Saturday, January 27, 2007
FROM THE MAILBOX
Spirit & Life
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 52 | Friday, Jan. 26, 2007
The Dictatorship of Choice
Merck's lucrative HPV vaccine is now being proposed as mandatory by twelve states for girls 11 years old and above. Yes, the word is mandatory. Remember that the culture of death is not a benign dictator: it becomes a tyrant as soon as it is able to enforce its will. Cynically, the whole premise of the culture of death is "freedom of choice," but if Merck and the CDC have their way soon we will be bulldozing chemicals into little girls' bodies for no other reason than that their parents' generation has deprived them of a choice. Those who say that they don't want to force their morality on others are now having others' immorality forced upon them.
I have written before that this is not an innocuous little program to protect girls from disease. It is the newest program of fear-mongering that manipulates baby-boomer and Gen X mothers to "protect" their pre-adolescent kids from what they themselves know to be the ravages of the culture of sexual promiscuity. It leaves virtually no room for the moral approach of chastity before and during marriage and in fact denigrates that approach as unrealistic. While there are many reasons why this vaccine should be opposed and rejected, I object most strongly to its capacity to degrade human and sexual relations under the guise of real-world protection.
How is a mother to explain this intrusion to her child? She may tell her girl that the chicken pox vaccine is necessary because even casual contact with other kids may infect her. But if the daughter asks the mother why she needs to get three shots for the HPV vaccine, mom would have to explain it in some disingenuous or crude way: "Well, honey, you may someday have sex with someone who has this disease, and you have to be safe." The reactions from the child may range from embarrassment to shock to horror. If mother says, "Your future husband may have this disease... ," she will also have to explain why the girl would even want to marry someone with a disease and whether or not Daddy had that disease when she married him. Any way you slice it this shot is degrading to kids' relationships with their parents, their purity, and the sense of wonder that they should have toward the beauty of human sexuality.
And that's the point. The culture of death, like every despotic regime, enters into God's realm with haughty pretense and sullies it. It eventually establishes itself inside the temple as its own authority and mandates a new law contrary to both spirit and nature. Last time I checked, the Scriptures still say that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:9), but the CDC is rapidly squatting on another's property and soon will claim total ownership of the temple if these HPV vaccine "mandates" are any way indicative of the future.
If parents want to assure that God's plan of sexual purity will set the agenda for their kids' future marriages and families, now is the time to change their culture. The only real response to these intrusions of the culture of death is to reject them and all their works and all their empty promises. We have to get and keep the tainted culture out of us and stop pretending that it is the "real world." Pre-adolescent girls getting expensive shots to protect them from sexually transmitted diseases is not "real," it's perverse. Creating a culture of life and purity will in no way be without its sacrifices - even heroic ones - but if our children's and family's integrity is not worth the sacrifice, what is?
One final question that has been asked by many and needs a clear answer: Would it be immoral for someone to take or administer this vaccine? No. The HPV vaccine is not made from aborted fetal cell lines and is not in itself an immoral substance. The Church is not in the business of manipulating consciences to make a point about the culture of death. The Church's point is that the real manipulators are sitting in the CDC and state legislatures and school boards, and we should insist upon our freedom from their unwarranted intrusions into God's temple.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer
President, Human Life International
Friday, January 26, 2007
FROM THE MAILBOX
This is an "Inside the Vatican" Newsflash!
How the KGB Created the Myth of Pius XII as "Hitler's Pope"
Inside the Vatican has followed the debate over the war-time role of Pope Pius XII with great attention for almost 15 years. Now, the former head of Romania's Foreign
Intelligence under the Communists (who later defected to the West) has written an article describing how he duplicitously got access to the Vatican Archives and copied a host of documents (none of which incriminated Pius XII) used by the KGB in the creation of the play The Deputy, published with Rolf Hochhuth as the supposed author. To read this very important article, published on January 25 in the online edition of National Review, please click here. The URL is also provided below:
Here are some critical paragraphs from the National Review Online article:
Moscow's Assault on the Vatican
The KGB made corrupting the Church a priority
By Ion Mihai Pacepa
...In February 1960, Nikita Khrushchev approved a super-secret plan for destroying the Vatican's moral authority in Western Europe...
The Deputy saw the light in 1963 as the work of an unknown West German named Rolf Hochhuth, under the title Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel (The Deputy, a Christian Tragedy). Its central thesis was that Pius XII had supported Hitler and encouraged him to go ahead with the Jewish Holocaust...
Before writing The Deputy, Hochhuth, who did not have a high school diploma (Abitur), was working in various inconspicuous capacities for the Bertelsmann publishing house. In interviews he claimed that in 1959 he took a leave of absence from his job and went to Rome, where he spent three months talking to people and then writing the first draft of the play, and where he posed "a series of questions" to one bishop whose name he refused to reveal. Hardly likely! At about that same time I used to visit the Vatican fairly regularly as an accredited messenger from a head of state, and I was never able to get any talkative bishop off into a corner with me -- and it was not for lack of trying...
In 1974 Andropov conceded to us that, had we known then what we know today, we would never have gone after Pope Pius XII. What now made the difference was newly released information showing that Hitler, far from being friendly with Pius XII, had in fact been plotting against him...
Over the past 16 years, the freedom of religion has been restored in Russia, and a new generation has been struggling to develop a new national identity. We can only hope that President Vladimir Putin will see fit to open the KGB archives and set forth on the table, for all to see, how the Communists maligned one of the most important popes of the last century.
-- Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. His book Red Horizons has been republished in 27 countries.
To Subscribe to Inside the Vatican's Newsflash, Please Click Here: http://www.InsideTheVatican.com/itv-newsflash.htm
My thoughts on the recent revelations about communist influence here and there in the Church in Poland and elsewhere...
It looks like this is a developing trend--communist and communist investigator tells all. Interesting. Sometimes revealing. Probably often accurate. But all of it has to be read with the thought that communists are not notoriously honest, and disinformation may be part of this picture. - ct
HENRY JOHN SINCLAIR - LORD JOHN PENTLAND
of the Rosslyn Sinclairs whose ancestor built Rosslyn Chapel, was the founder and president of the Gurdjieff Foundation in New York (founded in 1953), until Pentland's death 31 years later according to an article at the Gurdjieff Legacy website.
According to the article Pentland died in Houston and his funeral was held at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan. The church is located at 869 Lexington Avenue and 141-151 East 65th Street according to the church website, a few blocks from the New York Gurdjieff Foundation according to the article. I could not find an address for the Foundation. They are still being secretive about it.
It is certainly odd that the founder and president of the Gurdjieff Foundation would be welcome in a Roman Catholic Church given the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, which are anything but Roman Catholic, though it could be argued that Gurdjieffian Fourth Way schools resemble the Roman Catholic New Ecclesial Communities in many ways.
Gurdjieff taught "esoteric Christianity", a term coined by Gnostic visionaries Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland according to James Webb (THE HARMONIOUS CIRCLE, p. 525). This brand of Christianity is much closer to the claims arising in HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL and used to advantage in Dan Brown's THE DA VINCI CODE, and they are often associated with Lucifer and with Theosophy.
Was Sinclair's pastor unaware of his activities, or simply flattered by his illustrious and well-connected parishioner? The alternative view, that his pastor was convinced by the Gurdjieffian viewpoints, may be too great a leap even given the incursion into Catholic mystical practices of the Gurdjieffian Enneagram and the monks promoting it.
Another Sinclair who signs himself "Niven" has posted to the Sinclair family discussion list some comments about Lord Pentland and the Gurdjieff teaching which he claims has been carved in stone in the Rosslyn Chapel.
A book review of William Mann's book THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR IN THE NEW WORLD: HOW HENRY SINCLAIR BROUGHT THE GRAIL TO ARCADIA at the Gurdjieff Legacy website gives Gurdjieff's explanation for the value of the Holy Grail:
Why was Jesus’ blood collected? Gurdjieff’s explanation concerning the Last Supper sheds light on the subject and provides a factual basis for the legends surrounding the blood’s value and perhaps, through distorted accounts, the Grail’s value. Gurdjieff explains that the Last Supper was a magical ceremony that was carried out to enable Jesus to communicate with his disciples after his death, as "Christ knew that he must die." Gurdjieff explained that Christ wanted to establish a permanent link with his disciples, and for this purpose he gave them his blood to drink and his flesh to eat. It was not bread and wine at all, but real flesh and real blood, for those who have an "astral body" can communicate with one another at a distance without having recourse to ordinary physical means. For such communication to be possible, however, they must establish some connection between them. The exchange of blood, which has special qualities, establishes a connection which is not broken by death. In her book, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, Elaine Pagels notes that after Jesus’ death the gospels relate that Jesus’ disciples experienced a great outpouring of visions and dreams. Perhaps these are distorted accounts of the fact that they were in communication with Jesus.
This appears to be a distorted account of the nature of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. A bit of truth. A lot of rank heresy. Keeps the tourists interested in visiting Rosslyn, I suppose. The Merovingian bloodline, HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL and THE DA VINCI CODE are mentioned in the article, since the beliefs of Mann and of the promoters of the Merovingian bloodline are the same. How much of the Sinclair money is behind the Gurdjieff Foundation, one wonders?
Mann's books are offered for sale at the Prince Henry St. Clair Preceptory, an organization headed up by S. E. Chevalier Ian Sinclair KGCTpl, dedicated to promotion of Rosslyn Chapel, and specializing in Masonic and Templar studies according to their website. No mention of the Gurdjieff books appears in the Preceptory website at present.
Do the monks who promote centering prayer, interreligious dialogue, and the Enneagram also enjoy Sinclair money? Whether they do or not, it is clear that they and the Sinclairs of Rosslyn Chapel all promote the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff in one form or another.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
CHANGES IN ISREAL IN THE OFFING
Thanks to a reader for the link:
JERUSALEM – Israel and the Palestinians have been conducting behind-the-scene negotiations regarding handing over most of the West Bank to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to top Egyptian and European diplomatic sources who told WND they were directly involved with the talks.
The West Bank borders Jerusalem and is within rocket-firing range of Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport.
The Egyptian and European sources told WND the negotiations for an Israeli withdrawal were mediated by Egypt and the European Union, with U.S. input. The sources said major changes in Israeli-Palestinian affairs are expected within a few weeks to two months.
According to an aid to European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, speaking on condition of anonymity, there will be a "historic political evolution and movement in negotiations in the next few weeks and few months, unseen since the Camp David peace talks in 2000."
Gnostic Christianity conveys its messages largely in symbols. For that reason taking note of symbols is essential if one is to do research on Gnostic Christianity. Let's look at some.
Alice Bailey's rainbow.
Pax Christi's rainbow.
Pax Christi's dove is there as well.
The Gnostic Christian dove.
The Rosicrucian rose.
Pax Christi's Rose.
Monastic Interreligious Dialogue's birdbath of the John Main Seminars. (Incidentally, there is Thomas Keating as well.)
The Rosicrucian birdbath.
The confusion of symbols is diabolical.
Lord have mercy!
MONASTIC INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
First, e-mail received a couple of weeks ago from Lee Penn:
All the usual suspects are here, including Robert Muller.
Experiences of Interreligious Dialogue
Go to the website. After you've read the interview with Father Thomas Keating, take note of the website URL given at the very end of the last sentence:
Fr. Thomas Keating will present the practice of Centering Prayer and dialogue live with Ken Wilber. Other teachers will include David Frenette, who has worked with Fr. Thomas and Contemplative Outreach since 1983 (including as a trainer for long-time Centering Prayer practitioners) and Rollie Stanich, who is a teacher and director of the Integral Spiritual Center and a Centering Prayer practitioner. Integral Contemplative Christianity explores practice that includes and integrates spirit, body, mind, psyche and behavior in self, culture and nature. For more information, see the website: integraltraining.org
Notice that Ken Wilber is mentioned and also pictured in this interview, and that the interview is posted on a centering prayer website--or in other words this is the website of a Catholic organization of monks who promote centering prayer to Catholics as a spiritual exercise.
Now let's go to the Integral Training website cited in the interview--integraltraining.org.
For an overview of what's in the website, check out the site map. Lots of stuff. Did that Integral Naked (IN) link catch your eye? It will take you here where you will see a search window at the top.
If you put "tantra" into the search window, you will arrive here, but before you do that I should warn you that an image at the website is offensive. If you do go visit it, you will find Ken Wilbur and subjects such as:
Immortality and Enlightenment
Opening Your Integral Eyes
The Tantra of Job: "Through My Body I Vision God"
Sex, Identity, Spirituality: God in Gay Culture
A Natural History of Supernormal Powers
And you will find the following presenters:
Rabbi Marc Gafni
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Does any of this look even remotely Catholic?
Granted, I did not access any of the films or sound presentations. It looks pornographic. This is not my idea of Catholic spirituality and I'm not interested in looking at it or listening to it. One wonders what sort of Catholics are, and what sort of monks are dabbling in interreligious dialogue. But it is easy to see why we have a sexual scandal in the Church with such notions floating around. What is a healthy, young seminarian supposed to make of the graphic in this website alone? Near occasion of sin? And who exactly is the woman in the graphic embracing? Certainly doesn't appear to be a husband!
There is also material on the Kabbalah in the website, here.
The Integral movement is described at Integral Wiki as "a variously applied term for a diverse range of individuals, philosophies, teachings, and online communities and forums that follow integral thought or the integral paradigm in theory and practice." The Wiki also places in the Integral movement such philosophies as Theosophy, Anthroposophy, New Age, Fourth Way (Gurdjieff and Ouspensky), the psychology of Abraham Maslow. New Age has been rejected by the document "Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life", yet it is being taught as Catholic spirituality by the monks of Contemplative Outreach and Interreligious Dialogue. How is it that the bishops with oversight responsibility are not speaking out?
And what is our Holy Father going to do about them?
Integralism is mentioned in Vicomte Leon De Poncins book FREEMASONRY AND THE VATICAN, in the same appendix that discusses the communist French-Polish Movement Pax/Pax Christi and its relationship to the Sillon. De Poncins writes:
...the agents of Pax entrusted with assignments in France loudly proclaim the "persecutions" they allege they have suffered at the hands of the "retrograde" and "integralist" Polish Episcopate. This campaign of denigration is particularly aimed at Cardinal Wyszynski.
Same communist movement in both instances?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
WHAT WAS JP II DOING ?
Bear with me...the quotes are somewhat long, but I think deserve a hearing. In looking at these passages, also consider my blog on the Sillon, the Polish communist organization PAX and its involvement with Pax Christi.
Now look at another passage from the same index of De Poncin's book FREEMASONRY AND THE VATICAN by Vicomte Leon De Poncins:
Under these conditions, which favour the proliferation of erroneous opinions to the great detriment of the Church in Poland, a word of warning is timely.(pp. 206-207)
1. Outside Poland Pax represents itself as a "movement" of progressive Polish Catholics. As a result it tends to be compared to Western progressive movements, which, living under democratic forms of government, are completely free to proclaim their opinions and sympathies for the programmes and leanings of the political Left of their respective countries.
In reality, Pax is not a "movement" but a closely-connected organ of the police machine, directly responsible to the Minister of the Interior, and blindly obedient to the directives of the secret police, the U.B.
This fact is well known in Poland, but people realise that it is dangerous to talk about it. Once only, under cover of the "thaw" in October 1956, Communists and Catholics joined in denouncing and stigmatising publicly the character and activities of this secret, Stalinist agency of the U.B. ...
2. In order to understand fully the activities of Pax, it is as well to go back to its beginnings. Its founder, Piasecki, condemned to death by the Soviet authorities for resistance activities, saved his life at the price of an explicit undertaking to penetrate and enslave the Church for the benefit of the Communist revolution.
From the beginning, therefore, Pax has borne the character of a strictly controlled secret agency. All its members are salaried officials (the forms of payment vary) appointed to carry out and report on definite projects.
Their orders emanate from the central office of the Communist party. Mr. Piasecki is directly subject to the "Security Office" (U.B.), and to the Office for Religious Affairs, which has absolute and in fact total power over everything concerning the Catholic Church in Poland. ...
The intellectuals, especially the writers, are clearly more vulnerable due to the fact that Pax owns a prosperous publishing business, which pays well. In a country in which even the government admits that salaries seldom reach the minimum subsistence level, the temptation to collaborate with Pax is obviously great and a refusal to collaborate in any way presupposes an unusual strength of character.
De Poncins goes on to describe the methods of infiltration of the Church, the intention to divide the bishops into integralists and progressives and pit them against each other. The house organ of Pax was "Slowo Powszechne":
This statement of Jankowski's, editor ofSlowo Powszechne, the Pax daily paper... (ibid, p. 212)
Now go with me to WITNESS TO HOPE, George Weigel's biography of JPII:
Tygodnik Powszechny, Znak, and the circle of writers, poets, and intellectuals built around those two publications remained crucial conversation partners for Cardinal Wojtyla. The benefit, Jerzy Turowicz suggests, was mutual: "I have a right to say as his friend that Tygodnik Powszechny had an influence on him." Wojtyla used the editors of the paper and the journal as sounding boards for reflecting out loud on Church affairs throughout Poland, the Church-state situation, and modern culture. His oversight of Tygodnik Powszechny and Znak was exemplary by their editors' own sandards. The archbishop met with the editors every other month to talk over mutual concerns....He listened, but preferred that you'd speak, and he'd take the floor at the end. Not once in his sixteen years as vicar capitular and then archbishop did he ask that something not be printed in Tygodnik Powszechny. "There was no censorship," according to editor Turowicz. ...
There were arguments, but Wojtyla had the ability, not universal among senior prelates, to work happily with people with shom he did not always agree. During her years at Tygodnik Powszechny, the peppery Halina Bortnowska often criticized the more traditional "Wyzinski Church," as she sometimes called it. Wojtyla was far more sympathetic to popular piety, but maintained his friendship with the outspoken young philosopher and writer, whom he asked to edit the revised edition of LOVE AND RESPONSIBILITY....
On several occasions Wojtyla had to mediate between Tygodnik Powszechny and Cardinal Wyszynski. (WITNESS pp. 211-212)
Now turn with me to a www.chiesa article by Giga Riva, posted today, titled "Exclusive from Poland: Who Was Spying on Karol Wojtyla":
Krakow, November 17, 1949. The mole, using the code name “Zagielowski” (but who also used the name “Torano” and in the future would give his real signature), sent the police a “top secret” report on a meeting in the curia during which this “Wojdyla” was pointed out as someone to keep an eye on.(emphasis mine)
“Zagielowski” was recruited in 1948 and would be active until his death in 1967. His age would remember him by his real name, Wladyslaw Kulczycki. Father Kulczycki. He had been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, and it was for this reason that he was viewed as more approachable: he had seen of what evil man was capable. Besides, he had a sin that compromised his priestly character – a sexual weakness. In 1953 a note from Department IV of the interior ministry, the one charged with watching over the Church, gave this assessment of him: “His evaluation is good. He is the only one working in Krakow who can be approached.” He was the pastor at Saint Nicholas, and was the friend – and perhaps even the confessor - of the legendary cardinal Stefan Wyszynski (in the photo, with Wojtyla). He showed bitter enmity against young Karol from Wadowice. Kulczycki couldn’t explain how he climbed the ecclesiastical ranks so easily. A document written in 1960 contains this outburst: “I don’t understand why Wojtyla is chosen for all the important tasks. The man is well educated, he knows the communists, he has ties among the workers, and he frequently organizes pastoral visits to Nowa Huta.”
The infiltrators didn’t know each other. That’s how things worked, whatever the location. And who knows how many times Fr. Kulczycki met at the chancery with another key pawn for the regime: Tadeusz Nowak, the treasurer for the curia, who was also the administrator of “Tygodnik Powszechny,” the Catholic weekly dear to the future John Paul II.
Were De Poncin's Slowo Powszechne, the publication of the communist organization Pax which officially represented Catholicism in Poland, and the publication Tygodnik Powszechny, the publication "dear to the heart of the future John Paul II, one and the same publication? Or conversely were there two publications of the Catholic Church in Poland, one official and one underground?
According to Weigel:
Yet in the midst of the Occupation, Adam Stefan Sapieha planned for the future. A member of the reformist wing of the Polish hierarchy, Sapieha had broken up huge old parishes before the war and created new ones, bringing his priests closer to his people. He had also reformed the seminary, insisting on serious theological instruction. As the war wound down, he began to make plans for a new Catholic newspaper,Tygodnik Powszechny [Universal Weekly], to be edited by a young lay journalist, Jerzy Turowicz. (WITNESS, p. 74)
Weigel provides what might be an additional clue:
During the summer of 1947, Starowieyski and Wojtyla traveled around Europe with funds provided by Cardinal Sapieha. They met Parisian worker'priests in the French capital and discussed their efforts to evangelize the post-Christian French proletariat--an experience that Wojtyla later remembered as "enormously important," and the occasion for his first article inTygodnik Powszechny... (WITNESS P. 83)
Was Wojtyla promoting the Sillon/Pax/Pax Christi when he traveled around France? Wasn't France a Catholic country in 1947? What is to be made of this claim that it was "post-Christian"?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
INFALLIBILITY AND A 180 REVERSE
In the Catholic Church the infallibility dogma arrived with the nineteenth ecumenical council, Vatican Council I, held in 1869, five years after the promulgation of the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX. At the time it was called, opponents of the dogma of infallibility claimed that the Council was intended specifically for the purpose of proclaiming that dogma. Secret societies were also a topic proposed for Council consideration according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, linking via the Council infallibility with rising occultism.
The Syllabus was promulgated by Pius IX two days before he proposed calling the council. A segment of that Syllabus describes the following errors:
77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. -- Allocution "Nemo vestrum," July 26, 1855.That dogmatic proclamation is available for anyone to read on the web. Another document, this time in the Vatican website, is the text of the message Benedict delivered for the World Day of Peace on January 1, 2007. It contains the following statements:
78. Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.
79. Moreover, it is false that the civil liberty of every form of worship, and the full power, given to all, of overtly and publicly manifesting any opinions whatsoever and thoughts, conduce more easily to corrupt the morals and minds of the people, and to propagate the pest of indifferentism. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.
80. The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.- -Allocution "Jamdudum cernimus," March 18, 1861.
- Similarly, the affirmation of the right to religious freedom places the human being in a relationship with a transcendent principle which withdraws him from human caprice. The right to life and to the free expression of personal faith in God is not subject to the power of man. Peace requires the establishment of a clear boundary between what is at man's disposal and what is not: in this way unacceptable intrusions into the patrimony of specifically human values will be avoided.
- Equally unacceptable are conceptions of God that would encourage intolerance and recourse to violence against others. This is a point which must be clearly reaffirmed: war in God's name is never acceptable! When a certain notion of God is at the origin of criminal acts, it is a sign that that notion has already become an ideology.
- Speaking of Christians in particular, I must point out with pain that not only are they at times prevented from doing so; in some States they are actually persecuted, and even recently tragic cases of ferocious violence have been recorded. There are regimes that impose a single religion upon everyone, while secular regimes often lead not so much to violent persecution as to systematic cultural denigration of religious beliefs. In both instances, a fundamental human right is not being respected, with serious repercussions for peaceful coexistence. This can only promote a mentality and culture that is not conducive to peace.
The statements just made by Benddict XVI appear to be in direct opposition to the dogmatic papal proclamation of Pius IX. Yet no explanation has been given, no justification made, for the 180 reversal.
Pius IX claimed that only Catholicism had rights. He did so speaking from a Christian Europe. He did so surrounded by the faith. He made his statement from the ground of Catholic belief in the absolute truth of the Catholic faith. He rejected the notion of religious freedom, and that rejection was consistent with the direction the Church had taken as Europe developed. Perhaps it can be argued that he did so in reaction to the overthrow of the papal states in Italy.
Now comes Benedict who advocates religious freedom. He rightly laments the instances where Christians are persecuted for their faith, but in doing so affirms the validity of all religions in opposition to a prior infallible papal encyclical.
Benedict believes that the state must not interfere with the free exercise of any and all religion. No reconciliation with the previous dogmatic statement that this is an error is attempted. The pope has simply taught a reversal of the dogma promulgated infallibly under the Syllabus of Errors, and taught it unapologetically, turning our doctrine into a house of cards in the process.
Apart from the consideration that what Benedict said would appear to stem from current world thinking, particularly of the globalists, and may in fact be the only thinking that will permit mankind to avoid nuclear holocaust, what is one to conclude from this at the level of dogma?
- Do we have a case of pope opposing pope? Can we have such a phenomenon and still maintain the consistency of our beliefs?
- Can a later pope trump the promulgations of a former pope?
- Does this example tell us that despite his words to the contrary, Benedict believes dogma is now intended to be related to contemporary thinking when it is inconvenient to hold fast to what has gone before?
None of these conclusions will land one squarely in the Catholic camp, yet they seem logically drawn from Bendict's words. This is especially troubling because we are in the midst of a scandal that has involved lying and cover-up, and because we have the words of Pope Paul VI that the "smoke" has seeped in. We have little choice other than to take the words of the pope on faith, and little reason to do so when considering that our leaders have not played fairly and honestly with us.
If one dogma is up for grabs, then why should we conclude all of the rest are sacred and beyond revision? If a pope can do a 180 and be respected on the matter of other religions, on what else can he do a 180 and still remain in good standing as we view him? Is there anything he cannot reverse without incurring the charge of teaching heresy, or are we so indifferent to prior teachings that we can embrace current teaching without raising questions and expecting our questions to be answered? The SSPX have raised questions about this consistently and repeatedly and gotten no answers.
The matter of whether the current teaching of Benedict makes logical sense or not given the world scene is a separate issue from the reversal itself. While I tend to see the matter of other religions largely as Benedict sees it, I still need some acceptable justification for doing so if the reversal is not going to knock the foundation out from under my trust in the teaching of popes down through the centuries and cast a shadow of doubt over the entire body of doctrine. One does not say black is white without some really convincing argument for doing so. None is being provided.
GAY ADOPTION BATTLE IN ENGLAND
If you've been following the controversy over gay adoptions in England and the threat to shut Catholic adoption agencies if they are forced to accommodate gay couples, the battle has been upped a notch. Check out the story at pinknews.co.uk where you can read:
Today the Roman Catholics hit back, with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor accusing the government of being guilty of, "unreasonable, unnecessary and unjust discrimination against Catholics."
Now LibDem MP Evan Harris, President of the Liberal Democrat Campaign for Gay & Lesbian Equality (DELGA), has upped the ante, with a statement that reads,
"It is rather sordid that the Catholic leadership should seek to try and blackmail Parliament and Government by threatening to close down its valuable work in adoption and other areas, particularly by using vulnerable groups like children in care to fight its ideological battle."
Dr Harris is almost topped in the abuse stakes by the gay and lesbian Humanists, who issued a statement accusing the Catholic Church of "despicable blackmail," and branded their leadership, "morally repellent."
I think Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor touched a nerve. :)
CARDINAL MARTINI IN THE NEWS AGAIN - ABOUT EUTHANASIA THIS TIME
ROME: The Vatican's rigid opposition to euthanasia has come under fire from within its own ranks after it denied a religious funeral to a paralysed man who had asked to be removed from a life-saving respirator.
The influential former archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, said on Sunday that terminally ill patients should be given the right to refuse treatments and that the doctors who assist them should be protected by law.
That instance of disagreement over euthanasia bothers me, and I'm inclined to see it Martini's way. We are not talking about active murder here. We are talking about a patient's right to determine his own medical care or stop that care. The argument that this was wrong starts down the road to an argument that all and every means no matter how expensive and no matter how devastating to the patient involved must be used in every medical situation. With enough technology, human bodies can be maintained in life support long past the point of death. Is that the road we are to travel if we are Catholic?
Monday, January 22, 2007
ZEROING IN ON THE MALADY AND THE REMEDY
Once again, as he did in his encyclical, Benedict targets precisely our current difficulties and proposes the road to recovery. Sandro Magister reports at Chiesa on Benedict's forthcoming book about Jesus, providing five translations of the preface--a book which Magister says focuses on the theme contained in these words of Benedict:
Speaking about Christmas, the pope called attention back to “the power of the darkness that seeks to obscure the splendor of the divine light.” And he said:
“This is the drama of the rejection of Christ, which, as in the past, is unfortunately manifested and expressed today in many different ways. It may be that today’s forms of the rejection of God are even more subtle and dangerous than in the past: from explicit rejection to indifference, from scientistic atheism to the presentation of a so-called ‘modernized’ or ‘postmodernized’ Jesus. This is Jesus as a man, reduced in various ways to a mere man of his time, deprived of his divinity, or a Jesus so idealized as to seem sometimes a character in a fairy tale.”
To this false Jesus, the pope has opposed the “true Jesus of history”: that Jesus who is “true God and true man, and does not weary of offering his Gospel to all.” Before him, “one cannot remain indifferent. We too, dear friends, must continually take a position.” Not to reject him, but to welcome him. Knowing that “to those who received him, he gave power to become sons of God” (John 1:12).
Those are words similar to ones I heard in yesterday's homily. It is Christ, and ultimately only Christ, Second Person of the Trinity, who shows us who God is because He took our human form. The rock, the foundation, even moreso than Peter, Christ and relationship with Him, is the root of everything worth having, or in Benedict's words, "intimate friendship with Jesus, on which everything depends."
The hatred of Christianity rising around the world is a hatred of the Jesus of faith, and the fulfillment of His own prophecy that it would happen. Christ is a dividing line that too often costs lives. The God who preached charity toward everyone is hated by everyone who seeks factionalism and elitist superiority. Being a servant to all does not appeal to those who desire empowerment. They see no potential for gain in a God who will allow Himself to be crucified.
The medicine we need is not more of the social gospel. It is not more focus on the needs of our fellow man that can even be used to our own purposes. The medicine we need is the Living God, born in the body of a man, broken and resurrected, who seeks to know us individually. Only with our eyes on Him can there be any hope for peace and common humanity in the world. Christ, Himself, is the answer to what ails our planet.
The Church may swirl into chaos around us. We may not be able to find a place to worship. We may be subjected to the pressure from those who would redefine Christ that Benedict outlines in his preface. But ultimately the only prayer worth praying is that we will die with the name of Christ on our lips and a plea for His mercy in our hearts. With that we gain everything the Church has to offer. With that the failures of the men of the Church cease to matter.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
HAVE THE FOXES COLONIZED THE HENHOUSE ?
From an NOR link:
VATICAN CITY -- The forced resignation of Pope Benedict XVI's handpicked choice for archbishop of Warsaw, Stanislaw Wielgus, has exposed divisions within the Vatican, which insiders say have left the pontiff increasingly isolated.
"Benedict does not have a decisive temperament and must take into account his age," said the Italian Panorama newsmagazine. "The initiatives he has taken are meeting with much resistance."
Bishop Wielgus announced his resignation on Jan. 9, just two days after accepting the post, in the face of disclosures that he had been an agent for Poland's communist secret service for decades and twice attended its spy school.
Benedict had passed over six other candidates to select Bishop Wielgus for the post, actions that suggest he was at best poorly advised by his entourage, Vatican sources say.
The Vatican declined to comment for this article.
A lot of Polish names appear on the "Passed-over and Replaced List" in the article. Meanwhile, the canonization of the Chief Polish Vaticanista continues full-speed. Now that we have all caught our breath after the conclave, the air in Rome seems to be stirring once again.
ANTI-CHRISTIANITY IN BURMA
NOR has linked this story:
The military regime in Burma is intent on wiping out Christianity in the country, according to claims in a secret document believed to have been leaked from a government ministry. Entitled "Programme to destroy the Christian religion in Burma", the incendiary memo contains point by point instructions on how to drive Christians out of the state.
The text, which opens with the line "There shall be no home where the Christian religion is practised", calls for anyone caught evangelising to be imprisoned. It advises: "The Christian religion is very gentle – identify and utilise its weakness."
Its discovery follows widespread reports of religious persecution, with churches burnt to the ground, Christians forced to convert to the state religion, Buddhism, and their children barred from school.
RUNNING UP TO 2008
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
MASS - VARIATIONS ON A THEME
Last Sunday at Mass the visiting African priest began the Lord Have Mercy prayer at the same moment that the organist began the Gloria. It was the organist that won the moment as the priest subsided into silence. I thought it odd and made a note to pay attention next time to see how it was being done.
Today--or make that yesterday since it's after midnight--the Lord Have Mercy prayer was again omitted. As I think back over the last few weeks of attending this church, I can't recall hearing the Kyrie or the Lord Have Mercy prayer being said. When did this become optional?