Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
email:torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Eucharistic Heresies: A crisis in the Church

There is no doubt that there is a Eucharistic crisis in the Church. An attack on the Real Presence is an attack on the very "heart and soul" of the Church. To attack the Eucharist is to attack the Mass, the priesthood, the sacramental economy, the mind of Christ. 

Elizabeth Harrington, the Archdiocese of Brisbane's "liturgical commission education officer" has written numerous articles on matters pertaining to the Most Holy Eucharist. Since 1999 The Catholic Leader has been publishing her articles. She is also a colleague of the well known dissenter, Fr. Tom Elich who is the Archdiocesan Director.

Four disturbing examples: 

Home baked bread allows a community to offer its own gifts for the eucharist. Unlike small hosts, it can be seen by everyone in the church. It looks, smells and tastes like real bread. While hosts are quicker and easier to use than real bread, the sacred gestures of the Last Supper when Jesus took, blessed, broke and shared the bread are best actualised when the community shares the one loaf and becomes one Body of Christ. 

When the minister presents the host to the communicant, he or she does not say “This is the body of Christ” because that narrows the meaning to one aspect of the body of Christ alone – the real presence in the consecrated bread.  The less specific “The body of Christ” also contains within it the understanding that it is through sharing communion that the church becomes the body of Christ, that you and I are members of the body of Christ broken and given for the world.

When we eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ, we ourselves are transformed more perfectly into the presence of the risen Christ.  This is Christ’s gift to us, but it is also a challenge, because it calls us in turn to give our own body and blood to others so that they too might be nourished

By taking and eating the Body of Christ together, the faithful become the Body of Christ, united in service to the world and in working for the Kingdom of justice, love, and peace.

Monday, 27 February 2012

NEWS FLASH - Heretic as Keynote Speaker for Catholic Teachers?

Each year the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) has a keynote speaker at their AGM. May I recommend Stanford Nutting ?

Stanford Nutting: Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies
To watch the hilarious video please click here

Dangerous Words

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you CAN make words mean so many things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master -- that's all.'

Apparently you can make words mean whatever you want them to. It's an old trick designed to fool the unwary and confuse the unwitting. The net effect is to render the word utterly unusable in ordinary conversation. Take the word "christian" for instance. C.S. Lewis did... and went on to explain how the word has been transmuted from a noun describing a follower of Jesus to an adjective simply meaning "nice" as in "That was a very christian thing to do." This process is carried on unwittingly and results in the devaluation of many words.

This same process can be used as a tool of outright deception. One technique is to use a common word and attach shades of meaning to it that the original users of the word did not anticipate or are even aware of. More than one heresy has been born this way. The real difficulty is when words are used as mere blunt force instruments to bludgeon the opposition. Whatever the intent, the result is always the same. It renders real communication impossible.

Groupthink was originally defined by Irving Janus as "A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive ingroup, when the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action."

Dictionary.com defines groupthink
noun
1. the practice of approaching problems or issues as matters that are best dealt with by consensus of a group rather than by individuals acting independently; conformity.
2. the lack of individual creativity, or of a sense of personal responsibility, that is sometimes characteristic of group intereaction.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) - Radical dissent against the Church

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) has a long history of dissent from the Catholic Church. This goes a long way to explain the poor quality of student that it produces. In the main, these young people are un-educated, uncultured and - worse - lacking in knowledge of the Faith. How can this go on? For how long has this been going on? Where were the trustees, the parents... yes, and the bishops? 


OECTA also has a long history of political "groupthink". A few "highlights"  (any commentary would be superfluous) from 1997 include:
  • combat homphobia within the Catholic community
  • work to raise awareness of the negative effects of sexism within the Catholic Church
  • promote inclusive language in prayers and liturgies 
  • eliminate sexism in all materials used in school
  • combat sexism among male students
  • formal and informal support networks among women 
  • produce practical material ...to deal with ... a poisoned working atmosphere for women
  • eliminate offensive unofficial...beauty contests
  • discuss pervasive heterosexist attitudes that lead to homophobia

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Groupthink


Remember way back when you were in school and your entire life was governed by the various cliques and groups you belonged to? If you were part of the in crowd you had a social life... this is speculation of course. I've never been part of any in crowd. If you were a geek you hung around with another crowd entirely. Sure would be nice to think that we've all left that immature silliness behind us. Now we can be judged as persons and not members of some ill defined collective. Yeah right...

Unfortunately most of our society is stuck back in this collectivist morass. Being a person is not even enough to guarantee you life and a measure of human dignity. No, your only worth is that of a member of the group you identify with. And what of other people... other groups? They are to be depersonalized or even demonized. What passes for justice is merely keeping track of who is in and who is out. Whichever group can mold the world in its own image wins.

Possibly the worst example of this groupthink is the Israeli Palistinian conflict. Any sane person looking at this situation would realize that it is tremendously complicated with much good and evil present on all sides. Sanity is the first casualty of a blood feud and make no mistake... that is exactly what we have here. The pressure on outsiders to enlist on one side or the other is intense. Is it any wonder that OECTA has proposed to do exactly that? The other side are no longer persons, they become the enemy. Anyone who takes sides in a blood feud is merely perpetuating and feeding it.

Human rights is another example of groupthink at work. Being a person ought to be enough to guarantee life, liberty and human dignity, right? Not so in our society. We are conditioned to think of these things in collectivist terms so that groups have rights but people do not. The GSA groups are an unfortunate example of this. Subscribe to the party platform and they will grant you protection. Deviate from the party platform, even for reasons of conscience, and they will come down on you like a ton of bricks.

Don't believe me? A Hollywood actress recently announced that she has chosen to be a lesbian. Her announcement was greeted with scorn and criticism by gay rights groups because she violated groupthink by implying that her sexual preferences were a matter of choice.

Is the "Ontario Catholic Teachers Association" Pro-abortion and Anti-Semitic?

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) will be holding its AGM in Windsor this March 10-12th. To quote its president, Kevin O' Dwyer, they will be meeting "for the purpose of considering, discussing and deciding issues that affect your life as a teacher and as a citizen..to create awareness of the many justice issues..." etc. [see AGM Supplement at this link]. 

The keynote address will be given by a journalist by the name of Linda McQuiag. I've never heard of her, but a little research shows that this Toronto Star columnist is very politically motivated in a certain direction and is a strong supporter of abortion, calling those who disagree with her as "ultra-conservatives". OECTA describes her as "a rare voice in the mainstream media challenging the prevailing economic and political dogma". Dear, dear - I had no idea that the Star did not constitute "mainstream media". 

Another strange twist is the proposed amendment to policy "Miscellaneous, 3.124" that calls for sanctions and a boycott of Israel. Presumably, the singling out of Israel is "raising awareness of the many justice issues"? Now, if individuals wish to conduct a one-sided campaign against Israel that is their affair. If they wish to forget the actions of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Fatah and Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations that is their affair. But to undertake extremist political action which can, and is seen by many in the wider community as anti-semitic is shameful. 


It is even worse when this action is undertaken by an association that uses the name of "Catholic" in its title; yet for years OECTA has undermined solid Catholic education and replaced it with a veneer of sociological Christianity. Sadly, OECTA has been campaigning against Israel for years, including endorsing a disgusting campaign comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa. OECTA has conveniently forgotten the words of Pope John Paul II: 
"After the tragic annihilation of the Shoah, the Jews began a new period in their history. They have a right to a homeland, as does any civil nation under international law. For the Jewish people who live in the State of Israel and who preserve in that land such precious testimonies to their history and their faith, we must ask for the desired security and the due tranquillity that are the prerogative of every nation and condition of life and of progress for every society." (September 1987)
Finally, OECTA, so motivated to fight for social justice issues on a global scale, is silent on the persecution of Catholics in various parts of the world. Where is a resolution against the persecution of Catholics and others in the Islamic world? Israel, I might remind OECTA, guarantees the safety of the Holy sites that we, as Christians, hold so dear. Such could not be said if Hamas or some unnamed "Palestinian civil society group" (as OECTA likes to call them) sized the reigns of power. All of this fits nicely with McQuaig's politics who, (e.g.) considers a former activist for the UK branch of the terrorist Muslim BrotherhoodJamal El-Shayyal, a "humanitarian".  

No wonder the Catholic students do not know their Faith and leave school radicalized and confused. The fish rots from the head down. 

Note: I shall be dealing with OECTA's dissent against Catholic teaching in an upcoming post.  Here, I am focusing on the strange political ideology of OECTA and its selection of a pro-abortion keynote speaker.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Females are being deliberately targeted for abortion...

Today's Daily Telegraph reports ongoing prenatal female infanticide in British abortion clinics. The question might be asked: in Canada, which has absolutely no laws restricting abortion, how many abortions are due to the sex of the child?

Yet, if one can kill for convenience, for any reason; if the killing is (allegedly) not of a human person - why the fuss? A fur coat, a vacation... the wrong sex.  Yet this is the logical outcome of an ideology of "freedom of choice". Feminist insistence on abortion is now leading to targeted killing of females. The silence of the feminist movement is deafening... perhaps some will begin to wake up to how evil this all really is.

Cardinal Collins on Humanae Vitae

Vatican Radio interviewed Thomas Cardinal Collins this past Monday on the importance of the family. The cardinal outlined the various pastoral opportunities that the archdiocese of Toronto offers. He also referenced Pope Paul's encyclical Humanae Vitae and the accuracy of its prophecies. The Cardinal drew our attention to the the many accurate predictions that the Pope made for the future of an eroticized society that removed sexuality from life. Refering to the accuracy of Pope Paul, the Cardinal was quoted as saying: "It's really quite amazing".

Key predictions by Pope Paul included: the sexual objectification and degradation of women, the growth of pornography and general licentiousness, the growth of selfishness, and the dangers of the State interference in the life and role of the family.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Cardinal Dolan on the dangers of liberalism in religion...

Archbishop Dolan's February 17th address to the Holy Father and the Cardinal-designates, spoke of  the urgency to teach the Faith amid a corruptive liberal-modernist conception of "faith" that has imbued so many Catholics. What we see today is a more virulent form of dogmatic and social modernism rife in the Church. Key points by the now Cardinal included:
... the New Evangalization is urgent because secularism has often choked the seed of faith; but that choking was sadly made easy because so many believers really had no adequate knowledge or grasp of the wisdom, beauty, and coherence of the Truth. Cardinal George Pell has observed that “it’s not so much that our people have lost their faith, but that they barely had it to begin with; and, if they did, it was so vapid that it was easily taken away.”  
... So did Blessed John Newman... [warning of]  a dangerous liberalism in religion: “. . . the belief that there is no objective truth in religion, that one creed is as good as another . . . Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment, a taste . . . ” 
And, just as Jesus tells us “I am the Truth,” He also describes Himself as “the Way, and the Life.”The Way of Jesus is in and through His Church, a holy mother who imparts to us His Life. “...Thus, our mission, the New Evangelization, has essential catechetical and ecclesial dimensions.    
      

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha to be Canonized

Pope Benedict announced today that Kateri Tekawitha (the Lily of the Mohawks) will be canonized later this year on October 21st. The canonization of this North American saint is Providential given the persecution of those who wish to profess their faith in public.

Blessed Kateri stands is sharp contrast to a false ecumenism or religious indifferentism that is rampant today, even in the Church. Kateri stood fast for the Faith even when strongly opposed by her own countrymen. Her canonization can be a call to us to resist the supremacy of the state in matters religious, whereby such secular entities as the Obama Administration, the Quebec Government and the Ontario Government (to name a few) undertake attacks against religious freedom, seeking to reduce religion to a private matter.

Thomas Cardinal Collins

Witness congratulates Thomas Cardinal Collins in his appointment to the College of Cardinals. We asure him of our filial loyalty and prayers. Cardinal Collins was given the local Roman parish of St. Patrick's as his titular church. Cardinal Collins was one of 22 new Cardinals at today's Consistory.

Pope Benedict's sermon included these words to the new Cardinals, emphasizing that they are in the service of Peter and Church:
 In carrying out their particular service in support of the Petrine ministry, the new Cardinals will be called to consider and evaluate the events, the problems and the pastoral criteria which concern the mission of the entire Church. In this delicate task, the life and the death of the Prince of the Apostles, who for love of Christ gave himself even unto the ultimate sacrifice, will be an example and a helpful witness of faith for the new Cardinals.
Vatican Radio also has an excellent interview with Cardinal Collins which may be found here. Please pray for our new Cardinal.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Supreme Court Upholds Mandatory Religions Course in Quebec

LifeSiteNews reports that the Canadian Supreme Court has denied an exemption for Catholic children wishing to be excused from an Ethics and Religious Culture course mandated by the Quebec government. The parents failed to prove that this course would interfere with their right to freedom of religion. The course is mandatory in both public and private schools although private schools can teach their own religion courses alongside it. The course has been characterized as relativistic and Multiculturalism 101. It is, in reality, a state meta-religion which must be assented to in addition to any private religious beliefs you may possess. In this the Quebec government has shown the level of toleration prevalent in the Roman Empire. In Rome all you had to do was show the appropriate respect for the state religion and you could go your way worshiping and believing what you wish. Seems like a good idea, right? Some folks might disagree... notably those martyrs who chose to die rather than show the appropriate respect for the state religion.

Catholic Insight: Quebec parental rights in religious and moral education

Catholic Insight: Rebuilding Babel in Quebec City

The Corruption of the Real Presence: The Heart of the "Winnipeg Heresy"

The Winnipeg liturgical document claims that the liturgy is an action of "experience" of "taking, blessing, breaking and sharing".  The document, claims that there are three elements "changed and transformed" by the words of consecration: bread, wine and the assembly. In doing so, the Catholic doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass is corrupted and destroyed. 
In the action of blessing, the gifts now identified for sacrifice are blessed and made holy. Through the praying of the Eucharistic Prayer, the bread and wine as well as the entire worshipping assembly are changed and transformed into the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus. With the words “this is my body; this is my blood”, a true and substantial change occurs by which bread and wine are no longer simply bread and wine and the worshipping assembly is no longer simply a group of individuals. With the words of consecration, the Eucharistic Prayer transforms bread, wine and assembly into the presence of Jesus, one body and one cup, now food for the world.
Implicitly, the formulas of the Council of Trent are being modified; explicitly, a bizarre notion of Eucharistic symbolism is being confused with Eucharistic reality. All of this reeks of heresy. The words of consecration apply only to the actual sacrificial words and action of the priest (who acts in persona Christi). If the "assembly" is "transformed" into part of this "presence of Jesus" does that mean that the assembly is to be worshiped as part of the "Eucharistic Presence"? When will the Archdiocese correct this? How is such confusion possible? Truly Pope Benedict is correct when he wrote that there is a "crisis of faith". 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Anti-Catholic Bigotry Alive and Well in US

John Cassidy wrote recently in a New Yorker article:
To educated liberals of almost any description, Santorum is an abomination. It’s not just that he’s a pro-life, anti-gay, anti-contraception Roman Catholic of the most retrogressive and diehard Opus Dei variety. It’s his entire persona. With his seven kids, his Jaycee fashion code, his nineteen-seventies colonial MacMansion in northern Virginia, his irony bypass, he seems to delight in outraging self-styled urban sophisticates: the sort of folks who buy organic milk, watch The Daily Show, and read the New York Times (and The New Yorker, of course).

Check out Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn reacting to this article.

This is, of course only the most recent example of an anti-Catholic current that runs throughout American history. I have already mentioned Gangs of New York which highlighted the conflict between nativist know-nothings and the Irish Catholic immigrants. Lest you believe that these things are merely historical anecdotes belonging to a best forgotten past, let me offer some examples.

Apparently the well known antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has a Catholic equivalent in Rulers of Evil. Here's the kicker... while the antisemitic text can be traced back to Czarist Russia, the anti-Catholic equivalent was published in 2001 by Harper Collins. Here's a brief review.

Saussy, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and author (Miracle on Main Street) turned conspiracy theorist, makes a case here that will strike most readers as awash in bigotry (of the anti-Catholic variety): "[T]he papacy really does run United States foreign policy, and always has." To prove that, for example, the pope controls Washington, Saussy offers "evidence" such as the number of Catholic senators and other high government officials or that "the land known today as the District of Columbia bore the name `Rome' in 1663 property records." Further, he argues that the Jesuits "have imbued western culture with a purely Catholic political theory" the theory underlying the American Revolution, which in turn was brought about by a Jesuit priest, Lorenzo Ricci (aka Laurence Richey), as part of a plan to make America safe for Roman Catholics. Catholics were oppressed in colonial times, Saussy notes, but Catholic immigrants flooded into the U.S. from Europe in the decades following the Revolution. This book has a blurb from fellow HarperCollins author and conspiracy theorist Jim Marrs, and the publisher, in a press release and apparently asleep at the wheel, calls it a "riveting, well-researched and well-documented account of one man's discovery of the true driving forces behind our nation's history." But most will see it for what it really is an anti-Catholic version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.


You think that Going My Way presents an accurate picture of Catholicism in America? Think again... as late as 1921 Fr. James Coyle was shot in Birmingham Alabama by a KKK member. When Al Smith ran for president in 1928, hysteria over his Catholicism was rampant. Movies like The Da Vinci Code, Dogma and Stigmata have long since eclipsed any good will generated by the Bing Crosby films of a bygone era.

The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice by Phillip Jenkins

Montfort's Meditations: I must decrease, He must increase...

Much has been said about the Canadian hierarchy recently and the sins committed. Yes, we do have an obligation to condemn these offenses against the greatness of God. Our main calling in life is to save our won souls and , in doing so, try to save others for God.

How then do we save our souls? let me quote St. Paul: " What God wants for you all is to be holy. He wants you to keep away from fornication and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honourable, not giving way to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God".

We are called to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul and our whole strength. This really means, as St. John Baptist said :" I must decrease, he must increase".  Many of the saints told us in their writings that they only lived fro Christ, that they were only instruments of God's grace. We would do well to contemplate these great saints lives and consider our own life.

My friends, contemplate God and His love for you. Beg Him for grace to love Him as you should. Nothing is more important in this life than this. May God bless you.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Archdiocese of Winnipeg teaches Heresy on the Real Presence

The Archdiocese of Winnipeg has a very disturbing document on the Mass entitled: Toward a Full, Conscious and Active participation: A process of liturgical renewal for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. This document so blurs the concept of the doctrine of the Real and Substantive Presence of Christ as to be gravely suspect of heresy.

Pope Paul, in Mysterium Fidei wrote (no.39):
"and so it would be wrong for anyone to try to explain this manner of presence by dreaming up a so-called "pneumatic" nature of the glorious body of Christ that would be present everywhere".

"The Liturgy of the Eucharist can be identified as a four-fold movement by which bread and wine as well as the worshipping assembly are changed and transformed into the body and blood of Christ".
 "Through the praying of the Eucharistic Prayer, the bread and wine as well as the entire worshipping assembly are changed and transformed into the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus".
 "As the worshipping assembly processes to the reception of the body and blood of Christ, in the very act of procession communion is occurring. How the community makes its way to eat and drink of the Eucharist reveals as much about the Eucharist as the Eucharistic food itself".
"As the worshipping assembly processes together in reverence and song, the food that is shared, is changing and transforming. Standing together until the last person has been fed, the assembly is transformed from individualism into one body".


The full document can be found here. Pope Paul VI's encyclical on the Holy Eucharist can be found here.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Part 2: Barack Obama and the HHS: Fascism in "White Gloves"?

The words fascism/fascist certainly are"strong meat", especially when applying it to politicians who claim the democratic ideal, who protest that their election by the majority via the ballot box ensures their  democratic credentials. Yet, the Weimar Republic, foundering in economic crisis and moral relativism proved its "democratic ideals" as nothing but a house built on sand. Moral relativism could offer no defense against the Nazi rise to power via the ballot box. The EU, the US, Canada etc. are all precariously in a Weimarian situation. It would do us well to re-read the words of Pope John Paul II on politics and the tyrant state.
"...what is happening also at the level of politics and government... is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed...in this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the "common home" where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenceless members...the appearance of the strictest respect for legality is maintained, at least when the laws permitting abortion and euthanasia are the result of a ballot in accordance with what are generally seen as the rules of democracy. Really, what we have here is only the tragic caricature of legality; the democratic ideal, which is only truly such when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person, is betrayed in its very foundations...when this happens, the process leading to the breakdown of a genuinely human co-existence and the disintegration of the State itself has already begun.
To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom: "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin" (Jn 8:34). (Evangelium Vitae, Sec.20). 

Monday, 13 February 2012

Part 1: Barack Obama and the HHS: Fascism in "White Gloves"?


Considering Barack Obama's recent attack on the Catholic Church in the United States, and the motivation behind it the question of Barack Obama being a fascist is not just hyperbole.
Consider the following from Mussolini (extract from The Doctrine of Fascism, 1932):

The Fascist State, the highest and most powerful form of personality, is a force, but a spiritual force, which takes over all the forms of the moral and intellectual life of man. . . . It is the form, the inner standard and the discipline of the whole person; it saturates the will as well as the intelligence... the Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State - a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values - interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people...
Fascism, in short, is not only the giver of laws and the founder of institutions, but the educator and promoter of spiritual life. It wants to remake, not the forms of human life, but its content, man, character, faith. And to this end it requires discipline and authority that can enter into the spirits of men and there govern unopposed.... if liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government....the Fascist State is a will to power and to government.

Reactions to HHS Mandate

The parallels to Henry VIII or even to the Donatist controversy are quite alarming. Some pundits are even pointing out that Obama is attempting a divide and conquer tactic with American Catholics which will result in an American Patriotic Catholic Association composed of traditores willing to toe the administrations's line.

Mark Steyn: Obama Goes Henry VIII on the Church

In Depth Analysis by Plil Lawler at CatholicCulture.org

For an analysis from a journalistic perspective courtesy of GetReligion.org
Frame game: Mere politics? Just birth control?

The Evils of Contraception

The New York Daily reports a powerful sermon against the evils of contraception by the Rev. Fr. Robert Bubel. From the pulpit of St. Patrick's Cathedral the priest reiterated:


“I heard someone in Congress say, birth control is medicine. But they deleted all the lies around that statement. Medicine is used to combat disease,” he said. "Pregnancy is not a disease. Pregnancy is much more like a miracle than a disease.
"Birth control makes the body function not like it is supposed to. It is a poison for our bodies, and our souls,” he said. "Since birth control, infidelity has increased, abortions have increased, and unwed pregnancies have increased."

Sunday, 12 February 2012

To Kneel or Not to Kneel.... that is not the question

Incredibly, as the Church in various parts of the world founders - in truth, is in a crisis of faith - bishops, liturgical "experts" are debating the "issue" of whether or not to impose the edict of remaining standing at Holy Communion until the last person has communicated. I shall not bore the reader with details from the GIRM, nor Rome's position on this, as this is easily available on the web.


This post will consist of a few thoughts on how asinine this newfound liturgical edict is.  Firstly, is it not the ideal of the liturgical liberal that each and every Mass should be personalized? The Public prayer of the Church has long been disregarded - at least since 1967 -  when Pope Paul's instructions were ignored. Pope Benedict in "The Spirit of the Liturgy" outlines that there is a modern tendency to eliminate kneeling in liturgy; an expression of modern culture - if it can be called culture - that no longer has the Faith; that reduces liturgy to parody.

In the liturgy of the Mass the rite of Holy Communion is not a communal act. It is a personal act. This is first demonstrated by the priest's personal prayers and communication. Then, the laity, if in the state of Grace approach the Altar. Grace and sin are personal. Holy Communion is a moment, a chance to engage in personal, intimate communion with Our Lord. And only then is Holy Communion an extension into a spiritual union with other believers in the state of Grace. Holy Communion is not, and never has been a total communal action, like the Creed. Liturgists would do far, far better if they preached on the Real Presence, the reality of Sin, and the absolute necessity of receiving Holy Communion in the state of Grace. To do otherwise is to stab our Lord in the back, to deliver unto Him a Judas kiss.

How many Judas kisses are given our Blessed Saviour by women chomping on birth-control (in essence hormone-steroid cocktails) pills like candies? Do these women - and the men who are material accomplices - not realize that they cannot receive our Blessed Lord? And how many are receiving our Blessed Lord not knowing whom they are actually receiving? We know that belief in the Real Presence is down. What is being done about it?

Bishops and liturgical "experts" should attend to the crisis of Faith, morals and religious indifferentism that Pope Benedict has just warned about. Standing will not help (not even on one's head). Getting down on one's knees will. Taking up the catechism will.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Take That Hat Off!

I came to church one Sunday morning and lingered for a bit in the vestibule before proceeding in to the church. Since I had just come in I still had my hat on. An older gentleman approached me and informed me "We don't wear hats in church." I pointed to the inner doors and informed him that when I entered the church I would indeed remove my hat. I remember feeling somewhat irritated. No one likes to be tapped on the shoulder and told that they are doing something wrong.

In a similar vein one of our young ushers attempted to get a young lady to remove her hat in church much to my amusement. It was a baseball cap and while I might fault her fashion sense, it was indeed a head covering. St. Paul does say that a woman should have her head covered... though I wonder if he might have found it as amusing as I did.

There are any number of people who like to tell us what to do in church for any number of reasons. Since the new missal was introduced our curate has been giving us hand signals. Fair enough... the liturgy has to have some order to it after all. One thing he has never done is tell me what to do after communion. He is a tad bigger than I am so it can't be that he is intimidated by my size or fearsome countenance. Perhaps he does not regard my behavior after communion as being all that important.

There are places, however, where standing, sitting or kneeling after communion has become the subject of some controversy. Somehow everyone doing the same thing at the same time is supposed to enhance my experience of something or other. I don't get it but mostly I don't worry about it. Apparently there are some who do worry about it... and there's the rub.

There are two sides to this little dilemma. On one hand there is the excessive formalism that forgets that the most important things that happen at mass are not visible. On the other hand there are those who are so concerned about doing the right thing that they worry and fret about something that should be a source of peace for them. In both cases a bit of charity is called for.

As for me... I still think I was right about wearing a hat in the vestibule... but quite wrong in my lack of charity towards the man who told me to take it off.

... A profound crisis of Faith...

Pope Benedict recently addressed the CDF on the need for a reinvigorated evangelization. The entire address can be found here. Some of the Holy Father's words will no doubt shock many Catholics who believe the Church is strong and perhaps even undergoing a revival. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Faith, there is a horrendous falling away of belief in the Real Presence; in the understanding that the Catholic Church is the one, true Church founded by Christ we have the belief that one religion is as good as another; in ethics, we have massive dissent on sexual morality...

A few sobering words from Pope Benedict on a number of key themes:

Faith
"As we know, in vast areas of the earth faith risks being extinguished, like a flame that is no longer fed. We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of the religious sense that constitutes the greatest challenge to the Church today."
Religious Indifferentism
"However, we must also recognize that the risk of a false irenism and of indifferentism — totally foreign to the thinking of the Second Vatican Council — demands our vigilance. This indifferentism is caused by the increasingly widespread opinion that truth is not accessible to man; hence it is necessary to limit oneself to finding rules for a praxis that can better the world. And like this, faith becomes substituted by a moralism without deep foundations".
Ethics
"Finally, I would like to mention one last matter: the moral problem, which is a new challenge to the ecumenical process. In the dialogue we cannot ignore the great moral questions regarding human life, the family, sexuality, bioethics, freedom, justice and peace".
A Tale of the Movies

I have recently watched three movies that seem to typify the history of Catholics in America. When most Catholic immigrants arrived in the 1850's they were greeted with suspicion and hostility by nativists as graphically shown in Gangs of New York. Who can forget the spectacle of Irish gangs defending their newly built church? This siege mentality in the face of a largely protestant culture endured for much of the century which followed.

By the time we get to the 1940's something different is happening. All of a sudden Catholic priests are being portrayed very sympathetically by Hollywood. Bing Crosby's Fr. O'Malley in Going My Way and its companion movie The Bells of St. Mary's was quite a different view of Catholics. In a more dramatic vein, Angels With Dirty Faces and Boy's Town portrayed different aspects of Catholic life. All of these movies attempt to show how Catholics are not really so different from anyone else.

Then we come to The Cardinal (1963), an Otto Preminger film starring Tom Tryon in the title role. The happy go lucky Fr. O'Malley is replaced by Fr. Fermoyle, a newly minted Irish American priest on his way to becoming a cardinal. Rather than solving everything with a song, Fr. Fermoyle is presented with excruciating moral choices such as choosing between watching his sister die or killing her unborn baby. As a bishop attached to the Vatican diplomatic corps he is assigned to close the Austrian nunciature on the eve of the anchluss as well as reign in the Austrian primate who has shown far too much sympathy towards the Nazis.

The Cardinal was a far more gritty and realistic film than any of its predecessors. If you haven't seen it in a while I would recommend it. Perhaps the moral tone of the film might be attributed to the fact that the Vatican had some money invested in it and a young Fr. Joseph Ratzinger had been assigned as liaison.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

CCCB removes offensive ex-Bishop Lahey material from Website

I am pleased to inform our readers that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken action to defend the Church with regards to the Lahey case and his writings on the CCCB website.

It is perhaps a sign of the times that, as with large bureaucracies, authority and decision making gets bounced around... nonetheless, the undertaking of respectful letters to bishops and the Nuncio has paid off. One lesson from this is that when writing to bishops, don't give up.

As such, I have decided to remove all posts pertaining to the issue of Lahey and the CCCB. The mission is accomplished, we move on. We do not wish to be part of the vicious scandal-bearing "industry" of  the so-called "internet trolls".

To conclude: please, please do not finish reading this post without a prayer for the former bishop. He too needs saving... Jesus died for him - as he did for you and for me. So, in your charity as a Christian, pray that this man repent and be saved.

Pray for our bishops and pastors as well. The sad, tragic actions of one man has degraded their sacred role as successors of the Apostles in the Church in Canada. Pray for our Holy Father.