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 should be a "witness" for our Faith.

"As Jesus, I will use the stick against pedophile priests...and even bishops and cardinals...and others, more numerous keep silent....I find this situation intolerable"

I am a loyal son of the Church... today, we forget everything, even the Magisterium of the Church" Pope Francis

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1st, 2014: The 75th Anniversary of the beginning of World War II

Today, on September 1st, in the early hours of the dawn, seventy-five years ago, Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War was officially under way. France and Britain declared war on Germany on the 3rd. 

Official commemorations were held this morning between Poland and Germany. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Chaldean Patriarch Sako:" America is behind Isis..."

The Patriarch of the Chaldeans, Sako has made a series of powerful statements to the press regarding the advance of the scourge of the ISIS Islamist sect, and their campaign of extermination. The Patriarch accuses the United States government of being implicated in the growth of this evil organization. Certainly, its unabated growth in Syria, with US help, against the "wicked" Assad has effectively spelled doom for the indigenous Christian populations of Iraq; and, if "moderate" forces succeed in Syria, we will no doubt be hearing more about mass exterminations in that country. US policy in Libya, given its extraordinary "success", is being replicated in Iraq, and will be put to use in Syria (and Lebanon). 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Manhattanization of Toronto

Construction cranes will continue to dot Toronto’s skyline, with city council approving 755 storeys in new development this week, including three new office towers – a trend that underlines the increasing density in the downtown core and the need to plan transit and infrastructure to support it, says the city’s chief planner.

Toronto city council is meeting for the last time before the fall election – a fact that had developers rushing to get approvals before the months-long break. The result is that this week’s marathon meeting has given the green light to 6,887 new units and 377,900 square metres of non-residential development, according to figures from Toronto’s planning department.

 “We’re experiencing the Manhattanization of the downtown core,” Mr. Mihevc said after the vote. “This is going to be a very different city in 20 years when these developments all get built out.”             The Globe and Mail, August 27,2014
I have lived in Manhattan. Let me tell you what that was like. Manhattan is an island of contrasts with the extreme wealth of Park Avenue and fashionable neighborhoods sitting alongside Harlem and East Harlem. The hip neighborhood of Greenwich Village is just a few blocks from the Lower East Side.  It is an island of the rich and poor. If you ever go to Manhattan one of the sights you must see is The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park but don't take the A train... take the bus. It will take you on a tour of Manhattan's best and worst neighborhoods. You can see the contrasts for yourself.

This Mahattanization of Toronto which seems to excite our city councilors is going to mean an exodus of the middle class to the suburbs. The poor will not leave because they have nowhere to go and no means to get there. The polarization between the extremes of wealth and poverty will continue leading to increased intolerance and conflict. One of my neighbors was recently told when going to a local restaurant for lunch "We don't serve charity cases."  The local coffee and donut shop which used to cater to the area's seniors and parishioners returning from mass has been sold to make room for a condo. It has been replaced by a rather small and expensive Starbucks. Grocery stores have long since given way to boutique foods and health stores. If this is the first fruits of Manhattanization I want no part of it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Pornography of Sentiment

Catchy title, eh? I only wish I had thought of it but it comes from a blog called Waiting For Godot to Leave written by Kevin O'Brian. You might remember him from some EWTN show or other. Two things bring this idea of the pornography of sentiment to mind. The first is me pushing an ancient Volkswagen back into a garage after it had conked out after only a block. The owner of said vehicle was looking at me with great concern and sympathy while i pushed the dead bug back to the garage. Her concern did not extend to opening the garage door, however. I had to stop pushing and do that myself. You see the utter disconnect between feeling and action?

The other thing I have been reading about is this ice bucket challenge and the various protests against it by animal rights activists. Apparently the fact that ALS research might harm Pamela Anderson's little furry friends is of more significance that the fact that this is funding embryonic stem cell research. Furry critters trump dead babies any day. I once called this the "cute and furry syndrome" but I like the "pornography of sentiment" much better. Thanks.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pope Francis and Just War Doctrine

I had a conversation with Barona this morning and we discussed among other things the just war theory. We talked about the situation in the middle east and the application of the just war theory at the beginning of the Iraq conflict and in face of the refugee crisis we are seeing now. We also discussed the misinterpretations of the various media of papal pronouncements in this area. He made a point that it was in fact a theory. As is my custom in such cases, I went to the catechism to research this. This is what I found.
2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:
- the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
- there must be serious prospects of success;
- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.
The weakness of this doctrine over the centuries has always been this last sentence. The judgement of those who would plunge us into a war is suspect at the best of times. Who would trust the judgement of  George Bush over that of Pope St. John Paul II when he told us unequivocally that the Iraq war was unjust? This was unheard of, that a reigning pontiff would pronounce upon the justness of a war before the first shot was fired. It also points to a serious attempt on the part of recent popes to rectify this enormous defect in the just war doctrine by pointing out precisely where the prudential judgement of those who would start a war is lacking.

This is the sense in which Pope Francis' recent remarks on the refugee crisis in Iraq ought to be understood. He is not making some grand change in Catholic doctrine as some pundits would have it. Nothing has changed in the doctrine as stated in the catechism. However, Pope Francis is taking seriously his responsibility to point out those situations where the judgement of those who would engage in war is made suspect by vested interests, ideology and moral blindness.
2246 It is a part of the Church's mission "to pass moral judgments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it. The means, the only means, she may use are those which are in accord with the Gospel and the welfare of all men according to the diversity of times and circumstances."
So it would seem that the just war doctrine is to be believed by the faithful as is the right and duty of the pope to pass moral judgement over the kings of men in the application of that doctrine.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

St. Hyacintus (Jacek) Odrowaz

St. Hyacintus

Saint Hyacinth, whom ecclesiastical writers are rightly wont to call the apostle of the north and one of the wonder-workers of his century, was of the house of the Odrowaz, counts of Konski, an old and noble Polish family. Some of his ancestors enjoyed palatine rights. To his line also belonged a number of military officers whose bravery and patriotism more than once proved their country's bulwark against invasions by barbarian hordes. 

His great-grandfather, Saul Odrowaz, defeated the enemy in several bloody engagements. The saint's grandfather, Saul Odrowaz, who gained an enviable reputation for courage by his martial exploits in the twelfth century, had two sons. Ivo, the younger, studied for the ministry, filled the office of chancellor for the king of Poland, became bishop of Cracow, and died with a great reputation for sanctity. Eustachius, the elder, married a lady whose piety ranked with her birth. God seems to have blessed their union with a fine family. Hyacinth, of whom we now write, was the eldest. According to the more common opinion he first saw the light of day in 1185. His birthplace was the Castle of Lanka, Kamin, in Silesian Poland, now a part of Prussia. The next sketch will be of a younger brother, or at least a near relative, Blessed Ceslas.

Almost from the cradle, nature seemed to have disposed Hyacinth to virtue. His parents not only studiously fostered this happy disposition, but also used great care to procure for their son teachers who would protect his innocence. In this way, he was so well grounded in his religious duties that he passed through his higher studies at Cracow, Prague, and Bologna, without tarnish to his pure soul. Doubtless his model life had not a little to do in helping him to win the admiration of both his professors and fellow-students. God also blessed him with, a splendid mind. Thus, through diligent study, at Bologna he obtained the degree of doctor in canon law and theology...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady: Latin Mass for Toronto in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

A Missa Cantata will be celebrated in Richmond Hill, this coming Friday, August 15th, for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mass is being organized by Una Voce Toronto - The Traditional Toronto Mass Society. Further information may be obtained here

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Christians in Iraq are the "new Jews"

The genocidal horror that we are witnessing being committed against the last remnants of the Christian communities in Iraq reflects the horror of the SS death squads on the eastern front.... once again, the world is sitting by....