AN OPINION ON ALLEGATIONS REGARDING
THE POPE RECEIVING THE "MARK OF SHIVA",
HIS SEMI-NAKED MASS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
"And Genghis Khan defeated Attila the Hun in battle..." (1)
By F. John Loughnan
Recently my wife and I partook of a periodic pleasant event - an excellent luncheon with friends of over twenty years; friends formed by mutual association with the interests of Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society of St Pius X. Although my wife and I have cut our association with the SSPX, we truly value our friendships, personally love our friends and have nothing but the best of wishes for their bodily and spiritual welfare.
Of course, over time, many things have been said upon which comments could have been made but, very often, it is prudential to hold the tongue. However, on the most recent occasion, certain statements were made which required the voice of dissent: for example, it was stated that Pope John Paul II was "given the mark of Shiva by a Hindu priestess." Similar derogatory epithets are routinely thrown in by "traditionalists" generally, such as concerning the Pope kissing the Koran, the placing of the statue of Buddha on the altar at Assisi, the semi-nude Papal Mass in Papua New Guinea, the Lutheran/Catholic accord, the heresies of Vatican II, and so on.
For the purpose of this exercise (which is only an example as to how the wild claims of so-called "traditionalists" may be examined), I will consider the matters of "John-Paul II receives the sign of the adorers of the Hindu 'God' Shiva," and semi-nudity at the Papal Mass in Papua New Guinea. Pictures of these events, and of others which SSPXers criticize, have been widely distributed, both prior to and following the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and are found in the publications of not only the SSPX but also fundamentalist protestants and sedevacantist types such as Brother Michael Dimond, O.S.B.
THE MARK OF SHIVAThe following extract is from James Akin's "The Nazareth Resource Library"In the photos produced as "evidence" for the allegation, there is no way of actually SEEING what the mark was. All that can be seen is a woman putting her hand up to the Pope's forehead. How can this be "evidence" that what was produced at the time was "the mark of Shiva" or anything else at all? Anyway, this event (whatever it was) in no way impinges on the dogma of Papal Infallibility, which means that the Pope is incapable of teaching heresy as dogmatic truth, not that he is incapable of sin, of scandal, or of exercising bad judgement. Furthermore, the burden of proof of any allegation rests on the party making the allegation - not upon the defender of the Pope.
"Q: Someone in the schismatic group the Society of St. Pius X told me that when the pope was in India he had his forehead anointed by a Hindu 'priestess of Shiva' and that there is a photo to prove it. Is this true?
"A: There is a photo of the pope having his forehead anointed by an Indian woman, but she was a Catholic, not a Hindu priestess! She was giving a traditional Indian form of greeting known as 'Aarti,' which has no more religious significance than a handshake in western culture or giving someone a wreath of flowers as a welcome in Hawaii.
"A letter dated November 22, 1994 from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications explains the custom and its role in Indian society:
" 'Indian Catholics...use "Aarti" when a child returns home after receiving First Holy Communion, and when a newly married couple are received by their respective families. Nowadays, "Aarti" is often performed to greet the principal celebrant at a liturgical event, as it was on the occasion shown in the photograph. On such occasions, "Aarti" is usually offered by a Catholic married lady, and certainly not by a "priestess of Shiva" as has been alleged.'
"The letter, by Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the pontifical council, went on to note: 'Use of the "Aarti" ceremonial by Indian Catholics is no more the worship of a heathen deity than is the decoration of the Christmas tree by American Christians a return to the pagan rituals of Northern Europe.'
"Your schismatic friend in the Society of St Pius X should check his facts before spreading such malicious gossip about the holy father (cf. Acts 23:1-5). He was simply about to say Mass and received the traditional Indian form of greeting for the celebrant." (2)
Aarti?Preparatory to the PASTORAL VISIT OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II TO NEW DELHI on 5-8 November 1999, and LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS celebrated by His Holiness POPE JOHN PAUL II, a document was prepared by Piero Marini, Titular Bishop of Martirano, Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. The document was dated 23 October 1999. The following is a small extract:
"...The Votive Mass of Christ the Light of the World is being celebrated precisely because the whole of India celebrates the Festival of Lights on 7 November. It is a happy coincidence.This, surely, is simply an adaption of the principle of inculturation. Several days ago we saw the secular celebration of St Valentine's Day; it is interesting to see an example here of an earlier adaption of that principle:
" The festival is so called because of the illuminations that form its main attraction. The month of Karttika (the lunar month coming between October and November is the twelfth of the year), the most favourable time and atmosphere in the whole cosmos for a great celebration encompassing God, neighbour and nature in harmony.
"This month marks the end of rains and the beginning of new life; people of all walks of life begin afresh. People have time to build up their divine and human relationship under the benign gaze of nature. In the backdrop of this holistic atmosphere the ancestors of India started the non-sectarian feast of lights to celebrate life and thank God for all his blessings and the righteousness of his dealings with human beings.
"The Christian relevance of this festival of lights may be conceived thus: Jesus, who is the light of the world (Jn 8:12), by his death-resurrection-ascension, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, transferred us from the grip and Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light (1 Pt 2:9) and made us 'Children of the light'. Paul says: 'Live as children of the light' (Eph 5:8).
"The Gospel imperative is therefore: Let your light shine so that all people may glorify God. Jesus says: 'you are the light of the world' (Mt 5:14). Christians celebrate this feast to thank God for this wonderful gift
"Adaptations for India:"The Mass at the Stadium will have three Indian dances. Two will be at the entrance. The first will be a tribal dance leading the priests and bishops to the podium before the arrival of the Holy Father.
"The second will be a prayer dance leading the Cardinals after the arrival of the Pope into the Stadium.
"The third will be an offertory dance leading the persons with the offertory gifts to the altar.
"At the Doxology when the Holy Father takes the chalice and paten with the host, the Aarati, which is a sign of veneration, will be performed by a group of young ladies. The Aarati will consist of the following: Pushpa arati, waving a tray of flowers with deepak (light) in the center and the showering of flower petals; Dhupa Aarati-the homage of incense; Deepa Aarati-the homage of light, waving of camphor fire and the ringing of the bell..." (Emphasis added. F.J.L.) (3)
"Tomorrow - St Valentine's Day - had its origins in a pagan festival that celebrated an ancient lust lottery, the gruesome death of a Christian bishop and the love life of birds.So! Just as what was good in paganism was used and adapted by the Church in the past, so too are Pope John Paul II and the Church endeavoring to adapt in the present time.
"In ancient Rome, the day celebrated Juno, the 'ox-eyed' queen of heaven, goddess of women, marriage and strangely, war.
"Part of the pagan ritual, timed for the start of the European spring when birds began to mate, involved young girls writing their names on pieces of paper and placing them on a drum.
"Boys would draw the names of girls, who would become their lovers until the next annual draw.
"Christian leaders later altered the practice. The lottery system was kept but the girl's names were substituted with the names of saints.
"February 14 became associated with Valentine, a third century Roman pagan who converted to Christianity and may have become a bishop..." (4)
What IS the "mark of Shiva"?
- From: "Hindu Fasts and Festivals" SHIVARATRI,By Sri Swami Sivanda"Sastri: That means that in the Turiya state he saw the Shiva Lingam or the mark of Shiva in the form of the inner lights. In other words, he had the vision of the Lord. That was an indication to him that he would realise the supreme, eternal abode of Lord Shiva in course of time." (5)
- From the Lefebvrites and ProtestantsThe Australian monthly "Catholic" of January 1987 p.7 has a "Catalogue of Errors" of Pope John Paul II and the "post-Conciliar" Church. No authorship or reference is given for the catalogue, so it must be assumed to have been prepared by the Editor, Mr Silvester Donald McLean of Yarra Junction, Victoria, Australia. He writes:"February 2, 1986.Here, at least, Mr McLean makes no claim that the woman was "a Hindu priestess"! But, unlike Archbishop Lefebvre he attributes a greater seriousness to the "imposition of the sacred" ashes than to the alleged reception "ON HIS FOREHEAD THE TILAC OR TIKA, THE RED POWDERY PASTE OF THE HINDUS, THE SIGN OF THE ADORERS OF SHIVA." (see below).
"During his visit to India, as one could see in the media and on television, the Sovereign Pontiff received from the hands of an Hindu priestess, the sign of the Tilak. Less publicity was given to an act positively more serious: On February 5, at Madras, the pope received the imposition of the sacred ashes from the hands of a woman."
Among his "Catalogue of Errors" No. 3 states:
"January 25, 1983.Now, just remember that Don McLean writes this in December 1986 in preparation for the Jan. 1987 issue of "Catholic", and that the Code of Canon Law was promulgated on January 25, 1983.
"This date saw the promulgation of the New Code of canon Law, which is suspect in many areas, in particular it raises the sanction of excommunication for all members of freemasonry."
In 1995, James J. Drummey published "Catholic Replies - Over 800 Questions Answered..." He deals with Freemasonry on p.116 thus:
[Prior to the 1983 Code of Canon Law]"Freemasonry originated in London in the early 1700's and has usually been hostile to religion in general and the catholic Church in particular. Eight Popes have condemned it, beginning with Clement XII in 1738. During the 1970's, there was a perception that Catholics could join Masonic lodges that were not anti-Catholic, but in 1980 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called this perception false. The Congregation restated the ban on Masonic membership in a declaration issued on November 26, 1983, with the approval of Pope John Paul II.
"The declaration said that 'the Church's negative position on Masonic associations...remains unaltered since their principles have always been regarded as irreconcilable with the Church's doctrine. Hence, joining them remains prohibited by the Church. Catholics enrolled in Masonic associations are involved in serious sin and may not approach Holy Communion. Local ecclesiastical authorities do not have the faculty to pronounce a judgement on the nature of Masonic associations which might include a diminution of the above-mentioned judgement.'[After the 1983 Code of Canon Law]
"In June 1985, the National Conference of catholic Bishops called Freemasonry 'irreconcilable' with Catholicism because 'the principles and basic rituals of masonry embody a naturalistic religion, active participation in which is incompatible with Christian faith and practice. Those who knowingly embrace such principles are committing serious sin.' "Among other canons, Canon1374 provides that
"A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict."In his April 1985 issue of "Catholic", Mr McLean editorialized on, inter alia, a pope being "suspect of heresy" even if he does nothing!:
"The Sacrament of Order implants a character on the soul which cannot be removed A priest for ever according to the Order of Melchisedech. But a pope forever? No. A pope may resign his office, or he can lose his office if he demonstrates formal, manifest heresy. Does this yet apply to Pope John Paul II? We shall not attempt an answer. (Emphasis added. F.J.L.) Certainly his attendance at canterbury cathedral, his preaching in a Lutheran church in Rome, the homage he paid at Ghandi's tomb, and the fact that he did not visit the shrine of St Francis Xavier whilst in India, makes him suspect.(Emphasis added. F.J.L.)."Mr McLean and SSPXers all ought to take note also of Canon 1373"
"A person who publicly incites his or her subjects to hatred or animosity against the Apostolic See or the Ordinary because of some act of ecclesiastical authority or ministry, or who provokes the subjects to disobedience against them, is to be punished by interdict or other just penalties."
The principal web-site for the SSPX in America is http://www.sspx.org/ It currently has a series of "answers" in its FAQ's section at http://www.sspx.org/sspxfaq
In answer to Q7: But shouldn't we be following Pope John Paul II? the SSPX claim:
(The Pope) -had the sacred Tilac put on his forehead by a priestess of Shiva in Bombay." (6)
- The protestant "Deception In The Church Newsletter", parrots the account from page 155 of "Peter Lovest Thou Me?" (Italics below):"(17) Pope John Paul II Receives The Mark of "Aarti", A Prayer To The Hindu Goddess DurgaGiven that the "sign of the adorers of Shiva" is the lignum or phallus of Shiva, (a penis-like sign or object) and
This is a photo of the pope receiving the mark of a prayer "aarti" to the Hindu female godess Durga by a professing Christian Hindu woman. By the time this photo was taken, however, the pope had already been involved in a number of pagan rituals on his trip to India in 1986, including taking the mark of Shiva. Here is the documented quote: 'Still at Madras on February 5, 1986, 'A sugarcane, fashioned into the form of a cross, signifying a Hindu offering to a carnal god, was brought into the presence of the Pope. A little later, during the offertory procession, a coconut was carried to the altar, a typical Hindu offering, which they offer to their idols. Finally, a man placed sacred ashes on his forehead. IT WAS NOT A MATTER OF TILAC BUT OF SACRED ASHES OR VIBHUTI. (*164) THREE DAYS EARLIER, ON FEBRUARY 2, HE HAD RECEIVED ON HIS FOREHEAD THE TILAC OR TIKA, THE RED POWDERY PASTE OF THE HINDUS, THE SIGN OF THE ADORERS OF SHIVA. (*165) *164 'Msgr.' Lefebvre, op. cit. p.177. *165 La Croix of February 6, and 'I' Express' of February 7/13, 1986, with photo.' The Catholic objections to this photo, and their deceptive tactics to try to hide what the pope did on the web, have unearthed even further evidence of the interfaith dabbling with demons by the papacy." (7)
Here we see the male "Shiva" has been changed to the female "Durga" - but it is acknowledged, at least, that "the mark" was given "by a professing Christian woman" - NOT by a "priestess of Shiva"!
However, again without producing any evidence the allegation of the Pope "taking the mark of Shiva" is repeated from "Peter Lovest Thou Me?"!!
The quote is from Archbishop Lefebvre in La Croix of February 6, and 'I' Express' of February 7/13, 1986, with photo - which, presumably, is the same photo of the so-called "Hindu priestess of Shiva" putting SOMETHING (can anyone make out exactly what?) on the Pope's forehead. Hang on! Didn't they just say that she was "a professing Christian woman"? So, how could she also be a "priestess of Shiva"?
Then Archbishop Lefebvre says that "THREE DAYS EARLIER, ON FEBRUARY 2, (which is the day of the photograph of the "priestess of Shiva") HE HAD RECEIVED ON HIS FOREHEAD THE TILAC OR TIKA, THE RED POWDERY PASTE OF THE HINDUS, THE SIGN OF THE ADORERS OF SHIVA."
Given that Archbishop Lefebvre is alleged to have stated that the "sign of the adorers of Shiva" was "The Tilac or Tika" (a red powdery paste of the Hindus) -
SO! WHAT IS THE TILAC or TIKA?The definition of "Tika" was precisely the same from the three sources listed in the Footnotes section below: (8):
"Tika - Mark on forehead signifying commitment to a spiritual ideal."Mani Vadadarajan writes: "Hindus themselves do not know what this (the dot on forehead) means. I certainly do not; it is worn nowadays as a cultural symbol with minor religious overtones. Indian Christians, Jains, Parsis, and Sikhs also often wear the 'bindi' on their forehead. If anyone offers an interpretation, it is likely to be a modern one that is not based on tradition." (9)
The opening paragraph in the FAQ on Hindu Net answer to "What does the red dot on the forehead mean?" states:
"The 'Red dot' on the forehead is not always only red and nor is it always a dot. The dot is called 'Kumkum' or 'Bindi', and when worn by men it is called 'Tilak' (mark). Usually Hindu women, priests, monks and worshippers wear it. Men wear it on auspicious occasions such as Puja (ritual worship), or marriage, or Arati (waving of lights) on festive occasions such as on Bhaai-duj, Karvaa Chaud or Paadwaa or Dasshera) or while embarking on, or upon return from a voyage or a campaign. It is also worn by Jains and Buddhists (even in China).Pardon me for now asking: How does the reception of this "mark" make the Pope deserving of the venom accorded to him by the SSPXers, protestants and similar. When St Valentine died in 270 the pope of the time was Pope Felix I (269-274). Do we have to start questioning the propriety of Pope Felix I now? It appears that the pope following him, Pope Eutychian, "decreed that only beans and grapes be blessed at Mass." (Heck! We'll soon become cross-eyed at this rate!). (11)
"Like all Hindu symbols, 'red dot' has multiple meanings which are all valid at the same time." (10) (Emphasis added by F.J.L.).
Global Hindu Electronic Network (GHEN)A series of e-mail messages on the Newsgroup section of the above web-site discuss the Tilac and its meaning. The series may be accessed from the reference provided below and then by activating the "Thread". The messages were in answer to the following question:
>I'd like to post what I hope is not an insensitive question: can someone tell me what the red dots on some women's foreheads mean? I've been told I think they signify that the woman is married. It is common in Indian tradition for a married Hindu woman to always have there 'kum.kum' on her forehead and in the start of the partition of her hair. Unmarried Hindu girls usually would wear a dot on their foreheads, but usually this will be of some other colour, and will not be the authentic 'kum.kum' powder. Similarly, widows would not normally wear anything on their forehead; at least not the red 'kum.kum'; alternately that they have to do with devotion to Shiva, and that they are a caste mark. Are one or both of these true? Are there some additional cultural things that don't "officially" go with the mark but everyone understands? >
A summary of the answers is that, the Tilak (also known as "Bindi") is a cosmetic used by married women, usually a red "dot". The Tilak may be used by men or women. When used by men, it is larger and more egg shaped. Widows do not use the mark. In religion the action is generally considered to bestow honor upon the recipient. In some parts of India, black marks or even ashes are used instead of red powder.
But, what if...?What if the mark made on the Pope's forehead was inappropriate? The Pope is not only the spiritual Father of the world's Catholics, he is also a head of State - the Vatican City. As such he is required to meet diplomats and all sorts of people - Catholic and non-Catholic, believer and atheist. Let us suppose he greets a dignitary from England who just happens to be a Freemason, and in grasping the Freemason's hand received a masonic grip. Is the Pope thereby contaminated? Does that indicate that he accepts the principles of Freemasonry? Indeed not!
Similarly, if he have been approached by a "priestess of Shiva" (if, indeed, there are "priestesses of Shiva") and that woman greets him, and places on his forehead an inappropriate mark, which the Pope is unexpecting and which corresponds with what can truely be described only as "a mark of Shiva" - can that possibly mean that the Pope thereby embraces the principles of Shivaism? Again, no; also bear in mind the explanations offered by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations
Bad MemoriesThese accusations can be traced back to Archbishop Lefebvre and the accounts provided in 'La Croix' of February 6, and 'I' Express' of February 7/13, 1986, with photo. But, Archbishop Lefebvre's judgement cannot be taken as always being reliable. He claimed that he did not sign two of the Vatican Council II's documents. Fr. Brian Harrison, in the columns of "Catholic" and "The Latin Mass" magazine issued a challenge on three separate occasions to SSPXers to actually inspect the actual documents to view the Archbishop's signature thereon. Has that been done? Guess what!
But another item of interest has just surfaced in that last few days. Mr Gerald Wilson of Greensborough, Victoria presents an interview with Fr. Patrick Fox, CM, in Issue No. 3 February 2000 of "Judica Me Deus". Fr. Fox is an Order priest in the Archdiocese of Sydney who has never said the new Mass - in fact he has a celebret to say the Tridentine Mass.
Very recently, Fr. Fox celebrated his sixty years in the priesthood. His Jubilee Mass was, however, boycotted by some SSPX people who normally attended his Mass at East Lindfield because Fr. Fox chose the Lewisham Choir instead of the SSPX choir at Rockdale. According to Fr. Fox, the boycott continues.
However, that is not the heart of the interview. When Mr Wilson attempted to draw from Fr. Fox his reaction to the excommunication and schism of the Society of St Pius X, Fr. Fox repeated four times within two columns on page 8: "I have not studied (or read) the documents sufficiently." Now, for a person who is not only in charge of his own soul but also those for whom he says the Tridentine Mass to declare that, in respect of such an important matter "I have not studied (or read) the documents sufficiently." - that is unbelievable, but perfectly illustrates the tunnel-vision of the typical Lefebvrite supporter.
Given the scandal provided to the world by the so-called "traditionalists" towards the Vicar of Christ, our spiritual Father ("Honor thy father...") - to whom does the obligation belong to provide the documentation that the mark made on the Pope's forehead was the "aarati" or "the Tilac" or "the mark of Shiva," and that the person who made that mark was a "married Catholic woman" or "a priestess of Shiva"?
Several accounts of the above event are available.
THE "SEMI-NAKED" PAPAL MASS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
"Catholic""Catholic" of September 1984 provides a translation from the May 1984 issue of the Italian magazine "Si Si, No No" - being a copy from "Approaches" No. 86, which quotes from "Il Tempo". In other words, "Catholic"'s account is a translation from a third-hand source:
"On May 8, at Mt, Hagen 'for the first time in history a girl took part in a papal Mass as "minister of the Word": she read the first lesson dressed in a skirt of leaves with her breasts bare' (cf. Il Tempo, May 9, 1984). 'It is about Susan Kenje - the Roman daily continues - an eighteen year-old student of Holy Trinity College in Mount Hagen.' A native perhaps, (though her name makes that doubtful: the Osservatore Romano in fact talks of 'a student in native costume') but certainly not uncivilized, unable to read: she was at school, a pupil in a religious college..."
"Peter Lovest Thou Me?"The event was described in "Peter Lovest Thou Me?", by the SSPX's Abbé Daniel Le Roux, first published 1988, then published 1989 by Instauratio Press, Australia. The Abbé wrote:
"In May 1984, during his journey to Asia, John Paul II celebrated the first Mass in Papua-New Guinea on the Rugby ground in Port Moresby. 'Here 259 male and female dancers with bare torsos, yellow skirts of palm fibres, and head-dress of multicoloured feathers, opened the celebration (of the Mass) according to their manner. (Emphasis added. F.J.L.) With Faces painted yellow with the exception of one eye, they were made up in black or orange. Representatives of the Mekeo and Roro tribes danced, chanted and beat rhythms on the drums. The Pope recited the majority of prayers in pidgin English and at each change from English to the local language understood by all, the faithful bubbled over with enthusiasm.' 'La Croix' of May 8/9, 1984, p.2."
On the page facing p. 154 is a clear picture of the reading under the caption: "Papua New Guinea, May 8, 1984. A semi-nude female reads the Epistle at the Pope's Mass." As no reference is given for the photo; one must presume that the reference is also 'La Croix' of May 8/9, 1984, p.2."
Are Today's Seminaries Catholic?The account from Michael Depuis, Keith Roscoe and John Thompson is as follows:
"But in Papua, New Guinea, on May 8, 1985, we had Pope John Paul II allow an 18 year old American woman by the name of Susan Kenje (a student at Holly College there) to read one of the Epistles during his Papal Mass... completely naked from the waist up! She read from a position just to the right of the Holy Father himself. The Pope's excuse was that: 'It's the custom of the country, it's the heat.' It was neither. The girl was American - she read the Epistle in perfect English..." (Are Today's Seminaries Catholic?, pp.168/9).
Fr. M.E.Morrison, Moderator of "Traditio"(12) In response to a question on Sat, 4 Sep 1999 21:50:11 -0700 (PDT) regarding "Semi-nude Masses, Fr. Morrison replied:
"FR. MODERATOR REPLIES>>> First, there was the semi-nude women's "mass" in Africa (Emphasis added by F.J.L.), at which the pope and several cardinals gawked as a woman nude from the waist up (this is documented in Vatican photographs with pride) read the Holy Gospel."
A Voice Crying In The WildernessFr. David C. Trosch (13) has included the following file on his web-site: "Has Rome Become the Seat of the Antichrist?" by Brother Michael Dimond, O.S.B.
A portion includes
"Topless Girls at John Paul II's 'Papal Masses'
"In Papua, New Guinea, on May 8, 1985, John Paul II allowed an 18 year-old American woman by the name of Susan Kenge (a student at Holly College there) to read one of the epistles during his Papal Mass . . . completely naked from the waist up!; She read from a position just to the right of the 'Holy Father' himself.; John Paul II's excuse was that: 'It's the custom of the country, it's the heat.'; It was neither!; The girl was American - she read the Epistle in perfect English." The reference is given as: Are Today's Seminaries Catholic?, (Angelus Press; 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City, MO), p. 151.
Please note that I do not dispute that the event took place, but I query the following:
- That the female involved was an American named Susan Kenje. No evidence is made available to prove that allegation.
- On the one hand, she is described as being a "student at Holly College there" - wherever "there" is: America or Papua New Guinea? On the other hand she is also described as a "student at Holy Trinity College" - no nationality stated. To my Australian eye, the lady appears to be an indigenous Papua-New Guinean, and not an American, as later claimed in "Are Today's Seminaries Catholic?" and "A Voice Crying In The Wilderness".
- Furthermore, she was NOT "completely naked from the waist up" - she did have some ornaments around the neck. In essence, however, her upper torso was bare.
- Complaint that the woman was educated! Now, that is just a looney complaint. Would it have been better if a person who could not read be brought up to mumble something unintelligible?
- Fr. Morrison could not even place the event in the right region of the world; he claimed it was in "Africa"!
- "Catholic" and "Peter Lovest Thou Me?" give their references as "La Croix" of May 8/9, 1984, p.2. "Catholic" refers to a Susan Kenje, but gives no nationality. "Peter Lovest Thou Me?" displays a woman, but does not indicate nationality.
- "Are Todays Seminaries Catholic?" claims the woman to be both American and names her as Susan Kenje, but places the event one year ahead of the true date. They give their reference as "Introibo, Issue No. 45, July/August/September 1984, p.2". Bro. Dimond in "A Voice Crying In The Wilderness" simply parrots "Are Today's Seminaries Catholic?", p.169 - but corrects the date of the event.
- And, just in passing, let us take another look at the "Peter Lovest Thou Me? " account of the event - just a little section: the bit about "...259 male and female dancers with bare torsos, yellow skirts of palm fibres..."As far as I understand it, a "torso" is that part of the body excluding the limbs and head. In view of the fact that it is against the laws of gravity for anything attached to the lower limbs to do so, anything required to cover the genital area would need to be attached to the torso - probably around the waist. How is it then possible to reconcile the wearing of "yellow skirts" with "bare torsos"? Had the account read "...with bare upper torsos..." then accuracy might be preserved. A fine point - but, when the Holy Father is so glibly slandered, then accuracy is vital for any part to be believable!So, the question is: Was the woman pictured on facing page 154 of "Peter Lovest Thou Me?" an American negress named Susan Kenge? Or was she an indigenous Papua New Guinean woman? In view of the serious nature of the allegation, I think that the burden of proof falls upon the claimants!
However, in my efforts to gain further information regarding the matter I e-mailed John Thompson (14), the TradX mailing list (15), Mary Help of Christians Parish, Archdiocese of Port Moresby (16), a canonist (17) and diligently searched the web (18) for any information on a "Susan Kenje" and the said Papal Mass.
John Thompson has not responded to my e-mail request for clarification of his source on this matter! Perhaps he now regrets that he together with Michael Depuis and (now Fr.) Keith Roscoe, who were attending an SSPX seminary at the time, did not properly check their primary sources when writing "Are Today's Seminaries Catholic?" It was printed February, 1990 by the SSPX's "The Angelus Press." Keith Roscoe was ordained an SSPX priest but, subsequently I believe, has periodically left and returned to the Society. Depuis and Thompson also left the SSPX seminary and now operate two anti-SSPX web-sites: http://www.sspx-schism.com & http://www.sspx-cult.com What is more, the trio incorrectly date the event in their book as May 8, 1985 - one year AFTER the event.
Bro. Michael Dimond's address in his first issue of "A Voice Crying In The Wilderness" is given in that production as "Most Holy Family Monastery, 4425 Schneider Road, Fillmore, New York 14735." I am advised that he is no longer at that address.
Recently, the major religious superiors reported the following:
"Henry J. Mansell, Bishop of Buffalo, has alerted major superiors that a magazine recently sent to them, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, was distributed by Most Holy Family Monastery in Fillmore, NY. According to Bishop Mansell, the community is not a canonically established monastery, and its leader, Brother Michael Dimond, and his followers are an independently established group, not associated with any congregation of the Order of St. Benedict. They operate without approval of the Buffalo diocese, the bishop notes." (19)Franciscan Brother Alexis Bugnolo (a true traditionalist, who is in communion with the magisterium of the Church) has a file on his web-site which critiques Bro. Dimond's "A Voice Crying in the Wilderness". He concludes:
"Finally, I ask what is to be gained by Bro. Dimond's assault on the legitimacy of Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI? If there has not been a true pope since Pope Pius XII then the Church has failed and Christ is a liar when He said, 'The gates of Hell will never prevail against it. (My Church)'
"Is Bro. Dimond calling Our Lord Jesus Christ a liar? Better to pray for Our Pope, sinner though he be, that he may find grace, mercy, and strength to carry his heavy office faithfully until death." (20)
The following was recently posted to the SSPX@onelist.com message board in its Digest #389:
"Dear SSPX List,Really, it is not for me to say whether Margaret is being a little strong here. However, "by voicing (such opinions), these men oppose themselves against the highest teaching authority in the Church and can no longer be considered 'Catholic' in any meaningful sense of the word. Aside from the authority issues, John Paul II has 2 doctorates, one in theology and one in philosophy. He is a recognized expert on St John of the Cross and a mystic in his own right... (They) should be a little more humble and obedient both to the Holy Father and to his local ordinary. If I had a choice between the opinions of (these people) versus Dr. Karol Wojtyla (leaving aside his prerogatives as bishop and Pope), which do you think I would pick? When you add the promise of Christ given in Matthew 16:16-20, there is no contest." (21)
"My son is a member of your list and an SSPX-supporter, and I (though not) have been following the discussions on this List out of interest.
"It was remarked that Malachi Martin (RIP) said that no sedevacantist would ever see the face of God. I could scarcely agree more.
"From what I know of sedevacantism and sedevacantists, I sincerely hope Malachi Martin was right, however uncharitable that hope might seem.
"I would go further: ANYONE who so much as attempts to sit in judgement of our Holy Father, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Successor of Peter and Supreme Head of the Church on Earth, he who has full and immediate authority and jurisdiction over the entire Church, and who is the final arbiter of Church discipline and law, anyone who tries to judge him, or stand in opposition to him, will also surely be damned.
"I know that many 'traditional' Catholics often engage enthusiastically in 'Pope-bashing'. Why do you seem so eager to believe everything you hear, always trying to make the Pope out to be a heretic? Trying to put a bad interpretation on his words. This is surely a sign of bad faith. Would a Lefebvrite ever follow the Pope rather than Archbishop Lefebvre? Or is Archbishop Lefebvre now the final arbiter of church law and discipline? Mentally, many Lefebvrites seem to be schismatic in that they almost relish the desire to assume that anyone outside the SSPX is a Modernist. I am GROSSLY insulted: I pray for Modernists' punishment! I agree that many prelates and priests and laity today are indeed Modernists. But I bitterly resent the implication that I am, simply because I am in communion with the Vicar of Christ. I too lament the loss of so many beautiful customs, disciplines and pious and ecclesiastical traditions, which were excellent and fruitful and still are - congratulations to those who uphold them. Also much modern-day practice is quite heterodox.
"But the fact is that we, mere laymen, have NO authority to disagree with discipline in the Church. We have NO right at all to decide what is or what is not in conformity with Tradition - we are LAYMEN, we SUBMIT to the judgement of the indefectible Church. We MUST pray, pay and obey, then pray some more. Just because there are abuses, does that mean the law and the lawmaker are bad? And about what SSPXers call 'institutional' abuses (like hand communion): many are very bad, and have had disastrous results and should be removed.
"But are they INTRINSICALLY bad. I mean, hand communion (while I reject it) was allowed in the early centuries - not for as long as Modernists claim, and again antiquity is no reason to revive it, but surely it does mean that it is not necessarily wrong in and of itself.
"Much of what I have said I said in an earlier exchange with List members, but I feel very strongly that obedience, while not blind, cannot be selective and practice never independent of the Church. I believe it needs saying.
"In the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Finally, as to the SSPX - they are in schism (see Code of Canon Law, can. 1364 and can. 1382, Decree of Excommunication of Marcel Lefebvre, July 1, 1988, and Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei, July 2, 1988). This is the Pope's judgement, and it is beyond appeal. "Laws are authentically interpreted by the legislator and by that person to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic interpretation." (can. 16). "There is neither appeal nor recourse against a judgement or a decree of the Roman Pontiff." (can. 333). The Declaration By The Pontifical Council For The Interpretation OF Legislative Texts On The Llefebvre Schism -- 1996 provides further confirmation from Rome leaving no doubt that the Society is in schism. (22)
I exhort my SSPX friends to re-examine their most precarious position contra the Roman Catholic Church, which is a position contra Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
"Happy the man whose offence is forgiven, whose sin is remitted.
O happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no guile.
"But now I have acknowledged my sins; my guilt I did not hide.
I said: 'I will confess my offence to the Lord.'
And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin.
"Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, exult, you just!
O come, ring out your joy, all you upright of heart." (23)
- A remarkable statement by one of the party; remarkable in view of the fact that over 700 years separated the lives of Genghis Khan (c. 1162-1227) and Attila the Hun (c. 406-453). But even more remarkable statements were yet to come!
- The Nazareth Resource Library. http://www.cin.org/users/james/questions/q003.htm
- Bryan Patterson, Sunday Herald Sun, February 13, 2000
- The Society of St Pius X, USA. http://www.sspx.org/html/maq_q7.html
- Deception In The Church. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ditc27.html
- Hindu Net. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1997_3/0186.html
- Hindu Net Faqs. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00176.html
- Chronology of Christianity (1AD - Present). http://www.cwo.com/~pentrack/catholic/chron.html
- Fr. Morrison operates from http://www.traditio.com There has been much information provided by Terry Boyle http://www.tboyle.com) and Jim Vogel (Moderator of SSPX@onelist.com) as to the fact that Fr. Morrison was ordained by an Old Catholic Bishop (whose episcopal consecration is doubtful), and poses as a Roman Catholic priest in San Francisco. He refuses to disclose the circumstances of his ordination. However, he was re-ordained by a schismatic Duarte Costa Bishop Sebastian. Fr. Morrison's TRADITIO appears to be a compulsory "link" on most so-called "traditionalist" web-sites, including "TRADICATH", the list operated by George Craig, sacristan to the SSPX chapel in Adelaide. The quote from Fr. Morrison is from Fr. Morrison's reply to Ralph,Sat, 4 Sep 1999 21:50:11 and forwarded to George Craig's list.on Sun. 5 Sep.
- Fr. David C. Trosch. http://www.trosch.org/jpi/history-ref-jp2.htm
- e-mail to email@example.com
"So, John! I am still trying to establish whether that woman who read the Epistle back in 1984 (not 1985, as per your book) was indeed an American or, what she looks like, an indigenous New Guinean woman.
"I am having great difficulty in getting current data on Susan Kenge - apart from Trosch and Jim McNally's web-sites. In searching 'All The Web' (http://www.alltheweb.com), I get quite a few 'hits' on Kenge - in Zimbabwe.
"Peter Lovest Thou Me?" doesn't specify her name or nationality. It's reference is 'La Croix'.
"I can't find "Introibo", France in my search to follow up the query.
"Are you able to tell me whether you checked the veracity of the 'Introibo' story, and the identity/nationality of the reader? Was 'Holly College there' in the USA or New Guinea? Any other corroboration? Any other further info. on Susan Kenge?
- e-mail to tradx@eGroups.com"Subject: [Trad-X] 'Semi-nude female...at the Pope's Mass'
"Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 18:03:01 -0800
"Help Wanted On 'A Semi-nude female reads...at the Pope's Mass' in Papua/New Guinea, 1984.
"...So! Is there anyone out there with long memories and great references who can help me to establish whether or not Susan Kenge was, in fact, an American student at Holly College in Papua-New Guinea, and that she was the person described above? Has she since had a change of name? Did she have justification (as an educated American) for the semi-nude state?"
- e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and Cf. http://www.rc.net/papuanewguinea/"I am involved in apologetics with so-called 'traditionalists' who disparage Pope John Paul II over a variety of alleged abuses, including kissing the Koran, being 'signed by a Hindu priestess with the sign of Shiva', and of course, the Papal Mass in Papua New Guinea in 1984, wherein it was claimed that an educated bare-breasted woman from America read the lesson.
"I am concerned to learn the truth of the matter, placing trust in the integrity of the Holy Father and ascribing good faith to his actions.
"I attach a copy of my notes to date, which have been posted to the 'tradx' list in Canada, wherein I requested assistance on the matter.
"I understand that the said woman may have been a student at Holy Trinity (College?) in the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen, but I have no contact address for that Archdiocese.
"Are you able to assist me on this matter, please?"
- "Dear xxxxx,
"In the meantime, having received 'Charles'' latest, I have been doing a bit of research trying to find info. on 'A Voice Crying In The Wilderness' mentioned by him I wanted to check out the assertion that the woman lector at the Pope's Mass in New Guinea was, in fact, an American woman named Susan Kenge.
"I found the file on Fr. David Trosch's site (he is a Roman Catholic priest - removed by his bishop for advocating killing of abortion providers), and noted it on Jim McNally's sedevacantist site also."
- Search engine: All The Web All The Time. http://www.allthe web.com
- Brother Alexis Bugnolo's web-site. http://home.ici.net/~panther/vatican2/dimond.htmlOn the same site, Brother Bugnolo also has a critique of Fr. James Wathen, O.S.J.'s "The Great Sacrilege" which was written in 1971, and which has been almost a bible for so-called "traditionalists". His site carries a response from Fr. Wathen and Bro. Bugnolo's counter reply. He points out that Fr. Wathen's Sovereign Military Order Of St John Of Jerusalem is bogus - not a Catholic Order.
Further excellent information on the bogus O.S.J. may be viewed at http://www.olfatima.com/osj.html where "Light On The OSJ" by Rev. Anthony Cekada is available. Beware, however, for this site is sedevacantist.
- Dr. Art Sippo - http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3517/nosalv.htm
- For the vindication by the body which is the " that person to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic
......interpretation." one to whom the legislator has granted the power to interpret them (the Laws authentically," see:
- Responsorial Psalm Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B.
F. John Loughnan
February 18, 2000
F. John Loughnan's Files on the SSPX
Sean Ó Lachtnáin's Home Page