Wednesday 30 January 2013

Solemn Candlemas: Toronto Traditional Mass Society- Una Voce Toronto

A reminder that the The Toronto Traditional Mass Society - Una Voce Toronto is pleased to announce two Solemn Latin Masses in the usus antiquior (Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) celebrating Candlemas Day this Saturday, February 2nd. Please support the TTMS- UVA in their tremendous work. The past year has been one of not only consolidation, but growth. Please come out and celebrate.  

One Mass will be just north of Toronto in Richmond Hill (Church of St. Mary Immaculate at 10:30 a.m.) and the other near London, Ontario in Kinkora (St. Patrick's at 10 a.m.). Candlemas Day is the traditional ending to the Christmas Season. 

Further information may be obtained the TTMS-UVA:

UPDATE (January 31st): a full list of Candlemas Day liturgies in the usus antiquior is available here.  

Tuesday 29 January 2013

The Adventures of Fr. Aidan McNutty: Freddy the Fabricator

Deep within the dimly lit council chamber, Msgr Frederico Fabrizzi was collecting dossiers on traditionalists. These documents were essential in the battle against the Catholic Church that was being waged relentlessly by Modernists. This particular morning, Msgr. Fabrizzi had been busy with his underlings in collecting - nay, distorting and down-right lying about the activities of St. John Chrysostom's Parish. Extinguishing his last cigarette on an exquisite mahogany writing desk, Msgr. Fabrizzi finished his cognac with gusto and strode towards an elevator which proceeded to bring him up thirty or so feet to street level. Exiting the unit, the cleric proceeded down a long corridor lined with paintings by Italian and other European masters. Within a few minutes he was strolling through grounds familiar to millions. This erstwhile enemy of Catholicism was in none other than St. Peter's Square!

Entering his limousine, provided by the Secretariat of State, the Monsignor drove through the bustling streets of Rome to meet his good friend, Archbishop Rupert Weakling. The Archbishop, in Rome for his ad limina visit with the Supreme Pontiff, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, had excused himself from the meeting on the grounds of claiming a migraine. Not wishing to press the point with the de facto schismatic American Bishops, His Holiness had decided (after firm prompting from certain cardinals) that the Archbishop's presence was not essential to the discussion on the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle that was to be the main topic for the Bishop's Conference's working lunch with the Vicar of Christ.

Fabrizzi, a fanatical gnostic with a particular hatred for the papacy, eagerly embraced his friend:" Welcome to Italy, Rupert". The two men had been friends since the Council. There, they had started off as nominal Catholics with liberal inclinations. By the time Fr. Weakling had returned to America in 1966 (after touring Europe for six months with assorted "friends") he was a die-in-the-wool anti-Catholic. It was at that time that Weakling wrote several progressive articles on situational ethics and began teaching at a seminary. He had been told that pastoral work was definitely out if he wanted to be a bishop - and boy did he ever!!

Fabrizzi too had undergone a major transformation. Coming from a staunchly Catholic family, he broke with the Church after Humanae Vitae. The lead-up to that break had been precipitated by a favourite uncle "marrying" a heretic in a registry office. Henceforth, Fabrizzi would be a vicious persecutor of traditional Catholics, hounding them out of parishes and "renovating" as many churches he could get his hands on. Some even joke that he outdid Henry VIII and Calvin in destroying altars. Be that as it may, the two friends embraced and proceeded to the five star Hotel de Russie bar for a good chat and quite a few drinks (courtesy of Archbishop Weakling's diocese collection).

The two apostates strode into the bar and began ordering drinks. Weakling relaxed with whiskey, whilst Fabrizzi favoured his cognac. Both men were in their golfing gear and would soon be heading out to play 18 rounds, something the two did way back in the sixties.

"How was your flight, Rupert?", asked Fabrizzi. "I have to admit it was a bit bumpy on the flight from London, but the flight to London from New York was smooth", replied Weakling. "The only problem is the shortness of the flight. By the time you really begin knocking them back, you have to land again".

"Well, you can't have everything. Besides, you have some penance to do", replied Fabrizzi. The two fiends (yes dear reader, fiends) laughed uproariously; the alcohol already beginning to affect their minds. "Tell me, Freddy: who's this 'Fr. Dominic Vobiscum' that I have read so much about? Is he really such a pain for the Italian bishops"?

"Don't mention that name to me! Just thinking about Vobiscum makes me sick. This guy's a fanatic. He only says the Tridentine Mass. What for? He's such a goon", snarled the Monsignor. "And he's dangerous. People are beginning to listen to him. He's also in contact with some of the worst integrists in the world".

"It must be tough for you FF", sighed the Archbishop, gulping down his third drink.

"Well of course its tough! Here we are, about to converge with Anglicanism and Lutheranism and this guy comes out and starts to undermine everything we've been working for. I don't know why the Pope won't get rid of him".

"Let's play some golf", grunted Weakling, starting up from his chair. Marginally intoxicated, the Archbishop bumped into a micro-skirted waitress, knocking her tray to the floor with a loud crash of dishes and cutlery. Mumbling an apology the Archbishop and the Monsignor retired from the bar before the manager could see who it was.

The two men staggered into a Vatican limo and sped off in the direction of Rome's golf course that catered to the jet set.

Inside the car, Fabrizzi was comforting the Arcbishop about the pestilential traditionalists. "So I hope you feel better now, that I've spoken to Cardinal....", said Fabrizzi. "Sure, Freddy, replied Weakling, he's a good man and in this way, those traditionalists will never get to the Pope. Anyhow, with all the projects Ratzinger is involved with, he'll never get round to supporting the traditionalists - at least I hope so."

"The key is to convince the Pope that they are divisive, anti-ecumenical, anti-semitic, and especially against bishops! If we can do that- he'll be scared stiff. Remember Rupert how some of your bishop friends brow-beat Montini into "forbidding" the Tridentine Mass?"

Weakling, feeling a bit more comforted, lent back and switched on a CD of some 'Hip-Hop'. Atrocious computer generated sounds filled the car, accompanied by a dull metronomic drum beat. This was Weakling's way of trying to ingratiate himself with the apostate youth of his diocese; to take up the cult of man through the promotion of frightful jungle rhythms.

Truth, Propaganda and the Internet

What is truth?

Pilate's confusion over the nature of truth is perhaps understandable for we are still somewhat confused over this today. Perhaps one of the most infamous examples of the manipulation of truth is the activity of Pope Pius XII during the War. Prior to 1964 he was well regarded my many who had lived through WWII, including many Jews. After 1964 his reputation suffered greatly and controversy rages to this day regarding his actions during the war. The difference was not some new research or the revelation of new facts but a play written by Rolf Hochhuth called The Deputy. Now the entire Pius XII controversy is beyond the scope of this blog but I wish to point out an aspect of this for our consideration.

The massive change brought about in the case of Pius XII was a clear case of the manipulation of public opinion. The play provided a new and completely different narrative of the events during the War. Once the new story became known, scholars, researchers and political activists began to fill in the details. Since much of this history is open to interpretation, many of the facts can be fit into one story as well as another. The important thing to note here is that the story precedes the facts.

The Encyclical and the Press Release

It is quite amusing to watch media outlets in their coverage of the Vatican. I never tire of pointing out to folks that the Vatican is a hill in Rome on which Peter was buried and a church was built. It doesn't issue press releases. When dealing with information from the Holy See, it is important to scan down to the bottom and take note of who signed the document. When the pope issues any communication, such as an encyclical, his signature can be found at the bottom of the document. This sort of document is to be granted greater weight than one issued by a secretary in some obscure congregation for instance. Being able to attribute a communication to a source is fairly important in curia circles. 

This is not so in the field of public relations. In fact the latest development in the field, viral marketing, involves the transmission of an idea or product in the same manner a viral infection transmits itself in the human body. No one can say with certainty where it came from. In fact if the source of the idea can be attributed to a PR agency, press office or some other entity with a vested interest then the credibility of the information is suspect. Something heard from a friend, coworker or neighbor is far more likely to be given credence. The ideal is for the press release to be transmitted as news.

Bernays and the Propagandists

Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, was primarily responsible for the application of his uncle's theories to the manipulation of public opinion. He realized upon reading Freud's Introduction to Psychoanalysis that to sway public opinion he would have to appeal to their emotions and subconscious rather than their rational mind. He founded the first public relations firm and consulted extensively with the US government. His legacy is with us today.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.
          Propaganda (1928)
The Catechetical Crisis 

Years ago we of a certain generation learned our faith from one edition or other of the Baltimore Catechism. For better or worse this has stuck with most of us whether we believe or not. Those of us who returned to the faith found it an excellent foundation for deeper study. This approach to catechetics involved indoctrinating students in the essential tenets of the faith while leaving the experiential side of it to the family and school environment. This approach could leave great whopping holes if the home and school environment were lacking. However when it clicked eventually, it really made sense. This approach appealed to the rational mind by giving people a solid foundation upon which to build an edifice involving the whole person, both rational and emotional.

Today catechetics is handled somewhat differently. We somehow lead the student into some sort of experience of God, eschewing the lifelessness of rote learning. These techniques have more in common with Bernays and the propagandists than they do with Catholic tradition. Rather than provide a firm foundation they seek to sway and manipulate people into having some sort of collective experience that will leave them feeling good. This triumph of sentimentality over reason leaves people ill equipped to reconcile anything that doesn't feel good with their religion. 

The difference between the two approaches can be seen in the ease with which contemporary Catholics can be led astray. Their house is built upon sand. This flight from the rational is fundamentally flawed.

Truth and the Internet 

One of the more difficult ideas to grasp is that the end does not justify the means. If you wish to achieve a good end then you must use good means. The internet is the great leveler in that it provides a wealth of opportunity to transmit information to almost everybody. In this I submit that it is the moral equivalent of the printing press. Unfortunately the same printing press could be as easily used to print Mein Kampf as the Holy Bible. Moreover, the internet is far more difficult to manage than the printing press. When the flow of information was much slower it was possible to submit publications to the appropriate authorities and obtain an imprimatur and nihil obstat. Such methods are no longer effective in this information age.

The internet can be used to slander someone or to spread gossip and rumor. It is fairly easy to use it to rouse peoples emotions and whip them into a frenzy. The techniques of Bernays, the propagandists and public relations can lend themselves to the internet quite handily. The question is whether any of these things is entirely moral. Is advancing the cause of truth by false means ever permissible?

What exactly are false means? In the context we are dealing with here, the triumph of sentimentality over reason, anything that furthers the abandonment of reason is ultimately going to turn around and bite you in the end. Opposing abortion because the killing of a human being in the womb is wrong is quite appropriate. On the other hand, opposing abortion because you are shocked and horrified at pictures of aborted babies on display is ultimately a very weak position. It begs the question of whether it might be alright so long as you are shielded from the emotional impact.

What is perhaps the worst abuse is the party politics approach to questions of truth. Advocates of women priests imagine that if only they can garner enough support and put enough pressure on the powers that be, that they may eventually force a change. Truth becomes a matter of public opinion and the one who is most successful at swaying public opinion decides questions of truth.

A quick tour through some of the blogs on the internet will quickly reveal that this notion of truth as public opinion predominates, as evidenced by the proliferation of com box flame wars. Characterizing one group as Taliban Catholics is certainly not much different from calling another group liberal modernists or the conciliar church. Such name calling means you really don't care about rational argument; you just want these folks to shut up or be ignored. 

People have their internet heroes and villains and the efforts to cheer for the former and boo the latter are far more reminiscent of a WWF wrestling match than any sort of  rational discourse. This leads to all sorts of  questionable phenomena such as the furor that explodes when one of these internet personalities falls from grace. You have to stop criticizing this person or cut this group some slack... we have stopped seeking truth and have degenerated into cheering our favorite team. Truth is not a matter of public opinion or who has the biggest cheering section. It never has been. 

For an interesting perspective on the work of Edward Bernays watch The Century of the Self by Adam Curtis. 

Monday 28 January 2013

Toronto Traditional Mass Society - Una Voce Toronto: Candlemas Day Celebrations

The Toronto Traditional Mass Society - Una Voce Toronto is pleased to announce two Solemn Latin Masses in the usus antiquior (Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) celebrating Candlemas Day this Saturday, February 2nd. 

One Mass will be just north of Toronto in Richmond Hill (Church of St. Mary Immaculate at 10:30 a.m.) and the other near London, Ontario in Kinkora (St. Patrick's at 10 a.m.). Candlemas Day is the traditional ending to the Christmas Season. Please come out and celebrate. 

Further information may be obtained the TTMS-UVA:

Sunday 27 January 2013

Józef Kardynał Glemp: Requiescat in pace

Jozef Cardinal Glemp
His Eminence Jozef Cardinal Glemp died this past January 23rd after a long illness. Cardinal Glemp was the successor of the "Primate of the Millennium", the incomparable Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski (of whom I will be posting a number of his reflections). The Holy Father, in writing his condolences to the Archbishop of Warsaw included these words: 

"He was a 'just' man, in the spirit of St. Joseph, his patron, and those who, in biblical tradition, knew how to listen to the voice of God's call, addressed not just to them personally, but also to the communities to which they were sent. Such justice, full of humble obedience to God's will, was the basis of his deep love for God and man, which was his light, inspiration, and strength in the difficult ministry of leading the Church at a time when significant social and political transformations were affecting Poland and Europe."

May the Cardinal's soul be received into the mercy of Christ. 

Friday 25 January 2013

CCCB claims the SSPX is "Schismatic"

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has recently claimed the Society of St. Pius the Tenth  "schismatic". This is absolutely false. The CCCB has no canonical authority over the lay faithful, nor of the Church, in Canada or elsewhere. They are, a consultative body at best. I am, for example, as a resident of Toronto, answerable to my local Ordinary and the Holy Father. Period. As a non-Gallican or Henrician, I do not recognize their authority over me. Shall they now accuse me of schism? 

The authority to decide on the status of the SSPX is Rome, under the direction of the Holy Father. The CCCB may be eager to create a schism, the Holy Father is not. At such times of crisis in the Church, it would be best for the CCCB to refrain from inflammatory language, and to correct the terrible abuses that exist within the various dioceses across Canada; rather then fling unhelpful accusations at the SSPX. Shame on the CCCB. Shame on their scandalous behaviour over the years, including the disgusting Winnipeg Statement that they have not yet openly repudiated. 

This is the same organization that kept up photos, writings of the convicted pervert bishop Raymond Lahey; which took yours truly nearly two months to convince the CCCB to remove (all emails, screen shots etc. retained as evidence). Simply put, the CCCB is quick to tear into Bishop Fellay, but at best, they were remise in removing the writings of an unrepentant pervert. 

Question: will they declare Fr. Thomas Rosica a schismatic and/or heretic after his - objectively evil - interview with the excommunicant arch-heretic Gregory Baum, whom he lauded as a "model of hope"? Or, when the Basilian addressed the heretic with these words: "you help to keep alive - not only the spirit of the Second Vatican Council - but the authentic teaching of the Council" Who is the greater danger to the Church in Canada, Bishop Fellay or Fr. Rosica? 

The full report from the CCCB can be read here.

EWTN and the March for Life

Mother Angelica
The stellar Catholic Eternal Word Television Network is carrying extensive coverage of the March for Life. The most important issue of out lifetime is the scourge and crime of abortion. Please support Mother Angelica's magnificent creation with your prayers and financial contributions. 

EWTN is the lone voice in the wilderness that cries our in a strong, forceful, yet charitable manner against this crime against life. Not only through documentaries and news programming; but through carrying coverage of such incredible events such as the March for Life. 

Note: Donald Cardinal Wuerl will be celebrant and homilist at this evenings 7 p.m. Mass that EWTN will carry live. The Cardinal is a strong advocate of catechesis and the New Evangelization 

Thursday 24 January 2013

Colourful "Clergy" strut on the Catwalk??!

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends!
Alleluia! - Now, worship me!

Just when I began to believe that Fr. Aidan McNutty was a figment of my imagination, a report in the Daily Telegraph carries hope that I might yet be reprieved from any possible accusation of an overactive organ within my cranial aperture. 

The Daily Telegraph carries the latest in Anglican church attire; especially for female clergypersons. Apparently, these female parsonesses do not take too kindly to the traditional black garb, and desire more colourful and luxurious ware. 

Ah, the glories of the mini-skirted parsoness! Is she perhaps on the way to the
confessional box to hear someone's "confession"?
The Telegraph reports that these persons modeling the attire are indeed members of the Anglican "clergy". 
I love your adulation so much, I'm back again!
Bless you, my children (could this be Fr. Aidan McNutty!?)
All still shots courtesy The Daily Telegraph, 2013.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Homosexuality, the Newman Centre and Quentin Crisp

The pressure to conform can be a terrible thing. What is even worse, the outsiders in our society, those who are different in ways that are obvious and sometimes disturbing,  can also succumb to this pressure to conform. I watched An Englishman in New York last night. It is the story of Quentin Crisp's stay in New York at the end of his life. You may remember The Naked Civil Servant from some years ago chronicling his youth and early years. While I may disagree with his lifestyle, I have to admire the pluck of someone who walked through the streets of 1930's London risking beatings and worse in order to be different.

Flash forward to his stay in New York and we notice some telling differences. Outsiders have suddenly become insiders, a coterie of avant garde bohemians who have their own culture and meeting places. Quentin Crisp and a friend go to one of these gay bars and witness a scene of leather boys and faux construction workers mingling. The two look distinctly out of place and eventually the manager walks over to them, tells them they are not getting with the program and invites them to finish their drinks and leave. They are not welcome. The outsiders have been transformed into an in group with its own rules and dress code which the man who once walked the streets of London in pink hair and makeup did not conform to.

Flash forward to today in Toronto. We have a situation at the U of T Newman Centre involving two groups of gays. One group has decided to find some way to live as Catholics and learn to deal with those things that make them different in ways that follow Catholic teaching. They formed a chapter of Courage, a group for those who experience same sex attraction and wish to follow the Church's teaching on matters of sex and morality. This has apparently disturbed another group of gays in the Newman Centre parish whose ability to live with the contradiction between gay activism and Catholic teaching is apparently highly developed.

At the core of this conflict is the desire to conform in one way or another. The members of Courage have decided to conform to the Catholic Church and are willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary to accomplish that. It is their choice to make... no one at the Newman Centre is forcing them. Unfortunately this brings them into conflict with gay activists whose credo includes a biological determinism that precludes any choice whatsoever. The ideas of the fall, original sin and the resulting concupiscence are quite foreign to them. They would not be caught reading St. Francis de Sales as our men's group has done these last few months.

Even so there are penitents who forsake sin, yet without forsaking their sinful affections, that is to say, they intend to sin no more, but it goes sorely against them to abstain from the pleasures of sin; they formally renounce and forsake sinful acts, but they turn back many a fond lingering look to what they have left, like Lot's wife as she fled from Sodom.   Introduction to the Devout Life, Chapter VII

It is not merely pleasure they are looking back on, but a sense of community, of belonging. I remember reading in one of Alan Yoshioka's blogposts that unless the Catholic Church can fulfill those basic needs for community and belonging it will make no headway in the gay community. I cannot recall the article at the moment so I will give you the link to The Sheepcat and you can go looking for yourself. We can have a certain sympathy for those whose confusion leads them to attempt to keep the doors to their past open but this must not be allowed to denigrate the efforts of those who have made a courageous choice.

Monday 21 January 2013

Vatican Cardinal denounces violations of the Liturgy

The Prefect of the Congregation of the Divine Liturgy, in an interview with Vatican Insider, had this to say in reference to the state of the liturgy. Significantly Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera identified "errors" in faith as a factor in warping the liturgy. This is a gentle way of saying:"heresy". The tragedy deepens, as the wayward priest infects his parishioners with his distorted sense of "faith". Even the Daily Mass on Canadian television did not escape corruption; with priests improvising and even tampering with the words of Consecration and the Offertory. These latter abuses have been rectified: the question remains - how many parishes out there have priests who are corrupting the Liturgy, the public prayer of the Church? 

What do you think is the situation of the Catholic liturgy across the world? Is the time of violations over?

 “ I mentioned the need to further the liturgic renewal proposed by the Second Vatican Council, which is a clear sign of the state the Catholic liturgy was in worldwide. The liturgy is not going through a happy time. Obviously it is necessary to revive the true sense of the liturgy in Christian life and in the life of the Church. A lot has already been done, without doubt. But it has not been enough and it is therefore necessary to go much further, especially in order for the teachings of the Vatican II to enter into our own consciences, in other words in the consciences of the people who make up the Church so that the liturgy can become the centre of the Church, source and culmination of Christian life. Unfortunately, beside a certain degree of superficiality, attention to appearance and the risk to fall into routine habits, there are also many violations.  These violations are expressions of errors within one’s faith, which at the same time lead people to warp faith itself.  It is necessary to put the outmost effort into rectifying these violations and working towards the faith. This responsibility is one we have always had, but especially so now in this Year of the Faith. And this is particularly true for bishops”.

Saturday 19 January 2013

The Twenty - Five Glory Be's

A Private Devotion in Honour of St. Therese

In my last post I told you a little about Monsignor Canon Taylor of Carfin, Scotland and the Carfin Grotto. Today I would like to share with you a devotion that Canon Taylor learned of on his way to the 1927 Eucharistic Congress in Chicago. Known as "The Twenty - Five Glory Be's" I will endevour to promote it here in Canada:

The devotion known to many as the "Twenty - Five Glory Be's" arose, in different countries, from a spontaneous and natural desire among the laity, to give expression to their gratitude to the Blessed Trinity, for the many blessings showered on St. Therese of the Child Jesus during her twenty - four years and nine months on earth.
The late Monsignor Taylor, who was closely associated with the promotion of the Saint's canonization, relates in his writings that he first heard of the devotion on his way to the 1927 Eucharistic Congress in Chicago. He interrupted his journey at Baltimore to renew acquaintance with Rev. Professor Harig, who had trained him in the seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris. Father Taylor was shocked by the condition of his friend who had just been discharged from a mental hospital, after a prolonged period of illness. Some months after his return to Scotland, Father Taylor received a letter from Father Harig, telling him that he had been obliged to return to the mental hospital. While there one of the nursing staff, a religious, strongly urged him to say twenty - five times for life:

"Glory be to the Father, 
and to the Son, 
and to the Holy Spirit, 
through Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Amen."

In thanksgiving to God for the graces conferred on St. Therese during her years on earth. Father Harig faithfully promised to do so and found himself cured. Although delighted by his friends recovery, Father Taylor neither accepted nor rejected the devotion at the time, even though he was assured by Mother Agnes of Jesus - sister of St. Therese - that the Lisieux Carmelites were aware that the practice of the twenty - five "Gloria's" was gaining popularity in America.

He was soon to learn that a similar devotion was growing in unrelated areas of the British Isles. A lady from Paisley, Scotland, was inspired to make a cord with twenty-four knots, to which she attached a medal of St. Therese, for the purpose of keeping count of the twenty-four "Gloria's" which she recited daily in honour of St. Therese. With her confessor's approval she gave similar cords to her children and to the many devotees of the "Little Flower" who asked for them. Eventually, disturbed by various unusual experiences which occurred to her, she decided to consult Father Taylor at Carfin. Acting on his suggestion, she increased the number of knots on the cords from twenty-four to twenty-five and commenced using the adapted form of the "Gloria". The names of the Holy Family replacing "as it was in the beginning. . . " made meditation simpler and less mechanical for the lay person. Father Taylor's interest was further aroused by an experience recounted by an old friend, Canon Grant of Aberdeen, who had been practicing the devotion for some years. He had been summond, by an anonymous caller, to the bedside of a lady seriously injured in a motor accident. Not knowing whether she was Catholic, he could only offer up a prayer and leave her, but before he left, he slipped his own twenty-five "Gloria's" cord under the unconscious invalid's pillow. Next morning he was called again to the infirmary, where he found the patient showing signs of recovery. Her story was that she was a lapsed Catholic and had not received the Sacraments for thirteen years. . . There was a sequel although the vehicle had passed over her body; a few months later the grateful and fortunate mother gave birth to a fine healthy child. 

This incident and another nearer home convinced Canon Taylor finally of the efficacy of the twenty-five "Gloria's" devotion. A mother of eight children, who always had a severe time at the birth of her children, was awaiting the birth of her ninth. The doctor in attendance informed her that unless she placed herself entirely in his hands, her health and that of the unborn child could be at risk. The mother refused absolutely and instead sent for Canon Taylor, who blessed her with the relic of St. Therese, and asked her to recite daily "The twenty-five Glory Be's". On the following day the mother was able to move freely in her home, although hitherto she had been confined to bed for four months. Three days afterwards her child was delivered quickly and without any trouble. 

Another favour, of the many received by devotees of the devotion, is a spiritual one and is even more striking. The father of a missionary nun home from Africa lay dying from cancer. For forty-five years the invalid had not received the Sacraments, nor would he allow a priest to enter his home. Though not completely convinced of the efficacy of the devotion, the distraught daughter, on Canon Taylor's advice commenced the recitation of the twenty-five "Gloria's". A few days later she was summoned urgently from her convent to her father's deathbed. To her great joy she found him completely reconciled to God, having already received the Last Rites. In his last painful agony, he uttered only the words, "Jesus, May and Joseph", before he died peacefully in his daughter's arms. 

Some have recourse to the devotion only when they are faced with trouble and sorrow, and as shown in the given instances; their prayers have been answered. Others say the devotion as a form of meditation. Again there are those who recite the "Gloria's" for twenty-five days only as a novena in preparation for the feast of St. Therese, on the 3rd of October. In the latter group was a school teacher who had been saying the twenty-five "Gloria's" intermittently for a number of years. She had made arrangements to help supervise a group of teenagers on an overland trip to Rome, but a few weeks before the holiday was due to start she was advised to cancel the journey because of an irksome malady which made traveling very difficult. Unwilling to do this, very simply she promised Monsignor Taylor (who had died a few years earlier) that she would say the twenty-five "Gloria's" for life, if he, along with St. Therese, did his part in ensuring that the ten-day visit to Rome would not be too troublesome. It was a spiritual bribe, but it bore results. In spite of a strenuous journey by coach and steamer, and the exacting services of Holy Week, combined with the supervision of boisterous teenagers, there were no signs of discomfort during the days abroad. The favour was granted exactly as it was requested and that only for the time stated. Minor surgery did the rest a few months later. 

During the last twenty years or so of Monsignor Taylor's life, he constantly recommended the twenty-five "Gloria's" as a private devotion, although he emphasized that this adapted form of the "Gloria" must not be used when reciting the Rosary. He considered that after the Sacrifice of Holy Mass, and recitation of the Rosary, the basis of all sincere prayer was the contemplation of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and meditation on the Holy Family of Nazareth. When this was done in the name of St. Therese, he claimed that she would become our powerful advocate in heaven.

A last word written by a religious of a contemplative order, who has recently learned of the devotion: "I am more and more taken by the "Twenty-Five Glory Be's" as I keep calling them. The devotion suits my style of pryaer and meditation: St. Therese with her love for her own father and mother, rising to the love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, on earth; and finding the Most Blessed Trinity in heaven. Psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles combine with the "Gloria" of the angels at Bethlehem and sing melodies to the Almighty in our hearts".  S.M.G.

FOOTNOTE: History of the devotion adapted from Monsignor Taylor of Carfin (Publisher J.S. Burns & Sons Glasgow)pp 302-7. Copies of this leaflet may be had from Carfin Pilgrimage Centre 100 Newarthill Road Carfin, Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland ML1 5AL, 01698 268941.

Friday 18 January 2013

C. S. Lewis: 50th Anniversary Celebration

Readers - especially Catholics - are aware of G. K. Chesterton. However, we all should equally be aware of the great Christian apologist, C. S. Lewis. We'll try to delve a bit more into this great man's life and writings during this 50th anniversary year.  As a start, let us be content with celebrating  this man's genius and his prophetic insight.  

C. S. Lewis
Society is collapsing under a wave of secularism. Cultural Christianity is all around us. Lewis wrote trenchantly against this phenomena. I myself have to struggle on a daily basis with this disease. After all, throw an apple into a basket of rotting apples and see how long it takes before they are all rotten. Put it another, and more contemporary way: Cardinal Wuerl speaks of a "tsunami" of relativism, secularism that has swept across the Church. He is dead on. So many Catholics may even go to Mass, but they live like hell when they leave the church. Outside of church most Catholics have become so brutalized, so secularized (even those who go to the Latin Mass!) that they are indistinguishable from the materialist. Catholics must once again live the Mass. 

Proposition 35 of the Synod of Bishops nails this right down: 

Evangelization in the Church calls for a liturgy that lifts the hearts of men and women to God. The liturgy is not just a human action but an encounter with God which leads to contemplation and deepening friendship with God. In this sense, the liturgy of the Church is the best school of the faith.

Message to the People of God, 2012: 

We, however, should never think that the new evangelization does not concern us personally. In these days voices among the Bishops were raised to recall that the Church must first of all heed the Word before she can evangelize the world. The invitation to evangelize becomes a call to conversion.

Conversion: this is the only way out from the "tsunami" of secularism. 

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Religious persecution in Britain: Open letter from over 1000 Catholic clergy

The following is the open letter in the Daily Telegraph from over 1000 English clergy [emphasis added]. The legislation is nothing but fascism. 

  • The Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State
  • Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual. 
  • Everything is in the State, and nothing human or spiritual exists, much less has value, outside the State
  • The Fascist State... is a force, but a spiritual force, which takes over all the forms of the moral and intellectual life of man
  • Fascism.. 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... enter into the spirits of men and there govern unopposed.  (Mussolini)

SIR – After centuries of persecution, Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country.
Legislation for same-sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship.
It is meaningless to argue that Catholics and others may still teach their beliefs about marriage in schools and other arenas if they are also expected to uphold the opposite view at the same time.
The natural complementarity between a man and a woman leads to marriage, seen as a lifelong partnership. This loving union – because of their physical complementarity – is open to bringing forth and nurturing children.
This is what marriage is. That is why marriage is only possible between a man and a woman. Marriage, and the home, children and family life it generates, is the foundation and basic building block of our society.
We urge Members of Parliament not to be afraid to reject this legislation now that its consequences are more clear.
Rt Rev Peter Brignall
Bishop of Wrexham
Rt Rev Terence Drainey
Bishop of Middlesbrough
Rt Rev Philip Egan
Bishop of Portsmouth
Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon
Bishop of Nottingham
Rt Rev Mgr Keith Newton
Ordinary, Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Tuesday 15 January 2013

The Holy Priesthood

If the Blessed Virgin is so honored, as it is right, since she carried Him in her most holy womb; if the blessed Baptist trembled and did not dare to touch the holy head of God; if the tomb in which He lay for some time is so venerated, how holy, just, and worthy must be the person who touches Him with his hands, receives Him in his heart and mouth, and offers Him to others to be received.

St. Francis of Assisi on the Priesthood

We can never have enough respect for the holy office of priesthood. Our Blessed Lord was himself the High Priest. Each priest (even sinners) is an another Christ. In an age of denigration, even mockery of the priesthood, let us, as Catholics always respect, pray for, and honour our priests. Far be it from us to join the secular world in even the slightest disrespect for priests. Vatican II has a beautiful document on the Sacred priesthood. 

Priests, who are taken from among men and ordained for men in the things that belong to God in order to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins, nevertheless live on earth with other men as brothers. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, a Man sent by the Father to men, dwelt among us and willed to become like his brethren in all things except sin. The holy apostles imitated him. Blessed Paul, the doctor of the Gentiles, "set apart for the Gospel of God" (Rom 1:1) declares that he became all things to all men that he might save all. Priests of the New Testament, by their vocation and ordination, are in a certain sense set apart in the bosom of the People of God. However, they are not to be separated from the People of God or from any person; but they are to be totally dedicated to the work for which the Lord has chosen them. They cannot be ministers of Christ unless they be witnesses and dispensers of a life other than earthly life. But they cannot be of service to men if they remain strangers to the life and conditions of men.  Their ministry itself, by a special title, forbids that they be conformed to this world;  yet at the same time it requires that they live in this world among men. They are to live as good shepherds that know their sheep, and they are to seek to lead those who are not of this sheepfold that they, too, may hear the voice of Christ, so that there might be one fold and one shepherd. To achieve this aim, certain virtues, which in human affairs are deservedly esteemed, contribute a great deal: such as goodness of heart, sincerity, strength and constancy of mind, zealous pursuit of justice, affability, and others. The Apostle Paul commends them saying: "Whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever loving, whatever of good repute, if there be any virtue, if anything is worthy of praise, think upon these things" (Phil 4:8). Presbyterorum Ordinis

Monday 14 January 2013

Freedom of religion under attack in the UK and the US

The Catholic Herald is carrying a report of over 1000 priests co-signing a letter to the Daily Telegraph on the undermining of religious liberty in the United Kingdom due to so-called "same-sex marriage" issues/legislation. The Telegraph also reports of the thousands of children in the United Kingdom awaiting adoption. These children, in part - due to the Catholic Church being forced to retire from adoptions due to new legislation - are being denied parents due to the glorification of the sin of Sodom. 

Cardinal Wuerl: [HHS is ] "extremely offensive... it will define
for us what our ministries are..."
In the United States too, the HHS mandate is an attempt to completely undermine the Catholic Church, and strip Her divinely constituted rights away. This is pointed out by Cardinal Wuerl in a recent video posting at the Archdiocese of Washington website. It is more than just an attack on the Church and Her moral teaching; it is an attack on the very right of the Church to proclaim the Gospel. All of this is a grotesque revival of a virulent form of fascism. 

Sunday 13 January 2013

Schism or a return to Rome: the SSPX must decide

Bishop Williamson's recent threats to - once again - tear the garment of Christ through possible illicit episcopal consecrations should be seen in the context where it has festered for years.  Bishop Fellay cannot escape culpability, as he has allowed this man to indulge himself in various outrages over the years. Bishop Fellay too, in calling the new Mass "evil" recently in his "New Hamburg" address (when the Holy Father is pleading for a return to unity) perpetuates a schismatic ignorance amongst much of the laity who frequent SSPX chapels; while encouraging a duplicitous attitude towards Rome and the Supreme Pontiff amongst the SSPX clergy. 

A few years ago Bishop Tissier de Mallarias wrote these words - and they are - objectively speaking - words with schismatic intent (and even heresy):

“What remains of the magisterium in the Church? It is a matter of faith that Our Lord endowed His Church with a living and perpetual Magisterium, that is to say a papal and episcopal voice which, in every era and at the present time, is the echo of divine revelation and the relay of tradition. Well, this magisterium, at least as regards the truths denied by the conciliar hierarchy, lies in Mgr Lefebvre in whom it can be found in a certain manner. He is the veritable echo of tradition, the faithful witness, the good shepherd whom simple sheep have been able to identify from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Yes, the Church still has a living and perpetual magisterium and Mgr Lefebvre is its saviour. The indefectibility of the Church can be seen in the inflexibility of the Archbishop.” (Fideliter, 1989 (No. 72, p10)

Such words should have resulted in disciplinary action for the SSPX. None were forth coming; you reap what you sow. Will the SSPX end up a tragedy, rather than a triumph? The Church at the First Vatican Council spoke authoritatively and infallibly as to the Unity of the Church and authority of Peter over the one flock of Christ: 

"The pastors of every rank and of every rite and the faithful, each separately and all together, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and of true obedience, not only in questions of faith and morals, but also in those that touch upon the discipline and government of the church throughout the entire world. Thus, by preserving the unity of communion and of profession of faith with the Roman pontiff, the church is a single flock under one pastor. Such is the doctrine of Catholic truth, from which no one can separate himself without danger for his faith and his salvation" (Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 3, DZ 3060).