Saturday, January 05, 2008
RAV MICHAEL LAITMAN
Remember him? He did the Kabbalah tour of major U.S. cities last October, teaching techniques as he traveled.
He's back, and now he has the solution to global warming.
All we have to do is think in terms of our global oneness and all of our global warming problems will vanish. You can read about it here.
Friday, January 04, 2008
AS MARTIN GARDNER SEES IT
The Catholic Church is on the brink of its greatest blunder since it condemned Galileo. It is close to declaring that Mary is a "co-redeemer" with Christ! (Mother Teresa was a strong supporter of this.) Of course, if the pope declares infallibly that this doctrine is true, it will kill the ecumenical movement.- Quote taken from Gardner interview withSkeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier
SISTER MARGARET ANN PAHL
Matt Abbott has posted a link to the Brief "filed by prosecutors last month in the case of Father Gerald Robinson, who 'was convicted in May, 2006, for the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl."
The brief makes rebuttals to arguments made by Robinson's attorneys last August which claim the priest did not receive a fair trial.
He also offers a link to David Yonke's claim--made in his book about the case--that the Toledo Catholic Diocese had documents showing the diocese paid for abortions.
The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.
Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult.
They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness."
Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession.
The initiative was revealed by 82-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican "exorcistinchief," to the online Catholic news service Petrus.
"Thanks be to God, we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on," he said.
"Too many bishops are not taking this seriously and are not delegating their priests in the fight against the Devil. You have to hunt high and low for a properly trained exorcist.
"Thankfully, Benedict XVI believes in the existence and danger of evil - going back to the time he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." The CDF is the oldest Vatican department and was headed by Benedict from 1982, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, until he became Pope in 2005.
Father Amorth said that during his time at the department Benedict had not lost the chance to warn humanity of the risk from the Devil.
JEWISH CULTURE WITHOUT JEWS
The Jewish Chronicle reports:
Polish cities are undergoing a Jewish cultural renaissance — led by non-Jews. Filmmaker Stuart Urban investigates the ‘pro-Semites’
Did you hear the one about the East European capital with scarcely any Jews, but two rival Jewish film festivals? That would be Warsaw.
At a packed Yiddish concert in the city, solidly Slavic types sing along. Most of the performers do not look any more Jewish than the crowd. Similarly, the punters who consume food at Jewish-style, non-kosher restaurants in Cracow, or films at the festivals in Warsaw, are mostly gentile.
There has been a remarkable revival of interest in all things Jewish — led by a small but high-achieving band of “pro-Semite” zealots. Central to this revival has been the Cracow International Festival of Jewish Culture, established in 1988 under the energetic (and non-Jewish) command of Janusz Makuch. The Cracow event is attended by 20,000 mostly Catholic Poles. Meanwhile, scholarly analyses of the Talmud in Polish enjoy print runs in excess of the number of potential Jewish readers.
Poland’s Chief Rabbi, Michael Schudrich, estimates there are 30-40,000 people in the country with Jewish roots who are active in some “Jewish” way, compared to a Jewish population of three million before the Holocaust. “I am very much in favour of non-Jews being interested in Jewish culture,” he says. “When they wanted to kill us, we were against this. Now that they want to learn about our culture, we should embrace it.”
Indeed, US-born Rabbi Schudrich has worked tirelessly with those promulgating the revival. Yet how can this resurgent interest in Jewish culture be occurring in a country that, for so many Jewish victims and survivors, was a bedrock of antisemitism?
The pivotal role of Pope John Paul II in reversing traditional attitudes to Jews in his profoundly Catholic homeland “cannot be underestimated”, according to Rabbi Schudrich. “He is the first, second and third reason why things changed” after centuries of religious prejudice.
CATHOLIC MEDIA REVIEW
A commenter left the following comment in a blog that has long since scrolled down, so I thought I'd put it in a post.
In response to the controversy surrounding the USCCB's withdrawn review of "The Golden Compass", as well as Harry Forbe's review of "Brokeback Mountain", five Catholic bloggers have created a group blog called, "Catholic Media Review" . CMR which attempts to create a reliable site for those who wish to evaluate various forms of media in the light of the Magesterial teaching of the Church, and with special regard for parent's needs to protect the innocence of their children.
Two of these bloggers, Happy Catholic, and Causa Nostrae Laetitiae were mentioned by the National Catholic Register last February as sources of Catholic film criticism. I write reviews for Mercatornet, and have had my reviews posted online at Reuters, USA TODAY, and various TV news sites.
I hope you find Catholic Media Review a useful site.
Leticia Velasquez / homepage
She didn't leave a link, but here it is.
JEWS OPPOSING CANONIZATION OF POPE PIUS XII
“Pius’s record during the Holocaust is fraught with controversy. Historians claim he could have and should have prevented the slaughter. In 1933, the future Pope Pius XII, then-Eugenio Pacelli was negotiating the Reich Concordat between the Vatican and Hitler. As Cardinal Secretary of State, Pacelli formulated a treaty with Hitler, which left German Catholics without a democratic party. Germany’s Catholic populace, the largest in Europe, saw the concordat engineered by Pacelli as the Vatican’s endorsement of the Nazi Party. It is a moral outrage to consider this man for sainthood,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn). Pope Benedict XVI has recently created a committee in the Secretariat of State to investigate Pope Pius’s actions during the Holocaust. “Until Pius’s role during the Holocaust is fully revealed, there should be no further consideration of sainthood.”
Hikind has launched a petition drive to collect thousands of signatures of Holocaust survivors opposing the beatification of Pius, to be presented to Pope Benedict XVI on his historic visit to New York in April 2008.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
From the Unity Publishing website (scroll down):
Announcement to the parishioners of St. William, the Confessor:
After offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the Solemnity of the Mother of God, Fr. Paul recited, along with the congregation, the Prayer to St. Michael for an end to abortion, then moved to the lectern to make an announcement, which was as follows.
Today is January 1st and I need to make an apology to you but more importantly to Our Lady and Our Lord. On January 10th I will be finishing four years here as Pastor of St. William’s so I am speaking to my parishioners as Pastor. If you are a visitor, welcome! I mentioned in my homily, True Devotion to Mary and false devotion to Mary. I ask apology of you, Our Lady and her Son, Jesus Christ.
Over the last four years I have not spoken out, either by cowardice or sloth, often enough about the false devotion to our Lady under the title “Lady of Medjugorje”. There is no such person. I went once to visit a man, who was dying and as he was dying I gave him the Last Sacraments and then he asked me to bless his room. He had religious pictures around his room and there was a picture of this “thing”, which is called “Lady of Medjugorje.” It is not the Blessed Virgin Mary. I told the man I wouldn’t bless the room until he did something with that image.
The next day I arrived to bless the room and he had glued a picture of his dog over the other image. I said, “Well, that is very fitting.”
If you have statues or pictures of this image and you do not wish to discard them, bring them to me and I will see that they are destroyed. You know for a fact that I am not against statues. (Father turns and points to the statues around the Altar.) I think we can safely say that.
When I was assigned to my first parish as a young priest, just a half mile down the road there was a woman that said Our Lady was appearing on the bark of her tree. I never went down to see it until we were ordered to go by the bishop, Bishop Thomas Tschoepe. I went once and that was it; of course everyone else had to pay admission. In the background you could hear, “cha-ching cha-ching.”
I am telling you this because if you have any kind of devotion, book, statue, or anything connected with Our Lady of Medjugorje, she doesn’t exist. The bishop of that place has written about it extensively, the Bishop of Mostar, and so I am telling you as your Pastor to cease and desist if you have any of that. Perhaps you have done this through misguidance or perhaps I haven’t mentioned it enough. It has been very rare that I have done it, but I thought how fitting on this Feast Day, Feast of Mary the Mother of God, that True Devotion to Mary should only be promoted.
Please do not give me stories about how your rosary was silver and then turned to gold or even how so many miracles have happened by going and visiting there. Sure, God can write straight with a crooked line. Miracles happened at Auschwitz during World War II, but we don’t promote Auschwitz to be proliferated around the world.
Again, all of this is based on the fact that, as your Pastor…and I am only speaking to you, my parishioners, as your pastor I have to promote True Devotion to Mary and these false apparitions for my parishioners can lead you astray like that man, who was getting ready for death. I didn’t want him turning to a false apparition and being led astray.
CLUSTERING IN AKRON
Ohio.com has an article up describing the early efforts at a four parish cluster in South Akron.
MEMBERSHIP IN THE FRATERNITY OF PRIESTS
Yesterday I posted the story of Fr. Joseph Looney's loneliness while living in a rectory by himself, and his solution to that loneliness in a local chapter of the international group Fraternity of Priests. His chapter has 12 members.
Susanna sent in some interesting details on this organization.
It seems that the priest, Fr. John Szantyr, who was a member of the community called "Seeds of Hope" which was accused of practicing homosexual rites and disbanded. Fr. Szantyr has been "forbidden to function as a cleric". Iobserve.org reports:
Critics of Father Szantyr believe that the public should be further warned about a priest who continuously tries to involve himself in official and non-official Catholic groups.
They cite the June 1992 edition of The Visitation, the newsletter of the church-approved Fraternity of Priests, Inc., which has a photograph of Father Szantyr in a Roman collar with several active Connecticut priests.
Here is the picture. The Worcester Voice also has the picture on their website.
The Bishop's Accountability website provides more:
The Worcester Diocese has been plagued in recent years with accusations of sexual misconduct by priests.
The Rev. Joseph Looney, pastor at St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Waterbury, said Szantyr has been living in Waterbury since he came back from Worcester. The statute of limitations on the charges against Szantyr did not expire because he left Massachusetts.
"He is absolutely crushed by this situation," Looney said. "This hit him like a ton of bricks and really sent him into a tail spin.
"It's just hard for me to imagine they'd be true," Looney said of the accusations against Szantyr.
Looney said Szantyr is a gifted musician who would play the piano at weekly fraternity of priest meetings. But since Szantyr was charged with child molestation, he's stopped attending the meetings, Looney said.
Susanna sent in a correction for which I thank her:
I know that there is so much data tied in with the Father John Szantyr story, it is hard to keep the story straight, but just for the record, the GROUP known as "Seeds of Hope" has NOT been accused of practicing homosexual rites. It was the Apostolic Formation Center for Christian Renew-All that was accused of practicing homosexual rituals.
The Seeds of Hope IS being investigated by the Diocese of Springfield for other reasons including Niel Harrington Jr.'s disobedience with regard to the dissemination of the so-called heavenly "messages" he claims to be receiving and the fact that Father John Szantyr has been functioning not only as Niel Harrington Jr.'s "spiritual director" but also as a priest - despite having had his faculties suspended since 1987 or 1988. Anyone interested in the Seeds of Hope/Niel Harrington/Father John Szantyr story should check out the Worcester Voice web site.
THE PRIEST AND THE MOB
According to United Press International Pennsylvania priest Fr. Joseph F. Sica has been arrested on perjury charges in connection with grand jury testimony about his association with an organized crime boss.
The priest claims he had no relationship with Russell Bufalino. Photographs shown to the grand jury indicate otherwise.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
THREEFOLDING - FR. ROBERT SIRICO
The Wall Street Journal has an article online titled "Liberty Theology" penned by the Acton Institute's Fr. Robert A. Sirico. In it he denounces liberation theology, but says the Church still has a role to play in South America in opposition to governments that are attempting to become dictatorial. One short paragraph gives his position away. He is introducing a concept called "Threefolding":
There is only one way toward liberation, and that is a genuine liberalization of economic and political life, one that separates the state, not only from the Church, but also from the culture and the commercial life of the nation.
It would seem that the Church is still dabbling in politics in South America, though Sirico lauds adherence to Benedict's policy of a separation between the Church and state:
It is important to note that Church leaders who are challenging the likes of Mr. Chávez are not recommending Church involvement in politics. Their understanding, in line with the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI, is that the relationship between the Church and the state in Latin America is complex and there should be a clean separation. But they also know the importance of preserving freedom and pluralism.
You can read about Threefolding, including the way that it is shaping globalization, and discover its source in the Philippine Agenda 21, in this cached version of a GlobeNet3 article.
Agenda 21 is the work of, among others, Nacanor Perlas, an Anthroposophist from the Philippines. In this article Perlas spells out his plan:
The substance of conscious threefolding will increasingly include consideration of the seven dimensions of development. Politics and economics will remain as important considerations. But increasingly ecological, social, cultural, human and spiritual considerations will enter into the program details of comprehensive sustainable development efforts.
In conscious threefolding, civil society is in a critical engagement mode. Philippine Agenda 21 (PA21) is an exemplar of conscious threefolding at work. PA21 articulates a conscious threefolding image of society and has an understanding of the three key institutions of society and the realms from which they are active in. Civitas in the Philippines, through its civil society, convinced the McWorld government of the Philippines to officially adopt PA21 as its framework of sustainable development for the country.
The slow and uneven implementation of PA21, however, is an object lesson of what can happen when the worldview of Civitas tries to find expression in the governments and businesses of McWorld. Most of the agencies of the McWorld government in the Philippines actively or passively resist PA21even if there are several directives from the Office of the President to mainstream PA21. The few in McWorld government or business that see the value of PA21 have conceptual and operational difficulties in translating PA21 in action.
It portends a power shift. In my opinion it does not portend any better options for the disenfranchised. The jargon used in Perlas' explanation of it is such that the poor are unlikely to understand what they are getting into. Heck, I've been college educated and I don't understand it, but I do have an uneasy feeling as I read it that there's a lot they are not telling us.
Evidence of Perlas' Anthroposophical connections are given in Footnote 2 of this report to the Anthroposophical Siciety in Australia which reads:
2. CADI Center for Alternative Development Initiatives, instrumental in putting the principles of threefolding society on the Philippines Governments agenda. Nicanor Perlas, chairman of CADI is also Chairman of the Anthroposophical Group, that organised the "Shaping the Future" conference , October ‘98. See Pacifica Journal., numbers 9 and 10 with an extensive report by Terry M. Boardman. Ben Cherry and Siegfried Gutbrot, who attended the conference, explained to me how the civil society groups represented the cultural sphere providing the economic sphere with principles, concepts and practices as an alternative and counter weight to the unhealthy trend of ‘elite’ globalisation.......
Anthroposophy is a system of theosophy that uses Christian terminology. It is not Christian except in the gnostic sense. It is certainly not compatible with Catholicism.
Perlas' biography given here indicates that he has worked with Mikhail Gorbachev and is a member of the Club of Budapest.
What exactly is Fr. Robert Sirico pushing in his Wall Street Journal Article? And does it oppose the Catholic Church?
Is Nicanor Perlas' CADI in the Philippines part of the same organization as CADI in Romania? The Acton Institute is involved with CADI in Romania, as the following websites clearly indicate:
The CADI website header lists the Acton Institute logo and indicates Robert Sirico is a member of the Academic Council.
Another page in the website features John Couretas, Acton Institute, Ottawa.
THE PRIEST SHORTAGE
As lay Catholics we know what it means when there aren't enough priests, but we seldom look at this shortage from the perspective of the priests who remain.
Fr. Joseph Looney, of the Hartford, Connecticut Archdiocese, describes what this shortage has meant for priests and one way they are combatting it:
Over the years, Looney has learned to fend for himself — "The microwave has been the greatest invention for priests," he jokes — but he also took matters into his own hands by joining the local chapter of an international group called the Fraternity of Priests, which has helped combat the loneliness and other struggles priests face.
Looney's group, which has met every Monday afternoon for the last 20 years, is the only Connecticut chapter. Its 12 members observe what they call the "kingdom disciplines," which are to pray for an hour a day, meet once a week with other priests, honor other priests, keep a journal, and tithe, which means to give 10 percent of your income to the church or charity.
The group meets privately so the priests can talk openly about what is happening in their lives, pray together and then eat dinner together.
"We take the arrows out of each other's backs," Looney says. "If we can have the meal and the meeting in the same place, it's wonderful because we can be more relaxed. It's good for the priest who lives alone to have a meal with someone else."
Pushpanathan, who is also a member, says the meetings might be the only time in a week he sees another priest. They have been especially helpful to him as he has been assimilated into a new culture.
"I was actually in need of the fraternity very much," Pushpanathan says.
The fraternity is planning a conference for other priests who might be interested in joining. It will take place April 6-10 at the Montfort House in Litchfield. Looney urges priests from other dioceses to attend if they need the company and support of other priests.
"There's been a sea change in the world. It's not just the priesthood," Looney says. "It's a challenge to remain relevant to others, but especially to yourself. That's what the fraternity helps us do. One of the things we talk about is holiness, being set apart for God. And we sense God working in the world."
CATHOLICISM OVER THERE
Roman Catholicism has become Britain’s dominant religion. According to a Telegraph.co.uk report, statistics now show there are more practicing Catholics in the kingdom than there are Anglicans. ...
Anglican Sunday worship attendance has dropped 20 percent in the past seven years to 852,000. Meanwhile, there are 861,000 Roman Catholics attending Sunday mass. ...
In addition to the falling church attendance trend, some Church of England leaders are considering turning Anglicans into Catholics by joining Catholicism outright and en masse. In October, the Traditional Anglican Communion, with a worldwide membership of 400,000, requested “full, corporate and sacramental union” with the Vatican. The move is seen as the culmination of a revolt away from what the group sees as liberalization of the Anglican Communion, which claims 80 million adherents.
Read all of it...
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
MICHAEL MOORE AND NGWS
Apparently Michael Moore, who is no friend of Catholics, is a member of the Lucis Trust New Group of World Servers according to the NGWS website. First click the link all the way over on the right titled "movers & shakers". When the window opens to "Ezine Dec. 2005" roll your cursor over the fourth pic down on the right-hand side of the website and you will get the name Michael Moore that goes with his picture.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
YESTERDAY'S VIGIL MASS
Incredibly all four servers, all of the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, and all of the ushers were men. I can't remember the last time I have seen that. It's good to discover that the men are getting involved, hopefully in greater numbers.
There is an interesting discussion in the comments box down below between Craig and Susanna. I don't want it to scroll down too far, so I'll shut up now.