Welcome to Witness

This blog will be our Witness for the Faith. We see a need for good, traditional, Catholic fellowship. Witness will strive to be imbued with charity. Love of neighbor - and yes, love of enemy.
We can be reached at: torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com
Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity. Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Solemn Candlemas - St. Joseph's Church in Mississauga

The will be  a Solemn Candlemas according to the Roman Missal of 1962 this Monday at 7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph's church in Mississauga. It is sponsored by Una Voce Toronto - The Toronto Traditional Mass Society.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons: The Scandal of Silence must be broken in Canada

"When you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.”

Photo: Courtesy "The Interim"
Canada is blessed with two Angels for Life. That is,  two women who, in their total devotion to Our Lord, have "incarnated" his love in seeking out the lost, the forgotten, and those deprived of love: the unborn child with no voice, and the mother who is about to kill her baby.  

Linda Gibbons has been in and out of prison for witnessing to life for the past twenty years. Mary Wagner, has been in and out of prison for well over the past decade, most recently spending nearly two years in prison. Yet Christ's love has no bounds. Even in prison, His miraculous power is there to behold:  young women received back into the Church, babies saved, souls sent to Heaven. Even the Black Madonna visited Vanier Centre for Women

There are two great, immediate victims of abortion, two great sorrowful tragedies. The child and the mother. The child is killed and the mother becomes a killer. The unborn child in the womb is deprived of love, his mother's love, the most precious human love in the world. This is the first tragedy of abortion. The young woman at the abortion mill, many times frightened, confused, and pressured to kill her child is lost and forgotten. This is the second tragedy of abortion. These two figures: child and mother are the great tragedies of abortion: the life-receiver, murdered before birth, and the life-giver, turned into a killer (many times against her will).

Abortion has also other victims: the father, the abortionist, the family, society and the social order of the State. All these tragedies interact in such a manner, that they should impose on us the reality that abortion is the greatest threat to peace: peace in the family, peace in society, peace in the Church, peace in the world.

The Catholic Church, as the sole guardian of faith and morals, should clearly, and with a strong and clarion voice, speak on issues of Life. Sadly, we are not hearing this. It is not enough to issue discrete papers (that no one will read), give speeches at bishops' gatherings, have "official" newspapers publish both sides of a story, or publish confusing information for a laity already utterly bewildered and ill catechized, or remain silent on the evils of contraception (when it is the fuel that feeds the abortion furnace). In Canada, we are not hearing a strong voice from our bishops. We are not hearing a strong voice from our priests. We need to hear the voice of Christ's representatives proclaiming the Gospel of Life from the pulpit, in the media, on the internet, on the streets, outside the abortion mills - everywhere!

Photo: Courtesy Ewa Rejman 
That Mary Wagner is in prison for over a month, and we have not heard one word of support from our hierarchy is a scandal. Many examples could be given to show this untoward silence. This blog, reported back on January 11th the words of Bishop Henryk Tomasik in support of Mary. That was met with utter silence from our hierarchy and from the press (and I do not mean just secular or "mainstream"). When we reported that public prayers were offered for Mary at the Shrine of the Black Madonna, we were met with silence. When we published an open letter from the "Holy Family Medical Group" from Poland, we were met again with utter silence. When we published Fr. Peter Baltarowicz's letter, again, utter silence... and so on. Along with Vox Cantoris we have stood in solidarity with Mary, and we will continue to do so. We stand in solidarity with Linda and will defend her when she returns to prison in the future. Inside and outside of prison, we will defend our Angels for Life. 

H. E. Bishop Henryk Tomasik
There is something deeply, profoundly wrong in this country. The Catholics of Poland are correct: Canada has her head buried in the sand. Do Canadians think that the horror of abortion will just go away if we shut our eyes? Evidently, the vast majority, including Catholics, do. But abortion will not go away; nor contraception its evil twin, with an ongoing scandal of silence. To combat evil it must be exposed and the victims of it must be drawn lovingly towards the truth about Life. This is what Mary and Linda are doing. And we should be supporting them in every way we can. Primarily by unceasing prayer. The question again arises: and it is not why they keep going to prison, but why there are not hundreds, if not thousands there with them? 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

St. Thomas Aquinas: the Patron of Truth

'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"
(St. John, 14:6)

Whereas in the Old Covenant, the Truth was veiled, (as expressed by the Prophets), and written in Stone (as in the Ten Commandments), and on parchment (as in Sacred Scripture); in the new and eternal Covenant, Truth became Incarnate and "we have seen him, the glory of the Father". Our Lord Jesus Christ "the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow" is Truth in the Flesh, and he calls us to accept His Truth, which leads to Eternal Life. 

Since our world despises truth, it is no surprise that it fears and hates the Truth. And since it hates Truth, it hates Life. Our Lord was hated in His day, and for the Truth he was hung on a Tree. "What is truth"? It did not matter, and His own Nation, through the hardening of hearts betrayed and crucified him. "My people, what have I done to you, or in how have I offended you? Answer me..." This condemnation of God by Man is repeated throughout history; more recently in unjust "laws" passed that condemn to death a person not yet born.

Both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI identified this arrogance, this conspiracy (c.f. p. 65) as a "crisis of truth". Pope John Paul II wrote of "veritatis splendor" and emphasized a return to the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. 

Knowing Our Lord was Truth Incarnate, St. Thomas rightly was primarily a man of prayer; and, for this he was rewarded with becoming a man of knowledge, of truth. Of this great saint, Pope John Paul II wrote: "Saint Thomas celebrates all the richness and complexity of each created being, and especially of the human being. It is not good that his thought has been set aside in the post-conciliar period; he continues, in fact, to be the master of philosophical and theological universalism" (p.31).  

Prayer takes the Christian that final step. The Way, and the Truth lead ultimately to Life. In seeking the truth, through prayer, one can, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, cross the threshold of truth to Life. 

Eternal Life in Christ Jesus, through the scandal of the Cross, it is that which the world especially fears. Man is afraid of God's mystery, of God's love (c.f. p. 12). He is afraid of God's Mercy - "that is, Love that goes out to those who are suffering, love that sustains, uplifts and invites us to trust".... God is merciful love. (c.f. p.26). 

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us. 

Reference: Crossing the Threshold of Hope. Pope John Paul II. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Silent Calls for Peace: will there be peace while abortion is legal?

A very interesting reflection on the inter-relationship between peace and abortion. St. Augustine defines peace as " the tranquility of order". It should be self-evident to those who cherish truth over "freedom", that there is no order, and hence no peace. "The truth will set you free". Society, the entire social order, is founded on the Truth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Pope Leo XIII defines true liberty as a "power perfecting man". That which does not perfect us, lead us to our final end (Heaven), is license, not liberty. Most of the "western" world, obsessed with this false notion of "liberty" does not understand this. They want to be "free" from God, from His Commandments...

A society that has legalized abortion is one that is not free, not at liberty, not rightly ordered. Such a society contains within itself the poison of its own destruction. The culture of death is self-destructive; it is cannibalistic, it is anti-conceptive, it consumes and is consuming itself through its own hatred of life. 

The pastor of the Nativity of Our Lady, in Siemysłow, Father Peter Bałtarowicz, has sent an appeal to the 57 heads of state in the world asking for the release of Mary Wagner. Personally, I have no special illusions regarding seeking the intervention of politicians. It would not be unusual, if even a few of them responded to this appeal. But as we know, extraordinary phenomena happen ... 

For people of good will, I can hope for that much.  It is precisely through their prayer that Fr. Peter's petition will be noticed and perhaps cause a few people to reflect.

Let's face it, when it comes to the leaders of European and North American countries  (i.e. developed countries), these are the people who have stopped recognizing every person's right to life and to freedom of expression. The persecution of people of conscience is not something they will not only not react to, but it is also in some manner allowed and justified. It is no secret that for the President of the United States, abortion is a basic human right. So I have no illusions about the views that represent the world leaders.

However, I believe that extraordinary situations, miracles, which many of us believe in, can happen. I am convinced that Father Peter Bałtarowicz's appeal rests on the prayer of so many people. And I believe that every prayer on such an important issue as the defense of life is heard. Nothing can be achieved by oneself, but sincere action supported by people of conscience with fervent prayer, will among the world leaders make born the will to change the approach to the issue of life. I believe that one day people will understand that people like Mary Wagner are the hope of our civilization, and especially for the communities for which they are responsible.  

In our national parliament, the Sejm established that 2015 be dedicated to Saint. Pope John Paul II. It would seem that the politicians would pay more attention and take up the issue of the protection of life. Sadly, January shows that it is empty words.  Just as the Sejm announces the year of John Paul II, proposed legislation is legitimized by parliament, that introduces murderous pills. To our daily intentions we should include should include the request of a lessening of the amount of hypocrisy in the work of our politicians. 

Pope John Paul II begged the world for peace. Mary Wagner responds to this call. Recall the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who said: "If a mother can kill her child, what will stop you and me, that we will not kill each other." If someone wants peace, they should be the first to stand up and say "NO" to the massacring of the weakest. Allowing for the fact that the most vulnerable are killed will result in more and more people despising each other and start killing simply because the other person in their opinion is a mere object.  Do we know now why there are so many wars in the world?  Or why are we so far away from world peace?

(Translation: Barona)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Today marks one month that Mary Wagner is being held in jail ~ " We are not bound by unjust laws, but we are commanded as Christians, to love where there is no love...."

Photo: Courtesy of Jacek Kotula 

Today, is one month to the day that Mary Wagner was arrested for witnessing for life at an abortion mill in the west-end of Toronto. And by "witness" I mean it in its profoundest, deepest sense: a martyr for the truth, that babies are being killed in there. Our word, martyr, etymologically derives from the Greek "martus", which means "witness". Canada is blessed to have two such pure witnesses for Life: Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons

May God bless and reward them for their fidelity to Him and to Life. May Our Lady protect them. Let us pray for them and the unborn. 

The following is from a letter written to Mr. Jacek Kotula and his family in Rzeszow, Poland. Jacek invited Mary to Poland, and was the key organizer.

January, 7, 2015

Dear Jacek, Barbara and children, 

Greetings in the Light of the Epiphany and the Baptism of Our Lord! I hope this finds you well.  

Thank you so much for the letter and the photos. Thank-you for all that you are doing to promote the Gospel of Life in Poland and in Canada. Please thank your fellow Poles for their concern, for their prayers and petitions on behalf of Canadian babies in the womb. It is precious. Thank-you for your support of me, and for all the prayer and Mass Offerings.

I heard from my mom that a demonstration is being organized in Warsaw January 8th (that is, tomorrow). Thank-you for imploring the Canadian Government to stop the slaughter of unborn children. They arrest me because abortion is not against the law. In these private "clinics" these killings are just a "business", and my presence and outreach, interference. I am arrested because our government/courts have first decriminalized the killing of babies in the womb. I believe that they will continue to arrest me until abortion is no longer accepted by our justice system. If the courts refuse to give the babies justice, may God give us the strength not to refuse to give them our love and protection.  

When I returned to Canada, I called Bishop Matthew Ustrzycki and told him about the spiritual needs of the women in the jails. He referred me to a woman, Jakki Jeffs, who is a great pro-life worker here in Ontario. She has been very receptive to what I shared with her, in particular about the many women who have aborted and need reconciliation with God and healing. 

I do not have any news about the woman here who is in her seventh month of pregnancy and who told me she planned to abort/kill the baby girl. Please continue to pray. I sent a letter to the superintendent and to health care, begging them not to let this happen. It is hard for women to get proper medical and dental care here, but so easy to have their babies killed. Vanier guards drive them to the hospitals/"clinics". 

Do you have any news about your court cases? I go to court January 16th. I will not challenge these charges because they are the same as the ones we are now appealing, and it would cost too much to mount another constitutional challenge. I will not plead guilty, so it will still go to trial, and I expect trial in March. I am seriously discerning remaining silent: I said all I could say in the case now under appeal, and silence would remind us of the silence of the babies in the womb. They have no voice, and because they have no voice, they are completely vulnerable to the decisions of others. Please pray for these proceedings. 

Thank-you for telling me about the Polish custom of celebrating Epiphany (Three Kings). It is beautiful. Unfortunately, in Canada it is not a Feast that is so widely celebrated.  

Perhaps my friend Fr. Paul Hrynczyszyn has emailed you? I hope we can settle the matter of the relic very soon. I asked Fr. Paul to contact you if he did not hear back from Antoni Zieba by the new year. Fr. Paul visited me on the Feast of St. John, and I think he will soon come with the Blessed Sacrament. 

As well as praying for our government, you know that our Church here needs much fervent prayer also.  A special intention is for our "Catholic" hospitals. They do things contrary to our faith and to life. We are still documenting things. We do not hear a strong voice from our bishops. 

Many letter and cards are coming from Poland. I do not have my address book here, so if you would please do me a favour, would you please send Fr. Piotr Baltarowicz my warmest greetings? I did not hear from him for a few weeks, and I hope he is well. 

Please give hugs to all the family... Mom and Dad are OK. I can call them collect and we speak a few times each week. I call Linda [Gibbons] every other day - we are closer, so it is not expensive... 

God bless you and keep you. In Christ, 


An Appeal to 57 Heads of State for the release of Mary Wagner ~ Fr. Peter Bałtarowicz

"God created man in his own image and likeness"

Pope Francis, at the European Parliament, said among other things, that "children are killed before birth." This is terrible! Terrible if human law allows it! Worse, is if the law of a given country punishes with prison those who try to defend human life in the womb.

In Canada, Mary Wagner is punished for coming to the clinic abortion - because she interferes with 'the enjoyment of a business', as is called this killing of children. At the abortion clinic she pleads with women to not kill    their own child. The police arrived quickly, and she is arrested and handcuffed.

From the 15th August 2012 to the 12th of June 2014, Mary Wagner was in prison in Milton, Ontario, Canada. From the 23rd December 2014, she is in jail again. It has outraged public opinion in the world, especially in Poland.

In October, 2014, Mary Wagner was in Poland. She gave a beautiful testimony of her commitment to the defense of human life in the womb.

Now is the time, for the Heads of State - become united in the Defense of Fundamental Human Rights: the Right to Life! Especially the little person in the womb!

The Sejm [parliament] of the Polish Republic, proclaimed the Year 2015 - the year of John Paul II.

May St. John Paul II help all the Heads of State in the struggle for peace in the world- beginning in the womb of the mother. 

Yours faithfully,

Fr.. Peter Bałtarowicz

Pastor P.W. Birth of the Virgin
in Siemysłowie, 

The original Letter, along with the complete list of Heads of State may be read here. 
(translation: Barona)

Thomas Rosica, CSB: "Intrinsically disordered" is "offensive" ~ part two of our critique of the "lecture"

Cardinal Muller:  at the Synod there were 
"even bishops who have allowed themselves 
to be somehow blinded by a secularized society".

Does The Catechism of the Catholic Church contain "expressions or terminology that are offensive or that ordinary people cannot grasp"? So implied Thomas Rosica, CSB, at his lecture on the Synod of the Family, broadcast on Salt and Light TV, this past Tuesday, 19, 2015. Apparently the use of "intrinsically disordered" in reference to homosexuality, is an, "expression[s] or terminology that are offensive...". 

Fr. Rosica claimed that the Synod did not try to change the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. (For a moment, were we being told that the mid-term relatio was a myth?).  He said that the Catechism was not being undermined. But, he then informed the sparse audience that this same relatio contained: 

"new language that is respectful of people, and avoids expressions or terminology that are offensive or that ordinary people cannot grasp. For example the document does not speak of homosexuality  as intrinsically disordered. Nor, does it use the term Natural Law, which for many people is not understandable. It doesn't categorize those who cohabit before marriage as living in sin. This provisional text, this mid-term report, looked for positive elements in the various and diversified situations in which couples live. From cohabitation to marriage and irregular unions, to homosexual unions, which its states clearly are never to be equated as matrimony".

We ask, how can chaste and holy matrimony even be mentioned in the same context of the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts? And how can there even be a suggestion that there are "positive elements" in something that is intrinsically evil?

The point is, not the rejection of "homosexual marriage", but the rejection of homosexual "unions" and homosexual activity as always and everywhere being intrinsically disordered is the point. From this basic moral principle, as pointed out in the Catechism, flows the obvious conclusion that there is no such thing as homosexual "matrimony". 

So yes! it is a black and white issue, it is a "yes or no"; there is no shade of grey here. 

Barona and The Vox

Thursday, January 22, 2015

An Open Letter to "The Catholic Register", by Jane Wagner ~ "this is a story worthy of publication, but you have been silent..."

Dear Editor

I had not intended to write to you after Michael Coren's scathing indictment of my daughter, Mary Wagner. I do not believe he is deserving of a reply; his "opinion" was both spiteful and childish. Beyond that, to continue to discuss the topic of Mary's incarceration, in the way that he does, makes it about Mary, and that is something she clearly never wanted. Her focus has always been, and will always be, the babies, who lives are being taken every day at the abortion mills in cities all over our country. We Canadians, we Catholics, have become numb to the killings and have demonstrated daily that we don't care, at least not enough to do something about it. 

I am writing to you, not to convince you of my daughter's purity of motives, because she doesn't need defending. You need only to meet her to know that she is real, that she lives and breathes the Gospel of Life with all of her being. I am writing to let you know that I am greatly disappointed in your paper, one which ought to herald a story that affirms so deeply the value of human life in the womb. That one person would renounce her freedom, her youth, and her own future, speaks clearly of the value of these little ones. She has raised them up for our collective consciousness by her willing sacrifice. It really is about these precious babies. Mary has taken to her heart the words of our great St John Paul II to "be not afraid", and to follow his lead in disobeying an illicit law that permits abortion. 

“Abortion and euthanasia are crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize.... In the         case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is never licit to obey it..."  St John Paul's exhortation in The Gospel of Life.

This is a story worthy of publication, but you have been silent about it. 

So, why does The Catholic Register stoop to publish absurdity such as Coren has penned? As an editor of a Catholic newspaper you should uphold the Teachings and the Truth given to us by of our Catholic leaders, our saints, our Popes. Instead, you publish a deplorable article from a man who has never spoken to or met the woman he is vilifying. Clearly, you have failed in your duty to write the Truth in a Catholic manner this time around. 

God bless you. I hope you do better next time.


Jane Wagner