I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Anglican Ordinariates and the Clerical Control-Freaks


I have been rather concerned about how the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church have been trying to smother and control the Anglican ordinariates in England, America and Australia. It seem that they are laying down conditions on the Anglican Catholics that they have no right to do so. They didn't want these ordinariates in the first place and now they are seeking to control them by placing conditions never intended and by controlling who can be ordained. The sooner the Anglican Catholics have their own Bishops so they do not have to rely on the Roman Bishops the better. While they only have ex-Anglican married Bishops who can only be Catholic priests they will continue to be controlled by those who wish them to fail.

I was pleased to read that I am not the only one thinking this way. Damian Thompson in an excellent blog article entitled "The English bishops are trying to smother the Ordinariate. How long will Rome tolerate this situation?" addresses this very issue from the English perspective. He states: "...The English bishops are quietly reinterpreting (ie, ignoring) Benedict XVI's instructions to them just before he left England last year. They have settled on a policy of incorporating Ordinariate priests into their dioceses and absorbing Ordinariate groups into the parishes where they meet. This policy, dressed up as a "welcome", undermines the Pope's vision of an Ordinariate independent of diocesan structures. Nichols is doing nothing to stop his bishops following this sneaky and subversive strategy...The Vatican is well aware that the English bishops are trying to smother this initiative. The problem is being discussed at a high level. The question is: how will Rome respond?...Much depends on the Pope's state of health. I gather that he is a little frail but essentially healthy for a man of his age. The enemies of the Ordinariate are counting on this pontificate coming to an end before the structures of the English Ordinariate are set in stone..."

Father Christopher Phillips writing on The Anglo Catholic adds further: "...I have been intrigued by Damian Thompson's piece on the Ordinariate, I have certainly been wondering about that illusive church and why the Nuncio should use the word "meticulous" to describe the bishops implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus and why despite what the Apostolic Constitution says the English and Welsh bishops seem to have a veto on ordinations. "When the Archbishop of Westminster came to talk to us", said a friend who is part of Allen Hall formation group, "he thanked Dr Wang for arranging the very speedy Formation prior to ordination, and (tellingly) added "I don't think we'll let it happen so quickly in future". I am not sure that is what Anglicanorum Coetibus says...".

How the Anglican laity are instructed should be a matter left to their own priests and Bishops who are entering the ordinariate-not Roman Catholic clerics and their Councils of Priests and Conferences of Bishops. How dare the American Roman Bishops insist that they study the American Catechism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is all that should be required and it should be taught under their own clergy. The Anglicans have agreed to Anglicanorum Coetibus not some new version that is in "the spirit of Anglicanorum Coetibus" but is basically a hijacking of Anglicanorum Coetibus by the masonically and modernist influenced clergy.

We have heard of snooty remarks saying that the Roman Catholic clergy are so much better trained and educated. We must update these ignorant Anglicans in our own enlightened modernism. Anyone who has attended a Catholic seminary has to laugh or maybe cry- the Roman catholic clergy are trained and educated in modernism and liberal theology with almost no spiritual or mystical theology. In my experience most Anglican clergy are much more educated in the Fathers of the Church, Church history and the lives of the saints and spirituality than most of the Catholic clergy. And horror of horrors the main concern is to force these poor Anglican clergy to study Canon Law. I suggest our Roman Catholic clergy study the last Canon which states that the Supreme Law of the Church is the salvation of souls (thus all other canon laws are secondary to that priority). We the laity want priests who burn for the salvation of souls not priests that are experts in Canon law who seem hell-bent on crucifying the Eucharistic Jesus just as their Jewish forerunners among the Scribes (experts in the Law)did 2000 years ago.

It is also disgusting that Archbishop Hepworth who has led this movement for reunion is to be only allowed to be a layman. What happened to forgiveness and respect for the conscience of each person? Archbishop Hepworth left the Catholic Church after being abused by clergy and later he obviously had a sincere conversion of heart back to the Catholic Church. I for one think that this called for generosity of spirit and an invoking of "the Supreme Law of the church is the good of souls". Once again man-made rules are enforced at the expense of the Gospel of Love.

There is also no good reason in my opinion why the married Anglican clergy could not be made Catholic Bishops as this is part of their Anglican heritage. Arguments about upsetting the Orthodox is rather weak. The reason that Orthodox Bishops are celibate is because they are only selected from the monks. Roman Catholic Bishops are not selected in this manner and most of the Orthodox couldn't care less whether Catholics have married Bishops or not. The Orthodox have been close to the Anglicans for years and don't seem to have a problem with the Anglican married Bishops. Most of the apostles were married and so were many of the Bishops in the first thousand years of the Church's history. It seem that we Catholics have a long way to go in truly desiring unity when we are so mean spirited on issues that have nothing to do with doctrine but are just small t traditions or man-made rules and canons. I am sure Pope Benedict who is a man of great vision would have liked to have been more generous but he had to deal with the rather small-minded attitudes of many of his fellow clergy and faithful.

In fact this Orthdoox website of St Mary's Orthdox Church states: "...In 1990, an article from The Orthodox Observer, a Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America publication, states, At the 1992 meeting of the clergy-laity conference of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America (Archbishop Iacovos), held in New Orleans, a formal resolution was sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople 'to consider returning to the practice of ordaining married priests as bishops as was done in the early church.' ... Earlier in December 1991, the Greek Archdiocese stated that it was the original practice of the Church for a married Episcopate. Please also note that Archbishop Iakovos promoted the return of married bishops to worldwide Orthodoxy and agreed that individual jurisdictions could retain the Apostolic tradition of the Early Church..."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Queen's Visit to Australia: No Republic Please


"Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon King..." goes the famous Coronation Hymn of Handel quoting from the Bible. The mystique and magic of the Monarchy is evident once again with the 10 day visit of the Queen of Australia and her husband ( himself born a prince of Greece and of Denmark). The republicans are upset seeing their dreams for an Australian Republic sailing into the mists of tired ideas. They still cling to the hope that maybe they will get a Republic when the Queen dies but it would seem from the latest polls that the Monarchy is more popular than ever and especially among the young. 55% of Australians polled favoured the Monarchy and only 34% the Republic.(see below)

55% of the 14-17 year olds are for the monarchy and only 31 % for a Republic. This is astounding after years of politicians removing Royal symbols and trappings from our national life and no mention of its importance in schools and the chattering classes continually advocating a Republic. The Republicans hope people will dislike Prince Charles and thus finally get a Republic but they forget or choose to ignore that the young are looking further into the future to when William and Kate will be King and Queen of Australia. Most young people see this as a positive thing. Princess Mary of Denmark-our own Mary Donaldson- has also made Monarchy more visible and popular since she married the Crown Prince of Denmark .

Another factor is the depressing disasters and financial crisis that is happening all over the world. The only time in the last year we saw smiles and happy people was at the Royal Wedding of William and Kate and when Prince William visited Australia. We saw it in Canada and the US when William and Kate visited and now this wonderful visit of the Queen to us that is giving everyone a lift. Thousands are turning out to see the Queen and many more of us are watching every bit of her visit through the media. I watched one media report by a media person who was a republican that showed young people interviewed on the streets of Brisbane were mostly positive towards the Queen and the Monarchy just before her visit to Queensland.

For the first time I actually felt positive towards our PrimeMinister Julia Gillard in the marvellous speech of welcome she made to the Queen and Duke. Tony Abbot also did us proud with his speech. I think both of them captured the mood of the Australian people. It is obvious by recent polls in Canada and the very successful visit of William and Kate that the Canadians have no desire to part with the Queen either. In 1999 when the Republican cause was at its highest level of popularity the Australian people still voted overwhelmingly against a Republic and I doubt it stands a chance when the public and even most republicans have lost interest in the cause. We see the phenomenon of so-called Republicans falling over themselves in the rush to meet the Queen.

Constitutional Monarchy is in my opinion the best form of government and the most stable as has been proved by the nations who have retained their monarchies in Europe. But it is our own anointed Monarch that has that blessing from God in the tradition of the Israelite Kings of Judah of the Royal House of King David. The old Catholic prophecies speak of the restoration of monarchical government in the future era of peace headed by a Great Catholic King-Emperor called Henry the Lion. It is interesting that serious discussion is now under way to remove the discrimination against Catholics marrying into the Royal Family. It is interesting that Tony Abbot who may be our future Primeminister is both a staunch Monarchist and Catholic.

The "Australian" newspaper reported:

"AUSTRALIANS are continuing to shun a republic and move back to the monarchy, research shows.

Roy Morgan polling released in time for the Royal Tour shows support for a republic is at its lowest since the Australian Republican Movement and the push for a local as our head of state built up steam in the first half of the nineties.

Only 34 per cent of Australians aged over 14 support a republic, the lowest level since 1991.

Fifty-five per cent are in favour of keeping the monarchy, the highest level since the same year.

The figures represent a reversal of the strong support received by a republic in the lead up to the 1999 referendum, when polling put backing for the monarchy at just 38 per cent and support for a republic at 54 per cent.

The republic model put then ended up only receiving the endorsement of a little over 45 per cent of voters.

The Morgan figures indicate young Australians are just as keen on the monarchy as their older compatriots.

They show 55 per cent of 14-17 year olds also back the monarchy, while only 31 per cent of their number are republicans.

The monarchy and royal family appear to be a guilty pleasure amongst supporters of the Greens. A surprisingly strong 38 per cent of their voters want to keep the monarchy and 68 per cent of them admit to having watched at least a little of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Support for the monarchy remains highest amongst Coalition voters. Seventy per cent of these back the current arrangement and only 21 per cent back a republic.

Forty three per cent of Labor voters are monarchists and 48 per cent want a republic.

Support for the monarchy is strongest in Western Australia, with 69 per cent of respondents favouring the current constitutional arrangements, with just 26 per cent backing a republic.

Support for the monarchy is also strong in Queensland, with 62 per cent support.

It is lowest in New South Wales and Victoria, on just 51 per cent.

A republic received its strongest support in NSW 38 per cent followed by South Australia on 35 per cent.

But support in Victoria, which came close to carrying the republic referendum in 1999, appears to have cooled, with 33 per cent of respondants supporting a republic and a high 16 per cent now saying they are unsure."


Note: I am a fifth generation Western Australian (the first of my ancestors arrived in the Swan River Colony in January 1830 on the "Wanstead")and both my parents who were born and bred in Western Australia were staunch supporters of the Monarchy and opposed to a Republic. I also attended the Big Aussie BBQ with the Queen and Duke in Perth with some of my Catholic friends and 150,000 other Western Australians.

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Lady of Israel: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection



BeREShYT [In the beginning]...l'eiynei kol-yisrael [before the eyes of all Israel].

At the end of the feast of Sukkot is the holy day called Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Torah) which is celebrated also as Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day of Assembly) in Israel. In the Diaspora Simchat Torah is celebrated on the ninth day. On Simchat Torah the yearly cycle of the liturgical readings of the Chumash (Five Books of Moses)is completed with the last words of Deuteronomy 'l'eiynei kol-Yisrael' (before the eyes of all Israel) and the readings start again with the first word of Genesis 'Bereshit' ('In the Beginning' or 'With the Beginning'). This contains a great mystery which both Nachmanides (Ramban) and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov allude to in their writings.

The Ramban writes in his commentary on Genesis: "...Now Israel, which is called reshit as mentioned above, is the "Kneset Yisrael", which is compared in the Song of Songs to a bride and whom Scripture in turn calls daughter, sister and mother. The Rabbis have already expressed this in a homiletic interpretation of the verse, 'Upon the crown wherewith his mother has crowned Him [Song of Songs 3:11]', and in other places." Similarly, the verse concerning Moses, 'And he chose a first part for himself' [Deut. 33;21], which they interpret to mean that Moses our teacher comtemplated through a Isparklarya (lucid speculum/ clear crystal mirror or looking glass), and he saw that which is reshit (the first) for himself, and therefore merited the Torah. Thus all the Midrashim above have one meaning...." The Ramban reveals that this Bat Reshit (Daughter of Beginning/Wisdom)is the feminine blueprint (uman/amon)of Torah in which Moses gazed and beheld the divine mysteries of the Torah.

The Bahir also alludes to this mystery of the Divine Heart and the Mother. Bahir 63 states: "What is His heart? He said: Mother (Imma), Ben Zoma is out side, and you are with him. The heart(Lev) [in gematria] is thirty-two. These are concealed, and with them the world was created. What are these 32? He said: These are the 32 Paths. This is like a king who was in the innermost of many chambers. The number of such chambers was 32, and to each one there was a path. Should the king bring everyone to his chamber through these paths? You will agree that he should not. Should he reveal his jewels, his tapestries, his hidden and concealed secrets? You will again agree that he should not. What then does he do? He touches the Daughter, and includes all the paths in her and in her garments. One who wants to go inside should gaze there. He married her to a king, and also gave her to him as a gift. Because of his love for her, he sometimes calls her “my sister,” since they are both from one place. Sometimes he calls her his daughter, since she is actually his daughter. And sometimes he calls her “my mother.”..."

The Rabbis teach that the first letter of the Torah is bet [B] (Bereshit) and the last letter is lamed [L] (Yisrael)thus making the word LB or Lev in Hebrew which means Heart in English. It also adds up in gematria to the number 32. This they link to the 32 mentions of the name Elohim (God) in Genesis 1. This Heart is also called Kavod (Glory) which also adds up to the number 32. The Bahir links these concepts of Heart and Glory with the Mother hidden in the opening verses of Genesis on the first day of Creation.

"130. What is the meaning of, “the whole earth is filled with His glory”? This is the earth that was created on the first day. It is on high, filled with God’s glory and paralleling the Land of Israel. And what is [this glory]? It is Wisdom, as it is written (Proverbs 3:35), “The wise shall inherit glory.”

131. What is “God’s glory”? What is this like? A king had a matron in his chamber, and all his troops delighted in her. She had sons, and each day they came to see the king and to bless him. They asked him, “Where is our mother?” He replied, “You cannot see her now.” They said, “Let her be blessed wherever she is.”

132. What is the meaning of “from His place”? This indicates that none know his place. This is like a royal princess who came from a far place. People did not know her origin, but they saw that she was a woman of valour, beautiful and refined in all her ways. They said, “She certainly originates from the side of light, for she illuminates the world through her deeds.” They asked her, “From where are you?” She replied, “From my place.” They said, “Mother, the people of your place are great. May you be blessed, and may your place be blessed.”

133. Is this “glory of God” then not one of His hosts? Is it not inferior? Why then do they bless it? But what is this like? A man had a beautiful garden. Outside the garden but close to it, he had a nice section of field. On this section, he planted a beautiful flower garden. The first thing that he would water would be his garden. The water would spread over the entire garden. It would not reach the section of field however, since it was not attached, even though it was all one. He therefore opened a place for it and watered it separately.

134. Rabbi Rahumai said:
Glory(Kavod) and Heart(Lev) both have the same [gematria of 32]. They are both one, but Glory refers to its function on high, and Heart refers to its function below. “God’s glory” and the "heart of heaven” are therefore both identical."


Rebbe Nachman also writes of the mystery of the Bat Kol (Daughter of All)who is a mystical Daughter of Abraham. The phrase kol-Yisrael alludes to this Celestial Daughter of Wisdom (Bat Reshit). The kol refers to Bat Kol (Daughter of All)who is the amon (nursling mother) who is also uman (the blueprint or prototype of All). The 'Yisrael' refers on one level to her Son (ben/bar/ bera) the Blessed Holy One of Israel (Messiah of Israel) and on another level to the Mother as Kneset Yisrael (Assembly of Israel). The Aramaic word bera for son is also hidden in the word Bereshit as Bera shit (Son of the Six) alluding to the concept of the male Mystical Rose which has 6 petals. The second word of Genesis 1 ' bara' is bera in Aramaic and the Aramiac 'Bekadmin bera' (In the beginning created) could be read as 'With/In the Primordial Son'.

The word Rosh is also hidden in the word Bereshit read as 'Rosh Beit' "Head of the House/Home" according to the Likutey Moharan of Rebbe Nachman. This alludes to the Hidden Tzadik who is associated with the concept of Joseph. Yeshua ha Mashiach is called the Head of Creation, Head of the Church (Kneset)and the First born (reshit/bikkurim) of Creation. The Ramban states: "...For the merit aquired by... three things has the world been created: for the merit of challah (Dough), for the merit of Tithes and for the merit of the first fruits (bikkurim)...Reshit surely signifies the Dough-offering, as it is said, 'The first of your dough' [Numbers 15:20]. Reshit surely signifies the Tithes, as it is said, 'the first of thy grain' [Deut.18;4]. Reshit surely signifies the first-fruits, as it is said, 'the first-friuts of thy land' [Exodus 23:19]..."

Rebbe Nachman also reads Bereshit as Rashei (Heads) and Bat (Daughter/Lady)which he links to "l'eynei" (the eyes). The Rashei are perceived as three Heads and are symbolised by the white /sclera, red/ muscle and colour/iris of the eye. The fourth 'bat' is the black Bat Ayin (Pupil of the eye)this alludes to the Bat Kol (the Daughter/Lady of All) who is also the Bat Ayin (Daughter of Nothingness). Her son is the All (Kol) and the Nothingness (Ain Sof). The three Heads are also linked to the three boxes that make up the Ark of the Covenant and the dark space in the centre represents this dark Bat (Daughter/Lady) who is surrounded and dwells within the Three Heads. This is the Woman with Eagle Wings in the Wilderness (Shekhinah/ Matronita) which alludes to the vacated or empty space or land- the Arabah (dry thirsty land)- the place of total self -nullification -becoming nothing and dwelling in the Divine Will through the Dark Night. This is the place (makom) of the Mother mentioned in Bahir.

This black Bat Ayin is that Dark or Black Light of the Mother/Lady/Woman who in the Song of Songs is called Dark but comely. She is the immaculate dark mirror who perfectly mirrors the Divine Glory back to its source through which Moses received the Torah. She is the Zohar (Dark Light)of Genesis 1 called Night (Lilah)and the Darkness (ha Hoshek). She is the dark feminine waters of the Well of Miriam hidden in the text of Genesis. She is the dark face over/of the Waters who the Spirit of God hovered (or overshadowed)in Genesis 1 just as the Power of God overshadowed the Ark of the Covenant and as the Holy Spirit overshadowed the Virgin at the Annunciation.

The words Miriam (Mary), mayim (waters) and makom (place) are part of the mystery of the double mems (open and closed) that are the Mystical Rose Garden. The open mem represents the womb of the Mother (Binah-female Wisdom) who surrounds her Son-the concealed closed mem (Hokhmah- male Wisdom). The open mem is Matronita and the closed mem is the Mashiach (the concealed or Hidden Messiah). The Book of Proverbs (Mishlei) starts with an enlarged mem to demonstrate that the Wisdom spoken of by Solomon was the female wisdom of the open mem rather than that of the male Wisdom of the Messiah.

The word Bereshit can also be read as brit (covenant/phallus) ish (man/ husband). This alludes to the mystery of the Divine Seed (Zera) who will become a man and who is the bridegroom/husband of the Bride in the Song of Songs. Eve mistakenly believes she has gotten this God-man with the birth of Cain. However one day the New Eve (Mother of all the living)who is the Ishah (Woman)will give birth to this God-man. The concept of the 'brit' also alludes to the yesod (foundation) which is the pillar of the Earth. Yesod in Kabbalah is also associated with Joseph and the Messiah son of Joseph as well as with the concept of the humble Tzadik (riding on a donkey) and the hidden Tzadik.

These Mysteries of Yeshua (Jesus), Miriam (Mary) and Joseph hidden in the word Bereshit is known in mystical Judaism as the hidden or Concealed Saying. Just as the Chumash readings are seen as a Divine Cycle or Round (Galgal)so this Concealed Saying of Bereshit unites Keter (the Crown) with the Kingdom (Malkhut). Keter is the interface between Divine Will (ratzon) and Divine Knowledge (Daat). This cycle or round from Keter to Malkhut is called the Kingdom of the Divine Will or the Kingdom of Holiness (Sanctification/ Malkhut d'Kadishah).

The word Chumash alludes to Chamsa or the Hand of Miriam - the five books of Moses are the five fingers of the hand of Miriam (Chamsa) which allude to the five gates of salvation (yeshuot) which are the five sacred wounds of Yeshua. The five fingers also allude to the five leaves surrounding the Mystical Rose and the fingers of the priests of the Mother (the 13 petalled Rose)who lift the Cup of Blessing.

“Rabbi Hezekiah opened, ‘Like a rose among thorns, so is my darling among the maidens’ (Song of Songs 2:2). Who is Rosa Mystica? Our Lady of Israel (Kneset Yisrael/ Matronita/ Sabbath Queen). For there is a Rose and then there is Rosa Mystica. Just as a rose among the thorns is coloured red and white, so Our Lady of Israel includes judgement and mercy. Just as a Rose has 13 petals, so Our Lady of Israel has 13 attributes of mercy surrounding her on every side. Similarly from the moment Elohim (God) is mentioned (in Genesis 1) he generates 13 words to surround Our Lady (in Eternity) and protect her. Then Elohim is mentioned again. Why again? To produce 5 sturdy leaves surrounding Rosa Mystica. These 5 are called Salvation (Yeshuot/Yeshuah), they are 5 gates. Concerning this mystery (raza) it is written: I shall raise the Cup of Salvation (Psalm 116:13). This is the cup of Blessing, which should rest on 5 fingers and no more – like the Rose sitting on 5 sturdy leaves, paradigm of 5 fingers. This Rosa Mystica is the Cup of Blessing” Zohar 1:1a.

This Lady Chamsa (Chumash) associated with the Eighth Day of Assembly and Simchat Torah alludes to the Sefirot (Attribute) of Binah (Understanding) who is known as Mother and Heart- for the joyful prayer of the heart is the prayer of the Mother. Her hands are hands of prayer and praise. The uncreated feminine Binah is the Holy Spirit and the created female icon of Binah is Our Lady Miriam. Simchah (joy) is associated in Kabbalah with Binah. This also alludes to the joyful song Rinah which is also called the Song of Creation, the song of the Future and the Song of Miriam.

The Eighth Day also alludes to the Groom (chatan) who is circumcised on the Eighth Day and to the Eighth Day as the New Creation and as the Day of the Eucharist (Sunday is both the first day and the Eighth Day). The Eighth Day is also associated with King Solomon as the King of Peace who is also Yedidiah (God's beloved). This alludes to the Song of Songs (also called Song of Solomon) which is the Song of the Groom (chatan) and the Bride (kallah). This Bride is the Dark or Black Lady (Madonna) of the Song. This concept of an Eighth Day Solemn Assembly and Solomon is linked also to the mystery of the Ark of the Covenant as the Daughter of Zion and the concept of joy of heart.

"2 Chronicles 5:2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.
3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
2 Chronicles 7:8 Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.
9 And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.
10 And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people."

Monday, August 22, 2011

More on the Jewish Christian Lead Codices


The Jordan Times reports that preliminary tests on the Jewish Christian lead codices that I wrote about in an earlier blog seem to be authentic. There was a major campaign to discredit their authenticity but it would seem that the last word on these discoveries has not been spoken yet.

In an article in the Jordan Times by Taylor Luck (originally appearing in June) was posted on the Jordan Times website on August 21 2011 it states: "Preliminary lab results indicate that a collection of metal books unearthed in northern Jordan may indeed represent the earliest Christian texts ever discovered, according to experts.

According to the Department of Antiquities (DoA), initial carbon tests to determine the authenticity of lead-sealed metal books billed as the greatest find in biblical archaeology since the Dead Sea scrolls have been “encouraging”.

“We really believe that we have evidence from this analysis to prove that these materials are authentic,” DoA Director Ziad Saad told The Jordan Times.

The tests, carried out at the Royal Scientific Society labs, indicate that the texts may date back to the early first century AD, at a time when Christians took refuge from persecution on the east bank of the Jordan River.

The codices, which were retrieved by Jordanian security services from the black market last month, are believed to be part of a greater cache of 70 lead-sealed books allegedly uncovered in Jordan and smuggled across the River Jordan into Israel.

The majority of the texts are currently in the possession of Hassan Saeda, an Israeli bedouin farmer who claims that the books, which may tell of the last days of Jesus Christ, were uncovered by his shepherd grandfather some 90 years ago.

Jordanian authorities, however, believe the codices were unearthed four years ago in a cave near the northern village of Sarhan and are property of the Hashemite Kingdom.

The texts made international headlines in March when Jordanian authorities and British author David Elkington announced their existence in a bid to prevent Saeda from selling the cache to a private collector and to launch a campaign to repatriate the books.

Efforts to repatriate the texts from Israel are pending the final results of the carbon dating, currently being carried out at the University of New Mexico, the Getty Conservation Institute and Sheffield University."

The Date Palm from the Codices
Those who seem to have an agenda to claim that these codices are fake mainly use the argument that some of the images are similar to other images that we have in museums. For example they show a date palm from the codices and then one from a Jordanian museum. However the date palm is an extremely important symbol in Jewish mysticism and so fits with theories that the codices are connected to Simeon bar Yochai and with a mystical form of either Judaism or Jewish Christianity. How many ways does one expect a date palm to be represented and if it is similar to an ancient one on a coin in a museum surely that just goes to demonstrate it may come from the same time period as well. The stars on this image are also similar to ones on coins from the reign of Augustus which doesn't mean they are fakes or forgeries but that they come from a time period close to the reign of Augustus. This Star appeared in the reign of Augustus Ceasar and heralded the coming of the Messiah as a Star out of Jacob. Rabbi Akiba and many other Jews associated this Star(Kokhba)with Bar Kosiba who became known as the Messiah bar Kokhba. The Jewish Christian of course associated this star with the Star of Bethlehem that heralded the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)and used it on the codices to proclaim the true Messiah.
Date Palm on a coin in a museum from the time of Bar Kokhba.

Also that the face of Jesus on the codices is similar to images of Apollo fits with the fact that most of the earliest Roman and Greek images of Jesus show him as a clean shaven Apollo-like youth (usually with red hair) very similar to some of the images of Apollo. This is to demonstrate that Jesus (or the Messiah/Tzadik) is the true Sun of Righteousness and the Apollo legends are a pagan preparation for this true Divine Sun. An apollo-like image of Jesus as the good shepherd

Those who are trying to prove that the codices are fakes refer to a copper codex that mentions Abgar also known as Eision and dismiss it as a fake because on a tomb in Jordan is also found the name Abgar also known as Eision son of Monoathos. However the legend of King Abgar a suffering King of Edessa connected with the burial cloths and a letter of Jesus would seem to demonstrate that these codices were connected to the secrets of a Jewish Christian group of mystics. They then conclude that because one of the lead codices has a palm tree similar to this copper (bronze) codex with the name Abgar on it- that this makes the lead one a fake. For myself I do not think they have proved that the bronze/copper codex is a fake but it would seem that this group of Jewish Christian mystics are connected to the Jewish Christian Abgar Dynasty of Edessa. We know that the Kings of this dynasty used the name of Abgar or Manu with another name such as King Abgar XI Fahrat son of Ma'nu. The Monoathos mentioned above may be King Manu VI Athos bar Abgar of Edessa. The name Eision may be the Syriac Ezad. It would seem that the Abgar Royal family went into Exile to Madaba around 91 AD until 109 AD where Abgar Eision (Ezad)'s son Selaman (Solomon)died in 108 AD. Abgar VII bar Ezad was King of Edessa from 109 AD until 116 AD. That this Greek phrase is mirrored would allude to the mirror image found of the image of Jesus on the cloths associated with Jesus. The palms allude to the Righteous man (Tzadik/ Tam) as a date palm and the date palm is associated with the Tree of Life and the Menorah.

That much of the writing on the codices is a form of paleo-Hebrew fits with this period in the first half of the second century when the Bar Kokhba Jews used paleo-Hebrew and when Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai of Zohar fame flourished. One of Bar Yochai famous saying is "So great is the power of repentance that a man who has been during his lifetime very wicked ["rasha' gamur"], if he repent toward the end, is considered a perfectly righteous man". This perfectly righteous man refers to the term Tam (tum/tom)and on the codices is found the phrase Elek ba Tum (I will walk in uprightness)from Proverbs. The concept of the Tam (the simple righteous man)is found throughout the Zohar and later this became an important concept in Hasidism. They also dismiss much of the Paleo-Hebrew script on the codices because they can't understand them but we know that the mystical traditions were often written cryptically and in code so that only the adepts of this wisdom knew what was referred to.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Second Helsinki Conference: Jews in the Church

Father Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel
Here is the latest press release about the Second Helsinki Conference on Jews in the Church. Interestingly one of the speakers was Father Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel an Orthodox priest who says the Orthodox liturgy in Hebrew in Jerusalem for a small flock of Orthodox Hebrew speaking Christians.

"PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 6 July 2011

Second Helsinki Conference on Jewish Continuity in the Church Affirms the Significance of Jewish Believers in Jesus

The second Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Messiah met in Paris, France June 24-28, 2011. Building on the 2010 Helsinki Statement (see below) Jewish scholars from France, Germany, Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, belonging to Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Messianic traditions, deepened their relationships and advanced in their discussion of crucial issues concerning the relationship of the Body of Christ to the people of Israel.

The conference was jointly organized by Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (MJTI), the Paris Istina Centre for Ecumenical Studies and the Helsinki Studium Catholicum. The participants issued a statement on “Am Israel – Our People” affirming the increasingly significant presence of Jewish believers in Jesus for both the Church and the Jewish people. The papers presented are due to be published in the journal ISTINA, the academic journal of the Dominican study centre in Paris where the conference took place. A similar event is planned for 2012.

Dr. Mark Kinzer, author of Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, Senior Scholar and President Emeritus of MJTI, said “The identity of the Christian Church is inseparable from that of the Jewish People, and the identity of the Jewish People is inseparable from the person of its crucified and risen Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth. It follows that the Jewish people and the Christian Church are so intimately bound together that it is impossible to adequately understand one without also understanding the other. We have met to deepen our own understandings of these realities, and to encourage our people and our churches to reflect further on their mutual interdependence.”

Father Antoine Lévy, OP, Director of the Helsinki Studium Catholicum, called forgreater recognition and encouragement for Jewish believers in Jesus at an ecumenical level. "Like the interaction between men and women, the interaction between Jews and Gentiles pertains to the spiritual dynamism of the whole

Church. It embraces and pervades local congregations and Church organizations. Accordingly, I see no reason to prevent Jews from developing a distinct life of worship within the Universal Church. Wherever they are, whatever their Church affiliation may be, I believe that Messianic Jews should gather and build a home within Am-Israel, a home for themselves as well as for their fellow Jews who would be willing to join."

CONFERENCE STATEMENT

The theme of this year’s consultation was “Am Israel – our People”. As the many papers demonstrated, the identity of the Jewish People is complex, consisting of historical, familial, ethnic, cultural and spiritual components that are all essential and inseparable. The paradoxical nature of Jewish identity challenges us to avoid reductionist interpretation and to explore further the mystery of our people.

As Jewish believers in Jesus, we affirm our identity as part of both the people of Israel and of the Body of Christ. We recognise the pain this affirmation may cause to some of those of our people who do not believe in Yeshua. We are also aware of the misunderstanding that can occur in the Church when we state that we continue to be part of the Jewish people.

Nevertheless, we believe that we are a living witness to the mysterious and invisible bond which persists between the Church and Israel. Our dual membership brings us into a unique relationship with one another, and also entails weighty responsibilities and formidable challenges. Our two communities have been separated but belong together. We bear witness to the tragedy of their division and herald the hope of their future reconciliation.

We are exploring how this unique relationship to one another as Jewish believers in Jesus might take visible form as a wider fellowship dedicated to the service of the Jewish people and the body of Messiah.

Speakers from Europe, Russia, Israel and the United States included Father David Neuhaus, SJ, Patriarchal Vicar General for Hebrew speaking Catholics, and Boris Balter, Researcher in Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences and member ofthe Judeo-Christian circle "Bridge of Friendship". Conference papers were given in English, FRENCH and Russian...


HELSINKI STATEMENT

Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Messiah

June 14-15, 2010

Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) from England, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Russia, and the United States met in Helsinki, Finland, on June 14-15, 2010. As scholars belonging to Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and Messianic communities, they began a conversation on Jewish continuity in the Body of Jesus the Messiah. They issued the following statement:

We thank God for bringing us as Jews to the knowledge of Jesus the Messiah, and we express a debt of gratitude to those from the Nations who have transmitted the knowledge of Christ from generation to generation. While we seek to speak on behalf of those who share our Jewish identity and faith in Christ, we have no official mandate from our respective communities. In what follows we are expressing our own deeply held convictions.

At this unprecedented event, we have experienced the depth of our bond, and at the same time we have wrestled with the diversity of our ingrained theological and cultural constructs. In spite of church divisions, we have come together as Jews who believe in Jesus. We hope that sharing the fruit of our common efforts will benefit our brothers and sisters in Christ. We do not aim to issue a definitive statement, but to initiate an ongoing process of discussion.

There are many Jewish people in the body of Christ. We believe that this reality reflects God’s intention that Israel and the Nations live as mutual blessings to one another. In fact, the Church in its essence is the communion of Jews and those from the Nations called to faith in Christ.

In light of this truth, we think that the life of Jews in the body of Christ has theological significance for that body as a whole. Their presence serves as a constant reminder to the body that its existence is rooted in the ongoing story of the people of Israel. This story resounds throughout the celebration of the liturgical life of the community. We believe that this story finds its center in Israel’s Messiah. We believe that Jews within the body are a living bond between the Church and the people of Israel. Accordingly, we would like to explore concrete ways in which Jewish people may live out their distinctive calling in the body of Christ.

Finally, we wish to express to our Jewish brothers and sisters who do not share our faith in Jesus the Messiah that we consider ourselves to be part of the Jewish people and are committed to its welfare.

STATEMENT ENDS---

CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS AND PAPERS PRESENTED

Boris Balter, Orthodox (Moscow), Researcher in Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences -"The problem of being Jewish: self-identification within ‘bilateral ecclesiology’.”

Dr. Jacques Doukhan, Adventist (Berrien Springs, USA), Professor.of Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis, Director of the Institute of Jewish-Christian studies at the St Andrews Adventist Theological Seminar. “Jews and Christians: an identity in tension - inquiring about the relevance of Messianic prophecies”

Dr. Richard Harvey, Messianic (London), Director of Training at All Nations Christian College, author of “Mapping Messianic Jewish Theology” - "Ha´am- Israel as our People – The Ethnic, Ecclesial, Evangelical and Eschatological Significance of Jewish Believers in Yeshua ".

Dr. Mark Kinzer, Messianic (Ann Arbor, USA), President of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, author of “Postmissionary Messianic Judaism” - "Messianic Jewish Community: Standing and Serving as a Priestly Remant".

Fr. Jérôme Lefert, OSB, Catholic (France/Israel), Monk at the Benedictine monastery “Notre-Dame d´Espérance”, “A few words about belonging and generating / Side-effects”.

Fr. Antoine Levy, OP, Catholic (Helsinki), Director of the "Studium Catholicum", adjunct-professor at Helsinki University Faculty of Theology, "Am- Israel as the founding principle of a Messianic ecclesiology”.

Lisa Loden, Messianic (Israel), Head of Development Program at the Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, “New Covenant Jews: Rooted in Am Israel”.

Fr. David Neuhaus, SJ, Catholic (Jerusalem), Patriarchal Vicar General for Hebrew speaking Catholics in Israel - "A Catholic Jew reflects on his Jewish identity".

Svetlana Panitsh, Orthodox (Moscow), translator, literary critic. “Jewish Continuity in the Church; some reflections on the three-fold call.”

Rabbi Vladimir Pikman, Messianic (Berlin), Vice-President of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, Executive Director of “Beit Sar Shalom” ministry - "Being ‘Jewish’ in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond".

Rabbin Emmanuel Rodriguez, Messianic (Paris), Director of the “Centre Messianique de Paris”, “One God, two ways”

Jennifer Rosner, Messianic (Los Angeles), Instructor at Azusa Pacific University - "‘Torah and Election: The People of Israel and Halachic Life”.

Dominic Rubin, Orthodox (Moscow), Professor at the “St. Philaret Institute”, author of “Holy Russia, Sacred Israel: Jewish-Christian Encounters in Russian Religious Thought”.

Fr. Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel , Orthodox (Jerusalem), Parish priest, Greek- Orrthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, “The meaning of Hebrew as a language of the liturgy."

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Australia's First Chapel of Perpetual Adoration


The Catholics of early colonial Australia were without priests during the early days of its history. In 1800 a convict priest Father James Dixon and the convict William Davis arrived in New South Wales and lay Carmelites James Dempsey and John Butler arrived as convicts in 1802. These four men were to play an important part along with Father Jeremiah O'Flynn in founding the Catholic Church in Australia on lay-led Perpetual Adoration.

From 1803-1804 Father Dixon was permitted to publicly act as a Catholic priest by the Governor and after the Irish revolt at Castle Hill he continued his priestly life in secrecy in the Colony until 1809. It seemed that Father Dixon with these lay Carmelites organised secret small groups of men as unions of prayer and established a small prayer chapel of Perpetual Adoration in James Dempsey's House in Kent St. For the next eight years there were to be no priests or masses in Australia but this small group of laymen kept alive the Eucharistic Faith and Devotion in the Colony and provided a focus for the persecuted Irish Catholics. When Father Jeremiah O'Flynn arrived in late 1817 he encouraged this model and established other chapels of Perpetual Adoration in homes throughout the colony including the home of William Davis a wealthy and leading Catholic.

Columbus Fitzpatrick (who was an altar server for Father O'Flynn at the Kent Street chapel) writing in the Goulburn "Argus" says: "...the real Catholics still continued to meet at Mr Dempsey’s until the arrival of Father Connolly and Father Therry; in fact, it was no ” unusual thing to see Catholics from the most distant part of the colony assembled there. After the Departure of Fr O’Flynn the Catholics formed themselves into committees —so that there was a union in prayer and an intercourse of intelligence amongst all classes of Catholics in the country, all emanating from, and culminating to the great centre in Kent St. In those days when there was no railroad, no coaches and very few horses, it was not counted a wonder to see a man walk, from Campbelltown to Sydney, or from Windsor to Sydney, on purpose to hear from some of the late arrivals, something about the home (Ireland) they loved so dearly. To these men Mr Dempsey’s house was more than St Mary’s was to us”..."

One oral account told to me by an American priest who heard it from a Passionist priest many years ago states that the Eucharistic host left with James Dempsey by Father Dixon remained intact and fresh until the arrival many years later of the visiting French priest in late 1819. Father Jeremiah O'Flynn left the colony in 1818 after his arrest leaving behind the chapels of Adoration manned by the lay Catholics of New South Wales. This account stated that the Eucharistic host remained fresh and intact for 11 years and thus it would seem that the miraculous host was not consumed by Father O'Flynn but remained in its place of honour at the Kent St Chapel. In late 1819 a French priest visited the colony and said Masses and brought this Irish practice to an end in the name of Canon Law and consumed the miraculous host. Once again legalism triumphed over the principle of the good of the salvation of souls. The Irish Catholics were used to lay involvement with moving the Eucharist and Adoration due to the British Penal Laws that suppressed the Catholic religion in Ireland and led to the 1798 rebellion that sent them to Australia as convicts.

In 2008 Pope Benedict spoke favourably of these early settlers and Father Jeremiah O'Flynn in his homily at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. "In this noble cathedral I rejoice to greet my brother Bishops and priests, and the deacons, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Sydney. In a very special way, my greeting goes to the seminarians and young religious who are present among us. Like the young Israelites in today’s first reading, they are a sign of hope and renewal for God’s people; and, like those young Israelites, they will have the task of building up the Lord’s house in the coming generation. As we admire this magnificent edifice, how can we not think of all those ranks of priests, religious and faithful laity who, each in his or her own way, contributed to the building up of the Church in Australia? Our thoughts turn in particular to those settler families to whom Father Jeremiah O’Flynn entrusted the Blessed Sacrament at his departure, a "small flock" which cherished and preserved that precious treasure, passing it on to the succeeding generations who raised this great tabernacle to the glory of God. Let us rejoice in their fidelity and perseverance, and dedicate ourselves to carrying on their labours for the spread of the Gospel, the conversion of hearts and the growth of the Church in holiness, unity and charity!..."

One of Father O'Flynn's first acts in Australia was the baptism of an adult Jew into the Catholic Faith. Was this Australia's first Hebrew Catholic? Dr Joe Morley writes: "When the ship arrived at Hobart at the end of October 1817, Lieutenant Governor Sorrell received him cordially and had him to dinner each night. He asked him to celebrate Mass publicly and was pleased to have him marry eight Catholic couples and baptise 15 children and a Jew." It is also interesting that one of the first fleet Jewish convicts Esther Abrahams married George Johnston who was the soldier responsible for crushing the Castle Hill revolt.

It would seem that Father O'Flynn upset the Protestant authorities at his success in converting Protestants to the Catholic Faith. The Anglican authorites wanted an obedient Catholic priest who pacified the Irish Catholics not an evangelising missionary that was successful in converting Protestants to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Joe Morley continues in his article in the Catholic Weekly :"...Upon arrival in Sydney, O’Flynn visited Governor Macquarie and sought permission to conduct his mission. A little more than six months later (May 18, 1818), Macquarie wrote to Earl Bathurst and told him that “Mr Jeremiah O’Flynn priest’’ had shown himself to have been a meddling bigot who had even failed to produce credentials to affirm that he was what he claimed to be, “the Irish Roman Catholic Priest ... representing in this country to be those of a Popish Catholic Missionary under Your Lordship’s sanction”. Macquarie said the several ships that had arrived since O’Flynn came to Sydney had not carried the credentials O’Flynn told him he had believed would actually have preceded his arrival. Governor Macquarie also accused O’Flynn of having broken a pledge that he would not “exercise any of the priestly functions’’. Worse, said Macquarie, he was actually “making converts among English Protestants’’ and had not returned to England, which Macquarie had ordered him to do..."

This wonderful priest from near Tralee in county Kerry was a thorn in the sides to all those who represented institutionalism in Church or State and he had managed to have himself excommunicated and his faculties removed by his Church superiors but ignored these men and continued his priestly mission to save souls. The Pope later vindicated and removed any excommunications or penalties and made him the Prefect Apostolic to New South Wales. It would seem that St. Mother Mary Mckillop followed in his footsteps.

Joe Morley writes: "...Born on Christmas day 1788 near Tralee in County Kerry, O’Flynn went to England in 1810 and joined the Trappist monastery there. Following a hurried final training, O’Flynn was ordained as a deacon by Bishop Poynter, the Vicar Apostolic of London, on March 29, 1813. Bishop Poynter wrote a glowing tribute to him and praised his qualifications. In April, Fr O’Flynn left England with six French Trappist refugees and another Irish Trappist for Canada via the West Indies. On the voyage O’Flynn clashed violently with the Trappist Lord Abbot, who excommunicated him. O’Flynn ignored the suspension and continued with the mission.

The Trappists established a mission in Martinique in the West Indies instead of Canada. The British Governor expelled the French monks for refusing to pray for King George III, but O’Flynn stayed on until 1814, when he moved to the island of Saint Croix.

Father O’Flynn had had two turbulent years in Saint Croix and in April 1816, his archbishop refused to renew the faculties and sent charges to Rome accusing him of intrusion and incompetence. The archbishop also added that O’Flynn had been suspended by his Lord Abbot but had continued to minister.

So Father O’Flynn went to Rome and requested that Pope Pius VII have his case heard and “any censure, excommunication, suspension and irregularity whatsoever be removed and he be appointed Prefect or Missionary to Botany Bay in New South Wales’’. Propaganda Fide heard the case and Pius VII concurred with the request, but the case was delayed and a commission was appointed to find out more about Father O’Flynn. On September 1, 1816, O’Flynn himself wrote seeking Pius VII’s approval for him to go to New Holland (NSW). And when, on September 9, the commission reported favourably on him, Propaganda issued Letters Patent the same day confirming his appointment as Prefect Apostolic of the Mission of “Botanibe”. ..."


The Archdiocese of Sydney has this in an article on its website: "...Before his reluctant departure from the little colony, Father O'Flynn had been enabled to make a wonderful provision for the religious devotional life of the flock he was leaving behind. What he left as he boarded the ship was no less than the Blessed Eucharist itself. Some say that Father O'Flynn had been interrupted as he said Mass and was unable to consume the Sacred Host, others, that he left it deliberately for the consolation of the people. Whatever the case may be, the Blessed Sacrament consecrated by Father O'Flynn became the focus of Catholic life and devotion for nearly two years until, it appears, a visiting French priest finally arrived in Sydney, said Mass and consumed the Sacred particle.

In the meantime, the Catholics of Sydney, harried and oppressed, troubled by so many afflictions of their difficult and lonely life, found in the Blessed Eucharist the consoling presence of Christ Himself. A prominent Catholic of the colony, William Davis, whose house stood at the corner of Harrington street and Grosvenor St enjoyed the dignity of welcoming his Lord into his own home there and as the months passed constant prayer was maintained before the little tabernacle of simple cedar containing the pyx which held the Lord. On Sundays large crowds gathered and the people prayed before the Blessed Sacrament with intense devotion. In those times when it was not possible to have a priest, it was standard practice for Catholics to meet and sanctify the Sunday with the rosary, a few other devotions and of course, someone would read out the Mass prayers. The little congregation at William Davis' cottage had a special intention which was the object of their constant prayers during those years. They prayed to God to send them a priest. By now there were ten thousand Catholics in the Colony, and they had no one to confess their sins to, no-one to bless their marriages, nor offer Mass, perform the last rites or supply all those other minisrations for which the people needed a priest..."


Another website article states: "...Though Gladesville was not settled when Fr O'Flynn was in Sydney, it has a strong connection with that early history of the colony. The story is as follows: In the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of our church there is a small wooden cross which is a precious link with the early Catholic history of Sydney. In May 1818 Fr Jeremiah O'Flynn was deported under arrest from the colony. The Blessed Eucharist was left in the home of James Dempsey in Kent St. Reserved in a cedar cupboard it became a focus of Catholic worship where the faithful gathered for Sunday devotions until November 1819 when it was consumed by the chaplain of a visiting French ship. From the wood of the cedar cupboard, which was carefully preserved by the Dempsey family, Charles Cavanagh, at the request of the authorities, carved the frontal of the altar in the first chapel of St Patrick's College, Manly, the seminary built by Archbishop Moran in 1888. Charles, a devout man and considering the material a kind of sacred relic, retained some of the wood left over and even the shavings. From the wood he made three crosses which he passed on to his own family. Anna Cavanagh, his daughter and a parishioner of Gladesville, gave them to Fr Byron, the Parish Priest. He in turn gave one (together with the shavings) to the Catholic Museum at St Mary's Cathedral, kept one in the presbytery and placed the third in the Blessed Sacrament chapel where it serves as a fitting memento of the eucharistic faith of the first Australian Catholic pioneers.(Historical Note: There is some dispute as to whether Fr O'Flynn left the Blessed Sacrament in the Dempsey home or that of Davis, as stated in our main historical section. Some historians compromise saying that it was transferred between the two. Certainly the evidence for the Dempsey house, including that embodied in the above, is very strong.).."

The Davis House late in 1840 became the Church of St Patrick's Castle Hill and in 1928 a programme of Perpetual Adoration was opened there by Cardinal Cerretti and Archbishop Hanna of San Francisco according to an article in the 1928 "Sydney Herald". On a the webiste for St Patrick's Church they discuss the story of Father Jeremiah O'Flynn. "... Since there were no Catholic churches in Sydney, he used private homes for the celebration of Masses; two such venues were Davis’ cottage near the corner of Grosvenor Street and Harrington Street, and the home of James Dempsey, another Irish convict from the 1798 troubles, who lived nearby in Kent Street....Among historians there is some dispute as to whether O’Flynn left the sacrament at Dempsey’s home or at Davis’ home. There is convincing evidence in support of both traditions, and perhaps the best explanation for the existence of two parallel traditions is that O’Flynn left the sacrament at both locations..."

Today Western Australia has four chapels of Perpetual Adoration in Perth, Brisbane has one and Melbourne has one. Sadly New South Wales has not one chapel of Perpetual Adoration. A number of chapels in Australia in recent years have been closed down or ceased to be Perpetual mainly due to clerical indifference or hostility. All over the world Cardinals, Bishops and priests have attacked and hindered or destroyed many chapels of Perpetual Adoration and those who promote them. Other Cardinals, Bishops and priests who have supported the chapels and the promoters have themselves been attacked. These good and faithful clergy are demoted or slandered while the enemies of Perpetual Adoration take the highest seats in the Church. Often it is through the use of legalism and a feigned respect for the Eucharist that the enemies of Perpetual Adoration in the Church achieve their goal of destroying Perpetual Adoration as they did in Jerusalem in 2003. Father Jeremiah O'Flynn should be promoted as the perfect model of those who love our Eucharistic Lord and who put the priority of the salvation of souls ahead of all man-made rules and regulations that seek to stifle our Lord's mission in the Eucharist to evangelise all people. The New Evangelisation is Eucharistic Evangelisation and Canon 1752 states that the salvation of souls is the supreme law of the Church.

Also see The Dempsey Story

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Raffalovich and a Catholic Theology on Homosexuality

The Young Marc-Andre Raffalovich

Frederick S Roden in his book "Same-sex Desire in Victorian Religious Culture" comments how Raffalovich's ideas lead to a Catholic theology on homosexuality and that Raffalovich ideas are reflected in the modern understanding of the Catholic Church as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Older Marc-Andre Raffalovich

The Catholic Catechism of the Catholic church writes about same-sex attraction : 

"2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms throughout the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on sacred Scripture, which present homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity [Gen. 19:1-29, Rom. 1:24-27, 1 Cor. 6:10, 1Tim. 1:10], tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered [Persona Humana 8]. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."


Raffalovich


Raffalovich was a 19th century Hebrew Catholic or Catholic Jew. His name was Marc-Andre Raffalovich and was a famous French poet and writer associated with John Gray and Oscar Wilde. He came from a wealthy Russian Jewish family from Odessa who moved to France a year before his birth. He became a Catholic in 1896 through the reading of Catholic mystical literature especially St John of the Cross.


Raffalovich's sister Sophie also became a devout Catholic when she married her husband William O'Brien. His brother was Arthur Raffalovich. His mother Marie Raffalovich was noted for her artistic and literary salons in Paris and Marc-Andre was to establish his own salons in Britain. Marie married her uncle Hermann Raffalovich. She was the daughter of the banker Leon Raffalovich and Rosette Lowensohn. Marie and her husband Hermann Raffalovich were attached to Judaism enough that they left Odessa rather than convert to Christianity.


Hermann's father Abraham and brother Anissim (Onesime) had converted in order to continue the family banking and merchant interests in Odessa in 1857. Abraham's brother Solomon remained a leader in the orthodox Jewish community and continued the family's ship building business for the Czar.


Abraham and Solomon's brother Kalmaan Raffalovich left Russia in the 1870's and settled in the Holy Land. These three Raffalovich brothers were the grandsons of Raphael Parnes and Miriam Mirels. Miriam was the daughter of Rabbi Moses Mirels the Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam who was in turn the son of Rabbi Zalman Mirels the Chief Rabbi of Hamburg.


John Gray

Marc-Andre Raffalovich advocated a Catholic spirituality of channelling same -sex or homoerotic desires into sublimation through divine intimacy with the Messiah Jesus. He saw that there were two major kinds of homosexuals -a higher or elevated kind who had a high sense of art and beauty and those who were lower and were absorbed in the lustful homosexual activities. It would seem this was based on a Jewish understanding of the animal and divine souls in men. 

These lower homosexuals or inverts live out acts only according to their animal or base nature of man whereas those who united themselves to divine beauty through the power of the Cross and the dark night of sublimation (bitul and mesirut nefesh) could attain to that part of man that connects with the Divine. One could then have intimate and life-long spiritual and mystical friendships with those of the same-sex as advocated by St Aelred. 

Raffalovich considered that those of the higher type of homosexual to be the ones who made the best priests followed by heterosexuals who were also able to embrace celibacy. The lower type of homosexual he considered unsuited and dangerous to religious life. His life-long friend John Gray a former lover of Oscar Wilde was to become a Dominican priest supported by Raffalovich. Raffalovich himself became a Dominican Tertiary taking the name of Sebastian in honour of St Sebastian.

St Sebastian

In Raffalovich's understanding of homosexuality I perceive his Jewish sources in Hasidic Judaism united with Catholic mysticism. Uniting Raffalovich's insights with those of John Paul II's theology of the Body and the teachings of Hasidic Judaism can lead to a new understanding of the homosexual and his potential for holiness and becoming a living icon of the crucified Messiah and a great Tzadik who can enter into the suffering of others in a deep way and make tikun (reparation) for them. Raffalovich was also familiar with other famous Hebrew Christians as he mentions Joseph Wolff and Alphonse Ratisbonne in one of his letters.
Marie Raffalovich: Mother of Marc-Andre Raffalovich

Hasidic Jewish teachings warn of the dangers of p'gam ha brit (spilling the seed/masturbation) which feeds the animal soul (or inclination)of the homosexual (this also applies to the heterosexual) whereas the divine element is fed by reflecting on beauty in nature, religion, music and the arts. Masturbation and lustful thoughts distort ones spirituality and leads to loneliness and an obsession with the self. 

Priests and religious are called to focus on the perfect male who is the God-Man and when they shift their focus from divine intimacy with him, it may lead to them focusing on the closest thing to the manliness they find in Christ- young, handsome men. Instead of using their sexuality as a way to give selflessly to God and others they fall into the power of the evil inclination and hurt themselves, others and God.

The man or woman caught in the lower form need only to start to desire the higher ways and God will respond and send them help if they remain open and avail themselves of the sacraments and Eucharistic adoration. It is not the case of denying who they are but of embracing it and using it for a higher purpose. 

Raffalovich and Gray may have started out as physical lovers before Raffolovich's conversion to Catholicism (but this is not clear)but after his conversion they grew into a deep, celibate and spiritual friendship that lasted their entire life by sublimating their homoerotic desires to a higher purpose rooted in the Cross of the Messiah.

In the case of Marc Andre Raffalovich, John Gray and Oscar Wilde (as well as Lord Alfred Douglas) who all embraced Catholicism we have wonderful models of hope for those struggling in this area of their lives. Oscar Wilde seems to give hope for those caught up in the lower form who then embrace a desire to be transformed by the Messiah. 

Many were surprised when the Vatican newspaper published a positive article on Oscar Wilde. Once the Church fully assimilates the rich teaching contained in John Paul II's "Theology of the Body", then Raffalovich's ideas may help in developing a deeper understanding of the spiritual and emotional aspects of same-sex love and desire and its transformation in the Messiah. This will be 'deep calling to deep' and the turning of a great cross and struggle into Eucharistic Intimacy and Glory.



Oscar Wilde's "The Dole of the King's Daughter"

Note: Abraham Raffalovich the father of Hermann, Annissim and Leon Raffalovich was married to Olga Lowensohn (the daughter of Leon Lowensohn). Olga's sister Bella Lowensohn was married to Charles Joachim Ephrussi of Odessa. The Ephrussi family were related to the Rothschilds. Marie Raffalovich's sister Elena Raffalovich was also famous in Italy.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The End of Times


The Jewish mystical book "Zohar" speaks of two periods known as the "end of times". Many people recently are speaking about our present time as the "end of times". However as Catholics and Jews we know that this term is referring to the first end of times and it is the end of a stage of salvation history that is drawing to a close. This period's close is also called 'the end of the times of the gentiles' or 'the end of the time of special mercy for the Gentiles.

Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope of this 'end of times' which is rapidly drawing to an end and the special time of mercy for the Jews will begin. The time of the Gentiles lasted for 2000 years and also concludes with the era also known as the church of Sardis by Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser. Don Bosco predicted that there will be a terrible crucifixion of the church and purification and that through this the Chair of Moses (Rabbinic Judaism)will lead their flock in a new direction. This will be the time that will lead to a major ingrafting of the Jews and Judaism into the Catholic Faith. They will bring with them the immense riches of Jewish belief and tradition which will cause a spiritual resurrection from the dead for the Church and the World.

The time of great shakings is already underway in which all the religious and political structures will collapse during a time of great deception with a false messiah and a false church. Many Jews and Gentiles will be deceived at first but the Jews will wake up to the deception and join with the remnant of Gentiles that have remained awake and the Jews will lead the push for the new Eucharistic Evangelisation and usher in a great era of peace also known as the Church of Philadelphia- where the two brothers will love each other once again. We are not at the end of the world or of history but we are at an 'end of times' as told by Our Lady to the children of Garabandal. Blessed Anne Emmerich speaks of the 12 apostles of the end times (latter days) working quietly all over the world in this period. One of these apostles will be the future Jewish Pope who in this period is still a layman.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Jewish Christian Codices and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

The Image of the Crucified Messiah on the Codex
Those who have read my articles and blogs will be aware that for many years I have claimed that the Zohar (which has traditionally been said to have written by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai) was in origin a Jewish Christian document. I also believe Shimon bar Yochai and his family were some of the crypto-Christian Jews in the Jewish community in the second century. I have also written that the Jewish Christians who re-assimilated back into the Jewish communities brought their mystical traditions with them and passed them on in secret especially among those descended from the royal House of King David. The discovery of ancient codices in the Holy Land may further confirm these ideas of mine based on a study of Kabbalah and history.

An article in the Daily Mail states: "The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair. After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine. But in a certain light it is not difficult to interpret the marks around the figure’s brow as a crown of thorns. The extraordinary picture of one of the recently discovered hoard of up to 70 lead codices – booklets – found in a cave in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee is one reason Bible historians are clamouring to get their hands on the ancient artefacts. If genuine, this could be the first-ever portrait of Jesus Christ, possibly even created in the lifetime of those who knew him..."

The recent discoveries of what look to be early Jewish Christian codices found in Jordan seem to link the Jewish Christians to the Kabbalah and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. The Daily Mail article states that another scholar connects the codices to Kabbalah and Rabbi Shimon ben Yachai: "...If genuine, it seems clear that these books were, in fact, created by an early Messianic Jewish sect, perhaps closely allied to the early Christian church and that these images represent Christ himself. However another theory, put forward by Robert Feather – an authority on The Dead Sea Scrolls and author of The Mystery Of The Copper Scroll Of Qumran – is that these books are connected to the Bar Kokhba Revolt of 132-136AD, the third major rebellion by the Jews of Judea Province and the last of the Jewish-Roman Wars. The revolt established an independent state of Israel over parts of Judea for two years before the Roman army finally crushed it, with the result that all Jews, including the early Christians, were barred from Jerusalem.

The followers of Simon Bar Kokhba, the commander of the revolt, acclaimed him as a Messiah, a heroic figure who could restore Israel. Although Jewish Christians hailed Jesus as the Messiah and did not support Bar Kokhba, they were barred from Jerusalem along with the rest of the Jews. The war and its aftermath helped differentiate Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism. The spiritual leader of the revolt was Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who laid the foundations for a mystical form of Judaism known today as Kabbalah... Yochai hid in a cave for 13 years and wrote a secret commentary on the Bible, the Zohar, which evolved into the teaching of Kabbalah. Feather is convinced that some of the text on the codices carry the name of Rabbi Bar Yochai..."


While the two theories at face value seem to be opposed to one another, I believe they may both be correct and they may provide contemporary evidence of the Jewish Christian origins of the Kabbalah. It was Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai who said "The Torah was given to be expounded only to the eaters of Manna" (in Midrash Mechilta), which reveals his secret faith in the Eucharistic Messiah of Israel. I have many times in my holy hours of Adoration prayed for just such a discovery and it may seem that my prayers have been answered if these discoveries are authentic. There are already those who cannot accept the authenticity of these codices due to it not fitting with their already preconceived ideas on how things should be. It is the heights of arrogance to dismiss something without examining it thoroughly just because it may conflict with ones previously accepted theories. Unfortunately the culture of arrogance reigns in academic and scholarly circles. It may turn out that these codices are modern forgeries but one needs to wait until that is shown conclusively rather than just assuming they are because there have been fakes in the past.

Professor Philip Davies writing about the language on the codices said: "My own scrutiny suggests to me and to several of my colleagues that the form of the archaic Semitic script corresponds well to what was used in the era 200BCE-100CE. However much of the writing appears to be in code and many of the images are unfamiliar. The possibility of a Hebrew-Christian origin is certainly suggested by the imagery and, if so, these codices are likely to bring dramatic new light to our understanding of a very significant but so far little understood period of history. The adoption of a codex format may also be relevant: it is known to have been adopted by Christians from about the first century CE."

Added July 2011: It seems that tests on the lead codices seem to be leading to them being authentic. There has been a vigorous attempt to discredit them in certain circles. It would seem that the question of the authenticity of the codices is still up to debate. see this.