Thursday, May 7, 2015





S1177 (the Reauthorization of  ESEA...the old No Child Left Behind Act)  is a combination of  Republican Congressman John Kline's  HR5 Student Success Act and  Republican Senator Lamar Alexander's Every Child Achieves Act 2015 (S1177)     

You, members of Grassroots America, killed HR5 last February.  You can  kill its companion bill S1177, which is coming up for a full vote in the Senate any day now.


The Renaissance, "Inner Experience", and Nouvelle Theology

By Betsy Kraus


Certainly the Neoplatonic or Kabbalistic views of those in the early Church and the Renaissance might well be the reasons why Nouvelle Theology is accused of Pantheism, Panentheism, the deification of mankind, and the disregard for the hierarchical, institutional Church of Christ on earth. Denying the hierarchical Church and presuming that all men are infused with supernatural grace has allowed for the Sacramental "People’s Church" run by committees and ruled by facilitators and consensus rather than truth. Such views make the world "Incarnational" and everything in it holy because of a "the divine vital immanence" of God in the world, and false interpretations of the Hypostatic union of Jesus’ Divine nature with human nature at His Incarnation.

Modernists appear to have presented a heretical "inner experience" of Christian Mysticism. They have bypassed or given faint praise to the institutional Church with all its Sacraments and Sacramental aids for personal salvation and, instead, have given us the spiritual autonomy and Mysticism of the East. Those who are attracted to Contemplation and formulas such as "The Centering Prayer" please know that the vision of God is the work of grace and the reward of eternal life; in the present life it is only possible to a few privileged souls to attain union with God by a very special grace of God called the theosis, mystike enosis. However, Jacques Maritain (1882-1973), an Existentialist theologian, seemed to think that union with the Divine through contemplation should be a common occurrence and available to many. "It called to the contemplation of the saints and to perfection, not a few specialists or privileged persons, but all men, who are all bound proportionately by the law of work."(Emphasis Ed.) (6.) His explorations into "natural mysticism" and "spiritual unconsciousness" were informed by the Transcendental Thomist, Etienne Gilson, and the "comparative mysticism" of Henri de Lubac, which opened the debate on the salvation of unbelievers through mysticism. Maritain found hope in the studies of Islamic mysticism and the Vedanta. [Source, 14.] There is an extensive Jacques Maritain Center presently located at the University of Notre Dame.

Beware of students being taught contemplation, reflection, and action, embedded in classroom materials. (This could be a dreadful combination of Blondel’s esoteric Pragmatism, Incarnational Immanence, Neo-Platonic, Kabbalistic Mysticism, Transformational learning, and Behaviorism.)

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), who lived during the period of the formative years of Nouvelle Theology, had choice words for those who submitted to the subjectivism of "inner experience" or "inner light": "Of all the conceivable forms of enlightenment the worst is what the people call the Inner Light. Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within…That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon…cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within." (7)

It took the Counter Reformation along with the Council of Trent (1545-1563) to rectify Renaissance errors by addressing the heretical thought dividing Europe. However, although the Catholic Church denounced these errors, nonetheless, such errors of Hermetic and secret inner knowledge spread to Protestant lands, where secret brotherhoods devolved into Rosicrucianism and Masonry. [Armstrong]
                                                            Ancient Greek Humanism

Is Scholasticism currently being ignored or discarded along with the Council of Trent in order to teach the modernist’s ideas of the classical Humanism of antiquity? "Throughout the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, humanists, delving into the humanistic manuscripts of ancient Greece, were unanimous in their condemnation of university education and their contempt for Scholastic logic. Humanists …set about to replace the Scholastic curriculum, based on syllogism and disputation, with a treatment of logic oriented toward the use of persuasion and topics, a technique of verbal association aiming at the invention and organization of material for arguments. According to Valla and Agricola, language is primarily a vehicle for communication and debate, and consequently arguments should be evaluated in terms of how effective and useful they are rather than in terms of formal validity. Accordingly, they subsumed the study of the Aristotelian theory of inference under a broader range of forms of argumentation. This approach was taken up and developed in various directions by later humanists." (Emphasis, Ed.) (8) Isn’t this exactly what is happening in education today through the dialectics of ‘persuasion" and "consensus", which are attributable to such men as Hegel, Bloom, Skinner, and the current progressive educators?

Unfortunately, the Counter Reformation, in order to dispel Renaissance heresies, did not eradicate dissent nor quell the many heretical seeds which were embedded in and became a part of Modernism. However, it wasn’t until Vatican II that Scholasticism was apparently, once again, dismissed and "dethroned" by theologians under the influence of Modernism, Renaissance Humanism, and the diversity of the ancient Christians.

                                                                                                                                 PLATONIC LOVE

There was one more far-reaching influence of the Renaissance on Western culture. That was Ficino’s Neo-Platonist doctrine of Platonic Love. Platonic love was considered the highest form of love in Plato’s reasoning, shown in the concrete form through his Symposium. The love spoken of in this Symposium was mostly homosexual love. Platonic love consisted of a spiritual love between two men as they continued on their spiritual ascent to God. However, "In antiquity, pederasty was seen as an educational institution for the inculcation of moral and cultural values in some cultures, as well as a form of sexual expression. Its practice dates from the archaic period onwards in Ancient Greece, though Cretan ritual objects reflecting an already formalized practice date to the late Minoan civilization, around 1650 BC. According to Plato, in ancient Greece, pederasty was a relationship and bond whether sexual or chaste between an adolescent boy and an adult man outside of his immediate family." (Emphasis, Ed.) (9) Might any of that sound familiar regarding the plight of current day pederasty?

Under the influence of Ficino and his academy, "…the doctrine of Platonic love diffused quickly all throughout the culture. It significantly changed the European experience of sexual love which, since antiquity, had always been closely related erotics and physical attraction. Suddenly writers, artists, poets, philosophers, and women's communities began discussing sexual love in terms of spiritual bonds, as reflecting the relationship between the individuals and God. Platonic love was the soul’s spiritual ascent to ultimate beauty which was fueled by love between men.  Platonic love also gave homosexual erotics a new language. While homosexuality was extremely common in the Middle Ages, it wasn't really regarded as an identity characteristic, as we do today. When a man had sex with another man, he was a sodomite for as long as the act took place. After that, he was someone who committed sodomy; homosexuality as a steady state did not really exist. The language of Platonic love, however, gave the Italians a language with which to define non-sexual male-male relationships. Once understood in spiritual terms, male-male sexual relationships could now be discussed in the same terms: in the Italian Renaissance, the language of male-male friendship and male-male erotics became the same. This language is still a key element in the modern debates of homosexuality and lesbianism." (10)

                                                  Ascending the ladder of Platonic Love

Did Ficino and his Platonic love help influence current attitudes described in the following quote? "For most of the past two thousand years no one would discuss Greek pederasty directly, and the innumerable references in ancient literature to erotic relationships between men and boys were ignored or suppressed. This situation has changed in recent years with the publication of important books about sexuality in the ancient world, but despite the openness of modern discussion, the question has to be raised whether Greek pederasty was good for the young boys [who] were the object of adult male sexual attention. Modern scholars have tended to accept without question or doubt the rationale of the ancient pederasts that their activities were beneficial to boys, that they were educating boys in the habits and ways of manhood and of citizenship…" (Emphasis, Ed.) (11)
In 2006, Randy Engel published her book, The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church. Here, she documents in minute detail the homosexual invasion of the Catholic Church after Vatican II. Her research goes back to Greece and Sparta. Among all the devastating information regarding homosexuality in the Church, Engel also exposes the homosexual colonization of the NCCB/USCC and the Seminaries in Chapter 11 of this 1281 page book. Regarding the Seminaries, Engel says: "Prior to Vatican II, such a large-scale in-house subversive network would have been impossible. Today it is a reality. Homosexuality has become an institutionalized feature of many diocesan seminaries and houses of religious formation. Moreover, there are seminary rectors and supervisors who have opened their doors to the Homosexual Collective for the purpose of recruitment and propaganda." (12)

Prior to Engels work, Bishop Enrique T, Rueda released his 1982 book, The Homosexual Network: Private Lives and Public Policy .This is an equally devastating book exposing the homosexual invasion of the Catholic Church. In addition, according to Bella Dodd, a high-up Communist operative, the Communists purposely infiltrated the seminaries with homosexuals and deviants to subvert the Church. "Bella Dodd…openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals with the Vatican who "were working for us." (13)

This is all documented in Dodd’s 1954 book, School of Darkness, which she wrote after blowing the whistle on Communist subversion, and being received back into the Catholic Church by Bishop Fulton Sheen.

Just recently Michael Voris of Church Militant released two videos condemning homosexual activity within the clergy, so, even as attempts and strides have been made within the Church to eliminate this glaring problem, apparently such issues are still not a thing of the past. In January of 2015, St. Petersburg, Florida’s Bishop Robert Lynch suggested that homosexual relationships can be godly and elevate society and the Church. [Source 12.]
And what is the attitude of at least one organization of the American Prelates regarding homosexual clerics? In Mary Jo Anderson’s recent 2014 article, Bishops Betraying the Catholic Church, she says: "It became fashionable for some American prelates to flaunt one's independence from the Church - to prove that they were not stodgy old time Catholics, but the sophisticated "American Catholics." Many of the bishops in Dallas today came of age in the '60s era of rebellion. They resent, as free Americans, being told what to do by the Vatican. As early as 1961, the Vatican issued an instruction, The Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders, prohibiting the admission of homosexuals to the seminaries. It was simply ignored by those bent on "changing the structure" of the Church to conform to the liberal American culture…Others were weak and allowed the National Conference of Catholic Bishops to push them into acquiescence. Soon, the internal committees of the NCCB were composed of homosexuals and modernists, feminists and even New Age devotees. They have a death grip on the levers of power within the Conference." (Emphasis, Ed.) (14)

Has Platonic love influenced the contemplation, reflection, and action of the Jesuit Ignatian teaching Paradigm? "On behalf of Georgetown University Pride and this year’s organizing committee, we are delighted to extend an invitation for a delegation from your student body to attend the 2015 IgnatianQ Conference hosted at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. from 27 to 29 March, 2015. For those of you unfamiliar with the conference, IgnatianQ brings together students representing most of the 28 Jesuit universities in the United States, among others, for a series of events that explore the LGBTQ identity within the context of Jesuit education... This year, the theme of the IgnatianQ conference will be Forming Contemplative Communities to Ignite Action. This theme draws on several core Jesuit values, such as interreligious understanding, community and diversity, and being contemplatives in action, as well as on the Jesuit expression, "go forth and set the world on fire." IgnatianQ 2015 will feature Georgetown faculty, alumni, national LGBTQ and faith figures, as well as several opportunities for your delegation to formally present on your distinct experiences on your campuses". (Emphasis, Ed.) (15)

Regrettably, with regard to the Jesuits: "In the West, the Jesuits' huge prestige in the world of education has been overshadowed by child-abuse scandals. Jesuits in the northwestern United States paid out $166m to victims (mainly indigenous) of child abuse in schools. One of the order's best-known American members, the travelling preacher Donald McGuire, was exposed as a serial abuser and sent to jail for 25 years, to the acute embarrassment of senior Jesuits who had failed to respond to complaints. (16) 

Have Marsilio Ficino’s Platonic concepts regarding education also influenced the Jesuits? The Renaissance brought about a new kind of education, based on contemplation and the rejection of Scholasticism. For Ficino the main goal of culture and education was contemplation leading to an understanding of eternal truth. Call to mind Ficino’s paganistic form of contemplation. Is this a part of the Jesuit "Contemplation, Reflection, and Action" immersed in all subjects? How many other Catholic schools are following suit? A Philosophy page on the website of a Jesuit University states: "Imagining and understanding the ancient Greeks in their context raises the political problems as the most urgent in human life and allows for creative extensions of Ignatius' thought.  He compels us to do so.  He taught us that by actively imagining we partake of the demiurgic divine activity." (Emphasis, Ed.) (17) A Demiurge is a Platonic subordinate deity who is the creator of the world, or a Gnostic subordinate deity who is the creator of the material world. Would St. Ignatius ever been a party to such distortion?

Has such Platonic-style thinking afforded the framework for Marxist Lev Vygotsky’s "Creative Play" for preschoolers? "Children subjected to methods arising from such thinking believe as adult progressives believe, that anything imaginable must be possible? Progressive preschools embrace Vygotsky's nonsense and breed dreamers who equate wishful thinking to feasible outcomes. Stop global warming. Erase inequality. Establish a new world order…" (18) 

How influential is Platonism and Neoplatonism in today’s Catholic education? Here’s what one educator says:  "For much of my academic career, I have struggled to make sense of the relevance of Plotinus' Neoplatonism for the contemporary world and for my own life. I am coming to the view, however, that Plotinus and Neoplatonism may be much more relevant to contemporary life--and especially contemporary higher education--than I ever imagined. I intend that my discussion in this paper will make clear that relevance and provide an opportunity to shed some light on Catholic higher education." (19)

Next: Meet the Nouvelle Theologians

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Related Posts:

Part 1: Wake Up, Catholics
Part 2: Cookie Cutter Common Core & Private Education
Part 3: The People's Church
Part 4: The Theology of Community Organizing