Saturday, April 12, 2008


From Lew Rockwell's website:

Perhaps not since Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) visited our shores have we received as a guest from Europe so illustrious a proponent of Classical Liberalism as when Pope Benedict XVI arrives on April 15th. Indeed, if that philosophy can be said to be the founding principle of our country, we can turn around the old cliché of describing someone as "more Catholic than the pope" and say the Holy Father is "more American than the president."

Read the rest...


How can Catholics defend what the Church teaches when the Catholic leadership is sending this sort of message.

Catholic World News reports that San Francisco's Archbishop George Niederauer will honor real-estate investment mogul George Marcus with the "Loaves and Fishes" award for "outstanding philanthropic works" that "epitomize the spirit of the faith traditions of charity and generosity".

Among Marcus' activities are opposition to the proposition that would have required notification of parents of underage girls who want to have an abortion, financial backing of leftist causes, promotion of taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research, and financial contributions for Planned Parenthood.

Add this to Neiderauer's giving of Holy Communion to the male nuns that outraged Catholics across America last fall.

Does this man have any shame?


The following article comes from the Washington Post and offers what to me is a surprising perspective...

Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI's election in 2005, President Bush met with a small circle of advisers in the Oval Office. As some mentioned their own religious backgrounds, the president remarked that he had read one of the new pontiff's books about faith and culture in Western Europe.

Save for one other soul, Bush was the only non-Catholic in the room. But his interest in the pope's writings was no surprise to those around him. As the White House prepares to welcome Benedict on Tuesday, many in Bush's inner circle expect the pontiff to find a kindred spirit in the president. Because if Bill Clinton can be called America's first black president, some say, then George W. Bush could well be the nation's first Catholic president.

Continue reading...

First Tony Blair, and now George Bush. Is this a New Springtime in the wind?

Wouldn't you love to be a mouse in the corner when President George meets Pope Benedict? Squeek squeek.


As I was getting ready for a Red Hat luncheon this morning it occurred to me to wonder how Eve did her nails in the Garden without an emery board or a nail file? Did she know something we don't?

Did she bite her nails?

Friday, April 11, 2008


This arrived in my emailbox:

Male or Female? You might not have known this, but a lot of non-living objects are actually either male or female. Here are some examples:

FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again.

They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons.

TIRES: Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated

HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt.

SPONGES: These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.

WEB PAGES: Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

TRAINS: Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.

EGG TIMERS: Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.

HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying.

(Sorry about the silliness. I just couldn't resist!)


From a link at spirit daily, an article in the Jewish Chronicle describes the problem within the Jewish community:

Israel is seeking the extradition of a strictly Orthodox rabbi, Elior Chen, who fled to Canada after being accused of instructing a mother of eight to brutally abuse her children as a means of “cleansing” and “educating” them.

The case, the second of its kind in recent weeks involving Charedi families, has shocked Israelis.

The 38-year-old woman was charged in a Jerusalem court this week with savagely beating her two younger sons, aged four and three, forcing them to eat their own faeces and drink a concoction of salt water and turpentine until they “vomited out the devil”. Two of the rabbi’s disciples are suspected of working with her....

According to Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, quoted in the article:

“Based on our experience and knowledge,” he told the JC, “child abuse exists in the Charedi community. We find all sorts of abuse, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, even sexual abuse.

“But they keep the problem inside. They say they can cope with it without any outside assistance. They’ll deal with it their way, even in a better way.”

Dr Kadman reported, however, that over the past two years there had been a slight but sure change in attitude among Charedi rabbis and families. “In more and more cases we find a willingness not to hide the problem any longer, to complain to the social services or the police. They are even turning to us to escort the complainants through the legal and bureaucratic processes. We have a Charedi rabbi on our board.”

Read the whole story here...

Thanks to a reader for the heads up.


ISN Security Watch reports: “Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Federation Anti-Terror Unit on 20 March arrested five men: Rijad Rustempasic, Muhamed Meco, Abdulah Handzic and Edis Velic, all in their early thirties and from Sarajevo, along with Muhamed Ficer, from the central Bosnian city of Bugojno, who was released from custody after questioning.”The four arrested in Sarajevo were members of the local Wahhabi movement — the Saudi-based and financed order following a strict interpretation of Islam. Some of the suspects were already well known to the police for their radical activities. The group had been under surveillance for several months by the Federation Anti-Terror Unit and the State Prosecutor’s Office.

“Federation Anti-Terror Unit and the State Prosecutor’s Office have strong evidence that Rustempasic’s group was planning attacks on Catholic Churches and international forces within the country during the Easter holidays.” (LINK 1)

The ISN report includes several details that are hugely important:

1. the suspects were very well armed, having “anti-tank mines, laser sights, electronic equipment, topographic maps and bomb-making manuals”.

2. they were very well connected, “receiving financial and logistical support from Wahhabi figures in Western Europe”. ISN reports: “The dots begin to connect in a radical network that reaches from Bosnia across Western Europe”.

3. they were targeting hugely significant Catholic sites: Sarajevo’s central Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the 700-year-old Franciscan Monastery in Central Bosnian city of Fojnica. (For more details on the size and strategic value of these targets, see LINK 2)

4. while the key militant leader, Rustempasic, is reportedly one of the most notorious and violent Bosnian radical Muslims the police have ever investigated, he has managed to evade prison for years because he is tolerated by local authorities.

These details together indicate a serious and rising threat to Christian, particularly Catholic, institutions not only in Bosnia, but across Europe.

Continue reading...


Officials from the U.S. Air Force Academy announced clips from the movie "Constantine's Sword" would not be shown during a forum on religious tolerance and terrorism held at the Academy's Colorado Springs, Colo. campus. The announcement was made just two days after a prominent Catholic civil rights group voiced concern over the film.

"I am delighted that the Air Force Academy made the right decision not to show footage of this movie; the film is based on an anti-Catholic book written by an angry ex-priest who has no credentials in the subject area," stated Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

"Constantine's Sword" is a movie based on a book written by James Carroll. The book addresses Christianity's historical relationship with anti-Semitism and suggests the Gospels are anti-Semitic works and a number of elements in the New Testament need to be removed to cleanse Christianity of prejudice toward Judaism. Mr. Donohue asserts the film is steeped in anti-Christian bigotry.

Read the article.


April 11, 2008 - When Shepherd 1 touches down next week, Catholics all over the United States will joyfully welcome Benedict XVI our Church’s spiritual leader. To mark this momentous event I have a modest proposition to put forward: The simultaneous ringing of all Catholic Church bells across the entire country.

While there will be very few opportunities for American Catholics to greet the Holy Father in Washington, D.C. and New York our ancient bells can proclaim a message of welcome and joy in acknowledgement of the arrival of the Holy Father.

Traditionally church bells have always played a significant role in Catholic parish churches. They call the community of faith to prayer, they mark the passage of time and they are cast personifications of our Catholic celebrations as well as tragedies. Every day throughout the world, the peals of consecrated bells announce the Angelus and the De Profundis to commemorate the Incarnation and our remembering of the faithful departed. Bells are also signs and symbols of our Catholic celebration of new life and significant moments for our Catholic Church.

Notably, the tolling bell marks the end of a papal reign, and joyfully rings with the election of a new Pontiff. In reality, our sacred church bells are the forerunner to instant messaging and texting, which is part of our daily society.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


according to a story linked at Spirit Daily. Apparently church officials complained.

"Our concern is that this was a bad bobblehead," Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington, tells the Post. "You had unauthorized merchandise, and you had a misdressed pope."

Target has an ad at the website that seems to be advertising the same bobblehead, though.

The ad can still be found on YouTube, though.

Personally I think the ad is clever, not offensive. But perhaps the real issue here is profits from a copyright.


VIENNA (Reuters) - Vienna's Roman Catholic cardinal said on Wednesday that he regrets the exhibition of a homoerotic version of Christ's Last Supper in a museum linked to his diocese....

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, archbishop of Vienna, said he had backed the exhibition without knowing the detailed contents.

"I obviously would not have agreed to have blasphemous or pornographic works exhibited. I therefore explicitly regret that a work of this kind was exhibited without my knowledge," the cardinal said in a statement....

But he also defended Hrdlicka as one of Austria's most notable living artists who deserved such a retrospective.

"Hrdlicka...probably more than any other living artist, has devoted himself to the suffering and downtrodden human being and has appealed for "compassion" with the "Passion," he said.

Read all of it...

So am I supposed to believe that "one of Austria's most notable living artists" had a portfolio of blasphemous art that has never been exhibited before? Or am I supposed to believe that Cardinal Schoenborn is so naive that he didn't know that Hrdlicka painted homoerotic art? This sort of naivety is elevated to the cardinalate? Somehow I don't think so.

At the very least the director who was responsible for hanging this exhibit ought to be summarily fired if Cardinal Schoenborn wants us to believe in his innocence. I haven't heard of a firing yet. Surely if one had occurred, the fact would be included in this article. Anything less makes this "excuse" offered by the Cardinal to ring excessively hollow.

Hat tip to NOR for the link.


Now that our churches have been wreckovated...

Now that the Latin Mass and tradition is once again in vogue...

What are the barren churches with decreasing membership thanks to the scandal supposed to do about rescuing the sacred?

One possible solution might be to call up Lumen Christi.

When the sisters at Spiritus Sanctus Academy in Plymouth asked Michael Coster in 2003 to paint a simple faux arch at the front of the gymnasium-turned chapel, the Catholic schoolteacher had no idea it would set him on a course to start his own church design enterprise.

Instead of painting the arch, Coster seized the chance to turn the large, hollow gym into an elaborate chapel, complete with an ornate altar, a stenciled ceiling with colorful religious medallions, side altars with rich mosaic work and a tiled floor filled with colorful religious symbols....

Instead of training or experience, Coster draws on the Internet, books and TV to guide the work - along with an innate talent he figures he inherited from his art teacher mother. He downloaded instructions from the Web on working with mosaic tiles and tuned into the Home and Garden channel and Trading Spaces, where rooms are redecorated on the cheap.

Coster and [his business partner] Jana learned to improvise: Instead of buying ceiling medallions at $250 apiece, they created a mold and made the 20 ceiling medallions needed for the Spiritus Sanctus chapel from plaster, which were hand-painted assembly-line-style by the sisters, staff and parents. Cost: $2.50 each.

They stumbled upon finds, including a free-standing shrine and pulpit that were on their way to the landfill after suffering smoke damage in a Detroit-area church fire. Coster incorporated the ornate arms of a bishop's chair in the altar.

"All of the work was done by people, the sisters and the church community, who didn't know what they were doing, including us," Coster said. A large part of the business is acquisition. "We've found altars in Italy, statues in Spanish and chairs on eBay," Coster said. They also found 16 pews on ebay.

Read the story and see a picture of the chapel here.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Tuesday the U.S. economy was in recession, and said it would be appropriate to tap public funds to resolve the mortgage-related crisis that has helped pull the economy under.

In an interview with CNBC television in which he defended his chairmanship of the U.S. central bank against charges that his policy missteps had laid the groundwork for the current crisis, Greenspan said Fed decisions on his watch were rationally constructed based on evidence at the time.

"I have no regrets on any of the Federal Reserve policies that we initiated back then because I think they were very professionally done," Greenspan said.

It is unfair to hold his Fed to task for the housing bubble or the current crisis in credit markets, because global market forces were at work to keep long-term interest rates low, not just Fed policies that brought short-term U.S. interest rates down to multi-decade lows, he said.

"Clearly, certain of our anticipations of what would happen as a consequence of those policies were off but there's no way of avoiding that," he said.

Read all of it.

This approval of government intervention to rescue our economy from this gigantic housing blunder is out of line with Libertarian beliefs. Apparently Libertarians only want to cling to the doctrine so long as the result of their beliefs doesn't turn into a financial fiasco. When it does, and they have egg on their face, they are all for government bailout. Isn't this a variety of "Having your cake and eating it"?

Now the only important question is how can I successfully apply this strategy to my household budget?

Thanks to Susanna for the link.


Following weeks of international Jewish-Catholic disputes over a controversial Good Friday prayer, Jewish and Catholic leaders in this country are looking for a good Friday, preceded by a good Thursday — days when Pope Benedict XVI has scheduled meetings with the Jewish community — to restore the improving tenor of interfaith dialogue.

During the upcoming six-day trip of Benedict XVI to the United States on his first papal mission here, he will briefly visit Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side on the afternoon of Friday, April 18, and will meet 50 Jewish leaders in Washington the previous day after a meeting with 150 representatives of several faiths.

The high-visibility Jewish appearances, say spokesmen in the Jewish and Catholic communities, are designed to allay

Jewish fears over the pope’s reintroduction of pro-conversion language in the Latin Mass, and to serve as a symbolic sign of the Vatican’s concern over Jewish feelings.

Benedict XVI, who succeeded John Paul II three years ago, will visit the U.S. under the cloud of the Latin Mass controversy, a controversy that is unlikely to deter the overall improvement in Jewish-Catholic relations since the Vatican II advances in the early 1960s, according to several veterans of interfaith dialogue.

“The good news is that this pope wasn’t John Paul II’s right-hand man for nothing,” said Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s Jerusalem-based international director of interreligious affairs. “He’s deeply committed to the Catholic-Jewish relationship.

“Overall,” Rabbi Rosen said in a telephone interview, “relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people have never been better. There is a solid foundation. No particular issue is going to set back the advancements of the last 45 years.”

Rabbi Rosen said a statement issued by the Vatican this week about the changes in the Latin Mass — the Vatican claims that the new text does not indicate a renewed Catholic interest in conversion of Jews — is “an important clarification,” but is not totally satisfactory. “It is implicit in the statement that ‘esteem and solidarity’ imply that proselytism is inappropriate but I would have been happier if this had been said explicitly.”

Read all of it.


At 80, Pope Benedict XVI has limited his coming trip to the United States to 13 public events, but the church made a surprise announcement on Thursday that he had added two brief meetings — both with Jewish leaders.

One is a quick stopover at the Park East Synagogue in New York on April 18. It will be the first time a pope has ever visited a synagogue in the United States, and only the third visit by a pope to any synagogue.

The other is scheduled for the previous day, immediately after Benedict holds a major meeting in the rotunda of the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington with about 150 leaders representing a variety of faiths.

About 50 Jewish attendees from that event will then be ushered into the nearby Polish Heritage Room, where the pope will offer greetings for the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins two days later, said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The meetings with Jews are not a matter of favoritism, said the Rev. James Massa, executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the bishops' conference.

"The relationship between the church and the Jewish people is theologically significant, and not simply a matter of intercultural exchange or trying to find common ground on issues of justice and peace," Father Massa said. "Judaism is internal to Catholicism. It's different from any other kind of relationship with another religion."

Some Jewish leaders have expressed hope that the pope might use either of these occasions to announce a change to the prayer for the conversion of the Jews, which many Jews find objectionable, that is part of the Good Friday liturgy in Latin. Father Massa said that is unlikely. He said an "interpretation" of that prayer could be issued before or after the Pope's trip, but there are no assurances.



There was an "old saw" the previous generation lived by. In polite company no one brought up religion or politics. It worked pretty well when people wanted to have polite company. Today we want to have dialogue, resulting in downright impolite company as the recent firestorm over the Good Friday prayer indicates.

Steve sent in an essay by Michael J. Matt, Editor of The Remnant, titled "Dialogued to Death: Catholics Support Suspension of Inter-Faith Dialogue". He writes:

One positive fallout from the brouhaha over the Good Friday prayer is that “inter-faith dialogue” was inadvertently exposed for the wobbly house of cards it has always been. The moment Peter brought Christ the Savior of all men back to the table, his “dialogue partners” began packing up their goodies in disgust, and down went the card house. What does that tell us about inter-faith dialogue?

It’s amazing to consider here in 2008 that grown men and women on both sides of this aisle can with straight faces still claim that a “better understanding” is just around the corner so long as inter-faith dialogue continues unabated. Exactly how long is this process supposed to take?

For forty years they’ve been gabbing about this ill-defined "dialogue" and yet things have only gone from bad to worse. After all, unearthing fundamental religious differences isn't exactly rocket science: He says Christ was merely a rabbi; she says Christ was only a prophet; they say He is whatever they want Him to be; and we say He is the Son of God. How is a lot of inter-faith palaver going to cause any of these contradictory beliefs to suddenly gel, unless, of course, “divisive” dogma is deep-sixed. And once that happens how is a “better understanding” of anything ever going to be achieved? It would be like trying to understand what’s wrong with a car while refusing to open its hood. But such contradictions no longer register with the enlightened dialoguers. They remind me of those lunatical sex “educators” in public schools calling for still more sex education after veritable epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases began spreading among vigorously sex-educated teenagers. “Just because it isn’t working doesn’t mean we need to stop using it!”

Madness, they say, is manifested by those who repeat the same action over and over again but expect different results. It would seem that ecumeniacs and sex “educators” have something in common.

Bottom line: Inter-faith dialogue hasn’t worked. Tensions between the religions are getting worse every day. Why? Because inter-faith dialogue doesn’t serve truth—it buries it! And a world without truth quickly descends into barbarism.

Dialogue seems to be premised on a certain unspoken willingness on the part of the Catholic Church to downplay her own doctrine, if not actually renege on her claim to be the one true Church. If there was ever any doubt of this before, there isn’t any now. The Pope revised one prayer to be said once per annum by a minority of Catholics and what did his “dialogue partners” do? As the Bible puts it, they rent their garments. Why? Because the fundamental rule of dialogue was violated by 9 words written by the pope: “acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior of all mankind.” Anathema sit! He has blasphemed! Dialogue be damned!

Clearly, this sort of dialogue isn’t really about achieving a "better understanding” of anything; our “dialogue partners” understand perfectly well the theological differences the abound. What they evidently want is for the Church to modify her teachings to say that Christ is Savior but only for Catholics and those who believe in Him--not for all men! Evidently, this has been the ultimate goal of inter-faith dialogue all along.

Continue reading...

I must say I found the entire article a pleasure to read because it makes more sense than most of the high-minded diatribes in support of dialogue. Perhaps when the Pope is here in the U.S. someone will give him a copy of Matt's comments.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Michael Brown is claiming the Vatican has removed decisions about the apparition from both the commission and the local bishop and will make future determinations on this apparition. He doesn't link a source for the information, however.


Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, of Homefirst Health Services seems to think so.



We worry about the political agenda of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but no one is worrying about the political agenda of Father Michael Pfleger, one, along with Wright, of the three spiritual mentors of Barack Obama according to Rosslyn Smith at American Thinker.

Where does one begin describing this priest? He seems to have broken the diocesan 6 year rule about transfers by remaining at Chicago's St. Sabina's since 1981, using publicity threats to do it. He has adopted a child. He has had a go-around with Bill O'Reilly. Smith says he has an affinity to Louis Farrakhan.

She believes that the Archdiocese has "created a monster". If so, this monster has the potential to be a presidential adviser. Not a good thing to contemplate at 3 a.m. on a sleepless night.


at the Academy of Our Lady in New Orleans:

The formal/semi-formal dance dress code:


* Dresses must be formal, short or long, appropriately fitting and modest.

* No halters.

* Hemlines or slits for dresses must be no shorter than 2 inches above the

* No bare-backs, low necklines, visible midriffs, straps or cutouts below
the traditional bra line.

* Strapless dresses and spaghetti straps are allowed provided they follow
the previous rules.

* Dress shoes; no tennis shoes, boots, or slippers.

* No hats, bandannas, or headwear of any kind is permitted.

* No pierced body parts are to be visible except the ear lobes.

* No visible tattoos.


* Coat and traditional ties, sport coats, dress pants, suits, or tuxedos.

* No banded shirts.

* Shirts must be tucked in at all times.

* Ties must be worn properly at all times.

* Hem circumference is to be no larger than 16 inches. Pants are to fit
properly (no oversized clothing) and are to be worn at an appropriate level
to the waist.

* Dress shoes and dress socks.

* No hats, bandanas, or headwear of any kind are permitted.

* No pierced body parts are to be visible except the ear lobes.

* No visible tattoos.


Interesting. Especially when I look at the picture that accompanies the article. The girl in front is wearing a dress that wouldn't have passed the Tomko dresscode.

Ironically, back in the days of proms, my daughter picked one that just marginally passed muster with her mom. It was quite sophisticated and studded with glitz. She hung it on the back of her door to admire. But finally she decided to take it back and opt for a more conservative, less glitzy style because she concluded that lovely as it looked, it just wasn't her. (I managed to keep the gap-toothed grin over this little victory to myself!)

One of the most attractive prom dresses I've seen in a long time was on the girlfriend of a nephew who lives in Mormon country. I thought my standards were strict! The girl looked quite beautiful in a floor length dress with a very conservative neckline and opaque sleeves. She looked far more attractive than anyone I've seen in prom attire around Akron, Ohio in as long as I can remember.


The Canadian Press reports on the changing appearance of the Catholic high school uniform. Skirts seem to be a problem (rolling the waisteband) that is disappearing from the uniform scene, replaced either with jumpers or slacks. Some schools require saddle shoes and penny loafers. Others are allowing athletic shoes for comfort.

One school has switched from sweaters to hoodies.

A Philadelphia student was happy with the retro style seen on "American Bandstand" kids until discovering it was the uniform style of West Catholic High School.

Brings up an interesting question. Should the school uniform reflect contemporary conservative dress style or should the uniform reflect the style of the school uniform? Is the uniform about conservative dress or school identification? Are we trying to make Catholic school students appear modest and respectful or is the uniform about students looking generic? Perhaps some of the uniform wars are caused by not clearly defining the purpose of the clothing.


The Federation of Catholic Teachers, the larger of the two New York teacher's unions planning to strike during the papal visit, has called off their strike after two days of picketing, saying that progress has now been made in the negotiations with the Archdiocese of New York. The Lay Faculty Association representing 450 teachers is still planning to strike.

Read it here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I saw my surgical oncologist this morning for what I expected to be a biopsy. However, after she reviewed the CT scan and did an exam, she said there was no need to do the biopsy because the cancer had in fact returned. Next week I will see my oncologist, and I presume make the arrangements for another round of chemotherapy.


Paolo Soleri...

Artist and philosopher Paolo Soleri, the architect behind Arizona's Arcosanti village, is headed to Rome as a speaker for the April 14-16 Building Well to Live Better, a conference organized by the Roman Catholic Church to address sustainability and the environment.

As a major international real estate owner, the Catholic church can play a key role in sustainable architecture and design, the announcement released Monday said. Most participants will be priests involved with restoration projects and new developments.

Read the rest...

Here is the reason I would not expect him to appear at a Catholic conference:

Lindisfarne Association

Scroll down the page to the heading "The Roster of the Fellows for 2008". There you will see Soleri's name along with a stellar cast of globalists and new agers including Anthroposophists Christopher Bamford, Arthur Zajonc, and Robert McDermott; Hazel Henderson; James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, creators of Gaia Theory; Dulce and Michael Murphy, co-founder of Esalen Institute, writer David Spangler; Maurice Strong, founder of Crestone; Paul Winter and James Parks Morton of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; and more.

Lindisfarne was founded by William Irwin Thompson. Of the man, Answers.com has the following to say:

In the 1970s, Thompson began to explore the possibility of a new culture emerging in the light of occult, spiritual, and new consciousness movements. In Passages About Earth (1974), he analyzed the alternative cultures of Paolo Soleri, H. G. Wells, Werner Heisenberg, Aurelio Peccei and his Club of Rome, the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, the Institute for World Order and W. Warren Wagar, C. F. von Weizäcker of the Max Planck Institute, and the Kundalini yogi Pandit Gopi Krishna. The book contains observation into the nature and impact of various New Age movements and lifestyles of the established technological nation-states.

Thompson was most favorably impressed by the alternative culture of Findhorn Foundation, the pioneering Scottish New Age community established by Peter and Eileen Caddy in 1962 as "a training center for the embodiment of universal consciousness in those who recognize their path is one of world service." He also visited the ruins of Lindisfarne, a monastery on Holy Island off the coast of Northumberland, England; it was founded by St. Aidan in 635 C.E. Later, Thompson founded the Lindisfarne Association in Southampton, New York, as an educational community for cultural transformation in a new synthesis.

Have we no experts of our own so that we have to borrow from the opposition to staff Catholic conferences?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Discussion about dual covenant has been interesting.

I have a question that I've wrestled with now and again for years without arriving at an answer. Why does so much of our Scripture come from St. Paul who was not even an Apostle? And a parallel question, why do we have so little in Scripture from the 12 Apostles?


Monday, April 07, 2008


The Catechism of the Council of Trent (often referred to as the "Trent Catechism" or "Roman Catechism") has something to say that addresses the current controversy over Dr. Robert Sungenis' claims. The Council of Trent opened Dec. 1, 1545, and closed Dec. 4, 1563. The catechism was promulgated by Pope Pius V in 1566. It remained the primary catechism of the Church until the CCC was published in 1992.

The material is dealt with on pp 363 to 365 and appears in the form of instruction to pastors concerning the Jews.

(The pastor) should first tell that from among the nations of the earth God chose one which descended from Abraham; that it was the divine will that Abraham should be a stranger in the land of Canaan, the possession of which He had promised him; and that, although for more than four hundred years he and his posterity were wanderers before they dwelt in the promised land, God never withdrew from them, throughout their wanderings, His protecting care. They passed from nation to nation and from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to hurt them, and He even reproved kings for their sakes....

the pastor should especially note that out of all the nations God chose only one whom He called His people, and by whom He willed to be known and worshipped; not that they were superior to other nations in justice or in numbers, and of this God Himself reminds the Hebrews, but rather because He wished, by the multiplication and aggrandisement of an inconsiderable and impoverished nation, to display to mankind His power and goodness.

Such having been their condition, he was closely united to them, and loved them, and Lord of heaven and earth as He was, He disdained not to be called their God. He desired that the other nations might thus be excited to emulation and that mankind, seeing the happiness of the Israelites, might embrace the worship of the true God. In the same way St. Paul says that by discussing the happiness of the Gentiles and their knowledge of the true God, he provoked to emulation those who were his own flesh....

(The pastor) should also explain that God delayed the fulfilment of His promise until after the lapse of more than four hundred years, in order that His people might be sustained by faith and hope; for, as we shall show when we come to explain the first Commandment, God wishes His children to depend on Him at all times and to repose all their confidence in His goodness.


Parishes in New Orleans are bracing for the upcoming reorganization of the diocese to accommodate the destruction resulting from Katrina and the dwindling priesthood.


JERUSALEM (AP) — American evangelist John Hagee announced donations of $6 million to Israeli causes on Sunday and said that Israel must remain in control of all of Jerusalem.

Hagee, a Christian Zionist who has been in the spotlight lately for endorsing presidential candidate John McCain and criticizing the Catholic Church, brought hundreds of backers on a solidarity trip to Israel.

Hagee and his group, Christians United for Israel, joined keynote speaker Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel's hard-line opposition Likud Party, at a rally in support of Jerusalem remaining united and under Jewish control.

"Turning part or all of Jerusalem over to the Palestinians would be tantamount to turning it over to the Taliban," Hagee told an audience filled with Americans who waved Israeli flags and cheered.

Read the rest...


Los Angeles Times writer Michael McGough asks will the Pope wear the "liberal" Gothic style of chasuble promoted by Marini 1 or the "traditional" Baroque fiddleback promoted by Marini 2 when he says Mass for the Americans?


It's bad enough when the secular art world exhibits a blasphemous painting to draw the crowds. What does one conclude when it is the Catholic world exhibiting such a painting? Even more to the point what does one conclude when the painting is being exhibited in the museum attached to the Catholic Cathedral of a archbishop who is supposedly traditional?

VIENNA (Reuters) - They knew it would be risky to exhibit a homoerotic version of Christ's Last Supper, but curators at museum of Vienna's Roman Catholic Cathedral weren't ready for a barrage of angry messages and calls to be shut down.

The source of the dispute, which Austrian media has dubbed Vienna's version of the Mohammad caricature row, is a retrospective honoring Austria's cherished artist Alfred Hrdlicka, who turned 80 earlier this year.

But not everyone has been wishing Hrdlicka a Happy Birthday. And the Cathedral Museum's director and Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna, have both come under fire from some museum visitors and Catholic websites.

The Church hastily removed the main picture, "a homosexual orgy" of the Apostles as Hrdlicka describes it.

But the protest has continued, much to the surprise of the small Cathedral Museum which is nestled down a narrow street in Vienna's historic Gothic quarter.

The museum's director defends both Hrdlicka's work and his decision to host the artist's controversial versions of biblical imagery in a museum tied to the Catholic Church.

"We think Hrdlicka is entitled to represent people in this carnal, drastic way," Bernhard Boehler said in his small museum office, across the street from Vienna's imposing St. Stephan's Cathedral.

He said the museum never intended to offend people but that art should be allowed to provoke a debate.

"I don't see any blasphemy here," he said, gesturing at a Crucifixion picture showing a soldier simultaneously beating Jesus and holding his genitals. "People can imagine what they want to."

Since I have been invited to imagine, I believe that I shall imagine that the rector of this museum has the same difficulty that the seminarians of this diocese displayed in their little Christmas party that caused such a scandal on the web a couple of years ago. And I shall also imagine that an archbishop who will allow such an exhibit to take place at his cathedral probably also has that same difficulty!


Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino wades into the debate:

Bring up the topic of an unmanageable population, a worrisome rice shortage, and other issues related to demography and soon some voice starts raving against the Catholic Church and its position against artificial means of contraception. We deftly play the blame game in this country. Someone must be blamed; some head must roll! That is of course much easier than taking to the couch to find out for ourselves what the matter might be with our collective psyche.

The popular version of the Church-bashing argument goes this way: Despite the alarming rate of population growth, family planning has not really caught on because of resistance on the part of the Catholic Church. So, for the sake of this blighted republic, the Church must change its moral doctrine or risk obsolescence. Some of the opponents of the Church’s position will even go so far as to announce with unction the demise of its influence in the Philippines. Of course, that is a pathetic claim when it comes from one who urges the Church to allow couples recourse to condoms, diaphragms, injections, pills and other novelties. If the Church is indeed archaic and without influence, why bother about its position?

In the first place, the Catholic Church has always taught parents to be responsible about births and the spacing of births. Let this be clear: The Church is all for family planning. It has relentlessly urged couples to decide under the direction of properly formed consciences how many children they should have and what the gaps should be between them. Given the facts of reproductive physiology, this in effect means that the Church has urged couples to live disciplined lives. The conjugal act should be a matter neither of whim nor of fun—which is not the same thing as the Church forbidding couples from having fun. Animals copulate when they are in heat. The Church expects her sons and daughters to engage in the most intimate of human encounters only when they are fully cognizant of its consequences and ready to accept these with love and responsibility. Is this too much to ask?

Continue reading...


Here is the complete itinerary for the papal visit.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Over at Bellarmine Forum Question 58 addresses the disagreement between Mark Shea and Dr. Robert Sungenis over covenants. Sungenis adheres to supersessionism, claiming that the Jewish Covenant has been superseded by the covenant centered on Jesus Christ, and argues against Mark Shea's adherence to the theology presented in the CCC.

The CCC No. 839 tells us:

"Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, "the first to hear the Word of God." The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ"; "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable." [bolding mine]

At the Bellarmine website Sungenis argues that "Shea has been warned repeatedly of this error in his teaching, but he stubbornly refuses to correct it, and in fact, he is now trying to indoctrinate children to his heresy, let alone adults.":

Of course, if Mr. Shea had told these children the truth by saying "God is still faithful to the New Covenant (that means "agreement") he made with them" then that wouldn't make the Jews a "special people today" above the rest of the world. It is obvious that Mr. Shea purposely left out the words "New Covenant" abecause he knows that the New Covenant does not apply exclusively to the Jews.

By the same token, Mr. Shea didn't say: "God is still faithful to the Old Covenant (that means "agreement") he made with them" because he knows that the Old Covenant has been superseded (which is why in other places Shea says that the Old Covenant is only in force to condemn the Jews not save them).

But how can Sungenis force his argument to accommodate Romans XI in the Douay Rheims which addresses directly this argument about two covenants, indicating that it is one covenant which includes Jews and Gentiles. From the Douay Rheims:

16 For if the firstfruit be holy, so is the lump also: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken, and thou, being a wild olive, art ingrafted in them, and art made partaker of the root, and of the fatness of the olive tree, 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then: The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well: because of unbelief they were broken off. But thou standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear.

20 "Thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear"... We see here that he who standeth by faith may fall from it; and therefore must live in fear, and not in the vain presumption and security of modern sectaries.

21 For if God hath not spared the natural branches, fear lest perhaps he also spare not thee. 22 See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the wild olive tree, which is natural to thee; and, contrary to nature, were grafted into the good olive tree; how much more shall they that are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, (lest you should be wise in your own conceits), that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in.

22 "Otherwise thou also shalt be cut off"... The Gentiles are here admonished not to be proud, nor to glory against the Jews: but to take occasion rather from their fall to fear and to be humble, lest they be cast off. Not that the whole church of Christ can ever fall from him; having been secured by so many divine promises in holy writ; but that each one in particular may fall; and therefore all in general are to be admonished to beware of that, which may happen to any one in particular.

26 And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this is to them my covenant: when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as you also in times past did not believe God, but now have obtained mercy, through their unbelief;

29 "Are without repentance"... his repenting himself of them; for the promises of God are unchangeable, nor can he repent of conferring his gifts.

31 So these also now have not believed, for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he may have mercy on all. 33 O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him?

32 "Concluded all in unbelief"... He hath found all nations, both Jews and Gentiles, in unbelief and sin; not by his causing, but by the abuse of their own free will; so that their calling and election is purely owing to his mercy.

Since the Douay Rheims is prior to any argument about Vatican II, I conclude that this passage trumps Sungenis' argument and validates Shea's.

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