WELCOME TO WITNESS

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.

"The Apostles, with the help of the Holy Spirit, responded well: they summoned the group of disciples and spoke to them. And this is the first step: when there are difficulties, we need to look closely at them, and confront them and speak about them. But never hide them" Pope Francis

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday




Goodfriday,1613. Riding Westward.
John Donne
Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, whẽ my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I'almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for mee.
Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye?
It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
And tune all spheares at once peirc'd with those holes?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our Soules, if not of his.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Archdiocese of Toronto: Sacred Triduum in the Extraordinary Form

This year, the Sacred Triduum, the most solemn and holy Rites of the Church, are available according to the more ancient usage of the Extraordinary Form (or usus antiquior). I strongly encourage those who are able to do so, to attend this Liturgy.

The sacred liturgies will take place at the Carmel of the Infant Jesus, just northeast of Newmarket, OntarioA map is available here.

Further information may be obtained from Toronto Traditional Mass Society- Una Voce Toronto. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Bishop Jurgis of Charlotte refuses to address the real issue of Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel's silencing

Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel's infraction or "sin", according to the The Diocese of Charlotte's newspaper, the Catholic News Herald, is that she: 

"...spent about half of her hour-long talk on homosexuality, including attributing a correlation between the decline of fatherhood in America and the rise in homosexuality. That drew the ire of students and parents over the past three weeks, boiling over in a meeting April 2 at the high school with more than 900 parents present". 

It was this noisy, aggressive meeting of these angry parents, of which Bishop Peter Jurgis admits lacked charity and respect, that precipitated Sister's downfall. Seemingly, the local church is afraid to back a nun when faced with media generated controversy.  

The full statement (non-statement?) by Bishop Peter Jurgis may be read here.  His statement carries no further clarification on the "infraction" of Sr. Jane that allegedly led to the outburst of a "great deal of pain" at the school. If one reads the bishop correctly, he is implying that the parents support the Catechism, but take (at least some of them) great umbrage at Sr. Jane's referencing sociological studies; indeed, to such an extent that they were reduced to a "difficult time" and the aforementioned excruciating "pain"? 

That suggesting there is a correlation between the growth of homosexuality and the breakdown of the family should cause such an emotive uproar amongst - if the bishop is correct in his assessment of the faithfulness of the angry parents - is a mystery. From what I have seen across various social media, quite a number of these pained parents display - shall I say - a heterodox position on homosexuality. 

As I see it, Sr. Jane Dominic was silenced because of her vocal opposition to homosexual acts. The local church, as I see it, likewise is also opposed to homosexual acts: but with a difference: keep it  quite, hush-hush; opposition is OK, as long as no one knows about it...this is confirmed with the admission of the organizer/s of the protest against Sr. Jane: it was her opposition to homosexual acts, brought stridently before the secular media by dissident students and parents, that triggered the cowardly churchmen to "apologize" and then for her Order to silence her. Henceforth the Church will decide Her position, not on truth, but on manipulated opinion. This is insanity. 

But is is also a tragedy. An orthodox nun, eloquent, educated, a skilled public speaker is removed over some minor, silly triviality....who will now preach the undiluted truth the the misguided youth? Faithful students have been abandoned. 

When was the last time the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts was discussed in your child's catholic school? When was the last time virtue was discussed in your school? Fr. Robert Barron has some excellent reflections on the collapse, and inability of society to engage in thoughtful reflection. 



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pope Francis: Educational manipulation of children has its roots in totalitarianism - schools are becoming "re-education" camps


Following on his sermon on the right to life; our Holy Father, Pope Francis has now denounced the insidious evils of certain types of modern education; even referencing a parent comment to him of a "re-education" camp. The entire Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel affair reflects this Soviet era "re-education". As I have written before, on a number of occasions, our enemy is not in Moscow: it is right here at home. Will we see this latest address of Pope Francis the headline news? Don't hold your breath. 


In our days, it is important to carry out the projects against slave - labor, against the recruitment of child soldiers and all forms of violence against children. On a positive note, we must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity .

At the same time, this implies supporting the right of parents to decide the moral and religious education of their children. And in this regard I would like to express my rejection of any kind of educational experimentation with children. We cannot experiment with children and young people. The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals and, with the pretense of modernity, push children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of "only one form of thought".
[moving away from script speech] “A week ago a great teacher said to me… ‘with these education projects I don’t know if we’re sending the kids to school or a re-education camp’…”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ontario Catholic Schools Controversy... Again? (yawn)

Apparently a non-Catholic student in Brampton who already had an exemption from religious classes requested an exemption from attending mass as well. Why was this student at a Catholic school in the first place? Those of you with more fortitude than I can Google the long sad story of Catholic schools in Ontario. This is too close to supper and I am afraid it might cause me to lose my appetite. Suffice it to say that as part of the settlement giving Catholic high schools full funding, they are required to accept non-Catholic students. There is another question here. Whatever possessed the school authorities to fight this in the courts? Did someone seriously think that the following headline might be a really good thing?

 

Catholic schools can't force student to attend mass, court rules 

A non-Catholic high school student, already excused from religion classes, has won the right to avoid mass and retreats as well.The Ontario Superior Court has ruled that student at a Catholic high school who is entitled to be excused from religious courses must also be excused, if they wish, from religious field trips and attending mass.The decision is being hailed by critics of publicly funded Catholic schools, who believe it brings a secular option to a religious school system they feel is a costly duplication of education.“Parents of Grade 9 to12 students living in a community where the nearest school, the least crowded school, or the best school is Catholic can now chose that school without fear that their children will be forced to take sectarian (religious) courses and programs of little interest to them,” said Leonard Baak, president of Oneschoolsystem.org, which opposes taxpayer funding of Catholic schools. Non-Catholics may attend Catholic high schools, but not elementary schools.
The reaction is typical Ontario fare. Someone runs a news article on Catholic Schools and the bigots come out of the woodwork. Reason goes out the window and hysteria runs rampant. Sometimes I think these periodic news reports are managed just for this purpose. Here's a really wild idea. Instead of grabbing headlines for requiring someone to do something he has no obligation to do anyway, try something different. How about grabbing headlines for preaching the gospel and teaching an undiluted version of Catholic teaching?

If you're going to get nailed to the cross anyway, it might as well be for speaking the truth. Getting nailed to the cross because your attempt to fit in with the prevailing culture wasn't working out as well as you expected is just sad. Trying to do something under civil law that you could never accomplish under canon law is foolhardy at best.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel is another victim of what Cardinal Newman called the "religion of the day"

Sr.Jane Dominic Laurel O.P. with friends
The silencing of Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel O.P., by her religious order and the fawning apology of the diocesan authorities brings to mind the words of the great John Henry Cardinal Newman on the "religion of the day" (Sermon 24). 

The empty, religious sentimentality of the Victorian Age, akin to a boil with pus, may be said to have developed into an enormous canker on the face of religion. Newman's prophetic words seem to have been written only yesterday. 

The Cardinal wrote: 

What is the world's religion now? It has taken the brighter side of the Gospel,—its tidings of comfort, its precepts of love; all darker, deeper views of man's condition and prospects being comparatively forgotten. This is the religion natural to a civilized age, and well has Satan dressed and completed it into an idol of the Truth.

As the reason is cultivated, the taste formed, the affections and sentiments refined, a general decency and grace will of course spread over the face of society, quite independently of the influence of Revelation. That beauty and delicacy of thought, which is so attractive in books, then extends to the conduct of life, to all we have, all we do, all we are. Our manners are courteous; we avoid giving pain or offence; our words become correct; our relative duties are carefully performed. 

Our sense of propriety shows itself even in our domestic arrangements, in the embellishments of our houses, in our amusements, and so also in our religions profession. Vice now becomes unseemly and hideous to the imagination, or, as it is sometimes familiarly said, "out of taste." Thus elegance is gradually made the test and standard of virtue, which is no longer thought to possess an intrinsic claim on our hearts, or to exist, further than it leads to the quiet and comfort of others. 

Conscience is no longer recognized as an independent arbiter of actions, its authority is explained away; partly it is superseded in the minds of men by the so-called moral sense, which is regarded merely as the love of the beautiful; partly by the rule of expediency, which is forthwith substituted for it in the details of conduct. Now conscience is a stern, gloomy principle; it tells us of guilt and of prospective punishment. Accordingly, when its terrors disappear, then disappear also, in the creed of the day, those fearful images of Divine wrath with which the Scriptures abound. They are explained away. Every thing is bright and cheerful. Religion is pleasant and easy; benevolence is the chief virtue; intolerance, bigotry, excess of zeal, are the first of sins.... 

Hence excitements are eagerly sought out and rewarded. New objects in religion, new systems and plans, new doctrines, new preachers, are necessary to satisfy that craving which the so-called spread of knowledge has created. The mind becomes morbidly sensitive and fastidious; dissatisfied with things as they are, desirous of a change as such, as if alteration must of itself be a relief....

Think of this, I beseech you, my brethren, and lay it to heart, as far as you go with me, as you will answer for having heard it at the last day. I would not willingly be harsh; but knowing "that the world lieth in wickedness," I think it highly probable that you, so far as you are in it (as you must be, and we all must be in our degree), are, most of you, partially infected with its existing error, that shallowness of religion, which is the result of a blinded conscience...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel O.P.: Betrayed by her own?


Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel O.P. with the laity
Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel O.P., as it now stands, following her address at Charlotte Catholic School, has "requested a "sabbatical", with all her scheduled lectures cancelled. Aquinas College's letter explaining the situation is highly reminiscent of Soviet-style double talk.

Her "sin" was referencing sociological studies regarding the causes of same-sex attraction and the effect of single-parent homes on sexual orientation. Details of this school incident are provided by Freyr.  He provides further analysis on the general issue of persecution for the sake of the truth and Christ.

I am providing a number of screenshots that details the extent of Sister Jane's expunging from the College website. What should be a detailed list of Sr. Jane Dominic's lecture schedule etc., has been replaced by a highly distasteful image of Pope John Paul II. We are well aware that the then Holy Father indulged in jest at the time of the photo. However, this situation is no jest: this is a serious case of persecution. 


Before: Information on Sr. Jane's lecture schedule
- now expunged by Aquinas College



After: Censoring everything about Sr. Jane is gone!
And this is no laughing matter
Formerly lecturing in class, Sister now is firmly "locked" in the "closet", silenced. The exact place where the enemies of the Church wish her to be. It is my firm conviction that the real issue of contention is the Church's teaching on homosexuality; the alleged reason a mere pretext to remove this nun. Does one really remove, silence and effectively banish a person for referencing research? Would a mathematician be so treated if a number of studies on astronomy were referred within the context of a lecture? Think about it. It becomes preposterous. 



Details of Sr. Jane's lectures -
expunged from the College website

Further information expunged by the College

 More expunged information on Sr.Jane's lectures

Happier times: Sr. Jane lecturing on morality

What we are seeing here is a witch hunt mentality where the merest misstep against society's new "orthodoxy" will have disastrous consequences. This bears a frightening resemblance to the blacklists circulated during the McCarthy era in the US, or the Soviet psychiatric "hospitals" for religious and other dissenters. Truly Orwellian in scope. All of this is another reminder of Pope John Paul II's warning that a "democracy" without grounding in truth and morality will inevitably slide over into a less and less disguised form of totalitarianism. 

Sr. Jane with a friend

There are some - well meaning no doubt - who may be suggesting to create pressure to reinstate Sister Jane. I would recommend at this stage: prayer, and a renewed devotion to Sister's teachings, which are those of the Church. Pressure campaigns against bishops and religious superiors usually backfire on the persecuted. God will protect Sr. Jane. 

I will be providing two videos - uploaded - of Sr. Jane. One cannot guarantee how long her videos will remain online at the College youtube channel. They provide an excellent outline on her lectures pertaining to the Theology of the Body. Stay tuned. 

Thanks goes to Freyr for his input.