Cardinal Alancherry land deal loss … Dr. James Kottoor

What’s on Your mind? Asks face book

 

Cover story on cardinal

Alancherry land deal loss

 

                            http://almayasabdam.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/James-Kottor.jpgdr. james kottoor

 

                     What follows is what I happened to write on Face Book on December 30th night after seeing the night TV edition of the “cover story” on Saturdays. 

 

                     What is on your mind? Asks face book. It is 10 pm Saturday and I just finished seeing the Cover story on TV at 9.30 pm. It was all about Cardinal Alancherry and all the uproar  by around 300 Ernakulam priests who met on Dec. 21 against land deal which allegedly caused crores of loss and their plan to write to Pope before 31st to remove the cardinal from the post, according to reports in Times of India, but not in  any Malayalam dailies.

 

                   The commentator  said in substance.  Jesus promised to build his church on Peter the rock his representative, but the church in Kerala builds it on a firmer ROCK, money-power, than on Jesus. This alone is the cause of the great downfall from the height of moral principles they preach. Those up in arms promised to send a   letter to Pope  before Dec.31st to remove the Cardinal. Much more  details are in Times of India, for the last three days.

        “News 10 TV is all about this land deal and Pope,” rings up some one  from Chennai. So it seems the whole of concerned Christians are watching it and learning about it even when the Church authorities reportedly forbad priests not to discuss it in public, to keep the scandal as secrete as possible. Alas, when are they going to learn that the forbidden fruit is the most sought after thing, even from the Garden of Eden?

 

           Chasing Money power and empire building through religious colonization? Is it not what my friend Alancherry did when he went in a procession sporting a garland of Rupee Notes, which the CCV published long ago. Is it not what CCV has been writing regularly to persuade, Church men not to worship the golden calf of Money Power?

           There is no transparency or dialogue even between the three bishops in Ernakulam.  That is what Times of India report says, quoting Bishop Edayanthrath that even he did not know about the secrete Land deal. Oh Tempora oh mores! In what times are we living? Corruption of the best turns out to  be the worst! Or are we to day: “Father forgive him for he knew not what he was doing.” I am of the view that he did it out of crass ignorance! Culpable or not, you judge, I can’t!

       These are some of the many facts that forced me to write that the Cardinal should imitate Pope Benedict and go. Now that there is an uproar for it, it may wiser that he resigns on his own rather than forced to do it.   

          Of course I am unable to believe that he is that money crazy or power crazy. Bad advice from trusted friends must have forced him to do the wrong, thinking it was right. I feel terribly sorry for him, for what is happening in Ernakulam in the Syromalabar Church. Unfortunately he happens to be also   the Supreme head of the Syromalabar Church!

          Is he going to present his  Church as a Big Zero before the whole world? God forbid, let not that happen, I pray, although I am not aligned to any Church for that matter, fear of betraying JESUS! It is my belief that none of the   organized churches can bear witness to Jesus, since they all end up like Pharisee praying in the temple. Hence my commitment to be the last in the line of the CATLE CLASS of Jesus.

          Jesus had promised, that didn’t come to bring peace but war, the sword that cuts to hurt and divide. It looks the second part of his promise is being fulfilled, from Pope Francis in Rome to Cardinal Alancherry in Ernakulam. Your role and mine is not to stand and watch as mute spectators but join the side of TRUTH which  alone can lead us to light and peace through the New Year!  Delanda est Carthago! (Carthage must be destroyed) Truth is mighty and is sure to win.

            Let TRUTH grow into a mighty Mango tree and produce delicious mangoes called by various names. Only we have to make sure that we cultivate TRUTH that sweeten hearts, not embitters minds!

                 Times of India(TOI) Headlines

           TOI of Dec.27, 28, and 29 reports on the Ernakulam Church’s land mismanagement. TOI 27 headlines reads: “ Church land row: Cardinal abstains from Xmas mass. Dec.28: “Priests seek cardinal’s removal for land deal, to write to Pope,” and “Council of priests restricts functioning of Vicar General.”

             TOI 29: “Land deal a moral crisis for Church”, and “Bishop sees a moral root to Crisis.” Quoting Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath’s letter to priests,  TOI writes: The land deal “has landed the  Archdiocese not just in financial crisis, but in a serious ethical crisis as well… the auxiliary bishops were unaware of the purchase of land in Kothamangalam and Idukki…. the debt has now increased to RS. 84 crore.”

 

                  On Dec.21st there was an extraordinary meeting of Ernakulam priests and according to TOI report  over 300 priests attended. This is the first time that Christmas celebrations in the Cathedral was conducted by the parish priest and not  the cardinal, who for the purpose of news was reported sick. What happened in Ernakulam is a howling example of what happens when top Church officials adamantly say  NO to both Transparency and Dialogue in the Church which they call “FAMILY” for display or advertising purpose only.

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Wish you A Happy or Sorry Christmas? dr. james kottoor

 

Christmas is YOU!
Read this beauty of Pope Francis
“Christmas is usually a noisy party: we could use a bit of silence, to hear the voice of love.
“Christmas is you: when you decide to be born again each day and let God into your soul.
The Christmas Pine is you, when you resist vigorous winds and difficulties of life.
The Christmas decorations are you, when your virtues are colors that adorn your life.
The Christmas bell is you, when you call, gather and seek to unite.
You are also a Christmas Light, when you illuminate with your life, the path of others with kindness, patience, joy and generosity.
The Christmas angels are you when you sing to the world a message of Peace, Justice and Love.
The Christmas star is you, when you lead some one to meet the Lord.
You are also the wise men, when you give the best you have, no matter who.
Christmas music is you, when you conquer the harmony within you.
The Christmas gift is you, when you are truly, friend and brother of every human being.
The Christmas Card is you, when kindness is written in your hands.
The Christmas greeting is you, when you forgive and reestablish peace, even when you suffer.
The Christmas dinner is you, when you give bread and hope to the poor man who is by your side.
You are, yes, Christmas night, when humble and conscious, you receive in the silence of the night the savior of the world without noise or great celebrations; you are a smile of trust and tenderness, in the inner peace of perennial Christmas, that establishes the kingdom within you.
A very merry Christmas for all those who look like Christmas. Pope Francis.

Wish you A Happy or Sorry Christmas?
dr. james kottoor
When the world’s affordable, comfortable class, they are very few, rejoice and revel in a sea of affluence and merry go round of a throw away culture, the vast majority of the poor of Yahweh, the Lazar ruses of this world are asked and advised to stay spiritually detached from the necessities they don’t and can’t posses!

What are they? Who lack a roof over their head, food and clothing, a job to meet daily needs, lack of humane helpful company to replace the jungle surroundings of animals like cows, goats and donkeys as in a Christmas crib.
Then comes the exhortation not to succumb to sadness and despair about the hopeless yearning for the necessities of daily living they lack, but to stay spiritually detached to rejoice like the noisy crowd, over what they posses and consume, but denied to the rest.

Is this not the harsh reality of Jesus’ birth in a cattle shed, apparently to give his heavenly (or earthly?) gifts of peace, joy, love and blessings for the dawn of abundance, instead of a paradoxical Cattle Class growing by leaps and bounds ahead of the comfortable class in numbers?
Optimism and pessimism are both taboo rationally. What about realism we all are forced to grapple with daily? Who will come to our aid to get us out of this grinding pain and misery, confusion and dilemma?
We are just ‘Know nothings’ waiting for enlightenment wondering where to turn! Come Lord, come, if you are still a live Lord above, below, around or within us, we pray! We too want to join the chorus singing heard around: Happy Christmas, happy New Year!
Only disappoint us not with stories of your triumph over a cross! We are already hung up on a cross of life, crowned with thorns surrounded by a Trump in US, May in England, Kim Jong-un in North Korea, Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel and Modi in India! Bless them all, also us LORD!

What’s Christmas?
It’s Self-emptying, Highest
Becoming the Lowest!
(the cattle class!)

dr. james kottoor
“His (Jesus’) state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave and became as men are, he was humbler yet, even accepting death, death on a cross.” (Phil. 2,7)

Llisten more from Apostle Paul: “If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade you all,…then be united in your convictions and love, with a common purpose and common mind….There must be no competition among you, no conceit, but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interest first but everybody thinks of the other people’s interest instead.” (Phi.2, 1-5)
This is what ought to constitute the essence of anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus or calls himself/herself a ‘Christian’. This name was first used in Antioch many years after Jesus’ death, but never during Jesus’ life. With the advent of thousands of churches in the middle ages the original group was called ‘Catholic’ and the rest Christian. Thus the name ‘Catholic ’which aught to mean universal actually became ‘Ghetto’. Why?

Ghetto Catholics?
The original Christian community usurped that name, to distinguish itself after many groups rebelled and broke away especially with the historic Lutheran Schism. In effect what JESUS meant for all, his followers made it particular, each organizer assuming a particular name. Result? Today there are thousands of organized Churches, starting with names of the organizers. Hence also the hue and cry that ‘Organized Religions’ meant for organizers should end.

Slavish service: Hall mark
To come back to the main theme we started with; ‘What is Christmas and what it means to be a follower of Jesus, the simple answer is; All those who follow the life and teachings of Jesus in word and deed should do the self-emptying to become the least, a ‘slave’ to serve humbly those most in need.

If all have to have that humble mentality of a ‘Slave’ to serve those most in need, where is place for inequality; where is room for master and servant; where is place for a higher and lower of class distinctions of a Hindu caste system; where is any room for a hierarchical class system that starts with the laity on the ground and goes up step by step – religious, clerics/priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals and the Pope at the top of the ladder – all of which brooks no breaking?

Outstanding Exceptions
Of course our present Pope who places himself one step below the laity to deserve the title: “Servant of servants” is a towering exception, frowned upon and fought against by many power hungry top personalities in the hierarchy, who want to shine like peacocks in appearance and dominate others like a tiger or lion in the jungles.

The patron saints of these crooked canvassers were already among the 12 apostles of Jesus: James and John who tried in vain to sit on the right and left as Prime Ministers in his kingdom. They used their mother to plead with Jesus to grant them that coveted honor. This type of canvassing is being done even today under the reign of Francis which he stoutly opposes and therefore has become a Bate Noire, an arch enemy of many aspiring bishops and cardinals.
Saint rebuking Pope
There were also Popes with such craze for pomp and power. Listen to what St. Bernard said to such a pope Eugenius III (pope from 1145-1153) who was his subordinate before: “When the pope, clad in silk, covered with gold and jewels, rides out on his white horse, escorted by soldiers and servants, he looks more like Constantine’s successor than St Peter’s”. That was witnessing par excellence to the spirit of Jesus, which we are discussing here.

It was precisely to correct this wrong lifestyle and outlook that Pope John XXIII called the Vatican II: “to sweep clean the dust of the empire accumulated on the throne of Peter, ever since the time of Constantine” and what Francis does one better by saying: “I am a sinner!”. Much before him St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo described himself: “For you I am a Bishop, but with you I am a Christian” to emphasis his equality with all followers of Jesus who emptied himself to serve as “Emmanuel”, God with us. Only the really exalted can come down and be really one “with us” in every respect.

Come down to Cattle Class!
So the message of Christmas is what Jesus told Zacheus: “Come down from the tree top if I have to sup with you.” He repeats the same call to every one in the hierarchical ladder trying to climb higher and higher by hook or crook, and to the laity in the secular domain, presenting themselves as ‘intellectuals’ or canvassing for Chevalier-type of positions. Living examples are those who are just bishops but calling and presenting themselves as Archbishops, pretending themselves, on one pretext or other, to be much more than what they really are.

Is this not the same message that the “self-emptying of Jesus in a cattle shed, borne there because there was no room for Him in the palaces of the comfortable class, tells us? Shouldn’t all those who consider him as lord, master, teacher, guide and ‘Son of Man’, the ideal human for all humans, think seriously and change their lifestyle to become humbler and more credible? That is precisely why we the CCV group call ourselves the CATTLE CLASS to make a small beginning at least in this direction, for two reasons:

Two aspects of cattle class
First: Jesus self-emptied himself in a Cattle shed. He could not have lowered himself further. He thus became one with the wretched lot of humanity – like the haggard looking migrants who trudge the dusty, dirty roads, shot at and tortured or drowned in sea or the helpless women folk, young and old raped and brutally murdered for no valid reason.

Second: Cattle class has come to become synonymous with the lowest, despised rung in society, the poor, abandoned, untouchables, outcastes and uncared for of which no one wants to be a part. Recall a typical marriage add: “Wanted, a beautiful, well educated, Suriyani girl.” While all are in the rat race for top class, followers of Jesus are called to run for the last place in the CATTLE CLASS, in the company of ‘sacred’ cows, dogs and donkeys. Any takers? At least for a trial?
Some one once said: “There was only one Christian in the whole world. He died on the cross. Literally true! Not even St. Francis, though called the second Christ. Rani Maria suffered like Jesus on the cross. Fr. Damian kissed, embraced and served the lepers. Myriad are the roles the cattle class offers each one of us to serve. What ever they be, what is vital is to have that humility and readiness to serve the least, last and needy.
To serve, not to be Served
It is variously said: “Those who stand and wait also serve”, also, “to serve the Lord is to reign” (Servire Domino regnare est). Therefore those alone who are ready to serve the poor and needy in humble surroundings have any right to celebrate or rejoice at the birth of Jesus. Wish you all that Spirit of ‘self-emptying’ during this Christmas!

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Published Dec.20/2017: in CCV, Kerala; Daily News, New York;

++++++++++
Build “Peace-loving Man”
To make this burning Hell
heaven of peace on earth!
dr, james kottoor

Building “peace-loving man”,(says Fethullah Gulen, read his article below) that is, humans, man/woman, totally committed to non-violence, tolerance and dialogue, is the only sure route to lasting peace on earth.

It is tedious task — laborious and time consuming like building a huge concrete structure like the twin New York towers, brick by brick. Therefore, instantly comes also the conflicting thought – NY trade centre was felled and met the fate of the biblical “Tower of Babel”, a monument built to proclaim the greatness of the builders, to make a name for themselves, not for common good. So the staggering question, the dilemma straining in our face is: “Is it worth striving to build the ‘towering peace-loving Man, as if we have never learn any lesson from history? I leave that question to you for answering.

Implanting a ‘Wish-bone’ in humanity through public opinion is a day dream, a quick-fix like writing on ocean surface, a starting point at best! But in New York, didn’t they rebuild the New York tower? So the message could be: ‘Never give up’, but try until you succeed.

Teen-ager story
You all know the story of the teen-ager who fixed the world map torn to bits and jumbled, in no time thanks to the picture of a man behind the map. He just fixed the man behind and the tattered bits of the whole world fell in due places! That means, fixing up the “peace-loving man”(world) is the unfinished challenge facing humanity today. The question is: How? Easy like fixing up the world map?

There have been and there still are ‘peace-loving’ men around. Two towering historical figures are the Man from Galilee, known also as the carpenter of Nazareth, Son of Man, Jesus the Jew. Some say he was the only good Jew, others, he was the only good Christian who was a Jew who died on the cross! The other is Buddha, a perfect picture of peace. One was born in utter destitution, in a cattle shed the other in lap of luxury! Which means, what matters is not how one begins his life on earth, but how he crowns it.

Peace to Good willed
Now think of the followers of these two spiritual giants of history! “Glory to God in the heavens and peace on earth to men of good will” the angels sang reportedly at the birth of Jesus. Yet from the time of the Prince of Peace to this day Jerusalem remains a zone of war and blood shed, not peace. As for Buddha, just think of the heart rending stories of war and violence targeted by or against the Rohingas in Miyanmar!

Think also of India, called the light of the East, supposedly yearning for “Vasudaiva Kudumbakam” and praying for “Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu!” and the on going fight for dominance between the forces of division and unity on the basis of religion, caste, class and cultural habits like what one eats, drinks, wears and whom one marries, even when all speak of ‘development’ or ‘Acche Din’.
Emergency coming?
What about clash of ideas – use of “Neech or “Congress-Pak collusion to defeat BJP in Gujarat? What about total inaction against culprits of daylight murderers, by Cow vigilantes, of love-jihad man lynched, burned and video graphed to proclaim his valor, of the son of a top leader who amassed crores in one year and the nation’s media silenced as during emergency?

One feeble silver lining amidst the encircling gloom was the warning followed by quick suspension of Mani Sankar Ayar and Rahul’s inauguration speech portraying himself as a ‘very very humble person, not even a shadow, but at best a dummy or dwarf beside towering giants who led the destinies of the nation’ knowing well that it is going to be a race between the hare and the tortoise?

Shadow of Global scenario
What is happening in India is only a faint reflection of the global scenario led by a an incompetent world police, Trump trying to take the world to the dark ages of ‘Might is right’ and India’s Modi trying to win him over by ‘hug-diplomacy’. Globalization, already a fact, should not mean getting uprooted from one’s own moorings and culture. It should instead mean unity in diversity, complementing and enriching the universal with what is precious and particular to each country. It should turn out to be a synthasis, a happy marriage of local and global = Glocal, an enriching of the inseparable duo. Possible if building ‘peace loving man’ can be done. How to go about it?

The work is ours, we the people, you and me. The starting point is where humans are borne, our own homes where bricks of society are fashioned first, then the nursery schools to universities where humans with “good will” to collaborate and compliment, not to collide, conflict, terrorize and eliminate each other in a nuclear holocaust, are polished to perfect finish.

Not a call to evangelize
This is the timely message of “Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of good will” already heard sung around the world. This is not a call to make the whole world Christian. The one at whose birth this was sung in heavens, was a Jew. He never became a Christian, but lived as a Jew. died as a Jew, (INRI Jesus the Nazarene King of the Jews) was the inscription on the cross he died. He never established any Church or organized religion. His followers were called Christians first in Antioch years after his death. In Kerala they were called “Margam Kooiyavar” (those followed his path).

He presented himself as the SON OF MAN, as the ideal Man for all peoples, places, creeds and cultures and befriended the poor, untouchable, lonely and those in utmost need. If ever he started a class of people it was the CATTLE CLASS on the road, homeless and address less. The class culture was created by man, the most comfortable class headed by Constantine, not the ‘Ever lasting Man’ (Chesterton), the “Man from Galelee” (Fulton J.Sheen). His God was his Father, (Our Father who art in Heaven} who is the Father of all humanity.

All humans were his brothers and sisters. Nay he explicitly told them to treat him as their close best friend, not master at the last supper. None of the churches follow those instructions of his. They worship him, adore him and pray to him, all forbidden by him. Who is to blame for all these, except the Churches themselves, who want a King and Emperor figure, so that they can sit at the right and left as Prime Ministers, which James and John tried and failed miserably?

So goodbye to all organized fighting religions and more strength to Sri Narayana Guru pleading for ‘One God, one Religion and One Caste, the human caste male or female’. And more power to that God (if thre is a God) the Father of all, and His heavenly peace to all people of Good will, his true followers around the world! Wish you a Happy Christmas without Christ personified as a religious head, but as a leader of a pilgrim humane humanity of Good will! james kottoor, editor, ccv.
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Sample Reactons
One solitary reaction from Indian bishops: above messages were sent separately to all bishops.
Reactions:

Bishop Gratian Mundadan, Dec.24/17

to me

My dear James,
Thank you very much for your Christmas and New Year Greetings. I appreciate that you thought of me at this Holy Season. I sincerely reciprocate your Greetings with my promises of Prayer for you during the Holy Masses at the Christmas Midnight and New Year Day. God bless us all!
James Kottoor <jameskottoor@gmail.com>

to Bishop

It was indeed very gracious of you to say a kind word on what we the cattle class group is trying to do, to give wings to the self-emptying message of Jesus. May He bless you. james, who wants to be the last in the cattle class of Jesus.

Another from one of CCV columnist
Hats off to james!
Behold the Poorest
And Lowliest
and the Lost! Varghese Pamplanil

(Note: Words are easy like the wind, but faithful friends are hard to find! He spoke not a WORD in the cattle shed, but his thundering silence roars to the four corners of the sea of humanity to remind us all that we are ONE and INDIVISIBLE in rain and shine! Let the Pamplani tsunami thunder along unabated! james)
Read Pamplanil
Hats off james for your cry in the wilderness for the poorest and the lowliest and the lost: “Wish you Happy or Sorry Christmas”.

When the midnight hour strikes on the 24 December, while the bells of a thousand churches ring loud in joy on the Birth of the Fisherman Saviour, from the thatched derelict huts of the fisherfolk on the Malabar Coast, loud cries and wailings of despair of the daughters and mothers will rise in a crescendo for their beloved ones lost in the Arabian Sea due to the devilish dance of destruction of Cyclone Ockhi.

But there will be no let up in the merriments in the nearby palaces of the Arch-bishops, the bishops and the well-healed, who have been shedding copious crocodile tears for the lost; the corks of choicest cognacs and rare matured single malt scotch whiskies will pop-up; the best quality cashew nuts, almonds and pistachios and the best of pork, beef and mutton, crabs and lobsters will be there on their dining tables as usual. Merry Xmas to them all.

“Pride can never approach to where thou walkest in the cloths of the humble among the poorest, and the lowliest, and lost, and last.

My heart can never find its way where thou keepest company with the companionless among the poorest, the lowliest, and the lost.”

“This is my prayer to thee, my lord –strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart.

Give the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.

Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles. “ (Gitanjali)

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Become silence breakers to spread His Peace!

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The Real Reason Catholics cant be Freemasons

 

The real reason Catholics can’t be Freemasons

by Ed Condon

taken from Catholic Herald uk

An 1891 cartoon in Puck shows Pope Leo XIII doing battle with Freemasonry

The principles of Freemasonry are fundamentally incompatible with Catholic teaching

The mutual antagonism of the Catholic Church and Freemasonry is well established and longstanding. For most of the past 300 years they have been acknowledged, even in the secular mindset, as implacably opposed. In recent decades the animosity between the two has faded somewhat from the public consciousness as the Church’s direct institutional involvement in civil affairs has become less pronounced and as Freemasonry has waned dramatically in numbers and prominence. But as Freemasonry turns 300 years old, it is worth revisiting what was at the core of the Church’s absolute opposition to the group. Freemasonry can appear to be little more than an esoteric men’s club, but it was and remains a highly influential philosophical movement – one which has made a dramatic, if little-noticed, impact on modern Western society and politics.

The history of Freemasonry itself is long and interesting. Its gradual transformation from the medieval workers’ guilds of stonemasons into a network of secret societies with their own Gnostic philosophy and rituals is a fascinating tale in itself. The era of the latter version of Freemasonry began with the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 in the Goose & Gridiron pub near St Paul’s Cathedral. In the early days, before the Church made any formal pronouncement on the subject, many Catholics were members and the English Catholic and Jacobite diaspora was crucial to spreading Freemasonry to continental Europe. At one point it was so popular among Catholics in some places that Francis I of Austria served as a formal patron.

And yet the Church became the greatest foe of the Masonic lodges. Between Clement XII in 1738 and the promulgation of the first Code of Canon Law in 1917, a total of eight popes wrote explicit condemnations of Freemasonry. All provided the strictest penalty for membership: automatic excommunication reserved to the Holy See. But what did and does the Church mean by Freemasonry? What are its qualities which are so worthy of condemnation?

It is sometimes said that the Church opposed Freemasonry because of the lodges’ supposedly revolutionary or seditious character. There is a widespread assumption that Masonic lodges were essentially political cells for republics and other reformers, and the Church opposed them as part of a defence of the old regime of absolute monarchy in which she was institutionally invested. But while political sedition would eventually come to the front of the Church’s opposition to Masonic membership, this was by no means the initial reason the Church opposed the Masons. What Clement XII described in his original denunciation was not a revolutionary republican society but a group spreading and enforcing religious indifferentism: the belief that all religions (and none) are of equal worth, and that in Masonry all are united in service to a higher, unifying understanding of virtue. Catholics, as members, would be asked to put their membership of the lodge above their membership of the Church. The strict prohibition, in other words, was not for political purposes but for the care of souls.

From the outset, the primary concern of the Church has been that Masonry suborns a Catholic’s faith to that of the lodge, obliging them to place a fundamental secularist fraternity above communion with the Church. The legal language, and penalties, used in the condemnations of Freemasonry were actually very similar to those used in the suppression of the Albigensians: the Church sees Freemasonry as a form of heresy. While the Masonic rites themselves contain considerable material which can be called heretical, and is in some instances explicitly anti-Catholic, the Church has always been far more concerned with the overarching philosophical content of Freemasonry rather than its ritual pageantry.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the Catholic Church and its privileged place in the government and society of many European countries became the subject of growing secularist opposition and even violence. Now, there is little if any historical evidence of the lodges playing an active role in beginning the French Revolution. However, the anti-clerical and anti-Catholic horrors of the Revolution can be traced back to the secularist mentality described in the various papal bulls outlawing the Masonic lodges. Masonic societies were condemned not because they set out to threaten civil or Church authorities but because such a threat was the inevitable consequence of their existence and growth. Revolution was the symptom, not the disease.

The alignment of Church and state interests, and their assault by seditious and revolutionary secret societies, were clearest where the Church and state were one: in the Papal States of the Italian peninsula. As the 19th century began, a new iteration of Freemasonry came to prominence which was explicit in its revolutionary character and avowed in its opposition to the Church; they called themselves the Carbonari, or charcoal merchants. They sanctioned and practised both assassination and armed insurrection against the various governments of the Italian peninsula in their campaign for a secular constitutional government, and were perceived as an immediate threat to the faith, the Papal States and the person of the pope.

The link between the passive threat of the philosophy and secrecy of Masonry and the active revolutionary plots and acts of the Carbonari was laid out in Pius VII’s apostolic constitution Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo, promulgated in 1821. While the Carbonari’s avowed and active opposition to the temporal governance of the Papal States was addressed and condemned, it was still made clear that the gravest threat posed even by these violently revolutionary cells was their philosophy of secularism.

Throughout all the various papal condemnations of Freemasonry, even when lodges were actively supporting military campaigns against the pope, as they did with Garibaldi’s conquest and unification of Italy, what was always the first objection of the Church to the Lodge was its threat to the faith of Catholics and the freedom of the Church to act in society. The undermining of the teachings of the Church in the lodges, and the suborning of her authority on matters of faith and morals, were described repeatedly as a plot against the faith, both in individuals and in society.

In the encyclical Humanum Genus, Pope Leo XIII described the Masonic agenda as the exclusion of the Church from participation in public affairs and the gradual erosion of her rights as an institutional member of society. During his time as Pope, Leo wrote a great many condemnations of Freemasonry, pastoral and legal. He outlined, in detail, what the Church considered to be the Masonic agenda and, reading it with contemporary eyes, it is still shockingly relevant.

He specifically referred to the aim of secularising the state and society. He referenced in particular the exclusion of religious education from state schools and the concept of “the State, which [Masonry believes] ought to be absolutely atheistic, having the inalienable right and duty to form the heart and the spirit of its citizens.” He also decried the Masonic desire to remove the Church from any control in, or influence over, schools, hospitals, public charities, universities and any other body serving the public good. Also specifically highlighted was the Masonic push for the reimagining of marriage as a merely civil contract, the promotion of divorce, and support for the legalisation of abortion.

It is almost impossible to read this agenda and not recognise it as the underpinning of almost all of our contemporary political discourse. The settled view on these matters of many, if not all, of our major political parties, indeed the very concept of the secular state and its consequences on Western society, including the pervasive divorce culture and near universal availability of abortion, is a victory of the Masonic agenda. And this raises very real canonical questions about Catholic participation in the modern secular political process.

Throughout the centuries of papal condemnations of Freemasonry, it was normal for each pope to include the names of new societies that shared the Masonic philosophy and agenda and which should be understood by Catholics to come under the heading of “Masonic” in terms of canon law. By the 20th century, this had come to include political parties and movements such as communism.

When the Code of Canon Law was reformed, following Vatican II, the canon specifically prohibiting Catholics from joining “Masonic societies” was revised. In the new code, promulgated in 1983 by St John Paul II, explicit mention of Freemasonry was dropped completely. The new Canon 1374 referred only to societies that “plot against the Church”. Many took this change to indicate that Freemasonry was no longer always bad in the eyes of the Church. In fact, the reforming committee made it clear that they meant not just Freemasons, but many other organisations; the “plot” of its secularist agenda had spread so far beyond the lodges that to keep using the umbrella term “Masonic” would be confusing. The then Cardinal Ratzinger issued an authoritative clarification of the new law in 1983, in which he made it clear that the new canon was phrased to encourage broader interpretation and application.

Given the crystal-clear understanding in Church teaching regarding what the Masonic plot or agenda against the Church includes (marriage as a merely civil contract open to divorce at will, abortion, exclusion of religious education from public schools, exclusion of Church from the provision of social welfare and or control of charities), it seems impossible not to ask: how many of the major political parties in the West can now be said to fall under the prohibition of Canon 1374? The answer may well be rather uncomfortable for those who want to see an end to the so-called culture wars in the Church.

More recently, Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken of his grave concern at Masonic infiltration of the Curia and other Catholic organisations. At the same time, he has warned against the Church becoming a mere “NGO” in its methods and goals – which is the direct danger of that secularist mentality which the Church has always called a Masonic philosophy.

Masonic infiltration of the hierarchy and Curia has long been treated as a kind of Catholic version of monsters under the bed, or McCarthyite paranoia about commie infiltrators. In fact, when you speak to people who work in the Vatican, you will quickly discover that for every two or three people who laugh at the very notion, you can find someone who has directly encountered it. I myself know at least two people who were approached about joining during their time working in Rome. The role of Masonic lodges as a confidential meeting point and network for those with heterodox ideas and agendas has changed little from pre-Revolutionary France to the modern Vatican; 300 years after the founding of the first Grand Lodge, the conflict between the Church and Freemasonry is still very much alive.

Ed Condon is a canon lawyer. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the history of the Church’s legal sanctions against Freemasons

This article first appeared in the August 11 2017 issue of the Catholic Herald. To read the magazine in full, from anywhere in the world, go here

 

Posted in Silenced Voice | 2 Comments

Prominent Catholic writer criticises Pope for creating ‘liquid society’ Church by Nick Hallett

Prominent Catholic writer criticises Pope for creating ‘liquid society’ Church

by Nick Hallett

posted Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017

(CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vittorio Messori said Pope Francis is in danger of undermining the ‘stability and firmness’ of Church doctrine

A prominent Catholic writer has accused Pope Francis of turning the Church into a “liquid society” where uncertainty is the only certainty.

Vittorio Messori, who came to prominence after interviewing Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1984 for the book The Ratzinger Report, said the Pope is in danger of making the same mistake as Protestants by reinterpreting doctrine and undermining the “stability and firmness of the Catholic Church”.

In an article for Italian magazine Il Timone, translated by the National Catholic Register, Messori started by criticising a “disconcerting interview” with the Jesuit superior general Fr Arturo de Sosa.

He accused Fr de Sosa of effectively “‘liquefying’ the Gospel itself” by saying Jesus’s words were not recorded on tape and “we don’t know exactly what he said”, meaning we can “adapt” the Gospel according to the times.

He then accused Pope Francis of having a similar attitude, especially when the Pontiff criticises a “Catholic temptation” to have “rigid” rules rather than judging on a “case by case basis”.

The old Jesuit tradition of “discernment”, Messori added, has been twisted so it now means to “freely interpret even dogma, depending on the situation, as has happened in some official documents containing [the Pope’s] signature, which have aroused perplexity (to use a euphemism) in some cardinals.”

Messori said “in all humility” that such an approach seems “wrong and damaging to the Church and the faith”.

“In a ‘liquid world’ where everything becomes uncertain, precarious, provisional, it is precisely the stability and firmness of the Catholic Church that all humanity needs, and not only believers,” he added.

“Those rocks of dogma, to which the superior general of the Society of Jesus is allergic, could and should become firm ground in a society that flatters itself and tends towards mushy chaos.”

More than ever, the Church needs the “full clarity of the Catechism” rather than the “ever-changing ‘in my opinion’”.

He said that Protestantism has gone down this road, “and history has shown what it has led to, but unfortunately, as usual, history is not magistra vitae [life’s teacher].”

As well as the Ratzinger Report, Messori also published a best-selling interview with Pope John Paul II, and has been described as the “most translated” author in the Catholic world.

 

Posted in Church Worldwide news | 1 Comment

Has the sacrament of Marriage lost its sanctity ?

Mumbai is a metropolitan city. We have fast food, fast cars, fast life…. Now the latest is fast marriages.

To get married in a Church one needs to do a marriage preparation course obtain a certificate , get ones marriage banns read and wait and see that there are no objections.

All this while there were ” allegations” that priests were involved in Court marriages but there was never proof since things were done by remote control and the Priest would never come in the forefront.

A court marriage can be done by giving  5 days notice in the case of Christians in Man tralaya. Compare this with the waiting period in the case of Church marriage where one needs to wait for at least 4-5 months before the marriage can be solemnised. Moreover there may be impediments.

We now have documentary evidence of a Roman Catholic priest presently posted in St. Micheals Church Mahim of having stood as a witness in a Court marriage of a couple who is yet to get married in a Church. The said priest is good at making videos and was recently in the news when a video was released  showing a mirror under the camera in a ladies toilet. Surprisingly the mirror disappeared after various ladies approached the Police. Normally mirrors are always above wash basins but this was not the case here.

The said priest gives wonderful preachings on morality and being Christ like in all our dealings but has himself chosen to bypass a catholic marriage nay a sacrament in case of this couple and has opted for a court marriage.

The saddest part of all this is that our beloved Cardinal Oswald Gracias has chosen to remain silent despite the happening being brought to his notice .

Till today no official has been released by the Cardinal condemning this type of acts by his Priests who are all bound by a vow of obedience.

In my opinion the said act of the priest challenges a Sacrament and  is a grave liturgical abuse.

Our catholic leaders who were in the forefront and are all prominent letter writers have suddenly become silent.

Its sad that we have reached such a state in Mumbai.

Adv. A.M.Sodder

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What is religion pure & undefiled?Make yourself useful to people Stop using people for your gain-dr.james kottoor

 

 

 

What is religion pure & undefiled?

 

Make yourself useful to people

Stop using people for your gain

dr.james kottoor

What is important is to be a ‘good person’, not to be a believer or unbeliever or to be like any one else which we can’t however much we try. Each one of us has to use our own God-given talents and multiply them to a 100 fold.  Think of the parable of the talents. So the  fist thing necessary is to be good, to be true, honest to God, to ourselves, to others and to be busy like bee to multiply the talents God has given us without burying any of them in the ground. Even Pope Francis said it is better to be an honest atheist than a hypocritical Catholic.

 

                      Change and growth is the essence of life. But growth can be for the better or worse. We now live in a fast changing world. Religions and religiosity or spirituality are not the same but different. We see  many religions when we look horizontally, especially organized religions competing among themselves because all of them are tainted and defective. Organized religions are for the organizers. Like political parties they want to lord over others and so we campaign against it. In spirituality and religiosity we look vertically,  in our relationship with the Supreme spirit  or that power called variously – God, Iswar, Sachidananda, One without a second or Jesus whom Christians call God incarnate.

 

Perfection is no Trifle!

                    H

 Here our first duty  is to become like Jesus, a perfect human being like him by using all our God given talents to reach that goal. It is said no one could accuse him of sin. Is it possible to be perfect like Jesus?  Here recall what Michael Angelo said: “Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle!” A slight shade or a small spot on a fair and lovely face may be trifle, and all of us are loaded with such defects in our character and getting rid of them all is perfection, which is not done even if we try the whole of our life time. That is why it is said, “Perfection is no trifle.” 

 

 

                    Comparisons are odious and in true religion or spirituality there is no place for proving oneself to be better than our neighbor to dominate as we are clearly taught by the parable of Pharisee and publican praying in the temple. True religion is all about service, making ourselves useful to our needy neighbor and not using our neighbor. Being useful to our neighbor and using our neighbor for our benefit make the whole difference. Hence St. James (1.27) says: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

                    What does it mean? It means just the opposite of what the organized religions are often busy with and doing: a whole lot of ritualistic exercises – noisy prayers and singing, (actually or derogatively called ‘Lip service’ often without the slightest involvement of the mind), kneeling, standing, sitting, handshaking ( all sorts of physical exercises),  all forbidden by Jesus who wants us to pray in silence closing the five doors of our senses. In St.James’s definition of true religion none of the items cited above are included.

 

Today’s unbelievers, atheists

                   But in the report below many labelled as  lapsed Catholics, unbelievers, agnostics or atheists are doing just what St. James describes as marks of true religion – compassionate treatment of those in need. An atheist is busy providing affordable houses for the African-American community; a lapsed Catholic travels to India to do voluntary medical service; a former evangelical is busy attending to the mental health of gay and lesbian community; an agnostic has joined Pace Corps and is organizing food coops for the hungry. And the reporter below says:

 

                   “No, most of them do not belong to an organized religion. But many are more compassionate, welcoming and devoted to those on the margins of society than quite a few Catholics I know.” What is it that you want? Persons who tom-tom about the glories, name and fame of your personal or organized religion or those busy showing mercy and compassion to the needy, hungry, sick, lame, blind, lonely and in margins of society? St. James and Pope Francis are saying the same thing: “Get out, get out of the Church of the sacristy and go to the peripheries, to befriend the stranger and foreigner!”

                   To become truly religious and spiritual you need not belong to any organized religion, big or small. It is enough you opt to become one of the CATTLE CLASS, the  compassionate Company of Jesus who worked for the poor and needy, the lowly placed, the afflicted and homeless migrant or neighbour. Organised religion and high positions in it may be a Peacock’s feather to sport on your cap to receive unsolicited salutations and undeserved appellations but it will not make you practitioner of true religion: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father” which consists in making yourself  “USEFUL” to those in need, and not “USING” your neighbour for your own benefit. james kottoor, editor ccv.

 

 

Please read below report on unbelievers & atheists in US

 

Half of U.S. Catholics say

belief in God is not necessary

to be a good person

Michael J. O’Loughlin America the Jesuit Magazine,October 19, 2017

 

 

 

                       For the first time, a majority of Americans—56 percent—say it is possible to be a good person without religious belief. And about half of all U.S. Catholics agree.

 

                        Those are the findings from a new Pew Research Center report drawn from two polls conducted among about 5,000 American adults in June and July.

 

                       The majority of Americans now believe that “God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality,” said Greg Smith, Pew’s associate director of research, in a post about the findings. “[T]he public’s increased rejection of the idea that belief in God is necessary for morality is due, in large part, to the spike in the share of Americans who are religious ‘nones,’” he explained.

 

 

                 The majority of Americans now believe that “God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality.” “In the 2011 Pew Research Center survey that included the question about God and morality, religious “nones” constituted 18 percent of the sample. By 2017, the share of ‘nones’ stood at 25 percent,” the report notes.

 

              But even some believers have changed their opinions on the matter during the past few years. According to the report, among white evangelical Protestants, 32 percent now say belief in God is not necessary to have good values and be a moral person, up from 26 percent who said this in 2011.

 

About half of all U.S. Catholics—or 49 percent—agree that it is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. But there is a sharp difference between Hispanic Catholics and white Catholics. Fifty-seven percent of white Catholics say God is not necessary for morality, but just 38 percent of Hispanic Catholics agree.

 

 Regarding these so-called atheists Columnist Kaya Oakes writes labeling them:  Devoted Atheists: “In finding a way to be compassionate toward nonbelievers, it helps that many of my non-believing friends are not simply spending their Sunday mornings paging through The New York Times and lingering over brunch, but are actively engaged in community service and social justice issues.

 

               “An atheist friend works in affordable housing issues in the African-American community. Another atheist friend writes about feminist issues, particularly focusing on empowering young girls. The lapsed Catholic son of a friend travels to India to volunteer in medical clinics. A former evangelical I know works to bring attention to mental health issues in the gay and lesbian community. Atheist and agnostic students of mine have served in the Peace Corps, started food co-ops in inner-city food deserts, volunteered with literacy organizations, taught inmates to read at San Quentin and tirelessly worked to correct the notion that millennials are interested only in cellphones.

 “No, most of them do not belong to an organized religion. But many are more compassionate, welcoming and devoted to those on the margins of society than quite a few Catholics I know.” It shows loss of faith sometimes reflected a sense of sorrow for some, for many others, leaving one faith tradition behind to explore others or to explore living without faith, led them to an amazing discovery.”

(Material from Religion News Service was used in this report.)

                                                ************************************

 

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Sacrilege in fancy dress – Mr. John Menezes

JOHN MENEZES                                                                              7 Esperança

  1. Bhagatsingh Road

Mumbai 400001

24 October 2017

The Editor

The Examiner

Mumbai 400001

 

Subject:  Sacrilege in fancy dress

 

Sir,

The Examiner, October 21, on its cover shows a concelebration at the National Symposium held at the College of St. Pius X, October 13 – 15. The celebration is collectivist and anthropocentric and attracts comment on two grounds:

  1. In his Encyclical, Mediator Dei (20/11/1947) Pope Pius XII has stated in Section 69: “Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ’s very person.” This collectivism  repudiates the power of performing actions by a  celebrant in the Person of Christ and deprives the innocent faithful of their spiritual entitlement, namely, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass;
  2. In his book, The Order of Melchisedech, late Michael Davies, convert from the Anglican to the Catholic Church, has written on the revised 1968 rite of priestly ordination:   “Every prayer in the traditional rite which stated specifically the essential role of a priest as a man ordained to offer propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead has been removed. In most cases these were the precise prayers removed by the Protestant Reformers or, if not precisely the same, there are clear parallels.”  The rites of ordination were drastically revised by Paul VI w.e.f. 06/04/1969 to render them null and void and, therefore, practically all the performers in this collectivist celebration are lay persons in disguise parading themselves in “fancy dress.”

The innocent faithful present on the occasion, who were entitled to Catholicism from their supposed pastors, have instead been treated to a grave sacrilege in fancy dress.

John Menezes

7 Esperanca, S. Bhagatsingh Road, Mumbai 400001; Tel: 9167541628.

 

 

Posted in Unpublished Letters- Examine Your Conscience | 2 Comments