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

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Convenient Catholicism of Michael Coren

"Is there perhaps duplicity in me, like that of the one who sold our Lord for thirty pieces of silver, who was once called Jesus “friend”, and yet ended up by betraying him"? 
Pope Francis

Michael Coren has always been a controversial figure in Catholic circles. There are those of us who will be Catholic until the day we die, for whom there is little choice because it is part of who we are. It is the air we breathe and the lungs which breathe it. And then there is Michael Coren...

We remember a conversation with an old friend on the porch of a house while we waited for a discussion group to begin. She related some of Michael Coren's history and concluded by saying "I just don't trust the man." She was talking about an incident involving some remarks made by the late Cardinal Ambrozic which were subsequently quoted by Michael Coren.
What had left Ambrozic “scorched” and deeply suspicious about the press was a 1993 Toronto Life profile written by the controversialist journalist Michael Coren. In it, Coren quoted Ambrozic as using the words “frigging” and “bitch” and calling the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco “a conservative Roman Catholic and not a bad fellow.” The Church circled its wagons around Ambrozic and Coren was deluged with hate mail. Though a faithful Catholic who struggled with printing the remarks, Coren stuck to his guns, saying Ambrozic had been “vulgar” in their talks, and he rebuked his co-faithful for expecting him to “lie.”  Globe and Mail, Sept. 2,2011
No, we did not expect him to lie, but subsequent to this incident and the flurry of controversy surrounding it, he left the Church. This is the source of our own mistrust of Michael Coren. There are many of us, who, though we may be dissatisfied and hurt by some of the things we see happening in the Church, could not conceive of leaving Her. We are in full agreement with Anne Roche Muggeridge's comments in The Desolate City...
Catholicism is not just a religion: it is a country of the heart and of the mind. No matter how resolutely they turn their back on it, people born within it never quite shed their accents. And there are a great many who cannot emigrate, no matter how uninviting living conditions become. We may freeze within it; we would die outside it. "I belong to the race of people," wrote the great Catholic novelist Francois Mauriac, "who, born in Catholicism, realize in earliest manhood that they will never escape from it, never leave it. They were born within it, they are within it, and they will be within it for ever and ever". To this race I belong.
The Church's teachings on homosexual behavior can be a hard thing to hold.  It is especially hard if someone close to you, perhaps a family member or close friend, is affected by this behaviour. The knife edge of expressing love while acknowledging profound disagreement is uncomfortable at best. At worst, it cuts to the very heart of a person. It is easy to hold the Church's teachings on homosexuality if one never has to encounter it in the ones we love, if one never has to look into the face of someone struggling with it. This extraordinary balance between love and truth can only be resolved in the cross. We are not at all surprised that some fall on the side of demonizing and hatred (e.g. Fred Phelps), while others accommodate, hide the truth for fear of causing hurt (e.g. OECTA). The cross is a painful place to be, but it is the only place for someone who tries to be Christian. 

On April 22,2014, Coren broadcast on SUN TV a monologue entitled, "Catholic teachers to march in worldpride". Coren informed us that a Catholic group, Parents as First Educators (PAFE) had organized an online petition to request that OECTA reverse its decision to participate in the world gay pride parade that supports actions and positions that are intrinsically evil (c.f. Persona Humana, Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC]). OECTA, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, a strident union, has recently been denounced by Cardinal Collins as  un-Catholic.

Coren proceeded thus: with reference to PAFE president, Teresa Pierre, "she's also an old friend, I'm very fond of her.... but come on Theresa, I know you, I know this group, and while I really do admire your efforts and your activismya don't speak for that many people who really have much of an influence". 


 

Coren then showed a very brief, edited video snippet of Pierre. We were not told where, when or before whom this speech was given. However, a bit of research, by Ursula - dear friend of ours - revealed that it is nearly three years old. Of his "friend's" presentation, Coren stated: "I mean, with all due respect, that, that was hardly big time, that was a bit amateurish, wasn't it? You can hear the four or five people clapping in the background" Coren derisively applauded at this point. Watch the entire video; it is neither amateurish nor sparsely received. Coren then addressed the issue of OECTA and conceded that OECTA is un-Catholic. He lamented that his lectures on Catholic moral issues, were not attended by OECTA members. 

We have carefully read PAFE's position papers, and they are in accord with the Church's Magisterium. So why the condescending and insulting critique of PAFE? Coren asked: "Would you, Teresa, I mean, come on now; would you not oppose OECTA marching if everyone in the Parade was fully dressed? I think you would..." What's the point here? 

As a writer and seller of books on Catholicism, surely Coren is aware that a Catholic should oppose any action that promotes what is intrinsically unnatural (c.f. CCC, 2357-59). Perhaps Coren would do better if he answered his own question. However, it is a red herring. This is not about nudity or inappropriate behavior, - or even "same-sex marriage", but the advocacy of the homosexual lifestyle. 

Coren also claimed that the Church is not "enormously accepting" of homosexual persons:

"Safe and accepting schools legislation demands that gay children be; yes, safe and accepted. Yet the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual behavior is - and I'm quoting here - intrinsically disordered and a grave depravity; that's not really enormously accepting, is it? But, Catholics have a right to believe this, and to teach this; of course they do.  Just as gay people have the right to not hear it, and oppose it if they want to. So what are we going to do?  Now, if you want me to stand here and preach intolerance and triumphalism and pretend we all live in the 1950s, you've got the wrong person. You really have. We have to accommodate and we have to coexist..."

Coren's (apparent?) belief in the abolition of the separate Catholic system is not the issue. The issue is Coren's position on homosexuality and whether or not he adheres to the Catechism. As he himself has stated in a column for SUN media:"It’s all rather pertinent to me right now because in the past few months I have changed many of my views on gay issues". Again, as a man who writes and sells books on Catholicism, he should explain himself. What views, and why? 

That homosexual activity can never be approved is universal. 
"This question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society." (CDF). 
 "Homosexual orientation is an objective disorder and evokes moral concern"(CDF)
"True love will flow from a correct understanding of the truth of the human person". As such, "true love is the capacity to open oneself to one's neighbour in generosity, and in devotion to the other for the other's good". (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education).
Sexuality and love must always be seen within the truth of the human person.

Coren's bullying seems self-evident, but his positions on gay issues are - at best - extremely evasive and ambiguous. The CCC contains three concise, short paragraphs; it should be quite easy to to say either yes, or no. 

The CDF released a document in 2003 which provides a summary of Catholic teaching: 
Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.(4)
Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.(5) This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries(6) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.
Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.(7) They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity.(8) The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered”(9) and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity”.(10)

Now, consider the following from SUN columns: 

"I also argued most gay people do not choose their sexuality and we must appreciate the love and affection that exists between gay men and women." 

"No compromise on truth, but no compromise on love" 


"Just as a gay person has a right to be gay, a Christian has a right to oppose same-sex marriage".

"My position was that while I oppose gay marriage, I believe we must, in a pluralistic world, work out a co-existence of respect between people of goodwill around the issue of sexuality, based on tolerance, empathy and even affection".

"Sexuality and love are complex issues and we should also learn to evolve, understand, empathize and respect"

Coren also stated to Fox News that Catholics may be"faithful", who "don't accept church teaching on sexuality and life issues". 


We, at Toronto Catholic Witness, wish to unequivocally state that this blog completely supports and endorses PAFE. 

The Witness "Team"
Reference: Ryerson Review of Journalism, Cloak and Dagger, Spring 1994

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Pope Francis in the Holy Land: Watch the Pope live...

The Holy Father has touched down in Jordan. For live streaming, and the full schedule of events, please link here. 


May God grant this Papal Apostolic Journey, peace, and continued reconciliation between brothers. 










Friday, 23 May 2014

Henry VIII: history's most repugnant vandal in destroying Catholicism, destroyed England

More and more, the Catholic view of history is being admitted. The following article documents a resurgence in British historians studying the Reformation period in England. No surprise that it was a brutal, murderous, top-down imposition by the king and his lackeys; a monstrous rape of the Church, impoverishment of the people, enrichment by a few, and wholesale cultural destruction on a scale that would even cause the Taliban to blush. From the revolt of Henry to the end of Elizabeth's reign, a desperate campaign against Church and people was carried out by a ruthless, totalitarian State. In varying degrees, the State continued and continues to persecute the Church in England. 

From the Telegraph: 


The Tate recently estimated that over 90 per cent of all English art was trashed in the period, and scarcely a handful of books survived the burning of the great monastic and university libraries. Oxford’s vast Bodleian, for instance, was left without a single book.
Anyone who doubts there was a political aspect to the destruction needs look no further than the shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury. It was England’s most popular pilgrimage destination, and Becket’s cult had international reach, with mosaics, icons, and relics of him venerated as far afield as Sicily and the Holy Land. Henry ordered his tomb pulverised, his bones scattered, and his name effaced from history. The reason for this special harshness is not hard to see. Becket’s claim to fame was as a churchman who stood up to royal interference in the Church. Becket was therefore a natural rallying symbol for anyone thinking of challenging Henry’s reforms. Becket represented the sanctity of dissent, and Henry could absolutely not have that.
In the process of all the destruction, it was not just traditional day-to-day spiritual life, the free medical and social care provided by the monasteries, and a country full of creative thought and art that were obliterated. The reformers hacked out and discarded an entire slice of England’s history, alienating the English from an especially vibrant part of their own amazing past.
So Khrushchev was right — historians are dangerous. In the case of the Reformation, generations have perpetuated the artful story spun by the Tudor machine, with the result that we fail to acknowledge that medieval religion in this country was, for a thousand years, as English as tea, warm beer, Maypole dancing, and cricket. As has been said many times: within three generations, England went from being one of Europe’s most Catholic countries to one of its most anti-Catholic.

To read more

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Pope Paul VI: Two months before he died he expressed grave concerns about abuse of the Mass


In an address to a group of American bishops on their ad limina visit, on the 15th June, 1978, Pope Paul VI expressed the following reflections of the utmost severity: words of a false understanding of the Real Presence, words of a corruption of the nature of the Mass, to such a degree that it was in danger (in many parts already was) no longer "theocentric". When Mass becomes "anthropocentric" we are entering upon the mystery of iniquity. 


A few months before the promulgation of the Council’s Decree on the Priestly Ministry and Life, we ourself reiterated the Church’s doctrine on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, stating that “it is presence in the fullest sense: because it is a substantial presence by which the whole and complete Christ, God and man, is present” (PAULI PP. VI Mysterium Fidei, 39). We went on to state that the Catholic Church “has at all times given to this great Sacrament the worship which is known as latria and which may be given to God alone” (Ibid. 55). And we are convinced today that an ever greater emphasis on this teaching will be a source of strength to all the pilgrim people of God. For this reason we encourage you and all your priests to preach frequently this rich doctrine of Christ’s presence: the Eucharist, in the Mass and outside of the Mass, contains the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and is therefore deserving of the worship that is given to the living God, and to him alone.

Another clear enunciation of the importance of the Eucharist is contained in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, in which participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice is called “the source and summit of the whole Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, 11). The Eucharistic Sacrifice is itself the apex of the Church’s liturgy, the entirety of which is the festive expression of salvation, and has as its primary role the glory of the Lord (Cfr. PAULI PP. VI Allocutio habita ad Helvetiae sacros Praesules, occasione visitationis «Ad limina» coram admissos: AAS 70 (1978) 104). In the words of the Council: “the Sacred Liturgy is above all the worship of the divine majesty” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 33). What a great service to the people of God: week after week, year after year to make them ever more conscious of the fact that they can draw unlimited strength from the Eucharist to collaborate actively in the mission of the Church. It is the summit of their Christian lives, not in the sense that their other activities are not important, but in the sense that, for their full effectiveness, these activities must be united with Christ’s salvific action and be associated with his redemptive Sacrifice.

The Vatican Council assures us that the Eucharist is likewise “the source and summit of all evangelization” (Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5). The very identity of the Church, in her evangelizing mission, is effected by the Eucharist, which be comes the goal of all our activities. All the pastoral endeavors of our ministry are incomplete until the people that we are called to serve are led to full and active participation in the Eucharist. Every initiative we undertake in the name of God and as ministers of the Gospel must find fulfillment in the Eucharist.

A year ago, at the canonization of John Neumann, we cited the importance that the Eucharist held for him as a Bishop of the Catholic Church, precisely in the context of evangelization. And the example we gave was the importance he attributed to the Forty Hours’ Devotion. Venerable Brothers, we do not hesitate today to propose to you and all your faithful the great practice of Eucharistic adoration. At the same time we ask you and your priests to do all in your power so that the reverence due to the Eucharist will be understood by all the faithful, that Eucharistic celebrations everywhere will be characterized by dignity, and that all God’s children will approach their Father through Jesus Christ, in a spirit of profound filial reverence. In this regard, we recall the words we spoke last year to a group of Bishops on their ad limina visit: “The Catholic liturgy must remain theocentric” (AAS 69 (1977) 474).

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Pope Paul VI to the American bishops in 1977: "proclaim the message, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it...refute error..."

With Pope Paul VI's upcoming beatification, it may well be of profit to us to re-read many of his teachings (usually ignored). Paul VI's address to the American bishops on the occasion of the canonization of St. John Neumann is even more salient than ever. A key passage on the need for bishops to preach the Gospel without the slightest compromise is the following:

The word of God is the message that we proclaim; it is the criterion of our preaching; it is light and direction for the lives of our people. We have no hope outside of God’s word. Apart from it, there are no valid solutions to the problems of our day. The faithful preaching of God’s word-in all its purity, with all its exigencies, in all its power-constitutes the highest priority of our ministry, because all else depends on this. Aware of its relevance in our day, we do not hesitate to repeat the solemn charge Paul made to Timothy with apostolic seriousness and with great simplicity and confidence: “Before God and before Christ Jesus . . . I put this duty to you . . . . proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience-but do all with patience and with the intention of teaching” (2 Tim. 4, 1-2). And with a realistic awareness of certain challenges today to Catholic teaching, not least of which is in the field of sexual morality, we add: “Far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and them, instead of listening to the truth they will turn to myths. Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials; make the preaching of the Good News your life’s work, in thoroughgoing service” (2Tim. 4, 3-5).


Brethren, these words are a whole program of apostolic charity. They are the expression of love, and when followed, they constitute a great pastoral service to our people. They were an inspiration to John Neumann; they were a holy challenge to every Bishop who ever lived. They represent fidelity to Jesus Christ, and to all his words, which are indeed “spirit and life” (Io. 6, 63). The most profound pastoral understanding, the deepest human compassion exist only in fidelity to God’s word. There is no division, no dichotomy, no opposition between God’s commands and our pastoral service. If all the exigencies of the Christian message are not preached, our apostolic charity is incomplete.

At it again: Fr Thomas Rosica distorts Benedict XVI's legacy; twists Francis' words in address to University of St. Thomas, Texas

When the Holy See Press Office is doing a bad job: watch out! In this, there may be several options: incompetence, malfeasance or some combination. You be the judge - as, you guessed it:  who am I to judge. 

Fr. Thomas Rosica - infamous for lauding the ex-priest Gregory Baum with the words:"you have been for me, and continue to be a great model of hope" - continues his deconstruction of the recent papacies, and the present papacy according to his personal whims. He is no longer - perhaps has never been - a true "spokesman", but more an editorialist, an opinionist. 

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
So it is was with his strange attack on the papacy of Pope Benedict (An Inside look into the Papal Transition) a few months ago, where Rosica spoke of a mysterious (never identified) group of conspirators in the Vatican who had manipulated the Benedictine papacy to such a degree, that Benedict, according to Rosica, was even being forced to wear pre-conciliar vestments, rather than the post-conciliar designs favoured by fashionista clergy in the Catholic "establishment". 

Consider these words from that bizarre address given at Windsor, Ontario: 

One of the things I felt very badly about (and I loved Pope Benedict), is the way that they dressed him up in these past years, and put vestments and things on him. And looking at some of the pictures; saying: this is not Pope Benedict. This is not this great theologian...

Though in 2008, Rosica was not averse to wearing a pre-conciliar cope when it suited him: or did "they" force him to? This time, possibly stung by the criticism he rightly received, Rosica trotted out a more subtle attack on the papacy of Pope Benedict. Rosica pushed the envelope, but more delicately, but it is all here. e.,g. wrongly labelled "conservative" he was.... yes, you guessed it, "progressive". 

By his bold and courageous decision to resign from his Petrine Ministry, Benedict told us that we must be painfully honest with the human condition, that we cannot be enchained by history. A man who had been the champion of tradition and labeled "conservative" left us with one of the most progressive gestures made by any pope.

Having disposed of Joseph Ratzinger, or rather re-fashioned him - and by extension those who incline toward Tradition - Rosica proceeded to enlighten us about Jorge Bergoglio:

Francis rejects the reduction of Catholicism to hot-topic moral issues. He does not want to reduce the church to discussions of abortion, gay marriage, contraception and homosexuality. In his comments, he makes a distinction between dogmatic and moral teachings, reminding us that they do not hold the same weight. With Pope Francis, the church must re-enter public discourse with a full-throated defense of the common good that rises above bitter partisan divisions.


We're read all this before. It was culled from an article published in the Windsor Star, dated December 26th, 2013: 

Pope Francis rejects an elitist church. He also rejects the reduction of Catholicism to hot-topic moral issues. He does not want to reduce the church to discussions of abortion, gay marriage, contraception and homosexuality. In his comments, he makes a distinction between dogmatic and moral teachings, reminding us that they do not hold the same weight. With Pope Francis, the church must re-enter public discourse with a full-throated defense of the common good that rises above bitter partisan divisions.

Rehashed nonsense. Are we to believe that abortion, "gay marriage", contraception and homosexuality are now to be dismissed as "bitter partisan issues"? Given the moral climate of society, indeed some moral stances of the Church may evoke strong partisan reactions from the advocates of immorality; does that mean the Church is to cease, or mute Her voice? There have been many "bitter partisan divisions" in history - Christ himself warned of creating division - slavery in ancient and modern times, apartheid, segregation in America, the gassing of Jews, etc. 


Moral teachings are derived from dogma, or they collapse. Consider - as an example - the authority of the Magisterium on the issue of contraception. 

The Venerable Pope Paul VI - soon to be beatified - wrote in Humanae Vitae


No believer will wish to deny that the teaching authority of the Church is competent to interpret even the natural moral law. It is, in fact, indisputable, as our predecessors have many times declared, that Jesus Christ, when communicating to Peter and to the Apostles His divine authority and sending them to teach all nations His commandments, constituted them as guardians and authentic interpreters of all the moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel, but also of the natural law, which is also an expression of the will of God, the faithful fulfillment of which is equally necessary for salvation.


The Pope laid out the dogmatic justification for the Church's opposition to the intrinsic evil of contraception (which applies equally to the other grave sins listed by Rosica). But no matter; a shift in pastoral practice will de facto change doctrine, without officially changing it. 

And so it goes. Is it any wonder that the English language press assistant to the Holy See utterly failed to note and inform Catholics of the very strong pro-life words of the Pope's address to the Bishops of South Africa not a month ago, and brought to your attention by this blog? Is it any wonder that Salt and Light Media Foundation failed miserably and did not cover the National March for Life in Ottawa recently; that act of the new evangelization went to EWTN, an American network. Meanwhile, Canada's so-called Catholic voice of hope remained silent? 


Rosica also did not fail to twist Pope Francis with a distorted interpretation of the "who am I to judge" comment. He conveniently failed to mention to the students that the Pope was referring to a priest known to have committed the grave sin of homosexual activity; Rosica failed to mention the Pope's detailed preface on sin, sacramental confession etc. But why bother: we don't want to engage in "bitter partisan issues".


We are getting a false view of the Papacy of Pope Francis, because the Pope's vision seemingly does not coincide with the narrative of far too many careerists in the Church. Rosica even endorsed via a tweet a shameful article from the New York Times that tried to pit Francis against Benedict. Sadly, until these men go, we can expect no change. 

One final thought: Rosica also spoke of participating in Pope Francis' "revolution of mercy and tenderness. One can only wonder if this "revolution" will be extended to the Fountain of Life and Love; or, will the Salt and Light lawsuit continue against this wonderful Catholic apostolate? 


Recommended reading: The full transcript of the Papal inflight press conference 
                                     ("who am I to judge")
                                     Paul VI: Humanae Vitae 

Friday, 16 May 2014

America Magazine interview with Cardinal Kasper

Fr. Matt Malone S.J., in an interview with Walter Cardinal Kasper, has reduced the doctrine of refusing Holy Communion to the divorced and "remarried" as a "discipline". 


Contrast this to Pope John Paul II's Familiaris consortio: 

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.

Pope Francis on Pope Benedict XVI: "He is a great man"

The Holy See press office is not doing a very good job at getting the "real" Pope Francis out. In fact, the more I read the writings of the Pope, the lower my estimation of these people becomes. How many know about the Pope's views on his "sainted predecessor"? (these very words used by Pope Francis in reference to Benedict a few days ago). 

The following was what Francis said of Benedict on the flight back to Italy: 



There is one thing that describes my relationship with Benedict: I have such great affection for him. I have always loved him. For me he is a man of God, a humble man, a man of prayer. I was so happy when he was elected Pope. Also, when he resigned, for me it was an example of greatness. A great man. Only a great man does this! A man of God and a man of prayer. 

Now he is living in the Vatican, and there are those who tell me: “How can this be? Two Popes in the Vatican! Doesn’t he get in your way? Isn’t he plotting against you?” All these sorts of things, no? I have found a good answer for this: “It’s like having your grandfather in the house”, a wise grandfather. When families have a grandfather at home, he is venerated, he is loved, he is listened to. 

Pope Benedict is a man of great prudence. He doesn’t interfere! I have often told him so: “Holiness, receive guests, lead your own life, come along with us”. He did come for the unveiling and blessing of the statue of Saint Michael. So, that phrase says it all. For me it’s like having a grandfather at home: my own father. If I have a difficulty, or something I don’t understand, I can call him on the phone: “Tell me, can I do this?” When I went to talk with him about that big problem, Vatileaks, he told me everything with great simplicity … to be helpful. 

There is something I don’t know whether you are aware of – I believe you are, but I’m not certain – when he spoke to us in his farewell address, on 28 February, he said: “In your midst is the next Pope: I promise him obedience”. He is a great man; this is a great man!

Press Conference July 28, 2013

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Why Justin Trudeau is a fascist

We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?"
Joseph Stalin 

Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau is certainly not an eminent thinker; indeed, he has probably never read any Mussolini or Stalin. He may look uncannily similar to the Soviet dictator, but certainly does not possess the  intelligence of the crafty, murderous tyrant. 

However, the Liberal party leader, in his words and deeds, reflects pure fascism. His latest pronouncement on abortion; the supremacy of his perspective of morality over subjective truth, and the conscience of the individual person, stamp him as a fascist. Consider these words of Mussolini:


A youthful Stalin
Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity. It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual. And if liberty is to he the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State. The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State - a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values - interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people . . .

The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative. Individuals and groups are admissible in so far as they come within the State. Instead of directing the game and guiding the material and moral progress of the community, the liberal State restricts its activities to recording results. The Fascist State is wide awake and has a will of its own.. . . 

...liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government. The Fascist State is, however, a unique and original creation...


Now, consider these words of Pope Francis: 


“The phenomenon of uniform thought” has caused “misfortune throughout human history”, the Pope said. “Over the course of the last century we all saw how the dictatorship of uniform thought ended up killing many, many people”. Those who were responsible for such atrocities were of the mind: “it is impossible to think otherwise, one has to think like this!”

“Today too,” the Pope said, “uniform thought has been made into an idol. Today one has to think in a certain way, and if you don’t think in this way you aren’t modern, you aren’t open”. Or worse, he said, many times “when some governments ask for financial help, we here them respond: ‘if you want this help you have to think this way and you have to enact this law and that, and that other’”.

Therefore “today, too, a dictatorship of uniform thought exists and this dictatorship is the same” as the one established by the people described in today’s Gospel. The way of acting is the same. There are those today who “take up rocks to stone the freedom of nations, the freedom of the people, freedom of conscience, the people’s relationship with God. And today Jesus is crucified once again”.


Unless you are pro choice you cannot be a Liberal. Unless you are pro life you cannot be a Catholic. This seems quite reasonable until you realize that the Liberals would like to wield the coercive power of the state to enforce their views. As Stalin said, "Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?" and again, "The Pope! How many divisions has he got?"

Pope Francis: abortion devalues "God's gift of sexuality and the right to life of the unborn"...indissolubility of marriage must be "deepened by clear doctrine"


On April 25th Pope Francis spoke these words to the bishops of South Africa. This address was not easy to find; this searching reflects the "superb" job being undertaken by the  Media office of the Holy See in countering the lies and falsehoods being spread by dissidents and - no suprise here - the secular media. We expect such poverty of communication and disinformation from the latter, but the former? Fr. Lombardi and co. you can do much, much better... 

Pope Francis: 

You have spoken to me of some of the serious pastoral challenges facing your communities. Catholic families have fewer children, with repercussions on the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Some Catholics turn away from the Church to other groups who seem to promise something better. Abortion compounds the grief of many women who now carry with them deep physical and spiritual wounds after succumbing to the pressures of a secular culture which devalues God’s gift of sexuality and the right to life of the unborn. In addition, the rate of separation and divorce is high, even in many Christian families, and children frequently do not grow up in a stable home environment. We also observe with great concern, and can only deplore, an increase in violence against women and children. All these realities threaten the sanctity of marriage, the stability of life in the home and consequently the life of society as a whole. In this sea of difficulties, we bishops and priests mustgive a consistent witness to the moral teaching of the Gospel. I am confident that you will not weaken in your resolve to teach the truth “in season and out of season” (2Tim 4:2), sustained by prayer and discernment, and always with great compassion.

Together with priests, religious and lay catechists have played and continue to play a vital role in the growth of your communities. It is essential that they receive your encouragement and support, especially through the development of programmes of ongoing formation grounded firmly in the inspired word of God, and introducing children and adults to the life of prayer and the fruitful reception of the sacraments. The sacrament of reconciliation, in particular, must be rediscovered as a fundamental dimension of the life of grace. The holiness and indissolubility of Christian matrimony, often disintegrating under tremendous pressure from the secular world, must be deepened by clear doctrine and supported by the witness of committed married couples. Christian matrimony is a lifelong covenant of love between one man and one woman; it entails real sacrifices in order to turn away from illusory notions of sexual freedom and in order to foster conjugal fidelity. Your programmes of preparation for the sacrament of matrimony, enriched by Pope John Paul’s teaching on marriage and the family, are proving to be promising and indeed indispensable means of communicating the liberating truth about Christian marriage and are inspiring young people with new hope for themselves and for their future as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers.

I have also noted the concern which you expressed about the breakdown of Christian morals, including a growing temptation to collude with dishonesty. ...

The full text may be read here. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Cardinal Collins contra Justin Trudeau: An open letter by the Archbishop of Toronto on abortion


The following is the full text of an open letter by His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins to Justin Trudeau, Leader of the federal Liberal Party of Canada. 
God bless Cardinal Collins. PLease pray and support him.

-------------------------------------

Mr. Justin Trudeau, MP 
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada 
House of Commons, Ottawa 

May 14, 2014 

Dear Mr. Trudeau,
I am deeply concerned about your decision that citizens who, in conscience, seek to assure the protection of the most vulnerable among us are not acceptable as candidates in your party.
Just last week Pope Francis sent a message of support for thousands of your fellow citizens who gathered on Parliament Hill to peacefully affirm the right to life, and the need to protect the vulnerable. He assured them of his spiritual closeness “as they give witness to the God-given dignity, beauty and value of human life.” It is worth noting that if Pope Francis, as a young man, instead of seeking to serve in the priesthood in Argentina, had moved to Canada and sought to serve in the noble vocation of politics, he would have been ineligible to be a candidate for your party, if your policy were in effect.
Among the two million Catholics of my archdiocese, there are members of all political parties, including your own. I encourage all of them, of whatever party, to serve the community not only by voting but by active engagement in political life as candidates. It is not right that they be excluded by any party for being faithful to their conscience.
Political leaders surely have the right to insist on party unity and discipline in political matters which are within the legitimate scope of their authority. But that political authority is not limitless: it does not extend to matters of conscience and religious faith. It does not govern all aspects of life.
The patron saint of politicians is St. Thomas More. He came into conflict with the political authority of his day on a matter of conscience. The king claimed control over his conscience, but Thomas was “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” Political leaders in our day should not exclude such people of integrity, no matter how challenging they find their views.
I urge you to reconsider your position.

Sincerely yours, 

Thomas Cardinal Collins 
Archbishop of Toronto

Carlo Buzzi: Cardinal Kasper would cause "serious harm"

In a letter to Sandro Magister, Carlo Buzzi writes the following reflections on Holy Communion for the "remarried". 





"MY TAKE" ON COMMUNION FOR THE REMARRIED

by Carlo Buzziby Carlo Buzzi

Dear Sandro,Here in Bangladesh we teach the catechism and to be clear we say that every sacrament has four elements: the minister, the matter, the formula, the miraculous event.

In baptism the minister is any person, the matter is water, the formula is “I baptize you. . ." and the miraculous event is that one becomes a child of God. In confirmation the minister is the bishop, the matter is oil, the formula is “Be sealed with the gift. . ." and the miraculous event is that one receives the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Eucharist the minister is the priest, the matter is bread and wine, the formula is “This is my body. . ." and the miraculous event is that bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus.

In marriage the ministers are the spouses themselves, the matter is their bodies and souls, the formula is the promise and the miraculous event is that they become as one person.We teach that the sacrament is called this because it produces a supernatural event that cannot be seen with our eyes but is grandiose and real in the eyes of God.

With regard to marriage, we explain precisely that the miraculous thing is that after the promise before God the two spouses become united in one person as if they had been put together with superglue or fused at a thousand degrees.

Now, if this miraculous reality is taken away from Catholic marriage, what should we put in its place?



More...

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Israelis Protest at the Church of the Apostles

100 Israelis Protest Vatican Role at Holy Site

About 100 Israelis protested Monday against the government at a Jerusalem religious site they fear will be handed over to Vatican control when the pope visits in a few weeks.
Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the demonstration ended peacefully.
The site is believed by Christians to be the place of the Last Supper, where Jesus dined with his disciples before he was arrested by the Romans.
The room is above the traditional site of the tomb of the biblical Jewish King David.
Currently prayers are held in the Holy Supper room twice a year.
The Vatican has petitioned Israel for more Christian access to the place for years. Officials on both sides say they are close to an agreement to allow daily prayers there.
What we are talking about here is the Cenacle, otherwise known as the Church of the Apostles. It was in use as a church right up until the fall of Jerusalem. It was a borrowed room when Jesus used it to celebrate the Passover with his disciples. Jesus did not think it necessary to own the room and I see no reason why we should either. It is entirely fitting and appropriate that it remains a borrowed room but it really would be nice to celebrate mass there on a regular basis. I somehow think that the spectacle of people fighting over the room would be a disappointment to our Lord.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Tony Hancock: 90th anniversary of the birth of a genius

On May 12th, 1924, Anthony Hancock was born: arguably the most talented post-war English comedian. Enjoy!!!


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Pope Paul VI to be beatified on October 19th, 2014


Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has approved the promulgation of the decree for the cause of beatification of his predecessor Pope Paul VI. The approval was announced Saturday.

The beatification ceremony is scheduled to take place October 19, 2014, at the conclusion of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family.
The Holy Father received Cardinal Angelo Amato SDB, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Friday afternoon, and authorized the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees :
- The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) , the Supreme Pontiff; born September 26, 1897 in Concesio (Italy) and died August 6, 1978 at Castel Gandolfo (Italy).