The following article deals with a liturgy or a performance – one is not certain exactly how to describe it – held recently in a Roman Catholic Church in Toronto. It was meant to be a celebration in honour of the Paulist Fathers who administer the parish. Many of those invited had no idea what was in store for them. When the performance or liturgy, or whatever it was, was over, the young priests in his early thirties and with a short black beard presiding over the gathering described it as a “magnificent performance.” Others, such as the author, thought very differently. They saw it as diabolical.
This article was originally a letter sent to his Eminence Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter, Archbishop of Toronto. We publish it here in the belief that our Catholic readers should be made aware of what is happening with some people in the Roman Catholic Church. As far as we are aware, this is a solitary abuse. Nevertheless, unless this kind of activity is exposed, it will grow and flourish under the argument that if nobody objects, it must be acceptable. This argument has been used by dissenting theologians and novelty-seeking liturgists over the last 20 years.
Why, you may ask, should it be published in The Interim? For years now we have brought articles on topics such as radical feminism, women’s ordination, dissenting theologians, secularism, run away sex education, nuns for abortion, ministers for homosexuality, even an article on new witchcraft rituals sponsored by supposed responsible people (see December 1988). The event described below illustrates that all these changes are intertwined and have concrete consequences. In society at large a new religion of superstition, the New Age Movement, is spreading. Within Christian communities the “Creation-Spirituality” of Father Matthew Fox appears to be a similar corruption, a religion of everything, a dash of this and a dash of that. Christian mysticism, Hinduism (re-incarnation), Buddhism, yoga, native Indian gods, feminism, sex, throw in a few Christian blessings and rituals, add witchcraft and deny sin and the devil, pour into a cauldron, heat up and serve as a new religious brew.
My husband and I, my daughter and three of her friends, all Roman Catholics, attended “The Omega Dance Company’s” performance on Saturday, November 12, 1988, at 8:30 p.m., in St. Peter’s Church in Toronto. It was part of the weekend festivities to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Paulist Fathers. The Company is based at St. John the Divine Episcopal (Anglican) Cathedral in New York City, known for its endorsement of the Gay Lifestyle and anti-Christian family mentality. (1)
The title of this performance was “And the Word Became Dance,” and, Your Eminence, the Word did become dance. After paying $12.00 each, we were seated on the right side of the sanctuary facing the centre in one of the five rows of seats. On the opposite of the Blessed Sacrament were another five rows of seats likewise facing the centre. The Blessed Sacrament remained on the altar throughout the entire one-and-a-half hour show. On the Sanctuary behind the altar were huge stage lights. Also behind the altar were two stepladders strategically placed as props. Bells and drums were heard continuously as the “choir” rehearsed before the performance. No one could see, let alone adore Our Lord in the Tabernacle, as the chairs in front of it blocked the view, and everyone was so distracted that the atmosphere was not conducive to prayers.
To the beat of a bass drum and many loud bells, the entrance processional commenced. A male cantor, dressed in Mass vestments, walked in holding high a book that had seven multi-coloured ribbons hanging from it! I was to find out later that this was not the Bible, but a ring binder containing distortions of psalms 192 and 34, and the order of the liturgy. Five dancers, three female and two male also walked up the aisle. The female dancers wore from the waist up skin-tight (white)_ leotards and full white skirts. The male dancers wore loose-fitting pants and tops. Very fast-moving spiral dancing ensured on their reaching the altar. The cantor walked with his arm around one of the female dancers’ waist, then he sat down beside her. The dancing then became slow, to the beat of sensuous drums, and the dancers all went to the front of the Sanctuary after ten minutes with arms stretched forward and asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The cantor said the opening prayer, which was “The word became flesh in sun and moon, fowl and animals. They came from the four corners of the earth, to worship the goodness of creation.”
We were then presented with a soldier army uniform cavorting around the Sanctuary with hip movements and anguish over the death of his girl friend. On the same note we were introduced to the song “The Cry of the Poor,” not psalm 34 at all, as was stated in the programme. We were led to believe that the poor were those deprived of sexual fulfillment. It is a tenet of the New Age form of Creation Spirituality promoted by Fr. Matthew Fox, recently censured by the Vatican. (2)
Jesus the Christ was invoked – but in the manner of a New Age or occult way of separating the Lord Jesus from His redemptive divine mission. According to New Age, we are all divine and may reincarnate, as Jesus did, into higher and higher Christ-consciousness, all the time working off bad Karma accrued in past lives.
A mocking presentation of the gospel narrative entitled “The Road to Damascus,” riveted us to our seats. It was treated as a fairy tale at best and, at one point, amidst the rollicking, shouting and running, a female “dancer” in the role of “mother-god” screamed from atop the ladder that she gave birth to St. Paul. She quoted from the epistles of St. Paul, whilst the others scoffed. She later invoked the goddess Diana, from pagan worship ceremonies. The heretic Meister Ekhart (1260-1329_ promulgated by Fr. Matthew Fox, as a spiritual genius, said pretty much the same thing and I quote from his “Meditations:” “We are all meant to be mothers of God.” (3) The blasphemous garbling and yelling continued for 15 minutes. An ongoing chant ensured, condemning the Torah for not allowing women in the past to wear men’s clothing under penalty of severe punishment.
The Lord’s prayer was said with instruction to use inclusive language, if we wished.
Before the showing of a gigantic loaf of egg bread, and after a loud and noisy procession up the middle aisle to the beat of loud bass drums, and clanging of many bells, a blessing of the bread and creation took place. A platter holding the enormous egg loaf was passed to everyone who grabbed a piece of the bread and proceeded to talk and laugh and chew it. Our group did not participate, but sat in disbelief. I must mention here that the Mass “was concelebrated by the cantor, the three women and the two men “dancers.” At this point, the female dancers dipped branches complete with leaves into the large basin of water that had been carried up the aisle with the egg brad prior to the “Eucharistic Celebration.” They proceeded to “baptize” the congregation by spraying the water over the people. This was done to the beat of a sensuous drum as the females ran furiously around the church and Sanctuary.
We sat transfixed in our seats after the “Baptism,” as we listened to the convulsive vomiting sounds of a darkly-clad nun slowly coming up the middle aisle of the Church. On reaching the Sanctuary, she continued to make vomiting sounds although nothing came out of her mouth. Thereupon she fell to her knees, beating her breast in repentance and whipping herself with a whip to the hysterical laughter of five women in the front row – all about 55 years of age. The rest of the Church was silent. I believe they were in shock,, witnessing outright blasphemy of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.
The nun then threw back her veil and became a monk, who continued to act in the same blasphemous manner. He fell a number of times and rolled around on the Sanctuary. It became very boisterous and noisy. This was interrupted by a second “dancer” in a raincoat, who encouraged the monk to stop his ridiculous praising and repentance and grabbed the former’s rosary and put it in his pocket. After ten minutes of this, a female “dancer” clad in skin-tight white tights and tutu at the waist, exposing an articulate derriere, and sporting running shoes and fairy wings, mockingly ran and stumbled around the Sanctuary yelling and spreading her legs in front of the poor but stupid monk. Seeing he would not stop repenting, she grabbed the rosary from the pocket of the other male “dancer” and secure it in her bosom, the howls of laughter coming from the front row. The title of this blasphemy was “Goody Tutu Takes a Fall.” My daughter and her friends, shaking and visibly upset, left the Church at this point. My husband and I remained to the end, while I took notes.
The closing consisted of the cantor, five dancers and congregation joining hands in a large circle around the Church to the beat of a bass drum, reminiscent of schoolyard play.
On leaving the Church after the “Liturgy” we heard two women who had been sitting in the front row say, and I quote: “Wasn’t that wonderful? This is just what Fr. Matthew Fox does.”
Aware that the New Age or Occult Movement is well established in the entire world and quite possibly also within the Catholic Church, our witnessing this blasphemy of the Mass and the Sacraments proved to me that it is in fact in the Church.
(1) St. John the Divine Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York comes under Bishop Paul Moore, one of the most heterodox people in the very “liberal” Anglican community in the United States. In 1977, Moore ordained a self-declared lesbian as an Episcopal minister. Earlier, at her ordination as “deacon” in 1975, Moore said he considered acceptance of a self-declared lesbian “a sign of healthy change toward homosexuality.” In 1984, the cathedral was in the news when the corpus of a female impersonation of the crucified Jesus Christ was hung behind the main altar. (The United Church of Canada’s Emmanual College in Toronto now also has a statue of a crucified female Christ). In 1986, Moore led the New York drive for legal protection of so-called sexual orientation, i.e., homosexuality. John the Divine “celebrates” an annual earth “mass” supposedly drawing power or energy from the earth.
(2) In Fox’s latest volume, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, one may read such nonsense as that religion has neglected to tell believers of the ways of love-making as an art of meditation, has failed to teach spiritual discipline of the holy art of savouring, has failed to connect the theophany of sexuality with other theophanies related in the Scripture (p.179-180); and “…there can be no renaissance (in the Church) without a mystical sexual awakening…” (p. 180). Fox’s influence has spread rapidly in recent years throughout North American especially among feminists and their supporters. In Canada, he is a founding director of the Applewood Centre in Toronto, a centre for unorthodox feminist retreats and spirituality which, for example, frequently advertises in the Catholic New Times. For a general overview of Matthew Fox’s teaching and his ties to the New Age movement, see Michael O’Brien’s “An Original theology. Creation and Matthew Fox” in the Canadian Catholic Review, April 1988, pp. 125-131.
(3) Eckhart (1260-1327) was a German Dominican mystic. Accused of heretical teaching, he was tried before the court of the Archbishop of Cologne in 1326, but appealed to the Pope and died during the proceedings. In 1329, Pope John XXII condemned 28 of his propositions as heretical or dangerous.