Sunday 27 April 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Carrier pigeons to replace telephones in Vatican City

News reports strongly suggest that all phones will be disconnected, and communications replaced with the use of carrier pigeons. Fr. Frederico Lombardi was unavailable for comment, but the Roman authorities have issued a firm: "No comment.... until further notice". 

Saturday 26 April 2014

SANTO SUBITO! The beloved of Mary: Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I

Forgotten, despised, murdered (?) - Albino Luciani had been chosen by Heaven to reform His Church.... sadly, he passed from this world, far, far too soon. 

We are still overwhelmed at the thought of this tremendous ministry for which we have been chosen: as Peter, we seem to have stepped out on treacherous waters. We are battered by a strong wind. So we turn towards Christ saying: "Lord, save me" (Mt 14:30). Again we hear his voice encouraging and at the same time lovingly reminding us: "Why do you doubt, oh you of little faith." If human forces alone cannot be adequate to the task before us, the help of Almighty God who has guided his Church throughout the centuries in the midst of great conflicts and opposition will certainly not desert us, this humble and most recent servant of the servants of God. Placing our hand in that of Christ, leaning on him, we have now been lifted up to steer that ship which is the Church; it is safe and secure, though in the midst of storms, because the comforting, dominant presence of the Son of God is with it. According to the words of St Augustine, an image dear to the ancient Fathers of the Church, the ship of the Church must not fear, because it is guided by Christ and by his Vicar: "Although the ship is tossed about, it is still a ship. It carries the disciples and it receives Christ. Yes, it is tossed on the sea but without it, one would immediately perish" (Sermon 75,3; PL 38, 475). Only in the Church is salvation: without it one perishes! (Urbi et Orbi, August 27, 1978). 

Pope John Paul I, ora pro nobis

Pope John Paul I (the bishop in "white"?) Albino Luciani

Sincerest thanks to Vox Cantoris for the inspiration for this post. 

Friday 25 April 2014

Vicariate of Rome: Papal phone call to Argentine divorcee being manipulated by the media to promote a rupture with Church doctrine

Fr. Hector Franceschi, a judge on marriage cases for the Vicariate of Rome, and canon law professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross has stated in an interview with the ACI news agency that the Pope has no authority to change Catholic doctrine on marriage. 

He also suggested that the number of stories being circulated in a seemingly organized fashion is indicative of an attempt by powerful, external secular forces to try to force the Pope and bishops at the up-coming Synod on the Family to change the doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage

Fr. Franceschi further states that in an address to the Roman Rota, Pope John Paul II underscored the indissolubility of marriage and that no Pope can ever change this doctrine. 

What is quite evident from the phone call is the mass confusion amongst the laity....what is playing out is another "Humanae vitae" moment. Build up false expectations through the media (helped along in this case by an incredibly foolish phone call from the Pope to persons who were obviously unable to keep a private call, private), then attack the Church mercilessly following the inevitable announcement that the Church cannot reverse the teachings of Her Lord and Master. 

post script. Left out of this picture is the local Ordinary, who is in charge of sacramental discipline in his diocese. Further, something the vile media has no interest in: exceptions to the rule do not make good laws. And, we have every reason to doubt that in this case there is an exception to the rule. It is becoming quite evident that - for whatever reason, and by what forces, we do not know (the same who destroyed the papacy of Benedict XVI?) - the Pope was probably set up.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Pope Francis: Urbi et Orbi (full video with English translation)

"...By your resurrection, which this year we celebrate together with the Churches that follow the Julian calendar, we ask you to enlighten and inspire the initiatives that promote peace in Ukraine so that all those involved, with the support of the international community, will make every effort to prevent violence and, in a spirit of unity and dialogue, chart a path for the country’s future. On this day, may they be able to proclaim, as brothers and sisters, that Christ is risen, Chrystos voskres!...." Pope Francis 

Christ is Risen Alleluia!

Easter Wings, George Herbert, 1633.

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
   Though foolishly he lost the same,
      Decaying more and more,
        Till he became
           Most poore:
           With  thee
        Oh let me rise
   As larks, harmoniously,
  And sing this day  thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My  tender  age  in  sorrow   did   beginne:
   And still with sicknesses and shame
      Thou  didst  so  punish  sinne,
         That  I  became
           Most thinne.
           With  thee
        Let me combine
      And feel this day thy victorie:
   For,  if  I  imp  my  wing  on  thine
Affliction shall  advance the  flight in  me.

Friday 18 April 2014

Good Friday

Goodfriday,1613. Riding Westward.
John Donne
Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, whẽ my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I'almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for mee.
Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye?
It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
And tune all spheares at once peirc'd with those holes?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our Soules, if not of his.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Archdiocese of Toronto: Sacred Triduum in the Extraordinary Form

This year, the Sacred Triduum, the most solemn and holy Rites of the Church, are available according to the more ancient usage of the Extraordinary Form (or usus antiquior). I strongly encourage those who are able to do so, to attend this Liturgy.

The sacred liturgies will take place at the Carmel of the Infant Jesus, just northeast of Newmarket, OntarioA map is available here.

Further information may be obtained from Toronto Traditional Mass Society- Una Voce Toronto. 

Monday 14 April 2014

Bishop Jurgis of Charlotte refuses to address the real issue of Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel's silencing

Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel's infraction or "sin", according to the The Diocese of Charlotte's newspaper, the Catholic News Herald, is that she: 

"...spent about half of her hour-long talk on homosexuality, including attributing a correlation between the decline of fatherhood in America and the rise in homosexuality. That drew the ire of students and parents over the past three weeks, boiling over in a meeting April 2 at the high school with more than 900 parents present". 

It was this noisy, aggressive meeting of these angry parents, of which Bishop Peter Jurgis admits lacked charity and respect, that precipitated Sister's downfall. Seemingly, the local church is afraid to back a nun when faced with media generated controversy.  

The full statement (non-statement?) by Bishop Peter Jurgis may be read here.  His statement carries no further clarification on the "infraction" of Sr. Jane that allegedly led to the outburst of a "great deal of pain" at the school. If one reads the bishop correctly, he is implying that the parents support the Catechism, but take (at least some of them) great umbrage at Sr. Jane's referencing sociological studies; indeed, to such an extent that they were reduced to a "difficult time" and the aforementioned excruciating "pain"? 

That suggesting there is a correlation between the growth of homosexuality and the breakdown of the family should cause such an emotive uproar amongst - if the bishop is correct in his assessment of the faithfulness of the angry parents - is a mystery. From what I have seen across various social media, quite a number of these pained parents display - shall I say - a heterodox position on homosexuality. 

As I see it, Sr. Jane Dominic was silenced because of her vocal opposition to homosexual acts. The local church, as I see it, likewise is also opposed to homosexual acts: but with a difference: keep it  quite, hush-hush; opposition is OK, as long as no one knows about it...this is confirmed with the admission of the organizer/s of the protest against Sr. Jane: it was her opposition to homosexual acts, brought stridently before the secular media by dissident students and parents, that triggered the cowardly churchmen to "apologize" and then for her Order to silence her. Henceforth the Church will decide Her position, not on truth, but on manipulated opinion. This is insanity. 

But is is also a tragedy. An orthodox nun, eloquent, educated, a skilled public speaker is removed over some minor, silly triviality....who will now preach the undiluted truth the the misguided youth? Faithful students have been abandoned. 

When was the last time the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts was discussed in your child's catholic school? When was the last time virtue was discussed in your school? Fr. Robert Barron has some excellent reflections on the collapse, and inability of society to engage in thoughtful reflection. 

Saturday 12 April 2014

Pope Francis: Educational manipulation of children has its roots in totalitarianism - schools are becoming "re-education" camps

Following on his sermon on the right to life; our Holy Father, Pope Francis has now denounced the insidious evils of certain types of modern education; even referencing a parent comment to him of a "re-education" camp. The entire Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel affair reflects this Soviet era "re-education". As I have written before, on a number of occasions, our enemy is not in Moscow: it is right here at home. Will we see this latest address of Pope Francis the headline news? Don't hold your breath. 

In our days, it is important to carry out the projects against slave - labor, against the recruitment of child soldiers and all forms of violence against children. On a positive note, we must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity .

At the same time, this implies supporting the right of parents to decide the moral and religious education of their children. And in this regard I would like to express my rejection of any kind of educational experimentation with children. We cannot experiment with children and young people. The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals and, with the pretense of modernity, push children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of "only one form of thought".
[moving away from script speech] “A week ago a great teacher said to me… ‘with these education projects I don’t know if we’re sending the kids to school or a re-education camp’…”

Thursday 10 April 2014

Ontario Catholic Schools Controversy... Again? (yawn)

Apparently a non-Catholic student in Brampton who already had an exemption from religious classes requested an exemption from attending mass as well. Why was this student at a Catholic school in the first place? Those of you with more fortitude than I can Google the long sad story of Catholic schools in Ontario. This is too close to supper and I am afraid it might cause me to lose my appetite. Suffice it to say that as part of the settlement giving Catholic high schools full funding, they are required to accept non-Catholic students. There is another question here. Whatever possessed the school authorities to fight this in the courts? Did someone seriously think that the following headline might be a really good thing?


Catholic schools can't force student to attend mass, court rules 

A non-Catholic high school student, already excused from religion classes, has won the right to avoid mass and retreats as well.The Ontario Superior Court has ruled that student at a Catholic high school who is entitled to be excused from religious courses must also be excused, if they wish, from religious field trips and attending mass.The decision is being hailed by critics of publicly funded Catholic schools, who believe it brings a secular option to a religious school system they feel is a costly duplication of education.“Parents of Grade 9 to12 students living in a community where the nearest school, the least crowded school, or the best school is Catholic can now chose that school without fear that their children will be forced to take sectarian (religious) courses and programs of little interest to them,” said Leonard Baak, president of, which opposes taxpayer funding of Catholic schools. Non-Catholics may attend Catholic high schools, but not elementary schools.
The reaction is typical Ontario fare. Someone runs a news article on Catholic Schools and the bigots come out of the woodwork. Reason goes out the window and hysteria runs rampant. Sometimes I think these periodic news reports are managed just for this purpose. Here's a really wild idea. Instead of grabbing headlines for requiring someone to do something he has no obligation to do anyway, try something different. How about grabbing headlines for preaching the gospel and teaching an undiluted version of Catholic teaching?

If you're going to get nailed to the cross anyway, it might as well be for speaking the truth. Getting nailed to the cross because your attempt to fit in with the prevailing culture wasn't working out as well as you expected is just sad. Trying to do something under civil law that you could never accomplish under canon law is foolhardy at best.

Monday 7 April 2014

Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel is another victim of what Cardinal Newman called the "religion of the day"

Sr.Jane Dominic Laurel O.P. with friends
The silencing of Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel O.P., by her religious order and the fawning apology of the diocesan authorities brings to mind the words of the great John Henry Cardinal Newman on the "religion of the day" (Sermon 24). 

The empty, religious sentimentality of the Victorian Age, akin to a boil with pus, may be said to have developed into an enormous canker on the face of religion. Newman's prophetic words seem to have been written only yesterday. 

The Cardinal wrote: 

What is the world's religion now? It has taken the brighter side of the Gospel,—its tidings of comfort, its precepts of love; all darker, deeper views of man's condition and prospects being comparatively forgotten. This is the religion natural to a civilized age, and well has Satan dressed and completed it into an idol of the Truth.

As the reason is cultivated, the taste formed, the affections and sentiments refined, a general decency and grace will of course spread over the face of society, quite independently of the influence of Revelation. That beauty and delicacy of thought, which is so attractive in books, then extends to the conduct of life, to all we have, all we do, all we are. Our manners are courteous; we avoid giving pain or offence; our words become correct; our relative duties are carefully performed. 

Our sense of propriety shows itself even in our domestic arrangements, in the embellishments of our houses, in our amusements, and so also in our religions profession. Vice now becomes unseemly and hideous to the imagination, or, as it is sometimes familiarly said, "out of taste." Thus elegance is gradually made the test and standard of virtue, which is no longer thought to possess an intrinsic claim on our hearts, or to exist, further than it leads to the quiet and comfort of others. 

Conscience is no longer recognized as an independent arbiter of actions, its authority is explained away; partly it is superseded in the minds of men by the so-called moral sense, which is regarded merely as the love of the beautiful; partly by the rule of expediency, which is forthwith substituted for it in the details of conduct. Now conscience is a stern, gloomy principle; it tells us of guilt and of prospective punishment. Accordingly, when its terrors disappear, then disappear also, in the creed of the day, those fearful images of Divine wrath with which the Scriptures abound. They are explained away. Every thing is bright and cheerful. Religion is pleasant and easy; benevolence is the chief virtue; intolerance, bigotry, excess of zeal, are the first of sins.... 

Hence excitements are eagerly sought out and rewarded. New objects in religion, new systems and plans, new doctrines, new preachers, are necessary to satisfy that craving which the so-called spread of knowledge has created. The mind becomes morbidly sensitive and fastidious; dissatisfied with things as they are, desirous of a change as such, as if alteration must of itself be a relief....

Think of this, I beseech you, my brethren, and lay it to heart, as far as you go with me, as you will answer for having heard it at the last day. I would not willingly be harsh; but knowing "that the world lieth in wickedness," I think it highly probable that you, so far as you are in it (as you must be, and we all must be in our degree), are, most of you, partially infected with its existing error, that shallowness of religion, which is the result of a blinded conscience...

Saturday 5 April 2014

Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel O.P.: Betrayed by her own?

Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel O.P. with the laity
Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel O.P., as it now stands, following her address at Charlotte Catholic School, has "requested a "sabbatical", with all her scheduled lectures cancelled. Aquinas College's letter explaining the situation is highly reminiscent of Soviet-style double talk.

Her "sin" was referencing sociological studies regarding the causes of same-sex attraction and the effect of single-parent homes on sexual orientation. Details of this school incident are provided by Freyr.  He provides further analysis on the general issue of persecution for the sake of the truth and Christ.

I am providing a number of screenshots that details the extent of Sister Jane's expunging from the College website. What should be a detailed list of Sr. Jane Dominic's lecture schedule etc., has been replaced by a highly distasteful image of Pope John Paul II. We are well aware that the then Holy Father indulged in jest at the time of the photo. However, this situation is no jest: this is a serious case of persecution. 

Before: Information on Sr. Jane's lecture schedule
- now expunged by Aquinas College

After: Censoring everything about Sr. Jane is gone!
And this is no laughing matter
Formerly lecturing in class, Sister now is firmly "locked" in the "closet", silenced. The exact place where the enemies of the Church wish her to be. It is my firm conviction that the real issue of contention is the Church's teaching on homosexuality; the alleged reason a mere pretext to remove this nun. Does one really remove, silence and effectively banish a person for referencing research? Would a mathematician be so treated if a number of studies on astronomy were referred within the context of a lecture? Think about it. It becomes preposterous. 

Details of Sr. Jane's lectures -
expunged from the College website

Further information expunged by the College

 More expunged information on Sr.Jane's lectures

Happier times: Sr. Jane lecturing on morality

What we are seeing here is a witch hunt mentality where the merest misstep against society's new "orthodoxy" will have disastrous consequences. This bears a frightening resemblance to the blacklists circulated during the McCarthy era in the US, or the Soviet psychiatric "hospitals" for religious and other dissenters. Truly Orwellian in scope. All of this is another reminder of Pope John Paul II's warning that a "democracy" without grounding in truth and morality will inevitably slide over into a less and less disguised form of totalitarianism. 

Sr. Jane with a friend

There are some - well meaning no doubt - who may be suggesting to create pressure to reinstate Sister Jane. I would recommend at this stage: prayer, and a renewed devotion to Sister's teachings, which are those of the Church. Pressure campaigns against bishops and religious superiors usually backfire on the persecuted. God will protect Sr. Jane. 

I will be providing two videos - uploaded - of Sr. Jane. One cannot guarantee how long her videos will remain online at the College youtube channel. They provide an excellent outline on her lectures pertaining to the Theology of the Body. Stay tuned. 

Thanks goes to Freyr for his input. 

Friday 4 April 2014

Persecution is the New Normal

The recently appointed CEO of Mozilla Corporation, Brendan Eich, has been forced to resign under pressure from lobby groups over his donation in support of California proposition 8. He has done nothing except exercise his right to free speech in support of traditional marriage. Blogger Andrew Sullivan, a gay man himself, says it best.
Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
Not content with equal rights under the law, some segments of the gay community want to force Christians and anyone who does not accept their new dogma into the same closet they came out of. I am pleased that someone in that community has chosen to speak out so forcefully. Fear of job loss, financial ruin and social rejection has forced many to remain silent. 

In Charlotte, NC the controversy over Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel's presentation at the high school assembly continues. A meeting was held recently for people concerned about it but the bishop did not attend.  He was represented by the diocesan vicar for education Fr. Roger Arnsparger. Both the vicar and the school chaplain have apologized to the parents. As near as I can tell, Sr. Jane quoted some scientific studies that are open to debate. According to the diocesan representative
"I understand that Sister used data from the Linacre Quarterly, a reputable (Catholic Medical Association) journal, and from other sources," Father Roger Arnsparger, the diocese's vicar of education, said to Charlotte's Catholic News Herald. "That data can be debated and, in fact, is debated back and forth by scholars who are researching the areas of human sexuality. Because of the ongoing debate, it would have been better if these studies and data were omitted from the presentation to the students."
This is at best a "gotcha on a technicality" because while the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality is unequivocal, it remains silent on its causes. Remaining silent where the Church is silent may be prudent in a high school but this controversy has had the effect of silencing Sr. Jane altogether. She has cancelled upcoming speaking engagements and taken a leave from teaching. She is being forced into the closet.

Both of these situations are massively unfair although not unexpected. Our Lord said 
 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes. “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-el′zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.     Matthew 10:16+

Andrew Sullivan: The Hounding of a Heretic

Brendan Eich resigns as Mozilla Corp CEO

Nearly 1,000 attend Charlotte Catholic meeting on nun’s speech 

Dominican nun at heart of Charlotte Catholic controversy takes leave from teaching