Ding dong, Sophia's gone, but not for long! The good news: DRH (Dominican Retreat House) in McLean canceled the Women's Spirituality Series featuring wiccan ritualist Diann Neu, her lesbian partner Mary Hunt, and feminist artist Mary Lou Sleevi. The bad news: the nuns scheduling the speakers knew their backgrounds and canceled only when directed to by Bishop Paul Loverde.1. Diann Neu took exception to being described as "wiccan." But a videotape of her ritual workshop at the 1996 CTA convention included a mock Magnificat celebrating the goddess, "My spirit rejoices in Sophia wisdom," and an altered version of the Lord's Prayer: "Our Mother and Father who is everywhere, holy be your name. May your new age come." The "new age" movement celebrates the occult. Neu also described the "power in darkness, a womb darkness" which took on sinister meaning when she discussed abortion. "What about abortion liturgy? When women make a very difficult choice, the community needs to support that choice. We don't have to make a judgment on what choice is right or wrong. We need to support any one of us who makes a choice for whatever reason." [How 'bout the choices of the trenchcoat Mafia?] Neu's statement echoes the central Wiccan creed: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."2 It's CTA's creed as well. Neu also wrote a ritual used in the RENEW 2000 program (Called to Lead, book 2) which calls on the "Great Spirits of the Four Directions, North, South, East, and West" and to the "Great Spirit of All That Is Below." [Call it wiccan, druid or pagan, it sure ain't Catholic!]
CTA'S Rea Howarth, editor of their local newsletter, went ballistic over Bishop Loverde's article in The Arlington Herald, which explained his reasons for canceling the DRH series. She called the decision "incredibly insulting to the intelligence of Catholics in this diocese." [Actually, orthodox Catholics thought it was pretty terrific!] And she promised, "CTA's board expects to sponsor the series... if we can line up all the stars." [Hmm...a clearing in the woods, a bubbling cauldron, eye of newt. ..Think we '11 pass!] Rea's smug conclusion: "Clearly, if anybody's going to deal with the women's issues in this diocese, it has to be the people of God." [Please clarify, Rea. Which god? Baal or Astarte.]
Rea's article appeared on the BSForum, a website run by dissenters at Blessed Sacrament in Alexandria. The forum also carried an item lamenting [or were they celebrating?] their F-rating for fidelity from Petersnet, a service of Trinity Communications, which evaluates Catholic websites for their adherence to the faith. [See www.petersnet.net]
John Allen, National Catholic Reporter staff writer, wrote an even-handed article on the DRH controversy. It was offset by a tantrum on the editorial page saying the bishop "smeared a woman who has given retreats to religious orders [The Dominicans at DRH perhaps?], whose paintings have been displayed at activities of the U.S. bishops and who, on every score [by CTA standards] would be considered a model Catholic. Mary Lou Sleevi said she felt slandered, and rightly so." [Hmmm. ..Sleevi belongs to two heretical groups, CTA and the Women's Ordination Conference3 but "feels slandered" when challenged? Go figure.]
NCR went on to say, "What we see in. ..Arlington smacks more of fear than charity." ["Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. " NCR should try it. Warning those who scandalize IS an act of charity. Dissenters are generally angry when "the people of God" interfere with their promotion of Satan's lies. But hey ...Satan's just a quaint idea, God's a nice guy, and nobody goes to hell. God will no doubt welcome Satan back on the last day to take charge of heaven's weenie roasts. But just in case... pray a rosary today for our CTA neighbors.]
You gotta give CTA credit for chutzpa! They're listed in the Bell Atlantic yellow pages under [Guess what!] "Catholic Churches," right after Blessed Sacrament. We know some of their members "do liturgy" in the basement, but designating themselves a Catholic Church? They're more delusional than we thought!
It's not a hate crime, you homophobes! When a pro-abortion group invaded Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in Montreal on March 7th, they spray-painted the building, tried to overturn the tabernacle, set fire to crosses on the Church steps, screamed blasphemies, and tossed bras, panties, condoms, and soiled sanitary pads around the interior-their way of celebrating International Women's Day and abortion rights. For the Canadian media it was a non-event. [Ho-hum... girls will be girls.] Police charged the group with "unlawful assembly" rather than a string of more serious [and more appropriate] of fenses. A police spokesman said hate crime legislation was not invoked because of the statutory exemption for those "in good faith, attempting to establish by argument an opinion on a religious subject." [Question: What constitutes a "bad faith " argument on a religious subject?]
Dissenting Theologian Monika Hellwig, former professor of theology at Georgetown, who now heads the ACCU spoke March 23rd at St. Anthony's in Falls Church. Her topic: "What Makes a University Catholic?" The answer: not much, apparently. The talk was as interesting for what wasn't said as what was. Hellwig's history of the Catholic university omitted John Henry Cardinal Newman's famous treatise on education and all related Church documents. She defended dependence on federal bucks and the strings that go with them [like permitting campus groups that attack all things Catholic]. She said students have changed and one can't expect them to take a core curriculum that includes much religion but, of course, we wish they would, etc., etc.
During the Q. & A. Hellwig told a pathetic anecdote about Cardinal Pio Laghi who allegedly said he has no problem with schools along the spectrum of 10% Catholic to 90% Catholic. But he has real problems with schools that are 1 10% Catholic because they are so "judgmental and hard to work with." [Cardinal sin for an academic-to exercise Judgment!] The crowd snickered at anti-hierarchy gibes and a story about the unenlightened Fordham alumnus who wrote to congratulate the president "on your 30 pieces of silver" for accepting federal money. [God will just have to understand that rendering to Caesar what belongs to Him is the price one must pay to pick the taxpayers 'pockets.]
Catholic universities could use a little judgment these days, especially those featuring Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. [Skip the rest of this if you have a weak stomach.] This lewd, disgusting play includes vignettes celebrating an adult lesbian statutorily raping a 13-year-old after plying her with vodka and orange juice and a 6-year-old describing how her vagina smells. According to the play program distributed at Loyola in February, Catholic schools performing this trash include Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Loyola University (Chicago), Marist College, St. Mary's College (Indiana), and University of Detroit Mercy. [Why are we not surprised to see Jesuit institutions?]
Robert Swope, a regular columnist for The Hoya, Georgetown's student newspaper, was fired in March after writing an expose of this rot, which the editor refused to print, considering it anti-woman. [Lesbian rape is prowoman? Les Femmes, embarrassed for our sex, hang our heads in shame. We apologize to all students scandalized by this horror and to their parents. We ask pardon on behalf of the college presidents and others in authority who allow it and add this evil to the list of sins for the Third Millennium Pardon.]
Down the Memory Hole at The Hoya Robert Swope didn't just get fired from The Hoya, they rendered him a non-person, deleting his articles from the columnist archives of their website. [Ah, the joys of liberal censorship!] Commenting on this development for LewRockwell.com, Wendy McElroy referenced George Orwell's 1984. "A central theme of... [the] classical novel about a dystopian future... is the authoritarian control of history. Winston Smith, the novel's protagonist, falsifies history as part of his job at the Ministry of Truth. People who have said or done the wrong thing are written out of recorded existence. They go down the memory hole. Orwell commented on the consequences of such dis-history upon real truth, 'One has no way of verifying the facts, one is not even fully certain that they have happened, and one is always presented with totally different interpretations from different sources.'" [Question: Is Georgetown 10%, 90%, or zero% Catholic?]
Lest readers lose heart we include some good news. Fr. Robert Spitzer, President of Gonzaga University (Jesuit) in Spokane, WA banned Planned Parenthood from speaking on campus in April. In a "Dear Colleagues" letter of April 14th Father explained his decision quoting the Guest Speakers Policy. "'The President reserves the right to deny usage of Gonzaga's facilities to any person or groups of persons whose values are blatantly contrary to those of the University or whose presence would... seriously embarrass or compromise the University. ' Inasmuch as Gonzaga is a Catholic and Jesuit University, and Planned Parenthood's actions are blatantly contrary to this Catholic and Jesuit identity, I exercised my right as President to deny usage of Gonzaga facilities to them...
"Some believe that I acted too precipitously. I take this to mean that people believe that I did not adequately discuss my position on this matter with students and faculty prior to making my decision.... The group who sponsored this event did not seek GSBA approval.... [They advertised anonymously.] It is difficult for me to see how I could have discussed my position with the group extending the invitation when they seemed to have taken every step possible to avoid detection." [The local press was on hand when the university rep arrived to cancel the meeting, resulting in a confrontation and an article in the Spokesman Review about the threat to "academic freedom, " yadda, yadda. Just a coincidence, we 're sure.] Les Femmes delights in being able to praise a Jesuit and a Jesuit institution! [Hmm. Fr. Leo O'Donovan is retiring from Georgetown. Fr. Spitzer, are you available?]
1 John Allen, Bishop Shuts Down Women's Series, National Catholic Reporter, March 17, 2000.
2 Robert Eady, Satanism, Witchcraft and Church Feminists, Christian Order, February 1998, pp. 70-83.