Cardinal Ratzinger is Pope Benedict XVI -- and, personally, I couldn't be happier!
The announcement has just been made. Cardinal Ratzinger is the successor to Pope John Paul II. Personally, I could not be happier about it. Although the New Age Movement was apparently running rampant in the Catholic Church in the earlier 1980s, things started to change in about 1988. That was the year Matthew Fox was "silenced" for one year. Cardinal Ratzinger played a most direct role in the entire change of direction of the Catholic Church from one of toleration to one of opposition to New Age doctrinal heresies.
Cardinal Ratzinger headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican. When I started my research on the New Age Movement in 1981, the Archdiocese of Detroit bookstore probably had as many New Age books as the local New Age book dealer. Points south such as Grailville in Loveland, Ohio were strictly New Age. The last I checked, they still were.
I remember that as a conscientious member of Highland Park Baptist Church in Southfield, Michigan, I thought I needed to educate people on the disturbing theological and political developments vis a vis
the New Age Movement I was witnessing which could well have prophetic implications. My pastor then was Joseph M. Stowell who later became President of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Hoping he would carry the ball, I would buy duplicate sets of the evidence and hand then to Pastor Stowell. My recollection of those times was that he thereafter preached about 16 sermons on Jonah, looking disturbed as he did. We heard so many sermons on Jonah, various members of the congregation joked that if they heard one more, they would plan on wearing their bathing suits to church! Then one Sunday, the New Year of 1982, he reversed course, brightened and said, "well, everything's going to get better and better." My then young son said, "Mom, it looks like he considered everything you said and has now rejected it." I will tell you now the word on the New Age Movement got out with little or no thanks to Pastor Stowell. I requested my materials back and disturbed by his telling me he had not quite finished reading a book that he had obviously never opened, we had a meeting at his request in April 1982 just maybe two weeks before the New Agers ran their March 25, 1982 ads reading "The Christ is now here.” I was astounded when he told me that like me, he was very busy and had to delegate. He had asked a number of members of his staff and professional colleagues if they had heard of the New Age Movement. He said they had not and therefore he had to conclude it did not exist.
I told Pastor Stowell of a number of New Agers I knew of personally who had repented and broke from their involvement in the movement after seeing my collected materials. At that point, he said, "Connie, there must be something wrong with your message." I said, "why is that, Joe?" (We were on a first name basis!) He said, "too many Catholics and New Agers are responding to it." I was astounded. I said, "Joe, when Jesus was here, what was his pet peeve?" He said, "the hypocrites and the pharisees, why?" I said, "it's still his pet peeve." He said, "oh, no, that applied only to the Jews of Jesus' day -- why they were much more apostate than we are. I'm a child of God -- I've been transferred to the Kingdom of God." I said, "Were they? Are you? Have you? If you want my opinion, that's a pharisaical attitude right there." He said, "well, I don't agree." That night David Bryant treated the congregation to a shameless display of what I consider New Age proselytizing. I mentioned it in my first book, THE HIDDEN DANGERS OF THE RAINBOW
. I will tell you right now that I got the word out on the New Age Movement with precious little help from Pastor Stowell.
Given the lack of evangelical concern at that point in time, I decided it would be more profitable to educate my client base -- those who respected me enough to pay for advice -- on the New Age Movement and its subtle threats both to their souls and to society in general. One day in September, 1981, , I had a call from a young local priest, Fr. Eduard Perrone (not to be confused with the published Italian Theosophist of the same name) wanting to know just what I had shown a former lapsed Catholic, a childhood friend of the priest, who came back to church after many years away, and then sought him out, telling him what he saw in my office. I invited that priest to come take a look. He came in early October of 1981, reviewed my materials and then said, "I can hardly believe I'm holding this in my hand." He finally said, "I have to accept the truth of what you have told me -- I saw too much of this going through the seminary to ignore it." He said something I will never forget: "We have a terrible job facing us -- how to wake people up without scaring them to death." I have tried never to forget that wise advice!
To make a long story very short, Fr. Perrone brought MANY people to see me at the office all with their own collections of prophetic fulfillment they were seeing. He and the fine ladies of his parish eventually organized regular Saturday afternoon speaking sessions for me at his church school’s library. They taped my speeches and disseminated those tapes. After a Detroit Free Press reporter converted of her own New Age involvement and wrote a very picture essay story about my work, my work became international.
There was then the disturbing aspect of tremendous infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church which still exists on some levels. (There was tremendous Protestant infilitration as well -- much of it coming from Jeremy Rifkin.)
In the fall of 1983, I spoke in Seattle. Afterwards, at the request of some who contacted me in Detroit, I furnished Seattle Catholic activists materials proving a Catholic priest, Fr. Matthew Fox (excommunicated as of 1993) was giving seminars with self-confessed witches, with headlines of “Starhawk teaches at Holy Names.” A Seattle banker who was present said he thought the Vatican should be notified. I said imprudently “save your breath – I’m sure they must know.” Nevertheless he sent the materials to Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome who according to Kitty Muggeridge’s book, YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT DESOLATE, as well as Matthew Fox's very bitter autobiography (incidentally which also assigns some blame to yours truly for his woes)thereafter opened a file on Matthew Fox and began his long investigation.Cardinal Ratzinger wrote beautiful detailed papers on the spiritual evils of the New Age Movement, carefully citing the Alice Bailey references, that others giving probable disinformation (e.g, Fr. Pacwa) were saying to disregard. I was told that teaching about the New Age Movement was now mandatory in the Italian seminaries, at least. I had a priest walk up to me in southern California when I was speaking at a Human Life International Conference in the early 1990s and ask me, “how does it feel to be the first Protestant to start a serious in-house Roman Catholic reformation.”
Just as the New Agers were 'ecumenical,' in short time we had our own ecumenical movement of sorts going -- we had regular meetings at the church school library of that priest with local pastors from many local denominations joining the discussion and warning their respective congregations about just what the New Age M. I had support from out everywhere and opposition from about everywhere. and had long discussions of the threats this movement posed both to Christianity and to the world at large. A local newspaper reporter converted out of the New Age Movement, running from it as though she had seen the devil. She wrote a major article on my work complete with pictures which ran on May 5, 1982, just a few days after the April 25th ads ran from New Agers proclaiming their "Christ is now here". From then on, I was called by Southwest Radio Church, Trinity Broadcasting and spent close to seven full years on the national lecture circuit, returning to my law practice in December 1988.
Along the way, I had encounters with Matthew Fox, who was successfully working Catholic circles, both liturgical and educational with his New Age agenda. I sent materials to Catholics who attended my lectures at Seattle University in November, 1983. The materials were copies of Circle Network News headlined "Starhawk teaches at Holy Names." It was about her work with Matthew Fox's Institute for Creation Centered Spirituality. She wrote "we danced the spiral, jumped the cauldron and found other new and innovative ways to express ourselves. Isn't it wonderful to find such a sympathetic spirit to paganism in the Christian world?"
The Seattle Catholics United for the Faith people sent the materials to Cardinal Ratzinger against my advice. (I was convinced everybody had to know and nobody would do anything about it.) Cardinal Ratzinger, I later learned both from Kitty Muggeridge's book about the crisis of faith in the Catholic Church, Your House is Left Desolate, and Matthew Fox's autobiography that this was when the Catholic Church began to investigate and then clamp down on the New Age Movement. Cardinal Ratzinger has taken, at least in the past, a firm stand against the New Age Movement and its denials of the exclusive divinity in Christ in "whom we alone have salvation." I have no reason to suspect he has backed away from these truths.
For those and many more reasons, I am happy that he, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is the new Pope Benedict XVI. My prayers are with him and the church he will now be heading in what increasingly appears more and more to be apocalyptic times.
Thank you and good night.
Constance E. Cumbey
April 19, 2005