01: Confession: A Roman Catholic App is the first time an iPhone/iPad application has been given an imprimatur, or church approval. The app is designed to be used in the confessional, providing a personalized examination of conscience for each user and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament.
Modeled on the printed guides that have been traditionally used to prepare for confession, the text was developed in collaboration with Rev. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Executive Director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Rev. Dan Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka, IN. It is hoped that the app is will be used by individuals who have been away from the sacrament for some time.
02: While herself Greek Orthodox, mystic and visionary Vassula Ryden had already been the object of warnings by the Roman Catholic Church, and on March 16 she was excommunicated by the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Since 1985, Ryden has claimed to receive messages from Christ through an interior voice. Her messages put special emphasis on Church unity and seem to attract especially people with a Roman Catholic background. She has found enthusiastic supporters around the world, and the movement formed around her is active under the name of True Life in God (TLIG). Although the Orthodox Church of Greece had criticized Ryden, since she is a Greek living in the West she falls under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which explains the recent decision.
The fact that a handful of Orthodox priests adhere to the teachings of Ryden may have contributed to the action. Last year, in Romania, an Orthodox priest was suspended after concelebrating with a Roman Catholic priest on Pentecost day during a visit of Ryden to his church. All those who support her teachings will no longer be admitted to ecclesiastical communion, the statement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate said.
(Source: True Life in God: http://www.tlig.org – Original statement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Greek: http://www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=gr&id=1306&tla=gr – Unofficial English translation: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/03/announcement-on-vassula-ryden-by.html)
03: Once considered as an eccentric occultist with little impact, Ben Kadosh (the pen name of Carl William Hansen, 1872–1936) has become one of the key references for Satanists active in Denmark and Sweden.
Hansen had interacted with a variety of occult groups of his time and described himself as a Luciferian, believing Lucifer was the initiator giving access to mysteries hidden by the church. In 1906, he published a pamphlet meant to spread the worship of Satan/Lucifer. The text is quite difficult to understand, but some admirers of Hansen’s work claim that it was a way of preventing the uninitiated from understanding it. A later work of Hansen no longer contained explicit Satanic references.
He possibly attracted a handful of people, but never managed to create a real organization, according to writer Per Faxneld. Strangely, however, Satanists in Scandinavia have now been rediscovering Hansen and using him as a reference, notably as one of the sources of inspiration for the Neo-Luciferian Church, which was founded in 2005.
Considering that the lineage of Satanist organizations is quite novel, despite occasional claims to the contrary, the fact of being able to refer to an esoteric author writing more than 100 years ago provides some additional legitimacy, even if the heritage had in fact remained dormant for several decades. Moreover, even scholarly works such as publications by Per Faxneld himself have led Satanists to discover Hansen and become enthusiastic readers of his work: the influence both of fiction and scholarly works on religious (re)constructions is a phenomenon worth paying attention to (and something already well known by scholars studying contemporary Paganism, one could add).
(Source: Aries, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2011, c/o: Hilda Nobach, Faculty of Humanities, Dept. Art, Religion and Cultural Studies, Oude Turfmarkt 147, 1012 GC Amsterdam, Netherlands)