Sunday 30 June 2013

A question of Truth: St. Peter's Basilica's Dress Code

There are those who believe that morality is a question of geography; akin to those who believe religion is: e.g. in England one is an Anglican, in Italy a Catholic, in Greece an Orthodox and so on. This is also reflected in the modernistic mind set that sees morality as a question of time: yet, nothing changes so quickly as time. 

In St. Peter's Basilica, thank God, morality - decency - is a question of truth. This small picture speaks volumes. Attire, deportment, decency, respect for God's Sanctuary are things that so many have lost. 

I recall, when being in both Rome (and Jerusalem for that matter), that officials enforced a dress code befitting the holiness of the place. I remember when entering St. Peter's, women being told to cover their arms from the elbows up, and wrap sweaters around their waists if their skirts were above their knees.  

What should not be lost is the sad need to have such a sign and enforcement. It only tells us that far too many people have lost the sense of the sacred; what a church is, what the Holy Sacrifice is; who becomes truly and substantially present on the Altar. Truly, we are in "meltdown".

Friday 28 June 2013

The Desolation of the Sanctuary: when will the Archdiocese enforce Church Policy?

Toronto Catholic Witness and Vox Cantoris have consistently, and will continue to do so, raise the red flag on the issue of profaning the Sanctuary with secular concerts violating Canon Law and the spirit of holiness. Recall, the Jewish devotion to the sanctity of the holy of holies. Our churches, even more so, as Our Blessed Lord is made present on their Altars, are even more holy than the Temple of Jerusalem. The great Pope Benedict XVI wrote a remarkable book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, which I would advise all to read and ponder. 

The Archdiocese of Toronto has a policy that enforces Church teaching on the matter of concerts in churches. This policy was promulgated by the late Cardinal Ambrozic, was never abrogated by Cardinal Collins, and is the law of the Archdiocese. Sadly, the law is mocked, and not obeyed. It is one thing for the local priest to disobey the law, it is an even more egregious matter for the church authorities to neglect their duties in enforcing the law, allowing scandal, profanation and desecration to take place. It was the sad duty of this blog and Vox Cantoris to draw your attention to the cabaret act that was hoisted on the Mother church of this Archdiocese, St. Michael's Cathedral. 

For a comprehensive review of the current situation 

please see Vox Cantoris


As I read the news on the various terrible scandals that have and are hitting the Church - abuse of minors (the vast majority young boys and youthful men) by predator priests; Pope Francis' statement on the "Gay Lobby" in the Curia,  the horrendous news out of my home country, Scotland on a powerful "gay mafia" I am deeply grieved. 

I am incredibly saddened that this weekend in Toronto the "Gay Pride" Parade will take place. It is bad enough that elected officials, police (who will stand by and allow criminal acts to happen) and others will be, in various degrees participating - but it is another thing for the Church - the local Church to remain silent. We cannot remain silent in the face of unmitigated evil. 

As you may know, Cardinal Collins wrote a pastoral letter on gambling. We know the dangers and potential evils that gambling may cause. But we also know that a far, far greater evil is loose in the land and in the Archdiocese: sexual corruption, deviancy and perversion. Catholics are not immune. On the contrary, if we are to believe the bishops themselves, over 80% of Catholics believe that one can use the evil means of contraception, a substantial number wink at abortion; innumerable Catholics are "re-married", and vast numbers fornicate or wink at fornication. Catholics indulging in pornography, immodesty, vulgarity...

To top this all off, we have a homosexual crisis in the Church - infiltration of seminaries, clergy silent on abominable sexual acts etc. When was the last time you heard a sermon on illicit sex? When was the last time you heard a priest say that if you fornicate you must go to confession before receiving Holy Communion? 

The clergy are silent on the prophetic nature of Humanae Vitae. Why? Don't they believe anymore? Are they afraid? What are they waiting for? It is time for us all to unite and make a stand against evil. 

We need leadership from our bishops and priests. We need the Cardinal to address our spiritual needs. The other day, on the TV Mass, he spoke of how we must conform ourselves to Christ. I agree. We must indeed. And a very key aspect of this conformity is obedience to the Church as She speaks through her Shepherds via the Magisterium. The time of silence and vagueness is gone. It is time to stand up and fight : fight for truth and Christ. The Cardinal cannot remain silent in the face of a wave of filth and corruption washing over the Laity; corrupting them, seducing them. He must speak in the name of the Lord Jesus - to raise his voice over the lies and evil the media is spreading about human sexuality. Your Eminence, please speak out - loudly, boldly - for the civilization of Love and Life - as we face the destructive and demonic power of the false "culture" of death. And nothing could be more death-dealing than the horror of "same-sex marriage".


Who can deny that our age is one marked by a great crisis, which appears above all as a profound "crisis of truth"? A crisis of truth means, in the first place, a crisis of concepts
Pope John Paul II

Leonard Nimoy, in his book, I am not Spock, wrote about who he really was, and that his television character was precisely that: a fictional figure that he portrayed, but which had no being in reality. Hence, my adaptation of his provocative title.

In a similar manner, Catholics are (sadly, far too many), making a statement of I am not Catholic. They portray a Catholic, act a Catholic (the Sunday Mass part) but outside of church they drop the Catholic aspect of living. Catholicism has no being in their reality. Catholicism is no longer lived on a daily, hourly basis.  

The Gospels are a way of life. The basic obligations, are just that. Mass is not to only be attended but lived. Without the living of the Mass, the Catholic ends up splitting his or her spiritual self, destroying the Catholic part in the process. St. Paul's words are: now I not live, but Christ lives in me

Let us explore this audacious truth. The Apostle was and is telling us that living the Christian life is total surrender to God, a total self-giving; it means, on our part, to conform our ways to him. Do I myself live anywhere close to this admonition? Absolutely not. I fail everyday. But I acknowledge this, and try to improve...

In practical terms it means living Christlike. Certainly, something we can never achieve (even the greatest saints could express only a small part of Christ's glory), but something we should actively strive for. AND, when we fail at doing so - ADMIT we have done so. Nothing is worse then failing as a Christian,  denying failing, and continuing in a shameful lifestyle. That is, a lifestyle that certainly will not shame the world, but it will shame our Lord and His Mother.

In our everyday living we should come across as differentDo we use vulgarities in speech? We should stop doing so. In the old days men never swore in  front of women. With the new vulgarity, women swear with abandon. And Catholic women? What have they become?

Gone are the days when only prostitutes and "loose" women would dress immodestly, or downright obscenely. You probably have come across Confirmations, weddings etc. that would make a good old prostitute from years gone by blush red. 

Why dress like a hooker? Nimoy, not of the Faith, correctly explored some of these strange dichotomies in his book - another reason for adapting his title). But our Catholic sensibilities have been so devastated at the roots; a sense of sin, an understanding of what sin is; our minds so penetrated by the surrounding anti-Christian "culture" that many women (far, far too many) who go to church no longer understand that wearing tight trousers (after all - is not the point to accentuate and show off your bottom? - why else wear a pair several sizes too small?), wearing low cut tops, skin-tight dresses, tight, short skirts that virtually leave nothing to the imagination is simply not Christian. The clothing screams: "I'm a whore..." ah, yet, the woman demands to be considered and treated like a Catholic lady. 

This warped mentality is a form of dualism and defames the sacredness of the human body. It is nothing but a return of the old dualist heresies, under a guise of relativism and utilitarianism. On the contrary, women have a special calling to constantly recall men to modesty and chastity. 

An example of how far we have fallen is the way the sacredness of churches are treated. I have just cited the above examples of dress in church during the administration of the Sacraments. Should we then be surprised that St. Michael's Cathedral permitted a virtual cabaret performance - tight dress, and sensuous dancing in the Sanctuary? The fact that a large crowd attended, that the holy space was reduced to a concert hall, a nightclub teaches us the degree of the abandonment of the sense of the sacred and the fall of Catholic sensibility and spiritual deportment. And similar scenes are being played out in multiple churches. A recent example is a strange performance of a young girl singing in a somewhat cabaret-style in a church; replete with close-ups of her legs as she proceeds to slip her shoes off, to pedal the piano in bare feet. All very strange, bizarre, inappropriate. The female ensured in the past that she was covered when entering the holy of holies. Not because of some misguided prudery; because the space was sacred, and the female body likewise. A full review can be read at Vox Cantoris

Now, if we accept the denigration of the human body, it is only logical to denigrate the sacredness of a church. Consider the societal acceptance of divorce, then the de-coupling of life from love (destroying love in the process, and reducing it to lust) with the promotion of contraception... the then acceptance of abortion and unnatural lust... the human body has been reduced to a trash can. But it is not. The body is en-souled. Contrary to the Cartesian error; the human body possess "soulness" in every particle. The soul is not some mysterious cloud hovering in us. We live and breath in the body; we act virtuously or sinfully in and through our bodies. 

The human body is sacred. Because there is no sense of the sacred, there is no sense of sin; there is a dangerous attachment to a false sense of "progress", and a rejection of a true sense of "tradition". It is now "progress", to be "with it", to dress, speak and act like they all do in society - after all, we are on the way to a technological paradise, so, let us adopt the Church (a false, counterfeit church) to the most recent whims of a de-Christianized society. The first chapter of an Introduction to Christianity by Fr. Ratzinger is well worth a read on how truth has been corrupted. In this intoxication on progress, the old heresy of Manicheaism seems to be piggy-backing. And as in the past, so in the present and the future - this heresy is a killer. Catholics, who adopt or succumb to this heresy, to the degree they do so, are not Catholic. They are part of the problem. 

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Solemn Latin Mass for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

This coming Saturday, June 29th, the Toronto Traditional Mass Society-Una Voce Toronto is pleased to host a Solemn Latin Mass at 11 A.M. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church (5440, Durie Road, Mississauga).  

Further information may be obtained from the TTMS - Una Voce Toronto

Thursday 20 June 2013

Hollywood collaborated with the Nazis - while the Church and the Pope saved Jews

Last evening, EWTN reviewed the wartime efforts of Pope Pius XII and his valiant struggle to save Jews from extermination. 

During the 1930s, when this great Pope and his predecessor saw and exposed the vile Nazis for what they were; Hollywood studios - the vast majority run by Jews - were actively collaborating with Hitler and his thugs. The increased persecution of their co-religionists did not dampen their enthusiasm for collaboration as the Nazi movement grew in boldness. In fact, elements in Hollywood continued collaboration even after the outburst of open hostilities in 1939. All of this is spelt out by the Jewish historian, Ben Urwand. A detailed review may be read in Tablet - A New Read on Jewish Life.

All of this begs the question: with which evil force is Hollywood collaborating today? That, I leave up to your imaginations, but - let us up hope it will not take another 70 years. 
Hitler saw himself as a cinematic hero, a matinee idol who overwhelmed the adoring crowds awestruck by his power. He stepped in on occasion and edited the Nazi newsreels himself; he realized that film swayed the masses. Hitler knew he had to feed people fantasy in order to get them to follow his evil vision, and he knew that the movies had taught him how to exploit fantasy’s power: how to seduce on the grandest possible scale. The movies he found most inspiring, most magical in the spell they cast on an audience, were made in America. As Neal Gabler argued in An Empire of Their Own, the Hollywood Jews invented the America of our dreams, a place of high excitement, courage, laughs, compassion, family feeling, and true love. Hitler’s dream was different, and it found a terrible fulfillment in mass murder and war. Hollywood could have helped awaken the world to the looming danger of Nazism, but instead the Jewish dream-makers cast their lot with the world’s—and the Jews’—greatest enemy.

Monday 17 June 2013

The world's most exclusive Motorcycle Club?

"Harley" Traditional Latin Mass altar "men" wave to the Pope in Rome
The iconic brand, Harley-Davidson, the makers of arguably the  world's premier motorcycle, presented to Pope Francis two 'bikes in commemoration of their 110th anniversary. We can only presume that the second is for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. It is only fitting that such a traditional motorcycle would be added to Pope Benedict's garage. 

As such, it is only fitting that Witness congratulate the Pope, and his successor, on having created the world's most exclusive motorcycle club: a club only for Popes! The only question that remains is: will we be seeing his Holiness roaring about Rome?!

Thursday 13 June 2013

Pope Francis: Stop speaking ill of others!!

It is one thing to admonish out of charity your brother or sister in the Faith. Admonishment should be private and authentic. The "outing" of a sinner - a public sinner, is a last resort, and is permitted if this same sinner is undermining the Faith. In fact, St. Francis de Sales permits this only exception in denouncing someone publicly: the person is an open enemy of the Faith. 

Sadly, many times Christians back-bite, name call, and worse - even in the name of "Christianity". The internet provides a degree of anonymity, and hence, encourages the propensity to indulge in the sin of detraction. Not only the web, but email, too, has become a tool to defame a brother or sister. We can send a poison pen letter to innumerable people with the click of a button.

Our Holy Father has these words of admonishment to us on how to approach our brothers and sisters. Let us listen to his words; let us act upon them. Be a Christian, live the Gospels

Pope Francis continued: ...Jesus, "with all the simplicity says: "Do not speak ill of one another. Do not denigrate one another. Do not belittle one another”. The Pope noted, "in the end we are all travelling on the same road", "we are all travelling on that road that will take us to the very end." Therefore "if we do not choose a fraternal path, it will end badly, for the person who insults and the insulted". The Pope noted that "if we are not able to keep our tongues in check, we lose”. “Natural aggression, that of Cain toward Abel, repeats itself throughout history." Pope Francis observed that it is not that we are bad, rather "we are weak and sinners." That's why it is "much easier", to "resolve a situation with an insult, with slander, defamation instead of resolving it with good means".

Pope Francis concluded: “I would ask the Lord to give us all the grace to watch our tongues, to watch what we say about others." “It is a small penance - he added - but it bears a lot of fruit." "Sometimes, we go hungry and think, ‘What a pity I didn’t taste the fruit of a tasty comment against another person." But, he said, "that hunger bears fruit in the long run is good for us." That's why we ask the Lord for this grace: to adapt our lives "to this new law, which is the law of meekness, the law of love, the law of peace, and at least 'prune' our tongues a little, ‘prune’ the comments that we make of others and outbursts that lead us to an easy anger or insult. May the Lord grant us all this grace".

Monday 10 June 2013

Evil in the Church

I strongly urge you to read Vox Cantoris' assessment of the moral evil that is active - even, sadly - at the highest levels in the Church. Vox details an ongoing rebellion by a number of bishops against the Magisterium of the Church with regards to homosexuality.

These wayward prelates need to be reminded that they no longer adhere to the toleration of an evil, as taught by the Church. These men, are, in fact, endorsing a positive evil. These wicked men are ravenous wolves who have entered the vineyard of the Lord. That such spiritual confusion - indeed evil - can reign in the minds of bishops, reminds one of the words of St. Jude: "Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves, and have perished in the contradiction of Core". 
There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. 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”.
Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 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”. This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.
Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.

Saturday 8 June 2013

Pat McEwan delighted that the "very arrogant" Bishop Devine is gone

From the Daily Record:

A MAN who says he was molested by priests yesterday welcomed news that a Catholic bishop who called him a fantasist has retired.

Pat McEwan, 63, was branded an alcoholic and accused of “living in a fantasy world” by Bishop Joseph Devine after he came forward with allegations that he was raped as a boy between 1958 and 1961.

Pat said he was elated that the senior churchman had quit.

He added: “I’m delighted that he is gone. But his claim that I’m a fantasist is still there.
“He lacks compassion and is a very arrogant man. I do think his leaving now has a lot to do with my case.”

The bishop tendered his resignation last August when he turned 75 but he was asked to remain as the church looked for his replacement.

However, it was announced on Wednesday that he will now step down after 30 years in the job.
Devine’s aides said the timing had nothing to do with Pat’s case.
Yesterday, the Pope’s representative in the UK, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, visited Motherwell diocese to discuss Devine’s resignation. The bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Joe Toal, will take charge temporarily

I too am delighted that Joseph Devine is gone. My contacts in Motherwell also are overjoyed. The Catholics of Motherwell deserve far better than the type of "leadership" they have received over the past years. I am sure that Pope Francis will carefully discern the grave needs of this diocese; openness, transparency, faithfulness... The scandal of homosexual rape at Carfin, the cover-ups, the silence, the deceit - May God grant for Motherwell a holy bishop. 

Thursday 6 June 2013

D - Day; June 6th 1944

Sixty-nine years ago today, thousands of Allied troops began landing in Normandy, being the end of Fortress Europe, and the Nazi reign of terror. On this day, men lost, arms, legs, and their lives... the horror is unimaginable. Their bravery even more so. May we never forget their sacrifice. May those who lost their lives rest in the eternal peace of God. 

Recommended link: Remembering D-Day

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Tea at a Mosque?

Alright... now I'm a little miffed. When a right wing group like the English Defense League gets invited to tea and biscuits at a York mosque I have to ask myself what's wrong. After all, I live with Bangladesh to the north east of me and Pakistan to the west with at least two or three mosques in the vicinity. Moreover I am nowhere near as far to the right as the EDL. No one has ever invited me to tea and biscuits at a mosque. I have had lunch at a synagogue... heck, I've even attended a bar mitzvah where I was told by my host to wear a yarmulka but if anyone tried to give me a prayer shawl, to tell them no. I've been in Hindu and Buddhist temples in my youth and any number of protestant churches. So why have I never been invited to tea at a mosque??

I think that one of the main problems facing our society today is transparency among the various groups that constitute our community. Let me give you an example from my own history. I grew up an Italian Catholic kid in New York City where I became acquainted with the Jewish culture around me. I am familiar with the major holidays and I could probably insult you in Yiddish if I wished. Living cheek to jowl with an amazing assortment of folks who are all a little different forces you to learn a little bit about your neighbors. This was not multiculturalism, merely survival. Anyone familiar with the history of New York knows that this was not always so... in fact there has been more than a little blood spilled over the years. The tolerance that grew out of this tumultuous history was a grudging familiarity with your neighbor, enough to know that he wasn't up to something and posed no threat. You might never become best buddies but at least you might nod a greeting as you passed on the street. 

Insularity or transparency... that is the real question here. It is entirely understandable that immigrant groups would naturally band together for support. However, when groups become so insular that their neighbors have no idea what's going on within them, suspicion and mistrust are the likely outcome. Tolerance has little to do with the stuff that passes for official multiculturalism these days. It has far more to do with knowing your neighbor well enough to believe that he doesn't pose much of a threat. Insularity or transparency....


U.K. mosque greets EDL protesters with tea and custard creams


Saturday 1 June 2013

Exclusive London, England property could cover Archdiocese of Toronto's Pastoral Plan "cash grab"

As you may be aware - or should be - the Archdiocese of Toronto is tailoring its Pastoral Plan "cash grab" within the context of convincing one lay faithful per parish to bequest his or her property to the Archdiocese. Very, very mercenary. 

I present to you, for your consideration, as a potential bequest to the Archdiocese of Toronto, this exclusive London property - fittingly on The Bishop's Avenue.