Saturday, August 05, 2006
TAKING SOME TIME OFF
August is always a slow month in Catholic journalism, mostly, I think, because Europe, and Rome with them, goes on vacation. In previous years I've struggled through August with unimportant stuff to keep this blog going. This year I haven't got the heart for it, so I'm going to take some time off. If anything important happens, I'll probably blog it, but if not, I'll be back in September, hopefully with a new enthusiasm for continuing this blog.
Friday, August 04, 2006
A PERSPECTIVE ON THE MEL GIBSON AFFAIR
Fr. Thomas Euteneuer's e-letter today discusses a twist on the comments Gibson made that have upset so many. I hope he will not object to my blogging it. He writes:
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 27 | Friday, August 04, 2006
This week Mel Gibson had an unfortunate relapse in his fight with alcohol, and because of some imprudent comments made while in that state, Hollywood is demanding an apology. Appropriately so; but when Mel actually and fully apologized, Hollywood elites and the Anti-Defamation League seem to have been singularly unsatisfied with his mea culpa and are psychoanalyzing his deeper motives for what he said. Be that as it may, Mel did what good people are supposed to do when they fall: he took immediate responsibility for his actions, apologized completely, promised to amend his ways and is making restitution. As far as I am concerned, case closed, move on.
But certainly Mel Gibson is not the only one in Hollywood who needs to apologize and amend his ways. I think a good examination of conscience is in order for Hollywood, and this incident gives them the perfect chance to do it.
First of all, given the degraded state of modern film, doesn't it seem a bit hypocritical that the Hollywood types, of all people, should be scandalized that an actor would utter the "F-word"? Don't they do it all the time in movies? An appropriate _expression of remorse from Hollywood would be to edit every single movie of any rating for offensive language. I won't hold my breath.
And since Hollywood is so concerned about negative remarks made toward another's religion let's apply the same standard to Martin Scorsese for The Last Temptation of Christ, Michael Eisner for his despicable Dogma pulp-fiction or the Weinstein brothers for the awful Priest movie and ask them to apologize too. What's the likelihood that Hollywood will call Ron Howard and Yusef Mohammed on the carpet for their trashing of Christianity in the Da Vinci nonsense? Not much. But apparently these don't count because, after all, they are "just movies;" they don't really affect people, and if you don't agree with them don't watch them, right?
While we are at it, every American parent should ask the producers of the vile, soul-killing MTV to apologize and repent for all the toxins they have infused into the minds of America's youth for the last twenty-five years. Isn't an apology in order here?
Ultimately Jack Valenti, former head of the Motion Picture Association of America, should apologize for deleting Hollywood's former self-censoring Hays Production Code in 1968. The elimination of that code of decency led to the production of such classics as Midnight Cowboy, A Clockwork Orange, and Deep Throat as well as all the satanic, salacious and slasher movies that have been produced since then. Valenti bears personal responsibility for all that sin. On top of that, if these are to be considered our contribution to "art" or "culture," America itself needs to apologize to the world for this unrepentant shock and awe campaign against basic decency. And we wonder why the rest of the world hates us. One final apology is needed. Someone should explain to us why we needed Brokeback Mountain and then publicly repent to America with a firm purpose of amendment never to glorify the homosexual lifestyle in film ever again.
Since Mel's fall, it seems that Hollywood has suddenly become interested in sincere apologies. Well, let's have them.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
ENOCHIAN CHESS - DOORWAY TO OCCULTISM
just in case those inclined to tamper with forbidden powers are tired of the Ouija Board.
The game is described here if you're curious. It was created in the Hermetical Order of the Golden Dawn by the founders in the late 1800s, and was used for divination as well as gameplay.
Software and boards
Enochian Chess Pieces
Needless to say, the use of it for divination would make it off-limits to a Roman Catholic, an offense against the First Commandment.
CARDINAL TONINI IS ANGRY
Religious leaders in Italy criticized Madonna on Thursday for wearing a crown of thorns and singing while hanging from a mirrored cross on her "Confessions" tour.
The prospect of the scene being repeated at her concert Sunday in Rome's Olympic stadium, some two miles from the Vatican, prompted Catholic officials to denounce the act as a publicity stunt in bad taste.
"To crucify yourself in the city of the pope and the martyrs is an act of open hostility," Cardinal Ersilio Tonini was quoted as saying in the La Stampa daily Wednesday. "It's a scandal created on purpose by astute merchants to attract publicity."
Cardinal Tonini's language is a bit stronger in this report, and he has the backing of the Jewish and Islamic communities as well:
Cardinal Ersilio Tonino, speaking with the Pope's approval, was quoted by Italian newspaper La Stampa as saying, "This is a blasphemous challenge to the faith and a profanation of the Cross. She should be excommunicated. To crucify herself in the city of popes and martyrs is an act of open hostility."
In a show of religious solidarity, Muslin and Jewish leaders have also criticized the 47-year-old star-now a loyal follower of the Kabbalah faith.
Mario Scialoja, president of the Muslim World League in Italy, said, " Deplore it; we feel it is an act of bad taste. She would do better to go home."
Riccardo Pacifici, spokesman for Rome's Jewish community, added, "We Express solidarity with the Catholic world. It's a disrespectful act, and to do it in Rome is even worse."
A picture of the cross scene is included in this report.
To be honest, it doesn't much resemble the crucifixion. Yes, I know she is taking pot-shots at Christianity, but is seems a lot closer to crass commercialism and bad taste than it does to blasphemy. Just another reason for Christians to ignore her. As though they needed another one.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
FROM THE GNOSTIC POINT OF VIEW...
There's an interesting article in the "New Dawn Magazine" website. It's titled "The Hidden History of the Secret Church" and was written by Tau Mikhael. The article sounds like something Dan Brown might have read when doing research for the DAVINCI CODE.
In the article you can learn that
* ...rather than tell the story of a god-man sacrificed for the sins of the world, as the orthodox Christians believed...Christ was the cosmic teacher who took on the form of the man Jesus to impart His gnosis to the apostles, but only gradually and not to all of them in equal measure. Mary Magdalene and St. John the Evangelist were held in particularly high regard by Gnostic Christians.
*...many...promulgate the doctrine of the so-called 'two churches': the church of Peter and the church of John, or of two 'epochs' - the epoch of Peter and the epoch of John. You know also that this doctrine teaches the end--more or less at hand--of the church of Peter, or above all of the Papacy which is its visible symbol...
* ...the time is coming when [the Church of John] will manifest itself in the world and show how far above the other churches it is. When it does, the church of St. Peter will have to reform and make many changes, whether it likes to or not.
* The Cathars were the legitimate heirs of the early Gnostic Christians and through them of the first apostles....Rejecting most of the Old Testament, whose deity they identified with Satan, the Cathars held the Gospel of John in highest esteem and made use of it in their rituals.
* Institutional Christianity, with its religious dogmatism and obsession with commandments, is a contemporary example of the same force that confronted and sought to kill Jesus in his own time.
The author quotes some extracts from Valentin Tomberg's MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT to make his points. In fact the second quote up above is taken from the book.
According to the article nineteenth century Gnostic history includes the tale of Eugene Vintras who founded the Gnostic Church of Carmel in France. While Vintras was serving a 5-year sentence in a French prison, the Abbe Marechal took charge of the Carmel community and "began publicly teaching certain rituals that had a sexual content. According to some reports, he confided to his congregation, "Those who feel love for one another should share it often."
Yet despite this danger of turning the love doctrine of the Gnostic Church into a sexual religion, the author still states with approval that
The Johannite church of Love (Amor) is decentralised, shamanistic, free and eternal; the church of Rome is centralised, hierarchical, complex, and worldly. The battle between the two churches is the Old Testament battle of the prophets with the priests. Mystic vision versus organised religion.
The mystic's life raft is doctrine. Without it, the mystic is subject to whatever roving spirits might desire to impart. Not all spirits are good or even benign; and without doctrine, there is no protection because there is no means of discernment. Gnosticism, time after time, has fallen into sexual corruption. The ultimate expression of this corruption is libertine Gnosticism as practiced by Aleister Crowley, and Rabelais before him. I strongly suspect that within the Roman Catholic Church a measure of this libertine Gnosticism has been the cause of the sexual abuse scandal we are living through, all in the name of the "luv" doctrine that many orthodox Catholics have noted permeating liberal circles of Roman Catholic theology in recent years. Certainly those who have abused the laity's offspring were not Roman Catholic in their thinking, since Roman Catholicism proposes a celibate priesthood and rejects homosexual activity.
In any case, and despite the constant preaching of spirit contact and abandonment of commandments, even the Gnostic community must finally resort to doctrine in order to explain itself to the rest of the world. You will find that doctrine in a position paper titled "Ecclesia Gnostica Position Paper Concerning the Thelemite or Crowleyan Gnostic Churches" by The Rt. Rev. Stephen A. Hoeller in P. R. Koenig's website. There Hoeller attempts to separate the Crowleyites from the Gnosticism practiced by the Ecclesia Gnostica. Hoeller provides a 4-point conclusion which contains the following:
The issue of the Thelemite bodies brings us[sic] a delicate point which all Gnostics must face sooner or later. While Gnosis and Gnosticism cannot and should not be rigidly defined, from this one should not draw the erroneous conclusion that everything is Gnostic that adopts that name.
Anyone who has studied the history of Roman Catholicism knows that much of our doctrine has been defined in response to heresy. Hoeller, though he wishes to avoid the term, is defining Gnostic doctrine here in response to the Thelemic heresy.
Gradually, as challenges to belief become more common, Gnosticism too will be forced to espouse doctrine, just as Roman Catholicism does, in the effort to define itself. In fact it is entirely possible that Gnosticism will one day resolve into the very doctrine that it so stridently rejects.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
PATRICK ROONEY REVIEWS LEE'S BOOK
in the current issue of New Oxford Review, and over there at their website. Rooney concludes:
On the whole, Lee Penn did a fantastic job of illuminating a critical subject. The one-world movement is a spiritual and physical threat of the first order. I urge everyone to read False Dawn.
Yup! The stuff I write about is the less obvious picture of the stuff in Lee's book. Gnosticism has caught on big time, and Catholics need to educate themselves to what's happening. It looks more and more like it's going to come down to Catholics and the Pope (and hopefully the Orthodox) on one side and the rest of the world on the other.
THE UNWELCOME GUEST
We have a new backyard pet. He's furry, black and white, and likes to eat what the birds have thrown out of the feeder. He appears out there around dusk and is not particularly bothered if we clap our hands, yell at him to go away, or blow a whistle. He just goes right on eating. Of course we make all that noise from our open kitchen window, since his furry backside is resting about five feet beyond the deck. Fortunately the neighbors have been staying inside during our heat wave and probably haven't yet heard us making fools of ourselves.
We have a new strategy for returning home after dark. First we drive in with the headlights pointing directly into the backyard (this is not as easy as it sounds), then we stop to survey the territory carefully, back up and realign the headlights to illuminate another portion of the yard. When we have lit up every square inch in this way, and have not seen any glowing eyes, we park the vehicle and proceed to the back door. So far that has worked.
He has not yet treated us to the scent of his presence. We, on the other hand, have treated him to the scent of ammonia soaked rags pushed under the edge of the storage shed since each time something disturbs his dinner he heads right for it and cowers until the danger passes. Last time he tried that he put on the brakes about a foot away and made a detour around back.
We haven't figured out where he lives yet, but there are plenty of hiding places in the ivy and shrubbery that divides yards on our street from the yards on the next. You can guess I'm not about to go back there and pull the weeds anytime soon!
My husband called several urban trappers only to discover they charge $100 just to come out and see whether you look worthy of being rid of your problem or not. If they actually catch anything, the fee goes up from there, and black and white fur is pricey. They even charge $20 a day just to make sure the trap is still empty.
The ammonia strategy was the suggestion of the only lady trapper in the phone book, and it may be working. She suggested it because she thought he might just be passing through, and she wouldn't want to charge us $20 a day indefinitely. I suspect she also may not be eager to deal with this particular specie. In any case she came across as the most honest of the bunch, so you know who we'll call if we call a trapper. Isn't she lucky?
Our neighbor who walks every morning between 5 and 6 suggested we not bother with trying to get rid of this fellow because he saw seven of them in the neighborhood the other morning. He seems pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, but happened to mention that his neighbor's dog learned the hard way what to leave alone. He also chuckled at the owner of that dog who thought it was a good idea to bring the dog inside to clean him up. Took 'em three months to return the house to human smell.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
POPE PLEADS FOR PEACE
Pope Benedict has appealed to the Blessed Virgin on behalf of the people in the Mid-East, asking that peace be granted to this part of the world.
The promise from Fatima is that, if the Pope will consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, together with all the bishops of the world, a period of peace will follow. Many say that the consecration has already been done, and so therefore now we should be in the period of peace.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
I don't know if we are beyond our usual rainfall amount this year, but I do know that when it rains it pours...usually into people's basements. Yesterday afternoon we had yet another drencher that left 200 families holed up in shelters after they were rescued from their flooded houses. Some had 3 ft. of water in the livingroom. It rained 4 inches in 45 minutes in one Akron suburb, so of course the sewers and drains were overwhelmed. An area of the Cleveland suburbs also got flooded.
A segment on last evening's news covered a mother and daughter in danger of drowning on the deck at their house. The father attempted to rescue them but was unable to do it. They called 911 from their cell phone, and the fire department was finally able to scoop them up in the bucket of a front-end loader.
The last time it rained we saw pictures on the local news of a condominium development under water up to the rooftops. It looked like New Orleans all over again, this time without benefit of an ocean.
Houses, of course, are not worth much after three feet of water invades, and the areas seem to be large enough after every storm to apply for FEMA funds. Mostly the homeowner's insurance will not cover the damage.
Local governments are claiming it's a 100-year flood, but as one guy interviewed on the news yesterday said, "I had a 100-year flood last year too." Along with the wet weather we're having days in the 90s with a heat index in the 104 deg. range. After a lovely June and mostly pleasant July, August looks like it will make up for lost time.
Most of us take it for granted that Native American shamen attempted to call rain down upon the land during a drought. Whether we actually believe they could do it or not is debatable.
According to a book by Max Freedom Long, "the Huna science used by the early Polynesians for healing, changing the future for the better, control of winds and weather, etc." is based in fact. Well, I haven't read it, so use your own judgment.
According to "Illuminati News" Legislation introduced by Texan senator Kay Bailey-Hutchinson intends to use a cyclone for war, prompting me to wonder briefly if Katrina was a test. Say what you like about "nutty conspiracy theories", but the bill does exist, in two versions, no less, and GovTrack.us indicates there is (or was) a bill in the house pointed at the same objective.
Then there is this curious comment in Dr. Lewis Keizer's Home Temple website. Scroll down to Rev. Loren's "Gnostic Catholic Church of the Holy Grail and the Hidden Chapel of Mary Magdalene." There you will find this:
Loren's home church is located in Belen, New Mexico, where he lives with his wife and children. Loren completed all T:.H:.G:. First Order Empowerments, including the "proving" in which he manifested rain when the forecast was for clear skies. In fact, he brought down a whole storm![Bolding mine - ct]
In recognition of his spiritual achievements in successfully completing the First Order Empowerments of T:.H:.G:., Rev. Loren was dubbed a Knight of the esoteric chivalric Order of St. Michael and St. Raphael in August of 2004 by Knight Commander Lewis Keizer. All T:.H:.G:. Initiates are accepted as candidates for Knighthood in this authentic European Order headed by Abbot and Bishop George Boyer in London. However, they are not dubbed as Knight or Dame until they can demonstrate the final "proving" after the Seventh Empowerment. Dubbing as Knight or Dame is a recognition of spiritual nobility and authority, but unlike other orders of nobility, it cannot be passed on by heredity to descendants. It must be earned by each candidate.
If the First Order Empowerments required proof he could manifest a storm, what do you suppose the Seventh Order Empowerment accomplishes?
Don't think too long about the approved apparition of Akita in which we are told that "fire will fall from the sky." You'll have nightmares if you do!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Monday, July 31, 2006
REFLECTING ON THE NATURE OF A BLOG
One of the most frustrating aspects of writing a blog is not knowing your audience. When commenters use the same handle for each posting, it is possible to get to know what position they are coming from eventually, but it takes many comments before this happens, and the hit counter indicates that a lot of readers never comment at all.
Sometimes I imagine that my audience is Roman Catholic and write from that perspective. Other times I temper my Catholic comments with the thought that readers may be coming from a different theological point of view. It is never my intention to anger readers as Ishmael has apparently been angered, and I often scrap a blog or rewrite it because it may be too harsh or come across sounding vindictive. That was the case with my recent blog, and still it sparked an angry reaction. People are quite sensitive about their religious beliefs, as I am myself, which is why it tends to provoke so much controversy.
No matter how many times we say the word "peace" in the name of religion, we are still left with two choices...accept all religions on an equal footing, believing that none of them are any closer to the Truth than any other; or defend our own theology, believing that it is the absolute truth. The first has been defined by the Church as "indifferentism" and soundly condemned. The second is rapidly sparking the world's condemnation.
In the Early Church defending Catholic theology was a death sentence, yet the Catholics did defend it, and their blood is said to be the seeds of the faith that blossomed into the dominant belief of Western Civilization; a belief that Europe has now rejected, and America may soon reject, choosing instead to be tolerant and diverse and uncommitted to any creed.
Yet without creed there is no guidance for making decisions, and the culture with no standards will fall for everything and no longer have any way to define what is good and what is evil. That is a perscription for anarchy. We can see it developing when we turn on the evening news.
Perhaps the time has come to put this blog to sleep and look for either other ways to present the research I've been doing, or go get a paying job as my husband would certainly like me to do. It's something I've been considering for the last several days, but haven't come to any decision yet.
IS THE PENDLUM BEGINNING TO SWING ?
My commentary at Spero.
DEBUNKING JACK CHICK
Over the past fifty years Jack Chick has printed more religious tracts than anyone alive. He has translated his texts into a plethora of languages and his tracts and comic books are well known to many evangelical faiths worldwide.
But now he finds himself challenged by an expatriate American author looking to set the record straight on Jack Chick's controversial portrayals.
"These vicious lies by Jack Chick and his cohorts have gone on far, far too long," said Gary Dale Cearley, author of Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness: The Truth about the Vatican and the Birth of Islam, "They claim to be lovers of God but it is impossible to love God and not respect the truth."
Sunday, July 30, 2006
WONDERING ABOUT THE FINANCES
I've commented in the past about the difficulty I have in understanding the financial situation at my parish. The only numbers I have to go on are the ones posted in the bulletin every Sunday. The picture became a little murkier today.
Earlier this month I attended Mass in different parishes, so the first report I have in the new fiscal year at my parish is dated "July 16, 2006" which appears in the bulletin dated July 23, 2006. Entries include:
Sacrificial Love Offering Minimum Needed Weekly....$16,000.00
Deficit to Date (Fiscal Year 7-1-06)....$
Last Year's Deficit....$156,037.33
The bolding appears in the original. There were no numbers following the dollar signs. The minimum needed weekly jumped from $15,000 last year to $16,000 this year, even though the collection never amounted to $15,000 in the past.
Today in the bulletin there are two financial reports, one dated July 16, 2006, and one dated July 23, 2006 These are the numbers:
July 16, 2006
Stewardship Love Offering Minimum Needed Weekly....$16,000.00
Deficit to Date (Fiscal Year 7-1-06)....$14,509.25
Last Year's Deficit....$156,037.33
July 23, 2006
Stewardship Love Offering Minimum Needed Weekly....$16,000.00
Deficit to Date (Fiscal Year 7-1-06)....$20,145.75
I simply fail to understand how this works. Last year's deficit was $156 thousand. When I figure out my household budget, I can't simply figure in a deficit and keep adding to it. How can a church do that? Do they borrow the money from somewhere? If so, where? Or is it that this is the "dream" amount, and the parish can actually get along with less and does so? This deficit business has been going on for years, but we haven't seen financial reports. Are these all just funny numbers and wishful thinking? Is the parish seriously in debt? I have no way of knowing.
Meanwhile my pastor has included his health woes in the bulletin today, and he has several. Is he not only telling us that the parish is going to close because we are not financially "vibrant," but also that he is considering retiring, which, I suppose, would be logical if the parish closes, since he has health problems and is nearly sixty.
The whole thing makes me rather uneasy, and it's making me less committed to my parish than I was before it started. It makes my husband even more uneasy than it makes me, now that he has started attending Mass regularly again. All the way home from Mass we talked about where we are going to attend church in the future once our parish closes. He thinks the fact that the parish is going to close is being made blatantly obvious.
Talking to our pastor is nearly an impossibility. He does not stand at the back to greet the parishioners after Mass. Getting an appointment with him is nearly impossible, and even talking with him on the phone is a protracted affair of phone tag.
I like my pastor. He has been faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and to the pope. Is he being railroaded by the chancery, I keep wondering?