Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
email:torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com

Friday, 31 May 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Motherwell's Bishop Joseph Devine's resignation is accepted

Rome has accepted Joseph Devine's resignation. The Catholic Herald carries the full report. I thank God that this man is no longer is in charge of the diocese that I grew up in. We can thank Pope Francis for intervening in Scotland to begin the process of taking charge of a situation that is rife with corruption. I carry many, many fond memories of blessed events in Motherwell. Serving Mass for Canon Taylor is one experience that I will never forget. The holy Canon would be horrified by the moral degeneracy amongst the priesthood - and even more so by the cover-ups, denial and lies. 

Obviously, Motherwell will be sede vacante for a while, as Rome on direct orders from Pope Francis, begins its investigations into the homosexualist sub-culture amongst priests, as well as very grave allegations of rape committed at the Shrine of Carfin. As I have written earlier, and repeat here again: Witness will not be silent on the issue of moral corruption amongst the clergy. Please pray for Scotland. Please pray for brave priests, like Fr. Matthew Despard. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Anglican Bishop speaks out on failure to stop advance of Secularism and Islamism

A leading British Anglican prelate, the Rt. Rev  Michael Nazir-Ali has denounced the cowardly capitulation of the Church of England to secularism, giving rise to a vacuum, which allows Islamism to fill the void. As I wrote earlier, the problem is us. 

This too, sadly, applies to the Catholic Church. At least in the "advanced" West. Take the Archdiocese of Toronto: out of all the possible serious moral concerns in the Church and Society that  H.E. Collins could choose for a Pastoral letter, he chose the insipid and "safe" topic of denouncing a potential casino in Toronto. Forget a Pastoral Letter on the Real Presence, the Mass, or serious moral failings in society and amongst the laity such as: abortion, contraception, widespread dissent on sexual morality; or massive moral decline in our Catholic schools (e.g GSAs in "Catholic" schools, retreats for parents led by a homosexualist psychotherapist etc.); or the continued erosion of the Catholic character of our hospitals., etc. 

We are in serious moral decline and our bishops are silent. Bishops are to be watchmen for the Faith. Well, where are they? The Pastoral Plan should not be one of trying to raise $190,000,000 from the laity, but to bring the Faith alive through catechesis. 

Pope Francis did pray over a demonically possessed man

Contrary to earlier denials, La Stampa reports that the Holy Father did indeed pray over a man possessed by demons. The full report is a fascinating read on the power of darkness, and how God uses evil for good. Fr. Gabriel Amorth reports that the possession is linked to a warning to the Mexican bishops and abortion. The possessed man may be regarded as a "victim soul".  


When Pope Francis laid his hands on a young man in a wheel chair, in St Peter’s Square, at the end of mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, many people at first thought he had actually carried out an exorcism.  The Vatican flatly denied that, however, and said the pope had simply prayed over the man.  The priest who accompanied the man also confirmed this.

But one thing is certain, the man claims to be possessed by demons, and says he has been tormented in this state for the past 14 years. He revealed this May 22, in an exclusive interview in Rome with Irene Hernandez Velasco, the correspondent of the Spanish daily, El Mundo.

The man, Angel V., a 43 year-old Mexican from the state of Michoacán, is married with two young children, said some ten exorcists, included the renowned Roman exorcist – Father Gabriel Amorth,  have tried but failed to liberate him from his terrible predicament.

Father Juan Rivas, who accompanied Angel to Rome and was with him when he met the Pope, confirmed all this when he spoke to El Mundo.  He revealed that when the Pope met Angel, he told him, “Holiness, this person needs a blessing, he has had more than 30 exorcisms and the demons that live in him do not want to leave him.”

Fr Rivas, a member of the Legionaries of Christ, described what happened that Sunday. He said: “The Pope greeted Angel, and he kissed the pontiff’s ring and in that instant fell into a trance. The Pope then laid his hands on his head and at that moment a terrible sound was heard (from him), like the roar of a lion. All those who were there heard it perfectly well. The Pope for sure heard it, and his bodyguards heard it as did a child who was at our side. But in spite of this horrific roar the Pope did not let himself be moved; he continued with his prayer, as if he had faced similar situations before.”   

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Mother of All Churches to be Returned to Active Use

But isn't it already? I mean isn't St. Peter's the mother church? Sorry to disappoint but it isn't. Well, what about St. John Lateran? No, not even that one, although it is the Pope's cathedral church as Bishop of Rome. No, the first church, the one in which mass was first celebrated, the one in which the apostles received the Holy Spirit and which continued to be in regular use until the fall of Jerusalem was a far more humble structure. It was a room on the upper floor of a synagogue known as the Church of the Apostles or simply the Cenacle.

The Cenacle
The Vatican has just made an agreement with the Israeli government to permit the celebration of mass in the Cenacle as part of an ongoing negotiation about christian sites in the holy land. Under this agreement the site will remain the property of the State of Israel but its use for liturgical purposes will be resumed. Thus the birthplace of the Church will remain what it has always been, a borrowed room on the upper floor of a synagogue.  Somehow this seems quite appropriate.

"Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the householder, 'The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples? And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready, there prepare for us."    Mk 14: 13-15


Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room where they were staying. Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholemew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.   Acts 1:13

Vatican and Israel reach agreement on taxes and the Cenacle

Monday, 27 May 2013

BREAKING NEWS: The alleged Carfin Grotto rapist flees to Ireland

As I reported a few weeks ago, the Diocese of Motherwell - through Bishop Joseph Devine - dismissed in a rude, insensitive and off-hand manner the very grave allegations (being actively investigated by the police) of homosexual abuse of Pat McEwan at the holy Carfin Shrine. 

Moving, or allowing a priest to move who is an abuser, or alleged abuser, reminds me of the grossly immoral behaviour of Roger Mahoney when he allowed an abuser priest to flee to Mexico. It is time to take account of these Judas priests and Judas bishops. 

No more can cover-up, silence, further denigrating and abusing the victims can be allowed. The Scottish Hierarchy still does not get it: the violation of celibacy is a grave mortal sin. The unnatural violation of celibacy is a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. The unnatural abuse of youth is an even more horrendous crime! To keep in active ministry those priests who have committed perverted sexual acts is an abomination. To move a priest who is being actively investigated by the police for unnatural sexual abuse is sickening. 

May the great and holy Canon Taylor intercede for the church in Scotland, that she be purged of this terrible infestation of moral degenerates. Thank God, at least Rome is taking these allegations so seriously, that Pope Francis will not be allowing any further consecration of bishops. 

From the Daily Record

The clergyman moved back to his native Ireland. Police have started an investigation but have not questioned him.

Catholic Church officials claimed the priest’s move was pre-planned and had nothing to do with the claims.

The clergyman, who is in his 80s, has been accused of being part of a ring of paedophile priests who abused Pat McEwan as a boy more than 50 years ago.

Pat, now 63, claimed the priests molested him many times.

He alleged one priest raped him near the holy shrine of Carfin Grotto in Motherwell.

Police Scotland confirmed they are still investigating the claims.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Why is Amazon censoring Fr. Matthew Despard's book?

Fr. Matthew Despard
Claiming that Fr. Matthew Despard's book, "Priesthood in Crisis" violates company policy, Amazon has pulled the best-seller. No specific reason was given. The unnamed source within the Scottish hierarchy claiming the book was potentially libelous is merely a ruse to perpetuate a culture of silence and cover-up. We have seen the recent treatment of victims of monstrous perverted sexual abuse - and it is sickening! As such, a smear campaign against Fr. Despard is logical. Indeed, this act of censorship is a totally expected action from those wishing to continue the coverup of the "gay mafia" in the Scottish priesthood, the sexual bullying etc.etc. 

We believe in openness. Publish the book! Debate the issue. Rome takes him seriously; evidently Amazon and the Scottish hierarchy are listening to, and being influenced by other forces.  

From the Sunday Mail: 



WHISTLE-BLOWING churchman’s best-selling book featuring explosive claims about gay bullies in the Catholic priesthood has been pulled by web giants Amazon.

Priesthood in Crisis by Father Matthew Despard was released in the wake of the Cardinal Keith O’Brien scandal.

The shocking account – which accuses church leaders of covering up powerful homosexual cliques in the priesthood – became an online bestseller, charting at No.125 out of 1.9 million digital books available on Amazon.

But the controversial book has been axed from the website’s Kindle store.

Amazon say it is no longer available because it does not adhere to their guidelines.

Sources in the Catholic Church have suggested that Father Despard could face legal action from one of the subjects named in his self-published book.

One claimed: “Father Despard makes allegations about a lot of named people and some of them aren’t prepared to accept their name being tarnished.”

Amazon said: “This book is not available on Amazon.co.uk. All titles must adhere to our content guidelines.”

Prohibited content for the site include pornography, offensive material, stolen goods and items that infringe upon a person’s privacy.

Father Despard said: “I noticed it was no longer for sale on Amazon and have been in touch to ask them why. I am awaiting their response and I don’t know anything more about it.”


To read more

Friday, 24 May 2013

Drummer Lee Rigby ~ Requiescat in pace


Please pray for the repose of the soul of Drummer Lee Rigby



Tarek Fatah exposes the evil of Islamic Jihad

When buses and trains exploded on 7/7 in London, the objective of the suicide bombers was to sow fear and terror in the very soul of the British people.

In that the jihadis were successful.

One would have expected the British authorities to not just hunt down the terrorists, but also to fight the cancer of Islamism that lies at the ideological roots of jihadi terrorism. Instead, successive governments in London have tried to pussyfoot around the challenge, hoping the jihadi terrorists and their ideology would melt away with time as Downing Street funded so-called "moderate" Muslim groups and "former" extremists to do the government's bidding.

As the brutal hacking death of a British soldier by two fearless jihadis chanting "Allah O Akbar" has shown, this strategy has failed. Muslims who see the West as the enemy and seek its destruction have become even more emboldened by the lack of resolve, which they see as cowardice. In addition, jihadis in the U.K. are no longer restricted to the second generation Pakistani Britons; they now come from places as far apart as Chechnya and Nigeria.

While the run-of-the-mill jihadi terror attack relies on suicide bombers and remote-controlled improvised explosive devices, Wednesday's attack came straight from medieval times, with the two jihadis using knives and cleavers to hack away at the victim and then beheading him. If this was not enough, they played to the gallery, demanding they be filmed as they chatted with passers-by, proudly defending their actions and promising more attacks on non-Muslims to come.

If the latest act of jihadi terror was different in nature, the reaction by mainstream Islamic groups and prominent Muslims in Britain was not. It was exactly the same as it has been after every tragic incident. Old press releases were brushed off and sent afresh to the media.

While ordinary Britons and non-Muslims around the world are bewildered by these never-ending acts of terrorism, the response of the leaders of the Islamic community is the tired old cliche -- Islam is a religion of peace, and jihad is simply an "inner struggle."

The fact these terrorists are motivated by one powerful belief -- the doctrine of armed jihad against the "kuffar" (non-Muslims) -- is disingenuously denied by Islamic clerics and leaders.

The full article can be read here.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Killing in the Name of God is Blasphemy

Comments from this morning's mass at St. Martha House...

“Doing good” is a principle that unites all humanity beyond the diversity of ideologies and religions…The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation. “Even the disciples were a little intolerant, closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good … This was wrong . . .  Jesus broadens the horizon.”
 
Pope Francis said this in this morning’s mass in St. Martha House’s chapel, in the presence of some Governorate staff. The Pope co-celebrated mass with the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, the leader of Lebanese Christians. Although Lebanon finds itself in the midst of tensions as a result of the Syrian crisis, it is still founded on the peaceful co-existence between religions.
 
The Gospel passage Francis chose for today’s Audience speaks about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good and how Jesus corrected them.
 
“They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” “To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy,” Francis stressed.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Pope Francis: A scholarly review of the world of money and finance

The Catholic Church has always opposed the twin evils of Capitalism and Socialism: the former stemming from Locke's theory on money, the latter following Rousseau. The Church is, and always will be an advocate of the general principles of subsidiarity and true, free enterprise. 

Our Holy Father has these words of gold! (words that would warm the heart of a G.K. Chesterton) - following especially Pius XI and his great social encyclicals: 

Your Excellencies,
I am pleased to receive you for the presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See on the part of your respective countries: Kyrgyzstan, Antigua and Barbuda, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Botswana. The gracious words which you have addressed to me, for which I thank you heartily, have testified that the Heads of State of your countries are concerned to develop relations of respect and cooperation with the Holy See. I would ask you kindly to convey to them my sentiments of gratitude and esteem, together with the assurance of my prayers for them and their fellow citizens.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our human family is presently experiencing something of a turning point in its own history, if we consider the advances made in various areas. We can only praise the positive achievements which contribute to the authentic welfare of mankind, in fields such as those of health, education and communications. At the same time, we must also acknowledge that the majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences. Certain pathologies are increasing, with their psychological consequences; fear and desperation grip the hearts of many people, even in the so-called rich countries; the joy of life is diminishing; indecency and violence are on the rise; poverty is becoming more and more evident. People have to struggle to live and, frequently, to live in an undignified way. One cause of this situation, in my opinion, is in the our relationship with money, and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society. Consequently the financial crisis which we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis. In the denial of the primacy of human beings! We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old (cf. Ex 32:15-34) has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.

The worldwide financial and economic crisis seems to highlight their distortions and above all the gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces man to one of his needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have begun 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. These financiers, economists and politicians consider God to be unmanageable, 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).
Dear Ambassadors, there is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account, naturally, of their particular situations. Money has to serve, not to rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics.

For her part, the Church always works for the integral development of every person. In this sense, she reiterates that the common good should not be simply an extra, simply a conceptual scheme of inferior quality tacked onto political programmes. The Church encourages those in power to be truly at the service of the common good of their peoples. She urges financial leaders to take account of ethics and solidarity. And why should they not turn to God to draw inspiration from his designs? In this way, a new political and economic mindset would arise that would help to transform the absolute dichotomy between the economic and social spheres into a healthy symbiosis.

Finally, through you, I greet with affection the Pastors and the faithful of the Catholic communities present in your countries. I urge them to continue their courageous and joyful witness of faith and fraternal love in accordance with Christ’s teaching. Let them not be afraid to offer their contribution to the development of their countries, through initiatives and attitudes inspired by the Sacred Scriptures! And as you inaugurate your mission, I extend to you, dear Ambassadors, my very best wishes, assuring you of the assistance of the Roman Curia for the fulfilment of your duties. To this end, upon you and your families, and also upon your Embassy staff, I willingly invoke abundant divine blessings.

The Bureaucratic Bishop (a reflection on Freyr's Post)

This post began as a reply to Freyr's post, but, being somewhat long, I decided to create a post of it. Freyr rightly points out in his post on the corruption of what a conference should be, that lack of responsibility is a major defect in the functioning of the Conference. The "conference" has ceased truly being one, and has turned into an unaccountable and irresponsible nightmare needing to be abolished. Really, I should not have been shocked to the CCCB not wishing to ascribe any "blame", "responsibility" etc. for the Lahey fiasco. 

This myopia continues unabated.... to whit the somewhat bizarre - mild words - "Roman Missal .ca" website (again under the CCCB - which sub-committee determines the information - who knows - do even the bishops?)  that contains a link to an article, and other "educational" materials that are gravely suspect of heresy. I shall be posting on this aspect of CCCB detachment for reality shortly. 

All of this asks some serious questions: Pope Francis is moving in one direction, the bishops in another, the Pope is a real Pastor; most bishops are faceless administrators...

As an example of the local church moving away from the desires of the Supreme Pontiff, consider the Toronto Archdiocesan Plan. Have you read it? Can you decode it? Is there something for you? (Ah, how bureaucrats love "Plans"!!!)

This Plan obfuscates the real, serious issues: how is this Plan going to make the local church truly a local church? Could it not be time for a restructuring? Do we really need a huge archdiocese? Could it not be time to break it up - WHILE at the same time ABOLISHING the CCCB? Indeed, without the abolishment of the CCCB, a breaking down of the archdiocese would just create another series of local bureaucracies further distancing the lay faithful, while digging even deeper into the local widow's handbag for the few mites left. 

I can inform all readers that my reference to cash is based on personal knowledge, not just some angry reaction, but inside information - whereby one of the local Toronto auxiliaries identified that the archdiocese has made a financial calculation of well in excess of $100 million dollars that should be targeted. This calculation was based on each parish church having at least one parishioner who would bequest his or her property to the Archdiocese. Sounds very, very mercenary to me. 

Friends - keep your wallets shut tight. Find good, holy priests to support. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Is the CCCB Outmoded?

We have seen many words changed and perverted in meaning over the centuries. None has suffered more degradation than the word "comitatus". It was originally used by Tacitus to describe the close bonds of fealty and kinship that existed between a lord and his sworn retainers. The essence of this bond is beautifully illustrated in the Anglo-saxon poem The Battle of Maldon. The battle was lost but even as they faced defeat, Bryhtwold encouraged his companions. 

Byrhtwold spoke, shield raised aloft -- 
he was an old loyal retainer -- and brandished his spear; 
he very boldly commanded the warriors: 
"Our hearts must grow resolute, our courage more valiant, 
our spirits must be greater, though our strength grows less.
Here lies our Lord all hewn down, 

goodly he lies in the dust.  A kinsman mourns 
that who now from this battle-play thinks to turn away.
I am advanced in years. I do not desire to be taken away,
but I by my liege Lord,
by that favorite of men I intend to lie."

This word, comitatus, with its connotations of fealty, honor and filial devotion has devolved into our modern word committee thus losing all of its ancient meaning. Unfortunately a similar fate has befallen the word conference. Originally it described a group of people gathered to confer about a topic. In this it is similar to the words council and synod. Today it means nothing of the sort. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops meets once a year in the fall and while this meeting is taking place it may properly be called a conference. Unfortunately the meaning has been extended to include the Permanent Council, Executive Committee and even the Secretariat of the CCCB. Each of these subordinate bodies is responsible to the one above it and ultimately to the Plenary Assembly which meets once a year.

It should be pointed out that episcopal conferences do not participate in the magisterium although individual bishops do as part of the College of Bishops acting in union with the Pope. Thus a bishops conference cannot issue a doctrinal decree except by two thirds vote and then only upon receiving a recognitio from the Pope. This seems clear enough and there seems to be some virtue in promulgating liturgical norms over an entire region but there seems to be no end of confusion. When the CCCB promulgates a press release or places material on its websites, it is difficult to discern with the many layers of committees and functionaries who is responsible.

This devolution seems to be an attempt to accommodate the structures of the Catholic Church to better fit in with a modern age which expects such a large organization to have a head office with a CEO which can respond to media requests in a way they will understand. Unfortunately we seem to have thrown out the baby with the bath water in this case. Individual bishops seem to have their very real authority abrogated by a phantom organization which has no authority at all. We need our bishops to behave like pastors who can command the kind of loyalty and filial devotion displayed by Byrhtwold. 

On those few occasions I have had to write my pastor, he has responded in a timely and appropriate fashion. Is it too much to expect that our bishops will also display such pastoral concern for their flocks?

Pope Francis as a Pastor of Souls decides on Cardinal O'Brien

Our beloved Holy Father, Pope Francis - ever the true Pastor of souls - has move quickly, deciding that Keith Cardinal O'Brien will retire to a Monastery to do penance. We should rejoice. Here is a man who has sinned horribly. Yet, in obeying the Holy Father, he has accepted his sin, and his penance. May we do likewise for our own sins.

Our Holy Father has moved to apply not only discipline and healing to the Church in Scotland, but, as a pastor of souls he is striving to bring Cardinal O'Brien to repentance, so that he too will be saved by the Blood of the Lamb. We should rejoice that Cardinal O' Brien has accepted with docility the order for repentence from the Supreme Pontiff. Let us offer aprayer of thanksgiving for Pope Francis' powerful and decisive actions, and let us equally offer a prayer for Cardinal O' Brien.


Vatican City, 15 May 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon, the Holy See Press Office issued the following press release: His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, for the same reasons he decided not to participate in the last Conclave, and in agreement with the Holy Father, will be leaving Scotland for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer, and penance. Any decision regarding future arrangements for His Eminence shall be agreed with the Holy See.”

Are Bishops being held hostage by technocrats?

This will be a preliminary post on a serious subject of the bishop, his relationship to the teaching Magisterium, his relationship to the layman, and the bishop's relationship to the various bureaucratic appendages that have been created within the post-Conciliar period. It stems from a series of discussions with Freyr and is a collaborative effort. 

This first post will also include an overview of my personal experiences (Barona) over the past few years. Indeed, it is always best to start with what one has actually experienced. When this blog started, the horrifying Raymond Lahey paedo-porn affair was just working its way through the Courts. I took a bit of time to read up on this man and noticed that photos, sermons and interventions before our late Holy Father, John Paul II were still maintained on the CCCB website. 

Putting to one side the deeply concerning fact that an admitted pervert and betrayer of the holy priesthood would still have his addresses on the CCCB website, was the disturbing reality that this was potential cannon fodder for anti-Catholic trolls to access this information and beat the Church in Canada over the head. 

In Witness' more recent involvement in posting on the on-going homosexual crisis in the clergy in Scotland - again, we see the oblivious and myopic attitude by the Motherwell diocese with regards to  maintaining a photograph of Cardinal O'Brien, as well as the Scottish Catholic Social Office maintaining a link to a so-called Cardinal O'Brien Lapel Cross Pin

I begin to wonder - do the bishops even know what is on the various websites? Do they care? If they do, are they able to intervene and stop it? In an upcoming post the issue of heterodox and orthodox theology sitting side by side will be discussed (specifically on the Mass and the Holy Eucharist). Now, if the bishops are orthodox, why allow heresy? Then again, we don't even know who controls the websites - I don't think even the bishops know. And the issue becomes even muddier with organizations that have no canonical standing such as episcopal conferences. Where does the buck stop? Perhaps with an ad hoc sub committee? 

In the case Lahey, I wrote to a number of Bishops (commencing January 5th, 2012) (the Archdiocese of Toronto distinguishing itself in being very unhelpful), until I finally received an email on February 5th, stating that action was being taken. Within two days, the highly offensive material - that is, the photos of him, his speeches before Pope John Paul II - were gone. Offensive to not only the Church, but to the boys and their families who had to be subjected to horrendous abuse to satisfy the demonic lust of Lahey. 

Illustrative of episcopal confusion, disorganization - nay myopia - is the following extract from an email I received from a high ranking CCCB cleric pertaining to the Lahey case:

I am somewhat disappointed to learn that no one ever answered his letter, it was indeed my understanding that we would do so. ...Does anyone know how we dropped the ball? Not for blame, just to avoid this happening again.  I left this with those with whom I met and forgot about it.  Maybe I need to keep these things on my radar?... 


With respect, someone was to blame. This should not have happened. The "not to blame..." is the nexus point of bureaucratic ineptitude. The purpose of a bureaucracy is to diffuse responsibility just as the purpose of a corporation is to limit liability. In both cases self preservation and continued growth take precedence over all else. And this self-preservation is nicely presented by the high ranking cleric -- just blame no one, even when serious mistakes happen.


The Church, on the other hand is organized along completely different principles. We have a Vicar of Christ, not a committee. The purpose of a hierarchical structure is to focus responsibility. Responsibility is handed down along feudal lines of fealty and vassalage. A bishop's synod is more in line with these organizational principles than a standing bishop's conference. It is time for the abolition of the CCCB and for bishops to take responsibility, and to free themselves from the manipulation and facelessness of the bureaucratic organizational mentality. 

When the Church boasts about its size, creating organisations and offices and becoming a bit bureaucratic, the Church loses its key substance  and runs the risk of turning into an NGO. And the Church is not an NGO. It's a love story ... But there are those from the IOR ... excuse me, eh! .. some things are necessary, offices are required ... ok! but they are necessary up to a certain point: as an aid to this love story. But when organization takes first place, love falls down and the Church, poor thing, becomes an NGO. And this is not the way forward.

At a time when Pope Francis is openly challenging the bureaucratic structures of the curia we need to ask why bishops continue to hold onto such things in their own dioceses? On a personal note I wonder... I write to my bishop, but he never replies. A number of my friends have had the same experience. Serious people, with serious concerns, respectfully expressed. 

Is he in touch with the lay faithful? Or, is he boxed in by technocrats, with responsibility unattainable? 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pope Francis and the "old maids" address to nuns

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his now familiar refreshing style warned nuns bluntly to avoid being "old maids" (or spinsters as the Zenit translation has below). The key element in this masterly address is the nun as an "icon" of our Blessed Mother. In part, the Holy Father spoke:

Obedience as listening to the will of God in the interior motion of the Holy Spirit, authenticated by the Church, accepting that obedience passes also through human mediations. Remember that the authority-obedience relation is placed in the wider context of the mystery of the Church and constitutes a particular accomplishment of her mediating function (cf. Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, The Service of Authority and Obedience, 12.)

Poverty as the overcoming of all egoism in the logic of the Gospel, which teaches us to trust in the Providence of God. Poverty as an indication to the whole Church that we are not the ones who build the Kingdom of God; it is not human means that make it grow, but primarily the power, the grace of the Lord, who works through our weakness. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” states the Apostle to the Gentiles (2 Corinthians 12:9). Poverty that teaches solidarity, sharing and charity, and which is also expressed in a sobriety and joy in the essential, to be on guard against material idols that obfuscate the authentic meaning of life. Poverty that is learned with the humble, the poor, the sick and all those who are on the existential peripheries of life. Theoretical poverty is of no use to us. Poverty is learned by touching the flesh of the poor Christ, in the humble, the poor, the sick, in children.

And then chastity as a precious charism, which widens the freedom of the gift to God and to others, with the tenderness, the mercy, the closeness of Christ. Chastity for the Kingdom of Heaven shows how affectivity has its place in mature freedom and becomes a sign of the future world, to make God’s primacy shine always. But, please, a “fecund” chastity, a chastity that generates spiritual children in the Church. The consecrated woman is mother, she must be a mother and not a “spinster!” Excuse me if I speak this way, but this maternity, this fecundity of consecrated life is important! May this joy of spiritual fecundity animate your existence. Be mothers, as the figure of Mother Mary and of the Mother Church. Mary cannot be understood without her maternity; the Church cannot be understood without her maternity and you are icons of Mary and of the Church.


The full address may be read here. 

Kermit Gosnell and Ariel Castro: Two monsters receive different media coverage: and both of it is sick

Kermit Gosnell and Ariel Castro are both monsters of iniquity. The former, a vile abortionist and live baby butcher; the worst mass murderer in US history. Insert his name into a Google search and you will come up with just over 500 news items (I got 549). 

Castro, a rapist, kidnapper, baby killer (we now know that he induced abortions through blows to the stomachs of his victims) receives over 20000 news items in a Google search (I got 20904). 

In a nutshell, Castro has received nearly 40 times the media exposure than Gosnell. Something is wrong here. Simply put....... the issue is abortion. Yes, ABORTION. The word that we are not to dare utter. The word that is far, far "dirtier" than various four letter words... so pass on Gosnell, he doesn't quite fit the bill for a sensation. 

And this leads to another issue, related to the covering up of the abortionists crimes: the cheapening of human life. The reduction of crime into media circus events - especially if it fits the prevailing political sentiment. Thus, rape and kidnap get the greenlight for a "show"; abortion is hush-hush.   

Take CNN. That station has outdone itself in what has quickly become a nearly 24/7 fetishistic indulgence in all the sickening details of Castro's crimes. Media helicopters hover incessantly over the neighbourhood, a well known "keeping them honest" journalist from CNN (now there is a misnomer, if ever I heard one!) rushes to the scene to conduct fatuous interviews. And so on. A crime scene has been turned into a "big top". These three, poor young women are in a sense being re-raped psychologically by this outrageous media activity. But what else should we expect from a media that denies human life? And what can  be said about a public that feeds this media frenzy? Media manipulation has indeed become a fine art. Fascism in white gloves... but that leads to another story. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Toronto area Catholics! - Solemn Latin Mass for May 9 - Ascension of the Lord

Tomorrow, May 9th, please join the Toronto Traditional Mass Society - Una Voce Toronto for a Solemn Latin Mass celebrating the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Mass will be at St. Issac Jogues, at 1166 Finch Ave, in Pickering at 8.p.m.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

RICHARD WAGNER: Bicentenary imminent

This May 22nd, 2013, will be 200 years to the day that the great genius, Richard Wagner - one of my favourite composers - was born. Wagner, as an eminent exponent of western civilization, deserves a place on any serious blog that seeks to explore cultural topics. 

Excellent for your edification is the concept :"The Ring without Words" - a nice and compact presentation of The Ring in just over an hour. 

More to follow on this remarkable man .... 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Root Causes of Terrorism

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God    Rom 3:23

Yep... there you have it. Not poverty, not demographics, not colonialism, not even ideology... sinners. We have been murderers from the beginning when Cain slew Abel. There is some foolish notion abroad that mankind is basically good and if only we gave people a chance, or the right environment, or the right upbringing then everything would be just fine. Some have even gone to the extent of trying to improve the human species by selective breeding or selective genocide all in the name of allowing mankind's innate goodness to shine forth. Well, take a look around you folks... mankind is seriously flawed. Not just those people over there... all of us... you and me included.

Terrorists are nothing more than a fairly extreme sort of sinner. If you can't hold people in thrall to greed or gluttony because because wealth and food are in short supply then wrath will do very nicely. Hatred is never in short supply. Just give people a glimpse of things they can't have, let them taste their own powerlessness and envy will eat away at their souls. Soon enough the corruption will spread and eventually you will have people ready to commit murder for you. Just point them in the right direction and turn them loose.

Of course the presence of wealth, food in abundance and a media full of temptations makes your job much easier. A fat, lazy, lustful sinner is not likely to commit murder for you but what does it matter? Not only is he in thrall to his own lusts and appetites, he provides an excellent object for envy and hatred. It really doesn't matter whether the hatred is motivated by one ideology or another...communist revolutionary groups, Islamic extremists, nationalist liberation movements,  or whatever the ideology du jour... it's all the same.  The hatred is the thing and the fear it inspires.

Sin is all pervasive, part of the world we live in and the air we breathe. It is an all consuming morass from which there is no escape without help. It does you no good to somehow convince yourself that your sins are somehow better than their sins. Besides, most of us have very little notion of the real damage the sin in our lives has caused anyway. This is one of those things I have never gotten. If you are sitting in a foetid swamp, what possible comfort is it to see folks sinking deeper in it than you?  Would it not be better to seek a way out of the mess? Fortunately we are offered a way out if we can stoop low enough to accept it. It isn't easy and there are even those in the church who cannot stoop low enough... but there is hope.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.    1John 1:5-10