Saturday, April 01, 2006
NEW PROBLEMS IN THE CLEVELAND DIOCESE
There are new allegations of black mail and sex in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.
So far, three people have been arrested in connection with this case.
Allegedly two women and one man were blackmailing Fr. Carolan, pastor of St. Jude Parish, who went to the Warrensville Heights police to report a theft. Charges are pending for all three.
They allegedly were threatening to go public with proof Fr. Carolan has been having sex with both women for some time.
The diocese has asked Fr. Carolan to resign according to Bob Tayek, spokesman for the diocese, and he did resign on Tuesday. The decision about whether he will be reassigned will be made by his Franciscan order since he is on loan to the diocese from the Province of the Sacred Heart in St. Louis since 1990.
The story can be read here.
EPISCOPAL CREDIBILITY ACCORDING TO FFRF
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which has been monitoring "black collar crimes" since the late 1980s, is calling on Bishop William Skylstad to step down as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and as bishop of Spokane, Wash.
The call was prompted after remarks by Bishop Skylstad, prefacing the disclosure late this week of the church's 2005 "self-audit" on sexual abuse cases. Skylstad said he had both "a sense of progress" and a "great sense of the continuing impact of the sexual abuse crisis," because his own diocese is in bankruptcy over sex crimes, and he himself has been accused of molesting a teenage girl in the 1960s. Skylstad denies the allegation.
"If these circumstances provide you with a 'sense of progress,' " asks Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president in a letter to the bishop, "what would give you a sense of failure?"
Gaylor said the U.S. Conference of Bishops "lacks all credibility when its head is accused of being a child molester himself."
While I tend to agree with the analysis, what gives a spokeswoman from the Freedom From Religion Foundation a voice in the discussion? Would they allow a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Church to meddle in their affairs? Her "letter to the bishop" should have found a home in the round file!
Thursday, March 30, 2006
FROM THE EMAILBOX - LORD HAVE MERCY !
I recently had an interesting email exchange with a blog reader. He described some of his experiences and I requested permission to blog them. We were discussing Michael Rose's book, Goodbye! Good Men.
You could consider me a Spiritual Son of Saint Francis Xavier as my ancestors were baptized by Saint Francis Xavier or by zealous Missionaries that followed him in the 16th Century.
I am a South Asian Catholic of Portuguese Descent. I lived in the United States for 5 years mostly in the East. Unfortunately, I also had some traumatic experiences in Religious Life specially in a Trappist Monastery as a Postulant and later when I was in formation at a Third Order Franciscan Friary.
So, I am well aware of the problems in the Catholic Church in the United States. An excellent book that comes to mind is "Good Bye Good Men" by Michael Rose which explains the extent to which Homosexuality is rampant in the Priesthood and Religious Life.
The Awesome Homilies of Father Robert J. Altier were totally responsible for bringing me back to the practice of the Catholic Faith as I was on the verge of leaving the Catholic Church completely as a result of these traumatic experiences and I was on the verge of joining a Baptist Church or a Pentecostal Church.
When I was quite depressed as a result of these experiences I happened to be surfing on the Internet looking for Homilies on the Blessed Sacrament by a Solid Priest when I quite accidentally came across the Site "A VOICE IN THE DESERT" and the Homilies of Father Altier.
The Homilies of Father Altier were a "LIFELINE" to me when I needed them most. What if I had not come across them -- I could have become a "BIBLE CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALIST" as I had already started to loathe every Catholic Priest I had come across or experienced in these two Religious Orders as well as other Religious Orders where Straight Guys were and possibly are looked upon with great hatred.
It seems that you need to be a "Queen" of some sorts as a qualification to enter a Monastery or Friary. That is what the Director of Postulants of a Franciscan Order said to me.
Words are not enough to explain what the Homilies have done for me. They have miraculously transformed me in a way I just cannot describe, specially with regard to my love for the Sacraments, Our Lady, and Church Teaching.
That is why I am indignant and enraged so to speak with regard to the action by Archbishop Flynn against Father Altier.
Not only does this blog reader belive that Michael Rose's book is accurate, he also recommends Donald Cozzens book, THE CHANGING FACE OF THE PRIESTHOOD, which I haven't read because it comes out of my own diocese, and I still want to be able to attend Mass without having to speculate about the priest before me during it.
With a problem in the priesthood that is as pervasive as Michael Rose and Donald Cozzens describe, and this blog reader with first-hand experience attests to, we should be getting a strong response from Rome, one that includes threats of excommunication and charges of heresy. What are we getting?
Trips. The sequel.
Abandonment of the Latin Patriarchy.
One document that the bishops spin into business as usual.
And priests who preach an orthodox Catholicism silenced.
I'm supposed to be happy about a cleaned up priesthood because, you know, the bishops have addressed it and it's history now.
The priests may no longer be buggering little boys, but no one even talks about consensual adult to adult homosexuality in the seminary and priesthood. Which I believe is a much greater problem than the stuff in the headlines has been.
Celibacy and ordination are not a ticket to a non-stop sexual funhouse.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
NO "HUSBAND" ON TOMBSTONE
Dom has linked this story at Bettnet.
CRANSTON, R.I. - The Catholic Diocese of Providence is refusing a gay Rhode Island resident’s request to place the word "husband" on his late spouse’s mausoleum plaque at a church cemetery.
Cemetery personnel told Rick Paolino March 20 that they would not allow him his choice of wording at the mausoleum at St. Ann’s Cemetery. Paolino’s husband Justin died Feb. 5.
So, were they both "husbands" or is one of them a "wife"? And if the cemetary is sued and forced to allow "husband" in this instance, would they also have to allow "wife" on the marker for a man in the future?
I'm trying to imagine some archeologist digging in the burial grounds three centuries from now, and coming upon a tombstone with the name "Rick" and the word "wife" on it. Would he conclude that in the American culture "Rick" was also a woman's name, or that the word "wife" could refer to male or female? Or would he conclude there had been some grave marker rearrangement and the markers could not be relied upon to give information about the body inside the grace, since the body inside this grave was male?
CHAPEL OF THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST
Is it really? Very strange looking place.
JESUS SURVIVED THE CRUCIFIXION
An article at Beliefnet, written by Michael Baigent and excerpted from "The Jesus Papers," claims that Christ survived the crucifixion and proceeds to describe how this was possible and what evidence is available to support the claim.
Clearly it would be difficult to survive a crucifixion, but it was not impossible. Josephus, for example, reports that he came upon three of his former colleagues among a large group of crucified captives. He went to Titus asking for mercy, begging that they might be taken down. Titus agreed, and the three men were brought down from the cross. Despite professional medical attention, two of them died, but the third survived.
Could Jesus have survived just like the survivor in Josephus's report? There are traditions in Islam that say so. The Koran's statement "They did not crucify him" could as well be translated as "They did not cause his death on the cross."
Baigent discusses the possibility that the wine (or vinegar) soaked sponge offered to Jesus when He said "I thirst" was really a sponge filled with a tranquilizer that made Him appear to be dead.
The article closes with a "statement of fact":
Again, it takes only a slight shift of perspective, a standing aside from the theological dogma, to see the crucifixion in a new way. That is, to see how Jesus could very well have survived.
My first reaction is to strike Beliefnet from my list of resources, but on further reflection, I suppose they have to air the views that are getting the attention of the public.
Baigent mentions an Islamic source
Could Jesus have survived just like the survivor in Josephus's report? There are traditions in Islam that say so. The Koran's statement "They did not crucify him" could as well be translated as "They did not cause his death on the cross." But the Koran is a very late text, even though it undoubtedly uses earlier documents and traditions. Perhaps more relevant for us is a statement by Irenaeus in the late second century; in a complaint about the beliefs of an Egyptian Gnostic, Basilides, he explains that this heretic taught that Jesus had been substituted during the journey to Golgotha and that this substitute, Simon of Cyrene, had died in Jesus' stead.
Baigent doesn't cite his source, however. Could it be the backers of the Tomb of Jesus website? The same argument that Baigent is making is presented at that linked page in the website.
Basilides is a favorite source of Gnostics and occultists, and Nicholas Roerich is another. According to the timeline at this link, Roerich was a Theosophist and a Russian. Roerich is mentioned in this webpage in the Tomb of Jesus website which describes the theories of Nicholas Notovich, another Russian.
Here is a list of the people, besides Notovitch, that he reveals visited Hemis and saw the documents, or who read other ancient Indian documents mentioning Jesus in India: Swami Abhedenanda (1922), Nicholas Roerich (1925), Madame Caspari (1939), Mrs. Clarence Gasque (1939) and Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha. Mr. Aziz Kashmir, author of Christ in Kashmir, informs the staff of The Tomb of Jesus Christ Website that the following people either saw the documents, or heard an oral reference to the documents: Dr. R. Ravicz (1973), U. Eichstadt (1974), Edward Noack (1970's).
The Theos-Talk website mentions Notovich in association with Roerich, indicating that both of them visited the Hemis monastery and wrote about it, and both claim to have seen the same scrolls.
There is another source...Elizabeth Clare Prophet. In looking at some of her books at Amazon, it's easy to see that she is pursuing the Gnostic theories.
Prophet and her husband Mark Prophet are both channelers. They operate Summit Lighthouse a Gnostic type of church. Prophet describes Angels as messengers of light, and it is these angels that she channels.
Angels, of course, come in two varieties. We can pray to the good angels. Channeling the fallen angels is asking for trouble.
I've noticed more and more, in driving around, that lighthouses are starting to appear on church property, either as signs or as physical structures. And there was that light god in the hospital chapel that I blogged about a few weeks ago.
All of this adds up to just a bunch of coincidences (or synchronicity), of course, but it is worth keeping in mind.
FR. ROBERT ALTIER'S HOMILIES
can still be found online here, in case anyone is looking for them. When you get to the website scroll up for the 2006 homilies or click a link in the archive.
BISHOPS APPROVE CONDOMS
Some Catholic bishops are bucking the Vatican's strict line by allowing church clinics in PNG to hand out condoms to infected people to slow an AIDS epidemic raging on Australia's doorstep.
If one of two partners is infected and they cannot abstain from sex, then it is wise to provide condoms, said Bishop Gilles Cote, a French Canadian who heads the Daru-Kiunga diocese in Western Province.
Rome bans the use of condoms outright and insists that abstinence is the best way to combat the disease.
However, some church workers on the epidemic frontline see things much differently as they deal with daily ravages of AIDS in communities where sex outside marriage and multiple sex partners are commonplace.
Blogger credit to New Oxford Review.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Pope to visit Quebec.
Pope to visit Turkey.
Pope to visit China.
Pope to visit Brazil.
Pope to visit Britain.
Pope to visit Sydney.
Pope to visit Poland.
Pope visited Germany.
Benedict cloning John Paul II Papacy?
Can this pope govern while he gads?
Oh wait...he's no longer the Western Patriarch is he? Maybe he doesn't plan to govern.
Is this what we can expect from all future popes...the new-style Pontificate? Ecumenical and friendly, rather than defender of the faith? The friend of all mankind?
Champion of the New World Order??
I shouldn't even be conceiving of these questions, let alone asking them.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
"Bishop Fulton J. Sheen: His Irish Wit & Wisdom"
This video contains three 30-minute programs, the third of which, "Why Do People Laugh?", is Sheen at his best. Just as entertaining today as it was when the program was recorded back in the 50's. Sheen is timeless.
This is another of the videos in my parish's lending library.
THE PAPAL CABINET
According to the Boston Globe:
The new pope, who in a few weeks will mark the first anniversary of his pontificate, has demonstrated, in words and in action, that he foresees a different, expanded role for the college of cardinals than was obvious under the papacy of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.
Last Thursday, the day before the consistory at which Benedict elevated Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of Boston and 14 others to cardinal, the pope invited all 193 cardinals and cardinals-designate to discuss the Catholic Church's posture toward Islam, whether Rome should reconcile with a schismatic group of traditionalists, which role retired bishops should play in the church, and liturgical reform.
Benedict has made it clear he wants the college of cardinals to function, as he said on Feb. 22, as ''a sort of Senate around the pope, upon which he relies in carrying out the duties associated with his ministry." He repeated that point on Friday, saying of the college of cardinals, ''Its ancient roots, its historical development, and its composition today make it truly a kind of 'Senate,' called to cooperate closely with the Successor of Peter in accomplishing the tasks connected with his universal apostolic ministry."
? ? ? ? GEOCENTRISM ? ? ? ?
It's an interesting proposition from the religious perspective, anyway.
The Earth is at the center of Robert Sungenis' universe. Literally.
Yours too, he says.
Sungenis is a geocentrist. He contends the sun orbits the Earth instead of vice versa. He says physics and the Bible show that the vastness of space revolves around us; that we're at the center of everything, on a planet that does not rotate.
He has just completed a 1,000-page tome, "Galileo Was Wrong," the first in a pair of books he hopes will persuade readers to "give Scripture its due place, and show that science is not all it's cracked up to be."
Geocentrism is a less-known cousin of the intelligent design, or anti-evolution, movement. Both question society's trust in science, instead using religion to explain how we got here - and, in geocentrism's case, just where "here" is.
Mention geocentrism and physicist Lawrence Krauss sighs. He is director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case Western Reserve University and author of several books including "Fear of Physics: A Guide for the Perplexed."
"What works? Science works. Geocentrism doesn't. End of story," Krauss said from Cleveland. "I've learned over time that it's hard to convince people who believe otherwise, independent of evidence."
To Sungenis, of Greencastle, Pa., evidence is the rub.
For several years the Web site of his Catholic Apologetics International (www.catholicintl.com) offered a $1,000 reward to anyone who could disprove geocentrism and prove heliocentrism (a sun-centered solar system).
I guess the only way to end this debate is to set up a camera on Mars, pointed toward Earth, and film for a 24-hour cycle. Somehow I don't think it's going to happen any time soon.
Monday, March 27, 2006
BAIGENT RIDES AGAIN
"The Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown and his courtroom nemesis, Michael Baigent, now have a new rivalry - on the best-seller lists.
Brown's novel goes on sale in paperback Tuesday with an advance printing of 5 million copies, the same day that HarperSanFrancisco is issuing "The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History" by Baigent, with an initial hardcover print run of a much more modest 150,000.
Baigent and his former co-author Richard Leigh are awaiting the verdict in a British lawsuit that charges Brown lifted much of his "Da Vinci" plot from their 1982 book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" which - like "Jesus Papers" - was marketed as nonfiction.
In religious terms, Brown and Baigent are allies.
CATHOLIC TEACHER'S ASSOCIATION ENDORSES "DA VINCI THEORY"
If this is what the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association website presents as quality teaching, why would any parent let them near their kids?
Joanna Manning thanked OECTA for providing a zone of freedom within the Catholic community where adults can hear and speak about issues that are important to them.
The phenomenal success of Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code, may be attributable to the fact that it raises hope for the future, Author Joanna Manning, a retired OECTA member told OECTA's Human Rights Caucus on Friday evening.
The idea that Mary of Magdala was the chosen companion – possibly even the successor to Jesus – is based on accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus brought to light in ancient texts that were discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945, Manning said.
The ancient texts show that Mary Magdalene, “played a key role as the close companion of Jesus and leader, visionary and healer within the mixed group of men and women who were his closest associates,” Manning said. But this “mutual leadership of women and men declined when the Roman church, that emphasized a patriarchal family structure emerged as the triumphant seat of western orthodoxy.”
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.
THE RITE OF SODOMY
Matt C. Abbott reviews book scheduled for July release:
A forthcoming book by investigative journalist Randy Engel is likely to be one of the most controversial books of its kind in quite some time.
The Rite of Sodomy – Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church, due out in July 2006, is 1318 pages in length, and, according to the Web site for the book, “tracks the rise of homosexuality in the Catholic hierarchy, diocesan priesthood and religious life in the United States over a span of 100 years and three generations of prelates. It examines all facets of this intergenerational phenomenon on the life of the Church – yesterday, today and tomorrow. The text is broken down into five mini-book sections, each examining a different aspect of homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Church.
From "Appendix Lamed: The Tactics of Magick" - The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson:
Ouroboros, the serpent eating its own tail, is chiefly emblematic of the Mass of the Holy Ghost.*The Tree of Life.
*See Israel Regardie,
(Illuminatus! p. 781)
From Aleister Crowley's Liber Aleph, a system of magick based on the Kabbalah:
Here now is another Formula of Power, good to invoke any Being to manifest in thyself. First, invoke him by the Power of all thy Spells and conjurations, with Mind concentrated and Will vehement, toward him, as I have written in many Books. But because thou are NEMO, thou mayst safely invoke him, no matter of what Nature, within thy Circle. Now then do thou confer on him as a Guerdon of his Obedience the Dignity of a Soul seeking Incarnation, and so precede to consecrate thine Act by performing the Mass of the Holy Ghost. Then shall that Spirit make himself Body from those Elements, and thou partaking thereof makest thine own Body his Machinery of Manifestation, and thus mayst thou work with any Spirit soever; yet this shall serve thee most in common Life. Also he Qualities are well defined in the Cards of the Tarot, so hat thou hast a clear-cut Means of developing thy Powers according to the Needs of the Time. But learn also this, to work constantly under the Guidance of thine Holy Guardian Angel, so that thy Workings be alway in Harmony and Accord with thy true Will.
From "The Cincinnati Journal of Ceremonial Magick":
12. A point is made here regarding the Mass of the Holy Ghost, as a preparation for the further instructions regarding the Mass of Maat. Indeed-the M.H.G. is most effectively performed by Magickians of equal ability who share in the Gestalt. The Eagle, having contributed her share of essence in the making of the Elixir, should participate in the consuming of it - otherwise a serious energy-imbalance results. For the Lion to be the only priest in this ritual is nothing more than psychic vampirism.
13-15. Herein is the procedure of the Mass of Maat given. Begin with the statement of Thelema. Banish, then meditate, using the Word of this Book as mantra. This will bring to the conscious minds the reality of bisexuality, regardless of physical form. The Lion becomes lunar, and the Eagle is the active, Solar agent for the first part.
Maat is invoked. (551)
Ecstasy Through Tantra by Dr. John Mumford:
Learn what sex magick is and how it differs from Tantra. The "Mass of the Holy Ghost" by Israel Regardie is reproduced here, and with the information in this book the mystical, alchemical, and sexual meanings of this ritual become clear. Contributors include Donald Michael Kraig on how to have a bliss-filled Tantric weekend, and Carl Llewellyn Weschcke on the importance of love and romance.
From "Alchemy: The black Art" by David Cherubim, Chief of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn:
Now from the point of view of Sexual Alchemy the Great Work is to manufacture the Philosopher's Stone by the skillful application of the sexual act between a man and a woman. In this material form of Alchemy the simple adage holds true: "It takes two to tango!" This constitutes the fundamentals of Sexual Alchemy, which we call Our Master Work and the Labour of Hercules, but most especially the Mass of the Holy Ghost. The whole secret of this Magnum Opus is symbolized by the Union of the Rosicrucian Rose and Cross. This symbol is the same as the symbol for Venus, which is a modification of the Egyptian Ankh, which is itself a combined symbol of the Cross and Circle. The Cross symbolizes the Masculine Principle and the Circle or Rose symbolizes the Feminine Principle.
JOHN SHELBY SPONG WILL SPEAK
at the 2006 Conference of the International Institute of Integral Human Science:
Rt. Rev. JOHN SHELBY SPONG, D.D., D.H.L. (hc)
Episcopal Bishop of Newark, NJ (ret.); distinguished early cham-pion of human rights: black rights in the 60s, women’s rights in the 70’s and 80’s, and gay rights in the 90’s to the present; prolific & insightful author on many contemporary issues including “Consciousness & Survival … Life Beyond Biological Death” (ed. & intro, 1987), “Rescuing the Bible from Funda-mentalism” (1991), and “Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile” (1999). Bishop Spong’s presentations to us are certain to address vital issues!
This is the Canadian group led by Rev. John Rossner, that practices spirit channeling.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
My parish has developed a small video lending library. I brought home a couple of the videos and watched Don Bosco tonight. It's a well-done movie and better entertainment than the stuff I bring home from Blockbuster. It wasn't heavy on piety or overly religious. Just a story of a man with a Catholic dream and how the dream came true. I think I'll have to bring home some more of these videos. There are a number of saints in the collection and the lending library is open after Sunday Mass so it's easy to do. The parish charges a dollar to rent them.
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...
It's easy today to believe the Church is under an unprecedented attack from those who would like to see an end put to Catholicism. There are challenges in the courts turning up in the news weekly. The Church is being cursed for refusing to arrange gay adoptions, for opposing abortion, for allowing sexual abuse. It can and does become discouraging.
The Vatican webmasters have developed a very good search engine that I was exploring the other day. This fact actually has a relationship to the above topic, if you'll bear with me.
Pope Leo XIII is well known for his encyclical Humanum Genus which opposes Freemasonry. I was searching the Vatican website for other documents on Freemasonry when another of Pope Leo's encyclicals turned up--Dall'alto dell'Apostolico Seggio or On Freemasonry in Italy. Strong stuff.
It is needless now to put the Masonic sects upon their trial. They are already judged; their ends, their means, their doctrines, and their action, are all known with indisputable certainty. Possessed by the spirit of Satan, whose instrument they are, they burn like him with a deadly and implacable hatred of Jesus Christ and of His work; and they endeavour by every means to overthrow and fetter it. This war is at present waged more than elsewhere in Italy, in which the Catholic religion has taken deeper root; and above all in Rome, the centre of Catholic unity, and the See of the Universal Pastor and Teacher of the Church.
Hands were laid upon ecclesiastical property, partly by absolute confiscation, and partly by charging it with enormous burdens, so as to impoverish the Clergy and the Church, and to deprive the Church of what is necessary for its temporal support and for carrying on institutions and works in aid of its divine apostolate. This the sectaries themselves have openly declared. To lessen the influence of the Clergy and of clerical bodies, one only efficacious means must be employed: to strip them of all their goods, and to reduce them to absolute poverty.
All know with what salutary effect and in how many ways the influence of religion penetrates society. It is beyond dispute that sound public and private morality gives honour and strength to States. But it is equally certain that, without religion there is no true morality, either public or private. - From the family, solidly based on its natural foundations, comes the life, the growth, and the energy of society. But without religion, and without morality, the domestic partnership has no stability, and the family bonds grow weak and waste away. - The prosperity of peoples and of nations comes from God and from His blessings.
I thought about this while Father talked about the 23rd Chapter of Chronicles which was the source of the first reading at Mass this morning. According to Father, the liturgy had failed and so the people had lost faith and had fallen into evil practices. It ended in the Babylonian Captivity which did not end until the liturgy was restored. He then related this to Vatican II at which the first topic on the agenda was the liturgy.
Liturgy is central to keeping the faith. When liturgy falters faith also falters. This can be just as much a factor in personal faith as it can in Catholic theology. We don't cling to faith long without worship, and the surest road to apostasy and atheism is a rejection of or a neglect of the Mass.
Which, of course, is why our current timeframe is critical, because we have a weakened form of Mass in far too many places, and it is undermining the faith. This is the reason why rubrics are so important. This is the reason why doing your own thing at Mass is destructive. This is why the laity have a right to complain when the rubrics are not followed. Not because a changed word here or a new gesture there is going to matter to God all that much, but because it is going to matter to those in the pew who are trying to understand and to cling to the faith that has been passed down through the centuries. Little things do really matter in the big picture.