Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Has Archbishop Battersby’s trust been betrayed?

Referring to the “Womenspace” scandal that broke in the Brisbane media in Nov/Dec 2001 linking Catholic Nuns to occult activities, Archbishop Bathersby said “that he had not considered the possibility that the nuns involved in the feminist organization might have lost the focus of their faith.”

“I more or less am leaving it to the leaders of the religious congregations to tell me that if need be.” (Courier Mail 22/12/01)

Has the Archbishop’s generous faith in these Nuns to stay aloof from the occult - to sever any links that might connect them, even remotely, to witchcraft - been betrayed?

The Mercy Nuns run an organization called “Earth Link” which also operates a property in Brisbane called “Four Winds” The focus of the organization and of the activities that are held at “Four Winds” are clearly stated on their website ( as:
“encouraging connectedness between earth and humans”.

In their 8 point statement of 'Beliefs and Practices', there are a number of worthy sentiments that would gladden the heart of any secular ecologist. There are also statements such as “the universe reveals the divine” (no capital D - Ed.), “that earth displays the characteristics of a living organism” and “that we humans are one with it”. Is there not more than just a hint of pantheism expressed here? There is not the slightest reference to the Fall and the mystery of Redemption and Salvation that follows from it. God doesn’t rate a mention.

Hardly the faith focus that the Archbishop had in mind!

Reading these 'Beliefs and Practices' of “Earth Link” together with a look at the facilities and activities at “Four Winds” a disturbing picture emerges. For instance, they have a Library with an extensive range of books available for loan. These titles include books by extreme eco- feminists; by writers on the world-wide reading lists of witchcraft practitioners and devotees; known dissenters such as Sr Joan Chittister and Sr Joyce Rupp and ex-communicated ex-priest Matthew Fox; books by the notorious Rosemary Redford Reuther (featured at length in the book "Ungodly Rage" by Donna Steichen); and books on pagan (aboriginal) spirituality.

Here are a few examples:

Clarissa Estes: “Women Who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the Power of Wild Women". (On overseas witch reading lists)

Sr Joyce Rupp: “The Cosmic Dance: An invitation to Experience our Oneness". Also “Prayer to Sophia”.

Sr Joan Chittister: “Heart of Flesh: A feminist Spirituality for Women and Men".

Marija Gimbutas: “The Language of the Goddess”. Gimbatas is a top witch writer.

Barbara Walker: "The Crone: Women of Age, Wisdom and Power".

Carol Christ: “Rebirth of the Goddess". Both these are on overseas witch reading lists.

Caitlin Matthews: “In Search of Women’s Passionate Soul: Revealing the Daimon Lover Within". (Matthews is a 'shaman' and is an author on Sr Anne McLay’s website)

Johnson & Shaw: “Celebrating the Great Mother”. Cait Johnson also wrote “Witch in the Kitchen” about which (pun not intended!) the reviewer wrote: “practicing witch Cait Johnson celebrates the sacred in each season ... ”.

Raine Eisler: “Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth and Politics of the Body. New paths to Power and Love". A dangerous book, particularly her views on sex education of children. On witch reading lists.

Joanna Macy: “Coming back to Life”. Macy works together with heretic ex-priest Matthew Fox at his 'University of Creative Spirituality'.

Of course there are many other titles mostly on environmentalism, globalism, feminine spirituality and the like. The whole focus of the library is fine if you want to research witchcraft writers, if you are hooked on eco-feminism, if you are dabbling into the heretical creation spirituality espoused by Matthew Fox. There is no one book in the list we have that could, by any criteria, be called Catholic. The Sophia figure as goddess looms large in many of the titles.

St Francis of Assisi, icon figure for nature and animal lovers doesn’t rate a place. Nor do the written works of those three great women, Doctors of the Church, St Catherine of Siena, St Therese of Avila and St Therese of Lisieux appear to be worth space on the shelves of this specifically orientated library.

The Mercy Nun in charge of “Four Winds” is Sr Mary Tinney. In her resume she lists her “Career Objectives” as “encouraging connectedness between people and earth, contributing to social change in the area of eco justice, working for social change in an environment which values initiative etc, bringing my skills as an educator to any tasks I do …” (Nuns have 'Career Objectives' these days!)

In this resume Sr. Tinney lists her experience as Principal, deputy Principal and Religious Education Co-ordinator in Catholic Colleges (All Hallows College, Brisbane, is mentioned), as well as work in strategic planning in establishing board of governance for Mercy Hospital, Brisbane. (This is the hospital where all traditional Catholic images – crucifixes, statues of Our Lady - seem to have disappeared, to be replaced by the ‘spiral goddess’ symbol of healing.

This ‘spiral goddess’ symbol appears in the 5th Floor Day Surgery area as a room divider with changing colour lights that create an almost hypnotic effect. The same Spiral design with 5 pointed stars (pentagrams!) is repeated in the carpet. Not a design that would be available off the shelf but one that would have to be specifically designed and woven - and at what expense?!)

Sr Tinney in this same resume gives as a referee one Ms Madeleine Buckley, Core group Earth Link at Four Winds, Resource Consultant, Multi-Media Centre, Brisbane Catholic Education Centre. Ms Buckley’s name crops up again.

Council of all Beings


If you are bewildered by the illustration above, so were we. Apart from the half-human, half-animal figures you will note the 5 pointed stars and spiral design on the floor. Consistent, aren’t they?!

This poster was to promote a workshop planned last March (2002) at Mercy Place, Bardon, Brisbane. It was conducted by John Seed - an Australian described by overseas sources as an eco-warrior – with welcome by Sr Anne McLay (Womenspace Chairperson) and Ms Madeleine Buckley (Catholic Education?)

“The Council of All Beings” describes itself as a series of 're-Earthing rituals' created by John Seed and Joanne Macy (the same Macy working closely with ex-priest Matthew Fox, travelling the world spreading his heresy of ‘Creation Spirituality’).

It is claimed the central feature of the workshop is the 'Council of All Beings' itself, where “we step aside from our solely human identification and let other life forms speak through us.”

Other literature says: “Once the Council begins we are truly in the presence of the Other. The Council itself is the culmination of the process. All beings are welcome, so long as no humans enter the sacred circle. Those sitting in Council are speaking for those who have no voice. One allows the entity – the spirit of the animal or plant or river, whoever or whatever asks to be heard – to express itself through the unconscious mind, the dream voice, the ancient part of oneself that goes back 4 billion years to the beginning of life.”

How can any such event be regarded anything other than unadulterated pantheism, with a dose of 'Teilhard de Chardin-ism' thrown in. We read: “Once the Council begins we are truly in the presence of the Other”. Who is this 'Other' we ask with some trepidation? Not Our Lord or Our Lady, not one of the Saints or Angels. There is only one Other spiritual being around and it’s certainly not an animal, a tree or a river!

So just what are these members of a Catholic religious order on about with their adoption of Goddess symbolism and deliberate propagation of it, their pandering to pantheistic ritualism, to the occult and witchcraft in books offered on loan?

In all the above there is not one glimmer of Catholic meditative spirituality. It would appear that Trees have replaced the Tabernacle, Ecology the Eucharist, and Creation the Creator. Where is Jesus Christ? Where is the call to holiness in all this? Would that we are wrong but where is the evidence we are? Has the focus of faith been lost?

We refer back to the rest of Archbishop Bathersby’s statement to the Courier Mail on 22nd of December 2001:
“But if a person has completely pushed aside Jesus Christ and gone into witchcraft, well then, they’re out of the orders, out of the congregation”.