Saturday, May 21, 2005
RESPONSIBILITY AND CULTURE WARS
Flipping through the paper this morning I noticed the picture of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi at the Emmys, posed in a lovers embrace. DeGeneres won an Emmy for her talk show, something I didn’t know she had until this morning. With TV, I’m out of touch. The mind numbing commercials that always look like a carney pitchman selling sex; the sit-coms that turn once-respected human role models—like your best friend for instance—into buffoons to poke fun at; and the inevitable sports liturgies, reached the end of my endurance about ten years ago. I’ll do my own thinking instead of buying theirs, thank you anyway. One of the consequences of that is that it screws up my ability to make small talk. Losing the TV habit offers wonderful bonus hours in the day—hours I can spend doing other things, like blogging for instance. By comparison, TV is a poor bargain.
In the current issue of Culture Wars (May 2005) E. Michael Jones takes on Hollywood, arguing that the philosophy of the wide screen is to avoid consequences. He makes an example of The Aviator, Martin Scorcese’s version of the life of Howard Hughes, which leaves out the critical detail that Hughes had syphllis, making of the story a jumbled set of unrelated events, all for the purpose of avoiding acknowledgement of the obvious—extramarital sex brings consequences.
In American culture we don’t like consequences. Since we can’t make them go away, we redefine them instead. We would rather bankrupt our health care system in the face of AIDS than point to the fact that it results from homosexual sex. We would rather redefine the family than admit that divorce destroys it. We would rather see organized crime as an inexplicable phenomenon, than admit that gambling brings it on, especially when gambling promises to reduce our tax bill. We would rather farm the kiddies out to whoever is available 8 to 5 than admit that mothering is important enough for someone to do it. We would rather honor our Hollywood idols than recognize that refusing to would change the film and TV landscape. Responsibility is an unpopular concept these days.
In summarizing his thoughts, Jones writes
The Legion of Decency Pledge was the teeth in the production code….The pledge is based on the premise of moral causality, the one premise which Hollywood goes out of its way to deny, even if it means wrecking perfectly good stories that could earn lots of money. As Larry Dickson has pointed out, an oath is the only thing that most people have. The only oath of any significance left in our culture is the marriage vow, which is undermined by Hollywood because Hollywood wants to weaken and control people by robbing their lives of moral significance. The pledge is the one thing Hollywood feared in the past, and it is something they can learn to fear again. The details still need to be worked out, but a pledge of total abstinence when it comes to television might be a good place to start.
I remember the Pledge very well. On Legion of Decency Sunday (no, they really didn’t call it that) everyone in church would stand up, raise their right hand, and repeat after Father. No, we didn’t always abide by it, but mostly we did. And mostly Hollywood produced something that wouldn’t violate it. Wonderful musicals like Oklahoma and docudramas like The Ten Commandments. Incredibly, we were entertained by singing and dancing and by Truth. It was light years apart from The Matrix.
Will such innocence ever return now that we’ve all seen sophistication? Probably not. Jones got it wrong. We have two vows to our credit—the marriage vow that we break on a regular basis, and the unspoken vow to glue our eyes to the tube and the silver screen that too many of us never ever break.
GNOSTIC CHURCH BURNS
LAWeekly reports on the fire that destroyed Bishop Stephen Hoeller's Gnostic church on May 7:
In less than one hour, the L.A. outpost of what one Catholic apologist has called “the most dreaded foe the Christian faith has ever confronted” was in ruins. The size and fury of the blaze belied its humble origins, but may have been attributable to what the LAPD suspects was a methamphetamine lab operating in an upstairs apartment. A junkie and her boyfriend had rented the flat for years, and therein lies an irony that would not be lost on Gnostic sensibilities. The fire that gutted Hoeller’s sanctuary was not lit by torch-bearing fundamentalists or commandos employed by Opus Dei, but was the consequence of a modern affliction engendered by the sorrow of being “trapped,” to paraphrase comic icon Howard the Duck, “in a world we never made.”
The article goes on to describe a mass:
We are through the looking glass, and the disorientation can be profound. But to attend a Sunday mass at the old Ecclesia Gnostica, you’d have been forgiven for not noticing right away. Most of the liturgy would be familiar to any Catholic, as would the vestments worn by Bishop Hoeller and his clergy. Only the place, and perhaps the parishioners, would make you feel you had picked the wrong door and wandered into a catacomb art-directed by David Lynch and populated with extras cast by Tim Burton.
There were no flying buttresses or gothic arches at 4516 Hollywood Blvd, only a low-ceilinged, rectangular room barely 24-by-12-feet, appointed with images of the Babylonian prophet Mani and the psychoanalytic pioneer Carl Gustav Jung, a draped flag bearing a Templar cross, and an array of chivalric symbols and Christian icons suggestive of a mode of worship far removed in time. For a resident of daylight Los Angeles, arriving with Starbucks cup in hand, the very act of crossing the threshold could seem both furtive and daring, like entering a graveyard after midnight for a rendezvous or crashing a very private wedding party. But heads never turned to regard the trespasser, either with false welcome or slit-eyed suspicion. One could enter and leave for months, as I did, without getting busted. It was a genuine sanctuary.
There is a Hail Mary, too...with a slight twist:
“Hail, Sophia, filled with light, the Christ is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among the Aeons, and blessed is the liberator of Thy light, Jesus. Holy Sophia, Mother of all gods, pray to the light for us, Thy children, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.”
Maybe the goddess worshiping nuns should be taking lessons.
I'VE EARNED A NEW TITLE
Over at Irish Elk, Mark has blogged some comments about the renovated Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester. (Scroll down to the box.) Erik Keilholtz has added "that lunatic" to Carrie. I'm not familiar with Erik Keilholtz. Should I be proud of the designation? ;-)
Anyway, now you know...if you're reading here, you've entered the looney bin. Isn't blogging fun?
Friday, May 20, 2005
THIS IS WHY THE CHURCH IS IN CHAOS
A group of about 100 gay Roman Catholics and their supporters were denied Holy Communion at Pentecost Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul on Sunday. (story)
But, at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in south Minneapolis a group of Rainbow Sash members were given the sacrament.
Archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath said he had asked the archbishop if there would be repercussions for churches that granted communion to sash-wearing congregants. Flynn's reply was no, McGrath said.
Hat tip to a reader.
ROBERTO CALVI WAS MURDERED
The BBC reports:
Detectives in London have officially concluded that Italian banker Roberto Calvi was murdered in the city in 1982.
Known as 'God's banker' because of ties to the Vatican, Mr Calvi was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge but the death was first treated as suicide.
Four people were charged with murder by the Italian authorities last month.
The City of London Police has now completed its own crime report, following a re-investigation, to assist the Italians with their inquiry.
Now someone needs to start an investigation into the unexpected death of John Paul I, and what Bishop Hnilica had to do with all of this.
THE POPE AND MEDJUGORJE
Michael Brown says that the Pope approved of Medjugorje:
Private letters between the late Pope John Paul II and a couple in Krakow, Poland, appear to confirm, for the first time, in writing, that the pontiff had a positive view of Medjugorje and even a daily devotion attached to the site of apparitions in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
The letters, dated March 30, 1991, May 28, 1992, December 8, 1992, and February 25, 1994, and addressed to Zofia and Marek ("Z. M.") Skwarniccy, make several references to Medjugorje (in Polish, "Medziugorje") by name.
If this turns out to be true, we will then have to decide what to think about a Pope who saw God in the occult, because The Medjugorje Deception leaves little doubt that Medjugorje is steeped in it.
AN ENCOURAGING ARTICLE
at at Chiesa
by Sandro Magister which offers a glimmer of hope that the scandal in the Legionaries will be properly investigated at last. The article gives hints of substantial new information coming to light. Still I'm afraid to get my hopes up that the Church will at last be cleaned up. I've been disappointed too many times before.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Go over to the Papa Ratzi Post and read the comments under "Father Maciel's Abuse Trial Draws Nearer".
YOUR TUITION DOLLARS AT WORK OR NEWS FROM PLANET ZIRCON
According to MTV:
Students at the University of Iowa are lining up for what promises to be a stimulating educational experience.
Upper-level communication studies course "Critical Pornography Studies" will focus on the role of pornography in pop culture, according to Jay Clarkson, the graduate student spearheading the class. Students will tackle topics like the history of obscenity, attempts to legislate pornography, the feminist debate over porn, and porn's prevalence in the media and U.S. culture.
Clarkson stressed the class is more about research than pornography itself — so don't look for any XXX-rated videos, ahem, popping up in the course. "We will not be viewing X-rated materials in class, nor will the assignments require that students purchase pornographic materials."
Who knows...they might learn something that will help eliminate pornography from our everyday encounters. Wouldn't that be worth tuition dollars. Then again, I'm not sure I would want them to be my tuition dollars being spent on my kid's education!
Whata world--college credit for studying porn.
Hat tip to a reader.
THE NEW TERROR KIDS ON THE BLOCK
From the Arizona Daily Sun:
Environmental and animal rights activists who have turned to arson and explosives are the nation's top domestic terrorism threat, an FBI official told a Senate committee on Wednesday.
Groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, the Earth Liberation Front and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty are "way out in front" in terms of damage and number of crimes, said John Lewis, the FBI's deputy assistant director for counterterrorism.
"There is nothing else going on in this country over the last several years that is racking up the high number of violent crimes and terrorist actions," Lewis said.
ALF says on its Web site that its small, autonomous groups of people take "direct action" against animal abuse by rescuing animals and causing financial loss to animal exploiters, usually through damage and destruction of property. ELF is an underground movement with no public leadership, membership or spokesperson.
Here is the ALF website, where you can read:
Who are the ALF?
Members of the Animal Liberation Front act directly to stop animal suffering, at the risk of losing their own freedom. Direct action refers to illegal actions performed to bring about animal liberation. These are usually one of two things: rescuing animals from laboratories or other places of abuse, or inflicting economic damage on animal abusers. Due to the illegal nature of ALF activities, activists work anonymously, and there is no formal organization to the ALF. There is no office, no leaders, no newsletter, and no official membership. Anyone who carries out direct action according to ALF guidelines is a member of the ALF.
Animal Liberation Front Guidelines
1. To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. fur farms, laboratories, factory farms, etc. and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives free from suffering.
2. To inflict economic damage to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.
3. To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors by performing nonviolent direct actions and liberations.
4. To take all necessary precautions against hurting any animal, human and non-human.
In the third section it is important to note the ALF does not, in any way, condone violence against any animal, human or non-human. Any action involving violence is by its definition not an ALF action, and any person involved is not an ALF member.
The fourth section must be strictly adhered to. In over 20 years, and thousands of actions, nobody has ever been injured or killed in an ALF action.
There is something else interesting on the website as well -- An article about the Best Friends Animal Society where you can read:
Before Best Friends came, Kanab seemed well on the way toward becoming a ghost town, chiefly inhabited by the polygamists, whose buildings are conspicuous, but who tend to keep to themselves.
The Best Friends Animal Society arrived in Kanab in 1984, 18 years after eight of the cofounders met as part of an Anglican discussion group in London, England, organized by Robert and Mary Ann deGrimston.
Michael Mountain, now the Best Friends Animal Society president, was then a 17-year-old Oxford dropout, and was among the youngest members. Calling themselves "The Foundation Faith Church of the Millennium," members of the group including the eight Best Friends cofounders in June 1966 tried to start a commune near a Mayan ruin called Xtul, in Yucatan, Mexico. A hurricane ended that effort within months. Returning briefly to England, where they found themselves still as much misfits as ever, they reorganized in New Orleans, where they formally incorporated in 1967 as The Process Church of the Final Judgement, claiming that their mission was to "conduct spiritual and occult research. "
New Orleans in Louisiana. Louisiana, the place where the story of the priestly sexual abuse scandal was broken by Jason Berry.
William H. Kennedy talks about the Process Church of the Final Judgment on pg. 77 of Lucifer's Lodge:
The roots of the Process Church go back to Aleister Crowley, who gained control of a German mystical order called the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) in 1922. The OTO was supposedly a rival of the Knights Templars and claimed an ancient pedigree, but in reality it had been founded by a German occultist circa 1896....The Spiritual Father of the Ordo Templi Orientis was Carl Kellner, a wealthy Austrian chemist. Kellner was a devout Freemason who traveled widely and studied various forms of esotericism. He claims to have come into contact with three adepts who directed him to an (sic) cult called the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.
Interesting connected dots, aren't they?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
RELEASED OFFENDER HIRED BY DIOCESE
A priest in the Catholic Diocese of Davenport — recently released from federal prison for possession of child pornography on a diocese-owned laptop — has been rehired by the diocese for janitorial work at its headquarters.
Diocese leaders decided to employ the Rev. Richard Poster, 40, in the maintenance department of its Pastoral Center, 2706 N. Gaines St., as they await a decision from the Vatican about a request to remove him from the priesthood, spokesman David Montgomery said.
“(Poster) has direct supervision without contact with children and without access to computers,” Montgomery said in a written statement. “Father Poster will be assigned job duties that are consistent with special conditions of his release, as required by his probation officer.”
Representatives of victims of clergy sexual abuse are not pleased.
I'm not sure I agree with their displeasure. Supervision? Absolutely. Separation from children? Without question. No access to the sources of his sinfulness? That's a given. But what's wrong with him pulling weeds and mowing the grass? Especially in a place where everyone knows the story so there will be many people noting what he is doing. It would be a very humbling experience to become the janitor in the place where you had once been a leader. Humbling to the point of being instrumental in his cure? Only time could answer that question. But becoming a janitor is not the same as continuing to function as a priest. A janitor does not have a role of power and godlike respect, unlike a priest. I'm inclined to see this employment as a positive rather than a negative. As a way of taking care of our own responsibilities. As a way to forgiveness and atonement rather than to retribution.
Blogger credit to Crux News.
HAS ANYONE READ IT ?
Deeper Insights Into the Illuminati Formula
Thursday, May 19, 2005
SCHISMATIC PRIESTS SAYING MASS IN LEVADA'S DIOCESE ?
From the Cardinal Kung Foundation website:
The Chinese government established its own “Catholic Patriotic Association” in 1957 as a substitute for the Roman Catholic Church in order to sever Roman Catholics in China from fidelity to the Successor of Peter and from any teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that the Chinese government considers to be contrary to its own interests. Its basic principle is autonomy from the Pope’s administrative, legislative and judicial authority.
Some of these priests were educated in American seminaries such as Dunwoodie and the Josephinum. The list of 22 bishops who cooperated in this venture is included in the open letter at the website.
In the United States, such as in the New York and San Francisco archdioceses, Ordinaries have granted priestly faculties to priests of the schismatic CPA. These priests were allowed to offer Holy Mass publicly in Roman Catholic Churches and to administer other sacraments openly in parishes. No specific mention was made in parish bulletins that the priest in question belonged to the CPA and no explanation was made about the schismatic nature of the CPA....
Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco, wrote: “I would like to invite the Foundation to be more accurate in its statements concerning the Church in China and in particular concerning the priests from China who have been welcomed by the dioceses of this country. The program of their [CPA priests’] formation and of their apostolic ministry is being carried out according to directives received from the Holy See.” The archbishop does not specify to which directives he refers.
Since the underground Catholic priests in China suffer a great deal for the faith, this seems to be a further betrayal of their sacrifices.
On the other hand, perhaps it's a pragmatic decision to address the needs of the Chinese Catholic laity by making sure that the government priests have been properly educated in the faith.
There are other explanations, of course.
Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.
TWEAK WITH SCRIPTURE AND SET OFF A REVOLUTION ?
A reader sent in a link to an older article from "Culture Wars" about the advent of the historical critical method in Catholic Biblical scholarship.
The article by Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S. first appeared in "Culture Wars" in 1999. Called the "Golden Legend", "The central idea is that modern 'scientific' man can no longer accept literally the world-view of the Bible - a world-view which includes belief in supernatural and preternatural interventions in the world of our experience: visions, miracles, fulfilled prophecies, demonic possession and exorcism, appearances of angels bearing messages from heaven, and so forth." Biblical stories thus had to become "myths", calling into question the inerrancy of Scripture.
The false "portrayal of Pope Pius XII as a liberal or even a revolutionary innovator in biblical matters is probably that aspect of the Golden Legend which stands in most urgent need of demytholigization, for not only does it seriously distort the position of that great Pontiff; it is also the main key to the current respectability of the Legend as a whole."
Ironically, 1960 was a pivotal year for this revolution, and 1960 is the year the Blessed Virgin designated in the Fatima prophecy as the year "the situation would be 'clearer'.
Is this revolution in Scripture scholarship the real cause of the heresy within, and the sexual abuse scandal? The article offers a good argument for making such a claim.
ANOTHER COVER-UP EXPOSED
From the Associated Press:
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Leaders of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange scripted public statements to hide sexual misconduct involving a priest and a choir teacher, according to a newspaper account of sealed documents that were accidentally released.
The documents reveal the role of church officials in crafting statements to parishioners when the priest and teacher were forced to leave the diocese after acknowledging the misconduct, The Orange County Register reported Thursday.
Editor Ken Brusic said The Register decided to publish information from the documents - over the objections of the diocese and the plaintiff's attorney who inadvertently released the files - because clergy child abuse is a "matter of compelling public interest."
BLOG HIT COUNTER RESET ITSELF AGAIN
exactly one month to the day from the last time it reset itself. In that month there were 6586+ hits this morning.
Total hits to this blog to date 25,785. Total hits to old blog 29,002. Combined total hits from April 27, 2004 to May 19, 2005 - 54,787
Earl Appleby has put together a report on Levada (scroll down) composed of links to several articles about him. It's a good summary.
Everything in the Spectator article except the last two sentences.
p.s. Thanks to a reader for the link.
BLACK METAL BAND SHOCKS POLAND
A reader sent in this link to a story from Feb. 2004 of a concert in Krakow that so upset the tv station personnel that they called the police.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
ANTHONY PILLA, BISHOP OF CLEVELAND
Thanks to a reader for the link.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
JAMES TWYMAN - TOUR GUIDE
Italy - Assisi to Rome
What do Neo-Cathars do on retreat?
Don't count too heavily on the itinerary here. It's "subject to change based on the intuition of James" (So if you end up spending your vacation sitting in a hotel waiting for James to have intuition, don't complain to the travel agent!)
Meanwhile, the indigo children Adam and Elijah are on the road with the Indigo Documentary bus tour. They would like you to know that:
People everywhere are putting down their weapons and bad attitudes, and are acknowledging each other as brothers and sisters of Planet Earth. Dis-ease and sickness seem to be disappearing rapidly, in light of this recent surge of heart energy. Some are calling it the second coming of Christ, while others are simply calling it evolution. One thing is for sure, there seems to be a direct connection between this increase of love and gratitude, and the incredible rate at which the Earth, and all life on it, is healing. If this continues much longer, it is going to be heaven …
Uh-huh. I can't wait. I'll bet our soldiers in Iraq can't either. Yeah.
At Twyman's World Angel Day website you can get a [channeled] message from Sananda through Eterna.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
SICKENING--BUT IS IT TRUE?
There is a story up on the website of the Rutherford Institute about ritual abuse.
I first learned of Rutherford years ago when listening to Focus on the Family was a regular practice. The organization gives legal support to those whose religious freedom has been denied. The Institute doesn't come up very often in the research I'm doing now, so I haven't kept tabs on them.
This story on their website sounds too fantastic to be believed. But then, again, the Institute is reliable to the best of my knowledge, so I'm not sure what to think.
When I Googled Dr. Corydon Hammond, the hits were not especially encouraging as far as believability is concerned.
Anyone know anything?
HEAR THE PSYCHIC AT THE LIBRARY
The Lexington Herald Leader reports:
Pat Sisson, a psychic,-channeler and author, will-lecture at the Paris-Bourbon County Library, 701 High Street, at 7 p.m. on May 26. Her book, The Royal Path: A Layman's Look at the Tarot is now in its second printing. Free and open to the public; reservations are not necessary. Call (859) 987-4419, Ext. 101, or go to www.bourbonlibrary.org.
I can't relocate the article to fix the link, but here is a link to the library. The session with the channeler is scheduled for May 26 on the calendar.
A FAVOR ?
It appears that James Twyman has locked down his Emissary of Light website, but I can't tell if I've been targeted by a cookie, or if the lockout applies to everyone. Would you go to this website and see if you can access the links next to Twyman's name and then tell me in the comments box whether you could get in or not:
ERROR HAS NO RIGHTS
“For a long time in Roman Catholicism, the principle “error has no rights” was used to secure a special position for Roman Catholicism and to prevent full religious freedom for non-catholics in predominantly Catholic cultures.”
Monastic Interreligious Dialogue website
In the context of the system of European state churches that developed in Europe following the Protestant Reformation and the wars of religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this moral obligation of all to seek the truth and embrace it in the one true Church tended to be formulated and expressed in accordance with the basic idea that “error has no rights.”
“Summrizing the Controversy” by Kenneth D. Whitehead
14. This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say.21 When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin.
“Mirari Vos” (On Liberalism and Religious Indifferentism) – Pope Gregory XVI
From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity,"2 viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;"3 and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling."4
“Quanta Cura” – Encyclical of Pope Pius IX
15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.
16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846.
17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.
“The Syllabus of Errors Condemned by PiusIX” http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9syll.htm
Pages 235-238 of The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber by Ralph M. Wiltgen
This is part of the section titled “black week” by Wiltgen, and discusses the hijacking of the Council. A main issue was religious liberty which was a break with the past.
“St. Vincent Ferrer and the Conversion of the Jews” E. Michael Jones, Culture Wars, Vol. 24, No. 5, pg. 10 describes the conversion of the Jews in Spain. The choice was death or baptism.
Another possible locus of doctrinal development would be the traditional idea that “error has no rights.” This theme finds expression in the teaching of Leo XIII, who said that what some call “liberty of worship . . . is not liberty at all but the depravation of liberty and the servitude of a soul abandoned to sin” [Acta Leonis XIII 8, pp. 229-30],” as well as in the teaching of Pius XII, who in 1953 said that “that which does not correspond to the truth and to the moral norm has objectively no right either of existence or of self-propagation or of action” [AAS 45 (1953), p.799].
“Dignitatis Humanae and the Development of Doctrine” by Kevin L. Flannery, S.J. http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Dossier/00MarApr/doctrine.html
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
so I'm going to bore you all to death with my thoughts on Cardinal Ratzinger's/Pope Benedict's book Truth and Tolerance which I finished reading recently.
TRUTH AND TOLERANCE
Jesus Christ is Lord of history.
Jesus Christ is Lord of history for Catholics.
Both statements are true, yet there is a shift in thinking to get from the first to the second. The first claims this truth applies to all of creation, that it is absolute, and not contingent on the thinking of every, nor even of any individual. It is fact separate and apart from those who think about it. The second claims that Catholics believe this, but concedes that not all of humanity believes this, which can be compatible with the first, or the direct opposite of the first, depending upon who is doing the thinking. Concept No. 2 can easily accommodate concept No. 1, but it also allows the rejection of concept No. 1.
In his preface to the book Truth and Tolerance, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:
In a world that is drawing ever closer together, the question about the
meeting of religions and cultures has become a most important subject, and one
that is certainly not just the business of theology. The question of the
peaceableness of cultures, of peace in matters of religion, has also moved up to
become a political theme of the first rank. Yet it is nonetheless first of all a
question directed to the religions themselves, how they relate to one another
peacefully and how they can contribute to the “education of the human race” in
the direction of peace. This complex of problems applies especially to the
Christian faith, in that from its very origin, and in its essential nature, it
claims to know and to proclaim the one true God and the one Savior of all
mankind: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under
heaven given among men by which we must be saved”, said Peter to the rulers and the elders of the people of Israel (Acts 4:12). Can this absolute claim still be
That, of course, is the burning question of the moment in Roman Catholicism, particularly now that Cardinal Ratzinger has become Pope Benedict XVI, and Archbishop Levada, supporter and promoter of United Religions Initiative, has been called to Rome. The book consists of eight essays on the topic, most of which have been previously published, beginning in 1964. The theology presented has been influenced by Karl Rahner. It appeared to me to be a development of Cardinal Ratzinger’s thinking from 1964 to the present on this subject.
On the Feast of Christ the King, Fr. Don Ware, C.P. opened his sermon with these words:
Today is the feast of Christ the King… The Scripture readings describe Jesus
as King who “receives dominion, glory, and kingship over all peoples and
nations… a kingship which will not be destroyed.” (1st reading from Daniel). The
2nd reading describes Jesus as the “firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings
of the earth.” The Gospel has Pilate proclaim, “Aha, you are a king” after Jesus
tells Pilate that his kingdom “Is not of this world.”
While we recognize that this is not a description of an earthly power trip, we also recognize that it means that Christ has shown us the way to Truth, and His Kingship is a Kingship of Truth. To proclaim that Christ is King is also to proclaim that absolutes exist. The very idea of this belief in absolute Truth is placed on the table for discussion by Cardinal Ratzinger’s question cited above, “Can this absolute claim still be maintained today?”
Another way to state it is to ask the question, “Does error have rights?” The Traditional Catholic answer to that question was “no,” and therefore the Church used every means within Her power to insure that all of humanity would not fall into error, or would be rescued from error by whatever means were available. Contemporary Catholicism departs from this Traditional thinking. The Church no longer believes in conversion at the point of a sword or the barrel of a gun or a burning pyre. The Church has determined that while error has no rights, people do have rights even if their belief is in error. The primary right is the right to life.
The floodgates have thus been opened in what were once Christian countries for a variety of beliefs, and this flood brings us to the interreligious dialogue table, and questions about what may a Catholic say and do while abiding there. Truth and Tolerance discusses the various perceptions about the multitude of religions that humanity has brought to the dialogue table, and how Christianity fits in.
One perception is that the “limitless plurality” gives way to the “hidden identity of the religious worlds, which are distinguished from one another in name and superficial images but not in the great fundamental symbols or in what these ultimately stand for.” (p. 25)
Another perception is that at the mystical level all religions are the same, but this level is attainable by only a few mystics who experience this firsthand—the esoterics—while the great majority—the exoterics—must receive this as “passed on” knowledge also called “faith,” from the mystics. This is a Traditionalist position and was the basis for the "Paths to the Heart: Sufism and the Christian East" conference and the book of talks from that conference edited by James S. Cutsinger, which I've blogged about in the past. Ratzinger disagrees with this mystical commonality of all religions, saying “Yet it is equally clear that the whole phenomenon cannot be thus conceived; rather, any attempt to do so would result in a false simplification.” (p. 27)
A third perception is the inclusivist position that all religions contain an element—a moving toward—Christianity, and it is this element that makes other religions outside of Christianity also salvific. He writes:
Rahner is reckoned to be the classical advocate of inclusivism: that
Christianity is present in all religions, or (putting it the other way around)
that all religions, without knowing this, are moving toward Christianity. It is
from this inner direction that they derive their power to save: they lead to
salvation insofar as they carry the mystery of Christ hidden within them. In
this view of things, on the other hand, it remains true that only Christ, and
the relationship with him, has any saving power; on the other, we can ascribe a
salvific value—albeit on loan, as it were—to other religions and thus explain
the saving of men outside the “ark of salvation” of which the Fathers speak.
This gives the strong impression of a departure from the belief that Catholicism is the one true and complete faith, since a large part of humanity lives and dies within the belief held by other religions, meaning that there is little reason to come to Christ, if some other religious system can save.
Pluralism, another perception, takes this one step further:
Pluralism makes a clear break with the belief that salvation comes from
Christ alone and that his Church belongs to Christ. People in the pluralist
position are of the opinion that the plurality of religions is God’s own will
and that all of them are paths to salvation, or at least can be so, while an
especially important, but by no means exclusive, position can be assigned to
Christ in particular. (p. 52)
Pluralism seems to be the position of the messages from Medjugorje where the BVM is reported to have said that "God rules over all faiths like a sovereign."
A third perception is exclusivism which states that the Christian faith alone saves people and that other religions do not lead to salvation. (p. 49) That, of course, is the Traditional Catholic position. Built within it is the difficulty that people outside of Catholicism are able to demonstrate a high level of goodness. God’s justice precludes excluding such people from heaven, though Cardinal Ratzinger does not point this out.
He synthesizes these three perceptions by saying that it is the seeking for something more of God that is the heart of religions;
it is the dynamic of the conscience and of the silent presence of God in it
that is leading religions toward one another and guiding people onto the path to
God, not the canonizing of what already exists, so that people are excused from
any deeper searching. (p. 54)
That statement is confusing. Incredibly, he gives the impression of rejecting the Roman Canon as inadequate. If we must move beyond the Canon, into a mystical presence of God, are we then permitted to alter the Canon as a result of our deeper searching? Only doctrine can form a framework within which we can search safely. Decoupled from doctrine, our searches largely reflect only our own biases.
If the “silent presence of God” does not bear the name of Christ, whose name does it bear? What God is silently present for the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Jain? Is he proposing a multiplicity of identities? He does not say, though he has just previously spoken of the “real encounter with Christ” (p. 54) so one hopes this is what he means.
One difficulty seems to be that while he is talking about what the world believes, there appears in some instances to be a bleed-over into what he believes. The lines of separation between the world's beliefs and his beliefs are not always clear. The book appears to be written for non-Christians as an exploration of the range of ways that the Christian faith can be interpreted. If he were writing for Catholics, limitations on techniques of mystical encounter would have been essential.
On page 55 he moves into a discussion of “Christian universalism”:
It was not the drive to power that launched Christian universalism but the
certitude of having received the saving knowledge and the redeeming love to
which all people have a claim and for which, in the inmost depths of their
being, they are waiting.
This takes him into a discussion of mission and inculturation. He notes the difficulties with inclusivism, and pluralism when applied to other cultures:
When we think, for instance, of how on the occasion of the most recent
rebuilding of the main Aztec temple, in the year 1487, “at the very lowest
estimate, twenty thousand people” bled to death, “over four days, on the altars
of Tenochtitlan” (the capital city of the Aztecs, in the upper Mexico valley) as
human sacrifices to the sun god, it will be difficult for us to encourage the
restoration of this religion. Such a sacrifice took place because the sun lived
on the blood of human hearts, and the end of the world could only be prevented
through human sacrifice.” (p. 74-75)
"Difficult"? How about "unthinkable"?
He tells us that
Mere pluralism of religions, as blocks standing forever side by side, cannot
be the last word in the historical situation today. Perhaps we will have to
replace “inclusivism…with some better concepts. It is certainly not the
absorption of religions by one single one that is meant; but an encounter, in a
unity that transforms pluralism into plurality, is something necessary. Today it
is certainly desired. (p. 83)
“Pluralism into plurality”? Doesn’t “plurality” mean "religions as blocks standing forever side by side”? The statement is ambiguous. It can easily be read as a sort of defense of Christianity, but it leaves room for other interpretations, such as all religions are equal.
Rene Guenon proposes something quite like a recommendation for pluralism in The Reign of Quantity. He came to this conclusion after abandoning Catholicism and experimenting with occultism, ultimately taking up Sufism. Guenon adds to this the concept of a mystical union of all religions at the esoteric level. Would Cardinal Ratzinger reject Traditionalism? After reading this book, I could not answer a definitive “yes” or “no.”
Ratzinger then backs away from inclusivism or plurality:
If I have rightly understood, there are currently three models for this: the
spiritual monism of India—the mysticism of identity…[which] can offer all other
religions a place, allow them to stand in their symbolic significance…and at the
same time transcend them in an ultimate profundity. It “relativizes” all of them
and, at the same time, lets them stand in its relativity; the absolute value
with which it surrounds them lies beyond anything that can be named… (p.
Love, he proposes, is the “highest word, the truly last word to be said”….All our reflections hitherto, and everything that follows, serve to make more clear how this Christian “model” is the true power for uniting, the inner goal of history.” (p. 84)
Love? Defined how, exactly? Emotion? Certainly emotion is not the solution to our religious diversity. Love was once defined as “charity.” Christian charity is laudable. Can we assume this is what he is talking about, or does the “love” of Rosicrucianism shade his thinking? It’s hard to tell.
In light of my recently blogged comments on The Medjugorje Deception, I found this statement especially insightful:
Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it
wishes to do the work of God, it becomes, not divine, but demonic. (p. 116)
though I doubt that Cardinal Ratzinger had Medjugorje in mind when he wrote that.
He seems to be well aware of the difficulties present in dialogue:
[Dialogue] has become the very epitome of the relativist credo, the concept
opposed to that of “conversion” and mission: dialogue in the relativist sense
means setting one’s own position or belief on the same level with what the other
person believes, ascribing to it, on principle, no more of the truth than to the
position of the other person. Only if my fundamental presupposition is that the
other person may be just as much in the right as I am, or even more so, can any
dialogue take place at all. (p. 120)
Right after his election, the Western Catholic Reporter, in an article by John Thavis of Catholic News Service, reported that “promoting unity in the Church and dialogue with the world” were high priorities of his papal ministry. Does that mean that he sees the Catholic Church as equal to the world, and that the world “may be just as much in the right” as he is?
His argument for the truth of Christianity is convincing, and he understands well why it must be convincing in the current climate:
Only if the Christian faith is truth does it concern all men; if it is
merely a cultural variant of the religious experience of mankind that is locked
up in symbols and can never be deciphered, then it has to remain within its own
culture and leave others in theirs. (p. 184)
Ratzinger tells us that
There are in fact sick and degenerate forms of religion, which do not edify
people but alienate them… (p. 204)
This is directly in opposition to the intentions of United Religions Initiative which considers all religions including Paganism to be equal. URI does not intend to leave anyone within their religious culture. Rather it intends to morph all religions into one.
The last chapter, “Truth—tolerance—Freedom,” is the summation of his developing thought. He writes:
Are Christian faith and modernity compatible? If tolerance is one of the
foundations of the modern age, then is not the claim to have recognized the
essential truth an obsolete piece of presumption that has to be rejected if the
spiral of violence that runs through the history of religions is to be broken?
Today, in the encounter of Christianity with the world, this question arises
ever more dramatically, and ever more widespread becomes the persuasion that
renouncing the claim to truth in the Christian faith is the fundamental
condition for a new universal peace, the fundamental condition for any
reconciliation of Christianity with modernity. (p. 210)
Well, yes, that is precisely what Episcopal Bishop William Swing would tell us. It is hard to deny the truth of that analysis. There has been and continues to be a great deal of murder in the name of God.
A good bit of this chapter is devoted to the difficulties with the philosophy of J. Assmann who presents the concept of the “Mosaic distinction”:
For his part, Assmann depicts in detail the longing for Egypt, for a return
to the time before the Mosaic distinction, from the Renaissance with its
reverence for the Corpus Hermeticum as a primeval theology to the
Enlightenment’s Egyptian dreams, with Mozart’s Magic Flute as the wonderful
artistic embodiment of this longing. (p. 213)
(Incidentally, Mozart’s Magic Flute is frequently referred to as his Masonic Opera.)
What is meant by the “Mosaic dictinction” is the “introduction of a
distinction between true and false in the realm of religion.” (p. 211)
With the introduction of belief in a single god, something completely new and revolutionary occurred accordingly: this new kind of religion was of its nature an anti-religion”, which excluded everything that came before as “paganism” and was a medium, not of intercultural translation, but of intercultural alienation….the potential for hate and for violence was set down in writing, and in the history of monotheistic religions this has ever and again taken concrete form.” With this potential for violence, the story of the Exodus appears as the foundation myth of monotheistic religion and is at the same time an enduring depiction of the way it works.
The conclusion to be drawn is clear: the Exodus must be reversed; we must go
back to “Egypt”… (p. 212)
Assmann…sees the “Mosaic distinction”, which is what the Exodus is for him,
as the source of the evil, distorting religion and bringing intolerance into the
world.” If this can be accomplished, Assmann contends, “the distinction between
true and false can be removed from religion if the distinction between God and
cosmos disappears, if the divine and the “world” are once more seen as an
undivided whole. (p. 213)
In other words, an argument for pantheism is being proposed as the solution to religious war by J. Assmann.
What is characteristic for Egypt, he says, is…the “moral optimism to ‘eat
your bread with enjoyment’, conscious that ‘God has already approved what you
do’--one of the Egyptian verses in the Bible’ (Eccles 9:7-10). ‘It looks’,
writes Assman, ‘as though sin came into the world with the Mosaic distinction.
Perhaps that is the most serious reason for questioning the Mosaic
distinction.” (p. 214)
But, Ratzinger counters,
If we can no longer recognize what is true and can no longer distinguish it
from what is false, then it becomes impossible to recognize what is good; the
distinction between good and evil loses its basis. (p. 214)
Clarifying further, he writes:
One final reflection is needed. Assman praises the way that the gods may be
transposed one into another, since it appears as a path of intercultural and
interreligious peace. The “intolerance” of the First Commandment and the
condemnation of idolatry as a fundamental sin are opposed to this. This, in
turn, looks like a canonization of intolerance, as we have seen. Now, it is true
that the one God is a “jealous God”, as the Old Testament calls him. He unmasks
the gods, for in his light it becomes clear that the “gods” are not God, that
the plural of “God” is as such a lie. (p. 227)
He closes the book with a discussion of freedom, what its real nature consists of and the false concept of freedom that we live with today.
Man has rights on the basis of his creation, rights that must be brought
into effect, that justice may prevail. Freedom is not granted to man from
without; he has rights because he was created free. (p. 238)
Cardinal Ratzinger presupposes that this argument for freedom, based on nature and the nature of creation to be free, is valid. It then refutes this argument by defining the essential nature of Truth. Freedom is only the freedom to do that which is good, and freedom cannot exist without a corresponding sense of responsibility.
How can the argument that nature is free be valid? Nature is filled with constraints. First of all a chicken doesn’t hatch a whale. A human doesn’t have animal children. Nature segregates.
Nature tells us that a body must have a beating heart which does not function like a liver or a big toe. The parts are not interchangeable. In fact nature is a rigid enforcer of her own laws. To argue that we are created free by nature is an argument based on a false premise.
Nature is not a liberator. Nature is a constrainer. Nature punishes transgressions of her laws with dire consequences. Step in front of a speeding train. If you can still argue that nature is a granter of the freedom to act in whatever way you wish once the train has passed, I will reconsider. What I suspect, however, is that you will not be here to make the argument when Nature is finished making her point.
While Cardinal Ratzinger’s argument for Truth over freedom is solidly Christian in outlook, this basic underpinning of a false premise bothers me enough to make me wonder what I have missed in his other arguments. My caution increases in reading the following assessment:
The principle of responsibility establishes a framework that needs to be
filled with some content. It is in this context that the suggestions of
developing a universal ethic, to which Hans Kung is above all passionately
committed, needs to be seen. No doubt it makes sense, and indeed in our present
position it is necessary, to search for the basic elements held in common by the
ethical traditions in the various religions and cultures; in that sense, such
activity is certainly both important and appropriate. (p. 251)
He cautions, however, that
[S]uch an ethical minimum distilled out of the world religions, would in the
first place lack any binding character, that inner authority which any ethic
needs. And despite all efforts toward understanding, it lacks also the rational
evidence that…could and should probably replace authority; it lacks also the
concrete character that alone makes any ethic effective.
One thought, which is probably associated with this attempt, seems to me correct: Reason needs to listen to the great religious traditions if it does not wish to become deaf, blind, and mute concerning the most essential elements of human existence.
There is no great philosophy that does not draw its life from listening to and
accepting religious tradition. (p. 252)
What an odd statement for the now leader of the Roman Catholic Church to have made. A leader who is supposed to defend the faith as the fullness of truth wants to listen to the world’s religions in an effort to find that truth. One would hope that the man who is pope would already have found it.
He offers one last insight at the end of the book:
[T]he atheistic systems of modern times are the most frightful examples of
passionate religious enthusiasm alienated from its proper identity, and that
means a sickness of the human spirit that may be mortal. When the existence of
God is denied, freedom is, not enhanced, but deprived of its basis and thus
distorted. When the purest and most profound religious traditions are set aside,
man is separating himself from his truth; he is living contrary to that truth,
and he loses his freedom. Nor can philosophical ethics be simply autonomous. It
cannot dispense with the concept of God or dispense with the concept of a truth
of being that is of an ethical nature. If there is no truth about man, then he
has no freedom. Only the truth makes us free. (p. 258)
He will get no argument about that from me about the need for God. It would be a lot more comfortable about the statement, though, if he had said "Christ".
Will Pope Benedict XVI sign on to United Religions Initiative? Will he sign on, and then alter its direction from within? Will he reject it outright, pointing out the serious flaws it contains? If not URI, will he take up the position of the Traditionalists who want all religions to exist side-by-side in peace—a tradition that Rene Guenon and the Grand Orient Lodge have embraced? Whatever course he decides to follow, it seems clear from this book that he will not support the Traditional Catholic position that Roman Catholicism has no equal, at least not when he sallys forth into the marketplace of ideas, though I have no doubt that he will continue to teach that for a Catholic Jesus Christ is the Lord of history, the sole, unique, and divine Savior of the world. I guess when you are pope, you can promulgate a contradiction with impunity. Such is the nature of Catholicism.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
EMAIL FROM DR. BOND
The Diocese of Scranton has posted on its web site a statement about the Society of St. John. This statement had been quoted in various newspaper articles concerning the settlement of the federal sex abuse lawsuit, but it had not be made available to the public until recently.
I have added my comments in capital letters in brackets within the statement below.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
P.S. I have heard from two reliable sources that Rome has DENIED the Society of St. John's appeal of Bishop Martino's decree of suppression. Hopefully official confirmation will come soon.
Society of St. John Sells Property;
Diocese of Scranton Confirms Settlement in Civil Lawsuit
The Society of St. John, an organization of priests which was suppressed by Scranton Bishop Joseph F. Martino in November 2004, today (May 6, 2005) sold its 1000-acre property in Shohola, Pike County. The land was originally acquired by the Society in 1999. The Society’s failure to meet obligations as an ecclesiastical entity, its financial decisions and conduct, and allegations of sexual misconduct against two of its founding members compelled the Bishop to suppress the group.
A critical feature of today’s property transaction was the full payment of the loan which was arranged by former Scranton Bishop James C. Timlin. The Diocese was guarantor of a loan in the amount of $2,650,000. “We are very pleased that this sale has finally taken place because the burden of guaranteeing this group’s financial obligation to repay the loan has been removed from the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton,” Bishop Martino said. “It is unfortunate that this group of priests brought so much scandal and consternation to the priests and laity of the Diocese. It is now time to move forward and put the Society behind us.” [BISHOP TIMLIN'S DECISION TO MAKE THIS LOAN, DESPITE THE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE OF THE SSJ'S GROSS IMMORALITY, WAS AN EVEN GREATER CAUSE OF SCANDAL AND CONSTERNATION AMONG THE FAITHFUL. BISHOP TIMLIN'S MISUSE OF HIS AUTHORITY TO COVER UP FOR THE SSJ, AS WELL AS HIS EFFORTS TO PUNISH THE COLLEGE OF ST. JUSTIN MARTYR FOR EXPOSING THE SSJ HOMOSEXUAL CULT, MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO "MOVE FORWARD AND PUT THE SOCIETY BEHIND US" UNTIL THE COLLEGE OF ST. JUSTIN MARTYR HAS BEEN JUSTLY COMPENSATED.]
In another matter involving the Society, independent of the sale of the property, the Diocese of Scranton agreed to participate in a settlement of the case which John Doe and his parents brought against Father Eric Ensey, Father Carlos Urrutigoity, the Society of St. John, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and St Gregory’s Academy, and Bishop Timlin and the Diocese. A settlement in the amount of $380,000 has been agreed to. The financial settlement has been apportioned in the following amounts: Diocese of Scranton – Bishop Timlin $200,000; Society of St. John – Fr. Ensey-Father Urrutigoity $55,000; and Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter – St. Gregory’s Academy $125,000.
In announcing the settlement, Bishop Martino stated that the claims against the two priests, who are founding members of the Society of St. John, were very damaging.
“In preparing for the civil trial, more than 40 depositions were taken,” the Bishop said. “The allegations made by the young man who asserted that he was sexually molested by Father Ensey and Father Urrutigoity were very damaging. In view of the serious claims made by the young person and in light of the statements by the witnesses who supported his claim, it was determined that the just decision was to reach a settlement that will assist the victim and his family as they attempt to heal.” [HAD BISHOP TIMLIN PROPERLY INVESTIGATED THIS MATTER WHEN WE FIRST BROUGHT IT TO HIS ATTENTION IN THE SUMMER OF 2001, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO TAKE 40 DEPOSITIONS AND ALMOST FOUR YEARS TO REACH A JUST SETTLEMENT. WHY DID BISHOP TIMLIN SUPPORT THE SSJ AND STONEWALL FOR YEARS TO PROTECT THEM?]
The Bishop said the Diocese deeply regrets that any young person would ever suffer because of the conduct of a priest. [THESE WORDS ARE ONLY WORDS UNTIL WE SEE WHAT BISHOP MARTINO DOES WITH URRUTIGOITY AND ENSEY, AS WELL AS THE OTHER PRIESTS OF THE SSJ, ALL OF WHOM LIED TO COVER UP FOR THESE PERVERTED PRIESTS. OF PARTICULAR CONCERN IS THE IMPENDING ORDINATION OF DEACON JOSEPH LEVINE WHO, AS FORMER SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE SSJ, ALSO USED HIS OFFICE TO COVER UP FOR URRUTIGOITY AND ENSEY.]
Diocese of Scranton Spokesman
Monday, May 16, 2005
VICTIM FOUND WITH CHILD PORN
A Rochester television station reports:
A man who was sexually abused by a Rochester priest has been arrested and accused of possessing child pornography. there are also indications that the case may be tied to the arrest of another Rochester priest who faces similar charges.
A NEW YORK TIMES STORY ON LEVADA
finishes with a paragraph in which Fr. Fessio said:
"I can't imagine that Pope Benedict XVI would have appointed someone to succeed him at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who is not in line with his own policies."
Levada has given support to United Religions Initiative. Pope Benedict has appointed Levada to succeed him at the Congregation. Can we then assume that Pope Benedict is also a supporter of United Religions Initiative? We'll know soon enough.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Hat tip to Novus Ordo Watch.
DIOGENES AT CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS
expressed some opinions re Levada on Nov. 12, 2004. They are not the words he is saying now, I'd be willing to bet, but they are most likely true words nevertheless.
What has our Pope done? How can a man accused publically of "deception, manipulation and control" be a good choice to lead the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
If there were doubts about whether we had entered the Great Apostasy foretold in Scripture, many of those doubts are being dismissed as a result of this selection.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Hat tip to Novus Ordo Watch.
Last Saturday's concert at Severence was sadly the last in our series of tickets, and also a new classical music experience.
The concert opened with the Cleveland Orchestra's rendition of Mozart's Linz Symphony--something I need to add to my CD collection.
Next came Joseph Lulloff's performance of Ingolf Dahl's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble.
I grew up on Dixieland Jazz, with a Godfather who owned a dance hall dedicated to ballroom dancing of the big band era variety, an uncle and cousin who played in the orchestra. I have memories of sitting on the orchestra platform and feeling the music vibrate through me, and a love of guitar that even prompted me to attempt to learn to play one.
Classical sax, however, was totally outside of my experience. According to the program notes, "Dahl wrote the initial version of the Concerto for Saxophone and Concert Band in 1949." The Concerto is immersed "in new musical ideas and techniques, [and] proved to be one of the most challenging works ever written for wind orchestra. The difficulties of the solo part, in fact, proved so daunting that no soloist beyond Rascher (who premiered it in 1949 at the University of Illinois) wanted to play the original version."
Dahl prepared an abridged version which was first presented in 1959.
Joseph Lulloff is professor of saxophone performance studies at Michigan State University, as well as a world class performer who will travel with the Cleveland Orchestra as featured soloist during their West Coast Tour. Lulloff is gifted with the instrument. The strain caused by this performance was written on his face. He put everything he had into it.
But the music...! "New musical ideas" indeed. Closer to new age noise. I hope when he goes on tour, he plays something a little more musical, but then again he's going out to the West Coast where the likes and dislikes are certainly different from mine. This might be just their cup of tea.
FR. RON ROLHEISER
His book, Restless Heart Finding Our Spiritual Home is available through Graymoor Book & Gift Center, a Ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. I wonder if he talks about sacramental sex in this one?
Anyone out there have any information on Graymoor? It seems to be substantially involved in interreligious dialogue.
Thanks to a reader for the tip.
RAINBOW SASHERS DENIED COMMUNION
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A Roman Catholic priest denied Communion to more than 100 people Sunday, saying they could not receive the sacrament because they wore rainbow-colored sashes to church to show support for gay Catholics.
Before offering Communion, the Rev. Michael Sklucazek told the congregation at the Cathedral of St. Paul that anyone wearing a sash could come forward for a blessing but would not receive wine and bread.
No, it is not because rainbow-colored sashes show support for gay Catholics. It is because rainbow-colored sashes show support for gay dissent from the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. I guess the reporter wasn't listening when Bishop Harry Flynn said the sashes are "more and more perceived as a protest against church teaching," declaring that it has never been acceptable "to use the reception of Communion as an act of protest."
This nun wasn't paying attention:
Sister Gabriel Herbers said she wore a sash to show sympathy for the gay and lesbian community. Their sexual orientation "is a gift from God just as much as my gift of being a female is," she said.
What catechism was she reading? She seems to think that sin is a gift from God.
If all the parish youth decided to wear purple and yellow ribbons to show solidarity for the "gift of fornication," the same rule would apply. It would apply to married people who wore ribbons to show support for the "gift of adultery." It's not about homosexuality. It's about sexual morality. Only married man and woman have the right to make use of the gift of sex, and then only with each other. The gift is meant to strengthen families, and families are an integral part of the gift. It's purpose is to create them in the first place, and then to build a bond between husband and wife that can endure the inevitable hardships that go along with it. Those who choose not to procreate give up the use of the gift. What's so hard to understand about that? No one is being oppressed here. Sin is not a right.
It's good to see that the bishops are beginning to put their actions where their doctrine is.
THEY MAY NEED MORE THAN A BURIED STATUE OF ST. JOSEPH
to sell this house.
Blogger credit to Crux News.