Saturday, April 29, 2006


There is an interesting discussion over there about George Weigel's conclusions as to why we have the scandal in the Church.


A look at Progressive Churches" is the title of an essay at Chicago's ConsciousChoice.

The new spirituality without doctrine religion is described in this essay as "those who avoid dogmatism at all costs" who can "at the same time long for regular communal religious experience..." The first example of this is "New Thought".

Most of us are familiar with Transcendentalism through the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Fewer of us know that the literary-philosophical movement of the mid-1800s was succeeded by a movement with religious implications called New Thought. New Thought affirms "the creative power of constructive thinking," according to the Columbia Encyclopedia, and individual New Thought leaders have "employed concepts from every variety of idealistic, spiritualistic, pantheistic, cabalistic, and theosophical thought, as well as from Christianity." The movement began holding annual national conventions in 1894.

Barbara Bernstein, the executive director of the Association for Global New Thought headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, comments that the movement "accepts all religions, embraces all traditions." It is about "developing a relationship with our spiritual source and living our lives out of that source." Seven hundred churches worldwide are associated with the movement, and many of them have developed their own individual approach to pursuing this goal of living in spirit.

Divinity without Dogma is the essence of relativism. When everything is accepted, what we are really saying is that nothing is accepted. How can Focolare bring a New Thought conference to Castel Gondolfo, giving the impression that Catholicism is open to this? Can wrong also be right?

Friday, April 28, 2006


Lubich and Gurdjieff proposed very similar concepts. First Gurdjieff as quoted by Ouspensky:

But in reality the way of the fakir [of which he says "In Persia fakir simply means a beggar; and in India a great many jugglers call themselves fakirs"], the way of the monk, and the way of the yogi are entirely different. So far I have spoken of fakirs. This is the first way.

The second way is the way of the monk. This is the way of faith, the way of religious feeling, religious sacrifice. ...

The third way is the way of the yogi. This is the way of knowledge, the way of mind.

The fourth way requires no retirement into the desert, does not requie a man to give up and renounce everything by which he formerly lived. ...Furthermore, the fourth way has no definite forms like the ways of the fakir, the monk, and the yogi. ...

Then the fourth way differs from the other ways in that the principal demand made upon a man is the demand for understanding. ... The more a man understands what he is doing, the greater will be the results of his efforts. This is a fundamental principle of the fourth way. ...faith of any kind is opposed to the fourth way.

Another symposium was held at Castelgandolfo--a Hindu-Christian Symposium titled "The Way of Love - Union with God and Universal Brotherhood in Hinduism and Christianity". At the website under the sub-heading "The Programme" Chiara Lubich

presented her own experience of devotion to God, stressing “love of neighbor as a new, privileged, way to union with God”.
Dr. Kala Acharya compared point by point Chiara’s exposition to the Hindu tradition which proposed three roads towards God: that of action; that of knowledge and that of devotion. She noted that Chiara, with her spirituality, is now opening a fourth way: “love of neighbor and reciprocal love”.

Fakir = way of action.
Monk = way of devotion.
Yogi = way of knowledge.
Do Gurdjieff's way of understanding and Lubich's way of love equate?

Is this another example of the New Thought plan to present Eastern concepts in language acceptable to a Western Christian--language which disguises the fact that spiritualism, or spirit contact, or channeling are at the heart of this new religion?

What precisely is meant by "Union with God and Universal Brotherhood in Hinduism and Christianity"? (emphasis mine)

Rudolf Steiner's quarrel with H. P. Blavatsky, which caused him to break with Theosophy and form the Anthroposophical Society, was over the issue of language. Steiner wanted to couch Theosophy in Christian terms. Blavatsky wanted it to be given terms from Eastern religions.

What we seem to be seeing today in New Thought attempting to reconcile itself with Christianity via language is the same Steiner-Blavatsky argument. But the Church rejected outright both Steiner and Blavatsky's theology, and still does, according to the Vatican document on the New Age. Everywhere I look New Thought is said to be the New Age religion. It is certainly relativistic.

So just what is Focolare doing over there in the papal back yard?


Programs for 2001

Scroll down to see the listing. On Dec. 30 they offered "John & Patti Boes/The Gurdjieff Work"


The ministers for the Community Church of New Thought in Mesa, Arizona are pictured on the web together with a brief bio., including Rev. Lynne Hollander:

Lynne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Washington. Lynne spent 13 years studying and teaching the evolution of consciousness based on the Fourth Way teachings of Georges Gurdjieff, Peter Ouspensky, and Rodney Collins, followed by graduate work and certification with the California Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Lynne was ordained by the Lola Pauline Mays New Thought Seminary in March, 2000 and is presently the Director of the Addington International New Thought Alliance Archives, Research Center, and Library.


A cached website (the original is no longer online) indicates that The Association for Global New Thought is a Gurdjieff Society. From the website:

The Gurdjieff Insitut France, The Gurdjieff Foundation, Usa and the Gurdjieff Society, London are organizations that were first established by Madame Jeanne de Salzmann after Gurdjieff's death in 1949 to carry out the teaching. The organizations have a worldwide net of contacts.

It's a long list of sites that prints out at 158 pages, so I'm going to copy and paste only a small portion of them here:

Glover, Cheryl - Provides ancient Kabbalistic wisdom, classes and forums to audiences bridging ancient Kabbalah mysticism with New Thought philosophies. Includes information about current classes, Cheryl's biography, a daily newsletter and related products.
The Association for Global New Thought - Promotes the global expansion of the New Thought movement. Learn more about the leaders of the movement, conference schedules, membership, and season for nonviolence.
Emma Curtis Hopkins College and Theological Seminary - A New Thought education center located in Clearwater, Florida. Offering onsite and distance learning courses.
(highlighting mine - ct)

It therefore would appear that Focolare is promoting a Gurdjieff Society, and facilitated their holding of a conference at Castle Gandolfo; and it would appear that conference did not have the disapproval of John Paul II.

Of influences on Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky writes:

His childhood was passed on the frontier of Asia Minor in strange, very remote, almost biblical circumstances of life. Flocks of innumerable sheep. Wanderings from place to place. Coming into contact with various strange people. His imagination was particularly struck by the Yezidis, the "Devil Worshipers," who, from his earliest youth, had attracted his attention by their incomprehensible customs and strange dependence upon unknown laws. (IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, p. 35-36)

In another passage Ouspensky explains more of Gurdjieff's philosophy:

This must be understood because often it is not understood. Sacrifice is necessary only while the process of crystalization is going on. When crystallization is achieved, renunciations, privations, and sacrifices are no longer necessary. Then a man may have everything he wants. There are no longer any laws for him, he is a law unto himself. (ibid. p. 33)

Citing Gurdjieff's words on the subject of church, Ouspensky writes:

Do you think people go to the theater or to church to pray or to see some new play? That is only for the sake of appearances. The principal thing, in the theater as well as in church, is that there will be a lot of women or a lot of men. This is the center of gravity of all gatherings. What do you think brings people to cafes, to restaurants, to various fetes? One thing only. Sex: It is the principal motive force... (ibid. p. 254)

On page 60 he refers to the "hypnotism of religion."

Speaking of the need for a new language, Ouspensky writes:

This new language contains hardly any new terms or new nomenclature, but it bases the construction of speech upon a new principle, namely, the principle of relativity; that is to say, it introduces relativity into all concepts and thus makes possible an accurate determination of the angle of thought--for what precisely ordinary language lacks are expressions of relativity. (ibid p. 70 - emphasis in the original)

The Synthesis Dialogues II also speak of a need for new language: "By 'Westernizing' or rendering in non-religious language some of the concepts..." Relativity is what Pope Benedict says we must overcome.


At the AGNT website is a description of Synthesis II from which new information on this activity can be discovered.

It took place June 27 to July 1, 2002 in Trent, Italy, at the Mariapolis Centre. Mariapolis is a Focolare concept. On their website you can read their mission: "We were born to contribute towards the fulfilment of unity in the world." Has anyone asked what the word "unity" means in their eyes? What they describe sounds like a social gospel. How does Christ fit into this vision? Is he just another nice god welcome in the world pool of gods? How does the doctrine of Catholicism fit into this picture?

The Synthesis II website linked above indicates that Focolare is "a group of lay monastic women affiliated with the Vatican." Russian occultist G. I. Gurdjieff, too, promoted lay monastics and called it the "Fourth Way." According to P. D. Ouspensky, his chief apologist:

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 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. (IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, p. 48-49. The channeled book has a Foreword by Marianne Williamson, of "A Course in Miracles" fame.)

At Synthesis II there were improvisational skits and music by Rickie Byars-Beckwith, who also sang at Synthesis III. She is described as an "intuitive channel of healing music" who subscribes to the "teachings of New Thought-Ancient Wisdom" according to her biography at the What is Enlightenment website dedicated to "redefining spirituality for an evolving world." Would that redefinition include Jesus Christ as THE way, truth, and life? Or would that redefinition amount to a parliament of multiple religions on equal footing?

The article on Synthesis II indicates that the dialogues are the work of The Association for Global New Thought which has convened the project with co-director, Bro. Wayne Teasdale. Teasdale, before his death, was the guru in the lead of the Catholic monks who are promoting interreligious dialogue, centering prayer, and working with the Gurdjieffian Church in Austin, Texas, so perhaps Focolare and Gurdjieff's Fourth Way do have something in common, given these associations. These same monks promote Gurdjieff's Enneagram.

The Synthesis II website indicates that

The purpose of the Dialogues is to nurture a unified relationship among influencial social leaders who are deeply concerned about human rights and nonviolence, and will support a widespread campaign to bring awareness that practical spirituality must be applied to these issues...

At what price? Must we abandon our faith in order to gain peace?

The description continues with the Tibetan model which

intends for the spiritual enterprise to suffuse governance, education and all aspects of the culture.

Theocracy? The theocracy of Christ? Will Mass be permitted in this theocracy? Not if Gurdjieff is the model. Ouspensky writes:

For instance, in all the denominations of Christianity a great part is played by the tradition of the Last Supper of Christ and his disciples. Liturgies and a whole series of dogmas, rites, and sacraments are based upon it. This has been a ground for schism, for the separation of churches, for the formation of sects; how many people have perished because they would not accept this or that interpretation of it. But, as a matter of fact nobody understands what this was precisely, or what was done by Christ and his disciples that evening. There exists no explanation that even approximately resembles the truth, because what is written in the Gospels has been, in the first place, much distorted in being copied and translated... (IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, p. 96-97)

When asked if what Gurdjieff was teaching was compatible with Christianity, he responded "this is esoteric Christianity." (IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, p. 102)

Esoteric Christianity has no need of rites and rituals. It relies on spirit contact.

The Synthesis II website talks about Buddhist School of Dialectics, and rendering its concepts "in non-religious language". It speaks of promoting "visibility of New Thought/Ancient Wisdom."

This is not Catholicism, folks, this is esoteric Christianity in the making, with the help of Focolare and the monks promoting interreligious dialogue, and doing it on the grounds of the papal summer residence, presumably with the approval of John Paul II.

This is the religion of anti-Christ spoken of in the Book of Revelation and being promoted in the home of the Roman Catholic Pope.

Does Benedict approve?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


When Daniel Hickey's doctor suggested he have a microchip implanted under his skin to provide instant access to his computerized medical record, the 77-year-old retired naval officer immediately agreed.

"If you're unconscious and end up in the emergency room, they won't know anything about you," Hickey said. "With this, they can find out everything they need to know right away and treat you better."

Roxanne Fischer felt the same way, and she had one of the devices injected into the arm of her 83-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer's disease. "I may not be available if she ends up in the emergency room. This gives me tremendous peace of mind," Fischer said.

The two D.C. residents are among just a handful of Americans who have had the tiny electronic VeriChip inserted since the government approved it two years ago. But the chip is being aggressively marketed by its manufacturer, which is targeting Washington to be the first metropolitan area with multiple hospitals equipped to read the device, a persuasive factor for Fischer and Hickey. Within weeks, the first hospital is expected to announce plans to start routinely scanning all emergency-room patients.

Continue reading...


The list of key witnesses for the prosecution includes:


Dr. Henry Lee is perhaps the most recognized forensic scientist in the world, and he's expected to testify for the prosecution in the Robinson trial. Lee is a D.N.A. expert and is credited with helping law enforcement solve more than 6,000 cases. Many people remember Dr. Lee for his testimony on the O.J. Simpson case and the investigation of Jonbenet Ramsey's murder in Colorado.

Looks like they're sparing no expense in Toledo. I wonder what the cops know that they're not telling?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Hat tip to Novus Ordo Watch.


is the title of an article appearing on the "What Is Enlightenment Magazine" website, written by Craig Hamilton. The article is not dated, but since he refers to Castelgandolfo, it must be Dialogues III that he is reviewing.

Hamilton gives a first-person account of attending the Synthesis Dialogues. Some of his comments are significant:

The brainchild of conversations between the Dalai Lama, his longtime friend Brother Wayne Teasdale, and AGNT executive director Barbara Bernstein, the gathering, known as "The Synthesis Dialogues," was first convened in 1999 as an attempt to cultivate a group of "visionary-activists" who "can help restore global sanity by reuniting the inner and outer, heaven and earth, in an earnest endeavor toward synthesis." Aiming far beyond conventional modes of discourse, the Dialogues' stated goal is nothing less than the establishment of a "meta-mind," or group intelligence, from which to tackle the challenges facing our planet.

How does a Catholic help to establish a "meta-mind group intelligence"? Where does Jesus Christ fit in that concept?

The conference leadership did not come from Focolare. This was not a Catholic-led conference according to Hamilton who says:

...under the facilitation of the AGNT leadership team. Each session was carefully orchestrated, beginning with a serenade or singalong led by New Thought Gospel diva Rickie Byars Beckwith, a period of prayer or meditation, and a seed question or dialogical exercise to guide our inquiry.

So it would appear that Focolare turned over their conference center to a group of spirit channelers who wanted to have a conference.

The Synthesis Dialogues were not a moment-in-time event. There are plans to continue this thinking through various collaborative projects:

Bernstein also wanted to foster a commitment to working together over the months and years ahead. So it was no surprise when, at her prompting, a host of ideas for potential ongoing collaborative projects began to emerge in our closing sessions—among them an internationally publicized interfaith Middle-East pilgrimage, uniting thousands of Muslims, Christians, and Jews in retracing "The Footsteps of Abraham." In the midst of this brainstorm, the recognition dawned in the group that if we were all to unite behind a single cause, with our combined spheres of influence we could reach tens if not hundreds of millions of people worldwide with one message. And in this light, the true significance of the bond that had formed between us began to reveal itself.

What message? That Jesus Christ is Lord? Apparently not. Hamilton says:

Real love comes from differentiation, profound engagement with ideas, even conflict, and then the transcending of conflict to realize our deep, common, profound oneness.

There is a word for that profound oneness--"monism." Monism is the philosophy of the New Age. Everything is one. Including whatever gods there might be. All is one single whole. It's a heresy. The Vatican Document on the New Age addresses it:

However, the greater emphasis in New Age on monism and even pantheism or panentheism encourages some to use the term neo-gnosticism to distinguish New Age gnosis from ancient gnosticism.

Apparently, however, Focolare has no problem with this. And since they were able to turn part of the Pope's summer residence over to the people promoting it, I presume that John Paul II had no problem with it either, contrary to what he wanted us to believe. And where does Benedict stand on this outrageous conference?

When Christ returns will there be any faith on the Earth?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Since AGNT worked with the Dalai Lama and was hosted by Focolare at Castegandolfo, activities of AGNT members are pertinent to that event. One member turned up at the 2004 North American Conference of The International Association for Near-Death Studies, Inc.

The organization held a conference June 24-26, 2004. One presenter was Rev. Ed Townley, senior minister at Unity in Chicago. Rev. Townley serves on the Advisory Board of the Association for Global New Thought (AGNT), though he apparently has not taken part in any of the Synthesis Dialogues. At least I can't find him listed with them in Google.

The conference also included Betty Bland, President of the Theosophical Society; and psychic medium Cheryl Booth.

One session was titled "Creating with the Angels and the Medical World", presented by Caroline Sutherland, Ph.D., an intuitive who can work with a name, a voice, or a photo. Physical presence is not necessary.

Another session was titled "Talking to the Animals."

There was a session entitled "Improvisations from the Other Side--Musical Performance". At the Castegandolfo Synthesis Dialogues III there was also a musical performance:

Performance arts and music will deepen and enrich the conversation of this gathering. Intentional time and space will be afforded for meditation and reflection.

I believe that it is safe to say that what we had at the Pope's summer residence, Castegandolfo, through the sponsorship of Focolare, is a gathering of spirit channelers.

The Vatican document on the New Age explains why Theosophy is not compatible with Catholicism. From the document:

The Age of Aquarius has such a high profile in the New Age movement largely because of the influence of theosophy, spiritualism and anthroposophy, and their esoteric antecedents. ...

Spiritualism, theosophy, anthroposophy and New Age all see reincarnation as participation in cosmic evolution. This post-Christian approach to eschatology is said to answer the unresolved questions of theodicy and dispenses with the notion of hell. ...

The essential matrix of New Age thinking is to be found in the esoteric-theosophical tradition which was fairly widely accepted in European intellectual circles in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was particularly strong in freemasonry, spiritualism, occultism and theosophy, which shared a kind of esoteric culture. ...

Theosophy: an ancient term, which originally referred to a kind of mysticism. It has been linked to Greek Gnostics and Neoplatonists, to Meister Eckhart, Nicholas of Cusa and Jakob Boehme. The name was given new emphasis by the Theosophical Society, founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and others in 1875. Theosophical mysticism tends to be monistic, stressing the essential unity of the spiritual and material components of the universe. It also looks for the hidden forces that cause matter and spirit to interact, in such a way that human and divine minds eventually meet. Here is where theosophy offers mystical redemption or enlightenment. ...

The Synthesis Dialogues are not typical interreligious dialogue gatherings in which the major worldwide religions are represented. The Association for Global New Thought is composed of what in New Age terminology is called "post-denominational"-- religious groups that focus on spirit and enlightenment, even though they may use some Christian terminology. They do not honor the Jesus Christ of the Catholic Church.

How is it possible that this has taken place at the Pope's summer residence?? Did John Paul II approve of it? He was a phenomenologist, afterall. Does Benedict approve?

CCC 2115: God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

CCC 2112: The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God.

God help us!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


The Fetzer Institute has partnered with The Association for Global New Thought.

Synthesis Dialogues II were held in Trent, Italy. The report to Fetzer on the Dialogues is titled "Grounded in Discipline, Open to Magic." The word "awakening"--the Gurdjieff variety?--is used in the report. If, in fact, this "awakening" is the Gurdjieff variety, it concerns contact with disembodied spirits.

Fetzer is closely associated with Anthoroposophy, an offshoot of Blavatsky's Theosophy. For example, the calendar for Anthroposophy in Australia listing presentations offers "Buddhism and Anthroposophy, presented by Prof. Arthur Zajonc, former program director of the Fetzer Institute and former General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America. Zajonc is a member of Lindisfarne Fellows which also includes a number of other liberals.

The list of participants in Synthesis Dialogues III includes three people associated with Fetzer:

- Janis Claflin, President of Claflin Associates, a counseling and consulting firm in Austin, Texas
- James O'Dea, President, Institute for Noetic Sciences
- Dr. David Sluyter, Ed.D., Program Director, Fetzer Institute

Catholics associated with Dialogues III:

- Silvio Daneo, Co-Founder of Focolare Movement in USA, Vice President WCRP
- Cardinal Walter Kasper, President Pontifical Council for Promotion of Christian Unity
- Lisa Palmieri-Billig, Vatican Representative Anti-Defamation League
- Bro. David Steindl-Rast, OSB, Catholic monk and Lindisfarne Associate
- Bro. Wayne Teasdale, Co-director, Synthesis Dialogues, a Catholic monk with his finger in too many pies to list. He died recently.

New Agers associated with Dialogues III:

- Barbara Fields Bernstein - Executive Director, The Association for Global New Thought
- Dr. Hazel Henderson, globalist author, Lindisfarne Associate
- Dr. Elizabet Sahtouris, globalist


The Pope's summer residence?

Here is a picture of the participants in the Synthesis Dialogues which were held at Castegandolfo, June 4 to 7, 2004.

Why are Focolare and Bro. Wayne Teasdale part of this?

This is an interreligious dialogue effort of The Association for Global New Thought. The link below the picture takes you to their website.

Click the leaders link on the left and you get a webpage naming them and listing their credentials, including New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard, and four ordained women. There are Unity Church people in there and Religious Science people in there. None of these leaders belong to denominational religions.

The Alphabetical listing of Synthesis Dialogue Members includes New Ager Joan Borysenko, and Jean Houston.

The leader, Barbara Fields, is Barbara Fields Bernstein, a member of the Board of Directors of Hubbard's Foundation for Conscious Evolution. According to their website:

The initiatives of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution offer a context and container for connecting and empowering the vast global movement arising for positive change, making the efforts of this movement visible to engender greater awareness, coherence and synergy....

The Foundation for Conscious Evolution is helping to build a new path--a "golden bridge"--to the next stage of human evolution.

What does that mean?

According to the website:

Barbara Fields Bernstein, Director: Currently serves as Executive Director of the Association for Global New Thought and Co-Director of Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. She was the Program Director for the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions and Projects Director for Gandhi-King: A Season for Non-violence.

The Pope approves of this? One would certainly get that impression from the involvement of Focolare and the location.

What does that say about Benedict XVI? Something is wrong here. This is not a Catholic effort for interreligious dialogue. This is the formation of a new religion.

Apparently the Dalai Lama stayed in the Pope's quarters.

(There will be a small welcoming committee, but no formal activities are scheduled for His Holiness upon his arrival so that he can rest).
His Holiness and entourage are housed in private, secure apartment—special quarters for Pope on visits to palace. {nid 4T}

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


According to Catholic World News, Elaine Pagels has taken such liberties with Irenaeus' text that she has essentially created new history rather than reported on the history of which we have records. According to Pontifical Biblical Institute scholar Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J.:

Pagels has carpentered a non-existent quotation, putatively from an ancient source, by silent suppression of relevant context, silent omission of troublesome words, and a mid-sentence shift of 34 chapters backwards through the cited text, so as deliberately to pervert the meaning of the original. While her endnote calls the quote "conflated," the word doesn't fit even as a euphemism: what we have is not conflation but creation.

Pagels is THE source for commentary on the Gnostic Gospels, but if this article is accurate, she should not be. Mankowski says:

The Gnostic Gospels, like those portions of Pagels's later work with which I am familiar, is chock-full of tendentious readings and instances where counter-evidence is suppressed. The example of "creativity" here discussed may fairly be called a representative specimen of her methodology, and was singled out not because it's the worst example of its kind but because it's among the most unambiguous. No one who consults the source texts could give Pagels a pass, and that means she forfeits the claim to reliability as a scholar. Attractive as her ideological sympathies may be to many persons -- including many academics -- she does not deserve to be ranked with serious textual scholars like Claremont's James Robinson, and her testimony on the accuracy of inventions such as Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code cannot be solicited without irony.

I am not calling for academic sanctions but, more simply, for clarification. Pagels should be billed accurately -- not as an expert on Gnosticism or Coptic Christianity but as what she is: a lady novelist. Her oeuvre is that of fiction -- in fact, historical romance. Had New York Times reporters sought Barbara Cartland's views on discoveries in Merovingian religion or paleography, most of us would find it odd, but we'd expect them to make it plain that was romance, not history, in which she had the right to an opinion.

There's a discussion of this at Bettnet as well.


Last night's DVD.

Yeah, I know. It's a kids movie.

But consider: the animation is awesome, the theme is mature, the writing is better than most adult fare, the good guys win after enduring diversity without compromising their values, there is no foul language or extra-marital sex, and the violence is a comedy.

Kids movies prove that Hollywood still does know what a good guy is supposed to look like and what kind of values should be lauded. Why can't they do that for the adults too?

Personally I think kids movies are so successful because the adults love them, so they happily gather up the kiddies for an excuse and go see the movie.

(There were no kids in attendance in our livingroom last night. Shhhhhh.)

Monday, April 24, 2006


Did your church celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday yesterday?

At mine there was a picture of Divine Mercy in the sanctuary. At the close of the noon Mass the monstrance was brought out for exposition, and incensed, the choir sang "Panis Angelicus" in Latin, then Father read a prayer for an increase of faith. He also talked to us about the nature of private revelation. That revelation closed with the death of the Apostle John, and that private revelations are not articles of faith. We can believe in them or not and still be good Catholics. He stressed that the revelations we embrace should be the revelations that have Church approval.

Our Divine Mercy devotions closed at 3 p.m. with benediction.

I was surprised to see that several people stayed after Mass to kneel in prayer. Some remained in the pews. Others walked up to the sanctuary steps to kneel in front of the picture or the monstrance. One father brought his young children to the picture and stood there with them talking to them for quite a while.

Of course there were ladies who remained. Some men remained with the ladies. One man who was alone also remained to pray.

My pastor has discovered that if devotions are held immediately after the noon Mass people stay around for them. Trying to get people to come back later in the day doesn't work quite so well.

Devotions, themselves, have a knack of drawing people in even perhaps despite their own reluctance. The first time we may stay just because it's not polite to walk out. Next we stay because, well, it's a nice thing to do, or because we have sentimental memories of our childhood. But these reasons fade away. After we participate in devotions for these reasons for a few times, we begin to get a feeling of desire to be around for more of them. They sort of take hold of us, and our presence springs from something internal rather than some outward persuasion.

You wouldn't expect that to happen. It's not logical. I guess that means that it's miraculous.

(Oh, there was one additional bonus at Mass...the choir sang "Roll Away the Stone" before Mass began. I got lucky this year and got to hear it sung twice!)


The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausage and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.


Novus Ordo Watch has this website linked and asks Did Benedict XVI use Satanic Salute at World Youth Day 2005?

Well, Google offers these images for the satanic salute. Look at the thumb. It's tucked in.

A very similar sign says "I love you" according to Google. The thumb is stretched out, however.

Now look at Benedict again. His thumb is half-way between the first and second position. I think he was giving the "I love you sign" at World Youth Day. But what were George and Laura Bush doing?


or so some experts are claiming according to Yahoo News:

LOS ANGELES, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- "Rape of the Soul," the controversial new documentary film, which exposes pornographic and satanic images embedded in religious artworks and the Church's subsequent attempts to avoid their detection, continues its run at the AMC Esquire 6 Theater (58 E. Oak St.). The film is developing a "buzz" in the Chicago area, largely due to its assertion that Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral is the home of some of these sacrilegious embedded images, and comes on the heels of accusations of sex abuse cover-ups within the Chicago Archdiocese.

Continue reading...

I see that the source of the article is PRNewswire. Which means, I presume, that this is a press release. In any case, here's the movie website. Now who is behind it?

According to the article the mastermind is Michael A. Calace and his Silver Sword International.

Calace, a filmmaker, actor and devout Roman Catholic, first stumbled upon the idea for this film while creating "Intimate Fear," the first of a series of dramatic, family-oriented films that would "Merge Media with Morality," the mission of Silver Sword International. "Intimate Fear" required the use of a church for a few scenes in Toronto, Canada, but an unusual encounter with the Archdiocese of Toronto warranted further investigation, leading him to uncover a series of massive international religious scandals within his own beloved church.

Here is what Catholic blogger Gerald Augustinus has to say about it, including the ad he found following it in one location.

A review from the LA Weekly refuses to take the movie seriously:

Is Rape a hilariously stupid documentary or an ingenious put-on? Honest to God, it’s hard to tell, but in these Da Vinci Code days, one is tempted by cryptic Dan Brown-like clues to come down on the side of the latter.

Other than this independent review, there are almost no other sources for information on the movie except the promotional stuff.


has been working badly all morning. It seems to have improved somewhat, so maybe I can get a couple of posts up finally.


It's a love story that even my husband liked. Best movie I've seen since "Out of Africa." This one is a classic.


There has been a discussion of the Dalai Lama, specifically whether he is a syncretist, going on at Bettnet, if anyone is interested. A couple posters over there are more knowledgable about Buddhism than most Catholics.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


to any Orthodox Christians who happen to stop in here today.

Christ is risen.

He is truly risen.



I think most Western Catholics smiled at the liberal Cardinal when the announcement came the other day that Cdl. Martini believed condoms were going to be approved for AIDS in one partner of a marriage. Maybe we shouldn't have smiled.

According to iol the approval will be coming:

Rome - The Vatican is expected to permit the use of condoms for Aids patients, according to an interview with a high-ranking cardinal published Sunday.

The Vatican is currently working on a document on the subject that would be published soon, Vatican "Health Minister" Javier Lozano Baragan said in an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica.

The Roman Catholic Church has up till now strictly prohibited the use of condoms even in marriage for AIDS patients and HIV-infected people.

Observers in Rome suggest that a Curial cardinal such as Baragan could only make a statement on a such a sensitive theme when it had been first agreed upon with Pope Benedict XVI.

So let me ask my questions once again...

1. Will condoms be permissible when the wife must take medication that potentially causes birth defects?

2. Will they be permissible if the husband has been exposed to chemical weapons while serving in the military?

3. Will they be permissible if the married couple discovers through genetic testing that pregnancy will result in a sick or deformed child?

3. Will they be permissible if the wife works in an occupation that exposes her to substances that can cause birth defects?

All of these circumstances are related to the AIDS question in that all of them concern the transmission of disease from one member of the family to another through the sex act.

Then there is the matter of "emotional" disease that has been the bane of the pro-life movement.

If the answer is "no" to these circumstances, will there then be a hierarchy of illnesses which permit condom use by a married couple who desire to have children but wish to avoid transmitting disease? Will AIDS be the only disease that qualifies, meaning that transmission of AIDS from one adult to another is considered more immoral than transmission of disease to a fetus?

I don't see how a line can be drawn anywhere else except at the marriage bedroom door on the use of condoms, so it will be interesting to see what Rome has up the prelates sleeves, if this report is accurate.


Here's the Reuters spin on the condom story. It presents a somewhat different picture of the intentions of the Vatican.


I was in Blockbuster yesterday and happened to notice that they had two DVDs that promised to explain the information that went into the movie.

One of them is by Dan Brown. Brown has been a busy boy! I've already forgotten which was the other one, but there are several more, including:

Exploring the Da Vinci Code: Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes-le-Chateau

Henry Lincoln is the third author of HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL and non-party to the Baigent and Leigh lawsuit against Dan Brown. I guess he thought this was a better way to make money. I wonder if it's working?

I didn't bring either of the DVDs home.

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