Michael Novak and the Lord of the Flies

 

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Dear Reader,

I am pouring through Michael Novak’s autobiography, Writing Left to Right for an article on which I am working and came across a few gems in the section on Novak’s experience as a reporter at Vatican II. As is common knowledge, Novak was a liberal then, and it is no surprise that Novak still retained sympathy for the liberal cause. However, there are few interesting tidbits that Novak drops.

The first is that Novak tells us that a running joke during the council was that “the new rubrics called for referring to Beelzebub as ‘our separated brother.'”

The second is that Novak boasts that among the many visitors to his pensione was the notorious Joseph Bernardin, a clericalism who was accused of sexual abuse and satanism throughout his life and who protected abusers in the Church.

Novak’s comment about Beelzebub is obviously a joke (and, for the record, I assume Novak is not a Satanist), but with accusations of occult activity in the Vatican before, after and during the council–including a clerical consecration of the Church to Lucifer, it is an odd joke.

It also demonstrates how radical some of the ideas were at the Council.

Was Novak privy to some of the darker secrets of the revolutionaries at the Council?

Michael Novak and The Reset of History

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Dear Reader,

The most important event for Christians is the birth of Christ. However, for many postmodern Christians (including both leftists and neocons), there is another event that comes as a close 2nd and, in some cases, trumps even the birth of Jesus Christ: the Second World War and the Holocaust.

For these Christians, who include Jacques Maritain, John Paul II, and Pope Francis (I assume at least for the first two figures the life is Christ is more important) among their ranks as well as the architects of Vatican II,  the Second World War was a reset of history in which a new humanistic ecumenical, Judeo-Christianity would supplant the Christendom founded by Constantine (and Charlemagne and many others). If not, then National Socialism and its crimes would eventually be repeated. The thinking here is that Nazism is the by product of Christendom–as is allegedly demonstrated the disgusting book, Constantine’s Sword.

Thus, in this view, World War II and the Holocaust are a second Incarnation and Calvary and second Gospel for a reboot of Christianity.

The recently deceased Catholic neocon, Michael Novak seems to be among the ranks of these Christian humanists as well, as he writes in his autobiography. For Novak World War II created “the need to build from the bottom up a new civilization.” In fact, Novak writes that such a creation will be similar to the “biblical creatio ex nihilo.” 

This idea is not simply the dream of Enlightenment “reformers” but occultists as well who hoped to build a New Age on the ruins of Christendom.

Such a statement is very strange and very revealing for Novak who claimed to be “conservative Catholic.”

What sort of civilization did he want to build?

As his neocon pals like George Weigel indicated, he did not want to remake Christendom.

The bigger question is: what sort of civilization did Novak want to build if not the one founded by Jesus Christ?

Catherine De Medici, Religious Tolerance, and the CERN Ritual

In the summer of 2016, the CERN tunnel in Switzerland was opened with a strange ritual involving nymphs and satyrs.

I have written on this blog before about the relationship between satyrs and the image of the devil. I also have written about the esoteric reading of classical myth, that is, in addition to a moral reading as well as a delight in the story of a myth, there is also a hidden meaning in many classical myths tied to theurgic magic.

Well, the CERN ritual popped into my mind when I read the following description of Catherine de Medici’s festive rituals following the signing of the Edict of Amboise in 1563, which brought a temporary truce to the fightings between Catholic and Huguenots in France. James Clough describes this ritual as including “Troops of ladies and gentleman, disguised as nymphs and satyrs” who roamed “the woods and meadows of the estate, gayly re-enacting the legends of ancient Greece.”

As I have suggested, it is my view that the underline esoteric reading of the satyr-nymph trope as well as the other bizarre contacts between gods, animals, and humans in classical myth is sex magic and some early transgressive ritual.

As a side note, the ur-story behind the  Robin Hood and Maid Marion tale is an echo of this ritual in Celtic myth.

Why would a Medici Christian queen have a mock pagan ritual to celebrate an edict of religious tolerance?

Was this a reference to the Golden Age being restored?

Why was this same ritual performed at CERN?

Do physicists spend their time practicing the occult and reading classical myth when they are not running particle accelerators?

 

 

The Church and the Renaissance Nude

Dear Reader,

First and foremost, Merry Christmas.

Secondly, I have a brief note on the nude in the Renaissance. While working my way through coffee and Buche de Noel at my in-laws, I came across some interesting information in James Cleugh’s The Medici: A Tale of Fifteen Generations.

While, in my younger and more tender years, I had previously thought that the Church had always endorsed the painting of nudes as long as it was meant to inspire love of the human form (an argument I now know that was given by Neoplatonists and neopagans, not sincere Catholics), nudes were prohibited by more conservative Churchmen–especially in the early 15th century. Previously, I had thought that it was the dour Protestant Puritans who had condemned the nudes, but it was both conservative Catholics and Protestants who condemned nudes while the “easy-going” and debauched clergy promoted and even financed them.

What is more, Cleugh provides a detail of how Fra. Bartolommeo’s San Sebastian was so impure that it was removed from a Church due to complaints from women that it was a near occasion of sin.

Francis I of France eventually took the painting to use, Cleugh suggests, as a means of seducing women.

Remember, this is a religious nude that was originally used for devotional purpose.

Am I saying that the nudes should be destroyed a la Savonarola’s Bonfire of the Vanities?

By no means.

But the fact that the more conservative Churchmen have always condemned their public display is something to think about.

Who is the Biggest Liar of Them All? George Weigel on Joseph Ratzinger

Dear Reader,

In the midst of going over some quotes from George Weigel’s recent Lessons in Hope for an academic article that I am revising on John Paul II, I came across (again) some interesting passages in which Weigel suggests that not only did Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger explicitly endorse Weigel, Novak, and Fr. Neuhaus’s reading of Centesimus Annus, but Cardinal Ratzinger, in fact, encouraged Weigel to get the commentaries he edited for the Ethics and Public Policy Center published in “Central and Eastern Europe.”

There are a couple of curious qualities to Weigel’s statement.

The first is that Joseph Ratzinger as cardinal and as Benedict XVI had specifically criticized capitalism–most famously in Caritas in Veritate. Weigel, for his part, had run a cover piece for National Review, arguing that the pro capitalist statements in the document were written by Benedict and that the passages critical of capitalism were inserted by the pontifical council for peace and justice.

The second is that I know, based on first hand experience and interaction with these groups, that many Catholic organizations, themselves strangely stacked with Opus Dei members, were used to peddle American capitalism as well as political and economic policy in Eastern Europe in the 90s and 2000s. In fact, George Weigel’s Tertio Millennio Seminars are geared to precisely this purpose.

And if American Intelligence is not involved in these efforts, I am a kangaroo.

Benedict XVI and the Viennese Church (with Special Guest Conchita Wurst!)

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Dear Reader,

In my younger and more tender years as a Novus Ordo conservative, I was greatly impressed with reports of the notorious Panzerkardinal named Joseph Ratzinger, who, at the time was head of the CDF. I also distinctly remember rejoicing when the same cardinal was elected Pope Benedict XVI.

However, as I took an honest look at the acts and writings of Benedict XVI, I noticed that in addition to the genuinely Catholic qualities of Benedict, there were unquestionable marks of modernism–especially in his deeds.

It is with this unpleasant confusion in mind that I picked up some interesting tidbits in John Allen’s The Rise of Benedict XVI (in which the liberal Allen defends Benedict to his largely liberal audience). Allen writes that he was told by “cardinals” that Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schonborn firmly believed that it was “God’s will that Ratzinger be pope.” Allen further explains that Ratzinger and Schonborn have would some call a “father/son” relationship, and that Schonborn would attend some of Ratzinger’s seminars at Regensburg. Ratzinger, in turn, named Schonborn as the editor of the new Catechism.

This revelation is disturbing because Cardinal Shonborn is notoriously weak on degeneracy in his diocese; his Eminence even recently allowed a “LGBT” prayer service at Saint Stephen’s Cathedral at which there was a special guest appearance by, you guessed it, Conchita Wurst.

Is it simply the case that Cardinal Schonborn is a liberal and tolerant prelate, or is there something else going on here?

 

 

Joaquin Navarro Valls and the Last Days of John Paul II

 

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Dear Reader,

Your humble author recently was told by a Catholic journalist that Vatican Communications director Joaquin Navarro Valls and thus Opus Dei basically ran the Vatican (or at least parts of it) the last 10 years of John Paul II’s life. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical. However, I found something very interesting regarding this topic in John Allen’s 2006 The Rise of Benedict XVI.

The first thing is that John Paul had been, in Allen’s words, “dying for years.” Secondly, that there were accusations that Navarro Valls exaggerated the status of John Paul II’s health–especially at the very end of John Paul’s life–making it seem that JPII was healthier than he actually was.

Allen even tries to dispel rumors among Italians that Navarro Valls (or someone else) used a tape recording of John Paul II during a “staged” Angelus appearance during the last months of John Paul’s life–Allen admits that there is some evidence to support that a tape recording was used.

All of this material (and more) raises some interesting questions.

How much of John Paul II’s life was staged and shaped by himself and others in and out of the Vatican?

How much power did Navarro Valls really have (remember it was Navarro Valls who helped George Weigel plot Witness to Hope)?

 

 

John Allen’s Early Endorsement of Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Dear Reader,

I am at work on a feature length article on John Allen Jr. for a Catholic newspaper. I have thus been reading his 2006 book, The Rise of Benedict XVI, which is chock full of interesting details, one of which is Allen’s description of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a favorite in the 2005 papal election. Allen describes Cardinal Bergoglio as follows:

“A Jesuit, Bergoglio has a reputation as a man of great humility, deep spirituality, and unwavering commitment to rather traditional doctrinal views.”

This quote is especially interesting, for Allen has continued to defend Pope Francis (and other liberal prelates) as a moderate.

Who is John Allen fooling, and why does he go out of his way to defend liberal prelates?

Paul Johnson, Vatican II, and The Greatest Crime in Human History

The Catholic British historian Paul Johnson is unquestionably a joy to read. However, despite being a firm critic of Marxism and Communism as well as even some aspects of liberalism and the Whig Narrative of history, Johnson, nonetheless, has some strong neoconservative streaks. While not a neocon puppet like Victor Davis Hanson, Johnson nonetheless has a decided Anglo and Americancentric view of history and is not afraid to create crude caricatures of nasty premodern cultures like Japanese Bushido when they surface in the 20th century, getting the way of Anglo-American world dominance.

I just came across an interesting comment in Johnson’s most famous work, Modern Times in which the historian, who by all accounts is a devout Catholic, wrote that the “greatest single crime in history” was “the extermination of the European Jews.”

This passage reminds me statements made by John Paul II to the same effect.

When visiting Auschwitz in 1979, John Paul referred to the mass executions of the Nazis as the “Golgotha of the Modern World.”

These statements made by Johnson and Pope John Paul II affectively say that the Holocaust is either worse than or just as bad as the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The Holocaust then is not merely the “ground zero” of the new philosophy of postmodernism and deconstruction (yes, I know they begin the 19th century with Nietzsche and the Russian nihilists), but the new theology as well.

The new theology of nonjudgmentalism, open borders, anti-discrimination, and tolerance peddled by Pope Francis is rooted in the belief that the worst thing to ever happen in human history was not the crucifixion  of Christ for the sins of man, but rather the killing of large numbers of the Jewish people at the hands of an authoritarian regime.

Thus the new ethics of this new theology is the destruction of authoritarianism and the eradication of the Western civilization on which Nazism grew like the tumor.

While there is a clear connection between the theology of Pope Francis and the holocaust, it is unclear why Johnson would make such a statement.

Pederasty: The Missing Element of the Neoplatonic Movement

 

Dear Reader,

I have discovered a gold mine of information regarding Neoplatonism in the Renaissance in a collection of essays titled Marsilio Ficino: His Theology, His Philosophy, His Legacy. 

Before I share one of them, I want to make a couple of quick statements. First of all, I have no specific evidence outside of rumor or hearsay that anyone involved in the dissemination of Neoplatonism in Europe in the 15th or 16th century (including the Medici in the picture above!) engaged in sodomy, pederasty or any other degenerate behavior outside of John Dee’s famous wife swap and rumors of Giordano Bruno’s visits to prostitutes.

As far as I can tell, all of them followed traditional Christian moral teaching in regard to sins of the flesh.

Secondly, on this blog, I am by no means suggesting that everyone who utilized Plato or Neoplatonic teaching was an occultist or a heretic. In fact, I think that much of what is said by Plato and the Neoplatonists in regard to metaphysics, ethics, and even some politics is basically correct in as much as it harmonizes with traditional Catholic teaching.

Nonetheless, it is my view that Neoplatonism also provides the basis for Gnosticism or intellectual Satanism and “high magic.”

Furthermore, one of the essential ingredients of this magic is pederasty and sodomy, which flourished at one time among Socrates and his fellows and was revived in the 19th century among Plato scholars and of course practiced by Aleister Crowley and later sexual degenerates and occultists.

It was thus of some interest when I read Arthur Field’s’ sarcastic comment in regard to James Hankins’s misreading of one of Marsilio Ficino’s letters: “I would conclude from Hankins’s argument that Ficino was running some pederastic club for visiting ambassadors.”

Again, I have absolutely no evidence that Ficino was a pedophile or sodomite, but Fields’s sarcastic comment is worth probing.

Florence was known for its degeneracy and the presence of pederasty long after Dante’s famous depiction of sodomites in hell in the fourteenth century.

Pederasty was also clearly one of the steps in the ascent of love in the Symposium and Phaedrus–especially in the esoteric readings of the works as magical ascents.

Are we to believe that the arrival of Plato was greeted with only intellectual admiration in the West, and no one attempted to imitate the degeneracy promoted in the “erotic dialogues”?

Were those who revived Gnosticism, Satanism, and Neoplatonic magic, and conversing with demons really living chaste lives?

I am not making any accusations, but this issue deserves further study.