Saturday, October 01, 2005
until Tuesday. It's time to take a few days off. Thought I'd go see what my husband looks like these days.
(I'm kidding!) ((But not entirely.))
Blogging is addictive and time consuming. He's not working this weekend so he'd prefer I let the keyboard rest. I should be able to manage three days without going into withdrawal. Just!
Friday, September 30, 2005
A DESCRIPTION OF ANGELS
by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis. These passages are from the website:
A number of numinous creatures subordinate to God appear through the Hebrew Bible; the Malach (messenger/angel) is only one variety. Others, distinguished from angels proper, include Irinim (Watchers/High Angels), Cherubim (Mighty Ones), Sarim (Princes), Seraphim (Fiery Ones), Chayyot ([Holy] Creatures), and Ofanim (Wheels). Collective terms for the full array of numina serving God include: Tzeva, (Host), B'nei ha-Elohim or B'nai Elim (Sons of God), and Kedoshim (Holy Ones). They are constituted in an Adat El, a divine assembly (Ps. 82; Job 1). A select number of angels in the Bible (three to be precise) have names. They are Michael, Gabriel, and Satan. ...
We also see the resurgence of a quasi-polytheistic view of the divine order recast in monotheistic terms. Now instead of having minor gods with specific spheres of power, lists of angels appear, all subordinate to God, but each designated with their sphere of authority (3 Enoch). This is accompanied by a proliferation of named angels. For the first time we hear of Uriel, Raphael, Peniel, Metatron, and many, many others (I Enoch, Tobit, IV Ezra).
There also an increasing awareness of an affinity between angels and mortals. It seems that the boundary between human and angelic states is permeable. Elaborating on cryptic passages found in the Bible (Gen. 5:24; II Kings 2:11), it is taught that exceptional mortals, such as Enoch, may be elevated to angelic status (I Enoch).
A sense of dualism, stronger than what is found in the Hebrew Scriptures, appears in Late Antiquity and leads to angels being divided into camps of light and darkness, as exemplified by the angelology informing the Manual of Discipline found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. ...
...references to angels in rabbinic literature are almost as vast as the Hosts of Heaven themselves. Many divine actions described in Scripture were now ascribed to various angels (Deut. R. 9; Gen R. 31:8; Sand. 105b). ...
While rabbinic writings offer no systematic angelology comparable to that coming out of contemporaneous Christian and magical circles, certain parallel notions can be seen. ...
In late antiquity angelology becomes a major element in Merkavah mysticism. Any adept wishing to ascend the palaces of the heavens and achieve a vision of the Divine Glory needed to know how to get past the angelic guardians (usually by knowing and invoking their names) at each level. Perhaps even more important to this mystical tradition, angels can be summoned and brought down to earth to serve a human initiate. Many rituals and practices devoted to this end have been preserved in the Hechalot writings. Starting in late antiquity, angels are increasingly related to and bound up with the everyday life of individuals. ...
Because of the exalted status of Torah study among Ashkenazi Jews, rituals for summoning angels, especially angels who could reveal secrets of the Torah, like the Sar ha-Torah and Sar ha-Panim (The Prince of the Torah and the Prince of the Presence), became widely known.
The early Medieval magical work Sefer ha-Razim catalogues hundreds of angels, along with how to influence them and to use their names in constructing protective amulets, throwing curses, and otherwise gaining power. Zohar, along with continuing the tradition of angelic taxonomy, sorting them into seven palaces and ranking them according to the four worlds of emanation (1:11-40), assigns angels feminine as well as masculine attributes (1:119b). ...
The main contribution of Chasidic thought to angelology was a distinctly anthropocentric, even psychological, interpretation of angelic nature. Specifically, early Chasidic masters held that ephemeral angels were the direct result of human action. Goodly deeds created good angels, destructive behavior created destructive angels, etc. In other words, most angels are ontologically the creation, really a byproduct, of humans rather than God! Thus the balance between the angelic and demonic forces in the universe is a direct result of human decision and action.
Magical uses: The names of angels have apotropaic properties and frequently appear on amulets, magical inscriptions and formula. In the bedtime ritual Kriat Sh'ma al ha-Mitah, the angels Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael are invoked for protection through the night. Angels have areas of specialization and can be summoned to assist mortals in these areas, such as learning and memorizing Torah.
We Catholics have four with names: Raphael, Gabriel, Michael, Lucifer.
The Tablet article names more, and the names come from a visionary, Mrs. Bitterlich.
There is some evidence that the Vatican condemned some of the beliefs of this religious order but not the order itself. First:
Decree on the doctrine and customs of the Association «Opus Angelorum» (Decretum de doctrina et usibus particularibus consociationis cui nomen «Opus Angelorum»), June 6, 1992
AAS 84 (1992) 805-806
EV 13, 978-983; LE 5475; Dokumenty, II, 30
That is taken from the Vatican website, but the document is not online at the Vatican website.
It does appear to be online here, but the source is questionable since it seems to be using the material of Little Pebble.
Bro. David Steindl-Rast's website, gratefulness.org, has a webpage devoted to angels and animals.
On that webpage he says that
Our focus here is not on thankfulness, though, but on gratefulness. Animals teach us gratefulness, the art of being in the moment. We humans half cling to the past, half stretch out to the future, with little of us left to enjoy the now. Animals are fully present. Through their unconditional acceptance of each moment, they sometimes draw even us into it.
When humans learn to be gratefully present every moment, they become angels. It’s not the wings that make the angel, but the message of courageous presence and creative acceptance, no matter what the moment brings: “Fear not!”
It may be a nice thought, but angels and mankind are different beings and man does not become an angel, nor vice versa. Nor do we believe that animals have the ability to be grateful in a human sense. The human being has a soul. The animal does not. That is Catholic cosmology and doctrine. So the idea that animals can teach us to be grateful--and one would suppose to praise God--is a stretch.
It would not, however be a stretch for a person of the Jewish faith--at least not a follower of the teaching of Sabbatai Zevi:
Jewish (Oral) Scripture teaches that animals, even the "tiniest" among them (i.e., insects) -- like mankind and even the angels -- have a soul, otherwise how could they know God to "bless" Him?
Animals, like mankind and the angels, speak and understand Hebrew, otherwise how could they praise God with the Hebrew words, "Boruch Yahweh l'olam, omayin v'omayin" (Psalms 89:53)?
Animals, again like mankind and the angels, know the Torah, otherwise how could they quote from the Psalms?
For this reason, it falls upon man to "awaken" and "raise up" the soul of animals, through the kavannah (mystical intention) of Neo-Sabbatian Tikkun, in order to repair the Face of God and return the universe to its pre-creational state of unity.
The Donmeh West website where that quote appears is dedicated to the beliefs of the heretical Jewish mystics Sabbatai Zevi and Jacob Frank. Among Sabbatian concepts is the idea that since God brings good out of evil, man must do evil in order to force the hand of God.
Bro. David Steindl-Rast takes part in Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. Does his discussion of angels at his gratefulness.org website represent a bleeding over of Jewish mysticism that is confusing Catholic theology?
When Vladimir Soloviev, whom John Paul II often cited, studied the Kabbalah, a vision of Sophia appeared to him. The Opus Angelorum beliefs discussed in The Tablet article came from a visionary experience. Sabbatai Zevi's heretical teachings came from a visionary experience.
There are fallen angels.
Connect the dots.
CARDINAL RIGALI APOLOGIZES
on the diocesan newspaper website.
A small side matter...It's been claimed in the Catholic blogs, or perhaps it was on Catholic message boards, that the title "Cardinal" immediately precedes the last name. For instance "Justin Cardinal Rigali" is proper, but "Cardinal Justin Rigali" is not. Yet I notice that on the diocesan newspaper website the latter construction is used.
TRIAL HAS BEEN POSTPONED
but the article doesn't say why.
TOLEDO -- A new trial date has been set for Father Gerald Robinson, a Toledo priest accused of killing a nun more than 20 years ago. Judge Tom Osowik set what he called a "firm" trial date of April 17, 2006.
Hat tip to Spirit Daily.
INTERESTING TURN OF EVENTS
Washington, Sep. 30 (C-fam.org/CWNews.com) - In an unusual exchange this week in the US Congress, a high-ranking UN officials admitted that the term "reproductive health," does not include abortion, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) reports.
If the admission is correct, the pro-abortion faction will not be able to use the UN guarantee of reproductive rights to overrule restrictions on abortion.
THE FUROR IS BUILDING
in the religious communities as well as within the diocesan clergy over the ban on homosexuals in the seminary according to this story from the AP.
Priests in religious orders throughout the country said in interviews that anger is building among their members about the prospect of a ban on gay seminarians.
Some have said clergy are considering staging a strike on a Sunday, to show how critical gay priests are to serving the church. Priests who had not disclosed their sexual orientation to parishioners are now thinking about coming out and denouncing the idea of a ban. Others have talked about signing their names to a protest letter to the Vatican.
Estimates of the numbers of gays in the priesthood vary from 25 percent to 50 percent. About one-third of the 42,500 U.S. priests are members of religious orders.
Let's see...the priesthood, more than any other vocation is a vocation of service and self-sacrifice. And it is a vocation of fidelity to the Church. Apparently these priests who want us to accept them have service to self at the top of the list.
The rules were in place all along. They weren't enforced, but we are not looking at a novelty being promulgated. The Church is adhering to the same rules She always advocated. But these priests want to make an issue of the fact that they were admitted to the seminary in opposition to the rules of the Church. They want to go public with the information that they serve in violation of the rules of the Church. Now I ask you, is that smart? Is it sacrificial? Does it serve the good of the Church? No, it isn't any of these things. But going public in some sort of protest does serve the ego of the priest who protests, making it self-evident that the Church is correct in Her judgment that homosexuals should not be admitted to the seminary.
Yeah, I think they should stage this protest. And I think that parishes should keep watch to see if any of their own priests are part of the demonstration, because this is not the action of a celibate dedicated homosexual priest. It is the action of a selfish self-righteous disturber of the peace. When vows are kept, homosexuality is a moot point. It is only in the breaking of vows that the issue of whether they are broken with another male or with a female that sexual preference becomes an important issue.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
A discussion at Bettnet has just turned up the fact that there are Jewish angels. I've posted this article over there. No angel names in it, so it can't be compared to The Tablet article about Opus Angelorum to see if anything matches, though.
picked up from Amy's blog. He predicts that the Beslan children will be resurrected in October. His moment in the spotlight seems to have a rapidly approaching expiration date.
Although, there are some last days predictions about magicians being able to bring people back to life.
We'll know soon enough, I guess. Either Gribori Grabovoi is going to be all over the headlines next month, or he is going to be history, or he is going to have to reinvent himself.
THE THEOLOGY OF ENCHILADAS
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A U.S. theologian said the best milieu for interreligious discussions with his Buddhist friends is over a hot plate of cheese enchiladas.
Father James Fredericks, professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said people often talk of interreligious dialogue as being based on big spiritual mysteries, "like the Holy Spirit or some transcendent reality, but no, the foundations of interreligious dialogue in Los Angeles are cheese enchiladas."
Sharing a meal is not only "the basis for dialogue, it's the fruit of a dialogue" that even involves the Catholic food service workers at the university's kitchens "who, in loving service, do the best job they can to cook these enchiladas for these monks from Sri Lanka," he told Catholic News Service Sept. 27.
Well, I'm not a theologian, but it does seem that Catholics can sit down at a table with Hindus or Buddhists and have a conversation that is amiable and peaceful. In fact they do it all the time on college campuses. Why does it work? Because they don't talk about religion. They talk about other stuff that they share in common, and that's how they become friends. But if religion is placed on the table for discussion, chances are the friends will butt heads. So why do it?
My theory on world peace is based on my daughter's experiences at Ohio State where she at first found the Chinese students to be off-putting, unlike the Indian students she had known at Kent State University, where a couple of them had been her close friends.
After she got to know a couple of Chinese students at Ohio State, the barriers came down. They even planned a baby shower together for another Chinese graduate student. In other words, they shared commonalities, not differences. I asked her once how they handled the religious differences. Very simply she answered. They didn't talk about it.
Not talking about it precludes making statements like this one from Fr. Fredericks:
Father Fredericks said Christians engaged in dialogue should be prepared to set their theologies aside during encounters with other faiths.
"We shouldn't jettison our theology, but we should see that we are seeing the other through our own theology" and that this could "interfere with our ability to hear what our partner is saying" and distort or prevent understanding of the other's beliefs, he said.
That theology that he wants to set aside used to be called Absolute Truth. What sort of conversation do you have with someone when you are willing to set truth aside? How do you base a friendship on a lie?
NOR is running an old story on its website. Somebody's probably not going to like it!
NEW USE FOR SEMINARY
The Chicago Archdiocese has found a home in Mundelein for several newly defrocked priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors.
Catholic church officials declined to release exact numbers, but they confirm some of the punished clergymen have been staying on the University of St. Mary of the Lake seminary campus since allegations arose against them. The rest are living in private residences or nursing homes.
A victims advocacy group condemns the decision, saying the archdiocese has not warned residents that the men — who the church believes sexually harmed minors — have moved into the area. Cardinal Francis George also has refused to release the priests’ names, a move critics say could make it easier for them to prey upon children.
So, are there any seminary students there, or is this one of those empty ones that is being used? I'm actually in favor of this sort of arrangement, but I had in mind an isolated location, not the heart of a city like Chicago.
Hat tip to New Oxford Review.
An Alabama state senator says the reason why the Gulf Coast is suffering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is because God is judging Americans in that region for sinful behavior.
"New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast have always been known for gambling, sin and wickedness," wrote Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo, in a column, according to the Birmingham News. "It is the kind of behavior that ultimately brings the judgment of God."
Hat tip to Spirit Daily.
FRANCE NEEDS BABIES
Maybe they should try Catholicism?
PARIS, September 28, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – France, once one of Europe’s most fecund nations, has seen the writing on the wall and begun to offer parents financial incentives to encourage more childbirth.
At a replacement rate of 1.9 babies per woman – still below the 2.1 rate necessary to simply maintain a population – France is one of the better off European nations, second only to Ireland in fertility rate.
The French have introduced incentives to try to counter the fiscal disaster the birth decline will eventually cause by offering financial incentives to couples to have a third child, such as increasing monthly welfare payments for parents who take unpaid leave from work to care for a third child.
U.N. TO NIX NET ?
In my opinion, freedom of speech seems to be a politically sensitive issue. A lot of policy matters are behind it." So observed Houlin Zhao, the man who wants to control the greatest forum for free expression in history.
Zhao, a director of the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and a former senior Chinese-government official, is a leader in the United Nations's effort to supplant the United States government in the supervision of the Internet. At a series of conferences called the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held under the aegis of the ITU, and set to culminate in Tunis this November, the U.N. has floated a series of proposals for doing exactly that.
The U.N.'s professed goals, which include expanding Internet access in developing countries and fighting spam, are laudable. However, the substance of its proposals — shifting Internet governance from the U.S. to a U.N. body — would produce an Internet in which regulations smother free speech, strangle net-driven economic growth, and threaten America's online security.
A typical U.N. enterprise, in other words.
Hat tip to LifeSite for the link.
ROBERTS IS THE MAN
John Glover Roberts Jr., backed by a united Senate Republican majority and about half of a divided Democratic minority, is taking his place as the nation's 17th chief justice, to lead the Supreme Court into the 21st century and through turbulent social issues that will affect generations to come.
Roberts was to be confirmed Thursday by at least 77 senators in the GOP-controlled Senate, or more than three-fourths of the 100-member chamber, as President Bush's selection to replace the late William H. Rehnquist. The 50-year-old U.S. appeals court judge then was to be quickly sworn into his new position at the White House so he could take his seat on Monday in time for the new court session where justices will tackle issues like assisted suicide, campaign finance law and abortion.
MADONNA SINGS KABBALAH
Madonna likes to think of herself as being on the cutting edge, so she probably thinks a song called "Isaac" on her new album, about the founder of Kabalah, is just the ticket.
But Isaac Luria (1534-72), a messianic figure, was already the subject of a clever "X Files" episode from 1997 called "Kaddish."
Madonna used to sing her sensational lyrics while gyrating around in rubber. But she’s a religious woman now.
This new song, from "Confessions on a Dance Floor," is a paean to Luria. The 16th century religious leader is suddenly hip, I guess.
Of course, the old Madonna – the one with a sense of humor— could have covered “When Messiah Comes,” the witty Sheldon Harnick song cut from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
“Isaac” (I guess we should be glad it’s not called “Ike”) also includes a spoken word interlude from a member of the London Kabalah Center named Yitzhak Sinwani.
SECOND COMING - FROM THE MOON
World peace, and a $200 billion tunnel under the Bering Strait to link Alaska and Russia.
That's the dual mission that brought the notorious Rev. Sun Myung Moon to Seattle Wednesday for the 10th stop on a 12-city tour. Should be no problem for the man his followers revere as the messiah -- though not Jesus Christ himself, let it be said.
Hundreds of those believers, once known as Moonies, crowded into the Bell Harbor conference center on Alaskan Way to hear the man introduced as "God the father's beloved son." The presentation was delivered by an African American ex-Catholic priest; it capped a stirring buildup featuring a youth chorale, an inspirational video of Moon's life and the exhortations of a silver-maned Pentecostal preacher flanked by a bearded rabbi in a prayer shawl and a black Muslim.
The appearance of Moon himself came as something of an anticlimax: A balding 85-year-old, he mumbled his speech in raspy Korean, with frequent clearings of his throat. Tiny, individual FM radios handed out to the audience provided an English translation.
Moon is promoting a new, spiritually driven international organization to do the job the United Nations can't seem to manage. He also wants to see a 52-mile tunnel tying together the old Cold War adversaries of the United States and Russia.
The ecumenical roadshow accompanying Moon underscored his message of interracial and inter-religious love and understanding, and the crowd included devotees of all ages and colors. Among them was Dallas Stafford of Renton, an acolyte of Moon's for 30 years who believes, as the rally was styled, that "the peace kingdom is at hand."
LIFESITE EDITOR ANALYSES THE MEETING
between Benedict and Hans Kung. He believes the Pope challenged Kung to fix his Global Ethics/Earth Charter so that it will defend life.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
NUDITY BORES GENEVA
Erotic love verges on the pornographic in a fascinating if flawed production of German composer Richard Wagner's Tannhaeuser at Geneva's Grand Theatre - an experiment appreciated by spectators if less so by critics.
Swedish soprano Nina Stemme excelled as Elisabeth, the heroine of Wagner's 3 1/2-hour opera, and the audience was left at times spellbound by French director Olivier Py's staging. But Py's most provocative element in this new production - one minute featuring a nude male porn star - fell flat, sparking little reaction from spectators.
"It wasn't shocking," said Anita Brueckmann, who was in the audience for Monday night's second performance. "It wasn't very important to the work."
THE TIRED OLD MANTRA
Extremists at the grandiosely named Americans United for Separation of Church and State are at it again. The group, best known for its efforts to drive religion from the public square, now wants to make sure no faith-based organizations can be reimbursed for rescuing and caring for thousands of victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced plans to allow some faith-based groups to recoup some of the money they've spent feeding, clothing, housing and counseling more than half a million people stranded in the worst national disaster this country has ever faced.
FEMA officials have said religious organizations can only be reimbursed if they operated shelters or undertook other emergency activities at the request of state and local officials in the affected states, but that's not enough to satisfy the rigid secularists. "What really frosts me about all this," the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, complained to The Washington Post, "is, here is an administration that didn't do its job and now is trying to dig itself out by making right-wing groups happy." He might have been more honest had he admitted that what really angers the anti-religion Left is how much more effective private and religious groups are in getting things done than Big Government ever can be.
PRIEST ALLEGEDLY BEATS WIFE
Grand jurors in Morris County have upgraded charges against a married Roman Catholic priest who is accused of beating his wife.
The panel indicted the Reverend William Winston on two counts of aggravated assault yesterday.
The 51-year-old cleric had been charged with simple assault and domestic violence.
Winston has been on leave from Saint Virgil's Roman Catholic Parish in Morris Township since his arrest in November. The priest allegedly threw his wife to the floor in the church rectory and kicked her.
SMILING POPE SOON TO BE SMILING SAINT ?
Vatican City, September 28 - Pope John Paul I, who died in 1978 after a reign of only 34 days, could be the next addition to the growing list of possible papal saints .
The beatification process for the Italian pontiff has moved swiftly ahead since its 2003 launch, the official in charge of the cause said in an interview marking the 27th anniversary of the pope's death .
"We have testimony of an apparent miracle which we are evaluating and which we are thinking of presenting to the Vatican," Monsignor Giorgio Lise told a Catholic website .
CULTURE OF PENTECOST ? ? ?
Catholic World News reports:
Vatican, Sep. 28 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) prayed for the spread of "the culture of Pentecost, so needed in our time," during his weekly public audience on September 28.
Speaking to about 30,000 people in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father also asked for prayers for the Synod of Bishops, which opens in Rome this coming Sunday, and paid tribute to Pope John Paul I, who died exactly 27 years ago, just 33 days after his election to the papacy.
Toward the end of his remarks, the Pope welcomed the members of the audience who were attending an international conference in Lucca, Italy, on the "signs of the Spirit in the 20th century." The Pontiff remarked that despite the "sad pages of history" in the past century, there was also "marvelous testimony of spiritual and charismatic awakening."
Ok, I have questions...
1. NEED a charismatic awakening???? Has he checked the news from South America lately? How about the news from Toronto Blessing?
2. Does he know about the Gnostic revival--the Neocathars who are delighted with the charismatic awakening that has already taken place and presented to them a nice religious niche they are filling?
3. Did he read the Vatican document on New Age?
4. Does he think casual spirit contact lacking in discernment, which is what takes place in the Charismatic Movement, is a good thing?
Hello? Is anybody home? They're gonna make an atheist out of me!
(Ok, I'll go cool off now...sigh)
EMAIL FROM DR. BOND
Last week I informed you that Deacon Joseph Levine, former Superior General of the suppressed Society of St. John, had been assigned to work in a parish. Thanks be to God, Deacon Levine has been removed. Levine's removal was announced in the most recent weekly bulletin of Mother of Divine Providence Parish in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (http://www.mdpparish.com/parishlife/news.htm) where he had been assigned:
Deacon Joseph Levine is a student at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary from the Diocese of Scranton. Earlier this month, he was assigned to Mother of Divine Providence Parish for weekend ministry. This consisted in his preaching and assisting at Sunday Masses.
Some parishioners learned that Deacon Levine has been named a party to a civil lawsuit. This is a defamation-related lawsuit. Deacon Levine has not been accused in this lawsuit, or at any other time, of the sexual abuse of a minor, or of any kind of sexual impropriety.
Having said that, the notoriety this lawsuit is generating could have a negative effect on his ministry as a deacon at Mother of Divine Providence. With that in mind, Saint Charles Seminary has withdrawn Deacon Levine from this parochial assignment.
Please join in praying for Deacon Levine and all who are in formation for the Priesthood, as well as for an increase in Vocations to the Priesthood and religious life.
Reverend Monsignor Joseph G. Prior
Rector, St. Charles Seminary
September 21, 2005
Levine's removal was no doubt hastened by the recent release of the devastating Grand Jury report (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/21/AR2005092101022.html) exposing clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Nevertheless, Levine has returned to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary where he is presumably still on track for ordination. Be assured that we will do everything in our power to prevent Levine from ever becoming a Catholic priest.
Thanks to all who spread the word about Deacon Levine so that the parishioners where he was assigned were informed concerning his immoral actions as Superior General of the suppressed Society of St. John.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
SAVED BY THE BELL
The Washington Post reports:
A three-year grand jury investigation of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the longest known inquiry in the national clergy sex abuse crisis, ended Wednesday with scathing allegations that cardinals and other churchmen had conspired to protect offenders.
However, the grand jury said it could bring no indictments because of time limits on prosecuting the claims and because the Roman Catholic archdiocese is not a corporation under state law. Only one priest in the archdiocese has been indicted.
The archdiocese responded with its own equally sharp-worded report, calling the grand jury's conclusions "discriminatory" and "sensationalized," and accusing investigators of "bullying" former Cardinal Joseph Bevilacqua during his 10 appearances as a witness.
The grand jury was unsparing in its condemnation of Bevilacqua, who retired in 2003, and his predecessor, the late Cardinal John Krol, who was archbishop of Philadelphia from 1961-88.
The two men knew that priests were molesting children but conducted bogus "non-investigations" designed to avoid uncovering abuse, while they and their aides transferred known abusers among parishes, the grand jury said.
The 418-page report names 63 priests "whose abusive behavior was well-documented in archdiocesan files and by witnesses who testified" before the panel. All had multiple victims, and many more abusers certainly exist, the grand jury said.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL BIBLE
An interfaith group has released a new textbook aimed at teaching public high school students about the Bible, while avoiding legal and religious disputes.
The nonprofit Bible Literacy Project of Fairfax, Va., spent five years and $2 million developing "The Bible and Its Influence."
The textbook, introduced at a Washington news conference last week, won initial endorsements from experts in literature, religion and church-state law.
Textbook advisor and evangelical literature scholar Leland Ryken, of Wheaton College, called the textbook "a triumph of scholarship and a major publishing event."
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
KUNG MEETS BENEDICT
It was the last paragraph in the article that I found most significant:
In recent years Küng has been involved in efforts to construct a "global ethic," based on what he sees as the shared principles of major faiths. The Vatican statement said that the Pope "recognized the merits of Professor Küng's efforts" in that area, and particularly his work "to inject new life into the dialogue between faith and science." Küng in turn praised the Pope's "efforts to continue the dialogue among religions and to meet with different social groups in the modern world."
Does this mean that they agreed?
The last sentence in another article on the topic makes me think that they did.
In the 2001 book, "The Modern Inquisition: Seven Prominent Catholics and their Struggles with the Vatican," Kueng wrote that he and Ratzinger were known as the "teenage theologians" at Vatican II but that they then took different paths.
He said the two met only once after he was stripped of his license to teach, in Bavaria in 1983 -- a "rather tense situation."
"Now I got the impression that he was the same person I knew from the happy Tuebingen years," he said
Hat tip to Novus Ordo Watch.
WILL TRIDENTINE BE REINSTATED ?
An influential Vatican official believes that Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) could soon expand permission for priests throughout the world to celebrate Mass using the Tridentine rite.
However, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez cautions that serious doctrinal issues, as well as liturgical questions, must be resolved before the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) can be fully reconciled with the Holy See.
Cardinal Medina, the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, is a member of the Ecclesia Dei commission, set up by Pope John Paul II (bio - news) to serve the needs of Catholics who cling to the Latin Mass. In an interview with the I Media news service, the Chilean-born prelate said that the Pope could act soon to liberalize Church regulations, allowing all priests to use the Tridentine rite.
There is a lot more that needs fixing than just the rite. Going back to to the Tridentine is not going to solve all our problems.
ANGLICANS IN THE NEWS
Assistant curate Sarah Jones, 44, from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, spent the first 29 years of her life living as a man.
Evangelical group Evangelical Alliance said there was no "Christian acknowledgement" of gender realignment.
But the Right Reverend Anthony Priddis said Ms Jones - being ordained on Saturday - was "made and loved by God".
What's important is that she's a person made by God, loved by God and given gifts by God who feels that she's called to be a priest
The Right Reverend Anthony Priddis
Ms Jones was a "superb candidate" who had the gender realignment surgery "many years ago - long before she explored the possibility of being ordained", Bishop Priddis said.
The issue of gender dysphoria was "understood a lot more clearly in this 21st Century as we understand lots of things more clearly", he said.
"Gender realignment surgery helps address that issue and it's about bringing mind and body into wholeness.
"I see this as something restorative and healing.
Hat tip to New Oxford Review.
The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans plans to lay off many of its 9,000 full-time employees -- just how many isn't known just yet.
First, archdiocese officials want to finish the task of locating employees forced to evacuate by Hurricane Katrina, William Maestri, superintendent of schools for the archdiocese, said on Monday.
All employees should check in with the archdiocese by Oct. 3 to remain eligible for severance pay, he said.
After employees check in, various archdiocese offices will develop recommendations about which workers are essential, and those recommendations will be evaluated to determine if those positions can be funded, he said.
Maestri said he couldn't predict how many employees will lose their jobs. "I think it would be speculative, and I would not want to be held to that, because I really don't know at this time," he said.
Hat tip to New Oxford Review.
We recently told you about the Archdiocese of Dubuque's warning to Catholics about a Chicago-based religious group.
The Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission claims to be an extension of the Catholic Church, but Dubuque's Archbishop says it's not.
Now church leaders from the Archdioceses of Chicago agree the group has cult-like tendencies.
The group is having a major impact on the small town of McGregor.
Late last week Lora Knott and her husband Roger, both of McGregor, went to Chicago hoping to find Lora's 19-year- old daughter Ashley Fahey but they had no such luck.
Lora said, "I asked if she was there and he said no and I asked where she was and he wouldn't tell us."
Lora hasn't seen Ashley since August 20th when she suddenly dropped plans to go to college, and took off for Chicago to become a sister with the Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission.
THE SITUATION IN BOSTON
BOSTON --Parishioners in Newton held an overnight prayer vigil to protest the ouster of an outspoken Catholic priest and accused the archdiocese of trying to weed out dissenting voices in a "witch hunt."
The Rev. Walter Cuenin was asked to step down as pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton for financial improprieties that violated archdiocesan rules and Canon law, the archdiocese said in a release Monday.
The archdiocese said that Cuenin improperly accepted a stipend in excess of archdiocesan policies from the parish, drove a car leased by the parish and accepted compensation from the parish and archdiocese during a sabbatical. The archdiocese has asked Cuenin to reimburse the parish between $75,000 and $85,000, which he indicated in a statement he intends to do.
Attempt to weed out heresy and get accused of a witch hunt by those who benefitted from the heresy. It's tough to do but it needs doing. Badly. Two thumbs up O'Malley.
If you want the details, check out the various posts on Dom's blog and all of the comments. It's a hot topic over there.
Monday, September 26, 2005
OPUS ANGELORUM OR ENGELWERK
Lee Penn sent in this old and very odd article from the Tablet, May 30, 1998. It's enough to make your eyebrows curl!
A secretive Catholic sect whose members are committed to fighting demons has had an impact on recent crises in Austria, and its attraction is spreading. Its influence is deplorable, according to the editor of the Austrian Catholic weekly Die Furche.
AN organisation known as the Opus Angelorum (OA), or by its German name Engelwerk (literally "Angels’ Work"), has caused feelings to run high among Catholics in recent years, especially in Austria and Germany. While most people have heard of Opus Dei, this other Opus in the Catholic Church, which operates primarily in central Europe, Brazil and India, is as yet relatively unknown.
With its headquarters at the medieval Petersberg Castle in the Tyrol, to which only members or their guests have access, this association, which is sworn to strict secrecy and the rejection of all "modernistic" tendencies in the Church, puts one in mind of Umberto Eco’s novel, The Name of the Rose. Its members practise an external, over-zealous piety which has brought the Opus Angelorum many conservative sympathisers, but what has caused far greater unease is hidden under the surface: a very peculiar angel-demon doctrine and a way of inducing fear and exercising power.
The Opus Angelorum Handbook lists 243 demons together with 412 angels. One of the former, Schebarschenoth, "sends his rays from the Planet Neptune and works with Adonai Melchim and Naschim, the shot-putter. He is the demon of the Great Chaos, who disrupts laws, confuses heavenly constellations in the universe, prevents children’s bones from developing properly, causes circulation trouble and glandular malfunction".
In another passage we hear of the "magic rectangle which each demon spans over creation and fills with numbers behind which demons stand". Demons, we are told, are able to "radiate through" people, usually "midwives, peasant women, gypsies, errand girls and old and vindictive peasants". Certain animals such as "grey, tortoise-shell and black cats, speckled and black hens, pigs and short-haired dogs, bluebottles, rats and snakes" are particularly receptive to demonic rays.
Although a recent examination of Opus Angelorum scripts shows that they contain a not inconsiderable number of contradictions, there may well be people who are capable of believing all this. But most are inclined to ask what all this has to do with Catholic Christianity.
HOMOSEXUALITY AND HATE-CRIME LEGISLATION
Ireland's Catholic newspaper The Universe reports:
Any Catholics who promote the Church's teaching on homosexuality may end up with a criminal record, a Church leader has claimed. Tough new legislation to be introduced by the Scottish Executive could make criticism of homosexuals a 'hate crime' punishable with longer sentences, and observers say similar legislation could well follow south of the border in due course.
The Scottish government is preparing to add gays and lesbians to the groups covered by a law against hate crimes.
Scottish media reports indicate the legislation will be presented to lawmakers this fall. It would increase the sentences of people convicted of crimes against gays and lesbians if it is proven the crimes were motivated by hate.
The legislation already covers racial minorities and religion.
Adding gays and lesbians to the protected categories grew out of a report showing there has been a marked increase in homophobic crime in Scotland.
CRIMES motivated by hatred of gay, lesbian or bisexual people are to receive stiffer penalties under a crackdown by ministers.
New legislation is to be brought forward, under which such 'hate crimes' will be considered an aggravated offence.
For example, if it is proven that a gay man or a lesbian has been attacked because of their sexuality, the offender will receive a harsher penalty.
The new law follows similar moves against sectarianism where longer sentences have been handed out to those committing a crime while showing prejudice towards religious groups such as Muslims and Catholics.
Similarly, racially aggravated offences have been set in law since 1998.
Gay campaigners last night hailed the new moves, claiming that they would send out a message that homophobia was unacceptable.
But religious groups who believe homosexuality is a sin warned they faced being stigmatised by the new law.
The Christian Broadcasting Network reports:
The Hate Crimes Amendment, by Michigan Democrat John Conyers, was attached to the Children's Safety Act last week. It would federalize local crimes if the suspected motive is animosity toward homosexuals or "transgender" persons.
The amendment, which passed with the help of 30 Republicans, seems to have taken conservatives by surprise.
Republican leaders explained that party members voted to pass the Child Safety Bill even with the amendment attached, because they wanted the protection of children, and they figured that the Hate Crimes Amendment would be stripped off when the joint House-Senate conference Committee tackles the bill.
From Virtue Online:
America is treading the path of the Episcopal Church, the primrose path into pansexualism, with homosexual activists riding point. Do you want to do something about it? Something substantial? Read on.
Pansexualism is the "Alfred Kinsey" belief that all forms of sexual behavior are morally equivalent -- fornication, adultery, incest, pederasty, etc. It is all a matter of personal choice, there are no moral distinctions between sexual practices.
Homosexuality is thus only one branch on the pansexual tree, a tree with branches for every known sexual practice, a tree natural to the secular/pagan Godless world of the Fall. With no relation to the Living God, there is nothing in the world to tell anyone otherwise -- neither by moral standard nor by the Image of God in which we are made, male and female.
The quest to legitimize sexual promiscuity never had an ounce of intellectual integrity, yet it has been the underground engine driving western culture since the late 19th century. It surfaced and hit the streets in the 1960's -- the so-called "sex revolution". And then the homosexual revolution in 1969 with the Stonewall riots in New York.
Today we face the astonishing situation that although few Americans, including politicians, support the homosexual agenda (recent polls tell us that nearly 70% of Americans oppose it), yet all sides assume that the legal mandating of homosexual marriage is inevitable. Homosexualists have created the illusion of an inevitable juggernaut.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
JUST RECEIVED IN EMAIL
A NEW WAY OF CAR JACKING (NOT A JOKE)
*You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get
inside. Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift
into reverse, and you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your
parking space and you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of
the rear window. So, you shift into PARK, unlock your doors and jump out
of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing
your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the
car-jackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off!
Your engine was running, (ladies would have their purse in the car) and
they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.
*BE AWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME THAT IS NOW BEING USED.*
*Just drive away and remove the paper that is stuck to your
window later, and be thankful that you read this email. I hope
you will forward this to friends and family . . .especially to
women! A purse contains all identification, and you certainly
do NOT want someone getting your home address.*
*They already HAVE your keys!
Lieutenant Tony Bartolome
Bureau of Investigations
Florida Highway Patrol
P.O. Box 593527
Fax (407) 858-3280
IT SEEMS THAT PADRE PIO IS CRYING FEMININE TEARS
and so some of the commenters in Amy's blog have come up with a novel explanation. One that requires more than a stretch of the imagination.
ANGLICAN SPLIT COMING ?
A reader sent in a link to this story.
PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- The first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church is predicting a division in the Anglican Communion two years after U.S. church leaders triggered global outrage by approving his election.
"This is at least as much about power and control as it is about theology and Scripture," New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson told The Associated Press in an interview. "It's about who's going to be calling the shots, and who's going to be in and who's going to be out."
At stake is how 77 million Anglicans around the world, including 2.3 million members of America's Episcopal Church, define their religion and their relationship to one another. Robinson said he underestimated the opportunity his election gave conservatives to organize within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion of which it is a part.
Until about six months ago, Robinson remained optimistic the Anglican Communion would work through initial outrage over his election to respect the customary right of dioceses to elect the bishop of their choosing.
But at a private meeting of American bishops in Los Angeles several months ago, Robinson said, he first sensed what he considers a conservative power grab.
THE ANIMAL RIGHTS TERRORISTS
LONDON, SEPT. 24, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Extremists in England bent on stopping laboratory tests using animals scored a recent victory in their long-running battle. Darley Oaks farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, announced plans to stop breeding guinea pigs after ceding to a six-year campaign of intimidation, the BBC reported Aug. 23.
One of the more recent acts that spurred the decision was the theft of the body of a family member from the local churchyard last October. Over the years the owners of the farm, the Hall family, have been the target of harassing phone calls, bomb scares, and arson attacks. Local shops and businesses have also been targeted, to force them to cancel any commerce with the farm.
Commenting on the event to the BBC, the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry said the decision was "regrettable but understandable." ABPI director Philip Wright said that guinea pigs had been essential in research into respiratory disease that led to breakthrough medicines.
Oxford University is also coming under fire from animal rights activists, the Independent newspaper reported Aug. 15. The university plans to build a substantial research laboratory, but construction has been suspended for the last year after the leading contractor, Montpellier, pulled out of the project following intimidation by extremists.
The organization leading the protest against the Oxford laboratory, Speak, is now targeting companies and charitable foundations that contribute funds to the university. Oxford University said it was concerned by the latest tactics, adding that some companies that were previously appeared on Speak's Web site suffered criminal damage to property.
In July the university also suffered an arson attack on a college boathouse caused 500,000 pounds' ($906,000) worth of damage. The Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the incident.
According to the Independent article, the British government has said it will support the building of the research facility, which is needed for research on problems such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer's.
Breaking the law
During a meeting this past summer, animal rights extremists pledged to continue their campaign, the Telegraph newspaper reported July 17. Around 200 activists were present in Kent at the International Animal Rights Gathering 2005.
One of the speakers at the meeting was Steven Best, a philosophy professor from the University of Texas in El Paso. Best described himself as a sympathizer of the Animal Liberation Front, which is listed as a terrorist group in the United States.
He told his listeners: "Our power is not in the right to vote but the power to stop production. We will break the law and destroy property until we win." Best compared the animal rights struggle to the fight against slavery and contended that violence is morally right if the cause is just.
Those present at the meeting were given instruction in unarmed combat and counter-surveillance, as well as advice on how to take "direct action" in the name of animal liberation, the Telegraph reported.
Hat tip to a reader.
WEATHER AS WEAPON
It's been months since I've blogged anything about chemtrails, but long time readers will probably remember that it's something that got my attention right after 9-11 when there were reports of jetstreams during the time that all airplanes were grounded right after planes hit the Twin Towers.
A reader sent in a link to this website where you can read:
"Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations.It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and that's why this is so important."
[Secretary of Defense William Cohen at an April 1997 counterterrorism conference sponsored by former Senator Sam Nunn. Quoted from DoD News Briefing, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, Q&A at the Conference on Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and U.S. Strategy, University of Georgia , Athens , Apr. 28, 1997].
Scalar weapons or HAARP weapons are supposed to be based on the technology of Nikola Tesla, who was a interested in occultism, and it was his occultism that first led me to him.
Around the time of the tidal wave last Dec. 31, there were reports of a rumbling sound in India that seemed to be coming from the ground. No one had an explanation at the time. Then there was an earthquake and a tidal wave that displaced the population of an island. It was odd. No one ever said they were connected, and nothing further was said about the rumbling after the tsunami started getting prime coverage.
FR. BRYCE SIBLEY
It looked like Rita might have found him, so I emailed to ask. Turns out he and his parish are ok. Just wet and some branches down.