Saturday, May 17, 2008


is the title of Chapter 6 in WHEN SCOTLAND WAS JEWISH, by Hirschman and Yates.

In this chapter the authors describe the inaccuracy of Scottish history:

Notwithstanding the evidence, many Scottish historians and writers of Judaica seem united in their desire to dismiss any early presence of Jews in Scotland....

In Edinburgh, the story goes, "Scotland never bore the problems or tested the advantages of a Jewish community within its borders until the year 1816 when twenty Jewish families then living in Edinburgh founded a 'Kehillah' or Congregation of Jews, the first ever to be seen in Scotland...

However, there is mention in one source of Masonic Jews in the Lodge of St. David and of Jewish burials in Edinburgh in one historian, Phillips', material. There is historical evidence for the presence of Jews in England. They followed William, Duke of Normandy, into Britain in "in the latter half of the eleventh century. The authors indicate that

William's congeniality (and that of subsequent Norman and Plantegenet English monarchs) towards the Jews was the belief that the royal lineage itself carried Davidic Jewish ancestry. (p. 89)

There is evidence that in 1290 C.E., when Edward I was on the British throne

he issued writs for the explulsion of all Jews who would not convert to Christianity. Likely at this time yet another set of English Crypto-Jews was created.

It is no surprise we should find additional families with French Jewish DNA making their way to Scotland at this time. And it is also not surprising that they would wisely choose to practice their religion in secret--pretending outwardly to be Christian, while adhering to Judaism among their families and close friends....both Crypto-Jews and the openly Jewish were present in England from 1290 until their "official" re-entry under Oliver Cromwell in 1654...
(p. 90)

The explusion of the Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal "provided the primary impetus for the second wave of Jewish emigres to Scotland". (p. 91)

"Presumably the Crypto-Jews who remained in England after the Expulsion in 1290 presented themselves as practicing Christians, which at that time would have meant Roman Catholism... (p. 91)

At the end of Henry VIII's reign, the Spanish Jews, both Crypto- and openly Jewish, were well established in England. Three of these included Dr. Hector Nunez, Dunstan Anes, and Simon Ruiz who lived in London and carried on successful professional careers. Nunez was even made a fellow of the College of Physicians in 1554 and Anes became a freeman of the Grocer's Company in 1557. Nunez, who presented himself publicly as a Calvinist minister, was in fact the rabbi of the Bristol, England, Jewish community.

These three men may serve to some extent for us as prototypes of Jewish experience in the mid-1500s in England. One, Hector Nunez, was so skilled as a doctor as to be allowed to enter the College of Physicians--a pattern we shall see followed in Scotland. Dunstan Anes (Ames) was a merchant in foodstuffs, another typical Jewish profession, and Dr. Henrique Nunes, the Crypto-rabbi of Bristol, England, pretended to be a Calvinist (Protesant) minister, before fleeing to France. What we will find in Scotland is very similar: Crypto-Jews in the merchant professions, as leading doctors and apothecaries, as Protestant ministers....

The Crypto-Jewish community in England, which included several prominent physicians and businessmen, affiliated itself with Protestants. For example, Katz...writes that Santa Cruz testified in Madrid, "He knows, as it is public and notorious in London that by race they are all Jews, and it is notorious that in their own homes they live as such observing their Jewish rites; but publicly they attend Lutheran Churches, and listen to the sermon, and take the bread and wine."...

...their bloodlines were, as is evident from modern genealogical research, deeply embedded in England's aristocratic peerage and country gentry...
(p. 92-93)

...some of the principle architects of the Protestant Reformation, in particular John Calvin of France and John Knox of Scotland, were descendants of Sehpardic Jews....

We propose that the reason so many leading Protestant clergy "suddenly" began advocating reading in Hebrew and poring over the Old Testament during the 1500s is because they were, in fact, either Crypto-Jews themselves or the sons of Crypto-Jews, and believed that the Old Testament (Torah) in Hebrew was, indeed, the Word of God.
(p. 94)

By 1688, a new day was dawning in Britain, Prince William of Orange, the Protestant ruler of the Netherlands, not only a friend of the Jews in that country but probably of Jewish descent himself...

By the 1700s...Sephardim were becoming recognized as valuable members of English society...a considerable part of the British inhabitants are the undoubted offspring of the Jews...
(p. 95)

That sure goes a long way toward explaining Brit Am and the likes of Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh. And it goes a long way toward explaining why speculative Freemasonry arose in England, if you are willing to consider why so many of the Masonic rites would appear to be Jewish in origin. I found this chapter something of a revelation if Hirschman and Yates are correct in their assumptions!


Friday, May 16, 2008


In a Catholic World News story linked at New Oxford Review, Gorbachev categorically denies that he ordered the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.


is the title of Chapter 5 of WHEN SCOTLAND WAS JEWISH by Hirschman and Yates.

The primary source used for this chapter is the work of Jewish historian Esther Benbassa's THE JEWS OF FRANCE (1999). The authors write:

During the fifth century, just as Columba was converting the Irish and Scottish Celts to a Christianity that closely followed Jewish practice, Benbassa writes that Jews in France "lacking the Talmud, adhered closely to the text of the Bible and to certain oral traditions. There existed a religious confusion between Judaism and Christianity, both with regard to prescriptions and to worship"...

Thus we have a loose compatibility between two monotheistic faiths--Christianity and Judaism--and persons moving back and forth between them up until the early 600s....With the establishment of the Carolingian Empire under Charlemagne in 800 C.E., the Jews of France were well treated and socially mobile. Especially in their community of Narbonne, they enjoyed self-governance and moved into the highest political and economic advisory positions.

Together with the Byzantines and Syrians, Jews in France and elsewhere established international overland and maritime trading routes, controlling the bulk of Mediterranean commerce.
(p. 80)

In 1306, for a variety of political, religious and economic reasons, the Jews were expelled from France. (And not coincidentally, we see families such as the "Black" Douglases arriving in Scotland.) The expulsion followed close on the heels of Edward I's banishment of Jews from England and Gascony in 1290, and there were smaller banishings of Jews from cities in Germany and Italy....

...we present various texts regarding the Babylonian scholar Makhir/Machar and the principality of Narbonne in France during the period 700-900 C.E. It was this Davidic descendant of the Hebrew tribes, carried into captivity by the Babylonians in Biblical times, we suggest, who traveled to Scotland, where he became known as "St." Machar, and likely pioneered the way for some of the earliest Jews to make their way to the northeastern part of Scotland.
(p. 81-82)

The first Jewish ruler of the House of David in Narbonne was called Machir. Machir and his sons were probably practising Jews, but most (though not all) of his family quickly assimilated and became Christians...Machir gave his sister to Pepin and took the sister of Pepin as one of his wives....William (the son of Machir) ruled over the area of Septimania [an area in southern France where Narbonne is located]. He was made Duke of Aquitaine and is referred to as "King of the Goths," since the area of southern France was a place of Gothic settlement. At one stage many Goths converted to Judaism and the terms "Goth" and "Jew" in southern France were used synonymously... (p. 82)

In closing this chapter the authors write:

It was...within the Carolingian lineage that the Lion of Judah heraldic device came to be adopted by French, Flemish and Norman nobles. They carried the device to Scotland (for instance, William the Lyon, the Bruces, the Stewarts) and reintroduced it to England with the Plantagenets. We do not infer any genuine genealogical support for the presumption among the Bruces, Stewarts and Plantagenets that they were biological descendants of David, nor has DNA testing conducted to date shown any evidence of this. A more feasible conclusion is that among their ancestors during the years between 750 and 900 C.E. were converts to Judaism who instilled in family members a commitment to the mitzvot of the faith along with the (erroneous) belief that they were of Davidic descent. (p. 87)

Wikipedia has an entry for St. Machar that indicates he is thought to have been one of the 12 who accompanied St.Columba into exile on Iona in 561 where they established a monastery that became the center of Scottish missionary work. However, as the article indicates, the source for this information was written centuries later and may not be accurate.


I firmly believe that there is a line in the process of dying of cancer that a patient crosses--the line between living with cancer and dying of it.

Mind-care professionals like to talk about attitude--as though if you just develop the correct attitude you will be able to survive cancer perhaps indefinitely. The message always comes from some upbeat personality who is enthused about the accomplishments of modern medicine and psychology. It almost never comes from someone who is living with cancer.

Yes, mental attitude plays a part. I'm not denying that. But there are two other factors that loom largely as well. Attitude is not always the result of decision. Sometimes it is the result of circumstances forced on the patient by the disease, coupled with the body's message about life and death, delivered in ways that are not measurable.

In living with cancer, a point comes when the body and the circumstances send the message that life is terminating. My mother often talked about this when she talked about my father who died of cancer. She would tell me that he knew he was dying and so he did this or that particular thing to get ready. Clean out the chicken coop is the effort I remember her mentioning most often.

Now that I'm faced with the same reality, I too am doing things to get ready. Cancer has changed the way I view so much of life. I smelled a lilac bloom yesterday while out for a walk and tried to memorize the scent, believing as I did that I won't do that again for all of eternity. I recently wrapped up a present of books for an upcoming baby shower. Sign the books or don't sign the books? If I sign them, the mother may cry when she reads them to her child, since we are close; and then the child would associate reading with sadness. Not a legacy I want to leave under any circumstances. I didn't sign the books.

I've gone through the family pictures, putting them in order, and making sure they are labeled so that the people can be identified. It was a trip down memory lane recalling many happy times as indicated by our smiles. I needed that. Those pictures showed me that I have had a full life. As I reflect on my life, mostly what memories come are memories of difficulties and hard times. I seem to be stuck in a self-pity trip that demands attention so often. I think this is one of the phases of accommodating the mind to death--one that I hope will pass sooner rather than later.

Lately I've been pondering whether to propose to my husband that we buy our gravesites and make my funeral arrangements. I don't know if he can handle it, though. I've decided that my number one priority is to die with my hair on. It's a way of taking back some sort of control in the face of the absolute loss of any control at all.

When I was out walking yesterday, I caught up with a group of junior high students walking home from school who were walking slower than I was. Passing them would have been awkward. I considered crossing the street, but there was no sidewalk on the other side, so I just stayed behind them. It bugged them, I could tell, because they kept glancing back at me. Finally they crossed and walked in the road. "Yeah," a little voice inside me said, "You did this your way instead of their way."

I have mostly done things other people's way: altered the menu on any given day to accommodate likes and dislikes of husband and child, made sure the sheets were dry and back on the bed before the family returned home, waited patiently in line until my turn came, tried to make the nurse with the needles less anxious about hurting me. I still do that sometimes, but no longer every time. Sometimes now, I size up the situation, determine what I'm willing to do, and do it. It doesn't always accommodate other opinions. The other day I made my husband's sandwich with frozen bread. I told him what I had done, and if he didn't like it, he should just wait until it thawed to eat it. I could tell he was annoyed. He hates sandwiches made with frozen bread. Ordinarily I would have microwaved it, but not this time. God bless him, he didn't say a word.

This attitude has developed just recently out of the bad experience in the hospital. I walked out of that hospital a different person, and not necessarily a better person than I used to be--a person who thinks it's time to do things my way more of the time. The attitude change has been as much a surprise to me as it is to my family. During a conversation with my doctor yesterday I told him that I recognized that I had become a bad patient. We talked about what would be the easiest way to die--keep treating the cancer, with all of the discouragement that entails--or let God make the final decision. We talked about what would happen if I stopped taking this drug or that drug, and whether the dying process would be quick and relatively painless or long and agonizing.

I have to weigh into this consideration what my decisions would do to the rest of my family. Could they cope with my going on palliative care--a decision that looks very tempting much of the time, but one which offers no second chance. Would they be better off if I kept on trying to stay alive in spite of a downward spiral of medical mandates. What good am I to anyone when my life is filled with medical activities so that I have nothing else to offer them? This is especially true for my husband who must continue to work despite his own medical problems, so that I will have health insurance. The cost of treating cancer is astronomical.

I no longer have a day that is not filled with some sort of medical mandate. That is part of crossing the line. As treatment progresses, more and more problems develop that require more and more medical intervention. Eventually this will culminate in the medical profession saying there is nothing more they can do. I am not there yet. They still have optimistic messages to give me. But my doctors and I all know that there really is no long-term hope.

Meanwhile I try to keep all of the medication straight, forget to take it sometimes, and have it sitting around the house in places where I will be when I need to take it, as a constant reminder that I don't have long to live. One night this week I had to get up three times to take yet another medication I had forgotten. My brain is in revolt. I am on a leash to my doctor's office because the Coumadin must be extra-closely monitored when I'm in chemotherapy. And as doctor and hospital schedules go, it often requires waiting. I sit in the office waiting for my appointment watching the clock tick away what little time is left and wishing I could be doing something meaningful.

I know full well that life is a death sentence. I know that there is nothing anyone can do or say that will lengthen my life one moment beyond what God has ordained. I even tried to make it easier for my doctor by acknowledging that he has no answers. He is a good doctor. He didn't avert his gaze even once during this conversation. He is made of pretty strong stuff. I admire him. The last thing he told me is that he will pray for me, so we share a bond of faith and belief that God knows what He is doing. I am grateful for a doctor who knows that.

How to end this dreary diatribe? What are you readers going to think of it? You can't know why it helps to write it if you are not facing these limits yourself. It probably looks like a plea for sympathy. Who knows maybe it is. I like to think of it as therapy. I've always turned to writing when life gets difficult. Mostly I think blogging this is a way of leaving something behind, of saying I WAS here, and for some reason or other I mattered, if not to the world, at least to God. In any case, if it bothers you, if it makes you angry, or if it makes you disgusted, please do me the favor of not telling me that. Just leave it where you found it and pray that you will never have to think these thoughts when your turn comes.


The article over there offers two points I found worth noting:

1. What made this week's statement significant, several experts say, is that the comments by Rev. Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, were printed in the Vatican's own newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. That gave his words a certain papal heft.

2. Funes said that to not believe life exists beyond our planet would be to "set limits on the creative liberty of God."

As Rev. Thomas O'Meara, a visiting theology professor at Boston College, puts it: "If you have a mature view of God, God can do what God wants."

Re the first, it's nice to see it in print, proving that I'm not out in left field on this one.

Re the second, a technicality...To not believe that God COULD create life on other planets is to limit God. To say that He DID create life on other planets is to present speculation as fact.


Matt Abbott's column today was written by Father Sotelo, who explains to Catholics why the California decision was incorrect, was opposed to natural law, and was an example of legislation from the bench.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


SAN FRANCISCO - In a monumental victory for the gay rights movement, the California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage Thursday in a ruling that would allow same-sex couples in the nation's biggest state to tie the knot. Read the rest...


Chapter 3 of WHEN SCOTLAND WAS JEWISH by Hirschman and Yates discusses the genealogies of what they call the "first wave" of Jewish families. Included in this group are Bruce, Campbell, Forbes, Leslie, Douglas, Gordon and Steward. The chapter presents "the genealogical and historical evidence to document the Jewish ancestry of these families."

Bruce is important because of its relationship to the Templars. The authors write:

The de Brusse family of Flanders and Normandy entered England in 1050 as part of the entourage of Duke Richard I...in 1066 Robert de Bruce...married a Norman woman, Agnes St. Clair...Some members of this family were and are practicing Jews....

...several Hebrew and Mediterranean given names are found among the early Bruces; among these are Adam, Emma, Isabel, Agnes, Agatha, Euphemia, David, Matilda, and Eleanor. By the early 1300s, the Bruce family in Scotland had produced Robert I (the Bruce), King of Scotland, who reigned from 1306 to 1329.
(p. 44

It is Robert the Bruce who looms largely in any story about the Templars as this Templar website demonstrates:

When Philip the Fair arrested the Knights Templar in France on 13th October 1307 some had a little advance warning and managed to escape using some of their ships which were docked at La Rochelle...So where did the Templars go? In 1306 Robert the Bruce had murdered John 'the Red' Comyn in Dumfries church and for that crime had been excommunicated....Bruce's offer of sanctuary made Scotland an ideal place for the fugitive KT to hide. They went to Argyle because it was sparsely populated and difficult to reach. After seven years the Templars re-paid Bruce's generosity by assisting him at the battle of Bannockburn (24th June 1314) the winning of which gained Scotland's independence. This left Robert the Bruce with a problem. No that Scotland was independence he wanted the excommunication lifted as this was necessary before the country could be re-admitted to western Christendom. The existence a heretic Knight Templar in Scotland would jeopardise the recognition of Bruce and Scotland so he decided on a subterfuge. Bruce created the Order of Freemasonry into which the remaining Templars quietly integrated. Bruce could claim that the KT no longer existed in Scotland simply allowing them to exist under another name.

Returning to Hirschman and Yates I find:

The lineage, together with the DNA evidence of a Southern French or Spanish Jewish origin for the Bruces...strongly suggests that this family was aware of its Judaic heritage and chose marital partners and given names designed to perpetuate this heritage. When Bruces from Scotland arrived in the American colonies during the 1600s and 1700s, the marital pattern of at least some members suggest that the Crypto-Judaic practice had been carried forward to the New World. (p. 45)

If Robert the Bruce, who founded Freemasonry in Scotland, was a Crypto-Jew, there might be sufficient reason to conclude that Freemasonry, in its infancy stage, was Judaism in disguise.

The Templars are closely associated with Rosslyn Chapel. Hirschman and Yates discuss Rosslyn:

...Bruce was very likely a Templar, through his marriage to a St. Clair, Freemason symbols are present on some stones at Dunfermline Abbey churchyard. The Templars were largely transmuted into the Freemason order after 1306.

The Royal Bruce coat of arms depicts a central lion rampant (lion of Judah), a widely recognized symbol of the Judaic royal line of David. The arms of Robert I's brother, Edward, not only shows a lion rampant, but also places an Islamic crescent over the lion's heart, suggesting perhaps Muslim or Arab ancestry in addition to Jewish. Notably, the arms of the de Mowbray, Plantagenet, Bohun and Beaumont families also prominently carry the Lion of Judah symbol. All these families originated in France and (we propose) believed themselves to be of Davidic descent.
(p. 47)

It is noteworthy that the name St. Clair has already surfaced early in the history of Scotland. It is the St. Clairs or Sinclairs who own Rosslyn Chapel. It was a Sinclair who built it.

Another name, Leslie, plays into the Rosslyn/Freemasonry idea:

...Scottish-originating Leslies exhibited Judaic naming practices in the American colonies, and members of the Scottish-based family group openly practiced Judaism in Charleston, S.C. and Savannah, Ga., where males were also leading figures in the Freemasons' temples. (p. 33)

Interestingly, Wikipedia tells us that the Scottish Rite was born in South Carolina. The article also indicates that a Jew, Moses Michael Hays, was influential in the early days of the Scottish Rite in South Carolina. Hirschman and Yates list Hays as a Jewish surname on p. 30.

Another name mentioned is Cowan:

It remains to examine the Cowan data. Here we are confronted with a Scottish "clan", some members of which carried knowledge of their Jewishness from Scotland and Ireland to the Appalachians where they dwelled among the Melungeons. (p. 41)

Cowan is a term used in Freemasonry to designate an outsider. Read the finer points of the term here. It is interesting to note that:

Cowan is an essentially Scottish trade term, and it belongs to the time when lodges, as trade-controlling bodies, put restrictions against the employment of cowans, in order to protect the fully-trained men of the Craft from competition by unskilled labour. The earliest official ban against cowans appeared in the Schaw Statutes in 1598. (p. 41)

In their conclusion for this chapter Hirschman and Yates link Cowan with Coen, the Jewish priestly class.


The Times Online reports on the messages traveling cyberspace about curious natural events that could have predicted the earthquake in China, claiming that they were covered up in an effort to protect China's image for the upcoming Olympics. Over eighteen thousand people are said to be buried in the rubble.


Michael Pfeifer, Bishop of San Angelo, who oversees the churches in Abilene, has joined Jesuit Father Jose Funes in trying to spin the little green men as part of the same creation that brought about you and me, according to the Abilene Reporter News website. The article reports:

Pope Benedict XVI has made exploring the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy...

The vastness of the universe means it is possible there can be other forms of life outside earth--even intelligent ones.

Quotes from McMurry University physics professor Wayne Keith are also thrown into the discussion:

I don't personally see any conflict between belief in God and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe, and I've always thought it a bit odd that some people would interpret the Bible in a way that precluded life beyond the Earth...To pin your faith on something not existing is to set yourself up for a crisis of faith if we ever did discover life elsewhere.

Perhaps he is right. However, to be willing to accommodate other life forms is to be able to accommodate them to the faith revealed to we earthlings. What if their conception of God is totally different from ours? Suddenly faith could become a house of cards.

Of course Galileo is drug out and dusted off for this article. In defending the assumption of the failure of the Church where Galileo is concerned, the article quotes Keith:

God's Creation is much more complex and wonderful than a simplified account in ancient Hebrew can describe, and that ignoring evidence because your faith depends on a particular interpretation is limiting and shortsighted.

On the other hand, that statement would necessitate that Keith believes God was not capable or chose not to reveal Scripture that could stand the test of time. In his mind science has trumped faith. Perhaps he's an atheist and doesn't know it.

Pfeifer quotes bring it home:

Hence, even though we can't fully understand sometime (sic) the relationship between science and religion, or reason and faith, it is the constant teaching of the Church that internally they do not contradict one another," he said, "...The author of both faith and reason, of science and religion, is one and the same for us as Catholic Christians--the one and same true God."

Uh-huh. Tell it to the married woman of child-bearing years who has cancer and needs to take Thaliodimide. She will quickly set you straight.

The article closes with "Let's all just hope the aliens have read the same book," demonstrating that the most reasonable person in this discussion is the reporter, Brian Bethel, who is apparently capable of recognizing the potential conflicts, unlike the representatives of the Church.

Perhaps sweeping the sexual abuse scandal under the rug was merely the dress rehearsal.

Here's a thought...IF the prophecies are correct in saying that something momentous is scheduled to happen in 2012, and taking into consideration the three and a half year clock from Revelation, the clock starts ticking now.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


In WHEN SCOTLAND WAS JEWISH by Hirschman and Yates, the authors spell out how they determined which individuals would be counted among the Jews, since this is a controversial issue. They write:

It is very hard to prove someone is Jewish. To begin with, even living, present-day Jews may disagree about who and what a Jew is. The broadest definition, that adopted by most Reform Jews today, describes Judaism as an international community of persons who share the same monotheistic faith and are guided by the same commandments and Torah. In this view, Jews may come from many ethnic backgrounds, some of them converts, others Jews by birth, all of them equal: there is no possibility of one person being "more Jewish" than another.

Many Orthodox Jews, however, disagree with this view and consider only other Orthodox Jews to be "really" Jewish; they can even quibble among themselves about which Orthodox group is the
most Jewish. Further, persons whose mother or father was born Jewish may be considered Jewish by some Jews, but not by others. Persons whose mother or father converted to Judaism or who themselves converted may not be accepted as Jewish by all Jews. Even persons whose parents were both born Jews and are now practicing Jews, but who do not belong to a temple, may not be pronounced Jewish by all Jews. Thus, Jewish identity is a complex and controversial issue, which we will not attempt to resolve here.

To complicate matters further, Jews who were born of two practicing Jewish parents, and who themselves belong to an Orthodox synagogue, may not necessarily be of Semitic ancestry. That is, they may not carry the genes of the ancient Hebrews. Instead some time between 3,000 years ago and the present, their ancestors decided to
become Jews, and the family has continued to practice the faith ever since. Most Jews now living do not have predominantly Semitic ancestry in their genetic makeup. This is particularly the case for the maternal line. As geneticist Steve Olson puts it..."The mitochondrial DNA sequences of Jewish females are even more diverse than the Y chromosomes of males, suggesting that non-Jewish women converted or married into the faith even more often than men." Importantly for our purposees, decendants of medieval Spanish, French and Italian Jews--that is, the Western or Mediterranean Jews of Sefarad--are not primarily of Semitic ancestry. Rather, most belong to what is called the R1b Y chromosomal DNA haplogroup, the most common paternal lineage in Europe and in countries of the New World founded by Europeans.

What about simply regarding as Jewish any person who now publicly "self-identifies" as such? While seemingly reasonable, this solution will not work in the case of Crypto-Jews (secret Jews). Though a term normally reserved for Jewish Iberian exiles after the pogroms of 1391 and especially after the Edict of Expulsion in 1492, it can also be applied to ancestrally Jewish Scots, ancentrally Jewish Germans, ancestrally Jewish Melungeons, and in fact to any ancestrally Jewish persons whose forebears feared identification or detection, chose to hide their true identity, and practiced that religion in secret. For up to 600 years, Crypto-Jews had to survive without rabbis, yeshivas, torahs, or synagogues, isolated from openly Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, Islam and the Mediterranean, and subject to a kind of "double hostility" from their surrounding societies...The religious status of these Marranos,
conversos, Anusim ("the Forced Ones") and New Christians challenged some of the best rabbinical minds of the day...

And so, to determine if the Scottish families in question were of Jewish descent, we used a process of inductive reasoning. We relied on clues from several different types of evidence--historical, genealogical, linguistic, archeological, geographic and genetic. By considering these different sources, we can argue that a given family had a
very high probability of being Jewish upon their arrival in Scotland. In some cases this is no problem; certain of these families still are Jewish and can document lineal descent from Scots forebears. But in most cases we are going to have to finesse this conclusion by looking at the overall pattern of evidence for that family, including their associated lines and marriage preferences. The formal term for this branch of science is the statistical inference of demography from DNA sequence data. (pp. 24-25)


I see this as a result from Benedict's visit to American soil. I think it is evidence we have reached a turning point in the way we view the Church and the way the Church behaves here in the U.S. It took Benedict three years to put his stamp on the papacy, and this is part of that stamp. What a difference!!

Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota has withdrawn an invitation to a commencement speaker because of her views on legalized abortion.

State Senator Nancy Turbak-Berry was scheduled to deliver the commencement address at the college on Saturday. According to the Associated Press, she said she was told on Friday that she could not speak there because of her views on abortion.

She had accepted the invitation to speak in January.

Read it here...


Or perhaps we've all just lost our hearing. In any case, reporting hasn't yet gotten noisy here.

AUSTRALIA'S Catholic bishops have disowned retired Sydney bishop Geoffrey Robinson, accusing him of failing to understand fundamental church teachings.

The country's bishops have released a public statement suggesting that Bishop Robinson — as a bishop, a man chosen by the Pope to guard the teaching of Catholics — is wrong about the authority of Christ and the authority of the church to "teach the truth".

Read all of it...

According to the article this bishop "headed the Australian church's efforts to tackle clerical sexual abuse for a decade". He retired in 2004 in disillusionment, wrote a book, CONFRONTING POWER AND SEX IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, and is currently doing a lecture tour of the U.S for Voice of the Faithful.

I'm having a hard time picking my jaw up off the floor. Talk about bishop opposing bishop...!! Circling the wagons? Or is this a case of the bishops acting properly for a change?

Our Lady of Fatima, you know what I'm asking!


Hagee, who supports John McCain for president, expresses 'deep regret for any comments Catholics found hurtful.' The Catholic League accepts his apology.

Read it here...

Does this belong in the "Well duh..." category?


From the UK Independent:

Her Majesty's Government may have concluded in 1979 that "it has never been approached by people from outer space" but the current Pope is entertaining the idea of aliens.

That was the bizarre clash of opinions that emerged this morning as thousands of pages of "Britain's X-files" were released by the Ministry of Defence in a move brought about by a "deluge" of Freedom of Information requests by UFO conspiracy theorists.

The 160 files – the first eight of which, covering 1978-1987, are published today – throw up no "saucer-in-a-hangar smoking gun" in the skies, experts said last night.

However, the papers, viewable on the National Archives' web site, do show that officials conducted a full investigation into every claimed sighting until the 1980s. The files, one of which is more than 450 pages long, show that since the 1950s thousands of seemingly ordinary people have claimed UFO sightings in this country.

Read the rest...

From NewsOK.com:

Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?” Funes said. "Just as we consider earthly creatures as ‘a brother,' and ‘sister,' why should we not talk about an ‘extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation.”

Continue reading...

BBC coverage of this event has an unexpected twist:

...some aliens could even be free from original sin, [Fr. Gabriel Funes] speculates.

Asked about the Catholic Church's condemnation four centuries ago of the Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo, Father Funes diplomatically says mistakes were made....

To strengthen its scientific credentials, the Vatican is organising a conference next year to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the author of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin.

Read it here...

Ah, the curse of living in interesting times!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Dr. Stephen Yulish has sent me a link to his article published in UFO Digest in which he makes the above claim.

The article recounts his journey from Judaism, into New Age, culminating in his belief in Jesus Christ.

There has been a resurgence of late in the ancient Jewish mystical practice of Kabbalah as a result of many Hollywood types, some Jewish and some not, falling into this spiritual delusion. Don't be fooled, dabbling in this type of endeavor can have serious consequences on you and your children's lives. I am not going to quote scripture to you or give you an intellectual argument for avoiding Kabbalah. I am going instead to tell you a real story about one person's descent into the spiritual arrogance of Kabbalah and hope that it scares the hell out of you. That person was me!

While I was brought up in a more or less traditional Jewish household and went to an after school Cheder (Hebrew School) from age 9-13 to prepare for my Bar Mitzvah, I was always interested in way out things. I loved science fiction novels and as a young teen even wrote a story for Analog Science Fiction magazine about life on Mars. My interests gradually moved into study of philosophy, religion, and mysticism. I became what the Bible speaks of as a Gnostic. I wanted to commune directly with God. Forget the traditional religions and their outdated practices. I was trying to find knowledge (gnosis) of God.

He meditated, studied astrology, numerology, UFOs, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism. He discovered the Zohar which spoke of astrology, reincarnation, spirit guides and other related issues. He delved into the prophecies of Edgar Cayce. While a professor at the University of Arizona, he had a paper published in a feminist journal titled "Adam: Male, Female or Both", which addressed androgyny, and a novel, THE OTHER WORLD, which glorified Adam's supposed first wife Lilith.

He left the university and became director of the Jewish National Fund in Phoenix and continued to pursue his interest in Kabbalah. He vouches for the authenticity of automatic writing:

I began to do spontaneous drawings (automatic writing) at my desk. These strange detailed bizarre pen and ink pictures would materialize out of the hand of a man who could only draw stick figures. A secretary from the next office spotted them and it turned out that she was a witch. I kid you not. Satan was on my trail. She and I would take turns reading each others minds. She introduced me to an astrologer who said I had the best chart of anyone since Buddha.

I decided to send my drawings to Ruth Montgomery a leading psychic and author. She wrote me back and told me I had to go see Ann Puryear a leading psychic in Phoenix and follower of Edgar Cayce. I did, and that began a couple year excursion into the dark side of the New Age movement. Ann's husband Herb was setting up a metaphysical university and he wanted me to teach Kabbalah-Jewish mysticism. I sent my drawings to a Kabbalistic Journal where they were published for all to see. I showed them to the Rabbis that I knew in Phoenix. At this time I was working for the Jewish Federation and knew them all. They loved the drawings, many of which looked demonic and evil (to me now). They encouraged me to publish them in a book. We talked on gilgul and how many great rabbis had spirit guides (demons!).

There is more, but it would be better if you read it directly than just to read my stumbling recreation of it. I will tell you this, he ends the story with the following:

Beware of any discipline that tells you that it will teach you how to be God. There is only one God and it ain't you or me. Also, be thankful that our God has the mercy and grace to save a worthless sinner like me. There is no sin, not even Kabbalah, that cannot be washed away by the blood of Jesus.

It's the same thing I've been saying, but coming from the pen of someone who has experienced the journey from Judaism to Christianity, it has a lot more of an impact. Go read his story.


For three decades, students at elite Chaminade High School in Mineola could receive Communion during a 15-minute "Communion Service" just before lunch.

But that practice will end following a pastoral letter Bishop William Murphy is releasing today prohibiting Catholic schools, parishes and other institutions from distributing Holy Communion at most non-Mass events.

Several schools and parishes who take part in the practice said yesterday they would abide by the bishop's order. Some said they were nonetheless disappointed, while some church analysts such as papal biographer David Gibson suggested it was a move by Murphy to "tighten up" and crack down on nontraditional practices.

Continue reading...

Apparently this will extend to the communion service offered in the absence of an available priest to say weekday Masses, however it will not impact lay distribution of communion to the hospitalized and homebound. No mention is made of Sunday communion services.

Hat tip to New Oxford Review for the story.


Trust Annova to come up with a bizarre little story. This one is more bizarre than most. The neice of Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Spain's head of the Catholic Church, has accused him of being indifferent to the death of her father and mother, despite his claims of the importance of family; and lying to her at the time of her father's death by claiming that he had a meeting with the pope and could not attend the funeral. To protest, she has posed topless for the cover of a porn magazine.


There is another attempt to force the pope to testify in sexual abuse lawsuits since he is the man with the greatest knowledge. This time it's taking place in Louisville, KY. It will probably be no more successful than any of the other attempts have been.


by Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman and Donald N. Yates

The book was published in 2007. It uses DNA studies to trace the ancestors of the Melungeon population of the Appalachians which leads back to Scotland.

Hirschman is on the faculty of Rutgers University. In the process of researching her own Jewish roots, she has uncovered a great deal of information about the Melungeons, and this is not her only book. Her story is told at the Rutgers Focus website, and at this DNA testing website there is also a brief description of her. Donald N. Yates is the founder and principal investigator at DNA Testing. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina.

The field of genetic genealogy, according to Wikipedia is still in its infancy. The National Geographic Society has been active in using this method to track populations through its Genographic Project, in partnership with IBM, launched in 2005.

With that as background, I will plunge into the text.

The authors first make a case that Scottish history has gone largely uninvestigated

...the pursuit of [Scotland's] native history was long prohibited in Scotland. Elitist English authorities excluded Scottish history from the national curriculum as a metter of educational policy. In 1949, Lord Cooper complained to the Scottish Historical Society that it was possible for a Scottish student to take a degree in history without any knowledge of Scottish history. (p. 3)

The Stewart dynasty remains particularly mystifying. Until the appearance of an "official" genealogical compilation in the 1990s (and some would say even after it), the origins of the Scottish royal family were simply not known. (p. 4)

So why are we proposing that many of Scotland's people were Jewish? For the simple reason that is true....

The evidence presented does not suggest some ancient Jewish visitation based on a "lost tribes" theory, in other words, that a Jewish tribe dispersed from Judea-Palestine in antiquity and somehow wandered its way to Scotland, morphing over time into a population of Gaelic warriors. No; our argument is grounded upon documented historical migrations into Scotland from various European countries, primarily France, the Low Countries, Hungary and Germany. These migrants, we propose , were persons of Jewish ethnicity whose descendants now comprise the majority of the present population of Scotland. Further, we also argue that the greater part of the estimated 4 million Scots and Scots-Irish who immigrated to the New World were drawn from this same ethnic ancestry.
(p. 6)

...early Jews who did live in Scotland practiced an underground or secret form of their religion (called Crypto-Judaism)...a minority of the descendants of these early Crypto-Jews did in some cases revert to the open practice of their faith upon arriving in the American colonies; and...the majority of the descendants of these Jews are now unaware of their ancestors' religious practices, because their faith was so well dissembled, and because of conversion to Protestantism and assimilation over the intervening centuries. (p. 7)

The authors speak of the influence of early medieval religions--including the Druids--on the Celtic church, and of its independence from Rome. They write:

...except for the existence of Christian artifacts such as the Book of Kells and carved Celtic crosses, there is little evidence to suggest a strong early Christian presence in Scotland....the so-called Scottish saints (e.g., St. Machar of Aberdeen) are not even proven to be Christian per se. Contemporaries describe them as unspecified "holy men" or "religious teachers." No written accounts of their teachings or religious doctrines survive. It was only centuries later that they were labeled as Christian. (p. 10)

...bagpipes--the musical instruments most associated in the popular imagination with Celts and Scotland--first gained popularity in Scotland at the outset of the 1500s. This was an age when Celtic culture was in eclipse, but it was a time that saw the mass expulsion of Jews and Moors from Spain due to the Spanish Inquisition. Significantly, the bagpipe originated in ancient Mesopotamia and Greece and was popular in Spain and southern France before it entered or re-entered Ireland and Scotland. It is a Middle Eastern and Central Asian musical instrument, not one indigenous to the British Isles. (p.12-13)

...the Cistercian order in many ways appears to be modeled on Judaic religious precepts. (p. 15)

...the Celtic Church retained several Jewish practices, while deliberately resisting conformation to Roman Catholicism. From 906 C.E. onward, the Last Supper ritual was celebrated only at Passover/Pesach; infant baptisms were not practiced, and no crucifixion imagery or icons were used. (p. 21)

Monday, May 12, 2008


That phrase is making headlines over Catholic pro-abortion politicians who continue to receive. I haven't found any indication that bishops are actually using it. Rather they are talking to pols about the need to "refrain from receiving", a different matter altogether.

Fr. John Flader responded to a question about the use of this phrase in The Catholic Weekly out of Australia. His comments are a refresher course on what we are actually doing when we walk up to the communion station at Mass. Some key passages:

Sometimes subtle changes of terminology, when they become widespread, gradually change people’s way of looking at and understanding reality. Words, after all, do have meanings. Heretics throughout the history of the Church have introduced new expressions which at the time seemed relatively harmless but, over time, changed people’s whole way of understanding the truths of the Faith. So words and expressions do have their importance....

[T]he priest or other minister is always to offer the host or the chalice with the Precious Blood to the communicant, who receives it. The communicant is not to take it on his or her own.

The 2004 Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments states in this regard: “It is not licit for the faithful to take … by themselves … and, still less, to hand … from one to another the sacred host or the sacred chalice.” (RS 94)

We "take" what is rightfully ours. We "receive" that which is given but for which we have no inherent right. Once Eucharist passes into the realm of "rights" all sorts of abuses are possible. The terminology is important, and I do so wish the reporters would get it right!


Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged Saturday that the Vatican's teaching against birth control was difficult as he praised a 1968 Church document that condemned contraception.

In a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the document, Benedict reiterated the Church's ban against artificial birth control as well as more recent teaching against using artificial procreation methods.

Pope Paul VI's 1968 "Humanae vitae" ("On Human Life") encyclical prohibits Catholics from using artificial birth control.

"The teaching laid out in the 'Humanae vitae' encyclical isn't easy," Benedict said.

"What was true yesterday remains true even today. The truth expressed in 'Humanae vitae' doesn't change; on the contrary, in the light of new scientific discoveries, it is ever more up to date," the pope added.

Continue reading...


Following the worldwide success of online social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, the Roman Catholic Church is getting in on the act with a website which hopes to attract more than just the usual faithful.

Bishop John Arnold launched Catholic Community - a social networking site for Catholics at the end of last week.

Read it here...


in the trial of Joseph Smith, Cleveland's former chief financial officer. The kickback scheme of which he is accused is the same scheme that caused Bishop Pilla to retire early, leaving me with the assumption that he was somehow involved, and that the scandal, like others, is being covered up.

The Plain Dealer report can be found here.

Siiiiigh !

Sunday, May 11, 2008




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