Thursday 31 October 2013

Solemn Latin Mass for All Souls and All Saints

The Toronto Traditional Mass Society-Una Voce Toronto is promoting two Masses in the usus antiquior (Tridentine Mass) this coming All Saints Day (Nov.1) and All Souls Day (Nov.2). Please consider attending these Masses. Bring a family member, bring a friend. Remember our dearly departed and our saints. 

The All Saints Solemn Latin Mass will be at St. Lawrence the Martyr (2210 Lawrence Ave, East), Scarborough. at 7:30 p.m. 

All Souls Solemn Latin Mass will be at two different locations, one in west of the GTA at  St. Joseph's Catholic Church (5440 Durie Street, Mississauga); the other in the east at St. Issac Jogues (1148 Finch Ave, Pickering). 

Facebook and the Quantification of the Human Person

... the personal touch ...
We are told the meek shall inherit the earth. Why then do we behave as though the one with the most Facebook friends shall inherit the earth? We really believe in our hearts that the garrulous, famous, well born, wealthy, most influential and best connected shall inherit the earth. Never mind what some Galilean carpenter preaching to the rabble on a hillside says about meekness. Rome and its legions will trample them and no rabble rousing itinerant preacher is going to stand in the way. Best get yourself on the right side in this. Rome is eternal! Or is it?

Rome was brought to its knees by a new religion originating in Palestine. While the Roman legions were fighting one insurrection after another in Palestine, the adherents of this religion, who were calling themselves Christians by this time, were quietly spreading their message following the trade routes of the empire. Moreover the new religion had its greatest appeal amongst the lower classes and the slaves. Unlike the Jews under bar Kochba they did not fight the Romans. However, within 300 years they took over the empire from within.

Much of Jesus' preaching consists of placing before us these apparent paradoxes. So the last will be first, and the first last. Mt 20:16 He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Mt 23:11-12 Clearly he is setting before us a standard that runs counter to the world's wisdom. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the beatitudes. That which the world teaches us, those things we learn from the society around us are quite the opposite of the way God sees things. This is especially true in the way society sees human beings.
The greatest evil we face these days is the quantification of human beings. We have become little more than a tally on a spreadsheet somewhere or a follower on someone's account. Our worth is deemed the number of friends we have on our Facebook account or the number of followers on our Twitter feed. If the number of friends you have determines your intrinsic worth then a mentally ill person acting out on a streetcar had no intrinsic worth and was treated accordingly. Unborn babies have little intrinsic worth since they have by definition only one friend...their mother. If she turns away they are worthless. And so it goes. The thing that determines your net worth is your social network, the number of friends you have, the number of cards in your Rolodex or the number of followers on your twitter account.

God does not reckon things this way. The unborn child is of great value simply because it is God's creation. The mentally ill also bear the image of God and have value far beyond their simple utility. At the final judgement you will be judged, not by how many friends you have, but by how well you have reached out to these smallest and least of people.

Psalm 37
Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
    Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off;
    but those who wait for the Lord shall possess the land.
10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look well at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall possess the land,
    and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

The Beatitudes
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Wednesday 30 October 2013


Pope Pius XII died 55 years ago. His incredible legacy is still with us; though, at times, obscured like a great mosaic with layers of dirt. For the unthinking general public, the holy pope is obscured - so the liars say - with at minimum doing nothing to save Jews; or, they embolden themselves and try to claim he was pro-Nazi.  

Facts are indeed stubborn things, yet, a liar is even more so. Invariably, when one digs around these people who defame the pope, one quickly finds their real motivation: a hatred of Jesus Christ and His Church. I speak not of the simple-minded folk who parrot everything spewed out of our vile media, but the noisy ringleaders in  this papal defamation circus. 

But, for Catholics, Christians, religious Jews and men of good will, there is another layer that has been obscured, perhaps due to the fact that the Pope's words are quite disturbing. A few of these people still read and meditate on the holy man's words. For the rest, it would be of great benefit to be acquainted or re-acquainted with Pius XII. The uncomfortable reality is, that Pius was a bit of a prophet. A prophet being a man who truly and completely tells things like they are. 

The great Jewish convert, Eugenio Zolli was one such man who led the way in recognizing the great gift that Eugenio Pacelli was to the world. The holy rabbi saw in the holy pope a man of God and acted accordingly. With the passage of time, and the new fantasy world of the 60s, Pope Pius fell out of vogue. It was - so they said - time dismiss the prophets of doom; it would be a time of "luv" and "strawberry fields"...  but not forever. 

By the late 60s,  the fresh strawberries had rotted and Pope Paul would be lamenting a crisis of Faith. Quebec, the seemingly impenetrable fortress of Catholicism, detonated herself from within and the collapse of the "fortress" revealed to the world that perhaps the strength of Catholicism in Quebec had been greatly exaggerated. Thus it was, along with the wicked smear of the memory of the great war-time pope, that the writings of Pius XII became buried. 

Yet, through it all, and through all the debates over the Second Vatican Council, one must surely concede that another great legacy of Pius XII has been his influence on the Second Vatican Council. One might suggest that the Council could be reading with the writings of Pius XII as the interpretive key. The fact is, that the Council, replete with Pian writings and references, is unintelligible without reference to Pacelli. Such a return could also solve a number of the most contentious passages - such as, the dichotomy within Dignitatis humanae - whereby the prologue seems to suggest something different than further contents. This, is as much admitted by Council peritus, Fr. Yves Congar (one of many). Any true hermeneutic of continuity would have to read the Council according to the mind of Pius XII. 

Pius XII was also a great writer and promoter of family rights. His writings are incredibly far seeing; as well as promoting a completely integral culture of life. Pius saw the dangers of a false spirituality; he called for Catholicism to be lived in every aspect of one's life. He called for an end to poverty, for economic honesty and defense of the family. He fought for women's rights and dignity; he defended the value and leadership of fathers. He loved children, the oppressed, the ill, the elderly - all, without exception.

We could do well, in these uncertain times, to return and re-study in meditative manner the writings on the family by this incredible man. In fact, many of Pope John Paul II's more obscure writings become clearer when placed side-by-side with the holy pope. Pius remains the first pope to ever write so openly on specific topics pertaining to family life. Pro-lifers should take note, that the marginalized, the poor, the mentally ill etc. all come under the umbrella of human life to be audaciously and actively protected. Abortion is just one symptom of a culture of death. Pius XII was that great witness to life when the world was engulfed in a mad orgy of death. Yet, the orgy of death continues, but in a state of denial. May we take up once more this great pope's teachings, live them, and spread them to all those who will listen. 

Venerable Pius XII, pray for us. 

Is your Facebook friend really a fiend?

Etymologically, friend derives from the Old English, freond. Enemy, in Old English was a feond. This loss of such a word, takes with it the striking force that one simple letter, changes a friend into an enemy. No doubt the Englishman, before the Invasion understood well how easily a friend could metamorphosis into an enemy, and his language reflected this reality. Sadly, this richness is lost with the corruption of English by Norman-French.  

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Paul Boyd: The culture of death and another mental- health victim of the Police

On hands and knees, along the street in Vancouver, a young man crawled, mortally injured from multiple gun shots. A final ninth bullet killed the man. The shooting was not an altercation by gangs, but rather the mode of police response to another mentally ill person. Paul Boyd is another victim of the culture of death. THe police "officer" involved in Paul's killing will not be charged. The pretext is that there is not enough evidence to obtain a conviction, as the defense will argue his life was in danger from the seriously injured and crawling Paul. All of these arguments we have heard time and again. Our culture of death has declared open season on the mentally ill; and no one is speaking out in their defense. Pro-lifers: where are you? Please pray for the repose of Paul's soul. 

Shot, Paul Boyd crawls along a Vancouver street moments
away from being slain by Vancouver police
"...whoever suffers from mental illness "always" bears God's image and likeness in himself, as does every human being. In addition, he "always" has the inalienable right not only to be considered as an image of God and therefore as a person, but also to be treated as such". Pope John Paul II

Recommended reading: Mentally ill are also made in God's image, Pope John Paul II 

Pope Francis is a pastoral man of action

From Sandro Magister on Cardinal Bergoglio prior to his election to the Supreme Pontificate: 

Bergoglio has never been a theologian, much less an academic. Among the theologians he says that he likes Henri De Lubac and Michel de Certeau. But not because he has assimilated the overall positions of the two, which moreover are very different. He almost always cites only one of De Lubac's books, "Meditations on the Church," and almost always only one passage from this: that against the "worldliness" of the Church.

Also as pope he is above all a man of action, of pastoral action. Those who have known him up close and have been friends with him for years - like the twenty interviewed for the book by Alejandro Bermúdez - see in him exceptional qualities of command and noteworthy strategical abilities. None of his actions, none of his words, is ever left to chance. And his priority is the pastoral care of the "people" entrusted to him, who since he has become pope have been extended to the whole world.

His preaching is intentionally suited to this profile. It is primarily addressed to the common people, to the weak in faith, to the sinners, to the faraway. Not as a whole, but as if the pope would like to speak one-on-one with each of them.

Just as in the Gospel Jesus is very demanding in the commandments but turns to individual sinners with mercy, so also Pope Francis wants to be.

On disputed questions, on birth, on death, on procreation, he is of undisputed doctrinal orthodoxy: "The view of the Church is known and I am a son of the Church," he bluntly stated in the interview with "La Civiltà Cattolica."

But he leaves the exposition of doctrine to others, and reserves for himself the merciful style of the care of souls.

The most striking example of this joint action came a few days ago, when on the disputed question of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics Pope Francis set to work the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Who in an extensive document reiterated from top to tail the reasons for the 'no' to communion:

Divorced and Remarried. Müller Writes, Francis Dictates

Archbishop Müller is one of the few heads of the curia whom Francis has confirmed in his role. A man, therefore, who has his complete trust. To whom he has not hesitated to entrust also the task - in the same document - of dispelling the interpretive ambiguities born from some of the formulations concerning "mercy" and "conscience" used by the pope himself in his public conversation.

The inauguration of this twofold communicative register - in this case, of the pope and of his guardian of doctrine - almost entirely escaped the notice of the media, still dazzled by the presumed "openness" of the former. But it is likely to be repeated with other issues.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Good News: Macedonian Orthodox Church bans clergy from Facebook

The Macedonian Orthodox Church has ordered priests and nuns off Facebook. We, at Toronto Catholic Witness applaud this righteous move. I call upon Cardinal Collins to issue a similar ban for clergy within the Archdiocese. Given the ease of, shall I say, unsavory links via Facebook, it will only be a matter of time before some major scandal breaks forth involving a Catholic priest. A priest without the greatest care is a mere click away from filth, vulgarity, and gross immorality of a so-called friend. 

Exemptions should be made on a case-by-case basis for clergy who may have an Apostolate that could use Facebook as an outreach; much like a priest walking a red-light district to rescue  prostitutes from further depravity. Priests on Facebook should only be by express permission of the local bishop. 

Friday 25 October 2013

Why doesn't EWTN tell the truth about the Freemason and Slave-owner, George Washington?

Janice Connell and Washingtonian fantasies
Though EWTN does much good work, the station has shifted more towards neocon "Catholicism" over the past few years, with no abatement in sight. 

Last week, Raymond Arroyo, had the authoress Janice Connell on his show, The World Over; where, she pushed her book "The Spiritual Journey of George Washington". Arroyo - either out of shock, ill-advised politeness, or perhaps approval - asked no questions, or challenged a number of preposterous and even idiotic remarks. 

However, this is not a one-off. Connell was at it earlier in 2005 (rebroadcast in 2012) with Doug Keck, repeating the same old panegyric. Not once, did either interviewer bring up the fact that Washington was a Freemason, a devoted Freemason who imbibed on Masonic principles. Washington died a Mason, being buried in Masonic regalia. Not once did either interviewer challenge Connell on the sickening fact that this "humble" and sainted man was also a notorious slave owner, owning over 300 slaves. 

It is time that American Catholics cease indulging in buffoonery over the characters of the men who founded the United States. They were very deeply flawed men who should not be trotted out as demigods. If that country is now in travail it is due to the inherent defects in its foundations: and they are Masonic, not Christian. There are any number of great and holy Americans that EWTN could hold up as a paragon of virtue. George Washington is not one of them.

The full show with Raymond Arroyo is available here. 

Thursday 24 October 2013

The POPES: A Pastoral Plan is needed to combat moral and sexual nihilism that is destroying our youth and society

Pope Benedict XVI with innocent children after Sunday Angelus 
Toronto Catholic Witness's recent assessment of the perniciously evil influence that Facebook has over many of our Catholic youth, should mobilize us to action in combatting this cancerous carbuncle on the face of humanity. The abuse of Facebook is, of course, a symptom of a sick society. Its design, allows the impressionable, the foolish, the young person who has - perhaps due to various peer pressures - compromised, to easily be drawn into and become part of the contemporary crisis affecting marriage and the family. All of this directly attacks the Church and civilization. The innumerable examples of vulgarity and filth, being generated out of the minds of our "church going" young Catholic people tells us that the sense of sin is all but dead; that the Faith is undergoing an unprecedented crisis. What are we doing about it? What are you doing about it? Our Catholic people no longer realize that indecency offends God. Why do Catholics refuse to listen to the voice of God through His Popes...

Pope John Paul II with an innocent baby
In an ad limina visit, by a group of American bishops, to Pope Benedict XVI, the holy Pope directed the bishops to a reference point laid out by his venerable predecessor, Pope John Paul II: that marriage and the family call for a: "full pastoral commitment to this particular area. Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious to them is injurious to society itself” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 29). 

Pope Benedict went on to say: 

...there is an urgent need for the entire Christian community to recover an appreciation of the virtue of chastity. The integrating and liberating function of this virtue (cf.Catechism of the Catholic Church2338-2343) should be emphasized by a formation of the heart, which presents the Christian understanding of sexuality as a source of genuine freedom, happiness and the fulfilment of our fundamental and innate human vocation to love. It is not merely a question of presenting arguments, but of appealing to an integrated, consistent and uplifting vision of human sexuality. The richness of this vision is more sound and appealing than the permissive ideologies exalted in some quarters; these in fact constitute a powerful and destructive form of counter-catechesis for the young.

...young people need to encounter the Church’s teaching in its integrity, challenging and countercultural as that teaching may be; more importantly, they need to see it embodied by faithful married couples who bear convincing witness to its truth. They also need to be supported as they struggle to make wise choices at a difficult and confusing time in their lives. Chastity, as the Catechism reminds us, involves an ongoing “apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom” (2339). In a society which increasingly tends to misunderstand and even ridicule this essential dimension of Christian teaching, young people need to be reassured that “if we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, absolutely nothing, of what makes life free, beautiful and great” (Homily, Inaugural Mass of the Pontificate, 24 April 2005).

Children are the greatest treasure and the future of every society: truly caring for them means recognizing our responsibility to teach, defend and live the moral virtues which are the key to human fulfillment. 


Wednesday 23 October 2013

Stripping the Church: On diocesan building projects...

Any comparison between the Bishop of Limburg and our own Cardinal Collins is a study in contrasts. While Bishop van Elst has a reputation which has earned him the appellation "the luxury bishop" by Der Spiegel our own Cardinal has quite the opposite reputation. When he became archbishop he chose to live in the rectory of the cathedral instead of the mansion occupied by his predecessors. He has an open, friendly manner which has been apparent to those encountering him in restaurants downtown over morning coffee.  There is, however, an unfortunate similarity. Both prelates are presently involved in diocesan building projects involving the diocesan center. 

The lands adjacent to St. Michael's Cathedral are an entire city block currently occupied by the cathedral, the choir school, some houses and a large parking lot. The pastoral plan involves developing this land in such a way as to provide for the needs of the choir school, cathedral and a diocesan center. We have not seen any concrete financial proposals but I am told that will be coming in 2014. I would hope that this development can be carried out without any financial levy on the parishes of the archdiocese. As one man pointed out to me... the people in Barrie and beyond do not care much about what goes on in downtown Toronto. They might be motivated to care for the elderly and disadvantaged in their own backyard.

I would hope that the cardinal and his advisers will take to heart the comments of Pope Francis in Assisi in the room where St. Francis divested himself of all his possessions... the room of stripping.

My Brother Bishop said that this is the first time in 800 years that a Pope has come here. In recent days the newspapers and media have been stirring up fantasies. “The Pope is going to strip the Church, there!”. “What will he strip from the Church?”. “He is going to strip bishops and cardinals of their vestments; then he will divest himself”. This is, indeed, a good occasion to invite the Church to divest herself. But we are all the Church! All of us! Beginning with the newly baptized, we are all Church, and we must all follow the path of Jesus, who himself took the road of renunciation. He became a servant, one who serves; he chose to be humiliated even to the Cross. And if we want to be Christians, there is no other way. But can’t we make Christianity a little more human — they say — without the cross, without Jesus, without renunciation? In this way we would become like Christians in a pastry shop, saying: what beautiful cakes, what beautiful sweets! Truly beautiful, but not really Christians! Someone could ask: “Of what must the Church divest herself?”. Today she must strip herself of a very grave danger, which threatens every person in the Church, everyone: the danger of worldliness. The Christian cannot coexist with the spirit of the world, with the worldliness that leads us to vanity, to arrogance, to pride. And this is an idol, it is not God. It is an idol! And idolatry is the gravest of sins!

When the media speaks about the Church, they believe the Church is made up of priests, sisters, bishops, cardinals and the Pope. But we are all the Church, as I said. And we all must strip ourselves of this worldliness: the spirit opposing the spirit of the Beatitudes, the spirit opposing the spirit of Jesus. Worldliness hurts us. It is so very sad to find a worldly Christian, sure — according to him — of that security that the faith gives and of the security that the world provides. You cannot be on both sides. The Church — all of us — must strip herself of the worldliness that leads to vanity, to pride, that is idolatry. 

Jesus himself told us: “You cannot serve two masters: either you serve God or you serve mammon” (cf. Mt 6:24). In mammon itself there is this worldly spirit; money, vanity, pride, that path... we cannot take it... it is sad to erase with one hand what we write with the other. The Gospel is the Gospel! God is one! And Jesus made himself a servant for our sake and the spirit of the world has nothing to do with this. Today I am here with you. Many of you have been stripped by this callous world that offers no work, no help. To this world it doesn’t matter that there are children dying of hunger; it doesn’t matter if many families have nothing to eat, do not have the dignity of bringing bread home; it doesn’t matter that many people are forced to flee slavery, hunger and flee in search of freedom. With how much pain, how often don’t we see that they meet death, like yesterday in Lampedusa: today is a day of tears! The spirit of the world causes these things. It is unthinkable that a Christian — a true Christian — be it a priest, a sister, a bishop, a cardinal or a Pope, would want to go down this path of worldiness, which is a homicidal attitude. Spiritual worldliness kills! It kills the soul! It kills the person! It kills the Church!

When Francis, here, made the gesture of divesting himself he was a young boy, he didn’t have the strength for this. It was the strength of God that impelled him to do this, the strength of God who wanted to remind us of what Jesus prayed to the Father, that the Father save us from the spirit of the world. Today, here, let us ask for grace for all Christians. May the Lord give to all of us the courage to strip ourselves of the spirit of the world, not of 20 lire, but the spirit of the world, which is the leprosy, the cancer of society! It is the cancer of God’s revelation! The spirit of the world is the enemy of Jesus! I ask the Lord that, he give us all this grace to strip ourselves. Thank you!

Pope Expels German 'Luxury Bishop' From Diocese

Limburg’s "big spender" bishop meets Francis face to face

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Toronto Catholic Witness is leaving Facebook and its destructive evils

To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in one’s own digital profile and in the way one communicates choices, preferences and judgements that are fully consistent with the Gospel, even when it is not spoken of specifically. 

We, at this blog, have been on "Facebook" for a very short time. It has not been a very pleasant experience. It has shown us the ugly, and the not so hidden side of so-called "Catholic" life - and it is very disturbing indeed. It will be sufficient to say that if Facebook is anything to go by, many of our young Catholic people are - at minimum - leading double lives - are being corrupted, are corrupting each other, are blind or in denial to the reality of sin; have lost the sense of sin. What  can be said of their parents? Their education? Did they really go to Catholic schools? What did these schools give them? And peer pressure - rot seems very contagious.

"Furthermore, it is also true in the digital world that a message cannot be proclaimed without a consistent witness on the part of the one who proclaims it". 

The Daily Telegraph carries a report that David Cameron is complaining about the recent availability of graphic violence on Facebook. No doubt, he is correct; but to a degree. Such filth should not see the light of day.  But I ask: what about moral and spiritual violence? It is the moral violence that leads to evil actions. The corrupted human mind leads to filth, obscenity, occult, vulgarity, violence and so on. It is worthless to complain about violence and yet to be blind to its causes. His protest seems more about optics, than fighting evil. 

"In these new circumstances and with these new forms of expression, Christian are once again called to offer a response to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is within them" (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).

We refuse to be material accessories to this vile social media called Facebook. As a social media platform, its immediacy, its simplicity (in that it is not a thinking man's mode of communication); its design for the "wanna be celebrity" marks it as a very dangerous minefield. Good Catholic friends, please consider closing your Facebook accounts. Not only are you in grave danger of corrupting yourself; by default, being a member, you are a small cog in a gigantic wheel that is enabling a small band of evil men to become and continue to be "accidental billionaires". These men are not friends of the Catholic Church; the grinding wheel they turn is crushing far too many souls. They are enabling evil, and providing the tools to facilitate young people, even veritable children, to start life out trotting merrily down the wide path that leads to eternal damnation. 

Monday 21 October 2013


Pius XII wrote on communications media of his day with great clarity. Here are a few key points that could easily be applied to the internet; with Catholics taking grave care to act in a manner that is Christian, and not to use the internet in a manner that the "gentiles" do. Far be from Catholics to dig the Church's grave through their misuse of the internet, especially Facebook. 

The remarkable progress made by modern technology in the fields of motion pictures, radio, and television [we can here add the internet] have given rise to great benefits, and to just as great dangers. For these new means of communication are within the reach of almost everyone, and thus exercise a powerful influence over men's minds. They can enlighten, ennoble, and adorn men's minds, but they can also disfigure them with dark shadows, disgrace them with perversity, and expose them to unrestrained passions, according as the shows they offer present our senses with objects that are proper or improper.

 And so today the mounting technological advances in communicating pictures, sounds, and ideas must be subjected to the sweet yoke of the law of Christ if they are not to become a source of countless evils which will be all the more serious in that they will enslave not only the powers of nature but also those of the soul. In this event, man's inventions would be stripped of that beneficent usefulness which, in God's provident design, is their primary purpose.

We cannot approve the stand of those who claim and defend their freedom to depict and display whatever they please, despite the perfectly evident fact that great harm has come to souls in days past as a result of this attitude. For here the issue is not real freedom, which We have discussed above, but unchecked license to express oneself without regard for prudence, even though this be contrary to sound morals and liable to result in serious danger for souls.

...the primary aim of the internet should serve truth and virtue...[it] should serve the spread of truth so that the bonds between peoples will be made closer, so that men will have better mutual understanding and will assist one another in time of crisis, and, finally so that there will be genuine cooperation between public authority and individual citizens.

To serve truth means more than simply to refrain entirely from falsehood, lies, and deceit; it means shunning everything that can encourage a way of life and action that is false, imperfect, or harmful to others...

But it is not enough that these new inventions serve truth; they must also perfect human life and morals. They can contribute to this end in three ways which We intend to discuss: by announcing the news; by educating; by entertaining.

The full encyclical, Miranda Prorsus, may be read here. 

Thursday 17 October 2013

Pope Benedict XV: Indecency offends God

From the 1921 encyclical, Sacra Propediem, by Pope Benedict XV; more relevant than ever: 

Now there are two passions today dominant in the profound lawlessness of morals - an unlimited desire of riches and an insatiable thirst for pleasures. It is this which marks with a shameful stigma our epoch; whilst it goes ceaselessly from progress to progress in the order of all which touches the well-being and convenience of life, it seems that in the superior order of honesty and of moral rectitude a lamentable retrogression leads it back to the ignominies of ancient paganism. In that measure, in truth, wherein men lose sight of eternal goods which Heaven reserved for them, they permit themselves to be more taken in by the deceitful mirage of the ephemeral goods here below, and once their souls are turned down towards the earth, an easy descent leads them insensibly to relax themselves in virtue, to experience repugnance for spiritual things, and to relish nothing outside the seductions of pleasure. Hence the general situation which we note: with some the desire to acquire riches or to increase their patrimony knows no bounds; others no longer know, as formerly, how to bear the trials which are the usual result of want or poverty; and at the very hour in which the rivalries We have pointed out set by the ears the rich and the proletariat a great number seem to wish to further excite the hatred of the poor by an unbridled luxury which accompanies the most revolting corruption.

From this point of view one cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the indecency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God. Most of them would formerly have blushed for those toilettes as for a grave fault against Christian modesty; now it does not suffice for them to exhibit them on the public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of the churches, to assist at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Eucharistic Table where one receives the heavenly Author of purity. And We speak not of those exotic and barbarous dances recently imported into fashionable circles, one more shocking than the other; one cannot imagine anything more suitable for banishing all the remains of modesty.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Pope John Paul II: A prophet for today

More relevant than ever, I re-publish, on the 35th anniversary of the election of Karol Woytila to the See of Peter a post on society and the grave dangers threatening families.  With the advent of internet social communications the Pope's teachings are even more important, given the seductive influence of modern technology (e.g. "sexting") on our young people. 

In 1994, Pope John Paul II wrote a "Letter to Families". How many of us, read, studied and even more importantly, put into action in our lives his words? The Holy Father seemed to a "voice crying in the wilderness". When was the last time you received a pastoral letter from your bishops, or heard your parish priest preach and teach on the "great crisis"? May God forgive those in authority who betrayed the Holy Father and the Church. 

Reading the following words, one can see that not only was John Paul II a prophet, but that - sadly - the monstrous horrors he warned about are alive and well: consider - the recent triumphalist homosexualist "parade" in Toronto (attended by "Catholics"; including a so-called "religious service"), the promotion and growing acceptance of the concept on GSAs in our Catholic schools, the ongoing revolt of the Catholic teachers union (OECTA) against faith and morals... Catholic families in meltdown with abortion, contraception and sexual deviancy... 

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. Do the words "love", "freedom", "sincere gift", and even "person" and "rights of the person", really convey their essential meaning? This is why the Encyclical on the "splendour of truth" (Veritatis Splendor) has proved so meaningful and important for the Church and for the world—especially in the West. Only if the truth about freedom and the communion of persons in marriage and in the family can regain its splendour, will the building of the civilization of love truly begin and will it then be possible to speak concretely—as the Council did—about "promoting the dignity of marriage and the family".

Why is the "splendour of truth" so important? First of all, by way of contrast: the development of contemporary civilization is linked to a scientific and technological progress which is often achieved in a one-sided way, and thus appears purely positivistic. Positivism, as we know, results in agnosticism in theory and utilitarianism in practice and in ethics. In our own day, history is in a way repeating itself. Utilitarianism is a civilization of production and of use, a civilization of "things" and not of "persons", a civilization in which persons are used in the same way as things are used. In the context of a civilization of use, woman can become an object for man, children a hindrance to parents, the family an institution obstructing the freedom of its members. 

To be convinced that this is the case, one need only look at certain sexual education programmes introduced into the schools, often notwithstanding the disagreement and even the protests of many parents; or pro-abortion tendencies which vainly try to hide behind the so-called "right to choose" ("pro-choice") on the part of both spouses, and in particular on the part of the woman. These are only two examples; many more could be mentioned.

It is evident that in this sort of a cultural situation the family cannot fail to feel threatened, since it is endangered at its very foundations. Everything contrary to the civilization of love is contrary to the whole truth about man and becomes a threat to him: it does not allow him to find himself and to feel secure, as spouse, parent, or child. 

So-called "safe sex", which is touted by the "civilization of technology", is actually, in view of the overall requirements of the person, radically not safe, indeed it is extremely dangerous. It endangers both the person and the family. And what is this danger? It is the loss of the truth about one's own self and about the family,together with the risk of a loss of freedom and consequently of a loss of love itself. "You will know the truth", Jesus says, "and the truth will make you free" (Jn 8:32): the truth, and only the truth, will prepare you for a love which can be called "fairest love" (cf. Sir 24:24, Vulg.)....

This kind of critical reflection should lead our society, which certainly contains many positive aspects on the material and cultural level, to realize that, from various points of view, it is a society which is sick and is creating profound distortions in man. 

Why is this happening? The reason is that our society has broken away from the full truth about man, from the truth about what man and woman really are as persons. Thus it cannot adequately comprehend the real meaning of the gift of persons in marriage, responsible love at the service of fatherhood and motherhood, and the true grandeur of procreation and education. Is it an exaggeration to say that the mass media, if they are not guided by sound ethical principles, fail to serve the truth in its fundamental dimension? 

This is the real drama: the modern means of social communication are tempted to manipulate the message, thereby falsifying the truth about man. Human beings are not the same thing as the images proposed in advertising and shown by the modern mass media.They are much more, in their physical and psychic unity, as composites of soul and body, as persons. They are much more because of their vocation to love, which introduces them as male and female into the realm of the "great mystery".

Bishop Fellay; the Pope is a modernist - no, wait! - Bishop Fellay is a Liberal!

Bishop Bernard Fellay has recently given a talk on the first few months of the Pontificate of Pope Francis.  He obviously does not like this Pope. But, let us go back a few months. Bishop Richard Williamson gave a talk and he obviously does not like that Bishop.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave....

Bishop Fellay
Bishop Williamson

Sunday 13 October 2013

Pope Francis DID consecrate the World to Our Lady of Fatima

From what I have gathered, listening to an Italian broadcast, the Pope "entrusted" or "consigned" the World to Our Lady this October 13, 2013; but there was no consecration. My understanding is that there is a distinct theological distinction. Interesting to note that there is nothing on any of the Vatican news agencies pertaining to the Pope's prayer at all. Nothing at all. Where is the prayer? 

Catholic prayers of consecration, use that very word for particular reason: it means a total and complete giving. There is a vast difference between consecration and entrustment. 

UPDATE: N.B. Hat tip to Susan Fox at "Christ's Faithful Witness Blog" for providing an updated full text of the prayer. "Consecration" was indeed used.

Friday 11 October 2013


Behold the words pronounced at today's Mass in Rome by our Holy Father. You will not see his words on headlines, nor on the blogs controlled by the various dissenters. Homo-ideologues and well-known figures will not comment approvingly; indeed, they will not comment at all. The Pope's moral is: Satan is real and he destroys. 

In my previous post, - everything described as happening on "Placebook" (read Facebook)  - has happened; it is reality.  Catholic young people are truly being decimated by the world, the flesh and the devil. Catholic young people who have received a "good" education, who went to "good Catholic" schools, who come from "good"(???) Catholic families.... "by their fruits ye shall know them". The reality of "Holy Smoke Parish" was meant to disturb. Yes, we should be disturbed by the reality of evil. We should be deeply disturbed that a significant number of our  young people are caught up in a world of not just vulgarity, barbarism, filth, and even eroticism, pornography... but also the occult and homosexuality and lesbianism.

Now, to the remarkable words of the Supreme Pontiff: 

There are some priests who, when they read this Gospel passage, this and others, say: ‘But, Jesus healed a person with a mental illness’. They do not read this, no? It is true that at that time, they could confuse epilepsy with demonic possession; but it is also true that there was the devil! And we do not have the right to simplify the matter, as if to say: ‘All of these (people) were not possessed; they were mentally ill’. No! The presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the devil, with the victory of God over the devil.”
For this reason, he warned, “we should not be naïve”. The Pope observed that the Lord gave us certain criteria to “discern” the presence of evil and to follow “the Christian way when there are temptations”. One of the criteria is “not to follow the victory of Jesus” only “halfway”.
“Either you are with me, says the Lord, or you are against me,” the Pope said. Jesus, he added, came to destroy the devil, “to give us the freedom” from “the enslavement the devil has over us”. And, he cautioned, this is not “exaggerating”.
“On this point,” he said, “there are no nuances. There is a battle and a battle where salvation is at play, eternal salvation; eternal salvation” of us all.
There is criteria for watchfulness. “We must always be on guard,” exhorted the Pope, “on guard against deceit, against the seduction of evil”.
“And we can ask ourselves the question: Do I guard myself, my heart, my feelings, my thoughts? Do I guard the treasure of grace? Do I guard the presence of the Holy Spirit in me? Or do I let go, feeling secure, believing that all is going well? But if you do not guard yourself, he who is stronger than you will come. But if someone stronger comes and overcomes, he takes away the weapons in which one trusted, and he shall divide the spoil. Vigilance! Three criteria! Do not confuse the truth. Jesus fights the devil: first criterion. Second criterion: he who is not with Jesus is against Jesus. There are no attitudes in the middle. Third criterion: vigilance over our hearts because the devil is astute. He is never cast out forever. It will only be so on the last day.”
When the impure spirit leaves man, the Pope pointed out, “it wanders in deserted places, and seeking rest and finding none, says: ‘I will return to my house, from which I left’.”
And when he finds it “swept clean and adorned”, then he goes, “takes another seven spirits worse than he, who come and make their homes”. And, this way, “the last state of man becomes worse than the first”.
“Vigilance,” he said, “because his strategy is this: ‘You became Christian. Advance in your faith. I will leave you. I will leave you tranquil. But then when you are used to not being so watchful and you feel secure, I will come back’. The Gospel today begins with the devil being cast out and ends with the devil coming back! St. Peter would say: ‘It is like a fierce lion that circles us’. It is like that. ‘But, Father, you a little ancient. You are frightening us with these things…’ No, not me! It is the Gospel! And these are not lies: it is the Word of the Lord!
“Let us ask the Lord for the grace to take these things seriously. He came to fight for our salvation. He won against the devil! Please, let us not do business with the devil! He seeks to return home, to take possession of us… Do not relativize; be vigilant! And always with Jesus!”