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Friday 28 June 2013

Concerts and secular videos in Churches and the Toronto policy

Concerts in Catholic Churches, and I would include in that music videos, are regulated by Canon Law. Canon Law is the Law of the Church the most recent Code promulgated by Blessed John Paul II in 1983. It is Magisterial teaching.

Regarding the use of Catholic Church (and the whole church area can be considered the sanctuary from a theological if not architectural point-of view) is as follows:

Canon #1210; "Only those things which serve the exercise or promotion of worship, piety and religion are to be admitted into a sacred place; anything which is not in accord with the holiness of the place is forbidden. The ordinary (i.e. Bishop), however, can permit other uses which are not contrary to the holiness of the place, in individual instances." 

The first sentence then is clear. As is often the case, however, with Church documents in the the post Vatican II era, there is another sentence which lends the whole matter to become ambiguous and open to interpretation. What are the instances in which a bishop can permit another use. As the bible cannot be read one sentence at a time and must be taken as a whole, the same is true with the documents of Vatican II and the sentence above. The ordinary "may" permit another use, but it must not be "contrary to the holiness of the place."

Well, what does that mean?

Firstly, one must understand "holiness of the place." A consecrated or dedicated Catholic Church, is holy or sacred, that is to say, it is "set-apart" for the worship of the Triune God first and foremost. Everything must flow from that; it is our first duty as baptised Christians, it is why firstly, before anything else, we go to Mass. It is to adore and worship the Omnipotent God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit before anything else. Before, thanksgiving, pleading for forgiveness or asking for our needs, the other three reasons we go to Mass, the first is to worship and adore. This was not changed by Vatican II and those who will tell you that it has, are misleading you and leading you and others astray. Speaking frankly, they do the work of Satan.

When we look at concerts in churches, we see no deviation. Father Edward McNamara answers the question as does the well-regarded web page, Adoremus. They quote directly from the document at the bottom of this post, which I reprint for the record. No Catholic musician, composer, liturgist, blogger, videographer no matter the motivation has a right to deviate.

We have addressed this matter previously on this blog. Cabaret "for-profit" at St. Michael's Cathedral, $55 concert tickets for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir at St. Paul's Basilica, secularists from Moses Znaimers radio station referring to the Basilica as a "great facility" as it was turned into a concert hall and profit-making venue for them using "The Priests" and Salt + Light as cover. I could go on.

Through our efforts and that of the good people at Toronto Catholic Witness, the Archdiocese of Toronto recently sent to all parishes a restatement of the policy implemented  by the late Cardinal Ambrozic which was consistent with Canon Law. This policy, since his departure has been ignored. It is now re-instated by the Chancellor. As to other dioceses, they must no deviate from what the Church permits. No bishop has the authority to grant that which he has no power to grant. 

That statement follows:

Given that Canon 1210 and CDWDS Protocol 1251/87 date from generally before "music videos" one must be wise and not reduce the argument to one of semantics and specificity. The rule is the same because one must revert back to Canon 1210 to determine if it is "holy."

Secular music, even when sung by a Catholic for whatever motivation, is not holy. One can perform non-liturgical music of a religious nature, Handel's Messiah for example in a Catholic Church, but not jazz or blues or anything akin to secular music. This is not authorised by the Second Vatican Council and those who would tell you otherwise are preaching a false hermeneutic of which our dear Benedict XVI was so concerned. 

It is my responsibility and yours to act with the mind of the Church. To do otherwise, is not Catholic.

Adoremus, Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

Concerts in Churches

Protocol number 1251/87

November 5, 1987
(The following declaration of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was sent to the presidents of the national conferences of bishops and through them to commissions on Liturgy and sacred art.)
1. The interest shown in music is one of the marks of contemporary culture. The ease with which it is possible to listen at home to classical works, by means of radio, records, cassettes and television, has in no way diminished the pleasure of attending live concerts, but on the contrary has actually enhanced it. This is encouraging, because music and song contribute to elevating the human spirit.
The increase in the number of concerts in general has in some countries given rise to a more frequent use of churches for such events. Various reasons are given for this: local needs, where for example it is not easy to find suitable places; acoustical considerations, for which churches are often ideal; aesthetic reasons of fittingness, that is to present the works in the setting for which they were originally written; purely practical reasons, for example facilities for organ recitals: in a word churches are considered to be in many ways apt places for holding a concert.
2. Alongside this contemporary development a new situation has arisen in the Church.
The Scholae cantorum have not had frequent occasion to execute their traditional repertory of sacred polyphonic music within the context of a liturgical celebration.
For this reason, the initiative has been taken to perform this sacred music in church in the form of a concert. The same has happened with Gregorian chant, which has come to form part of concert programs both inside and outside the church.
Another important factor emerges from the so-called "spiritual concerts," so-termed because the music performed in them can be considered as religious, because of the theme chosen, or on account of the nature of the texts set to music, or because of the venue for the performance.
Such events are in some cases accompanied by readings, prayers and moments of silence. Given such features they can almost be compared to a "devotional exercise."
3. The increased numbers of concerts held in churches has given rise to doubts in the minds of pastors and rectors of churches as to the extent to which such events are really necessary.
A general opening of churches for concerts could give rise to complaints by a number of the faithful, yet on the other hand an outright refusal could lead to some misunderstanding.
Firstly, it is necessary to consider the significance and purpose of a Christian church. For this, the Congregation for Divine Worship considers it opportune to propose to the episcopal conferences, and in so far as it concerns them, to the national commissions of Liturgy and music, some observations and interpretations for the canonical norms concerning the use of churches for various kinds of music: music and song, music of religious inspiration and music of non-religious character.
4. At this juncture it is necessary to re-read recent documents which treat of the subject, in particular the constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, the instruction Musicam Sacram of March 5, 1967, the instruction Liturgicae Instaurationes of September 5, 1970, in addition to the prescription of the code of Canon Law, can. 1210, 1213 and 1222.
In this present letter the primary concern is with musical performances outside of the celebration of the Liturgy.
The character and purpose of churches
5. According to tradition as expressed in the rite for the dedication of a church and altar, churches are primarily places where the people of God gather, and are "made one as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one, and are the Church, the temple of God built with living stones, in which the Father is worshipped in spirit and in truth." Rightly so, from ancient times the name "church" has been extended to the building in which the Christian community unite to hear the word of God, to pray together, to receive the sacraments, to celebrate the Eucharist and to prolong its celebration in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (Cf. Order of the Dedication of a Church, ch. II, 1).
Churches, however, cannot be considered simply as public places for any kind of meeting. They are sacred places, that is, "set apart" in a permanent way for divine worship by their dedication and blessing.
As visible constructions, churches are signs of the pilgrim Church on earth; they are images that proclaim the heavenly Jerusalem, places in which are actualized the mystery of the communion between man and God. Both in urban areas and in the countryside, the church remains the house of God, and the sign of his dwelling among men. It remains a sacred place, even when no liturgical celebration is taking place.
In a society disturbed by noise, especially in big cities, churches are also an oasis where men gather, in silence and in prayer, to seek peace of soul and the light of faith.
That will only be possible in so far as churches maintain their specific identity. When churches are used for ends other than those for which they were built, their role as a sign of the Christian mystery is put at risk, with more or less serious harm to the teaching of the faith and to the sensitivity of the People of God, according to the Lord's words: "My house is a house of prayer" (Lk 19:46).
Importance of sacred music
6. Sacred music, whether vocal or instrumental, is of importance. Music is sacred "in so far as it is composed for the celebration of divine worship and possesses integrity of form" (Musicam sacram n. 4a). The church considers it a "treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art," recognizing that it has a "ministerial function in the service of the Lord" (Cf. SC n. 112); and recommending that it be "preserved and fostered with great care" (SC n. 114).
Any performance of sacred music which takes place during a celebration, should be fully in harmony with that celebration. This often means that musical compositions which date from a period when the active participation of the faithful was not emphasized as the source of the authentic Christian spirit (SC n. 14; Pius X Tra le sollecitudini) are no longer to be considered suitable for inclusion within liturgical celebrations.
Analogous changes of perception and awareness have occurred in other areas involving the artistic aspect of divine worship: for example, the sanctuary has been restructured, with the president's chair, the ambo and the altar versus populum. Such changes have not been made in a spirit of disregard for the past, but have been deemed necessary in the pursuit of an end of greater importance, namely the active participation of the faithful. The limitation which such changes impose on certain musical works can be overcome by arranging for their performance outside the context of liturgical celebration in a concert of sacred music.
7. The performance of purely instrumental pieces on the organ during liturgical celebrations today is limited. In the past the organ took the place of the active participation of the faithful, and reduced the people to the role of "silent and inert spectators" of the celebration (Pius XI, Divini cultus, n. 9).
It is legitimate for the organ to accompany and sustain the singing either of the assembly or the choir within the celebration. On the other hand, the organ must never be used to accompany the prayers or chants of the celebrant nor the readings proclaimed by the reader or the deacon.
In accordance with tradition, the organ should remain silent during penitential seasons (Lent and Holy Week), during Advent and Liturgy for the dead. When, however, there is real pastoral need, the organ can be used to support the singing.
It is fitting that the organ be played before and after a celebration as a preparation and conclusion of the celebration. It is of considerable importance that in all churches, and especially those of some importance, there should be trained musicians and instruments of good quality. Care should be given to the maintenance of organs and respect shown towards their historical character both in form and tone.
8. The regulation of the use of churches is stipulated by canon 1210 of the Code of Canon Law:
"In a sacred place only those things are to be permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion. Anything out of harmony with the holiness the place is forbidden. The Ordinary may, however, for individual cases, permit other uses, provided they are not contrary to the sacred character of the place."
The principle that the use of the church must not offend the sacredness of the place determines the criteria by which the doors of a church may be opened to a concert of sacred or religious music, as also the concomitant exclusion of every other type of music. The most beautiful symphonic music, for example, is not in itself of religious character. The definition of sacred or religious music depends explicitly on the original intended use of the musical pieces or songs, and likewise on their content. It is not legitimate to provide for the execution in the church of music which is not of religious inspiration and which was composed with a view to performance in a certain precise secular context, irrespective of whether the music would be judged classical or contemporary, of high quality or of a popular nature. On the one hand, such performances would not respect the sacred character of the church, and on the other, would result in the music being performed in an unfitting context.
It pertains to the ecclesiastical authority to exercise without constraint its governance of sacred places (Cf. canon 1213), and hence to regulate the use of churches in such a way as to safeguard their sacred character.
9. Sacred music, that is to say music which was composed for the Liturgy, but which for various reasons can no longer be performed during a liturgical celebration, and religious music, that is to say music inspired by the text of sacred scripture or the Liturgy and which has reference to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, to the saints or to the Church, may both find a place in the church building, but outside liturgical celebration. The playing of the organ or other musical performance, whether vocal or instrumental, may: "serve to promote piety or religion." In particular they may:
a. prepare for the major liturgical feasts, or lend to these a more festive character beyond the moment of actual celebration;
b. bring out the particular character of the different liturgical seasons;
c. create in churches a setting of beauty conducive to meditation, so as to arouse even in those who are distant from the Church an openness to spiritual values;
d. create a context which favors and makes accessible the proclamation of God's word, as for example, a sustained reading of the Gospel;
e. keep alive the treasures of Church music which must not be lost; musical pieces and songs composed for the Liturgy but which cannot in any way be conveniently incorporated into liturgical celebrations in modern times; spiritual music, such as oratorios and religious cantatas which can still serve as vehicles for spiritual communication;
f. assist visitors and tourists to grasp more fully the sacred character of a church, by means of organ concerts at prearranged times.
10. When the proposal is made that there should be a concert in a church, the Ordinary is to grant the permission per modum actus. These concerts should be occasional events. This excludes permission for a series of concerts, for example in the case of a festival or a cycle of concerts.
When the Ordinary considers it to be necessary, he can, in the conditions foreseen in the Code of Canon Law (can. 1222, para. 2) designate a church that is no longer used for divine service, to be an "auditorium" for the performance of sacred or religious music, and also of music not specifically religious but in keeping with the character of the place.
In this task the bishop should be assisted by the diocesan commission for Liturgy and sacred music.
In order that the sacred character of a church be conserved in the matter of concerts, the Ordinary can specify that:
a. Requests are to be made in writing, in good time, indicating the date and time of the proposed concert, the program, giving the works and the names of the composers.
b. After having received the authorization of the Ordinary, the rectors and parish priests of the churches should arranged details with the choir and orchestra so that the requisite norms are observed.
c. Entrance to the church must be without payment and open to all.
d. The performers and the audience must be dressed in a manner which is fitting to the sacred character of the place.
e. The musicians and the singers should not be placed in the sanctuary. The greatest respect is to be shown to the altar, the president's chair and the ambo.
f. The Blessed Sacrament should be, as far as possible, reserved in a side chapel or in another safe and suitably adorned place (Cf. C.I.C., can 928, par. 4).
g. The concert should be presented or introduced not only with historical or technical details, but also in a way that fosters a deeper understanding and an interior participation on the part of the listeners.
h. The organizer of the concert will declare in writing that he accepts legal responsibilities for expenses involved, for leaving the church in order and for any possible damage incurred.
11. The above practical directives should be of assistance to the bishops and rectors of churches in their pastoral responsibility to maintain the sacred character of their churches, designed for sacred celebrations, prayer and silence.
Such indications should not be interpreted as a lack of interest in the art of music.
The treasury of sacred music is a witness to the way in which the Christian faith promotes culture.
By underlining the true value of sacred or religious music, Christian musicians and members of scholae cantorum should feel that they are being encouraged to continue this tradition and to keep it alive for the service of the faith, as expressed by the Second Vatican Council in its message to artists:
"Do not hesitate to put your talent at the service of the Divine Truth. The world in which we live has need of beauty in order not to lose hope. Beauty, like truth, fills the heart with joy. And this, thanks to your hands" (Cf. Second Vatican Council, Message to Artists, December 8, 1965).
Rome, November 5, 1987
Paul Augustine Card. Mayer, O.S.B.

Virgilio Noë
Tit. Archbishop of Voncaria

****The text appeared in Sacred Music Vol. 114, N. 4 (Winter) 1987
- See more at: http://www.adoremus.org/concerts.html#sthash.cFBrOHDx.dpuf

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Secular promotion video filmed in a Catholic Church!

The video below is of a young singer, the daughter of a David Wang a musician and former contributor to Toronto's Catholic Register. He is the "manager" of his daughter's career. 

This is about the flagrant abuse of a Catholic Church for self-promotion; be it photographs, business ventures or music videos.

Blessed Sacrament Parish in Kitchener, Ontario in the Diocese of Hamilton was used for this video. The Pastor did not permit this video, he was unaware of its filming, no permission was given and the Blessed Sacrament was present in the tabernacle.  

Miss Wang performing in bare feet in a cocktail dress, in a Catholic sanctuary is wrong. Even if she were wearing moccasins, a tunic and mantilla, it is still wrong. 

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Sacra Liturgia 2013

If you've not already been made aware, the liturgical conference of the decade is about to begin in Rome; Sacra Liturgia 2013. It's impressive list of speakers includes: Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, Walter Cardinal Brandmüller, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Alexander Sample, Bishop Dominique Rey, Bishop Marc Aillet, CSM, Bishop Peter Elliott, Abbot Jean-Charles Nault OSB, Abbot Michael John Zielinski OSB Oliv., Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, Monsignor Andrew Burnham, Monsignor Stefan Heid, Father Uwe Michael Lang, Cong. Orat., Fr Paul Gunter OSB, Dr Guido Rodheudt, Don Nicola Bux, Dom Alcuin Reid, Professor Tracey Rowland, Dr Gabriel Steinschulte, Professor Miguel Ayuso and Mr Jeffrey Tucker of the Chant Café and Editor of the New Liturgical Movement.

Liturgies will be celebrated in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.

For those of my readers in southern Ontario, you will be pleased to know that there are no less than ten priests and seminarians from the Archdiocese of Toronto and the dioceses of London attending. The future is going to look a lot different.

For more information you can visit the Sacra Liturgia 2013 webpage or Facebook page.

Sunday 23 June 2013

A Vox Cantoris exclusive: An Interview with Patrick J. Buchanan

This is a great honour for Vox Cantoris; an extensive interview with the great conservative politician, commentator, advisor to three American presidents and traditional Catholic, Mr. Patrick J. Buchanan. 

The interview was conducted by our friend and colleague and the Vice-President of the Toronto Traditional Mass Society-UNA VOCE TORONTO, Mr. Michael Krupa for a Polish conservative periodical. Mr. Krupa has graciously has allowed Vox to post the exclusive English language version here.


1. In your view, does there exist a possibility for a conservative revival in the United States along the lines of the famous “Goldwater Revolution” or has the nation, the culture and the political elite moved so far to the left, that American conservatism will remain an embattled political position with its intellectual and political adherents losing ground as time goes by?

A new Goldwater populist movement like the one to which I belonged in college and graduate school is possible, though today’s movement would be more libertarian.  But the Goldwater movement did not triumph.  It was crushed nationally in 1964.

Nixon cobbled together his winning coalition in 1966, 1968, 1970, and 1972 by uniting the Goldwater movement with the GOP base, and capturing the Daley-Rizzo Democrats in the North, and the Solid South to create a New Majority that won him 49 states in 1972.  Could that New Majority coalition be recreated?
Unfortunately not.  It is history.  There are 18 states, including the mega-states of California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, that Democrats have won in all of the last six presidential elections.  Absent a national disaster under a Democratic president, they are moving out of reach for Republicans in presidential elections.
The counter-culture of the 1960s against which Nixon and Reagan inveighed is now the dominant culture.  The traditional culture is almost a sub-culture.  Half the country receives regular checks from government and half the country pays no income taxes.  

In the 1960s the electorate was 90 percent Euro-American.  That figure has fallen to 74 percent and is inexorably sinking.  These folks provide nearly 90 percent of all Republican votes in presidential races.  The fastest growing ethnic groups are Hispanics and Asians. Both voted around 70 percent for Obama.  Demography and culture are grinding down the Grand Old Party.  What interrupts or halts the process in the long term, I cannot now see. 

2. In your book “A Republic, Not An Empire” you basically predicted that the continuation of a hyper-interventionist foreign policy would lead to a catastrophe in the American homeland. 9/11 was that moment. It seemed logical to some that ignoring the laws of “blowback” could no longer go on. However, George W. Bush decided on a completely different approach – more intervention, more meddling, more moralizing and more war. In your opinion, was this policy approach a result of “Dubya’s” strong sense of moral purpose or was post-9/11, as many claim, “the neoconservatives 15 minutes”?

George W. Bush underwent a Damascene conversion after 9/11.  He became a resolute and focused president. And when he set out after Al Qaeda, and to overthrow the Taliban if they did not hand him over, he had America behind him.  The initial Afghan invasion was brilliantly done and fully justified.  Then we should have come home.  Instead, President Bush adopted the neoconservative agenda as his own.  He became a missionary for global democracy.  He made it America’s role to ensure the world‘s worst dictators did not get the world’s worst weapons.  Whereupon North Korea did exactly that.  He declared that America was going to confront an axis of evil including North Korea, Iraq and Iran in perhaps the most ruinous speech given by a U.S. president.  He divided his worldwide coalition, and divided his country, and set out on a crusade almost certain to end like the Children’s Crusade led by Peter the Hermit.  Gen. William Odom called Bush’s decision to invade Iraq the worst blunder committed by an American President.  That is near my view.  Among the few benefits this nation has realized from the Afghan and Iraq wars is that they have helped to re-convert the American people to anti-interventionism.  But our losses from these unnecessary wars of choice are huge.  Neoconservatives played a supporting role in killing the Nixon-Reagan New Majority and crippling the Bush II presidency.

3. You are a well-known critic of the current model of American-Israeli relations. Some have claimed you are an anti-Semite. Does Pat Buchanan hate Israel?

No, Pat Buchanan does not hate Israel.  From June of 1967, when Richard Nixon and I visited Israel after the Six-Day War, for two decades, I was a strong supporter.  At Key Biscayne, when the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973, I urged President Nixon to send all possible aid to rescue the Israelis.  They were in the our camp in the Cold War, America’s war, in which I believed.  And Moscow had armed Egypt and Syria.  But with the collapse of the Soviet empire and breakup of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, I returned to the non-interventionist stance that is traditional conservatism.  This put me at odds with the neocons, many of whom equate a posture of non-intervention or neutrality between Arabs and Israelis as anti-Semitic. And for a decade I had defended John Demjanjuk against the charge he was Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka.  As he was about to be hanged in Israel, thankfully, Soviet archives revealed it was another man.  Buchanan had been right.  Not only was Demjanjuk not Ivan, he had never even been at Treblinka.  But it is not politically profitable to be correct on an issue like that and to have exposed those clamoring for Demjanjuk’s hanging as having exhibited the unmistakable traits of a lynch mob.

On the Middle East, I think we should gradually disengage from its quarrels and conflicts, be they ethnic, ideological, sectarian or civil.  The Ottomans were run out, then the British and French, then the Russians.  Now the Americans should go.  As Sarah Palin said, “Let Allah sort it out.”   

4. Let us return to domestic policy. In your famous 1992 speech at the Republican Convention in Houston you stated that America was experiencing a “culture war”, a war that would decide the fate of the Republic for decades to come. In 2003 you returned to this theme in your book “The Death of the West”, where you touched on the theme of Antonio Gramsci’s methodology for the literal destruction of Old Christendom, and thus, Western Civilization. Can we now state that the so-called “long march through the institutions” of the West is at an end, and the Revolution has purged any significant chances of a Counterrevolution, or have there been stumbling blocks along the way that could give traditionalists reason to still hope?

In Death of the West and Suicide of a Superpower, I have argued that, “When the faith dies, the culture dies, the civilization dies, and the people begin to die.”  This seems true of the West.  Europe is far advanced, having abandoned the Faith and rejected Christianity.  Many in what was once the West worship now at new altars: consumerism, materialism, democracy.  Not one Western nation has a birth rate among its native born that will keep its people alive.  This has been true for thirty years.  

Traditionalists have lost large swaths of ground in these last fifty years with the triumph of the counter-culture and its capture of the arts, entertainment, academia, and the media.  In nations like the United States and in some European countries, there remains a remnant resisting going into that good night, but there is no denying that we have been executing a long retreat.  And there is no denying the direction in which we are headed.  We won the Cold War, but Gramsci’s long march through the institutions has neither slowed nor stopped. 

5. You had the rare opportunity of advising three American presidents. I want to especially touch upon your relationship with Richard Nixon. I myself am fascinated with the man. On the one hand, a presidency that ended in shame and tragedy, on the other, a man with immense intellectual capabilities and a strong character, a “fighter”, a rare breed when compared with the contemporary “Big Fish” in the Beltway and especially with the current occupant of the White House. How would you describe the Nixon phenomenon? Was he really a ‘crook’, a national embarrassment, or maybe one of the last true American statesmen?

Nixon was no crook.  He was a friend and mentor, a good man, and I am proud of and fondly remember the years I was at his side.  During Watergate, no one alleged he ever took any money.  His failure was in misplaced loyalty and not appreciating the malice and ability of his enemies.  And he was not what he used to tell me a British statesman said a great leader must be -- “a good butcher.”

He should have acted more decisively dealing with Watergate.  Yet, consider his first term.  He extricated us from Vietnam with honor, brought the POWs home, left every provincial capital in South Vietnamese hands, and was committed to use U.S. air power to enforce the peace.  He ended two decades of hostility between the United States and China.  He negotiated the greatest arms treaty since the Washington Naval Agreement of 1922 -- SALT and the ABM Treaty.  He was the first President to travel behind the Iron curtain, to Romania, then Poland, and Russia.  He created the Environmental Protection Agency and Cancer Institute.  And he won the greatest electoral landslide of modern history, 62 percent of the vote and 49 states.  Nixon’s first term was a triumph, especially when one considers that both houses of the Congress, the federal bureaucracy, and the national media were irredeemably hostile.

6. Apart from being a legend in the world of American media, a true “rock star” of American conservatism, and an uncompromising political figure you are also one of the last public apologists of traditional Catholicism in the West. The theme of “old-school”, pre-Vatican II Catholicism and of a truly “Ecclesia Militans” is very much present in your writings. Do you believe, like many in the Church today, including myself, that any discussion of a Catholic revival cannot ignore two crucial issues: a prudent revision of some of the documents of Vatican II and the restoration of the Tridentine Mass?

The collapse of the Catholic sub-culture in Europe, a product of two centuries of the acids of modernity working their will, and the collapse of the vibrant Catholic sub-culture we had in America in the 1940s and 1950s probably precludes that kind of Catholic revival we would love to see. Moreover, we have had two generations here that have grown up in the post-Vatican II Church and have no memory of what the church and world were like before that.  I fear that the historical pessimists were right, both about the West and the Church in the West.  The converts are being made in sub-Sahara Africa.

7. Going back to domestic issues – will the Supreme Court uphold traditional marriage in America, or is another loss in the Culture War waiting around the corner?

Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg believes the Court erred in Roe v Wade in declaring abortion a constitutional right, rather than allowing each state to decide the issue legislatively, as the states were doing in 1973.  The Supreme Court may strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and invalidate the popular vote in California that reinstated a ban on homosexual marriage, but it will likely leave the question of “homosexual marriage” up to each state to determine.  The court would ignite a social revolution it imposed “marriage equality” or “gay marriage” on the entire nation. 

8. Many politicians in Poland and pundits hold to a very simple assumption when it comes to Polish-Russian relations. The assumption rests on the belief in the “benevolent hegemony” of the United States in its commitment to protecting Poland from a “neo-imperialist Russia”, a Russia ruled by a former “Chekist”. The neoconservative influence here is clearly evident. Many in Poland had hoped that Mitt Romney’s victory in the presidential election would have led to a renewed interest on the part of Washington in projecting American power in Eastern and Central Europe. The Obama-Medvedev reset has been labeled by many in Poland as a “betrayal”. As a person who knows how power in Washington is exercised, the many factors that come into play and the interests which must be considered, is it right and just for Poles to feel angry and betrayed by an American president who is trying to act first and foremost in the American interest? Should we finally dispel the myth of “benevolent hegemony” and realize that the United States, as any normal state, has partners on the international stage that are more important than others?

Poland trusted in her war guarantee from Britain and France, neither of which came to her rescue in 1939.  They declared war and then sat behind the Maginot Line.  Churchill sold the Poles out to Stalin in Moscow.  FDR told Stalin at Teheran he could keep what he had taken, but asked him not to leak word of the concession until after the 1944 election.  Poles in Chicago and Detroit voted.  After the war, only anti-Communist Americans kept the truth of Katyn alive.  At the time of Solidarity, I recall urging President Reagan to put the Jaruzelski regime in default.  He chose no to do so.  It would have sunk some German banks.  Reagan and Bill Casey, however, did aid the Polish resistance led by Lech Walesa.

The truth is this: No matter Poland’s NATO guarantee under Article 5, no European nation is going to declare war on Russia if a collision occurs.  The United States would surely condemn Russia but we would not declare war on or fight a country with a capacity to annihilate us all.  History teaches that. 
As for U.S. relations with Russia, America should deal with Moscow and leave their internal affairs to the Russians to settle and solve.  Poland is as friendly a nation as we have on this earth and millions of Polish ancestry are U.S. citizens.  I went to Catholic schools with them in the 1940s and 1950s.  But Russia is a mighty European and Asian power with whom we have to and ought to correct and cordial relations.  I don’t want another Cold War.  One in a lifetime was enough.

As for “projecting U.S. power” into Central and Eastern Europe, America is headed the other way.  Most Americans think it is past time that European allies like Germany, France and Italy provided the arms and the men for their own defense.  When the Russians left Germany and Eastern Europe, we Americans should have come home as well.  As my late friend Jeane Kirkpatrick wrote, we should have become again “a normal country in a normal time.”

9. Do you project any serious harm to Obama coming out of the latest series of unprecedented scandals?

President Obama will suffer both short and long-term damage from the scandals.  The Benghazi massacre and cynical attempt in the “talking points” to mislead the nation, the IRS abuses, the Justice Department secret investigations of journalists, show him to be a president out of touch with what is happening in his own government. And they contradict his carefully crafted image of a politician of superior ethics and morality.  The NSA revelations show a leader who held out the promise of being different acting in the same old secretive mode.  The greatest damage has been done to him among those constituencies that most believed in him.  He is approaching the nadir of his presidency with his public approval  rarely lower and his disapproval never higher. 

10.  It has been alleged by your biographer, Tim Stanley, that your favorite movie is “The Godfather”. Can you confirm?

Tim is right.  When I was young my favorite was “Shane,” the 1950s classic, but have seen “The Godfather”  and “The Godfather: Part II” many more times in recent years.  Those movies are not only about the Mafia, but about the amoral world of nation states.

© 2013 Vox Cantoris Publications

+ + +   

This interview by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute expands on the theme above:

Thursday 20 June 2013

Obama's evil attack on Catholics cranks up!

Okay, it is my honeymoon but I have Frankie's permission to blog this!

(I won't say what I really think  ... )

Courtesy of Breitbart: R.I.P. Andrew.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Only because it is Saint Joseph

Only because it is St. Joseph is it possible to interrupt a honeymoon for a blog post with two wonderful announcements concerning Vox's Confirmation Patron, Saint Joseph of Nazareth!

First, the Holy Father has ordered St. Joseph's name to be inserted into Eucharistic Prayer II, III and IV in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite as it already is in the Roman Canon (EP I)

Secondly, to tell you again about the wonderful parish of St. Joseph at 5440 Durie Street in Mississauga, where the Pastor, Father Marc-Andre Campbell and the Associate Pastor, Father Kim D'Souza are implementing a liturgical praxis in full keeping with the vision of Benedict XVI. Without a doubt, under Ana Maria Nunes, the choir at St. Joseph's is the best and most liturgically formed in Mississauga. Twice, the Toronto Traditional Mass Society has provided active support to this parish on Holy Cross 2011 and Immaculate Conception 2012. It is more than marvelous to now see the parish take the lead as was done on Corpus Christi and will be again on the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter & Paul with a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

If you are in the Toronto to Hamilton, Kitchener, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Brampton or Orangeville areas you are no more than a one-hour drive on a Saturday morning. 

Come to the Mass and fill the Church as we pray for our Holy Father Francis for whose intentions this Mass is being offered.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Missa Solemnis pro Sponso et Sponsa - Frankie and the Vox

The glorious weather of Saturday, June 15, 2013 marked a rare liturgical event in the last half century in Canada; the Solemn Nuptial -  Missa pro sponso et sponsa. It was the marriage of the Miss Frankie and the Vox.

The magnificent liturgy was held at the beautiful St. Patrick's Kinkora in the Diocese of London in Ontario where the Mass in the EF will be moving from to the City of London in July 2013. The Mass was celebrated by Father Paul Nicholson, Pastor and Priest for the Solemn Liturgy. Father Kim D'Souza, Associate Pastor at St. Joseph's Mississauga (Streetsville) was Deacon and Mr. Stephen Bruzzese, Seminarian from the Diocese of St. Catharine's Ontario was Subdeacon. Mr. Joseph DeCaria was Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Steven Eckert, MCII aided by five Clerks. The music was provided by Ensemble Sine Nomine of Kitchener under the direction of Mr. Stephen Strauss with Angela Straus, Organist

The music included St. Anthony's Chorale based on a Theme of Haydn's by Brahms during the liturgical procession. The congregation and choir then sang the Veni Creator Spiritus prior to the Nuptial Rite. Mass began with the Gregorian Introit and all the Gregorian Propers from the Liber Usualis. The Ordinary of the Mass -- Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei was the Mass for Five Voices by William Byrd. After the Offertory Antiphon was sung the sublime Ave Maria by Robert Parsons followed and Byrd's Ave Verum Corpus was sung after the Communion Antiphon and Psalm at Holy Communion. All sang the Salve Regina which was followed by the presentation of the Bride's bouquet at the Altar of Our Lady whilst the Ave Maria by the Rt. Rev. John Edward Ronan, founder of St. Michael's Choir School, Toronto was sung with choir and organ. The recessional was La Rejouissance from the Royal Fireworks by Handel.

A luncheon reception followed at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Mitchell, Ontario.

+ Deo gratias +

Photographic talent courtesy of Mr. George Opreff

Friday 14 June 2013

Homo Mafia in the Curia and the "third-eye"; What's next?

As if the homo-mafia in the Curia is not enough, now we have a Prince of the Church with the "third-eye."

More here.

And here!

2110 The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.
2111 Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.41
2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."42 God, however, is the "living God"43 who gives life and intervenes in history.
2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."44 Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast"45 refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.46

Tuesday 11 June 2013

O Felix Kinkora - Deo Gratias!

Iconographer and artist Wojciech Strahl with his latest creation
On one of the buttresses of the north wall of St. Patrick's Catholic Church at Kinkora in the Diocese of London is a plaque remembering a recent benefactor, the late Joseph Murray with the title "O Felix Kinkora." Some dear souls of this bucolic place keep asking, "Who's Felix?"

As the story goes, there was a financial crisis brewing due to the niggardly practice of the locals (I'm sure Vox Pobuli Kinkora will now accuse me of calling them racist). The pastor, Father Paul Nicholson, invoked unceasing prayers of intercession to the Blessed Pope, Pius XII for a significant sum to pay off the debt of the parish from before his arrival made necessary by engineering restoration due to the church being built on a swamp. The holy Pope did not fail and the debt was paid, the plaque is a tribute to that happy benefactor, may he rest in the peace of Christ for his love and generosity and his legacy. Over the entrance to the church from the sacristy on the south side is a medallion of the famous image of Blessed Pius XII in thanksgiving for prayers answered.

Four years ago, this parish became a new home for the traditional Latin liturgy made free by our beloved Benedict XVI. From three people at that first Mass, the community has grown and shown its stability and its promise. Some Sundays there are eight young men and boys serving at the Altar of God!
Next Sunday, June 16 will be Father Nicholson's last Sunday at Kinkora and its sister parish, St. Vincent de Paul in Mitchell. The Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite begins at 12:00 Noon. After Mass, this Icon, a gift from another benefactor, will be blest as it takes up its new home with the new Latin Mass Community for London. The work has begun, we leave Kinkora not with a heavy heart but with a mission to proclaim the Lord and the beauty of the Latin Church's venerable Rite in the City. Father Nicholson begins his new ministry as a preacher for the New Evangelistation inside and out of the Diocese of London. May the Lord be with him always. May our Blessed Mother keep him always under her mantle. May St. Michael the Archangel guard him always.

In July and August, Mass will be in the chapel at John Paul II Catholic Secondary School in London. In September, it will move to its new permanent home at Regina Mundi College, originally built as a minor seminary. The Missa Cantata will be at 2:00 P.M. and will be celebrated on a rotation by six diocesan priests from the Diocese of London under the encouragement and support of Bishop Ronald Fabbro, CSB.

On a personal note, I have been so greatly blest and privileged by God to work with this priest and the good people of  Kinkora and Perth East and its regions for the last two and a one-half years. In that time, I've seen the numbers triple in attendees at the Mass, on some Sundays there were eight altar boys and the collections nearly exceeded that of the rest of the parish. To sing this Holy Mass as intended is a joy. To sing it in a church as beautiful as St. Patrick's Kinkora is something I could never have anticipated. I will make the journey to London. As Father said on Sunday, "this is no time for sentimentality, we have a mission to the City."

When I first began my work at Kinkora, I did not think of something else-- that one of the last acts of Father Nicholson and indeed my own in this beautiful church would be a wedding, my own! On Saturday, Father Nicholson assisted by a Deacon and Subdeacon will preside at the Solemn Nuptials between Miss Frankie and the Vox. It will be a glorious affair "Te Deum" for his blessings and all praise and honour is to Him and His Mother.

This beautiful Gothic edifice will ring with St. Anthony's Chorale from a theme of Haydn's by Brahms, Veni Creator Spiritus, the Byrd Mass for Five Voices, Ave Maria by Robert Parsons, Byrd's Ave Verum Corpus, Salve Regina and a very special Ave Maria at the presentation to Our Lady by the late Rt. Rev. John Edward Ronan, founder of Toronto's St. Michael's Choir School.

Please consider making the trip to Kinkora this Sunday for the Holy Mass, (of course, the wedding Mass itself is open to anyone as well) the blessing of the new Icon of St. Michael the Archangel and the singing of the Te Deum to give thanks to God for Benedict XVI and Summorum Pontificum, the pastoral care provided by Bishop Ronald Fabbro and in particular for the spiritual work of Father Paul Nicholson over the last six years and the munificence of Joe Murray; both of whose legacy will live on in Kinkora for generations to come.

God bless you all.

Monday 10 June 2013

Bishops such as Danneels take the lead marching into Hell

St. Charles Lwanga did not die in vain; though given the state of the Church and a darkened intellect, one might wonder. Sandro Magister reports today of the small but growing group of Cardinals and others in the Church succumbing to the notion of a quasi-marriage, -- same-sex civil unions.

Sin, particularly sexual sin dulls the intellect. Sodomy, fornication between consenting persons, pornography and masturbation; yes, even chemical and mechanical contraception and sterilisation, all are the same; they all come from the same place, they all lead to the same place. Let's face it, nobody hates the Church for its teachings on helping the poor, but to teach that the insertion of one male part into another, females doing to one another what is against nature, heterosexual intercourse and sexual behaviour behind unmarried persons, self-abuse and the slavery and exploitation of pornography, well the Church needs to shut up then and mind its business or be relegated to a scornful abuse by the secular world.

Even the Catholic world. How many of our bishops and so-called "leaders" in education have fallen for the sodomic notion of gay-straight alliances in Catholic schools disguised as clubs to prevent bullying as if bullying is something akin to Catholics, while our emasculated Cardinals and Bishops sits by and do nothing. No, I am wrong, their "nothing" is consent as silence always is and in fact, one wonders if they are complicit in this scandal for other reasons.

As Magister points out, it was only a decade ago under Blessed John Paul II and the Ratzinger lead CDF that this notion was condemned. What has changed then? Perhaps, they are just succumbing to the pressure of the secular world and think that this is the social-justice cause-celebre which is now the work of the Church or perhaps, there is even a more insidious reason. Perhaps the recent goings-on in Scotland give us a clue.

Magister writes:

One faithful mirror of this new course are the declarations released to the press by Cardinal Godfried Danneels, archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, on the eve of his eightieth birthday on June 4.
The Belgian cardinal - who without hypocrisy did not conceal his disappointment at the election of Benedict XVI at the conclave of 2005, and this year was one of the main electors of Pope Francis - stated that the Church “has never opposed the fact that there should exist a sort of 'marriage' between homosexuals, but one therefore speaks of a 'sort of' marriage, not of true marriage between a man and a woman, therefore another word must be found for the dictionary.”
And he concluded:
“About the fact that this should be legal, that it should be made legitimate through a law, about this the Church has nothing to say.”
The Belgian newspaper "Le Soir," in reporting the words of Danneels, added that “the position of the cardinal is shared by Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard," his successor as archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. The newspaper does not provide the evidence for this agreement. But there is no doubt that Danneels has effectively said, with the frankness that distinguishes him, what other cardinals and prelates have said in recent months.
The media, in fact, have recently reported favorable words on the legal recognition of homosexual unions on the part of at least four leading representatives of the hierarchy of the Church:
- Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the pontifical committee for Eucharistic congresses and formal master of papal ceremonies;
- Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the pontifical council for the family, who afterward corrected himself;
- Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna;
- Colombian Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez, archbishop of Bogotà, this latter forced to make a rapid retraction before he received the cardinal's biretta in November of 2012.
Last April 24 the “Vatican spokesman,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, also spoke out on the matter when asked about the definitive parliamentary approval on the part of the French national assembly for “gay marriage,” responding that one must “clearly emphasize that marriage between a man and a woman is a specific and fundamental institution in the history of humanity. This does not change the fact that there could be some recognition of other forms of union between two persons.”

No, I think it is something more.

I think that they all have a reason and it can be found in that dossier -- every cursed one of them! 

Are those listed above part of the sodomite mafia? Where is the dossier? 

It has been over 100 days, Our Holy Father speaks wonderful words, he now needs to act!

St. Charles Lwanga and all you Ugandan Martyrs, who choose the flames of death to give you new life in Christ rather than the sodomic desires of a king who would have preserved your life in this world but led you to the eternal fires; pray for us, pray for the Church!

Thursday 6 June 2013

Episcopal Careerism

Vatican Diary / The scourge of divorce between bishop and diocese

Pope Francis blasts career ambitions. Including that of wanting to go from one episcopal see to another and then to another still. But the proposal to bind a bishop indissolubly to his diocese has so far fallen into the void. The résumés of the cardinals are proof of this

by Sandro Magister

VATICAN CITY, June 6, 2013 – One of the recurrent themes in the preaching of pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the warning against ecclesiastical careerism. Over and over, both in the homilies at the morning Masses at Saint Martha's and in those delivered on solemn occasions, the pontiff who has come “from the ends of the earth” denounces an ancient temptation, which in effect dates back to the times of Jesus, when the apostles, as the Gospels recount, battled among themselves over who was the greatest.
Read the rest here.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

What are you doing to protect your Mother?

And more from this Tim Haines at www.thoughtsandperceptions.com

On "Eucharistic Minsters"...

On “Eucharistic Ministers”

Before I can really get into why I have a problem with “Eucharistic Ministers”, I thought I should first give some definition to what we’re talking about here.
Nowhere in Canon Law will you find the term “Eucharistic Minister”. The actual term used in the Code of Canon Law is “Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion”. The word “extraordinary” should jump out at you. As the word implies, that what we understand as “Eucharistic Ministers” are supposed to be exceptions to the rule (or exceptions to the “ordinary”. The “ordinary” minister of Holy Communion is a cleric (Bishop, Priest, Deacon). That is who is supposed to be administering Communion.
The question as to whether or not a layperson can assist in the distribution of Holy Communion would require a long, drawn out explanation of Canon Law. So what I’ll do is sum it up briefly, as it pertains to the normal experience of Sacred Liturgy.
1. If priests or deacons are present, and able (they aren’t ill, they can stand and walk) a priest or deacon is supposed to distribute Holy Communion. Period.
2. In EXCEPTIONAL circumstances a layperson may be designated to temporarily assist the ordinary minister(s). Those exceptional cases include:
a. The priest is not available
b. The priest is physically unable to distribute communion (sick, etc)
c. There are SOO MANY people at mass that it would take too long to distribute communion to everyone (Of course, this one is entirely subjective, which is why it’s so over-played in the modern Church. How long is “too long”?. Is 20 minutes that much longer than 10 minutes? Is the Eucharist worthy of 10 extra minutes of our time at mass? Is there another priest sitting around in the rectory? Why isn’t he helping to distribute communion? Are there Deacons associated with the Parish? Why aren’t they asked to show up at least to distribute communion?).
The use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion nowadays though has become abusive. Everyone uses them, at every mass, no matter how many priests are available to distribute communion, and no matter how many, or how few people are receiving communion during that mass. As this abuse falls under the subjective umbrella of Condition C (listed above) I would suggest we all lean in the direction of caution (and reverence) and not support what may be an abuse of the Canonical permission to use EMHCs.
But there are also spiritual reasons why I have a problem with EMHCs. Apart from the fact that they’re overused, I believe using extraordinary ministers at all takes the Eucharist experiecnce away from the realm of the sacred, and reduces it to the realm of the common. This itself is canonically, and theologically unsettling. The mass is—by order of rule rather than opinion—supposed to be the highest prayer of the Church, providing the senses and intellects of the faithful with an extraordinary experience. That’s Church teaching, not just my opinion. The mass is supposed to provide an environment which, in EVERY WAY, removes the faithful from the realm of the common, and elevates them to a more sacred. A solemn environment. It’s why everything involved with, or surrounding the mass is so majestic (or WAS before we ruined it all). When children grow up seeing “Bobby from down the street” handing out communion, what is that child learning about the Eucharist? He or she is learning that there’s nothing special or distinctive about it. When John or Jane (adult Catholics) see Bobby handing out communion, how are they eventually conditioned to regard the Eucharist? There are reasons why half the Church fails to recognize that the Eucharist is the TURE body and blood of Christ. We teach them that it’s just bread and wine. We teach them this because ordinary people are handing it out. We stand up to receive it (like we stand up for every other thing we do in our lives), we receive it in our hands (like we handle everything else in our lives). There is nothing whatsoever exceptional about the Eucharist experience. It’s no wonder people have lost respect and reverence for it. It’s not distinctive because it’s just ordinary people handling it out. There’s nothing exceptional about the Eucharist….because there’s nothing exceptional about how it’s distributed or how it’s received. See what I mean?
I think extraordinary ministers are over used. Way over used. It’s my personal preference not to see others supporting what I believe to be contributing to the decay of regard the faithful have for the Eucharist.