Tuesday 31 December 2013

Auld Lang Syne: Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

To all our readers - on this Blog and Twitter - we wish each and every one of you a blessed and peaceful New Year. May your lives reflect that of the Holy Family. God bless you all.

The Witness "Team"

Monday 30 December 2013

Vladimir Putin's genocidal persecution of Chechnya is the cause of terrorism

Let me make one thing clear. I oppose violence. What happened in Volgograd was evil. It remains yet to be determined if the events on the ground evolved the way the Russian State controlled media presents them; including the Kremlin pay-rolled propaganda mouthpiece, RT. Do not forget the "Chechen" bombing in Moscow was used by the villainous Vladimir Putin as a pretext for genocidal war against Chechnya. [Putin's Hidden War - video]

Russia has no business in the Caucuses, no business in Chechnya. The two Chechen Wars - including typical Red Army brutality (e.g. mass murder of women and children) - needs to be exposed. Decades ago- even with Russian occupation - Chechens were peace loving peoples; persecuted. Does anyone remember or even care about the 1944 Stalinist deportations. Does anyone know or remember how Chechens helped starving Ukrainians during the grim, dark days of the 1930s? 

The sad reality of Islamist infiltration into the Caucuses, with terrorism needs to be seen against the backdrop of a nation occupied, demonized, exploited. It needs to be seen against the backdrop of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. One should not be surprised to see young men willing to blow themselves up in the process of killing Russians. Remember, these same young men come from decimated families: mothers, sisters, children raped, tortured, blown up in pits with hand grenades. 

May God grant eternal rest to those who died so horribly over the past few days. May God grant Chechnya freedom. 

Prince Charles speaks out on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East

The Prince of Wales has recently spoken out on the campaign by Islamists to exterminate the Christian presence in the Middle East. He should be commended. Even the Archbishop of Westminster stood shoulder to shoulder when the Prince made his announcement. Governments, such as British PM David Cameron's regime, has distinguished itself in silence. Are we silent too? Are we speaking up? Are our governments? Are our bishops? Will history judge us as silent collaborators with these terrorists? Where is Mr. Harper, Mr. Obama, M. Hollande, Frau Merkel? Well... where are they? 

Full Text of the Prince's Speech

Sunday 29 December 2013

2013: Year in Review

At the Universal level: 

This year saw the election of a new pope. Though much has been made of various actions and quotes of the Pope; I suggest that we take to heart his remark that the Church is in "grave crisis". Cardinal Ratzinger too, prior to his election to the Supreme Pontificate wrote of the crisis perhaps being the gravest in history; at the doctrinal level. At times during the Pontificates of Paul VI and John Paul II, the curtain of blunt honesty would be momentarily drawn back, and admissions of disaster admitted; only for the curtain to fall again, and the official party line of renewal be trotted out. An attempt by some in the "traditional" movement to return to the fantasy of the 1950s won't work. In fact, the decadence of that time and the early 60s bred the post-conciliar disaster. The rot had set in years before the Council. The Council can be thanked for blowing away the myth of 1950s Catholicism in all its gooey, feel-good go-along-to-get-along nonsense. Catholics have taken to abortion, contraception, sexual deviance like the rest, because there was little to distinguish them from the rest. 

We shall have to wait well into the new year to determine the general trajectory of Pope Francis' reign. The input, the Pope's implementation of his and his advisors plans will manifest to us what we can expect over the next few years. How, when, if the Supreme Pontiff moves against the "gay lobby" will tell us about the general spiritual health in Rome.  

At the Archdiocesan level: 

This year saw the unveiling of a Pastoral Plan that is cause for grave concern. It is quite evident that the local church (abstracting from copious amounts of bricks and mortar) is, to quote again Pope Francis, "in grave crisis". This was horrifyingly confirmed through the double lives led by far too many young people. The public internet archiving of sin (all the while Catholic youth oblivious to the sense of sin) is also a public testimony to the pastoral failure of clergy, parents and school teachers to transmit the Faith to the younger Generation. One has to ask, how much of the Faith did these hoped for transmitters have to leave such devastation? The tragic evidence suggests that the local church is due for a near total collapse over the next 25 or so years. There is nothing in the pastoral plan of a sense of extreme urgency, of a crisis at hand.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Boxing Day Madness.... "are there no poor houses"....?

Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" should be required study and mediation for all. It is, a fine complement to Pope Francis' powerful indictment of the voracious capitalist spirit that roams the world seeking the ruin of souls. For yes, as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out: the average man needs food, sustenance, shelter etc. to have a chance to lead a decent moral life. And yes, as the Pope pointed out in his recent counter-thrust against the enemies of the Church (that is, those evasive dissenters who believe they can wriggle themselves off the hook by giving the exhortation a "Winnipeg Statement treatment"), the capitalist has grave moral responsibilities before God and man. 
The exploitation and refusal to pay a man a living wage are two of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance. Willful murder (e.g. abortion) and the sin of the flesh that is now considered a preeminent virtue being the other two. It is no coincidence that all these sins are legal and highly prized in the decadent West. 

All of this brings me to my main point: the perversion of Boxing Day.  Victorian protestants began a fine tradition of boxing up a small little gift for the less fortunate employee and handing it out on the Feast of St. Stephen. The milkman, the postman, the coalman.... all these and more receive a little something from their Upper and Middle Class employers. What do we have today? Nothing but a rapacious spirit of greed and exploitation. The greedy capitalist, the greedy and mean-spirited purchaser; the poor exploited underclass of retail being forced to get up at 5 a.m., work for minimum wage at a box store to satisfy the vile consumer and the evil capitalist. 

Friends, please do not go shopping on this day. Celebrate St. Stephen's Day. If you are an employer, please give a small gift to your employee. Or, please consider a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who do so much good work in helping the needy. 

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Christmas is for Christians.... and for atheists

A timely "re-print" of an earlier post.

I was originally going to title this post, "Christmas is for Christians". While this is true, it is not the whole truth. The whole truth is encapsulated in St. John 12:32: "and I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto myself".  Christmas is an irrevocable calling to all of humanity to accept the coming of the Messiah. 

Now some comments on the contemporary "scene", as viewed from my perspective in the city of Toronto; and I shall strive to be authentic, and not nice in this post. 

Nothing annoys me more at this time of year seeing all the contrived, grotesque and repugnant materialism and fraudulent "holiday spirit" and other such nonsense. With all the activity going on, one would think (for about five seconds) that a miracle has happened: we are in the midst of a sudden and huge return to Christianity. Alas, to the contrary, we are in the midst of a yearly orgy of materialism undertaken by a huge mob of lapsed Christians who are in the business of delusionary "feel good" time, accompanied and goaded on by an assortment of atheists, and perhaps a few hedging agnostics (tapping happily with their hammers on the most recent archeological finds.... but I digress oh you Belloc readers).  In this regard, I doff my Yorkshire cap to Jews, Muslims and others who at least take their religion seriously and do not pretend to celebrate Christmas. At least these people understand that it is about Jesus, and not the abomination of Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman or some other hideous creation of a sick mind. With these authentic people, we Christians can undertake dialogue; for as St. Thomas More once wrote (I paraphrase): "dialogue exists when two friends of the truth swear to each other to yield to the light and only the light". 

The sickening scene under the contrived title of "Happy Holidays" constitutes innumerable fallen-away Christians, with a small, but strident side-show of atheists and others who for some unknown reason piggy-back on a Christian holy day that celebrates the birth of the Redeemer. Throwing the Messiah out, these perverters have tried to trot in the ubiquitous and vile figure of Santa Claus (a depraved monster of iniquity that is a libel against the lovable and historically real figure of St. Nicholas) - an idol to materialism, along with snowmen and other pathetic and stomach churning ogres. 

Of course, the media and powerful financial interest are pushing this insane drive to spend money on "presents" and having a "happy holiday".  Equally, they continue their evil thrust to ensure that the guest of honour at the Birthday will be forgotten, not mentioned, thrown out of the "party". Millions will proceed to violate the Sabbath - and, by extension Jesus himself - by doing last minute "holiday shopping" on a Sunday in preparation (ostensibly) to celebrate this same Jesus' birthday. So, blaspheme one day, celebrate him the next??  Truly a world gone mad. Again the words of Pope Leo XIII come to mind: to have known and then rejected Jesus Christ is madness. It boggles the mind that someone who hates our Blessed Saviour (or, they may just claim to hate his teachings - e.g. no adultery etc.), the Catholic Church, the Popes et al - would not flee from the 25th? 

I don't celebrate Yom Kippur, not being Jewish. I don't celebrate Ramadan as I am not a Muslim, nor Krishna, not being Hindu.  I don't celebrate any of the birthdays of famous atheistic murderers such as Lenin, Stalin and the like; not being a communist. Nor do I celebrate Naziism, not being a religionist of 19th century racial supremacy with a dash of Norse paganism thrown in. I have a suggestion: why not spread the "holiday cheer" around in a more diverse and "multi-cultural" manner? Perhaps the lapsed Christians and atheists could divide up their "merry making" in a more culturally sensitive way, and celebrate "Diversity" - rather than indulge themselves on the 25th of December (which, as enemies of the Popes, they should not, as at the minimum, they should adhere to the Julian calendar; but, being the buffoons they are, they are blind to the fact that they are actually conceding the authority of the Popes... well, beginning to...)?  

Simply, I don't try to celebrate anything that I don't believe, that has no meaning to me. So the best thing that could happen at this time of year is if anti-Christians could leave us Christians alone to celebrate quietly and respectfully the birth of Jesus.  

There will be those who, when reading this post, will feel that I have been too eisegetical rather than exegetical, but that is my right - my "holiday" indulgence.  

So in closing I wish all a blessed Christmas. 

Santa Claus: The modern day Bacchus as the god of Commercialism

It was inevitable in a society that only has a Christian veneer. Decades ago, St. Nicholas, that lovable, holy bishop was corrupted and turned - gradually, but completely - into a grotesque, obese, ogre; in the colours of Coca Cola, this modern day Bacchus would appear days before Christmas Day to divert the populace from the imminent birth of the Saviour. Not only that, but on the day of His birthday, one final "hurrah" for this abomination would be countenanced, as this repulsive apparition would be said to come down childrens' chimneys.  

No! It is not Happy Holidays. No! They are not holiday gifts (though presents are a very minor part of Christmas, if given in the spirit of the Wise Men). You may have noticed the "powers that be" (who they precisely are, I leave up to your imagination) are now pushing this last twist. You may also notice that news reports will invariably announce the "end" of Christmas later on Christmas Day. For these perverts, "Christmas" is an excuse for an orgy, indebtedness etc. 

It is indeed perplexing that those who hate Christ, His Church, His Vicar... suddenly desire to hijack the beauty of Christmas, to pervert it into an over indulgence into gluttony, drunkeness, "partying" (with all the usual suspected behaviours that accompany substance abuse), and other hedonistic activities as promoted by the rapacious capitalists that our Pope has recently denounced. The Christ Child has been supplanted with the above mentioned god of commercialism, Bacchus, the patron "saint" of the capitalist, otherwise known as "Santa" (read satan) Claus. Even here, these filthy, dirty corrupters could not leave St. Nicholas alone. 

I recommend that these spiritual perverts cease corrupting a Christian Feast Day. To paraphrase Richard Wagner, "take your hands of Christmas, or go to hell". 

Sunday 22 December 2013

Girl altar-boys: Cross-dressers in the Sanctuary

This morning I was privy to see a young - perhaps eight year old girl - dressed in male clerical garb (a surplice and burgundy coloured cassock) serving rather badly at the 8 a.m. Mass at St. Casimir's church. This poor, little creature, semi-pirouetted towards the Tabernacle, with jerky (seemingly nervous twitches of the head) little nods. This confused young child certainly did not give any impression that she knew what was transpiring on the Altar before her. The elderly retired, resident priest, perhaps 80 - I wonder what his thoughts were? Did his mind ever run back to the early days of his priesthood; served by young men and boys; the honour of being an altar boy. 

We can play games if we wish, but the reality is that the cassock is male attire. If it is not male attire: what is it? "Uni-sex", female? Let us not suffer from any delusions. It is as bizarre to see a girl in a cassock as it would to see a boy in a nun's habit. And if it not so, then this is the result of years of desensitization.  

Priests, bishops and even popes: they were and they continue to be dead wrong in allowing this pernicious practice. It is time to banish the girl altar boy. 

History of clerical dress. History of the surplice.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Fr. John Courntey Murray: The Journey of a Modernist Hegelian

Arguably the driving force behind the still highly controverted declaration on religious liberty by the Second Vatican Council, Dignitatis humanae, was the American Jesuit, Fr. John Courtney Murray.  This priest would be silenced in 1953 for writing contrary to Pius XII on issues of church-state relations. 

I am endevouring to review a number of articles that Fr. Murray wrote over an extended period of time on the issue of religious liberty; for it is quite evident to me, that just as it is blasphemy to deny that Jesus Christ cannot rule over economics, so to is it blasphemy that he can not rule of politics. The principles remain the same. As such, I shall strive to post in considerable detail as to why the separation of church and state is an evil, that  "a free church in a free state" is, though tolerable, is not the idea. The Catholic should be aware of this. 

A Challenging Question: Was Vatican Two a Helegian Synthesis? 

There is another deeper issue that is identifiable in the works of Courtney Murray: the turmoil of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and perhaps the historicism or semi-historicism that affected, if not the documents themselves, certainly the post-conciliar dynamics. The Toledo Talk, reflecting on Bernard Lonergan's thesis of the transition from classical to historical consciousness, is highly instructive as to the depth of neo-modernist subjectivist immanentism permeating churchmen in the mid to late 1960s. Courtney Murray favouring a type of - shall we call it - an attempt at a Hegelian synthesis between Catholicism and Modernism; believing the Council Fathers had done so:  

The big divider between the two mentalities was, he [Courtney Murray] said, the modernist crisis—between faith and history, the absolute and the relative, Christianity as doctrine and Christianity as event.

Father Murray said the Council fathers rejected classicism and embraced historical consciousness.
"They conceived the renewal of the Church to mean a turn to the sources of the life of the Church—the sources in history which are also trans-historical; the event of Christ and the Word of Christ in the Gospel. This is where the renewal must start."
This reform, he said, is taking place also in the realms of theology or faith or ecclesiastical structure. Theology itself is caught in a crisis of understanding.
"The traditional affirmations of faith are still being made. The question is whether or not their historical content is adequate, whether we have had an adequate understanding of faith. This is what the theological fraternity is up to today.

"Questions about almost everything—about original sin, the order of grace and its relation to the visible Church, about the Eucharist as sacrament and sacrifice, about the notion of sacrament itself, about trans-transubstantiation, about the Church, about the Trinity, above all about God.

"The theological way of putting the question today is not how certain are we. The question today is how much have we really understood, how much more is there to be understood in the traditional affirmations of faith, and, above all, how are these traditional affirmations to be related to my human interest and experience—the relevance.

"The question is not how certain is that truth out there. The question is what does it mean, and above all, what does it mean to me."

Thursday 12 December 2013

Bishop Fellay calls for a Rosary Crusade

Bishop Fellay's most recent Letter contains the following words on the importance of education of the young. Given my recent observations of the perverse decadence of Catholic youth who proclaim their de facto apostasy via social media -basically archiving via the internet, sin - Bishop Fellay's words are extremely important. 
In a world that is increasingly hostile to keeping the commandments of God, we must have a genuine concern for forming well-tempered souls who take their sanctification and salvation to heart.  This quite naturally leads us to give a great deal of attention to our schools and to their development.  In these works of formation we invest the greater part of our resources and efforts, both human and material.  Throughout the world, priests and religious are dedicating themselves to the magnificent task of Catholic education and teaching in more than one hundred institutions.
Well aware, dear faithful, that the salvation of a soul starts in the cradle, we struggle with all our might to preserve the treasures of the Christian home, a center of holiness in the midst of a decadent world that can only lead souls to hell.  We do appreciate and share the concerns of fathers and mothers of families who have understood that the salvation of their children’s souls is priceless.  Yes, it is necessary to be ready to make all possible sacrifices of temporal goods—even to the point of giving one’s life—in order to assure the blessed eternity of a soul.

Pope Francis responds to the enemies of the Church with a powerful denunciation of "the globalization of indifference"

The Supreme Pontiff's Message for the World Day of Peace expands and develops many themes of Catholic social teaching, which have been so publicly mocked and rejected by neo-liberal "Catholics". Rather than turning tail and running, the Pope is countering these dissidents with a powerful counter attack. 

1 JANUARY 2014

1. In this, my first Message for the World Day of Peace, I wish to offer to everyone, individuals and peoples, my best wishes for a life filled with joy and hope. In the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.
Fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. A lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother; without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace. We should remember that fraternity is generally first learned in the family, thanks above all to the responsible and complementary roles of each of its members, particularly the father and the mother. The family is the wellspring of all fraternity, and as such it is the foundation and the first pathway to peace, since, by its vocation, it is meant to spread its love to the world around it.
The ever-increasing number of interconnections and communications in today’s world makes us powerfully aware of the unity and common destiny of the nations... But this vocation is still frequently denied and ignored in a world marked by a “globalization of indifference” which makes us slowly inured to the suffering of others and closed in on ourselves.
In many parts of the world, there seems to be no end to grave offences against fundamental human rights, especially the right to life and the right to religious freedom. ...
Globalization, as Benedict XVI pointed out, makes us neighbours, but does not make us brothers. The many situations of inequality, poverty and injustice, are signs not only of a profound lack of fraternity, but also of the absence of a culture of solidarity. New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fuelling that “throw away” mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered “useless”...

...it appears clear that contemporary ethical systems remain incapable of producing authentic bonds of fraternity, since a fraternity devoid of reference to a common Father as its ultimate foundation is unable to endure. True brotherhood among people presupposes and demands a transcendent Fatherhood. Based on the recognition of this fatherhood, human fraternity is consolidated: each person becomes a “neighbour” who cares for others.
“Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9)

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Social materialism, John Locke and the neo-liberal "Catholic" apostasy following the publication of Evangelii Gaudium

 "...the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united". 
Leo XIII, Libertas

We do not admire men such as Martin Luther or John Locke. The former, was the first very prominent revolutionary Christian who proposed that the prince did not govern with concern for his religion; the life of the citizen became separated from the life of a Christian. Modern individualism was born. The latter, could be said to be the father of modern individualism and Liberalism. Americans should become aware of the degree that his ideas permeate the foundational documents of their nation-state. 

The protestant mindset instigated by Luther, paved the way for naturalism and Liberalism. There would be no shortage of men who would eventually come to define the Age of the Enlightenment (truly a new Dark Age); men such as Descartes, Locke, Rousseau would distinguish themselves. Serious Catholics should read and study Humanum genus (On Freemasonry) and Libertas (On Liberty) by Pope Leo XIII to understand the roots of Liberalism, and how anti-Christian and anti-human it is. 

"Now, the fundamental doctrine of the naturalists, which they sufficiently make known by their very name, is that human nature and human reason ought in all things to be mistress and guide. Laying this down, they care little for duties to God, or pervert them by erroneous and vague opinions. For they deny that anything has been taught by God; they allow no dogma of religion or truth which cannot be understood by the human intelligence, nor any teacher who ought to be believed by reason of his authority. And since it is the special and exclusive duty of the Catholic Church fully to set forth in words truths divinely received, to teach, besides other divine helps to salvation, the authority of its office, and to defend the same with perfect purity, it is against the Church that the rage and attack of the enemies are principally directed". Leo XIII, Humanum genus

Pope Leo develops this theme identifying that naturalism in the domain of morality and politics is termed Liberalism - that is, the liberty to do as one pleases, without reference to membership in Christ and His Church. 

"What naturalists or rationalists aim at in philosophy, that the supporters of liberalism, carrying out the principles laid down by naturalism, are attempting in the domain of morality and politics. The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the supreme principle and source and judge of truth. Hence, these followers of liberalism deny the existence of any divine authority to which obedience is due, and proclaim that every man is the law to himself; from which arises that ethical system which they style independent morality, and which, under the guise of liberty, exonerates man from any obedience to the commands of God, and substitutes a boundless license. The end of all this it is not difficult to foresee, especially when society is in question. For, when once man is firmly persuaded that he is subject to no one, it follows that the efficient cause of the unity of civil society is not to be sought in any principle external to man, or superior to him, but simply in the free will of individuals; that the authority in the State comes from the people only; and that, just as every man's individual reason is his only rule of life, so the collective reason of the community should be the supreme guide in the management of all public affairs". Leo XIII, Libertas

Locke, imbued with this  spirit of naturalism or rationalism, may be considered the fountainhead of British and French rationalism. The French writer, Vialatoux, writes of the influence of Locke: "when we study Locke, we find clearly formulated the postulates which constitute the foundation of modern social life, and are the hidden, though mostly unsuspected, animating principles of our institutions and of our modes of thought and action" (Philosophie Economique, pp. 125-126). There is no lack of neo-con Catholics who try to claim Locke as compatible with, for example, the Church's teachings on property rights. Though there may well be accidental similarities - for Locke still adhered to a few traditional theses, and was a semi-sensist, the fact remains that his books were on the Index, reflecting the Church's assessment of his political ideology. 

"...there can be no genuine solution of the "social question" apart from the Gospel"
Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus

It may be distressing for some American Catholics to appreciate that men such as Jefferson devoted their intellectual lives imbibing the confused spiritual legacy of John Locke and the French philosophers, such as Jean Jacques Rousseau. This may, in part, account for some of the more hysterical tirades against His Holiness following the publication of Evangelii Gaudium. In truth, the Pope's forthrightness on economic liberalism merely burst the carbuncle of "silent apostasy", long festering in the minds of these dissenters; for whom the Catholic Faith has long been a pick-and-choose social "feel good" variety of superficial piety. These de facto apostates have chosen Liberalism over the Gospels

Pius IX, in Quanta Cura prescribed as condemned the errors of naturalism: 

For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it..."

Though many protestant and Catholic "libertartians", actually (as Adrian Pabst terms them, neo-liberals) bemoan the rise of the temporal power of the State, they are unable to see that the transfer of the interpretation and application of moral law to the State has seen an enormous increase in the latter's power (Absolutism); or, in reaction to this, a rebellious attitude leading to the chaos of moral individualism. The rejection of the Catholic Church's right to interpret the moral law leads to serious consequences. In economics we have the result of the absolutism of Socialism or the individualism of Capitalism, both evils, feeding off each other. 

The French Revolution, modern Britain, and the rest of the English speaking world, is heavily imbued with "Enlightenment" individualism, so much so, that with Pope Francis' recent reiteration of Catholic social teaching vis-a-vis economics, there has been a veritable explosion of bile and hatred spewed upon the Vicar of Christ, even to the degree of addressing the Supreme Pontiff as a "communist".

Let us take a brief look at Locke's idea of the State, economics and social life, contrasting them to the teachings of the Church. As a protestant, Locke did not regard the State as a well organized natural society, with fallen man redeemed through membership in Christ. Rather, Locke, a nominalist, broke any harmonious union between intellect and sense, with objective reality, and gave primacy to sense over reason, sectioned off social life from morality and Christ, and posited individualism as primary in his social teaching. (Students of history will see Luther as the fountainhead of Locke's ideas). Locke's political theory led inevitably to a denial of universal order, and a limit to objective knowledge for persons. We see the results today in the near total moral chaos and collapse of western society. The State is merely an artificial creation of autonomous individuals. The State has no duty to God; it is an association of mutual assurance of free proprietors to safeguard themselves against material loss. 

In Letters concerning Toleration, Locke wrote: "... the commonwealth seems to me to be a society of men constituted only for procuring, preserving and advancing their own civil interests. Civil interests I call life, liberty, health and indolence of the body, and possessions of outward things such as money, lands, houses, furniture and the like..."

"Let us consider what a church is...it ought to be confined within the bounds of the church, nor in any manner be extended to civil affairs; because the church itself is a thing absolutely separate and distinct from the commonwealth..." 

"... for the political society is instituted for no other end, but only to secure every man's possession of the things of this life..."

The State, according to Locke, has no duty to God, society is sectioned and individualism is enthroned as the greatest good: non serviam. It therefore comes as no surprise that these neo-liberal apostates adhere to the false doctrine of "religious liberty". Contrast Locke's view of the moral obligations of the State to the Church's:

"The State cannot limit itself to "favouring one portion of the citizens", namely the rich and prosperous, nor can it "neglect the other", which clearly represents the majority of society. Otherwise, there would be a violation of that law of justice which ordains that every person should receive his due". John Paul II, Centesimus Annus

Following Pope Francis' authoritative reaffirmation of Catholic social teaching vis-a-vis economics, a number of neo-liberal Catholics, such as Daren Jonescu proposed the following buffoonery: "St. Thomas Aquinas, whose conception of natural law, justice, and the role of reason in ethics paved the way to the Enlightenment, and the development of the natural rights theory which grounded modern liberty". Not content with that, Jonescu declares the Pope a Marxist, the Church having turned to a version of communism. Jonescu's attempt to twist Rerum Novarum to nefarious ends fails utterly, for critically - amongst others things - he refrains from commenting on the fact that Leo XIII commences the encyclical within the context of his earlier social encyclicals, such as Libertas and Immortale Dei. Those encyclicals firmly condemn the false jurisprudence and naturalistic rationalism that Jonescu claims to flow from Aquinas. In our day, Pope John Paul II, in Centesimus Annus, linked Socialism and Liberalism to the same destructive root: practical atheism and a false anthropology: "The atheism of which we are speaking is also closely connected with the rationalism of the Enlightenment, which views human and social reality in a mechanistic way".

A more restrained attack on Pope Francis, but equally erroneous, is by a Paul Rahe, evidently an admirer of Locke, who wrote as follows: "Limited government – i. e., a government limited in its scope – was the solution ultimately found, and John Locke was its proponent. Even a former U.S. judge has had his two pennies to contribute in an op-ed in The Washington Post.  Andrew Napolitano, in a manner as ignorant as it is arrogant, after constructing and demolishing the usual strawmen, indulges in historicism and "infallibility" to dismiss Catholic social teaching; Napolitano also can't quite deduce the mind of the Pope: is he a communist or a fascist!? The eminent theologian, Napolitano, scoffs at the Pope's remarks that the poor are waiting. Yes, they are. Perhaps Napolitano has never heard of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul; maybe he should consider going on a few home visitations. Perhaps Napolitano has never visited Miami, where the juxtaposition of obscene wealth and extreme poverty is an abomination. "Are there no poor houses...?" to quote Dickens.

 In a more subtle and devious manner then the aforementioned writers, the other week, neo-liberal Catholic, Raymond Arroyo, on The World Over, tried to wriggle dissent off the hook by asking his guest, Bishop Morlino about an Apostolic Exhortation's degree of "infallibility"; if a Catholic had to accept Church teachings on economics, like "moral" teachings . The answer is yes; economics are under the moral law (c.f. No. 34, Centesimus Annus; No. 15, Caritas in Veritate). Sadly, Bishop Morlino was evasive. Thus, perhaps thousands of Catholics had spiritual poison poured into their souls. As with Napolitano and others, Arroyo is constructing the "infallibility" strawman, opening the flood gates for dissent on Catholic social teaching. We have seen this type of dissent with the supporters on contraception and abortion. It is no wonder that these sexual and life sins are so popular in an individualistic culture of death, much like economic exploitation is. 

It is clear in the minds of the popes that the Church has a right and duty to intervene in the life of a nation and the State with regards to economic issues that pertain to the dignity of the person and the common good. The State has a positive duty to intervene where charity has proven insufficient to provide for the poor. However the principle of subsidiarity dictates that it also has a duty to back off where lower levels of government or individuals in free association are able to provide for the poor. The difficulty is that the State cannot be relied upon to be its own moral compass and it cannot negotiate this fine line without guidance. Hence the necessity for the Church to be involved in civil and economic matters. The Church has a positive duty to inform the State when they have not gone far enough and when they have gone too far.

"The State must contribute to the achievement of these goals both directly and indirectly. Indirectly and according to the principle of subsidiarity, by creating favourable conditions for the free exercise of economic activity, which will lead to abundant opportunities for employment and sources of wealth" John Paul Ii, Centissimus Annus

Following the recent economic crisis (which is far from over), Pope Benedict XVI issued his authoritative encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. As Pabst pointed out, it was denounced by neo-liberals, such as the "un-authoritative" George Weigel. This forgotten encyclical, rejected by dissenters on the "left" and "right", (who respectively clamor for either statist intervention, or capitalist fundamentalism) reiterates the Church's position of a free market and State guided by natural law for the common good. Of note, in No. 15, the Pope identifies the link between teaching on life issues (e.g. Humanae vitae) and social doctrine. One cannot have one without the other. 

"The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that “a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalize". Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate

To conclude, it may be fitting to have a faithful layman's conception of Catholic teaching on economics, politics and the moral law:  

"the truth is that Liberalism does not merely consist in withdrawing economics for subordination to politics, but in the further step of withdrawing politics (and economics) from subjection to the moral law.... the end of politics becomes the material prosperity, the power and success of the State, and everything that may procure that end...the end of economics becomes the acquisition and limitless increase of riches, material riches as such, and everything that may procure such an end..." (Jacques Maritain, Religion and Culture, Sheed and Ward,  pp. 25, 26). 

Barona and Freyr

Recommended reading: 

Quanta Cura, Pius IX
Humanum Genus, Leo XIII
Immortale Dei, Leo XIII
Libertas, Leo XIII
Rerum Novarum, Leo XIII
Quadragesimo Anno, Pius XI
Quas Primas, Pius XI
Centesimus Annus, John Paul II
Veritas in Caritate, Benedict XVI

Evangelii Gaudium, Francis

Tuesday 10 December 2013

How Not To Evangelize

I had a rather interesting experience this morning. As you may know, the Archdiocese has decided on December 11 as a day of reconciliation. Confessions are being heard in churches all over the city. I decided that I might make a rare trip south and visit Corpus Christi Church for confession and then perhaps a visit to the synagogue for lunch. In preparation for my excursion I surfed over to the Corpus Christi website to have a look at their bulletin and that is where the adventure began.

The Corpus Christi website is a rather professionally done affair with all the usual information on the front page, including the usual mass and confession times as well as photos and an assortment of links to events, groups and a forum. I scrolled down to the bottom of the page and clicked the bulletin link and ran into trouble. The website requires that one sign in in order to look at that information. I tried to sign in and even got past the "captcha" to prove my humanity but eventually gave up in frustration. Finally I decided to try it the old fashioned way and gave them a phone call. My heart sank when I heard a recorded message. 

I decided to go to confession somewhere else but it could have been much worse. I could have been a penitent returning after a long absence or someone in great need. What was a mere morning's annoyance to me might have been a far more serious matter to someone in a more fragile state. Something about not breaking a bruised reed or quenching a dimly burning wick comes to mind. Websites and social media are useful tools but personal contact is indispensable.

I remember many years ago while I was living in the west end and trying to decide which of several parishes in the neighborhood I would attend. I made my decision when I called St. Anthony's Church and, because the parish secretary was absent, the phone rang straight through to the priest's rec room. I attended the church the following Sunday and for as long as I lived in that neighborhood.

To be entirely fair about this I decided to call my home parish just to see what would happen. The phone rang and I waited... finally the parish secretary picked up. She said hello and put me on the speaker phone because the pastor was in the room. I explained myself briefly and promised a further explanation soon. Well, this is that explanation and I have to say I am proud of you both... well done!

Corpus Christi Church, Toronto

Seems the Archdiocese has published the confession times on their website... two clicks and I was there. Here's the link.
Day of Confessions 

Addendum 2...
From the Archdiocese blog entry dated December 11,2013  
"What holds you back from going to Confession? Some Catholics might consider it unnecessary to confess their sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (We address this common question on the website for the Day of Confessions, which takes place today—Wednesday, December 11.)"
The link points to the website for the April 9, 2013 Day of confessions... the date in giant letters at the top of the page should have been a clue but I missed it. I hope no one was led astray by this misinformation. 

Sunday 8 December 2013

Pope Francis: Evil financial systems are based on "a rejection of God"

It may well be worthy to remind ourselves of the Supreme Pontiff's words to New Non-Resident Ambassadors on May 16th, following the publication of Evangelii Gaudium.

Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have started a throw-away culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules. Moreover, indebtedness and credit distance countries from their real economy and citizens from their real buying power. Added to this, as if it were needed, is widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will to power and of possession has become limitless.

Concealed behind this attitude is a rejection of ethics, a rejection of God. Ethics, like solidarity, is a nuisance! It is regarded as counterproductive: as something too human, because it relativizes money and power; as a threat, because it rejects manipulation and subjection of people: because ethics leads to God, who is situated outside the categories of the market. God is thought to be unmanageable by these financiers, economists and politicians, God is unmanageable, even dangerous, because he calls man to his full realization and to independence from any kind of slavery. Ethics – naturally, not the ethics of ideology – makes it possible, in my view, to create a balanced social order that is more humane. In this sense, I encourage the financial experts and the political leaders of your countries to consider the words of Saint John Chrysostom: "Not to share one’s goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs" (Homily on Lazarus, 1:6 – PG 48, 992D).

More on this gravely important subject to follow over the next few days. Rebellion against Catholic social teaching - be it on abortion, the State, economics etc. amounts to the rejection of the Gospels; it is blasphemy and apostasy. 

Feast of the Immaculate Conception - a blessed Feast Day to all our readers

Today, in the usus antiquior, Catholics will celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In the novus ordo, the Feast has been transfered to tomorrow, the 9th. 

The solution to the above problem was solved this year with ease by the Polish Bishops Conference who requested of the Apostolic See permission to celebrate the Feast today, on Sunday; the request was granted, with the 2nd reading changed to reflect the 2nd Sunday of Advent, as well as incorporating some thematic aspects of Advent into the sermon on the Immaculate Conception. 

The bishops also have permission to decide if they wish to continue this practice in the future. I regard this as a good example of Pope Francis' idea of devolving powers to the bishops which can have a positive effect within the local Church. A link in our Twitter feed (in Polish) provides further information. For those not gifted in linguistics, a simple copy and paste should suffice in conveying the episcopate's reflections. 

It is unfortunate that no other Conference (to my knowledge) petitioned the Holy See for this indult. 

Murillo's masterpiece of the Blessed Virgin 

Thursday 5 December 2013

Catholic University Bans Gay Counseling

I can pretty much guess the reaction of a certain segment of the population to the above headline. Some of you are no doubt cheering this courageous move on the part of  the National University of Ireland - Galway. There were even the predictable smears and insults in the combox. Apparently some of the commentators had not read the article because the top comment said 
NUI is a catholic university. Catholicism believes that homosexuality is wrong. Breaking news: NUI will not provide counselling for gay students.

It turns out that the ones offering the counseling were the university chapter of the Legion of Mary which was working along the lines of the Courage apostolate completely in line with Church teaching. This was no conversion therapy but a sincere effort to help people live in accord with Catholic teaching. Banned by a Catholic university... go figure.

NUI Galway’s Roman Catholic Legion of Mary Society has been disbanded by the university after launching a campaign that offers counselling and support to help gay students “move beyond the confines of the homosexual label to a more complete identity in Christ”. The campaign is linked to the Courage Community, a movement that “ministers to persons with same-sex attractions and their loved ones” to help them “gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Church's teachings, especially in the area of chastity”.

News Flash: The new Archbishop of Portland is a communist

By now, readers are well aware that, following Leo XIII and Pius XI, Pope Francis has succumbed to the seductive lure of communism. Some zealous bloggers and journalists have zealously denounced the Pope's new Apostolic Exhortation, whilst (e.g.) praising the appointment of Archbishop Alexander Sample as the new Ordinary of Portland. Yet, in a brief review of the Archbishop's former diocese, Marquette, the website contains a plethora of communist and communistic documents. 

This man supports the vile, communist ravings of the present Supreme Pontiff and his predecessors! Do not be fooled by pious sermons! Down with Archbishop Sample. Down with communism and their clerical sympathizers!!!

The documents in question may be viewed here. 

Bishop Fellay interview: the Pope, the Mass and the Church

Bishop Bernard Fellay gave an extensive interview this past November to DICI (the official news organ of the SSPX). 

One central theme - the Council - Bishop Fellay addresses as follows: 

... We have gone from one pontificate to another, and the Church’s situation has stayed the same.  The basic lines remain the same.  On the surface there are variations:  one might say that these are variations on a well-known theme!  The basic assertions:  we find them, for example, about the Council.  The Council is a reinterpretation of the Gospel in light of contemporary or modern civilization—the pope has used both terms.
I think that we should begin by very seriously asking for a definition of what contemporary, modern civilization is.  For us and for average mortals, it is quite simply the rejection of God;  it is “the death of God”.  It is Nietzsche, it is the Frankfurt School, it is an almost universal rebellion against God.  We see this almost everywhere.  We see it in the case of the European Union which in its Constitution refuses to acknowledge its Christian roots.  We see it in everything that the media propagate, in literature, philosophy, art:  everything tends toward nihilism, to the affirmation of man without God, and even in rebellion against God.
Then how can we reread the Gospel in that light?  It is quite simply not possible;  that is squaring the circle!  We agree with the definition just given and from it we draw consequences that are radically different from those of Pope Francis, who goes so far as to show, to expose the continuation of his thought by saying:  “Look at the fine fruits, the marvelous fruits of the Council:  look at the liturgical reform!”  Obviously that sends a chill down our spine!  Since the liturgical reform was described by his immediate predecessor as the cause of the crisis of the Church, it is difficult to see and to understand how all of a sudden it should be described as one of the finest fruits of the Council!  It certainly is a fruit of the Council, but if this is a fine fruit, then what is beautiful and good or bad?  It makes your head spin!

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Pius XI and his encyclical on Christ the King: the trigger for the "silent apostasy"

The great and venerable Pius XI
Many have squirmed uncomfortably with Pope Francis' re-affirmation of  Leo XIII and Pius XI's treatment of economic issues. Evasive, Liberal "Catholics" teetering on the verge of apostasy have tried to equivocate over these issues. 

Well, lest we sit back and congratulate ourselves that we are not apostates, let us re-read other Magisterial teachings that have been buried from the moment they were published. Quas Primas comes to mind. Do the following words distress you, are you going to try to "explain" them away? Are you a Liberal and/or a subscriber to what Leo XIII called "Americanism"?  Read this encyclical, meditate upon it, accept it: be Catholic! Do not, dear reader commit "silent" apostasy. Commitment to this great encyclical - without evasion -distinguishes the Catholic from the apostate. 

. ..It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power... 

Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ."...With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation."

19. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.

...This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them....

Monday 2 December 2013

The tragedy of Salt and Light and the court case against the Fountain of Love and Life

Most readers of this blog are aware of the deeply disturbing interview that the Salt and Light CEO, Fr. Thomas Rosica, conducted with ex-priest, Gregory Baum. It was my contention then, and even more so today, that Salt and Light is damaged goods with Fr. Rosica at the helm. Fr. Rosica never explained his strange interview; references of it being spirited off his somewhat panegyric Wikipedia entry. 

Now, we hear -with great sadness - that Salt and Light is suing a group of Catholics, the Fountain of Love and Life. It is ironic that this wonderful group of Catholics, who have suffered so much for the Faith under evil despots in Red China, should have to undergo such a trial here in Canada. Yet, apparently, such is the case. For full details of this developing tragedy, please visit Vox Cantoris. To tweet about it, to carry such sordid details on one's blog, as evidently S + L does, is highly disturbing. We may expect such behaviour from those in the business world to sue and countersue and niggle over ownership of this or that - but for Catholics? Is such behaviour becoming? Is such behaviour Christian? 

Sacred Scripture advises us to reconcile with our brother before approaching the Altar of God..... why can not this be done? 

Catholics should consider writing to Thomas Cardinal Collins (please do not be put off, if, and when you receive a reply from a member of the laity: be persistent! It is your right to have access to your bishop), in whose archdiocese the S + L head office is situated. 

I also urge concerned readers to write to Fr. Rosica's order, the Basilian Fathers, whose contact information is available at this link.

His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins

1155 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1W2
Telephone: (416) 934-0606, ext. 609
Fax: (416) 934-3452
Email: archbishop@archtoronto.org