The Reverend Father Rudy Kos trial

“The Kos case, together with others across the country and around the world, created a global crisis for the church. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in concert with the Vatican, adopted numerous reforms: “zero-tolerance” policies, stricter reporting requirements, mandates to swiftly remove offending priests, prohibitions against secret settlements of abuse complaints, safe-environment training for clergy and lay workers, outreach efforts to comfort victims and their families, annual audits to measure compliance with all of it…

But how effective have the changes been?

Is the rectory, the church outing, the classroom or school playground truly safe for children?

“I hope so,” Egerton said. “But I don’t have great confidence that it is.”

A chronic, growing shortage of priests provides temptation for seminaries to, in Egerton’s words, “take whatever slides in under the door.” In 1990, there were more than 52,000 Catholic priests in the United States. Last year, the official count was 35,815.

Meanwhile, the number of Catholics is swelling, thanks largely to booming Latino communities. Between 1990 and 2008, the church added 11 million worshippers to its rolls. (There are now roughly 70 million U.S. Catholics — more than a fifth of the nation’s population.)

With more parishioners to serve and fewer pastors to serve them, the church has increasingly turned to foreign-born priests, many from developing nations. A fourth of all U.S. priests, and a third of all new priests, now come from other countries — from India and Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Philippines, Nigeria and Kenya, Mexico and Colombia, Poland and Spain.”

Nag Hammadi scriptures – An illness approved by the Christian God

“But Peter smiled and said unto him: My son, it is manifest unto God alone wherefore her body is not whole. Know then that God is not weak nor powerless to grant his gift unto my daughter: but that thy soul may be convinced, and they that are here present may the more believe -then he looked unto his daughter and said to her: Raise thyself up from thy place, without any helping thee save Jesus only, and walk whole before all these, and come unto me. And she arose and came to him; and the multitude rejoiced at that which was come to pass. Then said Peter unto them: Behold, your heart is convinced that God is not without strength concerning all things that we ask of him. Then they rejoiced yet more and praised God. And Peter said to his daughter: Go unto thy place, and lay thee down and be again in thine infirmity, for this is expedient for me and for thee. And the maiden went back and lay down in her place and was as beforetime: and the whole multitude wept, and entreated Peter to make her whole.

But Peter said unto them: As the Lord liveth, this is expedient for her and for me. For on the day when she was born unto me I saw a vision, and the Lord said unto me: Peter, this day is a great temptation born unto thee, for this daughter will bring hurt unto many souls if her body continue whole. But I thought that the vision did mock me.

Now when the maiden was ten years old, a stumbling-block was prepared for many by reason of her. And an exceeding rich man, by name Ptolemaeus, when he had seen the maiden with her mother bathing, sent unto her to take her to wife; but her mother consented not. And he sent oft-times to her, and could not wait.

[Here a leaf is lost: the sense, however, is not hard to supply. Augustine speaks (quoting Apocryphal Acts) of a daughter of Peter struck with palsy at the prayer of her father.

Ptolemaeus, unable to win the maiden by fair means, comes and carries her off. Peter hears of it and prays God to protect her. His prayer is heard. She is struck with palsy on one side of her body.”

Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) may be a pandeist

Father Paul Kramer has written the following:

“Bergoglio is an infidel. He is a pandeist who does not believe in the transcendent God and Creator of Catholicism, but in the immanent ‘divine principle’ of Paganism, the life giving world soul (anima mundi) within the universe. His creed is remarkably like a synthesis of the belief systems of Lord Shaftsbury, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Benedict Spinoza, Auguste Compte, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He says atheists can be saved (no need for faith in God), he says the souls of the damned do not suffer eternal punishment. The damned souls, according to Bergoglio, will be annihilated. His doctrine on marriage is entirely circumscribed by Naturalism, denying the supernatural sacramentality of Holy Matrimony.”

(Please note that it is Father Cramer who is calling Pope Francis an “infidel”. I personally think that is an unwarranted insult)

“His (Pope Francis’s) religion is the Enlightenment “religion” of revelation experienced in one’s heart — of an immanent Deity which reveals itself in natural human experience — the “Mother Earth” he professed on 2 June 2016, as the one who “gave us life and protects us”. Thus, the absolute primacy of one’s own conscience rather than the Commandments of God. Bergoglio’s religion is a pandeistic form of Gnosticism, expressed in terms of the perfidious “liberal theology” which had sprung forth from the faithless Enlightenment in the doctrine of Friedrich Schleiermacher, and his moral doctrine likewise is the vague Enlightenment belief in the “Moral Sense”, as professed by the infidel Lord Shaftsbury.”

Tapping the energy of God

This is from an unnamed poster, commenting on the ideas of Paola Zizzi:

“Because “Pandeists believe all consciousness, in all life, to be fragments of God’s awareness” Such a God may not consciously interact with the material universe, but might still exerts a latent influence over the development of the physical universe, and the evolution of things within it. Because man is part of the material universe, and therefore composed of remnants of God, it could then be possible for God’s energy to be tapped by an individual.

As with man’s ability to release the power of the atom in an atomic bomb or nuclear reactor, every human mind could conceivably access and release some portion of the power or the knowledge of God, perhaps by simply realizing their connection with the universe through meditation. If this is valid, religious figures such as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, and others may have been able to perform those miracles attributed to them by tapping into this infinite source of energy.”

Consciousness & Pandeism

A pandeistic poem

And they say that rocks have a soul
And rivers moonlight ecstasies.
But flowers, if they felt anything, wouldn’t be flowers,
They would be people;
And if rocks had a soul, they would be living things, not rocks;
And if rivers had moonlight ecstasies,
Rivers would be sick men.
Only if you don’t know what flowers and rocks and rivers are
Can you talk about their feelings.
To talk about the soul of rocks, and flowers, and rivers,
Is to talk about ourselves and our fake thoughts.
Thank god rocks are only rocks,
And that rivers are but rivers,
And flowers nothing more than flowers.
I, myself, write the prose of my verses
And I’m happy
Because I know I understand Nature from the outside;
And don’t understand it from the inside
Because Nature has no inside;
Or it would not be Nature.

(By Fernando Pessoa, writing as Alberto Caeiro)

Kurt Schranzer on pandeism

“Kurt Schranzer & Terry Burrows: Spirit & Flesh brings together selected artworks under this overarching theme, moving beyond the Western-centric Christian narratives that are usually associated with the phrase (the battle-loaded oppositions of purity of spirit and worldly, carnal nature), to yield more varied, absorbing, profound forms and meanings.”

“Schranzer speaks of Pandeism and the book God’s Debris (Scott Adams, 2001) as holding that the universe is identical to God, and that as God annihilated itself in the Big Bang — becoming the universe to experience its own ‘being’ — it became unconscious and non-sentient. God became the smallest units of matter, time, space, gravity, and is slowly reassembling itself, growing towards consciousness of ‘self’ through humanity. The potential for consciousness “should be intrinsic to all matter and energy, in all space and time dimensions.”

Bernardo Kastrup on pandeism

“Pandeism is a school of thought that holds that the universe is identical to God, but also that God was initially an omni-conscious and omni-sentient force or entity. However, upon creating the universe, God became unconscious and non-sentient by the very act of becoming the universe itself.”

I personally would modify the above defintion. It is correct that at the time of creation God ceased to be a unitary omniscient being, but his consciousness persisted in a finite and separate form in all the creatures of the universe.

Kastrup goes on to state: “The idea of a final cosmic re-assembly of God into an omni-conscious, sentient being is somewhat analogous to Kurzweil’s post-singularity vision that technology evolution will inexorably lead to a future where intelligence will permeate all matter in the universe.”

I would modify this statement as well. I do not think technology on its own could achieve such a result. There has to be development of human consciousness and understanding.

The pandeism fish

The fish symbol has been used by Christians for two millenia. It is an interesting coincidence that the fish could also represent the idea of pandeism. On the left of the diagram is an open-ended triangle symbolizing the original divine being condensing and collapsing into a point singularity, leading into the oval-shaped universe on the right. Pandeism could be the real original meaning of Christian doctrine.

The oval on the right of the image is a depiction of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation which is a remnant of the Big Bang.

A Freudian analysis of St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine rejected pantheism, and would no doubt have rejected pandeism. This Freudian analysis may help us understand the psychological reasons for such a rejection:

“Freudian studies of Augustine place his life within the Oedipal complex. Bakan states: “The Oedipal elements in Augustine are patent. There is a great attachment to the mother. The father is reproached for not being a Christian, for his sexuality, for his anger, etc. His mother’s sexual relations with the father are conceived of as a sufferance on her part and impiety on his.”
Oedipal articulations of Augustine’s familial and religious life and
their interconnection pose my question concerning the working out of the Oedipus complex in Augustine’s adult relations with his father, mother, and God. Do the Confessions present us with a neurotic outcome? In response I will analyze Augustine’s life as recorded in the Confessions in terms of Ricoeur’s interpretation of the Oedipus complex. Then, I will present the necessary processes for non-neurotic resolution of the Oedipus complex and apply them to Augustine. Finally, I will analyze Augustine’s relations with God in terms of the Oedipal complex. In the course of the examination, I will raise not only autobiographical questions but also theological issues. Dittes considers that Augustine’s persistent adult Oedipal conflict adversely affects his teaching on creation and sovereignty, redemption, church authority, the problem of evil, grace, original sin, and predestination, the sacraments, and his dealings with the Manicheans, Donatists, and Pelagians. For Dittes, the Oedipal conflict influences every position Augustine holds: “The utter dependence of man on God, his own virtual impotence and ineffectiveness before God – this is the theme on which each of the positions insists. A parallel theme is that of the remoteness, aloofness, absoluteness, impersonality, unapproachability – except in abject humility, of confession – of this controlling God.” Dittes’s view requires us to trace the history of Augustine’s relations with God in terms of the development of his libido. The first question is one of fact: When Augustine wrote the Confessions, was the outcome of his Oedipal relations with his parents neurotic? Ricoeur believes that “the sphere of competence of psychoanalysis is defined by the presence and interplay of life and death instincts.”
The field on which these instincts are played out is the Oedipus complex: “The critical point of the Oedipus complex is to be sought for in the initial constitution of desire, namely, its infantile omnipotence. From this proceeds the phantasm of a father who would retain the privileges which the son must seize if he is to be himself.”
Augustine identifies the infantile desire for omnipotence in Book 1 of the Confessions: “And when I did not get what I wanted . . . I was in a rage with my parents as though I had a right to their submission, with free human beings as though they had been bound to serve me; and I took my revenge in screams” (1.6.8).
The Freudian interpreters believe that Augustine did not deal successfully with infantile megalomania. They offer ample evidence, some of the evidence ingenious; the essential thrust is the “great attachment to the mother,” who is the object of omnipotent infantile desire: “The usual dynamics of the oedipal situation were apparently enhanced in the case of Augustine. Augustine suffered the added misfortune of having ‘won’ the oedipal conflict with his father, sealed by the death of his father when he was sixteen.”
Dittes offers detailed evidence to support his claim and concludes:
It does not take an esoteric or subtle psychological theory to suppose that a boy raised by such an insistent woman would develop a strong attachment and dependence upon her. Nor does it take sly psychoanalytic sleuthing to find evidence for such dependence in the Confessions. Augustine’s attachment to his mother seems clear both in his words about her and in the behavior he reports.
Kligerman makes the same point:
We see the impossible position Monica forced on Augustine. Emotionally alienated from her husband, she had grown especially close to her oldest son and pinned her hopes on him. . . . Frigid hyper-moral women frequently find concealed incestuous gratification in such stormy emotional scenes with their sons. For him it must have been an extremely seductive yet frustrating process, and shed light on the turbulence of his adolescence.”

From The Theology of Augustine’s Confessions by Paul Rigby

St. Augustine taught “the utter dependence of man on God, his own virtual impotence and ineffectiveness before God”, which is clearly at odds with the pandeistic view that God became the Universe and bestowed his consciousness on finite beings.

Raphael Lataster on Pandeism

Raphael Lataster holds a PhD (Studies in Religion) from the University of Sydney, and lectures there and at other institutions.
Raphael Lataster’s website

“One particularly interesting form of pantheism is pandeism, which involves a creative act that is somewhat similar to that in traditional monotheism. In pandeistic scenarios, there is a powerful deity who sacrificed itself in order to create the universe.”