembered our conversation and that he would attend to that. So immediately he zeroed in on our last conversation, which was about the sexual abuse scandal."

Not long before the 115 cardinals entered the conclave to elect a new pope on Monday, George said he had had a conversation with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger about the sexual abuse scandal, the new laws that were instated several years ago governing the handling of such cases by the church in the United States, and, as he put it, "the need to maintain the canonical structures that we have used to address the scandal."


This article from The Australian almost makes the conclave sound like a landslide:

Although Ratzinger started the conclave as favourite, many experts had said he was too divisive and too old to win.

But his election in one of the swiftest conclaves in a century suggested he decisively consolidated his position in the first three votes before winning the fourth on Wednesday.

Italian newspapers, considered to have the best inside track on events inside the secret meeting, agreed that Ratzinger garnered well over the two thirds, or 77, votes he needed from the 115 voting cardinals. Some suggested he won more than 100.

He has indicated his Papacy will be a continuation of that of John Paul II by confirming current heads of Curia bureaucracies, including Secretary of State Sodano.

Meanwhile from Spain comes the first challenge, indicating he is not going to get a period of time to settle in:

In an early potential challenge for Benedict, Spain's parliament gave initial approval today for a law legalising gay marriage, which Ratzinger has previously condemned as eroding Europe's social identity.

I'm sure there are going to be many more.

Cardinals Lehman and Kasper headed up one branch of the opposition, while Cardinal Martini, another opposing candidate, already has a form of Parkinson's Disease which is surprising in light of the death of Pope John Paul II.


in 1999 of an ecumenical foundation based in Gneva Switzerland, and named the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue. Neither are still members, however the organization continues with Cdl. Ratzinger being replaced by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald. The article doesn't indicate when Ratzinger left the organization. It does indicate the foundation keeps a low profile.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005



over at Pope Benedict 16 blog.


of the issues that will shape the papacy of Benedict XVI can be read at Cheisa.


in an article at Front Page which makes it sound as though the days of a smiling genial pacifist are ended. This pope wears no rose colored glasses.


From the mailbox:


A young nun named Sr. Margaret Mary, who works for a local home
health agency was out making her rounds when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a gas station was just a block away. She walked to the station to borrow a can to start with and drive to the station for a fill up.

The attendant regretfully told her the only gas can he owned had been loaned out, but if she would wait--it was sure to be back shortly.

Since the nun was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait, and walked back to her car. After looking through the car for something to fill with gas; she spotted a bedpan she was taking to the patient.

Always resourceful she carried it to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried it back to her car. As she was pouring the gas into the tank, two men were watching from across the street.

One turned to the other and said, "If it starts, I'll become a Catholic."


Now that you've had your chuckle, there is a moral to the story...If Sr. Margaret Mary had been a trendy nun, she would have been wearing street clothes instead of a habit, in which case the two men watching would have failed to hear the call.


A reader sent in the link to a story at NCR about an upcoming program based on a girl who has been hit by lightning, is now brain dead, and is being used by a disembodied entity to communicate through automatic writing. The communications are being guarded by a group of Sisters of Mercy who have taken the girl into their convent to protect her from those who would harvest her organs. She is writing about the end of the world, of course. What else? Is this one destined to captivate America?

Meanwhile I've been reading through the ninth chapter of John Dee's writings online at the John Dee Society website. If NBC wanted a program on spirit communication, they should have checked into this one. I think it would be a lot more entertaining that making a program based on our foolish nuns.

With John Dee they could get a proclaimed "coming establishment of the universal church and the single government of the world, associatd with this" that was based on the predictions of Joachim of Flora "whose prophecies Dee had cited in the Preface as 'good profe,' of the wonders that could be done by the understanding of 'Numbers Formall'." The fact that Dee thought it would occur in the seventeenth century would need a little tweaking, of course.

They could get the "age of the Spirit, in which man would know God without mediation of earthly institution or intellectually received dogma, and every man would become a priest and conscious vessel of the holy spirit." Through the premises of Joachim and his conception that the spiritual man of the third age would know the truth without veil, and receive directly from the spirit all the charismatic gifts necessary to perfection, [which] implied the abolition of the church as an organisation for the guidance of the soul..."

They could get Dee's "spiritual conferences" that led to his "spiritual science" (which presumably Rudolf Steiner got from Dee) that is nothing more than conversations with angels accessed through a skryer. Prior to Edward Kelly, Dee used other skriers.

They could get "the third and greatest cycle...of four complete trigons (the entire Zodiac), each of which represented one of the four elements, and which commenced with the fiery trigons (the recurrence of which, including the effects of the other two, also implied the appearance of a new religion that would thereafter dominate the world in the ensuing great period." This cycle was to last 960 years and would fit "well with the rise of Mahommedanism." (This is reminiscent of the manvantaras that occultist turned Sufi Rene Guenon wrote about. In fact, the text even mentions "There is nothing but Quantity.")

They could get the Philosopher's stone made popular by Harry Potter.

They could get Dee's constant desire "to do God some service for his glory" and to "pass forth [his] daies on earth with God's favour and assurance of enjoying here his merciful mighty blessings, to understand his mysteries, mete for the performing of some actions, such, as might set forth his glory, so as it might be evident and confessed that such things were done, Dextera Domini." Dee considered this "The chief and finall power of Naturall and Mathematicall Artes" because "Wordes, and Argumentes, are no sensible certifying: nor the full and finall frute of sciences practisable". Dee thought what he was pursuing was "natural philosophy."

One would think that on the occasion that Dee asked the entity for some much needed funds to keep body and soul together and got the response that he was a worldling and that "the earth's treasures were being saved for antichrist" that he would have realized what he was into, but apparently not.

The chapter is filled with descriptions of stuff the First Commandment forbids. It's a wealth of heresy. Kelly, at least, was at times sure he was channeling demons. Dee never wavered from his belief that the angels had come from God.

Once you've read this chapter, you will never see prophecy in the same light again, and will read it with a healthy dose of skepticism. The Arch Deceiver likes nothing better than to counterfeit the real thing.

Catholics who are caught up in apparitions, though, are very susceptible to enthusiasm for NBC's latest production effort.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


There is little room for doubt about our new Pope's orthodoxy. He has been a tough enforcer in the past and is known for it, and there is no reason to think he will be less so in the future. How will this play out? The papacy has reaped benefit from the crowds in Rome for the funeral and now for the announcement. Perhaps it could be said that prestige of the papacy is at an all-time high.

Nevertheless, Pope Benedict's orthodoxy is on a collision course with the thinking of the European Union on several fronts, including homosexuality and sexual ethics in general, condoms to fight AIDS, women's ordination. It's too soon to speculate on how this will play out. Perhaps diplomacy will win out and the EU will bide its time. Perhaps not. I doubt that our new Pope will back down. Can we expect serious confrontation? It's certainly a possibility. How far is the EU prepared to go in opposing a Pope?

In the days leading up to the death of JPII, I had thought we were in need of an Italian Pope next time around. It occurred to me today that even though Joseph Ratzinger is German, he has been in Rome long enough to be Italian in the areas that count, specifically Vatican politics and Catholic culture. So in a sense we have an Italian Pope in all of the ways that I had wanted one. It was also clear that we needed a governor, which JPII admitted he was not. It appears we have a governor as well.

What all of this adds up to is a gut feel that there are interesting days ahead for the Church and for Western civ. Some are even suggesting that we are in the "last days" and that Pope Benedict will be the Pope prophesied by St. Malachy to be the "Glory of the Olive," the last Pope before Peter the Roman and the return of Christ. Prophecy, however, is worth taking seriously only after it has come to pass.

In any case, I'll go to sleep tonight thankful for the outcome of the conclave, and hopeful that God will stay close to this new man in Peter's shoes and guide him to defend the Church in the future as he has done up to now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005



since he who entered the conclave a "pope" left the conclave a pope.

May his health be good and his life be long.

Will this finally put the last nail in the coffin of liberal Catholicism?


I see the counter has reset itself again. It was at 9762 at 8:54 p.m.


I know the journalists have to say something about the conclave and that there is really nothing to be said, and so they make stuff up, sort of, which really has no relevence. Or so it seems. Like all the discussion about Ratzinger--whether he will be pope, what the latest round of voting means in terms of Ratzinger's credibility and acceptance of his pov.

I'd like to see him elected because I know that orthodoxy would rule during his papacy. I'd rather see someone younger chosen, however, because we need stability, and another conclave in a year or two wouldn't be all that good for us.

I'd also like to see Ratzinger continue to have a role of influence.

There, now that I've said that, I can go do something productive, because reading the Catholic news online and in the message boards is looking like a collosal waste of time. Until a decision is made over there, there is really nothing to do but wait and see. There is really nothing to say that is worth the time to read it. And the whole blogging thing is in a state of suspension that a lot of bloggers are not willing to acknowledge.

It's not over until the fat cardinals sing, as the saying sort of goes. So I'm going to the mall, and if the announcement comes while I'm doing other things, sobeit.


resulted in more black smoke.


My first issue of the magazine arrived the other day. The publisher, E. Michael Jones, has an interesting article in this issue titled "St. Vincent Ferrer and the Conversion of the Jews." I'll attempt to give an overview of the article by quoting selected passages. The time period is 14th century Spain.

Jews, by the fact that they were no Christian, could not be touched by the law. Jews were, as a result, allowed to engage in many kinds of subversive activity with impunity, a fact that was bound to cause resentment in a strictly ordered society. "The laws against blasphemy, for example, could not be enforced against them. They could encourage heresy, and in defense could claim the freedom of worship granted to the Jews."

Because Jews were above (or at least beyond) the law in many instances, Christians were often tempted to apostatize in order to obtain their "freedom." Heretics like the Cathars of Leon, according to Lucas of Tuy, writing about 1230, would circumcise themselves so that "under the guise of Jews," they could "propound heretical dogmas and dispute with Christians; what they dared not utter as heretics they could freely disseminate as Jews." Because they had imbibed the best of Arab culture, becoming learned in science and medicine, they traveled in court circles and gave to them as air of sophisticated impiety, which again caused resentment among the more piouis but less wealthy and powerful.

Jews, as a result, became synonymous with Enlightenment decadence. ...

Because of the prevalence of Jews in Spain and the high level of influence and sophistication that they had achieved under Muslim rule, Spain's tolerance of the Jews and their heretical ideas exceeded that of any other nation in Europe. Because of the wealth they acquired, the Jews were able to engage in ostentatious display, which only increased the odium against them. The Jews became visible in a way that only pointed out by contrast the poverty of the Christians...

But the biggest problem by far was Jewish involvement in usury. As in the rest of Europe, Christians in Spain were forbidden to take interest on loans, thus granting a monopoly to the Jews for a practice which, over a relatively short period of time, could concentrate all available capital in their hands. As in France at the beginning of the 12th century, Jews were hated most because they were money-lenders, and money lenders were hated because in a pre-capitalist economy usurious compound interest could ruin anyone caught in its snares in a relatively short period of time. ...

On June 9, 1391, the storm finally broke. There was an uprising in the city of Seville; the
Juderia was sacked, and 4000 Jews were killed. Those who were not killed saved their lives by submitting to baptism. Two of the town's synagogues were converted into churches for the Christians, old and new, who settled in the quarter that before housed the town's Jews. The rioting then spread north, first to Cordova, then to Toledo and Burgos until all of Castile was swept into the vortex of anti-Semitic violence. The situation was complicated by the fact that Castile, nominally under the rule of the boy king Henry the Invalid, was in a state of interregnum. No one had the power to stop the rioting when it took place, and no one had the power to punish the rioters when it was over. All in all 50,000 people died. ...

Forced conversion was, in other words, more often than not an instrument of the state rather than the church. ...once the Jew submitted to baptism he could walk unharmed through the very mob which only minutes before was determined to kill him. ...

Conversion, in other words, stopped insurrection, which made it dear to the ruler's heart. Royal involvement in forced conversion was a tradition every bit as long standing in Spain as suspicion of the Jew as a subversive. ...

The Church was in many ways caught in the middle here. The popes did not condone forced baptism, but on the other hand, they had to affirm that, sacramentally, baptism left an indelible mark. The princes were more often than not the first to advocate forced baptism as a way of ending civil disorder, but they were also the first to allow the Jews to return to their former way of life once the disorder passed. In both instances, expediency trumped dogmatic considerations. Princes and kings needed Jews to lend them money, and so they were more likely to allow them to do what was theologically impossible, namely, undo the indelible mark which baptism placed on the soul. Bishops and popes, on the other hand, were the first to resist forced baptism when it was proposed, but they were also the first to resist the idea that once baptized a Jew could return to his former way of life.

Eventually, the Church, taking the lead in the matter, came down on the side of baptism. If force were so absolute then it overcame all capacity on the part of the candidate to resist it, the sacrament was not valid, and the man remained a Jew. If on the other hand, there was some degree of assent, the sacrament was valid, and the Jew was no longer a Jew, and therefore, subject "to the rigors of canonical penalties should he fail to practice his new religion." That means that "although Jews cannot be forced to accept baptism, still, if they have in fact received it owing to force, they cannot now evade the penalties of heretics...

St. Vincent Ferrer was in Valencia when the riot broke out on July 9, 1391. ...

The sermons of St. Vincent Ferrer seem by a number of accounts to have been miraculous events. Huge crowds assembled to hear him and the fact that they heard his words at all in the days before electronic amplification is miracle enough. But it also seems that people from different parts of Europe understood his sermons even though he preached them in the Valencian dialect, the only language he ever knew...his Catalan was intelligible to Moor, Greek, German, Frenchman, Italian and Hungarian...[he also] healed the infirm and repeatedly restored the dead to life. Ferrer tramped from one end of Spain to the other during the uprisings of 1391, and because of his efforts Jews converted by the thousands. ...

Solomon ha-Levi was one of the Jews who converted as a result of Ferrer's efforts....ha-Levi's conversion emphasizes the coercion which the mob exerted but minimizes the fact that Jews had been on the losing end of an intellectual battle with the Catholics ever since Nicholas Donin, another Jewish convert, had arranged the disputation over the Talmud in Paris in the middle of the 13th century. ...

Rabi Solomon followed in the footsteps of his Dominican mentors. He studied at the university of Paris and after completing his studies returned to Castile where he rose rapidly in the hierarchy, eventually becoming Bishop of Burgos. ...

In 1410, shortly before his death, Rabbi Hasdai Crescas wrote
Or Adonai as his way of dealing with the conversions which had swept through the Jewish communities in Spain. According to Rabbi Crescas, the chief cause of conversion was "the Greek [i.e. Aristotle] who has dimmed the eyes of Israel in these our times." The medieval confrontation with Aristotle exposed the Talmud in the eyes of the Jews themselves as an unscientific list of opinions and commentaries which was constantly turning in on itself in more and more convoluted fashion. In this regard, "Averroes" opened the Jews to the possibility of Christianity, especially a Christianity that could accommodate the insights of the Greek philosophers and the Jewish prophets, as Aquinas' synthesis had done. ...

One year after the appearance of
Or Adonai, St. Vincent Ferrer arrived in Castile at the head of a band of hundreds of people who had been so touched by his sermons and his call to repentance that they followed him from town to town flogging themselves in a public display of the penitence which followed from conversion. ...

The Pope's Challenge

Led by Rabbi Vidal ben Veniste de la Cavalleria, a team of 14 rabbis accepted the pope's challenge and met for debate at the pope's palace on February 7, 1413, under the supervision of Benedict himself. On the following day, the pope laid down the ground rules. The disputation was not a debate between equals; it was rather a form of instruction, according to which the Jews were allowed to defend themselves against the charges which Geronimo Sancte Fide would raise. Sancte Fide, who would prove...a genius in dividing his opponents, opened the disputation by pitting the writings of the old testament against the Talmud. ...

On the second day of the disputation, Rabbi Joseph Albo "got entangled in self contradictions...and the Jewish multitude present laughed at him and considered him defeated." The discussion involved the Messiah. ...

Rabbi Astruc Halevi then claimed that the Jews didn't need a Messiah for the salvation of their souls "because their souls would be saved even if the Messiah never came," but rather for the restoration of their political kingdom. The pope then reminded the Rabbi that if that were the case the Jews needed no Messiah at all, and Rabbi Astruc "had to apologize."

During the course of the disputation, it became clear that the disputants had two very different notions of what the Messiah was supposed to do when he came.

If nothing else, the disputation made it clear that the Jews were seeking a Messiah different than the one who had already arrived, according to the Christians. The Christians saw the Messiah as "a God-man, while the Jewish definition is that of a superior human being. The function of the Christian Messiah is to save souls from Hell, while the Jewish Messiah is to keep the Jewish bodies out of servitude." ...

The Talmud was an esoteric text, written by rabbis solely for rabbis, and as such it was never intended to be the object of public debate. As a result, when the Talmud's more embarrassing passages were dragged into the light by converts who were former insiders, former rabbis themselves, the Jews didn't know what to say. In this regard the disputation of Tortosa followed the same pattern as Donin's attack on the Talmud in Paris a century and a half before. ...

The Jews, quite simply, could not defend their own sacred texts. In the minutes of July 7, 1414, they were recorded as making the following statement:

The Jews here assembled from all the communities in the kingdom...declare that because of their ignorance and lack of enlightenment, they are unable to rebut the arguments of Hieronymus [de Sacte Fide] against the talmudic sayings cited by him, and do not know how to defend those sayings. They are, nevertheless, firmly convinced that, were the authors of those sayings now alive, they would have known how to defend them because, as wise and good men, they could not have uttered any unseemly statements."

This may be an example of sly irony, but it was hardly convincing apologetics. The rabbis then concluded their statement by petitioning the pope to allow them to go home. "inasmuch as they did not have among them a champion competent and worthy of defending the Talmud." The rabbis went on to add that "their weakness was not to be taken as a reflection upon the Talmud," but it certainly seemed that way. ...

The Jews had written the Taolmud to support their religion; they had then turned the religion into a manifestation of the Talmud by claiming that it was "more binding than the Torah itself,' but for the second time in as many centuries, the most learned Jews in France and Spain could not defend their writings in the court of reason.

The Christians in fact asserted exclusive rights over the Torah and cited the blasphemies of the Talmud as proof that the Jews had abandoned the religion of Abraham and Moses..."Judaism was inconsistent with the religion of reason," but the disputation showed something slightly different. It showwed that the Talmud was inconsistent with reason, and inconsistent as well with the Torah. ...

The real issue was the Talmud which had become the heart of the Jewish religion, supplanting the Torah. The real issue was the Jewish inability to defend the Talmud. Once it became apparent that the rabbis could not defend the Talmud against the attacks of former rabbis, Judaism was seen as irrational, outdated, and not worth defending.

I have left out a great many of the details. The story is worth reading in its entirely.


pictured here. She is quite simply fabulous.

She played Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat major, K.449 and No. 23 in A major, K.488 last Saturday night at Severence without sheet music, with her back to the audience, while alternating her playing with conducting the string ensemble. The entire hall was on its feet when she finished for a well-deserved standing ovation. If you see this lady on the program, get your tickets early.


Are channeled entities allowed to prosecute a case?

Hat tip to a reader.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Dr. John Dee, philosopher to Queen Elizabeth who did her horoscope; Founder of the Rosicrucian Order, a Protestant response to the Jesuits; alchemist; hermeticist; cabalist; angel conjuror who developed the Enochian Alphabet which he used as an angel language; translator of Euclid; establisher of the legal foundation for colonizing North America; depicted as Prospero and King Lear by Shakespeare, owner of the greatest library in England with over 4,000 volumes; John Dee is a colorful historical figure.

The John Dee Society, an internet-based organization, was founded to produce a standard edition of the published and unpublished works of Dee. The webmaster, Ralph Abraham, is a member of the Lindisfarne Association founded by William Irwin Thompson at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and now located in Crestone, Colorado. Lindisfarne's purpose is to promote Gaian politics with the help of Maurice Strong. As such, we can assume that the John Dee website is not friendly to Catholicism. Crestone, Colorado might even be thought of as the New Age Vatican.

Within the John Dee website is a text linked as the Calder thesis. Chapter IX of the thesis offers a good insight into what Rosicrucianism is about:

the doctrine that man may come consciously to associate with angels in this life a familiar feature in contemporary mystical Platonism - similarity of Kelley's "angelic books" and the Cabalah - the frequency of crystal gazing - Dee's own view of the conferences as the crown and seal of all his past intellectual endeavour - scrying as one of the chief parts of "experimental science" - the union of practical experience and speculative theology.

Association with angels during terrestrial life, Kaballah, crystal gazing, scrying...all otherwise known as conjuring of disembodied spirits in one form or another. And as the website clearly states: "the usual orthodox condemnation of all dealings with spirits," activities clearly condemned by the CCC.

The Rosicrucian claim of recourse to the love and mercy of God would certainly need to be applied overly generously in this case.

Joachim of Fiore is one of the sources of Dee's beliefs, as the website indicates:

Dee's...apocalyptic view of history - influence of the cyclical theories of Trithemius and progressive revelations through time of Joachim of Flora - Dee's chronology - connection with astrological teachings - the doctrine of trigons governing historical and religious change - the conjunction of 1583 interpreted as indicating the birth of a new religion or the end of the world.

The material provided comes the following source according to the website:

The principal source of our knowledge of Dee's life and activities for some years following 1582, is his own detailed record or "spiritual diary," consisting largely of verbatim accounts of what passed at each of his "angelic conferences," with a few narrative links. A portion of this was published by Casaubon in 1659 under the title: A True and Faithful Relation of what passed for many years between Dr. John Dee (a Mathematician of great Fame in Queen Elizabeth and King James their Reignes) and some Spirits: Tending (had it succeeded) To a general alteration of most States and Kingdomes in the World....with a Preface concerning the Reality (as to point of Spirits) of this Relation and showing the several good Uses that a sober Christian may make of all.


to invoke the Holy Spirit for guidance at the Conclave was held this morning at 11:30.

Auxiliary Bishop Martin J. Amos resides in Akron,OH at St. Vincent Parish. The Mass this morning was part of a meeting of priests which had been scheduled before the Pope died. The Bishop's homily was about the need to maintain tradition. He quoted from the writings of G. K. Chesterton as they have been included in John Allen's book All The Pope's Men. It was the first time I have heard him speak, and I liked what I heard.

For 11:30 on a Monday morning and a Mass that was just announced yesterday, there was a surprisingly good turnout. For a change we had enough priests, and no EMs were needed at communion. It was a treat to see all of them on the altar at consecration. It was also a reminder that our future as practicing Catholics will be short-lived if our young men do not answer the call to priesthood. All of the heads were either graying or white. There were no young men. Some of them are already retired. We have a crisis looming.

An unfair assessment perhaps, considering it was mid-morning on Monday, but as usual the men were underrepresented by a noticeable margin. Come on guys! The women can't hold it together without you.


as reported by Boston.com.


in the murder of Roberto Calvi. A reader sent in this CNN report:

ROME, Italy (AP) -- Four people have been indicted on murder charges in the death of Italian financier Roberto Calvi, a banker with close ties to the Vatican who was found hanging under a bridge in London in 1982, a defense attorney said.

Businessman Flavio Carboni; his ex-girlfriend Manuela Kleinszig, and two men with alleged ties to the Mafia, Giuseppe "Pippo" Calo and Ernesto Diotallevi, will stand trial in October, Carboni's lawyer said Monday.


Cardinal Ratzinger tells packed basilica that the new pope must not be a follower of novelties:

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The conservative front-runner in the election for a new pope warned fellow cardinals Monday that they must choose a pontiff to defend traditional doctrine and shun trendy innovation.

Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog, issued a ringing defense of Roman Catholic orthodoxy at a special Mass just hours before cardinals were to lock themselves away in a conclave to elect a successor to Pope John Paul.

I hope the PTB were listening.


From CNNews:

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of special stamps issued to mark the period between Pope John Paul II’s death and the election of his successor have sold out, the Vatican post office said Monday.

The last of the stamps were sold on Saturday afternoon, the Vatican post office said, just five days after they went on sale and two days before the beginning of the conclave to elect a new pope.


The World Peace Herald reports a story from UPI:

VATICAN CITY -- One of the candidates seen as an early favorite to become the new pope of the Roman Catholic Church was reportedly a member of the Nazi party.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, joined the young Nazi movement in Bavaria in 1941 at the age of 14 and then joined an anti-aircraft unit protecting a BMW factory two years later, The Mirror reported Monday.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Renewal--not just for Catholics anymore.


The following passages can be found in a page in the website of the Merchant Taylors School outside of London. The website discusses some influences on Shakespear, and I presume is used in an English class, however some of the passages have implications for a Catholic trying to understand what has happened to the Church. The passages of significance are:

Renaissance man’s longing for a 'primordial' revelation which could include not only Moses and Plato but also the traditions Magia (magic) and Jewish mystical lore, The Cabbala and the mysterious religions of Egypt and Persia. It reveals also a profound dissatisfaction with medieval religion and the medieval conception of man and the universe, and a longing for a universalistic, trans-historical, 'mythical' religion. …

The Cabbala was introduced to Occult Neo Platonism by its founding father, Pico della Mirandola. The Cabbalist's Tree of Life is a pattern of ten ascending stations (Sephiroth - Angelic Powers) positioned on and between the pillars of Justice and Mercy, mounting from the lowest Hells to the Divine Source. These ten stations form a graded system of symbolic correspondences, each station being like a file in a filing cabinet. The ten stations encompass all the possibilities of existence. Everything in the universe, attached to its symbol, can be given its proper place on the Tree, according to its spiritual quality and significance. So the Tree becomes a model of the hierarchies of the universe, a device for imagining the ordered universe as a stairway to God. Climbing in meditation through the stations, on the path of the Serpent of Wisdom, the practitioner endeavours to raise his consciousness step by step, towards union with the Divine Source.

That is a description of “cosmic consciousness”.

Bruno lifted the Cabbala out of Judaism, and re-centre it on Christ. This became the model for all variations of Neo Platonism. Because the language of Cabbala is Hebrew, the language of biblical God and the angels, and because the imagery of the Tree of Life is biblical, and because this strange apparatus for contemplation was thought to be the very Temple that Christ would build again in three days (the "Ari-el") and because it was operated by techniques of meditation that at a simple level were like prayer and at the highest provided communion with supernatural beings, it provided a system of symbolic correspondences to renovate and refashion disintegrating Christianity. …

A title of the Temple in Rabbinical literature was Ariel, literally 'Lion of God', but also 'Flame of God', the thunder and lightning of the Divine Source. However, it can only be completed by the discovery of mercy, the rose at the centre of the cross…

Rather reminiscent of the picture of Jesus used on Divine Mercy Sunday. In any case, a rose superimposed on a cross is the symbol of the Rosicrucians.

The main currents of Occult Neo Platonism came to a climax, in England, during the last decades of the sixteenth century. The great, formative figures of this final phase of the movement were Giordano Bruno and John Dee, then both at the height of their powers.

Cardinal Sodano apologized for the death of Bruno, as Zenit reported on Feb. 18, 2000.

Dee was Queen Elizabeth's mathematician, consultant to navigators and the builders of the navy, and the most celebrated English philosopher of the day: a man of prestige and influence. …His Occult Neo Platonism was imperialist…, messianic and Christian, moving towards a deepening preoccupation with conjuring spirits and angels (that eventually almost swallowed him up). …

Bruno came to England in the I580s, when Shakespeare was in his 20s. This Italian, impassioned, combative evangelist of the new vision made an impact. His brand of Occult Neo Platonism was a combination of Ancient Egyptian religion, a Copernican universe that was also a gigantic image of the spiritual creation, and a phenomenal cultivation of memory systems. All his systems were based on principles similar to the Cabbalist's Tree of Life…

The practitioner operated these systems mounting the ladder, locking his meditation upon Love by various procedures of ritual magic (that would now be called techniques of hypnosis or self-hypnosis). On the way, Bruno strove to open 'the black diamond doors' of the psyche, releasing visions, revelations of divine understanding, and even supernatural intelligences and powers. This 'magically animated imagination', as he described it, was the key to his teachings. He called his mnemonic images 'seals', meaning 'sigils', a sigil being the signature of a daemonic being. These entities, like Dee's angels, did not exist as intellectual abstractions, crowding on to the point of a needle, they had personality and were open to human negotiation, accessible to the attuned mind of the adept trained in magic, susceptible to his manipulative will, and were able, properly handled, to raise him to near god-like awareness and being.


Dear Friends,

The corruption in the Diocese of Scranton continues to ripple out into the larger Catholic world as yet another priest from Scranton is being investigated outside of the Diocese. As you can see from the article below, Fr. Peter Stravinskas, whose Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Mount Pocono, PA was mysteriously shut down by Bishop Timlin, is now being accused of mishandling parish funds in Omaha to the tune of $400,000. According to the article, detectives have told a judge that the money was spent on Stravinskas' personal expenses.

Those of you who have been carefully following the Society of St. John scandal will remember that a member of Stravinskas' Oratory, Fr. Christopher Clay, was one of the priests accused by John Doe of homosexually molesting him. See http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/3185591.htm. John Doe is the young man who filed the federal sex abuse lawsuit against Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, Fr. Eric Ensey, the Society of St. John, the Fraternity of St. Peter, St. Gregory's Academy, and the Diocese of Scranton.

Many of you will also recall that Fr. Christopher Clay later surfaced in Forth Worth, Texas where he was saying mass publicly even though the Diocese of Scranton had supposedly suspended him from public ministry. See http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/9060662.htm.

Who's next?

Pax vobiscum,

Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond

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