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

Monday, 28 July 2014

World War I and Pope Benedict XV, the Pope of Peace - 1914-2014

From Pope Benedict XV's first encyclical, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum:  

Our Lord Jesus Christ came down from Heaven for the very purpose of restoring amongst men the Kingdom of Peace, which the envy of the devil had destroyed, and it was His will that it should rest on no other foundation than that of brotherly love. These are His own oft-repeated words: "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another (John xiv. 34); "This is my commandment that you love one another" (John xv. 12); "These things I command you, that you love one another" (John xv. 17); as though His one office and purpose was to bring men to mutual love. He used every kind of argument to bring about that effect. He bids us all look up to Heaven: "For one is your Father who is in Heaven" (Matt. xxiii 9); He teaches all men, without distinction of nationality or of language, or of ideas, to pray in the words: "Our Father, who are in Heaven" (Matt. vi. 9); nay, more, He tells us that our Heavenly Father in distributing the blessings of nature makes no distinction of our deserts: "Who maketh His sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust" (Matt. v. 45). He bids us be brothers one to another, and calls us His brethren: "All you are brethren" (Matt. xxiii. 8); "that He might be the first-born amongst many brethren" (Rom. vii. 29). In order the more to stimulate us to brotherly love, even towards those whom our natural pride despises, it is His will that we should recognize the dignity of His own very self in the meanest of men: "As long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to Me" (Matt. xxv. 40. At the close of His life did He not most earnestly beg of His Father, that as many as should believe in Him should all be one in the bond of charity? "As thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee" (John xvii. 21). And finally, as He was hanging from the cross, He poured out His blood over us all, whence being as it were compacted and fitly joined together in one body, we should love one another, with a love like that which one member bears to another in the same body.

Far different from this is the behaviour of men today. Never perhaps was there more talking about the brotherhood of men than there is today; in fact, men do not hesitate to proclaim that striving after brotherhood is one of the greatest gifts of modern civilization, ignoring the teaching of the Gospel, and setting aside the work of Christ and of His Church. But in reality never was there less brotherly activity amongst men than at the present moment. Race hatred has reached its climax; peoples are more divided by jealousies than by frontiers; within one and the same nation, within the same city there rages the burning envy of class against class; and amongst individuals it is self-love which is the supreme law overruling everything.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Joe Boot's rebuttal of Michael Coren over homosexuality remains unanswered

The concept of discrimination is ever more extended, and so the prohibition of discrimination can be increasingly transformed into a limitation of the freedom of opinion and religious liberty.  Very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.
Pope Benedict XVI 

This probably will be the last time that I shall post on the tragedy of Michael Coren pertaining to his dissent against the Catholic Church's teachings on homosexuality. I shall not be party to his tawdry circus, in which, as Freyr pointed out last evening on Vox Cantoris' blog, Coren seems to wish to continue raising the issue of homosexuality as some sort of ongoing headline grabbing stunt.

I can attest to the fact, as a number of persons can, that Vox Cantoris refrained from commenting; hoping - indeed praying - that his then friend, Michael Coren, (who has since cut off and denounced his former friend) would correct himself. The timeline of events, and the reaction of Michael Coren is exactly as outlined by the Vox. 

Readers may wish to re-read a number of posts we (Freyr and myself) have written on this entire tragedy. I can only add that Coren's latest outburst in the Catholic Register only further confirms what we have written (c.f The Convenient Catholicism of Michael Coren). 

Readers should know that Coren had a serious confrontation on Sun TV with Pastor Joe Boot over homosexuality. Following the incident, Boot wrote an article with some very, very serious questions and implications that Coren has steered clear from. 

Boot wrote: 

It appears my friend Michael Coren neither agrees with Scripture nor the Catholic Church in his "pluralistic world," where my recent naming of moral wrongdoing in biblical terms (in this case homosexual acts) was judged self-righteous, insulting and an exercise in plain stupidity.  

And further, Boot wrote: 

According to Coren's opinion piece," most gay people do not choose their sexuality and we must appreciate the love and affection that exists between gay men and women."  This is, according to Coren, the "most moral solution" in an often dark world.  I beg to differ and suggest that God alone is able to tell us authoritatively what the most moral solutions are with regard to human life and sexuality.  Notice that Michael does not see homosexuality as a disordering of reality, but somehow innate (accepting the idea of 'gay' as an identity) and therefore to be endorsed or appreciated by society, whilst stopping short of supporting the notion of 'gay marriage.'

And again:  

Coren's commentary since the show has been heavy on rhetoric but light on substance.  First, what of the charge that referring to male homosexual acts as 'sodomy' is unloving?  I think Michael greatly misunderstands the Christian concept of love.  In historic orthodox Christianity, love is not anti-law.  The biblical definition of sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4) and sin is always portrayed in the Bible as wholly destructive of the human person; to promote and support sin is therefore to promote the ruin and destruction of your neighbor - the complete opposite of love.  In fact St Paul tells us that “love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:8-10).  In the most famous passage on love in the Bible we read “love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13). Love is not simply feelings of warmth and affection toward others, it is obedience to God’s moral law with respect to others - so if I love my wife, I won't violate God's law and commit adultery.  We cannot love God or our neighbor by ignoring his law and endorsing sin.  To fail then to speak truthfully about sexual acts which God declares to be sinful and ruinous to people, by papering over them in the sanitized, progressivist language of tolerance, inclusion and love, is profoundly misguided. 

The full article by Pastor Boot may be read here. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Prince Charles warned of organized persecution of Christians last December.... no one listened

Prince Charles visiting an Orthodox Coptic Centre in London
Last December 17th, 2013, HRH, The Prince Charles had these words to say, words that this blog reported on, and words that take on an even more poignant meaning these past few days, given the genocidal removal and extermination of Iraqi Christians from Mosul. 


For myself, I have for some time now been deeply troubled by the growing difficulties faced by Christian communities in various parts of the Middle East. It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ. Their church communities link us straight back to the early Church, as I was reminded by hearing Aramaic, Our Lord's own language, spoken and sung a few hours ago.


Yet, today, the Middle East and North Africa has the lowest concentration of Christians in the world – just four per cent of the population and it is clear that the Christian population of the Middle East has dropped dramatically over the last century and is falling still further.
This has an effect on all of us, although, of course, primarily on those Christians who can no longer continue to live in the Middle East: we all lose something immensely and irreplaceably precious when such a rich tradition dating back two thousand years begins to disappear. It is, therefore, especially delightful to see such a rich panoply of church life here to-day, including the Antiochian, Greek, Coptic, Syrian, and Armenian Orthodox Churches, the Melkite, Maronite, Syrian Catholic, Chaldean, and Roman Catholic Churches, as well as the Church of the East, and Churches established, dare I say it, somewhat more recently, including the Anglican Church!
In saying all this about the difficulties facing the Christian churches in the Middle East I am, of course, conscious that they are not the only faith community in this region suffering at the moment, nor is the Middle East the only part of the world in which Christians are suffering, but, given the particularly acute circumstances faced by the church communities in the Middle East to-day, I felt it worthwhile to draw attention to their current plight. It is important to note, above all, that the decline of Christians in the region represents a major blow to peace as Christians are part of the fabric of society, often acting as bridge-builders between other communities. This crucial role throughout Middle Eastern society is one recognized by many Muslims (who are not extremists), both Shia or Sunni, who attest to the fact that Christians are their friends and that their communities are needed.
Jordan has set a wonderful example in this regard and, as my wife and I saw for ourselves during our visit earlier this year, has again taken in a huge number of refugees, this time from Syria during the present troubles and, moreover, is, as I have alluded to earlier, under His Majesty King Abdullah II's leadership, a most heartening and courageous witness to the fruitful tolerance and respect between faith communities.
For twenty years, I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity and to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding. The point though, surely, is that we have now reached a crisis where the bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so – and this is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organized persecution – including to Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time.

Canada's PM Harper denounces persecution of Christians in Iraq, Middle East

Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has denounced the persecution and genocidal conduct of ISIS against the indigenous Christian population of Iraq. So far the PM has the distinction of being  a voice in the wilderness on this issue. 



“Canada condemns the systematic campaign of persecution that is being perpetrated in the city of Mosul, Iraq, by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Its ultimatum – pay the jizya (tax on non-Muslims), convert, leave the city, or be killed – is the most recent measure aimed at forcing hundreds of thousands of Christians to convert to ISIS’ nefarious brand of Islam.
“Forced conversions, by threat of death, are an egregious violation of the fundamental human right to the freedom of religion.
“The very notion of religious freedom is what ISIS is working to eradicate and what the Iraqi people and the international community cannot surrender.
“Canada calls on the Iraqi Government to govern for all Iraqis, regardless of ethnic origin or religious belief, and to take immediate, effective measures against ISIS and the terrorists that it supports. ISIS’ ever-increasing campaign of violence endangers all individuals who do not share its beliefs, and threatens the very foundations of Iraq’s future as a secure, democratic and prosperous country.”

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Pope Francis: "Our brothers are persecuted...."

Pope Francis on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East: ..... "Today they are persecuted. Our brothers are persecuted, they are chased out". 



Pope Francis calls on us to pray and help Christians persecuted in the Middle East

The Arabic letter "Nun" spray painted by Islamists
identifying "Nazarenes", or Christians
Our Holy Father recently implored Catholics to pray and work for a cessation to the escalating violence and brutality being conducted in the Middle East by Islamists. The recent expunging on Christians from Mosul by Islamists brings to an end the Christian presence in that city. It was further accompanied by the grotesque sight of the Arabic letter "Nun" being marked on Christian homes; akin to the Nazi demarcations of Jewish homes in the 1930s. 






|The few remaining Catholics in Iraq

The most beautiful Mass in the World is in Africa

"We" have the buildings, the tax exemptions, the constant fund raisers, the banquets, the nonsense....


THEY HAVE THE FAITH

In southern Sudan, African Catholics gather with a priest for Mass in the remains of a burned out church for Mass. No roof, no windows, no Stations, no statues.... yet the beauty of this seemingly pathetic scene is startling. 

This is Faith, this is the Church, Our Blessed Lord is present. May we come to have this same Faith. 

The Church is doing very well....just not in North America and western Europe. 

Please click on image to see full sized version


Monday, 21 July 2014

Pope Denounced

At the Council of Rheims in 991,  Archbishop Arnulf of Rheims denounced Pope John XV saying
If, holy fathers, we are bound to weigh in the balance the lives, the morals, and the attainments of the humblest candidate for the priestly office, how much more ought we to look to the fitness of him who aspires to be the Lord and Master of all priests! Yet how would it fare with us, if it should happen that the man the most deficient in all these virtues, unworthy of the lowest place in the priesthood, should be chosen to fill the highest place of all? What would you say of such a one, when you see him sitting upon the throne glittering in purple and gold? Must he not be the "Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God and showing himself as God"?
Having been convened by the king of France, the council was repudiated by Rome, but not before deposing Arnulf. However irritated he may have been with the accusation, Pope John XV was not about to sit still for having his bishop deposed by the French king. Eventually, in the flurry of response and efforts to call another council, the papal legate succeeded in having Arnulf's deposition declared illegal. Eventually he was restored to his office.

While Pope Alexander VI did not enjoy the distinction of being denounced by his own bishop in council, it is likely due to fear of retribution. Rodrigo Borgia has a notorious reputation which has been the fodder for at least two television miniseries. The curia had degenerated to such an extent that bribery and corruption were common. The immoral excesses of Rodrigo included mistresses and several illegitimate children including Cesare and Lucretia Borgia. One of the more curious accounts of his election is contained in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
That he obtained the papacy through simony was the general belief (Pastor, loc. cit.) and is not improbable (Raynaldus, Ann. eccl. ad an. 1492, n. 26), though it would be difficult to prove it juridically, at any rate, as the law then stood the election was valid.
Clearly the Catholic Encyclopedia is a somewhat conservative source when it comes to papal scandals. We therefore have little reason to doubt when it speaks of Pope John XII.
After the death of the reigning pontiff, Agapetus II, Octavius, then eighteen years of age, was actually chosen his successor on 16 December, 955, and took the name of John. The temporal and spiritual authority in Rome were thus again united in one person — a coarse, immoral man, whose life was such that the Lateran was spoken of as a brothel, and the moral corruption in Rome became the subject of general odium. War and the chase were more congenial to this pope than church government.
 John died on 14 May, 964, eight days after he had been, according to rumour, stricken by paralysis in the act of adultery. Luitprand relates that on that occasion the devil dealt him a blow on the temple in consequence of which he died.
Now we come to Pope Francis who has been characterized thus...
This "Bishop of Rome," as he insists on calling himself, is possibly the worst pope we have ever had.
I think he is a fool and is taking us for fools.
Really?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The new Vatileaks - Pope Francis himself

One has to ask the obvious question. "Why does this Bishop of Rome feel it necessary to engage secular media in this way?" The real story here is not the pope's interview but rather the reaction to it. The first thing that should be noted is that the pope has used an alternate and very unorthodox channel for disseminating this information. The fact that he has used Eugenio Scalfari repeatedly means that he is at least satisfied that he was not badly served the last time he gave him an interview. By using a secular journalist rather than going through official channels means that this communication does not have the stature that an announcement from the balcony of St. Peter's would. Moreover, a speech from the balcony could not be made without alerting much of the curia to what was going to be said. The Pope wants this to be attributable to him without it being an official pronouncement. 

What does the Pope get out of this? The answer is in the flurry of reaction to the Scalfari interview. As he watches the curial functionaries running about reacting to this leak he gains some very critical intelligence. The Pope is usually surrounded by a coterie of careerists and sycophants whose job it is to mediate the Pope's relations with the world at large. Essentially they are to make sure there are no surprises. By carefully gauging the reaction to the Scalfari leaks he can determine which of those he can trust.

The Pope is in a very precarious position right now. The honeymoon is over and some real work needs to be done on those things that most plague the curia right now. I do not believe for one moment that the Pope is either stupid or foolish. By becoming the Vatican's chief source of leaked information he is preempting anyone else who might be tempted to fill that role and he is finding out who he can really trust on the inside. As for the rest of us, we can learn much by watching the reaction of media pundits in our own backyard.

Scalfari interview, October 2013

The Pope’s conversation with Scalfari, Andrea Tornielli July 13,2014, Vatican Insider

Il Papa: "Come Gesù userò il bastone contro i preti pedofili"

To read Part I. 

Pope Francis' interview with Scalfari and the Vatican "Junta" coverup reaction

By now we should begin to wonder why Pope Francis keeps going outside the normal avenues of communication. I believe he is well aware that the men who swirl through the corridors of Vatican City are not to be trusted. Remember, the vast majority remain from the Pontificate of Pope Benedict; and we know how they undermined that Pope. 

Also consider those vast documents on the table last Spring when the two men met for the first time since the election of Pope Francis. The "Pervert" Dossier weighed heavily on Benedict and it no doubt weighs heavily on Francis. Hence the sensational announcement from the Pope on the number of 8000 clergy (including bishops and cardinals) being child molesters. That, no doubt, is just the tip of the iceberg: if 2% are (and convicted cases have always been in the vast majority of cases molestations of boys) of children; what about the numbers for youth, teenage boys - what about the clergy who are violating their vow of chastity with other men (and women)? 

Shocking as these thoughts are, perhaps more shocking is the need for the Pope to go to the press with such news. But the reaction of the Vatican News Agency of Fr. Lombardi and Co. proves the Pope's point: he must go to the press, the people, because these men are involved in a massive culture of denial and cover-up. The Pope himself alluded to these cover-up artists in the interview. These men are not dealing with the gentle Pope Benedict. They are dealing with a man who has used a bull-horn outside the Cathedral in Buenos Aires berating evil-doers. Will Pope Francis eventually have to resort to such tactics to get his message out? 

Pray for Pope Francis. It is not too far fetched to consider that his life may well be in danger. A Pope who goes too "far" in whistle-blowing the strangle-hold by the "gay mafia" may well end up their victim; and therefore a martyr. 

The following image - tweeted by Fr. Thomas Rosica - is indicative of the effort undertaken by Vatican officialdom to twist, deny and distort the Pope's words and actions. In other words, we are to believe Fr. Lombardi and not Pope Francis. Lombardi and Co. would have us believe that Mr. Scalfari is a liar. Yet, Pope Francis has seen fit to approach this man for the third time, obviously a sign of trust in the man. 


To read Part II. 

The Church of England's acceptance of women "bishops" provides the Catholic Church with a great new missionary opportunity

Anglican clergywomen: white, wealthy and middle-aged.
The life of the privileged upper classes
The fateful decision of July 15, 2014 by the General Synod of the Church of England to accept bishopesses has provided a Providential impetus for those Catholics of Anglican heritage to expand the missionary work amongst disaffected Anglicans who realize more and more the untenable position of the Church of England, given its abandonment of not only the Sacramental economy, but of basic biblical principles (e.g. same-sex "marriage, women priestesses etc.).

Msgr. Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Walsingham: 

For many in the Church of England this will be a very happy day. Having agreed to permit women priests in 1992, the Church of England's decision today to allow women bishops is the next logical step. What is undeniable is that both developments make harder the position of those within the Church of England who still long for corporate unity with the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Pope Benedict XVl's decision to set up the ordinariates - allowing former Anglicans to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church, bringing with them much of the Anglican heritage and tradition - was made in response to repeated requests from Anglicans who longed for unity with the Catholic Church. It was a prophetic and generous ecumenical gesture because it demonstrated the possibility of unity of faith with diversity of expression.


Note: Fr. Frederico Lombardi and Fr. Thomas Rosica (Lombardi's erstwhile English language assistant)  have been conspicuously unavailable for comment. However, they have been busy in twisting, denying and distorting the most recent interview given by Pope Francis. Perhaps because they do not like the frightening words uttered by the Pope? 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Ugandan fight for the family and civilization

Susan Fox at Christ's Faithful Witness has a remarkable post on the courage of the Uganadan nation that I think is well worth re-reading and reflecting on, now that the horror of the State/Mass-Media/Corporations sponsored abomination of the Nurembergian "World Pride" 2014 has past. God will not be mocked. Much hysteria against Africa (in truth a nasty neo-colonialism denounced by Pope Francis and leading African Bishops) has been generated in the media. However, near virtual silence on the active, and on-going campaign of extermination of Christians in the Middle East. 

For the view of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, please read here. 


The last man standing on planet earth is likely to be a Ugandan.

At least that’s what the people of Uganda hope for in their struggle for family rights.

While legislation signed into law in February in Uganda was characterized as an “anti-gay” bill, what it really represented was the East African nation’s heart-felt belief that the family is the cradle of civilization, and sodomy only leads to death.

Their sentiments find a home in the thinking of Pope Saint John Paul II in his 1994 “Letter to Families” “Be human!” the pope said, emphasizing that the family is the “center and heart of the civilization of love.”

“The primordial model of the family is to be sought in God himself, in the Trinitarian mystery of his life. Man is created ‘from the very beginning’ as male and female: the life of all humanity — whether of small communities or of society as a whole — is marked by this primordial duality.” the pope said.

This message is totally lost on the unthinking West, which is gradually destroying the family and eliminating its own population through promiscuity, contraception, pornography, divorce, liberal education, so-called same-sex “marriage,” abortion and euthanasia. It’s materialism run amuck.


The full article may be read
here. 


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Solemn Requiem Mass for Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP in Toronto

Tomorrow a most sober event will take place in Toronto; a Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the murdered priest, Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP. The event has been charitably organized by the Toronto Traditional Mass Society - Una Voce Toronto. This same organization - upon request - also organized and brought to reality the overwhelming successful Solemn High Mass on June 7th for Msgr. Vincent Foy in the presence of H.E. Thomas Cardinal Collins.   


Sunday, 6 July 2014

The next horror: the legalization and promotion of paedophila


Once sex was detached from marriage and the begetting and raising of children, it became inevitable that demoralization and perversion would soon follow: following the promotion of divorce and the emergence of the "Pill", the "sexual revolution" pushed everything and everything: from tolerance of homosexuality to its triumphalism as a State enforced ideology. Now, we have - less and less subtly - the promotion and call for the legalization of paedophila. It was popular in ancient Greece, there is no need to think that falen human nature has changed for the better since then. 
From the Daily Telegraph:
"Paedophilic interest is natural and normal for human males,” said the presentation. “At least a sizeable minority of normal males would like to have sex with children … Normal males are aroused by children.”
Some yellowing tract from the Seventies or early Eighties, era of abusive celebrities and the infamous PIE, the Paedophile Information Exchange? No. Anonymous commenters on some underground website? No again.
The statement that paedophilia is “natural and normal” was made not three decades ago but last July. It was made not in private but as one of the central claims of an academic presentation delivered, at the invitation of the organisers, to many of the key experts in the field at a conference held by the University of Cambridge.
Other presentations included “Liberating the paedophile: a discursive analysis,” and “Danger and difference: the stakes of hebephilia.”
Hebephilia is the sexual preference for children in early puberty, typically 11 to 14-year-olds.

The full article may be read here. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Michael Coren and the "inconvenient" Catechism of the Catholic Church

Much has transpired over the past few days pertaining to Michael Coren's position on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and homosexuality. I feel that it is highly appropriate to re-publish an article that provides some background as to why Coren acts the way he does; and to focus the issue where it should be focused: Michael Coren.  Re-reading what we wrote just over a month ago in the light of the past few days makes the "convenient Catholicism" of Michael Coren even more relevant.  

Coren has determined to make this a public issue, replete with - well, let Freyr explain it:


 "This guy will not get that it really isn't about gays but rather about Coren himself. If he hadn't publicly trashed Teresa Pierre and PAFE we would not have posted about him at all. Using a TV show to dump on your friends is really tacky. A well known Catholic commentator who casts doubt about part of the catechism is a serious thing".


THE CONVENIENT CATHOLICISM OF MICHAEL COREN
(originally published May 29, 2014) 

"Is there perhaps duplicity in me, like that of the one who sold our Lord for thirty pieces of silver, who was once called Jesus “friend”, and yet ended up by betraying him"? 
Pope Francis

Michael Coren has always been a controversial figure in Catholic circles. There are those of us who will be Catholic until the day we die, for whom there is little choice because it is part of who we are. It is the air we breathe and the lungs which breathe it. And then there is Michael Coren...

We remember a conversation with an old friend on the porch of a house while we waited for a discussion group to begin. She related some of Michael Coren's history and concluded by saying "I just don't trust the man." She was talking about an incident involving some remarks made by the late Cardinal Ambrozic which were subsequently quoted by Michael Coren.
What had left Ambrozic “scorched” and deeply suspicious about the press was a 1993Toronto Life profile written by the controversialist journalist Michael Coren. In it, Coren quoted Ambrozic as using the words “frigging” and “bitch” and calling the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco “a conservative Roman Catholic and not a bad fellow.” The Church circled its wagons around Ambrozic and Coren was deluged with hate mail. Though a faithful Catholic who struggled with printing the remarks, Coren stuck to his guns, saying Ambrozic had been “vulgar” in their talks, and he rebuked his co-faithful for expecting him to “lie.”  Globe and Mail, Sept. 2,2011
No, we did not expect him to lie, but subsequent to this incident and the flurry of controversy surrounding it, he left the Church. This is the source of our own mistrust of Michael Coren. There are many of us, who, though we may be dissatisfied and hurt by some of the things we see happening in the Church, could not conceive of leaving Her. We are in full agreement with Anne Roche Muggeridge's comments in The Desolate City...
Catholicism is not just a religion: it is a country of the heart and of the mind. No matter how resolutely they turn their back on it, people born within it never quite shed their accents. And there are a great many who cannot emigrate, no matter how uninviting living conditions become. We may freeze within it; we would die outside it. "I belong to the race of people," wrote the great Catholic novelist Francois Mauriac, "who, born in Catholicism, realize in earliest manhood that they will never escape from it, never leave it. They were born within it, they are within it, and they will be within it for ever and ever". To this race I belong.
The Church's teachings on homosexual behavior can be a hard thing to hold.  It is especially hard if someone close to you, perhaps a family member or close friend, is affected by this behaviour. The knife edge of expressing love while acknowledging profound disagreement is uncomfortable at best. At worst, it cuts to the very heart of a person. It is easy to hold the Church's teachings on homosexuality if one never has to encounter it in the ones we love, if one never has to look into the face of someone struggling with it. This extraordinary balance between love and truth can only be resolved in the cross. We are not at all surprised that some fall on the side of demonizing and hatred (e.g. Fred Phelps), while others accommodate, hide the truth for fear of causing hurt (e.g. OECTA). The cross is a painful place to be, but it is the only place for someone who tries to be Christian. 

On April 22,2014, Coren broadcast on SUN TV a monologue entitled, "Catholic teachers to march in worldpride". Coren informed us that a Catholic group, Parents as First Educators (PAFE) had organized an online petition to request that OECTA reverse its decision to participate in the world gay pride parade that supports actions and positions that are intrinsically evil (c.f. Persona HumanaCatechism of the Catholic Church [CCC]). OECTA, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, a strident union, has recently been denounced by Cardinal Collins as  un-Catholic.

Coren proceeded thus: with reference to PAFE president, Teresa Pierre, "she's also an old friend, I'm very fond of her.... but come on Theresa, I know you, I know this group, and while I really do admire your efforts and your activismya don't speak for that many people who really have much of an influence". 




Coren then showed a very brief, edited video snippet of Pierre. We were not told where, when or before whom this speech was given. However, a bit of research, by a dear friend of ours, revealed that it is nearly three years old. Of his "friend's" presentation, Coren stated"I mean, with all due respect, that, that was hardly big time, that was a bit amateurish, wasn't it? You can hear the four or five people clapping in the background" Coren derisively applauded at this point. Watch the entire video; it is neither amateurish nor sparsely received. Coren then addressed the issue of OECTA and conceded that OECTA is un-Catholic. He lamented that his lectures on Catholic moral issues, were not attended by OECTA members. 

We have carefully read PAFE's position papers, and they are in accord with the Church's Magisterium. So why the condescending and insulting critique of PAFE? Coren asked: "Would you, Teresa, I mean, come on now; would you not oppose OECTA marching if everyone in the Parade was fully dressed? I think you would..." What's the point here? 

As a writer and seller of books on Catholicism, surely Coren is aware that a Catholic should oppose any action that promotes what is intrinsically unnatural (c.f. CCC, 2357-59). Perhaps Coren would do better if he answered his own question. However, it is a red herring. This is not about nudity or inappropriate behavior, - or even "same-sex marriage", but the advocacy of the homosexual lifestyle. 

Coren also claimed that the Church is not "enormously accepting" of homosexual persons:

"Safe and accepting schools legislation demands that gay children be; yes, safe and accepted. Yet the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual behavior is - and I'm quoting here - intrinsically disordered and a grave depravity; that's not really enormously accepting, is it? But, Catholics have a right to believe this, and to teach this; of course they do.  Just as gay people have the right to not hear it, and oppose it if they want to. So what are we going to do?  Now, if you want me to stand here and preach intolerance and triumphalism and pretend we all live in the 1950s, you've got the wrong person. You really have. We have to accommodate and we have to coexist..."

Coren's (apparent?) belief in the abolition of the separate Catholic system is not the issue. The issue is Coren's position on homosexuality and whether or not he adheres to the Catechism. As he himself has stated in a column for SUN media:"It’s all rather pertinent to me right now because in the past few months I have changed many of my views on gay issues". Again, as a man who writes and sells books on Catholicism, he should explain himself. What views, and why? 

That homosexual activity can never be approved is universal. 
"This question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society." (CDF). 
 "Homosexual orientation is an objective disorder and evokes moral concern"(CDF)
"True love will flow from a correct understanding of the truth of the human person". As such, "true love is the capacity to open oneself to one's neighbour in generosity, and in devotion to the other for the other's good". (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education).
Sexuality and love must always be seen within the truth of the human person.

Coren's bullying seems self-evident, but his positions on gay issues are - at best - extremely evasive and ambiguous. The CCC contains three concise, short paragraphs; it should be quite easy to to say either yes, or no. 

The CDF released a document in 2003 which provides a summary of Catholic teaching: 
Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.(4)
Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.(5) This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries(6) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.
Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.(7) They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity.(8) The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered”(9) and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity”.(10)

Now, consider the following from SUN columns: 

"I also argued most gay people do not choose their sexuality and we must appreciate the love and affection that exists between gay men and women." 

"No compromise on truth, but no compromise on love" 


"Just as a gay person has a right to be gay, a Christian has a right to oppose same-sex marriage".

"My position was that while I oppose gay marriage, I believe we must, in a pluralistic world, work out a co-existence of respect between people of goodwill around the issue of sexuality, based on tolerance, empathy and even affection".

"Sexuality and love are complex issues and we should also learn to evolve, understand, empathize and respect"

Coren also stated to Fox News that Catholics may be"faithful", who "don't accept church teaching on sexuality and life issues". 


We, at Toronto Catholic Witness, wish to unequivocally state that this blog completely supports and endorses PAFE. 

The Witness "Team"
Reference: Ryerson Review of Journalism, Cloak and Dagger, Spring 1994