Saturday, October 20, 2007


NEW YORK - Harry Potter fans, the rumors are true: Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay. J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-selling fantasy series that ended last summer, outed the beloved character Friday night while appearing before a full house at Carnegie Hall.

After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.

She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."

"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.

Read the rest...

Gay and Headmaster. The man with all the power. With access to lots of pubescent and pre-pubescent boys, and lots of dark hallways. And the kiddies who have been salivating over these stories have now been conditioned to see this gay headmaster as a person to be trusted.

And the audience applauded. Sigh.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


An international authority on Kabbalah says it's time for the world to learn its secrets.

Rav Michael Laitman, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Kabbalah," is touring the country and will speak Tuesday at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa.

Kabbalah, made popular by celebrities such as Madonna, is typically described as ancient Jewish mysticism that gives humans a path to understanding the mysteries of God and the universe.

A Kabbalist for 30 years, Laitman says the wisdom of Kabbalah predates Judaism and is understood better as a science, not as religion or mysticism.

Before founding the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute in Israel, Laitman was a Russian scientist and researcher. The nonprofit group hosts the www.kabbalah.info Web site, which receives 2 million to 3 million visitors each month.

Continue reading...


A reader sent in a link to this story about James Watson from Wired Blog Network:

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has suspended James Watson from his duties as chancellor. The announcement came a day after the lab issued a press release explaining that "The Board of Trustees, administration and faculty vehemently disagree with these statements and are bewildered and saddened if he indeed made such comments." But while they're making the right decision, there's more than a whiff of sanctimonious hypocrisy in the air.

Continue reading...


Who would have thought that the globalists would use a coin collector's association for propaganda? But that is the plan for the April 2008 National Coin Week:

Money.org | National Coin Week

To quote the theme:

"The ANA is calling on its members to provide a theme for 2008 National Coin Week, April 20-26. This year, the weeklong celebration of coin collecting will feature activities and exhibits that highlight youth across the globe. Submissions should reflect this topic by focusing on unity in a global society, and what role children and numismatics play in achieving this unity."

Kyrie eleison.



Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)

Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 89 | October 19, 2007


HLI Fights Abortion in Mozambique and Uruguay

Don't Miss HLI's EWTN Pilgrimage!

Dear Friends,

Last month, when we sent out our appeal for Mozambique, I promised to get back to you on the situation of abortion legalization in that country. No one seems to be reporting on it, and even for the Africans it is very difficult to get information on what is going on there. As of this moment, abortion has not been voted on or liberalized in that southern African country although Mozambique has had an ambiguous quasi-legal status since their days of heavy communist influence in the early 80s. The month-long missionary trip that our valiant HLI representative, Mr. Emil Hagamu, made to Mozambique during the month of September was effective in the way that we hoped it would be. He went there armed with the generosity of our supporters and all our prayers. I include here a link to a summary of Mr. Hagamu's report and ask you to continue to pray to the Guardian Angel of Mozambique for assistance to keep the abortion demon at bay.


For months now, the pro-lifers have been monitoring under-the-surface machinations by extreme feminists in the Uruguayan Congress to propose legislation to legalize abortion. Feminists chose to concentrate their efforts on Uruguay because it is arguably the most secularized of the nations in Latin America. A famous visit by abortion-promoting US First Lady Hillary Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998 emboldened the extremists in their long-term plan to gut pro-life protections.

Last Friday, the feminist radicals finally proposed one law with four chapters to do their dirty work: one chapter would have legalized abortion on demand with two other chapters that would have "regulated" it after legalization. A fourth chapter was intended as a "reproductive and sexual health" section that would bring the rest of the nefarious plan of the culture of death to this Catholic nation: hedonistic sex education, homosexuality, birth control, etc. The extremists thought they had enough votes in the Congress to pass it, but Uruguayan President, Tabaré Vásquez, promised to veto the law if it passed. One of HLI's affiliates, Asociación Vivir en Familia, organized a March for Life this past Monday to rally pro-lifers which counted the participation of the Archbishop of Montevideo, Nicolás Cotugno.

The results were not promising: although the abortion-on-demand chapter did not receive enough votes to pass, it only barely scraped by, with a 15-15 tie and one abstention. A similar vote in 2003 was 17-13 in favor of life. The legislators, however, voted unanimously for the sex education, birth control, homosexuality provision under the false presumption that all of this would somehow reduce the need for abortion.

For the present, the votes to pass the entire law are not there and abortion has not been legalized in Uruguay. However, HLI's other affiliate in Uruguay, Asociación Esperanza, tells us that they are very worried because the legislation has been sent back to committee and will be brought up again with amendments to make it more "palatable" to some of the fence-sitters. They think this vote can be as early as next week.

Please pray to the Guardian Angel of Uruguay to restrain the abortion demon in that land!

EWTN Pro-Life Pilgrimage - Sign up now!

HLI is sponsoring a pro-life pilgrimage to EWTN from Sunday, December 2 to Wednesday, December 5th. Space is limited so please sign up quickly and come pray with me at the center of Catholic evangelization in the world! For further information or to register, please contact Anne Lotierzo: augustine88@hotmail.com

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

Friday, October 19, 2007


If I were going to make a bet, and I'm not a betting woman, I'd put my money on Kabbalah being the future world religion. Right now there is a practitioner of Kabbalah on a book tour in North America which began October 9, and will continue until October 24--a practitioner with interesting connections.

Rav Michael Laitman, Ph.D.

Have you heard of him? Probably not, but he has been in the news here in the U.S. in recent weeks as he takes his Kabbalah tour to major cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Miami, Philadelphia, and New York.

His credentials:

- Ph.D. in Philosophy and Kabbalah, Moscow Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences
- MSc in Medical Cybernetics from St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University
- Disciple and personal assistant to Rabbi Baruch Ashlag
- Founder, Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute which charges no fees for its activities, including TV and internet broadcasts of Kabbalah lessons
- Founder and president of Ashlag Research Institute, devoted to interconnections between science and Kabbalah
- Member of the World Wisdom Council, an organization headed by Prof. Ervin Laszlo, founder, Club of Budapest
- Author of 30 books on Kabbalah

Rav Laitman is not an ordained rabbi. The title "Rav" was bestowed by his students.


Laitman's articles are online here The website is available in Hebrew, Russian, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, Swedish, Turkish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Greek, Arabic, Amharic, Yidish, Latvian, Finnish, Farsi, Georgian, Estonian Lithuanian, Ukranian, Croatian, and Japanese.

His lectures can be accesses here. Click a date on the calendar to obtain a list. Some are available in several languages.

Target sells his book, BASIC CONCEPTS IN KABBALAH.

At his Kabbalah Today website you can read about "The Secret of Harry [Potter]'s Magic".

He is listed as a member of the World Wisdom Council at the Club of Budapest website.

To be continues...


LONDON, October 18, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Geneticist James Watson, who received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of DNA, is considered one of the world’s most eminent scientists, but his qualifications as a social philosopher are being questioned. The 79 year-old Watson, in preparation for a speaking tour of the UK, has created an uproar after telling the Sunday Times this week that black people are less intelligent than whites and that the idea that “equal powers of reason” are shared across racial groups was a delusion.

Watson arrived in Britain today to publicise his latest book, “Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science”. Watson told the Sunday Times he is “inherently gloomy” about Africa’s prospects. He said, “All our social policies [towards African nations] are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”.

Continue reading...

Thursday, October 18, 2007


According to the parish bulletin he is scheduled to give the homily on Sunday, November 4. I wonder if the Sisters will be there to hear him?


Someone at Free Republic has posted one of Diogenes comments about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence that is worth a read. Specifically:

Deplorable though their stuntmanship was, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence may, contrary to their intent, perform a signal service for orthodox Catholics and for the Church at large. Think back to the 2005, and the in-fighting surrounding the upcoming Doomsday Doc, eventually issued as the Vatican Instruction on "Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies." The controversial point was the Holy See's contention that homosexual men lack the "affective maturity" necessary to the spiritual paternity in which the priesthood is authentically lived out. Remember the delegation sent ahead of time by the U.S. bishops begging that the Instruction be shelved? Remember the squeals when it was issued all the same? Remember the gasps of indignation at its statement that homosexuality was a "disturbance of a sexual nature ... incompatible with the priesthood"?

So picture a priest or bishop working in the Vatican curia who lived through the Doomsday Doc warfare and the arguments back-and-forth. And now on his office computer he's got a video-link to the Mass at Most Holy Redeemer. "Deep-seated homosexual tendencies are objectively disordered," he recites to himself, watching adult men in mascara and nun-drag given communion by a U.S. archbishop, "Got that right." No screed, no treatise, no series of lectures could make the point more memorably.

Will it make a difference, concretely? Not in the short term. The majority of U.S. bishops, remember, was trained in a theological culture that views the Sister's principal lapse as "over-accessorizing." Blasphemy (little different from heresy in this respect) is treated as a quaint, 19th-century sort of sin, the censure of which would be as comically obsolete as a treatment for dropsy or St. Vitus Dance, and few churchmen speak ill of the objective disorder in whose service the blasphemy is uttered. We can expect few efforts to tackle the current scandal. But the post-Conciliar ecclesiastics are passing away, and their successors are bolder where they're wrong and bolder where they're right. By putting their real motives on open display, Sister Edith and her pals have helped shape the terms of the conflict for the next generation.

Uh-huh...let us hope so!


David Helwig, writing for SooToday.com, objects to the decision of the Huron Superior District Catholic School Board to reject the HPV vaccine for students in the system.

Isn't it really all about money, David? After all, the vaccine is available to any parent who wants to procure it for their child. Just check with the pediatrician. There is no reason that the Catholic school should compromise Catholic principles to make this vaccine available free to you.

But, you argue, "outside the school setting" parents taking advantage of the availability of the vaccine are "comparatively very low and many of those who would benefit from the vaccine will not come forward." Who made you the keeper of other parents' children? Certainly your position is not a Catholic position.

You claim the vaccine has "Very few adverse effects...to date, primarily soreness at the injection site". Uhmmm, not hardly. You should read my blog.

Your comparison of this vaccine to the Hepatitis B vaccine, and then the suggestion that this vaccine is being banned because only females need it, boggles the mind. Where did you get such a strange notion? One would hope your Catholic female children would actually need neither one. But then maybe they don't actually practice their faith. Have you taught them to practice it?

I have no idea at all why you brought pap smears into this discussion. Virgin schoolgirls do not get pap smears.

You do bring up one interesting point. Why is this vaccine being given only to girls? Since transmission is sexual, why isn't the male, who presumably also enjoys the benefits of pre-marital sex, not also receiving it? Isn't it reasonable to assume that he would not want to transmit a life-threatening disease to his sexual partner? Is the schoolboy being encouraged to be irresponsible with this decision? As with pregnancy, it seems that the female is the only sexual partner who has something to lose from pre-marital sex, and thus like birth control, it is being marketed to females who must then assume all the risks of the dangerous side effects, while their male sexual partner, if they intend to have one, gets off scott free.


According to Catholic World News Italian Bishop Franco Agostinelli pulled out of a meeting scheduled with a homosexual activist group Arcigay after the press got wind of it and made it public. He explained:

"My gesture was to have been a sign of welcome"...but "not one of recognition for Arcigay." When the meeting plans were aired publicly, he said, he could not go through with the meeting without implying support for the group.

"How do you 'welcome' a group you don't recognize?" she asks with furrowed brow.

He should have checked with the spin doctors for the proper language before making a statement, I guess.


A reader sent in a link to this July 22, 2007 Arutz Sheva story:

(IsraelNN.com)A report Saturday night quoted several important Kabbalists, as well as senior Ashkenazic Hareidi Rabbis, as saying that a major war would take place in Israel “very soon.” The reports quoted senior Hareidi Rabbi Baruch Avraham Rakovsky, who said that during a recent gathering where senior Kabbalists discussed important issues of the day, it was revealed through a variety of means – including communication with autistic children - that a major war was in the offing. However, great “open miracles, such as those that occurred when the Jews left Egypt,” would take place.

Read the rest...

Rabbi Yehuda Berg, of Madonna's Kabbalah Centre offered a prediction of his own on August 26, 2006:

In the 16th century, the great Moroccan Kabbalist Abraham Azulai said that on September 11, 2000, a new era would dawn. This would be the age of immortality and resurrection of the dead. The year 2000 corresponded to the Hebrew Calendar Year of 5760.

Now follow this carefully …

The Zohar itself, when commenting upon the coming of the Messiah, said a series of events would trigger this new era. Specifically, the Zohar states in Volume 15, Paragraph 116:

“…THESE TWO KINDS OF JUDGMENTS WILL BE COMBINED. It will burn many towers … many towers will collapse and … fall on that day.”

In another section of the Zohar, it gives the actual name of a negative force that brings judgment to this world.

Verse 97. “B’ladan is its name, and He is not a human being…”

One year to the day of 9/11 2000 (5760), the Twin Towers fell in Manhattan. The world changed forever. Guess what? The Western Calendar year of 2001 ALSO fell in the Hebrew Calendar Year of 5760. So the Zohar was spot on!

His blog goes on to tell us that:

The full manifestation of the power of immirtality and resurrection of the dead is what's at stake ...

But now it's up to us. It's up to you.

Everyone must play an active role to manifest the Final Fruit. The only weapon the Opponent has to use against us is doubt.

He has nothing left in his arsenal. Nothing. His only chance to prevent the inevitable is to implant doubt in our minds.

Those of us who doubt the great new age mystical convergence, or whatever it will be called, will be working for the "other side" according to Rabbi Berg. Imagine what that will mean when Freemasonry and followers of Kabbalah converge with believers in the New Age! Christianity will find no place in it.

When our popes say we are awaiting the return of the Messiah while the Jews are awaiting his first appearance, what exactly are they telling us?

At the UFO Digest website Dr. Stephen Yulish, convert to Christianity, offers a viewpoint on the Kabbalists prediction:

The Tanakh (the Old Testament) is so clear in the writings of the Prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and Zechariah and Jeremiah and others who truly heard from God about the perils that surely will face modern day Israel, that it is sacrilegious that these Kabbalistic, modern day necromancers need to rely on "autistic children" for divine counsel on the fate of Israel. It is obvious to me, that what supposed information if any that they may glean from these types of agonizing sources, are more probably from Hasatan and his minions. They know that their time is short and will go to any lengths to deceive and manipulate the people of Israel even with false miracles and signs and wonders through the mouths of troubled, suffering innocent children. Remember what Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says "There shall not be found among you anyone who uses divination or who practices witchcraft or one who interprets omens or is a sorcerer or who casts a spell or is a medium or a spiritist or who calls up the dead. For whosoever does these things is detestable to the Lord."

Turning to the Jewishfuture.com website I found:

At first, the notion that Autistic people were able to communicate was the subject of well-deserved skepticism. But as more and more parents of autistic children learned methods of Facilitated Communication, they also found themselves able to communicate with their children.

Another area of skepticism surounds the content of the messages. Why would (some) Jewish autistic children give warnings about the world situation? How can this be believed? In fact, the Sages of the Talmud (Baba Basra 12a) hinted to this occurance when they said that after the era of formal prophecy had ended there would still be a remnant of higher knowledge available through young children and people of limited mental abilities (Hebrew word: "shotim") whose minds are more loosely bound into this physical world.

"How can this be?" the article asks, and then provides the following answer:

Since the mind of an autistic person is not so bound/linked/tied to this physical world, some spiritually sensitive autistic people develop a sensitivity to information from a place we can only call "above this world". In this realm the autist can access information not normally available to the rest of us.

This sounds incredibly like Dr. Doreen Virtue's Indigo Children who are said to have knowledge the rest of us don't possess but who are described as ADHD (scroll down to near the bottom) by those not part of the New Age movement.

Whether he would be described as "shotim" or not, it would seem to be significant that Judaism's most infamous heretical prophet, Sabbatai Zevi, was a manic-depressive. He was able to spread his heretical doctrine throughout Europe and the Holy Land within a very short period of time. He had many followers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


LifeSite has another article up on Most Holy Redeemer Parish. This time the topic is the "Thank You" letter from one of the "Sisters" which was posted on the parish website, and which the Archbishop requested be removed. LifeSite has both versions of the online bulletin posted at their website.


At "denialism blog" Ph.D. in physics candidate Mark Hoofnagle comments on Archbishop George Niederauer:

Archbishop apologizes for giving Communion to Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

And what a great article too! PZ would love this group.

On Oct. 7, Archbishop George Niederauer delivered the Eucharist to members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - an activist group whose motto is "go forth and sin some more" - prompting cries of outrage from conservatives across the country and Catholics in San Francisco. ... The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, founded in San Francisco in 1979, are known for their white face paint, outrageous costumes, theatrics and support of the gay community. They adopt names such as Sister Chastity Boner and Sister Constance Craving of the Holey Desire and have mottos such as, "It is not wise to say no to free drinks, cheap jewelry, discount cosmetics or pretty boys."

It's also great to see all the shock and horror for what is, in the end, the accidental deliverance of a holy cracker.

Conservative Fox news commentator Bill O'Reilly, who has disparaged "San Francisco values," called the latest flap another example of how the city is run by "far-left secular progressives who despise the military, traditional values and religion."
On his Friday news show, O'Reilly called San Francisco "a disgrace on every level."

You'd think Bill would be down with San Fran, but then, it's quite likely he's desperately repressing his urge to be violated with a falafel, whatever. Let's hope the sisters open up a chapter in every state!

I can't blame Hoofnagle, though his crudeness is off-putting. When the Archbishop treats the consecrated Host like a cracker, what should we expect? This is the sort of comment Benedict has invited by giving us such an Archbishop.

I have to wonder, though, would Hoofnagle be comfortable with comments that disparage that certain other religion? Of course it's often said that physicists don't believe in anything but themselves, so perhaps he wouldn't care. When his hope that the sisters open up a chapter in his state is finally realized, perhaps he'd like to be first in line for their unholy ministrations.


Monday was judgment day for Akron City Council's practice of reciting the Lord's Prayer before meetings.

Facing the threat of a potentially costly lawsuit, council members said the prayer for the last time.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington, D.C., group, recently sent a letter to council threatening to sue unless the prayer was silenced.

Council members met in executive session for about an hour Monday night to discuss the issue. Council President Marco Sommerville said they felt they didn't have a choice.

''There was no sense in putting the city in harm's way,'' he said.

The recitation of the prayer has been a long-standing tradition for council one that most members didn't want to cease.

Read more.


The book is online here.

At approximately mid-point in the book Toaff takes up a discussion of rituals accompanying the feast of Purim which leads into the feast of Pesach.

...the celebration of Purim is said to constitute the Hebraic ritual of death and resurrection. ...

There is no shortage of testimonies of the celebration of rituals, within the framework of the carnival of
Purim, intended to vilify and outrage the image of Haman, reconstituted in the semblance of Christ hanging from the cross. First, the emperor Honorius (384-423) and, in his footsteps, Theodosius (401-450), prohibited the Jews from the provinces of the Empire from setting fire to effigies of Haman crucified in contempt of the Christian religion. ...

Before 1027, at Byzantium [Constantinople, now Istanbul], baptized Jews were required to curse their ex-fellow-Jews "who celebrated the festival of Mordechai, crucifying Haman on a beam of wood, in the form of a cross, and then setting fire to it, accompanying the vile rite with a torrent of imprecations directed at those faithful to Christ". Again, in the very early 13th century, Arnol, prior of the monastery at Lubeck, censured the wickedness of the Jews in bitter terms "in crucifying the figure of the Redeemer every year, making him the object of shameless ridicule".

Even the Hebrew texts do not seem to be sparing on information in this regard. The Talmudic dictionary
Arukh, consisting of the rabbi Natan b. Yehiel of Rome in the second half of the 11th century, contains reports that the Jews of Babylon were accustomed to celebrate the festival of Purim in a particular way. "It is the custom among the Jews of Babylon and the rest of the entire world for the boys to make effigies shaped like Haman and hang them on the roofs of their houses for four or five days (before the festival). ...

Turning back centuries...we must note...that the ritual of
Purim did not always conclude with the bloodless hanging of a mere effigy of Haman. Sometimes, the "effigy" was a flesh-and-blood Christian, crucified for real, during the wild revelry of the Jewish carnival...The local Hebrews, in their debaucheries and intemperate revelry to celebrate Purim, after getting suitably drunk, according to the prescriptions of the ritual, which provided that they must drink so much wine that they can no longer distinguish Haman from Mordechai: "...took to deriding the Christians and Christ Himself in their boasting; they ridiculed the cross and anyone trusting in the crucifix, putting the following joke in practice.

"they took a Christian child, tied it to a cross and hanged him. Initially they made him the object of jokes and drollery; then, after a while, they lost control of themselves and mistreated him to such a degree that they killed him."

The report, which makes no mention of miracles occurring at the site of the relics of the martyred child, seems to possess all the indications of truthfulness. Moreover, as we have seen above, there are people who have viewed the immoderate celebrations of
Purim, accompanied by anti-Christian insults and violence, as the core from which the belief in Jewish ritual homicide of Christian children is thought to have developed during the Middle Ages, as an integral part of a ritual centered around on [sic] the festival of Pesach, considered the ideal culmination of Purim. (pp. 132-135)

In the early modern age, the carnival-like festivities of Purim finally lost those qualities of aggressiveness and violence which had been characteristic since the early Middle Ages, but never renounced the clearly anti-Christian meaning it possessed according to tradition. ...covertly spreading poison against Christians, under the name of Idolaters...they therefore cry out in a loud voice Be Cursed all the Idolaters. But at an even earlier time, the illustrious jurist Marquardo Susanni, protected by Paolo IV Carafa, the fervent and impassioned founder of the Ghetto of Rome, mentioned the wild hostility of the Jews towards Christianity as well as the peculiar carnival-like characteristics of Purim. According to him, "during the feast of Mordechai", the Jews did not hesitate to greet each other by saying, in contemptuous tones: 'May the King of the Christians go down to ruin immediately, the way Haman went down to ruin". (p. 136)

According to Toaff, Christians engaged in persecution as well:

The Christians were not too subtle about it, since they certainly didn't need excuses or pretexts to perpetrate indiscriminate massacres of Jews or to plunge Jewish children into the beneficial waters of baptism by force. The spiral of violence, having due regard to the discrepancies between the relative power and size of the two conflicting societies, could not be extinguished. The serpent bit its own tail, leaving its imprint of blood on the sand. Each society was, in a sense, its own victim, but neither noticed. (p. 135)

Moving on to other examples of anti-Christianity, Toaff writes:

In the Sefer Nizzachon Yashan, a harsh annonymous anti-Christian polemical publication compiled in Germany at the end of the 13th century, the themes of which are repeated in the liturgical invocations of Rabbi Shelomoh of Worms, the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt is taken as a pretext to outline a dispute intended to contrast the saving blood of the Passover blood and of circumcision to the powers of the cross. (p. 138)

The cover of the book shows a picture of a child on an altar with a man standing over him, knife raised. Toaff explains this symbolism:

...the German Jews, who, during the first crusade in 1096, sacrificed their sons to avoid forced baptism, intending to imitate the sacrifice of Isdaac by the hand of Abraham, his father. Deliberately ignoring the Biblical conclusion of the episode, which stressed God's aversion to human sacrifice, they preferred to refer to those texts of the Midrash in which Isaac actually met a cruel death on the altar. The German Jews thus conferred new life upon these new texts in search of moral support for the their [sic] actions, which appeared unjustifiable and might easily be condemned under the terms of ritual law (halakhah). (p. 140)

He provides some horrendous tales of Jews killing their whole family to escape Christian baptism.

More examples from the book of anti-Christianity associated with the Seder:

...in the traditional reading of the Haggadah, according to the custom of the Ashkenazi Jews, the curses against the Egyptians were transformed into an invective against all the nations and enemies hated by Israel, with explicit reference to the Christians. (p. 166)

A famous contemporary of Maharil, Rabbi Shabom of Wiener Neustadt, has also confirmed the anti-Christian significance of the sprinkling of the wine during the reading of the plagues of Egypt. (p. 167)

The Seder thus became a scandalous display of anti-Christian sentiment, exalted by symbolic acts and significances and burning imprecations, which was now using the stupendous events of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt simply as a pretext. In Jewish Venice during the 17th century, the ritual characteristics related to the reading of this part of the Haggadah were still alive and present, as shown by the testimony of Giulio Morosini, which is to be considered quite reliable. "When the head of the family refers to these ten blows, he is brought a bowl or basin, and at the name of each one, dipping the finger into his glass, and drips it inside the cup and continues, gradually emptying the glass of wine as a sign of the curses against the Christians". (p. 168)

There are more incidents of anti-Christianity cited by Toaff, but these will give you an idea of what is contained in the book. Some of the claims come out of testimony given at the Trent trial, which I assume was gathered under torture, and so not reliable. If you want to go to the book and read it, turn to Chapter Twelve which contains the worst of it. Given the tendency of the Jews to claim anti-Semitism whenever something negative is stated, I don't know how Professor Toaff had the courage to publish this book. It is certainly easy to see why he withdrew it a week after publication.

He was convinced that the Trent trial testimony had a ring of truth. I am not as convinced. While it is possible that there is truth in some of it despite the circumstances, it is also possible that the Jews who testified under torture invented all of it. The torture makes the evidence inadmissible, and it does appear that most of it was derived in this manner.

In any case, I have seen nothing to indicate that the book will be republished any time soon. Perhaps Professor Toaff decided it would be best to close the controversy by consigning the book to a box in a dusty attic. Or perhaps his university put pressure on him to abandon it. We may never know. On the other hand, the fact that the book is now on the web in more than one place may influence his decision to republish it with corrections.

In any case, this story proves that it is possible to uncanonize a saint. If it can be done in the name of avoiding anti-Semitism, certainly it can be done for other reasons as well.


In an interview with the Italian daily “La Repubblica,” Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Commission for Legislative Texts of the Holy See, said in response to news of a Vatican official suspended over accusations of homosexual activity that the Vatican is the first to want a “profound internal cleansing.”

“We are the first to want an internal cleansing, but that cleansing will be done with respect for human rights and after the ruling of judicial authorities,” he said.

Read all of it...


At Spero News Joni Durling makes another strong call for reform at Most Holy Redeemer Parish:

Many responses to this travesty have been suggested. Some are asking for Archbishop Niederauer’s removal. Others would like to see nothing less than MHR overhauled or even completely shut down. Still others give the benefit of the doubt to the Archbishop, but demand that policies in the diocese be changed. No matter what action is desired, nobody seems content with the current diocesan response.

Faithful Bay Area Catholics never again want to see the desecration of the Holy Eucharist. They would like the Archbishop to ban MHR from holding “gay” events in their church hall and from participating in the Gay Pride Parade, the Transgender San Francisco Cotillion, and other activities clearly in conflict with the Catholic Faith. (See http://www.qdomine.com/Morality_pages/MHR.htm for a complete list of MHR events.) It is clear that if Most Holy Redeemer continues with business as usual, people will publicize their advocacy of these immoral events. The faithful will no longer be silent about this renegade church. Archbishop Niederauer can avoid future conflict only by taking strong, decisive action against those at MHR who have led the flock astray.

The video clip of the event at Mass is included in the story and seems to work. I was not able to play the clip when it first appeared.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The book is online here.

First, Toaff's credentials. From Wikipedia:

Ariel Toaff is a professor of Medieval and Renaissance History at Bar Ilan University. He is the son of Elio Toaff, a former Chief Rabbi of Rome.

Among his works are The Jews in Medieval Assisi 1305-1487: A social and economic history of a small Jewish community (1979), Il vino e la carne. Una comunità ebraica nel Medioevo ("Wine and Meat. A Jewish Community in the Middle Ages", 1989), Mostri giudei. L'immaginario ebraico dal Medioevo alla prima età moderna ("Jewish Monsters. The Jewish Imaginary from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Era", 1996) and Mangiare alla giudia. La cucina ebraica in Italia dal Rinascimento all'età moderna ("Eating 'alla giudia'. Jewish Cooking in Italy from the Renaissance to the Modern Age", 2000).

That should qualify him to write the sort of book I'm looking at.

Next, some statements from the translators comments:

Prof. Toaff has since partially recanted, and now maintains that:

- yes, Jews are a corrupting and disruptive element in society;
- yes, Jews lend money at 40% and seem to do little else;
- yes, Jews buy and sell justice with huge bribes;
- yes, Jews pull off all sorts of fraudulent bankruptcies and swindles;
- yes, Jews resort to poisoning and assassination when thwarted;
- yes, Jews are obsessed with hatred for Christians and the Christian religion;
- yes, Jews kidnapped and castrated Christian boys on a large scale and sold them into slavery in Islamic Spain for centuries;
- yes, Jews used [and still use?] human blood in all sorts of quack remedies, despite the Biblical prohibition, even for minor complaints;
- yes, Jews [and still use?] Christian human blood in their matzoh balls at Passover;
- yes, Jews [and still use?] Christian human blood in their wine at Passover;
- yes, the blood had to be from Christian boys no more than 7 years of age;
- yes, the blood had [has?] to be certified kosher by a rabbi;
- yes, there was [is?] a large and profitable trade in fake blood products and animal blood, which was [are?] unsuitable to the purpose;
- yes, Christians tried to sell the blood of Christian boys to Jews, but were rejected because the Jews feared it was animal blood; but no, no
Christian boys were ever killed to obtain the blood. Never, never! Or hardly ever. It all came from “voluntary donors”!

The translators are Gian Marco Lucchese and Pietro Gianetti. They do not cite a source for the claim that Toaff believes these things.

Moving on to the book itself, Toaff writes:

...when the stereotype of "anti-Semitism" hovers menacingly over any objective approach to the difficult problem of historical research in relation to Jews, any research ends up by losing a large part of its value.

All such research is thus transformed, by the very nature of things, into a "guided tour" conducted against a fictitious and unreal background, in a "virtual reality show" intended to produce the desired reaction, which has naturally been decided upon in advance.
(p. 9)

In speaking of "customs and traditions linked to experiences which did not exist elsewhere" Toaff writes:

...in the German-speaking Jewish communities, the phenomenon, where it took root, was generally limited to groups in which popular tradition, which had, over time, distorted, evaded or replaced the ritual standards of Jewish halakhah, in addition to deeply-rooted customs saturated with magical and alchemical elements, all combined to form a deadly cocktail when mixed with violent and agressive religious fundamentalism. There can be no doubt, it seems to me, that, that, [sic] once the tradition became widespread, the stereotypical image of Jewish ritual child murder continued inevitably to take its own course, out of pure momentum. Thus, the Jews were accused of every child murder, much more often wrongly than rightly, especially if discovered in the springtime. In this sense, Cardinal Lorenzo Ganganelli, later Pope Clement XIV, was correct in his famous report, in both his justifications and his "distinctions". (pp 13-14)

He claims that the Jews in the area and at the time when this study is set identified more readily with other Jews who thought similarly than they did with the nation in which they were dwelling:

Moreover, the Jewish community at Venice, like the others of more or less distant Ashkenazi origin to be seen in the more immediate and smaller centers of northern Italy, formed part of a German-Jewish koinè, consisting of German-speaking Jews on both sides of the Alps, linked by liturgical usages and similar customs, sharing the same history, often marked by events both tragic and invariably mythologized, as well as by the same attitude of harsh hostility to the arrogant Christianity of surrounding society, the same religious texts of reference, the
same rabbinical hierarchies, produced by the Ashkenazi Talmudic academies to whose authority they intended to submit, and the same family structures (36). These communities made up a homogenous entity from the social and religious point of view, which might be called supranational, in which the Jews of Pavia identified themselves with those from Regensburg, the Jews from Treviso with the Jews of Nuremberg, and the Jews of Trent with those from Cologne and Prague, but certainly not with those from Rome, Florence, or Bologna. Relations with the Italian Jews who often lived alongside them, where such relations existed, were markedly fortuitous, based on contingent common needs of an economic nature, and the common perception of being viewed as identical by the surrounding Christian environment.
(p. 25)

In other words, I've come again upon evidence that unlike Roman Catholicism, Judaism is not monolithic.

Throughout the book there are numerous examples cited of child murders attributed to the Jews. Most of the testimony for these claims was obtained under torture, so I am not going to blog any of the claims. Whether or not any of them are true is for the reader to decide. The details of the trial of the Jews accused of killing Simon of Trent and the lesser details of these other ritual murders takes up the bulk of the book. The setting of these stories is the Ashkenazi Jewish community. They span a couple of centuries. Every chapter is quite heavily footnoted.

Toaff devotes many pages to establishing an anti-Christian feeling among the Jews:

Jews in the Duchy of Milan were tried and sentenced for the possession of books, liturgical and study texts containing offensive and insulting expressions about Jesus, the Messiah, the Virgin Mary, the dogmas of the Christian religion and anyone practicing Christianity On [sic] at least four occasions during the second half of the 15th century. (p. 89]

In the Simon of Trent trial, it was alleged that the Jews had murdered Simon in order to acquire his blood for use in the Passover ritual where it would be mixed with the bread and wine. Therefore Toaff concentrates on the question of whether blood was used in medical and ritual purposes historically in this time setting.

Circumcision hemorrhages, epistaxis [nosebleed], overly abundant menstruation, open hemorrhoids, abnormal abdominal flow. The most
effective cure to control and heal them always seemed to be
recourse to the powerful and magical powdered blood of children. But in this, the Jews were acting no differently from the Christians of the
surrounding society, despite Hindenbach’s feigned and artificial stupefaction. In popular medicine, blood, whether human or animal, was
alleged to be an indispensable component in the preparation of electuaries [powder-based medications mixed with honey or syrup to form a
paste] and astringent powders of extraordinary effectiveness (10). As Pier Camporesi wrote, "a sacred and alchemistic haemostatic, blood
(and not incorrectly, in epochs in which hemorrhages represented a terrible tragedy, was considered a powerful healant" (11). According to
the prescriptions of the Theatrum Chemicum, marvelous unguents and powders were derived from human blood, capable of arresting even
the most resistant flow of blood and of expelling dangerous infirmities (12). The most expert specialists knew that human blood possessed
great therapeutic powers and was therefore to be prepared and treated with the greatest care.
(pp. 94-95)

Toaff claims the Cabbalah speaks of the use of blood for circumcision:

The texts of the practical Cabbalah, the handbooks of stupendous medications (segullot), compendia of portentous electuaries, recipe books
of secret cures, mostly composed in the German-speaking territories, even very recently, stress the haemostatic and astringent powders of
young blood, above all, on the circumcision wound. These are ancient prescriptions, handed down for generations, put together, with variants
of little importance, by cabbalistic herb alchemists of various origins, and repeatedly reprinted right down to the present day, in testimony to
the extraordinary empirical effectiveness of these remedies.
(p. 97)

Toaff addresses the Biblical injunction against consuming blood by citing passages in medical literature of the time that recommended the use of blood in treating disease:

if we turn once again to the compendia of segullot in use among Jews of German origin, we will find a broad range of recipes
providing for the oral ingestion of blood, both human and animal. These recipes are stupendous electuaries, sometimes complex in
preparation, intended to cure ailments and bring about cures, as well as to protect and to cure.
(p. 101)

Perhaps the solution to the Biblical and rabbinical contradiction between the consumption of blood and the custom -- established among the
Ashkenazi Jews -- of consuming it on the most varied occasions, may be identified in a late response of Jacob Reischer of Prague (1670-
1734), head of the yeshivah of Ansbach in Bavaria and later active at Worms and Metz (45). The ritualistic text contains testimonies to a
practice widespread over time immemorial among the Jews of the German community, and considered de facto permissible, notwithstanding
the fact that it obviously contradicted the dictates of the Talmud. Being a custom now generalized among the Jews (minhagh Israel), it came,
over time, to assume the same strictness as a ritual standard. The inquiry and the response of the Reischer referred to the consumption of the
blood of the stambecco (Bocksblut), for medicinal use, even in cases in which the patient was not in danger of his life.
(p. 105)

The legality of this custom [drinking the dried blood of the ibex] must be upheld because it is long-established. This medication is obviously permissible, because clearly, when a custom becomes widespread among the Jews (minhagh Israel), it must be considered to be on the level of the Torah itself. ...the notion that a custom established over time in the community of Israel, even if in contrast with the norms, was to be considered perfectly authorized and permissible. (p. 105)

To be continued...


PITTSBURGH -- On Monday, Duquesne University officials said their mission and identity presented a conflict with the public radio station that broadcasts from campus.

Planned Parenthood had been an underwriting supporter of WDUQ.

But Duquesne University said what they did was legal by pulling underwriting support messages paid for by Planned Parenthood.

Representatives at Planned Parenthood said the move was surprising.

Continue reading...


Hat tip to NOR for the link.


According to Catholic News Service. No release date announced.


Catholic officials have hailed an eerie photograph of a bonfire as proof of a miracle by the late Pope John Paul II, the Telegraph reported.

A Polish cameraman has caught on picture a fiery figure in a bonfire in Poland that is being hailed as Pope John Paul II making an appearance from beyond the grave.

Dressed in robes, slightly hunched and his right hand raised in blessing, the image appeared during a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the pontiff's death.

Continue reading and see the picture...

Somehow I tend to associate bonfires with that other place. Hmmmmm.


SORBO, Italy (Reuters) - Romanian-born Antonio Petrescu believes you can worship God and Elvis at the same time: as a Catholic priest and Elvis Presley impersonator, he finds his spiritual inspiration in the late rock legend.

"People ask me 'How can you reconcile Elvis impersonations with your choice of professional work?'" said Petrescu, who puts on his glittery suits and swivels his hips when not working as a parish priest in the Italian town of Avezzano.

Keep on reading...

Here's his website. Check out the YouTube video. I think he missed his calling.

With priests like this, any claim that Romania is returning to the faith is debatable.


The spin doctors have been busy, and Bishop Brom expects his Catholic pockets to penny up.


AUSTIN, Texas, October 15, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - St. Edwards University, a Catholic academic institution in Austin, Texas, has been called to task by its local Catholic bishop for hosting self-proclaimed, 'Catholic theologian', Father Charles Curran.

Bishop Gregory Aymond of the Austin diocese has issued a letter to his diocesan priests requesting that they not publicize the lecture that is scheduled to be held Thursday, October 18th at the St. Edward's campus as part of the Most Reverend Bishop McCarthy Lecture Series.

Father Curran is a Catholic priest who has long been at odds with several of the Church's fundamental moral teachings. Because of his aggressive and vocal condemnation of the Church's teachings on matters such as abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, Curran was investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in the late 1970's and early 1980's. In 1986, at the recommendation of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope John Paul II officially forbad Curran from teaching at any Catholic school and stripped him of the title of 'Catholic theologian'.

In his letter to his priests, Austin Bishop Aymond expressed his disappointment that a Catholic university would give a platform to such a dissident voice. He said, "I realize that he is still a priest in good standing, but he is not a theologian. Therefore, I believe that it does not foster the Catholic identity of a university to present him as a guest lecturer."

Continue reading...

According to the article Charles Curran was invited to speak on the campus by retired Bishop John McCarthy.

We seem to have a case of bishop opposing bishop here. I don't envy the university president who is caught between them!


The outing of Vatican highflier Monsignor Tommaso Stenico in a secretly filmed TV sting where he tells a young man he saw nothing sinful having gay sex and then asks the young man if he “likes” him ... offers a real insight into the struggle the Roman Catholic Church is having in its home country over homosexuality.

Not so long ago the idea of exposing a Catholic priest’s peccadilloes would have been anathema to most Italian media outlets. The fact that the Vatican has its fair share of gay priests, bishops, Cardinals and Popes was universally known and privately acknowledged but rarely if ever reported there.

This cosy relationship fractured when countries began introducing legislation recognising the civil rights of homosexuals and giving their partnerships the status of family. The Vatican has been a violent opponent of this process and opposed Civil Partnerships and gay marriage across the world and lately in Italy where the conflict between Church and liberal reformers has been heated.

Continue reading...


...Vanity Fair has recently announced that a remarkable 51 percent of the Vanity Fair 100 Power List are Jewish in a country in which Jews make up approximately two percent of the population. Jews also make up seven percent of the current House of Representatives, 13 percent of the Senate, and, according to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of "The Israel Lobby," roughly 100 percent of George W. Bush's foreign policy advisers.

Read the rest of the article, including who objects to Ann Coulter believing "It would be better if we were all Christian". Title of the article is "Coulter is right!"


According to a World Net Daily article sent in by a reader

In an Oct. 2 e-mail obtained by WND, Radio Disney sales associate Jason Atkinson informed the media representative hired by Promenade, Casey Baker, that the network's broadcast standards and practices department said scripts for the "Ten Commandments" radio spots should "omit the following line: CHOSEN BY GOD."

Additional correspondence obtained by WND

Promenade Productions president and COO Cindy Bond said she was told by her contact with the media buyer – Tori Davis of New and Improved Media – that Disney would not play the spot unless the changes were made.

Disney gave no explanation, and Davis, according to Bond, insisted the decision was "set in stone," and there was nothing Promenade could do but accept the changes.

Bond forwarded to WND an e-mail from Davis that said:


Disney Radio has asked that the following changes be made to the radio spot before they will run it:

1) Remove the line "Chosen by God"
2) Include Promenade Pictures in the radio spot.

How quickly can you make these changes?


After learning of Disney's revision, Bond asked Davis the status of the ad buy. Davis replied in an e-mail, "The radio schedule is booked and non-cancellable."

Read the details of Radio Disney's decision at the website.

Monday, October 15, 2007


According to the Roman Catholic Faithful website, Stephen Brady's condition is improving. Prayers seem to be helping. Say another one!



Thank You Father is a pregnant nun's costume which oddly enough seems to be intended for a man?? and Happy Priest, also intended for a man, and which has the bulge in the costume located a bit lower.

These costumes come to you via the efforts of a costume wholesaler called Spirit Halloween. If you want to learn whether they are available in your area, plug your zip code into their store locator window.

A Boycott is being organized in Albuquerque, New Mexico according to email I've just received which reads as follows:

Obscene adult costumes of a priest and nun are being distributed on the internet and to local Halloween stores across the nation. The website is www.spirithalloween.com .

In two Albuquerque Halloween stores, costumes of the “Happy Priest” and Pregnant Nun are openly displayed. The “Happy Priest” costume depicts a priest with an erection while the costume of a pregnant nun is called “Thank you, Father”. Other filthy nun outfits displayed on the website include the “Sexy Nun” and “Sexy One Bad Habit”. While other costumes of religious figures including a Rabbi and Moses are available, only the priest and nun are portrayed in a profane and raunchy fashion; truly the product of cynical, sick mind!

Local Albuquerque Catholic activists are organizing a boycott and pickets at two Spirit Halloween stores: 10131 N. Coors Blvd. on the Westside, phone number 505-897-2175 and at 5001 Montgomery Blvd. NE on the east, phone number 505-830-2024. Call the owner, Chris Scott and protest the obscene costumes. Tell him as a Catholic you are deeply offended by this bigoted attack using obscene costumes on the thousands of Catholic clergy and religious in America who devote their lives in countless ministries to sacrifice and humbly serve the Church and people in need in communities everywhere.

Call the main distributor of this filthy display of bigotry and prejudice against Catholic religious at 1-800-COSTUME and tell them to remove these costumes from distribution NOW!

Distribute this boycott list as widely as possible and protest your local halloween stores if they are carrying these offendive costumes. Let's stop this frontal attack on our Catholic faith NOW!


New Oxford Review and Spirit Daily both link stories about Msgr. Tommaso Stenico who has been caught on hidden camera claiming that homosexual activity is not sinful and making advances to another man.

An ABC News story can be read here.

An AP Story here

The Guardian story here hinges on a Satanism angle.


The question often arises in regard to some of the recent canonizations under John Paul II. Perhaps the answer can be found in the story of Simon of Trent.

The website "Patron Saints Index" provides an entry for Simon of Trent which tells us his feast day was:

formerly 24 March; removed from the calender and veneration forbidden in 1965 by the Sacred Congregation of Rites

Apparently the answer is "yes" a saint can be "desainted". The entry further states
that Simon of Trent:

A child who was apparently murdered around Easter time. His death was attributed to local Jews who were accused of killing a Christian child out of hatred for Christ. Libel of the day claimed they needed his blood to make matzoh bread for Passover. Seventeen Jews were tortured into confessions. Miracles were reported through Simon's intercession, but the incident is a matter of anti-Semitism rather than sanctity.

The death date given is March 21, 1475, Trent, Italy.

There is quite a story behind this "decanonization". It is not only the story of a little boy through whose intercession miracles took place, it is also a story of a respected contemporary Jewish scholar and author who has been severely censored. Given the entry from the Saints Index, the entry for Simon of Trent in the Jewish Encyclopedia is worth considering:

Child victim of an alleged ritual murder by the Jews of Trent. He was the son of Andreas Unverdosben, a cobbler, or tanner, in Trent, and was born Nov. 26, 1472.

The Disappearance of Simon.

The harmonious relations between the Christians and the Jews in Trent had excited the anger of the semidemented Franciscan friar Bernardinus of Feltre, who was a son of a notorious enemy of the Jews. In his Lenten sermons (1475) he endeavored to incite the people against them, but instead provoked displeasure on the part of the Christians. Then he predicted that at the next Jewish Passover a ritual murder would occur. In accordance with this prediction, the child Simon, twenty-eight months old, disappeared on March 23, 1475. Bernardinus of Feltre, Johannes Schweizer (a neighbor of the Jews), and, at last, the excited people themselves declared that the child would be found among the Jews; but a careful search through the Jewish quarter, ordered by Bishop Hinderbach and executed by the podestà of Trent, Johann Sala, proved fruitless.

On the eve of Easter Monday, March 26, some Jews noticed the body of a child in the river, near the house of one of their number named Samuel. Without a moment's delay three of them, Tobias (a physician), Samuel, and Angelus, hastened to notify the bishop, but were not admitted to his presence. The podestà, however, visited the house of Samuel, took possession of the child's body, and ordered the arrest of those present—Samuel, Angelus, Tobias, Israel, Bonaventura, Toaff, and a second Bonaventura (the cook). After a medical examination of the body it was stated that death was the result of violence, not of accidental drowning. A baptized Jew, Johann of Feltre, who had been a prisoner for several years for theft, seized the apparent opportunity to shorten the term of his imprisonment by declaring that the Jews use the blood of Christians for ritual purposes at the Passover.

The article goes on to recount the trial and the use of torture to elicit a confession. Several Jews were executed. The pope and his representative became involved:

The Bishop of Ventimiglia reported to Rome that, as the result of careful investigations, he found the Jews innocent, that Simon had been killed by Christians with the intention of ruining the Jews, and that Bishop Hinderback had planned to enrich himself by confiscating the estates of those executed. ...Both Bernardinus of Feltre and Simon of Trent are said to have been canonized by Gregory XIII., about a century later, the former as a prophet, and the latter as a martyr.

In turning to Wikipedia for a more balanced viewpoint, we get:

When Simon went missing around Easter, 1475, his father thought that he must have been kidnapped and murdered by Jews. According to his story, the Jews had drained Simon of his blood for use in baking their Passover matzohs and for occult rituals secretly adhered to by them.

Giving a succinct background to the story, historian Ronnie Po-chia Hsia writes: "On Easter Sunday 1475, the dead body of a 2-year-old Christian boy named Simon was found in the cellar of a Jewish family's house in Trent, Italy. Town magistrates arrested 18 Jewish men and five Jewish women on the charge of ritual murder - the killing of a Christian child in order to use his blood in Jewish religious rites. In a series of interrogations that involved liberal use of judicial torture, the magistrates obtained the confessions of the Jewish men. Eight were executed in late June, and another committed suicide in jail" [1].

The leaders of the Jewish community were arrested, and seventeen of them confessed under torture. Fifteen of them, including Samuel, the head of the community, were sentenced to death and burned at the stake. Meanwhile Simon became the focus of veneration for the local Catholic Church. Over one hundred miracles were directly attributed to "Little Saint Simon" within a year of his disappearance, and his cult spread across Italy, Austria and Germany. Although initial skepticism existed and Pope Sixtus IV prohibited the cult,[1] his veneration was confirmed (equivalent to beatification) in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V and he was considered a martyr and a patron of kidnap and torture victims. In the same year Sixtus V canonized the boy of Trent and approved a special Mass in honor of "little Simon" to be said in the diocese of Trento, Italy.

His entry in the Roman Martyrology for March 24 [4] reads:

Tridénti pássio sancti Simeónis púeri, a Judǽis sævíssime trucidáti, qui multis póstea miráculis coruscávit. (Translated) At Trent, the martyrdom of the boy St. Simeon, who was barbarously murdered by the Jews, but who was afterwards glorified by many miracles.

Wikipedia also tells us that it was Pope Paul VI who suppressed Simon's cult and had the shrine erected to him demolished.

The historian mentioned in the Wikipedia article has an article on the event at the www.haretz.com website. Here he tells us that the body of "Simon was found in the cellar of a Jewish family's house in Trent." However, he also questions any of the testimony associated with the trial because all of it was extracted under torture:

Then the pope intervened and suspended the trial. Appeals from the Venetian and Jewish communities moved Sixtus IV to appoint the Dominican Baptista Dei Giudici, Bishop of Ventigmiglia, as the apostolic commissioner to investigate the affair.

The trial in Trent was highly irregular. The 1247 Decretum of Pope Innocent IV had prohibited ritual murder trials on account of the judicial abuses involved and the violence against the Jews. Dei Giudici's task, therefore, was precisely to see whether abuses and excessive violence were involved in the judicial procedure in Trent.

Skeptical of the evidence he saw and disapproving of the popular cult that had arisen around the dead boy's body, Dei Giudici quickly headed into a collision course with the ruler of Trent, the prince-bishop Johannes von Hinderbach, who had taken upon himself the promotion of the cult of Little Simon in his native Germany. The case of Simon of Trent quickly became politically explosive - a scandal for some, a cause celebre for others.

According to the Haaretz article:

The testimonies from this notorious trial apparently presuaded Professor Ariel Toaff that "within Ashkenazi Judaism there werre extremist groups that could have committed such an act"...These arguments formed the basis of his controversial book "Bloody Passover," which has just been published in Italy.

The article also states:

Professor Toaff, however, is utterly misguided when he confuses the defiant words of a helpless man with the fantasized reality of the Christian authorities. For the Jews of Trent, and for other communities throughout the ages, Passover was indeed bloody, but it was the blood of the Jews that bore witness to a violent fantazy born out of intolerance.

Prof. Ronnie Po-chia Hsia is a historian, author of "Trent, 1475: Stories of a Ritual Murder Trial" (Yale University Press, 1992)

The article is dated February 18, 2007.

Professor Toaff has withdrawn the book according to another Haaretz article:

The author of a book on the ritualistic use of blood by Jews in Ashkenazi communities in the Middle Ages on Wednesday asked the book's Italian publisher to discontinue distribution in order to let him amend and annotate contentious sections.

Professor Ariel Toaff submitted his request to the El Molino publishing house just days after the book was released, due to the furor its publication caused around the world. The first edition of the book had sold out within a few days of its release.

Toaff told Haaretz earlier this week that he stood by the contention of his book, "Pasque di Sangue," that there is a factual basis for some of the medieval blood libels against the Jews. However, he said he was sorry his arguments had been twisted.

"I tried to show that the Jewish world at that time was also violent, among other things because it had been hurt by Christian violence," the Bar-Ilan history professor said. Of course I do not claim that Judaism condones murder. But within Ashkenazi Judaism there were extremist groups that could have committed such an act and justified it," he said.

He added, "I will not give up my devotion to the truth and academic freedom even if the world crucifies me."

According to the article the ADL

condemned Toaff's claims that some of the confessions extracted from Jews during post-Crusades trials were based on actual fact.

ADL Chairman Abraham Foxman said that Toaff's book serves the interests of anti-Semites. "It is hard to believe that anybody, not to mention an Israeli historian, would legitimize baseless claims of blood libel"...

The book is online in English translation here. I have just finished reading it.

I'm inclined to discount testimony acquired under torture. However, there are other passages in the book whose source is not testimony from this trial. Tomorrow I'll blog some of them.


The Connecticut bishops' decision to permit emergency contraception for rape victims at Catholic hospitals in the state without requiring an ovulation test is prompting a firestorm of criticism.

The criticism focuses on what the emergency contraception marketed as Plan B actually does and on whether church institutions should allow the state to mandate what services it provides.

On both those issues, the Connecticut bishops and hospital leaders who announced the decision in a joint statement Sept. 27 could have used more help from church leaders at the national and international level, Father John P. Gatzak, director of communications for the Hartford Archdiocese, told Catholic News Service Oct. 11.

"The church in Connecticut would have had a greater opportunity to resist" the state law that took effect Oct. 1 if there had been definitive statements on Plan B from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and/or the Vatican, Father Gatzak said.

A case of the need for "green martyrdom"?

Read the whole article here.


An article at Spero News, written by Joni Durling, a member, and Mary Ann Kreitzer, the founder of The Catholic Media Coalition. In the article, after describing the outrageous actions of Archbishop Niederauer in giving communion to two members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, they write:

If Archbishop Niederauer, indeed, did not know...that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are public, obstinate sinners, hopefully he will now take this opportunity to get to know those under his care. Maybe he will even make a statement barring them from Communion in a Catholic Church in his diocese as more and more of his fellow bishops around the country are doing with those who publicly defy the Church. This would go a long way toward rectifying the situation.

An additional issue that needs to be addressed immediately is the out-of-control situation at Most Holy Redeemer. A parish that hosts gay bingo games where pornography and sex toys are distributed for prizes and offers a site for drag beauty contests clearly needs to be suppressed. The eyes of the country are on Most Holy Redeemer and Archbishop Niederauer. Unfortunately for the archbishop, this episode will not be forgotten soon. There is now a worldwide campaign for his removal over this latest controversy. Hopefully the Vatican will be responding soon.

So far all we get from the Vatican is silence. Not surprisingly given the alleged association between Archbishop Niederauer and Cardinal Levada.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Matt Abbott returns to the subject in his column today, including an email sent to him by someone who works in a hospice and strongly disagrees with his previous column on hospice care, calling it "irresponsible". The reader's email is refuted by Ron Panzer, founder and executive director of Hospice Patients Alliance who provided a response that says economics dictate patient care in hospice, and that patients are frequently sedated and not given food and water.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


There was a time not very long ago when claiming that the majority of the world's bankers are Jewish would earn you a charge of anti-Semitism. That time would appear to be changing. Instead of a slur, some Jews are now finding that sort of claim to be a compliment.

The "Jerusalem Post" reports:

It's a list of "the world's most powerful people," 100 of the bankers and media moguls, publishers and image makers who shape the lives of billions. It's an exclusive, insular club, one whose influence stretches around the globe but is concentrated strategically in the highest corridors of power.

More than half its members, at least by one count, are Jewish.

It's a list, in other words, that would have made earlier generations of Jews jump out of their skins, calling attention, as it does, to their disproportionate influence in finance and the media. Making matters worse, in the eyes of many, would no doubt be the identity of the group behind the list - not a pack of fringe anti-Semites but one of the most mainstream, glamorous publications on the newsstands.

Yet the list doesn't appear to have generated concern so far, instead drawing expressions of satisfaction and pride from the lone Jewish commentator who's responded in writing.

Published between ads for Chanel and Prada, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, it's the 2007 version of "The Vanity Fair 100," the glossy American magazine's annual October ranking of the planet's most important people. Populated by a Cohen and a Rothschild, a Bloomberg and a Perelman, the list would seem to conform to all the traditional stereotypes about areas of Jewish overrepresentation.

Joseph Aaron, the editor of The Chicago Jewish News, thinks it's a list his readers should "feel very, very good about."

Read the rest here.

To see the "Vanity Fair" list, go here.

Thanks to a reader for the heads up.

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