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Progress-SorelToday New Yorkers are faced with voting for the incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) or his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino. Both are proud of their Italian heritage as is the Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn and Queens, Nicolas Dimarzio, who commented on the election in his recent Tablet column saying that his grandfather, who wanted to give him a voting lesson, said “Go into the booth, when you see an Italian name pull down on the lever.”

For voters who seek leaders guided by truth and the common good, rather than ideology and special interests, this election is especially problematic. Governor Cuomo has said that New Yorkers who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage ought to move out of the state. And, if elected, Rob Astorino said he would support fracking.

In his column, the Bishop suggested that corruption in government is directly attributable to low voter turn-out — and therefore encouraged Catholics to vote.

The Bishop failed to address the fact that the candidates in this election, with misguided views on progress, are both Catholic, and perhaps symptomatic of the failure of the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. over the years to properly form their flock for true progress.

‘Progress’ Artwork: Edward Sorel, 1976


CalvaryCemetery2014CalvaryCemetery2014cCalvaryCemetery2014uCalvaryCemetery2014gOur memory of the past should help us live better in the present, while we yearn for eternity.

Photographs: Stephen Wise


India-TimesSquare2Truth in her dress finds facts too tight.
In fiction she moves with ease.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

UNPrayerService2014jUNPrayerService2014eOn a day that saw the U.S. continuing to act as the self-proclaimed leader of the ‘free’ world, with unilateral strikes in Iraq, members of the United Nations gathered for a Prayer Service — ahead of the opening of the 69th Session of the General Assembly.

The annual service, held 9/15 at the Church of the Holy Family in NYC, included His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and His Excellency Sam Kutesa (top photo), President-elect of the Sixty-Ninth Session of the General Assembly.

With the UN project increasingly in tatters, undermined by the disordered aspirations of key member states along with a worldwide ‘rights’ revolution that is frequently unhinged from truth, Mr. Ban is turning to various faith communities (not the faithless faithful but the truly faithful of all religions), as the last best hope to save the world.

Sadly many in the Christian community, including clergy, have bowed to Americanism and are among the faithless faithful (mob) rather than the truly faithful (flock).

Would that we could hear the words of the Savior: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Seagull2014aRockawayBeach2014cThe bird represents the wayfarer of the sky, and at the same time it represents a being who belongs to the earth and is capable of dwelling in the skies. The former explanation of the bird represents the idea of a soul whose dwelling place is Heaven, and the latter represents the dweller on earth being able to move about in the higher spheres, and both these explanations give the idea that the spiritual man dwelling on the earth, is from Heaven; they explain also that the spiritual man is the inhabitant of the Heavens and is dwelling on earth for a while. Inayat Khan, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Photographs: Stephen Wise


AllWalls-Chaudry (2)Woe to those who plot evil, who lie in bed planning mischief! No sooner is it drawn than they do it—their hands have the strength for it. Seizing the fields that they covet, they take over houses as well, owner and house they confiscate together, they take both man and inheritance. So the Lord says this: Now it is I who plot such mischief against this breed as your necks will not escape; nor will you be able to walk proudly, so evil will the time be. On that day they will make a satire of you…Therefore you will have no one to measure out a share in the community of the Lord. Micah 2:1-5

The leaders of the Modern State of Israel, with their hopes in Iron Dome, are acting like the Jews of Old who were banished from the land for their sins. They are impostors — heading for eternal hellfire.

The remnant of Israel — People of the New Covenant, are home when united with the Lord in truth and love — as living stones building up a living Temple.

Artwork: Bushra Chaudry


Hadassah-EisenArnold Eisen, Chancellor of The Jewish Theology Seminary and a self-proclaimed religious, cultural and political Zionist, addressed the Hadassah community last evening on the subject of what Zionism/Judaism means in the 21st century.

“I don’t think Judaism survives without Jews and I don’t think Jews survive and flourish without the Jewish State…This is a great time to be a Jew, the resources we have at our disposal are truly mind-boggling. The question is whether we are going to have the intelligence to use the resources wisely.” Arnold Eisen

The view, and hope, of Mr. Eisen, and other religious Zionists, is that the modern state of Israel will help to revive Judaism around the world. He said that antisemitism is at a historic low level in the U.S. — with “assimilation and indifference” being the bigger problems.

TempleEmanu-ElAnalysis: Rather than providing a home for Judaism, the Zionist project is making Jews more homeless and alienated than ever — from their Creator (“lost sheep of the House of Israel”). Perhaps the tendency of the diaspora to abandon Zionism is more truthful than Zionism itself — which, in spite of the religious rhetoric, is a highly material and individualistic undertaking.

The better way is to make a home built with “living stones which rest upon the living corner-stone, which is Christ, and are built together into a holy temple, far surpassing any temple built by hands, into a habitation of God in the Spirit.” Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corpus Christi


ManaPalestinianWomenArtistsShavuot (Feast of the Weeks), celebrated by Jews seven weeks after Passover, commemorates Moses receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai.

In Rabbi Sidney L. Markowitz’s book: What You Should Know About Jewish Religion, History, Ethics and Culture (1955), the essence of the Torah according to Hillel, “who, when challenged to state the essence of the Torah in one sentance, expressed it thus: ‘Do not do unto your neighbor that which is abhorrent or unpleasant to yourself.’ The rest of the Torah he maintained, was merely commentary.”

Photograph: Stephen Wise


Palestine1948 (2)“And he said unto me: ‘Thou art My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ Isaiah 49:3

From the Balfour Declaration: “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…” British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, James Balfour to Lord Rothchild, November 2, 1917, whom Dr. Weizmann had suggested as addressee

Given their superior position, the Jewish failure to work out an equitable solution, with the Palestinians, manifests an impoverishment of spirit.

GeorgeGrosz1939The question is “are contemporary Jews (traditionalists & secularists) fit for the House of Israel (People of God)”?

“They have chosen their own ways, And their soul delighteth in their abominations…Because when I called, none did answer; When I spoke they did not hear, But they did what was evil in Mine eyes, And chose that in which I delighted not.” Isaiah 66:3-4

The real House of Israel is being erected by the Son of Man, not the Man of Steel.

On this the 66th anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Israel, we hope and pray that Jews recognize that their true identity, redemption and freedom come from being united with, and serving, their Creator and fellow man (not from self-serving nationalism or socialism), so that God may be all in all.

Artwork: George Grosz


Stephen B. Wise


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