Saturday, February 02, 2008
ANOTHER CHANNELED BOOK ? - "THE MAGDALENE MANUSCRIPT"
From the Amazon website:
This is Mary Magdalen’s personal story of her tantric relationship with Yeshua ben Joseph, known today as Jesus Christ. A love so deep it has survived over 2000 years of lies, to be finally told now, in this, "the beginning of the ending of time." A High Initiate of the Temple of Isis, Mary Magdalen was the Holy Grail, the cup that carried the blood of Christ. And the long-prophesied "sun" that was born to her was a girl named Sar’h.
In the Magdalen Manuscript, given by her and reprinted here, word-for-word as she gave it, she describes the alchemy that she and Yeshua practiced. This is the alchemy that prepared him to sustain life after death, so that he could meet his destiny and lay a trail of light through the death realms, a light path each of us can follow.
This is Her Story, revealing some of the deepest secrets of the Temples, as requested by Isis.
FROM SWEDENBORG TO THE SPIRITUAL CINEMA CIRCLE ?
While researching Swedenborg, I discovered that an Ethan McCardell, Pastor of a New Church, lectured and signed his book, BE OF GOOD CHEER, at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. The news appeared in the Restyn LLC website. What is Restyn?
Another page in the website explained:
Restyn, LLC is the leading Second Advent Christian™ communications company. Founded in 2005 by Stephen Simons and located in Lutherville, Maryland, Restyn, LLC publishes books, music, software, and websites discussing the Second Advent of Jesus Christ.
Stephen Simons is the founder and Principal of Restyn, LLC. Stephen holds a Master's of Divinity from the Academy of the New Church Theological School, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Physics at the College of William and Mary. As a leading authority on Second Advent Christian studies, Stephen seeks to introduce the Second Advent Gospel of Jesus Christ to mainstream American culture.
Second Advent Christianity™ is based upon a simple, compelling principle: the purpose of life is to have good and fulfilling relationships with Jesus Christ and with other people. In the world view of Second Advent Christianity, every human being on earth has the means available to him or her for salvation; God created all people to live forever in heaven and He guarantees every human life that possibility.
At the same time, our quality of life now and forever is limited by our knowledge. From the Second Advent Christian™ perspective, misunderstanding God's nature, God's purposes, or God's commands always leads away from happiness, prosperity, and peace. ...
In the view of Second Advent Christianity™, God has a vision of a church that is one in His name. To accomplish this, He fulfilled the Biblical prophecies of the Apocalypse and commissioned Emanuel Swedenborg to complete the final revelation of His Word.
The Contact page in the website indicated Restyn is located in Lutherville, MD.
Looking for Simon and Lutherville, MD brought up the Swedenborg Project website. The Overview page explains what they believe. The statement is signed by Kurt Simon. A relation of Stephen?
Stephen Simon is credited with the creation of the Second Advent Christian movement at a preterist website:
Second Advent Christian™ movement Redefines Canon - "Stephen Simons, the founder of the Second Advent Christian™ movement and a principal at Restyn, explains, "The commonly accepted canon of the Word of God was set by men, not by God. Small Canon Search™ is provided for believers who want to focus their study on God's revelation without distraction." The Second Advent Christian™ canon of scripture includes books from the Old and New Testaments and books from the works of Emanuel Swedenborg."
You will need to scroll quite far down to find that passage. Another entry there seems to have the idea that Catholics believe the Rapture happened in 70 A.D. and has created a "wall of shame" depicting the faces of those, apparently, who are accused of preaching the Catholic mistake:
Critical: Preterist Wall of Shame / Discussion The pictures of the men on this Wall Of Shame are those who have perverted the Word of God and are teaching the false 70AD rapture doctrine of the Catholic Church. They are to be disfellowshipped and not allowed in any Apostolic Jesus Name Pentecostal Church unless they repent and come out of this false doctrine.
In any case, here is the "small canon" that Stephen Simon is promoting. The Pauline epistles and other books are missing.
Stephen Simon has written a book called THE SECOND ADVENT CHRISTIAN BIBLE.
Only one question remains. Is this the same Stephen Simon, filmmaker, who produced the movie "What Dreams May Come", and who is the creator of the film club called the Spiritual Cinema Circle, a company that provides mailorder DVDs with a spiritual (as opposed to religious) theme.
There may be a clue in the Wikipedia entry for "What Dreams". The entry describes the plot of the book from which the movie was derived, including the religious theme:
The concepts in the book are derived from my wide range of reading." One character quotes from the writings of 18th century Christian mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (pp. 132-3). Matheson bases his descriptions of the death experience itself on studies by Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross and Raymond Moody.
Friday, February 01, 2008
SWEDENBORG AND FREEMASONRY
The Bayside Swedenborgian Church openly admits to Swedenborg's Sabbatean roots. George F. Dole tells us:
...if Swedenborg began his study of Hebrew at Uppsala, as Sigstedt believes,3 [Johan] Kemper would have been his principal instructor. ...
My closer study of Kemper's manuscript has yielded one startling result--the discovery that before his baptism, he was a Sabbatian, an adherent of the false Messiah Sabbatai Zevi. ...
At the end of the year 1696, Moses ben Aaron (then staying in a village near Schweinfurt) became receptive to the Christian message that all expectation of the Messiah should be abandoned because the Messiah had already come. His conversion to the Augsburg Confession is credited to Deacon Johann Friedrich Heunisch in messianic religious discourses. He accepted Christian baptism and the new name of Johan Christian Jakob Kemper. The archive preserved at Schweinfurt, the Chronik yon Rassdorfer zum Jahre 1696, proudly proclaims that the newly baptized not only was learned, but also was true to his new faith, "which was something rare."...
In Kemper's case, though, it is like this--no one can escape from his own skin. While the Christian theologians at Uppsala were delighted by the beautifully zealous faith of diligent converts, Kemper has basically only rewoven the threads of Sabbatianism. His whole interpretation of the trinity and its Jewish legitimizing, that is, were nothing but the old pet Sabbatian teaching. The messianic language of the Sabbatian "Holy King" runs through his whole commentary on Matthew.
Keeping in mind that Sabbatean beliefs revolved around holy sinning, and the greatest sin against Judaism would be to proclaim Jesus Christ as the Messiah, we have to wonder what secrets Kemper held in his heart. In any case that would appear to be the source of Swedenborg's knowledge of the Kabbalah as far as we know today. The Kabbalah, of course, is used extensively in Freemasonry's upper degrees.
Christopher McIntosh discusses "The Masonic Phase" in chapter 3 of THE ROSE CROSS AND THE AGE OF REASON. There you can read:
This whole amalgam of occultism and high-degree Masonry is often referred to as "Illuminism" (not to be confused with the system of Adam Weishaupt's Illuminati, which...was the very antithesis of French Illuminism). To the extent that it was masonic, it would also be called "theosophical Masonry."(p. 41-42)
He also says:
Another of [Martines de] Pasqually's ["founder of an order called the Elect Cohens (Elus Coens)" - p. 40] former disciples, Jean-Baptiste Willermos (1730-1824), went on to found a high-degree masonic order called the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cite Sainte, also known as the Rite of Ecossais Rectifie. He also founded in 1763, a rite with alchemical and Rosicrucian themes, the Chevaliers de l'Aigle Noir et Rose-Croix. Another figure who was influential in this world was the Swedish philosopher, scientist and visionary, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), propounder of a highly idiosyncratic and occult form of Christianity which attached itself to certain branches of Masonry.(p. 41)
Dole provides another bit of information in the Swedenborg paper linked above. He tells us that this movement has embraced the idea of the lost tribes of Israel.
Most consequential was the English self-identification with the ten lost tribes, nourished by Calvinist affinities...All the prophecies and promises for the Jews were transferred to the English nation...this was proclaimed again and again. In particular, the British Israel Movement founded by Richard Brothers promulgated these concepts by a copious literature of sermons and tracts for the educated English classes. We can read in these documents that the coronation stone at Windsor Abey is the stone of the patriarch Jacob at Bethel, that Joseph of Arimathea himself came to England and built the first Christian church, that the lineage of the house of Windsor goes back to David and Solomon, etc.
Sound familiar? How about the claims of "The DaVinci Code"? Not surprisingly, those claims have been made by Freemasonry particularly in the book by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL.
At the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia we can find out the Masonic version of Swedenborg. There you can read that
Samuel Beswick claimed that Swedenborg was initiated into freemasonry at Lund, also styled Lunden, Sweden, in 1706, and created the Swedenborgisan Rite; the Abbé Pernetti made a similar claim in a brief biography he published as a preface for his French translation of Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell; and Dr. Marsha Schuchard has continued the argument; but masonic historian, R. A. Gilbert, discredits the theory.
Michael Baigent is a trustee of the Canonbury Masonic Research Center. R. A. Gilbert is Past Master of Quatuor Coronati [Masonic research] Lodge and an author of many books on Freemasonry and Esoterica. Both of them are pictured at the Canonbury website.
Swedenborg's membership in Freemasonry, in other words, is controversial. His enthusiasm for illuminism, a teaching of the esoteric lodges, as well as his promotion of liberty and equality, a teaching of the deist lodges places him well within the philosophy of Freemasonry.
In any case, the sort of illuminism practiced in the theosophical lodges has now evolved into churches here in America, apparently with the financial backing of Sir John Templeton and the Templeton Foundation.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
KABBALAH TO UNITE THE WORLD
The authentic wisdom of Kabbalah, hidden for millennia, is now stepping out. It has been waiting for a time when citizens of the world would be sufficiently developed and prepared to implement its message. Today it is emerging as a message and a solution with the power to unite the factions in and between the nations and bring us all, individuals and as societies alike, to a better state affecting all facets of life: social, economic, educational, environmental and global.
That is the sentiment guiding Kabbalist Rav Michael Laitman, who recently completed an American tour, as he prepares to lead the Bnei Baruch International Kabbalah Congress 2008, said to be the "largest multicultural bonding event of the decade." Twenty-five hundred guests are expected. Read about it at PR-inside.com.
SWEDENBORG, Rite of. This rite was established by Emanuel Swedenborg, the eminent philosopher, who was born at Stockholm, January 29, 1688, and died at London, March 29, 1772. His rite was composed of eight degrees divided into two Temples. The first Temple contained the degrees of Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, Master and Elect. The doctrines of these degrees related to the creation of man, his disobedience and punishment, and the penalties inflicted on the body and soul; all of which is represented in the initiation. The second Temple comprises the degrees of Companion Cohen, Master Cohen, Grand Architect and Knight Commander, and Kadosh. The enlightened Mason will find much of the elements of Freemasonry in the writings of Swedenborg, who, for forty-eight years of his life, devoted himself to the cultivation of science, and produced a great number of works, in which he broached many novel and ingenious theories in theology, which obtained for him a remarkable celebrity in several parts of the world. The Marquis de Thome, in 1783, taking up the system that had been adopted in the Lodge of Avignon, in 1960, modified it to suit his own views, and instituted what afterward became known as the Rite of Swedenborg.(Source: Robert Macoy, A DICTIONARY OF FREEMASONRY, p. 365-66)
"Theosophy" (from the Greek for divine wisdom) in the wider sense refers to various systems of mystic gnosis reflected in Buddhism, Neoplatonism, to various systems of the mystic gnosis reflected in Buddhism, Neoplatonism, mystery religions, and the speculative mysticism of such philosophers as Jacob Boehme, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Vladimir Soloviev. In the narrower sense, Theosophy is a pseudoreligious movement founded on November 17, 1875, in New York City by an eccentric Russian expatriate named Elena Blavatsky (1831-91). (Source: Maria Carlson, "Fashionable Occultism", published in THE OCCULT IN RUSSIAN AND SOVIET CULTURE, Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, Editor, p. 139)
Whilst the conquests of religion in asia were thus disputed, a great spirit of unrest was agitating Europe; the Christian faith seemed on the point of being extinguished, though on every side there was a rumour of new revelations and miracles. A man who had a definite position in science and in the world otherwise, namely, Emmanuel Swedenborg, was astonishing Sweden by his visions, and Germany was swarming with new illuminati. Dissident mysticism conspired to replace the mysteries of hierarchic religion by mysteries of anarchy; a catastrophe was in preparation and was imminent. Swedenborg, the most sincere and the mildest among the prophets of false illuminism, was not for this less dangerous than the others. As a fact, the pretence that all men are called to communicate immediately with heaven replaces regular religious instruction and progressive initiation by every divagation of enthusiasm, by all excesses of imagination and dream. The intelligent illuminati felt that religion was a great need of humanity and hence must never be destroyed; not only religion itself but the fanaticism which it carries along with it as a fatal consequence of enthusiasm inspired by ignorance, were, however, to be used as arms for the overthrow of hierarchic Church authority, they recognising that from the war of fanaticism there would issue a new hierarchy, of which they hoped to be founders and chiefs. "You shall be as gods, knowing all without having the trouble of learning anything; you shall be as kings, possessing everything without the trouble of acquiring anything." Such, in a summary form, are the promises of the revolutionary spirit to envious multitudes. The revolutionary spirit is the spirit of death; it is the old serpent of Genesis... (Source: Eliphas Levi, THE HISTORY OF MAGIC, Translated by A. E. Waite, p. 290)
FR. FERNANDO SUAREZ
Philippine healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez, credited with the ability to bring the dead back to life, has done it again. The 32-year-old man died of cancer in the emergency room after he slumped over in his wheelchair at one of Fr. Suarez's Masses. The priest accompanied him to the emergency room, and when told the man had died, made the sign of the cross in his direction. The man revived, but lived only an additional 3 hours before dying a second time.
Read about it here.
Hat tip to New Oxford Review for the link.
SEXUAL ABUSE IN IRELAND
The Times Online reports:
Paul Gordon has waited 30 long years for justice. This week the former “pasty-faced and weak” schoolboy, who was sexually abused by a religious order who paid off his father, finally saw his tormentors sent to jail.
The sex abuse case is the latest to hit the Catholic Church in Ireland, whose moral authority has been destroyed. A government-funded compensation process has been established, involving up to 15,000 claimants at a cost of more than a billion euros.
From the mid-1960s, St John’s National School in Sligo, northwest Ireland, was a dangerous place for children. Police believe that at least 50 boys, and probably many more, were abused by religious and lay teachers.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
KNEELING FOR COMMUNION
A reader sent in a link to Roman Catholic Blog where you can read the reflection of Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, on the subject. In summary he is calling for a return to the practice of kneeling and receiving on the tongue. He makes some good points, but he leaves one out. If we return to kneeling and receiving on the tongue, we will have to dispense with EMs in church. If EMs continue to distribute communion, touching the sacred Host in the process, while we, the remainder of the laity, and not permitted to touch the Host, we will have set up a de facto upper class among the laity. Not a good idea.
I have already provided evidence that the Templeton Foundation has been a major contributor to Unity Churches and that Sir John Templeton is sympathetic to the Swedenborgian religion. Now it's time to look at Emmanuel Swedenborg.
In an article in the "Independent" Gary Lachman describes Swedenborg:
In Sweden, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) is recognised as one of the great figures of the Enlightenment, a polymath genius who turned his mind to an astonishing number of pursuits. An inventor, anatomist, mineralogist, philosopher and ethicist, Swedenborg applied himself to more intellectual tasks than most university faculties ever get around to. He discovered a lunar method of establishing longitude at sea (just missing the prize that went to John Harrison), devised new ways of constructing docks, and designed a submarine, an aeroplane and a machine gun. ...
Why then is this Scandinavian Da Vinci not better known? Because in 1744, when Swedenborg was in his mid-fifties, he went through a profound psychological and spiritual crisis, culminating in a visitation by Christ and his own entrée into the spirit world. Swedenborg abandoned his scientific work and for the remaining years of his long life devoted himself to what he considered his destined task: the deciphering of the hidden, "internal" sense of Scripture, the full explication of which would usher in the New Church and Christ's second coming - not a physical return, but the unveiling of the Bible's true message, hitherto obscured by Catholics and Protestants alike. ...
In dreams, trance and meditative states lasting several hours, Swedenborg entered the spirit world and there spoke with angels, evil spirits, the inhabitants of other planets and the dead, and his descriptions of the life beyond, for all their dry factuality - not to mention sheer strangeness - often ring with a powerful poetic force.
Catherine L. Albanese's article which first appeared in "Perspectives on the New Age" in 1992 and now appears in "Compass", a Jesuit Journal, tells us that Swedenborg can be associated with Mesmer's ideas of magnetism used in hypnotism:
Mesmer's universal fluid, as specified in the animal body, produced one important source of a habit of mind that eroded the distance between matter and spirit. His vision suggested the empowerment of humans for perfection.
At the same time, from a second quarter came another powerful source of the matter-spirit conflation. Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), son of a Lutheran bishop and member of the Swedish nobility, from 1745 claimed to make mystical journeys to heaven and hell. His prolific accounts of conversations with angelic beings blended Christian scripture with occult-metaphysical teaching. Swedenborg revived the ancient doctrine of correspondence, of worlds echoing worlds so that "as above, so below." In the universe he acknowledged, nature corresponded to spirit, and a divine influx permeated the natural world.
Swedenborg's doctrine of correspondence was, significantly, a doctrine of harmony, for earthly and heavenly spheres resonated with each other as did a host of more specific signs and symbols. Hence, both mesmerism and Swedenborgianism agreed in the harmonial model of a universe where the boundaries between matter and nonmatter became fluid. As the manipulations of magnetic operators suggested, one could "manage" the balance in a way favorable to one's personal plans and projects. Knowledge was power, and control of the mind's power was promised by the mesmerist's skill and even by the implicit theology of the Swedenborgian "Divine Human." For if God was Man in the heavenly realm, it followed that a path might be open for humans to become Gods as they walked the earth. ...
The manipulative potential of minds that could control self and others would be joined to a matter that followed laws of harmony. Thus, acts of harmony would become, simultaneously, acts of power and control. And the world in which these things would happen by the late twentieth century would belong to the New Age.
Swedenborg was very much into becoming god. Albert Pike spoke of Swedenborg in MORALS AND DOGMA:
Masonry is a search after Light. That search leads us directly back, as you see, to the Kabalah. In that ancient and little understood medley of absurdity and philosophy, the Initiate will find the source of many doctrines; and may in time come to understand the Hermetic philosophers, the Alchemists, all the Anti-papal Thinkers of the Middle Ages, and Emanuel Swedenborg.(P. 741) Swedenborg's system was nothing else than the Kabalah, minus the principle of the Hierarchy. It is the Temple, without the keystone and the foundation. (p. 823)
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, a Professor of Western Esotericism and Director of the Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism, University of Exeter, studies Emanuel Swedenborg along with many others who belong to a Who's Who of occultism.
James Webb mentions Swedenborg in his book THE OCCULT UNDERGROUND:
The great mystical poet, Julius Slowacki (1809-49), combined in his thought Traditional doctrines, from Western thinkers like Boehme, Swedenborg, Saint-Martin and Novalis, with Hindu and Buddhist teachings...(p. 246)
(An aside: Slowacki was among the Polish poets who influenced John Paul II according to George Weigel in WITNESS TO HOPE, p. 34-35)
Returning to Webb:
In Poland the first group of occult Freemasons was founded in Warsaw c. 1750 by an exiled Austrian colonel. Polish Masonry from that date onwards preserved an increasingly occult tone, receiving the highest mystical grades from the Dresden Lodge of the Three White Eagles. Besides Martinist doctrines, those of Swedenborg were introduced into both Russia and Poland, where they were combined in the Lodges with alchemical symbolism.(ibid. p. 248-249)
Swedenborg is mentioned a number of times in James Webb's second book THE OCCULT ESTABLISHMENT. One example:
The oft-repeated calling for a "New Age," heard both before and after the war, can refer either to a practically conceived plan for social betterment, or to a religious revelation like that preached by the Swedenborgian New Church. After the war the mystics of the occult revival did not vanish--far from it. In some cases they remained religious prophets, but in others they changed their spots, responding to the pressure of a social gospel by emphasizing the parts of their teachings which seemed relevant to their country and their time.(p. 28)
H. P. Blavatsky mentions Swedenborg. From THE SECRET DOCTRINE:
How men of the last few centuries have come to the same ideas and conclusions that were taught as axiomatic truths in the secrecy of the Adyta dozens of millenniums ago, is a question that is treated separately. Some were led to it by the natural progress in physical science and by independent observations; others--such as Copernicus, Swedenborg, and a few more--their great learning notwithstanding, owed their knowledge far more to intuitive than to acquired ideas, developed in the usual way by a course of study.(Book I, p. 117-118)
At the website of the Swedenborg Scientific Association we are told:
Moshe Idel in a 1986 article in a Hebrew journal entitled Studies in Jewish Mysticism, Philosophy and Ethical Literature discussed Swedenborg within the framework of "The World of Angels in Human Shape." He suggests that ". . . it is very nearly certain in the matter of the structure of the world of the Angels . . . the Swedish Theosophe was influenced by Kabbalistic concepts" (Dan & Hacker, 1986, 65). One of the avenues he mentions for Swedenborg’s knowledge of the Kabbalah are lectures give at the University of Uppsala by a Jewish convert to Christianity during the years he was matriculated there (Idel, 1986, 66).
Swedenborg was generally familiar with the concept of the Kabbalah. It is in his investigation of the human form and its hidden nexus, the soul, that we find his only references to it. They are three in number. These references are not in the body of any published work, but are found in a notebook of quotations he had transcribed in his research process. This notebook was published by the Swedenborg Scientific Association in 1931. It is called A Philosopher’s Note Book. The material in it is from Swedenborg’s manuscript Codex 36 and it was translated and edited by Alfred Acton.
Would that be this Rev. Alfred Acton II who was president of the Swedenborgian college, Bryn Athyn, from 1976 to 1983? I have spent a considerable time trying to discover if he is related in any way to Lord Acton, but have not been able to find an answer.
Bryn Athyn College is a liberal-arts college religiously affiliated with the Bryn Athyn General Church of New Jerusalem, a Swedenborgian New Church. It "is known particularly for its large endowment, high faculty/student ratio, international student diversity, and its unique religious faith" according to Wikipedia.
It would be interesting to learn whether the Jewish convert to Christianity who supplied Swedenborg with information on the Kabbalah remained a crypto-Jew of the Frankist variety. In any case, Rt. Rev. Alfred Acton II is listed among the members of the Board of Directors of The Swedenborg Scientific Association. I believe he is also a bishop in the Swedenborgian New Church.
As well as a college, the Swedenborgians also have an academy in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. The museum where Sir John Templeton spoke is located in Bryn Athyn as well. It was originally the home of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn, prominent members of the Bryn Athyn congregation.
The community of Bryn Athyn appears to be composed of the New Church faithful. It is located quite close to Philadelphia.
NEW STD CIRCULATING IN THE GAY COMMUNITY
Conservative groups say the truth about a new "multi-drug resistant microbe" prevalent among homosexual men is not being presented to the public because of political correctness.
Almost two weeks ago, researchers announced they have isolated a new form of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection that is spreading through San Francisco's homosexual community and could spread to the general community.
"These multi-drug resistant infections often affect gay men at body sites in which skin-to-skin contact occurs during sexual activities," said Binh Diep, the University of California-San Francisco scientist who led the team that made the finding.
In fact, the researchers determined that this variant of MRSA infection is 13 to 14 times more prevalent in homosexual men than for the general population.
But the media are now obscuring that fact, according to Matt Barber, director of cultural policy for Concerned Women for America (CWA).
"The real story here is the way that the media have whitewashed this outbreak," Barber told Cybercast News Service. "It is amazing to see what they've done with this."
Hat tip to a reader for the link.
CHANGES IN ROME
Freeing the Tridentine is not the only change that has occurred across the pond. As Chiesa reports:
In "L'Osservatore Romano" on January 5, cardinal Cláudio Hummes, prefect of the congregation for the clergy, announced that he had sent to bishops, pastors, religious superiors, and seminary rectors all over the world a letter to ask that in every diocese "cenacles" of perpetual Eucharistic adoration be established, with the aim of "sanctifying" priests through prayer.
Among the motivations for the initiative, Hummes explicitly referred to the sexual "sins" committed on the part of a "minimal" but still significant part of the clergy:
"We ask all to do Eucharistic adoration in order to make reparation before God for the grave injury that has been done, and to recover the dignity of the victims. Yes, we wanted to think of the victims, so that they might feel that we are near. They are uppermost in our thoughts; it is important to say this."
There has also been a change in the making of saints:
In an interview with "L'Osservatore Romano" on January 9, and in an unsigned note published by the same newspaper four days later, cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the congregation for the causes of saints, announced that toward the end of February there will be the public presentation of the instruction "Sanctorum Mater," on the opening of causes of beatification, an instruction that until now was known only to those directly involved in the process.
The document – dated May 17, 2007, the Italian text of which was published in "Acta Apostolicae Sedis" issue no. 6, June 1, 2007, pp. 465-510 – translates into precise norms the guidelines that Benedict XVI gave to the congregation for the causes of saints in a message on April 27, 2006.
Caution and accuracy: these are the criteria that the pope and the congregation want to see more closely observed.
In particular, the instruction demands that "the seriousness of the investigations" into the alleged miracles "be safeguarded, [...] the procedures for the examination of which have, over the last twenty years, produced problematic elements."
There is a picture at the website of Benedict saying Mass facing the altar. Does this reflect a trend that will catch on?
Hat tip to New Oxford Review for the link.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
DUAL COVENANT THEOLOGY
or to put it another way, two paths to Heaven, one relying on Christ and the other relying on God the Father. The topic has been tossed around again in the current issue of "Culture Wars" where Dr. Robert A. Sungenis airs his concerns about the ongoing debate.
Since Nostra Aetate is teaching the exact opposite of what Jewish leaders are saying, we are thus led to the conclusion that there is a calculated disinformation campaign in the works and things may be coming to a head very soon. The recent flap over Ann Coulter's remark that Jews are not "perfected" until they become Christians has made the ADL become even more strident in its charges of "anti-Semitism" and its assertion that the Old Covenant is still in force for the Jews.
Their viewpoint may actually be fueled by our bishops:
the USCCB...recently published these provocative words in itsUnited States Catholic Catechism for Adults: "Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them."
The argument claims that the Abrahamic Covenant is still in force. Or perhaps it is the Mosaic Covenant. Or maybe the Davidic Covenant. Even God's Covenant with Noah might be used to back up the dual covenant argument.
One Covenant I never see mentioned is God's Covenant with Adam and Eve: "Be fruitful and multiply." This Covenant, of course, would be a Covenant with all of mankind. It is man who destroys this original Covenant. As we think about it, it has been man who has broken the others as well. We have no evidence that God doesn't keep His half of the bargain.
If the Covenant was made with all of mankind through our first parents, we would have to look at each Scriptural event as part of the plan, and we would have to assume that the original intention was that we would all be one, worshipping God in three Persons. The advent of the Messiah is not just a New Testament phenomenon. He was promised from the beginning. There really is not a time when Christ was not part of our faith history.
As the story unfolded, the other Covenants were added on. All of the other Covenants.
Every Covenant God made can be viewed as the criteria by which man will not attain eternal happiness in Heaven. But there is an opposite view. We can view them as the gate barring the door or as the gentle breeze that will waft us in. All of the arguments rest on the assumption that God intends that some will not get to heaven. But that is a false assumption. God did not make people in grades--Grade A and B worthy of Heaven, Grade C, D, E not admissible. From the time of Cain's sin, there has always been a need for conversion, and there have always been religions that disagreed.
Sungenis calls the Abrahamic Covenant "irrevocable" and says that it is for "both Jew and Gentile." I think all of the covenants could be said to be irrevocable as far as God is concerned, and that in God's plan the Jew/Gentile distinction should never have existed. Therefore, when it comes to a faith story today, there can be no dual covenant that divides us.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Mary Ann Meyers, Ph.D. is a writer and the Senior Fellow at John Templeton Foundation. She has authored THE SWEDENBORGIAN EXPERIENCE IN COMMUNITY CONSTRUCTION, along with other books about religion. She heads the Humble Approach Initiative, a Templeton program. Among the conferences she has chaired is "Pantheism: Were Ancient Pantheistic Views a First Step Toward the Humble Apporoach in Theology?" held in December 2001 at St. George's House, Windsor Castle, England.
The website of the European Center of Austrian Economics presents the bio of Pauline Dixon, who does research at the University of Newcastle "with a research emphasis in Austrian Economics, the theory of regulation and privatisation of education in developing countries" . She is called "a leading authority in education policy....Her course "Educational Freedom: A Global Perspective", was a winner of the Freedom Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation."..."before moving into research, Pauline Dixon was a professional jazz pianist and organist." Her area of expertise is third world education, which would appear to be of particular interest to the Foundation. She has co-authored an article for "The Review of Austrian Economics 2005".
Since Sir John Templeton is sympathetic to Swedenborgianism, I thought it interesting to find "A Course in Miracles Study Group" at the Swedenborgian Temenos Retreat facility.
Another Templeton endeavor is the Templeton Freedom Awards Program which is administered by Atlas, a $10,000 prize that was awarded to the Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institute, and Ludwig von Vises Institute, both Austrian Economics institutions, in 2006. Media Transparency tells us that Atlas Economic Research Foundation is "A virginia-based organization [that] has been quietly working as the Johnny Appleseed of conservative think tanks" which is "on a mission to populate the world with new 'free market' voices." Most of the funding has come from the Earhart Foundation.
Source Watch says Earhart "funds research and scholarship" [including]the 1980s "burgeoning conservative think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute, which became a prominent source of ideas and people for the Reagan administration."
Wikipedia tells us Earhart "has epitomized achievement in the humanities and social sciences. ... Harry B. Earhart started the foundation in 1929 with the fortune he made with White Star Oil Company. Among his foundation's early beneficiaries was Friedrich von Hayek of the London School of Economics, who wrote The Road to Serfdom and The Constitution of Liberty." The foundation supports free-market scholars through a network of 50 'Earhart professors' across the United States", and that the organization is engaged in the publishing of the collected works of Eric Voegelin. This organization, too, is promoting Austrian Economics. Vogelin was a friend of van Hayek. He studied Gnosticism according to Wikipedia.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 04 | Friday, January 25, 2008
The March for Life and the Religion of Abortion
It goes without saying that the annual March for Life is one of the most exciting and unifying events in the international movement to defend life. 100,000+ pro-lifers converged on our nation's capital this week, more than half of whom were under the age of 25, and declared that the slaughter of the innocents is never going to be accepted as a permanent institution in our nation. Abortion-promoters would be hard-pressed to show the world that they could sustain such a massive public movement in their favor for 35 straight years. I can only say, "Bravo!" to all the people - especially the kids - who made great sacrifices to join us in Washington this week.
It also goes without saying that the little tin gods in the media did their level best to ignore and obfuscate this colossal event. When the homosexual propaganda film star, Heath Ledger, died of a drug overdose two nights before the March, that provided the hedonistic media the perfect reason to wail and gnash their teeth for a prolonged period of time about their immoral agenda and derail coverage of the life event. I will pray for Mr. Ledger's immortal soul, but at the same time, his death is a study in contrasts with the March for Life. The Brokeback Mountain star was only 28 at the time of his demise. It was his massage therapist who discovered his body that morning. A thumbnail sketch of his adult life might look something like this: Hollywood glitter, money and status, cohabitating with a girlfriend, a child out of wedlock, an activist for an immoral lifestyle, drug overdose and then death at a very young age. It's a real tragedy, but the culture of hedonism and death was dramatically played against the culture of life and life in Washington DC that day.
Not to be outdone by the godless media, the Planned Parenthood in Schenectady, NY also staged its own drama of the absurd. They dedicated a new 18,000 square foot killing center that day and had three members of the abortion "clergy" come out and "bless" it! What I have always said about abortion as a demonic religion was on graphic display in NY as we were marching for life in DC. Two "ministers" came to do the blessing from a "reformed" church - their view of "reform" is obviously different than ours. The (male) reverend used the occasion to proudly announce a new doctrine to the three dozen devotees of sacred abortion: the right to privacy is endowed by God, he said. Now, we cannot even find the "right to privacy" in the US Constitution and yet this fellow makes a new religious right out of whole cloth. Don't ask the demonic religion for a good grounding in history or logic. The other abortion clergyman was a rabbi who blew the shofar as a way to show support for reproductive rights. Our friend Rabbi Yehuda Levin who blows the shofar most years at the March for Life will have a field day with that one.
The most absurd aspect of the blessing ceremony, however, was when the Rev. Larry Phillips of Schenectady's Emmanuel-Friedens Church led the congregation outside to lay hands on the brick and mortar and to declare that the killing center was "sacred ground." Ugh. The hierarchy (Planned Parenthood), the acolytes (clinic workers), the congregation (supporters) and the ministers were all at the abortion temple that day worshipping the god of abortion. And the demons were so pleased.
St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6 that our battle is not against flesh and blood. It is against the principalities and powers of this world of darkness. The darkness is spreading, but the Light of Christ shines forth in all those wonderful kids and their parents that showed the world that life will win in the end.
"The light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it." (Jn 1:5)
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International