Saturday, February 24, 2007
FATHER FARFAGLIA TALKS ABOUT TEMPTATION
in this homily at his website. This is pure, unadulterated Roman Catholicism of the pre-Vatican II Church, and of the sort that is still contained in the CCC. Nothing here calls into question any tenet of the Catholic faith. It is simple, straightforward Catholic doctrine. Refreshing, but also challenging, and convicting in the sense that it reminds me how far short of the ideal my days tend to fall. With a sense of guilt comes change, and with change comes a renewed hope for both the individual and the Church.
He talks about original sin, the inclination to sin, the source of temptation, Satan, the need to avoid occasions of temptation. Written between each line is a pattern that can lead to holiness if we choose to take it up.
Can we clone him? If it were possible, I'd put in an early bid for one of the clones to come to the Akron area and work this mission field. Since it's not possible, at least he is available on the web any time we need him. For now, at least. Until one of our liberal shepherds decides he needs to vanish.
Friday, February 23, 2007
GOD AND MAMMON WED
A SECRET document has revealed for the first time the extraordinary riches being reaped by Melbourne's top poker machine clubs.
The internal Tattersall's report details the huge profits industry chiefs and the Bracks Government have fought to keep confidential.
The gambling is fiercest in Clocks at Flinders St Station, where a staggering $16.27 million is turned over every 10 weeks.
Player losses during the same period totalled $1.62 million - about $162,000 a week, $23,000 a day, $964 an hour or $16 a minute.
Clocks is run by Tatts and the Doxa Youth Foundation, a charity backed by the Catholic Church.
Read the rest...
"THE JEWISH STATE VS. THE CATHOLIC STATE"
At the Washington Post website Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, Director, Research Center for Religion in Society and Culture, compares the Jewish State of Israel with the Catholic Papal States and finds many similarities.
is the subject of an NCR article posted at Catholic Online. It provides some facts and figures about prostitution that are not generally discussed, such as the average age of entry, the number of prostitutes who are raped, the number who are drug and alcohol abusers, and police indifference to crimes committed against prostitutes.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
TRUTH IN ADVERTISING NEEDED AT UDM
DETROIT, Michigan, February 21, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The University of Detroit Mercy claims it is a Catholic institution. Their web page says, "The University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), a Catholic university in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions . . . seeks to integrate the intellectual, spiritual, ethical and social development of our students." (http://www.udmercy.edu/mission/index.htm )
Nevertheless, the same "Catholic" University is encouraging its student's to work with abortion agencies such as Planned Parenthood. Their career suggestions have not gone unnoticed and a local Planned Parenthood branch is boasting of having hired a UDM student.
The "Career Education Center" UDM website lists Planned Parenthood as a career opportunity for students. Pointing to the website for Planned Parenthood, the UDM career website suggests that Planned Parenthood "Lists dozens of clinical and non-clinical positions at Planned Parenthood clinics and similar organizations." (see: http://www.udmercy.edu/cecc/diverse.htm )
If you're going to call yourself a Catholic school, you have to abide by Catholic beliefs, and this isn't the way to do it, in case anyone needs to be told.
DOING THE BISHOP SHUFFLE
Marci Hamilton, reports developments in the sexual abuse suits in San Diego for the FindLaw website:
On Sunday, February 18, Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Brom distributed leaflets to the San Diego faithful in the pews. In the leaflets, he tried to make the case that the San Diego Diocese could be forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of the 143 consolidated clergy abuse cases against the diocese for the hierarchy's role in the cover up of child abuse. . The leaflets tried to cloud the simple issue that the plaintiffs' suits really raise -- whether the Diocese and its hierarchy will take responsibility for their wrongs to children.
If the bankruptcy were filed, this would be the fifth U.S. diocese to declare bankruptcy. However, in the other four jurisdictions - Tucson, AZ; Portland, OR; Spokane, WA; and Davenport, IA-- the declaration of intent to file came on the eve of trial. Here, however, the declaration has come weeks before the trials are scheduled to begin, on February 28. It is thus geared toward setting the tone and context of ongoing pre-trial settlement discussions (which Bishop Brom specifically mentions)- pressuring plaintiffs to settle lower in order to avoid the inevitable delays of a bankruptcy filing.
Hamilton says this strategy is diningenuous because:
This triangulation strategy is particularly unpersuasive in the San Diego context. Remember this is San Diego, home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country, and the non-religious property holdings of the Diocese are extensive and valuable beyond most person's imaginations. If they were sold off to serve a fair settlement, it is simply not accurate to say, as Bishop Brom does, that the result would be to "cripple" the Diocese's "mission and ministries." Nor would parishes or schools be affected. Indeed, it is hard to believe anyone in the diocese would even notice the sale of a few of the "unusually diverse real estate holdings, including commercial projects, apartment buildings, condominium complexes and undeveloped land" mentioned in the San Diego Union-Tribune's scathing editorial of Feb. 20.
Bishop Brom, by lefleting parishioners, has pitted the laity of the San Diego Diocese against the victims of clergy abuse. If such a war can be fomented, maybe he thinks he, and his responsibility for what took place, can be moved off center stage. Nifty legal strategy for a shepherd of Christ who is out of cover-up options.
SNAP--SETTING THEIR SIGHTS ON THE BAPTISTS
The victims advocates who dogged the Roman Catholic Church over sex abuse by its clergy have now turned their attention to the Southern Baptists, accusing America’s largest Protestant denomination of also failing to root out molesters.
The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has started a campaign to call attention to alleged sex abuse committed by Southern Baptist ministers and concealed by churches.
SNAP presented a letter Monday to Southern Baptist Convention executive committee members in Nashville, asking the group to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on sex abuse and to create an independent review board to investigate molestation reports.
Church leaders concede there have been some incidents of abuse in Southern Baptist congregations, but say their hands are tied when it comes to investigating complaints across the denomination.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
MOTION ALLEGING PILLA'S SLUSH FUND
Matt Abbott has posted the court document filed in the U.S. District Court.
FAST AND ABSTINENCE
EWTN has provided the Canons pertaining to fast and abstinence:
Canon 1250 All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.
Canon 1251 Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Canon 1252 All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.
Can. 1253 It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
I just realized that I am no longer obliged to fast.
PAULIST PRIEST JOINS MASONS
From Catholic World News via a link at NOR:
Rome, Feb. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - An Italian Paulist priest has become a member of the Masons, joining the group in a ceremony attended by about 40 people at the Masonic headquarters at Piazza del Gesu in Rome.
Father Rosario Francesco Esposito dismissed the Church ban on membership in the Masonic lodge, saying that it is “a thing of the past.”
Read the rest...
What will the Vatican do about it?
The Masonic blogger "The Widow's Son" has covered this event and referenced a Zenit article posted earlier this month that reiterates the ban on Lodge membership, according to which "A person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an Interdict....an ecclesiastical penalty that deprives the person of the right to celebrate or receive the sacraments..."
Would this priest be the same person who wrote these books? The name is the same, and two of the books appear to be about Masonry, but I don't read Italian and so am not sure. Here are the titles:
1.Santi e massoni al servizio dell'uomo : vite parallele more books like this
by Rosario Francesco Esposito
see all copies from $24.88!
2.Anuarite, vierge et martyre za�roise more books like this
by Rosario Francesco Esposito, E. Somers
see all copies from $26.47!
3.Giovanni Bovio tra l'apostolo Paolo e s. [i.e. san] Tommaso d'Aquino : contributo alla storia della Chiesa e della massoneria nel secolo XIX more books like this
by Rosario Francesco Esposito
see all copies from $15.24!
Page 1 of 1
If you can read those titles, check Google for more information about him in Italian.
AWWWWWW, POOR MARCOTTE AND MCEWAN
If you've followed the tempest over the feminist bloggers John Edwards hired, you might enjoy Matt C. Abbott's column. He reports the comments of a bishop and two priests who take them to task.
I especially love the American Life League's definition of a Neofeminist that Bishop Gracida supplied. Priceless, really. It made my day!
TO GIVE IT UP, OR NOT TO GIVE IT UP
that is the question Craig Henry addresses in a discussion with a number of Catholics who discuss their views at ArgusLeader.com.
“What I really need to give up is candy. That would be a sacrifice,” she said jokingly. “No, I don’t know if I will give up anything this year. But I have in the past.”
That’s something Father Hal Barber at St. Therese Catholic Church said is perfectly fine.
“Giving something up is not the primary focus of Lent,” he said. “If it helps people to grow in goodness and grace, then it’s a good thing.”
So does giving it up help you grow in grace? I'm not so sure it works that way for me. Giving up something is more like a challenge. Can I make it all the way through Lent without caving in? Doing it makes me feel virtuous, which is not necessarily such a good thing. Conversely, if I decide not to give something up I get to carry a load of guilt that lasts the entire 40 days, stemming most likely from childhood days of going without candy. I'm not sure which is better. Neither one has a holy focus on Christ, but I guess it'll be chocolate again this year.
I honestly don't know how the Orthodox keep their fast. It's far more strenuous than anything Roman Catholics have ever done. Even before the Council, our Lenten fast wasn't close.
In any case, I had my chocolate binge last night--a slice of Godiva chocolate Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. Now comes seven weeks of dreaming about the chocolate Easter bunny that grows bigger with each moment of anticipation.
PLANNING TO VISIT ROME ?
If you are, you might want to read an article from the Taipei Times that explains the limitations on visiting Vatican museums and other Italian museums. You can't exactly walk up and get right in, and the situation appears to be headed into even greater complications to see the good stuff.
ANGLICAN STATEMENT ON GAY CLERGY
Leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion, meeting this week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, have issued an ultimatum to the Episcopal Church of the United States, demanding an end to the appointment of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex couples.
According to the BBC, the document calls for the U.S. Episcopal bishops to "make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorize any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions."
It also orders the U.S. Episcopal Church not to ordain any other priests who are active homosexuals, requiring the bishops to agree that "a candidate for Episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent - unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion."
The Anglican Communion statement warns that if the above assurances can not be given by September 30th, the Episcopal Church could be removed from the worldwide Communion.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
THE LAW OF ATTRACTION
David Portney reveals the dangers in pursuing the Law of Attraction known as "The Secret" that Oprah is promoting, and offers to provide a lecture free of charge:
Everyone is talking about 'The Secret- and the 'law of attraction- hyped in the movie by self-proclaimed 'gurus- of self-help. Even Oprah recently ran a show featuring the movie. The problem? Those self-help 'gurus- are promoting pseudo-science that can ruin people's lives.
'Evidently, ‘magical thinking' is alive and well here in the 21st Century- asserts author David Portney. 'The
self-appointed gurus of self-help are teaching people dangerous lies: for example, that sitting around visualizing your goals & dreams will make them come true. If that's true, how come every person that buys lottery tickets & visualizes winning, is not winning the lottery?
MICHAEL BROWN ISSUES WARNING ABOUT MOVIE "THE SECRET"
He notes that it is Rosicrucian and concerns the "mastery of life".
CARDINAL PELL REJECTS GLOBAL WARMING
in an article at Spero News linked at NOR:
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Australia wrote to his flock that “doomsayers” and “zealots” who worry about global warming have subjected their listeners to “a lot of nonsense about climate disasters”.
Noting that some opinion page editors and others have called for “Nuremberg-style trials for global warming sceptics, while a USA television correspondent compared sceptics to ‘holocaust deniers’”, Cadinal George Pell said “Christians don’t go against reason although we sometimes go beyond it in faith to embrace probabilities. What we were seeing from the doomsayers was an induced dose of mild hysteria, semi-religious if you like, but dangerously close to superstition.”
Monday, February 19, 2007
CONVERSATION OVER LUNCH
Husband: "What did you post about yesterday's Mass?"
I filled him in on the "echo" stuff down below.
Husband: "Did you see what else the deacon did?"
Me: "No, what?"
Husband: "At the consecration. He held up the cup when the priest held up the host."
Me: "The chalice? I didn't see that. When did he do that?"
Husband: "When the priest held up the host at the consecration, the deacon held up the cup. There wasn't any chalice."
Me: "He held up the cup at the same time that the priest held up the host?"
Husband: "Yeah. I looked over at you, but you had your head down. I guess you didn't see it."
Me: "What did the priest say when they were both holding things up?"
Husband: "I don't remember."
Me: "All I remember was that the words sounded ok, and that a concern about the validity of the consecration passed through my mind about that time."
Husband: "Did you see how after the consecration the priest mixed the hosts from the tabernacle with the hosts that had been brought up at the offertory procession? Were all of the hosts consecrated or just some of them? Were the ones in the tabernacle consecrated by someone else?"
Me: "I don't know."
ALLEGED FINANCIAL DIRTY DEALING IN THE CLEVELAND DIOCESE
is being reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, including Pilla's secret accounts.
Hat tip to NOR.
INTERESTING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
In a story linked at NOR The Times reports on "radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope."
VASSULA RYDEN AND PROBLEMS ON THE RIGHT
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a Notification concerning Vassula Ryden with these provisions:
1) The Notification addressed to the Pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church retains all its force. It was approved by the competent authorities and will be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official organ of the Holy See, with the signatures of the Prefect and the Secretary of the Congregation. [*](emphasis mine)
2) Regarding the reports circulated by some news media concerning a restrictive interpretation of this Notification, given by His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect in a private conversation with a group of people to whom he granted an audience in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 10 May 1996, the same Cardinal Prefect wishes to state:
a) as he said, the faithful are not to regard the messages of Vassula Ryden as divine revelations, but only as her personal meditations;
b) these meditations, as the Notification explained, include, along with positive aspects, elements that are negative in the light of Catholic doctrine;
c) therefore, Pastors and the faithful are asked to exercise serious spiritual discernment in this matter and to preserve the purity of the faith, morals and spiritual life, not by relying on alleged revelations but by following the revealed Word of God and the directives of the Church's Magisterium.
Despite the clear condemnation of this seer, "Vox Domini", the work of Rev. Dr. Michal Kaszowski, Professor of Dogmatical Theology, Silesian Seminary Katowice, is still promoting her messages, and providing arguments in an attempt to justify doing so.
Why does this Polish priest believe that he has a right to contradict the decision of the Church and the CDF regarding this seer? What is the profit for him and those who work with him? Is there a communist connection?
I've been writing about Rosicrucianism/neo-Catharism. I've also written about the dangers on the right in Roman Catholicism. Vassula Ryden would appear to be a good example of both.
In her website is a description of angelic contact:
In the beginning one of the first things my guardian angel put on paper was a drawing of a heart; from the centre of the heart he drew a rose as though it was growing out from the heart. Then gently and still to my great astonishment he introduced himself as my guardian angel, Daniel.
Ryden engages in "automatic writing", and a sample of the handwriting can be seen here. Who does the writing? Here is what the website has to say:
The messages given to Vassula are written by her in a stately handwriting - distinct from her own - as she allows her hand to be supernaturally guided.
Many adults, including Vassula herself, have asked whether this is Jesus' actual handwriting. Jesus' answer was that it was not His handwriting, otherwise it would be perfect. But He always says, "Vassula allow Me to use your hand," or "listen and write......" Like many sacred mysteries, it is not easy to grasp this one fully, but it might be helpful to many if we share some of the observations that Vassula and Fr. O'Carroll have made at various times.
Another paragraph in the website is also interesting for the various visionaries mentioned by her champion Father O'Carroll:
Father O'Carroll makes this observation:... "Others, like Maria Conception de Armida, Adrienne von Speyr and, St. Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden have taken dictation from the Lord. Vassula's case is singular in that the handwriting is directly controlled. We have the transcription of an intensely personal experience of Jesus Christ with the assurance that He was involved down to the physical element of putting the words on paper." Vassula also describes it as, having her hand 'enraptured' as when a visionary is in a state of whole-body rapture or ecstasy.
Angelic contact and automatic writing are Rosicrucian spiritual techniques. Angelic invocations are described by Alex Sumner in the "Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition", No. 10, Vol. 1, 2006, in which he describes the activities of
Rosicrucian Frederick Hockley. There seems to be little difference between his activities and those of Vassula Ryden.
Ryden seems to have chiefly an oriental following. There are numerous pictures of Ryden with various Eastern Orthodox priests in the Image Gallery. Click the link for "True Life in God Ecumenical Pilgrimage 2005" to see some of them in a pop-up window.
Mark Waterinckx has researched the position of the Roman Catholic Church on Vassula Ryden. You can read the entire text of his research here. It includes the official church documents from the Bishop of Sion-Switzerland and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It also includes some analysis of the doctrinal errors in her writings. It concludes with the following:
Vassula is a medium, someone who is in touch with an evil spirit (demon) who dictates so called messages to her, in the New Age style. Her Jesus talks about a united church, in much the same way as freemasonry does.
What will you choose, the farcical unity of Vassula, who refuses to obey the Roman Catholic Church, or the Church founded by Christ and entrusted to St Peter?
The Echo of Medjugorje
In fact if you Google "Medjugorje" with "echo", you will get 25,700 hits. Medjugorje, of course, is an unapproved apparition.
In the Sybilline Prophecies by Isis Moon at the Goddess Mystery School, where you can read:
Our Lady’s warnings in The Sybilline prophecies, are an echo of Her numerous earlier warnings around the globe, as the Blessed Virgin Mary . For example, in 1961, in Garabandal , Spain, Her messengers reported the following Marian warnings:
“ The cup is already filling and if we do not amend our lives, there will come great chastisement.”( Ray Stanford. Fatima Prophecy. New York: Ballantine Books,1988, p.39.)
The cup is full because Our Lady is simply “fed up” with Perpetual Matricide. If we persist in ignoring Her multiple warnings, the consequences would be absolutely horrible: the End Time will be dramatic, bloody and nightmarish. It is the Terrible Mother, the Angry Mother, who would bring it upon us. There are chilling descriptions of the End Time, in my monumental work, Prophecies and Revelations of the Divine Mother, mentioned earlier.
A word of advice: DO NOT DISREGARD OUR LADY’S WARNINGS ON ANY ACCOUNT, individually or collectively. Our Lady is an awesome Cosmic Power that can wipe us out in the blink of an eye! Simply put, we cannot afford to antagonize Her any further! I know enough about Our Lady’s Cosmic Anger to say, without risk of error, that She is an explosive time bomb. This bomb is ticking. It needs defusing. It is in our interest to pacify Our Lady and win Her heart by all means.
There's a lot more in the website, but you get the idea.
The New Age Echo also promulgates messages. The heart of the messages would appear to be that all religions are equal.
When someone is talking about an echo, the most important question is who or what is the source.
In the homily this morning, the deacon who gave it talked repeatedly about sending out an echo of virtues that would come back to us, thus enabling us to get what we give.
Strangely enough, I see that Vassula Ryden talks often of being an echo as this search result on the word "echo" in her website indicates.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
It often happens that on a blog someone will reject any criticism of the present pope or the one of recent memory. It's as though they believe that the pope has somehow been exempted from any possibility of sin because he has been chosen by the Holy Spirit.
In the current issue of NOR this mindset has turned up in a Letter to the Editor written by a reader who objects to NOR covering Randy Engel's criticism of Pope Paul VI, specifically her claim that he may have been homosexual. Here is what the letter writer said in part:
I do not know why you wrote that Randy Engel, in her bookThe Rite of Sodomy, "says that Paul VI was a homosexual, and she gives evidence for this."...
Worse yet is your statement that "Engel also has doubts about Pope Benedict's manliness," and then repeating the titillating details. You were wrong to publish these horrible things.
I am so upset about the treatment of our Holy Father, but also about the "rite of sodomy," that I can no longer be one of your readers.
Signed T. Gavin King, Claremore, Oklahoma
As it happened the night I read that letter I also read a portion of Malachi Martin's book THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN CHURCH-- a look at the history of the papacy. While I knew there had been bad popes, I had not known until this book just how bad. A couple of choice examples:
When John XIX died under suspicious circumstances in 1033, a relative of John's took his own twelve-year-old son, also called Theophylact, had papal clothes made to fit him, lifted him bodily onto the papal throne, and had him consecrated pope as Benedict IX. The spectacle of this twelve-year-old issuing excommunications, giving his papal blessing, formulating decrees, consecrating bishops, deciding theological matters, was ludicrous enough, but it took more than that to shake the impassive Greeks.(pp 132-133)
Benedict shook them, though. First, the child was bisexual, sodomized animals, and ordered murders. He also dabbled in witchcraft and Satanism. Within less than a year, there was a plot to strangle him. He escaped, and his big brother, Gregory, put him back on the papal throne. The Roman citizenry revolted against him and elected John of Sabina as Pope Silvester III. But Bemedict's family again put him back on the throne, and Silvester III had to flee.
In May of 1033, Benedict found a buyer for the papacy--John Gratin, a rich archpriest. Benedict and John Gratian signed a formal document according to which Benedict, when he resigned the papacy in John's favor, would receive for the rest of his life the entire tribute of the English church--it was called Peter's Pence. John Gratian became Pope Gregory VI. Benedict IX became Theophylact once again, but continued to live in the Lateran Palace, which he converted into the best brothel in Rome. At the same time, living in Rome were Silvester III in St. Mary Major's, and Gregory VI in St. Peter's.
Yes, that shook even the Greeks.
In September 1046, Holy Roman emperor Henry III came to Rome, expelled the two popes and the ex-pope and appointed one of his own German bishops, Suidger of Bamberg, as Pope Clement II, whom the Byzantines took to be a stooge of their mortal enemy, Henry.
Clement didn't last long, however. Theophylact (our former Benedict IX) had Clement II poisoned on October 9, 1047, and once more he climbed back onto the papal throne as Benedict IX. He lasted exactly eight months and nine days--until the Emperor Henry returned to Rome. Benedict took to his heels and Henry put another of his German bishops on the throne, Poppo of Brixin, as Pope Damasus II, on July 17, 1048. But Theophylact's poison acted again, and Damasus II died twenty-three days after his elevation.
Fortunately, Henry had a goodly supply of bishops. He put still another, Bruno of Toul, a member of the powerful Egisheim family, on the throne as Pope Leo IX. Besides receiving King Macbeth of Shakespeare fame in the year 1050, Leo inadvertently slammed the door on Constantinople.
There are many more examples of terrible popes in the book. It would seem that if we are to believe current popolators are right, the Holy Spirit has had considerable difficulty in making good choices in the dark history of the Roman Catholic Church.
It's been snowing so driving into downtown Akron seemed like a bad idea. We chose to attend Mass closer to home.
The deacon gave the homily. He actually said it: "God is within you." Then he went on from there to give the New Age gospel of you get what you give which he took from some reading or other about an echo, the author and source of which he didn't mention. He left out "don't be negative" but it was easy to infer the command from everything else he said.
The priest, a visiting priest at the parish, ad libbed all the way through Mass, including opening Mass with comments about the weather.
By the time communion rolled around I was in no frame of mind to meet Christ, so I didn't receive.
I made it to the end of Mass, so I've done my penance for the first week of Lent.
I have got to find someplace to worship.