The Catholic Church, Freemasonry, and the New Age |
by Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
If one wonders how the sexual scandals and abuses in the liturgy and doctrines could have gotten so bad, one only needs to read Cuddy's chilling facts below to realize how the influence of Freemasonry and New Ageism was given free entry during the watch of John XXIII who claimed "Divine Providence is leading us to a New Order of things." We wonder whether that 'Divine Providence' he spoke of was a unicorn, a crystal or lucifer himself.
After the Second Vatican Council In the 1960s, increasing numbers of new Catholic churches were circular in design, characterized by some as resembling "theater-in-the-round." What they also resemble are the circular churches of the Knights Templar who, in the early 14th Century, were found to be plotting against the Catholic Church and the thrones of Europe. The last Templar Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was executed for this by King Philip IV of France. DeMolay became the name of the Masonic teen organization.
After the Second Vatican Council, many older churches were also remodeled, including Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh, NC. It used to have a beautiful interior, but the altar was torn out, and the tabernacle placed off to the side. Where the tabernacle used to be was placed the bishop's chair. The placement looks similar to the setting for the Worshipful Master's chair in a Masonic Lodge. The only thing missing from the remodeled Cathedral seemed to be a higher back to the chair, a canopy over the chair, three steps up to the level on which the chair was placed, and a candle at either end of the table/altar. However, the Cathedral has been remodeled again about two years ago, and there is now a very high-backed chair, which has a canopy over it and two steps up to the level on which the chair is located, plus a candle on either side of the altar [the Masons also have an additional candle somewhat removed from and to the side of the table/altar].
In the latest renovation, there were also stars on a blue background placed on the ceiling. In all of the Catholic churches around the world, such a ceiling has been rather rare. However, in The Deadly Deception: Freemasonry Exposed . . . by One of Its Top Leaders, by Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, one reads, regarding the Temple of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third and Last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite: "The ceiling is dark blue, with lights set into it to give the appearance of stars."
One might reflect at this point upon Alice A. Bailey's statement in The Rays and the Initiations that "The Sin of the Roman Catholic Church is its effort to dictate to people what they should think------theologically and politically." In Glamour: A World Problem she referred to "the New World religion now on its way to externalizing" and said that "The only ritual which is still regarded as of value to the human family as a whole------particular to the advanced person------is the Masonic Ritual." By "the advanced person," Bailey was referring to advanced New Agers, because she was perhaps the leading occultist of the first half of the 20th Century, and her works were first published by Lucifer Publishing.
In 1934, Bailey wrote that "eventually there will appear the Church Universal, and its definite outlines will appear toward the close of this century . . . The three main channels through which the preparation for the New Age is going on might be regarded as the Church, the Masonic fraternity, and the educational field . . . The Masonic movement . . . will meet the needs of those who can, and should, wield power. It is the custodian of the law; it is the home of the mysteries and the seat of initiation. It holds in its symbolism the ritual of Deity, and the way of salvation!"
Much of the latest renovation of the Sacred Heart Cathedral was approved by its rector, now Monsignor Tim O'Connor. At a funeral ceremony, he referred to God as "He or She." Recently, he has been made pastor of our Lady of Lourdes, which he titles a "Faith Community" rather than church at the top of his bulletin. In a recent bulletin is an announcement for altar service training for "any boy or girl, 5th grade or older." [Emphasis added.] And there was another announcement that the Diocese of Raleigh will offer Stephen Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," a 30-hour course designed to develop personal and pastoral leadership." According to Newsweek, Covey is "a devout Mormon," who attended the same 1994 Camp David meeting with the Clintons as did New Ager Jean Houston, among others. Covey also recently convened facilitators to advise on the overall conference design of Mikhail Gorbachev's State of the World Forum 2000, which has as its intent "to work with partners worldwide to help galvanize this spiritual, political and cultural renaissance . . . such that momentum toward a global civilization is established." Gorbachev on the PBS "Charlie Rose Show" from New York on October 23, 1996, said "Cosmos is my God. Nature is my God." New Ager Jean Houston, who has spoken to the National Catholic Educational Association annual convention several times, was a featured speaker at Gorbachev's September 4-10, 2000, State of the World Forum.
A specific example of the New Age in the Catholic Church is Father Thomas Berry of Greensboro, NC [Charlotte, NC Diocese]. In his poem, "Morningside Cathedral," written for a solstice celebration in St. John the Divine Cathedral [Episcopal] in New York City, he referred to "Darkness deeper than even God can reach" and "the Wolf as guardian spirit as spirit guide." He also contributed to Gaia's Hidden Life, which is distributed by Theosophical Publishing House. And he wrote the Foreword for To Honor the Earth by Dorothy Maclean, co-founder of the New Age community called Eindhorn. Maclean is a former British Secret Intelligence Service agent, who says she talks to garden peas and explains to them why she is going to eat them. She also says she explains to weeds why she is going to pull them up, so they'll come up more easily. Father Berry teaches a "new mysticism" of the earth, and believes that classical religions may have completed their mission. He has stated: "Let us put the Bible, as our central teaching document, on the shelf for 20 years while we study what the Universe teaches us about who we are and where we are and what is our meaning. The Bible has become a barrier to our movement toward a clear understanding of ourselves. It is the Universe which is primary, not the written scriptures."
Some years ago, the Raleigh Diocese Minister for Peace and Justice noted in its newsletter the establishment of the Center for Reflection on the Second Law [a think tank devoted to the earth, energy, science, justice, and the future] in conjunction with Father Thomas Berry's Riverdale Center for Religious Research in New York.
Other examples of the New Age invading the Catholic Church are provided by Father John Corapi, speaking not long ago in Sacramento. He referred to a nude woman stretched out on a cross, and she was called "Christa." This was a bronze statue sculpted by
Edwina Sandys, who was Winston Churchill's granddaughter. [Churchill had been installed into the Albion Lodge of the Ancient Order of Druids at Blenheim Palace on August 15, 1908.] Father Corapi said that people from around the U.S. have been telling him for the past 2 years that when they stop at an obscure Catholic church somewhere, they'd see this naked woman on a cross. Father Corapi also said one woman saw a crystal in the Holy Water fountain, and she asked the priest at that church if he knew what that was, and he said, "Of course, I do. Don't be scandalized. We must be open to power from all sources." Crystals are, of course, important New Age symbols. On April 20, 1999, MSNBC aired a story by Jeannette Walls about British Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife, Cherie, snapping up a crystal pendant after discovering that Hillary Clinton wears one to help her deal with stress.
You're probably wondering how some of the things described above took place in the Diocese of Raleigh. Well, the bishop for many years in Raleigh has been Joseph Gossman, and in The North Carolina Catholic, [January 18, 1987], one reads: "Bishop F. Joseph Gossman of the Diocese of Raleigh has granted a dispensation, excusing parishioners of their weekend Mass obligation, so that they may participate in ecumenical services with other Christian churches." He has done this more than once, even though it has always been a mortal sin for Catholics not to attend Sunday Mass. This type of action by Bishop Gossman is not surprising, because he also made a priest a pastor of a church in Durham, NC not very long after the priest was arrested in downtown Raleigh for engaging in homosexual activities there.
Many Catholics may be shocked by this, but they shouldn't be, given the leftward drift of churchmen after the Second Vatican Council. Actually, the word "drift" is incorrect, because it was all facilitated. The Mount Washington Press [May 8, 1991] reported that a psychologist who is "worshipful master of Mount Washington Masonic Lodge 642 [and a Rosicrucian] screens prospective priests for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio. And concerning the screening of bishops, almost a quarter century ago, I attended a talk given by then America editor Rev. Joseph O'Hare to the young women at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. Meredith is a Baptist institution, and the women were asking about the conservative position of the Catholic Church on issues concerning sexuality, among other things, Rev. O'Hare said all that was going to change because Archbishop Jean Jadot, former President of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Christians, was "screening" the nominations for the positions of bishops so that more progressive or liberal individuals would be filling those positions. And in Monica Maske's report in the Newark, NJ Star-Ledger [March 18, 1983], she wrote that former apostolic delegate to the U.S. Jadot "is expected to urge Catholics to deepen their Christian faith through respect for the spirituality of all the world's religions. Citing the Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist and Chinese religious traditions, Archbishop Jadot will urge pastors to adopt the view that there are valuable spiritual lessons in other faiths and to regard the members of these religions as 'believers'." Remember, these religions have rejected Jesus as being God.
Archbishop Jadot was associated with the syncretistic Center for World Thanksgiving at Thanksgiving Square in Dallas, Texas. According to karmanized-Catholic Robert Muller [former Assistant Secretary-General at the U.N. whose mentor was Buddhist monk U Thant] in his New Genesis: Shaping a Global Spirituality, the concept for Thanksgiving Square's chapel in the form of a spiral was that of Benedictine monk David Steindl-Bast [who networks closely with the Sufis]. Muller also wrote that we must "create common world religious institutions" and "display the U.N. flag in all houses of worship." At the front of the World Core Curriculum of the Robert Muller School in Arlington, Texas [with many branches around the world], one reads that this underlying philosophy "is based on the teachings set forth in the books of Alice A. Bailey . . ." Former Catholic nun Elizabeth Espersen was executive director of Thanksgiving Square for 17 years, and the new executive director, Nickie Murchison, attended 12 years of Catholic school.
One might wonder whether Pope John XXIII would still say today what he said on October 11, 1962 prior to the Second Vatican Council regarding conservative Catholics who warned him about the future consequences of his actions. He had said then:
"In these modern times, they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin. They behave as though at the time of former Councils, everything was a full triumph of the Christian idea and life. We must disagree with these prophets of gloom. Divine Providence is leading us to a New Order of things."
Pope John XXIII made this statement just 6 months after secular humanist Abraham Maslow [Humanist of the Year, 1967] wrote in his own private journal on April 17, 1962: "Very 'successful' lecture last night before hundreds of Catholics. Left me exhausted and weary. They shouldn't applaud me------they should attack. If they were fully aware of what I was doing, they would. But maybe not. A Mother Gorman was very sharp and knew exactly what was going on . . ."
In this same year of 1962, Maslow, Carl Rogers, Rollo May and Ira Progoff, as well as others, founded the Association for Humanistic Psychology, which has had as its president New Ager Jean Houston. And four years after Pope John XXIll's statement, Progoff developed his "Intensive Journal" method in 1966. Progoff had been a student of Carl Jung and Zen Master D.T. Suzuki, and in Randy England's The Unicorn in the Sanctuary: The Impact of the New Age on the Catholic Church, one reads that Progoff's journaling workshops include "imaging" in altered states of consciousness. The bulletin for Our Lady of Lourdes Church on July 15, 1990 stated: "The internationally known and respected Progoff Intensive Journal Retreat will be offered . . . July 20-22." Progoff also has operated Dialogue House in New York City, which is approved by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, to offer continuing education for its members.
And in the North Carolina Catholic [February 8,1990] is a full-page ad titled, "Avila continues Quality Programs in Spirituality." Among the programs is one "based on Rollo May's book, Courage to Create." And another program is titled, "Silence and Awareness: A Buddhist-Christian Carmelite and Theravadan Buddhist traditions. Presenter Mary Jo Meadow, OCDS, has meditated 40 years in the Christian, Hindu theological, Theravadan Buddhist traditions. She is a Catholic Sister."
There is also a Carmelite Hermitage at "the Baca" at Crestone, Colorado, which has had as its custodian Maurice Strong, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's right-hand man and Secretary-General of the Rio Earth Summit in the early 1990s. Fourteen male and female "monks" have lived at the Carmelite Hermitage at "the Baca" including Abbot William McNamara, who received his "mandate" for an ecumenical eremitic community from Pope John XXIII. Abbot McNamara says the "Our Father" backwards [which Satanists also do as part of their "Black Mass"]. Likewise at the Carmelite Hermitage has been abbess Tessa Bielecki, who has stated that "the affective energy which the mystic consumes in the love of God is the same as that which others make use of in erotic love." She has also spoken of man's "feminine principle------the woman within, the eternal woman . . . Every man must make his soul feel like a woman." And finally at the Hermitage has been Father Dave Denny who, in Christ the Wolf, has exercised his wild imagination describing Jesus Christ as a wolf.
Can there still be any doubt that elements of the New Age have infiltrated the Catholic Church? The only question is why the Catholic hierarchy has allowed this to happen in the first place, and why they have not gotten rid of it in the second place.
Note: [editor's bold, brackets and italicized words used for emphasis]
EDITOR'S NOTES: We have received the gracious permission of John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News to reprint various articles he has published in the excellent Roman Catholic monthly publication. This article by Dennis Cuddy first ran last October and, as we can see today, the bad fruits of which he speaks stem from the bad tree of Vatican II.
Note: [editor's bold, brackets and italicized for emphasis]