Friday, April 28, 2006

Philly Digest

Over a churchmen's dinner Wednesday night, I learned that this town's Cathedral-Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul was getting a new rector, and quite a good and prayerful one in the person of Msgr. Michael McCulken, a veteran senior administrator in the Philadelphia chancery.

McCulken succeeds the kind and gentle Msgr. John Close, who's heading to the Main Line as pastor of St Katharine of Siena in lovely Wayne.

In the pages of the Catholic Standard & Times, Pharaoh meditates on The Code:
It is pure fiction and the novel is identified as such. Unfortunately, too many people believe the story. One review, printed on the back cover of a paperback edition, states: “Read the book and be enlightened.” Nevertheless, while deeply troubling, the controversy caused by the novel and the release of the film furnishes a teaching moment for the Church. Instead of the falsifications from the novel and the film, would-be readers and movie viewers can take this opportunity to understand Catholic biblical scholarship and theology in a more fulfilling context....

The Church finds nothing new in the controversy and confusion caused by “The DaVinci Code.” Throughout the centuries, the Church has met challenges to the faith that could mislead or harm present or future members of the Church. Among the earliest was Gnosticism, which claimed to have a secret knowledge of Jesus. Gnosticism also taught that the physical world is evil, the product of a fall, and is to be rejected or left behind (cf. Catechism, 285). There is much in “The DaVinci Code” which resurrects old Gnostic doctrines, which according to the author, are found in the paintings of Leonardo DaVinci. Among these are androgyny (a combination of male and female), a dualism (a good god and an evil god), as well as the deification of wisdom, a goddess “Sophia.”
I love it that the Phar had to define "androgyny" for the Standard's demo.... That's priceless.

Oh, and "New Age" comes up, too.