Wednesday, March 02, 2011

More on Deacon Paul Mello and the Unitarian Universalists in Petersham...

In a previous post, I noted how Deacon Paul Mello of Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol, Massachusetts took part in an "Interfaith Thanksgiving Service" held at a Unitarian Universalist church in Petersham which is led by M. Lara Hoke, a Unitarian Universalist minister who promotes the LGBT agenda and who lives with another woman whom she refers to as her "wife."

Lara Hoke authors a Blog which has a link to a Unitarian Universalist Pagan website.  This pagan website explains that, "Some Pagans believe in the Goddesses and Gods of the old religions and others do not. Many Pagans understand deity as immanent, in everything, and believe revelation is found in nature instead of written in scriptures. Some believe in an afterlife and that their actions in this life will determine their place in the next. Others believe only in this life and that their actions here are all that matters. Still others believe in reincarnation. Some Pagans believe in an active Spirit World while others do not. Because Paganism is a non-creedal religion such divergent beliefs can exist together under one religious name – just like in Unitarian Universalism! Many modern Pagans find their beliefs are very much in harmony with Unitarian Universalist Principle..."  I'll bet.  See here for full text.

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).
What is a Catholic Deacon from Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol doing at an "Interfaith Service" held by Unitarian Universalists who identify with paganism?  This is not ecumenism.  It is syncretism: the misguided notion that religious unity can be achieved by ignoring the differences between faiths on the assumption that all creeds are essentially one and the same.


Athol/OrangeCatholic said...

Before you know it, the powers that be at OLI will want to build an altar to the four directions and worship the earth. Is this the real reason for the Cluster Survey? Suppress responses from faithful Catholics and publish only those calling for "more tolerance" and "open-mindedness." Translation,we want to jettison 2,000 years of teaching.

Helen Westover said...

We're facing Assisi III, inviting all religions of the world to pray for peace.
Does anyone see a contradiction here?

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Indeed. And not only with Islam. As Peter Kreeft has said, "Christian faith is..pinned to history, for its object is not only the invisible Father but also the visible, incarnate Son. Subtract all the history and all that is left of Christianity is a general ethical concern - in other words, modernist theology - for example, Unitarianism, 'the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man and the neighborhood of Boston.'...The distinctively Christian teachings are the beliefs about the historical Jesus. That is why the modernist is embarassed by them: they stand in the way of a single world religion and an end to religious disagreement.."

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