30 September 2012


Yes, Mr. Swan uploaded it. No, he did not write it. He extracted the text from a Traditionalist mocking article in the National Catholic Reporter, the notorious American heretical newspaper, or the Kansas City Crap Sheet, as yours truly calls it. What is interesting about this Facebook entry, posted yesterday, it that his next FB entry, posted soonafter, was for an article/link written by a university student entitled "Old-fashioned worship attracts youth", published in the Catholic Register, of which Mr. Swan is Associate Editor. The CR article included a photograph of two young ladies wearing veils.

It's the juxtaposition of the two posts that's the giveaway.

What is the purpose of doing that - especially that particular quotation - except to send a message of his dislike for the return to reverent liturgy and its concomitants? Why share a link to an article, minus a qualifier, where we find phrases like "veiled patriarchy", "get in on the dress-up fun", "enthusiastic would-be veil wearers", "an in-your-face expression of submission", unless he agrees. That's fine, and he's certainly free to post whatever preference on FB. Contrarily, I see mantillas at Mass as a most excellent thing. It confers that distinctive Catholic dignity and mystery to a woman. Also, it is symbolic of that extra and special amount of privacy which is the natural right of a woman. TH2 recalls at one Mass sitting behind a lady with a 2-foot tall beehive hairdo. Her neck was ever more so tilting as time passed and, poor creature, I thought her head was going to snap off. You see, men get distracted.

There is no shock here, even in this little Facebook example. Mr. Swan, in his columns and reports, has been doing this schtick for years at CR. In the past his articles were more blatant in their antagonism to orthodoxy. In recent years, his write-ups are more subtle, still skewed to Leftist causes and associated esoterica, made to appear as a "normal" Catholic thing. So next time you read one of his reports on some crew cut lesbo-feminist nuns getting in a tizzy over "global warming", or of some social justice activist being enthralled with a dictator in some South American banana republic, my advice would be to read just to know what ephemeral fashion is currently preoccupying the establishment church, not for what the Magisterium actually teaches.

But, really, this short post is just a reminder to you Catholic Canucks, roughing it out in the Arian wasteland, of the headstrong Modernist/heterodox mentality of those entrenched within the CanCath MSM particularly, and the Magic Circle generally. The system needs to be flushed out.

CCCB Plenary just ended. Have a post thereabout in the works.


16 September 2012


Make some popcorn and select your favourite beverage because this is going to be a long one, compensating for my infrequent postings as of late.

Okey dokey. Where were we? Ah, yes... Continuing, then, from that post whereat it ended with those enchantments existent within the Magic Circle. A system enclosed, insular, exceedingly protectionist, self-referential, self-congratulatory. To refresh our memories, here again is Fr. Blake's bang-on description thereof:
The problem is the Magic Circle syndrome, like selecting like, faithful servants of national Churches appointing their faithful servants. It is indeed a circle, symbolised by the post-Concilliar stance at the liturgy, bishops, priests and people looking at one another celebrating, as if it is worth celebrating, their own community. It is self celebrating, self serving. It lacks the faculty of self criticism and self evaluation. Ultimately it lacks direction and vision and is incapable of redirecting itself. It is by its very nature conservative and illiberal and therefore intolerant of criticism. Like any self perpetuating group it easily becomes totalitarian and ultimately unjust.
The phrase "Magic Circle" as such is most commonly associated with the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) and you will occasionally see it pop up in Catholic blogs on the other side of the Atlantic. The term derives from a British magician's organization started in 1905. Its motto is the Latin indocilis privata loqui, roughly meaning "not inclined to disclose secrets". "Magic Circle" is a perfect descriptor of the clandestine-like, apostatic/bureaucratic functionality (so to speak) of episcopal conferences in the West in the post-Vatican II era (allied agencies, chanceries, star personalities can be added thereto). For the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and its interlinked establishment, the favoured term used in this space for the last couple of years has been "Star Chamber". Still, I think, Magic Circle is a superior characterization, so this post will steal that term, including its connotations, exploring some Canadian aspects and examples of the Magic Circle syndrome. Albeit reluctantly due to external stresses, Magic Circle dwellers sometimes will make contact with persons outside of their enchanting confines via whatever form of telemedia. Accordingly, the interrelated issues of Catholic Comms and the Laity's role within the Church will also enter the discussion. We begin with the Laity because in many ways this "syndrome" is a layman thing.

Thusly, let us now approach that portal leading inside the Magic Circle so as to check out some of the captivating happenings therein. And so here we go...

Open Sesame!

I. You might have noticed that, ever since the halcyon days of Vatican II, "Apostolate of the Laity" is the phrase said and sung by the Nu-Church Commissariat. Translation: layman involvement within nearly every nook and cranny of the Church's variegated structure, or that is what has resulted. Justification for this currently debilitating, if not destabilizing, condition stems from, for instance, the Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, wherein we find astonishing statements like: "present circumstances... demand from them [the laity] an apostolate infinitely broader and more intense".[1] This isn't the place to get into the instigators, perpetuators and manipulators of that imperative, save reference be made to the Modernist hero and infamous V2 theologian Edward Schillebeeckx. "Now things are different", he proclaimed in a book written after the Council. Catholic teaching must come "from a broader, as it were 'methodologically supra-Christian post-ecumenical' standpoint, in the light of the present crisis in the more limited, intra-Christian ecume, which is not to be underestimated". That almost incomprehensible verbosity appears in a chapter entitled "Towards Democratic Rule of the Church", wherein Schillebeeckx further averred that the Magisterium, theologians and the faithful "are dependent on one another and are so in a new way... in a process in which they are relativized".[2] So there you have it. The notion of a flattened-out, democratized-egalitarian tending church is spawned into an actuality. Put plainly: pop the champagne and call the caterers because HERE COMES EVERYBODY! It's party time, boys and girls.

II. Three implications necessitate elaboration. Firstly, an "infinitely broader and more intense" laity is overboard language that helped pry open Pandora's Box. How else is to be explained the bloated number of lay employees at chancery offices, the exorbitant budgets, the superfluous departments and their rabbit hole bureaucracies? Or that legion of "Eucharistic Ministers" during Novus Ordo Masses, lining up to the sanitary gel dispenser to cleanse their hands before distributing Holy Communion like frisbee throwers? Or that Mod Squad of exclusively female busybodies at the parish office who have total command over all happenings, ministerial and financial, at St. Happy Clappy Church? Or the funding of pro-abortion groups by Development and Peace? Or of Catholic educrats, teacher unions, school trustees, succumbing to the Gaystapo Pinkshirts and their metrosexual minions? Let alone the fruitiness in force at not a few parishes. Hello Ottawa. Or those anti-clerical school teachers politicizing suggestible students, preaching about the unredeemable evils of free market economics while extolling the virtues of radical environmentalism and condom usage? Or that ensemble of RCIA directors, catechists and liturgists who, whilst sipping their springwater spritzers and masticating on celery sticks at one of those multitudinous inutile "seminars", are under the impression that the Catholic Church came into being circa A.D. 1965. Reference to, or affirmation of, anything prior to Vatican II is anathema. And so on ad infinitum... It's a bloody nightmare! Always the eagle eye, Fr. Stanley Jaki explained the devolutionary course of this aspect of the post-Conciliar catastrophe, which may aptly be coined the Dictatorship of the Liberal Laity:

Only naiveté could hope for unchanging style in the papacy while all other styles were changing at an accelerated rate... some Catholics took the change of style as an opportunity for changing the substance concerning the position of hierarchy in the church and the position of the pope in that hierarchy... Catholics, thinking that the College of Bishops, or the bishops of a particular national conference, or the local bishop had been enthroned above the pope, soon demanded the same throne for themselves when the new "supreme authorities" did not yield to their whims and fancies in matters of faith, morals and discipline.[3]
III. Secondly - as is manifest in the abovementioned, this self-empowered laity inside the Magic Circle are principally of the Modernist/Progressive variety. Don't forget that cronyism runs far and wide. Additionally, we should not exclude from the Circle those other "influential laity" (a neat term I've come across) belonging to the Conservative/Neocat class, especially salesmen apologists and commentators. Where the Modernist Left openly, defiantly endorse heresy within the Church, the Conservatives, though not necessarily or overtly advocating dissent, are well cognizant of ubiquitous apostasy within the inner sanctum, but are mostly silent on the state of affairs. If they do discuss, theological ramifications are minimized to virtual insignificance, then a diversionary topic is chucked into the mix in an attempt to draw eyes away from the mess evacuated by the elephant in the room. There are a number of explanations for this kind of reaction, or lack thereof. One might be worry of losing job position, income (understandable to a degree) or - sadly - celebrity status and party invites, should they candidly proclaim the obvious in the Catholic public square. Applying this to the American situation, the indefatigable Michael Voris recently had a Vortex episode on this rather, ahem, sensitive issue. Also, you will oftentimes discover Conservative "influential laity" types will be a colleague of a well-known cleric or, even better, buddy of a bishop. How can you betray a friend? Therefore, personal loyalties, plus the involved emotionalism, become obstructions to filtering out that asphyxiating haze inside the Magic Circle. More on this towards the end.

IV. So, then, this Laity operate many levers and gears of access and control, permissible by an all too complacent and languid episcopacy, the latter ultimately responsible for a situation run amuck. Stern instructions directed from the bishops to correct the laity (in those infrequent cases when they rightly wield their authority) are given faint consideration, if not disregarded altogether. One example was the Academic Mandatum issuance in 2001 by the USCCB (prompted by Rome), requiring theology professors to teach "within the full communion of the Catholic Church" in accord with Canon 812.[4] Signature required. Unsurprisingly, a National Catholic Reporter editorial reacted with a howler: these are "dangerous times for Catholic thinkers".[5] Had the academe sufficient loyalty to the Magisterium, signatures would have come in droves, almost immediately after the issuance. Didn't happen. A report last month states: "the manner in which the mandatum was being implemented, rather than renewing Catholic higher education, served only to hide dissenting theologians in a seemingly Church-sanctioned way".[6] Nobody actually knows if theologians are fulfilling their obligation to sign since the procedure has morphed into a private affair between theologian and bishop. In effect, the Mandatum was whisked away like an annoying fly on your collar. Nevertheless, anyone with expectation of compliance suggests a naiveté in regard to the multi-decadal Modernist contagion inside Catholic universities. Speaking of education, did "devoted" laymen in the OECTA and other Catholic educrats seriously consider those limp-wristed statements by Ontario's bishops during the GSA debacle? Ya, right. It's too late, anyway. The Sodomites have subverted the Ontario Catholic school system and innocent, impressionable kids are going to pay the horrible price. Be assured, in the near future you will be spotting more and more newspaper headlines on abominable violations of children by that "nice" teacher who, shock!, is a NAMBLA member and, surprise!, possesses a computer hard drive replete with child pornography. So, you see, this is how things work in a "Democratic Rule of the Church", as the now dead suit-and-tie-wearing Fr. Schillebeeckx once expounded. Everyone has a vote. Disobey at your leisure. Come on, you Catholic peoples, get in on the action and bring your antinomian friends. We're having a ball over here, dontchya know. Yamma yamma...

V. Thirdly, because this entrained laity comprise a major segment of the Magic Circle, by autoreflex they act as a shield for the bishops. This is great stuff because the boys dread that critical spotlight illuminating the landscape extra circulum. When, for instance, the CCCB issues a "pastoral letter" on ecology, asking us "to fast from actions that pollute", lamenting "the cry of the earth"[7], or if a bishop writes a letter to a politician, whining about federal census formats, and other such inane inessentials, you're sure as heck going to need a safeguarding careerist mouthpiece or submissive op-ed columnist to step to up to the plate and deal with possible retaliation from those Catholics unprivileged to dine on the choice fare served up at establishment galas. Indeed, chanceries have erected a virtually impenetrable layman-encrusted barrier around themselves, disallowing John Q. Catholic from proper/reasonable access to his respective bishop, despite the fact that canon law permits for this access. Ironically - but more so hypocritically, when orthodox/traditional outsiders invoke the "Apostolate of the Laity", then acting upon it in whatever way, they are simply ignored by Nu-Church comptrollers, if not euphemistically told to "shut up" and "get lost". Call for greater transparency on an issue to which you are unsure, e-mail your bishop, write a letter to a diocesan newspaper, ask for accountability or a reason for something that troubles you Catholic-wise... inevitably, you're first going have to deal with some obfuscating layman gatekeeper - at the chancery office, at the CCCB, or at whatever organization to which your bishop or some other religious ostensibly hold authority. And the generic response you will get goes something like this...


Hello there, how may I not help you ?

So the saga continues... those longsuffering John and Mary Catholics, doing their darndest to live faithfully to the Magisterium - while in the meantime a virulently anti-Christian culture incessantly assaults them and their children, are effectively screwed because they have nowhere to turn.

VI. Fine. That's the situation. It's a bummer, yes. As a consolation, however, what the abovementioned does shed light upon is why the same people and their similarly favoured pet issues repeatedly, year after year, pop up all over the mainstream CanCath media or at whatever conference, i.e. keep it in the Circle. These persons would mainly be the "influential laity", including those that occupy the innumerable boards, "working groups", think tanks, councils, committees and commissions. Those that formulate "media strategies", "diocesan targets", "spiritual workshops", "faith initiatives" and other such craptastic phenomena that only a greying baby boomer would love. Scenario:
Pam: Hey Marge, great news! There's going to be a seminar on Overcoming Administrative Incongruities Associated with Diocesan Budgetary Entitlements and Pewsitter Donation Potential. Oh, joy.

Marge: You don't say...

Pam: Oh, yes, I do dearie. And maybe, just maybe, they'll let us do some Tai Chi exercises during the afternoon break.

Marge: Ooooooo goodie. Sitting down and paying attention for even short periods is difficult for me these days. I'll make some cucumber sandwiches and bring the incense sticks [giggles].
You know, I'll read concurrently published editorials at the Catholic Register, the Western Catholic Reporter, the Prairie Messenger, at some other outlets, then sometimes wonder if, beforehand, the editors did a Skype video conference call, with the purpose being to ensure that a consensus is formed on what slant is to be taken on the latest item peaking Catholic interest. Same views, only dissimilar wording. It's all monotone in the Magic Circle, there's an all-pervading drone and, peculiarly, things are too pleasant, akin to that disconcerting sense you get when meeting some cult member for the first time. Something's not right. This applies to television appearances as well, particularly with "current affairs" type programming at Salt+Light TV. Same faces, same themes, same uncritical subject matter most of the time. Dialogue, not debate. World Youth Day Toronto 2002 FOREVER!, not why most Catholics don't go to Mass anymore. The glory of stained glassed windows, not rampant liturgical abuses. Compassion, not reasoned assessment of epidemic corruption in the Church. The ease of social justice, not the discomfort of morality. Positivity, not negativity. Translation: put on a happy face as we rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. When controversy does jut above the norm and cannot be ignored, interrupting this atmosphere of feigned serenity, you can be confident that luminaries will make an appearance. As if the stars are constantly in perfect configuration, the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars, like fate, like the deterministic laws of nature, since Vatican II, Gregory Baum and Remi De Roo burst out of the blue, like a Jack-in-the-Box. In magazine articles, at conferences, interviews, downstairs in the parish hall, as signatories for letters of protest... these two gallivanting geezers are at the ready to denounce and vandalize Catholic tradition. Please, gentlemen, if you're not fond of what the Catholic Church teaches, then pack up your Marxist libraries and do-it-yourself Enneagram kits and buzz off.

VII. It's a shame, nay, an injustice that pewsitters are unknowingly bankrolling a good portion of what has been heretofore discussed (yes, "heretofore" is a word I like using). Yet, as another consolation - a potentially fruitful one, that is - wouldn't it be magnificent if, for instance, some stars cruising the circuit in our fair land ventured outside the Magic Circle into the unknown? Be they diocesan, organizational, newspaper, magazine, radio, internet or TV types... instead of the delectable delightfulness that comes from dainty "dialogue", why not harsh but compulsory truthfulness that emerges from polemical "debate"? Why not give opportunity and voice to outsiders with experience? My dream debate, live and unexpurgated, would be between Fr. Rosica of Salt+Light (insider) and pro-life blogger/activist John Pacheco (outsider). Both are fighters and possess the smarts on a wide swath of Catholic topics. Both have engaged Ontario's Premier Dalton McGuinty, Fr. Rosica in an interview (albeit in PC/neutral tone), Mr. Pacheco in a speech/debate when he ran for political office some years ago, amidst boos and jeers, in fact. Listen here. A needed jolt to the unspectacular ratings at S+L TV, too. But, obviously, such formal Insider versus Outsider encounters would never eventuate in the contemporary Catholic MSM environment. The reason for this is uncomplicated: Magic Circle dwellers, until recently with the new social media advent, never have been challenged. They've had the run of the show for decades, never been on the receiving end of hard-hitting questions. Contentment, control and relaxation in their takes on positions purportedly Catholic are diehard habits with them. Because they've had sway for so long, their brains cannot process what's going on when an upstart scrutinizes whatever Catholic subject matter needing amelioration. This is why they are so easily affronted when criticized, which also explains the ballistic or deer-looking-in-the-headlights reactions when confronted as such. Undeniable, mounting forces outside the Magic Circle are, like alien invaders, a threat, a "clear and present danger" to which inhabitants of the Circle are becoming increasingly aware. When the new kids on the block, certainly more traditionalist-minded, start looking underneath tables and peeking around corners - in a way giving the hippie establishment a taste of its own medicine, it's all perceived as "shock and awe" on the opposing end.

VIII. This blogger has a propensity for pessimism, so I've come to accept the whole nine yards of the Canadian Catholic catastrophe. Believe me now or forget me tomorrow, it's not good to think about this stuff too often, and I highly recommend bloggers against it. Otherwise, you'll start doing zany things like posting Bollywood videos from yesteryear. When it comes to solving problems in the Church, the best ways of effectuation ultimately come down to prayer and fasting, as the Blessed Mother reminds us. Still, I think, it is right and necessary to poke, prod, push and provoke the Magic Circle whilst in that state of exhausted vigilance. Besides, the edifice is exhibiting signs of collapse. And you don't have to be super mean like some Catholic bloggers (coyly looks sideways). You can have fun, too. For example, last February, after returning from Rome upon obtaining the red hat, there was a Thanksgiving Mass for Cardinal Collins at St. Mikes in Toronto. Reportedly, 1000 guests were in attendance, including the right people, if you know what I mean. So I'm checking out the Twitter feed to keep abreast of what was hapnen and came across a tweet by Neil MacCarthy, Communications Director at the YYZ Archdiocese. He seems like an amicable fellow. Still, being in the mood for a little frustrated amusement, I fired off one of my customary smarmy tweets, then pondered if there would be reciprocation. Sure enough, I got a hit...

Hocus pocus!

Oh, yes, that Mr. MacCarthy is certainly a charmer. Man-o-man, we're talking Roadblock City here.

IX. Now at this point readers could justifiably counterargue, saying: "TH2, you sensationalist reactionary buffoon, you... you rabblerousing blowhard who goes puppy hunting with a machine gun, laymen in the Church's structure are needed to assist religious. The bishops cannot do everything on their own, especially in today's society of high information flow". Granted, but high technology accommodates for the high info flux. They're called COM-PU-TERS, or "calculating machines", as they are known by Fr. Lombardi and his team at the Holy See Press Office. These wonderful devices, in their amazing speed, precision and efficiency, have more than enough capacity to carry out tasks (many of which are redundant) normally performed by countless professional Catholics, therefore requiring a drastically lesser number of them. Wouldn't that be fabulous? Really, there wouldn't be much to carp about if, for instance, the Ordinary wasn't impelled to waste his time by doing things like this...
Who was the mastermind that came up with this ungainly gimmick? A layman, in all probability. The photograph as a personal memento? Fine. But as a publicity stunt? Sheesh. The Leafs didn't even make the playoffs. Here again we see this egalitarian orientation of the post-Conciliar period. His Eminence is no longer eminent, he's just "one of the guys". "Thomas Collins is one of us",[8] belted out one newspaper headline, minus his title. A religious is equalized with the laity by obliterating the distinction between the two, thereby downgrading the transcendent dignity of his office. ++Collins is now a Prince of the Church, for goodness sake. Not a backslapping buddy you meet in some seedy bar on a Friday night. Unless, that is, your name is ++Tim "Rock Star" Dolan. However, ++Collins' permission for the photo op is telling of both an overall approach and of a Nu-Church empathy.

X. By experience readers probably know that 99 times out of a 100 you're not actually going to get anywhere when dealing directly with Chancery HQ. Although, matters can be evaluated by proxy. That is, dioceses have their own websites - and they just beg for analysis (take note CanCath bloggers). Let's have a gander at the Archdiocese of Toronto. Expectedly, it has a bountiful number of departments, or "offices" as they are designated, 25 in total. Added to this are 9 "boards" and a plethora of "partners". Financials for 2011 indicate chancery office expenditures of $3,818,889 for salaries and benefits, including "professional fees", office and travel. You would need to write a book to adequately cover everything, the redundancies, the money wastage, the labyrinthine bureaucracy and so forth. Still, here are a two snapshots for your edification:

  • Office of the Chancellor of Temporal Affairs: includes ex officio membership on those nine aforementioned boards, two being the Finance Council and Catholic Register newspaper. A head-turner is the Catholic Cemeteries board. One fascinating project it's working on is to make available "green burials" for "eco-conscious Catholic families". Even a professor of "ethics and eco-theology" at St. Michael's College is encouraging us to "keep these grounds as pristine as possible".[9] Nature over and above man. Divine Injunction to subdue the earth as an approach to nature brushed aside. How lovely, in a David Suzuki kind of way. Hardly Catholic, though.
  • Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs: What does it do? "Dialogue". How innovative. "Members serve as resource persons". What? "Participation in ecumenical and interfaith events". Sounds entertaining. When participating, are straightforward efforts made to convert to Catholicism, then? Read: same old jabber involving self-affirmation and group hug universalism. That's the Dictatorship of Relativism in action.
One department of especial interest to me is the Office of the Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs. It does serve an important function: "to ensure the lawful celebration, administration and reception of the Sacraments... also responsible for ensuring that the pastoral practices of the Archdiocese are in accordance with the universal and particular law of the Church". Although, it could be questioned if this office is properly performing it's investigative duties lately. Why wonder? Let's now travel on an approximate 360-degree bearing relative to the TO chancery office...

XI. Perhaps some of you Catholics in the GTA are aware of a dire situation at a church located in a town just north of metropolitan Toronto. As a little more precise identifier, the church's architecture is of that minimalist, horizontalist, chintzy community centre variety. Classic Nu-Church vulgarity. Anyhoo, in July 2011, as a result of those priestly switcheroos occurring on a per annum basis, this parish was delegated a new pastor. Ever since, to use a meteorological analogy, it has been as if Hurricane Luther screamed through this town. Now, of course, when a new priest arrives there's bound to be changes. Adjustment time is required. Parishioners have to adapt to the priest's personality, differing management style, scheduling, etc. Standard operating procedures. Though in the last 1+ year unmistakeable signs pointing to heterodoxy have manifested. Like these particulars: Tabernacle removed/disappeared, Adoration Chapel closed down/cancellation of exposure of the Blessed Sacrament, number of Masses per week reduced, long-time parishioners becoming refugees, i.e. leaving in throngs, scattering to churches elsewhere. Various trustworthy reports: handicapped girl kneels to receive Holy Communion, Father rebuffs reception in that posture, walks on by, little pumpkin in tears, never to return; standing enforced after reception of Holy Communion; proximate mockery of "ethnic" sounding names chosen during the Sacrament of Baptism; many sign petition for something to be done. There was also an allegation of a wading pool to be installed for baptisms. That one cannot be substantiated because it pulsed through the rumour mill. Indeed, there's been a nuclear detonation of gossip.

XII. However, we do have more objective data to arouse further, reasoned suspicion. That would be the Parish Bulletin. In most bulletins you will find all manner of notices on church events, local business people advertising their products and services. Yet the bulletin's focus is commonly on the priest's weekly commentary, discussing theology and morality in terminology understandable to laymen, quoting the Gospels, interrelating them to affairs of the day. In sum, providing spiritual nourishment to parishioners so as help them along their way and better cope with the crosses Our Blessed Lord assigns them. Not so at the parish under perusal. Reviewing the entirety of bulletin commentaries issued since the summer of 2011, I have found them to be a sort of personal diary, trite and ghastly content, self-revolving with several I's, nebulous religious content, if at all, Christological allusions sparse. The commentary section in this specific bulletin is bizarrely entitled "Ruminations". Here's a sampling from one entry, on medical procedures:
We get poked and prodded and pricked in places... We are checked over and under and even where the "sun don't shine". Speaking of where the sun don't shine, it is time for my second colonoscopy. It is about two years behind (no pun intended) schedule... all good things must come to an end - so to speak... it is the preparation that is the drudgery of it all. They try to disguise the prep with obscure sounding processes, like the drink "evacuates" your insides for the camera. (When I dreamed of being in pictures, this isn't what I had in mind). No one warns you of the act of violence that this liquid perpetuates on you with sudden and prolonged fury... So then, it is time to stock up on nice, soft, Cottonelle, move the television so it is visible from the w.c., juice up the DS Nintendo, put a book or two within reach, and get ready for an evening of "evacuations"... Cheers, and bottoms up, so to speak.
Keep it classy. When a cleric is evidently preoccupied with the unscientific, raw biological particularities of self-existence, is unperturbed in debonairly publicizing his thoughts thereof without embarrassment, presuming it a form of spiritual enrichment for others and oblivious to the scandal it causes, it is indicative of an earthy, paganistic-inclined immanentism, and you know there is something amiss.

XIII. This writer became aware of the hubbub soonafter X's arrival. Being of a probative disposition, he elected to attend some Masses to verify if the reported protestations were of sound foundation. What I witnessed was appalling. After one Mass, I observed an extremely upset nun on the verge of tears, not of happiness. Not only were the aforelisted particulars confirmed, the Masses were so irreverent. Homilies: Adam and Eve playing frisbee in the Garden of Eden, tantamount denial of the miraculous multiplication of loaves. One quoteworthy statement: "Historical Christianity has always told you that you are not worthy of God. No! You ARE worthy of God", implying no need for betterment in holiness, i.e. I'm OK, you're OK. Tabernacle gone, sloppy rubrics, disrespectful mishandling of the sacred vessels. Most distressing of all, as for the validity of you know what... matter, form, intent... a qualified expert needs to investigate. But that's the thing. With all the complaints flowing into the offices at 1155 Yonge Street, eventually someone was appointed to gauge the situation.

XIV. My guess is the Office of the Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs were anticipating blowback, knowing of X's, errr, "style" at his previous posting. The tactic here, when such fiascos arise, apparently is to wait it out. Let it ride for a bit. Let the complainants yell and moan. Sure, dispatch a specialist to conduct an on-site appraisal, but only for show. In due course, with the passage of time, the noise diminishes, people burn out due to aggravation from chancery inaction, then go elsewhere. Soonafter, it's business as usual. ABC, 123, that's how we swing at the chancery. For you see, X is a homeboy, grew up in the town, and he's negotiated a deal with some friends down south at the chancery office. X is not going anywhere, in for the duration. Though it's not this so much as that the requisite reprimand and corrective measures have not been undertaken. Someone in charge is fully aware of what's happening. Alas, a modus operandi, which can perhaps be described as quietist-non-confrontationalism, is letting X off the hook. Sssshhhhhhhhh... keep it in the Circle. In the meantime... in the meantime - and this is the tragedy to which I can attest, plenty of poor souls are being led astray and the personal/spiritual lives of several others have been deeply affected, scandalized, devastated. It's depressing. Still, hopeful recourse there should always be. Accordingly, we must ask: What propitious, uplifting words can be enunciated to countervail this seemingly irresolvable and despondency-inducing dilemma? Simple...

XV. Oh, but, Catholic peoples, the story doesn't end there. Get back over here. The troublesome X, who certainly needs our prayers (I really do mean that), is a member of a certain "Liturgy Commission" which collaborates with the CCCB's National Liturgy Office and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO). X is also involved with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate (NAFC), instructing on RCIA. Moreover, X teaches a course in Pastoral Liturgy at (oh no, not again) that university which must not be named, adjacent to the banks of the St. Lawrence, a river running nearly 1200 kilometres in length, so the cartographers tell us. Still, we're not finished. Remember: the Magic Circle is immense, all-encompassing... X collaborates with two well-known ladies who do the "liturgical ministry" circuit, one employed at the Office of Formation for Discipleship, Archdiocese of Toronto, the other a "writer and consultant on topics in liturgy". Recent comments made by the latter at the Pray Tell blog evidence an unhappiness with the current trending return to reverent liturgy:
If "say the black, do the red" is our rule to live by, why study liturgy at all? Just shut down all those liturgy programs, both pastoral and academic. Who needs them? It's all been settled... We do seem to be witnessing the death of Ordinary Time. Some may say these special years have no impact on the liturgy or on the liturgical year, but every special year seems to bring with it a song and an insipid prayer which is recited weekly but which adds nothing or - even worse, only trivia - to the prayer of the liturgical assembly. And no one ever asks us what we think we need to spend a year on. It's the high up and far away telling us what we need.
Golly, she's such a muffin. A tinge of rebelliousness there, methinks, issues with authority. Recall that quotation from Fr. Jaki made at the outset. And you know what? Both these ladies are contributors to that magazine for those people "actively involved in various parish liturgical ministries", namely Celebrate! Oh, that cheezy, Nu-Church exclamation mark is so loathsome, and that emphasis makes it sound sooooo... gay: Celebrate! Don't even get me started on the cover art...

Good grief. No, I do not want to dance. Not interested in the liturgical dance facet of the Docetist heresy.[10] What's more, this mag is published by... wait for it... Novalis, which also publishes the catechizing book Alive in the Spirit! (not another awkwardly misapplied exclamation mark), co-authored by the aforementioned ladies - and so the cycle is complete: Wayward priest decimating liturgy locally at parish level and, horrifyingly, advises on liturgy provincially for the ACBO, nationally for the CCCB, continentally for the NAFC; teaching liturgy at that unnameable university too, partnering therewith liturgical/catechistic careerists who publish with Novalis, one of whom is employed by the Archdiocese of Toronto which, after informed by alarmed parishioners, is doing absolutely nothing about grave liturgical abuses locally committed by aforesaid errant priest. Round and round we go in the Magic Circle. It's a bloody nightmare, I tell you.

Hey, did you see that? What's going on over there? Let's check it out...

Presto chango!

XVI. If you regularly monitor happenings inside the Canuck Magic Circle, and if able to withstand being mesmerized by all the swirling, apostatic machinations therein, traits or patterns become discernible which aid extraneous observers in understanding how the Circle sustains its superstructure. Sorry, that reads too abstractly :) What is specifically meant is that, upon meticulous examination, you begin to notice Magic Circle dwellers are able to maintain both their domination over affairs Catholic and "credibility" in the public square by utilizing conniving methods which work to disqualify and/or overshadow the legitimacy of objecting Catholic voices outside the Circle. Understand here, we're not setting up some false, quasi-"class warfare" antagonism between dwellers and outsiders. Fact is, if analysts beyond the Circle's circumference detect errors at the Circle's centrepoint, like, say, a Catholic agency supporting pro-abortion groups, this is not an irreconcilable "us versus them" dualism. Rather, the circumstance simply, unequivocally relates to adherence to that singular feature of Catholic doctrine where no "either/or" is involved or tolerated. The Catholic Church always has strictly, fervently forbidden the act/facilitation of abortion. There is only one answer: abortion is the killing of a human being and trespasses against what God commands in the Decalogue. It is in suchlike cases when, after getting caught partaking in whatever form of anti-Catholic intrigue, a Magic Circle dweller will pull that trusty rabbit out of his hat to bolster his plead of innocence against evidentiary information submitted by outside parties. In other words, exploit those conniving methods, of which there are three.

XVII. First, countercharge plaintiffs with being uncharitable or judgemental while not actually responding to facts/evidences put forward. Then, vilify and calumniate them. To the more powerful Magic Circle and its friends in the similarly left-slanted secular media, plus other allied observers, this automatically debars reasoned criticism levied by less potent Catholics outside the Circle. Hence the story will not be unbiasedly reported, if at all. Second - despite blaring facts divulging whatever form of malfeasance to Catholicism occurrent within the Circle, always emanate an aura of moderateness to those uninvolved in the affair, be non-threatening, be fair-minded. The "calmer minds will prevail" trick. This helps to disassociate from those supposedly injudicious, closed-minded "more Catholic than the pope" types. "Taliban Catholics", as they are known in some quarters. The secular press and consumers of its products are, invariably, suckers when it comes to this scheme. Third, delay and diversion. If external pressures become too intense, pretend to unlock a doorway into the Circle (i.e. profess "transparency", "accountability"), then state that an "internal review" or suchlike action has commenced to "look into the matter". But let this unserious assessment drag on. Intermittently release communiqués notifying of "ongoing study", transmit e-mails or publish interim reports in long-winded language, crammed with amorphous phraseologies. Or, if unwilling to go the "transparency" route, retain a "yes man" from the "influential laity" or a famous religious whom, having lead media outlets at their disposal, go about misdirecting, pointing to a problem or solution residing elsewhere, outside the Magic Circle. This therefore excuses whomever from responsibility indefinitely. Working in conjunction, then, the three methods help to preserve an interior purity to the system, not letting anything inside out, not letting anything outside in... Whew, that was a mouthful. Anyhow, recall Fr. Blake's much better, shorter description: "It lacks the faculty of self criticism... It is by its very nature conservative and illiberal and therefore intolerant of criticism. Like any self perpetuating group it easily becomes totalitarian and ultimately unjust".

Let's now provide some examples where we see these methods in operation...


XVIII. Regular followers of Catholic news sites and blogs are likely aware of the now three-year-long running scandal involving Development and Peace, the CCCB's social justice agency. In 2009, D+P was discovered to be funding pro-abortion groups in the "Global South" (oxymoronic appellation), with heaps of evidence/facts demonstrating the actuality. Go to the D+P devoted web page at LifeSite News for details and updates. Not going to provide a comprehensive review here, though you can get a good summary from a recently uploaded video at that page. Safe to say, in this scandal we have a paradigm of that confrontation between the Magic Circle and those prohibited from entering the Parthenon - and the battleground is Communications Media. Team Goliath: united front of a laity-run development organization and the Canadian bishops' conference, with a subservient Salt+Light Media Foundation doing the relevant comms. Team David: LifeSite News, brandishing a frequently visited website with reporters on the ground, rapidly growing in influence and popularity, even beyond North America. Old Media Mentality contra New Media Pacesetters, Leftist/Modernist Establishment versus Emergent/Coalescing Orthodoxy.

XIX. That this scandal has remained unresolved for three years points to the delay and diversion method. To authenticate it is currently operative, we have this quote from a CCCB Media Room release a few months ago: "There was agreement at both the February and May meetings to continue work on the 3-D process as a constructive way to ensure objectivity, transparency, and input from all parties involved".[11] You see the elusiveness, yes? When an expression like "3-D process" is concocted (denotation for "Dialogue, Discernment, Decision"), know that you have entered The Twilight Zone, with Franz Kafka as scriptwriter for this special episode, entitled 2012: A Bureaucracy Odyssey. In the show's climax, you are dumbfounded to learn of a plot twist, that 3-D instead stands for "Delay, Diversion, Denial". Moreover, the claim of "transparency" is still a boner. The entire roster of D+P's "partners" have yet to be released and over 50 of them already are proved to be pro-abortion/anti-natalist. Still, pewsitters are asked to donate when ShareLife time comes around. Audacious. A commenter for an LSN article scored a bulls eye: "Why in God's Holy Name would any responsible lay person consider donating to an outfit which refuses to tell us what they do with the money, and to whom they give it?"[12] Lately, however, things haven't been hunky dory for D+P moneywise. That's because last March the federal government agency CIDA hacked its funding by 65%, reduced to $2.9 million from $8.2 million in 2011.[13] So the peeps in Montreal are scrambling...

XX. Date: 12 May 2012. Location: Toronto. Occasion: Ontario Provincial Meeting of Development and Peace. Enter Fr. Rosica to rally the troops and boost morale - only six or so weeks after the announced CIDA cuts... He's everywhere, omnipresent. How does he do it? Sometimes I wonder if Father is a bilocator, even a trilocator (note to self: check with Padre Pio). Either that, or Mr. Gagliano, Sr. has furnished extra subsidies for the secret construction of a teleportation contrivance in the basement at 114 Richmond Street East... Okay, I'm back... Here's an extraction from his address:

Many of you present here today have been frustrated by the hijacking of pro-life issues by the so-called extreme right. Obstinate fundamentalist attitudes, open hostility or blatant indifference to opposing views are recipes for failure no matter how infamous the self-proclaimed expert, how self-aggrandizing or condemnatory his or her blog or inaccurate or sensational the website. When sustained anger is a signature emotion of those claiming to be on the side of life, there is nothing prophetic or credible about such behavior. When Gospel charity is absent in their words and deeds, when hope is not palpable, the effort is not Christian. Some individuals, blinded by their own zeal and goodness, and misguided by poor leadership and ignorance, have ended up defeating the very cause we must all defend with every ounce of energy in our flesh and bones. Being pro-life does not give any one the right and license to say and do whatever we wish, to malign, condemn and destroy other human beings who do not share our views. We must never forget the principles of civility, Gospel charity, ethics, and justice.
Packs quite a punch, huh? Oh ya, he's good. Heart sinking to be misrepresented like that, is it not? Especially knowing he speaks for a goodly number of bishops (otherwise the CCCB website wouldn't regularly advertise S+L broadcasts). So, then, this is the hardened attitude of which those outside the Magic Circle have to contend. Nonetheless, do not be intimidated by these dramatics. Admittedly, things are dished out harshly in this space, sometimes dramatically, as you might have noticed. Although there's nothing unethical with being "condemnatory" toward a Catholic agency with significant free income deriving from pewsitter charity, funding pro-abort groups, refusing to publicly admit it for three long years, lawyering up to block document disclosure, CCCB reneging on a preceding claim of "transparency", deriding a certain news agency as "part of the far right wing fringe element of North American society and have themselves been associated with groups and individuals who have resorted to violence"[14] etc. But I'm a non-entity, a grunt in the trenches. We know exactly to whom Father is making reference and his slander against them does not apply. What does apply in that statement, in my opinion, is the first conniving method, i.e. vilify, calumniate, which instills contempt, no redress or explicit acknowledgement of the factuality that D+P has sponsored pro-abort groups, save a watered-down statement: "serious oversights and errors emerged in the projects you have funded and overseen". Indeed, a total of 53 "oversights" and counting.

XXI. Giving some credit, the audience was scolded with a question: "Why then [sic] are the extension to the unborn of the human right to life, and opposition to the culture of death, not central issues on the 'left'?" G.K. Chesterton provides a generalized answer: "They love ordinary people from afar and talk about them often, but nearness to the people and their beliefs frightens them and confuses them". Emblematic of Leftists, like D+P membership, is that they relish convening committees and commissions, elated to attend conferences and workshops. They're proficient at drawing up policies and setting protocols, always sure to phone up reporters, acquainting them with the "important" work they do. The voluminous literary output, the fanfare from public speaking engagements. Nothing wrong with these per se. However, the Left's distinctive dissimulation is that deeds don't follow those beneficent words spoken aloud and afield for humanity to hear: "Look at me, I'm virtuous". Yet, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, Mr. Fabianist has vanished. Yes, once or twice he'll travel to some exotic country to "feel the pain" of the peasantry, but just for a tour, a week or so. The Board beckons him back home. Yet it is in monotonous, difficult, unnoticed and seemingly insignificant matters where real social justice starts. Approach brutal reality head-on as a responsible Catholic, without desire for jubilation, thrilling confabs and the television cameras. For it is in little things that the Catholic Leftist involved in "development" avoids, and you can bet Flavor Flav's gold teeth that he has no conception of to whom the title "Little Flower" refers. He will, however, not miss the next public spectacle of a protest march[15] and his latest campaign against bottled water is sure to be a hit across the land, especially with the kids.

XXII. There is a specific answer to Father's question as well. He's attuned enough to know, though it wasn't included in the speech. The Catholic Left was questioned why it has neglected life issues, yet matters remained open ended as no explanation was provided for this neglect. That's the thing - silence. It's been occurring since Vatican II. More damnifying to the Catholic Left is they still remained silent even when abortion was decriminalized/legalized in the late-1960s/early1970s. Furthermore, this Catholic Left also rallied for contraception, rebelling against Humane vitae. Nota bene: mainstreaming use of contraception is a direct cause of increased abortions. Not only this, in September 1968 the Canadian bishops retaliated against the Holy Father's encyclical with their dissenting Winnipeg Statement, unretracted to this day. Let us not disremember it was helped along via behind-the-scenes manoeuvring of (now) excommunicated priest Gregory Baum,[16] a hero of the Catholic Left and a name to which Father is familiar. Cardinal Dolan, at last, publicly conceded an open secret in a recent interview:
We have gotten gun-shy... in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality. The flashpoint was Humane vitae. It brought such a tsunami of dissent, departure, disapproval of the church, that I think most of us - and I'm using the first-person plural intentionally, including myself - kind of subconsciously said, "Whoa. We'd better never talk about that, because it's just too hot to handle". We forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice when it comes to one of the more burning issues of the day.[17]
That tsunami sprang from the Catholic Left, which colonize Magic Circles everywhere. So, then, in regard to life/moral issues, a vacuum opened up. It was eventually filled. By whom? In the main, by those outside Church structures - the various traditional pro-life/family organizations and news agencies we see today, of whom the Catholic Left hold in disdain. Father calls this a "hijacking". How can the Catholic Left, including complicit bishops, be "hijacked" when they have ignored life issues for 45+ years? How can you hijack a vacuum? How can you hijack something not there in the first place? Ah, but, notice: the whole shebang, i.e. address to D+P, was a Magic Circle event, in and of and for the Circle, exclusively. Pro-lifers on the outside are "hijackers". Not the enemy within, the enemy without. Does the reader see the inversion? I do...

"Spinning, whirling,
Still descending
Like a spiral sea,

XXIII. Date: 15 June 2012. Teleporter Destination Coordinates: 53.328394 degrees North Latitude, 6.227789 degrees West Longitude. Location: Dublin, Ireland. Occasion: 50th International Eucharistic Congress. Fr. Rosica makes a "passionate presentation", a talk entitled "Is there Catholic media?" At the beginning he tweaks the title: "Is the media for Catholics?", which now seems a question inferring an answer: "No", unless your paycheck is stamped-certified by the Salt+Light Media Foundation. Anyway, to me it seemed to be a status quo treatment of the now intertwined roles of Catholic evangelization and New Media. Subtle potshots, like references to a "hermetically sealed" aspect of the Essene community at Qumran, to those "living in the nostalgia of the past". So one need not be a palaeolinguist in order to fathom whom was being insinuated. No real qualms requiring a another response, excepting one statement that sparked some eyebrow-raising contemplation:
It serves no purpose for church officials, church leaders and individuals to vilify those in the media...
Note to self: J.H. Westen, "Salt and Light's Fr. Rosica says LifeSiteNews is doing the 'work of Satan'", LifeSite News, September 14, 2009.
...to stonewall and not respond to those constant, urgent phone calls or e-mails or text messages of this reporter, that producer, some editor.
Note to self: P.B. Craine, "LifeSiteNews banned from public sessions of Canadian bishops' meeting", LifeSite News, October 17, 2011. Subnote to self: Salt+Light provided television coverage for that plenary.

It's impossible to even get annoyed at this ummm... shall we say, textual imprecision. It's laughable, to the point of an abdominal implosion. Whilst speechifying, it was later stated that "we all make mistakes", so I'll give him a break here. He made me smile, and that's a good thing. After all, it was an international venue and painful specifics of the Canadian situation didn't warrant mentioning. Though what is fascinating to me is his whole Operation Overlord approach to Catholic media while at the same time promoting Catholicism as an effectively unchallenging, smiley face commercial product, just another commodity in the marketplace of ideas, as is, in my view, incarnated at the Salt+Light Media Foundation. It is an authoritarian approach that endeavours to portray itself as democratic, middle-of-the-road even. A political analogy would be the inconsistent ascription "People's Republic of China". But this is characteristic of the Catholic Left. That is, proclaim openness to other worldviews, however anomalous, listen and dialogue with their followers, excepting those remnant Catholics more insistent about the Faith. The designation Fr. Rosica uses for such people is "Taliban Catholics",[18] a gorgeous zinger he appropriated from his chum John Allen at the National Catholic Reporter, who we observe below, last year peddling a book at the Catholic Educator's Conference[19] in Vancouver...

Now I'm not sure if that photograph symbolizes Mr. Allen as an incarnation of the "Good News" whilst soaring to the heavenly heights alongside the Holy Spirit. Yet what I am sure of is that the Brady Bunch art deco background ain't working. Ugh.

XXIV. Right. Let's now switch from Left to Right. Also, we reintroduce the laity into the arena. This is because in a recent opinion column at the Catholic Register Peter Stockland argues that the "laity must join bishops in answering affronts to the Church".[20] Slapped the forehead when I first read that title. Why? Implicit to it is a conviction that the Canadian bishops are already, wholeheartedly battling enemies of the Church, as if putting in a genuine effort deserving of laudability, winning one for the Gipper. And when the article first chimes in with a vehement tone: "I cannot abide bishop bashing. The habit in some Catholic circles of remorselessly denouncing and denigrating our prelates... sets my teeth on edge", you know the remainder is going to be a cryptic exercise in telling the laity to "shut up". Specifically, that would be laity outside the Magic Circle, with one target in all likelihood being those Catholics who counter "affronts to the Church" by composing essays and tracts on the internet, or the "Information Superhighway", as it is known by Fr. Lombardi and his team at the Holy See Press Office. So much for the "Apostolate of the Laity", unless you are of the laity populating Church structures. Hush, keep it in the Circle, don't bite the hand that feeds you. Mr. Stockland, writing the column for a diocesan-controlled newssheet - itself revealing, can in fairness be identified as a card carrying member of the "influential laity". A journalist for 3+ decades, reporter on Parliament Hill, former editor-in-chief at the Montreal Gazette, former editorial page editor at the Calgary Herald, former editor at the Calgary Sun, past VP at Reader's Digest Magazines Canada, National Post columnist, guest TV/radio commentator, conference speaker, fiction writer, Director of the Cardus Centre for Cultural Renewal including Publisher of its newly launched magazine Convivium and, interestingly, President of a bilingual media strategy company - so we're talking about a power player who swings with the hotshots at the Casbah. Meaning that what he writes has that much more weight and disseminative potential. Word up.

XXV. Accordingly, if Mr. Stockland is upset with the treatment of bishops by laymen extra Magicae Circulus, naughty boys and girls are certainly going to get a thrashing. This is because, I opine, what we have in play here - as will be showcased in a moment - is the third conniving method as outlined in Paragraph XVII. That is, a Conservative Catholic "yes man" with the right connections who, after a subtle nod to a bishop(?) signalling he's raring to go, initiates a process of misdirection and blame shifting, rerouting attention away from bishops as being principal cause for the current state of a moribund Catholicism which, as such, is incapable of sufficiently enduring attacks by an increasingly secularized, anti-Catholic society. Unless you've been getting news and info from the usual unreliable sources, informed Catholic Canucks know that les garçons du Nord don't like the heat, preferring to lay low. So, perhaps with the prompting of a "how ya doin" phone call or maybe a concerned e-mail or even a conversation over a few vodka martinis at the local watering hole... if you can get an influential media personality to go to bat for the bishops, it's smooth sailing, baby. And, to boot, if that personality runs a "media strategy" company, you're made in the shade. Because, for Canada's Conciliarist-driven episcopacy, "It's good to be the king", as Mel Brooks used to say. But...

XXVI. To demonstrate no strawman is being erected, let's get to the guts by reproducing this thing in totality, going through it step-by-step. Mr. Stockland the "media strategist" does his job well by starting off with placing the bishops in a sympathetic light [TH2 bolds]
I cannot abide bishop bashing. The habit in some Catholic circles of remorselessly denouncing and denigrating our prelates for perceived failures to lead, to act, to show courage, to boss the world about, sets my teeth on edge. It is difficult to imagine a role outside the world of electoral politics that requires a broader back, a thicker skin and a finer ability to manage expectations than that of a North American Catholic bishop in 2012.
Now the violence-imbued word "bashing", substituted for what should be "justified criticism", works to transform those laity, with the gall to criticize, into extremists, almost uncontrollable basket cases stirred solely by emotions. Good stuff. Here we also have a prime example of how Magic Circle dwellers react when challenged, easily affronted, unable to process, "how dare you...", etc. (cf. Para. VII). The condescension is palpable. Sidebar: an identifiable feature of the establishment church is that its members abhor quarreling. They seem to forget St. Paul incited a fair number of riots in his travels. Or, my fav, I love it that St. Nicholas clocked Arius at the Council of Nicaea. Polemics with its accompanying "divisiveness" has a long history in the Church. Read the saints. Not all of them are as tranquil and methodical as Tommy. And it all started with Our Lord Himself: You snakes!, You brood of vipers!, You blind guides!, You blind fools!, You hypocrites! etc. There is an outstanding post on this very topic at The Fifth Column blog... Returning, the issue relates not to "bashing" as such, i.e. the expressive mode of criticism or concern. Rather, the questions should be: Why is this "bashing" even occurring at all? If so, is this "bashing" actuated by objective facts observed and recorded - not at the clubhouse after a round of golf, but at ground level? The pro-abort Catholic politician permitted to receive Holy Communion because a bishop doesn't have the stones to intervene on behalf of those scandalized, the pro-life rally with just a paltry number of bishops in attendance, at the GSA public meeting where homophilic Catholic school educrats cut off in mid-stream remonstrating parents, a distressed nun in a parish parking lot, as I have witnessed. When such incidents are reported, the laggardly, non-committal rejoinders from above, if not unresponsive silence, has a real trickle-down effect, exasperating real people at base level, to whom with Mr. Stockland allegedly indentifies...
At the same time, I understand viscerally the frustration amounting almost to despair that many lay Catholics experience from unconscionably vicious political assaults on our faith such as Ontario's Bill-13. I share the sense of isolation and powerlessness in front of death threats to Canada's moral order represented by the recent B.C. Supreme Court decision striking down federal euthanasia and assisted suicide laws.
Well, it's hard to believe a "sense of isolation and powerlessness" given that for 3+ decades he's had every kind of mainstream media platform to broadcast his views. An editor of three major Canadian newspapers, deciding whether this or that story/op-ed is to go to the press, feels powerless?! Isolated, like some blogger burning the midnight oil when instead he should be getting some zzzz before waking up at 6AM to begin another day of toil? Mr. Prime Minister, I have a sense of isolation and powerlessness...

You really do have to wonder... wait, it's the Magic Circle. Sorry, I forgot. Need to re-watch my lead-in video to recollect what is being encountered herewith.

XXVII. Yet there is an open avenue for frustrated Catholics, conveniently unreferenced in the column, stipulated in Canon 212 (§2, §3): "The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons". So, then, if so-called bishop bashers should shut up, be excluded from vocalizing their unease at the anti-Catholic bombardment now underway in modern society, who are these "Christian faithful" with the "knowledge, competence, and prestige" to "make known" their concerns? Does qualification to do so involve being a columnist for the Catholic Register? A media strategist? Pope Leo XIII: "when circumstances make it necessary, it is not prelates alone who have to watch over the integrity of the faith". So, then, does the present circumstance satisfy that prerequisite? If yes, which laymen "must join bishops in answering affronts to the Church"? If no, then prelates are in the main satisfactorily fulfilling their obligations as Shepherds. However, hosts of Catholics obviously disagree with the latter, then communicating their concerns aloft, via channels already emplaced to do so, to those ultimately responsible, to those who rightly hold authority as first commissioned by the Lord of History in 33 A.D. - the bishops. Could it be that one reason for the so-called "bishop bashing" is resultant of years of frustration at not receiving any acknowledgement or feasible solution to whatever problem was conveyed to the chancery office? Let alone (as discussed above) an inability to scale that fortress of laymen gatekeepers well-versed in the nuances of bureaucrat-sprechen. It's a quandary. What, then, is to be done?...

My first impulse in such cases is the common one of wondering to myself, to my friends and even out loud in public what Church leaders are doing to confront such catastrophes. Indeed, when the grotesquely misnamed Accepting Schools Act was passed in the Ontario legislature earlier this month, I was quoted in the National Post as being "mystified" at the response of Catholic bishops and the Church hierarchy in general. The moment I saw my word "mystified" published, I regretted its use. It implies a sarcastic judgment that I in no way intended. I don't understand the bishops' response, but that is not a euphemism for saying the response should have been something else - i.e., something I would have preferred.
Wonder away. Write a column about it. Why be mystified? Besides, it is not necessarily a "sarcastic judgement". No need to second guess. It's a common sense deduction, derived from the cold blue light of reason, based on facts and observation. Really, there is no need to be mystified because there is no mystery. The Ontario bishops caved, always reactive during the GSA farce, nothing proactive, heretical Catholic educrats having run of the show, bishops browbeaten by the unrelenting Sodomites, their multi-year campaign against Catholic schools left unchecked by, evidently, lacklustre bishops devoid of backbone, too scared to courageously confront that miniscule, pipsqueak cadre of advocates for a perverted form of human behaviour that cries out to Heaven for vengeance (Genesis 18: 20-21). Or is that forthright biblical terminology too harsh for the refined sensibilities of Magic Circle dwellers? Don't forget the mealy-mouthed memoranda. How did the ACBO respond before Bill-13 really came into the fore? Check this out: "As an enhancement of the existing resources to support all students, we encourage Catholic school boards in Ontario to provide the opportunity for students who wish to do so to gather to address this dimension of bullying".[21] This is grovelling, paintywaist band-aid talk. It isn't St. Athanasius engaging the Arians. Hello, McFly. Just another on that roster of unrepentant apostate Catholic politicians, namely Dalton McGuinty, getting what he wanted. It was no secret. No portfolio classified as "eyes only". What else was to be expected? Why be "mystified"? Enemies of the Catholic Church are just that... enemies. We can give some credit to these enemies because at least they've laid their cards on the table, the agenda is there for all to see, been so for years. Did the ACBO retort like fashion? Did they fearlessly counter with the specific teachings of the Church? In actuality, you can only be "mystified" at those bishops and certain "media strategists" who think that you play with a rabid dog and not expect to get bitten in the ass.

XXVIII. Watch closely. Now comes the gnostic twist:
I do think it is imperative there be a clear response to the assault and, yes, frankly my personal preference would involve storming (constitutional) barricades with (rhetorical) cutlasses drawn. Better (calmer?) minds than mine are, thankfully, positioned to evaluate what the most effective response should be. It would set my teeth on edge no end to have the time they need for strategizing turned into yet another opening for bishop bashing.
Who are these illustrious, enigmatic people to whom Mr. Stockland is making inexact citation? Who are these "better... calmer... minds... positioned to evaluate what the most effective response should be"? Please tell us, we the unenlightened, what you know about the world. Many of us are waiting on baited breath. Are they laymen? Why no names? Is there a Star Chamber of sorts? Are they fellows at a newly founded think tank "dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture", of which someone is Director? If not, then, whom? They deserve our thanks... well, not really. Because if, in the recent past, they've been performing unknowable feats of spectacular magnitude - as the above quotation intimates, if they've been in a deep state of canonical meditation, of metaphysical deliberation, of socio-political rumination, of economic contemplation, of scientific cogitation, literary articulation and even - oh my! - theological expostulation... then, instead of being thankful, I would like them to stop thinking and go to Confession, because they've failed. Canadian society, now imminently void of its inspiriting Catholicism, continues in its downward spiral, its screaming descent into the abyss of all-out nihilism where everything is permitted. Does the reader see what's happening here? Notice: BETTER MINDS POSITIONED to deal with the overwhelming task at hand, to soothe poor lay Catholics numbed at their detection of the gathering superstorm sighted downrange along the horizon. An apparently unnamed, unknown elite group possessing secret and superior knowledge is to "evaluate" the calamity, then save the day, albeit behind-the-scenes... It's smoke and mirrors BS. The profanity is warranted because BETTER MINDS POSITIONED is dangerous language, unless reference is being made (as it must) only to bishops and their priest advisors, not necessarily laymen, not to those who orchestrate think tank events, certainly not to anyone from this sewer of heresy.

XXIX. Heads up! Lock on your space cadet helmets because here comes the Blame-Shift Event in the space-time continuum:
Avoiding that undesirable response need not, however, mean sitting passively back and waiting for Church leaders to do all the heavy lifting. While they speak for the Church, we as lay Catholics have both the prerogative and the obligation to speak out against affronts to faith and morals. Rather than aiming and firing upward, we should all answer the call by addressing the threats horizontally, that is by what is directly in front of us in the lives we live as Catholics each day. For whatever newspapers are still worth as opinion formers, hundreds of thousands of Catholics should be deluging letters to the editor mailboxes daily. Ditto open line shows. Of course, every available means of social media should serve the cause of Catholic resistance to what is being forced upon us. It need not end there. What would happen if every faithful Canadian Catholic took it upon himself or herself to have at least one respectful personal conversation a day objecting to the forced march off a cliff that is state-organized medical killing? We remain, after all, in the millions across this country. We remain a strong majority. There is no reason on Earth that we should hesitate to use our majoritarian influence to protect our Church and its teaching.
From the vertical to the horizontal plane. Wonderful, in true Nu-Church form: it's us, it's all about us, gather us in - in likeness to the irreverence-disposed, community-focussed, man-centred liturgies occurrent during the last 50 years. We shouldn't look up to God first and trust His consecrated ones who are responsible for the eternal salvation of souls, with all the societal good that always has flowed therefrom whenever this pattern was followed. No mention of prayer and fasting. Let's, instead, look into ourselves, effectively making our own powers primary, then project outwardly - not to the vertical-transcendent. Rather, to the horizontal-immanent: "Deluging letters to the editor... open lines shows"? Where? Toronto Star? Globe & Mail? National Post? CBC? CTV? Global? Corus Radio Network? Contact the media conglomerates that own them? Like Rogers, who just fired a sportscaster for merely tweeting that he supports traditional marriage? Like Bell, which broadcasts the hardest pornography 24/7 on a multitude of channels? It seems to me someone is under a delusion that the Radical Leftist MSM is actually going listen to faithful Catholics, accurately and fairly report on their grievances. You cannot play with a rabid dog, and if circumstances necessitate an encounter with this thing, one has to be as shrewd as a serpent, as Christ warned. It would be advisable for certain Magic Circle dwellers to take a real good look at the strategizing in Matthew 10:16-22.

XXX. "Every faithful Catholic" should get involved? How many would those be? "In the millions across the country. We remain a strong majority". Based on 2008 data, there are 13,070,000 Catholics in Canada, 46% of the total population. How many of those attend Mass regularly (indicator of observance, not necessarily obedience or faithfulness)? According to statistics archived by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, 38% of Canadian Catholics regularly attended Mass circa 1990, 32% from 1995-2000, and 29% from 2005-2008. Extrapolating that trending declination to 2012, it now would be 25%, approximately. Thus: 0.25 x 13,070,000 = 3.25 million (roughly). Out of these 3.25 million, how many are of mature age, i.e. passably informed/educated to proffer rational views on Catholicism and "current affairs"? Set the cut-off age to 20 years and up. What do the demographic data tell us? According to Statistics Canada, 77.2% of the total population was 20 years of age or older in 2011. Assume this same percentage for the Catholic population. Hence: 0.772 x 3,250,000 = 2.5 million (roughly). Obviously, Modernist/Leftist Catholics ignore and/or disavow Church teachings on life/moral issues (e.g. contraception, abortion, euthanasia, etc.), so they certainly will not be "deluging letters to the editor" and calling "open line shows" to denounce homosexual behaviour and contraception. Therefore, let's do a rough 50/50 split, meaning we are left with about 1.25 million Canadian Catholics considering themselves "conservative" leaning. Of these, how many are serious enough, activist enough, devoted enough, to go beyond the call of duty to which Mr. Stockland implores? Let alone the CINO factor, or effects of the high stresses imposed by a modern technological society, or the psychological impacts of personal/family problems, or preoccupations (video games, Hockey Night in Canada, etc.), or the degenerative inducements of pop culture (e.g. Dancing with the Stars, Oprah, etc.).

XXXI. A simple number crunching exercise evidences that a randomly thrown-in claim of "strong majority" is inconsistent with the raw data. Within a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, it can therefore be stated that the assertion "millions across the country" is a gross overestimation. Logically, then, it must be queried: Why are there so few faithful Canadian Catholics? Could it perhaps be the combinatorial effects of pitiful catechesis (if at all), zero prayer life, substandard Catholic schooling, parents not passing along the Faith to their children, the Sacraments as mere milestones in one's life, horizontalist-feelings-based-communal liturgy, heresy allowed to proliferate? Would these detriments then not eventually be echoed in the worldviews and behaviours of Catholics in the public square? Would they not be reflected in how Catholics deem the role of the State in human affairs? A State now on the offensive against the Catholic Church. Therefore, who is ultimately responsible for the maintenance of "all things Catholic", for the machine to run smoothly, for underwriting lawful reception/celebration of the Sacraments, for ensuring pastoral practices comply with the doctrines of the Church, with the purpose being to propagate the Faith through the generations? Who, I ask? Who?...

Wouldn't it be great to have fighters like that?

XXXII. Can't we all just get along?...

It is true the political opinions of the faithful properly span the democratic spectrum. On specific issues, and even approaches, our differences are a sign of the catholicity we share. Surely, however, we all agree the Church herself must not be made to bow before the state's raw monopoly on force that is exercised through its legislatures and courts. Surely we agree our constitutional rights to freedom of religion and conscience, guaranteed through the Charter and more ancient safeguards, are worth speaking up for.
Nu-Church Speak: "On specific issues... our differences are a sign of the catholicity we share". Say we have two baptized Catholics, Joe and John. Joe says abortion is a sin, John disagrees. According to Church teaching, Joe is right, John is wrong. Sure, they share "catholicity" through baptism, but they don't share Catholicism. The clever use of the word "catholicity" signifies something skewed and smudged in aspect, somewhat vague, even relativized. Yet the word Catholicism, like the religion, is very specific, and abortion is a very specific issue, now legalized/decriminalized by the State. It is the lack of "agreement" (i.e. faithfulness) on the Church's specific doctrines/morals, as such, that is the problem. Unity in this needs to be primary, before jumping into the public square and engaging the barbarians. Agreement on "issues" and "approaches" on the secular side follow, are a function of the former. Untrue, we don't "all agree" that the Church must not acquiesce to the State. The Catholic Left, notorious for defying/ignoring the Church's moral prescriptions, always vote NDP with its mantra of State preponderance. Just last year, former NDP leadership hopeful, Paul Dewar, interviewed on his Roman Catholicism (influenced by Gregory Baum's Catholics and Canadian Socialism), stated "faith is political... I was raised in the Catholic Church but in the social democratic faith, as well". Does not an overemphasis on this precept point to a condition, admittedly latent, where Caesar can also assume the role of "God", or even opening a gateway to such a political order? Not just "social democratic" (political), but a "social democratic faith" (political/religious merged without real distinction).

XXXIII. As for the courts and the Charter, there should be no shock, or pretended shock, at judicial activism and overextending legislatures. Canada has all these encroachments on "religious freedom" in general, but really Catholicism in particular. What have the bishops done during the process to thwart State intrusions and safeguard the Faith? Rather, the question should be: How have they reacted? Earlier this year the Supreme Court of Canada, in a far-reaching decision, ruled against allowing parents from exempting their kids from the Ethics and Religion Culture (ERC) program in Quebec...

How did those inside the Magic Circle react:
  • Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec (ACBQ): "the recognition of others and the pursuit of the common good... We believe that all young people need appropriate training to be able to appreciate the place of religion - especially Catholicism - in the history and current culture of Quebec, this course can contribute to the extent that it respects the freedom of conscience of the young people and their parents and where it present well the different religious traditions".[22]
  • Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB): "We call on all Canadians, especially the faithful, to respond courageously to the challenges to freedom of conscience and religion by renewing their determination to participate actively in every sector of public life and to make their views known where public policies and opinions are shaped... At this challenging time, we urgently appeal to all Canadians, whether religious believers or not, to reaffirm their commitment to the promotion of the precious rights of freedom of conscience and religion".[23]
Let us now quote from astonished observers in the outer limits:
  • Catholic Civil Rights League in a statement: "The overall impact of the court's decision enlarges the state's role into family autonomy".[24]
  • National Post columnist colleague of Mr. Stockland's: "Canada is turning into a theocracy with its own jealous God: The smug, self-worshipping state. Lower-court judges are its acolytes; high-court judges its bishops. The Charter? It's still available in courthouse washrooms for purposes of personal hygiene. No, I'm not Catholic, or even religious. Only appalled".[25]
  • Commenter at the Catholic Register: "Where have our Canadian Bishops been for the last forty years? The troublesome developments that they now warn us about did not arise overnight, but are the result of incremental changes that started decades ago, and which they have either ignored or even encouraged".[26]
Quite a contrast.

XXXIV. Prelates, acknowledging the crisis and highlighting its aspects, yet still retaining a "recognition of others", except their own flock it seems. Calling on Canadians to be "courageous", to "participate", to "renew" and "reaffirm", "especially the faithful" (who else? others will listen?), except themselves it seems. It's all reaction and self-exclusion from the crisis save the post hoc publication of yet another "pastoral letter" telling others what to do, what the bishops should have been doing in the first place to stop another nail from being banged, with a judges gavel, into the Catholic coffin. In 2009, the Quebec Superior court ruled against the Drummondville parents.[27] The decision was mostly based on the testimony of the Armani-outfitted Fr. Gilles Routhier of Laval University, a Vatican II champion whose had run-ins with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the latter recently gone transatlantic to serve the Holy Father as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Question is, why didn't the Quebec bishops put Routhier on a leash? They consent to his views? Don't care? Who knows?

XXXV. Speaking of insurgents from la belle province, why didn't the Quebec bishops put in a concerted effort to muzzle Fr. Raymond Gravel. Indeed, why was an admitted former male prostitute even approved to enter the seminary, itself saying much. Say what you will about Abbé Groulx, but this Gravel is a wildcat who needs to be locked up in a cage. It took Vatican intervention to halt his secular pursuits with the Bloc Québécois. He's been left to roam free, prowling the Plains of Abraham, as politician, as outspoken advocate for abortion, euthanasia, homosexual "marriage", supported the Order of Canada award to Henry Morgentaler, supported by Development and Peace, still permitted to be a priest with his own parish, with "Gay Pride masses" as an extra bonus. Hark, is that lavender I hear fluttering in the wind? That the bishop(s) gave and give Gravel a free pass on his abominations (yes, you read that correctly) just more so justifies the so-called "bishop bashing" to which certain people are overly sensitive. For quoting his own words, Gravel is now suing LifeSite News, and we are positive that some personages at 2500 Don Reid Drive are overjoyed at this extravaganza. An uncorrected manifestly heretical priest, "one of our own" so to say, a priest!, is using the courts - those courts that Mr. Stockland is rightly worried about with respect to their incursion upon Catholicism - to sue a news agency that actually defends the Catholic Church's teaching on life issues. Another mindboggling inversion involving LifeSite News (n.b. LSN is being slammed by the Magic Circle, so be sure to donate). Gravel, writes Mr. Stockland, is "an intelligent, articulate but apparently distracted man, is merely a tragic symptom of a much deeper confusion".[28] Well, this distracted man has done so much damage in the objective sense and deep confusion is not an uncaused abstraction. Confused people are the source of confusion, not the reverse. This is kid gloves treatment, which is exactly the fault in Mr. Stockland's approach. Do as the bishops do, play with that rabid dog. The bishops have no excuse or explanation for letting the judiciary overrun Catholicism in Canada. They've been warned for years. Lawyer and Catholic Insight columnist Rory Leishman was forewarning about "robed dictators" way back in 1998.[29] Though, doubt you will see any copies of Catholic Insight in the foyer at CCCB HQ because, you know, just retired editor Fr. Alphonse de Valk and his associate Msgr. Vincent Foy are two flies in the Modernist ointment. "Those two are talking about the Winnipeg Statement again. SSShhhhhh... keep it in the Circle". In reality, these two priests are loyal sons of the Church and should be revered for their untiring fight to defend the Faith in Canada.

XXXVI. Finally, the Swan Song, something to touch your heart, with a magazine plug too, to keep that river of dollar$ flowing into the think tank because... big money goes around the world:
If we feel hesitation, here is an image that might help us overcome natural reluctance. In the next issue of Convivum magazine, we have a 10th anniversary retrospective on World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. As part of the look back, we asked those who attended to tell us their most compelling memory of WYD 2002. The one mentioned time after time was the almost overpowering visual of Pope John Paul II walking down the steps of the arrival aircraft even though he was elderly, ill and struggling just to stand. Using all the strength he could muster, the Bishop of Rome stood up for us. Why would we, in return, do any less for all the bishops who lead us in our faith?
Classic media strategizing. Marketing firms, too, use this tactic. That is, appealing to our emotions by invoking imagery no person, save those with the coldest of hearts, can but respond with a benevolent silence and perchance a tear or two. An "overpowering image", meaning something that triggers feelings, prioritizing them over rational thought, for whatever duration (notwithstanding my lead-in video, it's a blog after all). Nothing nefarious with this technique as such. But its application to the topic at had, in my opinion, serves three purposes, one inappropriate, the other escapist, another conniving. First, it helps to sell the product, i.e. Convivium, and it sure is nice to get free advertising from a diocesan newspaper. Neato! The particular issue promoted showcases another person, already mentioned herein, also with business savvy and many connections to the right people, a CEO in fact, with an especial interest in WYD 2002 Toronto for obvious reasons. Second, use of a sentimental, almost sappy "overpowering image" as such directs minds to another time, a retreat into the past of an ended pontificate, when conditions in the Church, even in world affairs, were significantly different from present. A detectible shift has occurred over the last seven years in Pope Benedict's reign. Where Bl. John Paul II spoke of a "new springtime", implying growth and expansion of the Faith, B16 speaks of diminution: "normally it is the creative minorities that determine the future, and in this sense the Catholic Church must understand itself as a creative minority".[30] We also have Summorum Pontificum, a return to reverent liturgy and, thankfully, the ever-accelerating "biological solution" is doing its wonderful work with the hippies. At his inaugural Mass upon receiving the Keys, His Holiness said this in his homily: "Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves". That brims with meaning, with all manner of allusions, and allies of the HF have picked up on it, winking in acknowledgement. Third - and most crucial, it draws attention away from the bishops as being chiefly liable for a nose-diving Catholicism on their respective watches, as evidenced in the preceding analysis. As a well known weblog sums: The crisis of the Church is a crisis of bishops.

Thus concludes our astounding adventure inside the Magic Circle - an realm of mystery, intrigue and high strangeness.

Until next time, dear readers, keep it classy. Cheers, and bottoms up.


1. Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People, Apostolicam Actuositatem, ch. I, para. 2, In: (gen. ed. A. Flannery) Vatican Council II, The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents (Boston: St. Paul & Books Media, 1992 new revised edition), Vatican Collection, vol. 1, p. 766. Promulgated on November 18, 1965.

2. E. Schillebeeckx, Church, The Human Story of God (New York: Crossroads Publishing Company, 1990), pp. 190, 228.

3. S.L. Jaki, And On This Rock (Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications), p. 45.

4. NCCB/USCC, Guidelines Concerning the Academic Mandatum in Catholic Universities (Canon 812). Issued June 15, 2001. Can. 812: "Those who teach theological disciplines in any institutes of higher studies whatsoever must have a mandate from the competent ecclesiastical authority". Sidebar: recall the atmosphere of dissent at St. Paul University in Ottawa. It is a Pontifical University, under direct authority of the Holy See, although St. Paul's is evidently low on Rome's list of educational institutions needing rectification. The Canadian bishops in all likelihood are relieved about St. Paul's pontifical status because Canon 810 §2 stipulates: "The conferences of bishops and diocesan bishops concerned have the duty and right of being watchful so that the principles of Catholic doctrine are observed faithfully in these same universities". Accordingly, they have "an out" and can thus disavow responsibility for shenanigans ongoing at St. Paul's.

5. "Now theologians, alone face the mandatum", National Catholic Reporter, May 25, 2001.

6. See T. Drake, "Cardinal Newman Society Questions Whether Theologians' Mandatum Is Being Implemented", National Catholic Register, August 17, 2012.

7. CCCB, "A Pastoral Letter on the Christian Ecological Imperative from the Social Affairs Commission", October 4, 2003.

8. S. Tracey, "Thomas Collins is one of us", Kitchener-Waterloo Record, February 16, 2012.

9. Quoted in E. Boudreau, "Green burial option for Catholics on its way", Catholic Register, July 12, 2012.

10. From J. Ratzinger, The Spirit Of The Liturgy, trans. J. Saward (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), p. 198: "Dancing is not a form of expression for the Christian liturgy. In about the third century, there was an attempt in certain Gnostic-Docetic circles to introduce it into the liturgy. For these people, the Crucifixion was only an appearance... Dancing could take the place of the liturgy of the Cross, because, after all, the Cross was only an appearance. The cultic dances of the different religions have different purposes - incantation, imitative magic, mystical ecstasy - none of which is compatible with the essential purpose of the liturgy as the 'reasonable sacrifice'".

11. CCCB Standing Committee on CCODP and CCODP Liaison Committee: Joint meetings of 31 May and 1 February 2012. Issued on June 18 2012.

12. Comment on article by P.B. Craine, "Canadian Bishops Conference reports ongoing work with Development & Peace", LifeSite News, June 22, 2012.

13. See M. Swan, "D&P reeling after government imposes 65 per cent funding cut", Catholic Register, March 23, 2012.

14. Quoted in J.H. Westen, "D&P Accuses LifeSite News of Association with Groups that Use Violence; 'Far Right Wing Fringe'", LifeSite News, March 17, 2010

15. For CCODP's participation in the International March for Women (included pro-abortion groups) see "Canadian bishops' organization contradicts Vatican policy", LifeSite News, May 18, 2000.

16. See V. Foy, "Tragedy at Winnipeg: The Canadian Catholic Bishops' Statement on Humanae vitae", Challenge, vol. 14, 1988.

17. Quoted in J. Taranto, "When the Archbishop Met the President", Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2012.

See R. Csillag, "Let there be (Salt+) Light", Toronto Star, February 24, 2011.

19. B. Mattson, "Teachers get a look into the Future Church", BC Catholic, February 28, 2011.

20. P. Stockland, "Laity must join bishops in answering affronts to the Church", Catholic Register, June 19, 2012.

21. Abp. T. Collins, "Enhancement of Caring for All Students in the Spirit of the Gospel", Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario. Memorandum dated April 15, 2011.

22. Quoted in D. Gyapong, "Disappointment greets Quebec ERC ruling", Catholic Register, February 21, 2012.

23. Permanent Council of the CCCB, Pastoral Letter on Freedom of Conscience and Religion, April 2012, pp. 7, 12.

24. CCRL, "Disappointment greets Quebec ERC ruling", February 17, 2012.

25. G. Jonas, "Supreme Court puts the final nail in the coffin of religious freedom", National Post, February 28, 2012.

26. See comment in D. Gyapong, "Bishops: Canadians experience 'worrisome erosion' of religious rights", Catholic Register, May 20, 2012.

27. D. Gyapong, "Quebec parents lose religious freedom case", Western Catholic Reporter, September 7, 2009.

28. P. Stockland, "Obvious to all but Fr. Gravel", Catholic Register, April 24, 2012.

29. R. Leishman, "Robed Dictators, A Coup from the Courtroom has Usurped our Democracy", The Next City, Fall 1998, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 34-41.

30. See S. Magister, "Interview with Pope Benedict: De-Christianized Europe. Church as a 'Creative Minority'", Chiesa, February 10, 2009.

31. Was reluctant to write Paragraphs XI to XV. Prayed over it beforehand, cycled facts/reports repeatedly in my mind, double-triple-quadruple checking, searching for an excuse not to discuss. Still, something had to be said. Again, scores of persons have been scandalized.