Thursday, 31 December 2020

Cardinal Collins approves Sunday Communion Service without Mass to end of lockdown - but is there more to the story?


What was once satirical has now become reality. 

From: MacCarthy, Neil <> on behalf of Office of Public Relations & Communications <>
Sent: December 30, 2020 5:42 PM
To: Office of Public Relations & Communications <>
Subject: Dec. 30 Communication from Cardinal Collins - Direction regarding additional Holy Communion Services 

December 30, 2020 

To all clergy and staff of the Archdiocese of Toronto, 

Blessings to you and your parishioners during this Christmas season! Thank you for all that you continue to do.

I have received feedback from priests and the Auxiliary Bishops regarding the Holy Communion Services held on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Those who were able to offer these services have indicated that it was a fruitful opportunity to provide the faithful with spiritual nourishment given the current lockdown restrictions. Some parishes have requested that permission be granted to continue the services on weekends during the lockdown period.

By way of this communication, I grant permission, for parishes that wish to do so, to continue offering Holy Communion Services, at times determined by the pastor, on Saturdays after 3:00 pm, and on Sundays. This may continue during the period of lockdown. The text previously circulated should be used for these services, and adapted (as with a short Gospel reading from the Sunday, and the Sunday Collect). Parishes wishing to organize Holy Communion Services must observe WorshipSafe protocols and ensure this can be done safely, with no more than 10 people inside the church at any given time.

Parishes are under no obligation to offer Holy Communion Services but should remain open for private prayer on a regular basis, with a schedule determined by the pastor.  The availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is also important. And it is spiritually helpful for parishes to continue to livestream services, where possible, and to maintain outreach with parishioners using appropriate communication tools.

I pray that these options provide spiritual support for your community during the lockdown period. Once again, I thank you for your incredible work this year in caring for the faithful under these most difficult circumstances. 

Sincerely in Christ, 

Thomas Cardinal Collins

Archbishop of Toronto

Notwithstanding that the Ford government has severely limited church attendance to ten with little pushback except from some brave Baptists and Evangelicals, the Cardinal has shut down public Mass, though the Bishop of St. Catharines and the Bishop of Pembroke have not, Mass continues with the provincial limit.

The alternative that Cardinal Collins has now provided is the communion service as on Christmas to be held every Sunday until the lockdown is lifted. The Cardinal should be commended for his munificence and spiritual concern. We should thank him for we have been given the "crumbs from the Master's table."

Yet, as with anything, the devil is in the details and in this, he really is. The parishes are under "no obligation" and they "should" remain open for private prayer, not must, not will, but should. Permission to easily ignore his request.

We see now our problem. Let us look at just one parish, St. Margaret of Scotland in the tony neighbourhood of Avenue Road. A pastor, Andy MacBeth an Associate Alexander MacDonald and a Deacon Robert Klinghorn and not one of them has the decency to follow the Cardinal's request and provide the Holy Communion service or open the church for private prayer. There was no Holy Communion for you on Christmas at St. Margaret of Scotland and now the Church is sealed up. We can shame these three clerics for their lack of charity, their lack of faith, their lack of spiritual care. You can read to the right and at this link the proof of their dereliction. 27 DECEMBER 2020 FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH.pdf (

How many other Father MacBeth's are there? Slothful, selfish and arrogant clericalists. Television narcissists. Cowards cowering in their rectories. Do they have compromised immune systems and fear a virus more than they fear Hell, a Hell that they probably don't believe exists. How many within the Toronto presbyterate have told the Cardinal they won't cooperate? Where is their "obedience" to their Ordinary. Did MacBeth not promise obedience to the bishop that ordained him and his successors?

If this is the case, the responsibility for the failure falls right back on Cardinal Collins who has failed to lead. Failed to challenge the Premier in court. Failure to order his priests to be priests after the model of St. John Vianney or St. Maximillian Kolbe or to follow the example of Bishop Michael Power who gave his life bringing the sacraments to the sick and dying in this very city. He didn't cower in his rectory like Andy MacBeth.

Update: I'm told in the combox that Father MacDonald is a good man and probably following the necessary "obedience" to the pastor. Poor man was just ordained two years ago. Imagine what he has to put up with now? Shut up in a rectory for heaven knows how long with Andy MacBeth. This "obedience" is why I get these memos from priests, not a priest, priests. This is why nearly daily I receive phone calls, text messages, emails from priests echoing their disgust at the Cardinal's actions and the Andy MacBeth's who seem to be in the majority. 

Cardinal Collins, this is to be your legacy. You can change it.



Evangeline said...

One hates to pile on but the other day I saw a photo from Russia where an Orthodox priest was geared up in medical garb and about to go into a hospital where I assume he was providing sacraments, hearing confessions, and encouraging the sick or dying. Are priests and bishops doing the same?
Even if they had to change gear entirely for each patient, they could be seeing some. I mean, how do doctors or nurses do that, yet they move between patients. It's heartbreaking to think of how many have died without the sacraments or a priest to hear them.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald is a good man and a decent priest. I believe he is just following the Pastor's will out of obedience.

Vox Cantoris said...

Ah, "obedience." Yes, we've all learned about Catholic obedience.

It is not holy obedience when the command is evil.

Brian said...

Is there not such a choice as virtuous disobedience? Timid Tommy, how about it?

Irenaeus said...

What a way to end 2020.

Maudie N Mandeville said...

It's difficult to imagine a priest of two years since ordination, after having spent his formative years in 'those seminaries', being anything other than what was instilled in him. What is a good priest in this post-conciliar Age of Aquarius? I imagine a good priest from 1950 would walk away shocked and offering a prayer to our Blessed Mother after one hour with a good priest from 2020 whilst the latter walking away with a surly look of disgust and pent up rage on his face.

Jonah said...

This may help readers to understand what's going on: