Saturday, June 17, 2006


Since Benedict proposed that Catholics marry outside of their own denomination, this story might interest him.

What do you get when you combine Jewish tradition, Mexican-Catholic rituals, and pagan ideals?
A contemporary interfaith wedding.

Emily Hawkins and Alex Spector, both 26, are preparing for a July wedding that will incorporate her Catholic-Buddhist upbringing with his Jewish-pagan background.

Their invitation consists of four haikus representing the pagan elements of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water; the ceremony will include a Mexican-Catholic lasso ritual, in which a cord is wrapped around the couple symbolizing lifelong unity; and out of respect for his Jewish heritage, Spector will be breaking glass, a custom signifying anything from the destruction of the temple of Israel to the couple's own transformation through marriage.

Though the merging may sound abstract, more couples these days are choosing to blend their religious heritage to produce uniquely personalized nuptials.

"Everyone's always terrified of having a boring wedding," said the Rev. Carol Fitzgerald, Hawkins and Spector's officiant. "When you bring together different cultures using heartfelt gestures, people eat it up and love it."

Fitzgerald, who specializes in interfaith weddings, has performed a number of ceremonies with a variety of religious permutations.

She invoked the Christian God along with the Sun and the Earth for a Christian-Native American wedding held in a Native American medicine wheel. And for a Catholic-Native American wedding ceremony, she posited Mary as the divine feminine, an embodiment of compassion and solace, instead of the Blessed Virgin mother of God.

Continue reading...

Friday, June 16, 2006


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's representative in the United States on Thursday urged Catholic bishops to transform the reputation of a church still tarnished by the nationwide pedophile priest scandal.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the new apostolic nuncio, or papal ambassador, to the United States, told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops he was saddened that the church was best known for a scandal involving abusive priests and complicit bishops. But he did not suggest specific ways to improve the church's image.

"It cannot be that the church in the United States is known for a sex scandal," Sambi told some 300 bishops and cardinals assembled for their biannual meeting.

"There are many positive aspects of the church in America that have to be known. Individually, and as a body, we have to transform this situation of suffering and pain into a occasion for resurrection," Sambi added.

Continue reading...

Blogger credit to New Oxford Review.


Just when you think there is nothing left to say about The DaVinci Code, along comes Tim Drake, Senior Editor of the National Catholic Register, with a unique new insight.


SPOKANE, Wash. - A federal judge ruled Thursday that individual parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane are not owned by the bishop and thus cannot be sold by him to pay victims of clergy sex abuse.

The ruling by Judge Justin Quackenbush overturned a decision made in August by a bankruptcy judge who had ruled that the bishop held title to all parish assets.

Some 80 parishes had been at risk of losing churches, schools and other property to pay victims' claims. Thursday's ruling leaves victims with only the much smaller assets of the bishop to divide in any court settlement.

"It reduces the pot at this point," said Gayle Bush, an attorney representing victims. "The judge strongly encouraged the parties to settle their differences."

Continue reading...


Isaias foretold that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.

Isaias began to prophesy ten years before the foundation of Rome, and the ruin of Ninive.

Isaias VII: 7:14 (Douay Rheims)

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign, Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.

The prophecy fulfilled:

Matthew I:22-23 (Douay Rheims)

Now all this was done that the word might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.


Last fall, I did a 2-part story for the Journal of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project (SCP) about the Da Vinci Code and Opus Dei.

The magazine has now put part 1 on the Net, in its entirety.

The first part of the story, on Brown's best-seller, disposes of that trashy novel in short order, and spoils the plot (for the 25 people left who have not yet read it.) Then, I move on to examine Opus Dei: the facts, not Brown's fiction.

Main headings:

The Da Vinci Code
Just the facts about "The Way"
A rising power in the Catholic Church
Opus Dei influence in Washington DC and worldwide
Opus Dei: to last "until the end of time"?
Cultic practices
Secret documents
Modern-day flagellants
Escriva's teachings: "another gospel"

There are 235 footnotes, and there are pictures - including of the cilice and of the discipline.

Part II of the same story is just now going out in the mail to SCP subscribers. It will be at least 6 months till that article goes onto the Net, so if you want to read it now, call SCP at their office in Berkeley California (510-540-0300, from 9am to 5pm West Coast time) and buy the magazine from them.

It picks up where part I leaves off, and covers the track record of Opus Dei activity in the world and in the Church.

The article ends thus:


"Leaving aside the Machiavellian strategies of Opus Dei, we can give the last word to one of the cult's survivors, Maria del Carmen Tapia. After she was expelled from the movement, she continued to attend church. A priest who knew her story asked her, 'Why do you go on believing in God?' She replied, 'Because God has nothing to do with Opus Dei.'[i]


[i] Maria del Carmen Tapia, Beyond the Threshold: A Life in Opus Dei, Continuum, 1997, pp. 284.


The final chapter of my book, False Dawn, also includes a section on Opus Dei and the other "new ecclesial movements" within the Catholic Church. That chapter is on-line here:


If you want to read the entire book, it is available throught SCP (call them at 510-540-0300) or through Amazon:

Amazon.com: False Dawn: The United Religions Initiative, Globalism, And The Quest For A One-world Religion: Books: Lee Penn



The new translations were approved yesterday. Now they will have to be approved in Rome. Some articles have made out these changes to be radical. This article indicates they are not major. Some of them are given:

Minor changes to the wording of many portions of the Mass will be obvious to Catholics. The repeated exchanges ``The Lord be with you'' / ``And also with you'' between a priest and his congregation, for example, become ``The Lord be with you'' / ``And with your spirit'' in the updated version.

The prayer said before Communion would become ``Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,'' instead of ``Lord, I am not worthy to receive you.''

Compared to what happened in 1965-70, this is a blip on the radar screen. More to the point, anyone who attended Mass prior to the Council and used a Sunday missal is going to feel right at home with this new-old wording.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Sweeping changes to familiar prayers could be the next adjustment for Roman Catholics, many of whom are adapting to new parishes, transient clergy and a more diverse membership.
At the request of the Vatican, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will vote today on a new translation for the Order of the Mass that adheres more closely to the Latin version.

The changes would be some of the most sweeping to Mass in nearly four decades since parishioners first began worshipping in English instead of Latin after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

The new translation would alter the wording of 12 of the 19 texts spoken by Catholics during worship, including the Nicene Creed, the Gloria, the Penitential Rite, the Sanctus and Communion.

Continue reading...

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


on July 31 in the Diocese of the Gateway Clipper boat Majestic, on a river in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Diocese Bishop Donald Wuerl has been notified. Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Diocese responded, affirming the tradition of ordaining only men.

I trust an excommunication will immediately follow this ceremony.

I wonder if these women will join Dagmar Braun Celeste at the next WinterStar Symposium?


the Pontifical household preacher, speaking on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. From the interview:

Q: In John's Gospel, Jesus answers Nicodemus' question affirming that the Spirit "blows where it wills." In your judgment, is it possible to interpret in what direction the Holy Spirit is blowing in his continuous irruption in history?

Father Cantalamessa: In the homily of the vigil of Pentecost, the Pope said something very beautiful when commenting on these words of John's Gospel. He did say that the Spirit "blows where he wills," but he clarified that he never blows in a disordered, contradictory way.

Therefore, we have behind us the whole tradition of the Church, the doctrine of the doctors, the teaching of the Church to discern which charisms are valid and which are not.

It might be that at the beginning some charisms make much noise, attract more attention, but that later, over time, reveal themselves instead to be unfounded.

The Church is like water: It receives all bodies, but the true, solid ones it engulfs, whereas it leaves the others on the surface. Empty charisms, which have only exterior manifestation, remain outside the Church.

"A disordered contradictory way." Isn't enthusiasm for what has come out of the Protestant heresy "a disordered contradictory way"?

That "whole tradition of the Church" of which Fr. Cantalamessa speaks would include the teachings against heresy. Yet now comes the pope's preacher who says that the way to the future can be found in something coming out of that heresy, while at the same time he promotes tradition which is clearly opposed to ecumenism.

What happened to the principle of non-contradiction? Has it simply been abandoned by our leaders in Rome?

I have often gotten the impression that JPII could hold two contradictory beliefs in tandem, in spite of the priciple of non-contradiction.

But non-contradiction is Thomistic, isn't it? And apparently that little cadre of liberal theologians who were able to have their way with the Council have rejected Thomism. Hence we no longer are to worry about non-contradiction, apparently. And hence the papal household preacher can make a statement like the one in the linked interview, and everyone will simply nod their heads in agreement.

If that isn't "disordered and contradictory", I don't know what is!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


At Amazon.com the review of the book gives Hahn's bio. It seems that he is a member of Opus Dei.

To conspiracy theorists, Opus Dei is a highly secretive and powerful international organization. To its members, however, Opus Dei is a spiritual path, a way of incorporating the teachings of Jesus into everyday life. In ORDINARY WORK, EXTRAORDINARY GRACE, Scott Hahn, a member of Opus Dei, describes the organization’s founding, its mission, and its profound influence on his life.

Hahn recounts the invaluable part Opus Dei played in his conversion from Evangelical Christianity to Catholicism and explains why its teachings remain at the center of his life.

Thanks to Lee Penn for the link.

I wonder if there are any pre-Vatican II cradle Catholics in Opus Dei?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


A reader sent in a link to John Vennari's interview of Randy Engel in anticipation of her soon to be released book The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church. The book is 1,318 pages with 4,523 endnotes, and has been a work in progress for 17 years. Just the interview alone is quite stunning. She does not hesitate to place the blame for our mess at the very top:

JV: Randy, many of the themes and incidents recorded in your book such as, the Bernardin legacy, New Ways Minis-try and St. Sebastian’s Angels occurred under Pope John Paul II’s 26-year watch. How can this possibly square with the current call for John Paul II’s beatification?

RE: It can’t.

JV: What is your opinion of the latest Vatican document on the admittance of homosexuals to the seminary that was issued by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education on November 29, 2005 after being approved by Pope Benedict XVI?

RE: It is the latest in a long line of ambiguous and toothless documents emanating from the Vatican on the subject of the ordination of homosexual men and of the problem of homosexuality in the Catholic priesthood and religious life, in general. Clearly, the new document does not affirm the absolute ban against ordaining homosexuals, pederasts and habituated onanists found in the 1961 Instruction “Careful Selection And Training Of Candidates For The States Of Perfection And Sacred Orders.” In fact, the 1961 Instruction did not even merit a footnote in the new directive.

I thought it significant that Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect for the Congregation, went out of his way to state that the norms expressed in the document do not apply to already ordained homosexual priests, which is a backhanded way of saying that Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, has no immediate plans to clean house and mount a serious attack on the Homosexual Collective within the Roman Catholic priesthood and religious life.

That prompts the question I have been wanting to ask for a few years now, but never had the guts to ask in a blog...was John Paul II a homosexual? And the question that follows naturally, is Benedict?

As the old saying goes, if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Certainly both of these men had the requisite power to clean up the mess. John Paul II would not touch it, and spent as much time as he could basking in the attention of the youth. Benedict seems to be following in his footsteps. That, to me, indicates there is a hidden problem, especially when coupled with lack of attention to heresy within the Church.

Take the time to read the whole interview. It may not be available for very long. I understand the site doesn't archive.


The New Covenant is foretold.

Jeremias XXXI:31-34 (Douay Rheims)

Behold, the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; the covenant which they made void, and I had dominion over them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord; for all shall know me from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Jeremias began to prophesy in the year 3375 B.C.

The prophecy fulfilled:

Matthew XXVI:28 (Douay Rheims)

For this is my blood of the new testament which shall be shed for many, for the remission of sins.


Pope Benedict XVI has called on churches to build closer ties with one another through joint charitable initiatives, as well as by fostering inter-denominational marriages and families.
"Despite all the differences that need to be overcome in inter-denominational dialogue, it is legitimate to attribute charitable engagement to the ecumenical community of Christ's disciples in search of full unity," the pope said at an inter-denominational prayer meeting at Warsaw's Lutheran Holy Trinity church.

The 79-year-old pontiff was speaking on the first day of a 25-28 May pilgrimage to Poland, his first outside Italy and his native Germany since taking office in April 2005.

He said he had made "restoration of full unity among Christians" a priority of his pontificate, and has said he would support ecumenical aspirations "steeped in prayer, mutual forgiveness and holiness of life."

Benedict, noted, however, that Christian churches would become "more credible before the world" if they met "contemporary charitable challenges" together, and promoted marriage and family life across denominational boundaries.

Continue reading...

I think this is where someone who was Catholic before Vatican II asks: "Is the Pope Catholic?"


Rahlan H’Riem was told that "she must stop worshiping God and follow Siu Kim and his church or she will put in prison." She reportedly refused saying she will not follow Siu Kim or his church because "it is not the matter of Siu Kim or his church." She said she wanted to follow "The Lord God and her Savior Jesus Christ" as "without the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the religion is in vain," according to a statement obtained by BosNewsLife.

She was later again summoned to explain her faith on March 8, March 9 and May 23 of 2006. "Because of her refusal, Lt. Colonel Le Hoang Phong arrested Rahlan H’Riem and her mother in law Nai H’Brek and put them in prison at the district of Krong Pa ever since. The three children are on their own without adults to care for them and cry for their mother and grandmother," MFI claimed.

The boys are ages 11, 8, and 5. Their father had gone to the U.S. to "try to prepare possible resettlement for his persecuted family." According to the article the Communist government is trying to force people to attend the official church. I wonder if that official church looks anything like the Milan Cathedral?

Read the whole story here.

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily for the link.


A student from West Catholic High School in Philadelphia was attacked on her way home from school by a woman whose daughter had been expelled for fighting last December, and by the woman's friends. In response to the rumor that an attack was planned, police were on hand when the students were dismissed, but nothing happened on school grounds. The women had moved some distance away from the school and were waiting in a car until the students walked into their presence, then they came out of the car and attacked.

The freshman was pummeled and kicked when she fell to the ground, Ahern said.

When the other students tried to come to her aid, they were also caught up in a flurry of fists.

A videotape of the attack was posted on the Internet yesterday and broadcast on local TV stations.

Now, police and school officials are trying to track down the volatile perpetrators to figure what prompted their attack.

"These weren't kids attacking kids. This was a carload of women waiting to ambush," Ahern said.

Our culture is coming unglued when women physically attack young teenage girls. This is not a report about disruption in a civilized society. This is a report of barbarians out of control.

Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Zacharias 13:7 (Douay Rheims) Foretells Jesus being abandoned by His disciples. Zacharias began prophesying in 520 B.C.

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones.

The Prophecy fulfilled:

Matthew 26:31 (Douay Rheims)

Then Jesus saith to them: “All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed.”

Matthew 26:56 (Douay Rheims)

Now all of this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples all leaving him, fled away.


What religion is it that the Cathedral in Milan houses?

Sandro Magister describes some renovations and the new message from the pulpit.

ROMA, June 13, 2006 – One of the key phrases of the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI is “new evangelization.” But in the Duomo of Milan, the cathedral of one of the most important and populous dioceses in the world, governed by cardinal Carlo Maria Martini until 2002 and now by cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, this formula is being implemented in highly original ways.

It's quite spectacular this cathedral remade. Doesn't sound even remotely Catholic, of course. And who was it who placed Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi into the leadership role at this "most important and populous dioceses in the world"? That would be John Paul II, wouldn't it.

Look what they've got over there:

Wallinger’s video in the crypt of Saint Charles Borromeo is not the only gesture of “new evangelization” that has taken the stage at the Duomo of Milan. It is part of a series of other performances, some of which are distinguished by the English title of “pause.”

The latest “pause” was held in the cathedral last June 7, during the week of Pentecost. Under the artistic direction of Fr. Garbini, and with the organizing theme of “number,” the audience first listened to selections from the writings of Jewish philosopher and mathematician of the XVII century Baruch Spinoza.

It then watched a video by Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima, entitled “Counter Voice” and based upon the “metaphor according to which each human being has his own rhythm, and rhythm is the force that unifies the universe.” The dual image that marked the entire evening’s exhibition, taken from Miyajima’s video, showed a young woman with her face first immersed in and then raised out of a basin full of gelatinous liquid.

Looks like there is going to be no help from Rome. It would appear that Benedict is part of the New Church.

Meanwhile, a little closer to home, the destruction of the Catholic faith continues apace. You've heard of Three Persons in one God? Now there are twelve parishes in one church.

The changes are intended to deal with a shortage of priests in the diocese.

"We’re trying to make the best use of the resources we have now," said the Rev. Robert Gorski, director of the diocese’s Long Range Planning Commission. "What we feel is that you can keep all the parishes open, but what is the point of keeping them all open if they can’t remain vibrant?"

The changes will affect all 12 parishes in the Monadnock Deanery, which stretches from Hinsdale to Wilton.

There's that word "vibrant" again. That's code for morphing into the new religion. Those parishes that aren't willing to morph are no longer "vibrant" and must be closed, I guess. That "shortage of priests" has been engineered.

The question will be, do we attend this reincarnated church of ? or do we sit it out at home?

Our Lady of Fatima, where are you?


I'm having problems with Blogger again today.


Wildlife is getting used to man and finding co-existence is not always out of the question. We regularly have hawks flying in the neighborhood, and every now and again there will be a pile of feathers in the grass where a bird met his fate.

On a recent visit to a local park, I happened to notice a raccoon walking along the road. We parked the car and got out to see him up close. First he went up a tree, then came back down, apparently thinking we might have food. When he condluded we didn't he went back up the tree.

A relative who lives in the Cleveland suburbs frequently sees deer in her backyard. One of them gave birth in her neighbors foundation shrubbery. The neighbors have all been enjoying the fawn as it wanders around. When one neighbor spots it, the telephone alert system goes into action.

A recent newcomer to the Cleveland neighborhoods, though, is not especially welcome. The black bear that mauled a woman in Ashtabula County has found his way into Gates Mills, where some wealthy Clevelanders have their estates. That suburb is near my mother-in-law's house, so the article at NewsNet5 got my attention.

Apparently Cleveland is not unique in black furry visitors. In New Jersey a 15-pound tabby cat taught another black bear who is king of the backyard by hissing the bear up a tree. Twice. If you're black and furry, don't mess with Jack the attack cat.

Now if I could just borrow Jack for a chipmunk raid, my flowers might have a chance to bloom without having their roots turned into a varmint tunnel.

Monday, June 12, 2006


The rhetoric in Canada over homosexual marriage is getting ugly. I get the impression that the left senses it may be losing political power and is taking the gloves off. The following quote, appearing in an article at LifeSite, was taken from the weblog of Conservative MP Garth Turner:

In a later blog entry Turner labeled those who share McVety’s political and religious views as “people who share his divine Kool-Aid,” (http://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/5/) an apparent reference to the infamous Jonestown Massacre of 1978, during which 913 members of the Peoples Temple cult committed mass suicide by drinking grape-flavoured Kool-Aid laced with potassium cyanide. And in another post he called those who would attempt to nominate politicians whose politics is informed by their faith as “religious vigilantes,” (http://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/2/) and elsewhere, “single-issue monochromatic militants” (http://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/6/). And elsewhere, mere paragraphs after back-pedalling and saying "No, I did not call the fundamentalism Christians Taliban," he continues and compares the very same Christians to Afghan Militant Muslims, although avoiding the explicit term "Taliban," saying, "But a faith-based government? Forget it. Our brave troops in Afghanistan spend every day tracking down and squishing the freaks who tried that one" (http://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/2/).

Sort of makes me wonder what "conservative MP" means up north.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


was about God, with only a passing nod to the social gospel. Father talked about the mystery of the Trinity. It's been a very long time since I've heard such a homily. Too bad he delivered it to a church that was half emppty.


In honor of the feast of Trinity Sunday, I am offering you the full text of the hymn attributed to St. Patrick, his Breastplate.

Note: the Sunday after Pentecost on the Western calendar has traditionally been known as Trinity Sunday - so this feast occurs on June 11. This year, the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics celebrate Pentecost on June 11 - and we also call Pentecost the Feast of the Holy Trinity. So this year, East and West celebrate this Sunday with a common purpose.

St. Patrick's Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.


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