Saturday, September 17, 2005


This was forwarded to me by Justin.

Archangel News
A publication of Archangel Bookstore

1352-A 9th Avenue
San Francisco California, 94122

Eve of September 4th, Feast of the Holy Prophet and God-seer Moses
The Year of Our Lord 2005 (Church Calendar)

Greetings in Jesus Christ!

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce our speaker for Friday (September 10th/23rd), one week from today at 7:30 pm. Lee Penn, a friend of Father Tom, will address us on a relevant issue for Orthodox Christians today.

False Dawn: Understanding the United Religions Initiative

And what is the United Religious Initiative (URI) for Orthodox Christians? Of course, you'll have to come to the talk to discover more,but as Father Seraphim Rose pointed out in Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, we must be very careful to discern between true Orthodoxy and religious syncretism (which amounts to an attempt to "make peace"between two or more fundamentally opposed belief systems.)

Mr. Penn will explain the danger that the URI presents to all who
desire true Orthodoxy. Whereas the URI pretends to unite all religions under a banner of peace and tolerance, in reality it has no place for pure Christian doctrine and will only serve to blur the line demarcating Truth and error. We must neither support the obscuring of truth, nor be ignorant of it.

1 Chronicles 12:32 "And of the children of Issachar, which were men
that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do;
the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at
their commandment."

We hope to see you at the lecture.

. . .just an aside: this month is the seventh anniversary of Archangel Bookstore!

May God keep you, by the prayers and protection of the Archangel Michael, and all the honorable bodiless powers of heaven. Amen.



What happens when you allow faith and art to co-exist in a culture that is jettisoning the sacred?


Friday, September 16, 2005


Check out this thread in Dom's blog.

It's in the Cleveland Diocese. My parish uses it.


It seems that Cardinal McCarrick prays to Allah.

A few months ago, when I was privileged to pray for you on another occasion in this capital city, I asked Allah, the compassionate and merciful Lord of all the world, to bless you and to help you make your country a bridge across which all nations might walk in unity, fellowship and love. As I listened to your words today, I believe my prayer is being answered.

Hat tip to Bettnet.


From a link sent in by a reader:

In what is being characterized as an unexpected move, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved an amendment to a child-safety bill that adds "sexual orientation" to the federal "hate crimes" statute.

The amendment to the Children's Safety Act – which, among other things, creates a national website for child sex offenders and stipulates that sex felons face up to 20 years in prison for failing to comply with registration requirements – was offered by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and passed 223-199. Thirty Republicans, 192 Democrats and one Independent voted to add the "sexual orientation" language, while 194 Republicans and five Democrats voted no.

Continue reading...


THE head of Scotland's freemasons is to stand down from the post after only a year, it emerged yesterday.

Joe Morrow took up the job of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland last November, but instead of serving a normal five-year stint in the role, the 50-year-old will stand down next month due to "a change in personal circumstances and for health reasons".

Earlier in the month, a Sunday newspaper reported how the Labour councillor, advocate and Episcopalian priest was openly gay and was planning to remove some of the mystique traditionally surrounding the secretive organisation.

With about 75,000 members in Scotland, Mr Morrow presides over 660 lodges in this country as well as a further 480 lodges in 44 countries.

He is the 108th leader, following in the footsteps of people such as the third Duke of Atholl and King George VI. The order also counted Robert the Bruce as a member.

Continue reading...


A recent report at "What Does It Mean":

Russian Intelligence Analysts are reporting today that the Military Leaders of the United States have ordered their Internal Military Forces to redeploy to ‘Ready Position Ophelia’ in anticipation of what Russian Scientists are reporting as an impending cataclysmic event that could potentially devastate the entire United States.

These reports today reconfirm our report of September 6th titled ‘Operation Ophelia’ Begins In United States as Plan for ‘Major Cataclysmic Event’ Put Into Effect, NORTHCOM Assumes Control over Entire Country", and wherein we had stated, "Russian Intelligence Analysts are reporting today that the Military Leaders of the United States have begun the implementation of what the Americans are calling ‘Operation Ophelia’, and which calls for the dividing of the United States into separate Military Districts under the command of their newly established North American Defense Division of NORTHCOM.

According to these reports ‘Operation Ophelia’ was originated as a strategic plan for the total changing of American society based upon ‘2 or more’ cataclysmic events occurring in their country over a period of 6 months, and as these reports further show these American Military Leaders are now ‘convinced’ are about to occur."

And our August 25th report titled "United States Warns Foreign Governments of ‘Impending’ Internal Crises While Massive American Troop Movements Continue", and wherein we had stated, "Russian Intelligence Analysts are reporting today that the Military Leaders of the United States have communicated to many of the worlds leaders that a ‘crises’ is about to occur in their country and further warning that any ‘outside’ interference into the internal affairs of the United States will be met with ‘swift and sure’ action.

This unprecedented warning comes at a time when multiple threats are confronting not only the United States, but also the entire world, and which include; 1.) An impending flu pandemic estimated to kill upwards of 1 billion people; 2.) An acceleration of Global Weather Changes destroying up to 20% of this years crops in many Western Nations; 3.) The skyrocketing costs of oil threatening the stability of the Worlds Financial Markets; 4.) The impending crackdown on American citizens and imposition of Martial Law; and 5.) Growing instability in the very core of the Earth itself giving rise to fears of mass earthquakes and volcanic activity on a scale not seen in modern times."

Well, we do have a weather event named "Ophelia," and we did have a movement of troops into NOLA. I guess this is what they mean by "errors in translation".


From Ananova

Swiss authorities are planning to wrap mountain glaciers with tin foil this summer in an effort to stop them melting.

Carlo Danioth, head of mountain rescue services in Andermatt, said: "We will initially cover around 30,000 square feet on the upper Gurschen glacier at the beginning of May as a test."

Scientists hope that the high-tech foil will prevent the sun's rays from melting the ice in popular ski resorts during the summer months.


It's difficult to know what is a proper position on the UN. On one hand, it would appear that such a body is needed to be a voice for peace and charity in the world. On the other hand, the One World Order looms.

Zenit reports on Cardinal Sodano's recent remarks:

In the wake of recent criticism of the United Nations, the Vatican secretary of state says that "the hour has come for the resurrection of the U.N."

Cardinal Angelo Sodano is attending the summit of leaders from 170 countries, called to discuss the urgent reformation of the United Nations, weakened by recent scandals of corruption.

In an interview published today in the Italian newspaper La Stampa, the cardinal said that the ideas for the reform of the U.N. General Assembly presented in New York were "very good."

"Better late than never," he added. "Sixty years have gone by since that far-off June 26 of 1945, when this organization was born to apply the principles enunciated in the preamble of its statute: to save future generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm the fundamental rights of man and to contribute to the development of peoples."

"Concrete fruits have been seen," Cardinal Sodano observed. "But it is also a duty to point out that the history of these 60 years has been marked by the scourge of wars and crimes against humanity, as well as by misery and hunger.

"I recall that after the tragedy of Bosnia, a book was written with the thought-provoking title: 'The U.N. Died in Sarajevo.' Now the hour of its resurrection has come."


A couple of articles linked at New Oxford Review:

A document distributed to faculty and seminarians at America's 229 Roman Catholic seminaries asks pointed questions about homosexuality, dissenting faculty members and aberrant theology.
Known as the "instrumentum laboris," the 12-page working document used by a team of 117 Vatican investigators includes a long list of questions for faculty members, seminarians and all men who have graduated from that seminary in the past three years.
One question, which the document stipulates "must be answered," asks if there is "evidence of homosexuality" in the institution. Another asks if the seminary is free from New Age influences.
Another question with the stipulation that it must be answered: "Do the seminarians or faculty members have concerns about the moral life of those living in the institution?"
Details of the document, a key tool in an investigation known as an apostolic visitation, were released yesterday in the New York Times.

Continue reading...The document quotes Richard Sipe suggesting that the probe should begin in the Vatican.


Another article indicates some priests are not pleased by the visitations:

Such remarks belie the true intent of the apostolic visits, according to one Chicago-area Catholic priest who is gay. "Flying in the face of reality and scientific evidence, rather than dealing with the real issue of psychic immaturity in priests who are either gay or straight -- which is clearly the problem for pedophiles . . . -- they are going on a witch hunt to get rid of all the gays," said the priest, who requested anonymity. "It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

"Why stop at seminaries? Why not deacons, priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals? Are they going to be asked if they are homosexuals and if they are, be forced to resign their positions?" he said. "If that happens, there will be many empty offices, many empty parishes and many empty sees."


A third article in the New York Post offers a teaser but requires registration to read the whole thing:

September 16, 2005 -- New York Catholics have reacted with a mix of outrage and approval over a controversial Vatican order to investigate evidence of homosexuality in all U.S. seminaries — an effort prompted by the priest sex-abuse scandal three years ago.
Bishops selected by the Vatican will spread out among the 229 seminaries and conduct interviews to determine if any of the 4,500 student priests as well as faculty members are homosexual or dissent from church teaching.

The evaluation "is right. They should have been doing it a long time ago," said one member of St. Patrick's congregation...

Thursday, September 15, 2005


including the Mysteries of Divine Healing.

This website is linked on the website of a Catholic for whom the PSR classes were a total failure.

But she's very ecumenical...

She got the idea for this "rosary" from a book by Carol Parrish-Harra titled ACQUARIAN ROSARY: REVIVING THE ART OF MANTRA YOGA and put her beading skills to work while remembering the Catholic rosary from her youth.


Israel's leading known Kabbalistic Elder, Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri called upon worldwide Jewry Tuesday night to return to Israel due to natural disasters which threaten to strike the world.

In a class between the Mincha (afternoon) and Maariv (evening) prayers at his Jerusalem yeshiva seminary, Rabbi Kaduri issued the following call:
”This declaration I find fitting to issue for all of the Jews of the world to hear. It is incumbent upon them to return to the Land of Israel due to terrible natural disasters which threaten the world.

In the future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will bring about great disasters in the countries of the world to sweeten the judgements of the Land of Israel.

I am ordering the publication of this declaration as a warning, so that Jews in the countries of the world will be aware of the impending danger and will come to the Land of Israel for the buliding of the Temple and revelation of our righteous Mashiach (Messiah).”

Continue reading...

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


The Christ and the Craft
from Chapter 4 of The Crafted Cup by Shadwynn

Not long ago, one of the fledgling groves within our Order underwent a drastic upheaval resulting in the exodus of a majority of those novices and students who were considering becoming affiliated with our tradition. The reason for this frenzied flight from the group was their exposure to the celebration of the liturgy of the Grail Mass, the most potent and exalted liturgy of the Ordo Arcanorum Gradalis; but a liturgy nevertheless which includes three references to the Christ: once as “The Cosmic Christ”, once as “Jesu, the Suffering Servant”, and once as “The Crucified God.” [1] For them, any reference to Jesus or the Christ sent chills of fear and apprehension down their spines. Never mind that these references to the Christ were always interspersed among the names of the other dying and rising gods of ancient Paganism, Jesus simply being included in the liturgy as the culmination and ultimate synthesis of all that these gods represented in their highest attributes and mythic foreshadowings.

This underscores one thing unique to this tradition of the Grail Quest; we have not been afraid to incorporate within our rituals certain mystic aspects of the mythic Christ. The Ordo Arcanorum Gradalis is not anti-Christ or anti-Christian because we understand that in its proper esoteric context, Christianity is a relevant and valid path of the mysteries. (We are, however, totally at odds with the traditional, guilt-ridden shackles of the institutional Church and its narrow-minded dogmas.) This is one reason we have little difficulty in using the Grail mythos directly, despite its many over Christian trappings.

Modern Neo-Pagans generally seem to be very adept in assimilating pantheons, rituals and concepts from nearly every Western religious path except Christianity.

Continue reading...


Cool, thoughtful and determined to skate away from politically sensitive topics, the man who could end up leading the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation said yesterday he recognized that the court's 1973 judgment legalizing abortion was "settled as a precedent."

Continue reading...

Actually, it is precedent, which doesn't mean he likes it. He has stated the obvious, while at the same time actually saying nothing. Precedents have been overturned.


During a meeting on Thursday with Pope Benedict XVI south of Rome, Israel’s Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger called upon the leader of the world's Roman Catholic community to act against anti-Semitism and vandalism attacks against synagogues.

Continue reading...


Newsday editor Alex Martin describes going home to New Orleans, and the heartache of seeing his father's home completely destroyed.

He goes on from there to give the story of his niece, a licensed practical nurse, who spent 4 days in a hospital caring for patients they had moved to the second floor because the first floor flooded nearly to the ceiling.


An article from the International Herald Tribune describes the growth of religion in China despite the state's concerted efforts to prevent it.


VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has singled out a particular group of priests for greetings at his public audience -- Italian exorcists holding their national convention. The pope encouraged the exorcists to continue what he called their "important ministry in the service of the church."

Continue reading...

The article also indicates there will be a follow-up course on exorcism to the one given earlier this year.


A year and a half after a Supreme Judicial Court decision allowed same-sex weddings to begin in Massachusetts, the state Legislature voted overwhelming yesterday to reject a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage and allowed civil unions.

The amendment, which passed by a slim margin during an initial vote last year, was rejected by a resounding vote of 157 to 39 yesterday after less than two hours of debate by the House and Senate, which met jointly in Constitutional Convention.

If the question had been approved, it would have gone to voters in November 2006.
The vote was cheered by more than 100 gay marriage supporters who packed the House gallery, and several hundred people who watched on closed circuit TV in the Statehouse’s Great Hall.

“I think there’s great momentum for this cause right now to make sure that these people are treated equally,” House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, who voted against the amendment, said outside the chamber.

“I think the people of Massachusetts are accepting this because they’ve seen the world hasn’t changed, the sky hasn’t fallen, and it hasn’t belittled any of their relationships or their marriage themselves,” said DiMasi, whose comments were nearly drowned out by a rally of gay marriage supporters down the hall.

The battle over same-sex marriage in Massachusetts is still far from over.

A number of legislators who oppose gay marriage changed their vote to no on the civil union compromise, in order to clear the way for a new initiative petition that would come before the Legislature next year. The question would bar gay marriage with no constitutional guarantee of civil unions.

Continue reading...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


The music of harpist Ani Williams playing hymns for the other gospel.

You can read the Gnostic story of Mary Magdalene there as well.

Several days ago I posted links for a website titled Mass of the Mother. I've just rechecked the links and none of them work. The link in Google for "Mass of the Mother" doesn't work either. Odd.


Thanks to Lee Penn for the link.


(ANSA) - Vatican City, September 14 - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday blessed a statue of the founder of Opus Dei, highlighting the conservative Catholic movement's ever higher standing in the contemporary Church .

The five-metre likeness of Saint Josémaria Escriva, made of white Carrara marble, stands in its own niche on the southern outside wall of St Peter's Basilica. It was the first new statue at the basilica to be blessed by Benedict XVI. The unveiling ceremony, accompanied by the chanting of an 80-strong choir, took place after the general audience and attracted a crowd of devotees, officials and onlookers .

The statue bears the coats of arms of both Benedict and his predecessor John Paul II, so as to indicate the popes under which the figure was begun and finished .

Alongside it are other great saints and founders of religious orders, such as Saint Gregory, founder of the Armenian church, Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Brigid of Sweden .

The papal blessing set the seal on the Catholic Church's full acceptance of the movement which it had initially distrusted.

Continue reading...


and intending to serve the uninsured and underinsured.

They don't dispense controlled substances or birth control even though the clinic is non-denominational and has community members and members from other churches on their board. It's in the formative stages, but seems to be growing quickly. I wonder how long they will be able to avoid dispensing birth control, and what the Catholic Church where it is housed will do when they are pressured into dispensing bc?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


A reader sent in the link.

A new political party in Sweden says it will abolish marriage if it gets into power.

The Feminist Initiative, which expects more than 20% of the vote in next year's election, claims marriage "is not about love, but about ownership".

FI founder Tiina Rosenberg, said: "Instead of marriage we want to promote a co-habitation law that ignores gender and allows more than two people in a partnership."

But she said in allowing relationships to involve more than two people, the FI did not want Sweden to fall back into a "patriarchal structure" with one man having a harem of women.

Continue reading...

So, what's the plan? Polyandry instead of polygamy?


I contacted Dr. E. Michael Jones, Editor of "Culture Wars", to see if he knew anything further about this theory. This is his response:

Dear Carrie,

I'm familiar with the Siri thesis and dealt with the 1958 conclave in my book John Cardinal Krol and the Cultural Revolution. I have it from at least two sources that Cardinal Ottaviani was the man who came up with the idea of the council. A reading of the preliminary documents confirms this.

I have a copy of the look article. The unnamed priest is Malachi Martin. I plan to deal with him and his relation to the Jews when the time comes.

All the best,



The School of Sacred Ministries.

The School of Sacred Ministries is a service oriented, non-profit divinity school founded in 1997. We provide a space to seek spiritual growth and education.

The School of Sacred Ministries strives to be a well-respected leader in the field of training students in Interfaith Divinity. We provide an open door policy of acceptance of the diversity of each person’s belief while maintaining the integrity of the school. We provide outstanding instructors while maintaining an affordable vehicle for study.

Our program attracts people involved in the healing arts, esoteric spirituality, personal spiritual practice and professionals such as nurses, social workers and psychologists. Through an odyssey of the world’s religions great and small, the class shares lectures, retreats, sacred rituals and inclusive, compassionate camaraderie.


Our Lady of Fatima, is it already too late? Pray for us!


Catholic Exchange has an article on Melchizedek up at their website which gives the Catholic understanding of this mysterious Biblical figure.

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


and Yoga lessons in the parish hall--

The chancellor of a major American diocese has defended the use of both yoga and a form of esoteric therapy called "reiki" as ways of enhancing prayer and healing in a Catholic setting -- a view that appears to be in contradiction of the Vatican.

The chancellor, Father Ralph E. Wiatrowski, of Cleveland, says that the diocese does not officially propagate the practices but sees nothing wrong with elements of them.

His views first came to light in a letter to a local woman who had complained about use of such practices at the Church of the Resurrection in Solon, Ohio.

The church, which advertises yoga classes in the parish hall on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., also has a highly controversial portrayal of the Blessed Mother.

"As to the matter of yoga and reiki classes that are offered, please know that while these are not Christian in origin, there are principles involved that can be helpful in Christian meditation as well as techniques of relaxation as a preparation for prayer," wrote Father Wiatrowski on August 19. "While such things are not formally encouraged, it does not seem that there is anything present to warrant concern." Father Wiatrowski repeated those views in an interview with Spirit Daily.

Those who oppose such practices note the link to what they see as Eastern occultism, most memorably represented by figures such as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Yoga is from the Sankrit word Yug, meaning "union" (with the Divine, your higher "self").

"It is a path for transcending the ordinary mind (who you think you are) in order to merge with your 'higher self' or 'God self,'" notes one Christian website. "Yoga means 'to yoke' -- to yoke with Brahman (i.e., the 'Infinite,' the 'Universal Spirit,' the impersonal force that the Hindus call 'God') via the realization of an altered state of consciousness, thereby theoretically releasing oneself from the bondage of endless reincarnation. Yoga comes out of the Hindu Vedas. It can be traced back to Patanjali, who was a religious leader. Shiva, one of Hinduism's three most powerful gods, was known as 'The Destroyer' -- he's called Yogi Swara or the 'Lord of Yoga.'

Continue reading...

A picture of the statue is included at the website. Is she naked? Sure looks like it to me. What next? A statue of a couple engaged in "sacred sex"? It would be the natural progression that this parish seems to be embracing.

Ain't life in the Cleveland Diocese wonderful!

Where is Bishop Pilla?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


For better or worse, New Orleans has always been a sign of contradiction to the sober, sensible American way of life. Ask my disapproving father. I come from St. Francisville, a Protestant town on the Mississippi River north of Baton Rouge, the seat of rural West Feliciana Parish, which figures prominently in Walker Percy’s fiction. Daddy’s prophecy about New Orleans was widely shared in the region, but I always had the feeling that he wouldn’t have thought the city’s destruction entirely undeserved. Not, I hasten to say, that he or anybody else would have wished for what has come to pass; rather, New Orleans was viewed — one winces to use the past tense, but there it is — by many rural Louisianians as many Americans look on New York City: as a corrupt and corrupting metropolis, an arrogant, violent, and high-living city that incubated maleficence.


Closed door Cologne speeches revealed. Substantial parts of the Pope’s talks to Muslims and non-Catholic Christians at last month’s World Youth Day celebrations in Cologne went unnoticed after Vatican officials failed to provide journalists with a transcript of remarks made extemporaneously.
The Pope’s comments, especially at separate closed-door sessions with ecumenical leaders, significantly changed the form and substance of the original speeches. Journalists were unable to verify the discrepancies at the time because the media were barred from the encounters.

In his 19 August address to Protestant and Orthodox leaders, according to the website transcript, Pope Benedict said the movement towards Christian unity did not mean “ecumenism of the return; that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history… Absolutely not!” He omitted the originally scripted line, “There can be no dialogue at the expense of truth; the dialogue must advance in charity and in truth.”

Continue reading...

If the movement towards Christian unity does not mean a necessity "to deny and reject one's own faith history," have we decided that what we used to call "heresy" we are now willing to call a different interpretation of Christian truth?

If we do that, will everything going on in Protestant churches become a welcome addition to the Christian (Catholic?) faith? To the point of including women's ordination, homosexuality, married clergy, and some of the more outrageous aspects of liberal theology in organizations such as the Jesus Seminar?


From a PR Web Press Release sent in by a reader:

In Today's Catholic World (TCW), the Catholic news service, has reported compelling testimony from a Vietnamese priest, Fr. Khoat, that Joseph Cardinal Siri was the rightfully elected Pope on October 26, 1958.

(PRWEB) September 12, 2005 -- In Today's Catholic World, the Catholic news service, has reported compelling testimony from a Vietnamese priest, Fr. Khoat, that Joseph Cardinal Siri was the rightfully elected Pope on October 26, 1958.

This controversy began when at the 1958 Conclave, during the early evening of October 26, 17 days after the death of Pope Pius XII, white smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel for a full five minutes, indicating a Pope had been elected, had accepted, and had chosen a name. Khoat says that Siri had chosen the name Gregory XVII. At that time, Vatican radio had announced for a full 30 minutes, "Habemus Papam," i.e., "We have a Pope." As preparations to greet the newly elected Pope were underway, the smoke turned back to black. Vatican officials were said to be at a loss to explain what had happened to cause the sudden reversal.

This incident was reported the next day in a newspaper article by then veteran Italian journalist Silvio Negro. His report appeared on October 27, 1958 in the large Italian daily paper Corriere della Sera based in Milan, Italy. Negro reported that a Msgr. Santoro passed a note from inside the Conclave that the smoke was white and positive and that a Pope had already been elected that October 26 evening.

Now, for the first time in 47 years, the controversy surrounding the 1958 Papal Conclave has surfaced in several large daily newspapers in Europe at the initiative of a Vatican spokesman.

Continue reading...


There are two links in the story. One of them goes to this website, and the second to this website.

Both websites use the same format and carry the same copyright, "© StGemma.com Web Productions Inc. 2005", so I presume they are a single source. One mentions an article in the now defunct Look Magazine.

I have a book titled JUDAISM AND THE VATICAN, written by Vicomte Leon De Poncins, which carries a copyright of 1967, and reprints of 1985 and 1999. The book mentions the Look Magazine article and quotes from it.



Maybe, but it would be better if I could actually see the documents from an independent source or find another news source that was carrying the story.

Former FBI Consultant, Paul L. Williams
claims intelligence docs show
Cardinal Siri was elected Pope Gregory XVII in the 1958 conclave that
two days later produced John XXIII.

Monday, September 12, 2005


according to a story linked by Spirit Daily:

Catholic priests are emerging from dark days of the child sexual abuse scandal with a new sense of hope and accomplishment, according to a new survey that will be published before the end of the year.

The survey mirrors the sentiments expressed by three veteran priests of the Des Moines Catholic diocese, who spoke to the Des Moines Sunday Register about what it has been like to be a priest during the scandal.

The priests talked about feeling anger and betrayal toward abusive priests. They also were fearful that under the U.S. bishops' new zero-tolerance policy, they might be unjustly accused and removed from the priesthood. However, all said they have been buoyed by the support of their parishioners.

"It has been a very trying time to be a priest in the Catholic Church," acknowledged Des Moines Bishop Joseph Charron.

Dean Hoge, a professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., who conducted the survey as part of his ongoing research on the priesthood, said that although priests' morale has rebounded, they still feel stretched too thin because of the growth of Catholicism and a priest shortage.

"Priests today have higher morale than even 15 years ago, when we did the last survey," Hoge said. "Priests are appreciated and are experiencing support from the laity, and morale is gradually going up."

Continue reading...


What do you do when you are a doctor who is caring for dying patients when Katrina hits?

DOCTORS working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leave them to die in agony as they evacuated.

With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.

One New Orleans doctor told how she "prayed for God to have mercy on her soul" after she ignored every tenet of medical ethics and ended the lives of patients she had earlier fought to save.

Her heart-rending account has been corroborated by a hospital orderly and by local government officials.

One emergency official, William Forest McQueen, said: "Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die."

Continue reading...

Blogger credit to New Oxford Review.


Rudy Takala at MichNews comments on the so-called "neochristians" failure to live up to the gospel in an editorial that wraps up the view that NOLA was God's response to sin, and the closely associated political point of view which has the Democratic image of opposition to religion growing, according to a Pew Research Center finding.

The numbers are interesting:

According to the study, the "religion gap" between Republicans and Democrats is widening. Twenty-nine percent of the public sees the Democratic Party as "generally friendly" toward religion, down from 40 percent a year ago and 42 percent in 2003. A 55 percent majority continues to see the GOP as friendly toward religion.

I'm not exactly sure what other point Takala is trying to make.


Baton Rouge, Sep. 12 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has sent a personal representative to Louisiana and Mississippi to convey his support for the victims of hurricane Katrina.

Archbishop Josef Cordes, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on September 10. He will remain in the region through September 14, meeting with victims and with relief officials.

Continue reading...


BEIJING, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Beijing has banned Chinese bishops from attending an October synod in Rome, with state-controlled Catholic groups criticizing the Vatican for inviting a prelate from the underground church.

According to Monday's China Daily, the Chinese Catholic Bishops College and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association expressed regret Sunday over the Vatican's naming of Chinese bishops who, they said, were unable to attend the synod in Rome.

The Vatican announced Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI invited four Chinese bishops to attend a synod in Rome on Oct. 2. Three of the invited prelates are from China's state-sanctioned church, but one, Giuseppe Wei Jingyi, bishop of Qiqihar in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, is a member of the underground church not recognized by Beijing.

Continue reading...


Asia News presents a somewhat different picture of the situation:

Our impression is that the last word has not yet been said on the four bishops’ invitation to Rome. A Chinese Catholic told AsiaNews that “if the government wants to send the bishops to Rome, no Patriotic Association can stop them.”

The last word in fact belongs to President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. One factor that is still a source of some hope is what appears to be a certain detachment from the normal practices of the Patriotic Association in government decisions. The naming of the auxiliary bishops of Shanghai and Xian came about with the tacit agreement between the Vatican and the government, without going through the Patriotic Association. In fact, with the Stalinist and Cultural Revolution mentality of its executives, the Patriotic Association is, at this point, creating more problems than solutions for Chinese Catholics. In many regions, there is enough tension between the Patriotic Association executives and the faithful, both underground and official, to jeopardize the project for a “harmonious society” close to the people that Hu Jintao has been pursuing.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Scroll down approximately a third of the way. There is an illustration of the symbol representing the degree. I think that is the ephod, or more specifically the breastplate, in the center of the symbol.

The "Chair Degrees" of York Rite masonry, so called as the candidate must be the installed or a past presiding officer of the respective York Rite body. They may also differ somewhat in name or character from one jurisdiction to another.

Order of High Priesthood -
A chair degree conferred upon installed or past High Priests.
Sometimes referred to as the Anointed Order of High Priesthood.
In antiquity, this degree was known as the Order of Melchizadek.

Robert McCoy's Dictionary of Freemasonry describes the Ephod:

A vestment worn by the Jewish high-priest over the tunic and the robe. It was without sleeves, and open below the arms on each side, consisting of two pieces, one of which covered the front of the body and the other the back, and reaching down to the middle of the thighs. They were joined together on the shoulders by golden buckles set with gems, and two large precious stones set in gold, on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, six on each stone, according to their order. The material of which the ephod was wrought was extremely costly and magnificent; gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, with rich embroidery. A girdle or band, of one piece with the ephod, fastened it round the body. Just above this girdle, in the middle of the ephod, joined to it by golden chains, rings, and strings, rested the square oracular breastplate, originally intended to be worn by the high-priest exclusively. Ephods of an inferior material were in use among the ordinary priests. Even David, when bringing the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, was "girt with a linen ephod." The Jews had a peculiar superstitious regard for this garment, and employed it in connection with idolatrous worship, and held that no worship, true or false, could subsist without its presence. (p. 138-139)

Pictures of the Ephod/Breastplate:


Saratoga Chabad

Kohenim Breastplace

Garments of the High Priest (Scroll way down)

Pope Paul VI

York Rite Masonic Jewel

From the Dictionary of Freemasonry, entry for Melchizedek:

Pontiff-king of Salem, and prototype of Christ. The name and his history are referred to in the Order of the High-Priesthood; also, in the 5th degree of the Asiatic Brothers, and in the Order of the Illuminati. (page 247)

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