Monday 30 July 2012

Devout Life

Today, I would like to talk about the devout life. Throughout his life St. Francis De Sales worked to instruct his friends and followers in the devout life. He left us a great testimony to his life's work in his book the "Introduction to the Devout Life."

As we try to practice the devout life we learn that it is composed of two elements: First, a struggle against our lower life or nature, Second, the union of our wills with God. In other words, Penance and Love. The end to which we are aiming is a life of loving, simple, generous and constant fidelity to the will of God. The means of achieving this is Jesus himself, whom we have to keep before our eyes at all times. We should study our Lord Jesus Christ and try to live our lives and actions, just as he did. The devout life is nothing less than the giving of yourself totally to Jesus in this life, so as to hopefully hear Him say to you at the end, "Well done good and faithful servant."

My dear friends and fellow Catholics, I encourage you to seek for a more devout life by studying your faith, and by taking some time out of your busy life to pray and meditate on the life of Jesus and Mary.

When we came together as a group to study and pray I was asked, "What do you want out of this group as you read and pray The Introduction to the Devout Life?" My answer to this must be, to grow in the devout life, to love Jesus with all my heart and soul, and to increase my desire to be in the arms of my God in heaven. I would hope that all Catholics have this goal in their lives, as they battle against the evils of this world. Nothing is more important to me than this. So my dear Catholic brothers and sisters, please keep me in your prayers.

In thanksgiving let us pray:
Now therefore, your King is here, whom you have chosen and desired.


Thou hast come to me in the sacrament of thy love. Thou hast been pleased to make my poor heart thy sanctuary. Welcome Jesus Welcome! Thou art the God of my Heart, and the God that is my portion forever. I praise and bless thee for thy goodness and mercy. "Let all thy works O lord praise thee! And let thy Saints bless thee.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Islam and the Christian West: The problem is us, not them

It is not news that over the past couple of decades an Islamism derived from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups has made major strides in nominally Christian countries. Stories abound in Canada, the United States, and to an even greater degree in various European nations about conflict between the host peoples and the new immigrants. Tragic cases are heard of in Sweden, Britain about rape of young women... tales echo of ghettos remaining isolated by design and circumstance - again from the indigenous population. Troubles occur in the Netherlands, Belgium -- and yes, here in Canada. Female genital mutilation is rampant in Islamic communities in the UK.  

In Toronto, the Deer Valley Park Public School with its mosque is representative of the paradigm shift. The recent Toronto-based street preacher, who proposed the application of Sharia law for women's dress is another case in point. Can it be denied that the West has pornogrified and vulgarized her women to such an extent that even "main stream" media sees nothing wrong; but is even laudatory. The eccentric street preacher's rejection of femininity is not answered by the degradation of femininity. It is not answered by the foolishness of the Sun Network's trotting out images of burka-clad women from the villages of Somalia or Pakistan; nor a number of its journalists dressing up in soi-dissant burka to play to its audience. The Sun and the Taliban notwithstanding, Muslim women do not all wear sacks. But neither is it answered by the buffoonery of the CBC/Toronto Star with their fawning and winking at the advance of Islamism. Journalist Tarek Fatah has on many occasions pointed out the inability of "left-wing" journalism to admit and face Islamic extremism. A problem remains if not dealt with: an incorrect analysis, ignoring its existence leaves the problem to fester. 

"Western" women glorying in being sluts 
Yet, all of these strange happenings and reactions are not the fault of Islam, sharia-advocates, etc. The fault lies with us. That is, if anyone is to blame it is the indigenous population. The world has, and always will be ruled by spiritual values - they may be true or false, but the world is ruled by ideas. Since, roughly, the French Revolution, nation after nation has thrown off any connection with Christianity; divinizing man and humanizing God. The once Christian West then indulged in a number of grotesque fratricidal wars, and topped all of that off with sexual hedonism/promiscuity, materialism, and a growing culture of death (abortion and contraception).  

Arabic woman modeling an Abaya

Is it the fault of Islam that we no longer wish to live? Is it the fault of Islam that we have rejected God, turned His moral law on its head; believe that two men may confect wedlock? Is it the fault of Islam that we have come to believe that two plus two is five? Is it the fault of Islam that western nations have betrayed Christian communities in the Middle East into the hands of terrorists? We have become barbarians (apologies to Freyr, and my maternal grandmother's side of the family), we have chosen this path. It has not been forced on us by Islam. Islam is showing itself as a superior spiritual force to the decadent ideology of the Enlightenment. 

Arabic woman without burka
Within Islam there is a struggle - yes, Islamism is brutal, primitive and evil (but no less so than the proliferation of abortion amongst "Catholic" women). Recalling Archbishop Sheen - there are a number of "notes" of truth that Islam strikes on the "piano" of religion. It is with these notes that the Church must begin to fashion melodies, that our true Islamic friends can sing with us. Pope John Paul II forged an alliance with segments of Islam in the 90s to combat the culture of death.  As to the primitive villages of Pakistan, Afghanistan etc.  that nurture the dark-age Islamist: these people are the enemies of humanity; but they are no more the enemies of humanity than the agents of death who come in the guise of an eminently "Christian" name. The latter, having tasted truth are, in fact, far worse. The "problem" of Islam is really the "problem" of Christianity. We have ceased being Christian - that is the problem. 

Wednesday 25 July 2012

On Televangelists

I've had Humani Generis Redemptionem sitting on my desktop for a while now and it's time I did something with it. Although it was promulgated by Benedict XV in 1917, it is quite topical and could easily apply to the current generation of televangelists. Speaking of the failure of modern preaching he says

If that weapon does not everywhere produce its effect, the blame certainly must be laid on those ministers of the Gospel who do not handle it as they should. For no one can maintain that the Apostles were living in better times than ours, that they found minds more readily disposed towards the Gospel or that they met with less opposition to the law of God.

The first thing he does is set out the office of bishop as the successor to the apostles and the source of preaching and teaching. The bishop sends forth preachers, they are not self appointed.

Let this then be the first law laid down: that no one on his own responsibility undertake the office of preaching. In order to fulfill that duty everyone must have a lawful mission, and that mission can be conferred by the Bishop alone.

The lecture circuit in the early 20th century served much the same purpose as modern mass media does today. A search of such names as Chautauqua or  Lyceum will yield some background on this. Apparently itinerant preachers were a particular problem as was the vulnerability of  some churches to unauthorized preaching.

For the man who owing to his peculiar bent of mind, or any other cause, should choose to undertake the ministry of the Word, finds easy access to the pulpits of our churches as to a drill-ground where any one may practice at will. Therefore, Venerable Brethren, it is your duty to see that such a grave abuse should disappear, and since you will have to render to God and to His Church an account of the manner in which you feed your flock, allow no one to creep unbidden into the sheepfold and to feed the sheep of Christ according to his fancy. Therefore let no one henceforth preach in your dioceses except on your summons and with your approval.

He makes the point that some gospel truths are difficult to hear and that there are preachers who avoid these unpopular topics in favor of the cause celebre of the day.

What efforts do such men make to acquire reputation by their sermons from the size and wealth of the cities and splendor of the great churches in which they preach? But since among the truths revealed by God there are some which frighten the weakness of our corrupt nature, and which therefore are not calculated to attract the multitude, they carefully avoid them, and treat themes, in which, the place accepted, there is nothing sacred. Not seldom it happens that in the very midst of a discourse upon the things of eternity, they turn to politics, particularly if any questions of this kind just then deeply engross the minds of their hearers. They seem to have only one aim, to please their hearers and curry favor with those whom St. Paul describes as "having itching ears." 

Those having itchy ears can be found around us today. How many are devoted to this preacher or that celebrity because they hear what they want to hear.  These devotees become prey to more unscrupulous preachers whose main interest seems to be soliciting donations.

Forgetting the saying of Gregory: "The priest does not preach that he may eat, but should eat that he may preach," [In I Regum, lib. iii], there are not a few who, because they think that they are unsuited for other labors by which they might be decently supported, take to preaching, not that they may worthily exercise the sacred ministry, but to make money.

I strongly recommend reading the entire encyclical which can be found along with all the others at the link on the right. No, I'm not going to link to it here... go look. The website is worth a browse.

Monday 23 July 2012

Rome-SSPX: "They've got to get rid of Bishop Fellay" - Richard Williamson calls for open revolt

The sad tragedy of Bishop Richard Williamson continues with his call to "get rid of Bishop Fellay". Williamson said his comments within the context of his hopes for the General Chapter of the SSPX; that there would be a revolt and consequent removal of Bishop Fellay. 

To view the video, click here 

Sunday 22 July 2012

Pope Paul on the priesthood: 1967

83. Now, with fatherly love and affection, Our heart turns anxiously and with deep sorrow to those unfortunate priests who always remain Our dearly beloved brothers and whose absence We keenly regret. We speak of those who, retaining the sacred character conferred by their priestly ordination, have nonetheless been sadly unfaithful to the obligations they accepted when ordained. Their sad state and its consequences to priests and to others move some to wonder if celibacy is not in some way responsible for such dramatic occurrences and for the scandals they inflict on God's People. In fact, the responsibility falls not on consecrated celibacy in itself but on a judgment of the fitness of the candidate of the priesthood which was not always adequate or prudent at the proper time, or else it falls on the way in which sacred ministers live their life of total consecration...

86. If these priests knew how much sorrow, dishonor and unrest they bring to the holy Church of God, if they reflected on the seriousness and beauty of their obligations and on the dangers to which they are exposed in this life and in the next, there would be greater care and reflection in their decisions; they would pray more assiduously and show greater courage and logic in forestalling the causes of their spiritual and moral collapse...

88. There are some whose priesthood cannot be saved, but whose serious dispositions nevertheless give promise of their being able to live as good Christian lay people. To these the Holy See, having studied all the circumstances with their bishops or with their religious superiors, sometimes grants a dispensation, thus letting love conquer sorrow. In order, however, that her unhappy but always dear son may have a salutary sign of her maternal grief and a keener remembrance of the universal need of God's mercy, in these cases she imposes some works of piety and reparation.

89. Inspiring this discipline, which is at once severe and merciful, are justice and truth, prudence and reserve. It is without doubt a discipline which will confirm good priests in their determination to live lives of purity and holiness. At the same time it will be a warning to those aspiring to the priesthood. Guided by the wisdom of those who educate them, they will approach their priesthood fully aware of its obligations and entirely forgetfully of self, responding generously to divine grace and the will of Christ and His Church. 

Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, Paul VI

Saturday 21 July 2012

Why is a convicted child molester on the directory of St. Joseph's Parish in Ottawa?

Though the wicked spring up like grass and all who do evil thrive, they are doomed to be eternally destroyed.
But you, Lord, are eternally on high. See how your enemies perish; all doers of evil are scattered.
(Psalm 92)
Vox Cantoris has evidence to some grave evils transpiring at St. Joseph's parish in Ottawa, Ontario. If you think it is only atrocious liturgy, think again. How about the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) keeping on the parish directoryconvicted pedophile, Ed MacNeil, OMI? In 2012 the archdiocese removed this man's faculties - good, a first step... The retention of such a man by the Oblates tells us all we need to know about this parish and this order. A review of an OMI website discovers numerous references, and even photos (see below) of this child molester. Really, this is a grotesque insult to Our Blessed Lord, the Church and the victims (yes, never, ever forget about the victims!!). This is monstrous and an abomination. I ask: would they list a Nazi? Any further commentary would be superfluous...

"Fr". Ed MacNeil, OMI - from INFO Lacombe, Vol. 7 (16), May 21, 2010

Rome-SSPX: Internal Letter of July 18 on General Chapter

We provide the link to the leaked document for those who read French. The substance of the letter recalls the recent meetings in Rome; the new changes suggested by some in the Curia during the June meetings, Bishop Fellay's response to hold back and take a summary view at the General Chapter, and finally a few absolute points that the SSPX feel must be enshrined in any canonical deal with Rome. 

From my perspective, there is nothing new here (e.g. maintaining liturgical practice according to the older rites). Gratifying is the emphasis of the Society to maintain its structure and activities directly under the Pope, by-passing interference from the local Ordinary. Obviously, the activities of the Society would be contained within the local church or chapel - but the key would be that the Society would continue as is, under the Pope. 

Point 1, could be the only difficult point for some; whereby it focuses on Vatican II. This could be explained in a number of ways, as has been proposed by scholars such as Msgr. Bux. In essence, it would be to "agree to disagree" on a number of points (as written about by Fr. Lamont) discussed during the Council that had different points of emphasis prior to the Council. 

Practice your French, pray for a resolution...

Thursday 19 July 2012

Rome-SSPX: The Society's Declaration

The Society of St. Pius X has published the General Chapter's "Common Declaration". Key passages pertaining to negotiations are below. The second paragraph is disturbing, as it a priori  judges the Magisterium of yesterday and today. No doubt, there is a frightful crisis, as the Holy Father has pointed out time and again. However, "waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible" is also an a priori judgment. 

For this reason it seems opportune that we reaffirm our faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the unique Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation nor possibility to find the means leading to salvation; our faith in its monarchical constitution, desired by Our Lord himself, by which the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth; our faith in the universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of both the natural and the supernatural orders, to Whom every man and every society must submit.
The Society continues to uphold the declarations and the teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church in regard to all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors, and also in regard to the reforms issued from it. We find our sure guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its teaching authority, transmits the revealed Deposit of Faith in perfect harmony with the truths that the entire Church has professed, always and everywhere.
The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.
The full text may be read here

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Ignoring Subsidiarity Leads to Fascism

I was talking with a friend today about the rise of fascism in the west. He made the case that it was a phenomenon that was driven from the top by a thirst for power. I disagreed, stating that no government could hold power without the tacit consent and cooperation of its people. What then is the motivating principle that drives this impulse to power from the bottom? I believe that it is the complete neglect of subsidiarity in our public life. Briefly stated, subsidiarity is an organizing principle stating that affairs amongst people should be handled by the smallest, lowest level of authority possible. When two factions disagree about an issue it is far better that they find some way of arriving at a solution on their own than to refer the matter to a higher authority. While the appeal to authority may resolve the issue it also grants the higher level of authority control. Once you have ceded power to the higher level of government it is extraordinarily difficult to seize it back again.

In short, it is the appeal to a higher authority which is driving the concentration of power. The most obvious example is the marriage issue. So long as the government was willing to define marriage in accord with our wishes most Catholics were quite happy to allow them to legislate on the matter. Within a few short years society changed enough to permit legislation in quite the opposite direction. The notion that the government of the day had the right to dictate to the Church who is married and who is not would have shocked St. Thomas More who was martyred over that very issue.

We are no longer capable of having reasonable conversations or settling contentious issues amongst ourselves. We scream slogans and epitaphs at each other and we live in our own little insular worlds in which we never have to talk to someone who disagrees with us. We demand all or nothing and we rely upon the coercive power of the state to enforce our will. Why spend the time and energy convincing anyone? We had better learn to talk to our enemies for the alternative will doom us all.

The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity; according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of it's functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the rest of society, always with a view to the common good."

Monday 16 July 2012

Fascism in the UK: Religious persecution of Christians

In another strange turn of events, the Russian Orthodox Church will be organizing the legal defense of two British women fired for wearing crosses at work. The implications would be far reaching if enforced across Europe. Perhaps the recent experience of persecution that motivates the Orthodox; whilst the mainstream churches resident in the UK remain silent. 

Father Dudko the Orthodox cleric observed:“This trend has appeared not only in the UK, but also in France and some other European countries: it resembles the persecution of religion after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.”

The Russian Orthodox Church believes that initiators of such laws in Europe should be stopped as soon as possible as otherwise, it fears, a total ban on any religion may be introduced very soon all over Europe.

The full story can be read here

ROME-SSPX: Bishop Fellay's interview of July 16: "Very soon we will convey to Rome the position of the Chapter"

Today, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX gave an interview focusing on the General Chapter and the relations with Rome. THis interview clarifies much idle speculation and gossip currently circulating on the internet. The full interview may be reads here.

DICI : Were you able to discuss the relations with Rome? Were there any forbidden questions? The dissensions manifested within the SSPX these last moths, have they calm down?
Bishop Fellay : That makes for quite a few questions! Regarding Rome, we went to the very heart of the issues, and all the capitularies were able to study the complete file. Nothing was left aside and there were no taboos among us. It was my duty to exhibit with detail all the documentation exchanged with the Vatican, something which was rendered difficult by the obnoxious climate of recent months. This made it possible for us to conduct direct discussions which have cleared out the doubts and dissipated any misunderstandings, resulting in peace and unity of hearts, which of course is something to rejoice about.
DICI : How do you foresee the relations with Rome after this Chapter?
Bishop Fellay : All ambiguity has now been resolved among us. Very soon we will convey to Rome the position of the Chapter, which has been the occasion to specify our road map insisting upon the conservation of our identity, the only efficacious means to help the Church to restore Christendom. As I told you recently, “if we want to make fruitful the treasure of Tradition for the benefit of souls, we must both speak and act” (cf.interview of 8 June 2012, DICI #256). We cannot keep silent when facing the rampant loss of faith, the staggering fall of the number of vocations, and the decrease of religious practice. We cannot refrain from speaking when confronted with the “silent apostasy” and its causes. Doctrinal mutism is not the answer to this “silent apostasy” which even John Paul II denounced already in 2003.
Our approach is inspired not only by the doctrinal firmness of Archbishop Lefebvre but also by his pastoral charity. The Church has always considered that the best testimony to the truth is to be found in the early Christians’ unity built in prayer and charity. They had “but one heart and one soul,” as we read in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. Acts 4, 32). Such a common ideal is also our watchword, Cor Unum being the name of the internal bulletin of the SSPX. Hence we distance ourselves resolutely from all those who have tried to take advantage of the situation in order to drive a wedge turning Society members against each other. Such a spirit does not come from God.

Saturday 14 July 2012

SSPX General Chapter Communique

The General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X ended this Saturday, July 14, 2012, in Econe (Switzerland). Gathered near Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s tomb, the capitularies have given thanks to God for the profound unity that prevailed among them during all these workdays.
The General Chapter will soon make a common statement to Rome, which will then be made public.
The General Superior, Bishop Fellay, thanks deeply all the priests and faithfuls for their fervent prayers during this chapter.
Ecône, July 14, 2012
The original may be read here

Commentary: The upcoming "common statement" will probably make or break any possibility of reunion. One hint in favour of a positive outcome was the 29-9 vote against Richard Williamson attending the General Chapter by the capitularies. 

Friday 13 July 2012

Cardinal Sodano cronies still wield power

Vatican Insider has a fascinating review of Curial politics - following various findings in the "Vatileaks". One confirmation of rumours is the ongoing influence of former Secretary of State Angelo Cardinal Sodano. Unfortunately, this man still remains Dean of the College of Cardinals. His past relationship with the Legionaries of Christ and his bungled public announcements over various sexual scandals (that incommoded the present reigning Pontiff,) clearly mark this man as an incompetent. Let us leave it at that. 

John Paul II’s powerful personal secretary, Stanislao Dziwisz, was promptly promoted as Cardinal of Cracow, but other Wojtylians still remain in the Roman Curia and they are making their influence over papal bureaucracy felt. For example the dean of the Sacred College, Angelo Sodano and pro-Wojtyla cardinals Leonardo Sandri, Giovanni Battista and Jean-Louis Tauran. They are the leaders of the so-called “diplomatic school” which is at the helm of the ecclesiastical Academy in Rome’s Piazza della Minerva. The papal embassies which weave the network of Vatican relations across the globe are home to nuncios loyal to Sodano, such as Luigi Ventura (France), Pietro Parolin (Venezuela), Gabriele Caccia (Beirut) and Piero Pioppo (Cameroon). Set against the old diplomatic guard, since 2006, is the current loyal to the Vatican Secretary of State, the Salesian canonist, Tarcisio Bertone. Members of this current include the Curia cardinals and Salesian brothers Raffaele Farina and Angelo Amato. Crucially, Bertone’s lot have an influence on Vatican finances.

Blogger Forsakes Vatican

Yep... take a look at the link on the right called Papal Encyclicals Online. The first thing you need to know is that it isn't a Vatican site. Except where they must link to the Vatican website to display current encyclicals the documents are offered in a much more readable format. Moreover many of the earlier documents are available in common e reader formats. Now those who wish to read the documents in their favorite device can do so instead of squinting at the texts with their headache inducing faux parchment. Interested in the Council of Chalcedon and the difference between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox? That's here too. Oh yeah... they have the appropriate permissions.

Catechists Require Fidelity Oaths

Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington Virginia sent a letter to some 5000 catechists in his diocese asking them to sign an oath of fidelity to Church teachings before their pastor if they wish to teach in the diocese. Such oaths are nothing new for priests and nuns but their extension to lay catechists and other volunteers is a more recent phenomena. In the Diocese of Arlington all but 5 of the catechists signed the oath.

According to the bishop,
"As chief catechist in the diocese, the bishop is responsible for the total catechetical mission of the local church" (National Directory for Catechesis, 54). This aspect of my ministry is one I share with all who teach and form our youth. In order that we may work together to transmit the Faith, I hereby establish, as diocesan policy, that every catechist, together with their aides (if any), publicly make an annual Profession of Faith according to the attached formula.

Good work Bishop Loverde...

Is a Catechist Catholic?

Arlington Diocese parishioners question need for fidelity oath

Monday 9 July 2012

Chinese Bishop persecuted by neo-fascist CPC

The recently consecrated Chinese Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, declared this past July 7th in Shanghai, that his new Episcopal ministry would not be associated with the heretical and schismatic sect, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (a Chinese Communist Party controlled entity established under the monstrous tyranny of Mao-Tse-Tung). The result of his disassociation with the schismatics caused great consternation amongst the communist officials, and resulted in the bishop being detained and unable to celebrate Mass the following day. Please pray for the Church in China. 
The Bishop's concluded his public address at his Consecration as follows: 
The motto of my coat-of-arms came from two famous quotations. The first one is what Bishop Jin always taught us during our seminary days. It is a quote borrowed from Saint Ignatius - "For the Greater Glory of God" (Ad majorem Dei gloriam). In this present moment, in this place, we have to choose a way that will serve God with greater glory.
The second quotation I selected is "We are one". I hope everyone, in our heart, will respond to Jesus Christ's teachings to the Apostles: "May all be one!" I will spend my whole life to strive for unity.
In the light of the teaching of Our Mother Church, as I now serve as a bishop, I should focus on the pastoral work and evangelization. It is inconvenient for me to take on certain responsibilities. Therefore, from this day of consecration, I will no longer be convenient to be a member of the Patriotic Association. (Warm applause resounded through the church, over and over again; many participants were moved to tears!)
May we be one. For the Greater Glory of God!

A full report can be read at Asianews and Vatican Insider

Sunday 8 July 2012

Fr. Robert Barron on religion in America

Fr. Robert Barron, the great catechesist from the United States, has posted an extraordinary video reflecting on the state of religion in the United States. Fr. Barron's erudite and scholarly reflections really cast Catholic teaching in a wonderful light. Listening to Barron is such a contrast to the cacophany and confusion of the various televangelists and "intervangelists", and "bloggervangelists".  As an example, consider the difference between poor Richard Williamson and Fr. Barron.  

Fr. Robert Barron. To view the video click here.

Saturday 7 July 2012

Rome-SSPX: Williamson claims Pope is not truly Catholic

Richard Williamson, in his June 30th Kyrie Eleison comments, amongst other things, claims that the Pope is an only "half-believing" Catholic. Well, actually, if he leaves one point of doctrine out, he is not Catholic. Period. Williamson should re-read St. Augustine. In truth, this latest comment is really another attempt to torpedo any Rome-SSPX reconciliation. It is also a grave insult to the Pope (not to mention Williamson's Superior, Bishop Fellay). 

Williamson writes:

If all Church leaders always co-operated with their graces of state, how could there ever have been Judas Iscariot? And how could we ever have had Vatican II? The argument from graces of state is as foolish as it is simple.... The Church is weak because the bishops’ poor behavior follows on their poor grasp of the doctrine of Heaven, Hell, sin, damnation, redemption, saving grace and the Redeemer’s ever-present sacrifice in the true Mass. The bishops have such a poor grasp of these world-saving truths because, amongst other things, the Bishop of bishops only half believes them. The Pope only half believes them because the other half of him believes in Vatican II. Vatican II undermines all the true religion of God by the deadly ambiguities planted throughout its documents (as you recognize), and designed to put man in the place of God...
.... By the grace of God the SSPX has up till now upheld Jesus Christ’s true teachings, but if it put itself under Church authorities only half-believing them at best, it would soon stop attacking error (as is already happening), and it would finish by promoting error, and with error all the horrors you mention. God forbid!

Friday 6 July 2012

Invalid Matter?

When someone brought a photograph to my attention depicting something that looked suspiciously like a cookie being used as a host for mass, my curiosity was piqued. A little investigation led me to Canon Law which specifies wheat flour and the GIRM which specifies unleavened bread. The contention was that something that thick could not possibly be unleavened and besides, it looked like a cookie. Since I could find no references to appearances let alone cookies, I decided to perform my own investigation. I mixed some whole wheat flour and water in a bowl until it was the consistency of a thick dough. I formed the dough into a round shape about 3" in diameter and between 1/4" and 3/8" thick. Then I baked it, using only enough vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Here's the results.

You be the judge. It does look like an oatmeal cookie but I can confirm that only wheat flour and water went into it. There may well be some requirements that I am not aware of so feel free to post references in the combox. As for this bit of bread... it has no liturgical destiny though I may get my friend to eat it for my own amusement.

As for me... I have way too much time on my hands. G'day...

Thursday 5 July 2012

Bishop Muller on the Council and the SSPX

Bishop Muller the newly appointed Prefect of the CDF gave an interview with the German Catholic news agency, The bishop addressed the Second Vatican Council and the SSPX.  
KNA: Another major topic in Rome is the anniversary of the Council. What do you expect from looking back?
Müller: We do not need a hermeneutic that is imposed upon the Council from outside. It is important to explore the hermeneutic that is included in the Council itself: the hermeneutic of reform in continuity, as the Holy Father has repeatedly underlined. A Council is the execution of the highest magisterium of the Church in the communion of the bishops with the Pope.
In this sense, the Second Vatican Council was a wonderful event, albeit from a somewhat different type than some previous councils. It was its legitimate intention to respond not only to certain errors and correct them, but to provide an overall view of the Catholic faith. It wanted not many individual elements, but the big picture, the great architecture of the present church with large rooms where you can feel at home and gladly live.
KNA: The Council, however, also created problems, for example for the SSPX.
Müller: Everyone who calls himself Catholic, will also have to keep the principles of the Catholic faith. These are not pre-formulated by the CDF or anyone else, but given to us in the Revelation of God in Jesus Christ, which has been entrusted to the Church. One can therefore not simply pick from it what fits in a given structure.
Rather, one must be open to the whole of the Christian faith, the whole profession of faith, the Church’s history and development of her teaching. One must be open to the living Tradition which does not end somewhere – say in 1950 – but goes on. Inasmuch as we appreciate history with her great achievements, we must also see that every era is also directly related to God. Every era has its own challenges. We can not explain a historical era according to the classical pattern, but we walk from one summit to the next.

The full interview may be read here

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Una Voce Toronto sponsoring Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Assumption

Una Voce Toronto is sponsoring a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Assumption in Richmond Hill, just north of Toronto. Further information can be obtained at:

For all those able to attend, please do. Please bring along interested and curious friends who have perhaps never experienced the Mass known as the "Tridentine Rite".  

Image courtesy of Una Voce Toronto

Bishop Muller appointed CDF Prefect

2012-07-02 Vatican Radio
Pope Benedict XVI on Monday appointed Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, previously the bishop of Regensburg, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, raising him to the dignity of Archbishop. By virtue of his office, he will also be the president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and the International Theological Commission. The previous prefect, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, resigned from the position, having reached the age limit.
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Commentary: Unlike various strident voices populating the internet, and denouncing Bishop Muller as a "heretic", and Pope Benedict as a "modernist"; I  believe that it is not too much to suggest that trusting in the Holy Father's decisions is incumbent on a Catholic. There was much similar clamor from the usual websites on the evils of the appointment of Cardinal Levada. Such is the state of the Church in this age of alleged individualism. "Traditional" or "conservative" Catholics have taken up with the "liberal" and the "modernist" to judge the Pope and the Magisterium. All of this reeks of pure protestantism. I say alleged individualism because this individualism has resulted in various sets of "group think"; many groups delving into classic "smear" campaigns that were so popular in the 30s, 40s and 50s on the hard left and right. 

Sunday 1 July 2012

The Dominion of Canada and Religious Liberty

Today, Dominion Day (or Canada Day), I thought of today's Gospel and how the hemorrhaging woman could be seen as a symbol of Canada: a nation bleeding from her sins, a nation in need to come close to Christ, to be healed. A nation, that needs not celebration of sin, not pride in evil, but humble contrition, and a return to the Gospel. Pope Leo XIII once wrote that to have had the Gospel, the Truth and to abandon it for falsehood and all the rest; surely this is madness. As this madness spreads, I thought it opportune to recall us to some of our more important foundations - such as the exercise of religious liberty as is the right of every free man. In a day when internet "show trials" destroy the person, all the more should we proclaim the religious right to dissent from State dogma, from media pressure, from elites... Religious freedom is one key note in the melody of liberty that distinguishes the freeman from the slave, the free nation from the fascist State. Note, as well, that religious liberty pre-dates the Canadian State. Religious liberty is not something the State grants; rather it can only recognize it, just as I must recognize that two and two make four. 

From the Catholic Encyclopedia (1971): 

In 1840 the union of Upper and Lower Canada, so long fought off by the latter as an act of gross injustice, was accomplished. The avowed aim of the Protestants of Ontario was to make Quebec subject to Ontario, the French element to the English, the Catholic to the Protestant. Contrary to all expectation, this act turned out favourable to the liberty and progress of Catholicism. Far from abrogating the provisions of the constitution of 1791 concerning the Catholic religion, it extended them, at the same time providing for their enforcement. For in 1840, after the guarantees of liberty given the Catholic Church by the British Government, the spiritual supremacy of the king in religious affairs could not be maintained as defined in the Royal Instructions of 1791. Let us add that Lord Elgin, a broad-minded governor, appeared on the scene, and recognized that it was time to put an end to a system of government based on partiality and the denial of justice.

To this governor Canada is indebted for her religious liberty, plainly granted in an act of 1851 issued by the King of Great Britain and published in the Canadian press, 1 June 1852. Here it is formally stated that the "free exercise and enjoyment of profession and religious worship, without distinction or preference, are permitted by the constitution and laws of this province of Canada to all the subjects of His Majesty in the said province."