Saturday, December 17, 2005
Actually, Saturday Vigil Mass. Tonight I went with my daughter to a church she considers especially beautiful. Even my husband tagged along. It's an old church. The old altar is still in place. It appears to be marble and at least two stories high. Figures of saints and angels are an integral part of it. The church itself has the most beautiful stained glass windows around--lots of them. There are two choir lofts, one above the other, and the pipes for the organ are still there, though whether they are working or not I couldn't say since the organ wasn't used. The ceiling is painted with angels, as are the walls in the small areas where there are no windows. Both side altars are still in place, and they are elaborate and beautiful as well. The church is a homily in stone, glass, and paint. Some of the paint is peeling and the floor is worn. I hope this doesn't mean the days of the church are numbered. Once churches like this one are torn down, they will not be rebuilt. Modern church architecture it sure isn't.
When I was a child and the train ran from my hometown into the city, my mother and I used to go by train for a day of shopping. Walking to the business district from the train station brought us past this church, and I always insisted on stopping in for a visit. Back then the church was never locked. I doubt that is true anymore. It's been many years since I was last inside.
A couple renewed their marriage vows right after the gospel. I guess that was what caused father to rush through Mass, because rush he certainly did. He can say the prayers faster than I can. For some reason he was wearing a blue vestment. Navy blue. With gold. Kent State University colors. University of Akron colors. Fourth Sunday of Advent colors?
When he said the Creed, he said "I" instead of "we." It's been discussed for a while now. I didn't know it had been implemented. This is the only place where I've heard it done.
Friday, December 16, 2005
THE MYSTICAL ROSE QUOTE
That quote consists of the final paragraphs of the opening speech of the fifth and last convention of F.U.D.O.S.I. (an umbrella organization that attempted unsuccessfully to unify occult groups from around the world). It was delivered by Emile Dantinne, the Grand Imperator. The convention took place after the devastation of the Second World War (in 1946, specifically). It honored those members who had died in the war, including those who were sent to the camps for their beliefs. The esoteric orders had been outlawed by the Nazis.
In that speech there is a recounting of the prophecies fortelling the war which began as early as 1934, and there is a plan of their "great work"
...a plan of spiritual action for the spreading of Light into the old world.
This plan includes the protection and diffusion of spiritual and Christian culture which prepares the way for the reconciliation and union of all God's children.
The R+C is not a religion which claims to substitute for those of any of its followers, it is a great Brotherhood of Love, and Spiritual Science; it brings to them unknown powers and an increase in the great Light of Christ. In its unfoldment it is free from political contentions and strife, but it offers to the great universality of nations a deep reason of reconciliation. In this feeling of brotherhood and spiritual uplifting, in this progressive development lies the principle of its exoteric action.
No indication is given as to what the "esoteric action" will be, but invariably there is esoteric action that coordinates with exoteric action in all occult groups. The esoteric action is the province of the inner circle.
The speech continues:
In such an upset period, when the selfishness of individuals, of nations and of races is increasing more and more, at this crucial point in the cycle of civilization, to save humankind from the abyss of barbarism, of brutality and of frightful cruelty to which it is rushing madly, noble and generous souls are greatly needed, that they may be infused with the true wisdom and science, inspired with the spirit of the purest and most Christian Love, capable of facing martyrdom fearlessly and to suffer it for the triumph of the sacred mission to which they have pledged themselves.
Against the new storm that is preparing itself in the dark horizon of a social world always stressed with demoniacal forces, we must oppose our utmost strength for the realization of a great Christian and Initiatique ideal made of Goodness, of Beauty and eternal Science, Wisdom and Justice.
The spiritual harvest will be wonderful. The Divine Harvester may come later on to appraise our work.
This is what we must do and we will do it against the whole world, for the Kingdom of the Holy Spirit must prevail on this destitute earth as well as in the highest Heaven.
Pitfalls and treason will be but a powerful stimulus which will prompt us to do better still so as to show to the world the sublime character and the High teachings of Him who died on the Cross, on the Calvary, and of Whom we must be the valiant, tireless and faithful apostles.
The entire speech can be read here in the study of Milko Bogaard. Scroll down to approximately the mid-point on the website to read it.
Some points to consider:
1. JPII anticipated a "new springtime."
2. JPII castigated repeatedly those who were caught up in materialism.
3. Benedict is looking to beauty to rescue Catholicism.
4. Pentecostalism--faith in the contemporary descent of the Holy Spirit onto individuals--is fashionable in Roman Catholicism today.
5. The former Jesuit pastor of the Byzantine Catholic parish in San Francisco is now working for the Egyptian Museum, a museum owned and operated by A.M.O.R.C., one of the groups included in F.U.D.O.S.I. He appears to be doing this with the approval of his bishop and his Jesuit superior.
6. Hegel was a hermeticist according to Glenn Alexander Magee, and Hegel's philosophy influenced von Balthasar, and thus JPII and Benedict.
7. Medjugorje, which appears to have significant occult overtones, has not been condemned in any way that influences the people who support it.
8. Von Speyer was a visionary who apparently had visions in conflict with Roman Catholic doctrine. Her visions were never investigated. They were embraced by von Balthasar to the point that he considers his theology and her visions to be inseparable.
9. Ecumenism and interreligious dialogue is uniting the religions.
Has the post-Vatican II Church embraced occultism? Have the occultists become Catholic through redefinition of doctrine? Will this universal brotherhood work to edge Christ out of our world, or is the plan to finally bring the world to Christ?
In all sincerity, I really do not know.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
HEGEL AND THE HERMETIC TRADITION
A book by Glenn Alexander Magee published by Cornell University Press, 2001.
Read quotes from the book here. This is the first one:
"What is Hermeticism?[emphasis in the original]
"Whether or not Hegel can be understood as "Hermetic" depends on how Hermeticism is defined. ...Its adherents all tend to share certain interests - often classed as "occult" or "esoteric" - which are held together merely by family resemblances. In part, my argument for Hegel's Hermeticism depends on demonstrating that Hegel's interest coincide with the curious mixture interests typical of Hermeticists. These include alchemy, Kabbalism, Mesmerism, extrasensory perception, spiritualism... Rosicrucianism, Masonry, Echartian mysticism, "correspondences", secret systems of symbolism... and cosmic sympathies.
"Hermeticism constitutes a middle position between pantheism and the Judeo-Christian conception of God."
Here is another one:
"Hegel holds the traditional, Hermetic conception ofphilosophia perennis: all previous systems of thought - religious, mythological philosophical - aim a (sic) and partially unveil the same doctrine..... Hegel writes: 'From the true knowledge of [the principle of all philosophy], there will arise the conviction that at all times there has been only one and the same philosophy.'" [emphasis in original]
Does this second quote dovetail with the understanding of the Catholic faith since Vatican II, that the truth of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church? Can it be reconciled with the teaching of popes prior to the Council--popes who rejected Masonry and hermetic teaching in its entirety?
Magee is the Editor of "Philosophy and Culture", a publication of the Philosophy Documentation Center whose clients include the American Catholic Philosophical Association; the Center for Catholic Studies, University of St. Thomas; the National Institute for Newman Studies; Marquette University Press; the Karl Rahner Society; the Hegel Society of America; the International Council of Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (UNESCO); the International Phenomenological Society; and a number of universities including Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, and Villanova. I think we must take seriously what Magee has to say.
THE MYSTICAL ROSE
Consider the following quote - does it reflect a desire for holiness?
Are these Catholic sentiments? Are they the sentiments of Communio and Opus Dei? That question is not rhetorical. I'm searching for answers and understanding here.
After you've had time to think about it, and hopefully comment, I'll post the source.
"And thus it is, before the Divine sign of the Cross and the sacred sign of the Mystical Rose, that we shall start for the spiritual conquest of the world; we shall be the vanguard of the celestial armies which will themselves precede the returning of the living Christ. We shall prepare His Kingdom and we shall be able to say: "O Lord, you may come: Your Kingdom is waiting for you"!
"In the meantime, in the secrecy of our temples, like unto the early Christians in the catacombs, we shall continue our highly mystical and sacred work of illumination, spiritual uplifting and sanctification.
"We carry on this sublime Tradition of the Christian magic, and with the help of the Invisible powers of Light, delving deeper and deeper into the wonderful secrets which we have inherited from the great Masters of Illumination of ancient times who have preceded us on the way of Initiation, of the Sublime Path of Christ, towards the effulgent Light of the Holy Spirit. We shall spread on the world their forgotten teachings, and because the world, yielding to the Forces of Darkness and lost in the abyss of materialism and selfishness, has turned aside from the Holy Scriptures of which it recognizes no more the light and the power, we shall bring to a selected few the invisible strenghts and the transcendent understanding of their Mysteries.
"Before God we pledge ourselves to realize this plan of action and to realize it without delay, for there is urgency and we must hurry. The time of great tribulations announced in the Revelation is that in which we are now living. The Lamb has already opened the first three seals. The day is now close by when we shall stand before the throne of the Lamb in our white robes, and the Angel will mark us on the forehead like unto God's other servants and because we shall have accomplished on earth the Will of the Father, this ineffable will which he reveals only to saints and to Magi, we shall rule with Christ during the Profound Peace era which St.John's Revelation promised the world."
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY CLAIMS WAILING WALL
The Palestinian Authority’s Office for Religious Affairs claims that the Western Wall, revered by Jews for generations as the last structural remnant of the Second Holy Temple, is Moslem property.
The Palestinian Authority’s official website, echoing the claims of its Religious Affairs office, also attempts to negate Jewish ownership of the Western Wall.
The PA office claims Moslem ownership of the Western Wall by referring to the wall on its website as the Al-Boraq Wall. According to Moselm legend, the wall is the place where Mohammed tied his horse, named Boraq, before ascending to heaven.
Moslem tradition holds that Mohammed rose to heaven from the Temple Mount, though that idea is not mentioned anywhere in the Koran, the central text of the Moslem faith.
Rabbi Chaim Richman, Director of the International Department of the of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, said that the PA’s claims of Moslem ownership of the Western Wall has “far reaching implications” for Israel.
Hat tip to a reader for the link.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
"Individual initiatives"--is that a model that OD would like to see more of worldwide? Are there political objectives? Since OD is not like religious orders which have been the model for Catholic institutions prior to Opus Dei, it's hard to judge from the outside what exactly OD is about.
Why was it necessary to be (have?) a personal prelature? Why were older models for religious communities rejected? I think that this, more than anything else, makes OD seem to be secretive and perhaps even furtive, as though there is some carefully hidden objective that would be scandalous if it were discovered. Even the structure seems to imitate the esoteric groups which all have an inner circle in the know and an outer circle of members who provide camouflage. From the outside, Opus Dei looks an awfully lot like a Gurdjieff/Ouspensky Fourth Way School.
39 ITALIAN PRIESTS POST A LETTER
A group of gay Italian clergy said Wednesday that their homosexuality has not stopped them from being good priests, a direct response to a recent Vatican policy statement banning priestly candidates with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies.
The message, an open letter in which the priests said they felt like the church's "unloved and unwanted children," was posted on the Web site of the Italian Catholic news agency Adista. The agency last month leaked the Vatican instruction on gay priests a week before its scheduled release by the Holy See.
PRIEST QUITS OVER VATICAN DOCUMENT
A priest at St. John's University is resigning from his leadership position in response to newly clarified restrictions against admitting homosexuals into the Catholic priesthood.
The Rev. Bob Pierson, in an e-mail Wednesday to administrators and students at St. John's and the nearby College of St. Benedict, said, "Because I can no longer honestly represent, explain and defend the church's teaching on homosexuality, I feel I must resign."
Pierson said he would resign effective Jan. 15.
CARDINAL RATZINGER'S THEOLOGY AND JACOB BOEHME
On account of the disobedience of our first parents, we all share in their sin and punishment, as we should have shared in their happiness if they had remained faithful.
It is not unjust to punish us for the sin of our first parents, because their punishment consisted in being deprived of a free gift of God; that is, of the gift of original justice to which they had no strict right and which they wilfully forfeited by their act of disobedience.
The loss of the gift of original justice left our first parents and us in mortal sin because it deprived them of the Grace of God, and to be without this gift of Grace which they should have had was to be in mortal sin. As all their children are deprived of the same gift, they, too, come into the world in a state of mortal sin.
[Those are the answers to questions 256, 257, and 258 in the Baltimore Catechism.]
In March 2004 one segment of a multi-part article by James Larson run in consecutive issues of "Christian Order" addressed the teaching of Cardinal Ratzinger on original sin, and the departure of this teaching from the traditional understanding of the Church.
Larson delves into the theological contradictions expressed in Ratzinger's book IN THE BEGINNING...A CATHOLIC UNDERSTANDING OF THE STORY OF CREATION AND THE FALL, one of which is the subtle changes to the doctrine of original sin which begins with a change in the definition of the human being.
I had a hard time getting past this first concept in order to go on to dealing with further ideas.
Larson, quoting Ratzinger:
In the story that we are considering [Ch. 3 of Genesis], still a further characteristic of sin is described. Sin is not spoken of in general as an abstract possibility but as a deed, as the sin of a particular person, Adam, who stands at the origin of humankind and with whom the history of sin begins. The account tells us that sin begets sin, and that therefore all the sins of history are interlinked. Theology refers to this state of affairs by the certainly misleading and imprecise term ‘original sin’. What does this mean? Nothing seems to us today to be stranger or, indeed, more absurd than to insist upon original sin, since, according to our way of thinking, guilt can only be something very personal, and since God does not run a concentration camp, in which one’s relatives are imprisoned because he is a liberating God of love, who calls each one by name. What does original sin mean, then, when we interpret it correctly?[emphasis mine]
Finding an answer to this requires nothing less than trying to understand the human person better. It must once again be stressed that no human being is closed in upon himself or herself and that no one can live of or for himself or herself alone. We receive our life not only at the moment of birth but every day from without – from others who are not ourselves but who nonetheless somehow pertain to us. Human beings have their selves not only in themselves but also outside of themselves: they live in those whom they love and in those who love them and to whom they are ‘present.’ Human beings are relational, and they possess their lives – themselves – only by way of relationship.
Larson follows up that passage with:
First of all, I would suggest that we might search 2,000 years of history and never find another statement so clearly and profoundly heretical made by a member of the Church in as high a position as that occupied by Cardinal Ratzinger.
Now the man making that statement about original sin has risen to the highest office.
I don't believe even a Pope can redefine original sin away from the Tradition of the Church, and original sin is a long-standing Tradition.
How did we come to the point of bewilderment over the theology of our pope? It would seem that the answer lies in Jacob Boehme.
James Webb mentions him several times as the source of occult doctrines in THE OCCULT UNDERGROUND. He was a German shoemaker and a philosopher. According to Webb:
[Eliphas] Levi had read widely in Traditional literature ever since leaving school--Boehme, Swedenborg, Saint-Martin and, in particular, Knorr von Rosenreuth's Kabbala Denudata. He was familiar with the works of Mickiewicz and he thought Towianski "an enthusiast of great magnetic power." (p. 263)
Levi, as anyone who has studied the occult knows, was a forerunner of Aleister Crowley. Swedenborg was a channeler. Saint-Martin was the founder of the Martinist Order, a form of gnostic Christianity clearly condemned by the Catholic Church. Mickiewicz exerted particular influence on John Paul II, and Towianski influenced Mickiewicz. With these historical figures we are deep into occultism.
Jacob Boehme was a major influence on Hegel. How much has Hegel influenced Catholic theology?
The history of Neoplatonism is given in short and conceise terms in an article at the Wisdom World website titled "Ancient Landmarks". The article first appeared in "Theosophy", Vol. 28, No. 2, December, 1939. From the article:
Jacob Boehme, the mystic-philosopher of the early seventeenth century, faithfully reflected the archaic wisdom in his writings. Boehme was a fountain of inspiration to later German schools of philosophy.
The article puts Martinism in the Hegel camp:
Although Schelling and Hegel drew copiously upon Jacob Boehme's Mysterium Magnum for their inspiration, the truly occult theories of this great mystic are most faithfully mirrored in the works of the "unknown" philosopher of the eighteenth century, Louis Claude de St. Martin.
A website which provides information on the Martinist Order offers the following:
The decision for independence came in September 1975, during the "Martinist Days", the annual gathering of the members of the Order in the Netherlands. A new Constitution was adopted and subsequently, the "Ordre Martiniste des Pays-Bas" was founded on September 12th of the same year, by the transmission of the powers of the National Representative of the French Martinist Order to the newly created Supreme Council of the Netherlands.
This body was formed by the Officers of "Jacob Boehme" which name was changed into "Suprême Conseil de l'Ordre Martiniste des Pays-Bas, No 1, collège d'Amsterdam". The former Group "Jacob Boehme", becoming "Jakob Boehme Nr. 2, college van Amsterdam" according to the first Charter issued by the new Supreme Council.
Jon Mills, Ph.D., in a paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Association for the Philosophy of the Unconscious, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, Dec. 28, 1998, outlines the influence of Boehme on Hegel. He writes:
Hegel himself did not originate the notion of the unconscious abyss. Rather he took it over in large measure from Boehme, neo-Platonism, and Schelling. The concept of the abyss (Ungrund) derives from Boehme's theosophic Christianity.
As a forerunner of the German Romantic movement, Boehme was an inspiration to poets and intellectuals and was also praised by philosophers such as Baader, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Hegel--leading Hegel to further credit Boehme as "the first German philosopher."(23) Through Boehme, German philosophy had come into its own.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
There appears to be a number of the schools you have described, Robert, located in the Phillippines. An organization there called Parents for Education Foundation, Inc. (PAREF) sponsors Woodrose, Southridge, Rosemont, Ridgefield, Rosehill, Rosefield, Southcrest, Westbridge, Northfield, Springdale, and Yu Ming schools. There are several doctors and an attorney on the board.
I was struck by the number of these schools that include "rose" in their name. Does the word or the flower have a symbolic meaning in OD?
MAPLETHORPE IN CUBA
SENSUALITY pervades the streets of Havana. A short stroll finds sultry young men scouting for new sex partners outside a cinema and Lycra-clad women tossing saucy suggestions to foreign tourists.
The promise of sex is part of the landscape in tropical Cuba, carried along on languid sea breezes and the primal pounding of drums.
But is communist Cuba ready for Robert Mapplethorpe?
Cubans will find out this week when an exhibition of Mapplethorpe photographs opens in Havana, testing the limits of art in this highly sexualised society that is ruled by an authoritarian government.
THE ARGUMENT FOR THE DEATH PENALTY
Does the right to life extend to those behind bars...ALL of those behind bars?
The recent execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams in California serves as a perfect case study for when the death penalty is acceptable, even under the stringent standards of the Catholic Church. In almost no circumstance will the Vatican find the death penalty acceptable, however, there is an exception: The circumstances of the life and crimes of Stanley Williams is one of them.
The Church's current teachings on the Death Penalty and its use stem from Pope John Paul II's 1995 encyclical "Evangelium Vitae". In this papal letter addressed to the church's hierarchy, Pope Paul wrote that a government may only execute an individual "in cases of absolute necessity, in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today, however, as a result of steady improvement in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically nonexistent." Tookie Williams however, despite the hollow propaganda of the left, is just such a case. Violent gang member, Williams, posed a continuing danger to society both in and out of the California correctional system. This was an execution even the Pope could endorse.
The mainstream media has ignored the realities of the Williams' case in order to promote an anti-death penalty agenda. To present this mass murderer as a martyr is an insult to victims everywhere. True, the left has made a valiant attempt at misleading most people into thinking of the reborn Williams as a benign "children's book author" who was nominated for the Nobel prize but the reality is a far cry from this pretty picture. Yes, he did write a couple of books and, along with such luminaries as Hitler and Stalin, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. None of this, however, excuses his unrepentant crimes for which he was originally placed in prison, nor does it prove that he was no longer a threat to society even from his cloistered location behind steel bars. In fact, as the founder of the Crips, "Tookie" Williams had the power to order the murder of anyone he desired and many lived in fear that he would. In fact, "Tookie" is his original gang name, a moniker that many observers, including this author, couldn't help but notice that Williams' failed to renounce.
So feared was Tookie Williams from behind bars that the majority of the relatives of Williams' victims were afraid to even speak to the media about the clemency issue which confronted Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Those watching either the FOX or CNN news networks would have noticed that, among the numerous guests arguing for or against the execution of Williams, nowhere to be found were the relatives of Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Yang or Yee-Chin Lin, whom Williams executed in cold blood. Their absence highlighted the justifiable fear of retaliation from the Crips, the notorious gang that Williams founded that is responsible for the murders of thousands of individuals. How did the Crips get their name? Founding member, Williams', mandated that you had to cripple a person in order to qualify for membership. This is a man who is beyond redemption.
PRIESTS TAUGHT TO HANDLE EXPLOSIVES
according to Polish radio:
Polish police have conducted a training course for Roman Catholic parish priests on how to protect their churches against robberies and acts of terrorism. According to police officials, many Polish churches and presbyteries still have minimal security despite repeated warnings that the valuable artefacts they contained were targets for thieves. Polish priests have also been trained in terrorism awareness, as well as handling and disposing of explosives.
Polish police have repeatedly urged better security at the country's 9,000 Roman Catholic parishes after recent increase in the number of break-ins and robberies, as well as acts of vandalism and arson. According to official statistics, 77 attacks had been registered this year alone on churches, chapels and presbyteries in the central Wielkopolska region. Several bomb scares have also paralysed communications around the country. According to Poznan police, many priests already know the importance of good safety measures but others should be reminded that they are the ones who are held responsible for church property. That's why, the priests were also trained in terrorism awareness and handling and disposing of explosives. The training took place on November 23rd with the participation of several dozen parish priests. Police commissioner Jaroslaw Szemerluk from the Pozna? police headquarters explains.
TRIED FOR HERESY
An extremely rare trial for heresy is underway in the neighboring Diocese of San Bernardino. It may be the first time ever in American history that such a judicial process is conducted on the part of Roman Catholic officials in an American Diocese.
Rev. Ned Reidy, 69, former pastor of Christ of the Desert Roman Catholic parish, is being tried for heresy and schism. Alleged heresies include the denial of the Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture; the Perpetual Virginity, Immaculate Conception, and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and the validity of marriage only between man and woman. Alleged schism is based upon Reidy's subjection to the hierarchical claims of Mark Shirilau, "Primate" of the Ecumenical Catholic Church, in defiance of the universal jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI.
The former pastor is reportedly being judged by an expert panel composed of three judges, all Priests. It is unknown if the proceeding is being conducted in the form of an expedited administrative penal process, or the more lengthy judicial process or trial. The Rev. Howard Lincoln, spokesman for the Diocese, stated: "Because of the confusion in not differentiating between his church and the Roman Catholic Church, the diocese felt we must proceed with this difficult action in order to make that distinction." The trial would "officially clarify his status within the church," Lincoln stated.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
ODAN lists the Opus Dei affiliated Foundations together with their assets. To say this is a lot of money is a gross understatement. Where does it all come from?
Thanks for your response, Robert. I hope you're up for another one...
In his article in "SCP Journal" (Vol. 29:2 - 29:3 2005) titled "Opus Dei and the Da Vinci Code" Lee Penn addresses the secrecy issue:
In various ways more characteristic of Masonry than of a traditional Christian religious movement, secrecy and "discretion" are standard procedure for Opus Dei. Its 1950 constitution remains in force, except where it is specifically superseded by the 1982 charter approved by John Paul II. The 1950 constitution was long treated as a confidential document by Opus Dei--unlike most religious orders, whose constitutions are public, and available in the vernacular. In the late 1940s, Opus Dei obtained agreement from Rome that in dioceses where it functions, the movement did not have to give the text of the entire constitution to the local bisihop, that the bishop could be required to maintain the secrecy of this and other confidential Opus Dei documents, and that Opus Dei did not hve to disclose all Opus Dei residences and activities to the bishop.
He goes on to quote provisions 189, 190, 191 from the document. They read as follows:
189: "In order for the Institute to reach its proper end more effectively, it wishes to live as hidden, therefore it abstains from collective acts and does not have a name or common denomination by which its members are called. Given the character of the Institute, which externally does not desire to appear publicly as a society, it is not appropriate that its members should engage collectively in certain manifestations of cult like processions.
190: By virtue of this collective humility, which is proper of our Institute, whatever is done by the members is not attributable to itself; but rather, whatever good is attained by them is attributable to God alone. Consequently, even membership in the Institute admits no external manifestations. The number of members is kept hidden from outsiders; and indeed our people do not discuss these things with outsiders.
191: This collective humility leads our people to live the life which they consecrate to God with the same discretion which is most suited to the desired fruitfulness of the apostolate. The lack of this discretion can constitute a grave obstacle to exercising apostolic work or create some difficulty in the environment of one's natural family or in the exercise of their office or profession. Thus the Numerary and Supernumerary members should know they are to live a prudent silence regarding the names of other members; and that they are never to reveal to anyone that they themselves belong to Opus Dei, not even to spread the Institute, without express permission from their local director."
His footnote indicates he got the passages from ODAN (Opus Dei Awareness Network). Are you breaking the rules by telling me, and now my blog readers and yours, that you are a member of Opus Dei; and if not, why not?
The hot topic on talk radio around here is the trial run of cameras at school zones. These cameras have taken pictures of cars driving over the speed limit, and tickets have been issued by mail to the owners of the vehicle. The camera, naturally, has no way of knowing if the owner of the vehicle was driving. I'm hearing lots of howling about this being unfair, naturally.
The excuse that has put this in place was the death of a child hit by a car while walking to school; but it is seen by many to be just another money-making scheme for the government that is being opportunistically implemented, sparking much resentment that the child's death is being used.
What no one seems to be concerned about is that more and more cameras are appearing in more and more places. I never really saw myself as a tv personality, but apparently the time is coming when all of us are going to be one as soon as we step out of our homes. I hope Big Brother is friendly.
In a recent blog I put a question to Robert Duncan about Maria del Carmen Tapia's book BEYOND THE THRESHOLD: A LIFE IN OPUS DEI. He answered briefly in a comments box, and has blogged a longer answer at Spero Forum. His answer is so even-handed that there is little I can say in response.
I do remember the email exchange between Robert and myself that he refers to in which he told me he is a member of OD. At the time I assumed he would not want that broadcast on a blog. I guess I was wrong.
Since he seems to be inviting questions, I have one. Some time ago I searched the web to see what I could learn about OD, and discovered how politically well-placed the organization is in at least some areas. So well placed, in fact, that they would be a formidable enemy. I discovered that there seems to be a veil of secrecy over the organization, in spite of Robert's willingness to answer questions. It was not clear to me when I finished just what OD was intending to accomplish.
Something else surfaced in that investigation. Many websites claim that OD is the Catholic masonic lodge. How does a member of OD respond to that charge?
THE DOCUMENT'S RECEPTION IN IRELAND
13 December 2005
Ask the archbishop of Dublin to describe the theological weight of the Vatican's latest statement on whether gay men have a place in the priesthood. He'll say it didn't amount to much.
In Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's opinion, the document issued last month left a fundamental tenet untouched: The path to possible ordination is still open to anyone, including homosexuals, who remain celibate and follow the church's moral teachings.
Martin is not alone. A high-profile array of European pastors and theologians have issued similar liberal interpretations of the Vatican's "instruction" on gay priests, which was formally released Nov. 29 after years of internal debates and redrafts.
Such views are squarely at odds with conservative Roman Catholic blocs, including some in the United States, that believe the church is in effect endorsing a blanket ban on gay priests. But the complications don't end there.
The cluttered response to the document - and its hard-to-define phrases such as "transitory" homosexuality - suggests many church leaders will increasingly follow their own standards for seminaries and ordination. Some experts say this could invite greater splits among Catholics on the hypersensitive issue of gays as spiritual leaders, which is already threatening the unity of Anglicans and some Protestant churches.
The article claims that this document may amount to the sequal to Humane Vitae. Frankly, I doubt it because as the article indicates, it doesn't carry the same weight.
PHILADELPHIA DIOCESE IN TROUBLE ?
TRENTON - The Legislature gave its final approval yesterday to a bill that would make New Jersey the 48th state to allow victims of childhood sex abuse to sue churches, schools and other nonprofits for the actions of employees.
The Assembly, where the bill had been stalled for 18 months, passed it, 63-5, with nine abstentions, after more than an hour of sometimes heated debate. The Senate approved it in May 2004.
The bill goes to acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who voted for it as Senate president.
"The governor has always been supportive of this measure, and it's very likely he would sign it," said his spokeswoman, Kelley Heck.
The bill, opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, would change the law that shields charities from liability for employee misconduct. Victims still would have to prove that supervisors knew about the misconduct and did nothing about it.
I believe it was the statute of limitations that made most of the sexual abuse cases reported by the Grand Jury untouchable. Will this change the rules?
Monday, December 12, 2005
NEW STYLE OF MONASTERY--FOR MEN AND WOMEN
Richard Owen reports via a link at New Oxford Review:
A mixed convent and monastery could offer a solution to the declining number of faithful joining religious orders in the Roman Catholic Church
AS THE Vatican frets that men and women are no longer prepared to devote their life to God in the monasteries and convents of the Catholic church, one religious order believes that it has found the answer.
In the heart of Rome, the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany has quietly opened the first convento misto, where men and women who take religious orders can choose to live under the same roof.
Unlike nuns and friars in traditional convents and monasteries, the Bethany brethren take meals together and hold joint prayer sessions every day.
They engage in discussions on the issues of the day and share the daily chores, such as tending the gardens that provide much of their fresh food.
Housed in a modern complex in the district of Giustiniana on the Via Cassia, the monks and nuns live in separate cells in the same wing, with the men on the top floor and the women on the floor below. The cells all have ensuite bathrooms.
Pope Benedict XVI has shut the door firmly on any prospect of allowing priests to marry. Brother Paolo, the Father Superior at the Fraternity of Bethany, said that he believed mixed communities offered “the way forward”, and would attract men and women to the religious life at a time when Church vocations were in decline.
Men and women together create “powerful positive energy”, he said. “This is an important development which is being asssessed by the Church. It could be the beginning of something much bigger. We hope it will grow.”
I have only one question--have they started constructing the nursery yet?
THE CATHOLIC MEGACHURCH
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The noise of chatting parishioners saturates the foyer after the five weekend Masses at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church.
Busy parents sympathize with one another. Kids find new playmates. And singles meet other singles.
The foyer helps the 5,000 worshippers each weekend preserve their sense of community. The fast-growing congregation decided five years ago to expand into a 1,500-seat sanctuary instead of splitting into two separate congregations and search for an available priest among a shrinking pool.
Catholic churches are joining their Protestant counterparts across the country in creating megachurches - where thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of parishioners worship together. But unlike the Protestant churches that use high-profile, evangelistic campaigns to grow, dioceses say too few priests and too many worshippers drive their expansion.
While the number of worshippers per parish nationwide has grown by nearly 35 percent in almost three decades, the number of priests dropped 26 percent, said Mary Gautier with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, which tracks U.S. Catholic Church growth patterns.
"That's the reality in the Catholic Church today: You don't want to build something that will be OK for now, when you know this large population is going to get bigger," Gautier said.
Dioceses in the South and West - the hot spots for new jobs and suburban sprawl - are primarily the ones building larger parishes that are increasingly filled with Hispanic Catholics, many of whom are immigrants, Gautier said.
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.
VIEW FROM THE GAY OPPOSITION
Where there is spirituality, there will be queer people. Queers have been spiritual leaders across cultures throughout time. The seminary visitations are a pogrom against gay men. The pogrom may not be as extreme as that of the Nazis against queers, but it is equally prejudiced. "Witch hunt" is also an apt description. Witches were often lesbians whose gender expression defied the social norms of femininity. Gay priests also often defy social norms of masculinity. At root this latest Vatican instruction is an attack on the feminine. The prohibitions are directed against women in general and gays in particular -- men who are often in touch with the feminine aspect of their human psyche.
That is the response of "Frank O'Gorman, a gay Christian, graduate of Hartford Seminary, member of Dignity/USA, and convener of People of Faith CT, a faith-based, progressive, activist organization in Connecticut (www.faithCT.org)." Gorman was interviewed by "Revolution" where you can read the rest of the interview.
The interview presents quite a contrast to the way homosexuality is described by Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, psychiatrist and author, in the Zenit interview.
PHOENIX DIOCESE DOES THE RIGHT THING
(CBS 5 NEWS) - The annual mass celebrating the Lady of Guadalupe happens Monday, but for many something is missing.
The celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe is certainly a tradition at Corona Ranch. For the last 30 years, they have held a mass said by a priest here in celebration of the day. This year, people are still arriving to pay homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe, but there is no mass planned, just an all-day celebration because the Phoenix Diocese has barred the service. It was banned because Corona Ranch rented out the facility recently for a Planned Parenthood fundraiser.
RECONCILIATION WITH SSPX GETTING CLOSER ?
For those vaguely familiar with traditional Catholic circles, two recent articles by Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, curial prefect for the Clergy and for the Ecclesia Dei Commission, might not seem meaningful.
Admittedly, even within circles of those who keep tabs on Church issues, this story has not received much press. Many recognize a cordial dialogue took place between the Society of St. Pius X superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, on August 29 with the Holy Father. In November, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos appeared on Italian television, and in an interview, made the following statement:
“We are not facing a heresy. One cannot say in correct, exact, precise terms that there is a schism [here]. There is a schismatic attitude in the consecration of bishops without a pontifical mandate. They are inside the Church; there is only lacking a full, a more perfect -- as was said in the meeting with Msgr. Fellay --a fuller communion, because there is communion” (http://qien.free.fr/20051113_hoyos.htm).
Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos declared that both the bishops and the priests of the Society of St. Pius X are within the body of the Church, even if not in full communion. An analogy would be that they may reside within the body of the Church, but not necessarily within its heart.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
THE RUSSIAN TRANSLATION
My article for SCP Journal on Rudolf Steiner has been translated into Russian.
PASTOR'S HOMILY CALLED ANTI-SEMITIC
as reported by the San Mateo Daily Journal.
What is the historical reality? Did the Jews put Jesus to death, or did the Roman soldiers put Jesus to death? (Or was it a combination of the two?) That seems to be the heart of the article. Are we supposed to revise history to avoid being anti-Semitic? The God we worship was a Jew when He walked the earth, and His human form in heaven is Jewish, afterall. Those who charge anti-Semitism should keep that in mind. Our Old Testament is the book of the Jews. It is not anti-Semitic to tell the truth, even when the truth offends. The Holocaust was not a get-out-of-sin-free card. Just as Christians do, sometimes members of the Jewish community do terrible things.
Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.
SECOND PART OF THE INTERVIEW ON HOMOSEXUAL TENDENCIES
that Zenit conducted with Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons can be read here.