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Monday 9 July 2012

Rowan Williams on Today's Debate--Audio

Church Times on Delayed Vote on Women Bishops

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry, gave Synod a warning. He said that there was "no way that I am going to be able to explain to the [House of] Commons that when this Church had voted by 42 dioceses to two, that it was not possible for the Synod to manage to develop a Measure which commands the support of the whole Synod; and in particular commands the support of those who campaign for such a Measure."
He said that Parliamentarians were familiar with the concept of "ping-pong" when the Commons and Lords could not agree, and suggested that during an adjournment "the usual channels" should "use the space and time to resolve the outstanding differences".

I am so glad I am a Catholic. The argument is over Clause Five, an amendment stipulating this:Clause 5(1)c stipulates that a new code of practice being drawn up should include official guidance on how to ensure that "the exercise of ministry by those [alternative] bishops and priests will be consistent with the theological convictions" of the parish which has objected to a woman.
Its defenders say that this wording is merely making explicit what was already implicit in the draft legislation. But others says it is enshrining in law the very prejudices against which supporters of female bishops have battled so long. It would, they say, create a two-tier system in which not only women, but men who ordained women or who had themselves been ordained by women, would be considered second rate.
Not everyone, even fellow supporters of the cause, agrees with them; they have been accused of nit-picking at a crucial stage, and exposing the Church of England to yet more censure for its slow-moving decision-making.

Update on Anglican General Synod As Of July 9th

I am having trouble on my computer getting the live feed from the General Synod to work today. Here is today's update.  From the General Synod Website. Here is today's update. Final approval is pushed forward to the Autumn on women bishops.

Adjournment motion passed - draft Measure sent back to House of Bishops for further consideration General Synod has passed a motion (by 288 votes for to 144 votes against with 15 recorded abstentions) today, to adjourn the Final Approval debate on the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure to enable the amendment made in May to clause 5 to be reconsidered by the House of Bishops. The House will meet for that purpose in September. When it does so it will have power to amend the part of the text of the draft Measure previously altered by the amendment it made in May to clause 5.
The Archbishops have confirmed that, following reconsideration by the House, the General Synod will meet in November (19-21) in London to resume the Final Approval debate in the light of the House of Bishop's consideration.
The Bishop of Dover the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, on behalf of the Steering Committee successfully moved the motion this morning proposing that the debate on the motion for the Final Approval be adjourned.
Also here are article from two newspaper in Britain:

New Ordinariate Liturgical Texts

The Vatican has announced new Liturgical texts for the Ordinariate. These are the first of several planned, including a Mass which is being developed under some secrecy. 

I hope this move will encourage more Anglo-Catholics, especially today, to consider crossing the Tiber.

I also hope that the bishops of the world accept the Ordinariate as the Pope intended this group to be.

The first liturgical texts approved for worldwide use by the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans have been promulgated by the Holy See. The Order for Funerals and the Order for the Celebration of Holy Matrimony are to be used by the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom; the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter in the United States and Canada; and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia. 
Drawn from the classical Anglican prayer book tradition, the texts incorporate elements of the Anglican patrimony now in the full communion of the Catholic Church. "We welcome with gratitude these texts, which bring into Catholic liturgical life some of the most beloved and memorable texts in the Book of Common Prayer. These texts have blessed and comforted generations of English-speaking Christians and will be deeply appreciated in the Ordinariate communities," said Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter. 

Feminism's Greatest Failure

woman burned in attempted honor killing
I am disappointed and a bit miffed at my fellow sisters, not all, not A, or NS or C or B, but most the women of the Western World.

In America and in England, except for a few, very few, women are not outraged and speaking out against the rising violence and harassment of women in the Middle East and Far East. In this regard, the feminist movement has FAILED.

Yesterday, on several news sources, a report of young women, students in Egypt, being harassed by men for not wearing a veil and being in trousers, was promulgated. The major media does not cover these stories. A woman was shot in Kabul for have a relationship with a politician, shot nine times. The politician was not shot.

In Nigeria, women, children and men who are Christian were killed on the weekend.

In Sudan, sharia law will be the law of the land, taking away liberties from women primarily, and from Christians. This is in today's news sources from Christian sites.

In Indonesia and in Saudi Arabia, girl's schools were burned as it is against Islam to educate women, and in the second case, girl's were allowed to burn to death. The last episode, which happened in January, was covered by very few news agencies.

No one is reporting these abuses but about six sites which I found, and all are Christian based. Why? And, why are not the feminists in America, Great Britain and other European countries outraged at the increasing violence against women?

Feminism has failed because the movement is not really about civil rights for women. It is about "me".

There is an older but good article on how feminism has failed American women as well. See here.

Women die, girls die, and more will unless the Women of the West respond now.

In the past week, I have had may posts, as many as seven or nine a day. Take a minute to scroll down. A reader sent me this link to add to the post.

For the Ordinariate

Begging for the Ordinariate is a bold way of telling you all that many of the families who came in, especially the wives and children of the good priests, have suffered great losses.

Some left pensions.

Some left houses and the right to property.

Some left gifts.

Please consider going to the Ordinariate website and donating something. These good Catholics suffered to come into the Church. Bless them and you.

Answer to yesterday's quiz

Old Kabul Road

Woman milking her goat in Kabul
Man selling things our of his trucks 

Answer to yesterday's quiz on where the photos were taken: Kabul. And, look at parts of the city and how the women dress now...after the Taliban and the Russian war. Can the West take back what was civilized?

On the Four Last Things

Hieronymus Bosch "Death of a Sinner"
The Four Last Things form a topic which has been the subject preached from the pulpits of the world, that is, until recent times. Now, it is both politically incorrect and indecent, apparently, to speak of Death, Judgment, Hell and Heaven. These four last things have been avoided as subjects by priests and deacons for many reasons, the first, as I noted in my previous post, because death is too scary and not to be discussed.

A second reason is what I consider the most common heresy in the Church, "universal salvation". A just and merciful God, to many priests and laypeople would never damn anyone, and therefore, all people go to Heaven.

A third reason is that we are told we are not allowed to judge. Recently, Michael Voris pointed out the possible future storm in New York if a certain lady who claims to be a practicing Catholic, who is pro-abortion and who is married to her lesbian lover gets elected the next mayor of NYC. A friend of mine's mom, on seeing the video said, "Well, he is judgmental." Dear me. We cannot call sin sin and we are not allowed to be objective about public sin, even when that sin cries out to heaven (see Fr. Z for a long discussion on THAT subject.)

It is politically incorrect to talk about punishment. 

We have now one, maybe two, generations of parents who have not punished their kids about anything.

So, God is not present in these young and not-so-young people's lives as a Judge and, oh boy, we cannot hurt anyone's feelings, now, can we?

The Teaching Magisterium of the Church includes a branch of theology called "eschatology" from the Greek ta eschata, meaning of the last things.

In that teaching, the definition of a "personal" or "individual" eschatology emerges, referring to my death, my judgment, my being sent to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory.

That individual eschaton happens on the day I die, on the day you die.

In the teaching, there is also a definition of a "universal" eschatology, which deals with the Final Judgment of the world. At the final coming of Christ, the parousia, the final judgement of all people will occur. This is commonly called the "general " judgement and the final destruction of the earth, the "general consummation". 

The Four Last Things prepare you and I for our particular judgment. When was the last time you heard a priest speak on these things? The art of objectivity is dying and objectivity is a sign of personal holiness.

United State Navy and Spiritual Narcissism

If you cannot understand "spiritual narcissism", look at these five points and read the rest of the post.

One, spiritual narcissism allows the person to be the center, the goal of religious quest. In other words, "it is all about me".

Two, God, if there is a God, is within, not as the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity through baptism, but simply because man is god-like and only needs to find his or her god within.

Three, vibes, energies, healings, can be found withing through certain ritualistic actions. Of course, this is a fancy description of "magic".

Four, the goal is self-realization, not god of God, really.

Five, the early Christians threw out this nutsy stuff as part of the occultic thinking of both the West and East, realizing that myth, paganism and magic would not save one, would not purify one, would not lead one to Christ.

A new labyrinth has been established by the United States Navy. Here is a section of an article from "America's Navy". This is embarrassing.

National Naval Medical Center held a dedication ceremony for its new stone labyrinth, designed to foster an environment for healing, compassion and hope, March 14. 

Located between Walter Reed Bethesda's Buildings 8 and 9, in the Angel Garden, the labyrinth is a spiritual tool that all staff, patients and family members can use to find peace, pray, or meditate, as they walk along its path toward its center, said Cmdr. Kim Donahue, chaplain, who initiated and led the project. 

"This is a community garden, and I want everyone to look at it like that," said Donahue. "This labyrinth is dedicated today, an enduring work of love, to bring healing, compassion, hope and peace, in memory and in honor of all who have given themselves to free others."

During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Alton L. Stocks, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) commander, noted the labyrinth's value and its healing capabilities...

"After walking a labyrinth, your energy is flowing again in all directions," she (Donahue) said. "It balances your system. You're allowing yourself to get in the present moment to let down your guard, [and] relax.

I hate to tell the good doctor, and the chaplain, but there is nothing healing about a labyrinth. On the contrary.

Here is our Church's teaching against such attention.

Alternative therapies have gained enormously in popularity because they claim to look at the whole person and are about healing rather thancuring. Holistic health, as it is known, concentrates on the important role that the mind plays in physical healing. The connection between the spiritual and the physical aspects of the person is said to be in the immune system or the Indian chakra system. In a New Age perspective, illness and suffering come from working against nature; when one is in tune with nature, one can expect a much healthier life, and even material prosperity; for some New Age healers, there should actually be no need for us to die. Developing our human potential will put us in touch with our inner divinity, and with those parts of our selves which have been alienated and suppressed. This is revealed above all in Altered States of Consciousness (ASCs), which are induced either by drugs or by various mind-expanding techniques, particularly in the context of “transpersonal psychology”. The shaman is often seen as the specialist of altered states of consciousness, one who is able to mediate between the transpersonal realms of spirits and gods and the world of humans.
There is a remarkable variety of approaches for promoting holistic health, some derived from ancient cultural traditions, whether religious or esoteric, others connected with the psychological theories developed in Esalen during the years 1960-1970. Advertising connected with New Age covers a wide range of practices as acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, kinesiology, homeopathy, iridology, massage and various kinds of “bodywork” (such as orgonomy, Feldenkrais, reflexology, Rolfing, polarity massage, therapeutic touch etc.), meditation and visualisation, nutritional therapies, psychic healing, various kinds of herbal medicine, healing by crystals, metals, music or colours, reincarnation therapies and, finally, twelve-step programmes and self-help groups.(25) The source of healing is said to be within ourselves, something we reach when we are in touch with our inner energy or cosmic energy.

The labyrinth has made a come-back because of New Age Occultism. It falls into several categories 

condemned in Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life, part of which I quote above and below---

Some of the traditions which flow into New Age are: ancient Egyptian occult practices, Cabbalism, early Christian gnosticism, Sufism, the lore of the Druids, Celtic Christianity, mediaeval alchemy, Renaissance hermeticism, Zen Buddhism, Yoga and so on.(15)

The labyrinth follows these errors: the biggest is the idea of self-healing and self-redemption!

Some stages on the way to self-redemption are preparatory (meditation, body harmony, releasing self-healing energies). They are the starting-point for processes of spiritualisation, perfection and enlightenment which help people to acquire further self-control and psychic concentration on “transformation” of the individual self into “cosmic consciousness”. The destiny of the human person is a series of successive reincarnations of the soul in different bodies. This is understood not as the cycle of samsara, in the sense of purification as punishment, but as a gradual ascent towards the perfect development of one's potential.
Psychology is used to explain mind expansion as “mystical” experiences. Yoga, zen, transcendental meditation and tantric exercises lead to an experience of self-fulfilment or enlightenment. Peak-experiences (reliving one's birth, travelling to the gates of death, biofeedback, dance and even drugs – anything which can provoke an altered state of consciousness) are believed to lead to unity and enlightenment. Since there is only one Mind, some people can be channels for higher beings. Every part of this single universal being has contact with every other part. The classic approach in New Age is transpersonal psychology, whose main concepts are the Universal Mind, the Higher Self, the collective and personal unconscious and the individual ego. The Higher Self is our real identity, a bridge between God as divine Mind and humanity. Spiritual development is contact with the Higher Self, which overcomes all forms of dualism between subject and object, life and death, psyche and soma, the self and the fragmentary aspects of the self. Our limited personality is like a shadow or a dream created by the real self. The Higher Self contains the memories of earlier (re-)incarnations.

Human Potential Movement: since its beginnings (Esalen, California, in the 1960s), this has grown into a network of groups promoting the release of the innate human capacity for creativity through self-realisation. Various techniques of personal transformation are used more and more by companies in management training programmes, ultimately for very normal economic reasons. Transpersonal Technologies, the Movement for Inner Spiritual Awareness, Organisational Development and Organisational Transformation are all put forward as non-religious, but in reality company employees can find themselves being submitted to an alien 'spirituality' in a situation which raises questions about personal freedom. There are clear links between Eastern spirituality and psychotherapy, while Jungian psychology and the Human Potential Movement have been very influential on Shamanism and “reconstructed” forms of Paganism like Druidry and Wicca. In a general sense, “personal growth” can be understood as the shape “religious salvation” takes in theNew Age movement: it is affirmed that deliverance from human suffering and weakness will be reached by developing our human potential, which results in our increasingly getting in touch with our inner divinity.(102)


Initiation: in religious ethnology it is the cognitive and/or experiential journey whereby a person is admitted, either alone or as part of a group, by means of particular rituals to membership of a religious community, a secret society (e.g. Freemasonry) or a mystery association (magical, esoteric-occult, gnostic, theosophical etc.). 


William Bloom's 1992 formulation of New Age quoted in Heelas, p. 225f.: 
*All life – all existence – is the manifestation of Spirit, of the Unknowable, of that supreme consciousness known by many different names in many different cultures. 
*The purpose and dynamic of all existence is to bring Love, Wisdom, Enlightenment... into full manifestation. 
*All religions are the expression of this same inner reality. 
*All life, as we perceive it with the five human senses or with scientific instruments, is only the outer veil of an invisible, inner and causal reality. 
*Similarly, human beings are twofold creatures – with: (i) an outer temporary personality; and (ii) a multi-dimensional inner being (soul or higher self). 
*The outer personality is limited and tends towards love. 
*The purpose of the incarnation of the inner being is to bring the vibrations of the outer personality into a resonance of love. 
*All souls in incarnation are free to choose their own spiritual path. 
*Our spiritual teachers are those whose souls are liberated from the need to incarnate and who express unconditional love, wisdom and enlightenment. Some of these great beings are well- known and have inspired the world religions. Some are unknown and work invisibly. 
*All life, in its different forms and states, is interconnected energy – and this includes our deeds, feelings and thoughts. We, therefore, work with Spirit and these energies in co-creating our reality. 
*Although held in the dynamic of cosmic love, we are jointly responsible for the state of our selves, of our environment and of all life. 
*During this period of time, the evolution of the planet and of humanity has reached a point when we are undergoing a fundamental spiritual change in our individual and mass consciousness. This is why we talk of a New Age. This new consciousness is the result of the increasingly successful incarnation of what some people call the energies of cosmic love. This new consciousness demonstrates itself in an instinctive understanding of the sacredness and, in particular, the interconnectedness of all existence. 
*This new consciousness and this new understanding of the dynamic interdependence of all life mean that we are currently in the process of volving a completely new planetary culture. 
Heelas (p. 226) Jeremy Tarcher's “complementary formulation”. 
1. The world, including the human race, constitutes an expression of a higher, more comprehensive divine nature. 
2. Hidden within each human being is a higher divine self, which is a manifestation of the higher, more comprehensive divine nature. 
3. This higher nature can be awakened and can become the center of the individual's everyday life. 
4. This awakening is the reason for the existence of each individual life. 
David Spangler is quoted in ActualitĂ© des religions nÂș 8, septembre 1999, p. 43, on the principal characteristics of the New Age vision, which is: 
*holistic (globalising, because there is one single reality-energy); 
*ecological (earth-Gaia is our mother; each of us is a neurone of earth's central nervous system); 
*androgynous (rainbow and Yin/Yang are both NA symbols, to do with the complementarity of contraries, esp. masculine and feminine); 
*mystical (finding the sacred in every thing, the most ordinary things); 
*planetary (people must be at one and the same time anchored in their own culture and open to a universal dimension, capable of promoting love, compassion, peace and even the establishment of world government). 

If you want more there is more on the Vatican Document name above. Do NOT be fooled. 

On the fear of death among Catholics

The photos are all from the first place to which some of my paternal ancestors came from Luxembourg, St. Donatus, Iowa. The last photo shows the tombstone of one member of that side of the family.

Catholics are increasingly afraid to talk about death. When I grew up, my dad and mom took me to funeral and funeral homes. People are afraid of death. That Catholics fear death is a sad development, as it means they have removed themselves from both reality and the Faith. Parents who shield their children from the reality of death are lying about a fact we all must face, the result of Original Sin. I was not traumatized by going to the wake of my Aunt Rose, when I was 12 or so, and I, of course, went to the funeral home when my sister died when I was seven. I was in a Gregorian Chant choir as a child which sang at funerals and memorial Masses. It all seemed natural.

Catholics seem to be doing a run around the goal by not talking about the four last things nor teaching their children that we must prepare for our particular judgment. Many Catholics do not know what the particular judgement is and are afraid to think of the sufferings leading up to death.

We have been brainwashed by the world to fear and loath suffering.

Now, I am not a masochist, who goes out of my way to find suffering. I may fast and do some penances as required by the Church, but God sends suffering for us to endure and transcend. I do not know one person who has not suffered something.

The fear of death feeds the retirement industries of playing until you die, instead of doing things which will help your salvation and that day of facing God. The retirement industry insists on allowing older adults to go on endless holidays, spend their pensions having a good time, and keeping the elderly from thinking.

One must be still to think.

The pharmaceutical industry may or may not help us face death and New Age health stores which push Asian cures for every known ailment trap people into believing that they can cheat death and avoid suffering.

This avoidance of death is not new, but we should know better in 2012.

Euthanasia is a fear of suffering and a fear of death. It is the ultimate cry of despair from a world which no longer believes in salvific suffering and the value of facing one's natural death. Euthanasia makes believe, causes a pretense that you are in charge of your life and your death.

No way.

We are not in charge of either. And, Catholics of all people could know the truth of God being in control if only they stopped, listened and thought a bit more.

The fear of death feeds the health food and vitamin industry.

The fear of death feeds the industries which sell "youth" to those who are no longer young--Viagra and botox are part of this fear of aging and death.

It is natural to die

We must face death and be ready for that day when God calls us to stand in front of Him in Mercy and Justice. I pray that Catholics renew their awareness that the goal of this life is Eternal Life, and that we must pass through the agonies and sorrows of death to get there.

Christ has gone before us and He shows us the way. He is Life.

“Remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.”

I shall also write on the Four Last Things.