Thursday, October 30, 2008

As election approaches: Pray and fast, make use of sacramentals

"There is no need to be afraid to call the first agent of evil by his name: the Evil One. The strategy which he used and continues to use is that of not revealing himself, so that the evil implanted by him from the beginning may receive its development from man himself, from systems and from relationships between individuals, from classes and nations—so as also to become ever more a "structural" sin, ever less identifiable as "personal" sin. In other words, so that man may feel in a certain sense "freed" from sin but at the same time be ever more deeply immersed in it." —Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Dilecti Amici, To The Youth of the World, n. 15.

Related reading here and here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's going on at the Holy Cross Cardinal Newman Society website?

Readers of this Blog are already aware of my concerns regarding the HCCNS website and the anti-Semitism which has been promoted at that forum from a previous post. It would appear that things haven't changed much at that forum. Mr. John Ansley initiated a thread entitled "What is happening here?" in which he wrote: "Monsignor Ernest Jouin*, whose work is being promoted at this site by a Feeneyite/anti-Semite follower of Philip Lawler, was a virulently anti-Semitic priest who served as the channel from Russia to France of the highly anti-Semitic propaganda work titled "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion**." He then posted a book review which confirmed his allegations regarding the late Mgsr. Jouin.

Now, Mr. Ansley was merely posing a question: "What is happening here?" However, he received a terse response from Richard B (a Catholic apologist who comments at the HCCNS website). Richard B wrote: "Ever since my association with HCCNS website, it played host to anyone who wanted to post here within specific parameters. Because posters who are favorable to 'Feeneyism' as you put it, or who object to object to 'Feenyism' does not make HCCNS website a party to those posters. I believe your inference does an injustice to this site..."

But Mr. Ansley wasn't inferring anything about the HCCNS website in general. He was merely asking what is going on at that forum. Why? Because, the masthead of this discussion site states that: "HCCNS reserves the right to delete any post it deems inappropriate including, but not limited to, those it feels are vulgar, hostile or a misuse of the intent of this forum."

Let's examine this statement very carefully. Vulgar. Does this not include comments which promote anti-Semitism? Hostile. Isn't anti-Semitism considered "hostile" at the HCCNS website? Gee, you would think so. A misuse of the intent of this forum. Is anti-Semitism the intent of the forum? If not, why is Richard B being so defensive at Mr. Ansley's question?

I don't think Mr. Ansley was looking to generalize or to infer that everyone who comments at the HCCNS website is anti-Semitic. He simply asked a question: "What is happening here?" And judging by the terse response he received, I would say he might have hit a nerve. We should ask ourselves: what exactly are the "specific parameters" according to Richard B? Do these "specific parameters" exclude anti-Semitism? And if not, why not?

Other valid questions: why has Richard B responded to Mr. Ansley with an accusatory tone (suggesting that he was inferring something about the HCCNS website in general or every individual who posts there); and why is he seemingly unconcerned with expressions of anti-Semitism?

* Previous post on Monsignor Ernest Jouin here.

** More on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

If a man leans on such a reed...

"Why should I fear in evil days, when my wicked pursuers ring me round, Those who trust in their wealth and boast of their abundant riches? One cannot redeem oneself, pay to God a ransom. Too high the price to redeem a life; one would never have enough To stay alive forever and never see the pit. Anyone can see that the wisest die, the fool and the senseless pass away too, and must leave their wealth to others. Tombs are their homes forever, their dwellings through all generations, though they gave their names to their lands. For all their riches mortals do not abide; they perish like the beasts. This is the destiny of those who trust in folly, the end of those so pleased with their wealth.

Selah Like sheep they are herded into Sheol, where death will be their shepherd. Straight to the grave they descend, where their form will waste away, Sheol will be their palace. But God will redeem my life, will take me from the power of Sheol.

Selah Do not fear when others become rich, when the wealth of their houses grows great. When they die they will take nothing with them, their wealth will not follow them down. When living, they congratulate themselves and say: "All praise you, you do so well." But they will join the company of their forebears, never again to see the light. For all their riches, if mortals do not have wisdom, they perish like the beasts." (Psalm 49: 6-21).

We have heard so much talk during this election campaign about the economy and how it is the number one concern of Americans. We have heard so much about the stock market and the trillions lost in recent weeks. This is what people of the world are most concerned about. Even though some fifty Bishops said just recently that abortion is the most important issue in this campaign, the media have ignored the issue.

Where do we stand? Do we put more importance in money and stocks than we do human life? We should recall the words of my patron Saint, Anthony of Padua: "Earthly riches are like the reed. Its roots are sunk in the swamp, and its exterior is fair to behold; but inside it is hollow. If a man leans on such a reed, it will snap off and pierce his soul, and his soul will be carried off to hell."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

There are two ways...

"There are two ways, one of life and one of death; but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, your neighbour as yourself; and all things whatsoever you would should not occur to you, do not also do to another." - The Didache.

Mother Teresa on abortion:

"America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign." (Mother Theresa -- "Notable and Quotable," Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14)

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. "

"Please don't kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child. From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortions. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents, and have grown up so full of love and joy!"

February 1997 - National Prayer Breakfast in Washington attended by the President and the First Lady: "What is taking place in America is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another."

"Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants."

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

Senator Obama on abortion:

"..look, I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old...I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." (Senator Barack Obama). For more read here.

There are two ways. One of life and one of death. Which do we choose for ourselves? Which do we choose for America? - "The fruit of abortion is nuclear war." - Mother Teresa.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Did Father Feeney and his followers really reconcile with the Church?

Remember Sheila Rauch Kennedy? She took her appeal of the Boston Archdiocese's "annulment" of her 12-year marriage to Joseph Kennedy to the Vatican and it was overturned. Why? Read here.

It was Pope John Paul II who said that: "The judge must.. abide by canonical laws, correctly interpreted. Hence, he must never lose sight of the intrinsic connection of juridical norms with Church doctrine. Indeed, people sometimes presume to separate Church law from the Church's magisterial teaching as though they belonged to two separate spheres; they suppose the former alone to have juridically binding force, whereas they value the latter merely as a directive or an exhortation. Such an approach basically reveals a positivist mindset which is in contradiction with the best of the classical and Christian juridical tradition concerning the law. In fact, the authentic interpretation of God's Word, exercised by the Magisterium of the Church (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation "Dei Verbum," No. 10), has juridical value to the extent that it concerns the context of law, without requiring any further formal procedure in order to become juridically and morally binding.

For a healthy juridical interpretation, it is indispensable to understand the whole body of the Church's teachings, and to place every affirmation systematically in the flow of tradition. It will thus be possible to avoid selective and distorted interpretations and useless criticisms at every step."

Was Canon Law followed during the "reconciliation" of Father Feeney and his followers? I submit that it was not. But first we must take a closer look at Feeneyism. What is Feeneyism? Feeneyism is a term used to describe the theological thought of the late Father Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit priest who favored a narrow interpretation of the dogma extra Ecclesiam nulla salus ("Outside the Church there is no salvation") as opposed to the Church’s understanding of the dogma.

In the words of Fr. William Most, an internationally acclaimed Scripture scholar and theologian, "What the disobedient Feeney said amounted to this: he insisted that all who did not formally enter the Church would go to hell. Hence he had to say, and he did say, that unbaptized babies go to hell. Further, all adults who did not formally enter the Church - get their names on a parish register - would also go to hell, even if they never had a chance to hear there was a Church. E.g., those in the western hemisphere during the long centuries before Columbus. Therefore Feeney consigned literally millions upon millions to hell, even though he gave them no chance. Not just the documents of the Church as interpreted by the Church should have kept him from this: merely common sense, and the realization that God is not only not a monster, but is infinitely good - that alone should have stopped him. We have, then, most ample reason for calling his error tragic. Even the sexually immoral do not deny that God is good. Feeney does worse than they."(Http://

It has often been asserted by followers of Father Leonard Feeney that they possess a "right" to hold (and even defend) his erroneous interpretation of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus and that this "right" has been affirmed by Church authorities. Moreover, they insist that their obstinate refusal to adhere to the Church’s understanding of the dogma does not prohibit them from being Catholics in good standing with the Church.

What of this? Is it possible to dissent from the Church’s teaching relative to extra Ecclesiam nulla salus while remaining "a Catholic in good standing with the Church"? Canon lawyer and Catholic journalist Pete Vere argues that it is. The purpose of this article is to examine his argument from the standpoint of Church teaching and Canon Law to ascertain whether or not his opinion on the matter has any merit.

In a letter written to Mr. Louis Villarrubia of the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire (which has absolutely no canonical status in the Catholic Church), Mr. Vere writes:

"Dear Brother Andre Marie, I hope this letter finds you and the other brothers well. Allow me to apologize for taking my time in responding to your last letter. I wanted to be thorough in my response - especially since you have asked if my response might be made public, of which I have no objection. Please note that while I do not speak on behalf of the Church in an official capacity - given that I do not hold office with a tribunal or ecclesiastical entity that has been asked to investigate this question - what follows is my professional opinion as a canon lawyer.

To recap our last exchange, you wrote: ‘I’m wondering if you are able to put in writing something testifying to the lawfulness of holding Father Feeney’s position as a Catholic in good standing with the Church. Back in January, you agreed to do this. Again, I’m not asking you to vouch for our canonical situation here in the Manchester Diocese; I’m simply asking for the expert opinion of a canon lawyer on the larger question.’

To begin, as you point out, the question concerning your canonical status with the Diocese of Manchester is separate from the question concerning Fr. Feeney’s status as one who died in full communion with Rome, as well as the status of his spiritual descendants who hold to his same position. Before we proceed to the larger question, I would just like to assure you of our family prayers that in God’s time the question of your canonical status resolve itself favourably. Should you require my assistance at that time, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Having said that, let us move to the larger question. It is clear from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) promulgated by Pope John Paul II that the Church currently promotes a less exclusive understanding of the dogma ‘Outside the Church no salvation’ (EENS) as well as the effects of desire for baptism (BOD) and pre-baptismal martyrdom for the faith (BOB). Lest I be accused of bias in my canonical opinion, I want to note up-front that I personally accept the teaching on these issues outlined in the CCC.

However, that is a debate for another time. The question currently before us is the following: What of those, like the spiritual descendants of Fr. Feeney, who hold to a more restrictive understanding on these issues? Are they Catholics in good standing with the Church? The answer is yes for a number of reasons:1) There is no question Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Catholic Church. Pope Paul VI lifted Father’s excommunication while Father was still alive, and there is no evidence that Father recanted his understanding of EENS, BOB, or BOD. The actual lifting of Father’s excommunication was executed by Fr. Richard Shmaruk, a priest of the Boston Archdiocese, on behalf of Bishop Bernard Flanagan of Worcester. While visiting Boston about ten years ago, I spoke with Fr. Shmaruk and he personally corroborated the events that led to him reconciling Fr. Feeney with the Church.

On pages 259 to 262 of his book They Fought the Good Fight, Brother Thomas Mary Sennott diligently chronicles the reconciliation of Fr. Feeney, as well as the subsequent reconciliation of several of Father’s spiritual descendants. Brother Sennott quotes from two respectable Catholic news sources (The Advocate and the Catholic Free Press). I have independently confirmed the quotations and context of the primary sources. Brother Sennottt also notes that Father’s memorial mass was celebrated by Bishop Bernard Flanagan in the Cathedral of St. Paul, Worcester. This would have given rise to scandal had Father not been fully reconciled with the Church. Br. Sennott’s book received an imprimi potest from Bishop Timothy Harrington of the Diocese of Worcester, meaning the book is free from doctrinal or moral error. Thus unless one is willing to declare oneself BLEEP! or sedeprivationist, the evidence is overwhelming that Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Church without recanting his position.

2) Most of Fr. Feeney’s spiritual descendants have been reconciled with the Church without having to renounce or recant their interpretation of BOB, BOD, or EENS. This was the case with those who reconciled in 1974 and would go on to found St. Benedict Abbey in Still River, as well as the sisters of St. Anne’s House in Still River who reconciled in 1988, and most recently with St. Benedict Centre in Still River who reconciled under Br. Thomas Augustine, MICM. Regarding the last group, I should note they had achieved a sacramental reconciliation long before their juridical reconciliation. This was the subject of the first paper I ever wrote as a young licentiate student in canon law. While researching this paper in 1997, I visited the various communities descended from Fr. Feeney and the Harvard student movement, noting with interest how despite no formal reconciliation at the time, Br. Thomas’s community had an in-residence chaplain appointed by the Bishop of Worcester. I also noted with interest that the Bishop visited the community regularly, and that he also confirmed the community’s children. In reading canon 844, sacraments should only be shared with non-Catholics under the most strict and extenuating of circumstances. It is clear, that in keeping with canon 213, the Diocese of Worcester was ensuring for the pastoral and sacramental care of Brother Thomas’s community as if they were Catholics. It was similarly clear from talking to Br. Thomas Augustine, as it was from talking to Mother Theresa next door at St. Anne’s House, that each of these communities still held the same interpretation of BOB, BOD and EENS as Fr. Feeney. With regards to the 1988 reconciliation of Mother Theresa, MICM and the sisters of St. Anne’s House in Still River, Fr. Lawrence A. Deery, JCL, at the time the Diocese of Worcester’s Judicial Vicar and Vicar for Canonical Affairs and acting in his official capacity, wrote the following: "1) The Sisters were asked to ‘understand’ the letter of the then Holy Office dated 8 August 1949. They were not asked to ‘accept’ its contents. 2) The Sisters were asked to make to make a Profession of Faith. Nothing else was required [...] In our discussions with the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith] it seemed rather clear that proponents of a strict interpretation of the doctrine should be given the same latitude for teaching and discussion as those who would hold more liberal views. Summarily, Mother Theresa and her community in no manner abandoned Father Feeney’s teachings." Need I remind you that the man who was Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith at the time of this consultation is now Pope Benedict XVI, the Church’s Supreme Pontiff?

3) In 1988, Mr. John Loughnan, a layman from Australia who happens to be a friend of mine, wrote the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) requesting clarification on several controversies surrounding the SSPX. Mr. Loughnan also inquired as to the status within the Church of Fr. Feeney’s followers. Concerning this last question, Msgr. Camille Perl, secretary of the PCED, replied to Mr. Loughnan as follows in N. 343/98 dated 27 October 1998: "The question of the doctrine held by the late Father Leonard Feeney is a complex one. He died in full communion with the Church and many of his former disciples are also now in full communion while some are not. We do not judge it opportune to enter into this question." While not wishing to engage in this controversy, Msgr. Perl clearly confirms that Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Church, and that several of his spiritual descendants who hold his same doctrinal interpretations are in full communion with the Church. Such a statement is clearly within the mission of the PCED as this commission was established by Pope John Paul II to oversee the reconciliation and well-being of traditionalists within the Church.On that note, the evidence is clear: while the position held by Fr. Feeney and his spiritual descendants may be controversial, holding these positions does not, in itself, place one outside of the Catholic Church. In short, it is clear from the Church’s current pastoral and canonical practice that the Church considers this an internal controversy, and that she acknowledges the good standing of most of those who uphold a restrictive interpretation of EENS, BOB and BOD."

Pax Christi,
Pete Vere, JCL

Let’s examine Mr.Vere’s letter very carefully. While it is good that Mr. Vere acknowledges (and accepts) the Church’s authentic teaching regarding the dogma extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, a teaching which he admits is "clear from the Catechism of the Catholic Church" (See Nos. 846 - 848; 1257-1261), he is simply wrong in his assertion that "..while the position held by Fr. Feeney and his spiritual descendants may be controversial, holding these positions does not, in itself, place one outside of the Catholic Church. In short, it is clear from the Church’s current pastoral and canonical practice ...that she acknowledges the good standing of most of those who uphold a restrictive interpretation of EENS, BOB, and BOD."

Nothing could be further from the truth. On August 8, 1949, the Holy Office sent a letter to Archbishop Richard James Cushing of Boston condemning Father Feeney’s error. In this letter, the Holy Office explained that, "...among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach is contained also that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church. However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church."

This teaching is reaffirmed in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) of the Second Vatican Council, No. 10: "..the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." See also: Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Humani Generis (Aug 12, 1950): AAS 42 (1950), 568-69; Denz. 2314 (3886).

The Holy Office concluded its letter to Archbishop Cushing with these words: "..let them who in grave peril are ranged against the Church seriously bear in mind that after ‘Rome has spoken’ they cannot be excused even by reasons of good faith. Certainly, their bond and duty of obedience toward the Church is much graver than that of those who as yet are related to the Church ‘only by an unconscious desire.’ Let them realize that they are children of the Church, lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments, and hence, having heard the clear voice of their Mother, they cannot be excused from culpable ignorance, and therefore to them apply without any restriction that principle: submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation."

What does this mean for the Feeneyites? It means that the Lord Jesus will require more from them (children of the Church who have been "lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments," See also Luke 12:48) and that, having heard "the clear voice of their Mother" (the living teaching office of the Church), they have no excuse in rejecting the Church’s understanding of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. In fact, since "to them[as children of the Church] apply without any restriction" the principle that "submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation," the Feeneyites place their salvation in jeopardy by ranging themselves against the Church.

What of Mr. Vere’s assertion that, "There is no question Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Catholic Church"? Isn’t there? Mr. Vere admits himself that, "there is no evidence that Father recanted his understanding of EENS, BOB, or BOD" and that, "Most of Fr. Feeney’s spiritual descendants have been reconciled with the Church without having to renounce or recant their interpretation of BOB, BOD, or EENS."

This point is addressed by Fr. William Most, in the article cited above. He writes, "When Feeney was old, some Church authorities out of sorrow for him, let him be reconciled to the Church. As part of the unfortunate looseness we see so often today, they did not demand that he recant. So he did not. As a result, some former followers of his came back to the Church. Others even today insist that the lack of demanding a recantation meant Feeney had been right all along. Of course not. We have proved that abundantly with official texts..and the texts of the Fathers of the Church."

So Mr. Vere acknowledges that, Fr. Feeney and his "spiritual descendants" (to borrow his own phrase) "have been reconciled with the Church without having to renounce or recant" their interpretation of the dogma. But here we encounter an immediate problem. One which a canon lawyer should have recognized straightaway. And it is this: absolution from a censure (such as excommunication) must be lawful.

In the new Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1983, we read in canon 1358 that: "A remission of a censure cannot be granted unless an offender has withdrawn from contumacy in accord with the norm of can. 1347." This norm, laid out in canon 1347 states that: "The guilty party is to be said to have withdrawn from contumacy when he or she has truly repented the offense and furthermore has made suitable reparation for damages and scandal or at least has seriously promised to do so."

In his commentary on the 1917 Code of Canon Law (which said essentially the same thing as the new Code) entitled "A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law," Charles Augustine Bachofen explained that, "...the purpose of censures is the amendment of the delinquent. Consequently, if he recedes from contumacy or persistent disobedience, he is entitled to absolution and it cannot be licitly withheld from him. Repentance alone, however, is not sufficient for purging oneself of contumacy, but satisfaction and reparation of scandal are required, according to can. 2242. Hence the one who absolves from censure must judge whether the acts performed by the penitent are sufficient" (pp. 141,142) and, "That a censure once contracted can be removed only by a lawful absolution follows from the definition given in can. 2236." (p. 141).

Under both the old and new Code of Canon Law, a censure can be removed only by lawful absolution, which is described as a withdrawal from "contumacy" or "persistent disobedience" and acts by the penitent such as "satisfaction and reparation of scandal." But Mr. Vere has correctly noted that Fr. Feeney and his "spiritual descendants" were allowed to "reconcile" with the Church without first having to renounce or recant their interpretation of the dogma EENS. In other words, without withdrawing from contumacy or persistent disobedience and without having made satisfaction and reparation of scandal. This has resulted in even more scandal within the Church and has caused so much confusion among so many Catholics today.

As Fr. Most had observed, there are those who [as a result] "even today insist that the lack of demanding a recantation meant Feeney had been right all along." Can a Feeneyite be a Catholic in good standing with the Church? The Holy Office assured us that such is not possible. Was the "reconciliation" of Fr. Feeney and his "spiritual descendants" licit? Not under Canon Law. Without withdrawal from contumacy and satisfaction for scandal?

God preserve us from such nonsense!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christianity has to be eliminated...

The Vatican, specifically the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, issued a document several years back entitled "Jesus Christ: the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the 'New Age.'" In No. 4 of this document, we read:


It is difficult to separate the individual elements of New Age religiosity – innocent though they may appear – from the overarching framework which permeates the whole thought-world on the New Age movement. The gnostic nature of this movement calls us to judge it in its entirety. From the point of view of Christian faith, it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians, while rejecting others. Since the New Age movement makes much of a communication with nature, of cosmic knowledge of a universal good – thereby negating the revealed contents of Christian faith – it cannot be viewed as positive or innocuous. In a cultural environment, marked by religious relativism, it is necessary to signal a warning against the attempt to place New Age religiosity on the same level as Christian faith, making the difference between faith and belief seem relative, thus creating greater confusion for the unwary. In this regard, it is useful to remember the exhortation of St. Paul “to instruct certain people not to teach false doctrine or to concern themselves with myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the plan of God that is to be received by faith” (1 Tim 1:3-4). Some practices are incorrectly labeled as New Age simply as a marketing strategy to make them sell better, but are not truly associated with its worldview. This only adds to the confusion. It is therefore necessary to accurately identify those elements which belong to the New Age movement, and which cannot be accepted by those who are faithful to Christ and his Church.

The following questions may be the easiest key to evaluating some of the central elements of New Age thought and practice from a Christian standpoint. “New Age” refers to the ideas which circulate about God, the human being and the world, the people with whom Christians may have conversations on religious matters, the publicity material for meditation groups, therapies and the like, explicit statements on religion and so on. Some of these questions applied to people and ideas not explicitly labelled New Age would reveal further unnamed or unacknowledged links with the whole New Age atmosphere.

* Is God a being with whom we have a relationship or something to be used or a force to be harnessed?

The New Age concept of God is rather diffuse, whereas the Christian concept is a very clear one. The New Age god is an impersonal energy, really a particular extension or component of the cosmos; god in this sense is the life-force or soul of the world. Divinity is to be found in every being, in a gradation “from the lowest crystal of the mineral world up to and beyond the Galactic God himself, about Whom we can say nothing at all. This is not a man but a Great Consciousness”. In some “classic” New Age writings, it is clear that human beings are meant to think of themselves as gods: this is more fully developed in some people than in others. God is no longer to be sought beyond the world, but deep within myself. Even when “God” is something outside myself, it is there to be manipulated.

This is very different from the Christian understanding of God as the maker of heaven and earth and the source of all personal life. God is in himself personal, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who created the universe in order to share the communion of his life with creaturely persons. “God, who 'dwells in unapprochable light', wants to communicate his own divine life to the men he freely created, in order to adopt them as his sons in his only-begotten Son. By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him, and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity”. God is not identified with the Life-principle understood as the “Spirit” or “basic energy” of the cosmos, but is that love which is absolutely different from the world, and yet creatively present in everything, and leading human beings to salvation.

* Is there just one Jesus Christ, or are there thousands of Christs?
Jesus Christ is often presented in New Age literature as one among many wise men, or initiates, or avatars, whereas in Christian tradition He is the Son of God. Here are some common points in New Age approaches:

– the personal and individual historical Jesus is distinct from the eternal, impersonal universal Christ;

– Jesus is not considered to be the only Christ;

– the death of Jesus on the cross is either denied or re-interpreted to exclude the idea that He, as Christ, could have suffered;

– extra-biblical documents (like the neo-gnostic gospels) are considered authentic sources for the knowledge of aspects of the life of Jesus which are not to be found in the canon of Scripture. Other revelations about Jesus, made available by entities, spirit guides and ascended masters, or even through the Akasha Chronicles, are basic for New Age christology;

– a kind of esoteric exegesis is applied to biblical texts to purify Christianity of the formal religion which inhibits access to its esoteric essence.

In the Christian Tradition Jesus Christ is the Jesus of Nazareth about which the gospels speak, the son of Mary and the only Son of God, true man and true God, the full revelation of divine truth, unique Saviour of the world: “for our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father”.

* The human being: is there one universal being or are there many individuals?

“The point of New Age techniques is to reproduce mystical states at will, as if it were a matter of laboratory material. Rebirth, biofeedback, sensory isolation, holotropic breathing, hypnosis, mantras, fasting, sleep deprivation and transcendental meditation are attempts to control these states and to experience them continuously”. These practices all create an atmosphere of psychic weakness (and vulnerability). When the object of the exercise is that we should re-invent our selves, there is a real question of who “I” am. “God within us” and holistic union with the whole cosmos underline this question. Isolated individual personalities would be pathological in terms of New Age (in particular transpersonal psychology). But “the real danger is the holistic paradigm. New Age is thinking based on totalitarian unity and that is why it is a danger...”. More moderately: “We are authentic when we 'take charge of' ourselves, when our choice and reactions flow spontaneously from our deepest needs, when our behaviour and expressed feelings reflect our personal wholeness”. The Human Potential Movement is the clearest example of the conviction that humans are divine, or contain a divine spark within themselves.

The Christian approach grows out of the Scriptural teachings about human nature; men and women are created in God's image and likeness (Gen 1.27) and God takes great consideration of them, much to the relieved surprise of the Psalmist (cf. Ps 8). The human person is a mystery fully revealed only in Jesus Christ (cf. GS 22),and in fact becomes authentically human properly in his relationship with Christ through the gift of the Spirit. This is far from the caricature of anthropocentrism ascribed to Christianity and rejected by many New Age authors and practitioners.

* Do we save ourselves or is salvation a free gift from God?

The key is to discover by what or by whom we believe we are saved. Do we save ourselves by our own actions, as is often the case in New Age explanations, or are we saved by God's love? Key words are self-fulfilment and self-realisation, self-redemption. New Age is essentially Pelagian in its understanding of about human nature.

For Christians, salvation depends on a participation in the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, and on a direct personal relationship with God rather than on any technique. The human situation, affected as it is by original sin and by personal sin, can only be rectified by God's action: sin is an offense against God, and only God can reconcile us to himself. In the divine plan of salvation, human beings have been saved by Jesus Christ who, as God and man, is the one mediator of redemption. In Christianity salvation is not an experience of self, a meditative and intuitive dwelling within oneself, but much more the forgiveness of sin, being lifted out of profound ambivalences in oneself and the calming of nature by the gift of communion with a loving God. The way to salvation is not found simply in a self-induced transformation of consciousness, but in a liberation from sin and its consequences which then leads us to struggle against sin in ourselves and in the society around us. It necessarily moves us toward loving solidarity with our neighbour in need.

* Do we invent truth or do we embrace it?

New Age truth is about good vibrations, cosmic correspondences, harmony and ecstasy, in general pleasant experiences. It is a matter of finding one's own truth in accordance with the feel- good factor. Evaluating religion and ethical questions is obviously relative to one's own feelings and experiences.

Jesus Christ is presented in Christian teaching as “The Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14.6). His followers are asked to open their whole lives to him and to his values, in other words to an objective set of requirements which are part of an objective reality ultimately knowable by all.
* Prayer and meditation: are we talking to ourselves or to God?

The tendency to confuse psychology and spirituality makes it hard not to insist that many of the meditation techniques now used are not prayer. They are often a good preparation for prayer, but no more, even if they lead to a more pleasant state of mind or bodily comfort. The experiences involved are genuinely intense, but to remain at this level is to remain alone, not yet in the presence of the other. The achievement of silence can confront us with emptiness, rather than the silence of contemplating the beloved. It is also true that techniques for going deeper into one's own soul are ultimately an appeal to one's own ability to reach the divine, or even to become divine: if they forget God's search for the human heart they are still not Christian prayer. Even when it is seen as a link with the Universal Energy, “such an easy 'relationship' with God, where God's function is seen as supplying all our needs, shows the selfishness at the heart of this New Age”.

New Age practices are not really prayer, in that they are generally a question of introspection or fusion with cosmic energy, as opposed to the double orientation of Christian prayer, which involves introspection but is essentially also a meeting with God. Far from being a merely human effort, Christian mysticism is essentially a dialogue which “implies an attitude of conversion, a flight from 'self' to the 'you' of God”. “The Christian, even when he is alone and prays in secret, he is conscious that he always prays for the good of the Church in union with Christ, in the Holy Spirit and together with all the saints”.

* Are we tempted to deny sin or do we accept that there is such a thing?

In New Age there is no real concept of sin, but rather one of imperfect knowledge; what is needed is enlightenment, which can be reached through particular psycho-physical techniques. Those who take part in New Age activities will not be told what to believe, what to do or what not to do, but: “There are a thousand ways of exploring inner reality. Go where your intelligence and intuition lead you. Trust yourself”. Authority has shifted from a theistic location to within the self. The most serious problem perceived in New Age thinking is alienation from the whole cosmos, rather than personal failure or sin. The remedy is to become more and more immersed in the whole of being. In some New Age writings and practices, it is clear that one life is not enough, so there have to be reincarnations to allow people to realise their full potential.
In the Christian perspective “only the light of divine Revelation clarifies the reality of sin and particularly of the sin committed at mankind's origins. Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a development flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God's plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another”. Sin is an offense against reason, truth and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity...Sin is an offense against God... sin sets itself against God's love for us and turns our hearts away from it... Sin is thus 'love of oneself even to contempt of God'”.

* Are we encouraged to reject or accept suffering and death?

Some New Age writers view suffering as self-imposed, or as bad karma, or at least as a failure to harness one's own resources. Others concentrate on methods of achieving success and wealth (e.g. Deepak Chopra, José Silva et al.). In New Age, reincarnation is often seen as a necessary element in spiritual growth, a stage in progressive spiritual evolution which began before we were born and will continue after we die. In our present lives the experience of the death of other people provokes a healthy crisis.

Both cosmic unity and reincarnation are irreconcilable with the Christian belief that a human person is a distinct being, who lives one life, for which he or she is fully responsible: this understanding of the person puts into question both responsibility and freedom. Christians know that “in the cross of Christ not only is the redemption accomplished through suffering, but also human suffering itself has been redeemed. Christ – without any fault of his own – took on himself 'the total evil of sin'. The experience of this evil determined the incomparable extent of Christ's suffering, which became the price of the redemption... The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the redemption, Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the redemption was accomplished. He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the redemption. Thus each man in his suffering can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ”.

* Is social commitment something shirked or positively sought after?

Much in New Age is unashamedly self-promotion, but some leading figures in the movement claim that it is unfair to judge the whole movement by a minority of selfish, irrational and narcissistic people, or to allow oneself to be dazzled by some of their more bizarre practices, which are a block to seeing in New Age a genuine spiritual search and spirituality. The fusion of individuals into the cosmic self, the relativisation or abolition of difference and opposition in a cosmic harmony, is unacceptable to Christianity. Where there is true love, there has to be a different other (person). A genuine Christian searches for unity in the capacity and freedom of the other to say “yes” or “no” to the gift of love. Union is seen in Christianity as communion, unity as community.

* Is our future in the stars or do we help to construct it?

The New Age which is dawning will be peopled by perfect, androgynous beings who are totally in command of the cosmic laws of nature. In this scenario, Christianity has to be eliminated and give way to a global religion and a new world order.

Christians are in a constant state of vigilance, ready for the last days when Christ will come again; their New Age began 2000 years ago, with Christ, who is none other than “Jesus of Nazareth; he is the Word of God made man for the salvation of all”. His Holy Spirit is present and active in the hearts of individuals, in “society and history, peoples, cultures and religions”. In fact, “the Spirit of the Father, bestowed abundantly by the Son, is the animator of all”. We live in the last times.

On the one hand, it is clear that many New Age practices seem to those involved in them not to raise doctrinal questions; but, at the same time, it is undeniable that these practices themselves communicate, even if only indirectly, a mentality which can influence thinking and inspire a very particular vision of reality. Certainly New Age creates its own atmosphere, and it can be hard to distinguish between things which are innocuous and those which really need to be questioned. However, it is well to be aware that the doctrine of the Christ spread in New Age circles is inspired by the theosophical teachings of Helena Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy and Alice Bailey's “Arcane School”. Their contemporary followers are not only promoting their ideas now, but also working with New Agers to develop a completely new understanding of reality, a doctrine known by some observers as “New Age truth”."

Indeed, New Age occultist Robert Muller has said that persons [read orthodox Christians] "...who hold contrary beliefs to those favored in the "next phase of evolution" will disappear." And Barbara Marx Hubbard has asserted that, "The great reaper must reap before we can take the quantum leap to the next phase of evolution."

Only recently, Oprah Winfrey made the claim that, "We're here to evolve to a higher plane..he [Barack Obama] is an evolved leader...[he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth." And what is this "unvarnished truth"? According to Oprah's spiritual guru Eckhart Tolle, it is divinity itself: "So the formless, the unmanifested, shines through you when you have realized the formless. It shines through the form into this world. It's like God shining through. The form becomes transparent. You see this in anybody who has 'realized' the absence of personality or ego..." (Interview with John Parker:

Is this why Senator Obama is referred to as "The One" by many of his followers? See here for example.

Lest anyone accuse me of paranoia, it should be remembered that the Vatican has cited New Age hostility toward Christianity while noting that under the New Age "Christianity has to be eliminated" and must "give way to a global religion."
Related reading here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Secular Messiah? - Part II.

Many of us have serious and legitimate concerns regarding attempts to portray Senator Barack Obama as some sort of secular Messiah (read here). Liberal pundits in the mainstream media, whose knowledge of Sacred Scripture is usually superficial at best, will no doubt dismiss our concerns as coming from uneducated "fundamentalists" who dress in military khaki and who spend most of the day in a dark basement loading ammunition with one hand while holding a Bible in the other.

But the Church warns against any form of secular messianism: "The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatalogical judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the 'intrinsically perverse' political form of a secular messianism." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 676).

Our Lord Jesus has told us that many would come as "false christs" so as to deceive. These are forerunners to the Antichrist: "Then if anyone says to you: 'Behold, here is the Christ!' or, 'Here!' do not believe. For false christs and false prophets will arise, and they will give great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if it were possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24: 23,24).

Hermann Rauschning, who eventually defected from the Nazi Party, recalled a conversation in which Hitler told Bernhard Forster, Nietzsche's brother-in-law, that he: "..would not reveal his unique mission until later. He permitted glimpses of it only to a few. When the time came, however, Hitler would bring the world a new religion...The blessed consciousness of eternal life in union with the great universal life, and in membership with of an immortal people - that was the message he would impart to the world when the time came..."

Likewise, Senator Obama has asserted that he is "king of the world" and that he will "change the world." Indeed, he has claimed that: "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." But it would appear that even his running mate, Senator Joseph Biden, is concerned that "America's enemies will test Obama." Read here.
The votive candle depicting Senator Obama shown above was photographed in San Francisco.

Quotations without comment

"..look, I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old...I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." (Senator Barack Obama). For more read here.

"Man's life comes from God; it is his gift, his image and imprint, a sharing in his breath of life. God therefore is the sole Lord of this life: man cannot do with it as he wills. God himself makes this clear to Noah after the Flood: "For your own lifeblood, too, I will demand an accounting ... and from man in regard to his fellow man I will demand an accounting for human life" (Gen 9:5). The biblical text is concerned to emphasize how the sacredness of life has its foundation in God and in his creative activity: "For God made man in his own image" (Gen 9:6).

Human life and death are thus in the hands of God, in his power: "In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind", exclaims Job (12:10). "The Lord brings to death and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up" (1 Sam 2:6). He alone can say: "It is I who bring both death and life" (Dt 32:39).

But God does not exercise this power in an arbitrary and threatening way, but rather as part of his care and loving concern for his creatures. If it is true that human life is in the hands of God, it is no less true that these are loving hands, like those of a mother who accepts, nurtures and takes care of her child: "I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother's breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul" (Ps 131:2; cf. Is 49:15; 66:12-13; Hos 11:4). Thus Israel does not see in the history of peoples and in the destiny of individuals the outcome of mere chance or of blind fate, but rather the results of a loving plan by which God brings together all the possibilities of life and opposes the powers of death arising from sin: "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things that they might exist" (Wis 1:13-14).

The sacredness of life gives rise to its inviolability, written from the beginning in man's heart, in his conscience. The question: "What have you done?" (Gen 4:10), which God addresses to Cain after he has killed his brother Abel, interprets the experience of every person: in the depths of his conscience, man is always reminded of the inviolability of life-his own life and that of others-as something which does not belong to him, because it is the property and gift of God the Creator and Father.

The commandment regarding the inviolability of human life reverberates at the heart of the "ten words" in the covenant of Sinai (cf. Ex 34:28). In the first place that commandment prohibits murder: "You shall not kill" (Ex 20:13); "do not slay the innocent and righteous" (Ex 23:7). But, as is brought out in Israel's later legislation, it also prohibits all personal injury inflicted on another (cf. Ex 21:12-27). Of course we must recognize that in the Old Testament this sense of the value of life, though already quite marked, does not yet reach the refinement found in the Sermon on the Mount. This is apparent in some aspects of the current penal legislation, which provided for severe forms of corporal punishment and even the death penalty. But the overall message, which the New Testament will bring to perfection, is a forceful appeal for respect for the inviolability of physical life and the integrity of the person. It culminates in the positive commandment which obliges us to be responsible for our neighbour as for ourselves: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (Lev 19:18).

The commandment "You shall not kill", included and more fully expressed in the positive command of love for one's neighbour, is reaffirmed in all its force by the Lord Jesus. To the rich young man who asks him: "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?", Jesus replies: "If you would enter life, keep the commandments" (Mt 19:16,17). And he quotes, as the first of these: "You shall not kill" (Mt 19:18). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus demands from his disciples a righteousness which surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees, also with regard to respect for life: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ?You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment'. But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment" (Mt 5:21-22).

By his words and actions Jesus further unveils the positive requirements of the commandment regarding the inviolability of life. These requirements were already present in the Old Testament, where legislation dealt with protecting and defending life when it was weak and threatened: in the case of foreigners, widows, orphans, the sick and the poor in general, including children in the womb (cf. Ex 21:22; 22:20-26). With Jesus these positive requirements assume new force and urgency, and are revealed in all their breadth and depth: they range from caring for the life of one's brother (whether a blood brother, someone belonging to the same people, or a foreigner living in the land of Israel) to showing concern for the stranger, even to the point of loving one's enemy." (Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) Nos. 39-41).
Related reading: here and here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama's lead slips to 3 points...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "Democrat Barack Obama's lead over Republican John McCain in the presidential race has dropped to 3 points, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Sunday.

Obama leads McCain by 48 to 45 percent among likely U.S. voters, down 1 percentage point from Saturday. The four-day tracking poll, which has a margin of error of 2.9 points.
Pollster John Zogby said the numbers were good news for McCain, and probably reflected a bump following his appearance in the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday.

'For the first time in the polling McCain is up above 45 percent. There is no question something has happened,' Zogby said..."

Something has happened. Many Americans have awakened to the fact that Senator Obama's policies are socialist. And they are, to put it mildly, alarmed. As Sol Stern has explained, ACORN (the radical socialist organization Senator Obama has been intimately associated with), is ultra-left and embraces redistributionism:

"ACORN’s bedrock assumption remains the ultra-Left’s familiar anti-capitalist redistributionism. “We are the majority, forged from all the minorities,” reads the group’s “People’s Platform,” whose prose Orwell would have derided as pure commissar-speak. “We will continue our fight . . . until we have shared the wealth*, until we have won our freedom . . . . We have nothing to show for the work of our hand, the tax of our labor”—claptrap that not only falsifies the relative comfort of the poor in America but that also is a classic example of chutzpah, given ACORN’s origins in a movement that undermined the work ethic of the poor. But never mind—ACORN claims that it “stands virtually alone in its dedication to organizing the poor and powerless.” It organizes them to push for ever more government control of the economy, as if it had learned no lessons about the free-market magic that made American cities unexampled engines of job creation for more than a century, proliferating opportunity and catapulting millions out of misery."

But many are also deeply concerned over Senator Obama's radical pro-abortion mindset.

* Frank Salvato: It's Americanism vs. Socialism on November 4th.

Wikipedia's entry on Socialism: here.

Related article from Michelle Malkin here:

Rush Limbaugh on Colin Powell's endorsement of Senator Obama here.

"'Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race,' Limbaugh wrote in an e-mail. 'OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with.'"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Manchester Union Leader: Obama's agenda: Forcing us to 'share'

"There is no question, Barack Obama the man is a new and exciting presence on the national stage. His plan for governing the country is not. It is nothing more than failed redistributionism wrapped in pretty new paper. That isn't change. It is a failure of imagination. And it is a betrayal of trust in the American people and of the ideals on which this great and free nation was founded."

While I agree with the Union Leader that Obama's plan is nothing more than regurgitated redistributionism re-packaged for the 21st century, I take issue with the newspaper's description of the Senator from Illinois. There is nothing exciting about failed socialist policies or a politician who lacks the moral courage to take a stand against his increasingly radicalized party.

I suspect the Union Leader meant to say that Senator Obama is "charismatic." And I wouldn't argue with that. But then, so was Adolph Hitler. A person may be charismatic when they engage in oration but remain dull intellectually. Ian Kershaw, writing about Hitler, explains that, "By any stretch of the imagination Hitler’s rise and fall was extraordinary. He was not an intellectual. He produced no great works of philosophy or art. He was not a military leader of genius or insight yet this petit-bourgeois Austrian came to power constitutionally in 1933 and remained in power for 12 years and by 1941 he commanded a European empire not seen since the days of Napoleon. He was also the instigator of a genocidal war of unparalleled scope and brutality."

Now obviously I'm not trying to compare Senator Obama with Adolph Hitler in the strict sense. I merely intend to show that an intellectually dull human being can rise to power. And in their rise to power, such people (while remaining charismatic in oration) offer agendas which really suffer from a "failure of imagination."

Senator Obama is indeed very charismatic. Sadly his economic agenda, which is anything but inspiring, is the real "bridge to nowhere." Let's hope Joe American realizes this before he takes a drive onto that bridge.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama, ACORN and anti-capitalist redistributionism

It's no secret that ACORN's philosophy is premised upon anti-capitalist redistributionism (read here). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Senator Barack Obama, who has had intimate ties with this radical anti-capitalist leftist organization, should also believe in increasing taxes on working families and individuals and "spreading the wealth around." I have been saying this from the beginning of his campaign. And I posted all of this long before it became such a hot topic a couple of days ago.

But the problem isn't just with Senator Obama. The Democratic Party has been radicalized. Read here.

Senator Obama isn't concerned about "Joe the plumber" or "Joe the barber" anymore than he is concerned about "baby Joe the unborn child in the womb." Not only would he abandon the unborn to a cruel death in their mother's womb, he would abandon the sound principles of capitalism which made this country such a success.

More taxes and bigger government is not the answer. It never has been and it never will be.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

FBI investigates ACORN for voter fraud

"..voter registration cards have become the focus of fraud investigations in Nevada, Connecticut, Missouri and at least five other states. Election officials in Ohio and North Carolina also recently questioned the group's voter forms." (From the Breitbart article linked above).

Ohio elections chief asks U.S. Supreme Court to intervene; dispute over voter registration, read here. This article relates how, "At least 200,000 newly registered voters have mismatched data, according to an initial review.." [by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat].

Didn't Senator Obama assert that there was only a problem with "a few" voter registrations during the debate last night. 200,000 in Ohio alone is, well, more than "a few."

Meanwhile, Senator Obama is so certain of victory he is planning a giant election night party. Read here. Does he know something we don't?

"All these I shall give to you..."

"Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, 'All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.' At this, Jesus said to him, 'Get away, Satan! It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'" (Matthew 4: 8-10).

"Matthew and Luke recount three temptations of Jesus that reflect the inner struggle over his own particular mission and, at the same time, address the question as to what truly matters in human life. At the heart of all temptations, as we see here, is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive him as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying, in comparison with all the apparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives. Constructing a world by our own lights*, without reference to God, building on our own foundation; refusing to acknowledge the reality of anything beyond the political and material, while setting God aside as an illusion - that is the temptation that threatens us in many varied forms." (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 28).

As Christians who strive to live a holy and authentic life in the Lord Jesus, there is something which becomes immediately apparent as we survey this broken world. And it is this: while as disciples of the Lord we receive the power of God and His gifts which include wisdom and fortitude (courage), often we are hesitant or slow to do good or when we do choose to do good we meet almost constant opposition. By contrast, those who receive the power of the devil appear to be tireless in their activities as they work frenetically to discover new ways of doing evil or deceiving others and everything seems to come to them very easily.**

There is an important spiritual lesson here. The world we live in is under the dominion of Satan, the "Prince of this world." When we witness an individual achieve outstanding success without any real setbacks, opposition or persecution, there is a very real possibility that such a person is an adept of the Prince of this world and is receiving his "gifts": "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." By contrast, often lack of success and persecution are sure signs that one really stands for God.

Soloviev, in his Tale of the Antichrist, describes all of the worldly success of the Antichrist and describes this outstanding success as being driven by some superhuman force. This is most interesting since Daily Kos has described Senator Obama's success thusly: "Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all," and one individual who left a comment at this Blog wrote, "There are unseen forces behind Obama's meteoric rise to fame and prominence. How else can we explain his rise to world fame from nowhere? Most of us never even heard of this man until a couple of years ago. And 458 million raised in campaign monies? This is nothing short of startling. Now people all over are heralding him as a new "Christ" and a new Messiah."

And, in an article written before the third presidential debate and entitled "Analysis Shows Mainstream Media Silent on Barack Obama's Pro-Abortion Views," Rich Noyes wrote: "Two of the three presidential debates have now passed without either candidate being asked about abortion, an issue that nearly four out of ten voters said was 'very important' to them, according to an August Pew survey. What makes the abortion issue especially salient this campaign year is Barack Obama’s extremely liberal record — which may also explain why the big broadcast networks have practically avoided the subject. TV reporters barely mentioned Obama’s pro-abortion stance during the primaries — from the launch of his candidacy in January 2007 through the end of the primaries in June 2008, just six out of 1,289 network evening news stories about Obama (0.46%) mentioned his position on abortion; none discussed it in any detail."

The Mainstream Media has done its best to propagandize for the Obama campaign (read here for example), while ignoring critical issues which reflect on Senator Obama's character and that of his running mate Senator Joseph Biden. Read here and here and here for example.

What does all of this indicate to us? What does it mean? What do you think?
* "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." - Senator Barack Obama.
** This should not, of course, lead us to envy (which St. Augustine calls the diabolical sin). Instead we should reflect prayerfully on the words of Jesus as given in the eighth chapter of Mark verse 36: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Signs of the times...

I want to believe that God has sent a Messiah to keep us from annihilating ourselves in World War 3." - A veteran CIA analyst, speaking about Rex Farrye.

"Antichrist will communicate his power of working miracles to others, who will go into different countries and cities to gain new proselytes by all the human and diabolical means in their power..It is thus that the words of Our Lord will be fulfilled. "For there will shall rise up false Christs and false prophets, and they shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Take ye heed, therefore. Behold I have foretold you all things." (Mk 13: 22-23). "And then if any man shall say to you: Lo, here is Christ; lo, he is here, do not believe..he is in the desert, go ye not out." (Mt 24: 23-26). Benighted apostles who will indeed turn away from truth! (2 Tim 4:4). They blaspheme the majesty of God and despise all true authority. "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their confusion, wandering stars to whom the storm of darkness is reserved forever." (Jude 1:13). "Fountains without water and clouds tossed with whirlwinds , to whom the midst of darkness is reserved." (2 Pet 2:17). (Rev. Pascal Huchede, History of Antichrist, p. 24).

"As in Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead so in Antichrist the fullness of all wickedness. Not indeed in the sense that his humanity is to be assumed by the devil into unity of person ..., but that the devil by suggestion infuses his wickedness more copiously into him than into all others. In this way all the wicked that have gone before are signs of Antichrist." (Summa III:8:8)

"(His miracles may be) said to be real just as Pharaoh's magicians made real frogs, but they will not be real miracles because they will be done by the power of natural causes." (Summa II-II:178:1)

"Antichrist will heal the sick, raise the dead, restore sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, raises storms and calms them, re-names mountains, make trees blossom and wither at a word, re-build the temple of Jerusalem, and make Jerusalem the capital city of the world with the vast wealth of hidden treasures." (Rabanus Maurus, private)

(Note). Antichrist cannot work genuine miracles; he cannot give life back to the dead. But he can raise again those who appear to be dead according to human knowledge and experience, but are yet not really dead. He can also re-animate dead bodies by the power of Satan so as to make them appear alive. As for his healing powers and his dominion over the elements and plants, this is not at all impossible for there is much more in the way of psychic powers of the natural order than is generally accepted. He will possess all these thanks to his master, the devil. To us, of course such wonders appear to be miraculous but they are not so in the strict theological sense. Note that R. Maurus did not say "resurrect the dead", but "raise the dead", which is vastly different since the word resurrect, despite its etymological limitations, is generally understood as meaning "bring to life again", whilst the word raise need not imply this. (See also par. 3, 52 & 55)

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Secular Messiah?

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
- Senator Barack Obama.

"Barack Obama must be elected President of the United States. It’s his worldview, his clarity of judgment, and his just plain right-mindedness that resonate with me. Figuring that my efforts were best spent raising money for the campaign, I have thrown myself into a new world—one in which fluffy chatter and frivolous praise are replaced by a get-to-the-point directness and disciple-like devotion. It’s intense and intoxicating...

... I have to confess I felt a certain shame that the dress I wore—a bright-red Prada number from next season that my former boss, Carol, insisted I buy the day before—cost more than the $1,000 ticket to the event itself. ... How this paid off I’ll share in a moment...

I was on my feet as Senator Obama entered the room. Fate had blessed me in this moment, as I realized that the aisle that was keeping me from my seat was created for him and his secret service escort to make their way to the stage. Within seconds, he was a few feet from me. Cameras were flashing, everyone was cheering, and I knew this was my moment. I pushed my way up to the barricade as he shook hands with as many people as time would allow. I squeezed up front, but Obama was moving quickly and just passed me by. Then, in a moment of divine intervention, he saw me, clad in my red stop-sign of a dress, back-tracked ever so slightly in his procession, grabbed my hand, and gave that brilliant smile of his. I literally said out loud to the woman next to me who witnessed my good fate, "I’ll never wash this hand again." Elle Associate Publisher Samantha Fennell, July of 2008. Source:

"Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama." - Dinesh Sharma.

"Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?" - Daily Kos.

"[Obama is] creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom...[He is] the man for this time." - Toni Morrison.

"We're here to evolve to a higher plane...he is our evolved leader...[he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth." - Oprah Winfrey.

- Source:

Does Senator Obama view himself as some sort of secular Messiah who is here to take us to "a higher plane" while healing the planet? Many of his followers see him as such. The secular "Messiah" believes himself to have a special mandate or mission from above to bring "change" to a hurting world. As Dusty Sklar documents in her important work entitled "The Nazis and the Occult": "Hitler, from the time he was a young boy, was preoccupied with the matter of will, a concern not shared by his family or social milieu. Though he could not will himself into art school or good health, his childhood friend Kubizek was the recipient of confidences about his inner life which betray Wagnerian fantasies of another sort of strength. After a performance of Wagner's opera Rienzi, both boys stood under the stars, and, says Rubizek: 'I was struck by something strange, which I had never noticed before, even when he had talked to me in moments of the greatest excitement. It was as if another being spoke out of his body, and moved him as much as it did me. It wasn't at all a case of a speaker being carried away by his own words. On the contrary, I rather felt as though he himself listened with astonishment and emotion to what burst forth from him with elementary force. I will not attempt to interpret this phenomenon, but it was a state of complete ecstasy and rapture, in which he transferred the character of Rienzi, without even mentioning him as a model or example, with visionary power to the plane of his own ambitions. But it was more than a cheap adaptation. Indeed, the impact of the opera was rather a sheer external impulse which compelled him to speak. Like flood waters breaking their dykes, his words burst forth from him. He conjured up in grandiose, inspiring pictures his own future and that of his people....It was an unknown youth who spoke to me in that strange hour. He spoke of a special mission which one day would be entrusted to him..." (p. 50).

Grandiose, inspiring pictures? Such as the rise of the oceans beginning to slow? Or the planet beginning to "heal"? And just as Hitler [according to his childhood friend] was astonished at what "burst forth from him with elementary force," Senator Obama himself has expressed astonishment at "the utter improbability" of his meteoric rise to fame and international prominence.
And what does Ms. Winfrey mean when she asserts that Senator Obama is an "evolved leader"? We find an excellent definition over at EWTN:
"The Mahatmas Arnould writes of these Guardians of the Immemorial Doctrine that 'their number is great,' that they are 'Beings more completely developed than antecedent or existing humanity. These more advanced Beings have traversed the entire human course, and help their less advanced brethren. All humanity shall one day reach this degree of development, like that which Westerns assign to their anthropomorphic God,' and then it will be their turn to help others.. For while 'a few isolated individuals, borne on by a peculiar enthusiasm, a spiritual moral, and physical hygiene and persevering toil,' achieve the goal before their brothers, and alone have evolved that sixth principle, or (Buddhi), which is as superior to the intellect as the human soul is to the animal, yet they can and do put off their entry into Nirvana for the sake of teaching fragments of their lore to men, and may then be called 'Buddhas of Compassion'. H. P. B. rationalizes these Mahatmas (=Great Spirits) not a little: though they guide and protect, yet they do not inspire the T. S. or the writings of its leaders. So, too, Mrs. Besant says they work for humanity, use the T.S. as an instrument, bless it, and help it at a crisis. Miss Lillian Edger, in a very convenient little book called 'Elements of Theosophy', says of them that they can 'function at will on any one of the three planes on which our evolution is proceeding.' They work 'unseen, unthanked, even as God Himself works in every form'. From them come the inspirations of art, the intuitions of genius, and the promptings of heroism. From them come physical discoveries and spiritual movements. They appear, it may be, as men, and are misunderstood and persecuted. They may be called Initiates, Adepts, Magi, Hierophants, Mahatmas, Elder Brothers, Great Souls, or Masters. We are told to number among them Pythagoras, Orpheus, Moses, Christ, St. Paul, St. John, Clement and Origen, Krishna and Buddha, high-priests of various cults (including that of the Temple at Jerusalem), Alexander the Great, and many others.." (
The teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Church's ultimate trial

675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

676 The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.
Would he censor free speech? Related reading here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

More on voter fraud...

4,000 dead voters in Houston. Meanwhile, the ACORN voter fraud scandal is developing. Read here.


Related reading here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

ACORN: Voter Fraud?

Nevada authorities have raided the Las Vegas office of the community-organizing group ACORN seeking evidence of voter fraud. Readers of this Blog are already aware that Senator Barack Obama has been associated with ACORN in the past. Read here.

Meanwhile, in an article for Newsweek entitled "Obama's 'Good Will' Hunting," Michael Isikoff addresses a campaign-financing scandal: "The Obama campaign has shattered all fund-raising records, raking in $458 million so far, with about half the bounty coming from donors who contribute $200 or less. Aides say that's an illustration of a truly democratic campaign. To critics, though, it can be an invitation for fraud and illegal foreign cash because donors giving individual sums of $200 or less don't have to be publicly reported.

Consider the cases of Obama donors 'Doodad Pro' of Nunda, N.Y., who gave $17,130, and 'Good Will' of Austin, Texas, who gave more than $11,000—both in excess of the $2,300-per-person federal limit. In two recent letters to the Obama campaign, Federal Election Commission auditors flagged those (and other) donors and informed the campaign that the sums had to be returned. Neither name had ever been publicly reported because both individuals made online donations in $10 and $25 increments. 'Good Will' listed his employer as 'Loving' and his occupation as 'You,' while supplying as his address 1015 Norwood Park Boulevard, which is shared by the Austin nonprofit Goodwill Industries.

Suzanha Burmeister, marketing director for Goodwill, said the group had 'no clue' who the donor was. She added, however, that the group had received five puzzling thank-you letters from the Obama campaign this year, prompting it to send the campaign an e-mail in September pointing out the apparent fraudulent use of its name.'Doodad Pro' listed no occupation or employer; the contributor's listed address is shared by Lloyd and Lynn's Liquor Store in Nunda. 'I have never heard of such an individual,' says Diane Beardsley, who works at the store and is the mother of one of the owners. 'Nobody at this store has that much money to contribute.' (She added that a Doodad's Boutique, located next door, had closed a year ago, before the donations were made.)

Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said the campaign has no idea who the individuals are and has returned all the donations, using the credit-card numbers they gave to the campaign. (In a similar case earlier this year, the campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought T shirts in bulk from the campaign's online store. They had listed their address as 'Ga.,' which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza.) 'While no organization is completely protected from Internet fraud, we will continue to review our fund-raising procedures,' LaBolt said. Some critics say the campaign hasn't done enough. This summer, watchdog groups asked both campaigns to share more information about its small donors. The McCain campaign agreed; the Obama campaign did not. 'They could've done themselves a service' by heeding the suggestions, said Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics."

What's going on with the Obama campaign? How much, if anything, does Senator Obama know about all of this?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Devout Catholic investment expert warns of economic chastisement

Our Lady told Fr. Stephano Gobbi on November 15, 1990, at Malvern Pennsylvania: "I announce to you that the hour of the great trial is on the point of arriving. The great trial has arrived for your country. How many times, as a concerned and sorrowing mother, have I endeavored to urge my children to follow the path of conversion and of return to the Lord. I have not been listened to. You have continued to walk along the way of rejection of God, and of His law of love. Sins of impurity have become ever more widespread, and immorality has spread like a sea which has submerged all things. Homosexuality, a sin of impurity which is against nature, has been justified; recourse to the means of preventing life have become commonplace, while abortions - these killings of innocent children, that cry for vengeance before the face of God - have spread and are performed in every part of your homeland.The moment of divine justice and of great mercy has now arrived.

You will know the hour of weakness and of poverty; the hour of suffering and defeat; the purifying hour of the great chastisement. The great trial has arrived for your Church. How great is your responsibility, O Pastors of the Holy Church of God! You continue along the path of division from the Pope and of the rejection of his Magisterium; indeed, in a hidden way, there is in preparation a true schism which could soon become open and proclaimed...And then, there will remain only a small faithful remnant, over which I will keep watch in the garden of my Immaculate Heart.

The great trial has arrived for all humanity. The chastisement, predicted by me at Fatima and contained in that part of the secret which has not yet been revealed, is about to take place. The great moment of divine justice and of mercy has come upon the world."

This prophecy is now being fulfilled. And no economic "bailout" will save the day. Only prayer and penance, mortification and a sacramental life. But these are not considered "fashionable" today. And so our sin-soaked society, which is morally, spiritually and intellectually bankrupt, looks for secular answers to what is essentially a spiritual problem.

Our Mother tells us, "I have not been listened to." In fact, at this Blog and at the Holy Cross Cardinal Newman Society website, an anonymous individual has posted attacks directed against the Marian Movement of Priests. Such hostility toward Our Lady. This even as the prophecy she gave to Fr. Gobbi is fulfilled to the letter.

Watch and pray. As our secularistic, materialistic, hedonistic society unravels and sheer chaos erupts everywhere, find your refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Salvation will not be found in the stock market, the federal government, a particular political party or candidate, or a man who promises to solve all our problems at the price of apostasy.

Trust in the Lord Jesus and His Mother. If you place your trust elsewhere, you will be sorely disappointed.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Darkness Spreads...

Please pray for Peterborough, New Hampshire which will be hosting a major Wiccan festival soon. Occultists will be gathering in that town on October 25th for "Celebrate Samhain: A Celebration of the Final Harvest and Ancestors Past." See: Peterborough, as some of you may know, was the inspiration for Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town." Let's make it our town again as Christians.

As the darkness continues to spread, we need to be salt and light.

Thank you & God love you.

More info on Samhain here.

Our Mother helps us along the way...

The Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary
Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan

Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.

I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.

The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.

Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.

Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.
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