Saturday, October 30, 2004
WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM ?
We've encountered that question in Scripture and in the language of John Paul II. Peter wasn't well-educated, but he knew the answer--You are the Christ, Son of the living God.
There are many prophets, but there is only one Son. He is a stumbling block in interreligious dialogue. He told us He comes to bring division. He separates believer from non-believer, Christians from other religions, family member from family member, friend from friend.
How do you convince someone of another faith to accept the uniqueness of Christ? He stands apart. He is the heart and soul of all that has been created. Only Christ can repair our broken relationships with the Almighty, and our broken relationships with each other. Only Christ can make us whole.
What do we do about Him when the subject of Buddha is on the dialogue table? Must He be reduced to the equal of a wolf or a bear when there are American Indians participating in the dialogue? Do we push Him out of sight because He is inconvenient? Hide Him while we compare our similarities in doctrine and mysticism? To come to the dialogue table equipped to defend what we believe runs a serious risk of insulting the others who are also there. A religious dialogue is based on the assumption that all participants carry equal weight. Anything less is a guarantee of disagreement.
If Christ cannot be reduced to a wolf or a bear, how can we participate in the discussion? If we can reduce Him to that, what is the point of having the discussion?
It is wrong to kill in God's name. If it were not wrong, Christ could easily have dispensed with His tormenters. He had the power to walk away from the cross and destroy His enemies. He chose instead to suffer and forgive.
That salvation earned at such a cost was earned for all of mankind. All are invited to come to the source of grace, and many will come, but many will walk away.
Is it possible to invite the world to sample that grace at the interreligious dialogue table, or must we sit there nodding our heads as the playing field of deities is leveled before us? If all that is possible is a benign nod and smile--If all that is possible is human friendship lacking in Divine essentials--what are we doing bringing our God to the table? If all gods are equal and we must solve our own problems ourselves through dialogue and altruism, what is the point of believing in any of them?
Jesus Christ is Lord!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Friday, October 29, 2004
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Some of you blog readers are writers. Most of you are probably extensive readers. So I have a question. Do you pay attention to the publisher when you decide to buy a book? Would a publishing house that published a lot of Theosophical stuff, for instance, put you off even though the title of the book was of interest? Would you research an unheard-of publisher to see what else they offered?
Or is it that the publishing house is inconsequential? Can a writer accept an offer from any publishing house that will print his book, or must the author be selective?
BACK TO TRACY R. TWYMAN
I got curious this afternoon. The name Boyd Rice was familiar, and I couldn’t remember why other than I’d seen it in her website. In fact, there are 15 articles by Rice in the Ordo Lapsit Exillis website, and 16 articles in Dragon Key Press bear his by-line, including one he co-authored with Twyman.
On a hunch I took Gavin Baddeley’s book down from the shelf. Baddeley is a British
journalist who specializes in occult, rock music and trash culture. He was made a Priest of the Church of Satan by Anton LaVey while doing the research for Lucifer Rising: sin, devil worship & rock ‘n’ roll, the book I took down from the shelf. Sure enough there are seven entries for Rice in the book, including the last one which is a photo head shot of Rice together with his Gnostic demon Abraxas. This same image is the cover art for the book, and a truly frightful demon it is.
In a chapter titled “The Apocalypse Generation” Baddeley writes:
[Adam] Parfrey was the figure behind a new independent publishing company, Feral
House, dedicated to ‘thinking the unthinkable’. The other West Coast ‘Satanic entities’ were Schreck himself (‘Alpha Male’ of Radio Werewolf), Boyd Rice (the non-musician behind Non), and Zeena LaVey, daughter of the Church of Satan’s Black Pope. (p. 148)
So it would seem that William H. Kennedy, who claims to be Catholic, has gotten
himself quite a well-qualified writer to give the introduction to his book about
Lucifer’s Lodge. One wonders what her objective might be in taking part in an
expose of the Satanic abuse in the Catholic Church. Perhaps nothing more than she
states in her website, “vengence sought by the Merovingians against the Catholic
church.” What a Catholic would be doing writing for her website is anybody’s guess. If his objective is to defend the Church against the abuse within, he should not be making a pact with the devil to do it. But perhaps, since he writes for Ordo Lapsit Exillis, he is constrained by Twyman’s death threat in the Third Degree.
It should also be noted that this website is focused on Priory of Sion/Da Vinci Code-type material, and chivalry (in whatever way they define it).
CRISIS MAGAZINE E-LETTER
Frances Kissling and the IRS
October 29, 2004
As you’ve noticed, there’s now a new name at the top of this
e-letter. I imagine it’s like inviting a friend over for dinner, only
to have a complete stranger show up and start eating.
With that in mind, and to make us strangers no more, let me
introduce myself. My name is Brian Saint-Paul, and I’ve been the
editor of Crisis Magazine for about three years. Before coming to
Crisis, I was the associate director of a health research institute
in Baltimore. And prior to that, I worked for a number of Catholic
My wife, Zoe, and I live in a 100-year old rowhouse in a historic
section of Baltimore. And yes, we’re gloriously close to the water,
where we can smell the crisp and briny wind blowing off the
Chesapeake Bay each morning. That makes it a little bit easier for us
to get up for the early commute into Washington, D.C. Since neither
of us are morning people, we try to use any motivation we can get.
When I’m not working on the magazine, I read voraciously, sip coffee
with the wife while watching the boats drift into the harbor, and
cook Asian cuisine (our kitchen is a maze of woks and Chinese
cleavers). I do most of our cooking, since I enjoy it so much. Zoe is
happy with this arrangement, though she put her foot down once when I
simmered fish stock for 3 hours and made our house reek like a
As we move forward, we’ll get to know each other better. But for
now, let’s get to my main reason for writing to you today.
You’ve probably heard of Frances Kissling and her pro-abortion
sideshow, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC). Well, Ms. Kissling has
been awfully busy this past week.
On Monday, her organization filed a complaint with the IRS, asking
that they remove the tax-exempt status of the archdiocese of Denver.
It seems that Denver’s archbishop, Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., has
been a bit too vocal for Kissling’s liking. And if you read his
wonderful Op-Ed in Friday’s New York Times, you can guess why CFFC is
falling over itself to silence him. In it, he exposes the folly of
being a "pro-choice Catholic:"
"For Catholics to take a ‘pro-choice’ view toward abortion
contradicts our identity and makes us complicit in how the choice
plays out. The ‘choice’ in abortion always involves the choice to end
the life of an unborn human being. For anyone who sees this fact
clearly, neutrality, silence or private disapproval are not options.
They are evils almost as grave as abortion itself. If religious
believers do not advance their convictions about public morality in
public debate, they are demonstrating not tolerance but cowardice."
Strong words, but true ones. And that’s what drew the ire of Frances
But Archbishop Chaput wasn’t her only target. Just one day after
filing the complaint against Denver, CFFC sent a second to the IRS,
this time zeroing in on Archbishop Raymond Burke and the archdiocese
of St. Louis.
Archbishop Burke, like Chaput, isn’t afraid to stand up for the
moral teachings of the Catholic Church. It is, after all, in his job
Kissling hopes to change that. In her complaint against Burke, she
called on the IRS to "immediately exercise [its] authority to revoke
the tax-exempt status of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and bring an
action to enjoin it from conducting further efforts to intervene in
the imminent elections."
You see, in Frances Kissling’s mind, a bishop who defends the moral
teachings of the Church is, in doing so, making a specific political
statement. And that political statement, she claims, runs contrary to
the candidacy of "Catholic" Senator John Kerry.
What Kissling misses here is that she’s getting the matter
backwards: The fact that a bishop’s defense of the Faith appears to
criticize John Kerry says less about the bishop and more about
Kerry’s distorted Catholicism.
And so Frances Kissling frets and stews and shoots off her letters
to the IRS.
Amusingly enough, the tag-lines to the press releases announcing
both complaints carry this statement:
"Catholics for a Free Choice is a non-partisan organization. We do
not support or oppose candidates for public office."
And yet, on their website you can find a press release entitled,
"Catholics for a Free Choice Supports Proposition 71: The California
Stem Cell Research & Cures Initiative."
The tag-line of that document, incidentally, is identical to the
others in all respects but one: It omits the line about being "a
I‘ll keep you updated as events develop.
All the best,
P.S. In the November issue of Crisis -- arriving in homes any day
now -- you’ll find a feature article by Archbishop Chaput on the
obligations of Catholics in public and private life. This is a
masterful piece that everyone needs to read, so I’ve put it up on our
website to make it immediately available. You can find it here:
Please feel free to forward this link to anyone you think might
benefit from the article.
To learn more about CRISIS Magazine, visit
MYSTICISM - AN INTERVIEW WITH FR. MAXIMILIAN HERRAIZ
A reader sent in this article from Zenit. The last two paragraphs seem especially appropriate to the discussion that has been going on here this week:
Q: What is necessary to have the mysticism of St. Teresa or of St. John of the Cross received by Christians as a wonderful way of being enamored of God?
Father Herraiz: We need people who pray, who reflect, who study, who dialogue with the great witnesses of what it means to be a person in general and of Christianity, which is our home. Not poorly trained priests or churches dedicated to worship and nothing else.
The problem of the Church is that much more time has been dedicated to the structure than to the spirit. And we must change this. The mystics are people of a maximum of spirit and a minimum of structures.
Inside a Carmelite monastery I'm sure this is true. Outside of it...? If we are to have mysticism for the masses, we must have well-defined structure--well-schooled Catholics. Otherwise the spirit of antinomianism will walk the mystic right out of the Church, as history clearly shows.
I shall come to ask consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my request is heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, Russia shall spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated; in the end my Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me which will be converted, and some time of peace will be given to the world."
March 25, 1984: Pope John Paul II, "united with all the pastors of the Church in a particular bond whereby we constitute a body and a college," consecrates "the whole world, especially the peoples for which by reason of their situation you have particular love and solicitude." Both the Pope and Sr. Lucia initially seemed uncertain that the consecration has been fulfilled, but shortly thereafter Sr. Lucia tells the papal nuncio to Portugal that the Consecration is fulfilled.
The consecration has been done and we are now in the promised "time of peace."
Justice-and-Peace Groups Have 1st World Congress
Vatican Overseeing Event for Ecclesial Organizations
Cardinal Angelo Sodano was speaking Wednesday at the opening of the 1st World Congress of Ecclesial Organizations Working for Justice and Peace, attended by some 300 officials of the organizations, representing 92 countries. They will reflect on the topic "Proclaiming the Gospel of Justice and Peace."...
In describing the context of this proclamation, Cardinal Sodano recalled Pope Paul VI's words in the encyclical "Populorum Progressio": "Human society is sorely ill."
"Since then, the illness seems to have worsened; injustice and violence have multiplied," the cardinal said.
He referred to "those places where humiliation has become a system of life." He also cited "areas where war, guerrillas and terrorism expand," as do "refugee camps," "the exiled" and "racial and religious discrimination."
The cardinal further mentioned "places of work where the impression is of being used as means," places where there is a "lack of political and trade-union freedom," and "so many situations in which there is no justice and peace."
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
ANTI-SATANISM PANEL SET UP
A reader sent in this link:
Bishop Domenico Crusco said the commission will study Satanic occultism and has "the subsequent and urgent duty to plan an adequate prevention and catechesis, beginning with the schools with the direct involvement of teachers of the Catholic religion."
"Black Masses" and "Satanic rites in general" are "an ever more widespread and worrying phenomenon; we are all invited to a concrete commitment against the expansion of initiatives that refer to the world of the occult," the bishop said in a statement sent to the whole country.
DEAR COMMITTED CHRISTIAN:
Something very close to your heart and mine will be decided next Tuesday, on Election Day.
Fate will be sealed for millions of precious babies.
But you can help them, beyond just voting, by committing right now to a simple series of steps, especially with your Catholic friends:
1. Ask them how they're feeling about the upcoming election.
2. Gently, lovingly, ask them how they feel about John Kerry's position on abortion.
3. If he or she is leaning toward voting for John Kerry, a fellow-Catholic, here are several key points to mention in the course of the conversation:
-- Thank the Catholic Church for its commitment to the sanctity of life - and make it clear that this election is about exactly that question.
-- It may seem like an over-simplification, but it's really true: A VOTE FOR JOHN KERRY IS A DEATH SENTENCE FOR THE UNBORN. John Kerry has vowed never to let Roe v. Wade be overturned.
-- John Kerry has vowed never to appoint a pro-life Supreme Court Justice. With the Chief Justice revealing this week that he is suffering from cancer, it's more certain than ever that whoever wins this election will appoint nearly half, if not more than half, of the Justices on the Supreme Court! This will impact America and millions of children for generations to come!
-- John Kerry even voted against a ban on the horror of partial-birth abortion. He has defied the Pope in defense of the abortion industry which, left unchecked, will exterminate 6,428,400 babies in the USA over the next four years. That's twice the number of individuals slaughtered in the Rwanda genocide, and roughly the same number as Jewish people murdered by the Nazi's in a similar 4-year period in the 1940's.
The effort you make to speak especially with Catholic voters in the next 100 hours is crucial -- Why?
Because the latest polls show that Catholics, young and old, may be the single most crucial "swing" group, swaying this election either for life, or for death.
Think right now about the people in your life -- your family, your workplace, your school, your group -- and how many of them have a Catholic background.
Now ask God to give you an opportunity to cross their path, to have a conversation with them, to open up this topic -- within the next 4 days.
This is an effort of love, not politics. It is for the sake of the babies, over 6 million babies in the next 4 years.
Please take these specific, proactive steps today to talk with your Catholic friends! It is more critical than ever to talk to others about such important issues. Studies have shown that what you say to your friends will have a great impact on how they vote.
Thank you. May God bless you. May God bless America. And may God bless the children, whose lives now hang in the balance.
--Dr. M K C
Longtime advocate of the unborn
P.S. John Kerry's public expressions of faith doesn't square up with his Senatorial voting record. On the issue of abortion, he's consistently defied the Catholic Church by not only refusing to defend the unborn, but actively supporting abortion in the USA and around the world.
Thanks to a reader for sending in this letter.
ONE SMALL VICTORY FOR CHRIST
A Catholic church in Minneapolis known for its progressive stands on social issues has been ordered by the Vatican and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to remove Gay Pride material from its Web site and stop allowing unordained guests to speak during mass.
The order was delivered by two bishops in person two weeks ago to the pastor of St. Joan of Arc and again in a statement issued Wednesday.
The Rev. George Wertin of St. Joan's said he intends to comply with the order.
Now we await compliance.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Thursday, October 28, 2004
CONCEIVED IN A LESBIAN MOTHER WITH THE HELP OF A SPERM BANK DONOR, THIS CHILD OF A LESBIAN OPPOSES SAME SEX MARRIAGE
A reader sent in this article from LifeSite:
The author describes her confusion at having a lesbian mother and being fathered by a sperm donor. Now 28, married, and the mother of two children, "I had an emotional breakdown a couple of months ago when my daughter started asking me where my father was," she writes. "Until now, I've had everything buried. I avoided the subject for a long time and still don't know what to tell her. I started looking for other people like me. That's when I came across a man who had done studies of the research on children of gay parents and he had found that all the research was flawed for a positive outcome."
"I always struggled as a child that to accept my parents' lifestyle was to deny God and to accept God was to deny my parents," she continues. "I do know that my mom had a very painful and abusive childhood and that she just 'fell in love' with Pat, who was the first person to show her compassion. My mom has told me that several times she wanted to get out of the lesbian lifestyle but just couldn't leave Pat."
"The main issue that I dealt with was that God couldn't have put me here," she says. "My main point in trying to reach other children of gay parents was to let them know that they are meant to be here - that God puts everyone here on purpose. No child should ever have to question their existence or debate their parents sexuality. I find that insemination kids question being here because their parent rejects the opposite sex."
The link to the website of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays is on the LifeSite website if you want to read the whole letter.
HOW MUCH CAN WE AFFORD TO DABBLE IN OTHER FAITHS ?
The question is clamoring for an answer like a 2-year-old who wants Mom's attention while Mom is on the phone. Either we find an answer or someone is going to get emotional, and that someone might just have one of the tools of modern warfare at their disposal.
So what do we do? Stand with Christ or abandon Him?
Below I've posted William Kennedy's response to my concern about the traditional trend in the Church merging with a kind of Traditionalism that lies apart from Catholicism. He does not see it as a problem so long as he can present his views unadulterated.
Doesn't his very presence in the forum of discussion indicate that he is willing to give ground to the possibility that Christ and Christianity didn't get it right?
When did a Catholic stop believing that an Encyclical of a Pope is infallible? Mortalium Animos speaks directly to the concept that the Guenonian Traditionalists are promoting. It speaks of the division of religions and the disharmony that results. If Pope Pius XI were here today giving the contents of that Encyclical, he could not be more current. What does he recommend?
These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure the faith?
He wrote that Encyclical in 1928. Today we turn to our fellow Catholics and ask "What happened to the Church?" The faith has indeed been injured. With Mass attendence at 33% and falling, we don't have a lot of time left to get this figured out. Either Christ is Who the Church says He is, or He is not. Either He is the Only Begotten Son of God, or He is just another wise prophet who teaches us how to await the messiah.
More and more I see this interreligious dialogue as a perscription for the destruction of faith. As Pius says:
...it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it...
WILLIAM H. KENNEDY - TRACY R. TWYMAN - LUCIFER'S LODGE
Yesterday I emailed William H. Kennedy, author of Lucifer's Lodge, and have today received his answer. Here is the correspondence:
comments: I have been researching Guenonian Traditionalism and in the process visited the Dagobert\'s Revenge website where I discovered that the woman who wrote the introduction to your book is anti-Catholic and claims to be the Grand Master of Ordo Lapsit Exillis, of which she says \"there is a definite Monarchist and Luciferian current at the core.\"
She also indicates that Dagobert\'s Revenge signifies \"vengeance sought by the Merovingians against the Catholic Church.\"
Since I have blogged her organization and your association with it and with her, it seems only fair that I also blog your explanation if you are interested in providing one.
I would certainly like to hear your side of this!
The following is Mr. Kennedy's reply:
Dagobert's Revenge and Tracy R Twyman give equal time to the other side of their aganda. I am the Catholic voice in the DR page and they also have an evangelical Christian who writes for them. If you read my articles on DR you will find nothing that contradicts the Catholic Faith. Tracy gives me full editoral control over my work which is more than I can say for the Catholic journals I have approached who all have some agenda they try and force upon potential writers. Equal time can never be underestimated. In fact many Catholic journals refuse to do so and that is a great shame.
Politcally speaking I am on the libratarian end of the Democratic Party and believe in free speach in the market place of ideas. I am pleased and proud to work with Tracy Twyman as much as I do not see eye to eye with her on every issue. If Larry Flynt
gave me the same editorial control I would write for Hustler - no kidding. I work in the market place if ideas and will spread my message to who ever will afford me full editorial control. Thanks for giving me equal time.
William H. Kennedy
THE PAGAN EPISCOPAL WOMEN'S RITUAL
is a topic up on Amy Welborn's blog. Sounds like ECUSA's slide hasn't slowed down yet.
Thanks to a reader for the heads up on this one.
I've blogged a couple of times about the newest fad in Mexico, praying to St. Death. She is always a skeleton and usually dressed in a wedding gown. Oddly enough, when I was grocery shopping yesterday, I happened to walk through the Halloween decorations being offered for sale. There it was the display of bride and groom light up 3-ft. skeletons dressed up for a ceremony. Looked just like the pictures of St. Death that have appeared on the web over the last several months.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
ARE WE BORN TO MYSTICISM ?
A reader sent in an unusual article from Zenit.
A theologian and vice rector of the Lateran University thinks that the Christian of the future will either be a mystic -- or not a Christian at all.
Monsignor Ignazio Sanna delivered that assessment during the Italian congress of the Ecclesial Movement for Cultural Commitment (MEIC).
It calls for clarification. What, exactly, does he mean by mystic? The Church has taught in the past when mysticism was a subject of discussion, that contemplation was infused--a gift--grace from God. But he seems to be indicating that the impetus for mysticism must come from us, and not be something given. He adds:
In this perspective, the contemplative dimension assumes an essential function: "The Christian of the future will either be a mystic or will not be a Christian," Monsignor Sanna stressed.
"By this we don't mean to say that all should have mystical experiences to be Christians, but that, in a plural and secularized world, it will no longer be enough to be born Christians...
I don't see us facing a secularized world so much as a mystical world, with numerous mystical paths competing for our attention. Also, what is a mystic if not the person who has mystical experiences? How do you separate the mystic from mysticism?
HOW JEWS SHOULD VOTE
from Jewish World Review, sent in by a reader.
Dennis Prager outlines the reasons why he believes it is vital that Jews vote for Bush.
VATICAN ENVOY WARNS UN
against religious restrictions. From Catholic World News via a reader:
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, speaking at a session on "elimination of all forms of religious intolerance," said that governments should recognize religious faith as a positive force, "not to be manipulated or seen as a threat" to domestic peace.
The archbishop said that the Holy See will continue to defend religious freedom, in the face of "new forms of religious intolerance" which have emerged in recent years. One such form of intolerance, he said, is shown in the effort to confine religious expressions to the private sphere. That approach, he said, empties religious faith of its true significance.
WHAT IF . . . . ?
What if people believe there is only one God, and therefore anyone who believes in God must ultimately believe in the same God even though they describe Him differently...
What if all religions began in the same place with the same two people who believed in God and fathered humanity...
What if, lacking a written record, this God in whom they believe revealed Himself to
them, moment to moment, in the material surroundings they confronted each day,
because the materiality they comprehend with their five senses was constructed for them specifically so that it would lead them to God...
What if a beautiful sunset tells the man one thing about God that he articulates to his children, while the wild lilies tell the woman a different thing about God that she articulates to these same children...
What if one child forgets what his father said about the sunset but remembers what his mother said about the lilies until he has children of his own to whom he tells the story of the lilies that his mother told to him; and they, in turn tell it to his grandchildren...
What if another child remembers what his father said about the sunset but forgets what his mother said about the lilies, and he passes his knowledge of the sunset to his children and grandchildren...
If all of this happens, do the great grandchildren of the original couple believe in
different Gods? Is one a false God while the other a true God, or is there really only one God who has revealed different aspects of Himself to different people in accordance with their capacity and circumstances?
Has God written the story of Himself with the “words” of all that our senses comprehend so that at any given moment we can look at our surroundings and recognize that He is near us?
When we behold beauty in a rainbow or the face of our newborn child, are we close to
the transcendent reality of the God who created them?
In this life we can never know all that there is to be known of God. He is infinitely and incomprehensively beyond our wildest imaginings. His biography is written in all that we survey around us, yet even if we could see the entire content of creation in one glance, there would still be an infinity of God left to discover.
Yet He is there. In any given moment we are called to address ourselves to Him. He has planted in each of us a seed of knowledge of Him that we nourish by instinct or trample into dust as our free will directs us. He allows us to reject Him though very few of us do.
Ultimately our goal is eternal unity with Him.
As we nourish this seed of the transcendent reality of God, we must do it with our own limitations. Not only do we fail to comprehend His total reality, we also fail to comprehend all that He has revealed. I do not know the story God has written in the Grand Canyon because I’ve never seen it. None of you know the story He has written in my backyard where you have never been.
Each child reveals a different message of God to his parents. Each birthday we
celebrate--in fact each morning--brings new understanding as we view our surroundings
from a new perspective. None of us who open ourselves to Him know exactly the same
God, and none of us know all that there is to know.
Yet even though we each know a God who is different in some way, we each know a God
who is the same in His totality. Unless we believe that, we become polytheists.
As I understand it, Sufism reduces all religions to the very core doctrines revolving
around Creator and created. The love relationship it fosters is an abandonment to the will of God.
Up to this point Sufism and Catholicism are compatible. Beyond this they diverge.
Guenonian Sufism, which is also called Traditionalism, teaches that each must accept a particular doctrine or Tradition to approach God, and stay within that Tradition. This can be seen as a kind of unity in diversity which is especially obvious in monotheistic religions, but which can also be extended to Oriental religions that are polytheistic. No religion is superior to any other. All religions are traveling a path toward the only God there is, the Creator of the universe. Any Tradition is worthwhile and acceptable to a Sufi, and a Sufi may be at home within any Tradition, though he is not likely to entirely embrace whatever Tradition he takes up to the exclusion of all others.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
THIS IS A TERIFFIC ARTICLE !
"The Gnostic resurgence: Why matter matters" by David P. Lang, published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review in 2001, sent in by a reader.
I SEE THAT MARK SHEA IS STILL READING MY BLOG.
The following entry appears with his Monday, Oct. 25, blogs.
For all my angry Trad geocentric readers
Here's a thread (and indeed a blog) where you can meet like-minded people and, who knows, maybe even fall in love! Why not devote your extremely valuable contributions to civilization to *that* blog? You'll no longer have to put up with my neo-Catholic bowdlerization of the True Faith. You'll be very happy there and will find enough paranoia and sinister patterns of dark conspiracy to keep you occupied for a very long time to come. You'll get valuable insights on the Faith ("REVOLUTION NOW!") from one of St. Blog's most *dynamic* political thinkers, moral insights on the goodness of nuking millions of innocent people, intricate webs of connection between JPII, Soloviev, sinister Masons, and ultra-obscure New Age philosophies, and all sorts of wonderful comment box conversation that will be right up your alley. You'll be much happier there than reading my infuriating stuff.
posted by Mark Shea at 7:00 PM
Perhaps Mark is a closet conspiracy theorist? I mean, why else would he be checking in here on a regular basis, especially when he is having such a wonderful time in Australia.
If I were in Australia, I'd sure find a lot of more interesting things to do than read blogs of people I detested. There's no accounting for human nature, I guess. Seriously, Mark...go check out the koalas or something. You can get back to trashing other people's opinions soon enough when you get back home.
HAS THE RAINBOW SASH MOVEMENT COPIED THE VATICAN WEBSITE WALLPAPER ?
A reader sent in a link to a letter addressed to Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory. It contains an implied threat if they are denied the Eucharist during the Plenary Liturgy of the National Council of Catholic Bishops on Nov. 15, 2004.
KERRY'S FLIP FLOPS
Dom has linked this amusing clip at Club For Growth, of John Kerry changing his mind.
I've been told that when some people open my blog, it switches to a series of porn pictures. I'm not getting that here and don't know why it's happening.
THIS MEMBER OF THE "VAPID WASTELAND OF INCONSEQUNTIALITY"
finds this statement, made by Boyd Rice, which originally came from the unofficial Dagobert's Revenge elist typical of occult interaction. Boyd Rice is a contributor to the Dragon Key Press Articles of Exalted Grand Master of Ordo Lapsit ExillisTracy Twyman, the woman who wrote the introduction to William Kennedy's book, Lucifer's Lodge. The comments mentions Thelemic circles and Aleister Crowley. Does one take the cartoon figures in the top right and top left corners of the website to be women wielding whips?
Where is the Pepto Bismol.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Monday, October 25, 2004
CONFERENCE ON NEW AGE AND CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY
The conference was reported in The Chesterton Review February/May 2000. A synopsis of the report can be read at the Vatican website. Stratford Caldecott's comments are pertinent to my recent blogs:
Stratford Caldecott situates his talk on “The Transcendental Disunity of Religions” at a moment of cultural decline, which, he says, challenges us to be discerning. There have always been “attempts to assimilate Christianity to one or other model of world religions” (p. 117). At the moment, there is the United Religions, which could possibly include among its aims “a bland common-factor wisdom”, and not really the “uniqueness of each religion” mentioned in the UR Draft Charter. This is portrayed as a rather crude effort in assimilation, compared with the ideas of Charles Upton, who claims his is not an attempt to create a “world fusion spirituality” or a common doctrine, but “true ecumenism” which is “the outer expression of the ‘esoteric ecumenism’ of the Transcendent Unity of Religions”. The latter term is consciously borrowed from the works of the late Frithjof Schuon. He is not encouraging syncretism or papering over the cracks, but unity in a war where the enemy is an alliance between “scientism, magical materialism, idolatry of the psyche and postmodern nihilism” (p. 122). Upton’s point of departure is the metaphysics of the Traditionalists, who include Schuon, René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Seyyed Hossein Nasr. This group influenced Eric Gill, Thomas Merton and T.S. Eliot, and contemporary writers such as Alan Watts and Ken Wilber. Their realism, in the strict philosophical sense, may well be a point of dialogue with Catholic tradition. The point of difference is the seriousness with which Christianity has always taken the physical Incarnation, the scandalous paradox that makes Jesus more than any prophet, more than any avatar. We are not divine by nature, but are introduced into divinity by grace. For Christians, relationship with the divine is not one of absorption, as is the case in New Age and Asian religions; it is one of love, which always essentially involves distinction. Traditionalists effectively deny this unique characteristic of Christianity, while claiming to respect religions in all their diversity. Caldecott compares the present state of Christianity to that of believers at the end of the Roman Empire; now, as then, it is the mystery religions which attract, and all around is “a Gnosticism that promises secret initiations without humility” (p. 129). Christianity cannot be assimilated because Christ cannot be assimilated; in Him “God has done something new and different. Yet at the same time, aesthetics, mythology, psychology, and metaphysics are not left behind. I believe it is a task of the new millennium to reintegrate these with Christianity” (p. 132).
Caldecott's paper can be read in full here.
IF YOU ARE AN ANTHROPOSOPHIST
you might want to subscribe to "Southern Cross Review."
Ladies, click the link and see what you get.
Gentlemen, practice custody of the eyes and move on to another blog.
(Yes, it's soft porn. I wonder if they mail this thing in plain brown wrappers? Or perhaps its a webzine.)
ORDO LAPSIT EXILLIS
In a blog yesterday, I linked this article by William H. Kennedy titled "Rene Guenon and Roman Catholicism," which was originally published in Sophia Vol. 9 #1, Summer 2003. There at the top of the website are the words "Ordo Lapsit Exillis."
This afternoon I plugged those words into Google to see what would come up. This did. As you glance through the website, take note of this passage:
Although the membership is open to all regardless of political or religious beliefs or affiliations, there is a definite Monarchist and Luciferian current at the core of our value system which shall not be perverted or abandoned.
A link at the bottom of the website indicates that Dagobert's Revenge is the Official Ordo Lapsit Exillis Organ. If you click that link a window appears. This is the opening passage of the material in that window:
"The title Dagobert’s Revenge signifies not just the vengeance sought by the Merovingians against the Catholic church which betrayed them, but also, in a broader sense, the struggle of all members of the ancient bloodline of the Holy Grail (which goes back, we believe, to the beginnings of civilization), the only bearers of true God-ordained sovereignty, against the forces which, in every age, have attempted to wrest power away from the bloodline merely for the purpose of domination.
Scrolling down a bit, you will find the name Tracy R. Twyman, who appears to be the Grand Master of this organization.
I took William Kennedy's book, "Lucifer's Lodge: Satanic Ritual Abuse in the Catholic Church," down from the shelf. Tracy R. Twyman wrote the introduction.
Googling her name brought up Dragon Key Press Articles. She has written most of the articles. David Livingstone is one of the authors on the list as well. I recently interviewed him and blogged the interview. William H. Kennedy is on the list, and if you scroll to the bottom of the webpage, you will find a special link to Kennedy's articles.
The titles of the articles give a good overview of what this group is about.
I read and reviewed Kennedy's book some time ago after being contacted by Charles Upton, his editor and/or publisher. Upton's recommendation on the back cover of the book reads:
Lucifer's Lodge is the closest thing we have to a documented, non-fiction version of Malachi Martin's Windswept House. Though it purports to deal with the many defeats of the Church Militant, I sense behind it the tremendous presence of the Church Triumphant.
Upton is the author of The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age.
Another recommendation is written by Rama Coomaraswamy, Assist. Prof. of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, author of The Destruction of the Christian Tradition. Coomaraswamy is familiar to most traditional Catholics.
A short bio is presented on the back cover of Lucifer's Lodge as well:
A freelance writer and speaker on religious topics, William H. Kennedy's corpus includes such subjects as occult history, secret societies, monarchism and Traditional religious thought--especially that of Malachi Martin, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Rene Guenon. His articles have appeared in Ars Quator Coronatorum, Dagobert's Revenge Magazine and Sophia: The Journal of Traditional Studies. In 2003 Kennedy produced and narrated a one hour audio documentary entitled The Black Room which deals with the world-wide priest sex scandal. Kennedy has been a regular guest on TV and radio concerning religious issues, including Michael Corbin's nationally-syndicated radio program A Closer Look.
In the current issue of Stephen Brady's AMDG Kennedy is quoted in a statement about the canonical status of Malachi Martin's orders.
One question remains to be answered...are Twyman, Kennedy, Livingstone, Upton, and the other authors--some or all of them--in the Traditional movement and/or Ordo Lapsit Exillis members of the Rene Guenon Lodge in the Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina of Grand Orient Freemasonry? Considering Masonic secrecy, I suspect I am not likely to find out.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
"HOLIDAYS AND HOLY NIGHTS" OR WHY I NO LONGER KNOW WHO TO TRUST
Holidays and Holy Nights by Christopher Hill, a book my pastor indicated in this morning's bulletin that he is currently reading, is a good example of why I am so ill at ease with the Traditional movement. My pastor is orthodox in his beliefs. There are never any Masses at my church that would raise eyebrows unless said by a visiting priest, and that hasn't happened for years to the best of my knowledge. Today's homily touched briefly on saints, sin, the Baltimore Catechism, what was lost in religious education starting in the 70s, the fact that all religions hold some grain of truth but the Catholic faith holds the fullness of it, and the need to recapture Catholic culture. All solidly Catholic.
But then there is this book. In the bulletin he says of it, "One of the 'themes' of the book is that the Liturgical Cycle of the Year, and the celebration of the Saints' Feast Days and all the Holiday/Holyday Seasons parallel the movements of God's creation and the mystical inner core and heart of all human beings--whether they realize it or not. ...The ebb and flow of the mysteries of the heart will be soon exemplified with--yes--Halloween--the Feast of All Saints and All Souls, and Thanksgiving."
It sounds Catholic. I want to trust him about it, but the book is published by Quest Books of the Theosophical Publishing House. So there must be something in it that the Theosophists like. And Theosophy has been condemned. As the Catholic Encyclopedia indicates when it says: "They are said to transmit this truth by way of revelation. Thus theosophy appeals to tradition but not in the Christian sense."
It was because the title reminded me of one I read some time ago that I decided to look it up online. That book--The Rhythm of the Christian Year: Renewing the Religious Cycle of Festivals by Emil Bock--is published by Floris Books. Bock is a priest in the Anthroposophical church called The Christian Community. Much in that book sounds Catholic, too. But there are little shifts in meaning--and some of the shifts are not little. For instance, in a discussion of Whitsun and St. John's Tide it says: "When, in ancient times, the earth in midsummer grew beyond herself in soul, man grew along with her." (p. 133) "Jesus of Nazareth, the new earthly man, embodies the human who is small but can become great if he accepts the Christ-ego into his human ego." (p. 134) "In the Feeding of the Five-thousand, it becomes particularly evident how John the Baptist has turned into the angel who with mighty wings hovers over the nascent community." (p. 137) There are many more.
What happens when a poorly catechised 30-year-old parent reads a book that presents Christianity from a Theosophical perspective, and then passes the information on to her kids? If a lot of such people in the parish read such a book, then what happens to the parish?
Of course I haven't read my pastor's book. I should be able to trust him that it truly is solidly Catholic. But if it is, why is the Theosophical Publishing House interested in it? Since they are, and since too many of the ordained have shown me they are not worthy of trust, I am very ill at ease about my pastor's promotion of this book. That suspicion is further deepened by the Dean of Grace Cathedral Alan Jones' recommendation of the book.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
RENE GUENON AND TRADITIONALISM
I've blogged about him before, but it is impossible to talk about Traditionalism without mentioning him, he is that central to the movement. William H. Kennedy has an article about Guenon online in which he says:
That religion no longer plays a central role in the lives of Catholics is the most important lesson Guenon has to teach. The Second Vatican Council destroyed many of the cultural features which gave Catholics the social shape of their faith. Various work and dietary restrictions gave devout Catholics a clear identity within their community and a defining boundary with anyone outside of the Church of Rome. Such distinctions acted as the generators of Catholic spiritual experience and halted the limiting of religion to purely social categories with no metaphysical content. Without these checks and defining characteristics the Catholic Tradition became a faint shadow in the lives of the devout, and became more or less meaningless in the 21st century Roman Catholic Church.
Well yes, that is precisely what we are seeing in John Kerry. Somehow I can't even picture Kerry being a part of a May crowning, unless the "Catholic" cameras were turned on, that is. To be truly Catholic is a 24/7 proposition, just as it is to be truly Jewish or Muslim, I would imagine. We each view daily events through the lens of our faith. To take away that lens is to render a person blind not only to the nature of the world, but also to his own reality. If I am not Catholic, I really don't know who I am or why I'm here.
However, with the following passage from Kennedy's article, I disagree:
The Tridentine Mass, which held the Church together during the onslaught of Luther’s reform, was altered to the New Mass, which greatly resembles the debased Feast of Fools parody Mass more than the service conducted by the Traditional Church of Rome. There are Church sanctioned “Rave Masses”, “Clown Masses”, “Guitar Masses”, “Ecumenical Masses”, and “Workers Masses.” Georgian chant was replaced with the folk droning of Bob Dylan wannabees. Such absurd daily rites mimic the surreal rituals which the Church called for on the Feast of Fools. The Traditional Latin Mass was replaced with the New Mass in 1968, and now absurdity rules the See of Peter. Degenerate priests are given daily free reign by bishops, who could less about the welfare of children. With all of the bizarreness which has been allowed to go on, one can only wonder if the Pope should call for a “Feast of Normalcy” to help correct our present abnormal liturgical course.
I certainly wouldn't argue that this never happens. It is not universal, however; and the frequency of it is declining. Yes, there are pockets where this is a regular feature, but there are just as many pockets within the Novus Ordo communities where the Mass is reverent and the church looks Catholic. If he wants to argue that a Novus Ordo lacks the poetry and beauty of a Tridentine, I would concede; but given the proper setting, given a good choir that sings some Latin hymns and chant, given a pastor who is Traditional in his conception of the faith, and given a priest who is not intent on "creating liturgy", the Novus Ordo can be reverently Catholic.
A reader has emailed to me some comments to the effect that definitions of Traditionalism are essential. I would agree. But the point I'm getting at is that a person approaching Traditionalism from a neutral perspective is going to see a syncretistic mix of the religions of the world. A person coming from the esoteric milieu will see Catholic Traditionalism as just another nice form of the perennial philosophy. Rene Guenon's shift from Catholicism to the Parisian occult societies, to Islam will help solidify that perspective. Yet to reject Guenon is to also reject the argument Traditionalism makes in opposition to United Religions Initiative. In other words, in Traditionalism we are damned no matter which way we turn.
The reader also indicated that Catholic Traditionalism rejects Freemasonry. Yet Freemasonry embraces Rene Guenon and the beliefs of Traditionalism. If a Catholic embraces Guenon and a Freemason embraces Guenon, how does the Catholic define the boundaries of the faith so as to use Guenon's methods while putting barriers up to prevent the obvious migration into Freemasonry? Alternatively, is there a movement on the Catholic right that is open to Freemasonry? It's a nagging question that I've been walking around the fringes of for months as more and more often these hints of Freemasonry on the right surface.
Some time ago I posted the link to the Rene Guenon Lodge within the Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina Obedience, a part of Grand Orient Freemasonry. In that website there is a link to a Loge Tradition a l'Orient de Lausanne.
Also within the Rene Guenon Lodge website, I found the Grande Oriente d'Italia linked on this page in the website. If you click on "goi" you will end up here. Much of this website is in Italian, but not all of it. From this website I've quoted the Grand Master Gustavo Raffi in previous blogs.
Another interesting link in the Rene Guenon website can be found on this webpage. Click on "Zenit" to arrive here. How ironic that the Catholic news service Zenit shares the same name! This Zenit website is full of interesting material, though it's mostly in Italian. That black bar across the top is the menu. As you click the words, a drop-down menu appears. Behind "nuove sezioni" you will find a paper on Qabbalah. You will also find Rene Guenon, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, and Denys Roman located at the link "Studi tradizionali." This webpage mentions Gershom Scholem, in what appears to be a lecture he gave.
At the first section on the black index bar, under the subheading "Storia & societa" appears the names Salvador Allende and Jacques Chirac. Also on this page at the top of the right-hand column in the red box is P2. Those who have read David Yallop's book know that P2 was associated with the Vatican Bank scandal. Yallop says this of P2:
With Italy about to face another general election in June, the parliamentary commission that had been investigating P2 was suspended. At least five of the Christian Democrats running for office were members of P2. Tina Anselmi, who had chaired the commission, was asked what her views were on P2 after two years of intensive study. She responded:
"P2 is by no means dead. It still has power. It is working in the institutions. It is moving in society. It has money, means, and instruments still at its disposal. It still has fully operative power centers in South America. It is also still able to condition, at least in part, Italian political life." (Yallop, In God's Name, p.317)
The link on the index bar all the way over on the right--"forum"--offers a "liberi muratori" option which will get you this webpage. If a lock box appears, "X" it out and you should get a webpage where the words "Flicks - Access Denied" and "AuthentiX for Microsoft's Webserver: IIS. It appears to be software that will provide locked access requiring registration and a code.
There is another oddity. Zenit.org is a primary Catholic news source for Catholic journalists. Zen-it.com is a website that is associated with Grand Orient Freemasonry. Now what, exactly, is Zenit.com promoting and is it associated somehow with that Zen-it.com URL that opens the Masonic Zenit website? Is this the door behind the locked box at the "Liberi Muratori" option above? That trailer in the Zenit.com website, "The leather area portal," would seem to indicate a porn website. The website has been a "work in progress" for more than a week, with no changes in the website taking place.
Yet another interesting session of connecting the dots.
AN OPEN LETTER TO JOHN PAUL II
written by Joseph Fazio can be read at the Catholic Citizens website. In the letter Fazio sends the Pope an SOS, begging him to speak since we have no leadership from the bishops in the upcoming election.
It will be interesting to see if the Pope speaks given that he opposed Bush's decision on Iraq. Personally I believe we will be learning to say "President Kerry" in January, based on the number of Kerry signs I've seen in front yards, and the lack of Bush signs in the same place.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!