Saturday, September 23, 2006
THE ALCHEMICAL OPUS ANGELORUM
At The Alchemy Web Site there is an email from Adam McLean who discusses the "Crowning of Nature" manuscripts. According to McLean, this material goes under three names: Coronatio Naturae, Sapientium veterum, and Opus Angelorum.
Scroll down through his list of manuscripts to No. 21. Glasgow University Library, MS. Ferguson 208.
That manuscript is listed on the University of Glasgow website. Under the date 1921 is the "folio 73 of Coronatio Naturae C1600: MS Ferguson 208" - "The University purchased the library of John Ferguson (7,500) volumes, mainly on the history of chemistry, alchemy and the occult."
Look at the picture. If you click it, you will get a larger view. For an even larger view, move your cursor over the picture and then click the center of the directional arrow symbol.
Going back to The Alchemy Web Site again, scroll through the email posted there. Some phrases stand out:
- "the interaction effect between natures, human natures included" in the email from Janet Muff
- "unique mystical Path requiring both a physical Work and a spiritual Transformation" and
- "Alchemy has influenced other occult traditions including Freemasonry, Rosicrucians and other modern groups such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn" in the email from Adam McLean dated 05 Nov 2003
- "The Ostragoth king Theoderic had been a proponent of Arianism in the 5th-6th century", and
- "connection between alchemy and the Arian heresy--which, by denying the consubstantiality of Father and Son (God and Christ), implies the potential perfectibility of man" and
- "possible resonance between Arianism and alchemy" in Eric Wargo's email.
- "'Aflatun' (an Arabic name for Plato) refers to this alchemical text" in Adam McLean's 29 Nov 2003 email
I wonder how much impact Islam had on alchemy?
Lastly, look again at the picture. Now look at this picture of the Sacred Heart.
Consider again the OA Sacred Heart theology with the flames described individually, and the individual rays coming from the heart in the alchemical drawing. Consider that each of those receiving a ray are cloaked in a different color, and that some Sacred Heart theology such as neo-Cathar James Twyman's claims that the flames from the Sacred Heart have a color, the first of which is blue. Twyman goes on to name the second yellow, and the third pink.
Catholics have an image of the Sacred Heart with colored rays coming from it. The theology comes out of Poland, where the faith has a more mystical dimention. The Divine Mercy website also features rainbow colors in the wording. Alice Bailey's Rainbow Bridge to Antahkarana? From the Bailey website:
a. It keeps the channel for the descending light of the Spiritual Triad clear of all impediments.
b. It reaches (by means of its vibratory activity) the center of power which we call the Spiritual Triad, focused temporarily in the manasic permanent atom, and evokes a response in the form of a thread of descending triadal light.
c. It causes a vibration throughout the antahkarana which in its turn evokes response from the "rainbow bridge" as built by all other disciples. Thus the work of constructing the racial antahkarana is furthered.
Our liberal nuns have been attempting some sort of calling forth of energy through Reiki. A God who is all and only mercy will sanction any action, and thus even homosexuality can be approved. The homosexual movement uses the rainbow flag. The liberal left and the orthodox right are coming together in this theology.
St. John Eudes' Sacred Heart theology originated in France during the time of the Rosicrucians. It's worth thinking about. One writer, non-Catholic, I presume, places the Rosicrucians and the Catholics into the same group which he calls the religion of Antichrist. Were--Are--Rosicrucians Catholic? Considering their fondness for Lucifer, it's a question we had better figure out how to answer, because,if we lump them together for a moment, we then have to deal with the Aleister Crowley phenomenon. How does one separate what Crowley did from what the saints have done? Until we can answer that question with assurance, this is dangerous territory. I would suggest that right now we cannot separate them, and that is why we have a sexual abuse scandal.
Friday, September 22, 2006
33 DEG. MASONIC INITIATION TAKES PLACE AT DEPAUL UNIVERSITY
There it was on a Masonic website. On August 28, the Scottish Rite Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, meeting in Chicago, was going to confer one of its highest degrees on 235 members who were elected last year. "More than 2,000 thirty-third-degree Masons and their ladies from 15 northeastern states are expected at the meeting," said the website -- referring to the general conference, which lasted the better part of a week.
The August 28 event would have gone unnoticed but for a minor detail: the "impressive" ceremony took place in the Merle Reskin Theatre at DePaul University.
DePaul is supposed to be a Catholic institution and the Church leaves no doubt about its position on Masonry: one of official condemnation.
Can it get any more non-Catholic than that?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
THE NEW WORLDWIDE RELIGION
From The Second Coming Integral Mission, a New Age website, the webpage "The Fruits of the Testament of Truth":
When the opening of the souls of the nations begins and humankind realises that it is one Divine cosmic-spiritual organism, the Rose of the World will start to blossom. (The Rose of the World is an emotional poetic symbol introduced by the great Russian mystic Daniil Andreev in his book The Rose of the World. His book is consecrated to the mission of the Russian people in relationship to the blossoming of the Rose of the World. Daniil Andreev was blessed to be able to contemplate the destiny and interrelationships on both the physical and celestial planes of more than thirty cultures in human history going back thousands of years. It also contains an extremely rich ontology of the vertical structure of the Universe, of the three-fold structure of human cultures and of the new manifestation of the Divine Feminine.)
The Rose of the World is a poetic image of the integration of all religions, of all spiritual paths and traditions. Each one of them is like a petal of this cosmic Rose with an exquisite spiritual fragrance. It is a symbol of the heart centre of all humankind which now opens and begins to blossom. The beauty and fragrance of all spiritual paths and traditions come from the depths of the collective heart of humankind – the centre of its Divine origin in God springing from the Universal Soul. This heart contains inexhaustible potential, shines with all the colours of light and love, testifies to the infinite and passionate, always new and deeply moving Divine Love. By fulfilling the Testament of Truth, this sacred heart of humankind will be opened through the great blessings of the Living God, Who creates everything new.
There is a chapter in the book THE OCCULT IN RUSSIAN AND SOVIET CULTURE, edited by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, titled "Daniil Andreev and the Mysticism of Feminity" by Mikhail Epstein. From that chapter:
Though Daniil Andreev's works began to be published only in 1989, thirty years after his death, his legacy is already a major factor in Russian intellectual life. His many admirers regard his treatiseRoza mira (The rose of the world, 1950-58) as one of the highest peaks of twentieth-century Russian spirituality. a mystic and a poet with strong historical, utopian, and philosophical dimensions in his universalist vision, Andrev is often interpreted as the embodiment of the synthetic aspirations of Russian culture. (p. 325)
It was in Vladimirskaia prison that Daniil began to hear the voices that dictated his masterpiece,Roza mira. Andreev spent these years "communicating" with the highest spirits in Russian and other national "metacultures" (his term); Lermontov, Dostoevsky, and Blok "guided" him in his wanderings through other worlds. During this time, he wrote on tiny scraps of paper which were invariably confiscated, but he restored his prose and verses from memory and continued to write. (p. 329)
Unconsciously Andreev reveals the demonic side of his utopia: his reverence for a sexually bipolar divinity lays the foundation for the sacrilegious practices of the Antichrist and the eventual doom of the Rose of the World. The Antichrist's main project, and the source of his power over humanity, is sexual permissiveness, for which he will offer religious justification...(p. 344)
Of all of the material in this book which was published by Cornell University Press, and which is an outgrowth of a research conference titled "The Occult and Modern Russian and Soviet Culture," held at Fordham University in June 1991, it is this chapter on Andreev that gives me nightmares.
Only heaven can counter this movement from hell.
I personally believe it lies behind the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. It would seem to be Rosicrucian, though that is only my conjecture at present. Mysticism and spirit contact is essential to it. The Kabbalah contributes to it as do the deluded mystics. And now I see that a deluded mystic lies behind the "new" spirituality that is moving into the Roman Catholic Church via the most "orthodox" element we have to turn to in our flight from the liberalism on the left. God help us!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
THE TEACHING ON THE SACRED HEART
What is presented here is much closer to the kind of teaching on the Sacred Heart that a Catholic would have heard before Vatican II. There is nothing irrational here. There is none of the airy-fairy new age language that appears in the teaching from the OA priest. There are no mystical flames that can be given a variety of interpretations, setting up the unsuspecting Catholic to embrace meanings that are not Catholic.
Yes, it's SSPX. Nevertheless, it is a spirituality I am much more comfortable with. I don't have to ask at the end of it, what was he talking about? And there is nothing in this explanation that contradicts anything in the doctrine of the faith. There is also no dubious mystic lurking in the background who does not have Church approval.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
SACRED HEART LESSONS
by Neo-Cathar James Twyman. From the website:
Today's goal is to awaken, then initiate your Sacred Heart. Let's begin by identifying its position. You have perhaps seen pictures of the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" showing the physical heart with a Divine Flame above it. The Divine Flame is the actual Sacred Heart, while the lower portion is a symbolic representation of what is normally called the "Heart Chakra."
The Sacred Heart is often envisioned as a threefold flame, and each flame is symbolic of the attributes present in a person whose heart has opened fully. The first flame is blue, which is the color of empowerment or courage. The second is yellow, which is the color of wisdom. The third flame is pink, which is the color of unconditional love. When these flames are combined as one they become violet, or the fire of transformation. The former self is gone and you are left with only truth.
The Self lives to fulfill its mission in Heaven and on earth. That, quite simply, is why you are here now. Igniting the Flame: We will now initiate your Sacred Heart that it may begin serving its true function. First read this description, then go back and follow them as well as you can. The purpose of this visualization is to harness the energy that is contained within your physical and subtle bodies, then ignite this energy within your upper heart. You may think of it! like you would a gas stove. First you turn on the gas, then a simple flame ignites a whole fire. You are filled with energy now, some of which you call good or positive, while other forms are considered bad or negative. There is in reality no such thing as good or bad, positive or negative energy. Your thoughts alone make it appear this way, and it is by releasing these thoughts, or the story behind the thoughts, that you gain the ability to work with all your energy. That will be the purpose of this exercise.
A LITTLE E-MAILED HUMOR FROM JUSTIN WHICH IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED
My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings,
bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be
able to monitor my moods.
We've discovered that when I'm in a good mood, it
turns green. When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a big
freakin' red mark on his forehead.
Maybe next time he'll buy me a diamond.
[I hope this little funny wasn't copyrighted!]
ABRAMELIN AND OTHER HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS
Here is a good explanation of the reason I constantly advise caution when approaching the teachings of a seer, and why I believe that the approval of the Church is necessary before the teachings of any seer can be embraced.
Here is the rendering of this idea of contacting your guardian angel presented from a Gnostic point of view, by O.T.O. researcher P. R. Koenig.
First notice that the dove, representative of the Holy Spirit, has a prominent place in the website. The very first sentence sets the stage: "Angels are heathen beings the belief in which predates Christendom." The essay moves on from there. From the website:
The mysterious Arab Abramelin transmitted to the equally mysterious Abraham of Worms, a nebulous recipe for the compilation of personal rituals that are to lead to a communication/communion with the personal Holy Guardian Angel. By these means one becomes firstly befriended with the Angel and secondly, the master of the demons. The process seems to be reciprocal: Human and Angel become One and together forge a bridge to the divine.
The rainbow bridge? Alice Bailey's bridge to Antakahrana? Whether it is or not, there is little doubt that this Human and Angel becoming One is the alchemical wedding of occult lore. It is part and parcel of the Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon, as Koenig states:
The Abramelin-Text forms the trigger for many Occultists to engage with the Holy Guardian Angel. In the context of the O.T.O. phenomenon we are interested amongst other things in the history of the influence this text has had on Aleister Crowley and his imitators. The attainment of communication with the Holy Gurdian Angel (here abbreviated to HGA) appears in the IX deg. of Crowley's O.T.O.-system. And if one regards the identification of Self with Phallus as a communication with the Angel, then it can also be said to appear in the VIII deg. of that system. The HGA is also a central theme of the Argentum Astrum (A:.A:.), founded by Crowley in 1907, as a "new, improved" version of the Golden Dawn. Since the O.T.O. is seen by Thelemites as a vehicle for the teachings of AA, it is surprising the Abramelin-Text receives so little attention in the O.T.O.-groups.
Which angels would a man, self-styled "The Beast" and "666" be likely to contact?
Koenig discusses the Roman Catholic concept of angels and the cosmology of fall and redemption. According to him
In the Orthodox churches the worship of Angels was more pronounced than in the Roman-Catholic church; the Angel cult was judged as idolatrous as early as 372 by the Synod of Laodicea. The Reformation later exterminated the worship and conjuration of Angels.
Certainly the Orthodox do not "worship" angels. Perhaps Justin, if he is checking in here, could comment on the amount of devotion devoted to the angels by the Orthodox. From the Roman Catholic point of view, while a strong emphasis on angels has not been present within memory, the guardian angel is very much a facet of Roman Catholic doctrine.
Koenig moves on to discuss the Jewish concept of angels. Here we get the "seven spirits of God" that came up in my recent exchange with Rev. Campbell of the Home Temple Movement:
Another judaic Angelogy (sic) speaks of seven highest Angels that God created first. A further tradition designates a sort of disposable Angel; the possibility of a daily passing-into-the-beyond of these Angels, once they have sung a song unto God.
Two footnotes are of particular interest--No. 8 and No. 25.
8. The central grade of 5 deg. = 6 deg. represents the Knowledge and Conversation with one's own HGA. In the language of the Cabbalists the Human is the final He in the Tetragrammaton of IHVH, the HGA being the Vau. So the HGA becomes the Prince, who awakens the sleeping Princess (the Soul) and raises her to the status of the Mother; she then unifies herself with the Father (God) and together this Union absorbs the Crown.
"The status of the Mother", isn't that the very choice of designation applied to the Opus Angelorum's seer Mother Bitterlich? In Roman Catholicism we do not have a designation "Mother" apart from the Blessed Virgin Mary. Are we to see Bitterlich as the equal of the Mother of God? The very idea is blasphemous!
Returning to Koenig's text:
For instance, Pierre-Eugene-Michael Vintras (1807-1875) revealed to his followers all the names of Holy Guardian Angels that end in "ael" (in accord with the manichaistic example). He and his followers believe that they have personal sexual intercourse with Death itself.
Vintras continues to turn up where the worship of a fallen angel lurks.
Footnote 32 tells us: "Vintras, who uses bleeding Hosts as a propaganda method, teaches the Lucifer is not irrevocably damned, which was contradicted in 1843 by Gregorius XVI." In footnote 39 we are told: "Many followers of Crowley see the HGA also as a demon."
In Part Two of the same essay we learn that:
...a conjuration of the Holy Guardian Angel exposes and delivers the magician to the forces of Evil.
The final section of the essay explains the dangers involved in these practices:
Crowley can call certain demons, but he cannot bring them under control. Oriens, Paimon, Ariton, Amaaion and hundreds more, as well as eleven servents escaped from the hut, got into the house and unleashed a chaos: his coachman, strictly abstinent until that very moment, fell victim to delerium tremens; a seeress he had brought with him from London, returned to the capital and became a prostitute; his housekeeper "who could not bear the unwholesome atmosphere of the house" disappeared without trace; a worker engaged on the estate attempted to murder Crowley in a fit of madness. Even the village butcher was influences (sic) by the names of two demons Elerion and Mabakiel, ("Laughter" and "Wailing") that Crowley had absentmindly (sic) scribbles (sic) on an invoice. When read together these two words mean "unwanted suffering, that suddenly darkens joy". Only too true, as the butcher was cutting a roast for a customer, he accidentally severed his femoral artery and bled to death. Nevertheless the House in Boleskine was declared to be "Holy" and to this day, in all Crowley's Gnostic Masses, the Altar with the Stele upon it, must be oriented towards Boleskine.
In August 1900, after the conflict for the Golden Dawn Crowley travelled to Mexico, where he visited the first two of a total of 30 Aethyrs, that is to say extra-terrestrial dimensions, using a crystal ball. At the base of his magical concept we find "The Enochian Calls" of ca. 1659 by John Dee and his assistant Edward Kelly, texts Crowley studied first in the Golden Dawn and later in the manuscript departments of the British Museum and Ashmoler Museum in Oxford.
Dee and Kelly, another seer and seer's advocate, not unlike Bitterlich and her promoters in Opus Angelorum.
Cardinal Ratzinger and the CDF acted rightly in reigning in a group of priests who were pursuing this path. The fact that it took nine years to convince the priests that they must stop using Cabbalistic practices indicates a strong commitment to very dangerous dubious beliefs on the part of the priests. This may all be in the past for Opus Angelorum, but the fact that the seer is still within the present on their website tells me that they must be approached with a great deal of caution.
OA - DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
For the record, I have read this teaching this evening, checked some of the quotes in Scripture, and found the history of the Devotion and of St. John Eudes online. For some reason he couldn't get Papal approval of his foundation or his congregation.
In any case, he is the source, along with St. Mary Margaret Alacoque, of devotion to the Sacred Heart. He also developed the "flames" theology used in the OA devotion.
The saint lived in France during the time that Rosicrucianism was spreading. Not surprisingly the Rosicrucians picked up Sacred Heart doctrine, as Anthroposophist Christopher Bamford explains in this essay titled "The Meaning of the Rose Cross".
Nevertheless, what appears in the OA website seems to be orthodox.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The third article published by "Fidelity" magazine about Opus Angelorum appears in the September 1992 issue and is titled "The Second Fall of the Angels." From the article:
On June 19 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued its judgment. A crucial sentence at the heart of this statement pronounces a clear condemnation of the OA: "The angelology which is typical of the Opus Angelorum, as well as certain practices which have been deduced from this teaching, are alien to both Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church, and as a result cannot serve as a basis for the spirituality and activities of groups which have the approval of the Church."
This third article is also authored by Inge Bluemel. In it she gives additionl names of angels that OA has used:
* Astaroth - whose "attacking light" (according to the OA Handbook of the Demons)"is visible over Rome"
* St. Gethuliel - who "can laugh like a silver bell"
* St. Ophajim - the "angel of the love of God in Creation"
The article describes a radio interview on June 22 with the OA Press Secretary Ritzinger who:
...reprimanded the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by claiming that their decree was "not a distinguished way" of treating a religious community
He also warned that the extent of the decree "was still unclear", and that "It will be necessary to correct this decree". He polished off his critique with the statement that "Ratzinger isn't God." Bluemel then asks how these remarks "jibe with the constant assertion on the part of the OA leadershp that the OA is an organization which is especially loyal to the Church."
Quoting Dr. Erich Leitenberger, editor-in-chief of the June 24, 1992 edition of the Austrian "Kathpress" said that "Rome has declared with admirable clarity that both the teaching and the practices of the controversial Opus Angelorum are out of bounds."
The "Fidelity" article further states:
The bishop reminds us that the OA had not been following the decrees issued by the Pope in 1983. Whether they continue to ignore the present decree remains to be seen At any rate, it must be extremely painful for the OA to have to admit that the entire body of writings produced by "Mother" Bitterlich, for whose canonization they pray in public, had to be jettisoned as incompatible with the Catholic faith. They have to recognize, with a clarity that must strike them as painful, that they have been up to now on the wrong road, and that it is now their duty to turn back to the terra firma of solid Church teaching."
According to the article a Rev. du Roux, O.P., consultant for the CDF, was planning to move into the St. Petersburg castle, home of OA, to oversee implementation of the decrees.
Bluemel also notes that the 80,000 manuscript pages written by Frau Bitterlich came into existence within a period of two months:
On OA retreats, we were told that "an angel stood behind her and commanded: 'Write!'...The angel didn't give her a moment's peace, and she had to write almost continuously for the entire time."
Satanist Aleister Crowley and Theosophist Alice Bailey both obtained their material in a similar manner. Crowley's angel was named Aiwass. Alice Bailey's angel was named Djwhal Khul.
Automatic writings are a form of divination and are forbidden by the First Commandment, as explained in CCC 2116. Yet the Opus Angelorum still have recourse to Bitterlich as can be seen on their webpage as of this writing. If you have been duped by a false seer, why would you want to tell the world about it? Particularly if you are sincere in your efforts to bring your spirituality into conformity with the teachings of the Church? This refusal to stop mentioning a false seer brings the entire body of work of OA into question, particularly when there does seem to be some evidence that in the past they have refused to abide by the rulings of the CDF.
This issue of "Fidelity", in addition to the article by Inge Bluemel, also contains the "Declaration of His Excellency Heinrich von Soden-Frauenhofen, auxiliary bishop of Munich-Freising, on the decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Opus Angelorum" issued on June 6, 1992. Some points from that document:
- It [the decree]makes unmistakably clear that the closely interconnected organizations associated with the Opus Angelorum, as well as their teachings concerning the activity of the angels and demons and their connection with the universal work of salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ, are not compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church and that for years now they have not been following the 1983 rulings issued by Pope John Paul II.
- The Opus Angelorum has functioned as a secret society, and has become deeply involved in magical and occult practices which totally misrepresented the faith of the Church.
- By making use of the occult practice of "mystical marriage with the angels" - an idea, by the way, which is traceable to the Jewish gnostic Kabbala - Opus Angelorum was involved in a pertinacious way in violating the consciences of its members. [What is being described is the alchemical wedding familiar to Gnostics and associated with Christian Rozenkreutz. See item 4) Qabala - Year Three - ct]
- Our chief fear is that the OA will continue to hold fast to its beliefs and at the same time redouble its efforts to camouflage them as well.
Following the bishop's statement, this segment of the "Fidelity" article on OA goes on to give the OA responses to the statement, and the bishop's rebuttal to those responses. Of particular interest is a rebuttal that again makes clear that the OA attempted to ignore the first prohibition issued in 1983:
Whether the Opus Angelorum remains faithful and obedient to the conditions of the Decree of June 6, 1992 remains to be seen. The crucial judgment issued by the Congregation on Sept. 24, 1983 entailed the following judgment: "In fostering devotion to the holy angels, the Opus Angelorum must adhere to to [sic] the teachings of the Church as well as that of the Church fathers and doctors." TheHandbook of the Opus Angelorum, which was discovered in 1988, most certainly does not fulfill these conditions. The leadership of Opus Angelorum, however, made no attempt to distance itself from the content of this book, but rather saw its prohibition as "a death blow" for the OA, as evidenced in the Club 2 broadcast over ORF, the Austrian Radio Network, on April 5, 1990.
Knowledge of the writings of the Opus Angelorum was a necessary precondition for those who wished to make an oath of consecration to the angels. The content of these writings, however, goes far beyond the teaching of the Church on the angels. Recent teaching materials disseminated by the OA make it clear that their current practices were in clear defiance of the 1983 prohibitions issued by the Vatican.
The Vatican prohibition of the OA vow of silence, to give just one example of this defiance, was not obeyed...It remains to be seen, then, whether the OA protestations of loyalty to the Holy Father become any more credible in the wake of the the [sic] most recent Vatican decree.
The condition for admission into the Opus Angelorum was the consecration to the guardian angel. In this oath, the candidate promised to take the hand of his guardian angel and "never again" let it go. As of the promulgation of the Decree of June 6, all such consecrations to angels have been explicitly forbidden.
That is not a very encouraging track record.
Today the Opus Angelorum still uses a consecration to the guardian angel. As you can see at the website, they state that this consecration was approved by the CDF on May 31, 2000. I must take their word for that, since there is no verification from another source on the web. However, their word must be read with their previous attempt to deceive clearly in mind.
Bottom line? The spirituality of the Opus Angelorum is not vital to the health of faith. Yes, we believe in guardian angels, and having a devotion to Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael is certainly well within the teachings of the Church, as is a request for intercessory prayer addressed to our guardian angel in keeping with authentic Catholicism. Beyond this we just don't know that much about other angels because the Church has not spoken. They exist. Sometimes they visit human beings. Some angels are fallen.
Scripture is replete with incidents of angels visiting man to bring a message from God. Those angels are not named, with the exception of those listed above. Any spirituality that attempts to name the angels is coming from a source outside of Roman Catholic doctrine, and must be approached with a large dose of skeptism until the Church gives an approval.
What I saw at the Mass last Saturday conducted by a priest from Opus Angelorum was in keeping with the teachings of the Church as I've already explained in an earlier post. That is all that I can be certain of at this particular moment.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
A SPIRITUAL BOUQUET FOR BENEDICT
Fr. Tom Euteneuer and Human Life International are putting together a spiritual bouquet for the Pope in his hour of need. If you want to sign it, go here. But in any case, whether you sign it or not, take some time to say some prayers for this man of peace who has become the target of Islamic hatred.
"PARANOID CONSPIRACY CENTRAL" - Friday, Sept. 8, 2006
From the website:
If you want to see an almost textbook example of a Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist attempting gnostic self-salvation apart from the Church via endless "research" and "connecting dots" and quack analyses of the Sinister Shadowy Cabals at work in the world, take a look at a site I call Paranoid Conspiracy Central. It's sad to watch, but it's a disturbing picture of how not a few unwitting gnostics are attempting to navigate life with absolute trust only in themselves. It's a road that can only end in darkness, confusion and (if persisted in) ultimate loss. For there is no more certain way to become a pawn of hell's conspiracy than to separate from the Church, or stupider still, regard it as The Conspiracy.
Thank you, Mark. Well, it's no secret that we disagree!
REV. KEITH CAMPBELL
has posted answers to my latest questions on his website.
It's been an interesting discussion, Rev. Campbell. I guess that we still disagree as much as we did at the beginning of it. Nevertheless, it's good to know the other viewpoint.
I can easily understand how you have made the decision you have made. I struggle with the same things you have struggled with. Our Roman Catholic spirituality has been stuffed in the closet for decades. I have the advantage of being a member of the Church when it was still out in the open, and so I know that the potential is there if our leaders will just return to it again. That spirituality begins with the morning offering of our day to God, and then keeping Him and His will foremost before us throughout the day. To be truly Roman Catholic is as 24/7 proposition.
I'd be lying if I told you I think you have made the right decision. My prayer is that one day you will be able to return to the Church. Once baptised, a person becomes a Catholic forever. Don't underestimate the Hound of Heaven who will be around. In the meantime, I wish you God's blessings.
Thanks for participating in this discussion. Perhaps we will meet again on the web.
"Fidelity" July/August 1992 has a short article about OA titled "Fallen Angels: Rome Condemns the Opus Angelorum". The article focuses on Cardinal Ratzinger's document, approved by John Paul II, and the statement of Bishop Reinhold Stecher, ordinary of the Diocese of Innsbruck where the interntional headquarters of the Opus Angelorum is located, who "expressed relief and satisfaction over the decision from Rome."
According to the article the "Austrian bishops...banned Opus Angelorum from the use of diocesan facilities".
Norms added to the strictures given by Cdl. Ratzinger in 1983 are the following:
1) The theories which derive from the alleged revelations of Gabriele Bitterlich concerning the work of the angels, their personal names, their rank and function may no longer be either taught or in any way, either explicitly or implicitly, made use of in the organizational structures of the Opus Angelorum or in any cult or in prayer or in spiritual formation or in any public or private spirituality. The use and the dissemination of books and other writings which contain the above-mentioned theories is forbidden both within the above-mentioned organization as well as outside its formal structures.
2) The various forms of consecration to the angels as practiced in the Opus Angelorum are prohibited.
3) Also forbidden are the so-called remote dispensing of the sacraments as well as the interpolation of texts, prayers and rituals into the eucharistic liturgy or the liturgy of the hours, which are related either directly or indirectly to the above-mentioned theories.
4) Exorcism may only be performed according to the norms and discipline of the Church and only according to the use of ecclesiastically approved formulae.
5) A delegate with plenipotentiary powers appointed by the Vatican will work together with the local bishops to ensure that the above-mentioned norms are put into force. He will also strive to regulate and clarify the relationship between the Opus Angelorum and the Order of the Holy Cross.
The article also indicates that "Fidelity" was criticized by Rev. Robert J. Fox, of "Fatima Family Messenger", a promoter of OA, for "irresponsible journalism for reporting the concerns of the Austrian and German bishops"; and that Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J., in the same issue of "Fatima Family Messenger" accused "Fidelity" of not verifying the credibility of the author of the article. However when Fr. Fox was contacted by "Fidelity" he indicated that he planned to stop promoting both the revelations of Bitterlich and the consecrations.
OA still mentions Gabriele Bitterlich in their website. The history of this movement is given at the website, and it is clear that Bitterlich's visionary experience is prominent in that history. Judge for yourself whether that history together with the following which appears on that webpage violates the strictures issued by Cdl. Ratzinger, as reported in "Fidelity", in number 1) above:
The result of the final examination was issued in the Decree of the Holy Office from June 6th, 1992 in which it was declared that only the certain deposit of the Faith could constitute the spiritual foundation for any institute within the Church. This is simply a theological principle which is valid for all times and places in the Church. Now from the examination of Gabriele’s writings it was determined that they contained the names of individual Angels and a certain body of particularized doctrine on their ministries and rankings which are extraneous to Scripture and Tradition; hence, this portion of her writings could not be used as the basis for the spirituality or practices of any institute of the Catholic Church. At the same time, the Congregation, aside from several clear and particular restrictions, left a large body of Gabriele Bitterlich’s writings untouched.
The decree, moreover, acknowledged the ecclesial status of the Work of the Holy Angels. In fact, the Congregation made no judgment on either the personal life of Gabriele Bitterlich or even upon the origin or veracity of her writings, but only maintained that a part of what stands written in her manuscripts goes beyond what is verifiable in Scripture and tradition.
Names of angels are not the sole province of Gabriele Bitterlich.
In reading Gnostic literature, I came upon an article by Tau Mikhael which appeared in "New Dawn" magazine, Special Issue No. 2, copyright 2006. The article is titled "The Hidden History of the Secret Church", and can be read online. The following appears in the article:
In 1842, under pressure from the Catholic Church, Vintras was arrested by the French authorities and imprisoned for five years on the trumped-up charge of soliciting donations from people to whom he claimed to reveal the name of their guardian angel.
Last March Stephen Hoeller presented a lecture to the Gnostic Society about angels, including Guardian Angels.
March 24: Angel Magic: Who are the Angels and by what practices may we effectively approach them? An evaluation of the major hierarchies of Angels, including Guardian Angels.
The question, as always, comes down to "What spirit is it?" For a Roman Catholic the judgment rests in the hands of the Church. It would appear from the "Fidelity" article that the Church has made a judgment. After decades of poor catechesis and a flight from liberalism on the left, Roman Catholics are primed to accept any spirituality that comes cloaked in the language of Christianity. But not all who say "Lord, Lord" shall enter the kingdom of heaven.
Be very very cautious where visionaries are concerned. Scripture tells us there are four angels, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael...and Lucifer, the Lightbearer.
Monday, September 18, 2006
BENEDICT ON ISLAM
Dom has posted several blogs on the Pope's difficulties in Regensberg. This one, which discusses Fr. Fessio's interpretation of the Pope's thinking is particularly interesting.
Some of the commenters in these various entries are asking where the rest of the bishops are who have not taken a stand with the Pope. So far it seems that only Archbishop Pell is standing with Benedict. I don't recall hearing that any cardinals are standing with him either.
War words that fan the flames are not appropriate, but solidarity with the leader of our faith is. We can't keep pretending that Islam means Christianity no harm, when the evidence to the contrary seems to be supremely obvious.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for Benedict and for the rest of us!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
FURTHER THOUGHTS ON OPUS ANGELORUM
I have had a particular devotion to St. Michael for a number of years. It is for that reason, in addition to my interest in the occult as it has impacted the Church, that Opus Angelorum has my attention.
Three issues of "Fidelity" magazine (E. Michael Jones) covered OA - July/August 1991, July/August 1992, and September 1992. I now have a copy of each of these articles. Charges made by the writer, Inge Bluemel, are essentially those contained in "The Tablet" article plus some additional concerns and comments.
In the earliest article, July/August 1991, Bluemel charges that in retreats and days of recollection sponsored by OA:
...the unsuspecting faithful are led more and more deeply into a spirituality which is quasi-Masonic in its degree-based structure--from the promise to the guardian angel at the lower end to the angelic consecration in the middle to the consecration of atonement at the upper level. The goal is to become an "alter angelus".
The article claims that OA uses a book called the "Kalendarium" which assigns a particular angel to each day and includes the angel's name, the color of the angel's robes, its special task and tools. Giving an example of one entry from this book, the author writes "...the Seraphim possess as a reflection of the divine Trinity three heads." She also claims that OA places the Kalendarium on the same level as the New Testament and call it "a continuation of the New Testament for our times." She also says that the spiritual advice one gets on retreats is that "it is important to dust thoroughly because demons are at home in dust", among other things.
I looked for a Kalendarium online. There is one mentioned in the Catholic Encyclopedia under the heading "Feast of Guardian Angels", but it concerns the Calendar of saints and only mentions one feast day of the angels. No names are included in the entry other than the familiar angelic names from Scripture.
I did find a website that gives extensive information and names about angels contained in two webpages, here and here. I also found the source of those two webpages--a website devoted to Multiple Personality Disorder. The webmaster also manages Mind Control Forums. Hmmm.
Frankly I have only skimmed through the website, but that was enough to determine that it contains the sort of information about angels that is mentioned in the "Fidelity" article.
Returning to the article, Bluemel claims that at a later stage in development the retreatant is presented the "radiation doctrine", and explains that "Some regions are inhabited by the so-called Diaradiators, namely, people who devote themselves to Black Magic so that demons can radiate through these people in order to cause damage." Midwives are also classed as Diaradiators.
Bluemel claims that the Bishop of Augsburg granted permission to print the "Kalendarium" in 1976, but subsequently withdrew the permission.
In 1983, Cardinal Ratzinger
demanded that 1) in promoting devotion to the holy angels the OA had to submit to the teaching of the Church, 2) that they were forbidden to promulgate any cult of the holy angels which made use of names which came from the writings of Mutter Bitterlich, 3) that they could not require of their members an oath of silence, and 4) that they had to adhere strictly to all liturgical norms, particularly those forbidding the reception of communion several times on one day.
The article indicates that
In 1986 quite by chance the until-then top-secret "Handbook of the Demons" fell into the hand of Church authorities, who had been kept unaware of its existence. As a result of this discovery, Cardinal Ratzinger commissioned the German dogmatic theologian Prof. Johann Auer to do a new study of the OA. The upshot of this study was that in 1988 the German Bishops Conference recommended that measures be taken against the OA, which in turn lead to an administrative order by Cardinal Wetter of the Diocese of Munich, which was followed by statements from other dioceses.
In 1990 the entire Austrian Bishops Conference issued a statement condemning the erroneous teachings of the OA.
The article further indicates that Cdl. Ratzinger commissioned theologian Johann Auer to study the OA. Among his findings: "illogical confusion in these writings by reference to similar phenomena in the Cabala", "the entire thought of the OA is traceable to paranoid schizophrenia," and "the writings lack all rationality."
Also cited is an article from the September 1990 issue of "Theologisches", a conservative German Catholic magazine, in which Fr. J.P.M. van der Ploeg, O.P., a Dominican theologian at the University of Nijmegen in Holland, accused the OA of
attempting to introduce into the Church a teaching on the angels
that is bound up with superstition and the occult, and of doing it as far as possible from the public eye and only in secret among the initiated. ...It is especially for this reason that the teaching of the OA, which is intended only for esoteric circles, is a danger to the Church.
This issue of "Fidelity" also contains the "Church Pronouncements on the Opus Angelorum" including the "Letter of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, to Joseph Cardinal Hoeffner, Archbishop of Cologne, September 24, 1983", the "Declaration of Friedrich Cardinal Wetter, Archbishop of Munich-Freising, March 25, 1988", the "Declaration of His Excellency Reinhold Stecker, Archbishop of Innsbruck, March 1990", and the "Declaration of the Austrian Bishops' conference, April 6, 1991".
That is the gist of the concerns expressed in Inge Bluemel's article in "Fidelity" magazine, July/August, 1991. I'll pick up the high points from "Fidelity" July/August 1992 tomorrow.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
REV. KEITH CAMPBELL
Thank you again for graciously responding to my questions in your blog. These are my comments:
1. Much of what you have written in response 1. and 4. sounds like the beliefs of Rudolf Steiner. Are you a student of Steiner?
2. A concern that I, as a practicing Catholic, have regarding the Shema Israel, and the fact that Jesus does not fit into the concept, revolves around certain Jewish groups who are promoting the Noachide Laws as a system of morality for the world. According to material I've read on the web, idolatry under the Noachide Laws will be punishable by death, and belief in the Trinity is considered to be idolatry. These groups will not tolerate belief that Jesus is God and intend to prosecute anyone who proclaims that belief. I don't know how widely held this idea might be. I do know that the Sanhedrin has recently been formed once again, and that this would be the court of law that would try religious questions. Coupled with that are the predictions in the Book of Revelation.
3. Condemnations of the Kabbalah from the Catholic Encyclopedia can be read here. The Encyclopedia entry for Pico is here, for Raymond Lully is here, for Reuchlin is here.
You can also read a history of Rosicrucianism here.
LIFE IN THE PEWS IN CLEVELAND - OUR LADY OF VICTORY
My husband and I attended the vigil Mass at Our Lady of Victory in Tallmadge yesterday evening. It's a bit startling to walk into the church and behold the ascending Jesus at the back of the sanctuary. At least that is what He looked to be doing. There was no hint of a cross behind the image dressed in a swirling robe.
On the positive side:
- The processional cross had the image of Christ on it.
- There were boy altar boys.
- Mass was said according to the rubrics mostly.
- Silent time was provided after communion for a thanksgiving. Since I didn't receive, I looked around to see what others were doing. Most of them were watching the priest as he sat in his chair, but the quiet opportunity was there if they wanted to pray.
On the negative side:
- I genuflected to empty air again. As we were walking to our pew I searched the sanctuary frantically trying to find the tabernacle, and wasn't sure as we arrived at the pew that it wasn't there, so I genuflected just in case. It wasn't there. Upon leaving I started by habit to genuflect once again, but caught myself in time. I have no idea where the tabernacle might be in this church.
- My husband couldn't find a missalette and didn't see one anywhere in the church.
- Both the homily and the recessional hymn were about the importance of the cross-- delivered in a church where it has been decided not to have one.
- There was a ceremony to bless catechetical ministers for which the priest came down out of the sanctuary and stood in the aisle, while the ministers stood on the sanctuary steps. Apparently it takes 89 catechetical ministers and staff to educate 318 students, or a ratio of approx. 3.5 to 1.
- Right before the consecration, for some reason a man dressed in white shirt and tie got up from his pew, walked up into the sanctuary, and helped one of the servers arrange the communion cups on the altar, then went back to his pew. It was not until later that I discovered he was an EM. There were four servers at Mass--more than enough to arrange the serving dishes on the altar, one would think.
- The Agnus Dei was quite creative once again.
- The congregation stood throughout the entire Eucharistic portion of the Mass.
- The communion hymn was the ultimate low point. It came out of "Gather"--"Let Us Be Bread". That has got to be about the most mind-numbing ditty that I can conceive of. Not only that, but I refuse to sing it because I am not the Eucharist, and that would seem to be what the ditty is about--being the Eucharist. "US" is the prominent feature of this one. The darn thing has been circling around in my head ever since, until I want to scream. I guess that's what mind-numbing ditties do--program us. Siiiiigggggghhhhhhh!
- The volume of conversation as everyone left the church was LOUD! But then, without a tabernacle, why be silent since there is no one there?
My husband's final pronouncement on the affair as we walked to the car--"Just another man-centered event."
At this rate he is not going to continue attending Mass.