Friday, August 24, 2007


Yesterday in a blog about "Alchemy and Kabbalah" I quoted a passage from a paper by Micha Ankori, at the New Israeli Jungian Society website, titled "A Mytho-Psychological Study of the Biblical Legacy: Based on Parallels between Jewish Mysticism and Alchemic Art." The section I quoted is titled "The Holy Union", and the paper discusses the erotic content of the Kabbalah.

It may perhaps be the case that the Order of St. Aelred, located in Manila, Philippines, has read the paper because this Monastery offers a ritual they call "Holy Union". They equate this Holy Union to the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. It does not involve "any law of the government" and "does not require a license, a registration or any other governmental intervention", nor does it convey any legal privilege. It is open to a woman and a man, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman.

Their "About" page indicates they offer a hotline for resolving problems related to sexuality, including coming out, being gay and lesbian and Christian. There is a link on this page for their "Center for the Study of Spirituality and Sexuality (CSSS)".

Their "Sex and Salvation" webpage is taken up primarily by a picture, but also indicates that Fr. Richard R. Mickley, O.S.Ae., helps Bayani Santos, Jr. in publishing ManilaOUT, a publication of "News, information, and advocacy for seven million gays and lesbians in the Philippines".

The Order of St. Aelred's belongs to the Diocese of One Spirit. Fr. Mickley is listed at the diocesan website. His bio there indicates Fr. Mickley has a doctorate in clinical psychology, that he is associate bishop of the diocese, and bishop of the diocese in the Philippines.

The bishop of the diocese, James H. Burch, is also president of the Association for Contemporary Catholic Life, pastor of One Spirit Catholic Community in Fairfax, Virginia, a former real estate developer, a former political consultant, and Press Secretary to a U.S. Senator. He was founding chairman of the World Trade Center, Washington, D. C.

The diocese concentrates on home churches. There is a picture of a priest saying mass at this webpage along with a hint that a Roman Catholic priest would be welcome to minister in this diocese. It would be hard to tell that this is not a Roman Catholic Mass from the picture at the website. Some of our progressive priests officiate at ceremonies that provide the same party atmosphere.

SMC News reports that "bishop" Jim Burch lead a group of protestors outside the November 2006 meeting of the U. S. Conference of Bishops as they attended Mass at the Baltimore Cathedral.

Burch was pivotal in enabling the Women's Ordination Conference to stage their protest at a Hyett Hotel Roman Catholic Bishop's meeting. Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a woman-priest and co-chair of the Ministry of Irritation, staged a silent protest before the bishops during Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, to which she wore her priestly robes. She was given the Eucharist while dressed in this garb.

Burch appeared on a Godtalk program along with Bridget Mary Meehan, the moderator and member of the Sisters for Christian Community and a Call to Action Virginia board member; Fr. Bill Callahan of Priests for Equality; and Rea Howarth, a cofounder of Call to Action. The topic of the discussion was inclusive language.

Burch operates a national generic wedding service that provides a directory of ministers across the U.S. available to officiate at weddings.

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