Saturday, July 05, 2008
HERE'S YOUR LAUGH FOR THE DAY
Check out the post at St. Louis Catholic where the topic is the Women's Ordination Conference objection to the priest who decided there would be no more girl altar boys in his church.
It does prove one thing...these women "priests" have got hypocrisy and temper tantrum down pat. Back when I was parenting a two-year-old, I discovered that laughter is the best medicine for what ails the culprit. Apply generously!
AS THE WORLD GOES GREEN...
An article in the UK Telegraph talks about the latest crime across the pond. Called "Rose Rage", the culprits slip into the new "outdoor rooms" and abscond with the greenery. Planted today, gone tomorrow has become a trend experienced by more than a few. Garden accessories, such as paving stones, are also disappearing:
Meanwhile, business for Bill Seddon, managing director of garden security company Gardien, is booming.
"Last month, a client in Cheshire called us," he says. "He was selling his house and, within 24 hours of the sign going up, 200 square metres of Yorkstone paving had been nicked from his front garden." With reclaimed Yorkstone selling at £70 per square metre, that's a lucrative morning's work.
Enterprising thieves even appear to be stealing plants to order. The garden designer Bella D'Arcy recently created a community garden for Basildon council, involving a group of teenagers from the local youth club.
"The garden was to be their own and they were really proud of it," she says. "Central to the design were two beautiful Italian cypresses, planted in the centre of a border. But the morning after we planted them they had disappeared. All the other plants had been left, even though they were easier to pull up."
In Hulme, Manchester, the prize-winning community gardener Clive Pyott has become so fed up with the planted troughs, hanging baskets and bamboos he has set around a communal courtyard being spirited away that he has pioneered a secure planting scheme, involving the ingenious use of chicken wire and concrete.
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION DISMISSED ACCUSATION
Some good news for a change!
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed accusations that a Roman Catholic magazine was hate literature because it opposed homosexual rights, after Catholic Insight spent more than a year and an estimated $20,000 in legal fees fighting the complaint.
Father Alphonse de Valk, the editor of the small Toronto-based magazine, said the decision was welcome, but cautioned that the ruling can still be appealed to the Federal Court. "It's good news of course," he said. "But I don't want to start celebrating prematurely. If it's appealed to the court, then we may be spending another year on this."
In the ruling yesterday, the commission dismissed the complaint of Edmonton gay activist Rob Wells without a hearing into his allegations that the magazine promoted hatred against homosexuals, "because the material is not likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt based on sexual orientation."
Friday, July 04, 2008
According to an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
A federal jury on Thursday acquitted the former chief financial officer of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese of skimming $784,000 from the church through an elaborate kickback scheme.
The jury did, however, convict Joseph Smith of lesser charges for failing to pay taxes on $171,000. Prosecutors claimed the money was proceeds from the scheme, while Smith said the income was legitimate compensation....
Smith was convicted of six tax-related charges out of a 23-count indictment. Aldrich, the judge, threw out eight money laundering charges at the end of the trial.
The jury cleared him on nine charges, including conspiracy and fraud.
The Diocese has accepted the decision which I would take to mean there will not be an appeal:
In a statement Thursday, the diocese said it accepts the jury's decision, "but it remains the Diocese's position that no one knew of or approved the payments to Smith by Anton Zgoznik's firm."
NO SSPX RECONCILIATION
According to a Catholic News Service article, the desired reconciliation with the SSPX will not take place.
...a statement released by the Swiss-based society July 1 implied that the traditionalist group did not accept all the conditions set out in the letter, and it appealed to Pope Benedict XVI to lift the 1988 decree of excomunication against the society's bishops who were ordained without papal permission.
The Vatican press office said July 3 that it did not plan to comment on the statement.
In my opinion the SSPX has more in common with the Old Catholics than with those in communion with the pope.
It's time to wait until the current bishops of the SSPX have died. Perhaps with a new generation that has experienced the loneliness of not being in communion with Rome there will be better hope for reconciliation. It's time for the SSPX to stop deluding themselves that they are Roman Catholic and experience the full impact of what they have done.
As every parent learns very quickly, talk can only go so far, then comes the time for action, showing a wayward child that you mean what you say and the punishment will be enforced.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
DEMOCRATIC SATANISM ?
A website called "Capitol Hill Blue" is reporting the following:
Durham County Democratic Party officials are shocked about allegations that a local Democratic leader was involved in satanic rituals that included shackling people to beds, caging them, and depriving them of food and water.
Joy Johnson, 30, a third vice chairwoman of the county Democratic party and vice chairwoman of the Young Democrats, was charged Friday with two counts of aiding and abetting.
Her husband, Joseph Scott Craig, 25, was charged with second-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for an incident in January and another in May.
"Part of the allegations are that satanic worship is part of this case," said Mark McCullough, an assistant district attorney, when the two appeared in court Monday morning after spending the weekend in the Durham County Jail.
Here is a link to the couple's website:
At the website you can observe that among the services offered is "spirit guide communication".
The News Observer also reports the story.
According to the Charlotte Observer there is a third person involved:
Prosecutors have charged three people, including two ranking members of the Durham County Democratic Party, as part of an investigation into allegations of rape and kidnapping that prosecutors said involved satanic worship.
The latest person charged is Diana Palmer, 44, the first vice chairwoman of the county Democratic Party. She turned herself in to police Wednesday afternoon and was charged with one count of accessory after the fact of assault with deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
Palmer's arrest came five days after police arrested Joy Johnson, 30, the county party's third vice chairwoman, and her husband, Joseph Scott Craig, 25.
IS OBAMA THE NEW AGE DARLING ?
Clicking around the net in an attempt to answer that question, the following comments surfaced:
1. From the San Francisco Chronicle, "Is Obama an Enlightened Being?":
Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.
2. From the Charleston Daily Mail, "Obama Peddles a New Age Religion":
Human beings seem to have a yearning for the transcendent - hence thousands of years of religion - but we have lately shied away from traditional approaches and old gods.
Thus, in post-Judeo-Christian America, the sports club is the new church.
Global warming is the new religion.
Vegetarianism is the new sacrament.
Hooking up, the new prayer.
Talk therapy, the new witnessing.
Tattooing and piercing, the new sacred symbols and rituals.
And apparently, Barack Obama is the new messiah.
Here's how a 20-year-old woman in Seattle described that Obama feeling: "When he was talking about hope, it actually almost made me cry. Like it really made sense, like, for the first, like, whoa . . . "
This New Age glossolalia may be more sonorous than the guttural emanations from the revival tent, but the emotion is the same. It's all religion by any other name.
3. From National Review Online, "Obama's Messianic Politics":
...take a step back, and the nature of Senator Obama’s appeal becomes a little clearer. I imagine an anthropologist, centuries hence, sifting through the ruins of our civilization and concluding something like this: “The rise of the cult of Obama, a young lawmaker from one of his people’s middle-western metropolises, suggests parallels with the earlier progress of the Egyptian cult of Osiris and the Greco-Phrygian worship of Adonis-Attis, in which civilizations which had lost their original spiritual inspirations sought rejuvenation in the figure of a beautiful young man who promised to redeem a barren time.
4. CafePress is selling "Good," "God," "New age" & "Barack obama" CDs
5. From the political blog Half Sigma:
Obama attracts new-age liberals while Hillary attracts traditional liberals. Too bad the exit polls don’t ask questions like “are you a vegetarian?”
6. From The Guardian, "New age America is entranced by Obama's electoral aura":
...not long ago, [Deepak] Chopra used the word in a new context that bears closer inspection: if Barack Obama enters the White House as president next January, he declared, "it will represent a quantum leap in American consciousness".
Chopra, it turns out, is far from alone. A curious side-story in this year's election campaign is that the new age movement in the US has embraced Obama even more fervently than most of his supporters. New agers are traditionally liberal, so it's no surprise that they're backing the Democratic candidate. But the question that's been gathering steam among them in recent weeks goes much further than that, and brings - shall we say - a whole other dimension to the race: could Obama be a "lightworker"?
7. From the New York Post, "'NEW AGE' OBAMA VS. 'RETRO' MCCAIN":
McCain senior policy adviser Randy Scheunemann has mocked Obama's greet-the-enemies vision as "New Age diplomacy."
8. From , an Obama supporters website:
Obama's New Age strategy isn't without risk.
9. From The Obama Generation, "The New Age":
The new age upon us
will return us to
the forgotten promise
that we all once knew
True to ourselves
and true to the world
from dank dusty shelves
our flag is unfurled...
At Last a light illuminates
the darkness of their deeds
and we can all seek candidates
more suited to our needs
What joy, what rapture, to believe
that change lies round the bend
our sorry plight we shall relieve
and bring war to an end
Shout ye mothers!
Cry out ye children!
Stand up all ye deprived!
For by your shouts,
your cries of pain
our nation is revived
For now that we are hurt
we see the error of our ways
We’ve had our just desserts
now we can taste a better day
Where there’s mystery there’s hope
or so the saying goes
but in the light, we gain insight
on whats before our nose
10. From the Los Angeles Times blog:
I have grown quite weary of Obama's New Age blather about transcendence and whatnot. OK, it was a nice speech -- now get real or get lost.
That is the tip of the web iceberg of 1,300,000 Google hits for the query "Obama" and "New Age".
As much as I dislike Austrian Economics and the organizations that promote it, I still have to seriously consider what the Acton Institute has posted on its website, given that we have already been witness to an example of such restrictions bringing a priest to court over the teaching of the Catholic faith. The following sounds like it would provoke more of the same:
Here’s a round-up of early reaction (to be updated as appropriate) to Obama’s speech about his proposed future for the faith-based initiative under his administration.
Rev. Richard Cizik of the NAE (HT): “Mr. Obama’s position that religious organizations would not be able to consider religion in their hiring for such programs would constitute a deal-breaker for many evangelicals, said several evangelical leaders, who represent a political constituency Mr. Obama has been trying to court. ‘For those of who us who believe in protecting the integrity of our religious institutions, this is a fundamental right,’ said Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. ‘He’s rolling back the Bush protections. That’s extremely disappointing.’”
Stanley Carlton-Thies of CPJ (HT): “Sen. Obama’s speech sketches the new approach he hopes to introduce. The speech does not make clear the radical restriction he intends to impose on faith-based organizations that receive federal funding.”
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
NEW "CATHOLIC" CHURCH IN VENEZUELA
A reformist church which has adopted many Roman Catholic symbols and rituals while departing from several traditional church teachings has come under fire from Venezuelan Catholic leaders.
Archbishop Roberto Luckert Leon of Coro, vice president of the Venezuelan bishops' conference, told the Caracas-based Union Radio that the Reform Catholic Venezuelan Church was attempting to show that the Catholic Church is divided.
He accused the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of funding the new church in an attempt to divide the Catholic Church and warned that liturgies celebrated by the church had no religious validity.
The new church's bishops "are going to dress like priests and carry out baptisms and confirmations, all paid for by the government which has tried to finish off the Catholic Church but failed," Archbishop Luckert said.
The church was founded by a group that includes several Venezuelan Catholic priests and members of the Anglican and Lutheran churches from several nations, Peru, Mexico and Canada among them. The reformist church echoes phrases commonly used by Chavez, who says his government is a "revolution for the poor."
NEW STUDY OF FOURTH CRUSADE
VATICAN CITY (Zenit.org): A study of the famous 4th Crusade of the 13th century -- which was called to rescue Jerusalem from Islam but resulted instead in a sack of Christian Constantinople -- has been published by the Vatican.
The Vatican Publishing House has released a volume collecting the addresses in various languages from a conference held in 2004 on the 4th Crusade. That year was the 800th anniversary of the crusade that went awry. The 13th-century event is considered to have cemented the Great Schism with the Orthodox that had occurred in 1054.
The 2004 conference was organized by the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, in collaboration with the Institute of Byzantine History of the University of Athens and the Institute of Byzantine and Neo-Greek Studies of the University of Vienna.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
ARCHBISHOP NEINSTEDT ROBBED
While Archbishop John Neinstedt was in Rome receiving the pallium, thieves broke into his residence and stole papal rings, a pectoral cross, a safe and rosaries.
It appears that the thieves knew where these things were located and selected their entry point accordingly--a second story window with three or four inch thick glass that would require a sledge hammer to break. It is believed there was a team of thieves needed to be able to lift the safe.
Hmmmmm. Wasn't there a recent incident in which a Catholic dissident turned up at an outdoor ceremony wearing bishop's clothes? Probably, coincidental, right?
Read the story here.
GOODNESS IN JUDAISM
For those who believe there is nothing worthwhile within Judaism, I recommend reading Shmuley Boteach's insightful commentary in the Jerusalem Post.
NOT PRADA PAPAL SHOES
What is the big deal about the manufacturer of the papal shoes?
I confess not to care who made them, and note the color only in passing! Why now, after how many months of speculation, has the Vatican decided it is necessary to deny the rumor? Has the design house come out in support of abortion, or something? Maybe it's just that June and July are slow Catholic news months?
I really don't get it.
Monday, June 30, 2008
"JEWISH INFLUENCE ON CHRISTIAN REFORM MOVEMENTS"
The latest issue of SCP Journal contains an article unpacking Dispensationalism which demonstrates that the disagreement in the Catholic Church over dual covenant theology may be grounded in this Protestant theology. In the article, "Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary...elaborated on [the] dichotomy between Israel and the church,
The Dispensationalist believers that throughout the ages God is pursuing two distinct purposes: one related to the earth with earthly people and earthly objectives involved within Judaism; while the other is related to heaven with heavenly people and heavenly objectives involved, which is Christianity.
The article's author, Stephen Sizer, says further:
Convinced that a nuclear Armageddon is an inevitable event within the divine scheme of things, many evangelical dispensationalists have committed themselves to a course for Israel that, by their own admission, will lead directly to a holocaust indescribably more savage and widespread than any vision of carnage that could have generated in Adolf Hitler's mind.
As I read through the article which notes other Jewish influence on Evangelical Protestantism, I kept considering claims made in a book Steve has encouraged me to read on countless occasions--one which I completed not long ago--JEWISH INFLUENCE ON CHRISTIAN REFORM MOVEMENTS by Louis Israel Newman. The copyright date is 1925, so these ideas have been floating around throughout the last century, and are not novelties.
I had a heck of a time getting through the first 200 pages of this book, and can't tell you how many times I fell asleep after reading a page or two. Exciting it surely is not. However it did become a bit more interesting when the various heresies, such as the Waldensians, the Cathars, the Pasagii, the Hussites, and the Lutherans are discussed from the point of view of a Jew who is documenting the impact of the Church on his own people.
A large section is devoted to Michael Servetus, from whose theories Unitarianism derived. The impact of Jewish Theology on this movement is significant.
Newman is remarkably tolerant of what I can only conclude was extensive pressure to convert placed upon the Jews by the Roman Catholic Church. As he tells the story, I repeatedly envisioned myself, a Catholic, attempting to live under such persecution. From this perspective, I concluded that much of what passes in some minds as Jewish persecution of the Church was no more than I would have done under similar circumstances. The Jews were trying to survive as Jews while the Catholic Church was doing its best to prevent that from happening. Arguments offered in defense of this pressure ring hollow today.
Since Vatican II we grasp tolerance of other religions as imperative. The alternative formed a large part of our history, and looks inappropriate and unreasonable now. Arguments to justify that persecution of the Jews ring hollow from my experience of living here in America. Should the Jews become politically powerful and attempt the same tactics, most Christians today would find them sufficient cause for inciting revolution. We have come a long way since the disagreements of the Inquisition.
In debating how to blog this book, I concluded that citing the various underlined passages would require either long explanations or a great deal of typing to reproduce a clear picture, so I'm not going to do it. I will conclude by saying that what, before reading the book, appeared to be a random rise of heretical ideas over the centuries, now appears to have a distinct base in Jewish theology, and that Protestantism owes a much greater debt to Judaism than is ever acknowledged.
ANNOYING PARTICIPANTS AT WORLD YOUTH DAY ILLEGAL
EXTRAORDINARY new powers will allow police to arrest and fine people for "causing annoyance" to World Youth Day participants and permit partial strip searches at hundreds of Sydney sites, beginning today.
The laws, which operate until the end of July, have the potential to make a crime of wearing a T-shirt with a message on it, undertaking a Chaser -style stunt, handing out condoms at protests, riding a skateboard or even playing music, critics say.
Police and volunteers from the State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service will be able to direct people to cease engaging in conduct that "causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event".
UNMASKING ROOT OF "GAY PRIDE" CLAIMS AT ST. JOAN OF ARC
Katherine Kersten, columnist for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, takes on the noisemakers at St. Joan of Arc, citing the root cause of all the racket as the sin of pride, which in this case is reflected in "gay pride" thinking. Good article worth a read in full.
CAUSING A HETEROSEXUAL SCANDAL
A priest has decided to be the first to sue the Church in Scotland for tossing him out after his heterosexual relationships were discovered:
Mr Creegan now works in a tax office in Dundee after being forced to leave his former home provided by the church in the city. He currently shares a £350,000 house with former parishioner Anne Ogden, 48, in Balmerino, Fife.
He was reported to be spending nights with Ms Ogden earlier this year, which prompted his jealous mistress to confess a secret sexual relationship, lasting nearly two decades, with the monsignor to Bishop Vincent Logan. The 62-year-old claimed they had taken holidays together and that they even jointly own a boat.
It is understood Mr Creegan later became involved with Ms Ogden after counselling her through the break-up of her marriage.
Read it here...
Apparently he was not only cheating on his relationship with God, he was also cheating on his relationship with his mistress. And do we even want to ask whether he was instrumental in the breakup of those whom God had joined together?
Sunday, June 29, 2008
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 26 | Friday, June 27, 2008
Why a Pledge on Humanae Vitae?
To [Christian married couples] the Lord entrusts the task of making visible to men the holiness and sweetness of the law which unites the mutual love of husband and wife with their cooperation with the love of God the author of human life. [Pope Paul VI, Humanae vitae, ¶25].
It may seem odd to take a pledge to do what we are supposed to do anyway - follow the teachings of the Church. By our baptism and confirmation we are already vowed, at least implicitly, to do so. But we are living under special circumstances in a secular society where many Catholics have, knowingly or unknowingly supplanted their faith with another code by which they live, deeming it more "realistic." But nothing is more realistic or "practical" than eternal salvation and living this life in accord with God's designs.
So why do we pledge to assent to something as beautiful as God's natural designs? Something, which in a less darkened world that ought to go without saying? For two reasons, at least: First, as an act of reparation for forty years of public dissent that led so many people astray by treating this ignorance of our Church as some kind of "enlightenment" or "liberation." Second as an act of witness and assent to counter the anti-witness of this dissent, which brought so much incalculable damage to our Church and world, and indeed the witness of the Church. We stand up as confessors of the Faith. In the ancient Church, after the great martyrdoms ceased, those who stood for the Faith in a hostile climate were known as confessors of the Faith.
In taking this pledge we stand with the martyrs and confessors of the past in giving public witness not only to the Truth of our Church but her beauty.
Human Life International has an ongoing campaign of collecting this Pledge from clergy members and seminarians. This week we announce and offer a similar pledge to members of the lay faithful.
To sign the Pledge electronically, click here. To download a pdf copy of the Pledge to sign and distribute to others to sign please go here. [Laity Pledge in PDF]
We recommend pastors include it as a bulletin insert and lay people distribute it among friends and family.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International