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

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Let Paranoia Reign!

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.   Mat 10:16-20

What exactly do you do when you suspect someone is being false with you? What do you do when someone stoops to calling you names or slanders you? For that matter, what if you are being falsely accused of something? These are not theoretical considerations. I suspect there are any number of people for whom they are very real circumstances.

The question is an all encompassing one. How are we to conduct ourselves in the world? Should we adopt the mores and standards of the society around us or are we expected to do something different... to be something different. To what extent should we rely on the courts, tribunals and legislatures of this world for truth and justice? Much of this is beyond the scope of this simple blog so let us keep to one simple question. What do you do if you catch someone in a lie?

In the excerpt from Matthew, Jesus is telling his disciples to be both wise and innocent. Other translations use the words cunning and harmless or simple. The contrast between the two is particularly telling. A snake is quite cunning in perceiving and avoiding danger but it can be quite dangerous itself. If you step on a snake you may be bitten. A dove is another story. Anyone who has observed flocks of pigeons knows that they are harmless but they can be incredibly dumb. In combining these two images, Jesus is telling his disciples that he wants them to be wise in the ways of the world and aware of the evil around them. However he does not want his disciples to return evil in kind. Indeed, he counsels them to offer no resistance to the wicked. This is far more than is usually imagined for in order to turn the other cheek you must at least stand your ground.

What do you do if someone lies to you in order to get something? The answer is simple... give it to him if it does no harm... and then point out that the lie was not necessary. In doing so you may gain a brother.

No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink, for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." Rom 12:20

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Curial Cardinal to celebrate Traditional Latin Mass in St. Peter's Basilica

From Vatican Insider: 


“I gladly accepted to celebrate next Saturday’s mass for pilgrims who came to thank the Pope for the gift of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificumbecause it is a way to make others understand that it is normal to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite…” This was the answer Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, gave to Vatican Insider when asked about the meaning of next Saturday’s (3 November) mass which will be celebrated at 15:00 in St. Peter’s Basilica. This morning, the spokesman for the “Una cum Papa nostro” pilgrimage announced that Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, Vice President of Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will be present at the mass.

The full article may be read here.

All Souls Day Mass

A Solemn High Mass will be celebrated on All Souls Day, Fri. Nov. 2, 7:30pm at St. Lawrence the Martyr Church, 2210 Lawrence Ave. E. This mass is being sponsored by the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir. For more information call 416-731- 4485.

Lifted verbatim from my parish bulletin...
A brief phone call confirmed that it is in fact a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Una Voce Toronto: Upcoming Events

This coming Thursday, November 1st, 2012, Una Voce Toronto will be sponsoring a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Mass will be held at the lovely Loretto Abbey, in north Central Toronto. On Friday, November 2nd, Una Voce Toronto will sponsor a Solemn Requiem Mass at St. Issac Jogues, in Pickering. 

Only these past few days have the Synod Fathers spoken of the need to have holy, reverential liturgies. We should take their recommendations to heart and strive to attend this blessed event. Attending Mass and praying for our dearly departed is a most pious act. 

For further information please see the following links: 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

SSPX: Bishop Williamson's October 19th Open Letter to Bishop Fellay

Former SSPX Bishop, Richard Williamson has published an open letter to Bishop Fellay. In the letter, Williamson rejects his exclusion from the SSPX, laying open his criticisms of Fellay's leadership, ending with a suggestion that the latter himself resign. Below are a few highlights:

In other words, the leader of the Society founded in 1970 to resist the novelties of the Council, was proposing to reconcile it with the Council. Today the Society is conciliatory. Tomorrow it is to be fully Conciliar!... 

It is difficult to believe that Archbishop Lefebvre's foundation can have been led to bracket out the principles on which it was founded, but such is the seductive power of the fantasies of our godless world, modernist and liberal...

...The Society's Superior General, General Council and General Chapter may keep Archbishop Lefebvre on hand as a mascot, but that will not help if they all share in a new way of thinking that by-passes the crucial reasons for which he founded the Society. Therefore however good their intentions, they are leading the Society to its ruin by a betrayal parallel in all respects to that of Vatican II. But let us be just, let us not exaggerate. Since the beginning of this slow collapse of the Society, there have always been priests and laity who saw clear and did their best to resist....

...For indeed history repeats itself, and the Devil keeps coming back. Just as yesterday Vatican II wished to reconcile the Catholic Church with the modern world, so today one could say that Benedict XVI and the Society's Superior General both wish to reconcile Catholic Tradition and the Council; so again tomorrow, unless God intervenes between now and then, the leaders of the Catholic Resistance will be trying to reconcile it with Tradition henceforth Conciliar.


In brief, your Excellency ...had you remained faithful to the Archbishop's heritage, and had I myself been notably unfaithful, gladly I would recognize your right to exclude me. But things being as they are, I hope I shall not be lacking in the respect due to your office if I suggest that for the glory of God, for the salvation of souls, for the internal peace of the Society and for your own eternal salvation, you would do better yourself to resign as Superior General than to exclude myself.

The full letter may be read here

UPDATE: READ WILLIAMSON'S LATEST BLOG COMMENTARY

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Official SSPX Declaration: Bishop Williamson Expelled

Richard Williamson 
The SSPX news agency, DICI, officially confirmed the expulsion of Bishop Richard Williamson. As we posted earlier on the extreme probability of this event, it has, come true. It is a logical conclusion to an organization that, ultimately, has no authority. Bishop Fellay may now appreciate the situations that beheld Popes Paul and John Paul - the inclusion of a Lefebvre quotation being doubly ironic. 

The Official communique:


Bishop Richard Williamson, having distanced himself from the management and the government of the SSPX for several years, and refusing to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors, was declared excluded from the SSPX by decision of the Superior General and its Council, on October 4th, 2012. A final deadline had been granted to him to declare his submission, after which he announced the publication of an “open letter” asking the Superior General to resign.
This painful decision has become necessary by concern for the common good of the Society of Saint Pius X and its good government, according to what Archbishop Lefebvre denounced: “This is the destruction of authority. How authority can be exercised if it needs to ask all members to participate in the exercise of authority? “(Ecône, June 29, 1987)
Menzingen, October 24th, 2012

Sunday, 21 October 2012

St. Kateri Tekakwitha: Patroness of Canada

St. Kateri Tekakwitha! It has taken 332 years since her death (1680), but this extraordinary holy woman has finally been elevated to the altar. It is a refreshing canonization after a number of contemporary and highly organized (nay, even politically charged beatifications/canonizations) of an assortment of "holy old boys and girls" (e.g. Wojtila, Roncalli, Mother Theresa, Escriva et al). 

Today also saw the canonisation of the first Native American saint from North America. “Leading a simple life, Kateri remained faithful to her love for Jesus, to prayer, and to daily Mass. Her greatest wish was to know and to do what pleased God.” Speaking in French, Pope Benedict prayed, “Saint Kateri, Protrectress of Canada and first Native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of faith in the First Nations and in all of North America! May God bless the First Nations!”

The full text may be read here


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Pope Paul VI to be Beatified

Paul+VI.jpg
Pope Paul VI
Reports from Vatican Insider confirm that the cause for the beatification on Pope Paul VI (Montini) has been approved. Pope Paul, it should be recalled, issued Humanae Vitae in direct opposition to phenomenal pressure to square the circle, by the Church contradicting herself and "approving" the evil practice of artificial birth control. It may be no coincidence that many local churches spiritually collapsed following local disobedience on this critical moral issue. Being ashamed of Christ and his Vicar, Our Blessed Lord withdrew his graces and the results are there to see. When was the last time you heard from the pulpit a priest or bishop preach the intrinsic evil of contraception? The use of contraception is a clear sign of a debased and grotesquely paganized society. 

 Andrea Tornielli from Vatican Insider writes: 

Paul VI, or Giovanni Battista Montini, the Pope who reigned from 1963 to 1978 and led three of the four sessions of the Second Vatican Council, guiding the Church through the difficult post-conciliar period, could be proclaimed a saint in 2013. After examining the “Positio” with the documents of the canonical process, in recent weeks, theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted in favour of the former pope’s beatification, without raising any objections. Next 11 December cardinals and bishops of the Congregation will also vote. Having overcome the theologian hurdle, the final “yes” from cardinals looks highly likely.

The full article may be read here

Monday, 15 October 2012

Has Bishop Fellay expelled Richard Williamson from the SSPX?

Internet reports carry information that the expulsion of Richard Williamson from the SSPX is imminent. A french website, "Avec I'mmaculee" carries a report that Bishop Fellay sent the unhappy bishops a letter informing him that if he does not cease internet publishing etc. he will be expelled from the Society. 

If this report is true, it comes as no surprise. Williamson, in his most recent blog entries continues down a neo-protestant path that barely masks a bizarre from of crypto-sedevacantism. His increasingly open attacks on Bishop Fellay show that the tragic man has moved from no longer being a canonically dissident Catholic, but to a man who is aggressively embarking on a path of protestant revolt. In a sense, this was inevitable. Any group that breaks with Rome, sooner or later comes to no good. The SSPX harbored sedevacantists in their seminaries in the 70s and it led to not only a split, but to the sedevacantist virus remaining in various degrees in the SSPX. Witness Bishop Tissier de Mallarias' strange statement that Archbishop Lefebvre was the living embodiment of the Magisterium. Where does that leave the Pope? Where does that leave the Church? 

Bishop Fellay is now realizing more and more that without Peter nothing good can come from the SSPX. Sooner or later the SSPX will be sifted like wheat by satan. Indeed, the very true words by Fr. Niklaus Pflueger (quoted below) can also apply to the SSPX as a whole. 

From DICI




Kirchliche Umschau: One question remains. Why is it that Bishop Fellay seems to have done nothing against the smear campaign mounted against him these last few months over the Internet?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Patience, kindness, and generosity appear to many as weaknesses, but this is not so. Faced with repeated attacks and harassment over the Internet, we do not abandon our values and our principles. We deal with plotting and intrigues according to the laws of the Church. This may seem like procrastination which can be annoying to some, but it can’t be done any other way if we don’t want to betray our own ideals. I would like to make this clear: let no one imagine that he can criticize authority with impunity.
Kirchliche Umschau: What does this mean specifically?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Bishop Williamson has been given fair warning. This is a sad moment in the history of our Society. If he continues his Internet campaign against the Society and its Superior General, then his expulsion from the Society cannot be avoided. Besides his false ideas, he has plotted under cover. The veritable tragedy is the fact that for years he has not accepted the authority of the Superior General, but has assigned to himself a God-given mission. Before the General Chapter, he rallied priests and faithful to rebellion. For a Catholic bishop, this is very serious.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Pope Benedict on Vatican II and the real meaning of "aggiornomento"


The Holy Father, addressed a number of surviving Council fathers. as well as various bishops. In his address, the Pope focused on the truth of Vatican II. That is, the Council is to be interpreted within the whole of Christian tradition; the call for renewal by Popes John and Paul were for precisely that: renewal, not betrayal. 

The Pope, who himself participated in Vatican Council II as an expert, noted that "many memories come to mind, memories inscribed in each of our hearts, of the period of the Council which was so lively, so rich and so fruitful. However I do not wish to dwell upon this for too long, ... I would merely like to recall how a word launched by Blessed John XXIII, almost as if to establish a programme, resurfaced continually during the course of the conciliar sessions: the word 'aggiornamento'.




"Fifty years on from the opening of that solemn gathering of the Church", Benedict XVI added, "some people may ask themselves whether that term was perhaps, from the very beginning, not entirely appropriate. Choice of words is something that can be discussed for hours without reconciling contrasting opinions, for my part I am convinced that the intuition which Blessed John XXIII summarised in that word was and remains correct. Christianity must not be considered as 'something that has passed', nor must we live with our gaze always turned back, because Jesus Christ is yesterday today and forever. Christianity is marked by the presence of the eternal God, Who entered into time and is present in all times, because all times are brought forth of His creative power, of His eternal 'today'.


The full address may be read here

An excellent interview with Cardinal Wuerl on the Council, aggiornamento,  re-evangelization, secularization etc. can be heard here

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Vatican II: 50th Anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the solemn opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Mass to celebrate this event and the Year of Faith was also solemnly celebrated by Pope Benedict.

The Holy Father sermon on Faith and the Council provides a nexus for reading and understanding the "pastoral" Council:



Dear Brother Bishops, Dear brothers and sisters!




Today, fifty years from the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, we begin with great joy the Year of Faith. I am delighted to greet all of you, particularly His Holiness Bartholomaois I, Patriarch of Constantinople, and His Grace Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. A special greeting goes to the Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and to the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences. In order to evoke the Council, which some present had the grace to experience for themselves - and I greet them with particular affection - this celebration has been enriched by several special signs: the opening procession, intended to recall the memorable one of the Council Fathers when they entered this Basilica; the enthronement of a copy of the Book of the Gospels used at the Council; the consignment of the seven final Messages of the Council, and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I will do before the final blessing. These signs help us not only to remember, they also offer us the possibility of going beyond commemorating. They invite us to enter more deeply into the spiritual movement which characterized Vatican II, to make it ours and to develop it according to its true meaning. And its true meaning was and remains faith in Christ, the apostolic faith, animated by the inner desire to communicate Christ to individuals and all people, in the Church’s pilgrimage along the pathways of history. 

The full text may be read here
The Holy Father's reflection on the Council, published in L'Osservatore Romano may be read here

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Tale of Two Soldiers

Both Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger publicly stated their opposition to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. As late as March 16, 2003 Pope John Paul II reiterated his opposition to the war in his Angelus address.

That is why, in the face of the tremendous consequences that an international military operation would have for the population of Iraq and for the balance of the Middle East region, already sorely tried, and for the extremisms that could stem from it, I say to all:  There is still time to negotiate; there is still room for peace, it is never too late to come to an understanding and to continue discussions.

The war began two days later. In an April 2003 interview in 30 Days Cardinal Ratzinger expanded upon the pope's thoughts.

The Pope has very clearly expressed his thoughts, not only as the thoughts of an individual, but as the thoughts of a man of conscience occupying the highest functions in the Catholic Church. Of course, he has not imposed this position as a doctrine of the Church, but as the appeal of a conscience enlightened by the faith. This judgment of the Holy Father is convincing from a rational point of view also: reasons sufficient for unleashing a war against Iraq did not exist. First of all it was clear from the very beginning that proportion between the possible positive consequences and the sure negative effect of the conflict was not guaranteed. On the contrary, it seems clear that the negative consequences will be greater than anything positive that might be obtained. Without considering then that we must begin asking ourselves whether as things stand, with new weapons that cause destruction that goes well beyond the groups involved in the fight, it is still licit to allow that a “just war” might exist.

Kim Rivera is a US soldier who refused to return to Iraq, entering Canada in 2007. She has been outspoken in her opposition to the war. She and her family have been living in Parkdale awaiting the outcome of her refugee claim. She has just lost her last appeal, complying with a deportation order on September 20, 2012. Having surrendered herself at the border, she is being held at Fort Drum awaiting trial. She is the mother of four children, two of whom were born in Canada.


Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen born in Scarborough on September 19, 1986 of Egyptian Canadian parents. He spent much of his youth in Pakistan where his father was involved in various activities in support of the insurgents in Afghanistan. At the age of 15 he became involved in the war himself and was captured in a firefight on July 27, 2002. He has just returned to Canada to serve out the remainder of the sentence handed down in the plea bargain he agreed to at Guantanamo.

Why are we deporting a conscientious objector to the Iraq war and welcoming al-Qaeda sympathizers who would send their 15 year old child to fight in Afghanistan?