Saturday, May 19, 2007


Catholic Priest Invites Gang of 18 To Leave Church

FRONT ROYAL, VA — The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI) today said “Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3) and seventeen other members of Congress who describe themselves as Catholic not only are ignorant of their faith but also need a civics lesson.”

Father Euteneuer was responding to their rebuke of Pope Benedict XVI in a press release from DeLauro’s office which stated that the Pope’s recent comments that Catholic politicians risk excommunication and should not receive Communion by saying, “Such notions offend the very nature of the American experiment and do a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done.”

Father Euteneuer said, “It is an embarrassment that a Catholic, much less a member of Congress should make such an absurd statement. Even if this statement were true, the Holy Father answers to a Higher Power than Rep. DeLauro and the Gang of 18.”

“The truth is,” Father Euteneuer said, “nothing threatens the American experiment more than the legal but unjust killing of human beings by abortion which stands in stark contrast to the very first right enumerated by our Declaration of Independence: The Right to Life. The humanity of the unborn child is no longer even debated. It is a scientific fact. Abortion is murder, and murder is against the law. Like Dred Scott before it, which violated certain citizens’ Right to Liberty, Roe v. Wade is bad, dishonest law and will eventually fall.”

“Excommunication is a pastoral and medicinal penalty, not a political one. The Pope is well within his free expression of religion guaranteed by the US Constitution—and his pastoral duty—to warn any Catholic when their eternal salvation is jeopardized by their actions” Father Euteneuer said. “This is what the Catholic Church teaches and what Catholics believe. If the Gang of 18 believes otherwise, honesty and integrity requires they find another church that tells them what they want to hear. If they have that much of a problem being Catholic, no one is forcing them to stay. We certainly don’t need their hypocrisy.”


This time in Houston, Texas.


Spirit & Life
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 68 | Friday, May 18, 2007
................................................................................... www.hli.org

Academic Apostasy

Why do Catholic colleges and universities honor those who are advocates and leaders of the Culture of Death?
Unfortunately the majority of Catholic universities in the United States have followed the "John F. Kennedy" model of Catholicism, which holds that Catholicism won't "get in the way" of the really "important" work. Since those days, the early 60s, these schools have followed the secular model reflective of the desire of many Catholics at the time to gain acceptance into the wider American culture.

In those days rebellion against the "establishment" was seen as a virtue and the Church was seen by many as a rule-bound, integral part of this "establishment" bent on restricting human freedom. A lack of evangelization, proper catechesis and understanding led to views that the Church was something to be freed from rather than freed by.

Aging professors are still mesmerized with a 1960s utopian dream and invite impressionable students into their childish and outdated radicalism. The Catholic identity of these institutions is reduced to slogans like "faith, peace and justice" or "faith that does justice."

Justice is properly defined as depriving another of what is rightfully his. To claim to espouse justice as a "Gospel value" while depriving others the right to be born by killing them in the womb is a mockery and a lie. Political correctness, it seems, has supplanted the true Gospel at many Catholic universities.

The scandal occurs when the administration, sometimes including the priest-presidents of these institutions, goes along with the program of treating Church authority as an "outside influence" interfering with "academic freedom" when the Church calls them to fidelity. They forget that the Church, far from opposing intellectual inquiry, invented the university. Catholic fidelity is never in conflict with truth.

As Americans we respect the right of others to hold and express viewpoints different from ours, but we are not required to respect those viewpoints, especially when they involve the murder of the innocent. In fact, the Gospel requires us to oppose such viewpoints. Yet it is a modern scandal in the Church that those who hold, advocate and promote evil are not merely respected at Catholic colleges and universities, but are actually honored, by being selected as commencement speakers and given honorary degrees.

Make no mistake. The Catholic Church has enemies - mortal enemies. She always has. Jesus Himself spent much of His public life in mortal danger, and He told us that we could expect the same. Those who publicly advocate the killing of innocents are the enemies of the Catholic Church. We are called to love and pray for our enemies, yes, but not hold them up as models for those embarking on their adult lives and give them honorary degrees. To do so is to become cooperators with evil, not the justice of Christ. It is spiritual treason.

Action Item:

Villanova University has invited pro-abortion advocate Chris Matthews for their graduation where he will receive an honorary degree. In his television commentary and newspaper columns, Matthews has publicly supported abortion rights, even suggesting the validity of partial-birth abortion for severely handicapped babies.

The Graduate School of Notre Dame University has invited Mary Sue Coleman of the University of Michigan's center for stem cell research. She has argued that creating stem cell lines from unwanted embryos is "highly ethical." She also refused to cancel a course at the university teaching students "How to Be Gay" despite protests and efforts of the state legislature to cut university funding.

You may write to the President of Villanova, Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA at: president@villanova.edu

You may write to the Vice-President of Notre Dame Graduate School, Mr. Michael Edwards at: medward1@nd.edu

Please, be polite and charitable in your messages.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

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


can be read at this website. (Scroll down to "March-April 1998). Oddly, the seer is referred to not as Julia Kim but rather as Julia Youn, using the same last name as that of the local ordinary. Perhaps it is her married name, and Kim her maiden name?

In any case, obedience is a hallmark of authentic mystics. Julia Kim and her supporters, by continuing to promote her messages on the web, are disobedient to their bishop, and thus are undermining their own credibility.

It would be interesting to learn what Fr. Lucia is up to at present. He has not surfaced again in research so far. There are also those other centers promoting the same theology as the Apostolic Formation Center for Christian Renew-All which were referred to in material I've already posted. Did they evaporate? Did they change their name so as to disassociate themselves with this condemned organization? Do they still exist and practice the same homosexual rites?

Friday, May 18, 2007


From an article linked at Spirit Daily:

A controversy is raging in Israel, in evangelical circles in the U.S. and on kabbalah web forums worldwide following the posthumous release of what a revered Sephardic rabbi claimed to be the name of the Messiah.

When Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri died in February 2006, somewhere between the age of 106 and 117, 300,000 attended his funeral in Jerusalem.

The Baghdad-born kabbalist had gained notoriety around the world for issuing apocalyptic warnings and for saying he personally met the long-awaited Jewish Messiah in November 2003.

Before Kaduri died, he reportedly wrote the name of the Messiah on a small note, requesting it remained sealed for one year after his death. The note revealed the name of the Messiah as "Yehoshua" or "Yeshua" – or the Hebrew name Jesus.

However, complicating the story further, the note is being challenged as a forgery by his 80-year-old son Rabbi David Kaduri.

"It's not his writing," he is quoted as telling Israel Today.

The note, written in Hebrew and signed in the rabbi's name, said: "Concerning the letter abbreviation of the Messiah's name, He will lift the people and prove that his word and law are valid. This I have signed in the month of mercy."

The Hebrew sentence consists of six words. The first letter of each of those words spells out the Hebrew name Yehoshua or Yeshua.

The finding has raised a combination of excitement and controversy in both Jewish and Christian circles – but scarcely any media attention. Jewish blogs and web forums are filled with skeptical analysis and puzzlement.


Thanks to Susanna for the link.


Formerly of the Apostolic Formation Center for Christian Renew-All, and subsequently a promoter of Eucharistic Adoration, Fr. Martin Lucia was the celebrant at a Mass in which Julia Kim experienced a "Eucharistic miracle." The story is told at the marys-touch.com website:

The weather was superb on November 2. Fr. Martin Lucia, living in Texas and having traveled to more than 500 dioceses all over the world to promote Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, was one of the guest speakers at the conference. He wanted to see Julia and, together with Brian who was among the hosts at the conference, came to my sister’s house at 10 a.m., as Julia was staying there for a few days after the conference. Fr. Lucia asked Julia many questions for more than two hours, repeatedly saying, “Wonderful!” Then, he said that he was training 25 men (15 Americans, two Australians, two Filipinos, two Koreans, two Frenchmen, and two Poles) to continue and expand his work of promoting Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. He asked Julia to write a letter of encouragement for them. When Julia wrote a letter and gave it to him, he was overjoyed. Then, he asked Julia if it would be okay to have a Mass together there. Julia said, “Yes, if that is Father’s wish,” and asked Anna if it was okay with her. Anna said that she would be honored. Fr. Lucia asked Brian to prepare for Mass, and Brian was about to call St. Michael Center in Honolulu about the Mass. At that moment, Julia said to Father Lucia, “Father, if possible, can we have the Mass in a church?” Fr. Lucia asked Brian if there was a church in the neighborhood. Brian said that there was St. Anthony Church about 1 mile from there. Fr. Lucia gladly agreed to Julia’s suggestion, and Brian informed St. Michael Center about the Mass at St. Anthony Church. We took several photographs in the frontyard and left for the church.

A while after we arrived at the church, Thomas Pereira, director of St. Michael Center, arrived carrying the replica statue of Our Lady of Naju, which Julia gave to the Center after the conference. At the Mass celebrated by Fr. Lucia, there were Brian, Thomas Pereira, Julia, Julio, Anna and her husband, Richard Nakamura, Juliana from Korea, and myself. It was a quiet and holy atmosphere. I had some feeling that the Lord was going to show us something special. It was 2 p.m. when the Mass began. When Fr. Lucia consecrated the host and lifted It up, It radiated a brilliant light. After all of us received Communion and came back to our seats, Julia, sitting on my left, began shivering as if she felt cold. Fr. Lucia, who was cleaning the chalice, noticed this and came to Julia and held her hands tightly. I stood up and looked at Julia. She had her eyes closed and seemed a little worried about something. Her face, however, looked bright. A while later, when she opened her mouth, I saw that most of the Sacred Host had already melted but only a small piece still remained on her tongue, slowly changing into the shape of flesh and becoming larger. It became reddish flesh and was moving. Then, Its color changed into dark red. Red blood was flowing from It. Fr. Lucia continued holding Julia’s hands and was praying fervently. A while later, he said to Julia that it would be okay for her to swallow the Eucharist. I was in total shock after witnessing this stupendous miracle of the Eucharist.

I have put "Eucharistic miracle" in quotes because the experiences of Julia Kim have been disapproved by the Church according to the Catholic Apparitions of Jesus and Mary website.

How could such an event be disapproved? How could a Eucharistic miracle have a source in any other than the God of the Universe? Many ask such questions, and believe that the bishops who have rejected this "miracle" are merely pre-disposed to reject anything supernatural. Yet we have evidence within the occult community that such phenomena as bleeding hosts have occurred in settings that are diabolical. For example Satanist Eugene Vintras was also able to produce a bleeding Host according to Eliphas Levi:

In the visions of the new prophet there were everywhere lilies steeped in blood, angels habited like knights, saints disguised as troubadours. There after came hosts affixed on blue silk. Vintras had bloody sweats, his blood appeared on hosts, where it pictured hearts with inscriptions in the handwriting and spelling of Vintras; empty chalices were filled suddenly with wine, and where the wine fell the stains were like those of blood. The initiates believed that they heard delightful music and breathed unknown perfunes; priests, invited to witness the prodigies, were carried away in the current of enthusiasm. One of them, from the diocese of Tours, an old and venerable ecclesiastic, left his cure to follow the prophet. We have personally seen this priest; he has narrated the marvels of Vintras with the most perfect accent of conviction; he has shewn us hosts intincted with blood in a most inexplicable manner; he has communicated to us copies of official proceedings signed by more than fifty witnesses, all honourable persons, occupying positions in the world--artists, physicians, lawyers, a Chevalier de Razac and a Duchesse d'Armaille. Doctors have analysed the crimson fluid which flowed from the hosts and have certified that it was human blood; the very enemies of Vintras--and he has cruel enemies--do not dispute the miracles, but refer them to the devil. (THE HISTORY OF MAGIC, p. 334)

Levi goes on to recount the moral irregularities that took place at Vintras' masses, including the commission of the sin of Onan at the foot of the altar. It is reminiscent of the homosexual rites of the Apostolic Formation Center for Christian Renew-All. Those who are persuaded by spiritual deception are vulnerable to sexual indiscretion, if Levi is to be believed.

Even if true that the Korean bishop's conference which has the right and responsibility to rule on this apparition for the entire Church is persuaded by modernist tendencies as the promoters of Julia Kim claim, there is nothing to be gained by chasing after a condemned apparition. It is not required that we believe in even an approved apparition. We have the sacraments. We have genuine apparitions of the Blessed Virgin approved by the Church. We have the Scriptures and Tradition. Chasing after signs and wonders is an open door to spiritual delusion. Let the Catholic beware.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!



It is not the bishop's conference but rather the local ordinary who has been given the right and responsibility in the Church to make a ruling on private revelation.


The Schism between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has been healed according to an article at Interfax:

The Russian Catholic primate on Friday hailed Thursday's agreement that reunited the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

"The bridging of divisions between Christians always means triumph of a love that overcomes everything: it is an instance of direct obedience to the commandment of Christ, 'That they may all be one'...

Read the rest...


ROME, MAY 17, 2007 (Zenit.org).- An exclusive emphasis on rational theology could lead to a weakening of the "mystical impulse" of the Church, according to an expert on angelology.

Father Marcello Stanzione, the president of the Center of Studies of Angelology at the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria La Nova in Campagna, Italy, is the founder of the Catholic association Militia of St. Michael the Archangel, which organizes an annual theological-pastoral meeting on angels.

The third annual meeting will be held June 1-2 with the theme "The Angels of the Mystics."

The only meeting of its kind, numerous experts will discuss how angles have accompanied the lives of saints in Christian history, like St. Gemma Galgani, St. Francesca Romana, and St. Faustina Kowalska.

In an interview with ZENIT, Father Stanzione, said that one of the reasons for the decline in religious practice, especially in developed countries, is "the weakening of our mystical impulse."

"The theology being taught in schools is based, rightly so, on the intellect -- which is important and indispensable -- but we must be careful to not fall into the trap of theological rationalism," explained Father Stanzione.

Continue reading...

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I have said before that while the heresy on the left is plain for all to see, the heresy on the right is more sinister and diabolical and better formulated to lead faithful Catholics astray.

Fr. Martin Lucia is a case in point.

What do you commonly assume when you see promotion of Eucharistic Adoration? If you are like me, you assume orthodoxy...traditional Roman Catholicism. Fr. Martin Lucia has written a book titled ROSARY MEDITATIONS FROM MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA, subtitled LOVING JESUS WITH THE HEART OF MARY - EUCHARISTIC MEDITATIONS ON THE 15 MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY. It is being offered for sale by MyCatholicStore.com. Fr. Lucia's is quoted at the Cardinal Kung Foundation website where his December 1995 article "Let the Son Shine Out" by Rev. Martin Lucia, Director of Apostolate for Perpetual adoration can be read. He opens the paper by talking about Bishop Sheen. But all is not what it seems.

At the Rick A. Ross Institute website another side of Fr. Martin Lucia is offered for consideration. There you can read about the Apostolic Formation Center for Christian Renew-All, an organization within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich. This organization practiced what they termed the "Divine Intimacy of the Holy Seed", which according to the Journal Inquirer at the Rick Ross website was "a perversion of the Catholic belief that a Christian can attain 'divine intimacy' with the savior." Put in plain language, this amounted to homosexual acts practiced for spiritual reasons. According to the article:

Two priests and more than a half-dozen former members of the organization say they were told personally by practicing members and by other priests associated with the group that participating in the homosexual ring was the ultimate sacrifice. Those who balked were told to "pray for light," they add.

Fr. Lucia's involvement with the center is explained in another article at the Rick Ross website titled "Apostolics cause Catholics to pull videotape". According to this second article:

A firm specializing in Catholic educational materials has halted production and distribution of a videocassette after learning that two priests appearing on the tape had been key members of a Somers group that was banned last year from the Norwich diocese.

A sp0kesman for the company said the discovery of the roles of the Rev. Martin Lucia and the Rev. Donald Higgins in the Apostolic Formation Center for Christian Renew-All also had led to the closing of a religious organization the priests had set up in Lyndhurst, N.J.

Both actions apparently came at a high cost to a New Jersey man who spent almost $750,000 on the tapes and the priests' organization to promote "perpetual adoration," the practice in some Catholic churches of having parishioners maintain a round-the-clock vigil in front of the Blessed Sacrament--the consecrated communion wafer that Catholics believe to be the body and blood of Christ. ...

...Norwich Bishop Daniel P. Reilly last June banned the organization which by then had changed its name to the Mary Queen of Apostles Formation Center, from his diocese.

Reilly acted after receiving dozens of complaints from ex-members that the center distorted Catholic doctrine and had become a destructive cult, with a minority of its followers believing the Second Coming of Christ would be in Somers.

The bishop also had been told that Legere, who died in 1978, and some men in his inner group of advisers had engaged in a homosexual ritual called the "Divine Intimacy of the Holy Seed," which Legere claimed was a way of "sharing" Christ.

The presence of Higgins and Lucia in the center gave Legere's sometimes bizarre teaching an aura of legitimacy, according to ex-members, who say the priests helped to foster the notion that Legere was divine and supported his often apocalyptic teaching. ...

Legere kicked Lucia, who had been one of his closest spiritual advisers, out of the apostolate in 1978 after an apparent falling out.

Within a year Lucia was promoting perpetual adoration.

There was a cloistered nun involved as well--a seer who "played a key role" in the center which was subsequently run by Charles A. Shattuck, Jr. and renamed Our Lady of Grace Formation Center, according to another article at the Rick Ross website. The nun was said to have the ability to bi-locate.

The EWTN website has posted the "Pastoral Letter by Bishop Daniel P. Reilly Concerning the Apostolic Formation Center" which Bishop Reilly had read in "many of the Catholic Churches in this area". The letter makes clear that Bishop Reilly withdrew "the privilege of priest and Blessed Sacrament from the Center." Bishop Reilly also "informed the Bishops of seventeen other dioceses where branches of the Center were said to exist that the Center had been closed at my initiative."

Thanks to Susanna for the links in this story. She tells me she has been following it for years, and that the story doesn't stop here, but progresses to the Philippines and to the mystical events surrounding the seer Julia Kim and the Eucharist that supposedly turned to flesh in her mouth.

As invariably happens when heresy of this sort is covered up with the intention to protect the laity from scandal, the scandal simply deepens, and the laity end up facing a worse situation in the end than they would have had to endure when the scandal was first discovered.

Only the light of day can rescue us from the perversion and heresy in our midst. Only when all of the apostasy within has been exposed will we have the hope of healing.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Here's a curious installment in the continuing discussion about the possibility of homosexuality tainting Pope Paul VI. If this is accurate, we are in far worse shape than we think!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


From Tradition in Action:

On May 27, 2001, in the city of Colle, North Italy, Archdiocese of Venice, more than 200 different groups of magicians and clowns gathered together in response to the invitation of Fr. Silvio Mantelli. They met at the church and a Mass was the high point of the schedule. During it, magicians and illusionists performed their shows, such as the levitation
shown in the photo above.

Fr. Mantelli invited performers and people for "a moment of magic for those who want to laugh with us."

You really have to look at the pictures at the website to believe this could have taken place. It is beyond boggling. What could possibly be going through the minds of these priests? Caricature? Comedy? Blasphemy? Diabolism? It lies somewhere beyond intelligent thought and speaks to me of preternatural influence.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I've got chemobrain today. Thoughts are refusing to stay put. So if I post something that makes no sense, well, you know I have an excuse at least.



I've just been trying to digest some of the news and find that it's not working. Maybe later this afternoon my brain will cooperate, but for the present, I just can't get it together to post, so I'll have to take a pass on blogging this morning.

Monday, May 14, 2007


KAZAN, Russia, May 13 - Are relations warming between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches after years of grave tensions?

Possibly, if the simple but extraordinary events which took place today in this city on the Volga River in the heart of Russia are any indication.

An aging Italian Roman Catholic noblewoman, her grey hair covered with a white veil, in a church packed with nearly 1,000 Russian Orthodox, today, in a simple but moving ceremony, handed over to the Russian Orthodox bishop of the city seven precious relics of saints -- including a tiny fragment of the robe of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Some women in attendance wept openly.

"I bring these relics as my gift to you, and to the people of Russia, as a sign of my respect and love for Russia and all her people," the Marquise Immacolata Solaro del Borgo, 77, a member of Rome's historically powerful Colonna family, said to Bishop Anastasi as she handed over the gift to him at 10 a.m. today in a packed church. "I hope the relics can enrich the new Marian sanctuary you are building around the icon of Our Lady of Kazan."

"We appreciate these gifts very much," Bishop Anastasi later told "Inside the Vatican." "We are grateful to Immacolata that she made this long and tiring journey to bring us these gifts personally. The city of Kazan will appreciate them forever."

Showing the seriousness with which today's gift of the relics was treated in Russia, the ceremony was broadcast live throughout the country on the main national television channel, NTV.

The ceremony took place in Kazan's Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul.

In the ceremony, the Marquise Immacolata (a "marquise" ranks above a countess and below a duchess) gave Bishop Anastasi a fragment of the robe of Mary and relics of six other saints: St. Basil the Great, St. Blaise, St. Nicholas, St. Daria, St. Natalia and St. Pancratius.

The relics were contained in a single reliquary made by a Neapolitan jeweler in 17th century, a small silver box in the center of which was the fragment of Our Lady’s robe surrounded by the six saints’ relics, with their names inscribed there in Latin.

The reliquary came to Marquise Immacolata from Princess Giovanna Barberini, the widow of Prince Augusto Barberini, whose relatives included many cardinals and Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644).

The head of the internal affairs and tourism committee of the Kazan City Council, Vladimir Leonov, said that Marquisde Immacolata is an old friend of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Continue reading...

At the website there are pictures of the ceremony transferring the relics. Very impressive.

In the message of Fatima we were told that in the end the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin would triumph. Can we see in this event and in Cardinal O'Malley's pilgrimmage to Lourdes a hint of the beginning of that triumph?


with the Knights of Malta is presented in pictures at his weblog. Take a look.


There is a passage in MAN OF GOD: SAINT JOHN OF SHANGHAI & SAN FRANCISCO that I have been thinking about for weeks. I don't know what to make of it. It's contained in "A Talk on the Dread Judgment", one of the many sermons contained in the book that were delivered by St. John. Here it is:

But what is known about this man, Antichrist? His precise ancestry is unknown. His father is completely unknown, while his mother is a defiled, pretended virgin. He will be a Jew from the tribe of Dan. There is an indication of this, in that Jacob, when dying, said that [Dan], in his posterity, would be a serpent by the way...biting the heel of the horse (and the rider shall fall backward). [Gen. 49:17] This is a figurative indication that he will act with craftiness and evil.

In Revelation, John the Theologian speaks of the salvation of the sons of Israel, that before the end of the world a multitude of Jews will be converted to Christ; but the tribe of Dan is not included in the enumeration of the tribes that are saved.
(p. 175-176)

I've posted enough in this blog to make it clear that some of Judaism deviates from Biblical Judaism substantially. I've posted material showing that there are Jewish heresies which could produce an antichrist. But I am still uneasy with this statement made by St. John, particularly in light of that recent prayer at Mass concerning "parallel paths". Is there a tradition that the antichrist will come from the Tribe of Dan contained in Orthodoxy? I have never heard of one in Roman Catholicism, but that doesn't mean it's not there, of course.


Chief mucky-muck of the Ordo Templi Orientis, an occult fraternity, Lon Milo Duquette has written a book about Jesus. This one makes Dan Brown's version look almost tame:

Just when we thought Anna Nicole Smith would dominate the news, she, her baby and her boyfriends began to fade from view. Jesus, who has more staying power, was waiting in the wings, so to speak, the subject of yet another discovery: A cluster of ossuaries (bone repositories) in Jerusalem that seemed to have his name and those of his wife and son. The media made much of this, along with skepticism by several biblical archaeologists.

"The Da Vinci Code" of 2003 began this process of questioning New Testament doctrine by means of a colorful narrative. It was followed by the discovery of the presumed ossuary of Jesus' half brother, James, and books variously asserting that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, sired a son or asked Judas to betray him.

Now comes Lon Milo DuQuette's "Accidental Christ," a novel with yet another approach. This story is told by Jesus' elderly Uncle Clopas, and a gripping tale it is. The thesis is that a group developed The Plan to replace King Herod's heir, Antipas, with a descendant of the legendary King David. They have been looking for the perfect candidate. Because Jesus' father is a Davidian and his mother, Mary, is from the house of Saul, he's that candidate. The Plan's emissary, who calls on Jesus in Alexandria, says, "You, my young friend, are the David of your generation. Do you not see? For all intents and purposes your blood makes you King of the Jews."

Read the rest of the fabrication...

I doubt that even Lon Milo DuQuette believes there is a semblance of truth in this story. Did you hear a chuckle as you opened the website, given in anticipation of profits and Christian outrage?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

For all your mothers out there...



Pope Benedict has been giving a series on the Church Fathers in his weekly Wednesday audience. Translations have been made, and Sandro Magister has the content of his addresses posted at the Chiesa website. The segment on St. Irenaeus is particularly pertinent to the types of material I blog here, so I am taking the liberty of lifting that portion of the Chiesa report to blog. Here is what the Pope said about St. Irenaeus:

4. Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

Wednesday, March 28. 2007

Dear brothers and sisters, in the catechesis on the prominent figures of the early Church, today we come to the eminent personality of St Irenaeus of Lyons.

The biographical information on him comes from his own testimony, handed down to us by Eusebius in his fifth book on Church History. Irenaeus was in all probability born in Smyrna (today, Izmir in Turkey) in about 135-140, where in his youth, he attended the school of Bishop Polycarp, a disciple in his turn of the Apostle John.

We do not know when he moved from Asia Minor to Gaul, but his move must have coincided with the first development of the Christian community in Lyons: here, in 177, we find Irenaeus listed in the college of presbyters. In that very year, he was sent to Rome bearing a letter from the community in Lyons to Pope Eleutherius. His mission to Rome saved Irenaeus from the persecution of Marcus Aurelius which took a toll of at least 48 martyrs, including the 90-year old Bishop Pontinus of Lyons, who died from ill-treatment in prison. Thus, on his return Irenaeus was appointed Bishop of the city. The new Pastor devoted himself without reserve to his episcopal ministry which ended in about 202-203, perhaps with martyrdom.

Irenaeus was first and foremost a man of faith and a Pastor. Like a good Pastor, he had a good sense of proportion, of the riches of doctrine and missionary enthusiasm. As a writer, he pursued a twofold aim: to defend true doctrine from the attacks of heretics, and to explain the truth of the faith clearly.

His two extant works - the five books of "Adversus Haereses. The Detection and Overthrow of the False Gnosis" and "Demonstration of the Apostolic Teaching" (which can also be called the oldest "catechism of Christian doctrine") - exactly corresponded with these aims.

In short, Irenaeus can be defined as the champion in the fight against heresies. The second-century Church was threatened by the so-called Gnosis, a doctrine which affirmed that the faith taught in the Church was merely a symbolism for the simple who were unable to grasp difficult concepts; instead, the initiates, the intellectuals - Gnostics, they were called - claimed to understand what was behind these symbols and thus formed an elitist and intellectualist Christianity.

Obviously, this intellectual Christianity became increasingly fragmented, splitting into different currents with ideas that were often bizarre and extravagant, yet attractive to many. One element these different currents had in common was "dualism": they denied faith in the one God and Father of all, Creator and Saviour of man and of the world. To explain evil in the world, they affirmed the existence, besides the Good God, of a negative principle. This negative principle was supposed to have produced material things, matter.

Firmly rooted in the biblical doctrine of creation, Irenaeus refuted the Gnostic dualism and pessimism which debased corporeal realities. He decisively claimed the original holiness of matter, of the body, of the flesh no less than of the spirit.

But his work went far beyond the confutation of heresy: in fact, one can say that he emerges as the first great Church theologian who created systematic theology; he himself speaks of the system of theology, that is, of the internal coherence of all faith.

At the heart of his doctrine is the question of the "rule of faith" and its transmission. For Irenaeus, the "rule of faith" coincided in practice with the Apostles' Creed, which gives us the key for interpreting the Gospel, for interpreting the Creed in light of the Gospel. The Creed, which is a sort of Gospel synthesis, helps us understand what it means and how we should read the Gospel itself.

In fact, the Gospel preached by Irenaeus is the one he was taught by Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, and Polycarp's Gospel dates back to the Apostle John, whose disciple Polycarp was.

The true teaching, therefore, is not that invented by intellectuals which goes beyond the Church's simple faith. The true Gospel is the one imparted by the Bishops who received it in an uninterrupted line from the Apostles. They taught nothing except this simple faith, which is also the true depth of God's revelation.

Thus, Irenaeus tells us, there is no secret doctrine concealed in the Church's common Creed. There is no superior Christianity for intellectuals. The faith publicly confessed by the Church is the common faith of all. This faith alone is apostolic, it is handed down from the Apostles, that is, from Jesus and from God.

In adhering to this faith, publicly transmitted by the Apostles to their successors, Christians must observe what their Bishops say and must give special consideration to the teaching of the Church of Rome, pre-eminent and very ancient. It is because of her antiquity that this Church has the greatest apostolicity; in fact, she originated in Peter and Paul, pillars of the Apostolic College. All Churches must agree with the Church of Rome, recognizing in her the measure of the true Apostolic Tradition, the Church's one common faith.

With these arguments, summed up very briefly here, Irenaeus refuted the claims of these Gnostics, these intellectuals, from the start. First of all, they possessed no truth superior to that of the ordinary faith, because what they said was not of apostolic origin, it was invented by them. Secondly, truth and salvation are not the privilege or monopoly of the few, but are available to all through the preaching of the Successors of the Apostles, especially of the Bishop of Rome. In particular - once again disputing the "secret" character of the Gnostic tradition and noting its multiple and contradictory results - Irenaeus was concerned to describe the genuine concept of the Apostolic Tradition which we can sum up here in three points.

a) Apostolic Tradition is "public", not private or secret. Irenaeus did not doubt that the content of the faith transmitted by the Church is that received from the Apostles and from Jesus, the Son of God. There is no other teaching than this. Therefore, for anyone who wishes to know true doctrine, it suffices to know "the Tradition passed down by the Apostles and the faith proclaimed to men": a tradition and faith that "have come down to us through the succession of Bishops" (Adversus Haereses, 3, 3, 3-4). Hence, the succession of Bishops, the personal principle, and Apostolic Tradition, the doctrinal principle, coincide.

b) Apostolic Tradition is "one". Indeed, whereas Gnosticism was divided into multiple sects, Church Tradition is one in its fundamental content, which - as we have seen - Irenaeus calls precisely regula fidei or veritatis: and thus, because it is one, it creates unity through the peoples, through the different cultures, through the different peoples; it is a common content like the truth, despite the diversity of languages and cultures. A very precious saying of St Irenaeus is found in his book Adversus Haereses: "The Church, though dispersed throughout the world... having received [this faith from the Apostles]... as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them and hands them down with perfect harmony as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world" (1, 10, 1-2). Already at that time - we are in the year 200 - it was possible to perceive the Church's universality, her catholicity and the unifying power of the truth that unites these very different realities, from Germany, to Spain, to Italy, to Egypt, to Libya, in the common truth revealed to us by Christ.

c) Lastly, the Apostolic Tradition, as he says in the Greek language in which he wrote his book, is "pneumatic", in other words, spiritual, guided by the Holy Spirit: in Greek, the word for "spirit" is "pneuma". Indeed, it is not a question of a transmission entrusted to the ability of more or less learned people, but to God's Spirit who guarantees fidelity to the transmission of the faith. This is the "life" of the Church, what makes the Church ever young and fresh, fruitful with multiple charisms. For Irenaeus, Church and Spirit were inseparable: "This faith", we read again in the third book of Adversus Haereses, "which, having been received from the Church, we do preserve, and which always, by the Spirit of God, renewing its youth as if it were some precious deposit in an excellent vessel, causes the vessel itself containing it to renew its youth also.... For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church and every kind of grace" (3, 24, 1).

As can be seen, Irenaeus did not stop at defining the concept of Tradition. His tradition, uninterrupted Tradition, is not traditionalism, because this Tradition is always enlivened from within by the Holy Spirit, who makes it live anew, causes it to be interpreted and understood in the vitality of the Church. Adhering to her teaching, the Church should transmit the faith in such a way that it must be what it appears, that is, "public", "one", "pneumatic", "spiritual".

Starting with each one of these characteristics, a fruitful discernment can be made of the authentic transmission of the faith in the today of the Church. More generally, in Irenaeus' teaching, the dignity of man, body and soul, is firmly anchored in divine creation, in the image of Christ and in the Spirit's permanent work of sanctification. This doctrine is like a "high road" in order to discern together with all people of good will the object and boundaries of the dialogue of values, and to give an ever new impetus to the Church's missionary action, to the force of the truth which is the source of all true values in the world.

To read all of the addresses that have been given so far, go here.

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