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Monday 22 February 2021

Food for thought! Toronto pastor preaches "veganism" from pulpit - says we have a: "Vegan-god!"


The Pastor at St. Ambrose Parish in Toronto's Alderwood neighbourhood is featured in Cardinal Collins' Catholic Register promoting veganism. Reverend Donatello Iocco had a traumatic experience watching a Netflix film. "It just moved me so much seeing animals suffer and being so scared of the human hand," said Iocco in the diocesan-owned Catholic Register.

I am sure that Father feels the same about the slaughtering of the innocent in the womb and the quote could have read, "It just moved me so much seeing babies suffer and being so scared of the human hand."

"Eden was vegan," says the vegan priest. (Yes, before the "Fall" as our erudite commenters have noted - which according to Blessed Anne Katherine Emmerich happened on the first day!) What does Holy Scripture actually say? Shall we look first at Genesis 1:28:
"And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth."
Further on we read Genesis 9:1-4:

"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood."

Note that God says that "Every moving that that lives shall be food for you." The only restriction he puts on it us is that we don't eat an animal that is alive or slaughtered and not drained of its blood. That is what it says. As an animal lover and someone who loves a good tenderloin or lingcod, there is no contradiction. We must love God's creation and treat it with respect. We are educated, civilized and cultured and caring people and advanced societies. Our animals should be slaughtered with humane considerations - the unnecessary suffering of an animal is never acceptable. On this, we would have no argument. Even our native ancestors in North America understood that and revered the animals they slaughtered for food and clothing even thanking God for it, in their own way.

The Catholic Register of this Archdiocese reports that Iocco has been not so subtle with his parishioners - actually lecturing them from the pulpit - a place reserved for the Good News of Salvation, not politically or ideologically inspired messages of a personal nature:

"As an impassioned new convert to the plant-based lifestyle, Iocco soon began preaching to his congregation about the virtues of compassionate eating, presenting statistics where possible, but admits he did receive some pushback. Some congregants were not ready for that message, even quoting the Old Testament and Paul in the New Testament to show eating meat is biblically permitted."

This is a totally inappropriate use of the pulpit. How does this not result in a rebuke from his bishop rather than publicity in the diocesan press?


At the parish website, Father promotes fishless Fridays by suggesting that we choose "plant-based" fishless fillets. Poisson Poison! Fabricated food that this priest suggests we put in our bodies. He even has the temerity to advertise a product and retail outlet. 

In the parish bulletin, he promotes recipes and web pages on veganism as an ideology.

Veganism appears to be Father Locco Iocco's new religion. Perhaps he needs to discern his vocation - he should have been a holistic nutritionist! But then, he would figure out that these plant-based food products are nothing more than laboratory chemicals and highly processed poisons.

By the way Father. The altar cloths are to be white!

304. Out of reverence for the celebration of the memorial of the Lord and for the banquet in which the Body and Blood of the Lord are offered, there should be, on an altar where this is celebrated, at least one cloth, white in color, whose shape, size, and decoration are in keeping with the altar’s structure. When, in the Dioceses of the United States of America,  (IDENTICAL IN CANADIAN EDITION OF THE MISSAL AND GIRM PRINTED IN THE FRONT - no longer online) other cloths are used in addition to the altar cloth, then those cloths may be of other colors possessing Christian honorific or festive significance according to longstanding local usage, provided that the uppermost cloth covering the mensa (i.e., the altar cloth itself) is always white in color. General Instruction on the Roman Missal, (GIRM)

Father was trained at St. Augustine's Seminary in Homiletics, no doubt. Has he forgotten what was taught or was he taught there that this is suitable? Not only is it inappropriate, but I would also argue that it is objectively sinful and abusive - he has people hostage and he chooses to push an agenda that is not about Christ, not about doctrine or morals and has no basis in Holy Scripture. In fact, if he is telling his flock from the pulpit what he says in the video below or in the article, he is outright misleading and lying. 

In June 2019, Father appeared on a YouTube video by a group called In Defense of Animals. Sadly, the poor priest displays a gross ignorance of Scripture and history.

The best starts at 52 minutes.

"God has never commanded us to eat meat," says Father. But what of this given which is very relevant to our season of Lent? As well-formed Christians, we know that the Lamb of the Passover was a precursor to the real Lamb of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Paschal Lamb Itself, slaughtered and sacrificed for our sins and eaten by the priests and the people. Below is the first Passover. It sounds like a command to me.

“3 Speak ye to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, and say to them: On the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses. 4 But if the number be less than may suffice to eat the lamb, he shall take unto him his neighbour that joineth to his house, according to the number of souls which may be enough to eat the lamb. 5 And it shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, of one year: according to which rite also you shall take a kid. 6 And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month: and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood thereof, and put it upon both the side posts, and on the upper door posts of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire, and unleavened bread with wild lettuce.”
He continues that "God has given us a vegan diet, he commands that. That's his will. God's will is for us to eat a vegan diet."
3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood."

Father's ignorance of scripture and history is astounding and the blame for this must fall on his formation at St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto. How can any priest make a statement such as, "God does not want (blood) sacrificial offerings" and link "the blood of lambs and goats" to eating meat? He continues that "Jesus said himself, I want kindness and not animal sacrifices." He suggests we Google, "Jesus as a vegetarian." He goes so far as to state that Holy Scripture is only affected by history and culture. He continues that we only eat meat because "after the flood, there was no vegetation to eat?" If that were true, how did the dove find the olive branch? He blames it all on the poor translation of Greek, Hebrew and Latin. 

Yet, we know that this is simply untrue. Father is either suffering from a delusion or is intentionally misleading. We know that Jesus ate the Passover meal which must include meat - specifically, lamb. We know that he ate fish as evident when he appeared to the apostles after the resurrection.

"We have a vegan God," according to Reverend Iocco. Such blasphemy.

Look, I'm sure Father Iocco is a nice guy, probably a very kind man. This reflects more on his formation and the abandonment of parish priests by their bishops. It speaks of a priest with too much time on his hands to watch Netflix. It speaks of a system that leaves pastors alone and on their own. No community. It speaks of a man who would preach from the pulpit a political agenda filled with manipulation and a made-up interpretation of scripture. The pulpit is no place for this kind of propaganda.

This is an indictment of the leadership of the Cardinal and his recent predecessors, his Auxiliary Bishops, his Seminary leadership and the entire clericalist structure of the Church in Toronto that has allowed such ideas to be foisted upon the faithful. The faithful that suffers for solid preaching of the Good News of Salvation, the efficaciousness of redemptive suffering, the cause of life and freedom of religion and trust in God, especially at this time. They have a right to sound homiletics, not political and ideological leftist bile from the pulpit.

Father has a right to be a vegan. He does not have the right to foist his views on the people in his parish in a Mass, nor does he have a right to his own private and quite incorrect interpretation of scripture as a Catholic priest and then to preach it publicly. 


Anonymous said...

If Father believes in transubstantiation, he must have a problem at Communion!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Good grief! Don't we get enough idiocy from the pulpit?

Anonymous said...

Technically, Father is right about Eden being a vegan environment. That was the ideal. It was AFTER the Fall and the Flood that God gave permission to eat animals. As you say, he seems to have forgotten the directions about the Passover AND the fact that the resurrected Lord ate fish on the beach with the disciples. Selective Catholicism, ya gotta love it. (not)

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that the anti meat folks are really being vocal. Eventually they'll day eating meat makes you susceptible to Covid 19. Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

This analysis is spot on. There is something more here than just an eccentric priest. Notice that he is given FRONT page and sympathetic coverage by the Anti-Catholic Register. They only do that for stories they deem to be safe and acceptable. Have you ever seen the Anti-Catholic Register publish a front page story about a priest who does, well, sacred things? How about a priest working to promote Eucharistic devotion? Or a priest working to promote Marian devotion? Or a priest working to promote the traditional liturgy? What about a priest who just spent his entire life working in a hidden way for the good of a parish?

Johnno said...

It's nothing new to see Scripture mangled for the sake of Veganism.

Yes, it's true that in Eden, prior to death of flesh and blood, only plants were for food. After the Flood, God permitted man to eat animals.

God further lifted restrictions on eating animals when granting the vision to St. Peter that even unclean animals were now kosher, a double meaning that the pagan world was now ready to be baptized and converted and didn't need to go through traditional Jewish customs or lifestyles.

God likely had good reasons to do so - the scarcity of food after the Flood being one of those for a start. But relying on the state of Eden for certain behaviour in a fallen world isn't the best idea. After all, incest was also normal prior to the Fall, and the only way for Adam and Eve's children to procreate. This was restricted following Abraham's time and formally codified in the Mosaic Law. There are good scientific genetic reasons to not engage in incest due to genetic issues that wouldn't have existed in Eden, and the gene pool would've been further destroyed following Noah's time after the majority of mankind was destroyed.

There are similarly good healthy reasons to eat meat. And given that hellspawn Bill Gates is campaigning to get rid of meat and replace it with some synthetic nonsense, that's enough reason for me to encourage the opposite.

P. O'Brien said...

Tell this priest about the Paschal Lambs, sacrificed and consumed by the hundreds of thousands every year.

Tom A. said...

Do not confuse this modernist for a Roman Catholic priest. He is a presider of the new religion spawned at Vatican 2. No one who calls themselves Catholic and assents to the Catholic faith as taught prior to 1958 should have anything to do with the new modern false religion. The god of the pagans are demons.

Phineas said...

Great piece, Vox. I'm not much of a bible quoter but two verses came immediately to mind:

Matthew 15:11 "not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
Matthew 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

KC said...

What in the Hell is wrong with this priest? I mean "Hell" literally here and the answer is in the question. Where you find animal worship you find paganism.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

He might very well have a vegan god. Of course it would be an idol and not the One True God. So is he now priest of the vegan idols? Time to dry up his collection plate.

John F. Kennedy said...

"When, in the Dioceses of the United States of America,.." He's NOT in the US, therefore any exception for it doesn't apply to him.

Vox Cantoris said...

The Canadian GIRM is not readily available. The text is the same and is UNIVERSAL. It appears in the front of the very Missal in front of him.

Dan said...

Well, he is on to something. From Adam until Noah came out of the Ark, man was vegan. Butafter the Ark, God says to take up meat and eat it. Monastics rarely if ever eat meat. I'm a great meat eater, but in Holy Lent it does no harm to greatly restrict it for penance sake.

John F. Kennedy said...

Thanks for the correction.

jim norwood said...

What does he say about the fact animals eat other animals.

Anonymous said...

Will he take the vaccine,considering the use of an aborted babies kidneys cells been used, cells cut out of a living baby in a c section abortion ?in a procedure carried out specifically to harvest living cells.

Peter Lamb said...

Solve the problem one shot!


Virginia Bell said...

How come every comment is in agreement with the article?

Vox Cantoris said...

It might have something to do with the sound thought and argument of the writer and the gross error of Father Iocco. Feel free, Virginia, to challenge the facts and defend what amounts to setting up an alternative theology.

Virginia Bell said...

You say that we should treat God's creation with respect, but after hundreds of years of no mention of animals in our church sermons, you decry Donatello's bringing other animals into the sermon. You say 'the unnecessary suffering of an animal is never acceptable', but killing animals because you like the taste of their flesh is not a necessity. This is a debate that Catholics should be having, and there is so much to say on this issue I invite readers to visit my website: https://catholicactionforanimals.wordpress.com

Vox Cantoris said...


I have published your comment. See? I have not edited out the opposition because you are the first. Other can join. I believe in an open combox unless you start slinging manure.

"Unnecessary suffering" is the torture and abusive slaughtering animals in the Islamic "Eid al-Adhaalal" festivals. Totally unjustified and unwarranted. How about halal slaughter? Halal slaughter is done by the front of the animal and its jugular so that it suffers and bleeds to death. Jewish law requires that the animal must die a painless and quick death, therefore slaughter is from the spinal cord so that it is instant. Our version in our advanced Judeo-Christian culture and sane governmental regulations is similar using whatever means necessary to brain-kill the animal instantly. We all know unnecessary suffering and abuse of animals that takes place, we deplore these, they are God's creation.

Food is food and in whatever suffering takes place, it is not "unnecessary" and it must be minimal.

You, as Father, have the right to be vegan. You don't have the right to lie and distort Catholic teaching and scripture.

You speak of hundreds of years of no sermons on animals? You display your ignorance. Try researching St. Francis of Assisi or St. Anthony of Padua on that one.

The homily is about salvation, morality, doctrine, truth. Not about a political agenda.

Father deserved to be corrected in this. I feel sad for him, truly I do. I blame the bishop of his deanery, the Cardinal and his formators for giving him such poor guidance and pastoral fatherly care.

James said...

Those tracking conservative news sources are already aware that there is a serious effort by the Globalist Communists to outlaw all red meat on the North American Continent. To Mexico's credit, they have told America and Canada to go take a hike on this matter. This is a serious issue, and people need to contact their lawmakers to let them know that this enslavement avenue will NOT be tolerated.

Barona said...

Meanwhile the Catholic Register is SILENT on the DISSENT in the Catholic schools. Enough said.

Jenny McQueen said...

I’m saddened by the tone of this hateful article, and the wilful ignorance within. You have this statement: “ We must love God's creation and treat it with respect.”, yet animals are treated with contempt, as mere commodities. The industrialized animal ag industry is out of control. Animals are crammed into places of cruel confinement masquerading as “farms” (pigs in gestation crates/hens in battery cages). They’re mutilated without anaesthesia, they’re artificially inseminated. They’re trucked to slaughter at just a few months old. Pigs are stunned in a gas chamber in Canada and in the USA. You can see undercover videos of them struggling, terrified as they lose consciousness.

I’ve taken videos inside slaughterhouses, chicken “barns”, dairy operations and pig breeding facilities. They’re miserable places, for the animals and for the humans who end up working there. They pollute our beautiful countryside and damage our environment.

When one of your own tries to portray this, and encourage people to open their eyes, and extend their compassion to animals you turn on him with such mockery and vitriol.

How disappointing.

Vox Cantoris said...

I suppose you break in to private property on farms or disable trucks in your zeal as well? When you filmed inside a slaugherhouse, did you have permission? Did you think it would be pretty? You dare call me, "hateful?" You missed the point, Dearie, this priest can believe this if he wants, can eat what he wants but he can't lie to his flock about what Scripture says. You missed that point.

Tell me, how do you feel about this?


I trust you are at least equally reviled?

Anonymous said...

Shocked by the intensity of anger from non-vegans ... God-fearing non-vegans, no less! Veganism is the purest form of compassion and peacefulness! Shame on you for condemning this gentle man!!

Vox Cantoris said...

I see the fascist pagan veganists have declared war.

Bring it on.

Anonymous said...

he is a nut


Barona said...

Upon reflection this issue is far deeper and more problematic than we realize. Perhaps because it has subtly seduced most of us over the past 70 years. As a brief caveat before I commence with my reflection, it needs to be said that Vox is an animal lover, and a man who believes in organic farming and stewardship of Nature as a gift form God to us, The Vox himself goes out of his to obtain his meat from local farmers: how many of those who have cast stones at him can claim the same?

Legitimate concerns have been raised about animal "farming", abuse etc. But this is only a symptom and not the cause. Industrial scale farming (both animal and vegetarian) only began in earnest after WW2, though it was already cropping up (no pun intended) prior to the War. What we have is really a huge problem concerning the modern lifestyle of - let us call him - homo modernus. Now this "modern man" lives in a false, plastic, illusory world. He passes his time mostly on tarmac and cement (not grass and earth), he touches mostly plastics and metals, his body is clothed mostly in synthetically made clothing, his "food" comes out of boxes and goes into microwaves, he pushes GMO "food", his temperature is artificially controlled (will we soon have demands for air-conditioned door knobs?), he turns lights on and off with voice commands, he drives where he can easily walk. And so on.

Modern man is also terrified of death, though he worships youth. The aged are hidden and shut away. The unborn are seen as an inconvenience and murdered. The reality of male and female is denied and perverted. Human life is considered a disease to be obstructed with anti-conceptive poisons and so on. Modern man's terror of death is such that he fears a little virus. SO much so that he was easily cajoled into submission by the very same people who brought us the fake, plastic, industrialized post-war world. He believes in an earthy paradise; his gaze is horizontal and limited. He only thinks of comfort and pleasure.

Is it not logical then that modern man has bought completely into the ungodly manner of harvesting the earth as God intended? Just prior to the War virtually everything was "organic". Even the lunacy of "pasturized" milk was unknown. Our mothers and grandmothers used paper bags. But today, what modern "liberated" woman wants to be seen shopping for her family?

This modern man who allowed natural organic farming to be corrupted and hijacked by huge corporate interests is the same modern man who - out of sentiment - laments the abuse that is fostered on animals within the farming-industrial complex. But this man man is blind to causes of this. It is the rejection of God and the stewardship of Nature that God has commanded us to undertake. So it is no surprise that this same modern man is silent when millions are killed in the womb, or the family destroyed, male and female denied. Modern man lives in a plastic, fake, artificial world. He is a selfish man, who desires everything instantly. And not just instant coffee.

It is not a question of turning back the clock as neo-luddites would have it. It is a question of bringing the spirit of true Christianity back into everyday living. Catholics would to well to read "The Church and Farming" by the Rev. Dr. Denis Fahey, where the distinguished Irish priest wrote lovingly of the land and the beauty of small farming. Where he traces the influence of false liberal philosophies of that gave rise to the false, illusory modern lifestyle. The late Fr. McNabb in the 1950s apparently said "the city is sin". Imagine what would say if he were alive today?