Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Worcester [Massachusetts] Diocesan Commission for Women: Promoting the New Age?

The Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, at its official website which may be found here, has the following statement of purpose: "The Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester is an advisory group for the Bishop of Worcester, focusing on issues affecting women in the Church and in society." This is really troubling. For this Commission, which serves the Bishop of Worcester in an advisory capacity, has had Sister Joyce Rupp as a guest speaker at its 2007 "Gather Us In" conference. Additionally, the Commission for Women website has a "favorite links" section which includes a link to Joyce Rupp's website.

In a previous post which may be found here, I noted how Sister Joyce Rupp, a self-proclaimed spiritual midwife who feels that she resonates with mystical islamic sufism, has extolled New-Ageism as valuable and claims to have stretched herself "beyond the safe world of heterosexuality" while attending a "gathering of lesbians." In an interview with US Catholic (April 2000), Sister Joyce Rupp said that, "In many ways, New Age has become the new enemy. That's unfortunate because some things about New Age are valuable...I think some Church people are envious about New Age, because it does draw people toward spiritual growth."

But while Joyce Rupp is extolling the New Age and learning from Eagle Crux, a Native American spiritualist, Pope Benedict XVI has warned that, "There is..a consciously antirationalist response to the experience that 'everything is relative,' a complex reality that is lumped together under the title of New Age. The way out of the dilemma of relativism is now sought, not in a new encounter of the 'I' with the 'Thou' or the 'We,' but in overcoming subjective consciousness, in a re-entry into the dance of the cosmos through ecstasy. As in the case of Gnosis in the ancient world, this way believes itself to be fully in tune with all the teachings and the claims of science, making use of scientific knowledge of every kind (biology, psychology, sociology, physics). At the same time, however, it offers against this background a a completely antirationalist pattern of religion, a modern 'mysticism': the absolute is, not something to be believed in, but something to be experienced. God is not a person distinct from the world; rather, he is the spiritual energy that is at work throughout the universe. Religion means bringing my self into tune with the cosmic whole, the transcending of all divisions...Objectifying reason, New Age thinking tells us, closes our way to the mystery of reality; existing as the self shuts us out from the fullness of cosmic reality; it destroys the harmony of the whole and is the real reason for our being unredeemed. Redemption lies in breaking down the limits of the self, in plunging into the fullness of life and all that is living, in going back home to the universe....The gods are returning. They have become more credible than God. Aboriginal rites must be renewed in which the self is initiated into the mysteries of the universe and freed from its own self. There are many reasons for the renewal of pre-Christian religions and cults that is being widely undertaken today. If there is no truth shared by everyone, a truth that is valid simply because it is true, then Christianity is merely a foreign import, a form of spiritual imperialism, which needs to be shaken off just as much as political imperialism. If what takes place in the sacraments is not the encounter with the one living God of all men, then they are empty rituals that mean nothing and give us nothing and, at best, allow us to sense the numinous element that is actively present in all religions. It then seems to make better sense to seek after what was originally our own than to permit alien and antiquated things to be imposed on us. But above all, if the 'rational intoxication' of the Christian mystery cannot make us intoxicated with God, then we just have to conjure up the real, concrete intoxication of effective ecstasies, the passionate power of which catches us up and turns us, at least for a moment, into gods..." (Truth and Tolerance, pp. 126-128).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Father John Dietzen gets it wrong, Part II: Intellectual dishonesty

In his article entitled "Can Jews, Muslims be saved," Fr. John Dietzen writes, "Pope John Paul II reflects this Catholic attitude [that non-Catholics may be saved] in his moving and hopeful book, 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope.' God wants to save all mankind in Jesus Christ, he writes. We don't know how God does all this, but we know Christ came into the world for all people and 'has his own ways of reaching them' (pp. 80-83) In other words, God has committed himself to work through baptism and the other sacraments, but he is not bound or limited by them."

It is certainly true that non-Catholics who "..through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience..may achieve eternal salvation" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 847) and that although, "God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism..he himself is not bound by his sacraments." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1257). I have often quoted these passages to refute the errors of the Feeneyites who insist that only baptized Roman Catholics may be saved.

But it does not follow that because "God came into the world for all people" and "wants to save all mankind in Jesus Christ" that all will be saved. Will some souls end up in hell? Fr. Dietzen concludes from his examination of Pope John Paul II's book that, "We just don't know enough about the mystery of God's saving plan to make such a judgment." He then writes, "Perhaps you know of Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the major Catholic theologians of the 20th century, a friend and close consultant to Pope John Paul II. He wrote much about the possibility of universal redemption, including the book, 'Dare We Hope: That All Men Be Saved,' in which he maintains it is our Christian call to pray and hope that all are reconciled with God. He was named a Cardinal but died before he could receive the red hat."

What of this? Was Pope John Paul II in agreement with Hans Urs von Balthasar? The average Catholic, after reading Fr. Dietzen's article, would certainly get that impression. But they would be wrong. For Fr. Dietzen is not intellectually honest and only cites those passages of Pope John Paul II's book which seem to support this notion. A more careful examination of the Holy Father's book will serve to highlight Fr. Dietzen's dishonesty. For example, in a passage responding to the concern of "great thinkers in the Church," [including von Balthasar] who have been "disturbed" by the problem of hell, Pope John Paul II refers to Jesus' "unequivocal" words: "He speaks clearly of those who will go to eternal punishment (cf. Mt 25: 46)."

Pope John Paul II concludes his remarks (which may be found on pages 185 to 186 of "Crossing the Threshold of Hope") with a series of rhetorical questions which indicate that some sinners will end in hell: "Is not God who is Love also ultimate Justice?," "Can He tolerate these terrible crimes," "Can they go unpunished?," "Isn't final punishment in some way necessary in order to reestablish moral equilibrium in the complex history of humanity?," "Is not hell in a certain sense the ultimate safeguard of man's moral conscience?"

Fr. Dietzen conveniently leaves these passages out of his article in an attempt to convince the faithful that Pope John Paul II and the Church are in agreement with Hans Urs von Balthasar. I have already quoted [in part I on Fr. Dietzen] from Lumen Gentium, No. 48 of the Second Vatican Council which teaches clearly that some souls will end up in hell. And faithful Catholics will reflect very carefully on the fact that the Lord Himself speaks about the damned in a form that is grammatically future: "...and those who have done evil will go to the resurrection of condemnation" (Mt 25: 46). Does Fr. Dietzen consider Christ to be a liar? Does he believe Christ to be mistaken?

It's true that Pope John Paul II appointed von Balthasar a Cardinal. But when the Pope appoints someone a Cardinal, he does not authoritatively commend his thought. I call upon Fr. Dietzen to issue an apology to his readers for his misleading article. The faithful have a right to Catholic teaching in its purity and integrity (Veritatis Splendor, No. 113). And Fr. Dietzen has not delivered.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Paul Harvey, dirt roads and Heaven's peace plan

I grew up listening to Paul Harvey on the radio. I always appreciated his genteel style and his dignified approach to the news and talk radio in general. I was really saddened when he died recently. His death represents more of a loss than I think most people realize. For Paul Harvey was the very epitome of civility. And our age is lacking in civility. This is why we have become so alienated from one another. So angry. So lacking in peace. We have exchanged a relationship with Christ Jesus and our neighbor for technological progress and material things.

Some years ago, Paul Harvey addressed this in a most beautiful way with a broadcast entitled "Dirt Roads":

"What’s mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt Roads have been paved.
There’s not a problem in America today, crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency that wouldn’t be remedied, if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give character.

People that live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride. That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it’s worth it, if at the end is home…a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.

We wouldn’t have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their exercise walking a Dirt Road with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along. There was less crime in our streets before they were paved. Criminals didn’t walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they’d be welcomed by five barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun. And there were no drive by shootings.

Our values were better when our roads were worse! People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous, they didn’t tailgate by riding the bumper or the guy in front would choke you with dust & bust your windshield with rocks. Dirt Roads taught patience.

Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly, you didn’t hop in your car for a quart of milk you walked to the barn for your milk. For your mail, you walked to the mail box. What if it rained and the Dirt Road got washed out? That was the best part, then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony rode on Daddy’s shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.

At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap. Most paved roads lead to trouble, Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole. At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn’t some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.

At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes would get stuck, you’d have to hitch up a team and pull them out. Usually you got a dollar…always you got a new friend…at the end of a Dirt Road!"

We have indeed created such a mess haven't we? Everything across our society is crumbling: The economy, government, our educational system, churches, families. But there is a way out from underneath our problems, a solution which has gone untried for so long:

“Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world . . . for she alone can save it.” (Our Lady—July 13, 1917)

God has placed peace in her hands, and it is from the Immaculate Heart that men must ask it." (Jacinta—shortly before her death)

There you have it. Heaven's stimulus package for peace! Most, unfortunately, will scoff at such an idea. "Absurd" some will say. "Simplistic" still others will say. But I have seen up close the transforming power of the Holy Rosary and watched with amazement as those who prayed it with sincerity experienced changed lives. I have seen the Holy Rosary alter events with a supernatural power which must be experienced to be believed and appreciated.

We can return to simplicity of life and holiness. We don't have to be alienated from Christ Jesus and our neighbor. We can change the human heart through prayerful recitation of the Rosary. Why do we find this so difficult to accept? Mostly because we are too proud and believe too much in our own abilities.

The Rosary has the power not only to restore relationships and heal a broken world where neighbor is alienated from neighbor. It has the power to shape our will so that we may all the more easily abandon it to the Divine Will. I prayed so many Rosaries as my father was dying at St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester. I prayed day and night. Yes, my father still died. Yes, his passing filled me with sadness. But when Our Lady entered my father's hospital room to bring him back home, the peace I experienced was something words will never be able to convey.

Our roads may be paved now. But there is a way back to simplicity of life and holiness. It will only be by holding our Heavenly Mother's hand and walking with her that we will recover what we have lost: "for never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help or sought her intercession was left unaided." And that, as Paul Harvey would have said is "the rest of the story."

Amen and Good Day!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Father John Dietzen gets it wrong...

Father John Dietzen, in a Catholic News Service article entitled "Can Jews, Muslims be saved"* (the answer, of course, is yes), writes, "..we pray constantly in our liturgy that all people will be saved...It is possible, therefore, and something we hope for and desire."

But will everyone be saved? Sacred Scripture, which is interpreted authoritatively by the Church's teaching (a teaching which Fr. Dietzen is obviously unfamiliar with) tells us that not all will be saved. For example, Vatican II teaches that, "Indeed, since we know neither the day nor the hour, it is necessary, as the Lord has warned, to keep watch constantly, so that, having completed the one course of our earthly life (see Heb 9: 27), we may merit to enter the marriage banquet with him and be counted among the blessed (see Mt 25: 31-46) and not be ordered, as bad and lazy servants (see Mt 25: 26), to go down into eternal fire (see Mt 25: 41), into the exterior darkness where there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mt 22: 13; 25: 30). For, before we reign gloriously with Christ, all of us will appear "before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Cor 5: 10), and at the end of the world "those who have done good will go to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil will go to the resurrection of condemnation" (Jn 5: 29; cf. Mt 25: 46)." (Lumen Gentium, No. 48).

In a bit of sarcasm, Fr. Dietzen - responding to Catholics who would object to his idiotic assertion that we may rightfully hope that all are saved by pointing to the private revelation of Fatima where Our Lady showed the children souls suffering in Hell - writes, "Some Catholics point to certain private revelations, such as the apparitions at Fatima, to 'prove' that many people are in hell. That must be right, they claim, because the Church has approved many such revelations. When the Church sanctions private revelations, it is simply saying that there is nothing heretical in them...this does not, however, anoint the content of the revelations as Catholic teaching or doctrine."

This betrays a poor attitude toward private revelation. When it comes to approved private revelation, Pope Benedict XVI said, "..they help us to understand the signs of the times and to respond to them rightly in faith." (Message of Fatima, Theological Commentary,

Our Lady told the children at Fatima, "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace..." Although strictly speaking, we are not bound as Catholics to accept private revelation (even when the Church has approved of it, see Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 67), still, it would be foolish to reject what the Church has approved. But if Fr. Dietzen cannot bring himself to accept this private revelation, then let him accept the Public Revelation of Sacred Scripture and the Church's authoritative interpretation of that Revelation.

The task of authentically interpreting the Word of God belongs exclusively to the Magisterium of the Church. Not Fr. John Dietzen. Perhaps Father should pray for a little more humility?

* This article may be found on page 5 of The Catholic Free Press.

The world must be prepared for the Man of Sin...

An atheist website which seeks to convince people to abandon Christianity and which may be found here, lists the following objectives:

Welcome to

The time has come to abandon Christianity.

Objectives: to advocate against the widespread acceptance of the story of Jesus Christ as written in the Holy Bible; to advocate prescinding the infiltration of Biblical conscience into law and the courts; to reveal and expose the absurdity of the supernatural claims of the scriptures of the Holy Bible; to prevent the loss of human energy being wasted through religious practice resulting from the interpretation of the text of the Holy Bible; to prevent further justification of actions causing death and destruction from those in power of whom abuse the widespread acceptance of the Holy Bible as truth; to rally the support of reasonable thinking people into bringing about a paradigm shift regarding the support for Biblical indoctrination of children and adults; to hold the Church accountable for their wrong doings; to eliminate tax relief provided to the Church for spreading untrue and absurd supernatural claims; to save individuals from grief and misery resulting from their acceptance of false information proselytized by the Church; to redirect human energy from religious practice to reason-based societal and environmental efforts; to create a clearing for world peace by eliminating religious conflict--a major contributor leading to war.."

Visitors to this website are then told: This is not a hate site.This is a love site. With love and understanding: the intent of this site is not to spread hatred for those who believe in Jesus as God; the intent of this site is to advance the wellness of individuals and society as a whole; What makes this site different from atheistic sites? Jesus is not God nor a son of God: this site is not concerned whether there is a God or not; for the sake of no argument, this site allows the reader to remain believing that there is, or may be, a God; this site is specific in opposing the assertion that Jesus is a son of God; this site is specific in opposing Christian influence and control within social context; How does belief in Jesus harm the world? How does belief in Jesus harm an individual? Jesus is killing us: the focus of the world needs to be "the planet an everlasting paradise"* -- not whether Jesus is God or not; wars are fought defending false beliefs about Jesus; a person believing in Jesus is living a lie and is thusly in some respect a dysfunctional member of society; the media often reports instances of murders by people justifying their actions based on their religious beliefs.."
As I said here, "The new humanitarian religion, which is anti-supernatural, must absorb Christianity as it prepares for the entrance of the Man of Sin. Catholics who maintain a devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Our Lady [and authentic devotion to Our Lady presupposes total obedience to the Church's Magisterium] must first be ostracized and later eliminated as incompatible with the New Order."
"Erit enim tempus, cum sanam doctrinam non sustinebunt, sed ad sua desideria coacervabunt sibi magistros, prurientes auribus. Et a veritate quidem auditum avertent, ad fabulas autem convertentur." (2 Timothy 4: 3-4).
And that time is now. New Age philosophies are spreading throughout the Church. Homosexuality and lesbianism are celebrated. Even in a Catholic parish. Intoxicated with their own knowledge and learning, those who have succumbed to friendship with the world tell us that we must leave behind the "old complexes" and reject "backward thinking" so that we may evolve into more "civilized" beings who may then build an earthly paradise. These misguided souls are not interested in knowledge for the sake of truth, but for power and possession.
It was Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand who warned that,"..a much worse consequence of the idol of learning is the killing of common sense, which is being undertaken on a widespread scale in grammar schools, high schools, and colleges. One forgets the great source of wisdom which lies in our immediate contact with being, and how pernicious it is to replace the resulting world view, with instruction which draws its nourishment from doubtful psychological and sociological theories, and false, flat philosophies. Every immediate, true experience in which the voice of being speaks to a person, is much more interesting than the questionable theories he has adopted concerning the world and life. Thus it is that a simple, unlettered man, when he speaks about the world and his life, is much wiser, much truer, and more genuine than all the half-educated people who simply repeat the stupid theories expounded by their professors. The statement of a simple person may be clumsily expressed; it may be incomplete, and even contain errors. But it will always have a kernel of truth, always the freshness of a genuine contact with reality, and be free from the arrogant presumption of establishing a valid theory in the sense of looking 'behind the scenes' of reality, and being able to 'explain' everything. The dangerous error of the cult of teaching and learning reaches its climax in the ambition to improve, modify, or even replace natural, immediate, organic contact with the world and life, by an artificial contact based on so-called 'scientific' theories." (The Devastated Vineyard, pp. 85-86).
We are commanded, "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever." (2 Timothy 2: 15-17).
Who will be able to resist the Antichrist when he reveals himself? - which could be at any time now. As I mentioned in a previous post, Romano Guardini has provided us with the answer:
"One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence witout Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed. His arguments will be so impressive, supported by means of such tremendous power - violent and diplomatic, material and intellectual - that to reject them will result in almost insurmountable scandal, and everyone whose eyes are not opened by grace will be lost. Then it will be clear what the Christian essence really is: that which stems not from the world, but from the heart of God; victory of grace over the world; redemption of the world, for her true essence is not to be found in herself, but in God, from whom she has received it. When God becomes all in all, the world will finally burst into flower."
Those who believe in their own intellectual prowess will succumb to the lie. They will be seduced by the Antichrist. Already we see the spirit of Antichrist seducing so many as they scramble to find teachers who will tickle their ears and tell them what they want to hear. But their end is destruction.
* "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." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 675).

"..stricken with the scourge of epidemics..."

"I have wanted you here, to tell you that you must now all enter right away into the safe refuge of my Immaculate Heart. Just as Noah, in the name of the Lord, called into the ark those who were to be saved from the flood, so now must you, my littlest child, in the name of your heavenly Mother, call into the refuge of my Immaculate Heart those who must be protected, defended and saved from the great trial which has now come for the Church and for all humanity...My Church will be shaken by the violent wind of apostasy and unbelief, as he who sets himself against Christ will enter into its interior, thus bringing to fulfillment the horrible abomination which has been prophesied to you in Holy Scripture. Humanity will know the bloody hour of its chastisement: it will be stricken with the scourge of epidemics, of hunger and of fire; much blood will be spilt upon your roads; war will spread everywhere, bringing down upon the world incommensurable devastation...You, my poor children, must all bear the weight of great sufferings and of unspeakable sorrows, so that the great miracle of divine justice and mercy may be manifest to all...From this place, where I appeared as the Woman Clothed with the sun, to be your light in these dark years of the great tribulation, I bless you all in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Our Lady to Fr. Stephano Gobbi, Fatima, Portugal, March 15, 1993).
Our Lord Jesus told Saint Faustina: "My daughter, write that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy; urge all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls - no one have I excluded!" (Divine Mercy in My Soul, Notebook III, 1182).

Friday, April 24, 2009

"It is not I who condemn you; it is you who have damned yourselves..."

Jesus assures us in Sacred Scripture that, "it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish" (Mt 18:14). This truth is found in paragraph 1037 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":Father, accept this offering from your whole family. Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen."

It is not the will of our heavenly Father that any should perish. But this does not mean that none perish. It is not God's will that any should sin either. But we do sin. Matthew 18:14 does not refute hell but only a double predestination; the idea that God wants some to go to hell. Some people [wrongly] assert - or believe inwardly - that hell is not possible because God would have to be a monster, a God of wrath, hatred and vengeance, to permit some to suffer there eternally.

Not so. And this is explained beautifully by Father Charles Arminjon in his book "The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life": "Finally, we may say, love is all-powerful, with its own secrets and excesses, of which our hearts can have no inkling and, whatever may be said, cannot consent to condemn forever a creature made by its own hands, redeemed by its own blood. Ah! We might indeed set love against justice if it were justice that punished. But justice was propitiated nineteen centuries ago, on Calvary; at the foot of the Cross, it forgave men the debts they had incurred for their crimes , casting away the sword of rigor, never to wield it again. Let us listen to St. Paul: 'Who shall bring a charge against God's chosen ones? God, who justifies? Who shall condemn them? Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, was raised up, who is at the right hand of God and who intercedes for us?'

But it is because damnation issues from love that salvation is not possible. If it were justice that punished, love might intervene once more on the mount and say, 'Mercy, Father, spare man and, in exchange for the death that is due to him, receive the homage of my flesh and blood!'

However, when it is the very one who is to us more than a brother, more than the most affectionate friend, who tightens this heart consumed with tenderness and turns it into an abode of inexhaustible hatred, how can the ingratitude of the man who has wrought this transformation (all the more terrible as it is unnatural) dare to expect hope and refuge?

O you who, at one time or another on this earth, have loved with a love that is sincere, ardent, and boundless; you know the demands and the laws of love. Love offers itself for a long time, insistently and abundantly; it suffers, dedicates itself unreservedly, humbles itself, and becomes small. But one thing that renders it implacable, and that it never forgives, is obduracy in contempt, contempt maintained until the end.

Go then, ye cursed, the Savior will say on the day of His judgment: Ite maledicti. I did everything for you; I gave my life, my blood, my divinity, and my person for you. And in return for my infinite generosity, I asked only for these simple words: I obey and I love you. You have constantly spurned me and have responded to my approaches solely with these words: Go, I prefer my gross interests and my brutish sensual pleasures to You.

Be your own judges, the Savior will add. What sentence would you pronounce against the most dearly beloved creature who displayed the same indifference and same obstinacy toward you?

It is not I who condemn you; it is you who have damned yourseves. You have chosen, of your own free will, the city where egotism, hatred, and revolt have established their dominion. I return to heaven, where my angels are, and thither I bring back this heart, the object of your insults and scorn. Be the children of your own choice, stay with yourselves, with the worm that does not die and the fire that is never extinguished." (pp. 199-200).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beauty and the Beast...

By now you've all heard about the controversy which erupted at the Miss USA Pageant a few days ago. When judge Perez Hilton asked Miss California Carrie Prejean a question pertaining to same-sex "marriage," he received an answer he didn't like. An answer which probably cost Carrie Prejean the title. Perez Hilton asked, "Vermont recently became the 4th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?" To which Carrie Prejean responded, " my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you very much."

Because Miss Prejean had the audacity to answer truthfully the question put to her, judge Perez Hilton would later refer to her as a "dumb bitch." I've said it before and I'll say it again: the homosexual movement is, for the most part, a hate movement which seeks to impose a moral revolution. It is necessary to demonize those of us who are morally opposed to homosexuality and same-sex "marriage," and to portray us as evil as possible so that the general public will feel uncomfortable around us.

Pope Benedict XVI has said, in his book Truth and Tolerance, that: "In the consciousness of mankind today, freedom is largely regarded as the greatest good there is, after which all other good things have to take their place. In legislation, artistic freedom and freedom of speech take precedence over every other moral value. Values that conflict with freedom, that could lead to its being restricted, appear as shackles, as 'taboos,' that is to say, as relics of archaic prohibitions and anxieties. Political action has to demonstrate that it furthers freedom. Even religion can make an impression only by depicting itself as a force for freedom for man and for mankind. In the scale of values with which man is concerned, to live a life worthy of humanity, freedom seems to be the truly fundamental value and to be the really basic human right of them all. The concept of truth, on the other hand, we greet rather with some suspicion: we recall how many opinions and systems have already laid claim to the concept of truth; how often the claim to truth in that way has been the means of limiting freedom. In addition there is the scepticism of fostered by natural science regarding anything that cannot be precisely explained or demonstrated: that all seems in the final analysis to be just subjective judgment, which cannot claim to be obligatory for people in general. The modern attitude to truth shows itself most succinctly in Pilate's words: What is truth? Anyone who claims to be serving truth with his life, and with his words and actions, must be prepared to be regarded as an enthusiast or a fanatic.." (p. 231-232).

Because Carrie Prejean has stood up for truth, because she has remained firm in her convictions, she will now be demonized by homosexual activists like Perez Hilton and regarded as a "fanatic." But intelligent and fair minds will recognize the real fanatic. Most are saying that Carrie Prejean's answer cost her the title of Miss USA. I say that she is the real Miss USA.
Related reading on the homosexual hate movement here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kristine Maloney, Spokeswoman for Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts: Advancing a false understanding of academic freedom

In a Catholic News Service article entitled "Catholic identity debate*," Kristine Maloney, spokeswoman for the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, advances a false understanding of academic freedom. Responding to criticisms over some of the speakers who have appeared at that institution and whose positions and views have been contrary to Catholic teaching, Ms. Maloney was quoted as having said, "We really don’t think these criticisms are fair, especially when they come from special interest groups...that try to force everyone into a very narrow version of Catholic teaching that doesn’t always fit within the depth of the Catholic traditions...We don’t see a conflict with our Catholic identity if we have a speaker on campus who may have views that are in conflict with Catholic teachings....We’re committed to a Jesuit tradition which doesn’t suppress educational issues and intellectual debate."

Nice try Kristine. But your argument doesn’t wash. The late Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, who was a classically-educated Jesuit scholar and a brilliant philosopher, explained that, "The trouble with this understanding of academic freedom is that it takes for granted as a truth what is a falsity, indeed a complete illusion, namely, that academic freedom is absolutely immune from any reasonable bounds, limitations or restrictions. No human freedom is absolutely immune to restriction. Freedom is no longer freedom when it is reduced to being the unhindered pursuit of one’s whims and desires. This is especially true of freedom exercised in the field of philosophy where conflict with the authentic and infallible teachings of the Church is foreseeable. A true understanding of academic freedom, therefore, is in order so as to distinguish it clearly from academic license.

Academic freedom derives from the rational nature of man. It is rooted in the intellectual activity of man whereby he is called to a dominion and stewardship of the universe through a conquest of truth. Positively, then, academic freedom is a generous guarantee to the unimpeded access to the evidence of truth in any given science. Thus, academic freedom is always bounded by the canons and axiomatic truths of each discipline of learning. Thus, again positively, academic freedom is both purposive and responsible. It has its own built-in rules; its requirements are conditioned by pre-defined directions towards the truth of its particular science. The moral right to academic freedom arises from the inviolability of the proper action necessary to its scientific achievements of truth, founded on man’s connatural inner dynamism of the human intelligence’s hunger for truth. Negatively, academic freedom means at the very least the immunity from unreasonable restrictions, both from within and from outside the academic community, of the right to communicate the results of one’s researches through lectures and publications, and the right to be immune from unreasonable restriction in the pursuit of the teaching profession.

We are now in the position to ask, ‘How is academic freedom violated?’ Scholars, scientists and philosophers hold that whenever one of their members ventures consciously and freely to teach as truths doctrines that contradict the clearly established dogmas or unconditional truths of their disciplines, then such a member of the university is abusing his academic freedom, putting it at the service of stupidities or known falsehoods instead of using it to advance the horizons of truth. Now every science has its dogmas, theology, philosophy and all the natural sciences. Dogmas are not only the ultimate answers to some fundamental questions; they also prompt further questioning and research, leading thus to enlarged, more profound truth....a Catholic university that allows professors and lecturers to attack the authentic teachings of the Church, whether they are infallibly defined or not, is not faithful to the best canons of scholarship, nor to the Church or its own students who have a right in justice to receive the divinely revealed truths in their pristine purity." (The Antichrist, pp. 166-167).

For Ms. Maloney, faithful Catholics who insist with Pope John Paul II that "the right of the faithful to receive Catholic doctrine in its purity and integrity must always be respected" (Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, No. 113), are trying to "force everyone into a very narrow version of Catholic teaching." This charge is particularly ironic since the College of the Holy Cross, like many other Catholic institutions which have devaluated the faith, has become enslaved to a narrow (and conceptually flawed) notion of academic freedom. And why have these institutions sold out to secularism? Again, Fr. Miceli, S.J., explains: "Gradually, over the years the essential purpose of the Catholic university has been radically changed. Lusting after secular academic excellence, huge student bodies, expensive science complexes, notoriety, publicity, political clout and financial power, the leaders of Catholic universities somehow lost sight of the unearthly purpose and spirit of the Catholic university. Thus, in today’s Catholic university, intellectualism is preferred to Catholicism; scientism to faith, relativism to truth, immanentism to transcendence, subjectivism to reality, situationism to moral integrity and anarchism to authority. The essential purpose of the Catholic university has de facto been changed, despite the lip service that is still paid to the original Catholic ideal. Conduct flows from convictions and when the conduct is consistently depraved [Such as allowing controversial plays like the Vagina Monologues, my note] it is because the convictions have been corrupted. For example, Judas, forerunner of the Antichrist, had radically changed his deepest convictions about the person and mission of Christ before he sold his Lord for thirty pieces of silver. No virtuosity at contorted rationalization can mask the massive turning away from the Catholic ideal that has taken place in the Catholic universities of the United States. The light and love of the world have made tragic advances against the light and love of Christ." (The Antichrist, p. 161).

Holy Cross officials, who have succumbed to such contorted rationalization, may believe that there is no conflict between a university’s Catholic identity and having speakers on campus whose views and positions are in conflict with Catholic teaching. But Cardinal Newman would have disagreed:

"It is no sufficient security for the Catholicity of a university, even that the whole of Catholic theology should be professed in it, unless the Church breathes her own pure and unearthly spirit in it, and fashions and moulds its organization, and watches over its teaching, and knits together its pupils, and superintends its actions....It cannot but be that if left to themselves, they will, in spite of their profession of Catholic truth, work out results more or less prejudicial to its interests. Nor is this all: such institutions may become hostile to the revealed truth in consequence of the circumstances of their teaching as well as of their end. They are employed in the pursuit of liberal knowledge, and liberal knowledge has a special tendency, not necessary or rightful, but a tendency in fact, when cultivated by beings such as we are, to impress us with a mere philosophical theory of life and conduct, in the place of Revelation....It is not that you will at once reject Catholicism, but you will measure and proportion it by an earthly standard. You will throw its highest and most momentous disclosures into the background; you will deny its principles [such as the authentic meaning of academic freedom, my note], explain away its doctrines, rearrange its precepts, and make light of its practices, even while you profess it....This intellectualism first and chiefly comes into collision with precept, then with doctrine, then with the very principle of dogmatism.." (John Henry Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a University, Image Books, N.Y., 1959, pp. 223-225).

How prophetic Cardinal Newman was.

In its Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, No. 40, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith tells us that, "The Church ‘is like a sacrament, a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men’ (LG, 1). Consequently, to pursue concord and communion is to enhance the force of her witness and credibility. To succumb to the temptation of dissent, on the other hand, is to allow the ‘leaven of infidelity to the Holy Spirit’ to start to work." Faithful Catholics understand this. And they understand what Pope John Paul II meant when he said (in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, No. 113) that: "While exchanges and conflicts of opinion may constitute normal expressions of public life in a representative democracy, moral teaching certainly cannot depend simply upon respect for a process: indeed, it is no way established by following the rules and deliberative procedures typical of a democracy. Dissent, in the form of carefully orchestrated protests and polemics carried on in the media, is opposed to ecclesial communion and to a correct understanding of the hierarchical constitution of the People of God. Opposition to the teaching of the Church’s Pastors cannot be seen as a legitimate expression either of Christian freedom or of the diversity of the Spirit’s gifts."

Dissent in the Church leads to polarization and destroys peace within the Church. Faithful Catholics who refuse to accept a dissenting view must resist it for the sake of restoring an authentic peace, a peace which Pope John XXIII taught: "is not completely untroubled and serene; it is active, not calm and motionless. In short, this is a peace that is ever at war. It wars with every sort of error, including that which falsely wears the face of truth; it struggles against the enticements of vice, against those enemies of the soul, of whatever description, who can weaken, blemish, or destroy our innocence or Catholic faith." (Ad Petri cathedram, AAS 51 (1959) 517, PE, 263.93).

In the Catholic News Service article, Chaz Muth describes the Cardinal Newman Society, which works to restore a Catholic identity at many institutions which have become Catholic in name only, as a "self-appointed watchdog group." This is really quite insulting and betrays a profound ignorance of who the lay faithful are. In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, No. 9, Pope John Paul II reminds us that: "Through Baptism the lay faithful are made one body with Christ and are established among the People of God. They are in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetic and kingly office of Christ. They carry out their own part in the mission of the whole Christian people with respect to the Church and the world." John Paul reminds us in the same document that "Because the lay faithful belong to Christ, Lord and King of the Universe, they share in his kingly mission and are called by him to spread that kingdom in history" (No. 14). The lay faithful who make up the Cardinal Newman Society are not "self-appointed watchdogs." They are members of the Mystical Body of Christ who, individually and collectively, have been called by Christ to promote and defend His kingdom in history. This vocation is not only a right but a duty. Hence we read in canon 212 of the Code of Canon Law that, "In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they possess, they [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard for the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons."

I call upon the College of the Holy Cross to admit that it has succumbed to a false understanding of academic freedom. Until it does, and until the Church once again "breathes her own pure and unearthly spirit in it," the College of the Holy Cross will never be authentically Catholic. She will only be an earthly counterfeit.

* This article may be found in the April 17, 2009 edition of The Catholic Free Press, p. 5.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

La Salette Attleboro: The Fallout Spreads...

There has been much fallout since my Blog post exposing the emergence of New Age spirituality at the La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Michael Brown carried the piece at his website Spirit Daily and the Medjugorje Forum initiated a discussion thread. A Catholic woman posed a question for the experts at EWTN which may be found here.

For a little more background on Joyce Rupp from Donna Steichen (the author of Ungodly Rage, a favorite of mine which is published by Ignatius Press), go here. Ms. Steichen, writing about New Age influences upon St. Andrew's Parish in Fort Myers, Florida, notes how:

" was the school principal, Sister Elizabeth Dunn, who did most to reveal how deeply alien feminist theology had penetrated into St. Andrew's when, for Christmas in 1994, she gave each school staff member a copy of Sister Joyce Rupp's little book of self-centered feminist mediation, The Star in My Heart: Experiencing Sophia, Inner Wisdom. Rupp's bibliography cites notorious feminist authors from Merlin Stone (When God Was a Woman) through New Age pioneer Jean Houston to Rianne Eisler (The Chalice and the Blade) and Elizabeth Dodson Gray, keynote speaker at the annual Massachusetts WomenChurch meeting a few years ago.

Like many current feminist writers, Rupp personifies the figure of Divine Wisdom in the Old Testament Wisdom books as 'Sophia,' a name used because it is the Greek word for wisdom. Rupp echoes standard feminist rhetoric when she says:. . . it seems evident that Sophia is the feminine face of God. This aspect was eventually lost due to a highly male-dominated culture and a church that was very fearful of the goddess traditions of the past. That feminists seek to make a goddess of Divine Wisdom is ironic, since they have so noticeably failed to acquire even mere human wisdom, for which their need is clearly desperate. Surely some feminist scholars must know that the use of the feminine pronoun in Scriptural references to Wisdom is a matter of grammatical gender; in Hebrew and Greek, all abstract nouns are feminine. Divine Wisdom is not a Person but a perfection of the Holy Trinity, traditionally attributed to the Son because He is the Word of God."

Like most of feminist theology, this exercise is simply a propaganda campaign, exhibiting less intellectual honesty and scholarly objectivity than one might find in a public-relations campaign by the advertising council. The rising tide of feminist spirituality at St. Andrew's crested with an Earth Week observance in late April. All-school events are not routine at St. Andrew's. No services were held during Holy Week, for example, nor after Easter in celebration of the Resurrection. There was no all-school May crowning of the statue of the Blessed Virgin. The school does not assemble for May rosary devotions. Yet the faculty pulled out all the stops for Earth Week, a purely secular media event invented by members of the 1960s counter-culture to draw attention to their environmental concerns. Classroom teachers were urged to implement specific activities for each day of the week, and two major all-school 'prayer services' were scheduled.

It is a sign for the end times...

Divine Mercy in My Soul

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

You will prepare the world for My final coming. (Diary 429)

Speak to the world about My mercy ... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (Diary 848)

Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. (Diary 965).

I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (Diary 1160)

Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588)

He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (Diary 1146).
Some would deny the seriousness of our present situation or that there is reason for concern. Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Dives in misericordia (Rich in mercy) had this to say:
"And, if any of our contemporaries do not share the faith and hope which lead me, as a servant of Christ and steward of the mysteries of God, to implore God's mercy for humanity in this hour of history, let them at least try to understand the reason for my concern. It is dictated by love for man, for all that is human and which, according to the intuitions of many of our contemporaries, is threatened by an immense danger. The mystery of Christ, which reveals to us the great vocation of man and which led me to emphasize in the encyclical Redemptor hominis his incomparable dignity, also obliges me to proclaim mercy as God's merciful love, revealed in that same mystery of Christ. It likewise obliges me to have recourse to that mercy and to beg for it at this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world, as we approach the end of the second millennium."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pax Christi: Preparation for a New Age

Pax Christi, which is now being introduced to parishes throughout the Worcester Diocese, has long been a vessel for promoting dissent from Church teaching and New Age occultism. As explained by the Wanderer Forum Foundation:

"Pax Christi has been a conduit for New Age for some time, featuring its messengers and filtering its message via its publications and annual meetings. In 1983, the year Mary Lou Kownacki, O.S.B., wrote about the meditation expert Eknath Easwaran (see above) she edited for Pax Christi a Reflection Guide on the U. S. Bishops ' Pastoral, The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response. Still available and quoted frequently in Pax Christi pamphlets, it is related to this evaluation on two points: 1) it offers as a source for "reflection" a poem The Hundredth Monkey about nuclear disarmament with a notation: "(Vision books) - no copyright. Author wants everyone to read and distribute freely." It is written by Ken Keyes, Jr., without further identification. But who is he? - briefly, Keyes is the founder of Ken Keyes College, Coos Bay, Ore., that specializes in New Age workshops on the "Science of Happiness." His "Living Love Books," and they are numerous and best-sellers in New Age bookstores, are based on transformation and higher consciousness. And, 2) it recommends Global Education Associates for anyone "working for a new world order."

In 1985, Global Education Associates' co-founder Patricia Mische delivered the keynote address, "Disarming the Heart/Disarming the Nations" at the Pax Christi national assembly. She and her husband, Gerald, are GEA cofounders and also co-authors of the book, Toward a Human World Order, Beyond the National Security' Straitjacket, which advances the whys and wherefores for a new world order. The Misches are endorsers of the Planetary Initiative for the World We Choose and their GEA is listed as a participatory organization.

Their book, endorsed by New Agers Robert Muller and the late Rene Dubos along with several other Planetary Citizens including Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, discloses the strategic role "consciousness raising" plays in developing a receptiveness to interdependence in contradistinction to national sovereignty. And, it discloses the role of Religious orders, especially of women in "catalyzing a consciousness of world-order priorities." These women, from many different congregations, "constitute a national network of networks as members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious." The LCWR "recognizing the planetary dimensions of today's world . . . established a Justice and Peace Commission as a step toward raising the consciousness of the 130,000 women thev represent ' ' (emphasis added). The LCWR officials." the Misches continue, "are active in many international programs, including Vatican-based operations - a strategic position from which to influence also the thinking of other Church networks around the world" (pp. 307-308).

The influence Pax Christi exercises in this consciousness raising network should not be underestimated. Its 1990 Annual Report lists 359 Religious communities as corporate sponsors. (Additional references are found in our documentation, "Consciousness Raising and the Erosion of Religious Life," $2.50 single copies.) In 1986 Patricia Mische's name appeared on the slate of candidates Pax Christi was recommending for a position on its National Council.
An interview with the New Ager Robert Muller on "Peace in Our Day" was a feature in the December, 1985 issue of Pax Christi magazine. And the 1988 spring issue carried an interview with New Ager Elise Boulding on "Imagining a World at Peace." She is an endorser of both Planetary Citizens and Planetary Initiative, and that same year was one of the keynoters at the Pax Christi national assembly devoted to "New Genesis: World Without Violence." New Genesis is the title of Robert Muller's book (see above). And in 1989s summer issue. Pax Christi included an interview with Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O., on centering prayer titled, "Transforming Daily Life." Fr. Keating, as documented above was the president of "Temple of Understanding," a New Age project, in 1984.

The guidelines he offers are of the same pattern as the Eastern meditation techniques suggested by Dolores Leckey and Mary Lou Kownacki: In a straight chair with your back erect and supported, gently close your eyes and use a simple prayer, hymn or musical selection "to center yourself," then "turn your attention to the God present within." Choose a sacred word and repeat it a few times. This, he writes, is a "receptive method of prayer" that "refreshes even if it seems to be trying, or painful or boring." That is a strange admission. And his "God present within" is centered on self rather than "the love of God" which the Vatican letter to all the bishops instructs is the "sole object of Christian contemplation" (31).

Pax Christi, during its 1989 assembly on "Food for the Journey, Spiritually for the Long Haul," for the first time publicly introduced New Age spirituality practices. This assembly held at Jesuit Seattle University opened with a blessing of the four corners of the earth given by an American Indian shaman and followed by a "Sanctification of Our Space" ritual-style dance. The next day's sessions began with a "Sacred Circle Dance" in which all participated. This was presented as an ancient dance learned at a Dance Camp in Scotland "dedicated to enabling new creative patterns of evolution in consciousness." (Complete documentation is available in our report, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.) Sr. Kathleen Pruitt, C.S.J.P. (Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace), from the Seattle Archdiocese and then chairman of Pax Christ's National Council, was the principal coordinator of this assembly In 1990 she was elected vice-president of Pax Christi International, which in 1983 was listed among the original endorsers of Planetary Initiative.

For the full text of the Wanderer article, go here.

In this week's edition of The Catholic Free Press - page 7, Sue Malone and Charlotte Stanley (who serve as co-chairpersons of Pax Christi Central Mass), describe the dissenting organization - which has deep ties to Call To Action - as merely a "peace and justice" organization: "The nonviolent work of Pax Christi is done through a process of prayer, study and action at the personal, local, national and international levels with an emphasis on addressing the root causes of violence." Sounds innocuous enough. Until you dig a little deeper:

As explained here, Pax Christi is both a leftist organization and nationally-recognized dissent group. Pax Christi has strong ties to another well-recognized dissent group - Call to Action. As explained here, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, has described the Call to Action movement [of which Pax Christi is part and parcel] as one which is, "..often disguised as a sincere effort to 'renew' the Catholic Church" but which masks "a hidden agenda and poison fruit which the noisier dissenters never tire of offering to their unsuspecting victims."

And as Elizabeth Drennan notes in her excellent article:"The CTA [Call to Action]/lesbian pro-abortion Feminist's Prayer to the Four Great Spirits is also part of RENEW 2000 materials (Called to Lead, book 2). In this prayer/exercise, participants stand in a circle, arms outstretched, and pray to the "Great Spirits of the Four Directions, North, South, East, and West" and "to the Great Spirit of All That Is Below" — which is actually in the text of RENEW 2000, along with its author's name: Diann Neu, the lesbian-feminist CTA speaker. Alarmingly, the idea of prayer to the "four directions" which Neu teaches RENEW 2000 participants is also an intrinsic part of WICCA (witchcraft) worship of the goddess, Gaia, according to WICCA web sites."

More than a hundred years ago, John Henry Cardinal Newman predicted the desolation of our time: "Surely there is at this day a confederacy of evil, marshalling its hosts from all parts of the world, organizing itself, taking its measures, enclosing the Church of Christ in a net, and preparing the way for a general apostasy from it. Whether this very apostasy is to give birth to Antichrist or whether he is still to be delayed we cannot know; but at any rate this evil apostasy and all its tokens and instruments are of the Evil One and savour of death." (John Henry Cardinal Newman, Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects, London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1888, p. 60).

Richard Bennett has said that, "The goal of the New Age Movement has consistently been to bring in the Age of Aquarius when all will recognize 'the God within themselves'. A major step towards this in the words of the New Age prophetess Alice Bailey, is 'the regeneration of the churches.' Her vision was that… 'The Christian church in its many branches can serve as a St. John the Baptist, as a voice crying in the wilderness, and as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished.' In a word, she desired the time when the 'Christian churches' would embrace the New Age concepts of illumination and self-realization. The New Age plan to bring in world peace cannot fully establish the Golden Age of Aquarius until Biblical Christianity is outlawed or destroyed.

Why is it suddenly so important for Pax Christi, a dissent group which is immersed in New Age spirituality. to be introduced to parishes throughout the Worcester Diocese?

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"...a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged..."

In this week's edition of The Catholic Free Press, Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D, who serves as Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, writes, "..His [President Obama's] stem cell decision also manifests a troubling shift toward a more widespread and systemic form of oppression within our society. The President is offering Americans the prospect of using the powers of science to oppress, or more accurately, to suppress the youngest members of the human family to serve the interests of older and more wealthy members. He is offering Americans the prospect of reducing fellow human beings to cogs and commodities in the assembly line of the medico-business industrial complex. Many Americans, however, seem only vaguely aware of what has transpired in the President's decision. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas once commented on the way that oppression can subtly arise in our midst: 'As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.' Some would suggest that perhaps the darkness is already upon us. But a few moments of twilight may still remain, in which Americans can turn back the moral darkness that threatens our society and our future." (The Obama stem cell darkness, CFP, April 10, 2009 edition, p. 5).

Readers of this Blog know that I have been warning of the encroaching darkness for some time. Some have dismissed my warnings as "alarmist." No doubt others will also accuse Fr. Pacholczyk of being an alarmist. Many Americans have been desensitized to the darkness and have come to accept new values without even realizing it. Such people believe that we still live in a democracy. But we do not.

In his Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II reminded us that:

"Authentic democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. It requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the "subjectivity" of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility. Nowadays there is a tendency to claim that agnosticism and sceptical relativism are the philosophy and the basic attitude which correspond to democratic forms of political life. Those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends. It must be observed in this regard that if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.

Nor does the Church close her eyes to the danger of fanaticism or fundamentalism among those who, in the name of an ideology which purports to be scientific or religious, claim the right to impose on others their own concept of what is true and good. Christian truth is not of this kind. Since it is not an ideology, the Christian faith does not presume to imprison changing socio-political realities in a rigid schema, and it recognizes that human life is realized in history in conditions that are diverse and imperfect. Furthermore, in constantly reaffirming the transcendent dignity of the person, the Church's method is always that of respect for freedom.

But freedom attains its full development only by accepting the truth. In a world without truth, freedom loses its foundation and man is exposed to the violence of passion and to manipulation, both open and hidden. The Christian upholds freedom and serves it, constantly offering to others the truth which he has known (cf. Jn 8:31-32), in accordance with the missionary nature of his vocation. While paying heed to every fragment of truth which he encounters in the life experience and in the culture of individuals and of nations, he will not fail to affirm in dialogue with others all that his faith and the correct use of reason have enabled him to understand." (No. 46).

The English psychiatrist William Sargent explained that, "It is not the mentally ill but ordinary normal people who are most susceptible to 'brainwashing.'" And in her book The Nazis and the Occult, Dusty Sklar notes how, "Hitler's early speeches were so mesmerizing that even people who were repelled by his ideas felt themselves being swept along. The playwright Eugene Ionesco mentions in his autobiography that he received the inspiration for Rhinoceros when he felt himself pulled into the Nazi orbit at a mass rally and had to struggle to keep from developing 'rhinoceritis.' We 'catch' ideas, too, because we want to be like others, particularly when we want not to be our despised selves. If we're satisfied, we don't need to conform, but if we're not, we imitate people whom we admire for having greater judgment, taste, or good fortune than we do....Through conformity, the person who feels inferior is in no danger of being exposed. He's indistinguishable from the others. No one can single him out and examine his unique being. Conformity, in turn, sets him up to be further canceled out as an individual, to have no life apart from his collective purpose. This gives a movement tremendous power over the individual. Even intelligent people are not immune from the desire to conform. Heinrich Hildebrandt, a schoolteacher who was anxious to hide his liberal past, joined the Nazi party, and to his own disgust, found himself 'proud to be wearing the insignia. It showed I belonged, and the pleasure of belonging, so soon after feeling excluded, isolated, is very great...I belonged to the new nobility..'" (The Nazis and the Occult, pp. 157, 158).

The desire to conform and not to be perceived as being "different" or "countercultural," can be a very powerful force. Many Catholics (and other Christians) voted for President Barack Obama knowing full well that he supports abortion through all nine months of pregnancy right up to so-called partial-birth abortion - which is actually infanticide - as well as his support for Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR) and the radical homosexual agenda.

A democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism. Prophetic words indeed. It's twilight. Darkness is falling. Will we pray and work to turn back the darkness? Or will we give into it?

The choice is ours. But perhaps not for much longer.
Related reading here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

President Obama: Does he support efforts to silence Christian opposition to homosexuality?

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a former judge, is warning that the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) - also known as the Matthew Shepard Act - could potentially lead to the arrest* of Christian pastors (and others) who speak out against homosexuality. The Obama administration supports the Matthew Shepard Act: see here.

Related reading here.

"As a Catholic and by my Catholic Faith, I am bound in conscience to no human, theological, or philosophical opinion, however well founded it may be, and still less to any judgments on contingent or worldly matters, or to any temporal power. Nor am I bound to any particular form of culture or civilization, and still less of race or blood. I am bound uniquely to what is universality itself and super-universality: to the Divine, to the words and precepts of Him who said, 'I am the Truth, I who speak to you.'"

- Jacques Maritain

* Read here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ecclesiastical Masonry seeks to undermine faith in the Church's divine foundation

"Theology in crisis has become a crisis of faith in God. Private judgement has been substituted for Catholic belief. Faith in the divine foundation of the Church, in many places, has vanished.

- Cardinal Ratzinger

Our Lady said to Fr. Gobbi, in a locution, "Beloved sons, today your are calling to mind my second apparition, which took place in the humble cova da Iria in Fatima, on June 13, 1917. Even as of then I foretold to your that which you are living through in these times. I announced to you the great struggle between me, the Woman Clothed with the Sun, and the huge Red Dragon (Marxist atheism) which has brought humanity to live without God. I also foretold to you the subtle and dark work, carried out by Freemasonry with the purpose of separating you from the observance of the Law of God and thus making you victims of sins and of vices. Above all, as Mother, I have wanted to warn you of the grave dangers which threaten the Church today, because of the many and diabolical attacks which are being carried out against it to destroy it.

To attain this end, there comes out of the earth, by way of aid to the Black Beast which arises out of the sea, a beast which has two horns like those of a lamb. The lamb, in Holy Scripture, has always been a symbol of sacrifice. On the night of the exodus, the lamb is sacrificed, and, with its blood, the doorposts of the houses of the Hebrews are sprinkled, in order to remove them from the punishment which on the contrary strikes all the Egyptians. The Hebrew Pasch recalls this fact each year, through the immolation of a lamb, which is sacrificed and consumed.

On Calvary, Jesus Christ sacrifices Himself for the redemption of humanity; He Himself becomes our Pasch and becomes the true Lamb of God who takes away all the sins of the world. The beast has on its head two horns like those of a lamb. To the symbol of the sacrifice, there is intimately connected that of the priesthood; the two horns. The high priest of the Old Testament wore a headpiece with two horns. The bishops of the church wear the mitre with two horns to indicate the fullness of their priesthood.The black beast like a leopard indicates Freemasonry; the beast with the two horns like a lamb indicates Freemasonry infiltrated into the interior of the Church, that is to say, ecclesiastical Masonry, which has spread especially among the members of the hierarchy.

This masonic infiltration, in the interior of the Church, was already foretold to you by me at Fatima, when I announced to you that Satan would enter in even to the summit of the Church. If the task of Masonry is to lead souls to perdition, bringing them to the worship of false divinities, the task of ecclesiastical Masonry on the other hand is that of destroying Christ and His Church, building a new idol, namely a false christ and a false church…".
In an interview with The Latin Mass magazine, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand was asked the following question:
"You realize, of course, Doctor, that as soon as you mention this idea of infiltration [within the Catholic Church], there will be those who roll their eyes in exasperation and remark, 'Not another conspiracy theory!'"
To which Dr. von Hildebrand responded:
"I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican 'who were working for us.'
Many a time I have heard Americans say that Europeans "smell conspiracy wherever they go." But from the beginning, the Evil One has 'conspired' against the Churchand has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. On the other hand, I, European born, am tempted to say that many Americans are na├»ve; living in a country that has been blessed by peace, and knowing little about history, they are more likely than Europeans (whose history is a tumultuous one) to fall prey to illusions. Rousseau has had an enormous influence in the United States. When Christ said to His apostles at the Last Supper that “one of you will betray Me,” the apostles were stunned. Judas had played his hand so artfully that no one suspected him, for a cunning conspirator knows how to cover his tracks with a show of orthodoxy."
The rest of this interview may be found at this Blog using the search engine with the keywords: Alice von Hildebrand, interview.

Pope warns of drift into godlessness...

Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one doomed to perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god-- do you not recall that while I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene." (2 Thessalonians 2: 3-7).

There are some who refuse to read the signs of the times. It can be psychologically more comforting to deny that a general apostasy is spreading like a cancer throughout the world and that the push for a "New World Order" is intensifying.

Now, more than ever, we must consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I believe we will soon be in the catacombs. Take refuge in the Immaculata. Watch and pray.

Friday, April 10, 2009

John 3:16

"Your heart is broken, the heart that did not know hatred, revenge, resentment, jealousy or envy but only love, love so deep and so wide that it embraces your Father in heaven as well as all humanity in time and space. Your broken heart is the source of my salvation, the foundation of my hope, the cause of my love. It is the sacred place where all that was, is and ever shall be is held in unity. There all suffering has been suffered, all anguish lived, all loneliness endured, all abandonment felt and all agony cried out. There, human and divine love have kissed, and there God and all men and women of history are reconciled. All the tears of the human race have been cried there, all pain understood and all despair touched."

-Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Newman Center at Fitchburg State College: A commitment to Catholic teaching or homosexual agitprop?

In a previous post I discussed how the Newman Center at Fitchburg State College has published a lecture from a Catholic priest which presents the Church's teaching on homosexuality as "evolving" at its website (see here). The Newman Center's website, which may be found here, has a directory of related links. One of these links is to the website of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries, an organization which advertises (at its website) its goal "to welcome gay and lesbian Catholics into the Church." Unfortunately, NACDLGM also condones an actively homosexual lifestyle.

In a special report for The Wanderer, the full text of which may be found here, a veteran reporter covered a 2005 NACDLGM conference which was held at the San Jose Hilton in California. This reporter writes, "For the most part, participants were unashamedly 'out and proud,' with some priests freely admitting their homosexuality and attendees railing against upcoming seminary visits and the impending approval by Pope Benedict XVI of a document banning homosexuals from the priesthood. One participant was overheard by this reporter calling the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, 'a big queen'...Copies of OutNow, a Bay Area homosexual news magazine containing advertisements for bathhouses and XXX 'gay' videos were free for the taking at the registration table..."

Is the Newman Center at Fitchburg State College engaging in homosexual agitprop? Why would this Center link to an organization which condones homosexual sex and which rails against the Holy Father and Catholic teaching while distributing "gay" pornographic literature?

Bishop McManus?

Why we hope and do not despair...

While it is important to be able to read the signs of the times and to avoid a pollyanna view of reality, still we must not allow ourselves to succumb to despair. Yes, the Church must (like her Master) journey through Gethsemane (read Nos. 675-677 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church). This is not "doom and gloom." For what we await is the return of the Lord Jesus in glory. For which reason we proclaim "Maranatha!" - Come Lord Jesus!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which may not be described as "doom and gloom," teaches quite clearly that, "The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world." (No. 677).

This is not a message of "doom and gloom." This is a message, ultimately, of hope. Unless you're on the wrong side and have rebelled against the Lord Jesus. Yes, the Man of Sin will reign for a time. Yes, he will persecute the Church in a violent fashion. But he will ultimately fail. This is his lot. His fate. His destiny. It is the destiny of all tyrants. Even the Mahatma recognized this:

"When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it, always."

"What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: "For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8: 35-39).

The Science of the cross

On this day, the death of Jesus invites us all, especially Christians and Jews, into a knowledge of our communion with one another and, a recognition of the terrible brokenness of the world. Nothing and no one can ever wrench us away any longer from that communion. Nothing can remove our sense of belonging to, participating in, and being the beneficiaries of God's saving encounter with Israel and with the broken world, which occurred in the crucifixion of Jesus, who we Christians believe to be son of Israel and Son of God.

On Good Friday, let us remember a Jewish woman, Edith Stein, who loved the cross and embraced its contradiction and mystery throughout her own life. There is a marvelous, life-size, bronze sculpture Edith Stein in the center of the German city of Cologne, close to the archdiocesan seminary. The sculpture depicts three Edith Steins at the three critical moments of her life.

The first moment presents Edith as the young, Jewish philosopher and professor, a student of Edmund Husserl. Edith is presented deep in meditation and a Star of David leans against her knee.

The second depiction of the young woman shows Edith split in two. The artist shows her face and head almost divided. She moved from Judaism to agnosticism and even atheism. Hers was a painful search for the truth.

The third representation is Edith as Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, and she holds in her arms the crucified Christ: "Teresa blessed by the Cross" as her name indicates. She moved from Judaism, through atheism, to Christianity. In her biography, we find a poignant moment from the critical period in her life, in Breslau, when she was moving beyond Judaism. Before her official entrance into the Carmel of Cologne, she had to face her Jewish mother. Her mother said to her daughter: "Edith, You can be religious also in the Jewish faith, don't you think?" Edith responded: "Sure, when you have never known anything else." Then her mother desperately replied: "And you, why did you know him? I don't want to say anything against him; certainly he was a very good man; but why did he become God?" The last weeks at home and the moment of separation were very painful. It was impossible to make her mother understand even a little. Edith wrote: "And yet I crossed the threshold of the Lord's house in profound peace."

Like Edith Stein, we encounter Jesus and his cross, and we have known something else. We have met Someone else: the Man of the cross. We have no alternative but to go to him. After Edith had entered the Cologne Carmel, she continued to write her great work on the cross: "Kreuzwissenschaft" -- the science of the cross. From Cologne she and her sister Rosa were deported to Echt in Holland and then rounded up with other Jews only to be sent to Auschwitz where she and sister were burned to death by the evil Nazi regime on Aug. 9, 1942. (Zenit: For full text click on title of this post).

Monday, April 06, 2009

For unless the apostasy comes first....

In 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-8, the Holy Spirit tells us through St. Paul, "Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one doomed to perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god - do you not recall that while I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. And then the lawless one will be revealed.."

By clicking on the title to this post, you will be taken to an article which describes how more than 100,000 Britons have downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" to renounce their Christian faith. The mystery of lawlessness is being revealed. Men seeks to build a godless world, a secular paradise where man is glorified in place of God. The Antichrist will incarnate this spirit of rebellion.

Related reading: City buses with the slogan "There's probably no God" could soon be running on the streets of London. See the BBC article here.
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