A corporal work of mercy.

A corporal work of mercy.
Click on photo for this corporal work of mercy!

Monday 21 December 2009

Christmas Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite -- Toronto and area

St. Theresa Shrine Church
2559 Kingston Road
Toronto (Scarborough), Ontario
Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
First Mass of Christmas
Missa Dominus Dixit Ad Me
12:00 Midnight
Missa Canata
Third Mass of the Day
Missa Puer Natus est Nobis
1:00 PM
Missa Cantata

Oratory Church of St. Vincent de Paul
263 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Oratory of St. Philip Neri
First Mass of Christmas
Missa Dominus Dixit Ad Me
12:00 Midnight
Missa Solemnis
Third Mass of Christmas
Missa Puer Natus est Nobis
11:30 AM
Missa Cantata

St. Joseph's Catholic Church
460 George Street West
Fergus, Ontario
Father Ian Duffy, Pastor
Third Mass of Christmas
Missa Puer Natus Est Nobis
11:00 AM
Missa Cantata

Our Lady of the Angels Oratory
75 Rolls Avenue
St. Catherine's Ontario
Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
First Mass of Christmas
Missa Dominus Dixit Ad Me
12:00 Midnight
Missa Cantata
Second Mass at 8:00 AM;
Third Mass at 9:30 AM
Missa Lecta (Low Mass)
St. Patrick's, Kinkora
4597 Perth Road 145
Sebringville, Ontario
Father Paul Nicholson, Pastor
12:00 Midnight
Missa Cantata

Not the Hindus usual "Ganesh"

"Thou shalt have no false gods before Me" says the LORD.

From the web page of the Archdiocese of Columbo

In July 2008 a severe persecution of Christians broke out in the Indian state of Orissa. A 22 year old nun was burnt to death when angry mobs burnt down an orphanage in Khuntpali village in Barhgarh district, another nun was gang raped in Kandhamal, mobs attacked churches, torched vehicles, houses of Christians destroyed, and Fr. Thomas Chellen, director of the pastoral center that was destroyed with a bomb, had a narrow escape after a Hindu mob nearly set him on fire. The end result saw more than 500 Christians murdered, and thousands of others injured and homeless after their houses were reduced to ashes. Recently a strange and dramatic event took place in Orissa, which has many people talking and wondering.

In recent months, herds of wild elephants have begun to storm villages that are home to some of the worst persecutors of Christians during the troubles. In one village, where in August a year ago the Christians had to run for their lives while their homes were being destroyed by rioters, a herd of elephants emerged from the surrounding jungle exactly one year later, in July 2009, at the same time of the day of the attack.

These elephants first attacked a rock crusher machine owned by a key leader of the persecution movement. They then went on to destroy his house and farms.

Hundreds of villagers have been forced to take shelter in camps in the Indian state of Orissa after repeated attacks by a herd of elephants.

Seven people have been killed and several others injured in attacks by a herd of 12-13 elephants over the past few weeks in Kandhamal district.

Over 2,500 people living in 45 villages have been affected by the attacks, district chief Krishen Kumar said.

It is, however, unclear why this herd of elephants migrated from the Lakheri sanctuary in a neighbouring district. He said the herd had travelled some 300km into Kandhamal, and even entered a town in the district. Wildlife officials were camping at the site of the attacks and trying to find out why the elephants had come out of their sanctuary. The villagers say elephants attack their areas in herds, causing heavy destruction.

Gaining momentum, they rampaged through other non-Christian homes, demolishing gardens and singling out the home of persecutors, leaving Christian homes untouched.

These strange attacks have spread, and according to a report, the elephants have already destroyed more than 700 houses in 30 villages, and killed five people. Nobody in this area has seen or even imagined the unique appearance of a herd of wild elephants such as this. The elephants are not ordinary elephants; they appear to be on a mission.

Typically, smaller elephants enter a village first, appearing to survey the community. They then rejoin the larger herd, and larger elephant soon follow and get the job done.

The ministry partner in India stated “We think that it might have something to do with the avenging the blood of martyrs. In fact the fear of God has fallen on the local people, who have labeled these elephants “Christian elephants.”

With little help coming from the administration, the villagers have taken to road blockades. "The elephants have destroyed crops and selected houses. But officials too express helplessness. "There is no permanent habitat of elephants in Sundargarh. They come from Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where their habitats have shrunk. But is not clear how and why these elephants reached Orissa.

Friday 18 December 2009

His DisGrace, Raymond Lahey

Dear Your Disgrace,

Please do us all a favour and, if you are guilty, plead guilty and go away to a monastery and live a life of prayer and penance for the damage that you have done to the children and the church. No plea bargain, no excuses, pay your debt to Ceasar and be done with it. Apologise to the LORD and to the Catholics of Canada and we'll look after you in your retirement. But don't scandalise the Church anymore.

And don't even get me started on your destruction of liturgy in Canada and CBW III under your responsibility.

Shame on you Raymond Lahey for all the above.


Vox Cantoris

Bishop Child Pornography Case Delayed

Daniel Proussalidis
December 16, 2009

There's a new date for the resumption of the case of a Roman Catholic bishop facing child pornography charges.

A lawyer for Raymond Lahey has requested more time to prepare his case.

So the next court appearances has been pushed to January 13th.

The 69-year-old Lahey was charged in September with possessing and importing child pornography. He's been out on bail and living in Ottawa since October 1st.


Thursday 17 December 2009

The Restoration of Catholic Quebec

Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement has a post up about the second parish in Quebec to be provided to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

The church is Saint-Zéphirin-de-Stadacona and the first Mass will be on New Years Day.

God bless the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

Now that's two in Quebec and two in Ontario...wait, Ontario needs to be ahead in this...

Monday 14 December 2009

Diane Francis -- YOU have a lot to answer for!

I will not link to the last week's column by Diane Francis in the National Post-Financial Post; I'm sure that you heard. In it, Ms Francis a Jewess and socialist who should certainly know better given the suffering of her ancestors at the hands of National Socialist, demands that the world adopt a "one-child policy" similar to that communist China.

Last Friday on FOX News' O'Reilly Factor, Francis was interviewed by Laura Ingraham.

Francis made the following statement:

"What happens with the Catholic Church under this utopian vision of either people having no children or just one child?" asked Ingraham.

"Well the Catholic Church I think has a lot ... to answer for in terms of encouraging people to have children they can't afford," Francis responded.

No, Ms Francis, you are wrong. YOU have a lot to answer for.

And one more thing.

Keep your hands off my religion!



I'd love to see Conrad Black take her on!

Saturday 12 December 2009

For your edification and sanctification

"The dispensing of Christ's Body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because, as was said above, he consecrates in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His Body at the Supper, so also He gave it to others to be partaken of by them. Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ's Body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people, hence as it belongs to him to offer the people's gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver the consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated, hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it, except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency."
Thomas Aquinas, Saint and Doctor of the Church ST, III, Q. 82, Art. 13.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider visited Estonia December 10, 2009, for the publication of his book Dominus est in Estonian. After the presentation, Bishop Schneider celebrated a Missa Cantata in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

In the book presentation the Bishop explained how the present form of hand communion has nothing to do with the practise of hand communion in the early centuries. The new way was adapted by some liberal priests in Holland directly from the Calvinists in 1965.

The Bishop ultimately decided to write a book defending the traditional way of receiving Holy Communion, and when the work was finished he gave a manuscript to the Holy Father. The Pope wrote back to the Bishop praising the work and his accuracy of knowledge of the patristics.

Bishop Schneider told he had also asked the Pope to stop distributing Communion in the hand in Papal Masses, and even if the Pope's answer was supportive it was not certain that it would happen. But since only a few months later, all communicants have been asked to receive Holy Communion from the Pope only kneeling and on the tongue. A true miracle, says Bishop Schneider.
Reprinted from the source blog Summorum—Rippumaton Blogi Katolisesta Liturgiasta with their translation from the original Estonian.

"What does it mean to receive communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What does it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass? It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, his goodness, and his mercy. That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way; it is not the same to receive communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants.
Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE SACRAMENTSOriginal Spanish source
From the Hermeneutic of Continuity
[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.
From INSTRUCTION REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM: On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist - CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENT.
161. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely.


St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto circa 1930

This is a magnificent photo of St. Michael's Cathedral from some time in the 1920's or early 1930's. This can be verified by the painting on the ceiling over the sanctuary as they are simple murals. The current scenes from the Life of Christ restored just a few years ago were originally painted in the late 1930's. The original cathedral ceiling was painted blue with gold stars and was uniform from front to back without the change in profile over the sanctuary and the clerestory windows were not part of the original design. If you click on the picture it will enlarge substantially. Take particular note of the rather unique almost spider like light fixtures.

Of course the most over-whelming feature is the original High Altar with its Gothic reredos and cappa magna which would have obscured the glorious east window made in France in the 1850's under the generosity of Toronto's Bishop Armond-Francois-Marie de Charbonnel. The reredos with its Gothic spires was removed some time in the 1950's with a lower profile so that the window was no longer obscured. The cappa magna was then used at the cathedra which was changed from what you see in this photo and now is intact over the tabernacle on the south side of the sanctuary, the tabernacle today being still the one in this photograph. Some of the other Gothic elements were used in Our Lady's Chapel in the centre of the most unsuitable mural there by Vaclav Vaca from the 1980's, an "amazing artist of visionary fantasies." He may be, but it is totally out of character with the Gothic beauty of St. Michael's.

A former Rector, Monsignor Kenneth Robitaille did much to improve the situation after the disaster of the 1960's. The brutalist concrete slab altar and baptismal font of the 1960's were replaced with the current marble altar, pulpit, baptistery, Blessed Sacrament Altar of Repose and Sanctuary Lamp were all done under his watch as well as a clean up and restoration of the side walls and ceilings.

Since then, the paintings over the sanctuary have been restored to their 1930's beauty and vibrancy. Other most necessary funds have been used to restore the roof and downspouts but most importantly to underpin the foundation and correct the drainage problems. You will also note today the steel rods spanning the nave which provide structural stability.

Much remains to be done and you can find out more by visiting here and clicking on "restoration news" though there has been no update in over two years. The organ dating from the 1880's is not usable and the choir loft cannot be accessed by the boys-choir due to building code restrictions. There is only one access and it is a circular steel staircase. The heating system is decrepit and is over 80 years old, two windows have been restored at over $100,000 each and all need doing, over a million there alone. The floor is plain carpet in the aisles and old asbestos composite tile under the pews. Perhaps a serious attempt will be made to restore the sanctuary and to put the LORD back where he belongs with his Bishops off to the side and restore a communion rail of the same quality marble as used for other sacred furnishings.

One thinks of the many churches built in the post-war period for new neighbourhoods sitting empty and the large auditorium style churches in the suburbs. Money was always found for them and many should probably now be closed due to declining numbers. Yet, the amount of maintenance and restoration work done in the mother Church has been shamefully inadequate for decades which will now cost millions to rectify.

Do God, Bishops Power and de Charbonnel and the Irish of 1848 deserve any less?

Friday 11 December 2009

Christmas Extraordinary Form Mass in Fergus

Once again, Father Ian Duffy, Pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Fergus, Ontario will be celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Father Duffy, has done this most recently on All Souls Day and on other feast days throughout the year.
Third Mass of Christmas--Missa Puer Natus Est Nobis
Christmas Day at 11:00 A.M.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church
460 George Street West
Fergus, Ontario
N1M 1J6
519 - 843 - 2220
The Gregorian Propers and Polyphony will be provided by Ensemble Sine Nomine of Kitchener under the direction of Steven Strauss.
Fergus, Ontario is located on Kings Highway 6 north of Guelph, Ontario and is easily accessible to those from Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Brampton, Orangeville and the villages and hamlets throughout this most bucolic part of Ontario.

Thursday 10 December 2009

Does your Canadian parish eliminate the Alleluia verse?

Based on that old Toronto corporate slogan, "an educated consumer is our best customer," Vox Cantoris is creating a new file; but moving forward, we'll subsitute consumer for catholic. If anyone can recall which company used this expression, please let me know in the comment box.

It seems that the pedagogical formation of most of us as it pertains to the sacred liturgy in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite is sadly lacking. Worse, it does not seem to be much better with most clergy.

Something which I have noticed in the last couple of years at different parishes during the week; Sometimes the lector, and not usually with a good voice but here's marks for doing it, sings the Alleluia. At other parishes where it is not sung then the Alleluia or Praise and its Acclamation are all omitted. Yet, elsewhere where it is not sung, it is read. Deciding then to do a little research on this matter I found a few interesting details.

Let us take a look at what I have found:

First, let us read what the General Instruction on the Roman Missal states in English and then in its original Latin:

63. When there is only one reading before the Gospel, during a season when the Alleluia is to be said, either the Alleluia Psalm or the Responsorial Psalm followed by the Alleluia with its verse may be used;
During the season when the Alleluia is not to be said, either the psalm and the verse before the Gospel or the psalm alone may be used;
The Alleluia or verse before the Gospel may be omitted if they are not sung.

63. Quando una tantum habetur lectio ante Evangelium:
tempore quo dicendum est Allelúia, haberi potest aut psalmus alleluiaticus, aut psalmus et Allelúia cum suo versu;
tempore quo Allelúia non est dicendum, haberi potest aut psalmus et versus ante Evangelium aut psalmus tantum.
Allelúia vel versus ante Evangelium, si non cantantur, omitti possunt.

Nota bene: the word here to pay attention to is possunt which means, "can" or "be able (to)".

Now, let us examine what is in the new Canadian Lectionary and which you will commonly find in your little paperback missalette published by Novalis--the Living with Christ paper missal. Now, you can check this for yourself the next time you go to Church, you don't need to take my word for it.

Go to GOSPEL ACCLAMATION for any day and note the italicised sentence.

"If the Alleluia is not sung, the acclamation is omitted." and during Lent, "If the Praise is not sung, the acclamation is omitted."

If this is the case and the document actually says that the Alleluia "can" or is "able" to be omitted if not sung, why in the Canadian Church has the CCCB and its publishers replaced this with the word "is"? I mean, "is" omitted is a lot different than "can be" or "able to be" omitted.

So, the next time you go to Church and you wonder why after the Responsorial Psalm the Alleluia is omitted now you know why.

The CCCB and its publishers have told the priests that if not sung then the Alleluia and its Acclamation "is" to be omitted and unless the priest has read the GIRM then he does not know that it is not mandator, the Alleluia and Acclamation can clearly be proclaimed if not sung!

And you, the laity follow what is going on and it is reinforced every time you open that little paper missalette. Once again, you have been liturgically lead astray. Let's see, how many times is that now?

I will be asking this question to the good people at Novalis, I'll let you know their response.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Hail, full of grace, the LORD is with you.

O Mary,
conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.

O most blessed Virgin Mary of Nazareth, whom the LORD of heaven and earth protected from all original sin from your conception in order that He the Eternal Word might dwell within the tabernacle of your womb in order to come to earth as a man and save us from our sins, we humbly beseech thee to intercede for us to your Son for the protection of His Church on earth from those who would tear Her down and scandalise the faith of His little ones. Amen -- Vox

Sub tuum praesidium
Sancta Dei Genitrix.
Sancta Dei Genitrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias
in necessitatibus nostris,
sed a periculis cunctis
libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta
Sub tuum praesidium
confugimus, confugimus
Sancta Dei Genitrix
Sancta Dei Genitrix.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Msgr. T. Barrett Armstrong, Requiescat in pace

Monsignor T. Barrett Armstrong
Requiescat in pace

I have just received news that Msgr T. Barrett Armstrong passed away yesterday, Saturday, November 14, 2009. Any Catholic in Toronto and anyone in the broader community should be mourning the passing of this holy priest. Msgr. Armstrong was Director of Music at St. Michael's Choir School and Cathedral for many years. He attended the world-famous school as a child founded by Msgr. John Edward Ronan.
He was a talented musician and a good and holy priest with an inbiding love for the beauty of Gregorian chant and sacred choral music for the Glory of God and the edification of His people. The Church in Canada owes a debt of gratitude to Monsignor. He kept alive in the cathedral when it was not popular Gregorian chant and Palestrina and the works of Msgr. Ronan. I can remember my return to the Church and Msgr. Armstrong standing at the Ambo teaching the congregation the Missa de Angelis Gloria and Credo III.
I pray he knows now what he did to inspire this writer to undertake his current work.
May he rest in peace.

Friday 13 November 2009

The Pope of Christian Unity

After it was announced a few weeks ago that the Holy Father would shortly issue an apostolic constitution for Anglicans wishing to return to the See of Peter, Father Z began to refer to Pope Benedict XVI as the Pope of Christian Unity. After the pastoral care shown by his issuance of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum followed by his paternal hand extended to the Society of St. Pius X and with the now issued Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus and continuous overtures to the Orthodox, there can be no doubt that Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

This unity is angering the liberal and modernist establishment to apoplexy. They know that with the restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass and the hoped for integration of the SSPX combined with Anglicans who accept the truths of the Church on all issues of faith, but in particular ordination and marriage, combined with the liturgical excellence of the three, their future is weakened. This can be seen continually in the continued rant by the Bishop of Erie against words such as ineffable coming soon to an English Mass near you.

A challenge was put out by Father Z today, to search the term "Pope of Christian Unity" to see the results.

In this short time, there are over 270,000 entries from blogs and articles using this expression.

Count this as 270,001.

All praises be to the Holy Trinity for Pope Benedict XVI, the Pope of Christian Unity!

Monday 9 November 2009

Anglicanorum Coetibus

Vox Cantoris was born and canoically remains Maronite, practicing Latin, but secretly longs to be an Anglican!

God bless Pope Benedict XVI, the Pope of Christian Unity

Anglican Use Liturgy, Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio Texas @ Yahoo! Video

Friday 6 November 2009

Two new Auxilliary Bishops for Toronto

As indicated here yesterday, this just in from the Vatican:


The Holy Father has appointed auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Toronto (Canada):

- The Reverend Vincent Nguyen, a priest of the archdiocese itself, and Judicial Vicar and Vice Chancellor has been named titular bishop of Ammaedara;

- The Rev Terrence William McGrattan, of the diocese of London, and Rector of the Major Seminary "Saint Peter" in London, assigning him as titular of Fornos Minor.

The Rev Vincent Nguyen was born in Vietnam on May 8, 1966. His great-grandfather is one of the Vietnamese Martyrs. In 1981, at age 15, left Vietnam and arrived in Canada in 1984 through Japan.

After secondary school studies, he obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering (Applied Science in Electrical Engineering) University of Toronto. Joined in 1993 as "St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto, and received a Master of Divinity.

He was ordained a priest May 9, 1998 for the Archdiocese of Toronto.

In 2008 he obtained a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome as a student of the Pontifical Canadian College (2005-2008).

After ordination, he held the following positions: assistant priest of the parish "St. Patrick's" in Mississauga (1998-2001), Administrator of the parish "St. Monica's" in Toronto (2001-2003), and pastor of the parish "St. . Cecilia's "and Mission" Vietnamese Martyrs "in Toronto (2003-2005).

From 2008 to today was Vice Chancellor and Judicial Vicar.

The Reverend Terrence William McGrattan was born in London, Ontario, September 19, 1956. Before entering the seminary, he received his degree in Industrial Engineering at the "University of Western Ontario," and practiced for a few years as an engineer.

He then completed his ecclesiastical studies in St. Peter's Seminary in London, obtaining a Master of Divinity.

He was ordained a priest May 2, 1987 for the Diocese of London.

In 1992 he obtained a licentiate in theology in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

After ordination, he held the following positions: assistant priest of the parish "St. Michael's" in Leamington (1987), assistant priest of the parish "St. Joseph's" of Chatham (1987-1990), Director of the Office for Vocations (1994-1995).

Since 1992 he taught theology in St. Peter's Seminary in London and since 1997 has been rector of the same seminary.

He is a member of the Council of Priests and the College of Consultants. It is part of various national and diocesan committees, including the Canadian Bioethics Society.

Monday 2 November 2009

All Souls

Out of the depths I have cried to you, O Lord;
Lord hear my voice.
Let you ears be attentive to the voice,
of my supplication.
If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities;
Lord, who shall stand it.
For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of the law, I have waited for thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on his word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy:
and with him plentiful redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel,
from all his iniquities.
+ + +

Add Image

Have mercy, Lord,
on me in my remorse!

Lord, have mercy if my prayer rises to you;
do not chastise me in your severity,
always mercifully, look down on me.

Never let me be condemned to hell
in the eternal fire by your severity.

Almighty God, never let me be condemned to hell
in the eternal fire by your severity.

Have mercy, Lord,
Lord, have mercy on me in my remorse,
if my prayer rises to you.

Less harshly,
always mercifully, look down,
ah! look down on me, Lord.

Have mercy, Lord on me in my remorse.

Friday 23 October 2009

Another reason not to like CBW III

I've often criticised CBWIII as wreaking havoc on Catholic parishes in Canada.

Unbenownst to most pastors who purchased it, the editors surreptitiously foisted upon parishes in Canada a feminist, person-centred, culturally philistinistic agenda by changing the words and therefore, the meaning of hymns long-known and loved. Immaculate Mary beyond the first verse is unrecognisable, Praise My Soul the King of Heaven is heretical in its reference to God as "mother-like" and in Praise to the LORD the Almighty we no longer "draw near" to the "Altar" but to our "brothers and sisters," Those who come to Mass once a year at Christmas according to Hark the Herald Angels Sing now have to learn that they are to be "pleased as one with us to dwell" and the grail psalms have been bastardised thanks to so-called "inclusive language" because David, the Prophet was a misogynist, right? The thickness of the choir edition is awkward, the Mass settings are not together by composer and setting but by text, the typesetting is hard on the eye, the paper too thick and there is simply too much banality from OCP and HauganHass. The colour of the cover is quite nice though.

Last night I was perusing this wretched monstrosity of a hymn book to give a friend advice on the music for a funeral, since it is used at this particular parish; I came across the introduction page.

There, on that page from a certain diocese named after a certain patron saint of a certain mother-country was the insignia of a certain prelate who was bishop of that diocese at the time of this shoddy hymnbook's publication and forced rape of parish treasuries. He was then head of the liturgical committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Any guesses as to which bishop the unsuspecting people unfortunate enough to be bored by a Sunday homily and who peruse through the first pages of CBWIII will be reminded about week after week after week until CBW IV hopefully in accordance with Liturgiam Authenticum and the new and more accurate ICEL translations comes out and these green monsters are used to increase global warming in someones fireplace?

Oh, come on...you can guess.

Truly you can.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Weeds amongst the wheat

With an unusual amount of speed and short notice, it was announced yesterday in Rome and at the same time in London that the Holy Father has signed an Apostolic Constitution to provide for the reception of members of the world-wide Anglican Communion into the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI has in this act created a process for true ecumenical reunion. Two years ago, the bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion petitioned Rome for full and complete union with the Church. They went as far as signing the Catechism of the Catholic Church and proclaiming their acceptance of the Petrine Ministry. 

This move by the Holy Father goes even further because it opens up the possibility for all Anglicans to return to Rome under a juridical structure which will allow them to maintain their culture and liturgical heritage. The structure remains to be seen but could also serve as a model for the reintegration of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X. It is also not yet known what form the liturgy would take; Would it be the Book of Common Prayer (the Cramner Prayer Book) with the appropriate theological corrections? Would it be the Anglican Use Missal known more properly as the Book of Divine Worship used in the United States as part of the Pastoral Provision? Could it be the Knott Missal, the Mass codified at Trent in English or the ancient, Sarum Rite?

That sound you hear which cannot drown out the beauty of the music playing here in the background is the groaning of those who for forty-five years have foisted upon us a false interpretation of the Second Vatican Council and a relativist and syncretic Christianity that is simply anti-Christ. Pope Benedict XVI is taking on all comers and working to restore the Catholic faith and if that means bringing in disaffected “Christian” Anglicans and lifting the excommunication of the Society of St. Pius X bishops then so be it and long-life and health to him!

The bleating reached a fever-pitch at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa last week as two well-known catholic heretics, former Jew turned Catholic priest, Vatican II peritus, turned laicised married and Presbyterian minister and former professor at St. Michael’s University Gregory Baum (shudder) was backed up by former horse-buying, land-scamming, enneagram mastering, call-to-action dancing retired Bishop of Victoria, Remi de Roo (double shudder). Both men waxed on about how a “conservative movement, sponsored by the Vatican itself, remains attached to the old paradigm, overlooks the bold texts of the conciliar documents and tries to restore the Catholicism of yesterday.” Frankly, both Baum and de Roo cannot be trusted. They and their ilk have perpetuated a lie of the so-called “spirit of Vatican II” and their false interpretation of the Council. They were wrong then, are still wrong today; they are heretical and their heterodox teachings have done damage to the faith of millions over the last forty-five years.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops meets for its annual plenary in Cornwall, Ontario. Former Toronto Auxilliary Bishop and now Bishop of Charlottetown Anthony Grecco has united with Archbishop Weisgerber of Winnipeg and CCCB President to defend the indefensible Development & Peace funding of groups that have supported abortion in Latin America. In their interpretation, the problem is not Development & Peace but LifeSite News. Fortunately, there are some bishops with a little more going on upstairs and Archbishops Collins of Toronto and Prendergast of Ottawa can be commended for standing up for accountability and the Faith. LifeSite News reports that +Prendergast firmly stated that he could not "accept" a continuation of "business as usual" which is what appeared to have been presented by his brother bishops. Archbishop Collins expressed concern that it is important to "listen to criticism."

Another topic for discussion at the Plenary is the Internet and bloggers and news organizations. However, the actions of Development & Peace and +Weisgerber and +Grecco and +De Roo and Baum are the exact reason why blogs such as Vox Cantoris and LifeSite are necessary.

Have you noticed the attitude of the CCCB is not too far off that of the Barack Hussein Obama administration and its view of FOX News?

Friday 16 October 2009

Where's the fruit?

On Thanksgiving afternoon (it is the second Monday of October here in Canada), I was perusing one of the two thick blue and yellow books the "Documents of the Vatican II." I asked two friends at dinner, "Did anything good come out of Vatican II?" There was hesitation as the three of us tried to think of something. Now all three of us attend Mass in both forms of the Roman Rite, Ordinary and Extraordinary, so it is not a question of denying the "validity" of the "Ordinary" liturgical forms.

But we were clearly hard pressed to substantiate the results of the last forty-five years as fruitful. I think though I can see some positive fruits that we did not discuss, but it is not here, not in the west. Something good has obviously happened in Africa. Seminaries are full and they are now becoming mission priests back to us. But the good that has been done in Africa did not need a Council and may well have happened regardless. Liturgically speaking, I think the Council Fathers in their desire for more vernacular in the liturgy had Africa in mind and truly, this may have helped, but it could have been done with an indult, again, the Council was not necessary for this. Ironically, Catholic in Africa seem to have a greater love and appreciation for Latin and dignified worship. I have seen this first hand myself through people in my choir (Zambia) a friend who is a Latinist (Sierra Leone) and a priest with whom I am acquainted (Nigeria) and from their own discussions with me. I clearly recall Pope Benedict XVI recent visit to Africa with sacred music and solemn liturgies and Gregorian chant and only after Mass did more cultural celebration take place.

So, aside from the active mission work in Africa which would have happened anyway (and even +Marcel Lefebvre would have considered some vernacular appropriate (mainly the Readings) I don't think I can think of one good thing that came out of the Council. However, I will put forward the notion that the whole zeitgeist has prevented the true Council from showing its fruit and on that point I will say this; We may not have good fruit from the Council because we've not yet properly implemented the Council. Instead we had a revolution and destruction.

Do I reject the Council? No, it is not possible any more than one can reject Trent or Nicaea! But what good has come of it, at least in our current interpretation and practice?

Our relations with Jews? That didn't need a council; besides given the diatrabe over the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the Good Friday prayer and Bishop Williamson, what good has it done us? The Zionists (and I make a distinction between them and the observant, orthodox God-fearing religious Jew) certainly have not come towards us, they still blame Pope Pius XII for not doing enough to prevent the Holocaust despite the documented evidence of history to the contrary.

How about ecumenism? Really, have you seen how "catholic" the Anglicans have become lately?
Religious life? Don't even go there.

It won't be long until the first real challenge to the Council, or at least its false interpretation and ambiguous documents, takes place. Formal theological discussions between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Priestly Society of St. Pius X will begin on October 26.

The SSPX is Catholic, though clearly they are in an irregular situation. It is debatable whether the disobedience to the Pope by +Marcel Lefebvre and +Castro de Mayor together with the four consecrated bishops was necessary to be where we are today. Some will say we would not have the motu proprio without the Econe consecrations and SSPX growth and other will argue that we would have had it sooner if not for the controversy linked with the traditional liturgy because of them. Yes, the FSSP came from their disobedience but there is nothing to say that this would have happened regardless. Pope John Paul II and at the time, Cardinal Ratzinger were trying to find a way forward and they would have done it without the SSPX. Having known many of their "supporters" first hand, I have come to see that there is as much wrong with them as there is right. The schismatic attitude is prevalent amongst the majority of their supporters and this is quite obvious right here in Toronto where their mission is no less than 10 minutes from the traditional Mass daily at The Oratory. The ignorance of their supporters goes something like this: "I won't support any novus ordo presbyter." Or how about, "I won't support any grou whose priests who celebrate the novus ordo." Or even something as sad and wrong as this, "I could never go to Mass there, what if the Hosts were consecrated at the novus ordo?"

In many places the liturgy has become an abomination. Many will argue even when it is done with Propers and in Latin and even "ad orientem: and with a hermeneutic of continuity it is still deficient. I am one that would make that argument; the Missa Normative, while it is not invalid and not illicit, and is the Holy Sacrifice remains deficient; and please note the difference. For a Mass to be valid, it is the Consecration which must be valid--form, matter and intent. Putting aside the Consecration, the Mass is worship and adoration to God and prayer and supplication and preaching. And other than preaching, there's a whole lot less adoration, prayer and supplication.

Of course, much of what has happened since the Council with the liturgy was never mandated by the Council. You won't find anywhere, in any document, the mandate to rip out altars or communion rails or artrwork or Gregorian chant or receive Holy Communion in the hand or get rit of patens or provide Extraordinary Ministers or for religious women to discard their habits!

Beyond liturgy, the "subsists in" verses the "is" describing the Catholic Church as in Lumen Gentium remains an obstacle to moving forward with the Society of St. Pius X and it is good that they intend to debate this. It is has always been my belief that the Catholic Church "is" the Church of Christ. Of course, Lumen Gentium also states that if one persists in remaining outside the Church with full knowledge that the Church is true, then one is lost. But it is these "timebombs" and ambiguities as described by Lefebvre and others that is the problem with the documents of the Second Vatican Council. As an example, I can read Sacrosanctam Concilium-the Constitutuion on the Sacred Liturgy and find no break with the past only calls for organic development within a set of principles; others of course found much more latitude.

From Inside the Vatican the other day:

October 3rd -- Sainte Thérèse de l'Enfant Jésus (Roman calendar and a local Saint here in Normandy)...

Father Louis Bouyer
(photo): I wrote to the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, to tender my resignation as member of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform. The Holy Father sent for me at once (and the following conversation ensued):

Paul VI: Father, you are an unquestionable and unquestioned authority by your deep knowledge of the Church's liturgy and Tradition, and a specialist in this field. I do not understand why you have sent me your resignation, whilst your presence, is more than precious, it is indispensable!

Father Bouyer: Most Holy Father, if I am a specialist in this field, I tell you very simply that I resign because I do not agree with the reforms you are imposing! Why do you take no notice of the remarks we send you, and why do you do the opposite?

Paul VI: But I don't understand: I'm not imposing anything. I have never imposed anything in this field. I have complete trust in your competence and your propositions. It is you who are sending me proposals. When Fr. Bugnini comes to see me, he says: "Here is what the experts are asking for." And as you are an expert in this matter, I accept your judgement.

Father Bouyer: And meanwhile, when we have studied a question, and have chosen what we can propose to you, in conscience, Father Bugnini took our text, and, then said to us that, having consulted you: "The Holy Father wants you to introduce these changes into the liturgy." And since I don't agree with your propositions, because they break with the Tradition of the Church, then I tender my resignation.

Paul VI: But not at all, Father, believe me, Father Bugnini tells me exactly the contrary: I have never refused a single one of your proposals. Father Bugnini came to find me and said: "The experts of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform asked for this and that". And since I am not a liturgical specialist, I tell you again, I have always accepted your judgement. I never said that to Monsignor Bugnini. I was deceived. Father Bugnini deceived me and deceived you.

Father Bouyer: That is, my dear friends, how the liturgical reform was done!

Dr. Robert Moynihan comments on the "subsists" issue specifically in his letter today.

Formal theological discussions about Vatican II will begin later this month, it was announced today. Why is Benedict XVI allowing this new debate on the most vexed questions of the Second Vatican Council? By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

"The first real task of the Council was to overcome the indolent, euphoric feeling that all was well with the Church, and to bring into the open the problems smoldering within." —Father Joseph Ratzinger, in a talk on the Second Vatican Council delivered in October 1964, while the Council was still in session (he was then 37 years old and a peritus or "expert" at the Council; see http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=38537616&msgid=592165&act=YPML&c=305005&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.commonwealmagazine.org%2Fblog%2F%3Fp%3D935)

"What has happened since the Second Vatican Council can, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, be described as a cultural revolution, considering the false zeal with which the churches were emptied of their traditional furnishings, and the way that clergy and religious orders put on a new face. That 'rashness' is already regretted by many, the cardinal contends. There was, he believes, a 'widening gulf' between the Council Fathers, who wanted aggiornamento, updating, and 'those who saw reform in terms of discarding ballast, a more diluted faith rather than a more radical one...'" —The London Tablet, April 19, 1997, reviewing the book Salt of the Earth, a book-length interview with German writer Peter Seewald (conducted when Ratzinger was in his late 60s)

"After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the Pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an Ecumenical Council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the Pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The Pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith..." —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, 2000 (published when Ratzinger was 73 years old)


Pope Benedict XVI has just made a dramatic choice, one which will certainly be numbered among the major decisions of his pontificate.
He has decided, in effect, to reopen formal debate on the Second Vatican Council and its teaching.

The new dialogue, which will take place in Rome between the leaders of the Fraternity of St. Pius X (the followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre) and Vatican experts will take place on October 26 at the Vatican, Jesuit FatherFederico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said today.
(Here is a link to a full report on the announcement:http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=38537616&msgid=592165&act=YPML&c=305005&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.catholicnews.com%2Fdata%2Fstories%2Fcns%2F0904605.htm.)
For the Pope's critics, the decision is unwise, as it seems likely to open a large can of worms.
These critics have argued that the lid on this can should be kept tightly closed. In essence, they have advised the Pope not to "dignify" the Society's objections to certain conciliar teachings -- or to the interpretations of those teachings -- by granting such a formal dialogue.

But Benedict has decided to let the dialogue begin.

For the Pope's supporters, the decision is an occasion for praise.

Because the Pope, almost five years into his pontificate, has finally decided to face head on and "bring into the open" the doctrinal problems "smoldering" (to cite his own words of 45 years ago) just beneath the surface of Church life throughout the entire post-conciliar period (1965 to the present, or 44 years).
So, with this decision to engage in a dialogue about the Council, a very significant phase of Benedict's pontificate begins.
Because this dialogue will inevitably come to grips, more than a generation after the close of the Council, with profoundly important doctrinal issues -- issues which seriously divided the Council Fathers at the time of the Council, and which eventually, and tragically, led:
(1) to a formal schism in the Church between those whom we may call "traditionalists" and "progressives" (though the two terms are woefully inadequate) when in 1988 the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (the Lefebvrists) were excommunicated, and
(2) to widespread confusion among the Catholic faithful, to many exaggerated and erroneous interpretations of Christian and Catholic identity, and even to the formal or de facto abandonment of the Catholic faith by many.
With Benedict's decision, the Second Vatican Council is, in a certain sense, as it were, being called in "for further questioning" -- for an new examination and cross-examination, like a witness in a trial, to determine what the Council actually said, and intended.
And this means that theology, the strong point of this "theologian-Pope" (his career before he was consecrated a bishop was as a professor of theology in Germany), is about to take center stage in Benedict's pontificate.
And the goal in all this will be to arrive at clarity and a common understanding of the faith which will allow the reunion of the Lefbevrists with Rome, and so end of the only formal schism since Vatican II.
But we will not be able to observe this crucial theological debate.
It it will take place behind closed doors.

The Announcement

Here is the official Vatican communique on the matter:


The first meeting of the foreseen discussions with the Fraternity of Saint Pius X will take place on Monday, October 26, in the morning.

Those who will participate [in the meeting] will be, from the part of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, other than the Secretary of said Commission, Mons. Guido Pozzo, the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, H.E. Archbisop Luis F. Ladaria Ferrer, S.I., and the already named experts: Fr. Charles Morerod, O.P., Secretary of the International Theological Commission, consultant of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Rev. Mons. Fernando Ocáriz, Vicar General of Opus Dei, consultant of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; the Rev. Fr. Karl Josef Becker, S.I., consultant of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

The meeting will take place at the Palace of the Holy Office. The contents of the conversations, which regard open doctrinal questions, will remain strictly reserved.

At the end of the meeting, a communiqué will be released.
The Response

And here is the reposnse of the Fraternity:
Bishop Bernard Fellay has named as representatives of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X for the theological discussions with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta, director of the Seminary Nuestra Señora Corredentora de La Reja (Argentina), Father Benoît de Jorna, director of the Séminaire International Saint-Pie X of Ecône (Switzerland), Father Jean-Michel Gleize, professor of Ecclesiology at the seminary of Ecône, and Father Patrick de La Rocque, prior of the Priory of Saint Louis in Nantes (France).

Bishop de Galarreta had already been the president of the commission which was in charge of the preparation of these discussions withon the Fraternity, after the month of April 2009.

The works will start in the second half of the month of October and will require the discretion needed for a serene exchange on difficult doctrinal questions.

Menzingen, October 15, 2009

Some Additional Background

In a recent interview granted to a Society magazine in South Africa and picked up by Reuters, Bishop Fellay spelled out his view of the issues to be raised during the upcoming dialogue.
“The solution to the crisis is a return to the past,” Fellay said.

He said Pope Benedict agrees with the SSPX on the need to maintain the Church’s links to the past, but still wants to keep some reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
“This is one of the most sensitive problems,” he said. “We hope the discussions will allow us to dispel the grave ambiguities that have spread through the Catholic Church since (the Council), as John Paul II himself recognised.”
Here is a fuller report on the interview, with some interesting comments attached:http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=38537616&msgid=592165&act=YPML&c=305005&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.reuters.com%2Ffaithworld%2F2009%2F10%2F13%2Freturn-to-past-is-sspx-motto-for-doctrinal-talks-with-vatican%2F
One Issue: The "Subsistit" Clause

(Note: I draw most of the following material, which I condense and edit here, from an article by Anthony Grafton published inThe New Yorker, July 25, 2005, which may be found here: http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=38537616&msgid=592165&act=YPML&c=305005&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.accessmylibrary.com%2Farticle-1G1-134469260%2Freading-ratzinger-cardinal-joseph.html. The point Grafton focuses on below will certainly be among the points discussed in the upcoming dialogue.)

In May, 1984, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger summoned the Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff to Rome.
At the time, Ratzinger was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
When Boff arrived, Ratzinger questioned him on relations between the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations.
Boff replied by citing Chapter 1, No. 8 of Lumen Gentium ("Light of the Nations"), one of the key documents of Vatican II, which sets forth the Church's understanding of her own nature.
Lumen Gentium in one well-known passage of considerable importance for ecumenical dialogue with Protestant Christians, teaches that the true Church "subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines."
Boff -- like many others before him and after him -- interpreted this passage as teaching that the traditional teaching that the Catholic Church is the "one true Church" founded by Jesus Christ had been qualified by the Council and so, in effect, slightly altered.

Did those who drafted the document have this view? That is a vexed question.
For the first two years of the Council, the draft document stated simply and directly that the mystical body of Christ "is" the Catholic Church.
But in the fall of 1964 the word "subsists" ("subsistit" in Latin) was added, along with the passage about elements of truth being present outside the Church.
The official commentary explained that the change was meant to make the text "more harmonious with the affirmation of ecclesial elements which are elsewhere."
The Dominican theologian Yves Congar seemed to interpret the passage the same way Boff did: "Vatican II acknowledges, in sum, that non-Catholic Christians are members of the mystical body."
Yet Cardinal Ratzinger read this text in a different way.
To understand the chapter, he said, one must bear in mind a noun -- substantia -- closely related to subsistit, the verb that the Council Fathers had used.
Substantia, meaning "substance," refers to the essence of a thing (as in "transubstantiation").
According to Ratzinger, when the Council used the verb "subsists," it was stating that the true Church "both is, and can only be, fully present" in the Roman Church, with all its hierarchies.
After Boff returned to Brazil, the Congregation published a formal critique of his work stating that Boff had drawn from Lumen Gentium "a thesis which is exactly the contrary to the authentic meaning of the Council text."
Considering this incident, it seems clear that the upcoming dialogue of Vatican officials with the representaives of the Lefebvrists, occurring in almost exactly the same spot as Boff's encounter with Ratzinger, may have considerable importance for the future of ecumenism, that is, of efforts to reunite all Christians in one visible Church.

But we should keep in mind that a clarification of the actual intent of the Council Fathers when they drew up and approved the documents of Vatican II cannot in any case do harm to ecumenical dialogue: clarification of the truth of the Church's teaching must always be viewed as positive and freeing, and as helping to lead, in the long run, to authentic progrtess toward that Church unity desired and prayed for by Christ himself on the night before he died.
And that is why Benedict is allowing this dialogue: because he wants to clarify the true teaching of the Council, in the face of many erroneous claims, and after decades of real hope, yet hope marred by real confusion.

On October 26, this process of clarification will formally begin.
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God's providence to lead him aright.”Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, philosopher, physicist and writer, 1623-1662)