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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Africa Semper Fidelis

Does the future of the Church and of humanity travel by way of African fidelity to the Gospels? It may well be so. Watch and pray.... 

"Today, you are the hope of this two-thousand-year-old Church of ours: being young in faith, you must be like the first Christians and radiate enthusiasm and courage. In a word, you must set yourselves on the path of holiness. Only thus can you be a sign of God in the world and re-live in your own countries the missionary epic of the early Church. You will also be a leaven of missionary spirit for the older Churches"

Ecclesia in Africa, Pope John Paul II 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Polonia Semper Fidelis

Let the hate fest begin... but count me out

I am quite angry. I am not particularly angry at the shenanigans that went on during the synod. As a matter of fact I have not even read the final document. I am not sitting here nursing my wounds over my feelings of betrayal, at least not by the synod. That was quite predictable.

No, I am angry over what I see as a prevailing attitude in certain quarters of the Church today. It is an attitude which can be summed up in one question. "Why don't they just leave?" Those who are trying to change Church doctrine or discipline, those who are profoundly dissatisfied with some aspects of the Church, those who hold heretical positions but who stay in the Church anyway. Why don't they just leave because it would make us more comfortable, more secure, happier? What's more the Church would be leaner, more focused, albeit much smaller. Isn't that Cardinal Ratzinger's wish, as expressed in an interview before he became pope? No, it may have been a prediction but I cannot believe that saintly man would stoop to making it his wish. It has not prevented many others from wishing exactly that.

At the heart of this question is an unspoken one, one that we hesitate to voice even to ourselves. "Why don't they just go to hell?" Wishing that someone, anyone, would just leave the Church and go away is tantamount to wishing they would be damned to hell. There is no more hateful thing that you could wish for someone. I cannot attend mass every Sunday and look around at the various people who annoy me, or irritate me or disagree with me and wish they would be damned. I refuse to join the hate fest.

The Pontifical Council on the Family: the Church speaks on homosexuality, the "contraceptive mentality..."

The Pontifical Council for the Family, the Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: 

92. Through a trusting and open dialogue, parents can guide their daughters in facing any emotional perplexity, and support the value of Christian chastity out of consideration for the other sex. Instruction for both girls and boys should aim at pointing out the beauty of motherhood and the wonderful reality of procreation, as well as the deep meaning of virginity. In this way they will be helped to go against the hedonistic mentality which is very widespread today and particularly, at such a decisive stage, in preventing the "contraceptive mentality", which unfortunately is very common and which girls will have to face later in marriage.

104. A particular problem that can appear during the process of sexual maturation is homosexuality,which is also spreading more and more in urbanized societies. This phenomenon must be presented with balanced judgement, in the light of the documents of the Church. Young people need to be helped to distinguish between the concepts of what is normal and abnormal, between subjective guilt and objective disorder, avoiding what would arouse hostility. On the other hand, the structural and complementary orientation of sexuality must be well clarified in relation to marriage, procreation and Christian chastity. "Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained". A distinction must be made between a tendency that can be innate and acts of homosexuality that "are intrinsically disordered" and contrary to Natural Law.

Especially when the practice of homosexual acts has not become a habit, many cases can benefit from appropriate therapy. In any case, persons in this situation must be accepted with respect, dignity and delicacy, and all forms of unjust discrimination must be avoided. If parents notice the appearance of this tendency or of related behaviour in their children, during childhood or adolescence, they should seek help from expert qualified persons in order to obtain all possible assistance.

For most homosexual persons, this condition constitutes a trial. "They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfil God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition". "Homosexual persons are called to chastity".


The mid-term relatio:

Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an important educative challenge. The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.
Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.[rejected by the synod Fathers]

The final relatio: 

55. Some families live the experience of having within them persons with a homosexual orientation. Regarding this, it was asked what pastoral attention is suitable concerning this situation, with reference to what the Church teaches: "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family." Nevertheless, men and women with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and gentleness. "Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." [did not receive the necessary 2/3rd vote]

Thomas Rosica CSB - the Holy See Press Office undermines the synod Fathers by promoting the innovators

Thomas Rosica CSB, English language spokesman for Fr. Lombardi's Holy See Press Office. He perpetuates the ambiguity, confusion and chaos that was at its height on the day of the release of the interim relatio. 

Obviously, Rosica would not speak in such a manner, unless his masters bade him to do so.... 

75th Anniversary of Pope Pius XII's Summi Pontificatus ~ October 20th 1939

Can there be, Venerable Brethren, a greater or more urgent duty than to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians iii. 8) to the men of our time? Can there be anything nobler than to unfurl the "Ensign of the King" before those who have followed and still follow a false standard, and to win back to the victorious banner of the Cross those who have abandoned it? What heart is not inflamed, is not swept forward to help at the sight of so many brothers and sisters who, misled by error, passion, temptation and prejudice, have strayed away from faith in the true God and have lost contact with the joyful and life-giving message of Christ?...

...who could observe without profound grief the tragic harvest of such desertions among those who in days of calm and security were numbered among the followers of Christ, but who - Christians unfortunately more in name than in fact - in the hour that called for endurance, for effort, for suffering, for a stout heart in face of hidden or open persecution, fell victims of cowardice, weakness, uncertainty; who, terror-stricken before the sacrifices entailed by a profession of their Christian Faith, could not steel themselves to drink the bitter chalice awaiting those faithful to Christ?...

...at the head of the road which leads to the spiritual and moral bankruptcy of the present day stand the nefarious efforts of not a few to dethrone Christ; the abandonment of the law of truth which He proclaimed and of the law of love which is the life breath of His Kingdom.

In the recognition of the royal prerogatives of Christ and in the return of individuals and of society to the law of His truth and of His love lies the only way to salvation...

...The present age, Venerable Brethren, by adding new errors to the doctrinal aberrations of the past, has pushed these to extremes which lead inevitably to a drift towards chaos. Before all else, it is certain that the radical and ultimate cause of the evils which We deplore in modern society is the denial and rejection of a universal norm of morality as well for individual and social life as for international relations; We mean the disregard, so common nowadays, and the forgetfulness of the natural law itself, which has its foundation in God, Almighty Creator and Father of all, supreme and absolute Lawgiver, all-wise and just Judge of human actions. When God is hated, every basis of morality is undermined; the voice of conscience is stilled or at any rate grows very faint, that voice which teaches even to the illiterate and to uncivilized tribes what is good and what is bad, what lawful, what forbidden, and makes men feel themselves responsible for their actions to a Supreme Judge...

...The Holy Gospel narrates that when Jesus was crucified "there was darkness over the whole earth" (Matthew xxvii. 45); a terrifying symbol of what happened and what still happens spiritually wherever incredulity, blind and proud of itself, has succeeded in excluding Christ from modern life, especially from public life, and has undermined faith in God as well as faith in Christ. The consequence is that the moral values by which in other times public and private conduct was gauged have fallen into disuse; and the much vaunted civilization of society, which has made ever more rapid progress, withdrawing man, the family and the State from the beneficent and regenerating effects of the idea of God and the teaching of the Church, has caused to reappear, in regions in which for many centuries shone the splendors of Christian civilization, in a manner ever clearer, ever more distinct, ever more distressing, the signs of a corrupt and corrupting paganism: "There was darkness when they crucified Jesus" (Roman Breviary, Good Friday, Response Five).

...With the weakening of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, and the darkening in men's minds of the light of moral principles, there disappeared the indispensable foundation of the stability and quiet of that internal and external, private and public order, which alone can support and safeguard the prosperity of States.

Archbishop Durocher: "we have done for family life what the Second Vatican Council did for liturgy and ecumenism"

The above quote contained within the title is from Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher. It comes from his assessment of the final relatio from the Synod. I still come away after reading his review not knowing where he stands on Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried (those living in adultery); nor do I know where he stands on homosexuality. He seems to tell us that there is more to discuss... he does not tell us how he voted. 

But the archbishop is onto something here, when he compares the Synod to the work of the Council and post-conciliar period on liturgy and ecumenism. Where I differ is my assessment of the results. The Second Vatican Council opened the door to so muddy the waters, to so confuse the issues on ecumenism, that most Catholics no longer know what to think. How many are aware that the Catholic Church is the one, true Church of Christ, outside of which there is no salvation? Ten percent, five percent....And of those who know, how many believe? Again, ten percent.... and so on. 

And what of the liturgy? Is it not true that the way we pray is the way we believe? Most people's belief is utter confusion, brought on by a liturgical mess. Was it not Pope Benedict and others who have consistently said over the years that the liturgical crisis has led to a crisis of Faith. We should be scared to death that a leading Archbishop in Canada does not see this. 

Unlike the issues of liturgy and ecumenism, the Second Vatican Council did not contain ambiguities on the family. Pope John Paul II used the Council documents as his template to compose his authoritative (and now very inconvenient Letter to Families in 1994). Durocher, knowing this, is aware that a mini-council (this Synod) is needed to make the changes needed by the innovators. The tone, language and themes are strikingly different from 1994 to this past Saturday. No where, in the rejected re-written section on homosexuality is there any mention of sin or disorder.... the ambiguity continues. 

We should be deeply disturbed, therefore, that the two non-issues that the secular media obsesses with is "not dead", but will continue on it all its noxious ambiguity for another year. No doubt, as in previous crises a polyvalent solution will be sought between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. And all will be happy. Well, no. This will only explode in another crisis a few years down the road. The Catholic Church cannot remain healthy in ambiguity, She cannot tolerate a virus, a cancer...

And no further example of ambiguity, confusion could be imagined with Vincent Cardinal Nichols' interview on BBC Radio 4. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blessed Pope Paul VI

Beatus Paulus VI, ora pro nobis

On this day which is chosen to close the Year of Faith, on this feast of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, we have wished to offer to the living God the homage of a profession of faith. And as once at Caesarea Philippi the apostle Peter spoke on behalf of the twelve to make a true confession, beyond human opinions, of Christ as Son of the living God, so today his humble successor, pastor of the Universal Church, raises his voice to give, on behalf of all the People of God, a firm witness to the divine Truth entrusted to the Church to be announced to all nations.

We have wished our profession of faith to be to a high degree complete and explicit, in order that it may respond in a fitting way to the need of light felt by so many faithful souls, and by all those in the world, to whatever spiritual family they belong, who are in search of the Truth.

To the glory of God most holy and of our Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in the aid of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, for the profit and edification of the Church, in the name of all the pastors and all the faithful, we now pronounce this profession of faith, in full spiritual communion with you all, beloved brothers and sons...

The full Credo may be read and meditated upon here