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Sunday, 26 March 2023

But Jesus Hid Himself

Originally published in 2016.
Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent which begins Passiontide. If one attends Mass strictly in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite it is not generally apparent having been done away with as a time within Lent. In the traditional calendar, it is called the First Sunday of the Passion with the colloquial Palm Sunday being the Second Sunday of the Passion. There is a further stripping away of liturgical elements and embellishments which began at Septuagesima, 

From First Vespers last night until the Paschal Vigil, the Gloria Patri is not said after the Asperges on Passion Sunday or the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, Introit, Lavabo, and Communion Antiphonal Psalms. In the Office, it is eliminated from some of the Verses and Short Responsories. Jesus is losing his earthly glory. The readings and psalm antiphons reflect this in the Mass and Office. Those who hate him are now plentiful, as plentiful now, as when he walked. Those who seek his death are now coming to the fore. Those who seek the death of His Church are coming to the fore and are also within Her. Lent now takes a change in focus; -- while our penance continues, we now shift towards the passion of Our Blessed Lord and his saving work of redemption.

Abbot Gueranger writes:
"During the preceding four weeks, we have noticed how the malice of Jesus' enemies has been gradually increasing. His very presence irritates them; and it is evident that any little circumstance will suffice to bring the deep and long-nurtured hatred to a head."
His passion then has begun. His glory, as at Mount Tabor, is no longer apparent.

There is one element that remains in the modernist liturgy depending on the parish's own tradition. While it was once obligatory it is now optional and that is the veiling of the Crucifix and statues, though not Stations of the Cross or the imagery in windows. 

Veiling of ImagesBut why? From whence does this tradition come? 

It is thought to have begun around the 9th century in Germany. When Lent began (which in most languages is a derivative of Quadregesimae, the Latin for forty days), a cloth called a hungertuch, or hunger cloth, was used to cover the altar. It was removed on the Tuesday of Holy Week during the reading of the Passion according to St. Mark when “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” The Gospels in the three-year cycle in the New Lectionary do not reflect the symbolism and beauty of Passiontide and the veiling. They are all from St. John’s Gospel and are in sequence – “I am the Resurrection and the Life;” … “If a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it bears much fruit;” and, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The change from the one-year Lectionary, in place from St. Gregory the Great, was a grievous error. The desires of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council could have been achieved without the assault on the whole Church tradition of readings. A Lesson could have been added to the Sunday liturgy. Weekdays could have had their own Mass texts whilst still acknowledging the Sanctoral cycle. Interestingly, the Advent readings in the new Lectionary are beautiful and are the one thing that perhaps, one day, be inserted into the old Lectionary.  could have had its own lectionary as in Lent in the traditional rite. The three-year Lectionary remains a problem. Mass is not a bible study and what is lost in the reading below is quite profound, as you will soon comprehend.

For the Mass on the Fifth Sunday of Lent according to the ancient use Roman Missal, the Gospel for no less than 1600 years until 1969 has been the following and it explains the veiling and why they killed Him.

GOSPEL ¤ John 8. 46-59 † A continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Which of you shall convince Me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe Me? He that is of God heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God. The Jews therefore answered and said to Him: Do not we say well, that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered: I have not a devil: but I honor My Father, and you have dishonored Me. But I seek not My own glory: there is One that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you: If any man keep My word, he shall not see death for ever. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that Thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the Prophets: and Thou sayest: If any man keep My word, he shall not taste death for ever. Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost Thou make Thyself? Jesus answered: If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing: it is My Father that glorifieth Me, of whom you say that He is your God, and you have not known Him: but I know Him: and if I shall say that I know Him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know Him, and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day: he saw it and was glad. The Jews therefore said to Him: Thou art not yet fifty years old: and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. They took up stones therefore to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.

“But Jesus hid Himself.”

St. Augustine said that at this moment by virtue of His divine nature, Jesus became literally invisible.
“He hides not himself in a corner of the temple as if afraid or running into a cottage or turning aside behind a wall or column; but by His Divine Power making Himself invisible he passed through their midst.”

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read the following:
205 God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that burns without being consumed: "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."9 God is the God of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes to free their descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan.
"I Am who Am"
Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'. . . this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations."

Moses and the Burning Bush DBouts.jpg

CCC 206 In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.
CCC 207 By revealing his name God at the same time reveals his faithfulness which is from everlasting to everlasting, valid for the past ("I am the God of your father"), as for the future ("I will be with you").12 God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them.
CCC 208 Faced with God's fascinating and mysterious presence, man discovers his own insignificance. Before the burning bush, Moses takes off his sandals and veils his face in the presence of God's holiness.13 Before the glory of the thrice-holy God, Isaiah cries out: "Woe is me! I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips."14 Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus, Peter exclaims: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."15 But because God is holy, he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him: "I will not execute my fierce anger. . . for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst."16 The apostle John says likewise: "We shall. . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."

Jesus revealed to the Temple authorities, the leadership of Israel, who He was. He knew Abraham and did so in such a way that they would know with absolute clarity who He was. He had done it before, seven times.

1. I Am the Bread of Life: (John 6). 

2. I Am the Light of the World: (John 8). 

3. I Am the Gate of the Sheepfold: (John 10). 

4. I Am the Good Shepherd: (John 10). 

5. I Am the Resurrection and the Life: (John 11). 

6. I Am the Way, Truth, and Life: (John 14). 

7. I Am the True Vine: (John 15).

Note that Jesus, when the Jews questioned his age and Abraham, he did not say, "Before Abraham was made, I was made." Had he said this, they would have just thought him delusional. Rather, He said, "Before Abraham was made, I AM." They knew exactly what He meant. 

Now, he is hidden in our churches and chapels only to be unveiled when we recall His Crucifixion -- "Ecce lignum Crucis," -- "Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the Saviour of the world, come let us adore him." If we hide Him we cannot abide the glory of His saints, therefore, they are also hidden. Christ is shamed. He is humiliated by those whom he came to save. The Jewish "deep state" betrayed Him, and we continue to betray Him today.

He declared Himself before all Israel to be the I AM of the Burning Bush; and for this, they would kill Him. They knew what He said, they knew what He meant. He confessed to them that he was the very Son of God, the very God Himself come to earth.

In the sermon below from 1846, we find an incredible dissertation on Jesus hiding Himself.  
It is a sermon by an Anglican, but one would be hard-pressed to find a better sermon or homily said today on the subject from a typical Catholic pulpit. This was a period that led Saint John-Henry Newman home.

Would that we could hear preaching like this today.


+ + +


Second Series.  VOL. I.

Then took they up stones to cast at Him."

Thus are we brought down from the whole Gospel for the day to that portion of it which will engage our chief attention during the brief remainder of this morning's service. "But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

1. Jesus "hid Himself," as man, in prudence: according to the will of His Heavenly Father. As He had been born in "the fullness of time," so it was at an appointed hour that He was to die. But "His hour was not yet come ": and He therefore avoided whatever might unduly quicken the course of events, or put forward the grand horologe of time. And this He did in obedience to the Will of His Heavenly Father. This obedience was the mainspring of His conduct throughout His earthly sojourn. "Lo I come to do Thy will, O God," was His motto from first to last; and never was it more fully translated into action than in all He did with regard to His final suffering and departure.

When that hour of mingled humiliation and glory, which compressed eternal interests within the compass of a few passing minutes; when that everlasting hour arrived, the holy and obedient Jesus yielded Himself at once into the power of His enemies. Thus, when Satan had entered into Judas Iscariot, Jesus said to the traitor, "What thou doest, do quickly." When Judas came to Him in the garden with men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, "Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said unto them, I am He." And when the impetuous Peter—the first to defend, the first to deny his Master—drew his sword and cut oft" the right ear of Malchus, the High Priest's servant, "then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" When Pilate would fain have released Him, and sought for some pretext for so doing in the replies of Jesus to his interrogatories, "Jesus gave him no answer." And at the last, when He saw that all was "finished,"—prophecy fulfilled, types realised, the preparations for His sacrificial Death complete, His Father's will wrought out,—He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost."

But until the arrival of that hour, His conduct was marked throughout by unexampled prudence. While He wrought His miracles before the multitude, and taught openly in the Temple, and in secret did nothing; while He boldly confuted and reproved the Pharisee, the Sadducee, and the Herodian, regardless of the enmity He thereby incurred; He carefully shunned the precipitation of His end. He had a mission of vast pregnancy and moment to discharge; and until this was done, He would not lay down that life which the Father had put into His power. Whenever danger became imminent, He withdrew Himself from the presence of those who sought to lay hands on Him and destroy Him. Thus, on the occasion immediately before us, when the infuriated Jews took up stones to cast at Him, "Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." 

On a previous occasion, when the Pharisees held a council how they might destroy Him, Jesus “withdrew Himself from thence." On a subsequent occasion, similar to that of the text, when the Jews again sought to take Him, "he escaped out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan." When the Sanhedrim, after the official prophecy of the unconscious Caiaphas, took counsel together to put Him to death, "Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with His disciples." Thus, throughout His whole earthly career, our Blessed Lord exercised a prudence of the highest order; enforcing by His own example the precepts He gave to His first disciples: "Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves ;"—" When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another ." And these precepts, supported by this supreme example, and adapted to the exigencies of Christians at the present day, apply also to us. "As men may not be too tenacious, so neither may they be too profuse and lavish of life and the comforts of it," says Dean Stanhope; "lest, besides their present hardships, they find at last an indiscreet zeal returned, with a 'Who hath required these things at your hands?' Love indeed is apt and desirous to give over-measure, where it can: but still this must not be the effect of passion alone. Prudence should temper and direct it." 

"It is an office of prudence," says Bishop Taylor, "to serve God So that we may at the same time preserve our lives and our estates, our interest and reputation, for ourselves and our relations, so far as they can consist together. For Christian religion, carrying us to heaven, does it by the ways of a man; and by the body it serves the soul, as by the soul it serves God; and therefore it endeavours to secure the body and its interest, that it may continue the opportunities of a crown, and prolong the stage in which we are to run for the mighty prize of our salvation; and this is that part of prudence which is the defensative and guard of a Christian in the time of persecution: and it hath in it much of duty."

Thus far we have endeavoured to consider the conduct of our Blessed Lord, on the occasion under review, on its human side; as an exhibition of prudence and discretion. But it has a sublimer aspect than this; to which we now with reverence will turn.

Jesus “hid Himself," as God, in majesty; the majesty of displeasure. "He did not hide Himself," says St. Augustine, "in a corner of the Temple, as if He were afraid; or take refuge in a house, or run behind a wall, or a pillar; but, by His heavenly power making Himself invisible to His enemies, He went through the midst of them." Just before, He had said, "Before Abraham was I Am"; with evident reference to the Name revealed by the Lord to Moses, as recorded in the First Lesson for this morning's service; when He appeared to him in the burning but unconsumed bush, as he was keeping the flock of Jethro, the Priest of Midian, near the base of Mount Horeb. On that occasion, when Moses would have drawn nigh to see that great sight, the Lord forbad his nearer approach, and commanded him to unsandal his feet, because they were standing on holy ground. He, who required this reverence towards an inferior manifestation of Himself, would not permit the rude hand of violence to invade His incarnate glory. He "hid Himself" in the secret depths of His invisible Godhead.

There is, doubtless, a mystery in this; and we cannot fully understand why He, who submitted on so many occasions to endure the contradiction of sinners against Himself, refused on other occasions to undergo the indignities that wicked hands would have put upon Him. But a like mystery invested the whole of His earthly career. The darkest shades of humiliation were never permitted altogether to obscure His glory; while yet, that glory was so far hidden, that men despised Him and esteemed Him not. Great, however, as was the mystery of His commingling of glory and shame, the mystery of the manifestation of His glory alone was greater. He might have flashed forth devouring lightnings from the dark and surcharged cloud. He might have kindled into supernatural and overwhelming brightness the splendours of His Divine and resistless Presence. But He did none of these things. He manifested forth His glory by hiding Himself. When the Lord, in the days of old, would preserve righteous Lot and His prophet Elisha from the hand of violence, He smote their enemies with blindness; and so He might have done on this occasion: but, as the threatened indignity was greater, so was the punishment wherewith He visited it. "He hid Himself."

Awful are the exhibitions of Divine glory, when the Lord is raised up out of His holy habitation, and comes forth from His unseen depths to punish the ungodly. But these are as nothing when compared with the hidings of His face. When the Lord would denounce the severest judgments against Israel of old, He said to Moses, "Mine anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?" And when, on the other hand, He would confer upon His repentant people the greatest possible blessing, He said by the mouth of Ezekiel, "Neither will I hide My face from them any more: for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel."

The hidings of Jesus, in the days of His flesh, were yet more majestic and awful. He came into the world for the express purpose, among others, of manifesting the glory and the grace of God: so that to hide Himself was, as it were, to revoke His mission with regard to those from whom He thus withdrew. He abandoned them to the evil of their own hardened and unbelieving hearts, and left them to be filled with their own ways.

It is impossible to conceive anything more dreadful than the condition of the man from whom Jesus has hid Himself. Such a man sinks at once into a state of moral stupidity: he sins on without aim or purpose. Until Jesus hid Himself, the unbelieving Jews had an object against which to direct their malignant attacks; but when He could be no longer seen, their malice, though as virulent as ever, became wholly impotent and senseless. And so, when Jesus hides Himself from sinners of the present day,—who insult His majesty because it is concealed to the-eye of sense or mere reason (though not to the eye of faith), beneath mean and simple accidents,—He leaves them to perish as brute beasts. The force of argument and moral suasion having been tried upon them in vain, together with all other manifestations of the true and holy Jesus, He will no longer expose Himself to the rash temerity and blinded insolence of their invasions, but hides Himself, going through the midst of them, and so passes by.

The abstract contemplation of such a subject is too awful for man to dwell upon at any length; and we will therefore now consider it, (so hastening to a conclusion,) under its practical aspects and bearings.

But is it possible, men may ask, for persons at the present day to commit acts of insult and injury towards the Divine Jesus, akin to that of the blaspheming Jews when they took up stones to cast at Him? Alas, it is but too possible. "Certainly we cannot commit such open blasphemy; but it is another matter whether we cannot commit as great. For, often sins are greater, which are less startling; insults more bitter, which are not so loud; and evils deeper, which are more subtle." Although Christ is no longer on earth in bodily presence, He is here by His Spirit: and it is quite possible for men to repeat the offence of the blaspheming Jews by casting stones, so to speak, against either the Church, which is His Body; or the Sacraments, which are His Presence; or the Poor, who are His Brethren.

The Church is the Body of Christ, "the fullness of Him That filleth all in all:" and they who resist or blaspheme or persecute Her, do in effect resist and blaspheme and persecute Him. And such are not only, nor even chiefly, the openly wicked and profane; whose offences are of a different description: but those who deny the Divine authority of the Church, rejecting her principles for the opinions of men and the maxims of the world; those who deny her Apostolicity, treating her as a merely human and secular institution; those who invade her constitution, legislating for her on grounds of political expediency, and not according to the laws of Christ. "Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward." They refuse to acknowledge the Body of Christ in His corporate members; and He hides it from them. They are no longer permitted to behold the tokens of her presence. She becomes to them what they would have her be. In their eyes she has no form nor comeliness, although she is all-glorious within. But with these hidings of her beauty and this withdrawal of her presence, there comes not only an apparent abdication of her authority; leaving men to live as they list, according to the broad measures of the world, instead of the straight and narrow lines of eternity: but also the utter loss of her intercession and benediction. She no longer stands between the living and the dead. A silent curse spreads over the land she has abandoned to itself. The rulers have forsaken Christ, and Christ has forsaken them. The people would have it so, and their house is left unto them desolate.

"Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings:
Be learned, ye that judges of the earth.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And so ye perish from the right way,
If His wrath be kindled, yea but a little.
Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him."

Again, the Sacraments are the Presence of Christ. In the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, He is present by His Spirit, Who, in answer to the prayers of the congregation, is given by our Heavenly Father to infants, when baptized, that they may be born again and be made heirs of everlasting salvation. In the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, He is really and spiritually present, being taken and received by the faithful as their heavenly food and divine life. 

Whoever, therefore, despises the Sacraments, despises Christ. Whoever denies their saving power, denies the Presence of the Saviour in them. Whoever in effect casts stones at these, as by cavils or contumely or neglect, does in reality thus cast stones at Christ. And then does the Son of God hide Himself from them in the majesty of displeasure; and Sacraments become to these persons what, in their rationalistic unbelief, they would have them be. 

Baptism, when administered by schismatics and pretenders to Holy Orders, fails to regenerate; and their own theory, that Baptism admits only to an outward union with a nominal church, is, in their own case, verified. The Communion is reduced to a formal commemoration of an absent Saviour. In both cases, as regards their own mere outward show of Sacraments, they are right. They have taken up stones to cast at the spiritually-present Jesus; and He has hidden Himself, going through the midst of them, and so passing by.

Lastly: the Poor are the Brethren of Jesus. They are so even in respect of their mere poverty; although it must not be concealed that the poor man who is a wilful sinner is severed from this communion and fellowship. But he, who is at once poor in this world and poor in spirit, is united by the closest bonds to the lowly Son of Mary. This is strikingly shown in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, wherein the Judge declares that whatsoever is done unto the least of the Hungry, the Thirsty, the Stranger, the Naked, the Sick, the Imprisoned,—being "the poor of this world," but " rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom," —is done unto Himself. Now, we all know how apt men are to "despise the poor." "There are kinds of distress founded on the passions, which, if not applauded, are at least admired in their excess, as implying a peculiar refinement of sensibility in the mind of the sufferer. 

Embellished by taste, and wrought by the magic of genius into innumerable forms, they turn grief into a luxury, and draw from the eyes of millions delicious tears. But no muse ever ventured to adorn the distresses of poverty or the sorrows of hunger. Disgusting taste and delicacy, and presenting nothing pleasing to the imagination, they are mere misery in all its nakedness and deformity." And therefore the many "despise the Poor." But in so doing, they despise Christ; and what is their punishment in consequence? Jesus might rend aside the veil of His humanity, and reveal Himself as God. He might put off the sordid dress of poverty, and clothe Himself with light as with a garment. But He inflicts a severer punishment than this—He hides Himself. The Poor no longer visibly bear upon them "the marks of the Lord Jesus "; and secular legislation, at once blind and self-confident, sets itself to relieve their distress by increasing their degradation. It brands the Poor Man as a Pauper, and consigns him to contempt and shame. Jesus has hidden Himself in majestic displeasure: and men of the world little dream that He will reveal Himself again at the Last Day, and avenge the cause of the poor and the oppressed!

"Oh, how much are they to be pitied, in whatever sphere they move, who live to themselves, unmindful of the coming of their Lord. When He shall come, and shall not keep silence; when a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him; every thing, it is true, will combine to fill them with consternation: yet, methinks, neither the voice of the Archangel, nor the trump of God, nor the dissolution of the elements, nor the face of the Judge itself, from which the heavens will flee away, will be so dismaying and terrible to these men as the sight of the poor members of Christ; whom, having spurned and neglected in the days of their humiliation, they will then behold with amazement united to their Lord, covered with His glory, and seated on His throne! How will they be astonished to see them surrounded with so much majesty! How will they cast down their eyes in their presence! How will they curse that gold, which will then eat their flesh as with fire, and that avarice, that indolence, that voluptuousness, which will entitle them to so much misery! You will then learn that the imitation of Christ is the only wisdom: you will then be convinced it is better to be endeared to the cottage than admired in the palace; when to have wiped the tears of the afflicted, and inherited the prayers of the widow and the fatherless, shall be found a richer patrimony than the favour of princes."

H. H.

Friday, 24 March 2023

On the eve of the installation of His Grace Francis Leo - A Monograph on the State of the Archdiocese of Toronto

Tomorrow morning at Toronto's St. Michael's Cathedral, His Grace, Francis Leo will be
installed as Metropolitan Archbishop of Toronto. Archbishop Leo will be 52 in June and is the youngest bishop since Michael Power. The task ahead for Archbishop Leo is enormous. The Archdiocese of Toronto since Philip Pocock through Gerald Emmet Carter, Aloysius Ambrozic, and Thomas Collins has been a veritable "deep church." There have been cover-ups and pay-offs. A recently-deceased former Vicar-General and Monsignor fathered children whilst, in his position unbeknownst to the faithful, a scandal covered. Seminary professors and "liturgists" at St. Augustine's Seminary engaged in rampant sodomy covered up, much of it criminal and covered up through pay-offs and non-disclosures and explained away by rectors many of whom knew it was happening. Liturgy is in a state of anarchy in many places or simply, banality, catechesis is non-existent, schools are in apostasy, our hospitals engaging in narcotic "harm reduction" and the distribution of condoms and worse. For these last two, we have taken from Caesar and now dance to his tune. We saw the cancellation of Mass at the demands of "virtuous" public health officials and government in exchange for what amounted to wampum. We have seen under Cardinal Archbishop Collins a list of isolated and demoralized priests who have no support and no spiritual father, who have been insulted and ostracized over medical choice, and many of whom have been in one way or another, canceled. Young people want nothing to do with their parishes and have abandoned the faith. Parishes are generally in decline except for still intact new immigrant communities and even then, the new generations are not well staying. Faith is evaporating before our eyes and when we look around us we see an indictment on every Metropolitan Ordinary in Toronto since the Pocock. Collins has been no better and has presided over the near collapse. This is the reality. The Emporer has no clothes. 
Thomas Collins betrayed one and all when he shut down our churches and refused to stand up to the diktats of government. The last two weeks of posts are a reminder of the failure of this man against those toadies who praise and exalt him. 

I am honoured to have been provided, from an Anonymous source, this monograph on the current state of affairs and the task ahead. 

Truth suffers but it does not die

(St. Teresa of Avila) 

March 25, 2023 will mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The new Archbishop, Francis (Frank) Leo will be installed and will undertake the spiritual guidance and care of the clergy and faithful of this portion of the Lord’s vineyard.

Undoubtedly, by now, His Grace will have been briefed by the representatives of the various Offices of the archdiocesan curia, and by the outgoing Archbishop, Thomas Cardinal Collins. If the Cardinal’s recent and surreal interview with the The Pillar is any indication of what Archbishop Leo has been told about the state of affairs as they pertain to the pastoral obligations and work of the archdiocese, the new Ordinary is in for a very rude awakening. In fairness, His Grace is coming from the Montreal; hardly a bastion of orthodoxy and fervour; and Toronto has yet to experience the church closures and the clustering of parishes that have occurred in Quebec. Nevertheless, in all fairness, so that he might undertake his task honestly and realistically he deserves to receive a truthful assessment of the state of things and not a narrative fashioned by the ideology and delusions of those who together with Cardinal Collins have shaped the life of this archdiocese for decades.

The new Archbishop takes possession of a metropolitan see that may be aptly described as a desolate city. This sad state of things is not particular to Toronto. It is undeniable that the Church is in decline throughout the world; and over these many years of crisis and collapse not a few have undertaken to chronicle the litany of betrayal of the faith and of the faithful, institutions of learning most especially, and of health care facilities. Our once distinctively Catholic institutions, largely staffed by dedicated religious men and women and dedicated laity are mere shells, no longer animated by a Catholic ethos. The Church in Toronto has experienced all of this and more. What makes this decline particularly tragic in the archdiocese of Toronto is its effect not only on its suffragan dioceses but also the propagation of ineffective and destructive pastoral theology throughout the country and beyond through the city’s once Catholic university colleges and the archdiocesan seminary. As the largest English speaking see in the country, Toronto is not without influence, good or bad; and the desertification that has occurred in Toronto reflects a general trend everywhere, especially in the years of the current pontificate.

The new Archbishop must understand that there are figures in the archdiocese who hold positions of pastoral authority and influence and who have done so since the arrival of Gerald Emmet Carter as Archbishop in 1978. For over forty-five years, these clerics have occupied influential posts entrusted to them during the tenure of Archbishop Philip Pocock. During these many years they have been able to establish a deep church that through their younger acolytes and accomplices establishes policies and determines governance of institutions and institutes both under the direct control of the archdiocese, such as the seminary, and other institutions, particularly the sizable school boards and other institutes of learning. The claim that the governance of school boards is a matter of publicly elected trustees is a glaring dereliction of duty. Why are anti-Catholic trustees not censured? Who teaches the religion courses to young teachers for certification? Usually, former clerics who are ideologically in league with the deep church. In the confusion experienced everywhere by the post-conciliar reforms hastily and often indiscriminately imposed, the faithful of the archdiocese have been subjected to the tyranny of novelty and rebellion. For the average Catholic, this tyranny was felt most acutely in the breakdown of authentic catechesis and in the liturgical anarchy that scandalized the faithful and destroyed sacred art and architecture. Suffice it to say that the toleration of liturgical abuses which famously began in Toronto at the Newman Centre has never ended. Archbishop Pocock’s refusal to exercise episcopal oversight at the university chaplaincy and to correct liturgical abuses there and his tacit approval of dissent and disregard for canon law and liturgical rubrics everywhere else opened the floodgates and the rest as they say, is history. As a result, still today, anything is tolerated except liturgical sobriety and orthodox teaching. Tout le monde fait ça.

The many years since the devolution of Catholicism began in earnest in the 1970’s enable us now to see that these efforts were directed at the destruction and eradication of so-called Tridentine Catholicism. In the years spanning the post-conciliar years and the tenure of Gerald Emmet Cardinal Carter (1978-1990), at least as it concerns parish life, everything depended on whether the clergy of the parish were guided by what we now refer to as the hermeneutic of rupture or the hermeneutic of continuity. Some parishes were noted for their liturgical anarchy and the seminary, whose student body was decimated in a matter of a few years, became a hotbed of immorality, heterodoxy and liturgical anarchy. These problems have not been effectively resolved. Few were the priests who understood that this rupture with Tradition was and is a recipe for destruction and eventual loss of faith. One cannot fail to mention with admiration and reverence the faithful and courageous witness of Msgr. Vincent Foy, a canceled priest before the term was ever coined, who at one time was even forbidden to live within the boundaries of Archdiocese by one of its Ordinaries. Providentially, he outlived his detractors and persecutors.

Intolerance for anything remotely traditional and anyone intellectually convinced of the value and necessity of Tradition resulted in the banishment of so-called traditional priests to the peripheries of the archdiocese. Again, this is not particular to Toronto, and it reflects a widespread phenomenon that has caused anguish for priests and laity alike. It would seem that almost everywhere episcopal intolerance for orthodox priests has now developed the force of custom in the Church. For a time, during the pontificate of Pope Benedict when it seemed that traditional practices were again in vogue, the careerists among the clergy sported lace and put out a few extra candlesticks but all this has disappeared with the new pontificate. These are the clerical stars who boast of their travels and hobbies on their Facebook pages. The rest of the clergy are on the whole badly educated and fearful of the heavy handed hierarchy, and the entitled though ignorant laity. Moral guidance is seldom if ever given from the pulpit, for fear of being delated to the regional bishop or the ordinary.

All manner of abuses are tolerated by appeals and affirmations of ‘being pastoral’, but few of the clergy truly understand that a pastoral approach to anything implies the good of souls. Precious little of what passes for work in the archdiocese has anything to do with the salvation of souls which is the supreme law of the Church. “Social ministries”, an undefined category, occupies the apparatchiks in the offices of the pastoral centre and make work projects with no discernible results distract the parish clergy and volunteers. An excellent example of such sterile incompetence is the youth office, usually headed by an immature, young cleric whose sartorial penchant for running shoes and jeans assures appointment to this post. A whole industry has developed around this “ministry”. The end result of this interminable war against the Traditional Faith are empty parishes, an empty seminary, the disappearance of religious communities, and schools that are scandalously at odds with Catholic moral teaching. Much more could be said about the sad state of affairs but the evidence of decay and inertia is in plain view for everyone to see and to experience. Yet, the deep church still has a stranglehold on what is left of the Church in Toronto.

By any metric, nothing is better in the archdiocese of Toronto than it was in 2007 when Cardinal Collins took over the reins of command. A renovated Cathedral means nothing and its use as a venue to eulogize politicians responsible for the holocaust of abortion in our nation is a scandal. At the root of the collapse of the Church in Toronto and elsewhere is the pernicious heresy of modernism whose denial of objective truth has resulted in the dictatorship of relativism and the failure in governance and oversight on the part of a modernist hierarchy. Perhaps the most glaring example of decay is the scandalous silence of the hierarchy in the face of a school curriculum that corrupts the minds and souls of our children, the most morally vulnerable among us. To expect teachers who face loss of employment to defend Catholic moral truth is a dereliction of duty on the part of the shepherds. Failure to support brave teachers, parents and priests who challenge the immoral policies of the school boards and administrators is also scandalous. The corruption of innocence cries out to heaven. The deliverance of our children from the evils of transgender ideology and sexual perversions boldly promoted in separate schools is the most pressing of the many tasks that the Archbishop must undertake.

The reluctance and refusal to enunciate and to defend Church teaching as it pertains to faith and life and most especially the moral law has resulted in the present desultory state of affairs: a predominantly ignorant laity now mostly indifferent to the Faith, educators who boldly flaunt their heretical and immoral beliefs, a balkanized presbyterate dominated by a liberally minded group of representative clergy, and a hierarchy more faithful to government directives than to Catholic truth. The so-called pandemic with its parish closures, its assault on the sacred liturgy and surrender to the arbitrary dictates of health authorities has only expedited the decline of the Church. What is left, where it has not been made to scatter and disappear is a remnant Church, marginalized and dispossessed but fervent in faith and in charity.

The new Archbishop faces a very challenging task. His relative youth as he undertakes his tenure is a blessing and a rare opportunity to carry out and firmly establish meaningful reforms. If he has the courage and foresight to break with the disastrous policies of his predecessors and the laissez faire attitude of his immediate predecessor, he will dismantle the deep church and govern and guide his flock to holiness of life and eternal salvation. If he doesn’t, then he will preside over the dismantling of the façade that hides decay and rubble and the Church in Toronto will definitely be catacombal. The wealth of the archdiocese of Toronto has enabled its functionaries to avoid the public scandals that have in some cases resulted in financial insolvency in other dioceses; but worldly wealth no matter how abundant is never greater than truth, the daughter of time.

May the prayers and protection of Our Lady to whom Archbishop Leo appears to have a devotion assist him. May the prayers and witness of St. Thomas Becket, St. Charles Borromeo and our own Bishop Michael Power strengthen him. Ad multos annos!

Thursday, 23 March 2023

The Legacy of Thomas Cardinal Collins: Failure to change the "Deep Church" Apparatchik - Toronto's own version of James Martin.

As the great celebration of embracing gratitude for His Most Serene Eminence, Thomas "No Mass For You" Collins approaches, it behooves us to recycle some posts from the past.

Brian Clough was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. Interestingly enough, I was at his first Mass at his home parish. My father was a barber and was barber to Mr. Clough and soon to be Father Brian. St. Dominic's was all the rage back then, it was the place to be to rock in Vatican II with the Dominicans. It was a notorious parish. One extremely popular priest was Kelly Walker. He left the priesthood and became a lounge singer at La Castille Steak House's piano bar. Eventually, he, ahem, came out, as they say.  He now, at 83, lives with his "husband" in Stratford. The Pastor was the notorious Claude Poirier, O.P. who after leaving St. Domenic's upon the removal of the Dominicans from the parish, Poirier taught liturgy for 25 years at St. Augustine's Seminary. Poirier died in 2005, just before the appointment of Thomas Collins. There are stories of notorious homosexual debauchery associated with Poirier, none of which was ever made public. It was all hushed up.

The man who was in charge of all this was Brian Clough. When Collins arrived, there was great hope that he would clean house and expose the rot.

He did not.

The question now is, will his successor?

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Toronto Catholic Chancellor - "Understanding is urged for gays."

From "Canada's National Newspaper," The Globe and Mail, May 8, 1976, page 40. (click for larger).

The priest interviewed was Father Brian Clough of the Archdiocese of Toronto. Father Clough went on to become Rector at St. Augustine's Seminary and was removed by Emmett Carter and later returned to be appointed by Aloysius Ambrozic as Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Toronto. 

Father Clough grew up and was ordained at St. Dominic's Church in Mississauga which was a Dominican house from its inception until 1985. The parish history includes the names of two prominent Dominicans - the late Claude Poirier, O.P., and the long-ago laicised, Kelly Walker, O.P.

Reading this old article is like reading James Martin, S.J.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

The Legacy of Thomas Cardinal Collins: "I will shut you down" Who was it? Where was it?

As the great celebration of embracing gratitude for His Most Serene Eminence, Thomas "No Mass For You" Collins approaches, it behooves us to recycle some posts from the past.

The most disgraceful action of Thomas Cardinal Collins, though he was not alone and that is no excuse, was the shuttering of churches during the Wuhan Virus pandemic.  The pandering to corrupt governments and public health officials was a scandal. The obedience before Cesare was something we found hard to believe. Given what we did not know in the first few months some restrictions may have been justified at the time, but these should have been reasonable and sensible. Certainly, the State has a right to set occupancy limits for buildings, as they do for fire. This should have been set at 50% occupancy and the order of the Cardinal to have more Masses. Yet the Cardinal, and others, sat by whilst the churches were reduced to zero and Costco and Walmart had hundreds. In fact, Collins shut down Toronto churches before the provincial government itself! When the Ontario government later allowed churches to open to 10 persons, it wasn't because Collins asked for it, it was to satisfy the need of Jews to have a quorum for worship. Collins refused to open, even with ten, rather conjuring up some ridiculous communion service. 

This was a clear sign of many of the frauds we were living in. The issue of masks was another. I only argued to put on a mask for the sake of preserving our Latin Mass communities from bishops who demanded it or lose the church. Collins stood there at his sedilia and his ambo and demanded all take the jab out of "common sense" and the "common good" even though people were already becoming injured and died and terminated from their employment. He did not defend these and in fact, did the same for his own employees. We, who opposed these were right about all of it, he was wrong about all of it. Thomas Collins stood by and allowed the State and compromised corporations to persecute the faithful and he did nothing to stop it. 

In an online meeting with all priests which was downloaded and then uploaded and a link made available, Collins with his No Mass for You finger in the air stated, "I will shut you down" to any parish who defied his ban on Holy Communion on the tongue. Pointing to his mouth he referred to a parish doing it. 

This is what Collins did that Christmas.

Twelve days later there would be pushback. It was a small church where on a dark Epiphany morning people gathered in defiance long before dawn. No organ to awaken the neighbours only four feet away next door. No lights but the altar candles and a side door unlocked. I was honoured to have been invited, together with my wife. Well over one hundred defied his edict with no masks and packed in. Those who went to communion received on the tongue. Nobody contracted the China Virus! Generations earlier, these people refused to back down. They defied the communists that threatened to close their churches. They stood their ground, and they kept their faith. On that quiet dark winter morning, light shone. The light of faith and freedom and defiance to a Cardinal who threw in his lot with Ceasar. I was never so humbled and at the same time, so proud. After the Mass, the priest and I embraced. we cried tears of joy and sadness for what we had been building over a few years and what we knew we were losing. He had already been censured privately and publicly over Holy Communion, he didn't care. "I answer to a higher power, I will not do this to the people. We didn't let the communists shut us down, why would we let it happen now by a bishop?" 

One of Collins's now-canceled priests, forcibly retired and sent away. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

The Legacy of Thomas Cardinal Collins - The Pilar Interview reveals an admission of incompetance and failure

As the great celebration of embracing gratitude for His Most Serene Eminence, Thomas "No Mass For You" Collins approaches, it behooves us to recycle some posts from the past. However, today we feature a very recent article and interview from The Pillar. It reveals a churchman who stood by and did nothing. He abdicated his responsibility for leadership on medically assisted murder/suicide and the cultural revolution in our catholic schools. His answers reveal a level of immaturity and a lack of sophistication for a man of his education and stature. The "tall cool drink" as some referred to him fifteen years is nothing more than warm, skunky beer in a paper cup.

'The storms are rising ... We go onward!' - Cardinal Collins on the mission of the Church (pillarcatholic.com)

Monday, 20 March 2023

The Legacy of Thomas Cardinal Collins: No Mass For You

 As the great celebration of embracing gratitude for His Most Serene Eminence, Thomas "No Mass For You" Collins approaches, it behooves us to recycle some posts from the past.

Lest we forget. No Masses, minimal sacraments, shaming of priests and faithful, and threats to "shut you down."

Too many to recall but this link shall remain for all posts on NO MASS FOR YOU!

Vox Cantoris: No Mass For You

Saturday, 28 November 2020



"I do not want ever to shut down the Church again." 

So said, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Cardinal Collins on November 13, 2020 only to go against his own words by doing exactly that on November, 23. Ah, wait, he is correct, he did not "shut down the Church again," he only banned the public worship of God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The good Cardinal left the churches open for private prayer to a maximum of ten established by the Ontario politburo diktat of General-secretary Douglas Ford after being advised by the same "virtuous" medical professionals spoken of by our good Cardinal. The same ones that recently murdered a woman by lethal injection, an elderly woman now before God and one who could not bear another shutdown. The Cardinal said he "did not want collateral damage." Well, he got it bigtime.

So, the Cardinal can make a distinction. He did not "shutdown the Church again." He only shutdown the Holy Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

How does this make sense and why has he done this?

If the church can have ten people, why can it not have eight faithful, a priest and one server to make up those ten. I am not trying to justify General-secretary Ford's diktat, but let's just try for a moment to work within the decree.

If ten can gather and distance and mask and sanitize at St. Clare of Assisi Woodbridge which holds over 1,000 to recite the rosary, why can they not gather for Mass? It hurts the brain to try to unravel this riddle.

It is simple. 

As I have been told by more than one who would know, "It is just not worth it." That is the view of the Cardinal, his Auxiliaries, the chancerycrats and the close circle of priests around him. It's just not worth it. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is just not worth it. 

Christ, is not worth it.

You, are not worth it.

You, my friend, you are not worth the trouble of figuring out which ten. But hey, the priest has his Mass. Talk about clericalism. 

Is part of the riddle, the distribution of Holy Communion? We know he has violated the rights of the faithful to receive on the tongue and has approved the dropping of the Host in one's hands, where it may fall on the floor and particles, each of which contains Christ, scatter. We know that without authority, Toronto Public Health and presumably others, have threatened the Church over this matter. It is not acceptable. 

So, let us work for a moment again within the politburo diktat. After all, what would St. Thomas More, who Cardinal Collins so often quotes praises, do? 

"I'd give the Devil the benefit of law, for my own safety's sake." 

The Cardinal has the authority to say that there will be no distribution of Holy Communion at Mass. The faithful do not need to receive the Eucharist at Mass. The priest must, as the Levitical priests old, consume the Holy Sacrifice. It was later, distributed the Hebrew people. Holy Communion can be received by appointment (contact tracing) on the hand or tongue alone as an individual or family circle with proper sanitizing measures before and after. 

If this little layman can figure this out, why can't the Cardinal.

My friends, as Ontario politburo General-secretary Ford is wont to say, my friends, I can only do so much. I am one person, what are you doing? What has happened to us. Do we need to use Adam Skelley as our role model? 

I wrote yesterday that we will back the Cardinal, we will defend his priests, our priests. 

Cardinal Collins, you wear red for a reason. You have forgotten. You will be judged by Jesus Christ for this. Imagine if Our Lord Jesus Christ said in the Garden, "Father, its just not worth it!"

Restore the public Mass in Toronto and Peel now. Do it, now  and do not do what you have done again.

Advise the Premier today that as of next Sunday, we will return to 30% and in order to increase the number of Masses, limit homilies to five minutes and eliminate the distribution of Holy Communion in the Mass and do it by appointment.

Advise the Premier and the Medical Officers of Health that they can issue whatever citation, or fine, or penalty they wish. They can even arrest you and your priests as they did Mr. Skelley, who as of this writing has in his war chest $229,229.00.

Let them drag you in handcuffs from the Cathedral. 

Yesterday, I visited Adamson's BBQ. It was barricaded with concrete barriers and there were over fifty police, none of whom wanted to be there. They were borrowed from across the city. I asked an Officer, "what would happen if 100 or more did this as a protest." He told me, "absolutely nothing, we could not handle it."

Bullies back down.

Unless the coward lets them continue.

Cardinal Collins, you speak much of More and Fisher as you did at the Oratory last Saturday and your Sunday homily from the same Ambo disgraced a few weeks ago by Justin Trudeau, whilst you the servant of us and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, sat behind a pillar, muted  and struck dumb with a face mask. You, were silent whilst Justin Trudeau seized the place of the Word of God and received the Holy Sacrament whilst the cameras panned to the ceiling and for which I have witnesses.


As St. Catherine of Sienna said, "We've had enough exhortations to be silent."

To my fellow Catholics, she commanded us, "Cry out with a thousand tongues - I see the world is rotten because of silence!"

See also: