Friday 30 December 2016

When did you last hear your bishop or priest warn against the trivialization of sexuality and false ideologies?

In 2011, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI spoke the following in Bogata

One notes, however, with sadness, that homes are coming under increasingly adverse conditions caused by rapid cultural changes, by social instability, by the flows of migrants, by poverty, by educational programs that trivialize sexuality and by false ideologies. We cannot remain indifferent to these challenges. In the Gospel we find the light needed to respond to them without losing heart. Christ with his grace urges us to work with diligence and enthusiasm to accompany each one of the family members in discovering God’s plan of love for the human person. No effort is therefore wasted in promoting anything that can help to ensure that each family, founded on the indissoluble union between a man and a woman, accomplishes its mission of being a living cell of society, a nursery of virtues, a school of constructive and peaceful coexistence, an instrument of harmony and a privileged environment in which human life is welcomed and protected, joyfully and responsibly, from its beginning until its natural end.

When did you hear your parish priest last speak about the trivialization of sexuality, of false ideologies, of the indissolubility of marriage between a man and a woman etc.? 

Thursday 29 December 2016

Cardinal Kasper: ":...Amoris Laetitia does not change one iota of present church teaching, but nevertheless changes everything"

Who can deny that our age is one marked by a great crisis, which appears above all as a profound "crisis of truth"?
St. Pope John Paul II 

The Goat Lies down on Broadway: Walter Kasper in NYC 

Walter Cardinal Kasper - the well-known German Heresiarch and disgraced racist - in an interview with Stimmen de Zeit, stated the following: 

“Thus Amoris Laetitia does not change one iota of present church teaching but nevertheless changes everything". [my emphasis]

The Cardinal also proclaimed: 

“A paradigm shift does not change church teaching, but puts it in a broader context,”

Kasper, then smears it all over, by claiming that Amoris Laetitia follows St. Thomas Aquinas; as, according to the Heresiarch, we now have a morality based on "virtue" and not on "law". 

Vox Cantoris never ceases to point out, this is the key tactic of the heretical innovators: change pastoral practice but officially leave doctrine alone. The Vox has been consistent for several years in calling these malefactors out. 

Let us now return to assessing Kasper. 

According to the racist arch-heretic, the Church must have been in error for two thousand years. Moreover, Veritatis Splendor, St. John Paul the Forgotten's encyclical, would logically be replete with grave  misinterpretations of Aquinas on moral acts, as would the now marginalized Pope's Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio. 

However, let us now refute Kasper's falsehoods with the words of the sainted Pope from Veritatis Splendor: 

  56. In order to justify these positions, some authors have proposed a kind of double status of moral truth. Beyond the doctrinal and abstract level, one would have to acknowledge the priority of a certain more concrete existential consideration. The latter, by taking account of circumstances and the situation, could legitimately be the basis of certain exceptions to the general rule and thus permit one to do in practice and in good conscience what is qualified as intrinsically evil by the moral law. A separation, or even an opposition, is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid in general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision about what is good and what is evil. On this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called "pastoral" solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a "creative" hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept.

No one can fail to realize that these approaches pose a challenge to the very identity of the moral conscience in relation to human freedom and God's law. Only the clarification made earlier with regard to the relationship, based on truth, between freedom and law makes possible a discernment concerning this "creative" understanding of conscience.


Wednesday 28 December 2016

The future of abortion in Canada following Mary Wagner's loss at the Appeals Court

Mary Wagner and SIster Immolatia preparing roses prior to her arrest and imprisonment

On the Feast of the Holy Innocents, it seems appropriate to comment on the recent ruling that has driven the final nail into the coffin of the pro-life movement's attempt to use the law to stop abortion. 

I had been awaiting with trepidation the ruling of the Court regarding Mary Wagner's appeal, as I was convinced that it would be dismissed. My initial reasons were purely philosophical and social: the courts are not interested in truth. A legal system based on liberalism, will not have Truth as its objective. One may well argue that two plus two are four, but, if society is not prepared for that reality, it will not be accommodated. I also knew that Canada, as a society, was not even close to being ready to accept the truth that killing babies is murder. No Judge would would dare rule against abortion in this social climate. 

If abortion were rendered illegal, I guarantee that tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of abortion fanatics would be rioting in the streets. But, to the contrary, virtually no one will oppose abortion. This is how far we have come as a society. This tells a story as to what we have become.

However, today, after a brief ten minute search on the internet, I discovered that there remains a third reason why Mary's appeal was doomed to failure. Simply, it is the law itself. 

I knew that a lawyer is never to ask a question he does not already know the answer to, and, likewise no lawyer should even consider appealing a case, he knows stands virtually no chance of winning. After a brief key word search, I confirmed my strong suspicion that a court appeal is based on a point of order, not a point of fact. The appeal was doomed before it even entered the courtroom. The decision to proceed with this appeal was, to put it gently, was ill advised. The Canadian legal website states the following regarding appeals: 

The Supreme Court of Canada in Husen v Nikolaisen:

"The appellate court must not retry a case and must not substitute its views for the views of the trial judge..."

The website further comments: 

"Further, the appeal is against an order, not the reasons for that new evidence is allowed before a court of appeal unless the court exceptionally allows it - a very rare occurrence".

The result of this ruling means that we are going to have unrestricted abortion on demand in Canada probably for the next two generations, without the slightest possibility of legally restricting the murder of babies. It will now be even harder to bring before Parliament potential legislation restricting abortion, as even the most liberal of European nations have done.

So what are we to do? Effectively, we are in the same situation as slavery was in ancient Rome, or in the British Empire, the United States etc. In those societies, most people, deep in their hearts knew slavery was wrong, evil. Yet, they were unable to stop it. Slavery was overturned by a groundswell of revulsion and the changing of hearts.

Cor ad cor loquitur, wrote Cardinal Newman.  Heart speaks unto heart. Yes, this is the only way that abortion will be defeated. The personal conversion of enough souls, until Canada rejects this great evil. How long will it take? Barring a catastrophe, such as a war, an extraordinary natural calamity, the direct intervention of God, it will certainly be legal for decades to come. When Satan takes over a country, the first thing he demands is human sacrifice. A nation rejecting Christ, places itself under Satan. Simply, a return to Christ will result in the demise of the horror of abortion.

One final point. The Elections Guide by the Canadian bishops shows that the killing of babies is very, very low on the agenda of these men, if at all. Remember: these men are actually the most powerful men in Canada; they have graces of state, but absolutely refuse them. Being ashamed of Christ, He, in turn, is ashamed of them before His Father. The Church in Canada has cut itself off from the living Tree. If bishops barely oppose abortion and are silent, should we be surprised that the priests and laity do likewise? Without a doubt, it is Catholic churchmen who will be held accountable before God for the easy pass that abortion received in this country to now be enshrined as a veritable "anti-sacrament" of the demonic abortion juggernaut that holds this country in its grip.

Please pray for Mary who, arrested on December 12th, dwells in the Vanier Prison the Women  awaiting trial.

Saturday 24 December 2016

A Blessed and most Holy Christmas to our Readers

To all readers of Toronto Catholic Witness, may the Incarnate God, who was born in Bethlehem, be reborn into your hearts each and every day over the coming year. 


Saturday 17 December 2016

Commitment to Catholic Sexual morality, is a commitment to a renewal of the Church

The abuse of the young is a grave symptom of a crisis affecting not only the Church but society as a whole. It is a deep-seated crisis of sexual morality, even of human relationships, and its prime victims are the family and the young. In addressing the problem of abuse with clarity and determination, the Church will help society to understand and deal with the crisis in its midst.

It must be absolutely clear to the Catholic faithful, and to the wider community, that Bishops and superiors are concerned, above all else, with the spiritual good of souls. People need to know that there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young. They must know that Bishops and priests are totally committed to the fullness of Catholic truth on matters of sexual morality, a truth as essential to the renewal of the priesthood and the episcopate as it is to the renewal of marriage and family life.

We must be confident that this time of trial will bring a purification of the entire Catholic community, a purification that is urgently needed if the Church is to preach more effectively the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its liberating force. Now you must ensure that where sin increased, grace will all the more abound (cf. Rom 5:20). So much pain, so much sorrow must lead to a holier priesthood, a holier episcopate, and a holier Church.

God alone is the source of holiness, and it is to him above all that we must turn for forgiveness, for healing and for the grace to meet this challenge with uncompromising courage and harmony of purpose. Like the Good Shepherd of last Sunday's Gospel, Pastors must go among their priests and people as men who inspire deep trust and lead them to restful waters (cf. Ps 22:2).

Pope John Paul II, (Address to the Cardinals of the United States, 2004)

Monday 12 December 2016

Pope John Paul: Prophet of Truth

The "conservative" Canadian commentator, Charles Adler, recently said that opposition to contraception was thinking out of the 16th century, instead of what it really is: a pro-death 20th century ideology. His comment was bizarre for three main reasons. Firstly, it placed truth within history/time (a Hegelian concept; c.f. An Introduction to Christianity, Ratzinger); secondly, the entire Christian world until the Lambeth conference of 1930 opposed contraception as a grave moral evil: thirdly, it reveals the extent of societal decay, in which so-called “conservatives” hold moral and life issues that a few decades ago would be unthinkable. An American example is the so-called "conservative" Sean Hannity's support for contraception. Pope John Paul II placed the root cause of such confusion to a “corruption of the idea and the experience of freedom... an autonomous power of self-affirmation...the absence in people's hearts of God...” (c.f. Familiaris consortio). 

Labels such as "conservative" or "liberal" are unhelpful. These two words have, and continue to change.  For example, Adler – a man who prides himself on his “conservatism” - not only advocates capitalism, but philosophically aligns himself with the ideology of Ayn Rand. Contrast Rand's advocacy of selfishness and individualism detached from truth and focused on personal perception of reality (really a form of autonomous self-affirmation), with the words of the Council Fathers : “In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear” (Gaudium et Spes, 22). The philosophy of Rand's selfishness can be best expressed by Fr. Ratzinger (1970) as “verum quia faciendum” , a “...changing the world, moulding the world... “ (p.35), a “...devotion to reality in so far as it is capable of being shaped” (p. 36). Ironically capitalism and Marxism both fall into the trap of reducing “the meaning of man completely into the practicable” (p. 42).  

The consequence is that “truth” is abandoned for practical knowledge (cf. Ratzinger, p. 42), freedom is detached from truth and made subordinate to personal liberty/freedom (c.f. Veritatis spendor No. 99).  Hence, socio-economic and socio-political systems that are not rooted in the truth of the Gospels, due to a false anthropology, deny the authentic freedom of the person and will lead to totalitarianism. We see the  great Pope's prophecy of this being fulfilled before our very eyes. Nearly imperceptibly, we are sliding into a State imposed totalitarianism of moral relativism. 

In contrast, it was the Pope's devotion to the philosophy of being, to St. Thomas Aquinas, that confused a media and world that was devoted to ideologies of meaning that were self-made. Daily, he would confound them. On one day, the Pope's words and actions would be "extreme conservatism", "reactionary" etc. - ah yes, the Pope had spoken out against abortion; or, decried the evils of contraception. This man was "anti-woman"!! Or, the following day he might be labeled a "pacifist" “pro-Arab” for having rejected the 2nd Gulf War (if only people had listened!!). Even some devout Catholics, such as George Weigel, blundered badly through indulgence in “conservative" politics by trying to justify both Gulf Wars. Weigel claimed that the Pope's “prophetic” position was more due to the failure of the United States to invade Iraq in 1991 than the Pope's analysis (Weigel, p. 622-624). In hindsight, the 2nd War confirmed the Pope's “prophecies” in full. Finally, the Pope has on many occasions spoken out in favour of the poor.... a "socialist" sympathizer, perhaps? Economically "naive" at least. Here again, the Pope has been proven correct with the 2008 economic crisis confirming the Church's assessment of capitalism. And so it went, both "conservative" and "liberal" confused and in error about our saint. 

Pope John Paul never had an ideology, he "had a "Person": "Christ Jesus and him crucified". He saw people and the world through the prism of the Gospels. He saw the mystery of man through the mystery of the Word. In Memory and Identity he wrote: “ if we wish to speak rationally about good and evil, we have to return to Saint Thomas Aquinas, that is, to the philosophy of being” (p. 13). 

Yet, with each passing day, with the coming demographic dark-age, with the ongoing economic crises, with the mushrooming of pornography, with the collapse of the family, with war and violence, with the explosion of sexual deviance... the Pope is being proved right and the "conservatives" and "liberals" proved wrong. If the world seems to have gone mad, it is because it refuses to conform itself to Christ the Redeemer. 

Blessed Pope John Paul, pray for us. 

Books Referenced: 

John Paul II, (2005). Memory and Identity: Personal Reflections. Wiedenfeld & Nicolson, London. 

Ratzinger, J. (1970). Introduction to Christianity (trans. J. R. Foster). Herder &  Herder, New York. 

Weigel, G. (1999). Witness to Hope. Cliff Street Books, New York. 

Sunday 11 December 2016

Pope John Paul II: reaffirmed the teaching on marriage by Pope Leo XIII in a 2003 address to the Roman Rota: rejection of truth leads to the destruction of marriage

"There were bishops at the Synod who wished to erase the truth" 
Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, quoted in Polonia Christiana, Oct, 30th, 2014

The Church can have nothing to do with an immanentist  (that is, based on the personal experience of the believer; falling into the error of protestantism (c.f. Pius X, Pasciendi, 7, 14) and profane view of marriage. So said Pope John Paul II, the "ignored". 

Within the Church, it is this neo-modernist perspective that has bred the scandal of the mid-term relatio, and which, unfortunately, held over  into the final report, and then the confusion and errors in Amoris Laetitia pertaining to  distributing  Holy Communion to those who live in adultery. 

In an address to the Roman Rota, 2003, Pope John Paul II said the following: 

The link between secularization and the crisis of marriage and of the family is only too clear. The crisis concerning the meaning of God and that concerning moral good and evil has succeeded in diminishing an acquaintance with the fundamentals of marriage and of the family which is rooted in marriage. For an effective recovery of the truth in this field, it is necessary to rediscover the transcendent dimension that is intrinsic to the full truth of marriage and the family,overcoming every dichotomy that tends to separate the profane aspects from the religious as if there were two marriages:  one profane and another sacred.

"God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gn 1,27). The image of God is found in the duality of man and woman and in their interpersonal communion. For this reason, transcendence is inherent in the existence of marriage, right from the start, because it belongs to the natural distinction between man and woman in the order of creation. In their being "one flesh" (Gn 2,24), the man and the woman, in their mutual assistance and fruitfulness, participate in something sacred and religious, as the Encyclical Arcanum divinae sapientiae of my Predecessor Leo XIII emphasized, pointing to the understanding of marriage held in ancient civilizations (10 Feb. 1880, Leonis XIII P.M. Acta, vol. II, p. 22). In this regard, he observed that marriage "from the very beginning was a figure(adumbratio) of the Incarnation of the Word of God" (ibid.). In the state of original innocence, Adam and Eve already had the supernatural gift of grace. In this way, before the Incarnation of the Word took place historically, its effective holiness was already being bestowed on humanity.

Unfortunately, on account of the effects of original sin, what was natural in the relationship between man and woman risks being lived in a way that is not in conformity with the plan and will of God and distancing oneself from God necessarily implies a proportionate dehumanizing of all family relationships. But in the "fullness of time", Jesus himself restored the primordial design of marriage (cf. Mt 19,1-12) and so, in the state of redeemed nature, the union between man and woman not only regains its original holiness, freed from sin, but is really inserted into the very mystery of the covenant of Christ with the Church.

The Letter of St Paul to the Ephesians directly connects the account of Genesis with that mystery:"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh (Gn 2,24). This is a great mystery; and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church" (Eph 5,31-32). The intrinsic link, between marriage, established at the beginning [of creation], and the union of the Word Incarnate with the Church is shown in its salvific efficacy by means of the concept of sacrament. The Second Vatican Council expressed this truth of our faith from the point of view of the married persons themselves: "Christian spouses, in virtue of the sacrament of matrimony, signify and partake of the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and His Church (cf. Eph 5,32). The spouses thereby help each other to attain to holiness in their married life and by the acceptance and education of their children. And so, in their state and way of life, they have their own special gift among the People of God" (Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, n. 11). The close link of the natural and the supernatural orders is immediately thereafter presented by the Council with reference to the family, that is inseparable from marriage and seen as a "domestic church" (cf. ibid.).

Christian life and reflection find in this truth an inexhaustible fountain of light. In fact, the sacramentality of marriage is a fruitful way to investigate more deeply the mystery of the relationship between human nature and grace. In the fact that the marriage of old became in the New Testament the sign and instrument of the grace of Christ, one sees the evidence of the constitutive transcendence of all that belongs to the being of the human person and in particular to his natural relationality according to the distinction and complementarity of man and woman. The human and the divine are interwoven in a wonderful way.

Today's strongly secularized mentality tends to affirm the human values of the institution of the family while detaching them from religious values and proclaiming them as fully independent of God. Influenced as it is by models of life that are too often presented by the mass-media, today's mentality asks, "Why must one spouse always be faithful to the other?" and this question is transformed into an existential doubt in situations of crisis. Marital difficulties can take various forms, but in the end they all amount to a problem of love. For this reason, the preceding question can be reformulated in this way:  why it is always necessary to love the other spouse even when so many apparently justifying reasons, would lead one to leave?

Many replies can be given; among them the very powerful ones are the good of the children and the good of the entire society, but the most fundamental reply comes through the recognition of the objectivity of being spouses, seen as a reciprocal gift, made possible and guaranteed by God himself. The ultimate reason, therefore, for the duty of faithful love is none other than what is the basis of the divine covenant with the human person: God is faithful. To make possible the fidelity of heart to one's spouse, even in the hardest cases, one must have recourse to God in the certainty of receiving assistance. The way of mutual fidelity passes, moreover, through an openness to Christ's charity, which "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (I Cor 13,7). In every marriage the mystery of redemption becomes present, brought about by a real participation in the Cross of the Saviour, accepting the Christian paradox that joins happiness with the bearing of suffering in the spirit of faith.

From these principles one can draw many practical consequences of a pastoral, moral and juridical nature. I will mention a few that are connected in a special way with your judicial activity. 

Above all, you can never forget that you have in your hands that great mystery St Paul spoke of (cf. Eph 5,32), both when you deal with a sacramental marriage in the strict sense and also when the marriage bears in itself the primordial sacred character, that is called to become a sacrament through the baptism of the spouses. The consideration of the sacramentality highlights thetranscendence of your function, the bond that links it to the economy of salvation. The religious dimension should for this reason permeate all your work. From handling scientific studies on marriage to the daily activity of the administration of justice, there is no room in the Church for a vision of marriage that is merely immanent and profane, simply because such a vision is not true theologically and juridically.

Why the Church can never change Her teaching on contraception

"...husbands and wives should first of all recognize clearly the teaching of Humanae vitae as indicating the norm for the exercise of their sexuality, and that they should endeavor to establish the conditions necessary for observing that norm".
Pope John Paul II, Familiaris consortio

Contraception, along with divorce are the two main underpinnings of the culture of death. Divorce seeks to break unity, contraception perverts that unity. It is tragic to discover so many Catholics dissenting on these two issues. In essence, these people, without even knowing it, have succumbed to a form of gnostic "Christianity" that is a creation of their personal whims, rather than being a religion of submission to the will of the Creator as manifested through His Church. Dissent on contraception reflects a bitter hedonistic conception of sexuality. It further rejects Truth, and replaces it with revealed religion being reduced to an immanentist subjectivity. It is a crisis of Truth and Being that has created the moral/ethical crisis (c.f. An Introduction to Christianity, Ratzinger, J). 

Pope John Paul II in Familiaris consortio provided the Church and the world with an overview of why Humanae vitae was prophetic teaching of the Church of Christ. The late Holy Father began by underscoring the unity of the bishops with the Supreme Pontiff: 

Thus, in continuity with the living tradition of the ecclesial community throughout history, the recent Second Vatican Council and the magisterium of my predecessor Paul VI, expressed above all in the Encyclical Humanae vitae, have handed on to our times a truly prophetic proclamation, which reaffirms and reproposes with clarity the Church's teaching and norm, always old yet always new, regarding marriage and regarding the transmission of human life.

For this reason the Synod Fathers made the following declaration at their last assembly: "This Sacred Synod, gathered together with the Successor of Peter in the unity of faith, firmly holds what has been set forth in the Second Vatican Council (cf. Gaudium et spes, 50) and afterwards in the Encyclical Humanae vitae, particularly that love between husband and wife must be fully human, exclusive and open to new life (Humanae vitae, 11; cf. 9, 12)."

The Holy Father then went on to call on theologians to collaborate with the Magisterium to ensure that the People of God do not fall into error:

For this reason, together with the Synod Fathers I feel it is my duty to extend a pressing invitation to theologians, asking them to unite their efforts in order to collaborate with the hierarchical Magisterium...

A united effort by theologians in this regard, inspired by a convinced adherence to the Magisterium, which is the one authentic guide for the People of God, is particularly urgent for reasons that include the close link between Catholic teaching on this matter and the view of the human person that the Church proposes: doubt or error in the field of marriage or the family involves obscuring to a serious extent the integral truth about the human person, in a cultural situation that is already so often confused and contradictory...

The Holy Father then develops the Church's teachings: 

In an Integral Vision of the Human Person and of His or Her Vocation

In the context of a culture which seriously distorts or entirely misinterprets the true meaning of human sexuality, because it separates it from its essential reference to the person, the Church more urgently feels how irreplaceable is her mission of presenting sexuality as a value and task of the whole person, created male and female in the image of God.

In this perspective the Second Vatican Council clearly affirmed that "when there is a question of harmonizing conjugal love with the responsible transmission of life, the moral aspect of any procedure does not depend solely on sincere intentions or on an evaluation of motives. It must be determined by objective standards. These, based on the nature of the human person and his or her acts, preserve the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love. Such a goal cannot be achieved unless the virtue of conjugal chastity is sincerely practiced."(85)

It is precisely by moving from "an integral vision of man and of his vocation, not only his natural and earthly, but also his supernatural and eternal vocation,"(87) that Paul VI affirmed that the teaching of the Church "is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning."And he concluded by re-emphasizing that there must be excluded as intrinsically immoral "every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible."

When couples, by means of recourse to contraception, separate these two meanings that God the Creator has inscribed in the being of man and woman and in the dynamism of their sexual communion, they act as "arbiters" of the divine plan and they "manipulate" and degrade human sexuality-and with it themselves and their married partner-by altering its value of "total" self-giving. Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality...

The Church as Teacher and Mother for Couples in Difficulty

In the field of conjugal morality the Church is Teacher and Mother and acts as such. As Teacher, she never tires of proclaiming the moral norm that must guide the responsible transmission of life. The Church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm. In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the Church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will, without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection.

As Mother, the Church is close to the many married couples who find themselves in difficulty over this important point of the moral life: she knows well their situation, which is often very arduous and at times truly tormented by difficulties of every kind, not only individual difficulties but social ones as well; she knows that many couples encounter difficulties not only in the concrete fulfillment of the moral norm but even in understanding its inherent values.

But it is one and the same Church that is both Teacher and Mother. And so the Church never ceases to exhort and encourage all to resolve whatever conjugal difficulties may arise without ever falsifying or compromising the truth: she is convinced that there can be no true contradiction between the divine law on transmitting life and that on fostering authentic married love.(91) Accordingly, the concrete pedagogy of the Church must always remain linked with her doctrine and never be separated from it. With the same conviction as my predecessor, I therefore repeat: "To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls."...

The Moral Progress of Married People

It is always very important to have a right notion of the moral order, its values and its norms; and the importance is all the greater when the difficulties in the way of respecting them become more numerous and serious.

Since the moral order reveals and sets forth the plan of God the Creator, for this very reason it cannot be something that harms man, something impersonal. On the contrary, by responding to the deepest demands of the human being created by God, it places itself at the service of that person's full humanity with the delicate and binding love whereby God Himself inspires, sustains and guides every creature towards its happiness.

But man, who has been called to live God's wise and loving design in a responsible manner, is an historical being who day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth.

Married people too are called upon to progress unceasingly in their moral life, with the support of a sincere and active desire to gain ever better knowledge of the values enshrined in and fostered by the law of God. They must also be supported by an upright and generous willingness to embody these values in their concrete decisions. They cannot however look on the law as merely an ideal to be achieved in the future: they must consider it as a command of Christ the Lord to overcome difficulties with constancy. "And so what is known as 'the law of gradualness' or step-by-step advance cannot be identified with 'gradualness of the law,' as if there were different degrees or forms of precept in God's law for different individuals and situations. In God's plan, all husbands and wives are called in marriage to holiness, and this lofty vocation is fulfilled to the extent that the human person is able to respond to God's command with serene confidence in God's grace and in his or her own will." 

Friday 9 December 2016

HOLY ICE: The Miracle of the Calgary frozen Water Font !

Photograph: Copyright © Toronto Catholic Witness 2016

God works in mysterious ways. Arriving at St. John the Evangelist's (Ordinariate of St. Peter) in Calgary, I was met with the "miracle" of a frozen holy water font upon entrance into the church on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. 

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Pope Francis and Vulgarity: have "Traditionalists" repented and changed their minds about the sinfulness of filthy language?

Holy Father: how could you? You are the successor of Peter!
When this blog raised the issue of Catholics using filthy language - especially in public, and known as Catholics - we were roundly condemned - with a few exceptions. Most showed that the spiritual disease of moral relativism, had to one degree or another, sunk into their soul.  

It is somewhat quaint that Pope Francis' vulgarity is being denounced by prior apologists for scatology. One cannot have it both ways: either the use of vulgar language, obscene language is a sin or it is not. Who uses it is irrelevant. 

Obviously, the use of vulgarity by the Supreme Pontiff causes greater scandal, more distress amongst the Faithful, than  itinerant bloggers and the like. The Supreme Pontiff should be at a much higher spiritual level than the Faithful; he should lead by example - as Pope Benedict always did - showing us what a truly refined Catholic soul should be. Vulgarity and obscene talk reflects a sick and depraved society. Enough of this! 

His Holiness with Her Majesty 
Vulgarity in speech reflects the mind. It reflects a deviant mind, a soul that is disturbed .It is even worse in women. Women are to use the Blessed Virgin as a role model and one can hardly imagine Her using vulgar, filthy and obscene language: so why do they? Think about it. Ask yourself: would you use such language before Her or Her Son? Would you use such language before the Blessed Sacrament? 

Let men too, not think they are excused for using filthy language. Christ gave them a tongue - as He did to women - to glorify God and not to use vulgar, filthy, obscene words. 

What the Holy Father did was sinful, idiotic, truly disgraceful and humiliating to the Church. One seriously wonders if this man has mental health issues. 

To conclude: let him or her who does not use filthy language, cast the first stone at Pope Francis. 

St. Pope John Paul II and the unchangeable doctrine of Familiaris Consortio

(Note: originally published December 26, 2014). 

It may be well worth our while to re-study Familiaris Consortio, the constant reference point for faithful Catholics regarding the indissolubility of marriage. A further report in the next few days will carry strong words from a number of Polish bishops on this subject; words that were publicly spoken during the various Christmas Vigil Masses. 

Contrary to the distortions that the Exhortation is "outdated" and needs "updating", in fact, Familiaris Consortio is more urgent than ever. Outdated? Just consider these words, they could have been written yesterday: 

At a moment of history in which the family is the object of numerous forces that seek to destroy it or in some way to deform it, and aware that the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family, the Church perceives in a more urgent and compelling way her mission of proclaiming to all people the plan of God for marriage and the family...

And these words: 

To all those who, in our times, consider it too difficult, or indeed impossible, to be bound to one person for the whole of life, and to those caught up in a culture that rejects the indissolubility of marriage and openly mocks the commitment of spouses to fidelity, it is necessary to reconfirm the good news of the definitive nature of that conjugal love that has in Christ its foundation and strength.

Now, we move closer to that irksome doctrine, that the innovators are trying to overturn as "outdated". Consider these words, before we re-read the doctrinal condemnation a priori of the innovators: 

The Eucharist is the very source of Christian marriage. The Eucharistic Sacrifice, in fact, represents Christ's covenant of love with the Church, sealed with His blood on the Cross. In this sacrifice of the New and Eternal Covenant, Christian spouses encounter the source from which their own marriage covenant flows, is interiorly structured and continuously renewed...

Thus marriage is indissoluble based on Eucharistic theology. Now, our sainted Pope finally reiterates what the Church and everywhere and always taught; the unchanging and unchangeable doctrine, and binding on Popes as well as the simplest layman:

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."