Saturday, September 10, 2005


critiques The Da Vinci Code, saying in part:

what disturbs me most about Dan Brown's book is that it is a primer in practically every new age technique or approach there is, from pentacles and pentagrams to anagrams to numerology to astrology -- you name it -- practically everything on the new age menu finds its place somewhere in this book and it is presented in a way that is attractive and engaging. That's the problem.

The new age movement is very much continuous with the program of the Priory of Zion and certain secret Masonic groups to destroy the credibility of the Catholic Church. This can be done by direct attacks on our faith -- for instance replacing our Blessed Mother as the exemplar of faith with Mary Magdalene, or by causing great confusion among the people that somehow there is a spark of the divine within me that enables me to save myself and to save others without reliance on the grace of Jesus Christ. I simply have to find that secret spark and force within.

That "spark of the divine within" is very much a part of Jewish mystical spirituality, at least as it is explained in popular works on the Kabbalah.

What then is a Catholic to assume when discovering that through interreligious dialogue Jewish mysticism and Catholic mysticism are reduced to a level playing field where the players share their beliefs with each other, and sit together in silent meditation each seeking their own God? This is the sort of interreligious engagement that Taize promotes.

Returning to Bishop Morlino's comments about The Da Vinci Code:

The new age movement has been spreading for years like fire even among Catholics, and it is even possible to adjust the language of Christianity and turn it into an offering in the new age cafeteria. My greatest fear is that someone reading this book might find himself or herself very powerfully invited into this new age world, which is a world that cannot accept that Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world -- let there be no mistake about that.


Priory of Zion Badge - Da Vinci Code


John Allen reports on Catholic-Orthodox relations...or more accurately the stall in them:

Most of the Orthodox I talked to in Assisi seemed to agree that the original vision of the ecumenical movement after the Second Vatican Council -- "full, visible, structural unity" between the divided branches of Christianity -- was probably a bit unrealistic, and is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi of Aleppo told me that he doesn't believe structural unity with Catholicism is in the cards.

"It's not a political problem for us, whether Rome or Constantinople is the most powerful throne," he said. "It's a theological problem. We can accept the pope as a sort of first patriarch, but it's the mode of exercising that primacy that's the problem. The College of Bishops must be above the pope."

I suppose that Metropolitan Yazigi doesn't really know what would happen here in America if this concept were implemented in the Roman Catholic Church. Just imagine an autonomous Cardinal Archbishop Mahony. Even the Orthodox would have a problem with that!


It was sent in by a reader.

Disgraced Homosexual Abuser to Give Lecture on Marriage Annulments to Canadian Canon Law Society

The passage near the end:

Sylvia McEachern is an Ottawa Catholic woman who has kept a close eye on such institutions. She told the Wanderer newspaper in 2002 that Canada has an inordinate number of problem priests in the classes of canon lawyers and liturgists “who go from west to east in Canada, from the United States to Canada, and Europe and Africa to Canada, many of whom seem to be either running or hiding.”

Canon lawyers.

Who would have been responsible for guidance in rewriting Canon Law in 1983?

Could this shed light on why the 1983 Code of Canon Law does not include the word "heresy" and went soft on Freemasonry so that Cdl. Ratzinger had to issue a supplemental statement?

Inquiring Catholics want to know.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Mormon Variety:



Restoration of Melchizedek Priesthood.

Wikipedia entry:

In Mormonism, the Melchizedek priesthood is one of the two or three types, or "orders" of priesthood. The Melchizedek priesthood is also referred to as the high priesthood of the holy order of God (Alma 4:20, 13:8), or the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God (LDS D&C 107:3), or simply as the high priesthood. In Mormonism, unlike most other Christian religions, the Melchizedek priesthood is thought to be held by mortals as a normal priesthood office, and not solely by either pre-Aaronic priests such as Melchizedek, or Jesus alone, as most Christians interpret the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Gnostic Variety:

Melchizedek reincarnated in Jesus.

Described by a Mason in Pietre Stones (Notice the spelling has changed the "z" to "s".)

Ancient Sources

Denver Spiritual Community's version

The Jewish Variety:

Menorah Ministries

Israel of God

Jewish-American History Documentation Foundation

Dominion of Melchizedek, Washington, D.C.

The Catholic Variety:

Franciscan Archives


Scott Hahn

Independent Catholic (or Christian) variety

Catholic Christian Fellowship St. Paul Newman Center

From the Tridentine Canon:

And this deign to regard with gracious and kindly attention and hold accountable, as You deigned to accept the offerings of Abel, Your just servant, and the sacrifice of Abraham our patriarch, and that which Your chief priest Melchisedec offered to You, a holy sacrifice and a spotless victim.

I don't have time to read through all of these now, but it does appear that the Melchizedek Priesthood has been taken up by many faiths.

The Priesthood of Melchizadek seems to be the ultimate ecumenical priesthood for the developing world religious sensibility. Priesthood of the Antichrist?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Friday, September 09, 2005


Endtime Ministries interviewed Lee and have the interview on the web here.


A reader sent in this story from Interfax which I haven't confirmed.

Union of Orthodox Citizens appeals to Alexy II to break all relations with the Vatican and start missionary work in Europe and America

Moscow, August 23, Interfax - As the Uniates have become more active in Ukraine the Orthodox public have appealed to Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia to end all relations with the Roman Catholic Church and begin missionary work in Europe and America.

Uhm, Justin...??


There are a lot of stories going around about who or what is to blame for NOLA. On talk radio this afternoon someone said that the Governor of Louisiana decided not to send food and water to the Superdome because she didn't want people to stay there. If that is true, how does anyone make sense of it.

It looks as though Brown may be looking for another job. Nagin has come under fire. Bush's approval ratings are the lowest since Nixon.

The following explanation for the chaos in NO is one that hasn't been making the rounds, though I did see it a few days ago somewhere. A reader sent it in this afternoon.

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage one night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. "The projects," as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of "the projects." Then the "crawl"—the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels—gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of those who remained, a large number were from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then told me that early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails—so they just let many of them loose. [Update: I have been searching for news reports on this last story, but I have not been able to confirm it. Instead, I have found numerous reports about the collapse of the corrupt and incompetent New Orleans Police Department; see here and here.]

There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations--that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit—but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals—and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep—on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

It doesn't mention drugs, but one news report indicated that the search for a fix was behind the hospital break-ins.

The failure of the welfare state is no secret, but the intentions that prompted it were positive.

I guess the question this article brings up is how do you help the poor without turning them into dependents?


BBC News early this morning was showing troops in NO and expressing shock that people would be forced out of their homes in of all places America. It's the hot topic on local talk radio here as well. I hope this isn't setting some sort of precedent because it hardly fits the image we have of the nation of freedom that we like to think America represents. It's a shock to think people are being moved from their homes at gunpoint.

One news report I heard recently claimed that recovery from Katrina will cost more than the entire cost America bore of rebuilding Europe after World War II even when that rebuilding cost is brought up to present dollar valuation. Could NOLA bankrupt America?

My husband's employer is arranging payroll deductions for the next six months of contributions for the recovery effort. Donations will be matched dollar for dollar.

Gas prices here are falling. They were down to $2.85.9 yesterday.


My frequent critic has bloged on his understanding of the poor. I'm fascinated and offended by his interpretation. Apparently he has not known many poor people.

I grew up the only child of a widowed mother. Yes, we were poor. Our income was limited to social security payments--a total of $176 a month. We did not stink. My mother did not spend money on cigarettes or beer. She made my clothes out of hand-me-downs from relatives. She did not take a job, not because it was beneath her pride, but because she was a strong believer in the need for a child to have a visible parent. She did not blame conspiracies for her situation. I did not run riot.

Was she a crashing bore? Her friends didn't seem to think so, mostly because she was interested in them and they knew it, and because she seldom talked about herself. She never believed anyone owed her anything. She did not radiate anger. In fact I don't remember her ever getting angry at anyone.

She relied on God when the money was short, and she often said that God put money in her wallet. When something had to be done, she did it herself, including spading and planting a large vegetable garden, taking care of the yard, painting the house, installing the heavy storm windows in the fall. I saw my mother tackle jobs that women didn't do in the 1950s, and she didn't complain.

When I graduated from college and bought a car, she didn't want it to sit out in the elements. A friend offered to build an addition to the garage, but would not dig the footer for it. She and I did that. When we needed a Christmas tree, she dug one up from my grandfather's farm, and together she and I pulled the tree across the field by resting the dirt ball on a shovel. We laughed together many times about how foolish we must have looked dragging that tree across the field and the road.

My mother was 5'3" and weighed about 120 lbs. yet her strength defied her size.

In my first full-time job I got to know a lady on the cleaning staff who would come in to work before I left. Her name was Mary. She was black. She always smiled--was always cheerful. She was poor. She had faith and she shared it. On most days she was the bright spot. She never did any of the things that a certain blogger has characterized as the habits of the poor. Her faith strengthened mine.

The world is full of poor people who make do with what they have, handle funds in a proper way, do not neglect their families and responsibilities, and don't get in your face with their situation. I guess that's why middle class people who want to write about the poor haven't noticed them.

Blessed are the poor.


Take a look. It contains a lot of elements of the Tridentine combined with the vernacular of the Novus Ordo. The first verse of the hymn to the Holy Spirit is nearly identical to the Catholic hymn. The Gloria and the Kyrie are similar.

The service is used by The Gnostic Church of St. Mary Magdalene.

This is the church of the Gnostic gospels, the Nag Hammadi Library, the Holy Grail, of Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus, of the Tarot and the Black Madonnas, of the Hieros Gamos and the alchemical wedding, of the Kabbalah and the Melchizadek priesthood, of "Jewish Tantra taught by Jesus" or sacred sexuality, of the Cathars and the Albigensians, of the Kabbalah and the Merovingian Dynasty, and so much more. This is the church of spirit mediumship, the very thing forbidden by the First Commandment. This church looks to the Gnostic Gospels and to Ean Begg and Margaret Starbird for doctrine.

Their claim of apostolic succession includes Rene Valette and also James Wedgewood of the Liberal Catholic Church.

Perhaps the most riveting paragraph in the entire website can be found on "The Gnostic Tarot" webpage at the very end:

It is no wonder that some persons were attracted away from the fire-and-brimstone Roman church to the Gnostic church of love in the embrace of Nature. The patriarchal Church lost adherants over this schism in every generation, from the early centuries of Christianity through the flowering of the Cathar movement in southern France a thousand years later, and certainly the exodus has not ended yet. A philosophy devoted to Wisdom in her female form ("philo-sopher" means lover of Sophia!) would have appeal in any generation, which may help us to understand the popularity of Tarot from its first inception, despite vigorous Church disapproval.

This, in short, is the church of the other gospel, the one that relies on spirit contact and luv with not a hint of judgment. Are they the Desposyni written of by William H. Kennedy in his book LUCIFER'S LODGE: SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?

As overtures are made to the Jewish community, and joint statements such as "Reflections on Covenant and Mission" are made available to the Catholic laity through the internet, someone in the Church is going to have to deal with this developing stream of alternative Catholicism--someone with authority. When MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT gets the approval of a respected theologian who has the Pope's ear, enough doubt is seeded to undermine the faith.

The pressing question raised in Catholic minds by these followers of the luv gospel is whether the Church has hidden something from the laity? Dan Brown brought out this question with his storybook, and Catholic writers are answering it. Yet the official teaching Church has not taken up the challenge, but rather left it to members of the laity such as Welborn, Olsen, and Miesel to step into the breach. Does Rome know something we haven't been told? What, precisely, is fueling interreligious dialogue particularly with the Jews?

Some are saying that the Roman Catholic Church is facilitating the church of Antichrist. Regular readers here have seen the comments to that effect. When we reject that possibility, we are still left with ecumenical and interreligious dialogue that for all practical purposes violates what the Church taught up to Vatican II; and no reconciliation with previous teaching has been given. The new approaches to other religions are presented, and we must choose to either take them as presented or to dissent. The decision to accept these new approaches without that needed reconciliation is to in effect claim that our faith is founded on the rock of the Second Vatican Council, and not on the longstanding Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.

Perhaps, though, it cannot be reconciled as dissenters claim. Perhaps a new religion was instituted in the early 60s. That would explain why Rome does not address these doctrinal questions. If no reconciliation is possible, its best to remain silent. John Paul II did not take up the challenge. Benedict, at the time of the conclave, was expected to, but has not yet done it. Perhaps it is premature to be expecting him to have done it so soon after his election. He was, however, chief guardian of the doctrine of the faith prior to his election. That would provide ample background to be able to take up this challenge, yet so far he remains silent.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Anyone gathering information about Bishop J. Rene Vilatte should find this website interesting.

I reached the above website from the first link on this website.


Johnathan Massey is cooking up a batch, using the other gospel as his recipe.

Christians and one Catholic are finding it edible.


"Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Mat:24:29-30)

"But in those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory..." (Mark 13:24-26)

There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:25-26)

The Evangelists are consistent in claiming that when Christ returns He will come on a cloud. Matthew says "For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Mat 24:27) Luke confirms Matthew: "For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be [in his day]." (Luke 17:24)

The Second Coming will not be an obscure event in a stable, but rather a dramatic bursting upon creation that no one will be able to ignore.

Some believe that Jews and Christians are awaiting the same Messiah. The idea is hinted at in the document "Reflections on Covenant and Mission: Consultation of The National Council of Synagogues and The Bishops Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, USCCB, August 12, 2002" which tells us:

While Christians and Jews understand the messianic hope involved in that perfection quite differently, still, whether we are waiting for the messiah--as Jews believe--or for the messiah's second coming--as Christians believe--we share the belief that we live in an unredeemed world that longs for repair.

Why not articulate a common agenda?

Gary Band of the "Jewish Journal" goes further, stating that the

Christian Zionist community whose major tenets are: God's covenant with the Jews still stands; Christians and Jews worship the same God; and Christians and Jews are waiting for the same messiah.

Ulrike Putz, writing for Israel Forum, says that a prominent Italian Muslim, Seikh Pallavicini, believes that "Conversion is not necessary, as we all, Jews, Muslims and Christians, are waiting for the same Messiah."

He may be here or about to arrive, if we are to take the word of Russia's chief rabbi. Interfax and WorldNetDaily both report his comments:

Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar believes the Earth will soon see the coming a Messiah [sic] to reward everyone according to his deserts.

'We know that he...is very near at hand, but he needs not only to be born but also to come. The Messiah may well have been born already, but unless he is ordered by God he cannot reveal himself with God's help and change the world for the better.'
Is the Messiah so described consistent with the New Testament accounts quoted above? Or is he describing someone else?

Christ was and is Jewish in His human form. It, therefore seems reasonable that the Antichrist will also be Jewish so as to achieve a more perfect deception.

In writing of the Antichrist, John Henry Cardinal Newman said:

considering that Antichrist would pretend to be the Messiah, it was of old the received notion that he was to be of Jewish race and to observe the Jewish rites....

...as far as the testimony of the early Church goes, Antichrist will be an open blasphemer, opposing himself to every existing worship, true and false,--a persecutor, a patron of the Jews, and a restorer of their worship, and, further, the author of a novel kind of worship.

The ADL objects:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) charged that the statement by the Rev. Jerry Falwell that the Antichrist is alive and Jewish "borders on anti-Semitism at best and is anti-Semitic at worst" and "is rooted in Christian theological extremism."...

Fortunately, the great majority of Christian leaders and ministers consider these hateful myths to be wholly contradictory to true Christian doctrine....

Was Cardinal Newman, then, an extremist? A supporter of a myth that is contradictory to true Christian doctrine? Was he an anti-Semite?

I guess it depends upon whether you adhere to the pre-Vatican II Church or the post-Vatican II Church according to Atila Sinke Guimarães who writes:

John Paul II’s visit to the Jewsih synagogue of Rome had a character that was substantially theological and should not be viewed as a merely "pastoral" act, as some would like to present it in order to attenuate its gravity. Fr. Giuseppe de Rosa, S.J., affirmed its theological importance in an article in La Civiltà Cattolica commenting on the event:

“The Pope’s meeting with the Hebrew community of Rome – which in some way represented all the Hebrew communities in the world, at least symbolically – has not only a ‘human’ content but also an actual ‘theological’ one. It was the recognition – or better, the confirmation, 20 years after Vatican II – of the ‘turnaround’ worked by the Council regarding the Church’s theological approach to Judaism.”

Guimarães lists the various Councils and Doctors of the Church that the current avances to Judaism contradict. What we believe now is not what we believed Traditionally. Popes make the list, so it would seem that what we have is bishop opposing bishop--in this case the bishops of Rome. Much of this, I suspect, is being fueled by sentiments following the Halocaust. Since that tragedy the world has rushed to avoid any hint of anti-Semitism, and the Church seems to be following suit.

On the subject of the Jews, what we are is not what we were. Not even remotely. So much for Tradition. And if this Tradition is subject to change without notice, what about the others? On what does our claim to an unchanging faith rest? Will we next be taking up the Jewish beliefs following the time of Christ? Remember, these beliefs include the Kabbalah. These are confusing times.

What if Cardinal Newman was right and the Antichrist will be a Jewish messiah? Given the new outreach to the Jews, will the Catholics flock to greet such a messiah? Maybe not. There have been other Jewish messiahs, Sabbatai Zevi and Jacob Frank among them. However, during their historical time period the Church opposed Judaism. Today that has changed.

Will the Jews recognize Christ as their Messiah when He returns in glory, coming on the clouds as Scripture tells us? I guess it remains to be seen.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


So much for religious freedom in Canada.


After mentioning the numerous "sins" that people have attached to the New Orleans tragedy, Steve Kellmeyer offers this interpretation:

So, no matter who you ask, everyone seems to agree that New Orleans had it coming. The primary difference between all of these commentators is why. The Christians think New Orleans got slammed because the inhabitants of the city sinned. The atheists, pagans and Muslims think New Orleans got slammed because people outside of New Orleans sinned.

In a way, they are both right. As I pointed out in the essay on the Indian Ocean tsunami nine months ago, God doesn’t cause evil. He permits us to cause it, if we insist upon it. Grace empowers the world. If we insist on removing grace, if we insist on ordering God out of our world, then our world will fall apart.


Cloning supporters in the biotechnology industry are moving on to the next stage of their agenda – one that requires gestation in the womb to grow and then destroy fetal humans for their body parts. They believe use of human cloning for “therapeutic” purposes may require use of what everyone once called “reproductive” cloning.



SPOKANE -- Victims of sexual abuse by priests were sharply critical Wednesday of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane for appealing a bankruptcy judge's ruling that churches and parochial schools can be sold to pay claims filed by victims.

In an appeal filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court here, lawyers for Bishop William Skylstad wrote that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams erred in her analysis in 11 areas and wrongly ignored evidence and centuries of religious law.

Lawyers for individual parishes facing potential loss of churches and schools joined in the appeal. Skylstad is the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the outcome of the Spokane case is likely to have national implications.

Continue reading...


FrontPage reports:

As radical environmentalists continue to blame the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation on President Bush’s ecological policies, a mainstream Louisiana media outlet inadvertently disclosed a shocking fact: Environmentalist activists were responsible for spiking a plan that may have saved New Orleans. Decades ago, the Green Left – pursuing its agenda of valuing wetlands and topographical “diversity” over human life – sued to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from building floodgates that would have prevented significant flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina.

In the 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Barrier Project planned to build fortifications at two strategic locations, which would keep massive storms on the Gulf of Mexico from causing Lake Pontchartrain to flood the city. An article in the May 28, 2005, New Orleans Times-Picayune stated, “Under the original plan, floodgate-type structures would have been built at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur passes to block storm surges from moving from the Gulf into Lake Pontchartrain.”

“The floodgates would have blocked the flow of water from the Gulf of Mexico, through Lake Borgne, through the Rigolets [and Chef Mentuer] into Lake Pontchartrain,” declared Professor Gregory Stone, the James P. Morgan Distinguished Professor and Director of the Coastal Studies Institute of Louisiana State University. “This would likely have reduced storm surge coming from the Gulf and into the Lake Pontchartrain,” Professor Stone told Michael P. Tremoglie during an interview on September 6. The professor concluded, “[T]hese floodgates would have alleviated the flooding of New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina.”

Continue reading...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005



The New York Times reports:

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 6 - While the human and economic toll of Hurricane Katrina continued to mount, New Orleans was beginning to pump back into Lake Pontchartrain the floodwaters that had inundated the city.

Whether or not the accelerating pumping of this brew from city streets into coastal waters poses a threat to the ecosystems and fisheries in the brackish bay remains to be seen, the officials said.

They added that they could do little more than keep testing and count on the restorative capacity of nature to break down or bury contaminants.

Though the state of the lake was a prime issue, it was just one of a host of problems identified in the storm-ravaged region on Tuesday by Louisiana and federal environmental officials.

Continue reading...

Then there is this article linked at Spirit Daily which claims that a NOLA housing project was built over a toxic waste dump. Residents living in the area claimed to be suffering from non-typical illness as a result. It is believed these chemicals have now leached into the water that is being pumped out of the city. I was not able to locate online the organization mentioned in the article.

More articles about contaminants being pumped back into Lake Ponchartrain can be found here.


Five more on Oct. 23.

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


There's too much in the article to blog effectively. It has to be read in its entirety.

Blogger credit to New Oxford Review.


to the list of those who see an act of God in Katrina. This time one of the voices is Jewish.

Blogger credit to New Oxford Review.


As expected, the Diocese of Spokane has appealed a bankruptcy judge's ruling that Roman Catholic churches and schools may be sold to satisfy sexual abuse claims.

In an appeal filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, lawyers for Bishop William S. Skylstad wrote that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia C. Williams erred in her analysis in 11 areas and wrongly ignored evidence and centuries of religious law.

Lawyers for parishes facing potential loss of churches and schools joined in the appeal.

In reply, lawyers for people whose lawsuits claiming sexual abuse by priests resulted in the Chapter 11 filing by the diocese said the appeal could delay resolution of those cases for years.

Continue reading...

Not only will it delay settlement, liquidating parish property will turn the victims into the enemies of the Catholic laity. Sympathy for their cause will be sacrificed.


Is this an example of misplaced charity?


Cardinal O'Brien has boldly defended Catholic truth on a number of occasions. This is just one of them.

From Gay.com:

The former Bishop of Edinburgh has slammed criticism of gay adoption, and accused Catholic leaders of falling into an “old trap” of imposing beliefs on non-Catholics.

Richard Holloway made the comments after Scotland’s senior Catholic representative Cardinal Keith O’Brien wrote in the Sunday Times that plans to allow same-sex couples to adopt were a “distorted social experiment”.

"We ignore a wealth of global evidence and place innumerable children in peril if we forget certain immutable truths; children need a male and a female role model in a permanent relationship," Cardinal O’Brien said in the article.

"Scotland's adopted children must not become guinea pigs in some distorted social experiment aimed at redefining marriage, subverting the family and threatening the good of society."

But Holloway warned the Cardinal not to impose his own views on non-Catholics.

"The old ritual tradition has kicked in. The Cardinal and the Moderator have attacked it because it offends their religious code,” he said in quotes published by the Scotsman.

"They have fallen into the old trap of believing the strictures of their religious code should be enforced on those that don't share it."

Holloway is not the first to criticise the Cardinal for the comments, which have angered gay campaigners north of the border.

“We regard it is deeply sad that a senior cleric is still peddling these untruthful and inflammatory claims about gay people,” Stonewall’s Ben Summerskill told GAY.COM.

I see they are using the UN to back up their claim. Will a lawsuit follow?

He also claimed the changes were an "open contradiction" to the UN Convention on the rights of the child, comments the Scottish Executive rejected.


According to C21 Media

A documentary series that aims to separate the fact from fiction in best-selling author Dan Brown's popular thrillers is part of the Mipcom slate from Australia's Beyond Distribution.

The series is titled Secrets of Angels, Demons & Masons (2x60') and is produced by Hidden Treasures Productions. Elsewhere, high-def docudrama Secret Files of the Inquisition (4x60'), from Inquisition Productions, is based on unreleased secret documents from the Vatican that reveal the Catholic Church’s 500-year struggle to remain the world’s only true Christian religion.


Mark Shea - in blog titled "Until further notice from God...":

Fourth, God is the judge of the world, not me and not even my most especially holiest readers. Fifth, if I were in the position of people in New Orleans, I would be strongly tempted to give a good swift kick to the Holy Ones whose first thought is not, "How can I help?" but "This is your fault, you know."

Mark Shea in blogs posted last night:

"The Right's Limbaugh Pretzel"

So when you royally screw up, as government did at every level--state, local, and federal--with Katrina...

Both local and state authorities were manifestly corrupt and incompetent boobs.

Words cannot fathom the contempt I feel for the authorities who abused power in this way.

Moreover, it was due, at least in part, to Bush's tendency to value loyalty over competence.

"Our Funny Little Atheist Friends"

Ever fearful of the coming jihad that might be sparked if an American politician says, "God bless America", the shriveled little souls at American Atheists find something to fill up the empty hours of their self-confessedly meaningless existence.

Evangelical atheists are crashing bores. Only their humorlessness saves them from being complete unfunny.

I take it from these quotes that judgmentalism is ok with Mark so long as you are being judgmental about the "right" people. "Right" as determined by Mark Shea.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


of the hurricane. (Scroll down to "Until further notice from God...")


Setting wisdom and prudential judgment aside, I'll comment.

Mark: First, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Second, God is in control of stuff (including weather).

Since you admit God is in control of weather, why do you think He chose not to stop Katrina before it hit New Orleans?

Mark: But playing Lifeboat is much less fun when you are in a lifeboat and sensible people know that there is a time and place for speculating on the mysterious purposes of the Almighty and a time and a place for shutting one's trap and just helping.

If by "Lifeboat" you mean the game of who gets to stay and who is thrown overboard, what on earth does that have to do with the subject at hand?

What specifically are you doing to help, other than sending cash?

When is the "time and place for speculating" in your opinion?

Mark: I believe God judges evil.

Give us an example of God judging evil.

Mark: picture God as a huge pissed-off bearded guy who smashes whole populations indiscriminately without bothering to distinguish between the innocent and the guilty.

How do you explain the great flood? The destruction of the second temple and dispersion of the Jews?

Who are the "innocent"? In paragraph one you indicated that "all have sinned and fallen short".

Mark: when God shows us our own faces and reveals to us who we really are.

How does God show us our own faces? Could you provide an example of God doing this?

Mark: God doesn't stop the proceedings and smash the evildoers.

Well, He did send darkness and an earthquake when Christ was crucified. Some folks might have thought this halted their proceedings somewhat. Katrina halted the Southern Decadence party. I don't suppose Mardi Gras will be the usual event in 2006. Most likely drug trafficing has been interrupted. Since you admit that God controls the weather, and since the weather is the cause for these changes of plans, I'd be interested to know to whom you're assigning resonsibility.

Mark: Everybody remembers the people who were certain they saw a judgment on New York in 9/11. I'm one of them. And the judgment I saw was, "New Yorkers are awesome!" I was repeatedly moved to tears by the incredible stories of heroism, sacrificial love, and nobility that came out of that horrible moment.

You seem to have no hesitation in judging goodness. What sort of discernment refuses to recognize its opposite? If you can't judge evil, how do you manage to avoid it?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


As the water level in much of New Orleans begins to slowly recede, officials are preparing to deal with thousands of dead bodies – bodies floating in contaminated water, hidden in damaged homes and even piled together in the freezer of the city's convention center.

"DMort is telling us to expect up to 40,000 bodies," Dan Buckner, a funeral home director, said, quoting officials with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, a volunteer arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

Continue reading...

Thanks to a reader for the link.


Robert Duncan linked a story at Spero in a comments box below. While the tract and commentary being offered are true, are they too stark to be given to someone who has just lost everything? Should it be sugar coated so that those who hear it do not lose heart and faith if they already have it?

The message can only be effective if it is accompanied by practical help with current material needs. If the person pointing our attention to God is also providing what is desperately needed, the recipient may listen. That has been the technique of Catholic missionaries for centuries.

Most people are disinclined to listen to such a message when everything is going well. It is only when we have the rug ripped out from under us that we are open to consider we might be missing something. When solid ground is gone, we turn to God. I tend to believe that those moments are His wake-up call, and I also tend to believe that He engineers them.


Michael Geist describes his experience with using the internet while staying in a hotel in China.

My hotel in Beijing featured high-speed Internet access much like that offered in hotels throughout North America. Logging onto the network was a snap and I quickly found that bandwidth speeds were comparable to those found at home.

It was once I sought to access common news sites that I found myself face to face with the “Great Firewall of China.” Google News, a popular aggregator of news stories from around the world, would not load into my browser, apparently blocked by a filtering system that employs 30,000 people to regularly monitor Internet traffic and content. Similarly, while the BBC website would load, attempts to access news stories on that site yielded only error messages.

My frustration increased when I attempted to download my own email. While I was able to access my Canadian-based mail server storing my messages, the download was short-circuited midway as I suddenly lost the connection. Although I initially thought that perhaps the error lay at the Canadian end, when the experience repeated itself, it became clear that the Chinese system was filtering my email messages and cutting off the connection.

Having experienced limits in accessing both news and email, it came as little surprise to find that the search engines were subject to similar restrictions. Searches for articles on circumventing the Chinese filters yielded a long list of results, none of which could be opened. Moreover, inputting politically sensitive words such as the “Falun Gong” cut me off from the search engines completely.

While I found using the Chinese Internet exceptionally frustrating, most people I spoke to were resigned to an Internet with limits. They live with the fact that in recent months the government has shut down thousands of Internet cafes, an important point of access for many citizens. Many noted that the censorship “only” affected political information, but that business could be conducted online unimpeded. At one academic conference, Chinese law professors even spoke of the desirability of increased content regulation and supported government limits on search engine results.

As groups such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders regularly seek to remind us, the Chinese Internet is not unique. Countries throughout the Middle East and in parts of Asia employ similar technologies to limit their citizens’ access to a medium that most Canadians now take for granted.

Lest we dismiss his experience because--well--it's China, he recounts an attempt to censor the internet in Canada as well.


Sandro Magister has the full text of Benedict's address to non-Catholic Christians in Germany, including his off-the-cuff remarks, up on the Chiesa website.

He is attempting to direct ecumenism into a channel that will not violate the teachings of each individual religion, but also will not place roadblocks to unity.

While I am in sympathy with his objectives, I still don't see how this can be done without doing violence to the teachings of the Church down through the centuries. Do we abandon the concept of heresy? Do we reject the teachings of prior popes? If we do, how then can we claim to be a people of Tradition? If we do not, how then do we reconcile the anathemas with our current friendliness?

I just don't see how we can go where he is going without destroying doctrine.

He readily admits that "Dialogue cannot come at the price of truth", and I agree. But how, then, can I also agree with "dialogue must be carried out in charity and truth." Aren't the two mutually incompatible? or more accurately, isn't dialogue substantially opposed to truth? We can hardly come to the dialogue table claiming we know it all and expect those with whom we dialogue to view that as charity, can we? The mere fact that we join with other ecclesial communities at the dialogue table presupposes that all at the table are equal.


along with Bishop Levada in an article about forgiveness in the current edition. A portion of it is online:

We’ve had several occasions to take Fr. Ron Rolheiser to task in our New Oxford Notes section ( March 2002, Jul.-Aug. 2002, Oct. 2002, and Feb. 2003). The writings of Fr. Ron we’ve commented on appeared (save one) in Catholic San Francisco, whose Publisher is Archbishop William Levada. Fr. Ron is a dissenting theologian and a syndicated columnist, and the first time we took him to task, our title was “Archbishop Levada: Call Your Office!” Of course, Levada did nothing. That Levada has continued to allow Fr. Ron’s column in his newspaper says a lot. Levada apparently isn’t much bothered by dissent. In our New Oxford Note (Oct. 2002), we said: “If a bishop allows Fr. Ron’s column to appear in his paper, you won’t want to take it for granted that that bishop is a reliable defender of the Faith.” And now Levada has been appointed by Pope Benedict as the chief doctrinal watchdog of the Catholic Faith. What gives?

Continue reading...


New Oxford Review talks about chastisement of the Church through the exposure of the sexual abuse scandal, quoting Hebrews 12:5-8,11, in an ad targeting future subscribers--an ad that contains a Catholic principle. Here's the passage:

You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons: "My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges."

Endure your trials as "discipline"; God treats you as sons. For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons but bastards. Besides this, we have had our earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not [then] submit all the more to the Father of spirits and live? They disciplined us for a short time as seemed right to them, but he does so for our benefit, in order that we may share his holiness. At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.

Monday, September 05, 2005


places blame on the mayor of New Orleans for the delay in providing relief efforts in his city.

Michael J.Gaynor reports for MichNews.com.

You can read Bishop Gracida's entire statement at this website. Just click the link on the top right.


LONDON, September 4 (IranMania) - Iran's Supreme Leadery hailed Palestinian militants for "expelling the' Zionist' regime from Gaza" and called for the "continuation and fortification of resistance and Jihad," or holy struggle.

"The only way to confront the 'Zionist' enemy is the continuation and fortification of resistance and Jihad," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying in a meeting with the militant group Islamic Jihad's secretary general Ramazan Abdullah, according to AFP.

"Although the retreat of the 'Zionist' regime from Gaza is short of Palestinian rights and demands, it is however a big victory that shows the inability of the occupier regime of Qods (Jerusalem)," the ISNA news agency quoted Khamenei as saying.

He added that "with the cooperation of Jihadi groups", further "success is also possible in other parts of the occupied territories".

Continue reading...

Thanks to a reader for the story.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


You stay at home and trim the shrubs and stain the deck.

And when the weekend is over you have this satisfying feeling that something has been accomplished.

Now, if I could just get my eyes to stop wandering to the side and back of one of the poles that hold up the swing in the backyard--the one that has two sides covered in the new stain color and two sides covered with the faded stain that was being replaced. We needed about a cup more stain and couldn't justify a trip to the store and $25+ for another gallon just to paint those two sides of the pole. So they remain stainless.


talks about the disaster and God's plan:

The chaos surrounding Hurricane Katrina may have already claimed the life of one of his priests, the Rev. Thomas Kinney, who had cancer and died at St. Clare's Nursing Home in Baton Rouge on Saturday night, just after he evacuated from New Orleans. Two priests who stayed to minister to refugees in the Superdome are missing. Archbishop Hughes has not heard from a third priest, who went to the Louis Armstrong airport in New Orleans to tend to elderly, frail and disabled residents who were being airlifted for medical treatment.

Archbishop Hughes is trying to send priests in pursuit of what he described as a diaspora that has emptied half of the parishioners of the eight civil parishes in Louisiana that his archdiocese covers. Priests have been sent to Atlanta, Dallas and Houston and the Louisiana cities of Alexandria and Lafayette to minister to evacuees from New Orleans.

Archbishop Hughes himself fled New Orleans, driving alone in a Ford Taurus, on Aug. 28, the day before Hurricane Katrina struck. He said he did so only at the urging of public officials who said he would set an example for residents of New Orleans and would be better able to coordinate the archdiocese's response from a safe location.

Asked whether he still had hope, he declared: "Absolutely. Absolutely. That is the root of our faith.

"The most important thing is to not doubt God's presence and God's saving and transforming grace," he continued. "I'm convinced that God is going to purify us through this."

Blogger credit to Sprit Daily.


A CathNews article linked at New Oxford Review indicates that several Vatican officials are beyond retirement age or will reach it shortly. Speculation is that Benedict will announce major changes in the Curia this month.


a letter was read from Bishop Pilla which spoke about the tragedy and about the second collection to be taken up at all Masses in the Cleveland Diocese to aid the victims. The money will be funneled through Catholic Charities, of course. Many did not contribute to the collection. I assume that they contributed to other efforts.

The church was pleasantly full. Of course it was the 10:30 Mass which I seldom attend. Still it's good to know that at that Mass the pews were full.

My pastor announced in the bulletin that his health problems are worsening. In his homily he talked about the days when the parish had four priests, and then three, then two, and now it is only him. He is finding his responsibilities overwhelming, especially because he is the only chaplain for the hospital located in the parish and the sick calls frequently come at night. I'm concerned that he may be leading us up to his retirement for health reasons. There will not be anyone to fill his shoes.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


according to this Reuters story. The article also points to the turnaround toward goodness, which is surely God at work, that is the result of this disaster. May both the warning that the disaster brings and the goodness that results from a turn toward God and His values be a lasting result.

Blogger credit to New Oxford Review.


Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


will be in a Catholic Church, although he was not Catholic, according to Amy's blog. The Canons which apply and grant permission for this are noted in the comments box. Apparently it is legal.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Interesting reading at Mass today given the events of this past week.

If I say to the wicked man, You shall surely die; and you do not warn him or speak out to disuade him from his wicked conduct so that he may live: that wicked man shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, on the other hand, you have warned the wicked man, yet he has not turned away from his evil nor from his wicked conduct, then he shall die for his sin, but you shall save your life. (Esekiel 3:18-19)

Can the same be said of a culture? Are we obliged to point out when a city strays from the ways of God? Does God permit a culture to accrue the wages of the sin that takes part within it? Does God dispense justice and chastisement?

My pastor's homily today included the warnings of war issued at Fatima, and the fact that those warnings proved valid in the form of World War I and World War II. He spoke of taking note of warnings in apparitions, but only those which have the approval of the Church.

A reader sent in a quote from the blog "Pontifications" which addressed the topic of "Blaming God." This is the quote, though I haven't been able to locate it in the Pontifications blog:

"Indeed the situation in New Orleans and the surrounding states is catastrophic. Hopefully we will not blame God. From Schillebeeckx’s, Church: The Human Story of God,
Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

“Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history” . “Nothing is determined in advance: in
nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices. Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we
and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women.”

Is the (historical ?) future known to God?

CCC 2115: God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints.

If God can reveal it, He must by necessity know it. Does He have sovereignty over it?

CCC 269: The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God....He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will...

CCC 301: With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end.

CCC 306: God is the sovereign master of his plan.

From the Baltimore Catechism:

#171: God sees us and watches over us

#173: God knows all things, even our most secret thoughts, words, and actions.

#174: God can do all things, and nothing is hard or impossible to Him.

#177: God must be just as well as merciful because He must fulfil His promise to punish those who merit punishment, and because He cannot be infinite in one perfection without being infinite in all.

#178: The forgetfulness of God's justice will lead us into sins of presumption.

#211: God did not leave all things to themselves after He had created them; He continues to preserve and govern them.

##212: We call the care by which God preserves and governs the world and all it contains His providence.

Those entries should be sufficient to enable us to conclude that God does control the weather.

From the Catechism of the Council of Trent:

Pg. 29-30: We are not, however, to understand that God is in such wise the Creator and Maker of all things that His works, when once created and finished, could thereafter continue to exist unsupported by His omnipotence. For as all things derive existence from the Creator's supreme power, wisdom, and goodness, so unless preserved continually by His Providence, and by the same power which produced them, they would instantly return into their nothingness. This the Scriptures declare when they say "How could anything endure if thou wouldst not? or be preserved, if not called by three?"

Not only does God protect and govern all things by His Providence, but He also by an internal power impels to motion and action whatever moves and acts, and this in such a manner that, although He excludes not, He yet precedes the agency of secondary causes. For His invisible influence extends to all things, and, as the Wise Man says, reaches "from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly." This is the reason why the Apostle, announcing to the Athenians the God whom, not knowing, they adored, said: He is "not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and are."

If "He precedes the agency of secondary causes" we must also conclude that He has command of secondary causes. We have evidence that God controls the weather in the Scripture passage where Jesus calms the storm.

When I glanced through the Pontifications blog, it appeared to be attempting to promote orthodoxy. Yet the choice of Schillebeeckx’s work as a source is curious.

Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, S.V.D., author of THE RHINE FLOWS INTO THE TIBER, an account of the inner workings of the Second Vatican Council, has this to say of Schillebeeckx.

Before the opening of the Council the schemas which would constitute the topics discussed during the Council were being reviewed by the Council Fathers at the request of Pope John. Wiltgen writes:

Shortly thereafter, seventeen Dutch bishops met at 's-Hertogenbosch, at the invitation of Bishop Willem Bekkers, to discuss the schemas. There was a general dissatisfaction with the first four dogmatic constitutions, entitled "Sources of Revelation," Preserving Pure the Deposit of Faith," "Christian Moral Order," and "Chastity, Matrimony, the Family and Virginity," and general agreement that the fifth, on the liturgy, was the best. The proposal was then discussed and approved that a commentary should be prepared, and be widely distributed among the Council Fathers, pointing out the weaknesses of the dogmatic constitutions, and suggesting that the schema on the liturgy be placed first on the Council agenda.

In effect, the only author of the resulting commentary, published anonymously, was Father Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P., a Belgian-born professor of dogmatics at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, who served as the leading theologian for the Dutch hierarchy. It contained a devastating criticism of the four dogmatic constitutions, which were charged with representing only one school of theological thought. Only the fifth schema, on the liturgy, was described as "an admirable piece of work."

It should be noted that the liturgical movement had been active in Europe for several decades, and that quite a large number of the bishops and periti from the Rhine countries had been appointed by Pope John to the preparatory commission on liturgy. As a result, they had succeeded in inserting their ideas in the schema and gaining approval for what they considered a very acceptable document. (p. 22-23)

Still another consequence of the priority given to the debate on the liturgy was that Father Schillebeeckx and other opponents of the four dogmatic constitutions were given ample time to pinpoint the inadequacies of those texts and to demand their complete revision. (p. 35)

As early as the second session, wrote Father Schillebeeckx, he had told a peritus on the Theological Commission that he was sorry to see in the schema what appeared to be the moderate liberal view on collegiality; he personally was in favor of the extreme liberal view. (p. 242)

A website which discusses the Second Vatican Council and Wiltgen's book has this to say of Schillebeeckx:

The majority of the Fathers present were Church dignitaries rather than theologians and hence were heavily dependent upon the periti or experts who were almost invariably in the neo-modernist camp. A list of these periti would include almost all the heretical theologians of the post-Conciliar Church, such men as Charles Davis, Hans Kung, Gregory Baum, Edward Schillebeeckx, Bernard Haring, Y. Congar, Karl Rahner and Rene Laurentin.

Another website discussing the Council states:

Monsignor Rudlolf Bandas, a peritus at the Council, acknowledged that allowing suspect theologians at Vatican II (such as Schillebeeckx and Kung) was a grave mistake

But perhaps the most damning commentary on the Catholicism of Fr. Schillebeeckx comes from a non-Catholic source--Wikipedia--where you will find him listed among the liberal theologians in an entry titled "Liberal Christianity."

Enough said.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Here is the location of the above quote in the Pontifications blog. Turns out it's in a combox. See the first comment to this post.

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