Saturday, December 10, 2005
FR. SCANLAN ON BALTHASAR'S UNIVERSALISM
The article was first published in New Oxford Review, Inc., March 2000. Currently it can be read on the Catholic Culture website. It unpacks Balthasar's theology centered on the hope that all will be saved. In these closing statements, Fr. Scanlon describes the undermining of Catholic doctrine by Balthasar's theology:
Compassion To A Fault
If Jesus suffered from divine amnesia, then there is more in doubt than just the eternal whereabouts of Judas. If Jesus' omniscience and infallibility were nonfunctional, then Christianity itself is in doubt. Mark 13:32 ("neither the Son, nor the angels know the day and the hour") can be explained in harmony with the Fathers and the Tradition of the Church. One should note that when Mark uses the term "Son" he is not referring to Jesus as Son of God, with an emphasis on Jesus' divine nature, but as "Son of Man," with an emphasis on Jesus' human nature (Mk. 8:31, 9:9, 10:33, 13:26). Thus, when Jesus refers to His own knowledge or act of knowing (neither the Son ... knows), this is most probably a reference to the origin of this knowledge, or Jesus' human act of knowing through His human consciousness. In other words, Jesus is saying that "the Son" (of Man) does not "know" the day or the hour of His coming "from" His human nature (although He knew these things from His divine nature). This is in harmony with the Fathers and the popes of the Church who have consistently interpreted Mark 13:32 down through the ages to mean that Jesus knew the day and the hour but chose not to reveal it to mankind. And, if a scriptural passage can be interpreted in harmony with the rest of the Church and Scriptures, the Catholic must accept this interpretation. When Balthasar interpreted Mark 13:32 apart from the Tradition and Magisterium of the Church, especially in flat contradiction to Pope Vigilius's "anathema," he sided with Nestorians, Arians, and other heretics.
St. Teresa of Avila stated about a doubt or "thought" against a Church teaching, even a "small truth" of the Church: "just to pause over this thought is already very wrong." Similarly, the Venerable John Henry Newman, in Discourses to Mixed Congregations, stated that, "no one should enter the Church without a firm purpose of taking her word in all matters of doctrine and morals, and that, on the ground of her coming directly from the God of Truth." Moreover, he said about a Catholic who "set out about following a doubt which has occurred to him": "I have not to warn him against losing his faith, he is not merely in danger of losing it, he has lost it; from the nature of the case he has lost it; he fell from grace at the moment when he deliberately entertained and pursued his doubt" (emphasis added). From this perspective the most disquieting feature of Balthasar's "hope" for universal salvation is that it smuggles into the heart of the Catholic a serious doubt about the truth of the Catholic faith under the guise of one of the most beautiful and natural aspects of love, namely, compassion.
Fr. Scanlon notes that Balthasar is an Hegelian philosopher, and that "according to Hegel's understanding, religious statements, concepts, or dogmas can be contradictory and only find their resolution or synthesis in God who is Absolute Truth." He says that Balthasar "believed that contradiction is a part of truth...even expressions of scriptural truths can be opposites or contrary." Balthasar agreed with Hegel that "only God is 'the absolute truth' and 'all truth is not, negation itself is in God.'" That opens up doctrine to a form of relativity as the article indicates.
Yet those speaking for the Church even at the highest level lament that relativism is one of our consuming deceptions. How is it that a philosopher who puts forth a concept of the relativism of God and the possibility that no and yes can be compatible is the theologian of choice of the Chief Shepherd? This concept of holding no and yes at the same time affects not only specific doctrines like universalism. It undermines the very nature of doctrine and the very Truth of Jesus Christ. If Jesus can be God and not God at the same time, how can He be taken seriously? And yet that seems to be what could be concluded by the idea that something can be both true and false.
Does Benedict, like his chosen theologian, also hold mutually contradictory concepts at the same time--a sort of pluriform truth? This question arose recently in a comment box. Is it possible that interreligious dialogue stems from a concept that Jesus Christ saves coupled with a concept that other gods of other religions save as well? It does seem to be the underlying concept promoted in interreligious dialogue that all people of faith travel up the mountain by a different path, but arrive at the identical place on top. I don't know of another way to interpret what the monks are doing. In TRUTH AND TOLERANCE, Cardinal Ratzinger indicated that an assumption of the dialogue table is that all come with equal paths to God, yet at the same time he promotes this dialogue and also says that Jesus Christ is the only Savior. How can you have it both ways?
The deeper I probe into Catholic thought, the more concerned I become for the future of Catholicism in intellectual circles! We need to see some convincing reconciliation of the pre-Vatican II Church with the post-Vatican II Church, and the sooner the better. From my limited knowledge, I don't think they can be reconciled. And then there is that nagging curiosity Adrienne von Speyer.
Webb indicates in THE OCCULT ESTABLISHMENT that the Martinists were Christian occultists who opposed the masonic occultists at the time of the Paris occult revival. Are there still Martinists? Could Balthasar have been one?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
CAN ANY OF YOU READ FRENCH ?
On this webpage of the Star of Tolerance project, about halfway down, there is a black box. Inside the box are the words "First place of the Tolerance in the World. NEW." If you click the box, you will get a letter in French with a letterhead of "Mairie de Saint-Martin-en-Campagne". I would like to know what the letter says.
Friday, December 09, 2005
which includes Fr. Fessio and Cdl. Ratzinger (Pope Benedict?)
CLEVELAND PRIESTS ACCUSED OF ABUSE
For several days I've been wondering what is the status of the priests accused of abuse in the Cleveland Diocese in 2002 primarily. There is only silence here, as far as I know.
Last night I visited the Bishop Accountability website's list of accused priests to see if I could learn anything. I found there the list of priests accused by diocese which is current as of 3/14/05. Scrolling down to Cleveland, I discovered that there are 39 priests accused in my diocese. Of these 39, three have been convicted, seven have been sued, and two have settled. What is the status of the other 27?
Since all of the dioceses were there, I decided to see how Cleveland compared. We rank fifth highest in number. Those with a greater number are:
Los Angeles - 199
Boston - 167
Rockville Center, NY - 43
Worcester, MA - 40
Oddly enough given the flap caused by the Grand Jury Report, Philadelphia ranked 8, tied with Springfield, with 27 accused each.
I wonder what is taking place behind the scenes in Cleveland?
TRIAL OVER FOR SOLE PRIEST CHARGED
in the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report. Time ran out for the victims in the rest of the cases.
PHILADELPHIA - A judge broke down in tears Friday as she gave probation to a priest who had a sexual relationship with a student in the late 1970s.
"I've worried about this case for months now and I can't pretend to any one of you that I know what the right thing to do is," Judge Pamela Dembe tearfully said. "Where I get stuck is I don't know how to balance one very terrible violation against the 30 years that followed."
The Rev. James J. Behan is the only priest charged in Philadelphia since the church abuse scandal broke in 2002.
FR. McNICHOL'S ICON OF OUR LADY OF MEDJUGORJE: THE BURNING BUSH
an apparition that does not have church approval. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. Is there a subtle implication here?
More McNichols Icons
Mother of God: She Who Carries Me That's the look I used to give my daughter when she was young and disobedient.
Icon of the Holy Spirit Correct me if I'm wrong, Justin, but in the Orthodox tradition of iconography, the Holy Spirit and God the Father cannot be depicted. Only Christ can be depicted because only Christ assumed human form. Of course we're talking about a bird here.
Fr. Solanus Casey I thought icons were supposed to be about God, the angels, and saints. Fr. Casey is none of these.
When was Mychal Judge canonized? Or Gerard Manley Hopkins? (And what's with the bluebird?)
When was theologian Bernard Lonergan canonized? He's wearing a halo.
When was Anne Katherine Emmerich canonized? Last I knew she was a blessed.
Is this supposed to be an icon of Princess Diana?
I think this priest makes up his own doctrine. Based mostly on sentiment and very little on theology.
FR. McNICHOLS ICONS
In his icon of The Servant of God Adrienne von Speyr, notice the halo. Doesn't a halo designate a saint? She has not been canonized. This icon resides on the website of Jesuit Fr. Raymond A. Bucko, S.J. at Creighton University. He also provides a link to Other Icons by Fr. William McNichols, where you can see a picture of McNichols with John Paul II with a quote from the Pope:
"There will be a new springtime for the Church If people will welcome the promptings of the Holy Spirit, The 21st Century will usher in a new evangelization; and, a tidal wave of conversions will sweep the earth."
Of course the question is whether the conversions will be to Catholicism or to Gnosticism. But maybe it doesn't matter. We can just draw a halo around everyone's head and call them saintly.
There is a quote from von Balthasar there as well: "Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is". I think Jesus Christ put it somewhat differently:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man 'against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household.(Matt. 10:34-36)
He told us we must love our enemies, which precludes harming them, but this love is tough. This love calls sin what it is. This Christ tells us we are forgiven, but we must go and sin no more. In Gethsemene He demonstrated His love by healing the ear Peter cut off with a sword. He faced death on a cross rather than engage in the sort of battle Peter had in mind. The Gospel of Christ is no soppy, syrupy, sweet Gospel that canonizes everyone...unlike the gospel of von Balthasar, or so it would seem. The gospel of Christ requires of us that we cast our heart's desire to the wind and embrace the rules He gave us to live by. McNichols gospel is somewhat different.
Are we living in John Paul II's New Springtime?
Check out McNichols Stations of the Cross of a Person with AIDS which is dedicated to, among others, Louise Hay, whose press turns up in researching Indigo Children. Here on the dedication page you can see the copyright date of these Stations is 1989.
Notice that there is a statement at the beginning of the Stations from Raymond C. Hunthausen, Archbishop of Seattle. The stations depict a person with AIDS traveling the Way of the Cross with Christ. But where is the word "sin"? Where is the word "penitent," which is what the person traveling the Way of the Cross is? It finally appears in the eighth station, but it is rejected; and immediately there follows the soft, sweet, syrupy voice of deception. Is McNichols placing the subject of this meditation, Robert, in the role of a bystander or the role of the cross carrier in these Stations? Is he implying that the carrier is another christ? He doesn't tell us what purpose he believes the AIDS victim's suffering serves.
In the third station we are told of Robert that "At one time he lived there with another young man around his same age". I presume the reference to age is a subtle removal of Robert from any suggestion of sexual abuse of a minor. Yet this was written in 1989, before the scandal broke.
In the fifth station Robert discovers during a visit to the "Gay Men's Health Crisis" center that there is a woman who writes books and makes tapes especially for people with AIDS. He learns of the "healers of all denominations" and the "creative visualization" techniques for people with AIDS.
Do read the Seventh Station in its entirety. Nothing I could say would be the equal of reading the entire thing.
The warning of the Eighth Station is rejected, but in the Ninth Station Robert repents. Now there is some hope. Now there is some reason for encouragement. Now there is the possibility of eternal life with Christ.
Would all AIDS suffers be willing to trod the path of repentence after being preached the soft and syrupy gospel? Or would many simply see in it a reason to believe that he had done nothing wrong? Only tough love can penetrate the deception of sin. Soft love merely enables; it is a vehicle of injustice for the victims of sin. Forgiveness requires repentence if it is to be healing. Yet it is soft love that has been showered on the sexual abusers in the priesthood, and we see where it took us. Tough love knows that the sinner must avoid the near occasions of sin.
Imagine that this is not a story about an AIDS suffer. Place in the story instead a man who abused and killed his wife and was spending the rest of his life in prison. Now does the impetus to offer the soft and syrupy response go away and the need to call for repentence return? How about if he had abused his child and was in prison for causing lifetime damage? AIDS is a prison created by the sufferer, and the sentence is for life. There is a reason we are told not to engage in pedophilia, or homosexual sex, or adulterous sex, or fornication. When we break the rules that God gave us, we suffer consequences. Whether the consequences are AIDS or prison or any number of others, soft sympathy for our plight is not condusive to repentance, and repentance is our only hope for eternal life with our Creator.
We all must die. Death is not the particular curse of the AIDS sufferer. Some of us die in agony through no fault of our own from cancer or the ministrations of a drunk driver, or possibly from the sexual perversion of a priest who robbed us of childhood. They die as Christ did on the cross--innocent of the cause of their death. Some of us die in agony through our own fault by abusing substances or engaging in activities that lead to death. The two are not comparable. Making them appear to be comparable is a deception.
As a story these segments might be of interest. As the Stations of the Cross they are blasphemous.
The Twelfth and Thirteenth Stations deliver a meditation of a scene which takes place in heaven, and subsequently Robert returns to earth and dies. Is some well-meaning priest going to resurrect this meditation after McNichols dies and suggest this wishful thinking was infused contemplation?
McNichols' Stations number fifteen. The last one is his own homily. The emotional impact of these 15 Stations is compulsive, but the doctrinal impact is not Catholic. Don't get caught up in sentimental prayer, a deception that can walk you right out of the love of Christ.
We need some real men to come back to our priesthood. Perhaps if we get them, we will get back the balance between sin, repentence, and forgiveness that is lacking in meditations such as McNichols has given us.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
MASSACHUSETTS HOSPITALS MUST PROVIDE EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVES
according to new legislation that will take effect next week. Catholic hospitals will not be exempted.
ORTHODOX BISHOP CALLS KRISHNA A DEMON
Hindus have been shocked and outraged to read the views of the Russian Orthodox Church on Lord Krishna, who is revered by over one billion Hindus worldwide as their Supreme Lord, a press statement from the International Society For Krishna Consciousness was quoted by The Hindustan Times.
In a letter to the mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, dated Nov. 29, 2005, Archbishop Nikon of Ufa and Sterlitamak from the Russian Orthodox Church called Lord Krishna “an evil demon, the personified power of hell opposing God”, and “a livid lascivious youth”, the statement says.
The archbishop further requested that the mayor ban construction of a proposed Krishna temple in Moscow, saying it would otherwise become “an idolatrous disgrace erected for the glory of the wicked and malicious ’god’ Krishna”.
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily for the link.
Can love alone be enough?
Fr. John R. Cihak explains Balthasar's theology in an article at Ignatius Insight titled "Love Alone is Believable: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Apologetics".
There is a picture of him at the bottom of the website. He looks young. In any case, he indicates that Balthasar studied under Jesuits Erich Przywara and Henri de Lubac. De Lubac is ranked among liberal theologians.
Is the idea that love is all we need credible in a world still suffering the effects of original sin? Can it even be possible without a corresponding concept of justice? Can we understand a love that is all in a culture such as ours which equates love with sex? Could Balthasar's love alone be a foundation for clergy sexual abuse? Those are just a few questions that the article raises in my mind. I don't have the answers.
In any case Fr. Cihak begins with this premise:
The greatest challenge I find in bringing someone to Christ and his Church is finding ways to engage him in meaningful conversation.
Talk of truth is often met with a yawn, and an assertion about what is good is met with a stare of incomprehension. In the malaise of contemporary American life, people do not seem to be moved much by claims of truth or goodness. Relativism has made truth to be whatever one desires, thereby turning the good into whatever makes one "feel" good. With access to these roads of Truth and Goodness into the human heart darkened by relativism, how can one engage the average non-believer? How can one place him on the road that would ultimately lead him back to the Truth and the Good?
Though people may glaze over when one makes claims of truth and goodness, their ears seem to perk up at the mention of beauty...
We are awed by beauty. But has truth and goodness really become irrelevent? Isn't the desire for truth and goodness what motivates man to seek faith?
In any case someone in the comments box asked for the name of Balthasar's community. It's given in the article as the Community of St. John. That community is described as "a community whose members take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience but live in the world engaged in secular professions." With that in mind, consider this passages from Gurdjieff's disciple and chief apologist P. D. Ouspensky's book titled IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS: THE TEACHINGS OF G. I. GURDJIEFF, in which he documents Gurdjieff's lecture on the Fourth Way:
In the next meeting G. began where he had left off the time before. "I said last time," he said, "thatimmortality is not a property with which man is born. But man can acquire immortality. All existing and generally known ways to immortality can be divided into three categories:
1. The way of the fakir.
2. The way of the monk.
3. The way of the yogi.
That passage can be found on p. 44. After expounding on each of these approaches to illumination, he explains Gurdjieff's Fourth Way:
The fourth way requires no retirement into the desert, does not require a man to give up and renounce everything by which he formerly lived. The fourth way begins much further on than the way of the yogi. This means that a man must be prepared for the fourth way and this preparation must be acquired in ordinary life and be a very serious one, embracing many different sides. Furthermore a man must be living in conditions favorable for work on the fourth way, or, in any case, in conditions which create insuperable barriers to the fourth way. Furthermore, the fourth way has no definite forms like the ways of the fakir, the monk, and the yogi. And, first of all, it has to befound. This is the first test. It is not as well known as the three traditional ways. There are many people who have never heard of the fourth way and there are others who deny its existence or possibility.
At the same time the beginning of the fourth way is easier than the beginning of the ways of the fakir, the monk, and the yogi. On the fourth way it is possible to work and to follow this way while remaining in the usual conditions of life, continuing to do the usual work, preserving former relations with people, and without renouncing or giving up anything. On the contrary, the conditions of life in which a man is placed at the beginning of his work, in which, so to speak, the work finds him, are the best possible for him, at any rate at the beginning of the work. These conditions are natural for him. These conditions are the man himself, because a man's life and its conditions correspond to what he is. Any conditions different from those created by life would not be able to touch every side of his being at once. (p. 48-49)
Gurdjieff, like Balthasar, recommended a community in which members stayed active in the world. Did Gurdjieff influence Balthasar? I ask the question while keeping in mind that Gurdjieff's enneagram has become popular in Catholic spirituality as taught by Richard Rohr and the monks at Monastic Interreligious Dialogue/Centering Prayer. Additionally, two of those monks have lectured at the Gurdjieffian church, called the Church of Conscious Harmony. You can look at the following links for verification that Gurdjieff's system has invaded Catholicism.
Heart of Texas Contemplative Outreach (Here you can see that the Church of Conscious Harmony is on their schedule.)
The Church of Conscious Harmony (There is a picture of Gurdjieff here and an explanation of his Work.)
Their Sunday Service (The service includes Lectio Divina, centering prayer, and the Sacrament of Communion.)
Fr. Thomas Keating is pictured on their website.
The Core Beliefs page in their website indicates that "Man's basic nature, like God's nature, is absolute good." (What happened to Original Sin? Is it only coincidental that the exchange of original sin for original grace is being proposed in some Catholic circles?) "God is love and His love is eternally present." and "Love bears all." No counterbalancing characteristic of God's eternal being is offered. Yet God is more than love.
IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS discusses alchemy, reincarnation, clairvoyance and the Tarot. None of these can be found in Roman Catholic doctrine, yet they can all be found in esoteric Christianity and in Gnosticism which are nearly the same thing. They can also all be found in MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT.
Where did Balthasar get his ideas? From a channel named Adrienne von Speyer. What spirit did she channel?
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
VON SPEYER, MOZART, AND CATHOLIC DOCTRINE
Let me begin with von Speyer's vision which I've taken from concert pianist, music teacher and church musician for the traditional Latin rite Masses in Adelaide, Mark Freer's article "Von Balthasar, Mozart and the Quest of Beauty":
The first of these[von Speyer's] posthumous works, The Book of All Saints, contains hundreds of mystical “prayer portraits”, mainly of canonised saints, but of some artists and philosophers also. Mozart is there. Whilst in prayer together Adrienne’s confessor and spiritual director gently questions her:
(Can you see Mozart?) Yes, I see him. (She smiles).
(Does he have a prayer?) Yes, I see him praying. I see him praying something, maybe an Our Father. Simple words, which he learned in his childhood, and which he prays in awareness that he is speaking with God. And then he stands before God like a child, bringing his father everything: pebbles from the street and special twigs and little blades of grass, and once a ladybird as well, and with him all these are melodies, melodies which he brings the dear Lord, melodies which he suddenly knows in prayer. And when he has stopped praying, no longer kneels and no longer folds his hands, then he sits at the piano or sings in an incredible childlikeness, and no longer knows exactly: is he playing the dear Lord something, or is it the dear Lord who is making use of him to play something to himself and to him at the same time? There is a great dialogue between Mozart and the dear Lord which is like the purest prayer, and this whole dialogue is solely music.
That is a romantic depiction of a humble Mozart in relationship with a loving God, childlike in its depiction. Not surprisingly, Freer indicates in this article that von Balthasar was a romantic. Perhaps that is what drew him to von Speyer. Freer writes:
His was no purely theoretical preoccupation with beauty. The award in 1987 of the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Prize in Innsbruck was, according to nephew Peter Henrici SJ:
"the rounding off of a life whose secret passion had been music. In his speech of thanks he reminisced: My youth was defined by music. My piano teacher was an old lady who had been a pupil of Clara Schumann. She introduced me to Romanticism. As a student in Vienna I delighted in the last of the Romantics Wagner, Strauss, and especially Mahler. That all came to an end once I had Mozart in my ears."
According to Freer, Balthasar said that "Nothing will be able to separate me from Mozart and from the highest creations of Haydn, from the ever-new and terrible experience that there are things too beautiful for our world."
Mozart was a Freemason, according to Ian F. McNeely, Department of History, University of Oregon, who writes in his course description:
From the capital cities of Europe to the smallest American towns, and in places as far apart as China and Africa, freemasonry aimed to “build” a better society, taking its inspiration from masonry, the craft of bricklaying. Freemasons have been credited with helping to spread the progressive ideals of the Enlightenment. They have also been charged with conspiring to undermine religion and plot revolution. They formed private clubs, met in lodges, used arcane symbols, and conducted secret rituals behind closed doors. Yet their members made an enormous impact outside, in public life: Wolfgang Mozart, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the inventor of the guillotine were all freemasons.
In an article in "Enghteenth-Century Life" (a publication of John Hopkins University Press) titled "Initiating the Enlightenment?: Recent Scholarship on European Freemasonry", David Stevenson cites the book THE ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF FREEMASONRY: AN INTRODUCTORY STUDY, by James Stevens Curl, stating:
The heart of the book, however, lies in an argument that Masonry inspired and came to embody (Curl blurs the distinction) the period's neoclassicism. Besides suggesting that the fraternity played an important role in music and literature (citing Mozart and Goethe as well as English and French Encyclopedists), Curl considers two developments particularly Masonic, the rise of Egyptian themes in design and attempts to shape the landscape to point an explicit moral lesson.
Curl, the author of an earlier book on Egyptian themes in art and architecture, 8 builds his discussion here around Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (1791). After looking at Mozart's Masonic career and the libretto's literary predecessors in Egyptian romances, he then notes some Masonic connections in The Magic Flute itself. 9 A look at some of the stage sets built for the opera over the next generation reveals stunning Egyptian scenes, including Karl Friedrich Schinkel's extraordinary 1815 Berlin production. Curl connects this Egyptian theme not only with Isis and Osiris but with Hermes Trismegistus, according to legend a learned Egyptian.
I happen to have the book, and Curl has more to say. He presents a picture of Mozart, in relation to his concept of death, that is not Christian:
Rousseau's tomb at Ermenonville was a visible statement of ideas about death that encapsulated notions from Antiquity: death was eternal rest, or sleep, and the ghoulish and macarbe images fostered in Baroque and Christian art were to be expunged. Thus the garden-cemetery, with its Masonic connotations, was also anti-Clerical, and offered gentler, more humane and beautiful images than those provided by the Church. Mozart's feelings about death as a true and best friend, whose image 'is not only no longer terrifying..., but rather something very soothing and comforting" were evolved after he became a Freemason, and are in marked contrast with the dark gloom and terror evoked by the Church, not only with Purgatory and Hell, but with unsavory vaults, churchyards, and imagery...(James Stevens Curl, THE ART & ARCHITECTURE OF FREEMASONRY, p. 196)
Curl writes further:
In its essence, Masonic Style is summed up in the opening chorus of Mozart'sRequiem in D Minor (k 626)....
So a Masonic Style is an amalgam of many things, but it has a distinctive flavour that is instantly recognizable once the subject has been studied and understood. It is a style that pervades the second half of the eighteenth century and the first two decades of the nineteenth; it is, in fact, the essence of Neoclassicism, the kernel of a movement that changed the world, and might have gone on changing it, had not reaction, retrogression, and bigotry replaced what seemed to be a genuine dawning of true Enlightenment. (Curl, p. 229)
It is the Enlightenment that is attributed to Freemasonry which made war on the Church.
The Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon claims Mozart for one of its own.
Francis Carr names the lodges where Mozart attended meetings, including the English Lodge in Prague and Haydn's lodge in Vienna.
Membership in Freemasonry excommunicates a Catholic. At the time when Mozart walked the earth, wrote his music, and joined the lodges (1756-1791), the Papal Bull of Pope Clement XII was already in force. Issued April 28, 1738, it makes the excommunication clear:
Wherefore We command most strictly and in virtue of holy obedience, all the faithful of whatever state, grade, condition, order, dignity or pre-eminence, whether clerical or lay, secular or regular, even those who are entitled to specific and individual mention, that none, under any pretext or for any reason, shall dare or presume to enter, propagate or support these aforesaid societies of Liberi Muratori or Francs Massons, or however else they are called, or to receive them in their houses or dwellings or to hide them, be enrolled among them, joined to them, be present with them, give power or permission for them to meet elsewhere, to help them in any way, to give them in any way advice, encouragement or support either openly or in secret, directly or indirectly, on their own or through others; nor are they to urge others or tell them, incite or persuade them to be enrolled in such societies or to be counted among their number, or to be present or to assist them in any way; but they must stay completely clear of such Societies, Companies, Assemblies, Meetings, Congregations or Conventicles, under pain of excommunication for all the above mentioned people, which is incurred by the very deed without any declaration being required, and from which no one can obtain the benefit of absolution, other than at the hour of death, except through Ourselves or the Roman Pontiff of the time.[emphasis mine]
Yet in spite of this Adrienne von Speyer sees Mozart talking with God and standing before God, handing him things. Which presumably would mean that Mozart was in heaven, unless she is suggesting that Jesus personally appeared to him. This scene was drawn from her visionary experience; and Balthasar, acting as her secretary, recorded the description.
Some questions arise:
If Mozart was excommunicated due to his Masonic membership, how is it that von Speyer sees him in heaven?
Is it that excommunication has no bearing on our eternal destiny? If excommunication has no bearing on our eternal destiny, then membership in Christ's Church has no bearing, because excommunication tosses a person out of the Church.
Was Mozart absolved by a pope, and if so why was there no mention of it in the entry for Mozart in the Catholic Encyclopedia?
Or is it that the Papal Bull promulgating excommunication for membership in a masonic lodge was not valid? In which case the old Code of Canon Law which did the same thing was not valid either. Nor is Cardinal Ratzinger's claim that the excommunication still holds valid.
Given Mozart's Masonic connections, could von Speyr have been mistaken in claiming that she saw Mozart? And could Balthasar have been ignorant of Mozart's masonic involvements and thus willing to champion him?
Should we be expecting yet another apology, this time for the Church's objection to the lodge? If this were to be done, it would overrule the teaching of many popes.
Was the spirit von Speyer accessed truly from God and the heavenly realm, or was it a spirit of deception?
One thing is clear, all of the ideas presented by the facts laid out above cannot be believed at the same time without developing some sort of schizophrenic split in thinking.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
ROBERT DUNCAN ACKNOWLEDGES JOHN ALLEN'S OUTING
of his Opus Dei membership. Too bad Allen got the url wrong and may not see Duncan's acknowledgement.
I hope this represents a new open trend in Opus Dei. It's time to put a stop to the Dan Brown-type of speculation.
What I'd really like to read is Duncan's evaluation of Tapia's book!
FREEDOM OF RELIGION UPHELD IN SWEDEN
The Swedish Supreme Court has acquitted a Pentecostal pastor, the Rev Ake Green, of engaging in a hate speech during a verbal attack on lesbian and gay people made in a sermon.
He was threatened with a one-month prison sentence. Green told journalists he was now free to continue preaching as before, though the content f his address is regarded as hateful by many Christians and secular critics alike.
Said an unrepentant Mr Green: “This [ruling] means we can continue to speak the way we have, and … it feels very good that they have ruled in a way that our way of preaching should not be infringed.”
The judgment is based on a civil rights perspective which says that free speech should overrule offence and hurt to others, unless actual menace or harm is incited.
Blogger credit to Spero News.
GIBSON DEVELOPING HOLOCAUST MINI-SERIES
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 - Mel Gibson, whose "Passion of the Christ" was criticized by some as anti-Semitic - and whose father has said that the Holocaust did not happen - is developing a nonfiction mini-series about the Holocaust.
Mr. Gibson's television production company will base the four-hour miniseries for ABC on the self-published memoir of Flory A. Van Beek, a Dutch Jew whose gentile neighbors hid her from the Nazis but who lost several relatives in concentration camps.
The project is in its early stages, so there is no guarantee that it will be completed. Mr. Gibson is not expected to act in the mini-series, nor is it certain that his name, rather than his company's, will be publicly attached to the final product, according to several people involved in developing it.
But Quinn Taylor, ABC's senior vice president for movies for television, acknowledged that the attention-getting value of having Mr. Gibson attached to a Holocaust project was a factor.
"Controversy's publicity, and vice versa," Mr. Taylor said.
Mr. Gibson's father, Hutton Gibson, has repeatedly denied that the Holocaust happened. Before the release of "The Passion of the Christ," Hutton Gibson said that accounts of the Holocaust were mostly "fiction" and asserted that there were more Jews in Europe after World War II than before.
Mel Gibson, for his part, when asked by an interviewer in early 2004 whether the Holocaust happened, responded that some of his best friends "have numbers on their arms," then added: "Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps."
ROME SAYS "STOP HOMOSEXUAL ADOPTIONS"
Boston, Dec. 07 (CWNews.com) - The Boston archdiocese has received instructions to stop arranging adoptions for homosexual couples, the Boston Herald reports today.
The Herald, citing an anonymous Church source, said that Archbishop Sean O'Malley has received a letter from the papal nuncio in Washington, Aarchbishop Gabriel Montalvo, saying that Catholic Charities must discontinue its current practice of helping same-sex couples adopt children.
The Boston archdiocese declined to comment on the Herald report, saying that communications between the archbishop and the Pope's representative are confidential. However, a spokesman indicated that the policies of Catholic Charities are under review.
THE ONION HAS IT FIGURED OUT
The voice of God that Bush heard when he decided to go to war with Iraq was really the voice of Dick Cheney.
Thanks to a reader for the link.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
IT'S INDIGO TIME AGAIN
A reader sent in a link to this story in FortWayne.com:
In January, the documentary "The Indigo Evolution" will premiere around the world, coinciding with the World Indigo weekend beginning Jan. 27.
The phenomenon has spawned dozens of Web sites and two independent films.
The story mentions Doreen Virtue and her books, offering this insight:
Retired psychotherapist Doreen Virtue describes Indigos as "little Joan of Arcs."
I wonder if her psychology is as bad as her geography and her grammar? Somehow I suspect that it is.
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND HOMOSEXUAL TENDENCIES (PART 1)
Hat tip to Spirit Daily.
THE BOSTON COLLEGE COMMEDIAN IN THE NEWS
Check out Amy's blog. When you get there, be sure to read her succinct take on the article that appeared in the BC student newspaper before reading the comments. WARNING! Do not access this blog with coffee in your mouth!
The Jesuits are good for something...teaching kids how to write comedy! And here we thought they were useless. Who knew?
THEY ARE GOING TO DESTROY THE CHURCH
Matt Abbott drops a bombshell that no one in Catholic journalism seems to be willing to touch. I got the link from a commenter in Dom's blog. May the angels protect Fr. Haley!
Benedict is doing the right thing by taking action, but the Church in America is coming apart. How much of this could have been avoided if John Paul II had acted early on instead of letting this fester?
GAY CLERGY OUTING THEMSELVES
Sent in by a reader:
TORONTO, December 5, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Rev. Richard Reshaw, C.S.C., former Assistant Secretary General of the Canadian Religious Conference (1994-2002), exposed himself as a homosexual and supportive of the 'gay culture' on CBC radio on Sunday. Renshaw made the revelations on CBC's The Sunday Edition hosted by anti-Catholic host Michael Enright who is known for his unrepentant 'joke' referencing the Catholic Church as "the greatest criminal organization outside of the Mafia."
Canadian Catholics who have wondered at the constant unorthodox stands of the Bishops' official development arm - the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) - will not be surprised to learn that Fr. Renshaw served as Deputy Executive Director at CCODP from November 2002 till he became the Interim Executive Director there in May last year - a post he held till this spring.
My own particular favorite line from the story: He also noted that his theological formation, which he said he received in Rome, "has never been of the slightest use to me".
And so, Father, what have you been teaching the laity who looked to you for guidance?
As the reader who sent the link wrote, What bible has he read? This is so sad, yet the more they protest and proclaim the more they prove the Vatican's points.
ED THROCKMORTON ON ST. NICHOLAS
This writer of commentary for The American Daily expresses the real need for St. Nicholas in our culture today, and it isn't so Santa Clause won't forget you on Christmas Eve. Rather he notes that St. Nicholas is a patron of virgins who once provided dowries for three girls who were in danger of being sold into prostitution because their father had no money.
Throckmorton suggests we implore the intercession of St. Nicholas for our modern day boys and girls who are being sold into the pornography industry chiefly through the greed of producers and the lechery of their customers.
ONCE HOLY RUSSIA
It is worthy of note that there are up to two million Muslims living in Moscow alone
Orthodox symbols on the Russian National Emblem gave rise to a religious dispute in Russia. The majority of Muslim leaders and scientists say that Russia should remove Orthodox symbols from the Emblem. The central image of the Emblem depicts the Orthodox Saint, Georgy Pobedonosets (Victorious Georgy), slaying a dragon. Crowns with Christian crosses adorn the heads of double eagles. Another cross can be seen on the orb, which one of the birds holds in its claws.
Russia is a secular multi-confessional state. The State Emblem of Russia should therefore reflect the variety of nations living on the territory of the country. According to the results of the latest population census, up to ten percent of Russians practice Islam. Islamic figures have recently urged the Russian government to pay attention to the issue of Orthodox symbolism on the National Emblem, for it could be referred to as a violation of human rights.
CAUSE FOR CANONIZATION OF JOHN PAUL II
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Dissident theologians opposed to the beatification of Pope John Paul have issued an appeal urging Catholics critical of the late pope to tell the Vatican if they also think he should not be made a saint.
The 11 Catholic theologians said Church officials who are reviewing John Paul's life and pontificate should also consider the "negative evaluation" liberal critics have of the nearly 27-year-old papacy that ended when John Paul died in April.
The Rome diocese has opened a beatification cause for the Pope. Church officials have asked all Catholics to come forward with personal experiences or evidence of possible miracles that could support a reputation for holiness.
Not that I think anyone cares, but I have serious reservations about canonizing JPII now. Those reservations are based in the horrible state of the Church after 25+ years of his administration. We are told to judge holiness by fruits, and these scandals are the fruits [no pun intended], as are the innumerable heresies that keep cropping up here and there in places where we should be finding holiness.
Perhaps there were good reasons for his inaction, but please, give them time to come out. Allow time for this scandal to be resolved and to become history. Allow time for orthodoxy to return. Don't canonize the man who should have shouldered the responsibility for order and appeared for all intents and purposes to have shirked it!
If John Paul II had been the president of a corporation in which there was this much disorder, he would have been fired, not lionized. Don't give the dissenters on the right this much more fuel for their fires, because when they light them, those fires will burn brightly with this volitile substance added to the mix.
FACE TRANSPLANT OK SAYS BISHOP
AS FAR as the Catholic Church is concerned face transplant is okay, especially if the materials used are derived from placenta.
This is according to Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines office on bioethics, during the second day of the International Congress on Bioethics, an event jointly sponsored by Vatican City’s Pontifical Academy for Life and the University of Sto. Tomas.
Oliveros said face transplant is now being practiced in advance countries and the first transplant recipient was a woman in France.
HAPPY ST. NICHOLAS DAY
Did you put your shoe by the door?
APPARITIONS TRUE AND FALSE
An article by Fr. Peter Joseph in the October 2004 issue of "Christian Order", is a good explanation of the Church's teaching. I've linked this article before, but current Catholic landscape is so filled with seers and apparitions that I'm blogging it again.
As a prelude, I should state my own interest in Private Revelations. I have visited Paray-le-Monial (where Jesus showed His Sacred Heart to St Margaret Mary in the 17th century). I have visited Rue de Bac (where the Miraculous Medal was given to St Catherine Labouré in 1830). I have visited Lourdes, Knock, and Fatima; also the two Belgian towns where Our Lady appeared: Beauraing (1932-33) and Banneux (1933). I wear the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal. I have conducted Holy Hours to celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy since 1993.
I think, from all this, you can see that I am not opposed to private revelations. But I am opposed to false revelations; I am opposed to dubious revelations; I am opposed to disapproved revelations; I am opposed to obsession with private revelations. I am opposed to all these things precisely because I do believe in genuine private revelations and their role in the life of the Church.
The abundance of alleged messages and revelations in the past forty years makes ever more necessary the traditional caution and discernment of spirits. Amid today’s confusion and spiritual wasteland, many Catholics are seeking contact with the supernatural via new private revelations, regardless of whether or not they have been approved, or even whether or not they are in accordance with the Faith.
Private revelations occur
God may, and sometimes does, grant revelations to private individuals. Those who receive them, and are perfectly certain that they come from God, should believe them. But the Church never imposes on Catholics the obligation of believing anyone’s private revelations, even those of the great saints. The Church gives her approval to them only when she is satisfied after rigorous examination of their spiritual utility and of the evidence on which they depend.
The Catechism at #67 says: "Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognised by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to ‘improve’ or ‘complete’ Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. … Christian faith cannot accept ‘revelations’ that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfilment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such ‘revelations’." (See St Thomas, Summa II-II, q.174, art.6, ad 3).
Whom does the Catechism have in mind? Among others, Moslems and Mormons. Mohammed claimed that the Gospels misrepresent Christ, and Mormons believe there is a Third Testament.
Sources of revelations
There are three sources, ultimately, of revelations, visions, prodigies, and suchlike things: God, man, or the devil.
Under the heading of God, I include God’s holy creatures, such as Our Lady or another Saint or an angel.
Under man, I mean any human knowledge or skill or trickery or imagination or any human activity or machine or device causing anything to happen.
Under the devil, I include the devil himself or any one of the other demons.
The power of the devil
Very few people are aware of the devil’s full powers, and his ability to deceive. Many Catholics think that as soon as any prodigy occurs, it must be the work of God. But, as I said, messages and prodigies can issue from three sources ultimately: God, man, or the devil. It is the work of discernment to identify who is at work in a given case.
It is knowledge of diabolical trickery which makes the Church cautious here. My next part on the power of the demons is taken from Father Jordan Aumann, a Dominican priest, who taught for many years at the Angelicum University in Rome.
What the devils can and cannot do
The devils cannot do the following:
(1) Produce any kind of truly supernatural phenomenon;
(2) Create a substance, since only God can create;
(3) Bring a dead person back to life, although they could produce the illusion of doing so;
(4) Make truly prophetic predictions, since only God knows the future absolutely, and those to whom He chooses to reveal a portion of it. However, the devil’s intelligent conjecture about the future might appear to mere mortals a prophecy;
(5) Know the secrets of a person’s mind and heart. However, their shrewd intelligence and observation may enable them to deduce many things about a person.
But the devils can do the following:
(1) Produce corporeal or imaginative visions;
(2) Falsify ecstasy;
(3) Instantaneously cure sicknesses that have been caused by diabolical influence;
(4) Produce the stigmata;
(5) Simulate miracles and the phenomena of levitation and bilocation;(6) Make people or objects seem to disappear by interfering with a person’s sight or line of vision;
(7) Cause a person to hear sounds or voices;
(8) Cause a person to speak in tongues;
(9) Declare a fact which is hidden or distant.
Whatever nature or science can cause, the devils too are able to cause, according to what God may permit. See the Book of Exodus where the magicians and sorcerers of Pharaoh were able to accomplish some of the prodigies wrought by Moses and Aaron (Ex 7:11-12; 7:22; 8:7; 8:18-19; 9:11). Close to 200 A.D., Tertullian writes, "first of all, they [the demons] make you ill; then to get a miracle out of it, they prescribe remedies either completely novel, or contrary to those in use, and thereupon withdrawing hurtful influence, they are supposed to have wrought a cure." (Apology of the Christian religion, 22).
In the face of the fallen angels’ power to deceive, it is no wonder that the Church is always very slow to declare a miracle or message authentic.
The devil has superhuman intelligence and is very clever, and to pretend that you can definitively judge in favour of something’s authenticity, without help, is presumptuous.
In January 2005 there was a follow-up in which Fr. Joseph answered questions from readers. Two of them are particularly pertinent to Catholic news from some sources:
“Fr Joseph’s article failed to deal with Medjugorje, or the revelations of Fr Gobbi.”
My purpose was to give an exposé of the principles for judging all revelations; not to treat of any particular revelation in detail. The principles in my article make it clear that one cannot propagate the messages of Medjugorje. As to why, Bishop Peric’s talk in the same issue of Christian Order deals with that very fully.
On other occasions, I have told people (generally to no avail) to stop following it or promoting it. My reasons are basically: 1. The Bishop has said it is false. 2. No verified miracles. 3. Repetitive, banal messages, unworthy of the Mother of God. There are plenty of other reasons.
As to Fr Gobbi, I am not aware of any official judgement, positive or negative, but I think his messages are repetitive, prolix, and sometimes contradictory. The Antichrist did not appear in 1998, as prophesied; nor did the Second Coming occur, which the messages of the 1990’s were predicting for the end of the decade.
* * *
“How can we know which situations have actually been disapproved by a bishop of authority? In the case of Garabandal, I have read so many claims and counter-claims that I don’t know who to believe.”
It can be difficult to know exactly what judgement has been given. But a letter to the Diocesan Chancery, asking for the official position, will generally get you the answer you need.
The onus of proof is on those who claim approval. You need to say to them: ‘Please provide the full text (and the date) of the decree of the Bishop giving approval.’ Any claimed decree can then be verified with the Chancery.
In the case of Garabandal, I have read over the years statements of successive bishops giving negative judgments. I did see some years ago a letter from the Apostolic Nuncio of Australia, re-asserting a negative judgment on Garabandal, and deploring the disobedience of those who promote it.
As for the claim, ‘There is a new investigation’: even if true, it has no bearing on the current situation. You may not promote anything pronounced against, until a new decree overturns the earlier one.
Monday, December 05, 2005
CHRISTIAN ANTI-SEMITISM ?
An article by Joseph Farah in World Net Daily on Nov. 30 makes the charge of anti-Semitism against the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem in connection with some land sale that is being rescinded, I think.
Question: When is the sale of land in the Middle East not really a sale?
Answer: When the land is sold to Jews.
The tragic answer to that tragic question became apparent when WND broke the story of the sleight of hand planned by the new, disputed head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.
Theofilos III was crowned in a ceremony last week at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre after signing a secret document obliging him to nullify the recent transfer of real estate in the Old City to Jewish groups.
His predecessor, Irineos, signed the deal paving the way for the land transfer earlier this year – prompting calls for his head by some of his constituency of about 100,000 Christians in the Middle East.
The elevation of Theofilos under this cloud represents a sad reminder that anti-Semitism is alive and well – even among some who call themselves "Christians."
Some of you are better informed than I am for sorting this out. Joseph or Justin, can you explain what is going on here?
RELATIVISM IN CATHOLIC THEOLOGY
ANCONA, Italy, DEC. 4, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The ideas of relativism that permeate secular thought are also advancing in some areas of Catholic theology, warned theologian Ilaria Morali.
The dogmatic theologian made these affirmations at the congress on "Christian Mystical Experience, Non-Christian Mysticism and New Western Religiosity," held until Saturday in Ancona at March Polytechnic University. It was organized by the East-West Center.
Morali, a theology professor at the Gregorian University, quoted from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) and said that relativism, which considers all religions valid and equal, is becoming "the central problem for faith in our time."
GOODBYE ORIGINAL SIN
More on the abandonment of the theory of limbo.
Archbishop Levada said the question is important because "the number of babies not baptized has increased considerably" and the church knows that salvation "is only reachable in Christ through the Holy Spirit."
But the church, "as mother and teacher," also must reflect on how God saves all those created in his image and likeness, particularly when the individual is especially weak "or not yet in possession of the use of reason and freedom," the archbishop said.
Redemptorist Father Tony Kelly, an Australian member of the commission, told Catholic News Service "the limbo hypothesis was the common teaching of the church until the 1950s. In the past 50 years, it was just quietly dropped.
"We all smiled a bit when we were presented with this question, but then we saw how many important questions it opened," including questions about the power of God's love, the existence of original sin and the need for baptism, he said.
"Pastorally and catechetically, the matter had been solved" with an affirmation that somehow God in his great love and mercy would ensure unbaptized babies enjoyed eternal life with him in heaven, "but we had to backtrack and do the theology," Father Kelly said.
A conviction that babies who died without baptism go to heaven was not something promoted only by people who want to believe that God saves everyone no matter what they do.
Pope John Paul II believed it. And so does Pope Benedict.
So how are they going to get around that fact that the baby was born with original sin? Here is the proposal:
Father Kelly said turning away from the idea of limbo was part of "the development of the theological virtue of hope" and reflected "a different sense of God, focusing on his infinite love."
The Redemptorist said people should not think the changed focus is a lightweight embrace of warm, fuzzy feelings.
"The suffering, death and resurrection of Christ must call the shots," he said. "If Christ had not risen from the dead, we never would have thought of original sin," because no one would have needed to explain why absolutely every human needed Christ's salvation.
The fact that God loves his creatures so much that he sent his Son to die in order to save them means that there exists an "original grace" just as there exists "original sin," Father Kelly said.
The existence of original grace "does not justify resignation," or thinking that everyone will be saved automatically, he said, "but it does justify hope beyond hope" that those who die without having had the opportunity to be baptized will be saved.
There you have it. Original grace. Matthew Fox called it "original blessing." See we really don't need the Church and the rules. Fox got it right while ignoring them. I wonder how soon they will reinstate him?
This will have other repercussions, since lots of people believed it was doctrine. There will be questions about other teachings, and people who find them inconvenient will simply dump them because afterall they don't make sense and why should I be burdened with them when eventually the Church will see the light and change them just like She did the belief in limbo.
I propose that the first one to be dumped by a majority of Catholics is going to be the teaching on birth control. Heck, it's already been dumped by the majority of Catholics, and they're about to be given legitimacy.
Maybe we had better pay closer attention to what Matthew Fox is saying.
First we don't need the Church, now we weren't born with original sin. At the rate this is going, pretty soon the only people in hell will be the Catholics because obviously the rest were simply invincibly ignorant and thus couldn't offend God by sinning.
And we thought the cafeteria was closed. Oh baby, we ain't seen nothing yet!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for our leaders!
THE MARY IS GOD MOVEMENT
has opposition. Michaela de Sanch of Christian Soldiers Alliance For The True Faith opposes the movement in a Newswire story here.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
WANT TO PAY YOUR TUITION DOLLARS TO A CATHOLIC COLLEGE ?
Pick one from the list of schools whose theology faculty sign the Mandatum or the Oath of Fidelity.
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT HOMILY
Today we heard--sung to the usual tune,
You'd better watch out.
You'd better not cry.
You'd better not pout.
I'm telling you why.
Jesus Christ is coming to town.
He's making a wish,
And checking it twice,
Gonna find out,
Who's naughty and nice.
Jesus Christ is coming to town.
He knows when you're a-sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows when you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake.
It's true, of course. It produced a chuckle and even got the kids attention.
It was sung as part of last Sunday's homily too.
Sometimes I think I've just been around too long, seen too many changes, and outlived my usefulness. It seems like the world belongs to a different generation with different ideals, different purposes, different intentions, and different standards. Sometimes I just feel like an alien in my own spiritual home.
When I got home from Mass my husband started telling me, before I had even gotten my coat off, that he had watched two Masses on TV this morning from two different dioceses, our own and another one. He said I would have found lots to dislike about the one from a different diocese. The priest didn't wash his hands for one thing, there was no tabernacle in sight, and there were other differences, plus the homily was a social gospel claim that we must love everyone which to him sounded like an apologetic for homosexuality coupled with humanitarianism. I suggested that maybe it really hadn't been a Catholic Mass, but he said the credits included the name of the diocese.
The one from my own diocese looked and sounded normal to him. In fact when he watched it last Sunday he had liked it and spoken favorably to me about it.
He watches Mass on TV but doesn't want to attend Mass. He still believes. He just doesn't practice. I think he has separated his faith from his religion and Mass no longer has meaning. Yet he watches two Masses on TV on Sunday morning. Which I guess means that he still wants to practice. Maybe he's just searching for something he can relate to the God he believes in, which Mass no longer does for him.
I really don't know...
THE SPIN ON THE LETTER ACCOMPANYING THE DOCUMENT
sent in by a reader.
Why am I not surprised by this:
The Rev. Ladislas Orsy, a canon lawyer at Georgetown University, said the letter did not have the same legal authority as the instruction. "It's not a piece of legislation," he said. "It would be like a letter from a committee chairman in Congress."
Orsy said the letter should be viewed as nonbinding advice to bishops that concerned only future appointments of seminary instructors because "we have a sweeping principle in canon law that no rule is retroactive unless it specifically says so."
I presume that Benedict is not ignorant of Canon Law and would know this is the way the letter would be interpreted. So who was the letter written for? Was it a sop to the laity to make us think something is being done? Is that why this recommendation was not included in the instruction, but rather only added in a letter that would not be taken seriously, but would be reported in the press?
Sort of reminds me of the letter Cdl. Ratzinger issued banning membership in Masonic Lodges after Canon Law had been rewritten to place lodge membership in limbo. A letter with an inconvenient recommendation can so easily be banished when it is safe to get the recommendation out of the way.
The Rev. Donald Cozzens, a Catholic author and former seminary rector, called the letter a "bombshell" because it affects current priests, not just future ones.
Cozzens, whose survey research indicates that a quarter to half of all U.S. priests are gay, said the letter "doesn't say that rectors or professors in our seminaries who have already been appointed should be removed, but one wonders if that's not what might begin to happen -- a kind of culling of gay rectors and professors."
Furthermore, he said: "I think it could also raise questions about people working in chanceries and about bishops who happen to be gay. And why stop there? I see it as a logical extension of the instruction, but it underscores the problematic nature of the instruction."
Ok, next speaker...pass the spinning ball to the next representative who is going to excise a little more of the instruction. When they get done, it will be back to business without interruption.
And I'm supposed to toss cash into the collection basket this morning, some of which will be funneled to the seminary, so that I can also be a financial contributor to sin and the undermining of the Church in America? Doing so makes me a hypocrite. Not doing so makes me a violator of one of the commandments of the Church.
We have John Paul II to thank for this sorry state of affairs. After 25+ years of inaction, the violations of the moral code are entrenched. And there is a movement to canonize John Paul II that is going full steam ahead.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!