Saturday, November 29, 2008


Gift giving dilemma? Don't know what to give? Planned Parenthood has a solution for all those young people on your gift list--one that will guarantee you won't have an expanded gift list next year.

Give an abortion for Christmas. That's right. Now you can pick up a gift certificate for an abortion at Planned Parenthood, making the ultimate mockery of the holiday that celebrates the birth of a baby.

Just in case that's a little too over the top, you can suggest it be used for condoms or the morning after pill, both provided at your local Planned Parenthood center. One gift certificate covers all three.

If the hard cold facts are a little more than you care to contemplate in this season of love, here's a prettied up version of the same thing complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Oh, Santa, you are such a devil, you...



Across the pond the religious opt-out clause in the government's Sexual Orientation Regulations allow Catholic adoption agencies a loophole permitting them to practice the religion they claim to adhere to. Since they have been Catholic in Name Only, they have rejected authentic Catholicism and instead embraced secularism, permitting homosexual adoptions.

LifeSiteNews.com reports:

To date, five Catholic adoption agencies in England and Wales have opted for secularization, rather than conform their practices to Catholic teaching. One has chosen to cease adoption services and two others are undecided. The Catholic Herald reported today that Keith Cardinal O'Brien, the archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, resigned as the president of the St. Andrew's Children's Society, the largest Catholic adoption agency in Scotland, to allow it to sever its ties with the Catholic Church.

The inaction of the bishops over the threat against their adoption agencies will result in worse attacks on Catholic charitable institutions, Addison warned. Their willingness to fold up their adoption agencies, or to allow them to sever ties with the Church, is a bad sign for the future of religious charities in England.

“The bishops have caved in too easily,” he said. The crisis over the SORs, he warned, has been a preliminary to future attacks on Christian charities. The strategy has been to create a catch-22. “There is a desire on the part of secularists to get the Church out of charitable work. And then they say, ‘Well what good is the Church anyway?’ If the Church is involved in charity, it is accused of discrimination, but if it isn’t, it gets told it is useless.”

What the bishops should have done was vigorously fight the attack from the start. “They should have amended the constitutions of their agencies, waited to be challenged in court, and been willing to fight and see what happened.”

“As it is, they are giving in without a fight, which does nothing but encourage people to come in for the next challenge.” What will that be? Addison pointed to Catholic schools and hospitals and the increasing pressure for doctors to participate in passive euthanasia, abortion and contraception, as well as the threat from the homosexualist “rights” lobby in the schools under the guise of “homophobic bullying” campaigns.

Friday, November 28, 2008


A reader sent in a website promoting an upcoming Cleveland play titled "Making Waves". The play will star five northeast Ohio women who have been ordained: Rev. Gena Thornton, African Methodist Episcopal; Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Evangelical Lutheran; Rev. Kate Huey, United Church of Christ; Rev. Hallie (Francies) Christian, United Methodist; and Rev. Dagmar Braun Celeste, Roman Catholic.

Yes, that's one and the same Dagmar Braun Celeste, former First Lady of Ohio, former wife of one time Governor of Ohio, Dick Celeste. The same Dagmar Braun Celeste who was one of the Danube 7. The same Dagmar Braun Celeste who provided "mass", and conducted a workshop "Planning a Mass" at the Neopagan cultural event Winterstar 22, in February 2005.

The play is being staged by Sacred Space Cleveland, a networking organization dedicated to alternative spiritualities as described on their "Ministries of the Earth" webpage, where you can discover that among them are promotion of the Earth Charter, deep ecology, and the work of Brian Swimme--reminiscent of the EarthSpirit Rising Conferences. Not surprisingly, then, is the notation at the bottom of their "Earth Enchantment" webpage that one of the Facilitators of "The Ministry of Ecospirituality-EcoJustice" is a Catholic nun, Sister Mary Hurley, of the Humility of Mary.

The other facilitator is Kay Eaton, co-founder, along with CeCe Miller, of Sacred Space and supporters of the Women's Ordination Conference, for whom they gave a closing prayer on March 25, 2006.

One of the pages in the website describes the "Spirit of Life Dancers" and provides a picture of the dancers in costume. Sort of reminds you of belly dancers, doesn't it? The webpage doesn't mention belly dancing, but this one does:

The Spirit of Life Dancers under the direction of CeCe Miller are the receipients of the 2008 Tyrian Artists of the Year Award presented by The Tyrian Network. The Dancers perform traditional tribal belly dance along with spiritual dance using veils and hip scarves to traditional middle eastern and other spiritual music.

Incidentally, The Tyrian Network is the adventure of Dagmar Braun Celeste according to Wikipedia:

Celeste's controversies in relation to the Catholic Church go beyond her ordination. She serves as the executive director of the Tyrian network, "an intentional learning community founded in the year 2000 on Kelleys Island, Ohio and dedicated to Brigid, both the Goddess and the Saint"[5]. She has also participated in productions of The Vagina Monologues[6]. She is a long standing professional Life Balance Coach who developed an individualized three-month coaching process designed to empower one to discover a life worth living by embracing the life one is truly called to.

Here it is. Looks expensive.

The webpage on "Meditation*Poetry*Sacred Space History" features a wonderful picture of a leaf outlined in raindrops, and the information that their "Meditation Sunday" event focused on the Earth Charter. I couldn't find a Jesus Christ anywhere in the website.

Kay Eaton acted as contact person for the Earth Day Celebration at Angel House. The program was offered by the "wonderful group of ladies from Sacred Space". CeCe Miller conducted a Belly Dancing workshop at Angel House, too. Just to give you a bit more of the flavor of Angel House, they conducted their own type of prayer session:


Michael Olin Hitt, English Professor and husband of a United Methodist minister, found his prayer life leading to a deep, mystical state of awareness in which a messenger of God, called a "Maggid" in Hebrew, took control of his throat, breath, and voice. In this deep, meditative state, wisdom lessons flowed from his lips.

Unable to fully understand the experience as it came upon him, he dove deeply into areas of mystical Christianity, prophecy, the Kabbalah, and studies of shamanic and visionary experiences of world religions.


A prayer session with Michael in his state of trance prophecy will be offered at Angel House the third Sunday of the month beginning September 16th at 1:00pm. The session provides guidance for groups of up to 10 people and will bring persons to a better understanding of their own spiritual gifts and purposes.

By now you must be wondering why any of this matters. Well, there is a reason--Saint Malachi Parish on the near west side in the Diocese of Cleveland. This little gem is a well-kept secret. On the Community of St. Malachi Newsletter website I learned that this parish is the "First Personal Parish (what the heck is that?) of the Diocese of Cleveland Celebrating Faith in God and in the Future!" Ok. What faith would that be exactly?

The reason I wonder is what I found in their newsletter. The January 26, 2003 issue featured a

Program with CeCe Miller, Certified Pastoral Minister: "The Enneagram, Women and Relationships," a three-week series for women, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, Angel House Center for Creative Life Changes

Did the Maggid show up, one wonders?

CeCe turned up in another of the parish newsletters as well--November 10, 2002. This time this Pastoral Minister CeCe was making Advent Wreaths.

Then there was the "Let Rachel Speak" event advertised in the June 10, 2007 newsletter.

“Let Rachel Speak” - 8 p.m. Saturday, June 16, Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. Presented by Sacred Space. A collaborative performance of drama, music, dance, art and poetry to honor the centennial birthday (1907-1964) of Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring.” Johanna Vine is featured in the role of Rachel. Other CSM [that's Community of St. Malachi, I presume] connections: Rebecca Rocco, Kay Eaton, Angela DePalma. Tickets: $15; send checks, payable to Sacred Space, to 6211 Brownfield Dr., Cleveland, OH 44129; tickets will be held at the door. For group tickets and other info: Kay Eaton, 440-885-4020.

It doesn't appear as though this Personal Parish is moving any closer to authentic Catholicism if we are to judge by this involvement.

Lastly in January/February 2003 Sacred Space creator Kay Eaton rubbed elbows with another politician I've recently blogged about--Dennis Kucinich. Cool Cleveland.com reports:

Third Annual Brigid Peace Festival

Shopping and networking will open the festivities on Sat 2/1 6-9PM at the Muse Market, where celtic arts, crafts and books will be available for purchase. Visit with local peace activists and experience free Polarity bodywork. Jordan Davis, accompanied by Jocelyn Chang on the Dilling harp and Michael Leese on the flute, will present a poetic meditation on war with poems by W.H. Auden and others and original music for harp and flute created by Chang and Leese. Then Tyrian, a learning community dedicated to empowering creativity, healing and peace, will honor Debra Wuliger with its first Artist of the Year Award for Sophia Sings, her seven 10-ft. silk hangings depicting the seven days of creation, presented by Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Stephanie Tubbs Jones at 8PM. Former First Lady of Ohio and recently ordained Roman Catholic priest Dagmar Braun Celeste will be the master of ceremony for the evening, which will conclude with a healing ritual for peace led by Evelyn Hunt, president of the National Women's Ordination Conference and Kay Eaton, co-founder of Sacred Space. Trinity Cathedral Hall, 2230 Euclid Avenue 371.2547
See Tyrian
(bolding mine)

Cleveland Catholicism is certainly diverse, but I've become too jaded to be scandalized. Just more of the same ole, same ole with no bishop in sight. And they wonder why so many Catholics ignored them last election day.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Thursday, November 27, 2008



Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Sandro Magister reviews the latest book by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. The following is taken from the review:

ROMA, November 3, 2008 – In his latest book-interview, published first in Germany and now also in Italy, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini calls himself not an anti-pope, as he is often depicted by the media, but "an ante-pope, a precursor and preparer for the Holy Father." ...

As always, Martini's style is subtle and opaque, beginning with the title of his latest book: "Nighttime conversations in Jerusalem. On the risk of faith." About priestly celibacy, for example, he says and doesn't say. The same about women priests. And about homosexuality. And contraception. And when he criticizes the Church hierarchy, he doesn't give names, of persons or things.

But this time, there is an exception. In one chapter of the book, the explicit target is Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae," on marriage and procreation. Martini accuses it of causing "serious damage" by prohibiting artificial contraception: "many people have withdrawn from the Church, and the Church from people."

Martini accuses Paul VI of deliberately concealing the truth, leaving it to theologians and pastors to fix things by adapting precepts to practice:

"I knew Paul VI well. With the encyclical, he wanted to express consideration for human life. He explained his intention to some of his friends by using a comparison: although one must not lie, sometimes it is not possible to do otherwise; it may be necessary to conceal the truth, or it may be unavoidable to tell a lie. It is up to the moralists to explain where sin begins, especially in the cases in which there is a higher duty than the transmission of life."

In effect, the cardinal continues, "after the encyclical Humanae Vitae the Austrian and German bishops, and many other bishops, with their statements of concern followed a path along which we can continue today." It is a stance that expresses "a new culture of tenderness and an approach to sexuality that is more free from prejudice."

But after Paul VI came John Paul II, who "followed the path of rigorous application" of the prohibitions in the encyclical. "He didn't want there to be any doubts on this point. It seems that he even considered a declaration that would enjoy the privilege of papal infallibility."

And after John Paul II came Benedict XVI. Martini does not name him, and does not seem to have much confidence in him, but he hazards this prediction:

"Probably the pope will not revoke the encyclical, but he might write one that would be its continuation. I am firmly convinced that the Church can point out a better way than it did with Humanae Vitae. Being able to admit one's mistakes and the limitations of one's previous viewpoints is a sign of greatness of soul and of confidence. The Church would regain credibility and competence."

It is not often that I agree with Cardinal Martini. This time I do agree that HV has been the cause of Catholics walking away from the Church. It has been the cause of the sexual act being reduced to discussions of mechanics, and of the silence concerning the act's bonding significance within marriage. Rather than preserving this bond for its intended purpose, this concentration on mechanics has led to an openness to discussion on the subject which has undermined the mystique of the conjugal act. This openness has descended in age level to the point that we are now plagued with those mechanics being taught in sex education in schools even at the kindergarten level. At the same time the public sector has been led to believe that the only "sin" in sexual relations is fathering a child out of wedlock and then not being willing to support that child. The family has disintegrated during this cultural process, and abortion has become the ultimate birth control, because the only brake on such a disintegration was taken out of the way with HV.

St. Paul trumped the first pope, St. Peter, in eliminating the need for circumcision of gentile converts because he believed it would turn men away from Christ. HV has also acted to turn people away from Christ when the circumstances demanded by the Church have been in conflict with reality.

HV has also reduced the Church to irrelevance on the subject of birth control, and that fuels the pro-abortion side of the current debate.

Meanwhile the Church does sanction birth control in the form of rhythm, admitting in the process that God ordains that sexual relations shall not be essentially tied to procreation in every single instance.

Yet the only method for such breaking of the tie which the Church approves is a method that frequently fails--a method that does not stand up to the test of logic. When Catholic couples are faced with impossible circumstances such as treatment for cancer which always carries a prohibition of pregnancy as a necessary condition, they are left with no choice but that of abandoning Church teaching and doing what is morally right in these circumstances. And cancer drugs are not the only medical intervention which demands freedom from the possibility of conceiving. There are drugs used to treat other diseases which also damage the fetus. In these circumstances a couple may want nothing more than to have a child, but faced with the credible danger of harming the child during pregnancy, they abandon the Church teaching and do what they believe morality demands. The selfish decision would be to risk conceiving, asking God to "fix it" in spite of medical evidence to the contrary. Yet we are told "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God."

For this reason the sacrament of confession, in my opinion, has been ignored by the majority of Catholics since HV. Children have moved from the treasured gift from God in which they were formerly seen, to a position of burden to be avoided. And in the rejection of the Church's moral authority on this topic is lodged a descent into promiscuity outside of marriage even for Catholic singles.

We are now aware of the possibility that the pope who promulgated this destructive encyclical may actually have been a practicing homosexual. And as we consider this we are being told that a homosexual seminarian is not eligible for ordination.

There is a defensible divide between methods of birth control that cause abortion, and methods that do not. That divide can be defended based on the human rights of every conceived human being, whether born or unborn. The nature of some forms of birth control under consideration during the reign of Pope Paul VI was not known. Today it is known. Had the encyclical not been promulgated, today the Church could be in the difficult position of having approved of abortifacient contraception. Yet the difficulties in which HV have placed married couples is undeniable.

And thus I agree with Cardinal Martini that it is time to revisit HV and see if there is not needed some clarification.


Catholic Online reports the Obama selection for Director of Domestic Policy Council, Melody Barnes, is ultra pro-choice; and has been called a "dyed-in-the-wool progressive by the left-wing Nation, and an "unabashed progressive" by the radical Daily Kos. The article at this Catholic news source comes from the Catholic League.


John Allen tells us in his blog:

While Cardinal Francis Stafford’s comments about Barak Obama are still making waves, Stafford’s predecessor as head of the Apostolic Penitentiary garnered headlines in Italy this week for statements about another politician – in this case, Antonio Gramsci, the legendary founder of the Italian Communist Party, who died in 1937 after a long imprisonment under the fascist government of Benito Mussolini.

Archbishop Luigi de Magistris, who preceded Stafford as Major Penitentiary of the Vatican, asserted this week during an interview on Vatican Radio that Gramsci returned to the Catholic church on his deathbed, receiving the sacraments and even kissing a small image of the child Jesus.


The New York Times has a story posted on its website from historian Kenneth C. Davis, author of AMERICA'S HIDDEN HISTORY: UNTOLD TALES OF THE FIRST PILGRIMS, FIGHTING WOMEN AND FORGOTTEN FOUNDERS WHO SHAPED NATION. It claims that French, not English, were the real first pilgrims, though they were killed in the wars over religion. Since they were French, had these settlers survived to found a nation, the history of the U.S. would most likely be Catholic instead of Protestant.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Check out the listing at Vincent Gioia's blog of U.N. treaties that have been rejected by the Republican administration and are now in danger of being ratified by the change artists in Washington. Not only is our national sovereignty at stake, so also are our parental rights.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Sephanie Block of Catholic Media Coalition has written an article that deserves wide dissemination within the Catholic community. It's posted at the Spero News website and appears to be available for anyone who wishes to spread the word. Thus I'm going to take up the offer.

Catholics and Socialism

Pope Piux XI once said that no one can be a "sincere Catholic and a true Socialist" at the same time. Some Catholics appear to continue to argue the point.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Stephanie Block

One of the interesting discussions following the wake of this year’s political campaign has been about Catholics and socialism. Is it OK to be a Catholic socialist? (Wonder what sparked this line of thought?)

Despite Pope Pius XI saying, back in the 1930s, that “No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist”, some Catholics want to argue the point. They claim the “Christian socialism” described in Acts, in which “All those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need,” is the inspiration for the “scientific socialism” espoused by Marx and Engels. After all, Marx and Engels say it is.

Well, of course Marx and Engels say their inspiration for the socialist ideal was early Christianity. It gives their theories authority and respectability. As Saul Alinsky drily exhorts young radicals, “… you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.” [Rules for Radicals] Marx and Engels are simply clothing socialism with Christianity, the wolf in a sheepskin.

At the blog called Catholic America: A closer look at Church, Culture and Change, which is a feature of Newsweek/Washington Post, writer Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo recognizes that the salient component of “Christian socialism” is choice. He glosses over this, however, and only a paragraph later is reminding the reader that he must also bear in mind another Christian principle, namely that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” We see where this is going.

And so here it is: “At stake in contemporary Catholic America is a growing awareness that the U.S. economic system has serious flaws.” OK, Mr. Stevens-Arroyo, hold on there just a minute. Yes, the U.S. economic system has serious flaws but that’s the human condition. There has never been and never will be an economic system without serious flaws. But the US economic system, for all its flaws, has been the envy of the world…and has brought prosperity to the majority of its citizens.

Stevens-Arroyo continues: “In addressing the financial system, “socialism” is not a dirty word for Catholics.” Um…yes, it is. Re-read the Pius XI quote, above.
Or, read John Paul II, who, without any illusions about its imperfections, writes, “it would appear that, on the level of individual nations and of international relations, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs.”

John Paul is not so generous with socialism. “[I]n today's world, among other rights, the right of economic initiative is often suppressed. Yet it is a right that is important not only for the individual but also for the common good. Experience shows us that the denial of this right, or its limitation in the name of an alleged ‘equality’ of everyone in society, diminishes, or in practice absolutely destroys the spirit of initiative, that is to say the creative subjectivity of the citizen.”

Referring to Pope Leo XIII, he says: “His words deserve to be re-read attentively: ‘To remedy these wrongs (the unjust distribution of wealth and the poverty of the workers), the Socialists encourage the poor man’s envy of the rich and strive to do away with private property, contending that individual possessions should become the common property of all...; but their contentions are so clearly powerless to end the controversy that, were they carried into effect, the working man himself would be among the first to suffer. They are moreover emphatically unjust, for they would rob the lawful possessor, distort the functions of the State, and create utter confusion in the community’. The evils caused by the setting up of this type of socialism as a State system — what would later be called ‘Real Socialism’ — could not be better expressed.” [Centesimus annus]

It gets worse. The pope continues, “Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism. Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility that he exercises in the face of good or evil. Man is thus reduced to a series of social relationships, and the concept of the person as the autonomous subject of moral decision disappears, the very subject whose decisions build the social order.”

Benedict XVI has some hard words for socialism, too. “Let us recall the fact that atheism and the denial of the human person, his liberty and his rights, are at the core of the Marxist theory...Moreover, to attempt to integrate into theology an analysis whose criterion of interpretation depends on this atheistic conception is to involve oneself in terrible contradictions. What is more, this misunderstanding of the spiritual nature of the person leads to a total subordination of the person to the collectivity, and thus to the denial of the principles of a social and political life which is in keeping with human dignity.”

Why are we even discussing this? The answer is that you have a large body of people – the Catholics living in the US – who, if they knew their Church teachings, rather than what other Catholics say they say, might rebel at incoming socialist incursion. Socialism – the unchosen, forced-onto-society, “scientific” version that has martyred hundreds of thousands – is a really dirty word to Catholics.

Ahem. Let me try that again. Socialism is a really dirty word.

Stephanie Block block is the editor of Los Pequenos - a New Mexico-based publication. Her columns are made possible by the sponsorship of generous individuals who believe information about the development and dissemination of progressive ideology needs to be more widely understood. Please fell free to share -- acknowledging authorship -- these articles with others. If you would like more frequent publication of Stephanie Block's work, tax-deductible donations can be sent to: Catholic Media Coalition - PO Box 427 Great Cacapon, WV 25422 Attn: Progressive Watch


There are a few interesting stories...

First, an AP story: "Appeals court lets Vatican sex-abuse case proceed":

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A lawsuit can continue against the Vatican alleging that top church officials should have warned the public or authorities of known or suspected sexual abuse of children by priests in the Archdiocese of Louisville, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead for the lawsuit filed by three men who claim priests abused them as children. They allege the Vatican orchestrated a decades-long coverup of priests sexually abusing children throughout the U.S.

Louisville attorney William McMurry is seeking class-action status, saying there are thousands of victims nationally in the scandal that haunts the Roman Catholic Church. He is seeking unspecified damages from the Vatican.

"This is an enormously huge moment," McMurry said. "We're finally going to get to the root of the problem."

Jeffrey Lena, a Berkeley, Calif.-based attorney for the Vatican, said the appeals court's decision narrows the plaintiffs' case because the court upheld dismissing several issues.

"It's gratifying to see the hard work the judges put into the opinion," Lena said.

Lena declined to say if he would appeal the decision. McMurry said he expects the case to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The story continues at the website.

Next is the JTA account of an Israeli company winning a contract to secure Vatican City. According to the article the company will be using video cameras and the internet. Could this be a bonus for potential sabotagers with hacker talent?

Next there is the report on progress--or lack of it--on Muslim/Vatican dialogue as reported at NRO:

This month’s much-anticipated, high-level Catholic-Muslim forum at the Vatican brings to mind a 2003 encounter between my longtime friend and colleague, Nina Shea, a frequent National Review Online contributor, and Faisal Ahmed Shinwari, then-chief justice of Afghanistan’s brand-new supreme court...

Shinwari cheerfully advised Shea, visiting post-Taliban Kabul in her official capacity with the U.S government’s independent Commission on International Religious Freedom, that Afghanistan’s new judiciary would embrace the full range of universally recognized international human rights — except, of course, for freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and women’s rights.

Five years later, nothing has changed...

Describing the latest round of talks that took place this month in Rome, John F. Cullinan writes:

What did happen — a frank and mostly cordial exchange of views between high-level Roman Catholic and Muslim representatives — is ultimately the product of Pope Benedict XVI’s initiative. It was his 2006 Regensburg address on faith and reason — endlessly debated and more often than not misunderstood — that provoked two authoritative Muslim responses..., the Common Word initiative which later evolved into the nascent Catholic-Muslim Forum. Even Tariq Ramadan, the controversial Islamist who took part in the Vatican talks, now acknowledges that Regensburg’s “overall consequences have proven more positive than negative.”

That’s a backhanded acknowledgment of the plain fact that, without the impetus of Benedict’s 2006 remarks, this month’s talks would never have taken place.

What didn’t happen in Rome was a meeting of the minds, at least on the paramount issue of religious freedom, but instead an implicit agreement to disagree.

Lastly there is the curious story of absolution for the Beetles that refuses to go away:

Saturday's edition of Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano recalls that Lennon's boast outraged many in 1966. But it says the remark now can be written off as the bragging of a young man wrestling with unexpected success....

Listening to the album, the newspaper says, makes clear how creative the Beatles were, compared to what it calls the "standardized, stereotypical" songs being produced today.

Of course the Beatles had help, in the form of drugs inducing creativity, or so I've read more than once. This brings to mind the way old people are inclined to view the world--"It's going to hell in a handbasket. Oh, for the return of the good ole days." However, now that we've arrived in hell, we can see how innocent the initial impetus in this direction looks. Yes, relativism is alive and well across the pond. Ideas, however, do have consequences. Just check out how influential the song "Imagine" has been in New Age circles. Perhaps someone at L'Osservatore Romano has been doing a little too much imagining.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Last week, Beaufort County Councilwoman Laura Von Harten's criticism of Roman Catholic Church policies overshadowed a debate about a local church's expansion plans.

On Monday, the County Council will vote on a zoning request from St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Bluffton that would allow the church to add a new school building and expand its sanctuary.

Von Harten initially said she would oppose the zoning request, citing the church's policy barring women from becoming priests and its opposition to abortion. She later apologized and said she would abstain from votes affecting the church.

Read the story...


In Mexico too:

The muxes (pronounced moo-shes), mostly of ethnic Zapotec descent, are widely respected in the southern town where a dance and parade that crowns a transvestite queen and celebrates the harvest has been held annually for the last 33 years.

Anthropologists say the tradition of blurring genders among Mexico's indigenous population is centuries old but has been revived in recent decades due to the gay pride movement.

Several dozen muxes were blessed by a Catholic priest at a mass before joining visiting transvestites and other townsfolk at a raucous party on Saturday night. The muxes wore either traditional local costumes or ball gowns and high heels.

The beer-fueled fiesta continued into Sunday at a parade through town.

Some of the muxes, a Zapotec word derived from the Spanish for woman, or "mujer", dress as women year round and others are gays who only don women's clothes at the annual party, or not at all.

Read the entire article...


TMCnet.com reports:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha plans to fight Internet pornography with education and ministry.
The archdiocese announced Friday that it has formed a 17-member task force "to increase public awareness of Internet pornography and its long-lasting effects on a community."

One of the task force's first priorities is to sponsor educational workshops, scheduled for February, for clergy and other leaders in northeast Nebraska Catholic parishes and schools.

The workshops and other task force work will be aimed at protecting children from porn, helping people avoid becoming addicted and "make healing available to people who are struggling with pornography," said the Rev. Joseph Taphorn, chancellor of the archdiocese.


has picked up the story of New Jerusalem, Mexico. This version makes it clear that the town is without a spiritual leader since its founder died, and without a visionary since its seer died in September. The anticipated violence when a new seer emerges is a clear indication that this is really a personality cult rather than a religion.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63

Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 42 | Friday, November 21, 2008


Election Part II - Catholic Culture and the Election of Barack Obama

It is impossible to speak of a "Catholic culture" in America any longer. A whole segment of the populace who call themselves "Catholics" do not feel bound by any standard of Catholic orthodoxy or sanity. In fact, it is impossible to even speak of a Catholic culture in most parishes! At a recent "ministry faire" of a large Catholic parish in south Florida, the Respect Life ministry of the parish displayed its pro-life materials next to the table of the "social justice" committee of the same parish. Any commonality between the two ministries was simply in the space they shared. Their worldviews could not have been further apart, but they both call themselves Catholic.

In fact, the "social justice" people were positively aglow about the election of their new messiah, Barack Obama. Several of them were speaking of their plans to attend the Inauguration and were utterly unaware that there would be 100,000 people marching on the nation's Capitol two days later for the right to life of unborn Americans which they had just voted into irrelevancy by electing Obama to the highest office of the land. One of them even expressed shock at the provisions of the upcoming Freedom of Choice Act until he was confronted with the nasty little fact that his messiah had been a sponsor of that pernicious bill in the last Congress. True to form, he steadfastly refused to allow that truth to have any effect on his euphoria. His mind was made up, and he would not let himself be confused by facts. Needless to say, the orthodox, practicing, believing Catholic pro-lifers will not be attending the Inauguration.

How can these two groups sit side-by-side in the same pews and display their ministries in the same space at the same Catholic parish? Simply because this contradiction has been tolerated for years by those in charge of our Church. In this election season neither of these two groups received any guidance about voting according to Catholic principles because, as per usual, there was silence from the pulpit on the issue. The absolute failure of our church leaders to define for us what membership in the Church means - and then to enforce it - has led to the degradation of Catholic culture and the loss of meaning for things that are sacred. When Christ and Belial are considered equal partners in the sanctuary, then nothing in the sanctuary means anything any more and no meaningful standard exists to distinguish a true Catholic from a false Catholic.

The degradation of Catholic culture is largely, but not exclusively, the fault of the clergy. For four decades in the Catholic Church in America we have seen:

1. Liturgical abuses run rampant, aided and abetted by those in charge

2. Two or three generations of Catholics left un-catechized or taught with flimsy, Protestantized fluff passed off as Catholic education

3. Sexual abuse by clergy excused and unaddressed by the hierarchy

4. A blind eye turned to high profile dissent and political class heretics

5. Wholesale attacks on sacred teachings that receive virtually no response from our pastors (and if it weren't for Catholic Answers, EWTN and the Catholic League we would have no defense whatsoever)

6. The succumbing of our Catholic institutions of higher education to the ravages of political correctness, and the list goes on.

In the face of all this, should we be surprised that 54% of "Catholics" voted for Barack? Hardly.

The battle for Catholic culture begins with us, and there is no time like the present to don the armor of spiritual warfare. We either believe and practice what the Church teaches or we live as part of the shadow church, falsely trading on the Name Catholic for its benefits without at the same time shouldering the crosses that this entails.

There is, however, great hope for the future because the battle has already been engaged: new Catholic colleges are springing up to replace the old decrepit houses of heresy, new religious orders with abundant vocations and orthodoxy have arisen, home schooling families and strong lay movements are abundant now. Only when we take back our beloved Church from the false Catholics and clerics will our Church be able to stand up and rebuke the storm winds of paganism that are building faster than we care to admit. This project is not without its price, however. The cost of being a true believer will undoubtedly be much higher than ever before in our lifetime. Starting now and into the next generation we as Catholics will have to show the world not only what we believe but that we are willing to lay down our lives for it as a witness to the truth.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

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