Saturday, January 26, 2008
SIR JOHN TEMPLETON
Yesterday I explored the Templeton Foundation's and Sir John Templeton's enthusiasm for New Thought, its relationship to Sabbatean enthusiast Emmanuel Swedenborg, and Templeton funding. I'd like to add a few more details.
Templeton was a self-made man. He did not inherit his wealth, and he does have a great deal of it. He is considered the ultimate resource on mutual funds.
The biography presented at the John Templeton website offers more insight into Templeton's beliefs.
On page 61 of Lee Penn's book FALSE DAWN he lists the organizations that have funded United Religions Initiative, the syncetistic organization of Episcopal Bishop William Swing. Among them is John Templeton Foundation's Local Societies Initiative. This is hardly surprising given the fact that the URI and John Templeton share a common belief in the wisdom of the world's religions. The Templeton Foundation's biography tells us "Hindus, Jews, Buddhists and Muslims have been on the panel of judges and have been recipients" of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research of Discoveries about Spiritual Realities". The Templeton Prize is the largest monetary award in the world, exceeding the Nobel in cash value by design. Templeton is quoted as saying that there are other persons alive today "to whom God is revealing further holy truths," and the website tells us that "The John Templeton Foundation donates to many enterpreneuers, trying various methods for over one hundred-fold more spiritual information, especially through science research to supplement the wonderful ancient scriptures of all religions."
While he has been a lifelong supporter of the Presbyterian church, serving on the "board of the Princeton Theological Seminary, the largest Presbyterian seminary, for 42 years." He has also served on the board of the American Bible Society.
Given his financial wherewithall, the prestige of the Templeton Prize, his influence on the Princeton Seminary, this man has had an impact on religious thinking in America today.
Investment University, "A special publication of The Oxford Club", provides "Sir John Templeton's 5-Step Strategy For Financial Success". Take a look at number 5 - "Minimize your taxes". How did he earn all that cash? One strategy that helped was a decision he made in the 1960s. Templeton was born in the small town of Winchester, Tennessee, making him an American citizen by birth. However, he
made a controversial decision. He decided to renounce his U.S. citizenship and move to the Bahamas, where there is no income tax or investment tax. He became a British citizen, and now a Bahamian citizen, and lives tax-free (the Bahamas gets its revenue from high import duties and corporate/trust fees).
Interestingly, his investment record improved markedly after he stopped worrying about the tax consequences of his investment decisions. As a result of tax-free compounding, Sir John Templeton is worth several billion dollars today, and is one of the wealthiest men alive.
However, Templeton does not recommend that American investors follow his lead and switch allegiance to a tax haven such as the Bahamas (it's almost impossible for an American to become a Bahamian citizen today).
Returning to a source I quoted yesterday, the article in Wired, June 1997, we can learn something more about his philanthropic interests. Templeton Foundation has supported a study at Harvard's Mind-Body Medical Institute that focuses on the effectiveness of prayer. Wired tells us
Ironically, this sort of research threatens to despiritualize religion, transforming divine answers to prayers into merely the physiological consequences of beneficial mental states. Harper, at the Templeton Foundation, believes that it should be possible to pinpoint the parts of the brain that are active during worship, and to help figure out how to enhance the activity of these religious organs. "You can basically look at somebody like Mother Teresa," says Harper, "and make testable hypotheses about how a religious conviction develops into a habit of mind and then becomes programmed into very specific circuits in the brain." These studies can lead to better spiritual technologies, including, perhaps, neurochemical aids. After all, anybody who prays regularly knows that it is easier some days than others. Why shouldn't Eli Lilly and Merck compete to produce drugs that stimulate religious concentration?
The question is a valid one considering Templeton's wealth and support of laissez-faire capitalism. The Libertarians would agree. They have long been working to change America's drug policies. In an article at LewRockwell.com Walter Block spells out all of the negative consequences for legalizing drugs but concludes by saying " Yes, by all means, let us legalize drugs. (I told you I’m still a libertarian)."
Perhaps that explains the appearance of Fr. Joseph Ganssle, OFM on the Leadership Council of the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative and on another board that is of particular interest to Roman Catholics. According to their website
Fr. Joseph Ganssle, OFM founded and ran IDPI’s predecessor, Religious Coalition for a Moral Drug Policy in the early 1990s. Father Ganssle, a Catholic priest, currently serves on the advisory board of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. He also founded a drug treatment program and served as its CEO for 25 years.
Here is his Acton role. Not surprisingly I noted that Reform Judaism is also represented on this Leadership Council.
The Templeton Foundation Press website provides another curious connection to Catholicism. Check out the "Articles of Distinction" website. Their About webpage tells us "The Science and Religion Articles of Distinction (SRAOD) Web site is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation and administered by Templeton Foundation Press. This archive contains articles from a variety of sources." The Publications list includes Crisis Magazine, First Things, and Touchstone. The relationship between the two organizations is not clear to me. There may not be a financial connection. Or then again, there might be.
That's enough for today, but there's more. I'll save it for later.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I have just received the following in email:
I have just posted on my website the newest article written specifically for the Internet by father François-Marie Dermine O.P. and titled "Vassula Rydén: the reasons of the Church" (link: www.infovassula.ch/dermine.htm)
Father Dermine is considered an expert in mysticism and alternative religious forms. He is professor of moral theology, member of the executive council of GRIS (a research group on religious phenomena, consultant to the Italian Bishops' Conference) and official exorcist of his diocese. In 1995 he published Vassula Rydén – Indagine Critica, a detailed study of the TLIG messages.
In this new article father Dermine returns on some of the many reasons why Vassula Rydén's messages have not been recognized as authentic and comments some recent events. He presents for the first time on the Internet the proof of the censuring and modification of the original messages. In the chapter "Disappearance, cancellation, censuring and modification of messages" you will find find photocopies of the original messages with the corrections done by the seer. These documents are part of the famous photocopies circulated by father Pavich in the 1990s, where it is possible to see the deleted passages and the modification of words and sentences in view of the publication of the messages. You will also find a fax written by Vassula in which she confirms having two sets of notebooks and tries to justify the censuring done to the messages.
I am particularely grateful to father Dermine for giving me the opportunity to publish his article on my website. I am sure it will contribute significantly to help understand the reasons behind the Church's negative position towards these "revelations".
Warmly in Christ,
Maria Laura Pio
Here is a link to her website.
YA GOTTA SMILE AT THIS ONE
over at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog:
A reader sent a letter to Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham asking him why it was ok for EWTN to broadcast the Holy Father's recent ad orientem Mass on their station, but it is not ok for them to broadcast their own Masses ad orientem.
Thanks to a reader for the link.
FROM SWEDENBORG TO NEW THOUGHT AND BEYOND
Yesterday I demonstrated the transmission of thought from the Sabbateans to Emmanuel Swedenborg. Today I want to bring it forward to contemporary society.
An article at the Spirituality Information website discusses the history of New Thought. The article lists the names of those who "figured prominently in the history of the New Thought Movement". Emanuel Swedenborg is on the list.
New Thought churches include Divine Science, Religious Science, the Universal Foundation for Better Living, and "the largest of the new thought organizations is the Unity Church. One has been left off--the Swedenborgian Church.
The Bayside Swedenborgian Church in Bayside, New York offers the writings of Emmanuel Swedenborg on their website. For example, here is the title page of Swedenborg's "Amore Conjugiali".
Another article in the Bayside website titled "Warren F. Evans, Emanuel Swedenborg, and the Creation of New Thought" by Arlene M. Sanchez Walsh, tells us:
When Warren Felt Evans established his healing ministry and writing career in 1867 in Claremont, New Hampshire, the formalized exposition of New Thought began. For the next twenty years, Evans formulated a theology from the teachings of his healer, Phineas Quimby, and from the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg. This study explores Evans' creation of New Thought by his use of elements of mind-cure and Swedenborgianism. Under his direction, New Thought, which began as a therapeutic art, became an esoteric religion. The desire to escape the dogmatic and formalistic nature of Protestantism served as one of Evans's chief concerns in creating such an eclectic faith.
The article on "New Thought" linked above indicates the "Contemporary Leaders" of New Thought include Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neal Donald Walsch, Terry Cole-Whittaker, and Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith". It also tells us that "The Secret" "touches several core philosophies found in New Thought". The website of Kjos Ministries offers a page on "New Thought, Sweedenborg & Science of Mind" that mentions Oprah Winfrey, another contemporary promoter of New Thought. Notice the quote there, "Swedenborg expounded on many elements of the Bible....New Thought would also create new interpretations of the Bible based on their own metaphysical assumptions."
An article at the Bayside Church website titled "Under the Influence: The Long Shadow of Emanuel Swedenborg" tells us
at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Gregory R. Johnson will defend a dissertation that claims Swedenborg as a seminal influence on the philosopher [Kant]. He sees his project as building on the work of intellectual historians Eric Voegelin and Frances Yates, who argued that gnosticism and the hermetic tradition lingered beneath the surface of early-modern thought.
A book titled NEW THOUGHT, ANCIENT WISDOM, by Glenn R. Mosley "chronicles the history of the movement, beginning with the influences of Emanuel Swedenborg, Franz Mesmer, and more directly of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby."...The book concludes with a review of the World Parliament of Religions in Barcelona, Spain, July 2004. The book is published by Templeton Press.
The speakers list for the July 2005 conference "Science & Religion: Global Perspectives" includes Joanna Hill. Her bio indicates she is Director of Templeton Foundation Press. Prior to this position "She ran her own book design firm for seven years before working in religious publishing at the Jewish Publication Society and the Swedenborg Foundation. She launched the Templeton Foundation Press in 1997". Also on the speakers list is John Templeton, Jr., President of the John Templeton Foundation.
According to Media Transparency, the John Templeton Foundation has been a contributor to the Association of Unity Churches, to the tune of $3,509,971.
Review of a book by Sir John Templeton titled WHY ARE WE CREATED includes Swedenborg among those who have helped "to shed light on the possible connection between spiritual principles and human concepts".
Sir John Marks Templeton, "founder of the Templeton Mutual Funds and creator of the $1 million plus Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion" shared wisdom from his book WISDOM FROM WORLD RELIGIONS: PATHWAYS TOWARD HEAVEN ON EARTH, at the Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn. "Glencairn, the 10-story former home of devout Swedenborgians Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn..."
Templeton's biography is given at counterbalance.net. There we can learn that
Although he has been a Presbyterian elder active in his denomination and on the boards of Princeton Theological Seminary and the American Bible Society, he espouses a "humble approach" to theology. Declaring that relatively little is known about God through scripture and present-day theology, Templeton once predicted that "scientific revelations may be a goldmine for revitalizing religion in the 21st Century."...
Typical of Templeton's wide-lens view of spirituality and ethics, the dedicated Presbyterian admits to additional influence from the New Thought movements of Christian Science, Unity and Religious Science. Those metaphysical churches espouse a non-literal view of heaven and hell, and suggest a shared divinity between God and humanity. "We realize that our own divinity arises from something more than merely being 'God's children' or being 'made in his image,'" Templeton wrote.
At Wikipedia he is quoted as saying:
We are trying to persuade people that no human has yet grasped 1% of what can be known about spiritual realities. So we are encouraging people to start using the same methods of science that have been so productive in other areas, in order to discover spiritual realities.
—Sir John Templeton, Interview with Financial Intelligence Report
The Aether website provides an article that first appeared in "Wired", Issue 7.06, June 1999 according to the notation at the end of the article. Here are more quotes from Templeton and one from Charles Fillmore: "It is a sin to be poor". From the website:
Templeton, who was knighted in 1987, has devoted the main portion of his philanthropy to his interfaith, or, as he prefers, "open-minded" campaign for religious progress. To advertise the great importance of diverse religious traditions, he created the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and to stress that spiritual accomplishments are worth more than secular ones, he makes sure the cash value of the prize is always higher than that of the Nobel. The first prize was awarded to Mother Teresa, in 1973 - six years before she was recognized by the Nobel committee - ...
"I have no quarrel with what I learned in the Presbyterian Church," he says. "I am still an enthusiastic Christian. But why shouldn't I try to learn more? Why shouldn't I go to Hindu services? Why shouldn't I go to Muslim services? If you are not egotistical, you will welcome the opportunity to learn more." With the same tone of irrefutable common sense that he must have brought to the clients of his investment-counseling company, Sir John suggests that a patient, highly diversified approach to religious truth will produce the best results over the long term.
That is a prescription for syncretism. And did you get it? It is "egotistical" to adhere to one religion. The article says further:
"We hope that there will be nothing that conflicts with anybody's religion or faith," answers Sir John in the neutral tone of an expert poker player. "We would never say a person's religion is not effective. We say, 'Would you be interested in something more effective?' We always put things in an optimistic, progressive perspective. 'Do you want to make your prayers more effective? Not that they are not effective, but do you want to help them become more effective?'"...
Most of the great evangelists of practical Christianity, from Ben Franklin to Norman Vincent Peale, have identified prosperity as an outward sign of grace. "Effective" religion teaches us how to do well in life and relieves us of the taint of preterition.
The prosperity gospel. What would Templeton have thought of those who do not do well? Would he agree with Charles Fillmore that "It is a sin to be poor?" Is that what Christianity is about? Would Templeton expect that those institutions for which he provided funding would follow his line of thinking?
What institutions has he funded? More significantly, what institutions within the Catholic orbit has he funded? How about Fr. Sirico's Acton Institute. According to Media Transparency Templeton provided $128,850. Acton won its third Templeton Freedom Award in 2007 which adds another $30,000 to the pot. Not a great amount, but not insignificant either.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
BUSINESS AS USUAL IN CHICAGO
The Sun Times reports on the promotions received by top leaders of the Chicago Diocese after they were instrumental in enabling convicted priest Rev. Daniel McCormack to molest boys, including one appointment to the presidency of the USCCB, and three promotions to auxiliary bishop. One could almost get the opinion that enabling sexual abuse in Chicago is the fast track for promotion. What words are left to express the sense of being scandalized yet again? They have all been used so many times that there is nothing left to say except express your outrage with your contribution to the collection basket. Unless the men in charge get a loud and clear message from the laity that this is unacceptable, nothing will change, and the only message they hear is the money message.
Apparently we cannot count on Rome to clean the mess up.
FROM THE ASIATIC BRETHREN TO SWEDENBORGIANISM
This is actually not a long jump. But before I make it, what is Swedenborgianism?
Reliable information on the esoteric rites is not easy to come by. As Christopher McIntosh tells it: "The role of secret and semi-secret societies in history is a theme that has only recently come into its own as a subject for serious historical inquiry. Its previous neglect by most professional historians was in part a reaction against the lurid credulity with which the subject has so often been treated in the past." (McIntosh, THE ROSE CROSS AND THE AGE OF REASON, Introduction)
McIntosh is a primary source, as is Peter R. Koenig. Another source of information on secret societies is Michigan State University's Esoterica, "A peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to the transdisciplinary study of Western esotericism". It is there that I will start.
Dr. Marsha Keith Schuchard has written a book titled WHY MRS. BLAKE CRIED: SWEDENBORG, BLAKE, AND THE SEXUAL BASIS OF SPIRITUAL VISION. A portion of the book is online. Before I provide the link, I should warn you that she is quite graphic in her descriptions. With that warning in mind, here is the website. The story is quite an eye-opener since this is the first account I have seen of the details of the technique of sexual magic. I will leave the graphic descriptions out of this blog, however. Schuchard writes:
In early 1790, Nordenskjöld became so frustrated by the prudery of the Eastcheapers that he travelled to France, where he prsented a French version of his "Form of a New Society" (Tableau d'une Constitution incorruptible) to the National Assembly in Paris . In autumn of that year, Blake moved to Lambeth, where he became the close neighbor of several Swedenborgians who supported the radical agenda of Nordenskjöld and the illuminist Masons (J.A. Tulk, Frances Barthelemon, Jacob and Thomas Duché). Moreover, they were sympathetic to the even more radical sexual notions of the frères at Avignon, who featured ritual nudity, communal sex, and worship of the Shekhinah (a Kabbalistic version of the Virgin Mary) in their arcane ceremonies. ...
Even Nordenskjöld was distressed when the Avignon society decided that Swedenborg's Conjugial Love was not divinely inspired and adopted instead the kind of free-love agenda promulgated by the "Asiatic Brethren," a Masonic rite developed by Sabbatian Jews and Cabbalistic Christians . At this time, emissaries from the "Asiatics" were in London, and several Swedenborgians collected their writings . When Blake declared that Swedenborg "is the Angel sitting at the tomb: his writings are the linen clothes folded up," he suggested his own movement towards the Sabbatian position.
If Mrs. Blake shared Thel's hesitations about the plunge into sexuality, she must have been even more distressed by her husband's increasing advocacy of free love. In the powerful erotic paean of Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793), Blake targeted "the frozen marriage bed," which needed "wanton play" in "happy copulation" (preferably in groups) in order to thaw .
According to Swedenborg and the liberated J.A. Tulk (an admirer of Grabianka), the divine innocence of conjugial love is best expressed in daylight nakedness, rather than furtive couplings under the covers .
There you have the jump from the Asiatic Brethren to the Swedenborgians. She adds further:
Swedenborg also described a secret mystical society, in which "spirits from Asia" teach inititiates how to meditate on emblems of love"works of art and some small images as though cast in silver" that represent "the many qualities, attributes, and delights which belong to conjugial love."...
These Kabbalistic rites were in turn exported to India and China by initiated captains sailing for the Swedish East India Company, who opened lodges in their ports of call . The merging of Jewish and Asiatic rituals would thus have significant earthly as well as heavenly relevance. The Royal Order of Heredom survived through the l790's, when Swedish and Swedenborgian Masons in London continued to join it.
(Included in Swednborgian ideas are concubinage and polygamy, causing me to wonder if perhaps Frankists are behind Mormonism. But that's another subject I won't get into here.)
The source of these ideas for Swedenborg, according to Schuchard, is a Sabbatean Rabbi and Baal Shem.
In l779-80 and l783-86, the Universal Society was visited by Augustus Nordenskjöld, a Swedish Mason and son of Moravian parents, who was an eager student of Kabbala and a practicing alchemist. During his first visit, Nordenskjöld met Dr. Messiter and then moved into the home of the latter's friend, Dr. Gumpertz Levison, a Jewish physician and alchemist . Levison had been a youthful protégé of Rabbi Jonathon Eibeschütz, a crypto-Sabbatian, who perhaps informed him about the Kabbalistic and Masonic activities of Falk and Swedenborg in London . After his arrival in London in l770, when he undertook medical studies with the Hunter brothers, he became a Swedenborgian Mason. Like Zinzendorf's and Falk's disciples, Levison was accused of antinomian sexual and religious practices . ...
In his diaries, Swedenborg recorded many of the lurid sexual ceremonies of the Moravians, which initially attracted but later repelled him. Like Zinzendorf, Swedenborg sought out Jewish Kabbalists in the East End, and he soon came under the spell of Dr. Samuel Jacob Falk, known as the "Baal Shem" of London (master of the magical names of God). Falk was a crypto-Sabbatian, who collaborated with a network of fellow "Zoharites" in England, Holland, Poland, and Germany. (It was W.B. Yeats who first argued that Falk had an influence on Blake's knowledge of Kabbala) . Following the Sabbatians' advocacy of "holy sinning," some members of the network pretended conversion to Christianity and assimilated Kabbalistic notions of the Shekhinah into Christian notions of the Virgin Mary.
Moving on to Peter R. Koenig, I found the following in his description of the early years and the development of the Ordo Templi Orientis:
Q. How was Reuss's group of Orders structured in 1905-06?[bolding mine]
A: Kellner's 'Inner Triangle' (supposedly a European offshoot of
the American 'Hermetic Brotherhood of Light') had already
disintegrated by 1904, when Hartmann was busily distancing
himself from both Reuss and the yogic activities of his friend
Kellner. It should also be borne in mind that Reuss was not "au
fait" with Kellner's ideas about Yoga. The latter's "Occult
Circle" was quite different and distinct from all the other
Orders around Reuss, Kellner and Hartmann, although it was
possible to belong to both; but the "Occult Circle" or "Inner
Triangle" were merely conventional names, and only had a
rhetorical connotation, being linked to something else.
Kellner's death also meant the death of the informal private
group, even though its members were at his funeral.
Anyway, Hartmann had got rid of Reuss by 1904, which meant that
Reuss had to use a rubber-stamp facsimile of Hartmann's
signature for the charters he was issuing. Left to his tender
mercies there were the Swedenborg Rite, the AASR, MM, the SRIA,
Martinism and several completely mysterious knightly Orders; but
it's still almost impossible to say where any of these started
or ended, because Reuss constantly changed their names and
structures as he took the fancy. It's possible to get a
'freeze-frame' picture of the state of play for October 1905:
Kellner's "Inner Triangle" no longer existed; in Germany, Reuss
was leading the "Sovereign Sanctuary" of the AASR (which was an
old Scottish rite of Templar-Masonry), as well as the MM. But
AASR and MM were autonomous bodies, and were kept strictly
separate after August 1905. In January 1906 Reuss is alleged to
have re-constituted the O.T.O. - at least on paper - from the
"Hermetic Brotherhood of Light" (and not from the AASR or MM).
Reuss was obviously referring to a different HBL than the one
Kellner mentioned - several passages in rituals and texts hint
broadly at certain "Asiatic Brothers of the Light" (and not to
the MM). I doubt very much if the O.T.O. of this era consisted
of more than one member - that being Reuss himself. On 24 July
1907 Reuss further separated the Rite of Memphis from that of
Misraim; they too became autonomous bodies. Only in 1908 did
Reuss re-constitute a Sovereign Grand Council of the MM in
Germany, when he'd found enough suitable potential members in
Paris. Reuss's activities in other organisations (Martinism,
Illuminati, etc.) are no longer discernible by this time. In the
various issues of the 'Oriflamme' up to 1912 only MM, the
Swedenborg Rite, and the AASR are mentioned; there's not a trace
of the O.T.O.. His O.T.O. rituals, if they do date from before
1912, are a crude mixture of rituals deriving from the Scottish
Rite, the Rite of Cerneau, the Royal Arch, Rose Croix,
Pike-de-Ladebat, and Memphis-Mizraim. For once Reuss clearly if
clumsily committed himself: "The mere possession of these
various Masonic degrees does not constitute a Member as an:
O.T.O." In fact, he seems to have thought the reverse true:
membership of the O.T.O. meant membership of the AASR, MM and
the like, but membership of the MM was not equal with membership
of the O.T.O..
After Hartmann's death in 1912, the O.T.O.'s structure was
defined like this: the first three degrees were the equivalent
of Craft Masonry; the IV° was a mutated version of the AASR; In
the V° Hartmann's obscure 'Esoteric Rosicrucianism' was combined
with the AASR's eleventh and eighteenth degrees; both the name
and the lection for the VII° were taken from the fourth degree
of the Fratres Lucis ('Knights of the True Light' or 'Order of
the Asiatic Brethren', and therefore Reuss's and maybe Crowley's
'Hermetic Brotherhood of Light') although the VII° seems to have
been only a purely administrative degree; and then real O.T.O.
membership started at the VIII°; the IX° corresponded to the
Illuminati Order, and the X° was Reuss himself. The sex-magic
only entered Order teachings at the IX°.
One more source also makes the connection between the Asiatics/Frankists and Swedenborgianism. That source is Henry Makow, Ph.D. Makow has a conspiracy theory website that is extensive. Wikipedia says he in a Canadian non-fiction writer and the inventor of the board game Scruples. His doctorate was earned in English Literature at the University of Toronto in 1982. Since he confirms what others are saying, I'll include it here:
It's becoming increasingly evident to me that the Illuminati is an extension of the Frankist heresy, and that Hegel was the one to articulate its vision.
The Frankist heresy begins even before Jacob Frank, whose activity was in
the eighteenth century, with the beginnings of the Lurianic Kabbalah, or
"Modern Kabbalah", developed by Isaac Luria in the sixteenth century.
The one to articulate Lurianic Kabbalah for Christian audiences was Jacob
Boehme, who became active in Bohemia, at the turn of the seventeenth
century, where the Rosicrucian movement was coming to light.
According to Frances Yates, in The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, Prague, the capital of Bohemia, "was a great center of Jewish Cabalism". She points out
a possible reference to Lurianic Kabbalah, in that Christian Rosenkreuz, the
hero of the Rosicrucian texts, "describes in the Fama travels in the east
whence he has returned with a new kind of "Magia and Cabala" which he
incorporates into his own Christian outlook."...
Jacob Frank began his mission, claiming to be a
reincarnation of the false Jewish Messiah, whose imposture shook the entire
Jewish world during the seventeenth century. The Frankists rejected the
Talmud in favor of the Zohar, the chief Kabbalistic text of the Middle Ages,
and were known to practice orgiastic rites.
Many followed Frank to his conversion into Christianity, and intermarried
with the Habsburg aristocracy of Bohemia.
There is evidence to suggest that Meyer Rothschild was a Frankist, and that
it was he who financed and directed Adam Weishaupt to organize the
Finally, it was the Duke of Orleans, the great grandson of Elizabeth and
Frederick, who was a member of the Illuminati, and Grand Master of Grand
Orient Freemasonry, during the French Revolution.
Behind the Illuminati at this stage, was an order known as the Asiatic
Brethren, who were headed by Frank's successor, his nephew Dobruschka.
Though the order was comprised mostly of Jews, Persian, Syrians and Turks,
characters like Swedenborg, St. Germain, St. Martin, Pasqualy and
Cagliostro, all leading proponents of the Illuminati, were also members.
Lastly, an article by Brian Talbot, a minister in the Swedenborgian church called Conference of the New Church in Great Britain has attempted to refute Schuchard's claims. It appeared in the July-December 2007 issue of New Philosophy Online The article is titled "Schuchard's Swedenborg" and can be accessed from the home page.
Talbot makes a weak attempt to refute Suchard's claims about sexual rites. He does not address the Frankist background of the philosophy though he does admit that Swedenborg's instructor "Rabbi Johan Kemper, a lecturer at Swedenborg's university" "had converted to Christianity before" he taught Swedenborg, as though this would exempt him from any culpability, and completely ignoring the fact that the Frankists "converted" to Christianity enmasse while remaining crypto-Sabbateans. He does, however, indicate that there were divisions in the Swedenborgians that could account for a moral side as well as a libertine side to the religion.
Why does all this matter? Well, that is too complicated to go into until tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
SATANIC RITES IN ITALIAN CHURCH
Catholic World News reports an article in the Italian daily La Stampa tells of two Satanic rituals being celebrated at a church in Turin, Italy. The article doesn't say if it was a Catholic church or one of another denomination, but does indicate that the followers of Anton La Vey's Church of Satan were responsible.
Benedict was scheduled to speak at Rome's Sapienza University three days ago, but there was a major protest of faculty and students claiming that he was "hostile to science." Instead of confrontation, Benedict opted for cancellation of his speech-- a decision that left the university looking rather foolish.
Now there has been a rally in support of the Pope as reported by iobserve.org that included "Tens of thousands of Romans" filling St. Peter's Square to show support.
According to the article he expressed disappointment over the cancellation but "said the university should always be a place of respect for differing opinions." Well yes, when the differing opinions come from a Pope; but I can't help but reflect on all of the opinions that have turned up on Catholic college campuses that as a mother I would never want my 18-year-old exposed to. The argument for "respect for differing opinions" has been the justification for such events as the "Vagina Monologues" after all, and we are approaching Valentine's Day once again, the traditional time for this particular play to be hauled out and staged. Now the words of a pope can be used as justification. Hmmmmmm.
The last line in the article--"Let's go forward in this spirit, working for a fraternal and tolerant society"--is attributed to the pope as well. Every good Mason can heartily approve. It isn't sitting all that well with this Catholic. Weren't truth and tolerance once thought to be mutually exclusive? Well, it seems as though it's a new age for Catholicism in Rome, and I'll be darned if I know what to make of it!
THE LIBERTARIAN AGENDA
From the website:
The libertarian movement has promoted equal rights for the GLBT community since its inception. What's taking everyone else so long? The Libertarian Party was the first major party to endorse rights for the GLBT community, including the right to marry individuals of choice regardless of gender. Libertarians maintain that every non-violent individual has the absolute right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Basic human rights don't only extend to those who are in relationships with people of the opposite gender.
Libertarians believe that every human being is entitled to equality before the law and fair treatment as an individual responsible for his or her own actions. They oppose racism, sexism, and sexual-preference bigotry, whether perpetrated by private individuals or by governments. In accordance with libertarian principles, the Libertarian PArty maintains a staunch pro-privacy and pro-individual rights stance without excuse or exception. In fact, the LP has called for the repeal of laws against voluntary homosexual and heterosexual behavior since its very first platform in 1974. The current platform states, "We believe that adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual activity. We oppose any government attempt to dictate, prohibit, control, or encourage any private lifestyle, living arrangement or contractual relationship. We support repeal of existing laws and policies which are intended to condemn, affirm, encourage, or deny sexual lifestyles or any set of attitudes about such lifestyles." Libertarians also condemn restraints on adult sexual entertainment, including broadcasting and the Internet.
At the website there are lists of notable GLBTs. Two entries on the list are from the Cato Institute:
David Boaz (Executive Vice President, Cato Istitute)
Tom G. Palmer (Senior Fellow, Cato Institute)
Meanwhile Media Matters (scroll down at the link) reports on Cato Institute member Doub Bandow, who just happens to be on Fr. Sirico's Acton Institute Board:
Two more conservative columnists on the take
As the Year of Fake News comes to a close, two more conservative columnists have snuck in under the wire to join Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, Michael McManus, Charles Chieppo, and much of the Iraqi press among the ranks of supposedly independent "news" figures who turned out to be on the take.
Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the conservative/libertarian Cato Institute and a syndicated columnist for Copley News Service, has admitted taking thousands of dollars in payments from Jack Abramoff in exchange for writing about topics Abramoff's clients were interested in. BusinessWeek Online reported that Bandow admitted "that he had accepted money from Abramoff for writing between 12 and 24 articles over a period of years, beginning in the mid '90s."
Bandow explained, "It was a lapse of judgment on my part, and I take full responsibility for it."
It must have been quite a "lapse" to have lasted "a period of years." Suzette Martinez Standring, president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, doesn't buy Bandow's explanation, saying what Bandow did "isn't a lapse in judgment, it's soul-selling."
Accuracy in Media also reports on Bandow's source of income:
The liberals want the public to believe that Jack Abramoff was a "Republican" lobbyist, even though his clients, and associated firms showered money on Democrats such as Harry Reid and Byron Dorgan. Abramoff's non-conservative tendencies were also in evidence in his selection of subsidized columnists.
The main one, Doug Bandow, describes himself as pro-drug legalization, anti-abortion, pro-free market, and anti-Iraq War. ...
The story about Bandow was broken by Eamon Javers of Business Week, who accurately noted that Cato is a libertarian rather than a conservative think tank. Javers noted evidence that Bandow wrote favorably about Abramoff's clients.
While it does tremendous work on some economic and foreign policy matters, the Cato Institute is pro-legalization of drugs and pro-homosexual rights. Bandow may have been pro-life, but a Cato scholar has written that abortion is "an issue about which reasonable people can have reasonable differences." Hence, the group has not officially taken a pro-life position.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
FROM THE ASIATIC BRETHREN TO THE GOLDEN DAWN
Not only are the roots of Reform Judaism lodged in the Asiatic Brethren, so also are the roots of the Golden Dawn magical fraternity, and thus the O.T.O., lodged there as well.
Although the order of the Asiatic Brethren was short-lived its echoes affected a Jewish masonic lodge founded in Frankfurt in the wake of the Napoleonic conquest....it is relevant to give a brief outline of its history based largely on [Jacob] Katz's account. Apart from the Asiatic Brethren, various attempts had been made by German Jews to enter Freemasonry....Any lodges with Jewish members were, however, branded as irregular by the mainstream of German Masonry, which remained...resolutely Christian. This changed, however, with the Napoleonic conquest during which French affiliated lodges were established on German soil, in which the admission of Jews was given official approval in line with the policy of the Grand Orient in Paris. It was under these circumstances that a Jew named Sigismund Geisenheimer founded, under French aegis, the Loge de l'Aurore Naissante or, in German, Zur aufgehenden Morgenrothe, often called simply the Judenloge. The lodge, chartered in 1807 and ceremonially inaugurated the following year, was of mixed Jewish and Christian membership, and among the Christian members was Franz Joseph Molitor, the kabbalistic scholar who had been an important member of the Asiatic Brethren and had remained in close touch with Joseph Hirschfeld. At the inauguration he made a speech welcoming the event as symptomatic of the dawn of a new era in which all classes of men would look upon each other as brothers.(Source: Christopher McIntosh, THE ROSE CROSS AND THE AGE OF REASON, p. 175)
the Fraternity of the Asiatic Brethren had the characteristic to be the Qabalistic branch of Germany's Rosy+Cross, because it accepted among its members Jews which were attached to the Polish Qabalistic School of Shabattaï Zévi. As opposed to what many historians have believed until now, we discovered the proof that Asiatic Brethren did not disappear about 1800, but that they survived within the Masonic Order of l'Aurore Naissante ("the Nascent Dawn") in Frankfurt-am-Main, a Lodge which was recognized by the Grand Lodge in England in 1817. Kenneth MacKenzie (the writer of the Cipher Manuscripts of the G.D.) certainly knew about the existence of the Order l'Aurore Naissante since he claimed to be initiated in his youth into the Rosy+Cross in Vienna, Austria, in the entourage of the Count Apponyi who was an ambassador from Austria in Paris. Vienna had for a long time been the seat of the Fraternity of Rosy+Cross of Austria; but at the time when MacKenzie lived in Vienna, about 1840, the only branch of the Rosy+Cross Order which had survived was that of the Asiatic Brethren which had found refuge in the center of the Masonic Order of l'Aurore Naissante in Frankfurt-am-Main. Besides, it is in this city that the Reform of the grades and rituals of the Rosy+Cross Order of the Old System had taken place in 1777.
MacKenzie took as a starting point the Qabalistic lessons of the Asiatic Brethren to create the G.D. rituals. Indeed, there exists many common points between the qabalistic system of the G.D., that of the Asiatic Brethren, and that indicated in VIIème Livre of Moïse.
(Source: an excerpt from the Historical introduction of the Ahathoor N deg. 7 Temple of Paris, titled "Mathers and the Secret Chiefs" by Jean-Pascal Ruggiu & Nicolas Tereshchenko)
It was remarkable for me to learn that the eighteenth century Brothers of Light, and for that matter the Initiated Brothers of Asia, are direct antecedents of O.T.O. I have at hand some of their rituals. It is almost certainly correct that there are enough similarities in publicly available literature to link these bodies, both directly and through intervening manifestations such as the Theon-Davidson H. B. of L. of the nineteenth century.
(Source: T. Allen Greenfield, "The Scarlet Letter" Dec, 1998, "Hermetic Brotherhood Revisited")
Can the origin of the Golden Dawn to be found in a Masonic lodge? I believe so.
The clues for the Masonic genesis of Golden Dawn are many. The name of the Order as given in the Cypher Ms is in Hebrew, ChBRTh ZRCh AVR BQD, or according to Westcott’s translation, Chabrath Zerek Aour Bokhr or ‘Society of the Shining Light of Dawn’. Gerald Suster, in a short essay rebuffing some of the claims of Ellic Howe, who wrote the definitive history of the Golden Dawn, quotes from Gershom Scholem’s book From Berlin to Jerusalem to the effect that there was a ‘so called Frankfurt Jewish Masonic Lodge named Chabrath Zereh Boqer Aour’. This I believe is no coincidence.
The Frankfurt Jewish lodge did exist. It was chartered on June 17 1807 as Loge St. John de L’aurore Naissante by the Grand Orient of France when Frankfurt was occupied by the Grande Armee of Napoleon. A number of Jews petitioned the Grand Orient for a charter since they could not gain entry into the anti-Semitic German lodges of the day. L’aurore Naissante admitted both Jews and Gentiles, raising the Jewish members up to the degree of Master Mason, but the Christian members were entitled to the option of progressing through the ‘higher degrees’ of the Scot Rite, degrees which barred Jewish members from participation due to their Christian nature.
As part of the French Empire all restrictions against Jews had been lifted but with Napoleon’s defeat toleration ended and the Jewish Freemasons were again ostracised. With the withdrawal of Napoleon’s troops it was thought expedient not to be associated with anything French, so L’aurore Naissante immediately deleted any reference to the Grand Orient in its materials, changed its name to Loge zur aufgehenden Morgenrothe, and began to look for another obedience to associate with. They applied to Prince Carl von Hessen, himself a mason and one of the ‘movers and shakers’ of the ‘Asiatic Brethren’ which not only admitted both Jews and Gentiles but was also very involved in mystical, even occult, elements of Freemasonry and kaballah. Negotiations eventually broke down. Eventually in 1817 Morgenrothe found the full recognition it was seeking through August Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, who empowered the lodge to operate as a Masonic lodge without any restrictions, with the added assurance that ‘parallel degrees would be instituted for them’. . Morgenrothe eventually left UGLE for membership in the Eclectic Covenant of Frankfurt in 1870.
One of the great points of significance in the history of the Morgenrothe is the desire for an alternative to the Scottish Rite accessible to Jewish members. It is possible that the Chabrath Zereh Boqer Aour was created to replace the Scot Rite and from this desire a set of rituals were drafted and discussed but never used. This possibility is made more intriguing by the fact Westcott gave the name of the German ‘Mother Temple’ of the Golden Dawn as Lichte, Liebe, Leben or in English ‘Light, Love, Life’, which is also the motto of the 18º of the Scot Rite of Freemasonry. It is also perhaps significant that in English Masonry the Scot Rite is know as the Rose Croix, or Rose Cross, degrees. It is also worth noting that many of the foundation members were associated with both Baron von Hund’s Strict Observance Freemasonry as well as the Asiatic Brethren, both systems were full of mystical speculation.
(Source: mastermason.com website"Golden Dawn and its Connection to Freemasonry")
So it would appear that the Jewish heresy of Sabbatian-Frankism is still around today in the O.T.O. which, like Frankism, incorporates sexual rituals into its rites.
For anyone who still has an interest in Lovecraft's invention of the Necronomicon, I found an article in Weird Tales written by Jeff Wells, that traces the history of the Simon Necronomicon, which was written after Lovecraft invented it.
An interesting aside from the article:
Figures such as Michael Aquino, who composed a "Call to Cthulhu" ritual before he left the Church of Satan to found his Temple of Set, have adopted aspects of Lovecraft's mythos and imagery of hungry, tentacled gods in order to stimulate their own magick. (Also by Aquino, the "Ceremony of the Nine Angles" includes an evocation of Lovecraft's Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep and Shub-Niggurath.)
Kenneth Grant, a living disciple of Aleister Crowley who believes himself to be his rightful heir , founder of the "Typhonian" OTO and the first apostle of the Cult of Lam, takes things much further. Grant believes Lovecraft, a self-described "mechanistic materialist," to have been a "natural adept" who was able to unconsciously enter the abyss. (Lovecraft claimed many of his ideas came to him in disturbing dreams.) According to Grant's understanding of Qaballah, and following the Crowley model, the abyss is entered by Daath, the 11th circle of power on the tree of life. Grant calls it the "Mauve Zone." The Necronomicon Files co-author John Wisdom Gonce III describes it as a "kind of Sephirothic worm-hole allowing access not only to the Qlippoth [the shells of horror and disease that mirror the Sephiroth as a Tree of Death], but also to other nonhuman worlds." To Grant, the Qlippothic universe is connected by 22 "Tunnels of Set" - sort of a underworld autobahn of demons and sundry horrors. And to Grant, it's all good. Gonce writes: "the universe of the tunnels is perceived as evil only by those who are unenlightened about their real importance. In Grant's view, the abhorrent entitites lurking in the Tunnels of Set are not 'evil spirits' per se, but primal atavisms within the human consciousness, which the magickal practitioner can access by means of sex magick rituals."
Does this still appear to some Catholics as good entertainment? I don't care if it's mainstream or not. A lot of questionable stuff from the Catholic perspective has gone mainstream. Pornography is the first thing that comes to mind, and this is an off-shoot of it. How does this square with a call from John Paul II to be holy?
Monday, January 21, 2008
NOT PRACTICING WHAT THEY PREACH
While Zandstra supports the involvement of religious leaders in social issues, he warns that they need to question the agenda of the organizations they work with. “If the ideas being proposed stem from sound theological commitments, then the religious spokesman stands on sure ground,” Rev. Zandstra writes. “If, however, the cause is basically secular, the religious leader can be seen as simply trying to inject religious language into a non- (even anti-) religious agenda.”
That quotation is attributed to Rev. Gerald Zandstra, director of the Center for Enterpreneurial Stewardshp at the Acton Institute in an article by Bill Berkowitz at Z Magazine Online, February 2004.
The Acton website indicates Rev. Zandstra took a leave of absence from Acton in order to conduct a failed campaign for election to the U. S. Senate. He has now returned to Acton as Senior Fellow.
Would you say this indicates that Fr. Sirico has followed Zandstra's advice? If he is not going to take the advice of his Senior Fellow, why has Sirico rehired him?
USING THE 'F' WORD OK IF THE GOD OF THE CATHOLICS FOLLOWS IT
A couple of emails led me to the blogs that are covering the Dana Jacobson gaffe at a recent roast sponsored by ESPN--a gaffe which they have successfully scuttled under the rug. It seems Ms. Jacobson believes applying the "F" word to Notre Dame, Touchdown Jesus (who's that?) and the God of the Catholic faith is acceptable speech for a reporter. Word has it that she didn't appear sober. Well, what's the use of a roast if you can't use hate speech with impunity? Check it out...
EMAIL FROM RANDY ENGEL
Randy Engel sent in a link to the following website:
http://eisengeiste.blogspot.com/2004/04/career-opportunities-ones-that-never.html that offers a bit more information on the Acton Institute and its relationship to Blackwater.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
FROM THE ASIATIC BRETHREN TO REFORM JUDAISM
The Order of the Asiatic Brethren was a broad attempt to erect some type of Masonic framework within the borders of which both Jews and gentiles would be included. But it was not the only attempt. In 1790, even before the Order had finally ceased to exist, two Christians, Hirschfeld and Catter, had founded the Toleranzloge in Berlin with the avowed object of admitting both gentiles and Jews. These two men were by no means original thinkers. Their conceptions were a diluted solution of humanistic principles: belief in truth, brotherhood, and beauty, mixed with the vestiges of certain Christian doctrines: the fall of man and the necessity of his moral regeneration. ...(Source: Jacob Katz)
A second attempt occurred that very year (1791-92)--this time in Hamburg. The initiative was taken openly by a Jew named Israel. No details can be elicited from any other source, and the information on the lodge itself is meager. Israel, who had been initiated as a Mason in London, now wanted to bestow the benefit on his Jewish brethren of an education "by social contact with the Christians." His lodge was called Toleranz und Einigkeit, and among its members echoes of slogans of the French Revolution could be heard. He found Jews who wanted to belong to his lodge (we do not know whether they were former members of the Asiatic Order or not) and even obtained the support of gentile dignitaries. Yet he could not gain recognition from a Mother Lodge. In Hamburg, Berlin, and London his applications were refused....
Both the Berlin and Hamburg lodges represented a direct attempt to absorb Jews into the Masonic fraternity.
Rabbi Antelman writes:
“In the wake of Illuministic German-Jewish freemasonry Lodges, we find that the Rothschilds very adroitly steered their way into a position of control over these lodges in much the same manner as Friedrich, the Duke of Brunswick, member of the Illuminati was one of the main sponsors of the Vienna Asiatic Brethren Lodge until his death in 1792.
The Rothschilds utilized the services of Sigmund Geisenheimer, their head clerk, who in turn was aided by Itzig of Berlin, the Illuminati of the Toleranz Lodge and the Parisian Grand Orient Lodge. Geisenheimer was a member of the Mayence Masonic Illuminati Lodge, and was the founder of the Frankfurt Judenloge; for which attempt he was excommunicated by the Chief Rabbi of Frankfurt, Tzvi Hirsch Horowitz. At a later date the Rothschilds joined the Lodge. Solomon Mayer (or Meir) Rothschild (1774-1855) was a member for a short while before moving to Vienna. (Source: Marvin S. Antelman)
...the nihilism of the Sabbatian and Frankist movements, with its doctrine so profoundly shocking to the Jewish conception of things that the violation of the Torah could become its true fulfillment...was a dialectical outgrowth of the belief in the Messiahship of Sabbatai Zevi, and that this nihilism, in turn, helped pave the way for the Haskalah [enlightenment] and the reform movement of the nineteenth century, once its original religious impulse was exhausted. (Source: Gershom Scholem, THE MESSIANIC IDEA IN JUDAISM, p. 84)
...as long as Jewish historiography was dominated by a spirit of assimilation, no one so much as suspected that positivism and religious reform were the progeny not only of the rational mind, but of an entirely different sort of psychology as well, that of the Kabbalah and the Sabbatian crisis--in other words of the very "lawless heresy" which was so soundly excoriated in their name.
In the Sabbatian movement, which was the first clear manifestation (one might better say explosion) of spiritualistic sectarianism in Judaism since the days of the Second Temple, the type of the radical spiritualist found its perfect expression...the Sabbatians pressed on to the end, into the abyss of the mythical "gates of impurity", where the pure spiritual awareness of a world made new became a pitfall fraught with peril for the moral life. (Source: ibid., p. 90-91)
The hopes and beliefs of these last Sabbatians caused them to be particularly susceptible to the "millennial" winds of the times. Even while still "believers"--in fact, precisely because they were "believers"--they had been drawing closer to the spirit of the Haskalah [enlightenment] all along, so that when the flame of their faith finally flickered out they soon reappeared as leaders of Reform Judaism, secular intellectuals, or simply complete and indifferent skeptics. ...
A man such as Jonas Wehle, for example, the spiritual leader and educator of the Sabbatians in Prague after 1790, was equally appreciative of both Moses Mendelssohn and Sabbatai Zevi, and the fragments of his writings that have survived amply bear out the assertion of one of his opponents that "he took the teachings of the philosopher Kant and dressed them up in the costume of the Zohar and the Lurianic Kabbalah." (Source: ibid. p. 140-141)
The Sabbatians, including those who clung to their Messianic hopes and dreams of the great role of the sect in the past, became "new Jews," as several observers have remarked, i.e., supporters of the reform movement or indifferent to religion altogether. And this certainly happened to the Wehles. The son of Jonas Wehle was, in 1832, among the founders of the first Reform Congregation in Prague which invited Leopold Zunz as preacher. (Source: ibid. p. 170)
After the Emancipation and the emergence of the Jew into Western society, the need for a degree of adaptation of the traditional faith to the new conditions of life was keenly felt. The Haskalah movement of Enlightenment, of which Moses Mendelssohn was the leading figure, grappled with this very problem but tended to leave the traditional norms more or less intact. It was left to Reform to introduce various innovations in the synagogue service and in other areas of Jewish religious life. ...
The Hamburg rabbis enlisted a number of prominent Orthodox Rabbis to publish a stern prohibition against these reforms. Not very long afterwards, a number of Rabbis educated in German universities met in conferences in the years 1844-6; Reform ideas were put forward and a fully-fledged Reform movement became established. The leaders of Reform in Germany, Abraham Geiger and Samuel Holdheim, tried to develop a Reform theology in which Jewish particularism, while never entirely rejected, yielded to a far greater degree of universalism than was envisaged at any time in the Jewish past.
The European Reform movement was centered in Germany, but Reform congregations were also established in Vienna, Hungary, Holland and Denmark. In England, the Reform Congregation, the West London Synagogue of British Jews, was established as early as 1840. At the beginning of the twentieth century a more typical type of Reform was established in England under the influence of Claude Montefiore. This took the name Liberal Judaism. (Source: My Jewish Learning
Rabbi Abraham Geiger suggested that observance might also be changed to appeal to modern people. Geiger, a skilled scholar in both Tanach and German studies, investigated Jewish history. He discovered that Jewish life had continually changed. Every now and then, old practices were changed and new ones introduced, resulting in a Jewish life that was quite different from that lived 4,000 or even 2,000 years before. He noticed these changes often made it easier for Jews to live in accordance with Judaism. Geiger concluded that this process of change needed to continue to make Judaism attractive to all Jews.
Between 1810 and 1820, congregations in Seesen, Hamburg and Berlin instituted fundamental changes in traditional Jewish practices and beliefs, such as mixed seating, singleday observance of festivals and the use of a cantor/choir. Many leaders of the Reform movement took a very "rejectionist" view of Jewish practice and discarded traditions and rituals. (Source: Jewish Virtual Library)
Sunday, January 20, 2008
If you're a cradle Catholic over 55 you probably remember that from your childhood. If you're a member of a Latin Mass community, you know that today is Septuagesima Sunday.
Today was Latin Mass Sunday at my house. My husband agreed to go to humor me. I should explain. He is a morning person. I am not. He thinks Mass on Sunday should be at 7 a.m. I think 7 a.m. on Sunday is when you finally get into a sound sleep, and anything before 12 o'clock Mass is penance. Latin Mass at St. Mary's is at 1 p.m. So, as I said, my husband agreed to go to humor me.
The Latin Mass community here in Akron has grown since I last attended it many months ago. Last time I was there, I was one of 35 people attending. (I counted them. It wasn't hard.) Today I stopped counting at 55 and would estimate there were nearly 75 in attendance. It felt like a congregation of the faithful now instead of a few lost souls. There were children in the pews. There were ladies in slacks. There were ladies without head coverings. There were ladies in mantillas. Some men wore suits. Some were dressed the way men dress at a Novus Ordo Sunday Mass. One man was wearing white scrubs. But what seemed more important was that men were there. Rough estimate would put the male part of the congregation at half. One man in the pew appeared to be wearing a cassock.
There is a choir now. I guess I should make that a schola. Whatever it's called, it sounded good. A lot of the faithful join in the chanting. Mass used to be low Mass. Now it's high Mass. Lasts about an hour and twenty minutes. There was the fragrance of incense drifting overhead and the offertory bells were in use. Father processed in wearing a cope.
The homily was about the great need for prayers and sacrifices for our priests, and Benedict's call for at least one priest in every diocese to be specially assigned to promote prayer, sacrifice, and Eucharistic adoration for the holiness of the priesthood.
It was a service set apart from the world. It was not man-centered, but the congregation did have a part in it. There were Mass booklets in English and Latin available for everyone. It was not rushed.
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 03 | Friday, January 18, 2008
Ten Challenges for the Pro-Life Movement
As we gear up for next Tuesday's March for Life in Washington DC, I offer this list of challenges to the pro-life movement in America. If we really wish to beat the abortion culture we have to mature as a movement. Thirty-five years of the same strategies and ideas have not gained us the victory we seek because the fight against the most pervasive spiritual evil that has ever entered the world can only be won on God's terms. The pro-life movement has invested more in political and cultural change than in spiritual change. Let us not be afraid to fight Goliath's weapons of mass destruction with the faith of David who came against the giant "in the name of the Lord of Hosts." (1 Sam 17:45)
1. Get down on our knees and ask the one true Savior to end abortion - the pro-life movement needs to humbly admit that abortion is such a massive evil and so deeply rooted in our social fabric that no human power can eliminate it. While we need to vote for pro-life politicians, they are not our saviors. Abortion needs to be driven out by the spiritual authority of Christ's church like an unclean spirit. Once the pro-life movement begins to seriously fight abortion in its spiritual dimension, we will see some real pro-life victories in politics and society. We can't say that prayer hasn't worked until it's actually been tried.
2. Fast for the conversion of abortion promoters - "Some demons are not driven out except by prayer and fasting," said the Lord (Mt 17:21). A regular habit of tangible sacrifices for those most immersed in the grip of the abortion demon will erode the power of this evil. The Lord just needs an army of souls who are willing to embrace this practice - then astonishing results will abound. Why not go back to fasting or abstaining from meat on Fridays for this cause?
3. Remind the Christian churches - again - that abortion exists with their permission - history will judge the churches of Christ that were apathetic toward abortion more harshly than the churches of Germany during the 30s and 40s. Christians living in a free society aren't being sent to gas chambers for speaking out, so we have no excuse. It has been said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in the face of a moral crisis, do nothing. Christians must know that we will be held accountable if we are silent and indifferent to the plight of Christ's least brethren.
4. Embrace the embryonic stem cell and euthanasia issues with the same fervor as abortion - let's not adopt the same logic as the pro-aborts who dismiss the pre-born child and the inconvenient handicapped person as "not viable" and look the other way when they are destroyed for profit, or worse, market them as material for extermination. Let's recognize that our defense of life must remain rock solid through the entire life spectrum, no matter how small or vulnerable.
5. Go on the offensive against Planned Parenthood's funding - abortion is not the only source of money for the Planned Parenthood baby-killers; they are awash with cash due to the profits from their "clinic business" (i.e., selling birth control and sterilizations) and senseless government funding for "family planning." Pro-life groups not willing to cut off their funding stream for contraception will just continue to see the PP monster grow and will never effectively undermine the demand for abortion.
6. Boycott corporations and organizations that fund or promote abortion - the abortion industry lusts for public support of any kind. Businesses and organizations that fund the baby-killers need to be awakened, and rather sharply, by the pro-life conscience of our society. Companies that refuse to see abortion's moral dimension must be made to feel - economically - that abortion is a really bad business decision. And don't hide your light under a bushel basket: make a public witness, write a letter, stage a picket. Let others know that you dissent from the culture of death.
7. Educate doctors that abortifacient birth control is chemical homicide - most physicians conveniently overlook the abortifacient nature of all chemical birth control methods. Doctors are complicit in the chemical deaths of millions of babies and need to be told that they will be held accountable before the Throne of God for every lethal prescription that bears their signatures. If you care about his or her soul, you will educate your doctor!
8. Challenge the accepted notion that condoms and birth control reduce abortions - reverse that lie with the truth: namely, that birth control does not reduce abortions, it increases them. Why else would a society saturated by birth control still have 1.3 million abortions? Almost 60% of women who go into abortion clinics cite failed birth control as their reason for aborting. Remember that the same folks who sell abortion also sell birth control, and they're making a killing.
9. Reject politicians who believe in rape, incest, life-of-the-mother and fetal deformity "exceptions" - political candidates who believe that these "exceptions" are legitimate are really saying that it's okay to kill some babies and save others. They are worse than false prophets; they are frauds who perpetuate the notion that we can adopt the values of the devil while still serving God. Vote pro-life, not pro-some-life.
10. Recruit Hispanics and other minorities into the pro-life movement - while we march on Washington DC, the abortion industry is scheming more ways to get minority women into their killing centers and capitalize on their vulnerabilities as immigrants, legal or illegal. Every pro-life group needs to put Hispanic outreach on the agenda immediately so that their largely Catholic values and culture will not be paganized by the politics of death.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International