Saturday, December 09, 2006
BRUSKEWITZ AND PROBLEMS ON THE RIGHT
The blogs are abuzz with Bishop Bruskewitz's latest decision threatening dissenters involved in Call to Action, Freemasonry, SSPX, and other heretical organizations, with excommunication--something he has done before. It's easy to laud Bruskewitz for this action, and I do laud him. That's not to say, however, that everything this bishop does can be lauded.
John Vennari reports on a very different view of the Lincoln, Nebraska Diocese. He writes in part:
More recently, on March 21. 1998, a Pentecostal F.I.R.E. Rally was held at Pius X High School in Lincoln. It featured charismatic Fr. John Bartolucci, Fr. Michael Scanlon, Ann Shields and Ralph Martin. The event was promoted in Lincoln’s diocesan newspaper and at this gathering, Bishop Bruskewitz was the main celebrant and homilist. After the event, the same diocesan newspaper gave the Pentecostal gathering an enthusiastic, glowing report.
By contrast, in 1974, in a scathing criticism of the charismatic movement, the staunchly orthodox Archbishop Dwyer of the United States rightly warned, "We regard it bluntly as one of the most dangerous trends in the Church in our time, closely allied in spirit with other disruptive and divisive movements threatening grave harm to unity and damage to countless souls." Today, however, not only does the "conservative" Bruskewitz condone the charismatics, but he allows them to commandeer a Catholic high-school for their rootin’ tootin’ rallies, thus promoting pentecostalism to unsuspecting Catholic teenagers.
While I can't corroborate Vennari's claims, and while I do note that the report is nearly nine years old, I can point to the Lincoln diocesan webpage for Curcillo, showing that Pentecostal activities have been around Lincoln since 1965. There are a number of Ultreyas held each month in the diocese. The emphasis on lay leadership in the Church is clearly stated on the Curcillo webpage. Couple that with the ecumenism in Lincoln, and what you essentially have is Masonic philosophy without the trappings.
I find the encroachment of Pentecostalism on American Catholicism just as troubling as Freemasonry, and in fact believe they are largely one and the same thing. Rosicrucianism in its Charismatic disguise is still commerce with disembodied spirits, no matter how you dress it up. There are certainly good disembodied spirits--saints and angels. But not all are good, and the best advice is to tread very very carefully, observe the fruits, and seek the guidance of the entire Church. When bishop opposes bishop as we see here, discernment is vital. If belief in the phenomenon is not essential to the faith, best to leave it alone.
Additionally Vennari makes a comparison between the small faith community movement in Lincoln and the small faith community movement within Call to Action, claiming that they are one and the same.
The Rosicrucian "home church" movement (scroll down at the website) and the "small faith community" movement are similar in operation if not in name. My own experience with this "faith community" business has been deadly to my faith in Christ. It neatly skirts so-called "professional" clergy in favor of non-professional "priests" of the home and group leaders of the neighborhood unit. It relies on feelings and personal revelation as opposed to dogma and doctrine. Home-based "churches" by necessity condition the faithful to non-sacramental activities, and the Baptism of the Spirit slowly comes to be viewed as the "sacramental" evidence of the special favor of God--a sign of perfection or extra-holiness. Thus the movement produces elitism of the sort that can be found in the writings of occultists.
When I look at what this eletism does to the occult community, pitting brother against brother in a constant tug-of-war for power; and then I reflect on my own experience of something very similar in a parish where the charismatics had the favor of the pastor and two churches in one parish developed a war of words against each other, I tend to believe this is not from God.
Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that Bruskewitz promotes Pentecostalism. The founder of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Unity Publishing reports:
"The most damaging aspect of the "third work" teaching for Wesleyan Methodists was in the form of the baptism of fire. This teaching apparently originated with Benjamin Hardin Irwin of Lincoln, Nebraska, a former Baptist minister who became a member of the Iowa Holiness Association. He became convinced that there was a distinction between the baptism of the Holy Spirit at entire sanctification, and the baptism of fire which subsequently brought down power to the believer. He sought, and claimed to receive such a baptism...It was in Anderson, South Carolina, that Irwin organized the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church, which later merged into the Pentecostal Holiness Church."
Unity Publishing also makes the Masonic connection:
"The Wesleyan Methodists were not as greatly involved with the National Holiness Association in the early years as might have been expected. This appears to have been due to the heavy involvement of ministers and members from the major northern and southern branches of Methodism, many of whom were lodge members and therefore persons with whom Wesleyans refused fellowship." ...
This is a significant fact. Freemasonry, as should be well known to any professing Christian, is both in its' beliefs and aims fundamentally opposed to true Christianity. It accepts no religious doctrine as universally true, save its' own skeletized version of natural religion and "tolerance"-it accepts all religions as equally worthy, and therefore, as equally worthless. Such indifferentism is bound to be a breeding ground for all sorts of doctrinal and spiritual aberrations; if there is no higher arbiter of truth than a man's "inner illumination", or his search for an undefined Masonic "light", is it any surprise that a mason or those whom he influences would exalt the subjective "spiritual" experience, and deprecate the dogmatic expression of truth?
It is conenient to blame the liberals for everything that is wrong within the Church. Reality, however, presents a more confusing picture requiring discernment.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
While taking a break from cleaning house, I decided to look a little closer at the LOTW program in the Lincoln Diocese as well as other dioceses, specifically the Kerygmatic Retreat in the LOTW website linked above as well.
It seems to me that the objective of this retreat--"the opportunity to have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit"--is a worthwhile goal. However, the method...?
One forms a relationship with Jesus Christ by praying. Prayer is talking to God. Prayer can be formal or informal, and there is a lot to be said for a simple conversation. But the ultimate way to form a relationship with Christ is the morning offering which dedicates the day to God's plan for it. That fact is addressed in the Sunday talk as the retreat is outlined at the website. On the Sunday program is "Surrendering Your Life to the Holy Spirit." But look what else is there.
--Small Group Sharing Sessions
--Shepherd Group Sharing Sessions
--One on One Personal Dialogue
--The Holy Spirit as Power Source
What does any of that have to do with relationship with God? It's all about relationship with man and plugging into energy, as though the Holy Spirit were a free version of the local power company.
But what seems even more odd are the Renewal sessions. How does a Catholic go about renewing Baptism and Confirmation? Those two sacraments make an indellible mark on the soul. They are done once, and the person upon whom they are performed is radically changed for a lifetime. Or so we believed. But apparently the Charismatic Renewal has developed new theology of these two sacraments. Would that have something to do with the "Baptism of the Spirit" in which one becomes conversant in nonsensical language?
Grace builds on nature, improving it. Gibberish is hardly an improvement over our naturally spoken language!
THE STORY OF ST. NICHOLAS
as told to me in email from an Orthodox friend:
And (St. Nicholas's) hand was outstretched to the needy, on whom
it poured alms richly, as a water-filled river abounds in streams. Here
is one of his many deeds of mercy.
There lived in the town of Patara a certain man, prominent and
rich. Falling into extreme poverty, he lost his former prominence,
because of the uncertain life of this age. This man had three daughters
who were very beautiful in appearance. When he was already deprived of
all necessities, so that there was nothing to eat and nothing to wear
because of his great poverty, he planned to give his daughters to
prostitution and turn his house into a brothel so that by this means he
might obtain a livelihood for himself and acquire also food and clothing
for himself and his daughters. O woe! To such unworthy thoughts does
extreme misery lead! Having this unclean thought this man wanted already
to fulfill his evil design. But the All-good Lord, not desiring to see a
man in perdition and, in His love for mankind, helping in our
misfortunes, placed a good thought in the mind of His servant, the holy
priest Nicholas, and by inspiration sent him secretly to the man who was
perishing in soul, for consolation in poverty and forewarning from sin.
St. Nicholas, having heard of the extreme poverty of this man and
knowing through revelation from God of his evil intention, felt great
pity for him and decided to draw him out, together with his daughters,
from poverty and sin, as from fire. However, he did not wish to show his
good deed to this man openly, but intended to give generous alms
secretly. St. Nicholas did thus for two reasons. On the one hand, he
wanted to escape vain, human glory, following the words of the Gospel:
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men; on the other hand, he did
not want to offend the man who once was rich and now had fallen into
extreme poverty. For he knew how painful and insulting alms are to him
who has fallen into pauperism, because it reminds him of his former
prosperity. Therefore St. Nicholas considered it better to act according
to the teaching of Christ: Let not thy left hand know what thy right
hand doeth. He so much shunned the praise of men that he tried to hide
himself even from him whom he benefited. He took a large sack of gold,
came at midnight to the house of that man and, throwing this sack in the
window, hastened to return home. In the morning this man arose and,
finding the sack, untied it. At the sight of gold, he fell into great
consternation and did not believe his eyes, because from nowhere could
he expect such a favor. However, in examining the money with his
fingers, he was convinced that it was in fact gold before him. Having
rejoiced in spirit and wondering at it, he wept for joy, for a long time
he pondered over who could show him such a favor, and could think of
nothing. Attributing this to the action of divine providence, he
continually thanked his benefactor in his soul, rendering praise to the
Lord Who cares for all. After this he gave his oldest daughter in
marriage, giving her as dowry the gold miraculously given to him. St.
Nicholas, knowing that this man acted according to his wishes, loved him
and decided to do a like mercy also to the second daughter, intending by
a lawful wedding to protect her also from sin. Preparing another sack of
gold like the first one, he by night, hidden from all, by the same
window threw it into the house of man.
Arising in the morning, the poor man again found gold in his
house. Again he was astonished and, falling to the earth and drenching
himself with tears, he said: "O merciful God, Author of our salvation,
Who hast redeemed me by Thine Own Blood and now redeemest by gold my
home and my daughters from the nets of the enemy, do Thou Thyself show
me the minister of Thy mercy and Thy philanthropic goodness. Show me
this earthly angel who preserves us from sinful perdition, so that I
might know who hath snatched us from the poverty which oppresses us and
delivers us from evil thoughts and intentions. O Lord, by Thy mercy
secretly done for me by the generous hand of Thy servant unknown to me,
I can give my second daughter lawfully in marriage and with this escape
the snares of the devil, who desired by a tainted gain, or even without
it, to increase my great ruin."
Having prayed 'thus to the Lord and having thanked Him for His
goodness, this man celebrated the wedding of his second daughter. Hoping
in God, the lather nourished undoubting hope that He would also grant a
lawful husband to the third daughter, again secretly giving by a
beneficent hand the gold necessary for it. In order to learn who brought
gold to him, and whence, the father did not sleep for many nights,
watching/or his benefactor and desiring to see him. Not much time
passed when the awaited benefactor appeared. The servant of Christ,
Nicholas, quietly came also a third time and, having stopped at the
usual place, threw in the same window a similar sack of gold, and
immediately hurried to his home. Hearing the clink of the gold thrown in
the window, the man ran after the servant of God as rapidly as possible.
Having caught up with him and recognizing him, because it was
impossible not to know the saint by his virtues and illustrious origin,
the man fell at his feet, kissing them and calling the saint a
deliverer, a helper, and a savior of souls which came to the edge of ruin.
"If," said he, "the Lord great in mercy had not raised me up
through thy generosity, then I, an unfortunate father, already long ago
would he lost together with my daughters in the fire of Sodom. Now we
are saved through thee and delivered from a horrible fall into sin."
And yet many similar words he tearfully said to the saint. Just
after raising him from the earth, the holy servant of God took from him
an oath that during his life he would tell no one about what had
happened to him. Telling him yet many things to his profit, the saint
dismissed him to his home.
Nicholas of Myra, commemorated 6 December
Troparion (Tone 4)
Your works of justice showed you to your congregation a canon of
faith, the likeness of humility, a teacher of abstinence, O Father,
Bishop Nicholas. Wherefore, by humility you achieved exaltation, and by
meekness, richness. Intercede, therefore, with Christ to save our souls.
Friday, December 08, 2006
THE SPIN ON THE BLUE MOSQUE
This particular quote is from John Allen's attempt to justify Benedict's act in light of Ratzinger's condemnations:
Had this been another senior Catholic official -- Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, for example, or Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, both known for more irenic views on Islam and other religions generally -- fierce debate might have been unleashed about the theological meaning of the prayer, and one can imagine the Vatican issuing a “clarification” spelling out all the qualifications.
Yet this wasn’t Etchegaray or Fitzgerald. It was, instead, the very man who identified a “dictatorship of relativism” as the central challenge facing the church one day before his election to the papacy.
Essentially what he argues is the equivalent of "if the Pope commits adultery it is ok because he is the Pope and thus is above sin". Which is ridiculous. A flip-flop is a flip-flop. Stop trying to spin it doctrinally correct. Benedict got put into a compromising position in his efforts to mend fences. He did what he believed he had to do. Who among us has not found ourselves in such a position? That is the nature of fallen humanity. Our failures and Benedict's don't make sin ok. They do make all of us human, and thus imperfect. God will judge his heart. Those of us who watched can only judge the action. I suspect God will be lenient.
We attended St. Bernards. There were less than 50 people in church for the 10:10 a.m. Mass. I'm happy to report that there was one--yes just one--communion station. Somehow we all managed to receive at that one station despite the fact we were scattered all over the church. It was refreshing. Of course just stepping into the church itself is refreshing. It is another world and just seems holier than the average Roman Catholic church because the iconoclasts haven't been at work here.
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."
"The Blessed Virgin Mary..."
The subject of this immunity from original sin is the person of Mary at the moment of the creation of her soul and its infusion into her body.
"...in the first instance of her conception..."
The term conception does not mean the active or generative conception by her parents. Her body was formed in the womb of the mother, and the father had the usual share in its formation. The question does not concern the immaculateness of the generative activity of her parents. Neither does it concern the passive conception absolutely and simply (conceptio seminis carnis, inchoata), which, according to the order of nature, precedes the infusion of the rational soul. The person is truly conceived when the soul is created and infused into the body. Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her animation, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect in her soul.
"...was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin..."
The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; it was excluded, it never was in her soul. Simultaneously with the exclusion of sin. The state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her, by which gift every stain and fault, all depraved emotions, passions, and debilities, essentially pertaining to original sin, were excluded. But she was not made exempt from the temporal penalties of Adam -- from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death.
"...by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race."
The immunity from original sin was given to Mary by a singular exemption from a universal law through the same merits of Christ, by which other men are cleansed from sin by baptism. Mary needed the redeeming Saviour to obtain this exemption, and to be delivered from the universal necessity and debt (debitum) of being subject to original sin. The person of Mary, in consequence of her origin from Adam, should have been subject to sin, but, being the new Eve who was to be the mother of the new Adam, she was, by the eternal counsel of God and by the merits of Christ, withdrawn from the general law of original sin. Her redemption was the very masterpiece of Christ's redeeming wisdom. He is a greater redeemer who pays the debt that it may not be incurred than he who pays after it has fallen on the debtor.
Such is the meaning of the term "Immaculate Conception."
Biblical proofs and the history of the feast are also given in the same Encyclopedia entry.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
A RIGHT PLACE AND A WRONG PLACE TO PRAY
Catholic World News Reports:
In response to a journalist’s question about a reciprocal gesture, Ali Bardakoglu, the government’s religion minister, said: “It is not right to expect that others will pray as the Pope did.”
The Turkish mufti said that the basis for inter-faith dialogue should be the fact that “we respect the beliefs, values, and character of others.” He declined to say that he would be willing to visit a Christian church. He said: “It is not right for an imam to have to put on a cross and pray before the Virgin Mary, or priests to pray in mosques.”
He seems to understand the problem that Benedict's prayer in a mosque raises. Today, for a moment anyway, I think I'm more Moslem than Catholic!
It is no more reasonable for an Imam to pray in a Catholic Church than it is for a Pope to pray in a mosque. Sometimes there needs to be legitimate separation maintained. We can respect another person because God made him, and respect his right to religion of his own choice, without praying to his god.
Step inside a mosque to see what is there, because secrecy breeds fear and so it is better to avoid the secrecy; but pray in your own holy place, not one dedicated to a god you don't worship.
I've been writing recently about esoteric groups formed out of the Mill Valley, California Masonic Lodge--one of them the Mons Abiegnus OTO. Want to know what the words mean? Altreligion tells all:
In the lore of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Mons Abiegnus (Latin, 'fir covered mountain') was a mythical mountain that symbolized the spiritual journey of the initiate. Borrowed from Rosicrucian symbolism, Abiegnus is visualized as the kabbalistic tree of life in the form of a subteranean mountain, with the legendary tomb of Christian Rosencreutz (symbolic of the Hermetic/Alchemical initiation) contained within.
The Mons Abiegnus website provides a similar explanation along with the questions and answers that go with the Adeptus Minor Ritual, if you're interested.
The biennial conference of the OTO will be held in the Valley of Salem, MA at the home of Knights Templar Oasis August 10-12, 2007. Speakers have not yet been chosen.
Address for the conference is 203 Washington St., Salem.
Notice the rose and cross on the Notocon website?
HOLY LOVE MINISTRIES
Problems on the right.
It sometimes seems that all of our problems can be summed up in the word "liberal". That, however, is not the case. Now that the Church seems to have changed course, the problems on the right are turning up. The Tridentine Mass in the Ogdoadic Magick website is only one example. There are the concerns about various unapproved apparitions to be aware of as well.
The Cleveland Diocesan website carries a warning about the Holy Love Ministries (also called Missionary Servants of Holy Love).
Chancellor Fr. Ralph Wiatrowski reports:
We would caution anyone considering support of [projects of this organization] to realize that this organization has no approval or support from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. In a meeting held with diocesan officials, leaders of "Holy Love Ministries" made it clear that although they encourage Catholic practices, the ministry is ecumenical, and therefore not subject to the authority of the Catholic Church.[emphasis in original - ct]
Recent publicity regarding reported apparitions and messages makes it necessary to urge extreme caution in giving credence to such claims.
The Holy Love Ministries website indicates that the visionary in this case is Maureen Sweeney-Kyle. Apparently these apparitions take place at midnight. When did the Blessed Virgin become a lady of the night? In any case, she is not pleased with her opponents--the fact that the bishop's office is one of her opponents not withstanding:
“Dear children, you have chosen to oppose My work here at Holy Love. You are confusing discernment with rash judgment. I have come here to reconcile souls with their God. I come to renew hearts in the two great Commandments of Love. Do not listen to Satan’s lies. Do not encourage a spiritual pride which breeds self-righteousness. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Truth. True discernment is a gift that God alone can place in the heart. You must not presume to have this gift when you do not.”
“You ask for credentials from My messenger here proving her worthiness. You set up your own criteria with which to judge her interior life. Humility does not defend itself. I have instructed My messenger, in humility, not to defend herself, but to remain silent.”
Her supporters at Holy Love defend this apparition using Canon Law, and deliver the ecumenical coup de grasse:
We are an Ecumenical Ministry, as Our Lord and Our Lady come for all people and all nations. We stand on Canon laws 215 and 216 which clearly give us the right to establish such a Ministry without any Diocesan investigation. Being ecumenical allows Our Lord and Our Lady to reach out to everyone, which is what Heaven desires. We point out that Pope John Paul II, as did former Bishop Anthony Pilla, supported ecumenism.
The Blessed Virgin Mary never advises anyone to oppose the bishop. She does just the opposite in approved apparitions.
Looks like Bishop Lennon has a battle in the making.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for him.
THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF THELEMA
at San Francisco State University, a Thelemic student organization, was born on April 5, 2004 in the Humanities Building. Thelema is the occult practice of Aleister Crowley. Michael Sanborn was the speaker at the first meeting. You can read a brief bio of Sanborn at the Pagan Pride website:
Michael Sanborn is a ceremonial magician, 19 year member of the OTO, and peripatetic surrealist. He was one of the founding members of Kali Lodge in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first curriculum director of the Oz Institute in Oakland, California, and the originator of "The Beast Bay" (a Thelemic webzine), under the pen name Xnoubis. His current interests include the integration of Hermeticism with Systems Theory, the development of a global Open Society, and Enochian Disco.
Topic of the April 25, 2005 meeting was "Women in Thelema: An Insider's Perspective". Topic for May 11 was "Voices from the Unknown World - Creating Dialogues with the Unconscious".
It appears from this webpage that Rites of Eleusis are hosted at the university theater.
"JEWISH VIEWS ON CHRISTIANITY"
is the title of a blog post by Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs. The essay covers rabbinic, medieval, and modern attitudes, showing how they have changed through the centuries.
He discusses the Noahide laws, explaining that the prohibition against idolatry is modified by "'Shittuf' ('association' of another together with God) that could be applied to the Christian theology on Christ, and thus exempt a Christian from the penalties for idolatry that would otherwise apply to a belief in the Trinity.
He also compares the Christian Trinity to kabbalistic doctrine of the Sefirot which offers three and more aspects of the Deity.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
CTHULHU AND JIMMY AKIN
For the commenter down below who is surprised that Jimmy Akin would be blogging about something the OTO is also interested in, take a look at these links.
Look at this post of Jimmy's
And this one.
And here. (Scroll down to Oct. 12, 2005 - blog titled "The Call of Cthulhu!")
Then take a look at this OTO website where you can read:
Thelema Lodge will be starting a Call of Cthulhu Campaign in August.
Lovecraft has provided the myth for the Discordians, who are Chaos Magicians, and apparently associated with the OTO. I have expressed my concern about the unholy connections of Cthulhu in Jimmy's comments boxes in the past. He does not see a problem with it.
O.T.O. AT MILL VALLEY MASONIC LODGE IN MARIN COUNTY
According to the Mill Valley website Edward M. King established the Mons Abiegnus Camp of Ordo Templi Orientis in 1996. It became an Oasis shortly thereafter.
Mons Abiegnus Oasis website makes no secret of their interest in Aleister Crowley.
According to this page in their website the OTO is the "first of the Old Aeon orders to accept The Book of the Law, received by Aleister Crowley in 1904 which teaches a "revolution in human thought" and the principle "Do What thou Wilt". Referred to as the "Great Work of Thelema" it is like Freemasonry and the ancient mystery schools in its grade structure. The first three Degrees "follow a pattern based on the symbolism of the Chakras and the rising of the Kundalini."
Would that be the same thing that these sisters are teaching? Or these perhaps? This is the website of the Heartland Center for Spirituality, a Dominican community. Look at the "Private and Directed Retreats" Directors, and notice that Philip St. Romain is among them. His Shalom Place is linked under the retreat "The Dark Night of the Soul" presented by Rev. Loretta F. Ross. Then click the last link on the programs list which is titled "Also visit our Internet Offerings Web Page". It will take you here, to Philip St. Romain's Schlom Place. His list of "Retreats and Workshops" on the right includes one titled "The Chakra System: A Christian Understanding". Click that and you get an explanation which tells you that the retreat is "(based, in part, on his book, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality.
And we wonder why we have a sexual abuse problem?? What is a holy priest, nun, or single person supposed to do with the kundalini energy once it has been stirred up, given that this energy is sexual? Crowley did practice sex magick, afterall.
Now back to the website of Mons Abiegnus Oasis OTO...Upper Degrees in this oasis instructs in Hermetic Philosophy, Qabalah, Magick and Yoga. It claims to be part of the "genuine" OTO of Aleister Crowley, with operations in 17 countries and approximately 3,000 active members.
At the link for Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica on the left column of the Camp website you can read:
The central activity of the E.G.C. is the celebration of the Gnostic Mass, as set forth in Liber XV, composed by Crowley for O.T.O. and E.G.C. in 1913 e.v. Lay membership in E.G.C. is available through baptism and confirmation. Members of O.T.O. in good standing are eligible for clerical ordination in E.G.C. Members of II° and higher (or even I°, in some situations) are eligible for ordination as Deacon, and those who have reached K.E.W. are eligible for ordination as Priest or Priestess. Many O.T.O. local bodies celebrate the Gnostic Mass on a regular basis. In most locations, no formal affiliation is required to attend the Mass.
At the Law of Thelema link you can learn:
The practice of Thelema is founded on the principle of Scientific Illuminism, which is expressed by the motto, "The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion." Scientific Illuminism is the systematic and scientific study of religious, magical, and mystical practices and techniques, and the objective and subjective evaluation of their results.
Mons Abiegnus uses a Rosicrucian site and also meets (or did) primarily at the Mill Valley Masonic Lodge according to the Lodge website:
Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO)
In approximately 1996, a Marin County psychologist received a charter to institute an OTO camp. The camp was named Mons Abiegnus. The camp grew quickly, and by approximately 1998 had been chartered an Oasis, enabling it to confer the first four degrees of the OTO that comprise the Man of the Earth series of degrees: Minerval (0°), Man of the Earth (1°), Magician (2°), and Master Magician (3°). The Mons Abiegnus Oasis meets primarily at the Mill Valley Masonic Center; it also conducts various outdoor activities on Mount Tamalpais, Ring Mountain, and at various beaches.
Mons Abiegnus Oasis turns up in the website "Hurricane LeFran's Magick Theatre" dedicated to, among other things, to the OTO, the metal (industrial?) band Nine Inch Nails, and a number of chaos magicians. There you can read:
In Marin, is the newest OTO body in our area. Named after a mountain where Rosicrucians performed initiations, Mons Abiegnus Camp is offering initiations and social events in the near future. Contact Ed King, the Camp Master, for schedule and location. Write to him at P.O. Box 65, San Anselmo, CA 94979 or call his voicemail at 415/487-6386.
The website speaks of Crowley's "The Book of the Law" being channeled from Aiwass, Crowley's "holy guardian angel." Mentioned there is another S.F. Lodge, Thelema Lodge located in Oakland. It speaks of Kali Lodge in New Orleans, and the Lodge Master who created the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot Deck. The lodge is no more, but a new New Orleans gathering, "OM-OM-BO Camp is the current New Orleans body."
A Rosslyn Camp in Hayward is linked.
The Lodge Master of Makhashandah Lodge in Germany is a musician and also practices Santeria/Voudou. He fronts for an industrial band, and for another band that bases its rhythms and ideas on Voudou magick.
The Oasis Master of a Camp called "Sirius Oasis", located in Berkeley, is the organizer of "PantheaCon", a pagan gathering.
There is a link for "OECUMENE" that leads to Michael Sanborn's blog where he dubs himself an "enthusiast".
There are also links to prominent chaos magicians on the website and mention of Kallisti, their goddess of chaos. Chaos magick is what Robert Anton Wilson, the Church of the SubGenius, and the Discordians promote. The Starwood Festivals, promoted by A.C.E. out of Cleveland, are their gathering place. Myths of the Discordians revolve around the goddess Eris and the monster Cthulhu that Jimmy Akin enthusiased about in his Catholic blog. Ironically, one of the promoters at A.C.E. also belongs to a Masonic Lodge in Cleveland and happens to be gay.
Interesting thread to follow from the Masonic Lodge to Catholic retreats to paganism and heavy metal music.
The new spirituality is a network, not an organization. It is quite large and growing.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
BOSTON.COM NOT IMPRESSED WITH THE CLAIMS OF "RAPE OF THE SOUL"
''The Rape of the Soul" is a fear-mongering, small-minded, and pathetically smutty polemic about art and the Roman Catholic Church. Presented as a documentary by filmmaker and self-described devout Catholic Michael A. Calace, the film seeks to discredit ''predatory artists" from da Vinci and Botticelli to anonymous designers of contemporary greeting cards.
Calace's mission: To reveal all the satanic faces, genitalia, spellings of the word sex, and other evidence of evil lurking in painted clouds, shadows, and designs in art related to the Catholic Church. Freud had an eye out for phallic symbols, but he would have had nothing on Calace, who sees penises everywhere he looks. He could find an orgy in a bowl of oatmeal.
PORNOGRAPHY AND SATANIC IMAGES ALLEGED TO BE EMBEDDED IN CATHOLIC ART
You can read about it at Robert Duncan's blog.
NO KISSINGER AFTER ALL
In a link from Spirit Daily, CNS reports:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI does not have a foreign affairs advisory board, and he has not asked former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to become one of his advisers, the Vatican spokesman said.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said it is true that Kissinger met privately with the pope Sept. 28 and that Mary Ann Glendon, a U.S. law professor and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, has invited Kissinger to speak to the academy at the Vatican in late April.
"Those are the only two concrete facts," Father Lombardi told Catholic News Service.
THE BLUE MOSQUE AND THE POPE
A couple of news sources are linking this "Time" analysis of Benedict's visit.
As Jeff Israely has it, the visit to the Blue Mosque was a late decision:
Benedict's late decision to accept an invitation to the Blue Mosque meant Vatican aides and their Muslim hosts would need to work out in advance the basic details of the encounter. Several hours beforehand, word had spread that last Thursday's televised visit would include a moment for silent prayer or reflection. Still, when Istanbul's top cleric, Mustafa Cagrici, told the Pope it was time for a "moment of serenity," Benedict looked for an instant as if he'd been caught off guard. It may well have been that Cagrici had just repeated that they were facing in the direction of the Islamic holy city of Mecca, and the Pope understood immediately that this act might not sit well with some of his diehard followers. But Benedict neither turned away nor turned cold, and simply lost himself in prayer for all to see (he actually prayed twice as long as Cagrici).
The "Time" analysis notes that "Turkish newspapers proclaimed the Pope "prayed like a Muslim."
American Papist has a video of the moment blogged. (You'll have to scroll down through a few newer entries to get to the YouTube video.) Watch it and you will see that immediately before the moment of prayer, both men turn to face a new direction.
The "Time" analysis suggests that Benedict may have been concerned about reactions to this moment. In watching him, he says very little, while there is a good deal of talk on the part of the narrator and on the part of the Imam, none of which is in English. He appears to be simply sightseeing, very much as I would expect an Imam to do in a Catholic church. Up to the point of the prayer, there was no point of controversy.
Justification for his actions rests on the fact that he touched his pectoral cross while he prayed. To me it does not appear to be a conscious action, but rather one of accident. Of course we can't know what he prayed or what in the mosque was in front of him when he did so.
One question that this moment raises--doesn't good manners require that an offer be extended for the Imam to visit the Vatican? Wouldn't those good manners involve a visit to the Sistene Chapel, and to St. Peters?
Both of these churches contain a tabernacle, with presumably the Body of Christ in repose. The precedent has been set in Turkey for a moment of prayer. Presumably Benedict prayed to the Trinitarian God if he in fact did pray. Presumably in a return of courtesies, an Imam would pray to Allah in a Catholic church. It raises the potential for blasphemy unless the tabernacle were emptied before the visit. One cannot invite others to pray to a different god when standing before the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
If, however, the tabernacle were emptied for the occasion of a visit by an Imam, it would raise the potential for a political crisis, because it's unlikely that the news media would fail to take note of this point.
If Benedict were going to extricate himself from this, he might announce that he had chosen to take the moment to reflect on the fact of where he was standing when he paused in the Blue Mosque, that his sincerest wish is for the religions to find a way to co-exist without animosity, that murder in God's name would never happen again. Then he would say that while his heart was heavy with these thoughts, he did not actually pray because to pray to the Trinitarian God while standing in a holy place of Allah, would be disrespectful to those who worship Allah.
PATRIARCH ALEXY OBJECTS
Patriarch Alexy has once again objected to Vatican policies in Russia and ex-Soviet states.
Patriarch Alexy II reiterated claims that Catholic priests were working to convert people baptized as Orthodox believers to Catholicism and discriminating against the Orthodox in western Ukraine.
"I hope the Vatican will undertake concrete steps to change the situation for the better," Alexy was quoted as saying by the RIA-Novosti news agency.
He added that if the situation remains the same, meetings of Orthodox and Vatican officials would only be formal and "will not bring relief to people who suffer from the non-brotherly actions" of Catholic priests, according to RIA-Novosti.
Credit to New Oxford Review for the link.
ANOTHER OGDOADIC MAGICK WEBSITE
that lists a number of links pertinent to the field, among them are the O.T.O., the College of Thelema (Crowley, I presume), and the Rosicrucian Fellowship Home Page.
Joseph Campbell and Archetypal Psychology are there as well, along with the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology. There is one for Ovates, Bards, and Druids.
Monday, December 04, 2006
THE ROSICRUCIAN MARY
Spirit Daily has a picture posted of the Mystical Rose. Behind the head of the woman is the symbol of the Rose Croix. The picture comes from the University of Dayton Marian Center.
Here is a picture of the "Rose Croix Journal" Volume 3 which contains the Rose Croix symbol of the rose and cross. Same rose.
The Order of the Grail, an esoteric group associated with Martinist Lewis Keizer and his Home Temple Priesthood, explains the Islamic origin of the Rose-Croix. It clearly is not Roman Catholic. The story of Christian Rosenkreutz has many similarities with the story of the Russian occultist Gurdjieff, who also journeyed through the East studying the secrets of the Arab mystics. Notice the following points as you read through the material:
-- Rosenkreutz "conceived the plan for simultaneous universal religious, philosophic, scientific, political, and artistic reform."
-- "Their interpretation of dogma remained a secret from society due to its heterodox nature."
-- The word "subsists" is used.
-- "The secret part of the teaching was on the subject of theurgy: the divine and angelic names, conjurations, the Kabbalah, exorcisms etc..."
-- "The [sic] differed from the Sufis but they were united in many points of doctrine. They were both mystical orders deriving from Koranic theology."
-- "Following the teachings of the Arab neo-platonic philosophers and Jewish kabbalists who often influenced the mystics..."
-- "Their doctrine of the Logos deriving from the Gospels evidently differed from the Christian idea, but there was among them a syncretism which one discovers in the Rosicrucian rituals."
-- "The creator does not directly create matter, but it is through the role of the intermediaries, the angels who identify themselves with the first principles."
-- "Ibn-Arabi who wrote a book on 'The Hundred Names of God' used circles to expound his system, which is singularly close to that of 'Dignitates Divinae' by Raymond Lully, who is considered as an initiate and precursor to the Rose-Croix."
-- "Rosicrucian theurgy hardly differs from that of the Sufis although the Sufis derive a very rich angelology from the Koran."
All of this was rejected by the Church when it infiltrated the Church the first time with Pico della Mirandola and Raymond Lull. Now it is back, and the Marian center at Dayton U. seems to be resurrecting it. Given that Benedict appears to be presenting us with Lull's faith and reason arguments, it is not surprising that they are.
Rosicrucians are the people who are giving us the claims that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus and carried His child to France in her womb. The image in this Mystical Rose picture is not the Blessed Virgin, it is Mary Magdalene.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Picking up where I left off last week with Thomas Worrel, who teaches religion at Bishop O'Dowd Catholic High School, and who mentors the S.T.U.D. Club (They have a stud club??) at the high school, and who may or may not be the same Thomas Worrel, the Marin County Mason who founded the Commandery of the Green Lion which practices the Ogdoadic Tradition, is listed as one member among others at The Ogdoadic Notes website.
Click the "Names" link at the top of that webpage and you will arrive here, at The Sub Rosa Nigra Hierarchical Names with Interpretations & Analyses, and find a picture of a demon. Links here will take you to pages with the Tree of Life diagram and a list of words in the Greek alphabet, together with their translations.
Another page in the website gives the "hymns of 'the Worshipped'". Glance through these hymns and you will find at the bottom of the webpage the following:
Sprung from thy secret above in the limitless deep,
Upward coursing, resistless, beautiful fire,
O sacred scintillant Serpent, Knouphis-Agathodaimon! - we hail thee and give thee praise.
Remember, it is The Ogdoadic Notes website that offers the Tridentine Mass ritual.
If the Thomas Worrel of Bishop O'Dowd and the Thomas Worrel of Commandery of the Green Lion are one and the same Thomas Worrel, what do you suppose he teaches in his religion classes to impressionable high school students?
It is a fact that the Thomas Worrel of the Commandery of the Green Lion is the same Thomas Worrel who is a Past Master of the Mill Valley Masonic Lodge, and who is active in that Lodge. Does this mean that the Masonic morality mentioned in their motto--"A peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols"--can be stretched to include the worship of demons?
Sunday, December 03, 2006
HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME
thou shalt not.
That is the meat of the First Commandment. If we fail to keep No. 1, do the rest matter?
John Paul II constantly created controversy about worship. Cardinal Ratzinger was the epitome of orthodoxy, at least in the eyes of those who had not separated from the Church. When he was elected, the liberals cried and the rejoicing among the traditionals was glorious, if short-lived. Then came the appointment of Levada, and with that appointment a warning that Benedict was not Ratzinger. The man had reinvented himself.
Now there is Regensburg and the Regensburg aftermath. Standing alone on the world's stage must be a daunting role. With the world on his shoulders, and a murdered nun in his heart, Benedict sallied forth to the Blue Mosque, and Catholics held their breath. Would he die for his peace efforts? Would he betray his leadership role?
Once again the man has shown us that he is incomprehensible, as was his predecessor; that he follows a program unprecedented prior to Vatican II. Now the religious web is buzzing. What exactly did he do there? Did he betray Christ? Did he pray to Allah? His actions are speaking for him since so far he offers no explanation. Those actions include moving lips, a hand wrapped around a crucifix, and a selected direction of vision. He has his champions, and he has his detractors.
Questions those actions raise for me include questions about who God is, and what the First Commandment requires. The background from which I ask the questions is the understanding of the First Commandment from the reign of Pius XII.
When Pius XII was Pope, I was not permitted to look inside the Methodist church of my best friend. I was certainly prohibited from stepping inside to see what was there. To do so would have violated my faith. A Pius XII Catholic would not have contemplated entering a mosque; but since the opportunity did not present itself in America in the 1950s, it wasn't a concern. How does one wipe those prohibitions away as though they never existed? How can one dishonor God in 1950 by committing the same action that today we are shown honors God under a different Pontiff who sets such an example? With such a reversal, is there any absolute truth left?
This is not 1950 anymore. A great deal has changed on the world scene. "Peace" is on everyone's lips, and threats dog us in the airport and scare our children in their classrooms. Threats. There have been few real life examples, and thank God this is true. Threats, though, can be invented. We should not forget that. They can also be incited by those who have nefarious intents. Without the newspaper, the TV news, the computer, the radio, would any of us believe there was a need for luggage inspections?
But my subject is the First Commandment, not the Fifth.
If I could ask Benedict, these are the questions I would ask in the light from the Blue Mosque:
1. Is there redemption in symbols? If I voluntarily attend a Black Mass while clutching a rosary and praying to the Triune God, have I violated the First Commandment? In fact, how do I violate the First Commandment in the light from the Blue Mosque?
2. In research is there any valid reason to continue avoiding the reading of rituals? Are rituals sterile until we activate them? Are they contingent upon our choice of deity? Is intent all that matters, or must I be concerned about giving scandal?
3. May I pray with the Wiccans, or must I restrict my prayer life to only those who descend from Abraham? Do all really pray to the same god because there is only one God, and only the words change?
4. Is Allah God the Creator? Can God the Redeemer be excised from God the Creator so as to develop a religious faith centered solely on the One God, that does not acknowledge the Trinity? Or are the Three, One inseparable God? If the first is true, doesn't that make us polygamists as those who promote the Noahide Laws suggest? But if the second is true, how can you pray in a mosque?
5. Does the symbol of a dove suffice for a symbol of the Trinity while at the same time sufficing for the symbol of the gods believed in by others? Do symbols matter objectively, or do they only matter within context?
6. Peace at what price? What part of our Tradition do you retain and what part do you reject in the name of peace? Who do you serve? Who do you love?
You have the world's attention, Benedict. What do you plan to do with it?